Saturday, July 30, 2016


This time of year tends to slow down at the shop. In order to keep busy, I decided to design and make a bag from recycled sails. It is the perfect size, I love it!

This is my first design. No two are alike. They are lined, with pockets on the inside, and a zippered pocket on the outside. The lining is made from either sunbrella or the sail cloth.

Size: 14" x 14" x 5"

I am currently working on a couple more designs. For more information, feel free to contact me.

Sunday, July 24, 2016



If you are a diehard Dr. Who fan, you might know who Idris is. If not, I will explain. In one episode, the TARDIS landed on a far planet, and the "soul" of TARDIS left the ship. Needing a vessel to occupy, TARDIS  took over the body of a peasant woman... named Idris.

I think Idris is the perfect name for this boat. It has the "soul" of my Paradox I named TARDIS. In her, I will have fun adventures and make special memories.

My 2.5 hp Tohatsu outboard is my mode of propulsion when the wind is not favorable. I have no experience repairing outboards, so I thought I should get a new motor. I got the motor a couple days before my last trip, so I just put it in the living room floor. A friend came over, walked past it and stated, "Well, that's not something you see everyday."

Drink holder, very handy!
And the seats needed cushions. DONE!

Saturday, July 23, 2016


For those happily married people, you are so fortunate. Dating at a late age is difficult. Someone told me, “All the good ones are either married or gay”. There is a lot of truth to that. There is a reason we are single!

Before I moved to Key West, I was on a dating site. I had numerous “meet-n-greets”. Most, I put in the friend zone at that first meeting. A few, it took a couple weeks. Nobody wanted to hear that dreaded request;  "let's just be friends". When I got to Key West, I continued on the dating site, and again started meeting guys. And again, there were many one and only meetings. Then I met Chuck, we hit it off and it lasted three wonderful years. Now, I’m back on the prowl again. I have scoured the dating sites, and read a thousand profiles. They start to all sound the same. EVERYONE loves to travel and listen to live music. EVERYONE is honest, trust worthy, down to earth and knows how to treat a lady. Occasionally, a unique writer creates an interesting profile. Profile pictures. Listen, nobody cares what you looked like 20 years ago, or wants to see a picture of your grandkids or motorcycle. Save those for the third date. 

Here are a few of the statements in profiles I have read:

His perfect match:
  • "Someone who appreciates a man's perspective!" What does that even mean? I asked, he did not respond.
  • "She should be very sharp and "with-it" with a great sense of humor." With-it? humm
  • "Warm. Feisty. Good negotiating skills." Why, is he bull-headed?
  • Another sent me a message and said, "I make pretty pink blankets." Is that code for something? I ignored that one.
What is my type? I’ve been asked this question, and I haven’t figured that out yet. Looks are not everything, but lets be honest, they are important, as is common interests. Couples have to be involved in some of the same activities, or they will grow in different directions. You have to spend time together to form a bond. 

So Lezlie, what qualities does a man have to possess, to peak your interest? 
I’m glad you asked! 
  1. First and foremost, he has to love being on and in the water. Having a boat is a plus, preferably a sailboat. 
  2. Under 6’ tall is preferred. 
  3. The ability and desire to dance is not required, but it makes going out on the town more fun. 
  4. It’s nice if he knows his way around a kitchen.
  5. A good masseuse and kisser makes nighttime activities more enjoyable. 
  6. He has to have a good sense of humor.
  7. Must be a non-smoker. I’m firm on this one.
  8. Age between 55 & 62. If all other qualifications are met, this one can be overlooked.
  9. A good voice to serenade me would be delightful.
  10. Knowing a second language gets you extra points.
I have been asked numerous times if I would ever marry again. I seriously doubt that I would. Have a long term relationship? Absolutely.

I am presently taking applications. All applications will be reviewed for consideration. Thank you.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016


While getting ready for my trip to Canada, I pulled out my passport and looked at the stamps I had received. It seems that I can only leave the U.S. on even numbered years. In 2010, my passport was stamped when Dale and I went to Belize. This was the first time I had been out of the country, so my first stamp. The second time I traveled internationally, in 2012, was when Kelly and I did our "brother/sister trip" to Belize. In 2014, Chuck took me to Cozumel and Costa Rica. The Cozumel trip was on a cruise ship, so I didn't actually get a stamp. A little disappointing.

