Thursday, November 29, 2012


There is something about sailors and pilots. They tend to be cut from the same cloth. Adventurous, a little nuts, driven yet relaxed. We like those people and we're lucky to have more than a few pilots in our life. Zach is fascinated by airplanes and flight and I feel very fortunate that he gets a first hand insight from our flying friends.

Our buddy Peter flies for a major US commercial airline, but that's not quite enough for him. For the last 6 years he has been building his own plane in a rented workshop at the marina. He is a long time friend and fellow boat dweller and we have been keeping up with his progress as he's pieced together his airplane, from scratch, one little gravity defying jigsaw puzzle piece at a time. Truly, mind boggling.

 We dropped in to check out his progress recently. He has to keep the palne partially disassembled just so it will fit the wee space he's working in. Even in parts, it's starting to look like an airplane now.

He is so generous about answering the thousand little questions Zach has and showing him what's what when we drop in. He even allowed a little personal touch.
Zach has already very clearly made it be known that he would like to be among the first to take this baby for a spin when she's flight ready.

From the DIY'er to the high flier... our dear friend Shanon is a private pilot. Even though they live far away now, our families are very close, Zach adores their son who is the same age. Shanon flies a hedge fund manager around in high style on a private jet. There have been times when circumstances have allowed Shanon to fly in his son to come play with Zach for the day. Don't get used to that kind of play date, we tell the boys! He flew in for a day (without the kids) last week and treated Zach and Naia to a morning on the jet.


Zach was blissed out as Shanon showed him every detail and how to push buttons and get the plane ready for the day. I thought we were going to have to pry him out of the co-pilot's seat.

Naia, who has never been on a plane, acted like a private jet was the most normal thing in the world. She climbed right on, checked the place out, and then found her seat and kept declaring, "I ready! I ready, we go now." She was truly in her element. Once again all I could think was, don't get used to this kid.

I am so grateful to our pilot friends who are so generous with their time and attention. It's always so remarkable when you have other adults in your life who will share so generously with your kids as if they were their own. Priceless.

Monday, November 26, 2012

hanging on

I always feel a little dizzy when Christmas lights go up while the Thanksgiving dishes are being washed. I adore fall, and I never feel ready to tuck it away for another year just after Thanksgiving. We still have some sunshine. We still have piles of leaves. You can fa-la-la all you want, but it's still fall.

(Thanks to everyone who came by Rhythm Of The Home blog for my posts each Monday. The last one for the month is up now. And be on the look out here for another fun giveaway coming soon!)

Friday, November 23, 2012


An ocean of thanks to each and every one of you who take time from your busy days and nights to float on by this space. You are appreciated and I am grateful for all of the amazing connections I have made here.
May your bellies be full and your days be joyful today and everyday.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

wee girl time

One day a week we drop Zach off at wilderness survival school where he spends 5 hours hiking and starting fires and building shelters and collecting plants. And suddenly it becomes a girls day out. At first I found myself not really knowing what to do with Naia during those days. She is so used to being the tag along rather than the focus. There's an errand to run, or a Zach activity to head out to, or we meet up with his friends and she just comes along and enjoys whatever we're up to. But now we had most of a day that could be all about Naia, with no sibling interruptions, no schedules, no agenda. And her favorite thing to do is "go for walkies!"

Oh how I love getting to know this mighty girl one on one. She is so independent, so focused and so joyful. Singing and chatting to everything, looking for owls, giving directions (you sit here mama, no right here please and I give you leafs ok?)  She is so sure of herself it blows me away.

This girl time is pure bliss for me, and the best part is it's just the beginning.

Monday, November 19, 2012

down at the farm

(*warning, this post is not for the faint of heart or vegetarians. blood and guts ahead.)

We have always joked that because we live on a boat that one day our children would grow up to be farmers. And the way Zach is leaning, it just may be true. For about a year and a half we have been finding ourselves on a regular basis down at Hard Bargain Farm for our homeschool farm class. This is not a cutesy farm outing for soft suburban kids where they feed a goat some kibble and get a hay ride. Last year the emphasis was on conservation and science, focusing more on the environment and human activity that impacts farmland and all land.  This year they are going hard core farm life, right down to the slaughtering of your own dinner.

Our amazing farmer/ teacher Sharon has set up a set of activities that will guide the kids through the seasons of the farm and what it would be like to get by on this farm way back when.

They learned all about preserving meat, root cellars, milking cows, making yogurt and cheese, and canning. And further on in the year they will be doing everything from candle making to wool spinning to hatching their own chicks (no, I don't have any idea where we will keep chicks on a boat but we'll cross that bridge when the time comes.)

But this month, this month was chicken slaughtering month. The two farmers who lead our group, Sharon and Eileen, couldn't have handled the whole thing any better than they did. They were so matter of fact, yet gentle with the kids explaining the how and why of the whole process. Of course there was lots of talk about where meat comes from, why what your food eats when it's alive matters to you, and treating animals humanely right up to the ax blade.
(the chickens are not kept in there normally, just were just put in there for a few minutes while we were doing the deed)

The kids were equally amazing. There was a little wincing as each chicken met his fate, but more than anything there was curiosity.

The kids bled out their chicken in a bucket, and then they dipped them in boiling water for a few minutes.

Once that was finished, the mood shifted gears as they all gathered around the picnic table to pluck off the feathers.

Everyone was sharing experiences with animals, swapping recipes, and making dinner plans and the mood was down right festive and even a little silly.

I was so so so very proud of all of the kids in Zach's group. They did not utter one word of complaint. Bloody fingernails and gooey hands they were so determined and so proud of preparing their own dinners. These kids are not prissy couch potato types, they rocked!

Feet off, guts out, and cleaned in ice water we all got to take a whole bird home. We always buy our eggs, milk when it's available, and pork and beef from this farm when we come. But this was farm food on a whole different level. Zach was so proud that dinner that night was a chicken he butchered, rosemary he grew, cocoa made from the milk he and his friends got from the cows, and applesauce from one of our canning days.

If he becomes a farmer one day, I'll be more than happy with that choice, as long as he lives close enough to a coast for his old mom and dad to sail by and provision.

I flaked out on mentioning earlier this month that the lovely folks over at Rhythm Of The Home invited me to guest blog this month, each Monday all month long. I love ROTH so very much and was thrilled they asked me. Head on over, there should be a fresh post this morning and the past couple of ones are up as well.

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