Tuesday, March 31, 2009


We're always looking for ways to stoke the cruising kitty while we're living onboard. Some of our ideas are thoughtful, stable and sane. Others are not. Take this one: selling drinks on the beach using a bicycle powered blender, made in Berkeley, California (where else?).

It's okay to laugh. We're laughing too. But we have the bike already. We would only need the accessory kit. And can't you just see it? We wash up on remote tropical isles in our dinghy, unfurl the beach umbrella, don our grass skirts, unfold the folding bike, attach the blender and off we go, peddling pedaled drinks, cranking for cruising bucks. For the generation weaned on Gilligan's Island, the allure is very nearly irresistible.

Of course, we might also end up in some remote, malaria-ridden hoosegow for trafficking hooch without a license. There is that.

But still .....

Monday, March 30, 2009


Chip found this recipe in Cruising World magazine. Mmmm. Boat drinks.

1 ounce Galiano liqueur
3 ounces orange juice
1/2 medium banana
1/2 to 1 ounce Grenadine syrup*
1 1/2 ounces vodka

Combine all ingredients and mix in a blender. Serve over ice.

Renders one drink.

*The Grenadine is for sweetness and color (red). We found we didn't need any additional sugar besides that in the fruit.

Sunday, March 29, 2009


Last night we sat at the breakfast nook playing cribbage in the dim light of a hand-crank lantern and a few tealight candles. No the power wasn't out nor were we intentionally being romantic. We were participating in Earth Hour, a worldwide hour of lights-out to raise awareness of energy consumption and sustainability.

About 30 minutes in, Chip said, "We kind of have this no-electricity thing down, don't we?"

It's true, and we have hurricanes to thank for that. Since we've lived together in the Outer Banks we've survived countless hurricanes. Okay, they're not countless, but I'm lazy. When you live in hurricane alley, you learn pretty quickly how to prepare, especially when you have kids in the house. The skills we've honed over the years will serve us well onboard.

Provisioning for a week without shopping or refrigeration is not unlike preparing for a long passage. Our first attempts were object lessons in what to do -- or not. When replenishing the hurricane bin after the first two years, it was apparent that no matter how hungry we were, nobody was going to eat canned green beans or bamboo shoots. Neither was the canned Koolaid a hit.

What we did eat will become the staples we keep aboard the boat: canned and dried chick peas, cannellini beans and dried lentils. We'll happily consume pasta, and dried grains and make delicious meals using canned tomatoes, roasted red peppers, corn, green chiles and refried beans.

On our very first morning without power in 1998, we stared bleary-eyed at a healthy stash of whole coffee beans and an electric grinder. We've since purchased a hand grinder, but necessity taught us that a rolling pin does a decent job of "grinding" the beans.

And creativity in the face of necessity might be the best lesson yet. Our culinary skills have been practiced over a hibachi, a propane camping stove and once, over the gel cans meant to keep food warm in a chafing dish! For light we've used ordinary candles, lanterns and flashlights but have also employed cell phones, light sticks and shakeable flashlights (you shake them to recharge).

After Hurricane Isabel in 2003, on the third night without power, we sat around the kitchen table with friends, drinking wine and laughing in the candlelight. At some point, someone noted: "Hey the power's back on."

We had a moment of silence and a collective shoulder-shrug before pouring more wine and continuing powerless the rest of the evening.

--installed the zipper pulls on the bimini. Amazing how much easier they are to install when you have the right size. :-\
--got a lot of writing and online research done while recuperating.
--found a boat-writers' association. They sponsor a nautical-themed writing contest every year. Their winners list contains very familiar and very intimidating names, including some of my favorites like Captain Fatty.

Saturday, March 28, 2009


I read the beginning of my blog yesterday. It has a very short TO DO LIST:

1. Sell the wine shop
2. Sell the house
3. Sell the current boat
4. Buy our cruising boat

That list written on July 19, 2008, looks remarkably similar to today's TO DO LIST! I have procrastination tendencies, but at face value, a four-item list and eight months to accomplish it?

Of course, those four items are just the titles of very long to-do lists containing hundreds of items. On those lists, we're not doing so badly. Last July seems like five years ago if measured in what we've accomplished, and for my own enjoyment, I think I'll hit the highlights.

We went through all the steps necessary to put our business on the market, and when the listing expired this month, we went the extra step of understanding the details and numbers well enough to speak intelligently about them. Our guerilla marketing plans go into effect next month.

