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S/V Mari Hal-O-Jen
Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
My Daybook, June 9
June 9, 2008, 9:35 am

Stop by Peggy's for more entries.

Outside my Window...
Low and ominous clouds, I can see sheets of rain falling into the ocean to the north (between us and the Everglades) and to the south (between us and Cuba).

I am thinking...
About my plans to cook liturgically this summer. It has been fun to plan out menus for the next few weeks taking into account what is going on calendar-wise.

I am thankful for...
A phone call I just received.

From the kitchen...
I found a recipe for bannocks on the stovetop. I'd love to try and make them for St. Columba's Feast Day today. I do have to work at 4pm though, so we'll see...

I am creating...
A pretty lime-green cover for Marianna's dinghy this week.

I am going...
To meet my husband in town today for lunch at Paradise Cafe, reknown for their incredible monster-sized subs.

I am wearing...
White peasant skirt with sparkles, lavender tank and a moonstone necklace.

I am reading...
In the midst of Pride and Prejudice.

I am hoping...
That the rain I see will cool the air this afternoon.

I am hearing...
A tern hover fishing behind the boat.

Around the home...
Suntea brewing on the deck, cockpit freshly cleaned by Marianna and our stained-glass sarongs that double as sun curtains on the bimini billowing in the breeze.

One of my favorite things...
I watching the storms roll in during the summer.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...
An intense dental day is planned for Marianna later this week. We had to schedule this one 3 months out to coordinate between the orthodontist who will pull her wires and the dentist across town who will do the cleaning and then back to the orthodontist for new wires. Did I mention that the orthodontist only works on Thursdays? Must be nice.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you:

An earlier storm.

That Conch
who lives under the S/V Mari Hal-O-Jen now.
June 7, 2008, 11:06 am

Pleuroploca gigantea is the state seashell of Florida, not the Queen Conch as many suppose. Horse Conchs are the menace of the seas, if you are another marine gastropod, that is! They actually attack and eat other conchs, can you believe it? We waited and waited for this one to emerge.

This was as close as he came. I think he was camera shy, don't you?

Nature Study
Education Atmosphere
June 5, 2008, 12:30 pm

Elizabeth Foss is leading a summer study of Simply Charlotte Mason's Education Is... eBook. It is a free download so head over there and read this great little gem. It focuses on three words from Charlotte Mason's writings that encapsulate her approach to education. What are those three words? Charlotte Mason said, "Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life."

Webster defines education as involving training by both formal instruction and supervised practice; it includes all that we do to help our children develop mentally, morally and aesthetically; it entails our persuading our children to feel, believe, or act in a desired way. Simply Charlotte Mason makes the case that this all-around approach is what Charlotte Mason had in mind when she considered education. We can equate Mason's atmosphere with Webster's aesthetics, her discipline with his morals and Mason's life with Webster's mental development.

Let's address today the first third of a well-rounded education then. Simply Charlotte Mason focuses first on atmosphere with 6 quotes from her writings.

1. Children should grow up in a natural home setting, not an artificial, adapted "child environment."

To this particular chosen quote I'd add one more gem of Charlotte Mason's, "It stultifies a child to bring his world to a 'child's' level". This was oh so easy for me when Marianna was little, I never goo-gooed at her, we listened to great music together and frequently attended live productions, used real art materials, etc... but now that she has in fact entered that new realm called adolescence, what does this look like? I think it will result in acknowledging her ideas as valid and allow her additional input into that environment we call home. We are all (literally!) in this boat together.

2. Character traits can be learned through the atmosphere of the home.

Does my home have an atmosphere of respect, courtesy, kindness, etc? It only makes sense that if these virtues are apparent in the atmosphere of my home that Marianna will absorb them into her being. As my Mom was so fond of saying throughout my childhood: "Actions speak louder than words."

3. We must be careful how we live, because our children will pick up attitudes and ideas from us that will affect them the rest of their lives.

Gosh, can I be a little nautical here and quote one of my favorite mottos from Latts & Atts? "Attitude: The Difference between Ordeal and Adventure." How am I living my life? Is every little thing met as a challenging adventure or with the big ol' sigh of an ordeal? I know which side of the coin I'd prefer to be on, so what can I do to make certain that happens? Personally, I find that the big things are easy to file under Adventure but the small things drag me down into Ordeal-ville.

