My bout with my beloved boater

When you think of someone living on a boat, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? What do you imagine it to look like? Under what circumstances do you suppose would precipitate a person choosing to live on a boat?

Needless to say, the idea has never appealed to me. Not even on a million dollar yacht, would I choose to live, unless the alternative was homelessness perhaps. Unless my finances were in such serious arrears (which, by the way, is today’s Word of the Day by that I had no other choice, I could not see myself living on a boat. But that’s just me, or so I thought. I know someone else who says it would be living his dream.

“Wouldn’t you get lonely?” I questioned, although he’s probably the biggest “loner” I ever have met, to which he replied, “No, I’d have you with me!” “Oh really!” I exclaimed and then laughed, “You would really want me to live on a boat with you?” “Of course!” he said, “but I don’t know how you’d do. You couldn’t bring a bunch of stuff, it’s just the bare necessities on a boat.” I felt a twinge of fear at the mere thought of this and then chuckled when I thought, well, I am an all-or-nothing kind of person!

A bit later, I thought about all of the things on my never-ending to-do list. The many things I feel I need to do, the things I want to do, and the things I told others I would do, weighed heavily on my mind. Just think of how many things would be eliminated from my list if we lived on a boat, I mused to myself. Just think of how much time I would have to do all the things I want to do most in this life if we lived on a boat! My excitement surprised me.

Upon seeing today’s Word of the Day, I first thought of when it would have applied to my financial health. Thankful to no longer be in such a situation, my attention turned to the phone calls from friends I need to return, my over-grown garden, and lots of laundry. I was somewhat surprised at how feeling overwhelmed due to arrears  is the same for me, whether the cause is finances, friendships or chores.

Meaning the state of being behind or late, especially in the fulfillment of a duty, promise, obligation, or the like, the word arrears [uh-reerz] is a plural noun and, according to, idioms, when talking about being in arrears. So that feeling, for me, really stems from me not fulfilling an obligation, whatever it is. The solution? Well, picking up the phone is a start. Whether it is to straighten out finances or catch up with a friend, merely making the attempt eases the overwhelming feelings. Or I could just sail away with my husband.


Killing Words

Most people have heard of homicide, but what about the word verbicide? My first thought upon seeing this Word of the Day was that just as Homo, as in Homo sapiens, is a human, verb is a word. In other words, just as homicide means killing another person, verbicide is the killing of a word. Sort of.

Oliver Wendell Holmes compared homicide and verbicide in The Atlantic Monthly in 1857, saying that life and language are both sacred. “That is,” he wrote, “violent treatment of a word with fatal results to its legitimate meaning, which is its life – are alike forbidden.” According to the definition by, the distortion or depreciation of the meaning of such word must be done willfully for it to be considered verbicide. Not like when my husband (soon-to-be then) asked my mom who “Carte Blanche” was when she informed him that she had (her, it) to choose the flowers for our wedding. No, he didn’t commit verbicide that day, he had just never heard of “carte blanche” before. He’s likely to never forget what it means now, over twenty years later it is still one of my favorite wedding stories. Thankfully, he’s a good sport.

I was going to say that the next time you think about deliberately changing the meaning of a word by the way you use it, keep in mind that it’s verbicide and you might decide against it. However, upon second thought of this statement, I wonder about using a pun. Perhaps I’ll look further into the differences tomorrow, if there are any, but until then I’m done!

Vain People or Vane People?

You’re so vain, you probably think this blog is about you… Oops, wait a minute – back up. Sorry, wrong vain. I meant to say – You’re so vane, no one can ever count on you, and of course I am talking to those who change their minds with the wind. Yep, according to, today’s Word of the Day, vane, refers to people as well as a weather vane and six other items. If you didn’t know that, then you have learned something new today!

Word up – One way to win a conversation

“Appealing to one’s prejudices, emotions, or special interests rather than to one’s intellect or reason,” is the definition of today’s Word of the Day by… do you know what it is? The second definition of this adjective is “attacking an opponent’s character rather than answering his argument,” and no, the answer is not politician. Besides, that would be a noun. We are looking for the adjective that describes the politician. The word we are looking for today is ad hominem.

John Locke is quoted using this word in An Essay Concerning Human Understanding from 1960. Locke writes, “…a third way is to press a man with consequences drawn from his own principles or concessions. This is already known under the name argumentum ad hominem.” This quote also comes from and I can only guess what he means about a third way to… what? Appeal to the man’s prejudices and emotions or attack his character? I guess either one would work.

So there you have it. Sometimes focusing on the fluff and not the real stuff is the only way out of a conversation. For example, if your neighbor can’t stop talking about what a great experience going to a NASCAR race is, and won’t stop trying to talk you into going, an ad hominem remark might work. If he doesn’t want you to know how redneck he really is, then saying something such as, “Ya, I could arrange a church field-trip and change the stereotype of NASCAR fans around the world,” just might do the trick.

Without a Paddle?

IMG_1076What’s worse than finding yourself up a creek without a paddle? How about out in the Gulf without one? The Gulf of Mexico, that is. At least in a creek, your odds of drifting to shore somewhere nearby are a whole lot better.

If you have read my blog about our recent vacation to the Florida Keys ( (currently working on new location), you probably know where I am going with this. But if not, I will fill you in on what makes for a great substitute paddle. First of all though, let me say that I do not recommend replacing the paddle, something I think every boat should carry two of (2 – got that Dave?) at all times, but just in case you find yourself adrift with only one, and your ship-mate is hollering at you to find something to paddle with, anything to help their efforts of using the one on board, and to keep from going in circles, I’m here to tell you that a fin works just fine. I found that it was much more work on my arms than a paddle, but it did the job nonetheless. Of course, this would only be an option if you had snorkeling or scuba gear on-board, and fortunately, we did, since we had been out snorkeling.

