Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Notice Anything Different?

Yes indeed...it was time to update the old bloggeroo.......
New cover photo.
New color scheme.
New layout.

But if you look closely, you will notice an even bigger change.

See it?


Put on your glasses. (They're probably perched on top of your head, or at least that's where I usually find mine)

I will give you a hint. It's in the photo.....

.....which was provided to me courtesy of Captain Anthony Gober.

See it now?

Well do ya?

Ah, my astute blog reader...I assure you that your eyes are not playing tricks on you.
That is indeed a different tugboat.
And why did I change my header picture to a different tugboat photo you may ask?
The answer is simple.

It's a new picture of a different tug because that tug is now home to da Butcher. It was provided by a new Captain because he is now Butch's Captain.  Instead of Tug Florida, Butch now calls Tug Georgia home.

Here's to fair seas and following winds!!!!!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Seriously???

Geesh! How long has it been since I posted??? I knew I was behind, but had no idea it had been 3 1/2 months since I posted! In all fairness though, I did have good intentions. I even downloaded the blogger app to my android phone, thinking that would make it easier for me to post on the go (since it seems I am CONSTANTLY on the go anyway). Boy was I wrong! What a nightmare! I got the app installed easily....but then.....oh Google....with our love/hate relationship. First I had to add an account on my phone and I foolishly assumed that I could use my already existing sign in, Silly me, that caused my phone to spaz and lock me out of Google all together. I went through recovery steps while peering closely at the micro-fine print on my phone....all to no avail, I fussed and cussed fiddled and FINALLY got the stupid thing to work. Then I attempted a post.

WELL.....that was a joke for several reasons:
  1. The print is very small and I couldn't read what I was typing.     
  2.  I am totally used to auto correct on my phone and could not remember to capitalize "I" and insert an apostrophe in "I'm" and "we're". 
  3. My batter got low and threatened to shut my phone off. My darling baby girl had my charger. Hence my agitation. I may or may not have cussed. 
I gave up.
Tonight, I sit at my trusty desktop with it's large monitor and my bag of pretzels and sippy cup of wine, er, Coke.

What I was trying to do was post some pictures from my phone that I have been meaning to upload for sometime. Enough drama....let's see them!
 Here is Tug Bulldog doing her thing.....When standing next to the tug it looks big, but next to this giant cargo ship she looks tiny!The blue rope is a working line.  It is slowing the cargo ship down and assisting in the steering of the ship. It will help them maneuver through the river. Incidentally, this cargo ship was built in 2005, and according to Wikipedia it was at that time of the the largest in the world. Read more about this ship here .
 This is Tug General Oglethorpe heading upriver to Georgia Ports. She used to be a Coast Guard Ice Breaker. She is the oldest in Savannah's fleet and is a single screw boat, meaning she has one propeller.







top photo: courtesy of Frankie Davis
Bottom photo: source unknown

Monday, March 17, 2014

Tug Pictures

Just a regular old day at the dock......
It was low tide, so the boats were down low. They remind me of my cat when they look like this....hunkered down and ready to spring. Although I have never seen a tugboat "spring", I have seen them move rather quickly.

Bows of Tug Florida and Tug Savannah. I like to watch them parallel park at the dock, especially two deep!

When I first reviewed these pictures, I wondered why in the world I took a photo of half of Tug Florida and half of the other tug company's boat. Then I focused, moved the cat off the keyboard, and realized I was being nosy. This was the day before Saint Patrick's Day, (see previous post about that madness) and police boats were already in place on the river. At this point, they were all tied together, floating. Probably the only boats on the river without beer on board. At least I hope no beer was on board.

More nosiness.....really wish my phone camera had an excellent zoom lens...

Hey! It's me! And the Butcher!

Up a little closer...thank you Princess for being our photographer!

It's just us again....

Back views of Tug General Oglethorpe, Tug Georgia and Tug Bulldog

Front view downriver. All tugs at the dock, but some hidden in crafty parallel parking maneuvers :)
          



Sunday, March 16, 2014

Saint Patrick's Day

Living in a port city is always an adventure. Our fair city is beautiful, and one of many people's favorite historic cities. Many weddings are held here and I just saw an article that listed us very high on America's List of Most Charming Cities.

However, the month of March in the Hostess City is different. EVERYONE falls into one of three distinct categories. To some, the city is one big party. (This group is tourists who came to party and a lot of locals) We host the second largest Saint Patrick's Day Parade in the country, which sounds like a great big good time until you factor in all the drunken revelers. This brings us to the second group. myself included, who avoid the downtown area at all costs this time of year. Hotels are booked a year in advance. Parking, which is always a challenge downtown, is even worse. Unsuspecting tourists who don't understand one way streets are just the reason for locals to throw up the one finger salute, and don't EVEN get me started on the perils of parallel parking. The third group, while small, still very much exists and contains unsuspecting folks who don't know about our festivities and come expecting a romantic trip full of azalea blossoms, dogwood trees, cool breezes, historic homes and horse drawn carriage rides. Boy are they surprised!

Anyway, whether you love St. Patrick's Day or can't wait for it to be over......there is always something going on. Even in tugboat world.

