Friday, December 18, 2009

You Only Die Twice

After 8 days in a drug induced coma, fighting pneumonia, and some bleeding after the stent procedure, Dad woke up! He was still on the ventilator, half drugged with the Michael Jackson drug and obviously uncomfortable, but in order to extubate (take the breathing tube out) he had to pass some breathing and response tests. It was up and down for a couple of days, as he was not able to respond properly, but on day 10, the breathing tube came out, and he took his first breath of his second life.

After that, his progress was astounding. Within two hours he was sitting in a chair, talking, albeit very quietly, and eating jello. Then came standing, and, 3 days after the tube came out, and 13 days after the cardiac arrest, he was walking.

He had no idea what happened, and slowly began to ask questions. Mom wanted to protect him from the full truth, but being the smart man that he is he asked some poignant questions that I had to answer. Did he have a heart attack? Yes. Did they have to shock him? Yes. More then once? Yes. How many times? 6.

Everyone called him a very lucky man. The fact that he had arrested in the emergency room, on the bed with the doctors next to him, was the only thing that not only saved his life, but prevented any damage to his heart and brain. There are no words to describe how grateful we are that things turned out like they did.

So... now for a couple of funny moments at the ICU. The dialog below was all said in a funny Polish accent. (yes, we are all Polaks livin' the dream in the USA)

Nurse: Has he woken up yet?
Mom: No, but the doctor said it is because he was seduced for 8 days (She meant sedated)

Doctor: Are you still seeing double? (After Dad woke up he was having some double vision)
Dad: Yes
Doctor: The MRI doesn't show any damage, so this will probably clear up in a couple of days. For now just enjoy having two wives.
Dad: Yes, her four boobs are very nice.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

day 4 (400?)


Still here, in ICU, waiting. My mom and I stare at the various machines, red lines, blue lines, blinking lines, blood pressure numbers, heart rate numbers, baloon pump numbers... its all foreign and frightening. We jump at every beep, eyes wide, hands shaking. The ventilator makes a sucking sound, dad coughs, nurse comes in and sucks goop from the lines. Waiting for the lung doctor to give the ok to remove the ventilator. The sedatives are slowly being weaned but Dad has to follow commands for the tubes to be removed. We're waiting. Its all in his time now. His heart somehow sustained no damage after the arrest. Its beating on his own now. Its so surreal to sit in his room and see him like this. Why am I blogging about this?I think the point is to impress on anyone reading this... you are a miracle! Appreciate it NOW!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Turkey Day 2009


It seems like a year since this past Thanksgiving. So much has happened since then. More on that later, but first I have to catch up. We spent Turkey day with Maggie's Mom and Dad, Barbra and Ryszard Sudnik. They are two of the nicest people you could ever hope to meet, and I am not just saying that because I know they will probably be reading this. We had a really great time and if it weren't for Billy waiting impatiently at home buy his dwindling supply of dry food, we would have stayed for much longer. We were spoiled with fine foods, long hot showers, a real mattress (king size I should add), and all of the fineries and conveniences suburban life on land provide.

Even chopper was ready to move in. I am not sure his uncle Jake approved of chopper having his way with his toy supply, but he remained hospitable.

We all helped create the Thanksgiving feast. I did some chopping. I have started out with pictures of me doing some work so it would look like I was more involved. Actually I stayed out of the way most of the day, and tried to score as many snacks as possible. It was hard work but somebody had to do it.

Maggie was very proud of me.

The Sudnik family in action. Just look at the activity. How do they expect me to snack with so much work going on?

Ryszard was in charge of the bird. He got a Kosher turkey and I am not sure what was different about it, but it required some figuring out. He read the label for some time before committing to unwrapping it. Just look at the concentration.

Finally he decided Kosher would be edible and removed the wrapper. Now he plucks. I didn't know turkeys came with feathers still on. Maybe just Kosher turkeys.

Maggie cooks the Cranberries. Yummy! And the Cranberries look nice too.

They have a very fancy oven that also took a great deal of figuring out. There was some discussion in Polish and a beeping sound that wouldn't stop. Finally Barbra and Ryszard were able to figure it out and the meal preparations continued as before. What a team.

I wasn't the only one snapping pictures. Here, Barbra captures a moment when Ryszard and I are looking up a polish dish he was telling me about. It is some kind of grey jello type thing that you pour vinegar on before eating. Sounds weird. The English name for it is Aspic. He pronounced it "ass Piece", and we all laughed a long time.

