Friday, April 30, 2010

moment ~ a puppet show~

A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. - via soulemama

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

About that bath tub...

I got a few comments and emails after last week's "moment" wondering how on earth we have a bath tub on board the boat.

Well, we're very lucky. And it's very ridiculous as far as sailboats go. D and I like to joke that when we were shopping for this boat when I was 8 months pregnant with Zach, his selling point was that a sister boat to this one (also a St. Francis 44) won the Cape to Rio race (Cape Town, South Africa to Rio Dejaneiro, Brazil). And my selling point was the tub. It wasn't as cut and dry as all that, but both points certainly helped.

The tub is clearly for shoreside/ dockside use only. It would be an OBSCENE waste of water to use it underway or at anchor. And even at that, we use it only once in a blue moon (usually we all use the marina shower or do a fast on board shower). And further more... we only fill it up about a quarter full of water.

Zach got out the tape measure today and figured out that the tub is 35 inches long by 22 inches wide by 14 inches deep. That's pretty darn small.

When he was 2 years old, it was the perfect size not just for him, but for a buddy as well.(Z and his sweet buddy Jett with room to spare, age 2)

Even at age 3 we could get 2 kiddos in there.
(one afternoon my dear friend JL and I left the kids unattended down in the bedroom and after a suspicious 10 minutes of silence we found this scene. age 3 and they figured out how to draw the bath and help themselves.)

(getting cramped but still doable for two.)

Slowly by age 4 it became a one child bath tub, but still ample for a little guy.

(you can see the "dolphin hatch" that sits next to the tub here. this is the one from the "moment" last week.)

And this week, as he adjusted and shifted and made merry with his bubbles, he declared, "Mommy, this tub is getting too small for me." To which I retorted, "Perhaps it's you who are getting too big my dear."

(this shows the proximity of sink to head {toilet} to tub. spacious by boat standards, small by normal standards)

When he was a wee baby, we bathed him in the galley sink...
(Zach 6 days old)
 And we'll probably do the same for the new baby in the beginning. Once they are both bath tub age we won't have to worry too much... because we actually have TWO bath tubs. One in each hull.

(this is the head {bathroom} on the other side in the port hull, or what we call the guest room for now. same layout in reverse. Zach is standing on the edge of the tub opening the door to the bow sail locker.)

Yes, it's a crazy waste of space, but they're there just the same. Once we take off and leave the the luxury of dock side water behind, our loose plan is to turn one of them into some kind of storage. But for now, bubbles for everyone!!

Monday, April 26, 2010


It all started back in Hawaii. Grandma and Grandpa have horses. Zach adored them from the start but grew to LOVE them as he helped take care of them each day. And then he got lessons out there and... game over. He's a now horse kid. As for my feelings about all this, just check in here. In short, I really dislike the tempermental, stinky beasties. I don't trust them and I generally try to keep my distance.

But being a loyal mom who wants to encourage her boy's passions, I looked high and low for a way for him to continue riding back here at home. And I found this fabulous, somewhat local barn that offers homeschool horse back riding classes at what was easily half the cost of all the other lessons around.

But there's a catch, I find out. I guess the reason it's so darn affordable is the required parent participation. Yes, I am required to be by his side the whole time. No sideline parenting in this class. From the barn lessons in grooming...
To saddling and even leading the horse around while the instructor teaches the kids the ins and outs. Yes, this is a lead rope in the photo going from Ralph the horse to me. And I have to be there on the end of it for the better part of an hour.
At least I do for the first session or two until the kids have complete control over the beasts themselves. Sneezing, pregnant, and so out of my comfort zone it's not even funny... I do it for one reason...
Can you see the love in his eyes for this big stinky beastie. How could I not?


Friday, April 23, 2010

this moment

This moment requires a brief explanation. I've been sick sick sick all week. of course being pregnant, my options for a quick fix on feeling better and carrying on with the business of parenthood are nill. In short, I am barely keeping my head up. The boy has been ever so patient with me this week, taking it slow and frankly putting up with being cooped up.
Yesterday D came home early from work and took Z out so I could get some rest and he could get in some much needed adventure time. I was in bed resting (finally) when I heard a knock on the hatch in the head where the bathtub is, and this is what I saw. My moment of sunlight in an otherwise dreary week.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

strawberry love

Mark this day, because something historic is about to happen. I am about to post... a recipe.

(pause for shock and awe)

It all started years ago as Doug and I sailed our first boat into Miami seeking fresh provisions. With some local help, we came upon the Coconut Grove Saturday Organic Market. We were drawn in by the amazing raw fruit pie, and it did NOT disappoint. In fact, it stuck with us for years. What was that amazing taste sensation and how do we recreate it? Then my pal Sarah at HappyFoody posted this and we've been spoling ourselves ever since.
It's so easy, clearly, becuase I am willing to make it. First the crust -- no wheat! Just use crushed raw almonds and pecans and dates. I also add a dash of juice from an orange to get it nice and sticky. If you don't have the kitched gadgets to finely ground nuts, you can cheat like me and buy some almond meal at Trader Joes and then just mash up the raw pecans and dates. The press it into a pie dish.
Next layer your favorite fruits into the crust. We love doing all or mostly strawberries.
I sneak in some raspberries and blueberries too. My parents out in Hawaii like to use what's local out there and do mango and papaya and pineapple and coconut. You can do just about anything, go crazy!
Then take the last bit of the main fruit you used and pop it in the blender with a dash of water and some more dates. Blend into a smooth puree and pour over the top of the fruit. Then let it chill for a bit in the fridge.