Today I bring you pictures courtesy of my hubby and his captain, of one of the ships the escorted in this weekend. Meet the USS Hue City.

 Thanks to my hubby Butch for this photo, which he posted on Facebook and titles "Lock up your daughters"!


Here you see the bow of Tug Florida as she follows the USS Hue City upriver.

This photo is courtesy of Cap'n Schaaf. :)

Even though I was a US Navy wife for 10 years, I was unfamiliar with the USS Hue City. Thanks to Wikipedia, I can educate myself (and you!)

USS Hué City (CG-66) is a Ticonderoga class guided-missile cruiser serving in the United States Navy. She is named for the Battle of Hue, fought in the city during the Tet Offensive 1968 by the 1st Marine Regiment (composed of 1st Battalion/1st Marines, 1st Battalion/5th Marines, 2nd Battalion/5th Marines and attached units) during the Vietnam War. The three battalion commanders were the honored guests at her 1991 commissioning.
Hué City is the only U.S. Navy ship named for a Vietnam War battle, although it had been planned to name LHA-5 as USS Khe Sanh after the Battle of Khe Sanh, but that ship was commissioned in 1976 as the USS Peleliu. As the only US warship named for a battle that took place during the Vietnam War, the USS Hué City has had the opportunity to reach out to the veterans of the battle for which she is named. She has done so frequently by holding a Memorial for the Battle of Hué annually every year the ship's schedule permits. The Memorial has served as a great opportunity for veterans to re-unite, meet the crew, and honor their fallen comrades.
The warship took part in the Sixth International Naval Review in New York City in July 2000, attended by President Bill Clinton.
Recently, she successfully completed consecutive deployments to the Persian Gulf and North Arabian Sea.


Happy Saint Patrick's Day everyone!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Big Boy BooBoos Big Time

Working on a tug boat is hard. It's hard mentally, because you are away from home and family for an extended amount of time. You are gone half the year, which means that lots of holidays, birthdays, school plays, recitals and sports events get missed. (Did I mention the Superbowl? No???? Yup. He missed it. The sheer horror.........missing the Superbowl in the deep South where football is religion!) Butch hasn't been home for Christmas in 8 years. He has missed almost that many Easters and birthdays and even (gasp) Valentine's Day and our anniversary dates. And Halloween, not that we celebrate it. Most every Saint Patrick's Day too, he is motoring up and down the river, spraying green tinted water for the drunk tourists and locals as they party it up on the day that EVERYONE in the city is Irish.

It is also hard physically. There are a lot of heavy lines to pull and lift, lots of sanding, grinding and painting. Lots of boat washing to get the salt water off and protect the paint, lots of window cleaning to ensure good clear visibility for the Captain, lots of deck work to be sure things aren't slippery when wet and lots of lines to repair when they part. Lots of work and little sleep.

So, after a few years of this, it takes it's toll on the body. Enter Butch's latest boo-boo.....a torn meniscus.
I didn't know the human body had a meniscus, much less where it was or what it did or how bad it could HURT until I saw my man crumple in pain when he moved wrong. First, we saw our family doctor who injected the knee with Kenalog and prescribed Prendisone to help healing, suspecting arthritis or just a wrong move was the culprit. When those treatments lasted only a couple of weeks, an MRI was ordered and it showed the real issue....a torn meniscus.

It was a routine procedure, done as outpatient surgery. Butch came home the night before surgery so he could rest. I shaved his knee for him (SO THANKFUL Butch isn't a furry gorilla man) and fed him well before the imposed midnight fast began.

The next day we arrived at the hospital bright and early. Notice I did NOT say bright eyes and bushy tailed. I am neither of these before noon. If you want bright eyed and bushy tailed pre-noon, I suggest you go find yourself a squirrel.

Since we happened to know the head surgical nurse, she allowed our daughter to help with the prep before surgery. (The Princess plans to go into the field of Sports Medicine)





After he was scrubbed up, he got drugged up.....
And then surgery. It went very well, and the doctor was able to do the surgery exactly as he had planned. (There was a suspicion that the tear may be worse than seen on MRI, and that some plastic hooks and screws may have to be used. Praise God, they weren't needed.)

He came home and rested fairly well that night, but the next morning......drama. He couldn't feel his foot and his knee and calf were very swollen. We went to his doctor's office where they immediately drained 58cc of blood and fluid from the knee. Ew.
My poor man :(

After that, healing was easier. He lost almost a month of work, but he is back at it now. His only restrictions are not to kneel in water and to not dig at his incisions, lest they pop open. We've been blessed by so many friends, family members and church family during his time off work.  We are hoping he can work all week and not have any difficulties, so please keep us in prayer!



Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Perks of the Life :)

Some days it is hard being a tugboat wife. Some days, it's hard being a wife at all, but add in the adventures of river life, and you've got a whole new ball of wax! I kow it's hard for Butch too, he is away and misses a lot of holidays, special events, birthdays, school events, etc. Living with 3 other men half the year in a small confined place isn't a piece of cake by any means, I am sure.

But some things make this life all worthwhile! Since Butch works a week, and then is home a week, we are afforded a small luxury. It's called......"vacation when you want it".

