Wednesday, November 26, 2014

For every season, there's change....

In this time of great changes in my life, I decided to begin a new Thanksgiving tradition - paying it forward.

A friend of mine from my bereavement group and I will be going to a homeless shelter on Long Island tomorrow to serve Thanksgiving dinner to those not fortunate enough to have all we enjoy and sometimes take for granted.  He and I decided to do something different, something that carries no memories of past holiday celebrations with those loved ones we lost.

Thanksgiving was Tom's absolute favorite holiday - he loved the simplicity of  family gathered around a table he had loving loaded with his special recipes.  His cooking skills were recognized and applauded by everyone invited to join us.  Though Tom was of English ancestry, his expertise in cooking many Italian dishes surprised those of us Italians he learned from.   I guess he actually was paying attention when my mother made her legendary meals.  Come to think of it, he probably learned a few things from me too - in the days I cooked.

Speaking of starting new traditions, I'm planning to do two new things next Thanksgiving - cook Thanksgiving dinner and cook it aboard Olympia!  I've been checking Southwest Airlines' site to see when they open their reservations for November, 2015.  The day that happens, I'm booking a ticket for myself and whomever else wants to join me.  I casually mentioned this to my sister in North Carolina, since she is by far the better cook.  I thought enticing her with dinner aboard beautiful Olympia in a warm climate was infinitely better than anything else she would be doing.  We might have ignition there Houston!

Thank you everyone who is making this wonderful journey called Olympia with me.  Every day is an opportunity for thanksgiving, no matter the circumstances.  I appreciate your thoughtful comments, suggestions and kind words of support and encouragement.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Friday, November 21, 2014

A Quick Hello!

Thought I'd sneak a quick post during the workday.  I have a yogurt on my desk so that any nosy passer-by will think I'm eating lunch at my desk (unfortunately that is usually the case).

So, the good news is that the decorator called to say my new salon chairs were delivered.  The bad news is that they were delivered to Huntington, not Stuart as ordered.  Since Thanksgiving is next week (yikes, when did that happen?!), the chairs probably won't be picked up and shipped til the following week.  On the up side (and in my book, there is ALWAYS an up side), the chairs might arrive while I'm still aboard Olympia with my girlfriends.  One can only hope.  Since these chairs were ordered in mid-September, I think I've nearly forgotten what they look like.  Oh goodie, I love surprises!

Philip the woodworking genius so many of us Krogenites know and love, is hard at work building window frames for my blinds on the port and starboard forward pilot house windows.  Apparently, the yard thought that the starboard window frame might bump one's shoulder as they climbed the stairs, so decided against building a window frame for that window.  On the port side, the frame couldn't be built entirely around the window due to the height of the settee cushion, so again no frame.  Enter Philip with a brilliant suggestion and voila, the frames are being built as we speak.  Now I have to get Guy from Saturday's over to measure for blinds.   Then the wait begins for the blinds to be made and shipped over from England.  So, for anyone planning to occupy the pilot house berth, you might need to re-think your choice of pjs until those windows are covered.

Now that I've moved and am somewhat settled (is one ever really settled?), I have an awesome pile of boxes labeled, "FOR BOAT, DO NOT UNPACK"  How big do I think this boat is?  There are no less than 10 such boxes in my daughter's basement (there might even be more, but I'm afraid to look too closely).  Now, the trick will be to get those boxes to the boat when Olympia is in New York and find a place for all these things I think I need.  There is nothing like the limited storage of a boat to help one whittle down possessions.  I once heard a sermon that went like this: "you spend your early years in the acquisitive stage, stockpiling possessions as fast as they can be purchased.  In the middle years, you spend hours taking care of these possessions.  During the golden years, you spend time divesting yourself of all the extra stuff gathering dust and serving no real purpose other than occupying space".  When you stop to really ponder these words, you have to see a thread of truth in them.  As a person who worked in Manhattan for most of my professional career, I had closets full of suits, blazers, heels, coats, designer shoes and purses, etc.  With the exception of the designer purses (one can't let those go, after all - they might be needed for docktails one day), those once essential items are now clothing someone else (I hope).  Now my closets are starting to look more nautical - striped shirts, quick drying shorts, ball caps, cute tops and several pairs of Sperry Topsiders for starters.

