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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
I'm back and I have an update
July 5, 2008, 4:20 pm

I'm back!!! I traveled all the way to the mainland, stood in a long line at Best Buy, made a terribly difficult decision in the camera department and am now the proud owner of a DSLR Camera!

Wait. Didn't I own a lovely Nikon D40x that was used for the April Showers of Photos? Oh dear, did I neglect to mention a little tumble that D40x decided to take late one night? All the way down the companionway, skittering into Marianna's V-Berth before coming to rest upon the floorboards. That left nothing more than a nice exhibit of the interior mechanisms of a modern lens but the camera itself STILL WORKED. After inspection I put the telephoto lens on the camera and took hundreds of photos that appeared perfect. Hal had wisely gotten all possible warranties, guarantees and even a promise that if it plunged to the bottom of the ocean if he retrieved it and turned it in we'd be a-okay.

So we did. We traveled up to the mainland and tried to turn in the busted lens but they wouldn't take it without the camera, being a packaged deal and all. Thinking it might not be a bad idea to have it checked out even though it appeared to be working fine, I did it. I turned it in. 6 weeks, two phone calls and one personal visit later, I received a phone call. They decided to Junk Out my beloved camera. This meant that all I had to do was bop into the store and pick up a new one. Sounds great except that the D40x is now a retired model.

That left me with either the D40 (same body, 6 megapixels vs. 10, everything else basically the same) or the D60 (10 megapixel replacement for the D40x so basically the same again, but with a slower shutter speed and several hundred dollars more) to choose from.

I went with the D40 and chose the same lenses I had previously (Nikkor 18-55mm and the Nikkor 55-200mm VR) and had a bit of spare change left for an external flash and a fun little tripod.

Exhibited Here

My new camera and my new haircut.

Oh, yes. I also donated 10 inches to Beautiful Lengths this week.

Self-Portraits are so difficult

April's Shower of Photos
How to Get an A in Hal's Magical Mystery Musical Course
July 2, 2008, 8:19 am

Be overheard remarking to fellow teen while listening to
Hilary Duff singing the Siamese Cat song:

1: "The opening sequence totally sounds like the Beatles after their return from India."
2: "Who is that?" (that referring to Hilary Duff)

That Liturgical Planner I've Mentioned Once or Twice
June 27, 2008, 10:57 am

Having mentioned my personal summer project of Planning Liturgically a few times, I thought I'd go ahead and share!
Isn't that what blogs are for? :)

First step of any project of mine to ensure it being used is to make it attractive. Pretty sailboat picture that makes me smile and want to drop docklines counts in this case. It will also hopefully remind me as I plan that I live on a sailboat so Keep It Simple Sweetie!

Open up the binder and the divider page for June is front and center. I've decorated each of the months with appropriate and pretty pictures that look like that season would a thousand or so miles north of here. Because, honestly? there would be very little change to differentiate each month here otherwise.

Those divider pages are the coolest things I've seen in a very long time, so simple and yet so useful!

The page behind each monthly divider page is a simple plain jane piece of paper where I scrawl pertinent feast days and the monthly dedication. Last year I used a forever calendar but that fell apart when Easter was so early this year that it bumped alot of Holy Days around. A second problem for me with a calendar is that I start thinking in a grid-like manner, keeping it open and the ideas flowing is more important to me at this stage. The calendar comes into play much later in the planning now.

Next up, in chronological order, is the info I've gathered for each day. It might be a recipe as in this example for Saint Martha's Feast Day with additional notes on post-its or...

a simple craft as in this example for Saints Peter and Paul this Sunday. The beauty of the binder/divider system is that as I find info I can quickly add it in rather like Dawn's File System but smaller and not so prone to being dumped out if we heel over.

Sprinkled throughout this section are more of my simple plain jane pages with more detailed notes scrawled upon them and additional recipes that didn't get ripped from a magazine like these two examples from St. John the Baptist's a few days ago and Sts. Peter and Paul coming up on Sunday.

This system is working marvelously so far but certain time periods simply won't fit into the one-inch binders I had around the boat. Like Advent/Christmas. That definitely gets its own personal one-inch binder!

Which is filling up nicely, don't you think? I love pondering the holidays when the heat index is 180 outside. Gives me a nice chilly feeling!

Well, I hope this was at least as clear as mud! Have a wonderful Friday and I'll leave you with a little poem since it is Poetry Friday out in the blog-o-sphere.

"There is no season such delight can bring,
As summer, autumn, winter and the spring
~ William Browne, 1630, Variety

Our Faith
To be forever happy and never depressed
June 25, 2008, 3:15 pm

Try liturgically feasting the summer away.

Had we been in Britian or even New England I suppose we could have ventured into the fields and bowers in search of St John's Wort and been forever happy and never depressed had we found that elusive herb. However, having very few (read - none) fields and bowers within 150 miles we simple feast. Yum! Food I can do.