The house looks awesome. We now have three empty bedrooms. The living room, kitchen and master bedroom are staged to look like a model home. We sorted, preened, pruned, tossed, resorted, sold and gave away enough stuff to fill several houses. The CDs were all uploaded to the iPod and sold in a garage sale. The books were sold on amazon.com or donated to the library. We sold everything from a desk chair to a pocketwatch on Ebay. We're now lean and ready to move on out as soon as someone else wants to move in.

Isabella, the boat we're selling, looks beautiful. I refinished the toe rails in the blistering heat of August (what was I thinking?), and we've got almost all the exterior wood looking great. The canvas needs two more zipper pulls, which arrived in the mail today. The bulkhead is refinished, the engine starts effortlessly, the hand pumps work, the electrical wiring issues are solved. She even has her own web site and is advertised on Craigslist.

We've shopped extensively, electronically and in person, for our cruising boat. Once we've sold two of the three things mentioned above, we're ready to buy an Island Packet. The good news is that in the intervening months, the prices have dropped almost 40%. That might make up for the fact that our house has also dropped in value -- just not 50%!

When I look at lists like this one, I'm ecstatic that all but two or three of them are DONE.

Since we can't measure how close we are to our goal, we can at least measure what we've done to prepare. Could we have done more? Maybe. Would it have made any difference? We don't know. All I can do is say, "Well done," and start on tomorrow's list.

Friday, March 27, 2009


1. Chip is the most awesome harmonica player you'd ever want to hear.

2. He's been in the wine biz since the 80s and his head is an encyclopedia of wine.

3. If given the choice between a vintage 25-year-old wine and a bottle of rum aged for 25 years, he'd take the rum -- every time.

4. In college, he smoked a pipe and had a Sherlock Holmes hat and jacket, although I haven't seen much Sherlock from him in the 12 years I've known him.

5. He pulls over at marinas and airports to look at stuff with wings and sails.

6. His favorite movies are The Full Monty and Apocalypse Now.

7. He loves to laugh -- way out loud -- and is not afraid to cry.

8. He agitates a lot about the violence visited on the world in the name of religion.

9. His degree is in education with a music minor from Wagner College on Staten Island. He taught high school special ed and coached football for five years.

10. He was 12 when he first started dreaming of living on a sailboat.

11. The happiest I've ever seen him is either holding a baby, talking to a dog or standing at the helm in a brisk wind.

12. He once opened for Bob Dylan.

13. He loves to dress well but hates to shop. Hating to shop usually wins.

14. His kids are the center of his universe. He loves them completely, unconditionally and effortlessly.

15. He was born and raised in New Jersey, can go off into a frightening NJ accent and speaks turnpike exits of which I know nothing.

16. Until he married me, he thought New Mexico was in the Midwest.

17. He's half Italian (dad) and half Armenian (mom) and gets great cooking skills and recipes from both sides.

18. Chip thinks and talks in metaphors and uses his hands a lot when he's talking.

19. He is more likely to kiss you on the cheek or squeeze your nose than shake your hand.

20. Sailing magazines pile up in a wake behind him.

21. The first time he heard Stevie Ray's solo on Tightrope, he wept. When he played the harmonica at the foot of the Stevie Ray statue in Austin, I wept.

22. He is a warrior of peace and thinks Obama's election has done more for democracy than bombs, bullets or the Black Panthers.

23. If you're hungry, he'll feed you.

24. There aren't many things that don't interest him. He'll talk to anybody about anything, which annoys his wife.

25. He has read Sailing Alone Around the World 15 times. I'm glad he's taking me with him.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


1. My life's mission is to gather around me people who are more interesting than me, more intelligent and/or make me laugh. Bonus points for all three.

2. I would like to live in a world without the word should.

3. If I were going to live in a book, I'd choose To Kill a Mockingbird despite the fact that the south gives me the creeps and things turned out badly, especially for Tom Robinson.

4. If I were going to live in a painting, I'd choose Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, only I'd wear 3D glasses.

5. Ironically my childhood was fairly normal even though I grew up in the UFO Capitol of the World and attended Roswell High.

6. I *love* jigsaw puzzles and any board or card game that doesn't involve the winner slowly destroying all the other players.

7. While showering I wonder what all the tiny writing on Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap says but never think about it again until I take another shower.

8. As I get close to realizing a lifelong dream of living on a sailboat, I feel scared and unprepared.

9. I worked for washingtonpost.com from the time it launched in 1996 until we opened a wine shop in 2005.

10. I once rode a mechanical bull.

11. In my head I'm an optimistic person, but frequently what comes out of my mouth is negative.

12. In Kindergarten I was kicked out of morning worship, because the fat kid next to me dared me to make him cry. I did. Thus began a long, tenuous and eventually failed relationship between me and organized religion.

