Alabama Gulf Coast · Fitness · Gulf Coast · Lifestyle · Sailboats · Sailing · Self Care · Travel · Uncategorized

Staying fit and healthy during the Holidays: Workouts for Boat Life

Ok guys, I have to be 100% honest with you. I have COMPLETELY fallen off the eating healthy bandwagon. It started off with forgetting to take my lunch to work and then being so busy that I’d have to pick up something from the grill at the airport or fast food. Then the weather became cooler and my mild love of Starbucks became a wild obsession. I tried to order healthier i.e. avoid the really sugary syrups or just have cream.  I realized however that even ordering half the syrup in my favorite drink and nonfat milk (ok with the whipped cream) wasn’t helping me on my caloric intake. I gained a few pounds. Nothing crazy, but when you are only 5ft tall. 5 lbs looks like ten. I also stopped working out like I had been in the past thinking that the physical labor involved in my job, lifting heavy bags, running, taking the stairs etc, would make up for that. Trust me it doesn’t. I thought I was taking good care of my body but on Sunday even after really stretching and preparing to be in the cargo bin of an aircraft stacking bags, I did something terrible to my right shoulder.

It didn’t hurt at first. There was a loud pop and some tingling in my right hand but as the day went on it began to hurt to lift my shoulder. Then my right pinky finger became swollen and numb. As soon as I left work, I went straight to urgent care. I didn’t want to go and it took my supervisors, friends, and parents to convince me I needed to be seen. So here I sit, in a sling, typing one handed because I’ve apparently injured my rotator cuff. Misery. End of story. It doesn’t appear as if I’ll have to have surgery but I may have to have an injection or two and some physical therapy. It is a huge reminder that I’m not getting any younger and that I have to start taking better care of myself.

With the end goal of living full time on the boat, I started researching some ways to stay actively working out. A major part of living aboard is discovering how you can fit your life into such a small space. So I wanted to share some tips of what I do and what I hope to be incorporating soon.

The biggest hurdle to overcome in my opinion is just getting started. Most people when they think of working out think of the gym. That’s not always an option when living aboard. Here are a few suggestions and tips that I hope you’ll find useful at sea or land.

The easiest exercise to do is something that you love or enjoy. Think of swimming or if you’re in port, walking.

Make sure you set aside a specific time and try to stick to that schedule. Just like I have a sleep schedule, I also have an exercise schedule. I really attempt to stick to that schedule as best as possible so that it’s routine. I also try to find healthy ways to reward myself for sticking to the plan!

Have a routine that’s easy to follow and doesn’t get boring and find a friend to keep you accountable or to pass the time with.

Put your jam on! Thankful my neighbors in the marina don’t live aboard otherwise they might not appreciate my workout music vibe! But find music that motivates you. Maybe it’s the Rocky theme song, or in my case early 2000’s rock but find it and get moving.

Yoga is a great exercise to incorporate into any lifestyle. I find that I’m able to use my body weight for the workout and there’s definitely room on the bow of the Rialto Zephyr to lay out my mat.  I love yoga. I was a pretty active practitioner until I moved to the South. It wasn’t really a big thing here but is slowly catching on with all the trendy hipsters moving into the area. Thanks Hipsters! I also incorporate some calisthenics into the routine. Planks, lunges, sit ups, crunches (God I hate crunches) tricep dips, you know the things you hated about gym class, can easily be done on the mat as well.

Don’t forget that eating healthy is important as well. I no longer follow any diet fad these days but try to live more by a guideline. Low sugar, fresh produce, low dairy (even though I LOVE cheese) and no processed food. Sometimes that can be a challenge if you are at sea. I recommend taking fruits and veggies that hold for the long haul. I find that when I’m living on the boat, I tend to eat smaller meals which is also a major plus for me. And McDonald’s hasn’t built a float thru driveway to my knowledge YET. The jury is out on whether Starbucks has considered this option. In that case I might be in trouble.

Find what works for you and stick to the routine.

And don’t forget that staying active, fit and healthy is important but nursing our mind and body is as well.

Namaste Everyone!

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Alabama Gulf Coast · divorce · Fairhope, AL · Gulf Coast · Lifestyle · Sailboats · Sailing · Self Care · Travel · Uncategorized

How to be in Love with who You are: Loving Yourself in the Here and Now

AUUUGGGHHHHHHHHHHH! There I sort of feel better.

You guys it’s been a TOUGH few weeks. I’ve experienced some setbacks with work, family, and that floating piece of junk I love so much. I’ve been really feeling down lately. It’s been hard to write, to find anything that I even wanted to say, which if you know me is UNUSUAL. I always have something to say.

