Sunday, December 25, 2011

Xmas 2011

Merry Happy Everyone! 

Holiday Letter 2011

Our sailboat themed Xmas tree
Official Holiday Letter 2011
Summary of 2010 and 2011 (missed last year)

Please read the following and circle the appropriate answers - honor system for grading (no need to respond or return answers to us)

In 2010 - Tom and Sabrina...
1.  Sold their Catalina 30 s/v Distant Drum
2.  Bought their first bluewater sailboat - a Caliber 40 LRC
3.  Named their new sailboat Honey Ryder
4.  All of the above

In 2010 - Tom and Sabrina...
1.  Sailed s/v Honey Ryder from Ft Walton FL to Panama City FL
2.  Sailed s/v Honey Ryder from Panama City FL across the Gulf of Mexico, thru the Keys and up to Brunswick GA in 7 days 19 hrs
3.  Enjoyed getting to know s/v Honey Ryder
4.  All of the above

In 2010 and 2011 - Tom and Sabrina....
1.  Sailed s/v Honey Ryder to Savannah twice and Charleston
2.  Sailed 1800 total nautical miles on s/v Honey Ryder
3.  Met many interesting and unique people in travels with s/v Honey Ryder
4.  All of the above

In 2010 and 2011 - Tom and Sabrina.....
1.  Became certified ASA Sailing Instructors - working for Kansas City Sailing
2.  Taught Intro to Sailing, ASA Basic Keelboat and Private lessons on Lake Perry KS
3.  Enjoyed meeting all the various students and sharing their passion for sailing
4.  All of the above

In 2010 and 2011 - Tom's appraisal firm...
1.  Experienced a slowing in business
2.  Saw continued foreclosures/workout orders
3.  Lumbered through the required new appraisal forms that greatly slow their workflow
4.  All of the above

In 2011 - Tom....
1.  Purchased a foreclosure house w/his business partner to rehab
2.  Worked almost every evening April - July to rehab this house
3.  Sold it at the end of September for asking price
4.  All of the above

In 2011 - Sabrina's career....
1.  Has continued with WKFS as an account executive
2.  Covers customers in 2/3 the state of Missouri
3.  Survived layoffs
4.  All of the above

Tom and Sabrina.....
1.  Wish all our family, friends and acquaintances the very best
2.  Hope for more tolerance and understanding in the world
3.  Look forward to the 2012 horizon and beyond
4.  All of the above
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Friday, December 23, 2011

Baking Day - more learning

Early on before we completely trashed her kitchen
Sailing Sista Margie is a fabulous cook and wonderful baker on top of being a kick ass sailor chick.  She agreed to teach me some of her baking secrets.  I used to bake when I was younger but the last 20 or so years I have gotten away from anything other than quick breads and mixes.  I had memories of baking being a precise science - so not me.  Toss a in a pinch of this and glob of that, is more my style
Margie's kitchen is well equipped and good size, perfect for our day of baking.
I showed up around 9am and we got started immediately.  First up - Sourdough Baguettes.  Margie had the starter already going from 3 days prior.  Starter -fyi shall be called The Beast going in "feed the beast."  We let that batch rise and got started on the Fast French Bread or Rolls.
The sourdough baguettes
We experiment as we went.  I used all purpose flour and Margie bread flour or combo.  Some experimentation was a result of someone (me) not reading the recipe correctly.  Turns out you can deviate some when baking whether on purpose or not.  Whew!  I did it all by hand, Margie used her food processor on at least one recipe.
The Fast French Rolls shaped and ready for baking
By this time we had dirtied a fair amount of dishes, floured the floor and ourselves and run off Margie's hubby, Sea Salt and the dog!  But there was no stopping us.
There wasn't a dish left clean by the time we were done
With the second batch rising, we dove into baking project #3 - Pumpkin Scones.  I put cinnamon chips and chopped crystallized ginger in my pumpkin scones.  Margie opted for dark chocolate and cinnamon chips in hers.  The last baking project was Basic English Scones.  Margie put currents in hers.  I left mine plain for various jam toppings later.
Right to left - Basic English Scone, with currents and Pumpkin
We continued along with all four baking projects, punching down the risen dough, shaping baguettes, loafs, rolls and the such and baking it all off.  There was only a short break for lunch and then back at it. 
Covered to rise again - dishes await us
Of course laughter and stories were present throughout.  When we had finally cleaned and dried the last of the dirty dishes and pulled the last baked good out of the oven, we collapsed on the kitchen stools with a bottle of white wine and begin sampling it all. 

