Friday, May 25, 2018


Well, it didn’t rain the day of my glass bottom boat trip off of Key Largo. Technically it was a catamaran called the Spirit of Pennekamp and the exact location was the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, which is the first undersea park in the United States. It turned out to be the only day it didn’t rain on my Florida trip. The umbrellas we brought got good use.

I did get a bit concerned when I heard the boat trip was close to three hours and they mentioned Dramamine was for sale. I always worry about getting seasick. As for taking Dramamine. I took it once a long long time ago when I went on a cross country bus trip and the Dramamine made me feel worse than what it was a cure for.

So, I took my chances and got on the boat. We traveled through what they called a creek, but seemed more like a big river that wound its way through mangrove swamps. The boat went slow as we went through the channel and past some small islands. Once we were in the ocean, the boat picked up speed until we got to the coral reef which turns out to be the third biggest in the world.

The boat stopped and the rocking started big time as one of the crew went back and forth between the two wells of windows pointing out the fish and sea creatures going by. Another crew member offered advice for anyone who started feeling sick. I noticed several members of an Indian family who’d been passing around containers of fragrant food on the way out were now lying on the benches with their hands over their eyes. Two men went outside looking a little green.

This is it, I thought. I worry every time I go on a boat. I have gone whale watching twice far out in the Monterey Bay. Other people were throwing up and I was busy watching the whales. I’ve taken the boat to Catalina numerous times and always been fine. I even went on a boat that turned into my worst nightmare. We were going from the boat to the beach in Malibu in a dingy and as it got near the shore the dingy flipped over and I was trapped underneath. The waves kept filling up the space and I got soaked and scared. But when the time came to go back to the boat, I went rode in the dingy. On the trip back to Marina del Rey as everyone else was getting an upset stomach, I was eating a sandwich.

And once again I was fine. I adjusted to the rocking and looked at the fish swimming by the windows on the bottom of the boat. We spent forty-five minutes looking at fish, which I’m sure was way to long for the Indian family and the two guys who kept wandering outside. And then we started back. There were shadows as we passed the islands and into the creek. The boat slowed down and all was peaceful except when smaller boats sped past us and their wake made our boat rock. Finally the boat docked and I met up with my son and his friend who’d gone snorkeling.

After dinner, we enjoyed the sunset on the ride back to Miami. And the next day the rains came.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Photo Sorting

I love going on vacations. I love taking pictures as does my husband and my middle child which is how I now find myself sorting through 3,000+ photos from our 10 day vacation in California. It's nice to have so many pictures to choose from but it's a huge task to narrow them down. We had taken the laptop on vacation with us and before leaving the beautiful state of California, my husband had downloaded the photos for our daughter's camera. Our son came also but he isn't a big picture taker, maybe because he knew we were doing plenty of it between 2 cell phones, 2 point and shoot cameras, and one DSLR.

Now that I have all the photos in place, and have chosen which photo printing place I'm using...Amazon Prime Photos (with free shipping it costs the same as free photos from Shutterfly and paying for shipping and I don't have to wait for a deal)...and it's time to pick which ones to upload. I completed the last scrapbook album I was working on and with a crop coming up in July, I need to gather up the items for my next crop project: Vacation 2017.

My first step was making a folder, Upload CA pics to Amazon, and copying pretty much every single photo into it this way we still have all the originals. I plan on deleting this folder and the contents once the pictures are upload to Amazon.  I was able to delete about 200 from the start as they were blurry or off nothing but it still leaves quite a number to sort through. Some of the photos, golf outings, I'm leaving for my husband to go through because what I think is just a rock might be something important from him and our son's golfing trip to Torrey Pines.

Next, I went through and deleted any doubles or composition of photo that appear to make it a double and any photos that even though not blurring just weren't good for some reason. As I had 3,000 photos to work with, I was a little more discerning on what I kept and also in trimming down some of the our twenty photos of giraffes.

Currently, I'm down to a little over 1,600 photos to print. Still a lot but I know that number will go down once my husband narrows down the golf photos and the ones of seals at La Jolla cove. I plan on doing another "editing" pass on the photos to get it down to an even more manageable level.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Yet More

I'm making progress, both on the book manuscript deadline and on my promotion of Pick and Chews, the fourth book in my Barkery & Biscuits mystery series.  But I still have a ways to go, so yet again I'm keeping this brief, mostly just popping in to say hi.

Hope all my blogmates and our readers are doing well.  More to come soon from me, I hope!

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Royal Wedding

We – me, Elizabeth, Tanya, and Ellen – had an early-morning tea party Saturday.  We got up at four-thirty am (!), and turned on our commercial-free public television channel to watch the wedding of Prince Harry and Rachel Meghan Markle.  We dressed up for it, including hats   We ate crumpets, which turned out to be amazingly like pancakes, and Scotch eggs, and drank good black English tea.  What a beautiful ceremony!  The English are brilliant at ceremony, especially Church of England services.  The final blessing was the one given at my Episcopal wedding.  “Let their love for one another be a seal upon their hearts, a mantle about their shoulders, and a crown upon their foreheads.”  Beautiful.