Now, in 2016, I cross over into Canada. I really wanted them to stamp my passport, just because. What is it about even numbered years? Does this mean I cannot cross the border next year? Don't tell me I can't do something, I will prove you wrong! Hummmmm, where shall I go...


MONDAY, JULY 17, 2016

Luckily, Jackie and I made it as far as Springfield, MO last night, so it was a short drive to Jackie’s home. We drove over to the storage unit where Jackie keeps her boats. I patterned Cowboy Cookies and her AF3, a Jim Michalak design, for cushions.

We had lunch at Jackie's favorite restaurant in Eufaula. My fortune cookie was spot on.

Happiness begins with facing life with a smile and a wink.
Jackie and I spent the evening recounting stories of our youth. When it was time to call it a night, the trash can was sporting 3 empty wine bottles. They weren’t all full when we started… I swear!

TUESDAY, JULY 18, 2016

When I checked in at the airport to fly home, I didn't realize that I was "TSA PRE". Didn't see it on my boarding pass until someone pointed out to me. I suppose I looked harmless. Didn't have to take off my jewelry, pull out my computer, take off my shoes. Another first.

It is nice to get away and see other parts of the country, but it’s alway good to get back home.  Cleaning out the pocket on my bag, I found a collection of room keys and business cards. I wondered why my bag was so heavy. Unpacking it, I found the four rocks I picked up at the Lake Michigan beach. They are not big rocks, but they are heavy… and pretty!

Tomorrow, it is back to work. It's back to a schedule for me.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

ROAD TRIP - part 11

SUNDAY, JULY 17, 2016

Jackie and I stayed in Mansfield, Ohio last night. We got off a little after 9:00 this morning.

We kept driving until about 3:00 for lunch. There is a little place called Charlie’s Pub & Grub… listed as the #1 place to eat in Terre Haute, IN. I had the Jr. Melt. Either it was the best I had ever eaten, or I was starving.

Today was National Ice Cream Day. In observance, we stopped at a Culver’s and had a treat, because we had to!

We made it to Springfield, MO before we stopped for the night. Cheese, crackers….and wine was my bedtime snack. I’m pooped. Good night!

Monday, July 18, 2016

ROAD TRIP - part 10


After breakfast, Jackie and I headed south on I-90. The weather was clear, a little traffic, not too bad. Poor Dickens was feeling shunned at one of our rest stops.

Another stop we parked next to this guy with a motorcycle. When we came back to the truck he was still sitting on the curb. It wouldn’t start… but it’s pretty!

We left New York and entered Pennsylvania. We saw many vineyards, so Jackie started looking for wineries. We found 6 Mile Cellars. 

Tony, a sailor himself, served us 5 tastes and we got to keep the glass. We left with 6 bottles. That might get us home. :-)

It has become tradition to open a bottle of wine at the end of our day. We couldn't break tradition tonight, so our choice was this lovely Niagara.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

ROAD TRIP - part 9

FRIDAY, JULY 15, 2016

Jackie and I have been hold up in Cicero, NY after having problems with the Stella Maris trailer. Al, from Northside Collision, told us the tow truck would pick up Stella Maris at 8:30 this morning. Jackie and I arrived at the parking lot at 8:00 to make sure we didn’t miss them. We turned the corner and Stella was gone. My stomach turned a little bit. Visions of her being taken away by someone other than the planned move, ran through my head. An immediate call was made to Al, and he said the tow company decided it was best to get there before the traffic got heavy. We drove to Northside and there she was. She was being taken off the trailer as we entered the lot.

Northside Collision will have to use parts from the original maker of the trailer for liability reasons. This is unfortunate, because the trailer was built in Canada, and it will take a while to get the parts. It has been discussed, and the conclusion is that the trailer should have tandem axles instead of a single, due to the weight of the boat. So, not only will the repairs be done, another axle will be added. This process will take an estimated 2 or 3 weeks. Stella Maris will be left behind, Jackie and I will continue on to Oklahoma.

I asked Jackie about cushions for Stella Maris. The cockpit will be much more comfortable, and give her a more complete look with cushions. We went to Lowe’s and I purchased materials to pattern the cockpit and in the cabin. The canvas has already been chosen, and I will start on them as soon as I return to my shop in Kemah, TX. She will look snazzy! Jackie’s scamp, Cowboy Cookies, doesn’t have cushions either. A cockpit without cushions is a sin… and uncomfortable! She will get cushions also.  

