Author Archives: patblumer

At the End of the Day


Today is the final day of the blogging challenge. I am glad.

What I have learned from blogging for 30 consecutive days will not become clear until later. That’s my pattern. It takes a while for things to percolate in my brain before I can form conclusions.

The statistical data is immediately apparent, however. Out of the 30 posts in 30 days, my most read post was How To Be Thin.

I can wax poetic all day long about art, family, travel, God and any number of other topics, but at the end of the day, if I want readers … if I want friends and followers … I’ll write about how to be thin.

Thank you, FLX/WordCount 2014 Blogathon; there is much to think about.

full sails




The Tragedy of Iced Tea


I grew up in a house where there was always a pitcher of iced tea in the refrigerator. My mother used Luzianne tea bags. The tea was delicious and refreshing, never bitter and never overly sweet. Her procedure was simple. Pour a little boiling water over the tea bags, let steep for a bit, remove the tea bags, add about a cup of sugar, stir, add cool water to fill the pitcher to the top, then stir again. Into the refrigerator the pitcher would go until suppertime.

We had iced tea with supper every night of the year, not just in the summer. (The only difference in summertime tea was that more often that not you would find a sprig of mint in your glass.) I don’t remember exactly, but surely as a small child I was given milk at meals, not tea. And I don’t remember when it was that I “transitioned” to tea. But I know for a fact we were, indeed, a tea-swilling family. There may not have been any beer or wine in the house, but by golly there was caffeine!

It’s not clear when the demise of iced tea began. I do not recall the exact moment when SOMEONE had the brilliant idea that sugar could be left out. But that was the beginning of the end … of good, real iced tea. Those little packets of chemicals that sit on restaurant tables are just a travesty and even though this is old news it still breaks my heart to see someone grab three at a time, rip all of them open in one fell swoop and then stir that powdery mess into a glass. And then drink it.

My beverage preferences have changed over the years. I don’t drink naturally sweetened drinks much less unnaturally sweetened drinks anymore. It’s part of my plan to try to live longer. And it’s just as well, because unsweetened iced tea has no place in this world. It’s unnatural. I would rather drink lukewarm water than cold tea that doesn’t have Dixie Crystals granulated sugar in it. And that’s just as well, too, because if iced tea was still made with real sugar, as God intended, I’d have to choose between tea and my plan to live longer.

bottle tree

The Blogging Challenge


A challenge is a good thing. It changes up the routine. It forces emphasis in specific areas while other areas are neglected. In a rosy world, all challenges would be short-lived; self-imposed and only for personal growth. Unfortunately that’s not the kind of challenge a large percentage of the world’s population have the luxury of experiencing. Their challenges are more dire – poverty, hunger, loss, despair, victimization – the kinds of challenges most of us can’t fathom. On that note I laugh at myself as I look back on the daily blogging challenge that is about to come to an end. How grateful I am that this is my only challenge.

Japanese garden Gibbs Garden



Charleston Harbor to Bohicket Creek via The Intracoastal Waterway


The vessel – Bavaria 39, 6 foot draft, 56 foot mast

The captain – my husband

The crew – moi

Upon leaving the Charleston Harbor there are two bridges to deal with. The Ashley River Bridge and the Wadmalaw Island Bridge.

The Ashley River Bridge has clearance of 65 feet at high tide but upon approach it looks A LOT shorter. I just knew we were going to clip the mast and I thought I would have a heart attack. We didn’t. I didn’t.

What I learned – Trust the charts.

The Wadmalaw Island Bridge has a clearance of about 20 feet so you need the help of the “bridge-keeper”, she who opens the bridge on the hour or whenever you pick up the radio and ask nicely.

What I learned – On that part of the ICW (Intracoastal Waterway) there is ample room, and ample depth, thank the lord, to perform spectacular boat pirouettes in order to kill some time before the bridge traffic can be stopped and the bridge opened up.

