Sunday, January 30, 2005

Cookie Alert - Be Aware!


Things are pretty slow here! Mike and Anne - I challenge you to come up with your own personal error mesasges! Click on heading for the link to this funny site.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Things That Go Bump In The Night

Occasionally we hear strange things in the night. Like the otters in the spring – they come swimming along and bang right into our keel. Island Packets have a very long and deep keel, and the water here is not very clear. So, from time to time, while diving and swimming between boats they misjudge the depth and whack themselves. It is a very thud-like noise, like dropping a shoe on the floor.

In Florida we heard popping noises, something like clicking. It would go on and on for hours. It turns out that was the sound shrimp make when mating. We got used to it, but it was always predictable that the first night after boat owners would stay aboard their new boats they would always ask about the noise. Some would run to the office and report something terrible was wrong and they just knew their boat was going to sink because the hull was popping. Some would spend the night with a flash light peering into the bilge, trying to find the source of the sounds. Amusing.

This winter we now have a new mystery noise. It sounds like bubbles, coming up from the deep and hitting the bottom of the boat. It is not the waves lapping, which sounds like little slaps and ripples – swimming pool sounds. This is like glugs of water or air hitting the hull. It starts about 9:30 pm and lasts about 2 hours .... Or maybe I am just falling asleep and don’t hear it end. It has been every night for the last week. It’s fairly steady, and the sounds are pretty uniform in loudness, though there is some variation.

Could it have something to do with the tide changing? Something to do with the ice itself? Perhaps there is some monster of the Salt Pond trapped under the ice, trying to escape? Or has the bottom of our hull become like a HAPPY HOUR bar in New Orleans at Mardi Gras with free hor d’oeuvres – and all the nocturnal fish are snacking Chez Auana Ke Kai? It’s a mystery, and I guarantee you, that this Cajun isn’t going out after dark to see what is out there lurking in the deep!

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Nothing new under the sun

Mike says all is quiet on his front. I guess I can say the same thing. There is nothing new under the sun here. It is cold, same story, about 20 at night, barely 32 in day. Fortunately, the two new heaters we purchased on Monday to replace the one that died of old age are working very well! No more complaints from “you know who” about the temperatures inside the boat. In spite of today's lows and the wind, we were both in short sleeves inside. Granted, I didn’t go outside. But, we are snug down below.

Other non-news, the generator still continues to stymie best efforts at repair. It is sucking air somewhere – we just can’t figure out where. Note, I say we, I mean, he can’t figure out where. I only sympathize. We didn’t work on it today at all, 6 hours crawling around yesterday was enough fun for a few days. Maybe tomorrow we will work up the enthusiasm.

Zachary called me this morning at 8, just as I was getting up. We actually had a very nice conversation and I could understand most everything he had to report. He said Maddie was better, but still had a fever. Becky reports they are stir crazy from not being able to get out and about, especially Zach who needs to get rid of excess energy! She’ll be glad for a break in the weather. She invited us to come up next week, probably on Tuesday. She needs to take Maddie back to the allergist on Wednesday and also wants to go and visit the pre-schoolshe is checking on for Zack for next fall. So, we will go and help her. We are also going to go to look at the house again and also check out another area we have heard about.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

What wrong here?

What wrong here?
Originally uploaded by Joanna Root.
Here I am sitting in the boat salon. I have on sock liners, wool socks, winter boots, long underwear bottoms, thin yoga pants, cotton dockers, long sleeve turtleneck, flannel pajama top, wool sweater, polar fleece hat, wool scarf, and wool mitens. I am still COLD!!! I am covered by triple layer cotton lap cover and have a Silly cat glued to me. Could it be because we could see out breath inside the boat this morning?

Yesterday we started the day with snow, then came sleet, then rain. Around 9:45pm the 4o knot winds began, and we heard a giant clap of thunder and a flash of lightening. We both commented on how unusual that was for winter. No less than 10 minutes later we heard a giant boom, the lights went out, and the sky light up like the Fourth of July .... only the crackle and pop kept up for nearly 5 minutes. We saw brilliant white light, blue light, yellow light and the sound of crispy crackling. Then the sound of fire trucks, police, etc. We could see steam coming up over the housetops between us and the power station that is less than a mile and a half from us.