13. Getting kicked out of morning worship meant they sent me back to the classroom alone. To pass the time, I ate all the snack-time graham crackers.

14. I feel deeply fortunate to have Chip, who has a heart as big as the solar system. It is his spiritual insight, hard work and research that keeps us on track.

15. I once got my hand stuck in a Coke machine.

16. I cried when I heard that Elvis died.

17. One of my greatest regrets is that when my father died, it had been two years since I had been to visit him.

18. I sometimes don't take important things seriously enough and take unimportant things too seriously.

19. I get really mad at my brain when it teases me with, "It starts with a 'p'." Just tell me the whole damn word!

20. The fewer possessions and keys I own, the happier I am.

21. I have no tonsils, no adenoids, no ovaries and only one kidney even though that was not always the case.

22. I remember one day in the summer of 2008 when technology passed me by. I mostly don't care.

23. I don't know why Chip thinks I'm so awesome, but I'm thankful every day that he does.

24. I was an art broker in the 80s in Austin. One of my artists went on to be rather successful. Another went on to murder her husband in cold blood. No, really. It's true.

25. I can be content the rest of my life living on or near the ocean but wish Paris would move to the coast.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Could things possibly be looking up? Just ever so slightly? The Dow is inching up tick by tick. The housing market shows signs of having a pulse. Spring is in the air. Bob Barker returned to The Price is Right -- only briefly, but still.

No pain meds today. I'm being held together by surgical tape and ibuprofen. They had to make FOUR incisions, so I'm basically recovering from being stabbed repeatedly in the stomach. They told me today would be the hardest, but I'm up and mobile if not running and jumping. Thanks to Jenniffer for bringing food, Wendy for bringing tulips, cookies and Lily, John for babysitting and cooking a mystery dinner that was delicious, and Chip for, well, being awesome. I consider myself profoundly lucky to have a wide and deep safety net that feels less like a net and more like a warm comforter.

We're starting to get inquiries about the boat. We gave Phase Two numbers to a business prospect.

Yeah, I know, we've been here before. There's no way to measure progress toward a goal that we don't control.

Chip's still using the metaphor of climbing Mount Everest. He says I'm sitting in the snow with altitude sickness. LOL.

I prefer to think of it as a marathon dance competition. All we can do is be the last ones standing. Oh, standing. I'm working up to that.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Sign up today for "free" organ donor points! Earn up to 500 points for small organs, 1000 for large ones! Special incision incentives available! Double points on Mondays!

Gold Star
Organ Donation Member since 1971

Donation history:
1972 Tonsils and adenoids 1000 points
2006 Kidney 1000 points plus 500 incision incentive points
2009 Ovary 1000 points DOUBLE MONDAY = 2000 points*

*incision incentive points TBD

I report to the hospital tomorrow at 6:30 a.m. to have an ovary removed. At least it's laparoscopic, if I'm lucky. If not, they'll have to make a small incision.

The next two weeks I'll have plenty of time to blog but nothing to blog about!

--The zipper pulls for the bimini arrived, but I ordered the wrong size.
--Chip did some sprucing up on the boat, marked the lazy jacks, ran the engine, sanded some wooden blocks. What else? He'll remind me.
--Putting up a website for selling the business. Trying to decide how transparent to make this.
--The listing on the house expired. Just got it back on the market yesterday. Tis the season for real estate, or so they say.
--Giving our first set of numbers to a potential business buyer tomorrow.
--Getting together all the numbers and promotional material so we can advertise the business online

Monday, March 16, 2009


We have intentionally waited as long as possible to let technology grow up around us, but as we get closer to living onboard, we're now surveying what technologies are not only cool but indispensable. While neither of us are gadgeteers (you should see our antique cell phones), we do appreciate the conveniences and compact qualities of some electronic gadgets.

Take music for instance. When we bought our current boat in 2004, listening to music onboard required a receiver, a CD player, speakers and a cache of CDs. Five years later, we can now put our entire CD music library on an iPod the size of a thick credit card and listen to the songs on a deck the size of a box of Twinkies. That's a no-brainer.