After the bridge drama it’s possible to sit back and enjoy the scenery as you motor down to Bohicket Creek. It’s impossible to sail this stretch as the waterway is very curvy and very shallow.

ICW from the boatdead tree ICW

What I learned – Stay in the channel and keep your eye on the depth gauge no matter how many dolphins make an appearance.

To get into Bohicket Creek the vessel must be steered out of the ICW and into the Edisto River where the water opens up and you have a little bit of time to relax after white-knuckling the helm through the narrow and shallow channel. But soon it’s back to a steady hand on the helm as you maneuver into Bohicket Creek. The creek is just as pretty as a picture, complete with a tiny little shrimp fleet.

shrimp boats

What I learned – Approach to the marina is easy with plenty of deep water thus making docking doable without creating a public spectacle.

The Bohicket Marina is quiet and family-friendly. It has a great little restaurant and an okay little store stocked with essentials like beer and bait. The view of the sunset over the marsh is spectacular from an al fresco table at the restaurant. The guys on the dock are young and cute and wear matching blue t-shirts and can assist you with just about anything … except getting a receipt for overnight dockage … and locating the two courtesy bicycles … and paying attention when fueling your boat. But they’re friendly and funny, so it’s all good.

What I learned – I’ll go back to Bohicket.

sunset Bohicket




How To Be Thin


It’s a process. This is what has worked for me.

But first a little history …

When I was a little girl my mother shopped for me in the 6x department. I had been chubby from day one. My mother, petite and small boned, was quietly resigned to the fact that I would take after my father’s side of the family where all the women were … er … large. Not obese, by any means, just large. I never really knew I was chubby because my mother didn’t make an issue out of it. I guess I thought everyone had size 6x dresses … until my sweet little friends began to call me Fat Pat. From that moment I’ve experienced the painful yoyo-ing between fatness and thinness that seems to be a common thread for a lot of people. I tried the expensive Nutrisystem when my husband and I could least afford it. I tried Weight Watchers several times and have been truly impressed by the ingenuity of their ever-changing points system. None of that worked for me. Maybe it was because those programs placed food front and center – smack dab in front of my face, 24/7.

Over the next few weeks I’ll be sharing steps I take for keeping the Fat Pat moniker at arms length. If the moniker is looming, I’ll implement several steps at once. If the moniker is in the distance, I’ll relax a bit. It’s a process, a step at a time … forwards, for the most part.

Week 1

1.  Throw away your scales. You have to do this. They lie. They will enslave you. Before we were enslaved to social media we were enslaved to our scales. Some of you still are. Break the chains! Toss the scales!

2.  With the exception of dried fruit and nuts, don’t eat anything out of a package.

That’s it for Week 1! Easy peazy! See you next week!

pat seated, by dawn plunkett



This is Summer Camp?


While I wait for a ruling from the 2014 Blogathon committee regarding the snafu on Saturday’s post, I repost from something I wrote last summer …


My husband reads the Wall Street Journal in about an hour, most days. I peruse it in a nanosecond, most days. But when something catches my eye I settle in for some good content. Recently a blurb about a rite of passage, summer camp, caught my eye. “Parents scrutinize photos for clues.” I read on.

According to this article, many camps nowadays have a photo gallery where parents can log-in to watch their kids. Some parents even tell their kids ahead of time to give signals such as a thumbs-up when photographers are hovering so they’ll know their child is “alright.”  And if little Suzie wasn’t chosen to be the captain of the kickball team or is wearing the flip-flops of someone else, parents can send “polite” emails to counselors in order to rectify such situations. Some parents set their alarms for the middle of the night to check the…

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Yesterday’s post from my phone due to crummy wifi at a marina did not show up on my blog. I learn this as I have arrived at a better marina. But, why did my followers receive notification that I had posted?  One follower even commented!

I follow my own blog by email so I was able to retrieve a screen shot as proof that I blogged yesterday! I reckon I’m going to need a ruling by the Blogathon “committee.”