Saturday, November 27, 2010

All the Boat Posts - All in One

Monday, April 12, 2010
I know that I am not going to be able to post a funny or poignant boat story every day – not without digging deeply into my imagination! Trust me, I have plenty of stories within my family to keep me rolling for a while.

Today, I thought I would delve into why on earth I am so obsessed with boats – why I would really like to own one someday, why I think I could even live on a houseboat at some point in my life and why on God’s green and blue Earth I don’t currently own a boat or go out on one a little more often (my last time on a boat was the Corpus Christi boat trip in 2008!).

Perhaps I am a bit romantic about boats, just a little. I have very good memories of being on a boat with my family, whether it was fishing or getting dragged behind a boat as a large fishing lure. I remember the quiet moments on the boat while waiting for the fish to bite, or motoring toward a sweet fishing spot, flying across the water with the spray up in my face. I remember quiet moments on the lake with my Dad, exciting moments of catching fish, warm-fuzzy moments of an all too short boat ride in the Gulf of Mexico with all my Guys, cruises on the open ocean! I remember the sound of the water hitting the hull of the boat, the smell of the sluggish water near the docks and the distinctive salt water tang in the air on the ocean.

I know that as a person I tend to be a tad obsessive compulsive, I know it, I admit it and I own it. I have strong likes and dislikes, and I have dreams that someday I really want to fulfill. Most of my obsessions revolve around my warm and fuzzy memories and perhaps my desire to recreate them during stressful moments. Even writing this little blog is an attempt to create some sort of order out of chaos and allow me a little silliness in my life, you got a problem with this, take it up with management. – slow, spreading, silly grin spreading across my face! – Back to my point…

Why I would really like to own one someday – for the simple heartfelt desire to continue making warm, fuzzy memories. I want my children, grandchildren, friends, family, 2nd cousins twice removed, to experience the peace and happiness I have felt while on the water. Just looking at some of the boats I have seen makes me want to take up sailing lessons, get a boating license, or go hopelessly into debt to obtain my dream! I remember looking at Bass Pro Shops catalogs with the houseboat “floorplans” and imagining owning my own, gazing at the pontoon boats printed so crisply in the pages and mentally planning family parties around it. But, alas – none of this has come to pass as yet.

I really think that someday I could live on a houseboat – watch “Sleepless in Seattle” and you’ll know where I get the idea.

Why I don’t currently own a boat – sigh – too little time, too little money and right now quite honestly haven’t found just the right boat for our family. But, someday I will! I know living as close as I do to the lake where it seems every other house has a boat parked in their driveway, you would think I would be a little more motivated…but, since there is a boat parked in my Dad’s driveway (might need a tune-up or two) and I haven’t managed to find a weekend to take it out I think my money is better spent trying to save for a car for my 17-year old, college for all my kiddos and keeping the lights on.

My most recent boat of obsession is a small little sail boat in our local boat lot that we drive by almost daily! When I say small, I think that it may just be big enough for one maybe two – mmm….solitude, peace, rocking waves , a little wine and cheese, solitude, peace, sunshine and maybe some bird watching….peace, quiet. Perhaps my recent obsession reflects my need for a little alone time with my beloved?


One day my Mom and Dad were on vacation fishing in – a boat – and they were not having a whole lot of luck. There was one lure that Mom had caught a fish on earlier in the day and that was the “lucky lure.” They were about to call it quits for the day when Mom cast it one more time, her cast went a little awry and ended up in a branch of a tree out low over the water. Mom started to cut the line, but Dad would hear nothing of that, it was “the only lure that caught a fish today!” and he was going to save it. He aimed the boat toward the tree and Mom reached to try to get the lure – funny thing about fishing lures, they have hooks and barbs, ya know to catch the fish – well, it caught Mom.
Imagine, let’s make a picture with words – Mom and Dad are on a boat near the edge of the lake, it is a beautiful day, the sun is shiny brightly off the water, the waves are gently rocking the boat, my parents are enjoying a relaxing day of fishing and boating. So, even though there hasn’t been a lot of luck with the fish, except for the fish that Mom caught with the “Lucky Grasshopper Lure,” they are still having a nice day. And, now the only other thing that has been caught is Mom.
Dad tries to climb over Mom to get to the branch so that he can help to free her. I am quite sure that they were pretty close to dumping the boat over (wouldn’t have been Dad’s first time, remember), but Dad is able to get the lure loose from the branch and then able to get it out of Mom’s finger. Mom’s first inclination was to throw the lure over the side of the boat, but Dad saved the lure and Mom is convinced that the lure is still out in his collection. Mom says Dad probably wouldn’t remember which one it was, but she knows that she would recognize it on site.
Boat of the day –
Isn’t she yar? (BTW, looked up the definition - quick to the helm; easily handled or maneuvered)

