Thursday, May 30, 2013


First time the little one sews...

First fish of the season...

First time milking a goat...

First time raising the sail for this year...

First try at hatching chicks...  (yep, they're here! all cozied up in the guest cabin.)

First time in a long, long time I have witnessed sunrise (and over the beautiful Chesapeake Bay Bridge no less!)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

linen love

I've been squirreling away old pillow cases for a few years now. A couple snatched from our family beach cabin in Michigan.  A few from Good Will. Here and there the little pile of linens grows. And finally I had enough of them to piece together a patchwork skirt.

I love, LOVE, love upcycling fabrics, especially old linens. I love the feel, I love the character, I love the thriftiness, I love the patterns. It's all so good! And easy! Pillow cases are already hemmed, so a skirt is a no brainer and pants are half finished for you. Some ribbon trim or bias tape and you are good to go.

The pillowcase above was from our old cabin (I have a matching one... still planning with that one) and the ribbon trim is by Anna Maria Horner.

Upcycling old linens is perfect for summer because they are so light weight. Pajamas, skirts, capris, dresses, little bags... oh yes there will be more.

(if you follow the progression of the photos, I was chasing her around the cockpit trying to catch a shot of her wearing the skirt, and she proceeded to pull a Godzilla on our onion plants. Force of nature this little one.)

My friend Behan sent me some gorgeous linens from her family's cottage. I gasped when I opened the package and was so grateful that she took the time to ship them to me on her short trip home from her family's cruising adventures in the Indian Ocean.  I made a pillowcase skirt for my friend Laureen's little girl (another catamaran family), and I am still planning and dreaming with the rest. Zach saw what I have been sewing for Naia and commented with a sigh, "Mom, you are dressing her in the old curtains like one of the VonTrapp children!! When I get old enough to make more money, I am going to buy her proper clothes."

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

girls afternoon out

She's been begging for weeks, but it's been too cold, and too rainy, and too busy. And finally the magic happened. Sun, an afternoon with just the two of us, and we pushed off the dock to go exploring. Pure bliss. I so look forward to many more adventures with this girl.

Monday, May 20, 2013

catch and sketch

As soon as Zach was old enough to catch critters from the Bay on his own he made it his mission all spring/summer/ fall to scoop up as many living things from the water as possible. There was always the issue of what do to with these critters once you have them. Of course eventually they go back in the briney deep, but it never seems like enough. So he got into the habit of catch and sketch.

Crabs and shrimp and fish have come and gone, and all posed for a portrait. The tradition continues. Recently the kids found a first... a newly hatched snapping turtle.

They spent all afternoon building him a proper habitat. And then the sketching.

Traditional fishing continues too. Zach is totally focused on catching the family some dinner. Of course there isn't anything big enough or edible around the marina, but I make a point not to mention that. Naia in her never ending quest to do anything Zach does has taken to "fishing". We got her a little fishing rod and attached a rubber fish to the line and voila. She is pleased as punch to cast plop the fish into the water, wiggle him around, and reel him back in. Endless fun.

And finally there are some critters we merely appreciate rather than catch. Although she has tried, oh yes, she really wants to bring this lovely home. I just keep saying, "She's sleeping, shhhhhh. Don't bother her now."

Saturday, May 18, 2013


This girl is officially 2 1/2 now. Energetic, outgoing, sensitive, joyful, helpful, flirty, chatty, strong willed, fearless, cuddly, amazing ray of sunshine.

Loves: avocado, playing with her animals, books, yellow, singing, dancing, copying every single thing her brother does (so thankful he's got a good head on his shoulders!), butter, mama's ginger tea, laughing, ants, scuba divers, running, jumping, baths, foxes, sharks.

Doesn't like: bees, flies, when her brother goes somewhere without her, naps, getting compliments (when people tell her she is cute she yells, "No my am Naia!"), hair washing, hair brushing, seafood, hearing babies cry.

I am grateful for every moment of every day I have with this amazing little girl.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

washing, oiling, and learning

My sweet boy loves to ride his bicycle. We were given one last fall that was perfect for him... until he had the nerve to grow. And grow. And wow that bike looks tiny now just 6 months later. So we plotted to buy him a bigger one for his birthday, but we lucked into a friend who needed to unload one and voila. Yesterday we surprised him early with a shiny, barely used and new to him bicycle.

And today... it was gone. I was standing by the marina bike rack where he always very carefully locks it up. I was just hanging around watching Naia torture ants (ooops, that one dead now. oooops, he not moving. why they keep dying when I play with them?) and I glanced at the bike rack and noticed his new bike was not there. 

