Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Back to the "southern" home :(

It is always sad leaving our "northern" home in Mexico Beach and traveling back to our more everyday lives, but it just means we are one more vacation trip closer to retirement and permanent residence in MB.

I did get to fish again on Saturday while Neal chose to make a wal-mart run for water and damp-rid and other assorted-neverending-items for the condo life.

I caught more grunts/baitfish, choffers as they call them up here, on Saturday then the day before and much fewer spade fish.  I got a wee bit hopeful for a larger fish when I started to get spade fish instead of choffers as that was what I was pulling in so much of on Friday before I caught the pompanos and that huge black drum fish.

A nice sized "mystery" fish was caught about the same time tidally as the day before for my good/big fish on Friday.  the mystery fish turns out to be a blue fish.  It swam about like a spanish mackeral and yet it was not a mackeral.
 a croaker, the only one I caught this trip.
a puffer fish's belly.  he was all blown up and then deflated by spitting out water!  why did i think they filled themselves with air?

 from the top he has some oddball spots looking like eyes?
 if at first you don't succeed in a good picture try from the side! silly puffer fish would not cooperate with getting a good picture. 
 awwww finally, the blue fish! Note the 10" in length cheap green water shoes for perspective.
I have got to learn to turn the fish across the width of the boards for a better measurement view cheat.  Of course, then I'd have to remember to measure the boards and the average gap measurement too.  Might be easier to just buy a fishing measuring tape to use!  Or at least get some prettier shoes.  Perhaps in a hot pink or limey green?
 hello fishey hope you enjoyed that you went back into the water to be caught another day.
and a hand-sized spade fish!
and below is the result of trying to take a picture of a flipping blue fish.  literally flipping and flopping about.  when i discovered i was using the video on the camera rather than snapping pics I went for it as it was actually holding still better than when i was snapping pics!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Mexico Beach!

And so we arrived.  Very late last night.  Neither of us could sleep yet we were so happy to be up here again.  Finally I went to bed at 2:30 AM CT and woke at 6:46 AM CT.  around 9:30 we went out to the pier to do some fishing.  The tv cable was not coming in clearly at all and Neal had phoned the management company and they in turn had phoned the cable company. 

Neal got all set up to fish and caught two of these spade/angel (fish tank looking) fish before I even had my rig on my 1st pole!
and here he is posing with the fish because I made him.  If you've ever been fishing and caught a fish and not taken its picture only to never get another fish all day, well then you know why I made him pose with this fish.  However.............

 Then the cable company called and the rep said he was going to be to the condo in 10 mins and Neal started walking back.  And so..... I caught this! on the lovely pink pole you see in the upper right.
 A Pompano!  Garry had told me the pompano had been running there a couple of weeks ago and gave me very detailed instructions of what rigging to use, where to buy the rigs, which shrimp from which place etc etc.  and well, here is what happens when you listen to someone who fishes all the areas around Mexico Beach on a very frequent basis..... you catch your husband's dream fish catch!

and a nice gentleman who admired my catch agreed to take my picture with the fish so I could be oh so happy in the photo with the pompano!  and I kept it too!  Neal wanted to taste a pompano as we've heard they are very good eating.  and it was teehee  So I called Neal (who was still at the condo) to tell him ummmm "honey when you bring me my chapstick bring a lot of ice!"  and then after a few more angel/spade fish my other nearly-local fishing buddy Brent had caught a flounder and I wanted to see what it looked like "I haven't seen one in so long" even though it was very small.  As I'm down looking at this flounder I turn around to see one of the light weight rods bent over the dock with the  bottom of the rod about 6" off of the ground and it was NEAL's pole as after I caught that pompano I put a third baited rig into the water to up my odds of catching another one.