She gives me Goosebumps! - Love it - This boat would fit a few more people.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
When we went to bed last night, it was raining. Not a soft quiet rain, but not a hard thunder lightning rain, just a steady, gentle rain with a brisk wind blowing - the rain hit my window just right. Throughout the night I would wake to hear the soft pat of the rain on the window and it put me straight back to sleep.
If I could have quiet snuck out of the house and sat on the patio with a snuggly blanket and glass of wine, I probably would have. But, with six sleeping kids (they SHOULD have been anyway), a tired husband and an exhausted body I stayed in my bed and turned off my Zune.
A little background – I fall asleep with my Zune, why? My brain will not shut down – it runs through every moment of my day from beginning to end starting with all my short comings. All the things I should have, could have and would have done if there were more hours in the day. It seems as if I am constantly running like a chicken with my head cut off trying to catch up wishing and praying that I could have some uninterrupted time to get everything in order – but in all honesty, I know that if I had some uninterrupted time I would SLEEP! Anyway, what do I listen to as I fall asleep? Rain and waves, audiobooks, prayers, classical music anything that will make the constant stream of thought take a pause and allow my brain some rest.
So – anyway, totally of the topic of boats right? Not entirely, how does it relate? In the night when I woke, I could imagine myself sleeping on a houseboat, moored in a stable location allowing the weather to lull me to sleep. In my mind I could hear the rain hitting the lake and the wind breezing through the trees. It was my natural sleep inducer – I put a lot of imagination into this. Where would the kids be? What would I make for breakfast the next morning? What color was the deck of my boat? Where exactly would my boat be? These were easy questions that allowed my brain to wander in areas that I did not have to worry about whether or not I checked all my voice mails written all my e-mails or remembered to feed to the dog. (And, yes – he would be on the boat too!)
I have not found the perfect houseboat to fall in love with and claim as my own, at least not one that would fit my whole family. The first boat that I ever drove by and said, “There’s my boat!” was a small houseboat. I wish I had a picture of that boat, but alas it was sold before I had the inspiration of taking pictures of my boat. I know that I am tied to Texas, and I think that owning a houseboat in Texas maybe a difficult thing – Hot, muggy, mosquito infested summers are not my idea of blissful joy on the lake. But, I could see if working at least in the spring and fall…a dream is not worth dreaming unless you put a little effort in the thought, right?
Here is the closest thing I could find online that was my boat – sigh – I really miss seeing that boat all the time!
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Today it is with great sadness that I write to inform you that one of my prospective boats, “Goosebumps” has been sold. I was hoping that perhaps they had moved it to another part of the lot, but after careful examination that is just not the case. I really think that I was in denial – I did see it hooked up to the tow truck…but, I hoped.

I guess that my loss is another person’s gain and while I never got to step a foot, let alone a toe upon her deck I will always be grateful to her for my dream of owning her. (Yes, I do tend to lean to the overly dramatic side!) So – wherever you are Goosebumps, I hope that you are happy in the water and that your new people take care of you. Wax your decks, make sure zebra mussels do not take over your hull, keep your sails trim and your ropes ship-shape.

On another sad note – my Dad sold his boat!! Without , I might add, even telling me!! Ya know, I don’t even think she had a name…poor nameless boat. But, nameless will hopefully be back in the water with her new owners.

On a happy note….OOOHHHH…My Dad is perhaps purchasing a NEW boat. He showed me pictures of the blue beauty, a 1976 number and she looks wonderful. I haven’t heard whether or not he got her or not yet…I should be a better daughter and call a little more often. If he does end up with her, I hope that we take her out – yes, Dad I would like to go fishing with you. The boys would love to go, too. I remember how to bait a hook, but you may have to help me get the fish off. Matthew even has his boating license and has been hinting VERY strongly that he would like to show it off.

I am sorry it has been so long between posts, this is not going to be an everyday thing or even a once a week thing – it is an “as I have a chance” thing.

I have seen a couple of prospective boats on my drives, including one houseboat that I need to get some good shots of. It has all been a matter of time – but, oh the houseboat…if it were in a different location…what a cool thing! It even has a porch on TOP of it…dream, dream ,dream…
For now – remember to Live, Laugh, and Love – everyday.

