Friday, May 12, 2017

The Mullet Man

The Island King were sitting in the boat last weekend watching a school of mullet swim by, making me wish we'd brought the mullet net.

After sitting a bit I went for a walk along the shore and when I looked up I saw the Mullet Man.

The Mullet Man is awesome. He's been running the Bay for years, catching mullet and selling them to the fish markets.

The Island King flagged him down but the Mullet Man told him he was on his way to make a big cast.

He did say he'd be right back though.

Sure enough, a few minutes later he came back.

We walked over to his boat and the Island King told him we wanted whatever $20 would get us.

He opened his cooler and let us pick the ones we wanted. Those fish weren't even dead yet which meant we were getting true “fresh” fish.

We'd point out ones we wanted (we prefer the smaller ones) and he'd stuff them in a 5 gallon bucket. He was also grabbing fish and putting them in the bucket so I don't know exactly how much $20 will get you but we finally had to tell him to stop because we had more than plenty.

Once we finished he was off to catch some more and we headed home to fry up some still flopping mullet for dinner.

We had so much that on the way home we talked about cooking some and then freezing the rest for bait.

It's a good thing we got so much though because when we got home there were 3 college kids and 4 teenagers hanging around the house.

The Island King couldn't cook that fish fast enough. He'd pull a batch out and it would disappear immediately.

In the end, everyone had full bellies and we still had a tiny bit left to freeze for bait.

Running into the Mullet Man is always a good thing.

DISCLAIMER: In a lot of places mullet is considered a trash fish. They are bottom feeders and if the bottom is silty or dirty, the meat will taste fishy and dirty. BUT our bays have clean, sandy white bottoms which means the meat from our local mullet has a nice, sweet flavor. If you're visiting Northwest Florida try some fried mullet. You'll be glad you did. 

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Meet Clarice

A few years ago we beached our boat on a deserted island and got out to do some exploring.

As I was wandering around the island, I looked over in a bush and saw a mannequin head.

She was looking right at me and I knew I had to help her. After all, she was stranded and helpless on this island.

I picked her up and proudly placed her on the bow of the boat for our ride home.

The Island King was a little creeped out by her but I knew he'd warm up to her after he got to know her.

I named her Clarice. Except, you have to say it in an Anthony Hopkins voice from Silence of the Lambs which actually sounds like “Claireece.”

Which means I get to say “Hello Claireece” whenever I see her.

The odd thing is that this is the same island my Dad found and rescued a different head on several months before me. 

Not sure what's going on out there but obviously it's not a safe place for mannequins to hang out.

I brought Clarice home, picked the seaweed out of her hair, gave her a bath and she now lives in my office.

And yes, I talk to her often.

Talking to her beats talking to Bob.

The Island King made Bob for me one day when I mentioned (sarcastically) that he never listens, which translates into I never have anyone to talk to.

I wonder sometimes if Bob and Clarice talk quietly among themselves when I'm not around.

The Island Girl looked at Clarice the other day and said “You are bats$&% crazy. I can picture you in a cemetery with that thing in the middle of the night like something out of the Garden of Good and Evil.”

I have no idea why she thinks that.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

The Oven Blew Up

Last night The Island Girl came home from school to spend the weekend. The Oldest Island Boy is staying in Gulf Breeze during the week to work and he came home for the weekend too so we decided to make a spaghetti feast to celebrate all of our birdies being in the nest.

The Island King was cooking and the Island Girl and I were sitting at the bar watching him. He put some garlic bread in the oven, turned on the broiler and turned back to talk to us.

Less than a minute later something in the oven started sparking. The Island Girl and I both yelled and as the Island King turned around sparks started flying and the burner split. The sparks kept flying and now we have a fire red burner acting like a welding rod.

He turned the oven off and even though we're yelling at him to get the breaker, he runs into the garage to and returns with a 2x4.

My house is absolute chaos at this point. The dog is barking, me and the kids are yelling and he's banging on this burner with the 2x4 like he can beat the fire out.

Now, I have to tell you that my husband was an actual – went to school and worked in Miami – firefighter.