If I could relate a small story? Memorial Day after work I grabbed some fried chicken from Dion's and Hal and Marianna prepped our flats boat for a picnic. We haven't had rain down here for 40 days and 40 nights so we didn't pay much mind to the clouds blowing in from Cuba. Bad mistake there. We lost the impeller just as we were making a run back up the channel to the mainship as huge monster raindrops began falling. The channel's narrow so we just blew over onto the flats where we angled the bimini to provide a bit of shelter from the rain that was now driving horizontally beneath dark lightning-streaked skies. At this point I brought out the chicken for our picnic. We had a great time, we have another jewel of a memory to file away and once the storm lessened we made a dash back home absolutely drenched to the skin and laughing the whole way. We were met at the dock by our neighbors, horrified that we had been out, that our paddle had snapped in half, that our flats' pole was now a bit shorter than it should have been, that we had been through such an ordeal.

No. That was an Adventure! Marianna was right there beside us holding up the bimini with one hand and chewing on a drumstick with the other! She wasn't cowering in the bottom of the boat terrified out of her mind because I was wailing my head off at Hal because I just knew we were going to die! Could we have died? Of course, but as we all know, more people die from coconuts conking them on the head than from shark attacks each year.

Now those small things, the things that drag me down into
Ordeal-ville tend to be things like dishes. Once upon a time, a long, long time ago, I had a little system that worked wonders for organizing this boat and it fell apart over the last year. Slowly but surely I am bringing it back into play and I am determined that the dishes won't win the war! They may lay claim to a battle or two but I will be victorious!

4.The atmosphere of our homes is formed out of the ideas that rule our lives as parents.

What are these ideas that rule our lives? I think this might be where most of our time and effort is spent. Do we as parents value education? Our faith? Our health? Or are they simply afterthoughts in the rat race of our lives? If I continue to learn something new (a language, an instrument) I show by my actions that education is important. The same holds true regarding making time on Sunday to attend Mass, choosing healthy meals or attending to those neccessary things like annual eye appointments.

5.Atmosphere is only part, not all, of a child's education. We must also give the discipline of good habits and the living ideas of a generous education.

Balance. I think balance is key. An overabundance of any one thing will not lead to the generous education I hope to give my daughter.

6.The atmosphere of the home should encourage freedom under authority and obedience.

Perhaps a picture would be an appropriate example now. While I was writing this Marianna was swimming with her friend. She has the freedom to be in the water if she has a buddy. Simple rule laid down by those in authority that if obeyed results in freedom...freedom to find the largest Horse Conch we've ever seen!

Being the good boater girls they are there was no chorus of "Can we keep it?" Rather, the resounding chorus was "Can we eat it?"

Charlotte Mason
Spider Orchids and an Update
June 3, 2008, 9:55 am

Of course this would be my young arachnologist's favorite orchid. I never had a bit of doubt about that!


So the trip to Miami was good and bad as all trips to the mainland are.

Do you want the bad first?
~ I had to sit in that office from 12:45 to 4pm before seeing the doc. I actually arrived an hour early for my appointment hoping to get out that much earlier and beat rush hour traffic but that didn't work so well.
~ The 2 new eye drops he gave didn't cure my eye in one drop, darn it! It'll take at least a month, uggh!
~ The doc actually took a cell phone call while he was in the room with me and I hardly need tell you the impression that made on me!

Ready for the good?
~ He says I have an inflamed eye, nothing else is wrong. (???)
~ Traffic was fine. (for Miami, we only almost died twice)
~ Hal and Marianna had a great Daddy/Daughter Day while I sat. It involved hobby shops, fast cars, a music store and Jamba Juice.

So today we're off to the library and the grocery store and then this evening we're hauling Hal up the mast for an inspection of the rigging. I think we'll have a salad with cold shrimp tonight. No surinami, Hal, I promise! Last week's cold salad with el fake-o crab was not the greatest success. I'll stick with the real stuff tonight.

Happy June!

Nature Study
My Daybook, June 2
June 2, 2008, 6:17 am

Stop by Peggy's for more entries.

Outside my Window...
Orchids, palm trees, redwinged blackbirds, green parrots, and the requisite mourning doves. We're watching our friend's place today and we're on the second story lanai. Love being at the same height as the treetops, there's so much going on up here!

I am thinking...
About my sister's wedding!!! I am so excited!!! Can't wait for more details, Michelle, *hint, hint* (as Marianna types! LOL!)

I am thankful for...
Good friends. We've had a wonderful weekend catching up!

From the kitchen...
Cookies and muffins and baked lasagna, oh my! Marianna is utilyzing this oven quite well.

I am creating...
Music! I actually have some guitar lessons for me lined up for the summer!!!

I am going...
to Miami later today for an eye appointment. I haven't been able to wear my contacts for weeks now, my eye itself is swollen and cherry red, and that would explain why the photos on this blog have slowed to a trickle. It is much harder to take a great photo when you cannot see clearly!

