Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas Dinner In Congo

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Sunday, December 21, 2008


This is my husband Greg's boat. Here is all that technical stuff you guys like to know.

They are approx 12 miles off the coast of
Sola, Congo (Dem. Republic of The)-(Zaire)
Other names: Sola Bruges Saint Donat,Kuvu Sola Bruges-Saint Donat,Kuvu Sola,Bruges-Saint-Donat
Latitude -5.1500
Longitude 27.1000
Altitude 2080 ft
Time zone (est) UTC+2

Length Overall 210 ft (64.00 m)
Length between 202 ft (61.57 m)
PerpendicularsBeam 54 ft (16.50 m)
Depth 19 ft (5.80 m)
Operating Draft 16 ft (4.90 m)
Operating Displacement 3,571 lt (3628 mt)
Light Draft 7.9 ft (2.40 m)
Gross Registered Tonnage 1,702

Top Speed Max Draft 13 knots
Top Speed Light Draft 15 knots
Fuel Consumption at 4.9 m
DraftCruising Speed 12.5 knots 150 gph
Economical Speed 11 knots 120 gph

ABS classed DP2 Redundant Positioning System
2 Alstom ADP 21 consoles
2 Leica MX 420 / 2 DGPS
1 Cyscan Laser Reference Unit
2 Gill Wind Observer II Anemometers
2 Watson Vertical Reference Units
2 SG Brown Meridian Gyro
2 DP Alarm and Event Printers
2 x 4 kVA Uninterrupted Power Supply
1 Independent Joystick Control System

Total Installed Power 4,730 kW (6,342 hp)
Main Diesel Generators 2 x 1,825 kW (2,447 hp)
480 V / 60 Hz(Cummins QSK 60)
1 x 910 kW (1,220 hp)480 V / 60 Hz(Cummins KTA 38)
Emergency Generator 1 x 170 kW (228 hp)
480 V / 60 Hz(Cummins 6 CTA 8.3)
Main Propulsion 2 x 1,566 kW (2,100 hp)
Z drive, 360° azimuthing(Steerprop 20)
Bow Tunnel Thrusters 2 x 746 kW (1,000 hp)
CPP at 1,200 rpm(Berg 12S)

Rescue Boat 1 x MOB boat with davit
SOLAS cargo ship safetyequipment
Tugger Winch 1 x 12 st (11 mt) pull
Deck Cargo Crane 2 st @ 32.8 ft (1.8 mt @ 10 m)(optional)
Telescopic boom /Electro-hydraulic
Anchor Windlass
2Roll Reduction System
1 Roll Stabilization Tank
1 Off Ship Fire Fighting
2 pumps at 5,283 gal / min(optional) (1200 m3 / h) each
2 monitors at 5,283 gal / min(1200 m3 / h) each

2 Radars with ARPA
1 Navigation Gyro Compass
1 Autopilot
1 Depth Sounder
1 Speed Log
1 Radio System Compliant with GMDSS A3 Rules
1 EPIRB (2 radar transponders)
5 UHF,
4 VHF (bridge to bridge)
1 Weather Fax1 Navtex
1 PA / Loud Hailer

Fully Air-conditioned
Accommodations for 22 people
composed of:
4 x 1 man cabins
5 x 2 man cabins
2 x 4 man cabins
Provision Room,
Walk in Refrigerator 423 Ft3 (11.9 m3)
Walk in Freezer 335 Ft3 (9.5 m3

Type Platform Support Vessel
Owner Rigdon Marine Corporation
USCG Official # 1173548
Year Built 2005
Builder Bender Shipbuilding & Repair,Co, Inc. (USA)
Flag U.S.A.
Classification ABS+A1
Offshore supportvessel+AMS +DPS-2“circle E”, SOLAS, USCG
Subchapter L, Full Ocean
USCG Safety Standby EEP 100 endorsement by USCG
for safety standby service

Saturday, December 20, 2008

My First Week....

My first week at the sheriffs dept has been spent in class. On my first day I got back from lunch and found a beautiful bouquet of flowers and a nice Congratulations card from my neighbors on my desk. That was so sweet, I was so surprised and it makes me love each of them even more than I already do.

On Friday I won $50 at the Sheriff's Christmas Party as a door prize, that was great. So hopefully these are all good omens that this job will be wonderful.

Also on Friday we got to tour the jail. It is amazing seeing what types of people and issues will have to be dealt with. In one area of bad boys it was pretty much like being Jodi Foster in one particular scene of Silence of the Lambs. I have been informed it will most likely be a daily event.