Here is one last shot of Goosebumps to remember her by:

I was going through some old pictures getting them all uploaded to snapfish to FINALLY take advantage of the gift certificate my Mom gave me as well as the credits I have already paid for -

Don't know what her name is - but we saw her on the way back from the San Juan Islands in Washington. What a pretty site!

Well - I do believe I have found another dream boat! (Besides the one my Dad has bought!) I will have to get a picture as soon as I can, it is an old green and white has been repo'ed (so sorry former owners, I feel your pain), so hopefully I can go and get a picture soon. Preferably with ME on it!!
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Okay, so today on “Define that Word!” we are going to define the meaning of “Unfair….”

Unfair: disproportionate; undue; beyond what is proper or fitting: an unfair share. – Thank you for that extremely adequate definition. Ladies and gentleman, can you use this word in a sentence? You have 2 minutes to submit your response.

My hand at this point is raised high and I am bouncing up and down in my seat. “Yes, yes – Pick me!!”

Alright, Vanilla Mama, Come on down…you are our next contest on “Define that WORD!” Now, for the amazing prize of nothing but our astonishment at your word skill, please use the word “unfair” in a complete sentence. Can you do that?

“Why, yes – I believe I can! I believe it is UNFAIR that my neighbor has FOUR, (yes – count them FOUR) boats parked on his property (residential property I might add – I don’t live in the country!) and I have NONE.”

Hmmm….Are you positive that your neighbor has 4 boats parked on his property?

“YES, I can count! It’s true I tell you, True!”

I’m sorry, but we require proof of this travesty of justice…. I am afraid that we need a visual.

And your driveway? Where is the proof that you have no boat?
Indeed…that is the very definition of “unfair.” You certainly win this episode of “Define that WORD!” and you have won our unending pity. By the way, have you checked your city ordinances to protect yourself against this kind of wrong doing in the future?

“Ummm….no, I have been too busy drooling…maybe I’ll check in to that.”
Next Post –
Speaking of boating safety – have you ever known anyone to sink a boat, recover the boat and then use said boat to go fishing again? Well…now you have! My Dad and my Uncle went fishing in a Bass Buster, a simple aluminum boat that they were able to put in the back of my Uncle’s pickup truck and carry from the truck to Gaines Creek, somewhere in Oklahoma and things went amiss. They had brought a trolling motor and battery to haul them up and down the creek so they could fish for bass. They had caught a couple of bass and were headed back to where the truck was parked. It was early spring and still a little chilly and windy and they had decided to call it a day. About 12 feet from shore my Dad heard a whooshing sound – “Uhh…Herman, I think we are about to…” And at that moment the boat flipped over and dumped my Dad and my Uncle right into the chilly creek water.
Now, I will say, my Dad and my Uncle are very experienced boat men. They have been on many different kinds of boats from simple aluminum boats to large pontoon boats…so, boating safety is not really an issue. They are not Rednecks, don’t drink beer and certainly prefer boating venues that are not crowded with the aforesaid. So, the flipping of the boat should probably not be under the guise of boat safety…but, it really was too good of a tie in to let pass.
Blessedly the chilly creek water was only about 4 feet deep, but chilly creek water is chilly creek water and I would prefer not to be dumped in a tub of cold water, then be dripping wet trying to recover a boat from the creek bed bottom. Dad lost his glasses and could not see anything, but he could hear that the trolling motor was still going even with the battery being sunk on the bottom of Gaines Creek.  Dad and my Uncle were able to turn the boat back over and carry it out of the creek, put it in the truck bed and get home to amuse my Mom and my Aunt while they dried off.
Now, as my father pointed out, this was not funny at the time when it happened – and honestly, I would tend to agree. Thank God the water was only 4 feet deep and they were able to recover themselves and the boat, although I do not believe my Dad ever recovered his glasses. Final note, Dad was very quick to point out that he had strung up the bass so well that they were able to bring those back, so all was not lost! 
So - there are all the Boat Posts....(There are a few more hiding in the recesses of my brain, and I certainly have more pictures to share!)  I'll get the pictures added in at some point, or just added to the gallery!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Deadliest in Texas