While Jackie rested, I walked over to the Gander Mountain next door. My keen sandals have seen some better days. I am very thrifty… okay, I’m cheap, not wanting to spend $90 in the store, thinking I can maybe get a better price online. But not sure what size I wanted. The ones I have now are a little big, but when I bought them I needed a pair THAT DAY, and I had to get a pair that was a little big. Gander had them, I tried them on, and now I know what size to look for. Yay!

My dinner, not yours!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

ROAD TRIP - part 8


Jonas Abromaitis hands over the key to s/v Stella Maris.

s/v Stella Maris was ready and waiting on us this morning when we arrived. The truck was loaded with the rudder, outboard and spare tire. The hitch needed a little adjusting, but was an easy fix. Off we went. 

Crossing into the U.S.

We crossed the border at 1000 Islands. The view from the bridge was magnificent. When I get around to making a bucket list, getting out on that water will be on it. The border guard informed us we didn’t have a license tag on the trailer. We ignorantly assumed it had one. We then learned that the boat would have to be imported, but could be done at a later date, but before it can be registered. We again, were asked what our relationship is. He did not ask if we had anything to declare. So, the fresh strawberries, lemons and alcohol were not even mentioned. He was preoccupied with the boat. So, all the warnings from everyone about crossing the border, worried us for nothing.

The weather was good, we were putting the miles behind us, when we decided to stop in Cicero, NY for a break. Stopped at a light, a man comes running to my window and tells me that my wheel is burning. We pull into the bank parking lot, get out, and the left bearing in smoking. Being a stranger in this town, we had no connection here for help. I sent a text to Chuck Weitzel in Key West, FL. I asked him to get on his computer and see if he could find a trailer repair place close. He gave me a number. We called Northside Collision, and talked to AL. AL was getting off work in a little while, and would come by and take a look at the trailer. He helped us move the boat to a better location in the parking lot, and unhook it from the truck. A tow company will be coming tomorrow morning to pick it up on a flatbed and take it to the shop. We were told that parts have to be ordered.That sounds like a long stay here in Cicero, NY, doesn’t it?

Worn out, Jackie and I booked a hotel room, found a place to eat and had a nice meal. Then to this room we went and opened up a bottle of bubbly! It’s time to put this stressful day to bed.


Friday, July 15, 2016

ROAD TRIP - part 7


It was about midnight last night, when we decided to stop driving. There was a little motel with a light on, so I went in to inquire about a room. The first thing I saw was a sign: “SORRY, NO PETS”. I sighed and said, “no pets!” I must have look pitiful, because the man let us have a room anyway. Morning came too quick. We came across the newly discovered wonder… Tim Hortons. Jackie likes the muffins, and I had a delicious breakfast sandwich. Very good.

After our breakfast, we drove on over to see the boat. She is very nice, has a nice cabin. She does need cushions though. Easily taken care of. 
s/v Stella Maris
While Jackie and Jonas took care of business, Dickens and I retired to the backyard of the house. We both took a well deserved nap. After the business side of the trip was finished, Jackie and I had lunch at the neighborhood pub. As we were leaving, the Manager wanted us to taste a Butter Tart. We had seen the sign out front announcing their arrival. I took a bite, and told Jackie it tasted like a pecan pie without the pecans. The manager told us that they had some with pecans. I thought we were going to discover something new, but instead, not.

Next on the agenda was to find a pet friendly room for the night. The internet is very handy. We found one only 20 minutes from the boat. It turned out to be a Bed & Breakfast, without the breakfast… just the bed. That is fine with us, we know where there is a Tim Hortons! When we made the reservation over the phone, we didn't know the particulars of the room we were renting. We get there and it is a very nice place, but there is one king bed and the shower has glass walls. And there is a urinal in the toilet room. I later spoke with the owner of the home, and discovered this room used to be the master bedroom. It all made sense then.

Never seen one in a home.
Jackie’s Facebook friend, Gary Mussar, lives in the area and invited us to dinner. He and his wife took us to Fatboys in downtown Ottawa. This place has Bar-B-Que, Texas style with a little bit of Canada thrown in. I had the pulled pork poutine. It was very good, the gravy was very rich. I cleaned my plate!
The handle to the door is shaped like a gas pump.
No wine tonight. I’m full from dinner and it’s late. We leave early tomorrow morning with a 22’ boat in tow and long road ahead of us.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

ROAD TRIP : part 6

TUESDAY, JULY 12, 2016

This has been a stressful day.