There was a minor glitch with some of the classes uniforms. The man ordering them forgot one of the sheets with 4 of our orders so they didn't get ordered til much later. So I am not sure when they will come in. I will start my first day of on the job training on Tuesday and will have to do it in civies. I am looking forward to getting my uniforms though. I did get my badge and ID Card though.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Journey Never Ends........

My Sweet Baby Boy has been traveling 4 days now . He flew from Houston to London, then to Lisbon before arriving in Luanda, Angola. He was taken to a compound with 50 others in the relief crew. They waited for their ship to come in. They get a phone call that they should all report back to the airport and arrangements were being made to send them to The Republic of Congo. My baby was able to text me and then call from his cell phone and tell me that the conditions were deplorable and that he would not be taking me on a tour there. He said it is muggy hot and miserable and that the ribs they tried to serve them he was sure was road kill. I asked if the food was American food or African food and he said it was whatever they could find. The relief crew consists of 50 people everything from Scientists, Geologists, Captains and Medical Personnel. He said they were currently all out sleeping on the deck of an old dilapidated crew boat waiting for daylight before they tried to make it out to the Conti. Hopefully he will be on his boat soon and have some creature comforts.

Republic of Congo formerly Zaire

Map of Congo, Republic of the

Flag of Republic of Congo
The Congo is situated in west-central Africa astride the equator. It borders Gabon, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the Angola exclave of Cabinda, with a short stretch of coast on the South Atlantic. Its area is nearly three times that of Pennsylvania. Most of the inland is tropical rain forest, drained by tributaries of the Congo River.

Fast Facts about Congo
3.7 million
Angola, Cameroon (closed), Central African Republic (closed), Democratic Republic of Congo and Gabon
Wet (October to May), dry (June to September)
Country code 242; international access code 00
US$30 to US$60 a day
US$70 for a 15-day, multiple-entry visa, which can be bought at border; US$120 for a one-month visa if bought at embassy
French, Lingala, Munukutuba, Lari
342, 000 sq km
Central African CFA; US$1 = CFA498
Angola, Cameroon (closed), Central African Republic (closed), Democratic Republic of Congo and Gabon
US$70 for a 15-day, multiple-entry visa, which can be bought at border; US$120 for a one-month visa if bought at embassy
Wet (October to May), dry (June to September)
342,000 sq km
3.7 million
US$30 to US$60 a day
French, Lingala, Munukutuba, Lari

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tale of the Tigers

Two Tigers One evening an old Chinese man told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, "My son, the battle is between two ' Great Tigers ' inside us all.One is Evil. It is selfishness, anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, hatred, and ego.The other is Good. It is joy, peace, True Love, hope, unselfishness, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith."The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: "Which Tiger wins?" The old Chinese man simply replied, " The one you feed ."

Sunday, December 14, 2008


Once a friend told me that she felt like everyday with her husband was Christmas and every weekend was the fourth of July. Her husband has passed on, but what a beautiful love they shared. Her just sharing that sentiment with me, touched my heart and as a hopeless romantic gives me something to aspire to.

My sweet husband and I did our Christmas early. Its not the date that matters its being together that makes it a holiday.


Our first Christmas was so wonderful and so romantic, I wanted to recapture those feelings.

This Christmas we were able to do just that. We reconnected so strongly, and fell in love with each other even deeper. When we had to say goodbye at the airport and we said we loved each other. We just kept saying it over and over, I love you just didn't seem intense enough to express how we felt. That lingering, not wanting to let each other go. There is nothing better than being in love.

We felt closer and more like a family than ever before. We love our girls and they go almost everywhere we do. They don't know they are puppies they think they are babies, and they are my babies.



Even the cats know when Daddy is packing to go somewhere, and they always try to stowaway in his bags.



The only thing I wanted for Christmas was the Estee Lauder Train Case set. I always get mesmerized by the Estee lauder Gift sets and this one was particulary fabulous! It spoke to my Inner Diva So I told my Baby what I wanted. He always goes large on anything he gets me, so he spoiled me very well.

He also got me a bottle off Estee Lauder Cinnabar perfume. I love perfume!

I also mentioned to him that I needed a notebook for work. Well he found this wonderful leather book with the croc print on it, he knows I like, and a really nice leopard patterned pen.