Finally, find an excuse for a special occasion and pig out! Be warned, despite having no sugar or wheat and being completely raw, this pie is insanely addicting and has been known to serve as breakfast.
Preparation Time: 20 minutes

Chilling Time: 1 hour
Servings: 8-12

2 cups raw almonds and/or pecans
3/4 cup pitted dates, preferably Medjool

5 cups sliced ripe strawberries
5 pitted dates, soaked 10 minutes in warm water and drained
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Place the nuts in a food processor and grind until they’re a coarse meal. Add the 3/4 cup of dates (for the crust) and process until thoroughly combined. Press the mixture into a non-stick or very
lightly oiled pie plate or spring form pan.

Arrange 4 cups of the sliced strawberries on top of the crust and set aside.

In a food processor or blender, combine the remaining 1 cup of strawberries with the 5 soaked dates and lemon juice. Puree until smooth. Pour the sauce mixture over strawberries.

Refrigerate the pie for 1 hour before serving. This will help the pie set and will be perfect for slicing.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

can you feel the love?

We turn over in the middle of the night, shift and flop and find our positions in the not-quite-queen size berth. And before he fades back into deep REM sleep again, he says, "Mama, I love you more than the south and north stars."

My boy has been so full of love lately. He's always been a cuddly, lovey guy with me, but these days he tells me he loves me 80 times a day. And in the most poetically 5-year old ways too. "Mama I love you bow to stern." "Mama, I love you so much I just can't get enough of you."

And it makes me happy and wistful all at once. Because I know one day this skinny legged, scraggly haired little love bug will be older and WILL have enough of me. There will be a day when he won't so freely express what he feels. And I'll think back to this love fest and wonder. It's such a sweet phase, I just don't want it to end. My brother tells me (and he should know) that mama's boys run in our family and it won't necessarily end. But still, I save all of the little notes, so I won't forget.
And I try to savor the now rather than worrying about the then. And I feel like the luckiest mama in the world to have this sweet little soul so close to me, so freely expressing himself, so sweetly trusting me with his everything.

Monday, April 19, 2010

it takes all kinds

I often joke that I could write a min-series based on the characters that float in and out of our marina. The goings on here are always colorful and never dull. Drama aside, we just love the diversity of people who congregate here all for the love of boats. There is the former (very) high ranking government official who most people only know on a first name/ dog name basis (not realizing his fame). I often watch him sitting in his cockpit with his pipe and a book and can only imagine how much he savors his salty anonymity and the slow pace of life afloat versus the Washington rat race he once ran. Then there's the mafioso fella and his fast talking wife on the big power boat who keep exotic animals as pets and ride across the marina lawn on their motorcycles. There was the mom who drifted in on a derelict pirate ship with twin 5 year old boys, and drifted out just as mysteriously. There was the young lady who was here illegally from England with her dog, living on whatever charter boat was empty at the time. A smile, a drink, and a tall tale await around every corner.
More than anything, there are the happy incidents of community that happen without effort. Nightly "Yappy Hour", when all the dog owners let their pups romp while sharing wine and appitizers. A gentleman helps Zach fill his saggy soccer balls from his man van.
A new liveaboard brings her swift out under the pavillion to wrap some new yarn for a shawl she's making.
The fellas all work together to solve some outboard engine trouble.
And this one cracked me up... the local refrigeration repair expert works on his latest gig out on the picnic table while drinking a beer, smoking a cig, and using a blow torch... all at the same time. "Come here peewee," he croons to Zach. "Ya wanna see how metal can melt?"
Never a dull moment.

Friday, April 16, 2010

this moment

A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. - via soulemama

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Cafe Life

Spring is exciting for so many reasons in our little slice of watery neighborhood. The water taxis are running, Zach gets to have baths any time he wants to, and our favorite marina cafe is open for the season.
(Zach and Daddy catch up on local news.)

The Wet Dog is a local-yokel hang out if there ever was one. You'd have to know it's there, tucked in to a neighboring marina among the travel lifts and busy boat yard. But they have NO problem staying busy.
(Zach and "the fellas" playing a game while waiting for their food. I swear, they remind me of a group of 80-something year old men at a deli.)

It's the sort of place that welcomes dogs with a bowl of water and often sees people come in wearing pajamas, paint stained clothes, or swim suits.
(Zach's 'tween buddy M arrives in pajamas for puzzles and breakfast)

Zach has been frequenting this place since he was in utero, and loves it when the ladies all sing out greetings as we walks in the door. He's even figured out how to go ask for sweets and "put in on our accont".
(Sailors from all over the world come and put a pin on the map to show where they're from.)