Yesterday when I looked in the mirror I didn’t recognize the face staring back at me. It was a rather sobering moment to be honest. I sat down at my computer and realized that once again I was blank when it came to content for the blog. All the prompts that I use felt really silly. How can I blog about holiday family traditions when my family has imploded and is COMPLETELY dysfunctional? I mean it doesn’t feel right. I opened the blog and scrolled back to posts I made a year ago and you know what? I was feeling the same way then too. I was writing about reminding myself how far I’d grown in the last year and not getting stuck. I realized that in just circling around the sun one more year, I’ve just completed the circle in returning to right back where I’ve always been. SOMETHING HAS GOT TO GIVE!

After seeing social media posts from friends, I decided to pick up Rachel Hollis’s book “Girl, Wash Your Face.” Even as much as I love writing, I’ve never looked at motivational books as an answer. I mean c’mon, you go into your local bookstore and you find thousands of self help books on this and that, all with the great intention of making you a better you. I don’t know about you, but I’ll read it, believe it, get motivated to put the truth I learn into action and then fail miserable at it. Let’s face it. I suck at goal planning. At any rate, everyone has been going on and on about this book so I bought it. I opened it up waiting for an eternity while Kendall (my 18 yr old) browsed the racks at Forever 21. GUYS I CANNOT PUT THIS BOOK DOWN. Just in the intro I saw myself in those words. I got home and broke out the highlighter so you know it had to be good. There has been more truth that I’ve discovered about the lies I’ve believed in the first 3 chapters of that book! HOLY #&#(#&(*! If you are a woman, you should read this. It’s raw and real and honest and I’m just in chapter 3 you guys!! I couldn’t put it down last night and had to stop myself from reading the whole book. Rachel Hollis really made me take a  second look in that mirror I talked about earlier.

I’ve been so hard on myself the last 20 years. While trying to exude grace for others, I’ve had absolutely no grace for myself. I’ve been smiling and laughing all the while being completely unhappy. I’ve looked for others to create my happiness. Relationships, children, friends, etc. when the truth is the only person responsible for how happy I am is ME. In Rachel’s book she says “It’s impossible to go somewhere new, to become something new, without first acknowledging where you are.” Sometimes acknowledging where we are isn’t pretty. Maybe where we are is lonely, 15 lbs heavier than we want to be, divorced and angry. Or maybe where we are is believing the lies that has been perpetrated by social media, family, that ex who hurt you. For so long those lies have played like some faint radio station that I can’t quite get clear reception from but just enough to annoyingly buzz in the back of my mind. Not good enough. Not thin enough, Unloveable, Abandoned, Lost. Yep they’ve played so much that I can pull the emotions up by memory. We only get once chance to live. Why would I want to spend it feeling this way about myself? Why would you? I need to acknowledge where I am in this life through the lenses of GRACE.

For the last year I’ve been talking about becoming something new and while I’ve seen some incredible areas of growth in my life, I have a LONG way to go. I need to acknowledge that right now where I am in life is tough and be ok with that. I have all these dreams and goals but I’ve never pushed myself to follow through on them. I’ve basically given up when things became tough and made excuses for why. No more. I want to whole heartedly live a life filled with joy in the right here and now, even if the right here and now isn’t comfortable. I want to acknowledge the person I am right in this moment. I’m 39, divorced, mother of 3 kids who is in a transitional phase of her life that doesn’t feel pleasant most of the time, but you know what, that’s ok. It’s honest. Most days I feel really confused about what it is I’m supposed to be doing. Having grown kids and a 15 yr old who lives with her father has thrown the role I thought I was supposed to be playing for a loop. I mean I legit get up some days asking what in the world do I do now and where do I fit in. I’m not a mom of young kids. I don’t have a husband to do life with. Most of my friends live away. What do you do when everything about who and what you thought you were dissolves? I’m still searching for that answer.