The piece de la resistance was this gorgeous Seiko two tone watch with the blue dial that matches his eyes and 12 diamonds around the bezel. That was a real surprise! I love it!

I have had a Wonderful Christmas and the best gift of all is LOVE! I love you with all my heart angel!

Saturday, December 13, 2008


My sweet baby boy never gets to spend a Christmas at home. So I am really glad we had a few days together before he flies over to Luanda, Angola to do Oil Exploration. This time that he has been home has been wonderful. We experienced our first snow together, while we were driving around looking at Christmas lights with our puppies dressed up in their Christmas outfits. We have had 3 dinner parties. My husband is a fantastic cook he made Smoked rib eye steaks and King crab, while I did all the sides. Baked Sweet potatoes with Honey ginger and brown sugar butter, Clarified Garlic butter as the dipping sauce for the crab, and a wonderful Madiera and Blue Cheese butter to top the steaks. I also did a Fruit and cheese stand, and a dessert tray with a variety of home baked items.Our guests were some friends of my husbands from Louisiana. They were not bashful eaters, I enjoy people who enjoy their food.

Last Night my husband made a Seafood Fettucine and I made garlic bread, Italian salad, My now famous roasted cream cheese and bacon jalapenos, and dessert. Our best friends were over and we had a wonderful night.

The other night I had made a pot of my specialty Lima beans, rice, salad, and Crawfish corn bread. I had just planned for it to be My husband, me and our Bachelor Neighbor. It ended up being 7 guests in total. I love a full house and no leftovers. That crawfish corn bread recipe is geting spread around now.

I am just happy that so many of our friends have come out and made the time to visit my husband on this quick trip home. He is the hardest working man I know, even when he is home he is building something, or installing something better than what we had before ( even though there wasn't a thing wrong with the old thing) he just wants me to have the best.

It has meant alot to me, That he has spent every minute with me, and been so supportive of my new career.

I love him with all my heart, its true he is gone alot but I would never begrudge him of the work he loves, the adventurous places he goes. Its exciting for me to be married to him. He is a man's man and there isn't anything he can't fix or build . I could not to be married to some guy thats home every night plopped down in front of the tv, and his handyman work looks like something from Green Acres.

My husband is the only man for me. We are both strong willed and can do anything we set our minds too. In the coming year with his change of venue and my new job we are going to have all kinds of new adventures and stories to share with each other and keep things fresh.

I worry about his safety and pirates in that part of the world. I told him I was calling Allstate to get a quote on Pirate insurance.

So in closing, I just ask that all of you keep us both in your prayers this coming year, as I do for all of you.

Luanda, Angola


Fast Facts about Angola
14 million (estimated)
Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia and Namibia
Dry (June to September), wet (October to May)
Country code 244; international access code 00
They exist, but don’t generally accept foreign cards
US$120 per day
US$75 for 30 days; must be obtained in advance
Portuguese and various Bantu languages
1, 246, 700 sq km
Kwanza; US$1 = 80Kz
Twas the month before Christmas*
*When all through our land,*
*Not a Christian was praying*
*Nor taking a stand.*
*See the PC Police had taken away,*

*The reason for Christmas - no one could say.*
*The children were told by their schools not to sing,*
*About Shepherds and Wise Men and Angels and things.*

*It might hurt people's feelings, the teachers would say*
* December 25th is just a ' Holiday '.*
*Yet the shoppers were ready with cash, checks and credit*
*Pushing folks down to the floor just to get it!*
*CDs from Madonna, an X BOX, an I-pod*
*Something was changing, something quite odd! *
*Retailers promoted Ramadan and Kwanzaa*
*In hopes to sell books by Franken & Fonda.*

*As Targets were hanging their trees upside down*
* At Lowe's the word Christmas - was no where to be found.*
*At K-Mart and Staples and Penney's and Sears*
*You won't hear the word Christmas; it won't touch your ears.*

*Inclusive, sensitive, Di-ver-si-ty*
*Are words that were used to intimidate me.*
*Now Daschle, Now Darden, Now Sharpton, Wolf Blitzen*
*On Boxer, on Rather, on Kerry, on Clinton !*

*At the top of the Senate, there arose such a clatter*
*To eliminate Jesus, in all public matter.*
*And we spoke not a word, as they took away our faith*
* Forbidden to speak of salvation and grace*

*The true Gift of Christmas was exchanged and discarded*
*The reason for the season, stopped before it started.*
*So as you celebrate 'Winter Break' under your 'Dream Tree'*
*Sipping your Starbucks, listen to me.*

*Choose your words carefully, choose what you say*
not Happy Holiday !*
Please, all Christians join together and
wish everyone you meet
Christ is The Reason for the Christ-mas Season!


