Tuesday, September 30, 2008

New Friends on Goosebumps



 


We have finally returned from our recent land tour and Jan and Francoise were moored next to us in Solomons. We suggested they consider St. Leonard's Creek for their next anchorage, and were delighted to hear them hailing us as we approached. Goosebumps, a Block Island 40, has been cruising now for four months, but will soon return to her home in Punta Gorda, Florida. We enjoyed cocktails together and exchanging stories.

Our plans to leave this morning were thwarted by thick fog, and although it eventually lifted, we are content to do boat chores and await cocktail hour aboard Goosebumps. Thunderstorms are expected tonight into tomorrow, so we will likely remain here another day.
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Saturday, September 27, 2008

Our "Son" the Body Builder

During our last stay with the Rosenzweigs at their all inclusive resort, we had the opportunity to share their son Ben's preparation for INBF National Body Builders Competition in New York City. At recent visits we have experienced Ben enjoying his daily 5,000 calorie diet of steel cut oat meal mixed with water (consumed uncooked), about a trillion scrambled egg whites, and a virtual mountain of grilled boneless chicken breasts. That's it, along with gallons of food supplements with a cost in excess of the national bailout. And no, not one chemical among them.


Here, Ben acquires a golden tan, applied by his trainer Chris, girl friend Maria, and friend Andy. This will allow better muscle definition. Body builders no longer grease up for the competition, they are now sprayed with Pam! Here are the results of Ben's incredible effort (accomplished while preparing for college and during his first two years at Lehigh):































This is Ben's brother, Matt, displaying Ben's Second Place Trophy in the Teen Division. No, although he is equally as handsome, Matt is not a bodybuilder. He is a pitcher.




And the support staff including friends, family, fraternity brothers, and Grammie:





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Thursday, September 18, 2008

My Sister, the Transportation Guru

I had not seen my sister Bonnie for many, many years for one of those stupid reasons that every family seems to be able to conjure up. While cruising in the Bahamas, Bon sent me a letter that took over six months to catch up with me. In the letter, Bonnie told me she had cancer, and said it was time we mended fences.

By the time I received the letter and reached out for Bonnie, she was just completing her last chemo, and had lost all of her hair. When I first saw my sister at this meeting, it took my breath away. She will always be my little sister, but now, she looks exactly like our mother!

Bonnie runs the Transportation Group at Seashore Day Camp and School, where she oversees the drivers and buses of a fleet of 300. She is also now the grandmother of four, and manages, somehow to be supporting most of her family as a single mother and grandmother. And as you can see, through it all, she still can smile.

Atta girl, TF!
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Lobsters Dancing in a Row



Staying again at the Rosenzweigs, and "we" entertained Little Miss Willow, her parents, and her auntie. This was a perfect gathering of my family, married into and chosen (you CAN choose your family, as Donna has pointed out to me). As my friend Sharron recently commented, there are advantages to being stuck to land.
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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Xantrex Link 2000R Battery Charger and Monitor

One of the cool things on First Edition is our Link 2000R, when it works. The Link monitors current voltage on the battery banks, amps being used (notably, by the Pigs)or contributed by Arnie, the wind generator, or The Girls, the solar panels (cost half as much and work twice as hard), and a variety of other things that I personally could care less about.

Since we bought First Edition in 1999, we have had to replace this SIX times (OK, once was due to the lightning strike, no fault of the manufacturer). Each time, we have to pay to have someone uninstall and reinstall the unit. Most recently, we paid expedited shipping to return the unit so we could get on our way. A new unit was shipped promptly, but it did not function.

These are not "cheap goods" as they say in the garment district. Xantrex used to be reliable and state of the art. Supposedly they changed hands. I wish I owned somebody else's. Let the buyer beware.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Willow!

 


After we were certain (sort of) that Tropical Storm Hanna would not be a major threat to us, we up and left Solomons to head to our granddaughter's house. Having never had children of my own, it is an amazing gift to have this beautiful child greet me with large smiles and open arms, screaming "Grammie" with glee. Thank you Lisa and David for this untoppable gift.
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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Surprise Visit to Mattapoisett

 

Chuck and Peter grew up together and have remained fast friends ("best man in both of his weddings")through many of life's changes. Whenever we get together with Chuck and Kristin it is one non-stop hilarity of recollections and new absurdities. Every summer we have tried to get First Edition up to their summer home near Cape Cod, but alas, it was not to be this year. Instead, we flew up to surprise Kristin for Her Big One (go ahead, you guess which one).

We were dropped off in front of their home and as I had hoped, cocktails were in process on the rear deck and we were able to sneak around without her seeing us, although she did go to investigate the strange car in their driveway. The look on her face was, as they say, priceless.
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