I am wearing...
Faded denim skirt and a grey and silver slouchy shirt that I love. The silver bits are swallows swooping around dark grey roses and there is one more rose unexpectedly appearing on my left shoulder blade. Clear crystal earrings, a silver bracelet and royal blue sparkly sandals for that jolt of color.

I am reading...
I was going to start Sense and Sensibility for my intro to summer, but after chatting with Michelle I think I may go with Pride and Prejudice, then Bridget Jones' Diary, followed by Persuasion and BJD II. I've never actually read and compared them that close to each other, it should be the perfect beach literature course!

I am hoping...
That the eye dr. has a magical drop that will allow me to wear my contacts home. Barring that scenario, I'd go with good traffic through Miami today.

I am hearing...
A mockingbird running through one of the most extensive song repertoires I've ever heard.

Around the house...
This house? Newly painted creamy walls with chocolate moldings soar to the high, high ceilings. New chocolate throw rugs and cooresponding malachite green pillows with darkly framed photos taken by the owner make this a very warm and welcoming place.

One of my favorite things...
Getting to play with her extensive orchid collection here... and are they ever blooming this time!

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...
I'm taking my sewing machine back home to the boat. Lots of little things need mending or pitching but after that perhaps I'll find a fun project or two!

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you:

Hurricane Season
June 1, 2008, 1:44 pm

Welcome to Hurricane Season!

Enjoy the new tunes, you'll never be able to guess what theme I chose for this batch!

Of course, you have heard we already have a lovely Tropical Storm brewing. I think that is the traditional entry into the season. Start it off with a bang and all. Just to give those weather people something to practice with, you know.

Have you seen this totally awesome Hurricane Bingo game by SEECOOS? They have a very nice selection of Hurricane Activities for the upper grades.

Photo from previous year, 2006 A is for Alberto.

Nature Study
A Key West Moment
May 30, 2008, 4:53 pm

There was a young rooster named Clyde
Who washed his fine feathers with Tide.
They sparkled and grew and he happily knew
He was tops as he strutted with pride.

Poetry Friday
Well, hurray already!
May 29, 2008, 7:11 am

Well, hip, hip, hurray! I was finally able to post something this morning.

Shall we try a photo from this weekend now?


And a happy belated Memorial Day to you too!

ABC, Easy as 123
May 29, 2008, 7:01 am

A is for age:
and Ancient too! Can't say 20-Something chirpily anymore.

B is for burger of choice:
and Bleu Cheese and Bacon all atop a juicy, juicy Beef Burger.

C is for what kind of car you drive:
A midnight blue (bleu?) Pontiac Grand Am

D is for your dog's name:
I haven't a dog now but the wonderful, loving dog I grew up with was named Samantha.

E is for essential item you use everyday:
My life-giving Krups Capuccino Maker.

F is for favorite TV show at the moment:
No TV and we haven't ordered up any shows from Netflix lately.

G is for favorite game:
Yay for Yahtzee!

H is for Home State:
The Blue, Bleu Skies of Colorado

I is for instruments you play:
I'm still wrestling with my guitar.

J is for favorite juice:

K is for whose butt you'd like to kick:
VERIZON and/or certain law enforcement officials. No Internet for two weeks because the former's bandwidth was flooded by the later's new contract.

L is for last restaurant you ate at?
Caroline's on Duval

M is for your favorite Muppet:
Dr Teeth and the Electric Mayhem.

N is for Number of Piercing:

O is for overnight hospital stays:
Tonsils when I was in 2nd grade, one childbirth.

P is for people you were with today:
Quiet day on the boat with only Marianna and Hal.

Q is for what you do with your quiet time:
Read and organize my new and improved binder system for planning liturgically.

R is for biggest regret:
Once upon a time I should have thrown an even bigger fit than I did.

S is for status:
Happily married, sailing into the sunset!

T is for time you woke up today:
6:35 - a noisy little green heron flew over the boat.

U is for what you consider unique:
My inability to make it through the Hobbit. I must be the only person on the face of the planet that hasn't read that sucker.

V is for vegetable you love:
Snow peas.

W is for worst habit:
Procrastination, it gets the #1 slot.

X is for x-rays you've had:
Dental and one shoulder job, an ultrasound or two.

Y is for yummy food you ate today:
Portabello Pasta Primavera.

Z is for zodiac sign:
Pisces, a water sign. What a shocker, right?

Thanks, Dawn, for another thoughtful meme this morning!

Hot Hibiscus
May 21, 2008, 12:43 pm

Isn't it beautiful?

April's Shower of Photos

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S/V Mari Hal-O-Jen
Who: Capt. Hal, Jennifer, and our daughter Marianna, a great photographer!
Port: Boca Chica
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