On the menu for the Nativity of St John the Baptist:
Ribs, smoky, charred, and drenched in Hal's special Key Lime Chipotle Marinade. Nicely primitive in a finger-licking gnawing sort of way when eaten round the traditional bonfire (read - charcoal grill).

Grasshopper Pie, green and cool and light and airy. Much less crunchy than the real thing would have been and therefore that much more delightful. Totally sweet with the little honeybee graham crackers too, fantastic touch to bring the honey symbolism in that way, great job, Marianna!

Oh, and did I mention we listened to Christmas Carols? It is known as Little Christmas after all...

Our Faith
My Datebook, June 23
June 23, 2008, 4:26 pm

Stop by Peggy's for more entries.

Outside my Window...
Brilliant sun,
a very little wind and intense sun,
sparkly water and ummm...have I mentioned the SUN?

I am thinking...
That summer has arrived with a vengence.

I am thankful for...
A car with Air Conditioning this year.

From the kitchen...
Brats on the charcoal grill tonight with some really great grainy rolls.
Something cold and icy, probably Gin & Tonics with key limes.

I am creating...
I found my IRL Journal! I set it aside over Thanksgiving and never got back into it after the holidays. It was like meeting up with an old friend again unexpectedly. I've got so much to say!

I am going...
To melt.

I am wearing...
A buttery yellow ribbed tank and khaki shorts. Hair is in a high bun and no jewelry today, too hot. Oh, new polish on the toes though, icy silver sparkles. My effort at "coolness" today.

I am reading...
Intimate Home ~ Creating a Private World by Victoria. This book actually makes me want to go work on the place in Richland, can you believe it? I'm sure it has nothing to do with the heat today and my memories of the deep and cool porch with two perfect porch swings.

I am hoping...
To make it through this last week of the horrifying glasses episode and that there will never be another month like this ever in my life, ever, ever again. Ever!

I am hearing...
Reggae on the Sirius, I'm alternately embracing the tropics by listening to Margaritaville and seeking escape by listening to BBC Radio 1 from London, it's gotta be cooler there.

Around the home...
Clean dishes drying, fans whirring, cookies tempting.

One of my favorite things...
Fighting the risk of malaria with Gin & Tonics.
I feel so proactive, let me tell you!

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...
My last dental cleaning appointment on Wednesday - hurray! You won't see me again for YEARS if I have anything to say about it.
(I can dream, can't I?)

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you:

Neighborhood teens coming to see if Marianna can come out to play.

Sewing the Day Away
June 17, 2008, 10:35 am

I set the sewing machine up today and gathered my pile of projects. Let's see how many I can complete today!

I'll try to update as I go along.


First up is this totally cute blouse that has the unfortunate tendency to gap-gap-gap between the buttons.

I cut about 2 inches below the lower belt seam.

Then I folded and straight-stitched two seams, one just below the belt area which will now have a crisp finish and the second on the interior of the shirt. I simply finger-pressed the excess material up to the upper belt seam and straight-stitched the two together.

I hope that made it is completed!

With my fav retro dress, I pulled the polka dot ribbon through the belt loops and I really like how it looks!

And with a second dress. I found some thinnish grograin ribbon that I'll leave on for most of the time. I think this is the perfect solution for the summer and all those empire-waist sundresses that are out and about this year. I can slip this light cotton top on and not freeze in Mass now!


Next up was a girl's dress that I found somewhere and loved the stripes! I am such a stripes and polka dots girl. :) But, as I said above, it was a girl's dress with a wierd little tie jacket sewn on the front and puff paint pansies.

Out came the scissors and off came the odd bodice.

Leaving a cute skirt that's nice a stretchy and cool being made out of nothing more than cotton t-shirt material. Sewing-wise I simply tightened the waist abit along the side seams.

Sorry for the incredibly odd pose, I was trying to balance the camera on the combing of the cockpit.


You saw this dress above with the little spencer jacket but it needed a little tightening on the back smocked area and I raised the front from a plunging to a not quite so low neckline by cutting the looping piece of material that was gathering the material into a V and resewing it looser.

Do you know how hard it is to take a picture of your back? I have too many shots like this.

My Daybook, June 16
June 16, 2008, 9:16 am

Stop by Peggy's for more entries.

Outside my Window...
Bright sun, puffy clouds, bulldozers and jackhammers. Yes, they are still working on the seawall and docks by the beach.

I am thinking...
About meeting a friend in town today at Ft Zach. This is one of those playdays that just kept getting bumped back and back but not today! We'll have a ton of fun, I know!

I am thankful for...

From the kitchen...
Coffee, need you ask at this hour?

I am creating...
A pretty lime-green cover for Marianna's dinghy this week - oops! Still hoping to make that cover!

