Posted at 5:55 am , on June 3, 2019
You live on a boat?! How is that? Does it move all the time? How does the weather affect you? Where do you keep your stuff? Do you have electricity? How about fresh water? How’s the sleeping situation? How do you deal with waste? Are you connected to cable and WiFi? Does your dog like living on a boat? What happens when you go sailing?”
Yes, it’s true. Sleeping on a boat is like being rocked to sleep every night. We keep our stateroom hatch open a crack year-round and can hear the waves and seabirds as we drift off and awaken. When it’s stormy it can be a wild ride, but still so comfy to be cocooned in our bunk while Mother Nature and Father Neptune battle it out.
After nine years of doing the “mattress mambo” and changing out varieties of foam combinations, we made the investment in a real mattress for our bunk! This is not a “run down to the local mattress store, spend a few hours laying on samples, move a few pieces of furniture to clear a path for the delivery guys to set up” kind of situation. As everything else on a boat, it is more complicated and expensive than that.
To start with, boat beds are not like home beds. At all. Boat beds, called bunks or berths, are in staterooms (bedrooms) built into the superstructure of the boat. They are a wooden or fiberglass box frame usually built on top of drawers and/or storage space and are immobile.
Posted at 1:00 am , on May 30, 2019
Spring had finally arrived. The stark branches were dotted with pink flower buds and these little signs of life gave her hope. It had been a harsh winter and her husband had been laid off, making it twice as miserable.
“You’re late again. Got a boyfriend?” he shot at her from the living room recliner as she walked through the front door.
“Sorry. I worked late. Thought we could use the overtime,” she answered, balancing two full bags of grocery and her purse.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” he jumped up, blocking her way. “I’m a highly skilled plumber and deserve top pay. I’ll get a job when I’m good and ready. You trying to piss me off?”
Posted at 4:46 am , on May 16, 2019
“X marks the spot. Well, if that isn’t cliche,” Sarah rolled her eyes at her boyfriend as she studied the map that was poorly made to look like a pirate’s treasure map.
“C’mon, it’ll be fun. Treasure hunts are all the rage right now. And I got a deal on GroupOn. You always say we do the same things. I wanted to shake it up.”
“I’m sorry. This will be fun and I’m assuming there’ll be drinks and lunch at the end. Let’s do this!”
Glenn unfolded the instructions and read Clue #1:
It’s been said that there is no there there. But here you will find your first and last chance to sip a hot beverage. Ask Tom for your next clue.
Posted at 12:37 am , on April 30, 2019
I’ve been exploring the vegan lifestyle for the past year as we’ve been spending time with Aaron’s cousin, and several of our friends are vegetarian. All of my vegan/vegetarian friends offer to bring their own food, but I’m of the belief that when you invite folks to your home for a meal you should try your best to ensure they can eat what you serve. We hosted a dock party that included the traditional barbequed chicken and hot dogs, corn on the cob, watermelon, apple pie and chips and dip, and I wanted to add a dish that would be filling as a main course for our vegan guests and also serve as a side dish for the carnivores.
This is really good stuffed in a pita with hummus, on crackers, or on it’s own as a main course or side. It can be served cold or at room temperature and is better the same day as it got a bit watery when I had leftovers a day later, although it was still good.
Posted at 2:48 pm , on April 23, 2019
If there ever was a controversial recipe, it would definitely be deviled eggs. Just like potato salad, the argument begins with mayonnaise versus Miracle Whip and then the choices of seasonings and condiments are across the board.
My daughter loves them straight up traditional with no fancy seasoning, which is what these are. The basic recipe is based on my Nana’s, with my addition of the sour cream and Dijon mustard. It makes the mixture a bit more creamy with a slight tang. It’s easy to change them up depending on what flavors you love and I’ve put a few ideas in the variations below.
All of these ingredients are stocked at our local Grocery Outlet and you probably have most of the seasonings and condiments already on hand. I particularly love their selection of eggs … all sizes, brown or white, organic, etc., and at prices far below your average grocery store.