And then there's books. I've been monitoring and studying amazon.com's Kindle electronic book since it first came out in November 2007. The new version released this month is a 10.2 ounce device that stores 1500 books. Its display is not backlit but looks like ink on paper. The Kindle does for books what the iPod does for music, sort of. The thing I can't do is dump my current library into the Kindle without purchasing the books again in electronic form, although some classics that are available for free. At first I worried that it might not hold up in a marine environment but I know of some live-aboards such as Captain Fatty Goodlander, who are using them without a problem.

There's also the allure of having the New York Times or The Washington Post waiting for me when I wake up onboard every morning. The library Amazon offers will surely grow over the years. (Hey, Amazon, how about some sailing magazines?)

Clearly the advantages are huge, but so is the price. It's a $349 initial investment plus a cover plus a waterproof cover. Any books that aren't free will run $3-$10. So I ponder whether or not to buy a used one on eBay, buy a new old version, wait.

We go through similar thoughts with the iPhone from Apple. While neither of us has any interest in it as a phone, having a small computer with internet access using cell phone technology gets us jazzed. There are lots of issues and expenses involved in getting internet connection on a moving water vessel, most are really expensive. The iPhone would be a reasonably cost effective way to get connection although I've yet to explore how comprehensive its connectivity.

And so, the technology part of the plod continues. Next we must ponder navigation, instrumentation, solar power, watermakers, etc.

--My health woes continue. I go for another CAT scan tomorrow to see if antibiotics made an impact. I still don't feel good 75% of the time. Sigh.
--Checking out rates for advertising the business and at the same time wondering if we should wait until after the summer season.
--Focusing on advertising Isabella and getting the house sold.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


I am standing upon the seashore. A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean.

She is an object of beauty and strength, and I stand and watch until at last she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky come down to mingle with each other. Then someone at my side says, 'There she goes!'

Gone where? Gone from my sight ... that is all. She is just as large in mast and hull and spar as she was when she left my side and just as able to bear her load of living freight to the place of destination. Her diminished size is in me, not in her. And just at the moment when someone at my side says, 'There she goes!' there are other eyes watching her coming, and their voices ready to take up the glad shouts 'Here she comes!' --Henry Van Dyke


Our week without grocery shopping gets more challenging as the days go by, but Chef Rob Mitchell came through for me again! I sent him the entire inventory of my kitchen, and he suggested this dish. Braising the cabbage leaves makes them soft and easy to manipulate. The leaves hold in all the moisture from the meat. FIVE STARS!

Cabbage leaves
Ground Beef
Cooked Rice
Chopped Onion
Sauce or soup

Blanch the cabbage leaves in water until tender, then strain. Make a nice mixture of beef, rice, onion, egg little curry spice. Mix it all together, and put into leaf and fold up into a little pouch. Place in roasting pan and cover with sauce. Simmer till meat is done inside 165F. Serve with crumbled feta.

The meat mixture was a good opportunity to do a little fridge cleanup. I found some limp scallions and a handful of grape tomatoes that I threw in. I didn't want to use tomato sauce, so I subsittuted some curry lentil soup I had in the pantry -- added a little to the meat as well. The combination of curried meat, curry lentil sauce and feta was awesome.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Somebody should write a sailing column about crossover gear...

Check out the folding bowl Joan had for the traveling beagles. They fold down to nothing for storage. They are square, so they don't tip over. At 60 cents a piece, I think I might try one for a cereal bowl ... woof.

--Getting our act together for selling the business. I'm trying to understand the numbers and what they represent.
--Two prospects for the business circling
--Evaluated the market and the house price. Feel we're pretty solid.

Monday night: Tofurkey sausage, coucous and green beans
Tuesday night: Steak, coucous and frozen veg medley

Monday, March 9, 2009


As Chip and I move closer to realizing our cruising lifestyle, we find fewer and fewer people who grasp or understand our adventuresome spirit, our minimalist approach or our desire to ramble.

Last night we got a chance to hang out with kindred spirits when the Fred and Hank Mark America tour passed through the Outer Banks. Fred and Hank are two beagles (yeah, the pictures) who are on a road trip with two humans, Jim and Joan Brady. Except for the fact that the humans can't sleep and cook in the car, the Brady's and beagles are doing on land what we plan to do on the water. It was fun to hash over the philosophy of minimalism, the odd questions and comments from people, the joy and efficiency of having all you need in the world contained in a small space. It was an awesome change from blank stares and left-field questions.

This morning, we took Fred and Hank on a beach walk while Jim and Joan blogged at the hotel. We are obviously dog photo amateurs. I love how this picture of me and the beagles captures the action of trying to set up a good shot. I have all new respect for my hero Joan and her photography -- and her dog-wrangling skills!