Chopper and Jake were playing jealously the entire trip. Here Jake is rolling on top of the ball he has just stolen from Chopper.

Here Chopper is Stealing it back.

And here he is running away with it.

Maggie is a good potato peeler. Must have been the way they punished her as a child.

Ryszard was also in charge of the wine.

Maggie and Barbra put the finishing touches on the flaming hot brussel sprouts. As I understand, the hot peppers were a mistake. But some of life's greatest discoveries have been made by accident. I will never eat brussel sprouts without hot peppers again.

Barbra checks the spread and lets eat!! It was a perfect day and a perfect meal. One of the best Thanksgivings I have had.

In spite of the great time bad news was delivered just as we were readying to head back home. I received a call from my dad who said my Grandmother, his Mother, had passed away. She went peacefully in her sleep after having Alzheimer's for seven years. I had to rush away as soon as I got back home, to go to the funeral. We had a beautiful service for her and celebrated her amazing life of 92 years with family and friends. It was a gathering she would have really enjoyed.
To add to the bad news, this past Sunday Ryszard suffered a massive heart attack. He was fortunate to have been in the hospital when it happened due to chest pain earlier. The doctors were able to give him immediate care, without which he would have certainly not made it. They did surgery and he is now in a drug induced coma being kept going with machines. We are confident that he is going to have a complete recovery with God's help. We are all sending him our love and our prayers and trusting God to see him through all of this. We are also praying for Barbra who was with him through the attack. I can't imagine the horror she must have felt as she saw her beloved husband dying before her eyes. She is an amazing person and I know that God will see her through all of this. I love you Barbra and I look forward to many more holidays with you and Ryszard. Ryszard, get well, I love you too.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Inspiration vs. Perspiration (Maiden Voyage)

Propelled by the invisible, yet all pervading power of WIND, we sailed Me Voy! Magical ride. OK well, if you want to get picky about it, we did rely on Tow Jamm to get out of our tight little spot in the Oxford Marina, but, after that, it was all wind, all the way.

Now I don't know much about sailing and I still have that slightly woozy surreal feeling when I look at Me Voy floating in the water but, it seems, just seems, that sailing is about 90% inspiration and 10%perspiration.
(Not counting that stanky odor of hard work,that went into getting her this far, of course) What I mean is, sailing was actually relaxing, and pleasant, and fun. There were moments of intense activity, like when we touched bottom once and everyone sprang to action. But unlike our one past sailing experience where we knew nothing about anything, and freaked out at the smallest heel of the boat, no one freaked out about anything on this trip, and we all worked together to keep her on track.No wonder really old people can do this! (If there are any really old people reading this, I'm not talking about you, I'm talking about really old people... )

Don't get me wrong, I know there will be times when I will want to go below and suck my thumb in a fetal position while cursing the day I ever thought sailing was a good idea, but, this was not that day, and I am inflated with our success, and therefore saying reckless things sailing is Awesome!

Docking, however, is tricky. I did get our
dock meister Bill (who for some reason is kissing my hand in this pic) to assist us when we come in, and he turned up with half the marina ready to grab a line. This was reassuring, in the kind of way that seeing a familiar face in a crowd of strangers is reassuring. Yes reassuring, but not really helpful, because that familiar face turns out to be only an aquaintance, and you realize that its still up to you. So... it was still up to us to maneuver Me Voy, in the dark, into a little slip, under sail, with the wind against us, and our helpful line grabbers shouting things like, "Go that way!" "Starboard!" "The other way!" Well you get the drift, it was tricky.

After the helpers stopped giving helpful pointers, we managed to squeeze into our spot, absorb some ooohs and ahhhs, clean up a bit, and crawl into bed next to Billy, who was wondering where the hell we've been the last three days, and why we smelled like the wind.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


is the day. Me Voy looks ready to go. Passersby ask us if we're heading South and look dismayed when we say we're headed North. We estimate a 10 hr. sail. No engine, going it ol school, except for our Raymarine instruments that shine with confidence in the cockpit. Got Boat US insurance for towing. What a great deal no one told us about! They're towing us from the marina out to the river, and setting us SAIL.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


It was a beautiful day. Sunny, 70 degrees and dead calm, very unusal for November in Maryland. A good omen, said our friend Richard (seen here toasting Me Voy), especially since it was cold and dreary the week before, and warm but rainy ever since. Another good omen, was the surprising appearance of two of our boatyard friends Henry and Karen (also in the picture).We met them three years ago as we began working on Me Voy, but they bought a house and we have not seen them since, until, that is, this beautiful day, when out of the blue they appear just as Me Voy is ready to splash in. Their appearance coupled with Me Voy's smile, the bubbly champagne, and that gorgeous blue sky, made me burst with joy. But, I'm getting ahead of myself...

