Sunday, September 27, 2015



I've been asked to let everyone know what it's like to live in Key West, Florida. First thing that comes to mind, it's very expensive. As far as housing, you either have at least one roommate, or two jobs, or both.

When I first landed here, I was shocked at the price of rental property. The last house I rented in Texas, was a four bedroom, 2 bath home with a double car garage and carport... and I paid $995 a month. In Key West, I had to settle for a "room" with kitchen privileges for $800 a month. Two years later, a room will run you $900-$1000 a month. Location, location, location.

"If you have a waiting list for your extra bedroom, you live in Conch Country."

Shopping is not easy, Key West is geared for tourist... with tourist prices. Some shops do give locals a discount, and that helps. Most people I know do all their shopping online. Amazon is great for finding just about everything. In a couple weeks, I will be traveling to Lubbock, Texas to visit family. I have already started a list of things I want to get while I am there.

And don't even get me started on the cost of airfare from here to Lubbock, TX. I tried to get a flight for December, and the price when up $300 while I was on the phone trying to book the flight. I settled for going this month. I will be changing planes twice, and it will take me about 10 hours.

There are sacrifices to living in Key West, but the pros far outweigh the cons!

Sunday, September 20, 2015



For about a year now, Chuck has been after me to go into business for myself. The canvas and cushion business. My head knows that there is a lot of business out here, but I have a problem letting go of security. Security of knowing I have a paycheck next, and every wednesday direct deposited into my checking account. Do I like sitting behind a computer, calling people to pay their bill, relieving cashiers at the register, stocking shelves when I run out of things to do in the accounting department? NO.

Chuck travels a lot, and would like for me to go with him. At the present, I can't take off on a whim and fly to Costa Rica... yes, he is gone to Costa Rica and I was invited. But, this employee couldn't leave the country on a whim. Damn it!

Here is my dilemma; take a chance and go into business for myself and have the freedom to travel and go on sailing adventures ... or be stuck in an office and put in requests for vacations. I am only four years away from early retirement. I want to take two weeks off next June for the Texas 200,  go to Oklahoma next October... I want to enjoy life, have fun.

I say all this after consuming half a bottle of wine. My son says, "In Vino Veritas"... In wine there is truth. I just watched a movie, and one of the lines, " You have to take chances for the things you care about." Is this an omen? LOL I do so wish I was in Costa Rica right now!  Security, or Freedom? What would you choose?

Saturday, September 12, 2015


I loved the yellow sail I had on iDuck, the Puddle Duck I built. I ordered the yellow polytarp to build the sail from. This is 3.3 oz polytarp, which was good in light winds. I will probably build another out of something heavier for those days with more wind.

I am going with yellow because it is very different than all the white sails I see on the water. I will stand out, and be easily recognized from afar.

Here are a few more pictures I took today. The decks are glued on and the back deck has been glassed (I didn't get a pic of it today).

Decided on a deck plate for the bow for easy access when I install running lights.

Thursday, September 10, 2015


The dry fit.

I haven't worked on my boat much lately. Seems like other things are getting a higher priority. I did get the deck installed.

What other things have been given a higher priority? Well, scuba diving, fishing, making cushions for Chuck's boat.... and just LIFE.

Cockpit and storage were painted before the deck installed.

I love plants, and in my younger years, I always had a garden. I canned tomatoes, pumpkin, green beans, blackeyed peas, potatoes, okra, grape juice, pickles, jellies and jams. I haven't tried to grow anything in a few years, but I have a pineapple that I put in a pot. You just twist off the top, peel most of the leaves off and stick it in water. Mine has several roots now, so I stuck it in a pot. I've heard that it takes several years before you get a pineapple... I have time. Chuck has a planter in the back yard, but the boards have warped and it's coming apart. The growing season around here is the fall and winter months. This just does not seem right to me. BUT, it is way to hot in the summer months to grow anything. The sun is so intense that it literally fries the plants. I am thinking I will rebuild the planter and try my hand at some vegetables this winter. I love yellow squash. I wish I liked coconut... they are EVERYWHERE!  I'll let you guys know how the garden plan progresses.

Pineapple plant.

There are so many "projects" around here. We are always working on something, and never feel that we are caught up. We have a total of five boat projects going. We are trying to not take on anymore projects until we have all of these finished. That's hard for Chuck. A few weekends ago, Chuck and I went to an auction. There were three items in this auction: a skiff (hull only), 2004 Chrysler Sebring convertible, and a 1984 25' McGregor Sailboat. We bought the car... another project. The sailboat did not sale, and we were told that if we would haul it away... we could HAVE the boat. If I had not been there to say NO... there would be another project tied to the seawall out back.

                                                      Chuck: "But it's free"
                                                      Me: "Take it home, and then what?"
                                                      Chuck: "Yeah, you're right"