It was with great joy and a little wistfulness that we waved them on their way this afternoon, miles and months ahead of us in their travels.

--Got the sail cover back in place on the boat
--Put the teak garage over the hatch for some publicity shots
--Loaded my new software called Printfolio. Having used Quark for layout, I was prepared to be underwhelmed by $80 software. On the contrary, I kind of like it -- so far.

Just because I want to, here's a picture of me and my friend Jim, taken by Joan, of course:


Stuffed Chicken Breast over Lentils and Spinach
by Chef Rob Mitchell

4 chicken breasts
A few dried plums (a.k.a. prunes)
Goat Cheese

Cook the lentils ahead and warm them at serving time. They can be seasoned up with half an onion thinly sliced and caramelized.
Chop prunes and soak in Port, Madeira or whatever you have to soften and make them yummy. Mix them with chopped, toasted walnuts and a little goat cheese and set aside. Slice the chicken breasts down the side lengthwise, so it folds open to stuff. Stuff the breasts with the filling enough that the breasts will still close. Season the outside of the breasts with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a large, oven-safe skillet and sear off breasts, first the top then flip over and put the pan right in the oven (350 degrees) until the breasts are done (above 140 degrees). While the chicken is cooking saute spinach with chopped garlic. To serve, place the warmed lentil mixture on the plate then the sauteed spinach on top of that then the chicken on top of that. Drizzle a little bit of yogurt sour cream on top if you like.

This was so delicious and relatively easy to make for guests since a lot of the prep could be done before showtime. Rob's easy instructions and lack of measured ingredients made me feel all chef-like! The lentils could easily be swapped with other starches, rice or couscous. I used frozen spinach because of the Eating Down the Fridge Challenge and was surprised to find it tasted so good.

Sunday, March 8, 2009


Mission accomplished! With several fits and starts, I tackled both the machine and the zipper. Admittedly there are some spots that are a bit, shall we say, Frankensteinian, but I'll guarantee, that zipper will stay put.

Part of this exercise was to try out the machine since I would like to have one on the boat. That two-hour zipper installation would have cost us a lot of money had we hired a professional, money we won't want to spare when we're cruising. The sail cover itself is just two big pieces of fabric held together with a zipper -- simple enough to craft on my own with the right equipment. Between sail repairs and making our own covers, we should be able to save hundreds of dollars and be more self sufficient. If I perfect my skills, I might be able to get some work on the side. One thing's for sure: we'll be around lots of other sailboats.

We started the Eating Down the Fridge Challenge today, a project by Kim O'Donnell, food blogger for washingtonpost.com. Her idea is to take a week off from food shopping and use up what's in the fridge, freezer and kitchen cabinets. Since cooking is not my forte, I enlisted the help of my friend, Chef Rob Mitchell, since on the first night I'm having dinner guests! While it's a challenge to throw a dinner party without shopping, it also takes a lot of pressure off by giving me a perfect excuse if the meal sucks.

I'll report back -- and about the guests. THE BEAGLES ARE COMING! THE BEAGLES ARE COMING!

Saturday, March 7, 2009


Home Economics might have been my all time, least favorite class taught by not one, but two of my least favorite teachers. In the '70s all girls were required to take Home Ec. Being a NOT girly girl, I would have much preferred being next door in shop class, using power tools that could sever digits as demonstrated by the three fingered teacher. (As an irrelevant aside, that shop teacher believed that NASA basically faked the entire space program. So I pretty much think about him when I see either O.J. Simpson or that B movie Capricorn One starring O.J. as an astronaut involved in a faked moon landing, a movie made six years after Mr. Three-Fingers told us this in study hall. This was the same year our special ed teacher got busted for drugging the 'special needs' kids. you gotta love the quality experience gained in public schools.)

Meanwhile, I was suffering through the all-girl Home Ec class learning how to buff my nails and make an omelet. Seventh grade was probably the height of my rebellious, smartass adolescence. I completely terrorized my Home Ec teacher, because 1) I didn't think I should be compelled to take a girlie class, and 2) I didn't think I should be compelled to do anything. My reaction was varied and heartfelt. In math class, the amount of homework was based on your grade: higher grade, more homework. I actually asked the teacher to lower my grade so I would have less homework. In English class I hid notes for my friends in the pencil sharpener. Once I stole one of the teacher's shoes from under her desk where she had kicked them off.