When I inquired about it you could literally see his little almost 9 year old wheels turning in his unwashed head. "Oh. Ohhhhh no. I think I did something really dumb." 

He started to run around the marina glancing here and there, wheels still turning. I kept asking him what happened and how can I help him look. And then he told me, "Well, I left it on the dock and now..."

ON. THE. DOCK?!?! Are you kidding me. This child, this child who has been calling this boat home since he was 3 days old. This child who has seen everything from a large tomato plant to a small dog go over the edge of the dock and into the murky oblivion of the Chesapeake Bay gone forever. This child who is almost 9 years old and should know better. That child put his brand new bike on the edge of the finger pier (the skinny wobbly one that sticks out from the main dock) on a wicked windy day and left it there over night. And forgot all about it.

Fast forward to the dumb luck portion of our show. I counted it as dead and gone. I told him if he wanted to scrape together his change and ask our marina friend Diver Mike to go down and search for it that was ok, but that he better ask Mike soon because a bicycle can only take so much time in salty muck before Poseidon calls finders keepers on it. My husband all the while was lying on his belly in his just home from work nice clothes with the boat hook all the way extended poking systematically through the water. Roughly a half hour of poking later he hit metal. Not only that, he managed to haul the bike up with the boat hook.

I was happy for the rescue, but still fuming about the whole scenario. We told Zach the protocol for bringing it back to life. Washing down with fresh water, oiling all the critical parts, and of course getting it OFF the dock and back over to the bike racks where it belongs. I left him to his task still shaking my head.  My wise friend Behan gently reminded me that this was all a good thing. "Washing, oiling, and LEARNING", she said. 

They grow. They learn. We wince. It's all good.

Monday, May 06, 2013


My boy has always loved gardening. And I do not posses the gardening gene. My dad is a fabulous gardener, and he really tried to get me involved as a kid, but it didn't stick. I can never remember to take care of plants. I am one of those people who wants all of the benefits of garden fresh food without any of the work required to get it. We have tried dockside gardening and the results have been slim at best. A few hearty tomato crops, some scrawny cucumbers, a lovely season of basil. That's about it.

So this year we decided to try something different. Zach and Naia started some seeds aboard in early spring as always (we found out later that jars were a bad choice for starting seeds. Lesson learned.), and then we rented a garden plot at the Fairy Forest that is all ours for the planting.

Of course we have no idea how/ when/ where to plant anything. But we just made it up as we went along. Some of our own sprouted green things and some picked from the farm nursery.
Random little holes were dug, wee little green things were inserted into said holes, and then we patted them down with warm earth and high hopes.

Maybe, just maybe in a few weeks or months something edible may spring from this little plot of ours.

Saturday, May 04, 2013

making a splash

The thing people will ask you most as a boat parent is "what about falling in."

Zach was a very naturally cautious kid. We took all the safety precautions with him, teaching him to always have on his PFD, no running on the docks, watch the edges, etc. But in truth he just naturally stuck by my side.

Numero two, not so much. She does know the rules, and she is a rock star about not going down the dock without me or a PFD (we call them "floaties") on. She will run from the lawn and stop automatically right where the wood of the dock starts. But in other ways, she is more of a push the limits kind of gal (hence our 3 trips to the ER just in the past 9 months.)

So while Zach managed not to fall in until he was 5 years old, it was no surprise to me that Naia took her first dunk this week. I walked with her down to the dinghy dock to secure and clean up the kayak. I looked at her and said, don't touch the paddles, just stay there for one minute while I move the kayak around this other boat. And 3 seconds after I turn my back I heard the cry.  A quick glace at the scene and it was clear she did exactly what I asked her not to do. She grabbed the enormous kayak paddle and took it to the edge of the dock and tried to paddle the water. Of course. And of course fell in. She had her PFD on and it did its job of floating her head up on her back. I grabbed the handle and pulled her up in a jiffy.

She was startled more than anything, and cold (have I mentioned it's still cold here? Seriously, what's up with this weather?!), but she was ok. I dried her off, changed her clothes, and talked to her very seriously about listening, especially around the water.
Zach is a champ about setting a good example for Naia, but sometimes a kid is just a kid. The other day he had been outside a long time and when I peeked out I found this.

He collected all of the fenders that had washed up in a recent wind storm, and a life ring, and a boogie board, and a basketball and was apparently making a raft. Because, you know mom Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn did it and they were about my age so how hard can it be?

Love that crazy kid.

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