Needless to say, I raced back to my/Neal's pole and grabbed it and man was that thing bent nicely!  It was moving around and I thought I had another Pompano but then it started heading to shore and I started following my line down the pier over a pole under a pole over a pole over a pole over a sign post all along Brent is following me down the pier telling me up   under   up  etc so I did not lose the fish.  and he is telling me its a ray it swims like a ray.  I said its big whatever it is and kept walking up and down the pier as it swam back and forth below me still too deep to see what it is/was.  I trying to reel and dig into my shorts pocket (the kind with velcor to keep them closed ) battling to get my camera out as I was so sure I was going to lose it but I hoped to at least get it to the surface to take the mystery out of what type of fish it was.  well dear readers, below you will see the bringing the fish up to the pier and photos of my HUGE black Drum!

and I caught more spade/angel fish and some "bait fish" as we call them and I caught another pompano just before Neal came back from the Cable tv fixing appointment and look something tried to take my catch away from me as i was reeling it in!  I gave this one away.  A really nice young man filleted my original pompano for me and taught me how to fillet it and then Neal and i ate it as a snack after we were done fishing for the day.  We were out about 4 hours (well i was there all that time) and that includes clean up time of all the gear so the condo does not smell of fishing shack!
 You can see my second pompano was much smaller than the first one even if he had retained all of his belly!

May each of you have a day filled with as much joy and relaxation as I had today.
Shrimp smelling finger hugs from

Friday, April 15, 2011

I'm still here!

Wow how time can get away from you!  I have been working, working and more working.  I get up and have my coffee and turn on the work laptop and work for an hour or two, then get ready for work (which takes all of 20 minutes tops) and then I'm back at the work until 8 or 8:30 when i drive the less than 6 1/2 miles (all back roads) to work, unload all the stuff i bring home, set it all up, and begin my official at-work work day.  then at 5 pm -ish sometimes later i pack it all up again, drive home, eat dinner spend the hour or so left before dh goes to sleep (he needs more sleep than me) and then most nights i'm back on the laptop for work again.  i do this M-F and sometimes I'm doing work on the weekends too.

around all of that I have been over to the east coast of Florida (i'm in the Tampa Bay area) to see my in-laws, that same weekend we traveled up the east coast of Florida to see my eldest son and his family including the nearly 8 months old twin granddaughters, saw youngest son who drove down to meet with them too and then returned home, exhausted but grateful for all the family time together.

We have been fishing in the boat just once, I guess it might be twice. 
We made a quick weekend trip to Mexico Beach to meet up with my brother from KS while he explored real estate options in that area.

We spent several hours over two weekends helping to get rid of our old liner in our above ground pool.  This included bailing a lot of the last bits of the water with buckets to help the hose along when it got down to the bottom.  And that took hours!  Then there was the cutting up of the liner that was holey and stretched so wrinkly it was nearly comical, due to the chemicals put into the pool last summer in an effort to rescue it from its continuous cloudiness and brown algae that never would clear up.  So essentially we were pool-less last summer :(

That then required having to remove the sand which was put down to help level and smooth out our much deeper than 4' deep inclines so we could get at yet an older liner below it.  Apparently once the pool got the algae problem last year and we chemically treated for the algae it caused the liner to get holes more readily.  I tried patching them but I believe the damage had already been done.  Last season we even emptied the sand filter/pump and started from scratch in an effort to not put anything back into the water.  Alas, to no avail.  When we got the wrinkly liner up there was a bunch of stuff living in the sand below it!  So up came that liner.

DH put his foot down on removing the foam sheets we had down to make it softer.  He wanted something down below this liner to help keep those huge armored black beetles with horns from coming up through the bottom of the liner.  We have problems growing stuff in our yard but we are very good at allowing algae, mold and some sort of tree weeping blackness on one of our oak trees without even trying to accomplish these items!

I did trade in my old Rose Viking machine and got a Saphire 835.  I'm very happy with it and I'm looking forward to getting to quilt on that 10" bed it boasts!  Which led to me starting a watermelon table runner for the Mexico Beach condo for seasonal oomph.  I have all of the plain-ish blue log cabin blocks done.  Okay, so there are only 7 but at my track record for sewing and quilting the past 4 years I'll take that as a positive!  I also made two of the log cabin blocks used to look like watermelons and one test 1/2 block for the setting triangles on the outside of the runner.  More on this later I hope.

I hope all of you have been well and productive because someone should be in this world. 

Sleep well, and may your days be filled with love and laughter,