Was” meaning back in 1980 something.

He's yelling that he knows what to do because he's been trained in this but really, you can't blame me for doubting him because I doubt that that at any point in his training was he told to grab a 2x4 and beat a fire out.

And, still, no one has turned the breaker off.

The 2x4 wasn't working so the man actually grabbed a cup of water and was going to throw it on the welding hot burner.

The Island Girl and I went nuts. “Don't throw water on an electrical fire”!

He's yelling that the oven is off and the burner is now an arc welder and that the fire isn't electrical.

Right about then the Island Girl and the Youngest Island Boy started yelling “get the fire extinguisher!” and the Oldest Island Boy says “he's insane – I'm going to turn the breaker off”

The Island King says no that we don't know which breaker and will have to through them all which means we'll be in the dark.

The Island Girl points out that he'll be able to see the fire in the dark and that she has a flashlight.

He's getting frustrated, more at us than at the actual welding rod thing going on in our oven, so as the Oldest and I are getting ready to throw the switch and kill everything in the house he grabs the fire extinguisher and hits the burner with it.

We went back in the kitchen as he opened the oven door and it was still burning so he hit it again with the fire extinguisher and slammed the door.

Which actually put the thing out.

Now, he will tell you that it burned itself out at the exact moment that he hit it with the fire extinguisher, which, in his mind, is why he had to do it twice, but the Island Girl swears that he just barely hit it the first time and that when he really hit it the second time – it went out.

I suppose that it could be pure coincidence, after all there are three astrological events happening tonight, but to be honest, I think the fire extinguisher did it.

So the oven fire/arcing welding rod is out but now my oven has been beat with a 2x4 and sprayed with a fire extinguisher.

What a mess those things make! Luckily most of it was contained to the kitchen but there is a thin layer of dust covering everything in the living room and the dining room.

Which does not surprise me considering I spent all day today dusting and mopping and cleaning.

Not surprisingly, the Island King has a completely different take on the situation but I guess we all see things differently in a crisis.

I do agree calm is something we should work on as a family – and maybe a lot of little common sense. The Oldest could teach the class because he assessed the situation and then decided to turn the breaker off.

Chaos at it's finest.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Dad Teaching Mom to Text

My parents are intelligent, educated people who cannot for the life of them figure out anything in the technology department created after the year 2000.

Dad and I were in Walmart one afternoon and he wanted to go through the self check out aisle but he didn't want me to help him – he's smart and should be able to work this machine with no problem.

So I watched while he swiped and swiped, occasionally hitting the bar code but most of the time not. I eventually stepped up and pointed out the bar code and he managed to move along.

But then he moved a bag or something and the woman's voice coming from the machine started telling him something about the bagging area.

He was already frustrated so that made him mad and he yelled at her (the voice in the machine) She repeated what she'd said before and that really pissed him off so he started pushing buttons and yelling back at her like you wouldn't believe.

The whole debacle was hysterical and the fact that people were staring at him just made everything even funnier.

And then it was time to pay.

Good grief, you'd think the world had ended when he pushed the wrong button and then the machine froze.

The rest is just a blur of him yelling and a cashier rushing over to escort him to the 'difficult folks' register and handled the rest of his transaction.

Three items and thirty minutes later we were on our way.

Later on I told my Mom about it and she said “Oh honey, never let him go through that aisle – he just can't do it and everybody in the store will think you're with an idiot.”

He is determined to keep up with technology but bless his heart, his smart phone is smarter than he is.

We have Iphones but he is against the “I Movement” so he's got a Motorola. Very cool phone with lots of features but I barely know how to use my own phone so telling him how to use his is impossible.

I got this text the other day.

I didn't hear from either one of them again so I assume the lesson went south pretty quick.

He has learned to talk to his phone to check the weather so he knows there is someone in there 😉

My Mom doesn't really care now that she's learned how to use Ebay, Amazon and Paypal. She has a landline in her home and a new cell phone that she turns off and can never find.

If she does find it all she can do is make and answer calls. I've talked to her about texting before and when her eyes glazed over I knew texting wasn't in her future.

I think Dad knows that now too.