I am proud to say that I have in the last few months accomplished some life goals. I traveled internationally by myself to a place I’d never been and it was amazing. I want to expand that map a little more and am in the planning phases of another adventure. I think I’m finally ready to start dating again, although I have to tell you the online dating scene probably isn’t for me. I’ve decided this time I am going to be EXTREMELY selective. The last year has given me plenty of time to think about what I want in a relationship and what I’m not willing to sacrifice or settle. I don’t say that selfishly. I just want to be able to be the best version of me if I am with someone. I don’t want to compromise in order to be what someone else needs me to be. At the same time, my heart is still so tender and raw that I know this is going to be a long process. I have become a little cynical when it comes to romance and romantic love. I refuse to believe the lie “something or someone else will make me happy” any longer. I want to be able to know that my happiness comes from a place of me being secure in who I am not who I am when I’m in a relationship. I don’t want to just change the view outside my window. I want to throw the curtains wide open and love and be ok with the right here and right now, even if it does feel lonely. I’ve always lived my life years ahead of time. It’s a trait pretty common in military families. We live for the next deployment, the next duty station, the next move. It’s always looming in the background of our life. I got so caught up in that at times I realize I lived my life in the future with all the worries, what ifs and plans I tried to work out and I wasn’t living in the present. This has overwhelmed me with sadness lately as I feel I didn’t slow down and live life with my precious babies who are now grown. I was living in fast forward. I refuse to do that this time. I refuse to work out in my head a relationship and where it should go days, months, years. I am going to take this slow and savor what it’s like to just be still and enjoy someones company and hopefully they’ll enjoy mine as well.

So my answer for all of the questions right now is to stop comparing myself to the self I thought I was supposed to be. You know, the image you sold yourself of what life would look like when you reached a certain age or stage. You cannot do that! You will be miserable discovering all the missed opportunities or horrible decisions you’ve made. You have to be able to tell yourself that every day is new day to become the You that You want to be and you have to go from there. I am going to try with everything in me to surround myself with positivity and positive people. I am going to do the things I love with people I love. I am going to discover new amazing things about myself, things I never thought possible and I’m going to learn to be ok with the here and now.

And on the days that seem the hardest, you’ll remember that – by an inch or by a mile-forward momentum is the only requirement” Rachel Hollis “Girl, wash your face”

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Alabama Gulf Coast · dogs · Fairhope, AL · Gulf Coast · Lifestyle · Sailboats · Sailing · Self Care · Travel · Uncategorized

Fall Favs: Cozy Evenings Ahead

I’m being really hoping the weather man will come through for me and bring those cooler temperatures on down south. Fall in New England was/is my favorite time of year. Unfortunately, as usual in the deep south, it’s going to be nearly 90F with thunderstorms in the forecast.  My answer to this serious dilemma is to not worry about the power bill and turn that A/C down to 65 degrees! It’s time to get cozy ya’ll!

While it’s sometimes hard to get the boat cooled off, it’s usually not that hard to get it heated when the temps dive. There is nothing cozier than being on the boat all snuggled in. I wanted to share some of my “sailing life” fall favorites as well as something for you landlubbers. I’ll start off with my Favorite Fall Soup, “Corn and Poblano Chowder”. This is a really easy but looks fancy soup! If you opt out of the vegetarian life, you can always add chicken. img_0236

Credit Completely: To http://www.simplyrecipes.com for this really amazing Chowda’!

Ingredients:

5 to 6 large poblano green chiles (can sub canned chopped green chilies)

3 tbsp butter

2 medium onions, diced

2 ribs of celery, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

2 medium yukon gold potatoes, peeled, cut into 1 in chunks

4 ears of corn or 4 cups of corn

5 cups of chicken stock or vegetable for vegetarians

1 tsp kosher salt

2 bay leaves

1 tsp gr. cumin

1/2 tsp dry oregano

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 tsp black pepper

2 limes one sliced for garnish, one for juice

Method:

  1. Roast the chilies. When they’ve cooled down enough to touch, use your fingers or a dampened paper towel to strip off the charred bits. Cut them open, remove and discard the stem, seed pos and inside veins. Roughly chop the chiles and set aside.
  2. Soften the onions and celery: Melt butter in a 5 to 6 qt. heavy bottomed pot on medium high heat. Once the butter is melted, add the onions and the celery, stir to coat with the butter. Cook for 8-19 minutes, lowering the heat to medium, until the onions and celery are softened and are beginning to brown.
  3. Prepare corn: While the onion are cooking, if using fresh corn on the cob, cut the fresh kernels of corn away from the cobs.
  4. Add potatoes, stock, spices: Once the onions and celery are beginning to brown, add the garlic and cook for a minute more. Add the potatoes and the stock to the pot. Add the bay leaves, cumin, oregano, and salt. Increase heat and bring to a simmer. Lower heat to maintain a simmer and cook for 8-19 minutes until the potatoes are just cooked through.
  5. Add corn, then poblanos: Add the corn kernels to the pot and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until cooked through. Add the copped roasted poblanos to the pot.
  6. Add cream: Remove the bay leaves. Stir in the cream. Add black pepper, more or less to taste. At this point, if you want a thicker base for your chowder, you can use an immersion blender to puree about a third of the soup.

To serve sprinkle with a little fresh lime juice and serve with a slice or two of lime.

