Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Summer Sales

He doesn't like drinking lemonade and assumes nobody else would want to drink the stuff either. But my boy, like so many kids, is a natural entrepreneur. Summer time is ripe with business opportunities, especially in our floating neighborhood which explodes with seasonal boaters bustling to and fro.

In the past he's sold shrimp for bait...

Nutmeg for rum drinks...

Rosemary he grew himself on the docks...

And now he and a neighbor girl are selling crabs.

They are careful to leave the females and the little ones, and man these kids are good with that net. The crabs are going to have to get faster because ice cream money is on the line here. Yep, it's summer time.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

the barnacle and the darting fish

Zach and I have this joke. Basically he is always right at my side, like physically next to me. Sometimes I don't realize he is at my side and I end up accidentally knocking him with my elbow or stepping on him. "My little barnacle," I often declare. "You need to give mama some space." Maybe Naia heard that in the womb and took it to heart because she never. sits. still. And wherever I am she is darting rapidly in the opposite direction. Head strong, feet marching.

She seriously never looks back, doesn't check to see where we are, and certainly doesn't turn or come when we call out to her. She marches on. And on. So determined, jabbering in toddler alien speak all the while. jibber-jabber jibber-jabber blue dog. jibber jabber jibber jabber hot sun. jibber jabber jibber jabber hi boys!

One day I will know what she's saying. And maybe even know where she's going and why. And one day perhaps she will turn back and wait for me and I will get to join her on her adventures. In the mean time, I am one tired mama chasing behind and the only photos I seem to catch are of her going... and going... and going. My little barnacle and I laugh and wonder at our wee darting fish.

Monday, May 21, 2012

rocks and books and loud music

Since he was old enough to toddle around the marina, Zach has been slowly but steadily excavating this place. Some kids are train kids or car kids... my boy is a digger. We took him to Mexico when he was 2 and he brought his trusty blue shovel and spent hours picking away through the rubble, unearthing the Mayan empire one stone at a time.
"One day mama," he muses so very often. "One day I am gonna find something amazing and museums will be begging me for my treasures." A certain mama may have been known to toss a coin or schmaltzy ring in his path, just under the sand or dirt to keep him encouraged. He always seems to find something on his own though, a tooth, a fish bone, a funny rock. And so he digs, and digs, and digs... someday mama.

So I barely looked up from my toddler chasing (does that girl EVER stop running in the opposite direction?) when he came breathlessly from his excavation site behind the dinghy racks to declare he'd "found something". He sang over and over, "An arrowhead, an arrowhead, an arrowhead!!" You need to understand that I have heard that excited declaration before. Many times before. Any rock in a vaguely triangular in shape is an arrowhead to a little boy. But then he brought me this.
Wow, that's really an arrowhead! A real find! We looked up arrowheads and tried to figure out this from that without much real luck. So a few phone calls later we had an appointment to meet with an archaeologist at Historic London Town & Gardens where Zach does some homeschool classes. He was coming unglued with excitement to meet a "real archaeologist" and share his find.

We came away with the information we were seeking. The arrowhead is at least 4-thousand years old. It was underwater for a long time, probably used for spear fishing. He showed Zach how to clean his find properly and suggested he keep it in a safe place and keep digging in that spot. But Zach came away with so much more. "You know what I liked about his office mama? It wasn't full of computers, it was full of rocks and books, my favorite things in the world. And he was wearing dirty boots and listening to loud music. I liked that."

He set up his room now with his rocks and books prominently displayed, and music can be heard from time to time at a louder than usual volume. The dirty boots are always present and the digging and dreaming continues.

Friday, May 18, 2012

ode to the dock cart

It's just a small fiberglass tub with wheels, but it's truly like my mother's helper. Anyone who lives on a boat understands the necessity of a good dock cart. They wait for you like loyal dogs, lined up hopefully near the parking area or the foot of your docks.
The boy knows that whenever we park the car after errands, his job is to hop out and bring the cart to the car and help me load it up.  The things that end up in there vary so wildly... groceries, clothes, boat parts, pumpkins, tomato plants, driftwood, fabric, boxes of diapers, piles of books, bottles of wine.