You bet your life, could this winter's saga get any better? Say it isn't snow!!! HA HA ... We were without heat 13 and a half hours. Not one minute too long in my estimation. Did you know you can make coffee with a tupperware strainer (the yellow one), a coffee filter and two pans! Yahoo - how can we be having so much fun? Finally got heat about noon, cat has unglued herself from us and the heaters are still working like little trojans to make up the difference. That house is just not going to get here soon enough!

Oh did I forget to say the generator who gave us so much grief last year, would not start .... so that added to the adventure too. Not sure if it is too cold, fuel is clogged or what. I refused to let Eric go outside in the cockpit to open the locker where the generator lives to try to bleed the line. After all, enough if enough.

Friday, January 21, 2005


Today was uneventful, in that nothing much changed here. We woke up to about an inch of snow that fell overnight. Silly's take on the day was to sleep all day. She only had a brief visit to the cockpit when the sun came out in the afternoon.

Zachary called this morning to tell me he had Dracula teeth - the funny thing was that he was trying to show them to me though the phone. Becky said he takes them out after snarling loud and says "It's only me!" He got more snow than we did and Becky said they did make a pretty good sized snowman. The first time it snowed his snowman was kept in the freezer, it was only 6 inches tall!

I worked on the sweater for Skyler and got it all finished except for sewing on the buttons. You can see a picture at my knitting blog.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Snow-on-Ice on the POND!

Originally uploaded by Joanna Root.
This is an update to the post that is below, writen later today. I didn't go up to the office because the office closed early, And why you ask? Because it snowed.!! So, in addition to the picture of ice on the pond, I have pictures of snow on the ice! Pretty cool I thought!

Yoga was cancelled (again .... sigh) but that was because Lisa, our teacher, was in the hospital, with her daughter who is having a baby! Good thing she and her daughter got there before the snow started, because between 3 and 4 o'clock this afternoon there were 101 car accidents. Obviously since we have been below freezing for days, snow on top of ice made roads a mess.

The news tonight showed the highways at rush hour. VDOT (Virginia Dept. of Transportation) couldn't get out onto the highways, or was stuck in traffic, because all the folks going home from work were on the highways ..... except no one was moving .... It looked like a giant parking lot. The state police were interviewed and they asked people to just go to the malls and get off the roads, so that the VDOT trucks could get out and sand and salt.

You'd think these folks would understand. Has it never snowed here before?

No Place To Hide

Originally uploaded by Joanna Root.

On GMA (Good Morning America) the author of this new book was interviewed this morning. The gist of the conversation he had with Charlie Gibson was that Americans are increasingly giving up their privacy without even being aware. Advertising companies are collecting data about everything we buy from our sales receipts (those keychain tags we use at the grocery store) and other agencies gather information about where we are though out the day though these same receipts, pass tags, biometric recognition, pass number codes to enter buildings, etc. They said the average person is under camera surveillance approximately 200 times a day.

Well, that got me thinking, I am not helping those statistics at all. With wind chills below 10, I have not been off the boat in a little over two days. Though, today will be different because of two things. The first is that the pond has frozen over and I want to go out and try to take a picture for the blog today. That will also drive me going up to the office to be able to upload the picture (if I get a good one). As long as I am there, I might as well surf a bit and enjoy the warm office. (Not that we are not warm on the boat). The second adventure out later this evening will be to go to Yoga. However, yoga has been cancelled the last two weeks due to conflicts with the room we use, so that may change too. So much adventure! How can my heart take it you ask? Add to that, we are supposed to get snow this afternoon. So maybe I’ll even get some snow shots .... I am thinking I’ll have to carry the camera to Yoga as we have great views from the deck upstairs. Ah the possibilities!

