Saturday, June 16, 2007

Done and Doing

Whew! Since the last post, we've been doing a lot here at the HandyHouse. The garden continues to grow, although erratically. There are watermelon vines all over the place, the corn has basically come to a standstill after an attack of some kind of caterpillar, the cucumber vines are growing and flowering but not fruiting (yet), and the bush beans are making a valiant effort. Those beans in the picture are ours. It's pretty exciting to see an end result to the effort, meager though this first product may be. I've had far less tasty outcomes to some of my past "experiments," so I can only be happy with the results so far.

Jeff started a "Couch to 5K" running program and has already completed his very first charity 5K, weeks before actually completing the program. The funds from the race are going to a new playground that will have complete access for disabled children. Check out his finish line photo--fantastically photogenic that man.

We also pulled out the scuba gear a few weeks ago and went diving in the Gulf. This was my first dive in my own backyard, amazingly enough, and it turned out to be the best dive we've ever experienced. Who knew! We visited a sunken barge named the R.J. Thompson (in the picture) and went to a strange outcrop called Table Rock, which pokes up in the middle of a sandy bottomed nowhere. Fish everywhere, a nurse shark, barracuda, all kinds of corals and sponges, and very clear water. I had no idea the Gulf could be like that. Nice to know we don't have to travel for days to enjoy the amazing beauty under the sea. I also learned that no matter what I do, I'm going to be seasick. Too bad!

See, you'd think that "seasick" would be the tip-off to avoid our next accomplishment, but no. Jeff and I signed up with the St. Pete Sailing Center and learned to sail keelboats! Check one off the "Life List." These are traditional, non-motorized sailboats (in our case, the Rhodes 19' sailboat like the ones in this picture). We took a weekend course, and then took a boat out ourselves the following weekend. It's a lot of fun, but more work than you'd think given how serene the boats look when you're standing on the shore and watching them float on by. Everything seems to need constant adjusting and tweaking and tacking and jibing and hauling in and out. Whew! Still, it's a good time, and we look forward to going out more. Part of the Sailing Center membership includes use of their boats when you please (and they're not being used for classes or races), so that's pretty swell--all the fun of boating with none of those pesky upkeep expenses. Just something to keep in mind for those folks who might want to visit and, oh, say, go out on a boat in grand Florida tradition. We promise not to sink you (intentionally).

That's it for the moment. Summer break with Jared starts in just a few days, which means a flurry of camp activity and a trip up north. We're looking forward to checking in with the Hoosier side of the family! Love to all.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think you were too young to remember our boat and all the work it entailed. That's why it didn't last too long. You'll love sailing though, it's so peaceful! However, watch out for those lulls! Be sure to allow plenty of time in case you can't get back to the dock when you planned!!

The garden looks great! I think you'll think the vegetables taste even better out of your own garden. It's a lot of work but very satisfying!

Jeff, good for you on the run! The picture of the artificial reef came out good! That must be so much fun!!

Sounds like you are having a great summer! Love you both, Mom