Friday, December 5, 2008


My friends gave me a nice pizza party tonight to celebrate my new job. I am truly blessed to have such wonderful folks in my life. There was a segment on tv this morning and it said basically , you are only as happy as the people you hang around with. I hang around with some pretty happy people and I am all the better for it.

I was walking down the street when I was accosted by a particularly dirty and shabby-looking homeless woman who asked me for a couple of dollars for dinner.

I took out my wallet, got out ten dollars and asked, 'If I give you this money, will you buy wine with it instead of dinner?'

'No, I had to stop drinking years ago', the homeless woman told me.

'Will you use it to go shopping instead of buying food?' I asked.

'No, I don't waste time shopping,' the homeless woman said. 'I need to spend all my time trying to stay alive.'

'Will you spend this on a beauty salon instead of food?' I asked.

'Are you NUTS!' replied the homeless woman. I haven't had my hair done in 20 years!'
'Well, I said, 'I'm not going to give you the money. Instead, I'm going to take you out for dinner with my husband and me tonight.'

The homeless Woman was shocked. 'Won't your husband be furious with you for doing that? I know I'm dirty, and I probably smell pretty disgusting.'

I said, 'That's okay. It's important for him to see what a woman looks like after she has given up shopping, hair appointments, and wine.'

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


RENO 911!Wendi McLendon-Covey as

Well I scored very high on my entrance exam a 96, went thru the formal interviews and finally got a job with the Sheriff's Office. My friends all think I am going to look really cute in the uniform. I am so thankful to finally have found a job after 4 months of looking. I am not real thrilled with having to get sprayed in the face with mace, or getting tasered, even less thrilled with the idea of having to do a PFT. But it will be worth it, having a stable job, money in the bank, benefits and retirement. I go in next wednesday to get sworn in, get fitted for my uniforms, have ID photos taken etc. Still a few more preliminaries before I am on the job. I am excited. Its a new adventure, and it will be a challenge but I am up to it so I have no apprehensions about that.

Saturday, November 29, 2008


My first year married was the best Christmas ever. My husband was able to come home from Russia for a week and we were trully able to share the essence and love of the holiday.


I love you baby!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008



I have always felt like Thanksgiving was a stumbling block to the big holiday, "Christmas". So although I do celebrate it, I don't go overboard for it. Since it will just be me and the girls. I am roasting 2 Cornish game hens with lemon, butter and rosemary. I will roast potato wedges and carrots with the same herb blend. With the left overs I always use them to make a Moroccan stew which is just fantastic.

I baked a spice cake with cream cheese frosting topped with walnuts for one friend and I just finished the orders I got for 2 large loafs of pumpkin Spice bread topped with lots of walnuts.

My Sweet Husband is back out at sea, but we have gotten to talk more often this past trip. Which is great. Its harder when he is gone and the communication is limited. He seems to be very happy on the boat he is on, so I am happy for him. I mailed him a Thanksgiving card and a Christmas Card hopefully, he will receive them before the holiday. He says I don't have to do it, but I always want him to know I love him and I think about him, and even though we are always apart on every holiday, he is in my heart.

If the new movies are out on Thursday ,then my plan is to go and see the new "Transporter" movie and the comedy "4 Christmases".

Hopefully next week I will be hired for a new job. I scored a 96 on the entrance exam , which was pretty good for taking an exam and not knowing what would be on it at all. I have excellent references so I am keeping my fingers crossed.

I have bible study tonight, which I really enjoy. I have made some very good friends in the group. I have been doing this study for 14 months.

Things I am Thankful for......

My husband, My Girls, My Boys, Good Neighbors, My Bible Study Family, The gift of creativity.

I am praying for:

The Pinnette Family who's Father who had Alzheimer's wondered off from just down the road a week ago and it was not a happy ending. My thoughts and prayers are with them.

for the health issues of two of my friends.

that my husband will continue to be happy in his work and achieve his goals.

That I will get the job I need so badly, and I will excel in it.

I thank God for my Girls, they make me so happy and I love them more than anything.


Saturday, November 22, 2008

This is so true.....