Back to being spied upon. I mentioned to Eric we were not helping the statistics- we have not changed our location. He reminded me that since I was online last night my where abouts were still interesting and known. I had used the cell phone. Of course how exciting was that information to the one assigned to watch me? .... I see it now, “She is still on that boat ... Get a life”. He also pointed out that we have had to replace at least 6 overhead light bulbs in the last year, and that undoubtedly, those bulbs were really cameras tracking our moves. Probably ordered by the feline fanatic that lives with us. She undoubtedly worries we might be eating something good when she is sleeping and needs to know that information so she can make our lives a living hell when she is awake and in a mood!

So what have I been doing the last 3 days .... You guessed it, Knitting, Reading, Being a cat heater unit, and using the computer, cleaning, etc, etc. Just a variation of those things. If you want to see what I am knitting you will have to visit the other blog, I should have something new there soon.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Good morning world!

Originally uploaded by Joanna Root.
This cute face was smiling at me this morning when I got up!

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Purfect Purring Princess - AKA Silly Kitty

The purring princess has added a new routine to her already long list of eccentric cat habits.

At night when I go to bed the normal routine was to change into jammies, bathroom routine, etc, hop in bed, Eric comes in and we talk, and then once I lay down Silly would crawl up on my lower legs. Prior to this ritual, she was usually sitting at the foot of the bed waiting for me as I went through my routine, as of course, she was the one telling us it was bedtime. Now, once I lay down, she comes up to the head of the bed and sniffs my entire face, then waits for me to extend my left arm - she then curls up next to me with her head on my wrist. If Eric and I talk awhile, she glares at him and will not lay down until he leaves. If I try to ignore her, she will tap on the covers near my ear to let me know she is there, waiting! How could I be so insensitive? Weird cat! Of course, once Eric comes to bed, usually 1-2 hours later, she moves over to lay on him! He is the preferred Bed Unit as he is warmer! Smart cat!!

Mike I wonder if you have found your pistachios or not? On Jeopardy one night this week one of the clues was about pistachios. They showed them growing on trees (obviously) and said they were used for oil - pistachio oil! Of course this has nothing to do with Mike finding, or losing, his nuts .... Perhaps he ate them all when he was busy reading and just forgot! I can see that happening to me when I was in the middle of a good book. I didn’t know he exhibited some of the family traits (from Dad I think) of not remembering where something was. Mom only looses things when they disappear in a freak accident. Like the missing earring episode when I was there last year

As she took of the stud she heard the jacket of the earring fall. We all searched the dresser top, pulled out drawers, pulled out the dresser ( on different days in different light) ), and still no earring. Finally after I went home, she pulled everything out again, and there, on the ledge between the mirror and the dresser top, in the back of the dresser she found the earring. We all looked down on the floor, and it had never actually fallen all the way, Maybe this has some hint for Mike and his nuts .... Look up high!

Friday, January 14, 2005

Gale WInds

Tornado Watch, Gale Force Winds, Temperature drops 30 degrees in 3 hours, due to drop another 30 over night! Now we might have snow flurries on Sunday. Are we having Fun? Mike and Sally, are you smiling!!! We also got an inch and a half of rain. Last night as the winds started I thought of all those old movies that show a bottle rolling across a table below decks on a ship. We were rocking enough last night to have that happen. It isn’t often that the winds do that to us.

Needless to say, it was not a very eventful day. I watched Return of the King as it was the most exciting thing I could think of to do! I did work on Bear, he needs his legs sewn together, and then I will be ready to stuff all of him. So far, I think he will be cute.

Becky called this morning, and we talked awhile, then Zack wanted to talk to me and tell me about his new kitchen (toy). He said he has pots and pans! I asked if he wanted to tell Eric about it and he said no, he was watching Noggin. (that’s a children’s TV channel in case Mom and Dad don’t know). Becky limits his TV to 30 minutes a day, but he does love it. She said every one comes in second when Noggin is on!

Tomorrow I hope to get a lot done, finish up the bear, work on socks and maybe do some internet research on a few things. Being as it is the weekend and the weather is so iffy, I doubt we will be going anywhere.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Winter Is Coming

Well, it looks like we are in for winter now, our 75 degree days are over and now I will be facing falling temperatures, a cat who won't even poke her head outside and a grumpy captain. Oh Boy!