Perhaps that’s what my husband was thinking all along in order to preserve our precious room aboard, which is fine – should he be the one leaning over the side of the boat pushing at the tide with a dive fin on his hand – but no, it wasn’t  like that. Did I get mad? Oh you bet I did! But I’m an adult, and have been trying to act like one, so it didn’t take me long to realize that I’m responsible for my own well-being and situations I put myself into. Okay, I lied, it took me a while to realize this. Initially, I felt that he should have taken a little better care of me after 20 years of marriage, but why? Where did this idea come from? What’s wrong with me taking care of me? What if he expected the same? I don’t know, but one thing’s for sure – 2 decades after saying “I do,” I continue to willingly play in the mud with him and then get mad when I get dirty. Now whose fault is that?

The fact of the matter is, I have more fun with him – broke down in the middle of a mud pit or stranded out in the Gulf of Mexico – than it’s worth getting upset about. And it is possible to make the upsetting stuff not so upsetting. I mean, who doesn’t love a good story? And that’s what made my paddling do-able – thinking of the story I was going to make of it, which brought on an entire new blog. And by the way, Dave offered to use the fin, and asked me more than once if I wanted to trade, but don’t you know, I had to be the one suffering in this story, so I told him, “No, I’m FINE.” And the poor guy believed me.

It all turned out fine though, and I would repeat the whole trip in an instant. You can read about it on my new WordPress blog – As Susie Sees It (will let you know). And in the meantime, if you’re going out on a boat, don’t forget the paddles! Both of them!

And as always, thanks for stopping by.

Don’t Know Where To Go, Go See A Show!

“Go see a show,” a fun solution if you ever have the opportunity to do so.  The Kravis Center in downtown West Palm Beach is a gorgeous theater, just going there was a treat.  And although I had never heard of Chick Corea or Bela Fleck before my husband informed me he was going to see them in concert and would love it if I would accompany him, I thoroughly enjoyed the show.


The piano and banjo, that’s all they play, for over two hours.  I was surprised at how fast the time flew.  I was surprised at how good I felt on the way out.  I was surprised on the way home when I realized that I hadn’t thought of anything else, which is a good thing.  Sometimes clearing your mind and not thinking about the weight of your world does wonders.  Going to a show is likely to accomplish just that.

Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers featuring Edie Brickell will be at the Kravis Center in May, I’d like to go to that.  Steve Martin plays the banjo, in case you didn’t know.  Another thing I didn’t know is that you can see most shows there for only twenty-five bucks.  A Good Deal!  So next time you are looking to do something and don’t know what to do or where to go, find your local theater and go see a show!

Recycle, Reduce, Reuse

Do you know a pack-rat?  How about a hoarder?  Is there a difference?  My husband could point out a few that we know but don’t you dare lump him in that category.  No, he is what he calls a frugal builder.

It started when he was 10 and the neighbor gave him some wood he had in his garage to build a tree fort.  A few decades later and now a contractor, my husband Dave rarely passes up an opportunity to bring home the freebies.  Plywood, posts, studs and blocks, both glass and concrete, those are things I can look forward to him getting excited about.

Usually, he has no idea what the item will be used for, he just knows that someday it will come in handy for someone or something.  Like last fall, he made the platform for the Relay for Life float in the Acreage Parade completely out of freebies.  And after the parade, the material got dismantled and put back in the shop for whenever it is needed again.  Probably for the wall of hope needed next month.

What I used to hound him for, bringing each and every thing he could re-use home with him, I am now grateful for.  It’s funny how life turns around.  I’m sure having it in his shop versus our living room makes a big difference too.  And one last thing – if you are a saver of your stuff, that’s fine, just make sure you re-use!


Hang Around Long Enough, You’ll Need A Slim Shim

Today’s tip involves some tactics that may be a little much for the average person to perform, but if you know your way around tools and are handy around the house, then you could probably pull it off.  But unless you have a slightly off-kilter door in need of adjusting, my solution will mean little to you anyway.

So let’s say you have an interior door that is having a problem latching.  The strike-plate, where the doorknob’s insides latch into the hole, is probably a little too high or low, and therefore the latch won’t catch.  If the hole is higher than the latch on the door, the door needs to be raised ever so slightly.  One way to do this is to put a small shim under the door’s hinge.  First, cut a small piece of cardboard (I used a diet coke box) a little smaller than the hinge on the door jam, or the frame of the door.  Unscrew the bottom hinge on the frame (not the door), slip the piece of cardboard under the hinge, and screw it back in.

This may seem silly to some, but before you seek out your screwdriver make sure you comply with any rules your community may have about stuff like this.  I know of an association that could very  well say you need a permit because technically, in a very obscure way, you are hanging a door.  So understand how some may see it as way more than it actually is, but don’t make it more than it is either, if you are thinking about performing this fix.


Green Eggs And Ham, Break The Fast Ma’am

In my whole forty-something years of living, I have never heard, until the other day that is, that breakfast literally means break a fast.  Of all the people I have told this interesting tidbit to, I’m the only one who just recently found this out.

My dad also shared a tidbit with me about breakfast, though I believe the original source was Dr. Oz from the TV show.  He said that you should eat protein within thirty minutes of waking up.  From what I remember, you will be more energetic, crave sugar less (if you do), and it aids in weight loss.  Speaking of Dr. Oz, he will be in town here on Saturday, March 23, at the Gardens Mall, in case you are interested.

So who’s with me on eating some protein after waking in order to break the fast we’ve been in?