There’s nothing like a heaping bowl of chowder, pjs and cozy slippers. I love Fuzzy Baba at http://www.fuzzybaba.com for the super cute slippers and assortment. I love slipper socks on the boat because honestly if something goes wrong above deck I can slide on my boat shoes and head up. Target is pretty much my go to place for pjs and this fall they have adorable and really amazingly soft items to get you in the mood for cozy!

During the day, I always make sure to have some great foul weather gear on hand for the rain. You definitely don’t want to be cold and wet on the boat. LLBean has really great boots that work on the boat and on the land. Not to mention they last FOREVER! img_0237credit to The Sandlot

So fellow southerners, turn down the thermostat, simmer that soup and start dreaming of Fall when it arrives in December!

Happy Tuesday everyone!

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Alabama Gulf Coast · Fitness · Gulf Coast · Lifestyle · Sailboats · Sailing · Self Care · Travel · Uncategorized

Hello October! It’s still hot in the South..

Welcome October! One of my absolute favorite months. Unfortunately here in the south, Mother Nature didn’t get the memo about cooler weather. I am wicked jealous of my New England friends and their sweater weather frivolities. I went on Pinterest today to find a list of October Activities and to be honest the only apple picking I’ll be involved in is going to take place in the produce section of Whole Foods! I mean c’mon isn’t there something that’s Autumn and Southern themed that I can take part in?!?

Meanwhile, I continue on this journey of “Positivity is Pretty.” I set a goal of not speaking negatively about myself mid September and so far it’s going well. Changing your mindset isn’t easy but I’ve found that being positive about myself, while not necessarily changing my situation, has given me a better outlook. Instead of beating myself over the “have nots” or “I’m not”, I’ve tried really hard to focus on how far I’ve come in the last year and that ladies and gents is FAR. I’ve traveled internationally. I’ve bought a boat. I’ve managed to go from being unemployed to being a full time airline employee. Most importantly I learned how to forgive myself from the guilt I carried for the failures I thought I had been responsible for. That in itself is life altering. When my kids were younger I would tell them “Practice Kindness.” We aren’t good at something unless we practice, or work hard to achieve it and kindness is no different than a sport of musical talent. I’ve been pretty horrible about being kind to myself over the years. Kindness is the theme I picked for my 39th year and so you’ll hear me talk about it over and over. You have to learn to be kind to yourself not just others. If you don’t you’ll be sweet and treat others graciously all the while beating yourself up. It’s not a good space to be in.

In line with the whole Positivity is Pretty movement, I’ve decided I need to learn how to goal set. I’ve set some rather lofty goals in my life that to be honest weren’t very attainable and led me to being really discouraged rather than encouraged. I found a really amazing Pinterest post that was a template for goal setting from movenourishbelieve.com MNB-JULY-RESTART-GOALS2

Here are my October goals:

NEW SKILL I WANT TO LEARN: I would really love how to refinish the galley on my boat. I’ve been talking about it for months but I just haven’t been able to get around to it. I have a very limited experience refinishing wooden cabinets but I don’t think I’m ready to forgo a project the size of my boat galley.

A PURCHASE I WOULD LIKE TO MAKE: I’m really wanting to take better care of my body. I’ve never really shared some of the health issues that I’ve faced over the last ten years. I’m pretty private about them. However, I’m tired of it being an awful little secret. A few years ago I developed an internal staph infection. It ended up colonizing and in a weird twist is in my blood cells. It almost acts like an autoimmune disease. I’ve tried really hard to fight it with my diet and I’ll go for a few months without it being an issue only to have it return. It’s been embarrassing because of the scars that it leaves. My arms and back are the worse! I’ve been doing some research on skin care that would maybe fade some of the scarring and I’d really like to purchase a body spin brush. I found an inexpensive one with great reviews on Amazon. Hopefully I’ll be kind to myself and buy it.

A BOOK I WOULD LIKE TO READ: OMGOSH so my trip to England was eye opening. Especially the time I spent in the bombed out church, St.Luke’s, in Liverpool. I am looking for books now about the Blitz and WW2 in England. They were heavily involved in the conflict long before the US. I ordered a copy of Merseyside’s Secret Blitz Diary by author Arthur Johnson. I am really looking forward to reading about several of the neighborhoods that I visited while in Liverpool.

A WORKOUT I WOULD LIKE TO TRY: So I modified this a little. I recently joined Planet Fitness. I worked out two days and then came down with a horrible bacterial upper respiratory infection. Go me! At any rate, my fitness goal for this month is to complete the Express Workout at PF at least 2x a week and to walk every Saturday and Sunday evening.