(Whoever wrote this one deserves a HUGE pat on the back!)
Like a lot of folks in this state, I have a job. I work, they pay me. I pay my taxes and the government distributes my taxes as it sees fit. In order to get that paycheck, I am required to pass a random urine test with which I have no problem. What I do have a problem with is the distribution of my taxes to people who don't have to pass a urine test.
Shouldn't one have to pass a urine test to get a welfare check because I have to pass one to earn it for them? Please understand, I have no problem with helping people get back on their feet. I do, on the other hand, have a problem with helping someone sitting on their BEHIND doing drugs, while I work. . . . Can you imagine how much money the state would save if people had to pass a urine test to get a public assistance check?
I guess we could title that program, 'Urine or You're Out'.
Pass this along if you agree or simply delete if you don't. Hope you all will pass it along, though. . Some thing has to change in this country -- and soon!!!!!!!


It only takes a minute to read this...
A neurologist says that if he can get to a stroke victim within 3 hours he can totally reverse the effects of a stroke... totally. He said the trick was getting a stroke recognized, diagnosed, and then getting the patient medically cared for within 3 hours, which is tough. Thank God for the sense to remember the '3' steps, STR.
Read and Learn! Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells disaster. The stroke victim may suffer severe brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke. Now doctors say a bystander can recognize a stroke by asking three simple questions:

S * Ask the individual to SMILE.
T * Ask the person to TALK and SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE (Coherently) ( i.e. It is sunny out today)
R * Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS.

If he or she has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, call 999/911 immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher.

New Sign of a Stroke -------- Stick out Your TongueNOTE: Another 'sign' of a stroke is this: Ask the person to 'stick' out his tongue..If the tongue is 'crooked', if it goes to one side or the other , that is also an indication of a stroke. A cardiologist says if everyone who reads this sends it to 10 people; you can bet that at least one life will be saved.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


The Algiers Ferry

The Ferry from Algiers
Sitting on the ferry from Algiers , I watch the people making their commute. Most off to work dressed in cooks gear. Tourists off to see the sights, a rough one or two looking to steal or fight.
Landing on the New Orleans Bank. We all depart in quiet unison. Thru the ferry station to the streets and the trolley. All going our anonymous separate ways, different people, different lives, but just another Day.
Nov. 20 , 2008


Café du Monde
I ordered my café au lait
and beignets
and people watched.
There was the old guy
in the floppy French hat,
goatee and gold
wire rimmed glasses
watching me as
I watched him.
The extreme tourists,
men in safari vests
and panama hats
better suited for the jungle
than the streets of New Orleans.
The guitar player ,
playing songs for your loose change
although dollar bills much appreciated
Couples, single men, single women.
Gay lovers looking like an Abercrombie and Fitch ad.
An old lady with henna dyed hair in Gypsy regalia.
The waitresses in white paper hats
and black bowties
with matching black aprons.
Serving patrons
seated on pea green
upholstered seats.
Reminiscent of the 1940’s.
Ivy covered walls,
And tiled terraces
Surrounded by ornate
wrought iron encasements
I depart for my next grand adventure,
with powdered sugar,
I’ll be wearing
on my black jeans
all day as a pleasant souvenir .
Nov 20,2008
Bride on the Beach

I saw a faceless picture of a bride on the beach.
She was running in the sand
and her gaze was on the lonely sea.

A tear in my eye, feeling sorry for her.
Even sorrier when I realized it as me.

Always waiting, always alone,
by myself sleeping in our beautiful home.
All the lonely holidays,
all the things I wished I could say.

Words get lost and then forgotten.

Waiting for letters, waiting for calls,
no one really knows the loneliness of it all.

Then when he is home.
He is never mine.
There is always something between us
and I don’t know why.

I am isolated in my own soul.
Always to be the bride on the beach ,
older and still alone.

Nov 20,2008

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


The Police

I got an email today about the reunion tour for The Police. It was a blast fom the past. When I was in Junior High and all thru High School and then some , I ate, breathed and lived The Police. I had every album , and knew every song by heart. They would definitey be star players in my lifes soundtrack.

Ofcourse there was Duran Duran .

In my late twenties which was a time of enlightenment, self awareness and re-creation it was all Morphine. The drooning of the bass, was something all new for me and I understood the poeticness of the lyrics.

When Greg and I met and fell in love the soundtracks for our romance were definitely
3 Doors Down and Nickelback.

There are not many things in life I can look back on and say I am still passionate about. but those Soundtacks define those moments in my life.