Anyway, I finished the yogurt and therefore, lost my "prop".  Back to work I go......

Have a great weekend everyone!   Not that you asked, but tonight is dinner with some barn friends. Tomorrow I'm heading into Manhattan for a museum exhibit and lunch with a friend from both grammar and high school.  Later that night, it's dinner and movie night with the girls from my bereavement group.  Sunday is the barn, a ride and a spin class.  If time, I'll try to squeeze in a mani/pedi.  A girl's gotta be well groomed at all times you know!

 If I'm not back before Thanksgiving, a beautiful holiday to you and yours.  For those of you fortunate enough to celebrate this holiday with loved ones, revel in their company (even crusty Uncle Jack) and make lifelong memories of this special day.  You'll be glad you did!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Almost Settled'

So, it's been a week since I moved and I'm just starting to smile again.

You'll notice (well maybe you won't) that I'm back on the laptop.  It took a village - and the help of a 15 year old - to point out that to connect to the internet, I just had to click on the little fan icon at the top of screen, enter the wifi name and password and voila - we have ignition Houston.

I think I would have figured that out in time, but time is what I don't have.  With the layers of "stuff" going on these days, it's hard to figure anything out, let alone look for little fan icons.  At least 45 boxes have found their way to wherever it is that used moving boxes go.  My closets are screaming for the organized eye of my fashionista-attorney daughter and the bare walls are begging to be dressed up.

With everything clamoring for attention, I handled the situation by going shopping.  What else does one do under the circumstances?  Since I'm literally down the road from Wiggles, he has had enough of my "popping ins".  So, off to Bed, Bath and Beyond for "staples":  over the door hooks, under the bed boxes, in the drawer organizers - AND - the set of All Clad pots I've been dreaming of!  I was heading for the check out counter with my boring set of over the door hooks when I passed an All Clad display announcing a SALE!  Be still my heart I whispered, slowing down for a quick peek.  The quick peek turned into a look of pure desire.  The look of desire turned into the need to possess these objects of beauty.  I've been pricing all the promotions from Bloomingdales, William Sonoma and BBB forever, so I was very well acquainted with prices and what came with those prices.  This was indeed a good promotion.  Before I could come to my senses, I marched to the registry and ordered a set of 8 pieces - that came with a bonus lasagna pan, Essentials of Italian Cooking cookbook and 2 red oven mitts.  The red oven mitts sealed the deal.  But wait, there's more - I used my 20% coupon and got FREE shipping!  All in all, I saved close to $200 and got the whole shebang shipped right to the boat.  So now Olympia's galley will boast the best in cookware. All I have to do now is cook!   We'll save that for another day.

The master stateroom also got treated to a beautiful comforter, set of sheets, Euro shams, standard shams and several toss pillows.  "I'll take everything on the display bed", I told the salesperson.  Again, that awesome 20% coupon and free shipping right to the boat.  By now, KKY's office must resemble a furniture warehouse - and my 2 leather club chairs haven't arrived yet!  Not quite finished, I shared the wealth and ordered twin sheet sets for the guest stateroom and another set of queen sheets for the apartment from Macy's.  I did so much shopping in one day that both Macy's and Visa called to check my sanity - specially with all the shipping to different addresses going on.  Well, at least they're paying attention.

So with all this prattling, there is not one picture to show for it, just endless words.  I promise you pictures of everything during my visit next month.  It'll be a very busy visit since I'll be moving everything out of my storage bin onto the boat, provisioning the larder (and wine fridge) and registering the boat.  I'm planning on making time to party with the KKY folks already ensconced in their winter slips (lucky devils) and acquainting myself with that scary engine room.