I am going...
To switch back to French with Marianna. Spanish was a failure from the get-go and she is enthusiastic about French. Time to stop fighting it.
Tu peux m'aider?

I am wearing...
A turquoise peasant skirt with sparkles, a black tank and a beaded necklace with matching bangles from my dear sister (thanks Michelle! Still love it after all this time!). A straw bucket hat and silly sunglasses will complete this outfit. Oh, and shoes. I guess I'll need some shoes to go into town. Perhaps dark blue sparkly sandles with a woven straw bottom.

I am reading...
Marianna and I are reading aloud Surviving the Applewhites. Hilarious homeschooling book!

I am hoping...
for a crafty, crafty week. Perhaps even teaching Marianna to knit. Wouldn't that be fun?

I am hearing...
Jackhammers. Yuck. Oh great! Did you know that if an F-18 flies over a construction zone it actually will drown out the noise?

Around the home...
Bin of 7th grade work that I need to organize into a binder some time before 8th grade. :)

One of my favorite things...
The smell of the caper berry bushes in bloom.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...
Easy week, it feels like this might actually be the first week of summer for us. I wonder why it feels different this week from last? Maybe its me. Maybe I've finally settled into summer mode.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you:

Certain books call for crunchy apples.
Little Women is another.

Education is... a Discipline
June 11, 2008, 12:14 pm

"Education is a discipline - that is, the discipline of the good habits in which the child is trained." (Vol 2, p. 247).

Elizabeth Foss is leading a summer study of Simply Charlotte Mason's Education Is... eBook. This is my second post in this series.

Just as Charlotte Mason has identified three components of education - Atmosphere, Discipline and Life, so has she divided the idea of the discipline of habits into four specific areas: moral habits, mental habits, physical habits and spiritual habits. A future discussion is scheduled wherein I anticipate delving deeply into each of these areas. However, today's focus will be on the discipline required to instill any habit, specifically 5 ways from Charlotte Mason to cultivate good habits.

I have tried to think these through regarding older children. It is quite easy to read about children throwing toys and the consquence being the loss of that toy but I don't see Marianna pitching her belongings around in a fit much anymore. :)
I think if it is a good and true theory it will apply to all ages, even (especially!) adults.

1. Pick One Habit

Quality over Quantity. Don't Overwhelm. My impulse is to grab a habit from each area. Let's have one spiritual, one physical, one... this may be an area to SLOW DOWN. I may not be able to plan 10 years of habit training in the remaining 5 school years but I imagine I can touch on some pertinent ones in that time!

2. Be Vigilent and Consistent

I truly liked the idea of following through by making certain I have the attention of the child, stating the command once, asking for a narration (repeat back to ascertain comprehension), and then applying the consequences. Why get myself worked up and jump straight to the consequences if I haven't yet caught the child's attention or the comprehension of what I'm asking isn't there?

3. Share Living Examples

Concrete rather than Abstract. Bring examples in that the child can relate to. Of course, anytime you hear the word Living in a discussion of C.Mason, think non-twaddle. The classic George Washington = Truthfulness was given as an example but I'd really like to come up with a modern (dare I say, living?) list of people that exhibit the qualities I'd be talking about, an example might be Olympic skier Rebecca Dussault.

4. Apply Appropriate Consequences

The emphasis is on applying Natural Consequences as much as possible as they are a reflection of real life. A wonderful point was made that a consequence that is overused it can lose its effectiveness. To combat this several options were given.

*Physical Stimulus - i.e. physically helping the child complete the task. The example given in Education is... was to repetitively and physically walk your child through the task of picking up toys even to the point of guiding her bodily. Obviously this won't work with a teenager quite so well. :) However, to take the idea of physical repetitiveness and apply it to a task a teen might have like sweeping the floor (or scrubbing the deck!) the consequence of neglecting to do so might result in doing the task twice in succession.

*Removing Obstacles - Is there something distracting the child from completing the task? For the older child a distraction might be access to books, music, the computer and other technologies (ipod, cell phone, games, etc...) Remove it until the task is complete.

*Adding Responsibilities - The classic for the older child. If you don't get your dirty clothes in the laundry YOU do the laundry the next day.

*Removing Privileges - Another oldie but goodie. The most pertinent point here, I felt, was the idea that the privilege lost should be connected to the action. The example in Education Is... was having the child stand through a meal or lesson instead of using a chair if that child continually disobeys the directive not to tip the chair back on two legs. Makes sense to me.

5. Encourage, Don't Nag

Nagging can be so easy to fall into, but a simple rephrase and control of the voice and expression can lead to an attitude of expectant encouragement rather than nag-nag-nagging.

Have you noticed that there is not much talk about the child and their actions but rather much discussion of the parental actions! This idea that 1/3 of Education is a Discipline really plays into the parent's lap. If I can apply these ideas to my own life I feel I'll be well on the way to guiding my daughter in the formation of her life!

Charlotte Mason
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

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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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