I love having a place like this just a short walk (or paddle) away. It's part of why marina life is so appealing to me as the stay-at-home parent. Whenever I need some spontaneous company or an adult conversation, I just have to take a few steps, and a community is there, at the ready.

Monday, April 12, 2010

April Weekending

It was a balance of work and play this weekend. The work was the messy and labor intensive endeavor of rebedding the last three hatches on the boat. We've slowly but surely been rebedding them all (which basically means ripping them out, scraping away the old sealant, cleaning with nasty solvents, applying new sealant, and re-installing then). Why go through all of this? Because boats leak. And leaks suck. Especially the ones over your bookshelf. The routine of scrambling to throw towels over the book nook every time it rains is not one I will miss. So hopefully this new super-goo will do the trick and we'll have a dry boat!
The play was all about heading out in the dinghy. We finally got the "little boat" ready for the season and decided to head to town. The fellas took it easy (to say the least) while mama did all the driving.
It was a lovely spring day, town was bustling with tourists, and we savored every minute of it.
Hope you all had a fun filled weekend too!

Friday, April 09, 2010

this moment

A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. - via soulemama

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

all by myself!

The only thing sweeter than watching your boys head out for an afternoon fishing/ kayaing trip...

... is watching your baby paddle his daddy back all by himself.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Hanging Outside

It's that time of year. The time where we simply can't bring ourselves to be indoors unless absolutely necessary. Finally. I know, as someone who practically skipped winter by running away to a tropical island I get little sympathy on the topic, but it's different when you're home. Zach is in his zone.
It makes me so happy to see him skipping along the docks ("No runing on the docks Zach. NO running!"), mucking barefoot along the shore, catching the first waves of grass shrimp and small fish, digging up worms in the green ship, and climbing trees just to sit in their branches and be. We love stretching our creative abilities indoors on a cold, wet day as much as the next person, but in the end, finding ways to make the time pass inside is a real challenge for us. This is who we are.
Outside observing the critters as they scurry to and fro, working on the boat, gliding across the water, swinging free.
He's deicded to eat most of his meals on the swing lately.
And last night he decided to hang out there way past bed time. No problem by me. I could literally feel his bliss as I peeked out through the hatch and he just sat out there in the dark, looking at the stars, slowly swinging in the fresh air, where he needs to be.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Does anyone smell burning flesh?

I was inspired by MamaRoots to try out a new project this weekend. We had some wooden eggs from Casey Wood laying about, just begging to be decoarted for spring. So I bought a small, cheap wood burner (my dear husband is gonna plotz when he finds out how many amps this thing draws). I clumsily etched out designs, and with each awkward attempt managed to singe the tips of my fingers as well. I am surprised the smell of burning flesh didn't startled anyone on board. Hmmmmm. In the end we had a nice collection of eggies waiting to be painted with watercolors.
My painting technique is as primitive as my designs, but we had fun doing it and the kids loved their little eggs (Zach stashed away the ones he painted in his treasure chest before I could take a photo). Check out MamaRoots' tutorial on the process, and her amazing beautiful story eggs! My burned and blistered fingers have a renewed, deeper appreciation for her talents :)

Friday, April 02, 2010

this moment

A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. - via soulemama

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Scrubbing Spring

Child labor laws be damned. This is what children are for. That's right swabbie, if you ever want to climb the ranks to mate, you better show me you can swab the decks. I want to see my face shining in that gelcoat.

Seriously, Zach looks forward to this spring ritual as much as I do. The marina FINALLY turns the dockside water back on for the season, the sun is FINALLY shining, and we get to scrub months and months worth of goo and grime and guck from the cockpit.

(Seriously, how GROSS is that? This is what lies beneath our raised plastic paneling that normally covers the cockpit floor. I tore that out to reveal this scene. Then I power washed the floor panels while the swabbie worked on this mess.)
The cockpit sees the most action on the boat. It's not just our front door, it's our porch. It's where dirty shoes are left. It's where various critters swoop in and nose around. It's where half finished projects sometimes go to die. It gets dirty. But ever since Zach was a little guy, we've made the job of the first cleaning of the season fun by turning it into a water fight/ bubble bath/ boy gets the hose free for all.

(Zach and best buddy Miss T helping to clean the cockpit, age 3)
(Same ritual, age 4)
(be careful people, he's got a hose and he knows how to use it)

Zach proved himself most useful this year, crawling into the tight spaces my already expanding belly wouldn't allow me to reach. It's amzing how genuinely useful he can be at just age 5. It's not just busy work, he's really helping.
All I have to do is grab the hose and the brush, and he's suddenly dying to lend a hand. I love that he's still at an age where a hose is all he needs for fun. Today I kept imagining a teenage version of Z, moaning and rolling eyes and asking for payment for a chore like this. I figure I would show him these photos and remind him how much fun swabbing the decks can be.  And if he doesn't believe me and skulks off like a teenager, then I'll hand the hose to his little sister/ brother to be and start all over again.
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