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From 2006 to 2009, my husband, Mike, and I lived in Goleta, California. Elwood Beach was basically our backyard; we could walk out our door, down a dirt path through the Eucalyptus trees and be at the beach within moments.

Here you can see one of my favorite views of the beach. I have variations of this same tree photographed, like, dozens of different times.

At the time, Mike and I both had amazing jobs working in Santa Barbara. Mike was working as the sales and marketing manager for a local AV company, and I had a freelance gig helping Big Dogs Sportswear put their summer print line together. I only worked with them during the summer months.

In my downtime during the fall and winter months, I messed around with scrapbooking, making and selling art, building websites, freelance writing and hanging around the beach. Life was just about as perfect as it could be.

Then along came the great financial crisis. Mike and I both lost our jobs at about the same time. We didnt want to leave Santa Barbara, but we knew we couldnt stay in the place where we had been living.

We met this guy who told us it was possible to live rent-free in Santa Barbara. He was selling a 1960s Chris Craft in need of restoration. He told us he was anchoring it in Fools Anchorage, and he suggested buying it and living aboard.

Well, of course, living rent-free in Santa Barbara was an appealing idea, so we took a look at his boat. However, we knew immediately that buying it would be a bad idea. Even if someone had been willing to invest the time and elbow grease getting that thing looking awesome again, it would take a billionaire to keep its fuel tanks full.

And we realized that staying in Fools Anchorage was also a terribly, horribly bad idea. Glad we had enough sense to dodge that bullet.

Later, after wed bought a different boat, we met a guy, David. David is an experienced seaman who has been sailing since his childhood 60-some odd years ago. We got to talking with him about anchorages in the area. His comment about Fools Anchorage: No self-respecting captain would anchor a boat there.

Our other friend, Jim, used to live in Fools Anchorage. In the wintertime, when the winds would kick up hard, wed get worried about him. Wed call him and ask how he was doing. Hed respond, Im rocking and rolling with the best of em. He used to drop, like, 200+ feet of chain and a massive anchor for his 34-foot sailboat, and the dude didnt even have a windless. Even with all that ground tackle, washing up on the beach was a constant threat.

And that doesnt even begin, really, to describe the insanity that is Fools Anchorage. Jim told us horror stories that I wont get into here and now.

So I said to Mike, Forget the Chris Craft. Lets get a sailboat. And definitely forget Fools Anchorage. Lets actually go cruising.

Mike occasionally goes along with my wild ideas. The rest is history.

Credits:

The lovely people over at Katie Pertiets website are having a blending challenge that inspired this digital scrapbooking layout. I have no idea what Im doing when it comes to blending, so this really was a challenge for me but Im planning to keep messing around with it until I get proficient.

I used Gimp and digital scrapbooking supplies from Katies website to create this image. The title font is Cream Cake.

Im new at Gimp, and so far, it would be incredibly generous to describe my skills in the program as being mediocre. But theyre getting a little better with each project I attempt, and they took a pretty big leap forward with this project (although it occurs to me that is probably not evident just from looking at this piece, which is more of a mess than Id like it to be)

Messy or not, I liked it enough to declare this digital scrapbooking layout finished. Thanks for checking it out! I appreciate your interest.


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