Fruits of our labor or is that bread of our labor?

Simply YUMMY!
The difference between melted butter on top or not

It was such an enjoyable day.  I am excited to try out a few of these recipes at home and on s/v Honey Ryder.  Thank you to my dear friend Margie!  

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Xmas 2011 Holiday Song

Enjoy this unique holiday tune from a guy we all know!


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Xmas 2011

The colors of Xmas, no?  The above is as gorgeous as any holiday light display - at least to me.    

Thursday, December 8, 2011

HAM Thoughts

Tom listening in on SkyWarn Recognition Day - a nationwide HAM event
Some maybe be wondering "why would anyone get their HAM license unless it was just to goof around and have fun?  I mean it's old technology, right?  Why not just call people up on your cell phone?  Or the old land line phone - for those that still have them!  While sailing you can just use VHF or further off shore a sat phone ($$$), right?"
National Weather Service Training Center in KC

 Honestly I was sort of thinking the same thing to some extent while I was studying to take the test.  Why on earth does the annual MS150 charity bike ride use HAM instead of cell phones?
Well, have you ever been at a big sporting event and not been able to get cell service?  "All circuits are currently busy" Frustrating.  Or during a major catastrophe (tornado, hurricane, icy snow storm or such) ended up with no cell service?  Scary.  Land lines go down as well.  Power goes out.  After the Joplin F5 tornado, it was weeks and weeks until they had even a hint of services.  HAMS were used. 
HAM's across the country try to reach as many National Weather Service offices as possible on that day

It turns out that for all our advance technology (and it seems daily we have new high tech enhancements, new gadgets or flat out new technology)....our actual infrastructure is quite old and with city, state, government and company budgets stretched to breaking, our infrastructure is not being upgraded/replaced like it should.
What does this mean?  Older infrastructure is going to go down more frequently.  We are going to lose services.  Hum?  Something to think about.  Now off to the kitchen I go....for some reason I have a craving for bacon.
*And yes, I know it's Amateur Radio and they/we are amateur radio enthusiasts but that's just too long and HAM is funnier. 

Pumpkin Mousse

I have been thinking about pumpkin mousse on and off since October when we attended the Southern Living Taste Of Charleston.  There I sampled a deliciously light pumpkin mousse with just the right amount of spices.  I finally took a few minutes to try and make my own pumpkin mousse.  I scanned a few recipes online and then winged it.  Not too bad for a first attempt.  Crumbled ginger cookies in the bottom of the serving glass added a nice crunch.  It looks chunky in the above pic but that is only because I scooped this out of a much bigger bowl.   

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Learning Epoxy Fiberglass Repair

Winter has set in here on the central plains so no sailing.  This of course makes winter even longer.  To help us sailors get through the winter months, Kansas City Sailing puts on seminars and classes on various sailing topics;  paint and brightwork, splicing, coastal navigation and yesterday's session - Epoxy and Fiberglass Repair. 

For three hours Bruce lead us through the different products and techniques, demoing several along the way.  It was a fascinating way to spend a rainy, cold Saturday. 

Friday, December 2, 2011


There are just no other words.  This is full on sexy.  Who doesn't want to be part of the sailing community after watching this!  They say sailing is struggling as a sport/hobbie/lifestyle.  Not after videos like this.  YUM!
And yes, this is exactly what it's like on our boat each and every time- so to speak.  Yeah, right!  But hey, sexy sells!

*My sailing sistas - did you see it?  The sailing bruise?  Did you spot it on the sailing sista in the video?  (No, I don't expect the guys to see it even after multiple viewings.)  One of the sailing sistas in video has a sailing bruise.  You know the ones we get...big ass, ugly black, blue, purple, yellow bruises.  Our sailing badge after a particularly "unique" sailing adventure.  Yeah, it's ugly but we wear it proudly at work on Monday.  Other gals at work may have bruises but theirs are from yard work or house chores - weak!  Hee Hee.