Being able to get away for a few days is wonderful, but most people have to do it on weekends. That means, you leave for vacation tired and you come home tired and then go right back to work. It also means you travel on peak days and pay higher weekend rates at hotels. Not so for us!

Lat week, Butch whisked me away to the mountains of North Georgia and North Carolina to celebrate our 17th wedding anniversary.  He knows the secret...take this Lowcountry girl to the mountains and you've scored MAJOR brownie points :)

Ah......this made it all worthwhile......definitely a BIG TIME PERKS!!!!!



Here's Butch and me, enjoying our day :)

 If you find yourself in the North Georgia Mountains, GO VISIT Crane Creek Vineyards! You will be glad you did!
http://www.cranecreekvineyards.com/

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Eeeeewwwww......

Our Tug Florida needs some mechanical work and will be going to the shipyard. In other words, Butch's home away from home is experiencing some drama. (Boats and ships ARE female after all! Drama is ok here and there!)

In the days leading up to her vacation  imprisonment stay in the shipyard, some work has to be done prepping her up. While Butch usually gets quite dirty working on the deck, he's been helping out a lot in the engine room this week. To Butch this is a challenge and a change of pace. For me, it means Butch is destroying his clothes with grease, diesel fuel, oil, grime, dirt, and other such icky substances that I don't normally come in contact with. I can assure you he is happier than a pig in mud, because it seems that men, at least my kind of man, actually enjoys getting nasty, sweaty, stinky and greasy. Me? Not so much.

Let me clarify this nastiness by saying that I think normal people have two distinct sets of clothes. They have winter clothes, and they have summer clothes. But in our tugboat world, Butch has five-count 'em-FIVE sets of clothes. He has normal summer clothes, and he has normal winter clothes. But let's not be boring and ordinary and stop there...OH NO!

He also has boat clothes. Let me specify that these stay on the boat or in a sealed Rubbermaid bin in our closet because they have boat funk. Boat funk is a term I use specifically for items Butch wears or uses at work.  The boat funk is a unique fragrance scent aroma stench that emits from such items and cannot be washed out. No amount of laundry soap, fabric softner, Oxy Clean or Gain Fireworks can remove that special stench. They are clean after I wash them, but they still have that funk. Now you understand why this blog post is entitled "Ewwwwww", because that is what I say as I duck and run for cover.

Therefore:
He has Summer boat clothes, which consists of cargo shorts, muscle shirts and thin  t-shirts which can be any color except navy blue or black because he gets too hot in them. These attractive ensembles also require low cut socks but not footies, because he still has to work in heavy work boots with a 6" shaft. No flip flops or tennis shoes allowed! The accessories to complete this look include  bandanas to mop up sweat and wear under his hard hat and his fragrance of choice is Avon's Bug Guard bug spray in the green aerosol can. (The silver can doesn't provide as much protection it seems. Or maybe the bugs here just like the taste. And the "pump" bottle is just too much work)

Then he has his Fall wardrobe, which consists of the same t shirts from Summer,  along with a few darker colored ones just to mix it up. He keeps a couple pairs of cargo shorts, and adds a few pair of jeans. He keeps the short socks, to wear with cargo shorts, but adds in a few tall socks to wear with jeans. Butch will not wear short socks with long pants. Nope. Not this guy. Accessories still include the attractive bandanas, work boots and bug spray.

Then comes the Winter Wardrobe. Although living in Coastal Georgia it stays pretty warm compared to the rest of the country, temperatures drop down in the low twenties and teens with a wind chill on top of that. Let me also mention that my man is a little popsicle and naturally cold natured. Therefore, Butch has Winter boat clothes, which consist of flannel lined jeans, flannel lined cargo pants, thermal underwear shirts, long sleeved t-shirts, thick tall socks, flannel long sleeve shirts, hoodies and the aforementioned work boots. He also has an extensive collection of skull caps, waterproof gloves and this contraption I found him that is like a band of Polar Fleece that Velcros around his head and keeps his ears warm. It's like a girl's stretchy headband, only not stretchy but Velcro-y instead and not girly at all. It fits more snugly under the hardhat than a skull cap. Bug spray is kept on hand but rarely needed.

When Spring arrives, Butch basically edges back into the Fall wardrobe, but by then the t-shirts have usually all been replaced with new ones that are not sun bleached and paint covered. And bust out another few fresh can of the bug spray.

Now for home wear, the man has the same sets of clothes: the Fall/Spring ensembles, the Winter line and the Summer Collection. Then he has his church clothes, which are suits, dress shirts, shiny dress shoes, undershirts, ties, pocket hankies....oh wait...maybe I shouldn't say "pocket hankies" on my blog. Some other rough and tough tug boat dude might find out. Oh well. Too late :) Besides, I am a sucker for a man with a pocket hanky! He also has separate work clothes for yard work.

WAIT A COTTON PICKIN' MINUTE HERE!!!!!

That's.....EIGHT sets of clothes! And only one set is them is kept on the boat at a time! No wonder I don't have any closet space! This is totally unfair.....

I'm going shopping! ;)