The lake that I live near happens to have a well earned reputation of being one of the deadliest lakes in Texas. Red Necks, beer and overcrowding are generally not a good mixture when out on the water. When I get my boat, maybe I will dig a pond in my back yard and enjoy it peacefully! My best friend was telling me about an adventure that she ended up in on our said Texas lake…Two men were out boating on what would have certainly been called a “Wind-Advisory” day, and as the sun was starting to go down the wind got even stronger. She and her fiancé had only moments before been sitting on the bank when this boat rammed into the shore.  It was a new boat and one of the guys had never been on a boat before. Okay…let me pause here in my short narrative…You have, a brand new boat and a buddy who has never been out on a boat and your bright idea on a day when you should honestly be out flying a kite (which is, point of fact what I was doing with my 3 and 13 year old!), and you decide to go out on one of the deadliest lakes for a boat ride. Seriously, come on…need I say more?! Ok, no…
So – there are white caps on the water now and my girl friend observes that they are having a lot of trouble and tells her fiancé, “They need help!” and she rushes down to help. At which point, her fiancé is thinking she is insane, but he follows cause he’s a good guy, too. They have ONE rope, no buoys and two knuckleheads with no life jackets. My friend thought they were going to have to call in a water rescue, they were having that much trouble controlling the boat in the waves. So the boat “owner” tells his boat novice buddy to go and get the car with the trailer attached. I REALLY wish I could have seen the look on his face – uhh…WHAT?! So, he tells my friends that he doesn’t know how to do that…really, you can’t back a car up to the lake? Do you know how to put the car in reverse?! He gives the keys to my friend’s fiancé…at which point the boat “owner” realizes he better get a little more involved. Long story short (too late right?), it worked out and my friends are boating heroes!
Slight commentary – I know I have already done quite a bit already, but this is my space and I can write what I like – my 13 year old had the opportunity to earn a boating license for his “Outdoor Education” class, how cool is that?! But, the question comes to mind…if my 13 year old (12 at the time) can get a boating license in the state of Texas…Now, this being said – my son KNOWS his stuff! He was asking me questions about boating right of way, etc...  Obviously, he took it FAR more seriously than these two knuckle heads.
I'll put a picture up at some point - but it is just not working tonight!

Monday, November 22, 2010

For the Record -

After I put all my old boat posts in here...I will start just posting about random things, not just boats. There are many other things that I have strange obsessions about - old cars, bridges (Fear of!), and just interesting tidbits that someday when I pass away my kids can laugh at!

What is this Madness?

There are a lot of funny boat stories that I could get into, and probably will over time – I guess I should start off with why I do not swim in lakes, yes, LOVE boats – will NOT swim in lakes. (Hesitant about the ocean – but I can deal with it, somewhat – but that is another story.)
There is actually more than one reason, but the first would be my Grandma Georgie‘s curious collection of newspaper articles I found during a visit there once. Grandma Georgie clipped newspaper articles that she found interesting, curious or just outright bizarre. Conjoined twins, two headed rattlesnakes – CATFISH DROWNS BOY IN RIVER! Yes, you can go back and read that again…I’ll wait. If  as a child you read that a CATFISH drowns a young boy about your own age while he is swimming in the river, that will have a tendency to stick with you. Now, I should probably point out that my Grandpa Roy frequently caught CATFISH larger than myself at the time…so, you put two and two together you get a young girl who has seen a CATFISH large enough to eat her and you read this bizarre, yellowed newspaper clipping and you come up with a grown adult woman who WILL NOT swim in a lake. Are you kidding me, I have SEEN what is in the lake…I am not even going to go into the pollution, microbes and any other manner of grossness.
So, this may seem a little odd…hmm, she loves boats, won’t swim in lakes. I have been swimming in lakes on occasion and my Mom and Dad can attest to this. In fact during one such outing I was pulled behind a boat, very fast. I wanted off and back in the boat…see above paragraph, plus I’ll add, you know how you catch fish right?! DRAG A LURE THROUGH THE WATER AND SEE WHAT BITES…so I tried yelling slow down, slow down. My Dad heard, “Go faster, Go faster!” and throttled the boat, thus dragging me under the water for an unknown number of knots. (Honestly, as soon as he saw me go under, he stopped the boat…He’s a good Dad!) I have been boating with friends and family and cajoled into getting into the water in the middle of the lake – I kept my FEET touching the BOTTOM of the boat, stayed in the water long enough for everyone to know that I was not putting on a show, I REALLY did not want to be in the water.
So, there you have it – I won’t swim in the lake. I will wade in the water and I have sworn not to pass this madness on to my poor offspring.  Bottom line – you will note none of my boats have slides!

Sunday, November 21, 2010