Everyone gave us a lot of advise on what you can and cannot take across the border to Canada. We were told that you cannot take fruit, vegetables, jelly, and limited wine….that they would confiscate it. So we counted our bottles of wine, gathered our fresh fruits together along with our jelly and was ready for the confrontation. At the booth we handed over our passports, driver’s license and the dog’s papers. All she was really interested in, was the relationship of Jackie and I, and how long we were going to be in their country. It was non-eventful. 

We quickly realized that our smart phones are stupid across the border. My phone didn’t work at all… nothing! Jackie’s phone was able to make phone calls, and her map came up, but not all the functions worked. No internet. The Garmin was useless. There was a lot of traffic, then suddenly the traffic stopped. And we stopped for about 2 hours. 

Having nothing else to do, I pulled out the crackers: Penguins and Goldfish. A taste test was conducted, and here are the final results: Penguins are more cheesy. Goldfish are more like a cracker. So, there you go.

We were told to take highway 7 at Toronto. We saw a sign that said 7 with an arrow, so we took the exit. That was a mistake. We ended up in rush hour traffic and a traffic light almost every block. We had a paper map, but it was a little confusing with Toronto at the edge to the page. I was navigating old school, and not doing a very good job of it. How did anyone ever get anywhere before smart phones!

I finally got us on the right road, and it was a scenic road, however, the sun was low in the sky, so we didn’t get to enjoy much of it. It was late, but we did get to Perth, Ontario for the night. Now I just need to figure out those stupid mileage signs!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

ROAD TRIP : part 5

MONDAY, JULY 11, 2016
Jackie and I awoke to clouds and rain. Yesterday, we booked a sail on s/v FRIENDS*GOOD*WILL in South Haven, MI and we were not sure if it would be rained out. I ate my pecan pie from the Farmer’s Market in Quincy, IL while I packed my bag. Yes, that was my breakfast! Don't judge! We drove down to South Haven and the sail was still scheduled… so we had a wonderful two hours on Lake Michigan. Captain let me take the tiller for awhile. I guess he was confident in my abilities, because he told me to hold that heading and then went forward for a few minutes. It was the biggest tiller I have ever seen.
That's a big ass tiller!

Okay... the diet and exercise starts the minute I get back home!

We got a late start across Michigan, so we only made it to Romulus, just west of Detroit.

It was late when we got to the hotel, so we had a feast of our crackers, cheese, hummus, flatbreads... and of course I had my glass of wine... or two, or three. Oh, and, we stopped at a roadside stand and bought three slices of pie: cherry, plum and nectarine. And I wonder why my pants are fitting a little tighter!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

ROAD TRIP - part 4

DAY 7- Holland, MI
SUNDAY, JULY 10, 2016

 Jackie and I got to the hotel in Holland very late, had not eaten dinner, were very hungry, and had a lot of cheese, crackers and wine. So, we did indulge. It was very, very late when I got to sleep. The curtains are obviously darkening, because when I woke up the room was very dark and I was surprise to find that it was after 10:00am. Jackie had heard there was a good restaurant for breakfast called The Biscuit. Off we went.

After a tasty breakfast, we rolled out of Biscuits and drove south toward South Haven, MI. We came upon a park that seemed to have a view of Lake Michigan, so we pulled in. I walked down to the beach to put my toes in the water. OMG it was cold! I don’t know how all these crazy people can put their whole body in that water. I picked up four pretty rocks and went back to the parking lot. 

It wasn’t a few miles down the road that we saw a sign advertising cherries. We turned around and drove up to the building in the field. Not only did they have fresh fruit and vegetables, they had a junk store. Since we didn’t have a good knife for our late night snacks, not a cork screw, nor a proper glass for our wine,  that was the first thing we looked for… and found!!

Farther down the road in South Haven, we toured the Michigan Maritime Museum. In the gift shop, I found a sailboat charm for my bracelet. Every charm I have, has meaning or significance. This charm symbolizes the trip I took with Jackie to pick up a sailboat.

This is the boat used in the movie "The Finest Hours".

Boatwerks in Holland was our choice for dinner, and it was delicious. Sitting on the edge of Macatawa River, with the boats racing up and down the river, was very relaxing. 

Back at the hotel, it was laundry time for me, then up to the room for a glass of wine. I think a hot bubble bath would go well with this wine!