Several folks have been aboard Olympia since she returned from FLIBS and the words used to describe her are always similar - "stunning" is the most frequently occurring, followed by "gorgeous", "beautiful", "humongous salon and galley area" and "wow".   All these words are music to my ears as I puff with pride like a new mom.

Please feel free to make an appointment to see my beautiful new girl if you happen to find yourself in Stuart.  Better still, if you're in the neighborhood next month, stop by to say hello.  I'll be at Apex Marina until January 1st, right down the road from KKY.

Thanks for your patience during my dry spell this past week.  Moving is overrated and I promise myself to move no more - that is, after my move onto Olympia.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Moved in,

Well, I'm moved in, the mountain of boxes diminished but the amount of "stuff" is still overwhelming.  I really thought I downsized when moving from the house to the first apartment - guess not as much as I thought.

My laptop refuses to connect to the internet so I'm typing away on my iPad. For the latest pictures of Olympia, please visit Kadey Krogen's website ( & go to their blog.  She looks magnificent!  I've gotten the most incredible & lovely comments from those who have seen those pictures.  There was also a mention of her in KKY's newsletter, Navaid.

I'm still making boat decisions - chose the canvas package yesterday. Going with individual window covers for the pilot house windows in spruce green to compliment the bow stripe.  Had the full wrap on Serenity but awkward to handle & no flexibility - the cover was either all on or all off.  Decided against white cause the wipers discolored the covers & were very obvious when on. The dark green blends against the dark windows.  Also will cover the side pilot house windows & got covers that attach to the Dutch doors with suction cups.  Hopefully those sleeping in the pilot house will have a small modicum of privacy - as long as the lights are off!  The wing stations will be covered as will the BBQ grill.  I detest the look of dirty white fenders so, they too will be covered  with the same fabric (Sunbrella) in forest green. Way easier to wash the fender covers than to scrub those fenders.  That effort will be directed towards keeping the power cable clean!

So, the planning continues for Olympia's christening & party (1/31/15), boxes keep arriving at KKY's office & I am counting down the days until my trip next month.  I actually packed a suitcase of summer clothes that I'll take to the boat next trip - leaves more room in the closets here for those awful winter things!

So please check out Olympia's show pictures until I get back there to send more.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Forgive Me!

So sorry for silence/absence.

Movers coming at 8 am Monday and I haven't finished packing yet.  Making progress, but still lots of stuff to deal with.

Going to the new apartment with the cleaning girl in tow to freshen up the place tomorrow morning, then will make many trips with the stuff I want to move myself, including my outfit for the wedding I'm going to next week.  Imagine trying to find the exact dress and shoes I need after being in a new place for 5 days!?  Yikes!

Though packing is beyond onerous, I did find time to attend a Broadway play with a golf friend last night.  We saw Edward Albee's "A Delicate Balance".  It was excellent, but a little much for a Thursday night.  The play didn't end until 10:45 and we still had an hour's drive ahead of us.  I broke down and enlisted the help of Wiggles favorite rider/caretaker to help me with him tomorrow and Sunday.  Though I'll still stop to see him and fluff his stall, no riding for me this weekend.  There's only so much 1 person can accomplish in a day.  Well, not the whole's Restaurant Week on Long Island, so I'm going to a dinner with paired wines with 2 friends from my bereavement group.  I can't very well pack all day, can I?  I'd go out of my mind - along with everyone in my path.

John at KKY sent me a fantastic picture of Olympia's salon and galley that was featured in Yachting Magazine!   So exciting to see her in a real magazine.  Check out the caption under the picture.  They have good taste, cause that staircase is way cool!

I have a feeling that this will be the first of many pictures.  Wait til she's dressed in her own clothes!

Hopefully, this picture will help you forgive my absence.  I probably won't be back for awhile since my internet and wifi won't be installed until Tuesday.  If anything newsworthy happens between now and then (short of me being committed for insanity), I'll make sure you know about it.

