Wednesday, May 13, 2015

evenings on deck

We've settled into a new pattern with the warmer, longer evenings. No longer are we scurrying indoors and hiding from the cold and dark. We're all having a hard time coming inside at all until the sun is far below the horizon and the first three stars are out.

The new evening entertainment is just hanging out on the foredeck. Swinging, jumping, spoiling the dog, tackling, giggling, reading, playing ukulele, anything as long as it's out in the fresh fabulous spring air.  We're savoring each sunset. Sometimes we blow the conch horn. Other times we snap a dozen photos, and still other times we just stare silently in gratitude for another beautiful day.

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

girls weekend

Recently Naia and I had a weekend all to ourselves. She was so excited to have a "only girls weekend", yet neither of us really knew what that was going to mean. Of course, when guys have a weekend to themselves, they sit around and eat junky food and watch bad movies, right? We ladies do things a little differently.

This is the disgusting goop that falls under our cockpit floor tiles all winter long. We decided it was warm enough to tackle cleaning the boat cockpit.

Yeah, we know how to party, scrub brushes and a hose. Look out world! Sorry I don't have an after photo, just imagine it all white and clean.

Naia also wanted to plant a garden. We have a long history of neglecting and killing plants in our family, she hasn't caught on to that yet. So I let her plop some tomato seeds into some soil. I am not sure why I bother getting organic everything when nothing will ever sprout up from our dirt box. Ever hopeful, maybe she holds the green thumb in the family.

The best part of girls weekend was just having the undivided attention to spend with my wee girl. We spoiled the dog (even though he is a boy, he was allowed), we played loud music, we looked for water snakes, and I got her hooked on Enid Blyton books. She is such a great little buddy to have around. I can't wait to have more weekends like this with her.

Saturday, May 02, 2015

wild edibles walk

I can safely say it now. No more chance of a freeze. It's finally spring. Finally. I know this because Naia said so. And I make it a point not to argue with 4 year olds.

We were chatting in a friend's front yard, kids playing and parents hanging out. The dad of these friends gathered a bouquet of violets and handed it to Naia. She smiled and accepted, then without missing a beat she stuffed the bouquet in her mouth. The look on that dad's face was priceless. He said, "I've never given flowers to a lady before and had her eat them."

I love that Naia knows her wild edibles pretty well for a 4 year old. She gets that clover, onion grass, dandelion, red bud, various mints, and of course violets are all good to munch on.

We proceeded to pick (with permission) all of the violets from their yard, and went home to make violet simple syrup (though it looked more pink than violet/purple.) And from that you can then make lemonade or spritzers for a spring time drink.
Zach invited some friends over to have violet lemonade and red bud ice cubes.

There was quite a bit of sugar in these drinks. Herbal, but sugary. Things got a little silly. Because it's spring.

Friday, April 24, 2015


This week a little girl shaped hole formed in my heart. My friend Cidnie's daughter Kitty drowned in the blink of an eye in a tragic accident. I have held this beautiful child in my arms, I have looked into her sparkling eyes, and her mama and I share how our babies are so alike (and so much more) as often as we can. I literally have no words. I barely have breath.

Please read my friend Behan's post, for she beautifully explains what's going on in a way I could never hope to mirror.

And my friend Laureen perfectly states how I feel, how we all feel, if you are so inclined to make any negative statements in my space about this tragedy.

And Anne beautifully describes trying to make sense of it.

And Brittany bares the grief we all feel so raw and close to the surface.

I am grateful my boat mama tribe is strong enough to create words and thoughts. All I can manage right now are expletives and sobs.

Cidnie, baby Naia, and baby Kitty.

Please help them get through this difficult time by donating here.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

pony run

If you've ever read the book Misty of Chincoteague you probably have romantic notions about the wild ponies of Assateague Island. It's only about 2 hours from us, so with my horse loving boy we go about once a year. The big deal out there is the annual pony run in July. They round up the wild ponies from the island and swim them across to the other island where some are sold, and then the remaining ones are swum back to roam free another year. You can watch all of this, if you want to stand around in the mosquito infested heat and humidity with 10-thousand other human beings.

No thank you. That's why we have YouTube.

However, my friend Serena called and told me there was a spring and fall pony run, and did we want to meet them there? It was on a weekend with cool wet weather, during the school year, and before the heat and mozzies set in. Sounds like a winner.

(6 year old horse loving V with her daddy Tig.)

 (Naia and O are the same age. She used to scare him when they were little, now they adore each other.)

So we packed the car, drove over the Chesapeake Bay bridge, and headed east to the barrier islands that rim Virginia and Maryland in the Atlantic ocean. Overall, the trip was fabulous and low key. Of course any time we hang out with Tig and Serena it's all good, but this time our horse loving big kids got to bask in the glow of pony run on a cool misty day with only about 100 other people. I did get separated from Zach during the actual action of the event, but he's old enough that I didn't worry about it. Naia was a trooper, especially considering she could really care less about horses. She was a bit cold, and a bit bored, until she figure out the mud bank we were standing in had wee crabs and snails to play with and then all was right in her world.  The ponies were rounded up by the local saltwater cowboys (who are all part of the volunteer fire department) into a pen where they spend the next day getting vet checks before being led back into the wild.

(My horse photos are a little blurry because a little monkey girl insisted on being on my back.)

So this is going to be our little secret, if you want to see the ponies without the crowds, go in spring or fall. But don't tell the other 10-thousand people, ok?

(Check out our other trips to Chincoteague and Assateague in 2011, 2012, and 2013)
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