We just got water back today - the powers that be turned it off these last few days and replaced all the pipes under our dock. So today we did all those things we do when we know water is about to be turned off indefinitely, we took showers, defrosted the freezer (we spray hot water in it) filled the water tank and all the extra bottles we use for small things. All the plants are watered and we are set. The forecast is for at least 5 days in the 20's at night. We are hoping this is not going to be the beginning of another long seige like last year. Some weather guru on the nightly news said the East was in for a colder than normal winter, now that it was really arriving. Great cheers from you know who.

Out house person was out of the office today in Richmond, so no news on that front. Nothing else exciting happening here.

I am pleased to know I am only 3 degrees removed from Abe Lincoln. I knew I was glad Mike was my brother!

Tomorrow, I sew up bear! I should have pictures by this weekend.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Just errands

Today has been eventful, but not exciting. The captain and I (mostly him with me listening in the wings) managed to complete a financial transaction in the event that the house contract moves along; we will be ready with funds. Of course this only took him about 3 sets of phone calls, and as usual, every one of the people he spoke to offered different instructions! How does any business work when it's employee's are so inexperienced (note I didn't say stupid). Only a supervisor can give the right answers .... and even then when he got to the bank they said, “we have never heard of that kind of form” .... which is what the other person said they had to have! SO then another phone call .... makes you wonder how anything gets done.

While he was moving money around I was relegated to the grocery store. Now cold weather is coming, so we were trying to stock up on soda for him, which was on sale. Of course there was a 4 liter limit. So, I made three trips in and out of the store, with my four bottles .... and various other items I picked up on each trip. Then he made a final 4th trip, so we came up with 16 bottles, enough to last a couple weeks. We can be snowed in now .... hopeful I have not awakened the god of the arctic to come dump on us by saying that.

Well since I wrote the paragraph above the evening news came on and I just saw that in the first ten days of January our temperature average has been 65 degrees .... 17 above average. Also this Saturday and Sunday our lows are supposed to be around 22, a high on Sunday of 36. BRRRRR.

We also changed out a filter for the water purifier, pretty exciting stuff there!

Silly enjoyed a few hours in the sun, out on her throne. She saw no reason to get involved with anything except the unpacking of groceries and rewrapping meat. Quality control expert that she is, she did say everything looked good and if we wanted to cook it all up tonight she’s be around to taste test.

I got some knitting done, and things are progressing on the bear.

We heard back from the house people and they expect to have blueprints of the new plan this week. We found out it is only 1 floor with 3 bedrooms, so probably not what we hoped. We thought it would still have an upstairs bonus room which Eric could use for the train set up. Since we do want a dedicated guest room, this would not work out, we'd be one room short with only 3, either no sewing/craft room, or no train room.

Looks like we are not going to go to Baltimore, but then that could change too! Tomorrow is supposed to be nearly 70!

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Forecast - things to change

Weather turned cold today, a taste of things to come! According to the weathermen we'll be warm, near 70 in the middle of the week, and then we are going back to winter, maybe for a long stretch. Looks like water will be turned off again, so we will need to get our tanks full again and defrost the freezer before we are without the water to do that easily.

I visited Wal-Mart today, in and out as fast as I could. I was in search of yarn to make a gift for SKyler’s birthday. Visit the knitting blog for more information about the project for her. There was only one basketful of left over Christmas junk, no better word for it than junk. I noticed all our attention is now supposed to be focused on Valentine’s Day. I hate being told what holiday I am supposed to be in the mood for, weeks and weeks early!

Nothing major on the agenda for this week. I hope to sit down and watch the extended version of The Return of the King. I watched the second disc of special features yesterday afternoon. I am always amazed at the scope of a movie of that magnitude. Such talented people, and so many of them, all doing such specialized things.

