Monday, June 27, 2005

Blog frustrations....

So here I sit surfing the list of blog sites of the secret pal 5 participants and occassionally I come across a blog I'd like to visit again. But alas, I do not know how to put a link on the side bar of my blog like I see at other blogs. See then this old brain would only have to remember how to get to my own blog and could click on the link.

You may laugh but ummmm it is true. Sometimes in order to view my blog I have to go to my email signature block and click on the link there! Sad sad sad.

I highly doubt anyone actually reads this thing but if you do and you know how to add my blog links I want to keep to the side bar please feel free to speak up. Remember to use not-too-brilliant-at-blogging and been-a-long-time-since-I-wrote-any-coding language, okay?

Well back to the laptop bag testing for Chappy who will be posting her free bag pattern at in the month of August. So far I have 6 1/2 rows done. Got a lot of knitting to do yet if it will fit the standard laptop after felting.

It would help if I did not get sidetracked by signing up for a knittting exchange bag at and work on my first ever lace project at the and try to finish the winter white stole for my eldest son's gf for their caribbean cruise end of July and have to ready several class samples for the quilt shop where I work two days a week and teach as often as possible...... you get the idea.

I tried not to allow happen to my knitting what happened with my quilting.... I refer to how it took over the house! But alas, after only knitting since November/Dec of 2004 I have already amassed quite the stash of yarns. And HOW is it that each time I think of something new to make late at night, I do not have the proper yarn? Must work on the stash.

I do have some lovely yarns in my stash already but really and truly they are meant for specific projects and all I have is some leftovers in the felting type yarn department that count as stash. And I have a couple of skeins of Magic Stripes yarn that I bought before I discovered Opal yarn for socks!
go there and take a gander at yarns that will make you drool! at the home page you can click on the preview button and see the collection coming out this Fall..... dah rule dah rule in my best daffy duck voice.

Well there are no pictures for loading today so I best get outta here before I bore you to sleep!

have a knitty day and lacking that have a good non-knitty day

denise/debrat aka grandma brattie-to-be

Sunday, June 5, 2005

Key West Vacation 2005

We went to Key West again this year on vacation. As Caelum, will be a senior in High School next year we let him pick, either Key West again or Panama City Beach again. Sorry Ed, he chose Key West.

So on vacation, it rained! and rained and rained some more.. Captain Ron of Captain Ron's Island Tours. Well I can't find his website right now. His tours go out of Stock Island and we had the best time! he even picked us up at our hotel and we ended our long tour/snorkeling trip around Key West with a complimentary Margarita! For those concerned, and a coke for my son. Captain Ron says they lose an average of 100 days a year to weather. I think they were getting them all in a row while we were there and the week coming up looked worse!

Each of us gets to "pick" something to do while we are there. Neal (husband) chose jet ski tour. Denise got to do the finding of the best deal in the coupon book. As you can see in the paragraph above the Margarita and pickup and return were a big deal to me. If it is free it is for me! Oh and by the way, I actually chose what turned out to be the cheapest tour too! Complete with personal service as we were the only ones there. How cool was that? Very, let me tell you.

This was the first time I had been on one of the jet ski tours (Neal and Caelum had done similar tours in Panama City Beach(2003) and Islamorado (2004) and after the initial 15 minutes of death gripping around dh's waist (which is too large to hug so I had to find a "purchase" on his life vest) I started to nearly enjoy the tour. Then we stopped. oh stopped is a good thing. The best picture taken of me in Key West is on the jet ski at rest. I'm smiling because we are not moving.... fast!

so anyway, we stopped at an abandoned submarine base in one of the parking spots for a submarine and it was spooky looking right next to the shore. all the mangroves had taken over and you cannot remove mangroves in Florida (at least that is what I remember) and growing all over the mangrove roots was some slimy, billowing in the slight waves scarey looking stuff that I did NOT want to touch me. So I decide I will not be a chicken and I get in the water.

For those of you unfamiliar with me and past snorkeling attempts I .... well I... panic. I start to hyperventilate and get ahold of the nearest human being and put the death hand clench on their arm! Caelum was however really kind and considerate and helped me into the water and tried to tell me it was not so bad.

So I decide I'll look away from the edge of this thing and eeeek! the other way is pitch dark! It is, according to Captain Ron, 19 feet deep there in the parking slot (not his term, but mine) and you can't see a damn thing! So to the back of me is the slimy, wavy, billowy scarey stuff hanging off the mangroves and to the front of me is the dark SPOOKY looking deep DEEP water!