The day was filled with moments of intense action , unspeakable excitement, and unbearable waiting. For the most part we tried to stay out of the way and let the boatyard guys do their thing. There was some touch ups to be done as the jacks supporting our sweet Me Voy were taken away, and again later when she was put into straps at the travel lift.

The best moment was when she was gently lowered into the water and FLOATED all on her own. Travis was first aboard to check for leaks. He had a near heart attack as he noticed some water coming in around the depth sounder, but being the awesome Mr. Fix it that he is, he soon had that worked out, and came out from below with a big grin and two thumbs in the air. We are dry AND floating. Now it was time to toast!

So you'd think that would be enough excitemtent, right. But wait, seems like something is missing.

Yup there was still the mast to step. The riggers got a kick out of the peso that layed patiently waiting to be smothered by 60' of wood . That was one tradition I had to observe, after reading to what happens to people who don't put a coin under the mast. Bad, bad things happen to those people.

Everything again went beautifully. The calm conditions made the rigger's work a pleasure, and the mast was soon standing where it belonged. Now T and I hooked up the standing rigging, and there it was.
Check out Chopper's lizard tongue!

Funny enough as we were nearing the completion of the rig set up ,the weather began to turn. First wispy clouds, then dense clouds, and soon misty rain followed by what has now been five days of rain. I had to leave for B-more soon after the mast was up and have yet to spend a night aboard Me Voy as she (still!) floats in the water. T and Chopper have been staying on her, continuing to work on the rest of the rigging, getting her ready for our maiden sail. Did you hear THAT? For real, really absorb that for a moment...That's right, we (and some more experienced sailing friends) are sailing Me Voy to our marina in Baltimore. This storm system that has brough so much rain and wind, is passing us Sun. and on Tues the winds are favorable. That is when plan to depart Oxford and make the 100 nautical mile trip to Baltimore. ahjdhtoaplfnfhs!!!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Chaos in the belly

Tomorrow we are launching Me Voy and stepping her mast! T has been working non-stop on the rig, staying on the Eastern shore, amid the chaos on Me Voy. He joined the growing number of unemployed this week, as E Yacht Builders have no new boat commissions. We both have high hopes as to the things he'll be able to accomplish on both boats during the time off. The funny coincidence is that I got a raise in both of my freelance gigs at the same time. So once again the tables have turned, T is now the "housewife" and I'm again the "bread-winer". Life is amazing!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Schizophrenic Boatwork

Between getting L.M ready for winter, Me Voy ready for launch, Chopper's stubborn eye infection, working jobs, revamping my website, and just living, well...phew!

Our ride to Me Voy is 1 1/2 hrs, this is the Bay bridge over the Chesapeake

Me Voy is in a state of Deep Chaos as Travis works on wiring
I being painting the mast

We had to flip the mast over, which wasn't as hard as it sounded, but look how flexible the mast is. It looks like its bent in this pic.

The varnish on the mast was beautiful, but too much to keep up with, and it would have needed many more coats, so we made this scallop which is going to be right at the boom. I think this is going to looks so sharp!

Chopper Fit! And here we go back over the bridge to Baltimore.

Now back on Lucy Maru this is the last of the rotten deck to be replaced

Plywood going in

It looks like magic in picture but this was hours of work. And, even though it looks like T is doing all the work, well for some reason all the pics of me cutting, grinding, sanding, epoxing were filled with blinding light. I know I wasn't having that good of a time!

Deck before primer

Deck primered, Chopper approves

Check out our cool roll up willow shades. I love them. This aft deck still needs to get doors and a railing and canvas. You can't really see in this pic, but that's our industrial singer sewing machine, ready to go. We got it for free, from this seamstress, all we had to do was carry it up three flights of stairs, since she sewed in the basement. It was so worth it. (T did have the heavy end)

Sanded and faired deck house

Primered deck house with winter canvas

And there we float...

So yeah, I'm beat. Now a walk with the dog, a Hollywood shower and a cheesy chick flick.
Very un-Halloween like, but really, do you think I a care?