Well, hopefully all of you will have a good week. Mike, I think you are surpassing me on understanding this blog stuff. Unfortunately I don’t have enough time to do all I want. You may be the same way. By the way, your cave looks good! Very nice. I’ll come sit and be quiet in there!

Just heard from the captain he is comtemplating going to Baltimore to visit his mom. So, road trip may be in the works! More later!

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Eye see

I got contact lenses when I was home in November and have worn than without any problems. I love being able to pick up a book and read to the grand-babies without having to hunt for my glasses.

One eye of the prescription is a bifocal, the other not. Of course, the bifocal contact costs twice what the other does. The day before Christmas Eve I had my contacts in after not wearing them for a few days. As the day went on, it seems like I was seeing less and less, but I attributed it to not having worn them for a few days and having worn my old glasses during that time. Well, finally came time to take them out for the night, and what to my wondering eye, no contact in the bifocal eye. No wonder I could not read! So, since this was also the first day I had in a new contact I was a bit put out ($$$ down the tube) , but the next day I put in a new one. Now I'm one short in my six month supply.

Yesterday, I went to the library and had problems seeing again; I thought it was their new monitors, and came back to office and checked in the mirror - and oh oh, no contact. Return to boat and put in a new one - now I am down two! ($$$$$$ Twice amount of money down the tube).

To make this short, I called my doctor and they are going to replace the two I lost, I think at no charge, due to Blink-Out! Well, that's a new one on me. I told her it might be operator error, but she said it could just as easily be defective lenses. Since I had gone so long without problems I hope it is the latter.

Christmas came day before yesterday - an Amazon order! I received Shrek 2, and The collector edition of Lord of the Rings, Return of the King. I aLso received a knitting pattern book and the newest Atkins book published, Essential to Kick Start your Atkins.

We watched Shrek 2 two nights ago and laughed and laughed, especially at Puss-In-Boots, who resembles our Silly kitty in manners to a T. One moment an innocent feline with big eyes, and the next second attacking. Of course she only does this to Eric, and I think it is all a game!

No more new news -

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

I'm getting too old for this!

Since the new year, for some strange reason, I have been awake for extended hours of the night. It’s after midnight now, and the previous two nights, I finally made myself go to bed at 2am. What is even more remarkable is that I have not had to take a nap the following day either. This is from someone who is usually asleep 5 minutes after they hit the pillow at 10pm. I guess I should be glad, I’ve read, knitted, surfed the web, petted the cat and in general, stayed out of trouble. My web surfing is limited by the phone battery, and just to show how bad my insomnia is, last night I even recharged the battery and had a second go around surfing!

I think I have to partially blame this on the blog(s). Mike and I keep trying to find things to add to our Blog, and so, once one of us finds something new, the other has to try it and look for something else the other hasn’t seen. I guess it is all in a spirit of making the blog interesting. Last night I even decided I would split my Blog, so now if you look at Floats, Knits and Purls you will see that all my knitting stuff (and quilting) is going to be there. There is also a link to it in the Knitting Links side bar of my main blog. I have to blame Anne for that idea though, as she separated her blog into two first. Anyhow, I am blog happy now .... If only the phone was charged up I could be surfing for more neat things!

Mike, I noticed tonight at the All Consuming site, one of the most popular books being talked about is about blogs. I can’t get back online right now, but I may check it out and see if the library happens to have it. I did sign up on this site, but wasn’t able to get the code to do anything, but I think that is due to me not doing something in the right order. The phone started beeping at me and I had to abandon that midair. Anyhow, if you sign up, we can list each other as friends and somehow be notified when our lists change. Yada Yada Yada.

Eric is concerned that this whole blog thing is a way for the world to spy on us. I guess I am too trusting, and he is too private and probably right in his concern. He will no longer go to Yahoo because of the spy stuff they are doing – tracking your Internet use. They can see everything you have done on your browser. His thought is to get another browser to use only with Yahoo, maybe Mozilla.

So, blog aside, today was beautiful and almost 70 degrees. We are about 20 degrees higher than normal, which is a good thing for DH (dear Husband) as you all know how much he hates the cold.