"I have to get OUT. I want OUT. I watched too much scarey sci-fi channel movies this weekend I want OUT!" So Neal (dh) gets on the seadoo we were on together, and I might add in such a confoluted way that even Captain Ron said he never saw anyone get back on it quite that way before. LOL Then Neal (son N Caelum) tries to help me from the backside. I have a lot of backside to push against teehee. I mange to very graciously get back on that thing. I'm motivated don't you know? I have the spooky dark behind me where any minute something LARGE is bound to come up out of it. Can you say pending heart attack? And of course, if I move about too much I'll end up on the side of the wall pinned between the seadoo and the slimy, wavy, billowy, nasty, scarey stuff!. up I went! ah dry seadoo again. could have kissed it if the vest would have let me fold over to reach any portion of it besides with my behind.

Well I'll take a break here so You can get some pictures to view for a bit. Afterall, we know it is all about the picture part of the book, right?

more soon,

The seadoo's we will be traveling on.

The magic tour bus that transported us to and from the Hilton. Captain Ron's is on Stock Island.

Checking out the fish that are swimming around the dock. Nice small, tiny, okay-I'll-go-in-the-water sized fish.

Suiting up for the day's adventure.

Denise taking picture of Caelum taking a picture of Denise and Neal before we get ready to officially go.

Waiting for Captain Ron to join us.

And away we go......

Picking up some speed now.

By far the best picture of me on the jetski. We are at Rest here and I sure like that part. I had never been on a jet ski before so I had a death grip on Neal as we went what I thought was really really fast!

Getting instructions from Captain Ron.

Denise contemplating going in the water if I can ever get away from the very edge. That is caelum in the foreground of the picture or should it be forewater?

By far the best picture of the snorkeling underwater we got this trip due to the lack of direct sunshine. This part of the side of the submarine parking slot area where the mangrove roots came down into the water.

A school of little fish in the top of the pic and several larger fish across the center and to the right of the pic. I only saw the jelly fish while I was out of the water. Mainly I spent my time in the water trying to get back out of the water!

Neal says it is a fish or two in the bottom right of the photo. At least a wee bit of sun is shining at that moment and penetrating the murky depths. This is on the side of the mangroves. See how fast it drops off to the left of the picture?

a jelly fish that Captain Ron says don't sting. I noticed *he* did not go in the water with them LOL But I will admit that they did not appear to have the stringy things that other jelly fish have. They looked like a pretty round shell from the top and sort of an opened flower petal from the bottom as they moved. All of this I noticed when I was OUT of the water.

The spooky dark side!

Caelum getting the water out of his eyes after we snorkeled in the submarine parking area. See all those nasty mangrove roots ot the left of him? Moo-fa-sah ... shudder

Caelum still heading towards us :)

Denise and Neal catching up to Caelum!

Caelum headed right at us from the parking slot

Caelum coming right at us!

Denise and Neal waiting for Caelum to get out of the parking slot.

Caelum almost on top of us now exiting from the "parking slot"

CAelum goofing around in the play area of the abandoned submarine base we visited.

Circling around in the play area near the abandonded submarine base.

Caelum at rest time.

Caelum just putting around taking a break.

Stretching my legs. By this time I had a terrible stitch in my left leg behind my knee. See how comfortable I am on the small little boat-like thingy in the very deep water?

This looks like it might be Sunset Key a part of the Hilton resort. Neal and Caelum took the pictures so I'm not sure.

This cruise ship was right outside of the Hilton where we were staying. I highly recommend you find a different place to stay. This Hilton was lacking in service and lets face it, service is what vacation is all about.

Denise searching for more conch shells all by myself. If we had been "fishing" already at this point I doubt I'd have been in the water at all, let alone by myself!

Looking for conch shells. The water is maybe 8 feet deep here. It is clear but the sun was not out most of our trip so the pictures are not bright looking.

Denise and Caelum conch shell searching

Success! A conch shell. Caelum dove against his vest to go down and retrieve the shell to check it out for me. Actually we found two but they both had inhabitants so we had to let them stay there. Maybe another time.

Sunday Morning Musings..or lazy lazy morning

how is it that I manage to find myself with nothing to watch on tv on a consistent basis? Here it is Sunday morning and I am reading emails and visiting various spinning sites and I had to settle for Red Water on TBS. Well, actually I settled for Red Water because following that one is Deep Blue Sea and as stupid as that movie was when I first saw it I can watch Deep Blue Sea over and over and over again. And No, I have not succumbed to actually purchasing the video or the DVD of it yet. But perhaps Santa will tuck it in my stocking for me.