Hang in there folks and wish me well as I embark on this move - again.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Taking a break from packing - a week from tomorrow is the big day.  Though I'm trying not to panic as I look around, I feel the stirrings of panic beginning to make themselves known.  It's hard to just pack, given my crazy schedule.   Last night I went into the city with 8 other members of my bereavement group.  I have to tell you with a touch of chagrin, that we did not look bereaved as we danced into the small hours.  Before I say too much, let's get on with the pictures.  I hear you.

We're going to get technical tonight with pictures of the helm and one (just one for now) of the engine room.  The helm truly was the epitome of "it takes a village".  I said that before about another of my undertakings in getting this boat built.  Helm discussions began when Serenity had recently sold in Stuart in June, 2013.  The vendor came aboard to see our helm and used that as a "jumping off" place.  Good thing, because in the absence of my beloved Tom, those were not easy decisions.  I may be a lot of things, but savvy about navigation, etc. just isn't one of them.  Once the navigation suite was selected (that wasn't too hard since I knew Garmin was the way I was going), then all the other questions began to pop up.  Decisions were made along the way and finalized during a 3 hour marathon meeting when I was in Stuart during late August.  During the Rendezvous, the vendor sent several mock-ups of the helm, using instrument decals as models.  Imagine trying to decide on gauges, monitors,  and other things that weren't very easy to see by looking at a cellphone display!  That wasn't happening, so I bargained for time by arranging to be aboard Olympia to make those important decisions.

I think things turned out pretty well.  Comforting to know that if I decide to re-locate certain things, it won't be the end of the world.  A new piece of cherry can be installed and the new cutouts made.
Since I'm in no way in need of every bell and whistle offered, I went with the best my budget would allow and am starting with what I need to navigate safely and intelligently.

So, here goes...

I kept the 15" screens Tom wanted.  They got the job done very nicely on Serenity.  I added dedicated wind direction/speed and depth gauges so they would be in my line of sight at all times.  Below those gauges and closest to my right hand is the auto pilot, essential on long voyages  I got a remote for it as well, a creature comfort to be sure.  There is one VHF radio with remote mike (to the right and a bit below the wheel) and another radio mounted in the aft salon cabinet.  This radio has a wireless mike that can be taken with me when not in the pilot house. This way I can listen to the radio when I'm anywhere on the boat and respond without having to dash up the stairs.  There is a Fusion stereo radio beneath the VHF and the stabilizer monitor below that.

These are the John Deere gauges - one set for each engine.  I'm very comfortable looking at those gauges, it is the one area I don't need to learn from the bottom up.  The rudder angle indicator is to the left of the gauges, the wiper controls beneath that and the horn pad to the left of everything.  I never imagined there could be so many functions for a mere horn.

A closer look at some instruments...

This is a closer look at the horn pad I mentioned.  How many buttons does it take to blow a horn???  Even the wipers have to get in on the party and get complicated!

Stabilizer controls - those little green buttons have a life of their own.  This control I will learn to use in record time.  It doesn't take much to bring on that cold sweat on my upper lip (remember the story of For Us's sea trial in NC)?

The electrical panels are so easy to read on this boat!  On Serenity, I had to go up the steps to the pilot house, sit on the top step and peer into the cabinet - with the help of a flashlight.

They're even nice to look at!


All of these panels are located in the companionway, to port just before the door to the guest head.  They're at eye level for the most part, but at 5'6", I have no trouble seeing the top switches.  They're behind smoked glass doors, so completely unobtrusive, yet easily seen when necessary.

This is the one engine room (for this post at least) I promised you...

Here I am surrounded by my sweet engines - and other things still foreign to me!   I did hear those engines run during my visit.  Gave me goosebumps!

One more picture of the cable in the cockpit...

I love the fact that everything is located in one area of the cockpit to starboard.  The rest of the cockpit is sleek and clean.  Great thinking and design!

Well, that's it folks.  I rolled in early this morning at 2 am, so need to try to make up a little bit of sleep.  It's 11:40, so not likely.  More packing tomorrow, but will try to get some engine room pictures up this week.

Have a great week!