And of course kids and dock carts are a natural match. They are turned over to build forts, they are filled up with sticks and stones, and they're the best ride around the marina.

Naia already declares "cart ride!" whenever she passes the red wheeled chariot. We've never owned a stroller (highly impractical for boat dwellers) so this is the closest either kid has come to having wheels.  Doug or I often take them for evening rolls around the marina. One evening after yoga I found him pacing the grounds with Naia wrapped in blankets, sound asleep in the cart like a little bundle.
So here's to our unsung helper the dock cart. May your wheels stay steady and your bottom stay clean.

Friday, May 11, 2012

~this moment~

A Friday ritual (most weeks), a single photo capturing a moment from the week(ish). A simple, special moment. A moment I want to pause, savor, and remember. ~ via soulemama.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

an egg is...

My boy is quite the tracker. Seriously, he is always the first one to spot hidden wildlife, find a new set of tracks,  nab the perfect shell, or find a small lost something in a large field. He loves gathering wild edibles and bringing them home to make tea or something. He is constantly coming home with little treasures like these.

So we were romping in a field after a long day at the farm where we do a homeschool program on Mondays, and he comes running back to  me with this.
"It was just sitting there, in the tall grass. I swear I didn't take it out of a nest. Can we bring it home and hatch it and have a pet? Can we mom? Can we?"

I reminded him of one of our favorite spring books, An Egg Is Quiet and said he needed to leave eggs in the wild alone so they can become new animals for the world.  I told him we would go find one of the farmers and ask her what the "right" thing to do is. I was smug and sure that the farmer would say to put it right back where he found it and by the way don't go touching eggs in the wild again.

She examined the egg, declared it was a Canadian goose egg, said it was freshly laid that day, and then shocked me with her suggestion. "That's good, fresh food. Take it home and eat it!" She really could not have made that boy any happier. "I hunted my own breakfast!", he chirped all the way home. And indeed he had the largest plate of scrambled eggs you ever saw the next morning. I couldn't bring myself to try it. But my boy assures me that an egg is... delicious!

Sunday, May 06, 2012

check out that floor

Finally... after talking about it for about 7 years now.... finally we have new floors in the boat! The material is called Plynyl and it's a woven vinyl that comes in wall to wall (what we have) and glue down tiles. It's easy to clean, non-slip, flexible for all those funky boat floor imperfections and curves to cover. Look at that clean, smooth hallway. Here is a little before for comparison. Yikes!

Of course before we even removed the tape for the caulk, Miss Naia made her mark, testing the claim that this is a low maintenance floor. Indeed, it wiped right up with a damp cloth.

The right place to color... 

The wrong place to color...
So far it's proving to be fairly kid resistant. We clean it with a vacuum and damp cloth when needed and it looks great all over again. Time will tell how it holds up in the long run, but anything is better than that nasty carpet we had. Good riddance! 

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Indigena - book giveaway

This is my friend Cindy. See how she's glowing? That's because not only is she an amazing all around human being, but she also just published her first book.
Indigena is a novel celebrating the spirit of Cinco de Mayo. Gringos often only know that Cinco de Mayo is a time for cheap cervesas and mucho guacamole. Do you know the story behind this special day? Cindy learned about it while she was living in Mexico and what started as a travel magazine article turned into a novel and spiritual journey.

In her own words: "INDIGENA is about learning to sing your own unique song and the journey that it might take to hear the symphony. It is about the music and communication that surrounds us everyday. It is also about the infinite realm of possibility when a situation appears unfavorable. Adversity is an invitation to find our power. In  the Battle of Puebla a highly decorated French Army was defeated by a newly recruited Mexican Army largely comprised of indigenous men with little or no military training. INDIGENA is a story of triumph and the expansive effect a seemingly small event can have in the Universe."

Cindy is a friend and a neighbor and our kids play together so this is such a wonderful accomplishment for those of us who are lucky enough to know her. So go buy the book, spread the word, like the Facebook page, and...

... Leave a comment below for a chance to WIN a signed copy of the book! Comments will close on Cinco De Mayo (of course!) and I will pick a random winner over the weekend. Gracias!

COMMENTS CLOSED - Monique you are the winner! Thanks everyone for your support!

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