I own very few VHS tapes and even Fewer DVDs of movies. I'm not sure why. Could be the expense. Could be the commitment I'll feel to watch something over and over again. Could be the money involved. Oh, I said that already LOL

Currently in the collection that I watch over and over again:
Jurassic Park (I love that one)
Jurassic Park III (taped from tv)
Home Alone (taped from tv)

and the ones i watch rarely:
The mummy
You've got mail
Sliding Doors (interestingly weird by the way)
Deep Impact
Airforce One
The Mask of Zorro
My best Friend's Wedding (had real issues with that one the first time I saw it)
Forces of Nature
Wizard of Oz (rarely watched anymore sigh)
Mission Impossible
Hope Floats
Titanic (waste of money, without the big screen effect this one I don't care for)
How To Make an American Quilt (courtesy of my last secret pal on the dj retreats list a yahoo groups list an off-shoot of the dear jane quilt ( )

DVD's in no particular order
An american President (free with laptop years ago)
City of Angels
The Perfect Storm
The Sixth Sense
Mona Lisa Smile
Die Hard
Die Hard 2
Die Hard 3
8 Heads in a Duffel Bag (Easter basket present for my son but I watch it more)

These do not include the VHS or DVD's that my husband and son have and combined they may have as many as i just listed. i guess it is a lot but does not feel like it.

I don't even know if you can see a "trend" in the listings provided.

Well enough ramblings on that.

We returned home from a vacation late Friday Afternoon. I'll post just a couple of pics on this blog but the rest will go on the family blog. someone mentioned I have a lot of blogs. Well I have a lot of things going in my life and I like to categorize things. So thus I have a knitting blog (the start of blogging!) a quilting blog (non-existent right now as I have a website for professional things on quilting still under construction) and a family blog, created so the family members can read all about the happenings in our household complete with tons of pictures but not get lost in all my crafty ramblings. They are, of course, invited to view the crafty blogs too.

hmmm started to give the whole vacation "thing" here so I am going to cut and paste it on the family blog.... see you there :)
denise/debrat aka grandma brattie-to-be

Saturday, June 4, 2005

Fishing Adventure Wednesday, June 1st

Caelum caught a small something fish and a too small to keep grouper before the rains came. I caught a nice sized blue runner we kept for shark bait (and it worked!) and a fish "too small for a mouse" as Neal puts it. Capt Dan said, "You have to have a lot of finesse' to catch one of those." the politically correct Captain of the boat charter-don't-want-to-screw-up-my-tip way. I have used bigger fish as bait that I bought from the local bait shop to fish off the skyway with than that fish. This is before the weather headed too close for comfort.

We got "all yellowed up" at the marina. After an hour long rain delay we decided to brave the weather and head on out! When you see the pictures to come you will unerstand why I'm so glad we did! Captain Dan kept saying, "They sure love you a lot" LOL He is not kidding we rode out in needle like rain against Neal and Caelum as they were in the front seat while I traveled on the seat next to Captain Dan. I got wetter headed to the marina then when we headed out again.

Denise catches a tiny fish while waiting for the chum line to work!

Oh my the first time you see a shark nearly 6 feet in length is quite the site, even at that distance from the boat.

Shark shark!

Getting closer.....

Now there is a scene fit for a re-make of jaws. Only this would be the baby shark in the movie and there would be a much bigger fin in the distance...... open eyes wide NOW!

Captain Dan has the special gloves on. I think he is going to give the shark an allover body exfolliation with those gloves!

Aha a shark at the boat side! Captain Dan sure is silly to stick his hand so close to that fish. I'm thinking wire leader cutters would be in order for me to use!

Currently it is not raining and we are waiting for the next shark to take the tasty looking cut up baits we had in the water for them. I have a shrimp on a hook trying to entice another small fish while we wait.

Caelum smiling over a bent fishing pole.

Caelum reeled in one nurse shark, caught a Spinner shark that jumped and spun 5 or 6 times for it before it escaped the hook, and two Lemon sharks along with assorted other fish. Neal reeled in the 2nd nurse shark we caught. They are a LOT of work. But oh what fun.

I don't know which shark this is but it sure is big.

Can you say do do do do do do DO! I have never been good at writing out sounds. Must have a dictionary for that somewhere.

A Lemon Shark's mouth....lots of clean shiny teeth in that mouth let me tell you!

A good deal of a Lemon Shark's body out of the water next to the boat. Hey if you look... it says Shark on the boat too!