In Home Ec, we girls sat four each at square dinette tables that were haphazardly perched on a single center leg in a way that allowed us to spin the top. We developed this elaborate cheating scheme by which we spun the table a quarter turn when the teacher wasn't looking, thus studying each other's test answers. Each time she turned, whoosh, you got a new test. Four turns, and if you were an idiot savant and your table mates were Martha Stewart, you had all the answers. It definitely would have been easier to study, but that wouldn't make a rebellious statement now, would it?

Every day I found a way to annoy poor Mrs. Campbell, who, to my delight, ended up leaving before the end of the year. Enter Mrs. Ball. Worse. I actually had a full throttle shouting match with the woman. The intervening 37 years have garbled my memory of our topic but not the volume. I'm sure she felt vindicated in the finals of the cake contest when my lovely spice cake fell during baking. I ended up with a spectacular two-layer donut will all the icing slowly migrating down into the off-center hole.

Today I was both amused and annoyed to realize that those skills I so grudgingly learned in Home Ec have served me so well. Damn it. I can sew the cutest little apron or placemat. I know the proper way to measure powdered and liquid ingredients. I am an expert at caring for my cuticles. I would challenge anyone to a good grease and flouring or some biscuit-making.

You're probably wondering what this has to do with sailing. Our friend Lawrence just dropped off his nautical sewing machine so I can replace the zipper on our sail cover. No problem. (Well stay tuned on that. The dang zipper is 15 feet long as you can see in the photo.) I actually know how to use the machine, change the needle, change the foot, thread it, wind a bobbin, which got me thinking about how Mrs. Campbell and Mrs. Ball got the better of me.

Damn it!

--finished working out the details of our taxes with the accountant. found out why most business owners cheat. being honest is extremely expensive, but maybe one of us can get a cabinet post in the obama administration.
--ended our listing with the business broker and started the details of selling it ourselves.
--ordered some software to make flyers for the boat
--health: went to the doctor this week to get treatment for my stomach problems. paying the price for the stress of shutting down land life.
--signed up for Eating Down the Fridge Challenge meaning we eat all week on what's in the house. More on that as it progresses... Play along if you want.
--if you happen to be paying close attention, you'll note the previous use of this photo

Monday, March 2, 2009


A long time ago, when I named this blog, I thought 'plodding' was cute and funny. In fact, I was concentrated much more on the 'paradise' and less on the 'plodding.' It made a good alliteration.

plodintransitive verb
1: to work laboriously and monotonously : drudge
2 a: to walk heavily or slowly : trudge b: to proceed slowly or tediously [the movie just plods along]
transitive verb
: to tread slowly or heavily along

Boy, this movie plods along too. If you start at the beginning seven months ago, it reads less like plodding. It's all happy and cheerful. Somehow, I think I imagined we might be living on a boat by March 1. Was that naivete? Over-enthusiasm? Wishful thinking?

The one major factor that we couldn't foresee was the unexpected economic 'downturn.' Yeah, that plane that landed in the Hudson a few weeks ago had a little unexpected downturn too. Obama has crash-landed this near-fatal economy in the river. We're all standing on the wings with ice water creeping up our ankles while he runs around desperately hailing life boats.

"Oh, no, after you! You need to get to Charlotte. Paradise can wait!"

All things considered, though? I wish I'd used a lighter hand with the blog name. 'scampering' or even 'prancing to paradise' Sounds so much more fun.

--Spoke to a lawyer this morning about handling business sale and some owner financing. Very encouraging.
--Working on marketing ideas for business, boat and house
--Listed boat on sailboatlistings.com

Sunday, March 1, 2009


Well, apparently the house is reading this blog -- and it's pissed off.

Yesterday I staged the house for a 1 o'clock appointment, turned on all the lights, primped, preened and arranged. I even postponed eating lunch so my tincture of cloves and spices would waft through the air rather than greasy hamburger. About 2 o'clock I got a call from our realtor saying, "Please go let them in, they can't get the door open." Fine. It sticks sometimes.

Not fine. The house would have none of it. Nope, the door wouldn't budge. It was pouring rain, the wind was pounding me with a 35 degree wind chill. Sopping wet, hungry and shivering, I peered like a Charles Dickens moppet into my beautiful, toasty warm house, that "respite, a sanctuary from whatever is buffeting the four walls."

What the heck?

An hour later, our realtor picked the lock on the back door, just as the house lookers came back by. Soon thereafter I returned, still wet, freezing and a little contrite.

Nice house. Nice house.

In the meantime, we spoke to someone at the wine shop about an interesting wine bar venture. More on that later.

Nice house.