Posted at 4:37 am , on April 18, 2019
The foursome were enjoying their sundowner cocktails and pupus in the cockpit when John suddenly jumped up.
“We’ve got company.” Everyone turned towards the pretty boat entering the narrow passageway between the reefs into the secluded cove.
“It’s almost dark. We better help them get moored. C’mon, Tom, you drive.”
Tom maneuvered the dinghy carefully around the reef, approaching the boat as John hailed, “Ahoy there! We’re here to give you a hand. It’s a tricky reef.”
Posted at 9:42 am , on April 16, 2019
Today is a significant date. First and foremost, it is my husband’s birthday. Aaron, the Captain of my boat and my heart, was born in 1964 and is 55 today. He is the most unselfish person I have ever met, giving of his time and talent, and most of all, Love, to his friends and family. He is completely devoted to our three Grands and, with his retirement, he spends more time with them than any of the grandparents, including me! He coaches Little League, builds props for my daughter’s photography business, and shows up just to cuddle our little princess when mommy needs a break. This from a guy who never had children and became a step-father when my kids were teens! We are blessed to have him in our lives and will celebrate with the kids after he coaches a baseball game this afternoon.
Posted at 5:59 am , on April 16, 2019
If I knew that making Play Dough was so easy, I’d have saved a whole lot of money when my kids were little! For a few dollars you can make gobs of this classic creation with simple ingredients that you most likely already have on hand and are always available at Alameda’s Grocery Outlet.
This is a “recipe” that’s not meant to be eaten, but it is non-toxic and edible, if you don’t mind a whole lot of salt. It takes about 10 minutes start to finish and my Grands (ages four and almost seven) basically made it themselves, with a bit of direction on the amounts and assisting with the stirring on the stovetop. I laid the ingredients and measuring utensils out in the order of adding so they could be in charge. What fun!
This would be a fun project for a child to make for a birthday or holiday gift for a friend. You could buy containers for the play dough, a rolling pin, mini-sized chef’s hat and apron, and cookie cutters at a dollar/discount store and arrange in a basket. There is nothing like seeing the joy and pride in a child’s eyes when they have created something all by themselves!
Posted at 6:41 am , on April 10, 2019
Dawn arrives with a familiar ache.
One year, a decade, a lifetime
It never changes
You are missed so much.
You have missed so much.
Birthdays and graduations
Weddings and babies
Kids, grands, great-grands
I feel you still.
Whispers in the wind
Light playing on wave crests
The sway of my own boat.
Sail on, Sailor.
I’ll walk the beach
You’ll fade away
Until next year.
Footprints in the sand.
John Benson, May 9, 1942 – April 10, 1982
- John Benson (in orange jacket) sailing Belfast Lady on Opening Day on the Bay, circa late-1970s.
Written for the To Live and Write in Alameda 2019 “Flash Lit February” Challenge 6. We had three days to write a poem or short story (of 500 words or less) or draw a piece of art to the theme “Footprints in the Sand” and submit.
Posted at 5:06 am , on April 9, 2019
My dear friend Kat Ott Davis passed almost two years ago, but she is always in my thoughts and heart when I cook. She was an exquisite artist and designer … painting, jewelry, displays, clothing … and brought that creativity to her cooking. Anyone who had the honor of being invited to a meal or gathering at her home was treated to so much more than just “food.” It was always a journey of flavors and aromas as Kat explained the history of the ingredients and why she chose the combinations of herbs and spices in each course.
She taught me to make these sauteed mushrooms and they are so good that I could eat them as is, in a bowl. Usually, I smother a piece of beef with them, but they would also be absolutely delish served over sauteed greens such as baby bok choy or swiss chard for a vegan dish. They can’t be rushed … it’s all about the slow cook so the liquids thicken and the ‘shrooms carmelize.
These simple ingredients are always available at Alameda’s Grocery Outlet and total cost is about $5.00 (not including the wine … which happens to be on sale during their huge 20% off promotion!). It should serve four, but if you love mushrooms as much as hubby and I, then it’ll barely feed two.