Ops, definitely getting late, the cat has just come out of the bedroom for her after catnap (after midnight) snack and will be meowing at me that it is time to go to bed! She likes to have all (both) her humans in one spot where she can keep an eye on us. Since Eric has been asleep for hours now she is divided!

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Tweaking the blog

I spent the best part of this morning working on the blog again, hopefully making the text more Parent friendly, that is, larger and darker. So anyone out there who has a comment, just check down the side bar and look for “Siily Says” and email me with the link there – and tell me what you think.

This HTML is really interesting. I have found a new page I think I like :Dave Raggett's Introduction to CSS.It seems pretty straight forward to me and the color selector section was great for making the text darker. I can see this blog thing is a work in progress. And as long as my brother and I both strive to outdo each other, new things should keep cropping up! It’s also been great for us keeping in touch. What do you think those of you who read it?

Well, It's way past time to get out of the PJ’s and the phone battery should be about maxed out .... More later.


Saturday, January 01, 2005

Flickr Pictures are Finished

I did finish up the pictures and they have been posted to Flickr, all you need to do is click on the Flickr Box in the sidebar.

2005 - a New Year begins!

Today dawned with brilliant sunlight and only a few clouds; if that is any indicator or omen for the future year I am happy. It is warm, well above 60 and a coat is not even needed. After the frigid days before Christmas this is a welcomed and appreciated gift! Even the water has been turned back on, but of course, only our dock is without, as some of our dock pipes had major leaks. However, if we do have to haul water, we won’t have to go all the way to shore, only to the next dock.

I have a long list of resolutions going in my mind, but no, don’t worry I am not going to share them! Suffice to say, I have meager success most years with keeping my resolutions, so I won’t set myself up to see them in black and white a few months from now and say ahhhh – I was going to do that wasn’t I?

The Best of 2004 pictures should be in Flickr before the end of the day, and if I don’t run out of time this afternoon (the marina office closes early) I hope to get them labeled and ready for everyone to see. Once they are up and ready, I will post again and let everyone know. Picking the ones I thought marked highlights of the year gave me a good chance to look at all the pictures again and marvel at how much the grandkids have changed! The three quilts I made were fun and much appreciated by the grandkids. I didn’t include pictures of any knitting projects, but I did accomplish quite a few finished projects on that front too. I looked at my book list and I read 49 books, down some from previous years. That is probably because I now knit some of the time I used to read. Too bad I can’t do both (like some people do) at the same time.

We spoke with house people again this week, and they indicate that MAYBE, just maybe they might be able to tell us something next Wednesday. I am not holding my breath, but if they don’t move along soon, we will move along somewhere else! I understand they had had vacation time too, and closing for homes that were finished and ready, but come on ..... It’s not like we are the only folks standing in line waiting. Maybe that’s the problem, they have more than enough folks waiting so they are in no hurry.

Next weekend is the train show in Virginia Beach. Eric and I are looking forward to going to see layouts. Hopefully we won’t have to buy anything .... But you know how that is. He is looking forward to setting up his trains in a new house and I can’t blame him.

Well enough chatter for today ...
Happy New Year

New Years Eve

The cat just tried to drag a piece of our New Years Eve dinner turkey onto the floor while Eric and I were distracted reading email. Sneaky little kitten that she is, she picked a piece that was cut and cooling, and she apparently thought we would not miss it, or hear her smacking her little cat lips! Foiled in the act! One of the benefits of living in a small space, everyone can see what everyone else is up to all the time. Apparently she forgot.

I spent part of the afternoon on the Internet trying to understand more about HTML at this website I thought I might be able to learn a thing or two since it seems even kids can learn HTML and that is who this sight is designed for. Obviously kids are smarter at all this than I am. Anyhow, this is a trial to see if there is a link showing up in this message or not.

My plan for the next day or two is to show 2004 in pictures, so I’ll be going though my photos for the year and picking out the top 2 or 3 for each month! Look for them soon in my Flickr photo stream.

Hope your evening is good! Happy New Year!