Written by Captain Mary on Saturday, July 21, 2012

A regular Friday and the end of my work week quickly approaching. Busy finishing the last bit of work and I receive an unexpected phone call from my sister Cheryl, who lives about 6 hours away. The funny part of the story is that I had been thinking about her, knowing she was in the area of the Aurora, Colorado shooting at the movie theater. I had left a message of concern, and asked when she was coming home on her FB page. I sometimes think that we share a bit of telepathy between siblings. We often call each other when we are thinking about each other. If I think long and hard enough they will call and the opposite applies to them.

Cher was at the Tampa airport when getting a call from a friend who needed to see her, and by the time she realized where her friend was staying she was only a hour from my house. A great opportunity for us to get together and an opportunity for her to have a bit of a pit stop before traveling again toward home.

After some small delays we headed out to dinner, after 9 pm, and had some of the best service ever. We enjoyed each others conversation. We talked about travels and experiences and some of the places we would love to go. A conversation right up my alley, I don't know if I could ever travel enough. Cher is quite the traveler also and we agreed that a trip to Alaska would be great. I was planning a trip to Alaska with my best friend Margo for 2013 and I see no reason not to add one more person to the fun. Margo and Cheryl are great travelers, both very close to my heart.

I can only hope that business continues and I can save enough for this quite expensive land and sea journey to Alaska. I have a great travel agent and she has never let me down.

Today, I did nothing much except think about a great Friday night with one of my sisters. I know one thing for certain, I never have enough time with my siblings, and I cherish every moment with them. The sound of their voice and an embrace makes my day. I wish for everyone to have a family like mine, love is a special thing between family.


Written by Captain Mary on Wednesday, July 11, 2012

I belong to the wonderful social club, "The Sons & Daughters of Italy". We have monthly meetings and we always bring something to eat, an Italian pot luck of sorts. I have an hour drive just to get to Key Largo, so after work, my time is limited to prepare something to share. This time I decided to prepare a dessert. While I was working I told my friend, Carolyn, she pulled her book out and suggested an amazing no muss no fuss recipe. She made a copy of the recipe for me and after work I headed to the grocery store. I wanted to be a bit creative and still follow the basic design. Kind of add and Italian touch to it.

A couple of angel food cakes, with filling, then covered with some cool whip, pineapples and cherries. I wanted to look for something special for the filling and while looking for mascarpone cheese I came across cheese cake filling, ready to use. Sounded great to me, I mixed the cheese cake filling with crushed pineapple and I created a very special dessert that the Italians went crazy over, this was the test. The club members don't hesitate to say if something is good or bad. Everyone who ate one piece came back for seconds, this wonderful no baking cake was just a matter of minutes to put together and was a fantastic hit.
Give it a try.


Written by Captain Mary on Sunday, July 08, 2012

Birthdays are something I would like to forget, but I do realize that we all have one day a year that is just for us. I have always thought that taking off on a trip somewhere is the way to celebrate my day. Well, I am right, but this time it was with my wonderful children.

I told my crew that I would love to go out on the boat, and I was accommodated well beyond my dreams. My day started early getting the supplies together to do all the things I wanted to do. I was uncertain about the weather, but it to was very accommodating. A few things went wrong, but that is what makes life challenging. Loaded up and on the road at about 6:30 AM, the first thing was my fishing license and wouldn't you know it, the website and phone lines for the State Licensing was down. Monica and Jason tried everything to get through to no avail.

I felt like the day would be perfect in spite of the little bump in the road, the boat now launched and the dock lines thrown away I got a feeling of peaceful indulgence. I can give credit for my gang for putting together this exhausting day, but I can't forget Jeff, Monica's long time beloved, who was feeling very ill. Jeff didn't even let on how sick he was until he could hardly manage to walk around. I have to give him a big thank you for his effort to make my day possible. I can't imagine anything that the gang wasn't prepared for.

We started out with a little trolling, a little bottom fishing, then the time to jump in and cool off was upon us. Jason had his little ones along and without complaint (much) they enjoyed the day with their Nana. We found beautiful little reefs, Monica and Jason did a little spearfishing. So much crammed into one day just for me. Anything I wanted to do was accommodated. We started to set up the diving equipment and all went well, Jason and I were the first ones in the water and even though we got the dive lines wrapped around the anchor line and I didn't have enough weight in my belt, it was a great dive. I was surprised how someone could get across "I told you so!", under water. After 20 or 30 minutes we went back to the boat and we heard a bang from the compressor, the production of air was now over. Even though we were done diving I just couldn't let it bother me, I only felt bad that the gang couldn't enjoy a dive too.

Time was passing and the day was coming to a close, along with the abundant food, drink and fun.We still had one more location to go to for a nice snorkel around a shallow wreck. The wreck was full of marine life, abundant in all species, the lobster sticking their heads out of reef, knowing the were not yet in season. I think they were mocking us. So close to shore and yet so abundant with life. The sense of being on the water is what I live for and my children know how to make my day special. This last location was perfect for ending the days adventure on the water.

My birthday was just perfect, I guess you never get too old to enjoy life. By the time we got home we were exhausted, but in a good way. Unloaded the boat and finally got home at about 10 PM. I slept like I hadn't slept in a long time. My phone messages were full of the rest of my family giving birthday wishes, I am so lucky to have a family like mine. I will remember my 57th birthday for years to come.