A GOOD DEED I WOULD LIKE TO DO: Every year I support Operation Christmas Child (www.operationchristmaschild.com) It’s a really great organization with a truly heart warming mission. I’ve always done three small boxes for the kids but this year I want to do one really nice box. I am also going to encourage my friends and coworkers to join in. Another good deed is the Christmas Angel tree. Since my kids are grown, I’m going to shop this Christmas for children in need. I know what it’s like as a parent to be concerned what kind of Christmas you are going to give your kids and this year I want to bless someone else!

A LESSON FROM LAST MONTH: This past month has been all about lessons in patience. Although I’m a Virgo, it’s not really a characteristic that I’m good at, especially when I feel as if my life is out of order and chaotic. I also learned that it was ok to say I needed to take time for myself. I’m a fixer. I came to the realization this past month that sometimes I allow people into my life that really have no place. I take on their issues and problems and try to fix them. I end up becoming emotional involved in people who don’t mean to be toxic but that’s what happens. I’ve learned to really take a step back and evaluate what relationships/friendships are bring to the plate and that it’s ok to say I can’t fix you. Again this is a lesson of kindness to myself and ultimately to others because it’s headed for disaster.

DREAMS: I am planning a trip back to the UK this time with my oldest two children. I dream of sailing my boat at least four times this month. I am dreaming of my vacation that is in the dream stages. I want to hike the Snowdonia Mountains. I am dreaming of a full time writing career (cause when am I not dreaming about that!) And I’m dreaming about love again which is nice but scary.

ACTION PLAN: HMMM… Well action planning for all the travel is to set up a specific bank account for traveling money. My dad and I will be setting aside several days this month to sail. I am in constant communication with Stewart (my friend in the UK) and hope he’ll be my tour guide to hiking. Writing…well I keep plugging away at the blog and occasionally writing on my outside of this. Love, I don’t think I can really work on that one so much as let it happen but I’m working on preparing my heart for when it happens so I can be the most authentic person when it does.

Do you have any October Goals? I’d love to hear about them! Share here on the blog and at my email at wayfaringtailwagger@gmail.com

Happy Fall Ya’ll

(Even if it’s still hot as ya mama’s oven in the South)

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Alabama Gulf Coast · Fairhope, AL · Gulf Coast · Uncategorized

The Misadventures of the Musical Mechanic: Part 2

I recently wrote about some of the adventures, or misadventures if you will of my Dad. Yesterday he came in and shared a story that was just too good not to write about it. Trust me I don’t make this stuff up. So here goes….

 

Last year Dad decided that he wanted the school to purchase bleachers for the High School band to sit in during football games. They currently sit in the crowded bleachers with fans. The school agreed to buy bleachers from the local community college, but Dad would have to arrange to have them picked up. This is no simple task. It required man power and a gooseneck trailer. They are heavy! With school starting this week and football games following shortly, my Dad enlisted the help of his best friend William and his brother, my Uncle Mike. They loaded half of the bleachers, leaving the other half for another day. Have I ever mentioned that my Dad is slightly impatient? Ok, well make that slightly more than slightly. He couldn’t wait for William and Uncle Mike to come back to help so he enlisted my brother in law Zach, the assistant Band Director, to load bleachers.

My Dad teaches in the country. A place loving referred to as “Snake Country.” It’s the perfect mix of dry and wet making the perfect accommodations for both rattlesnakes and moccasins alike. Most people wear snake boots when roaming the woods. So Dad told Zach to dress accordingly to pick up the bleachers that had sat vacant. The grass was about waist deep and it was HOT! Like middle of summer in Mississippi hot, because guess what it was!

On the way to the site, Dad tells Zach of all the perils that could be lurking in the grass. He explains that the bleachers are heavy and Zach could lose a finger if not careful, something really important to a guitar musician. “If you see me run son, don’t run towards me to help. I’m running from something so you just haul it the other way.” Zach was now throughly anxious about walking through what my Dad described as a landmine of danger. They made their way towards the bleachers, Zach hot and on edge, Dad cautious and alert. Dad began giving instructions on taking the bleachers apart. They got ready to lift one section when POW! My dad puts his hand right on top of a red wasp nest. The angry homeowners in an effort to protect themselves stung him five times, three times on his right hand and two on his left. Dad began waving his hands around in an attempt to ward off the attack. He and Zach ran to the car and promptly drove to Walmart for a can of wasp spray. Once the wasps were dispatched, they returned to the task at hand. 1, 2, 3, LIFT and with one hiss, the cottonmouth moccasin, who also called the bleachers home, let everyone know he was most unpleased about being disturbed. The moccasin began slithering quickly towards Dad with his mouth open, the unmistakeable white and triangular head revealing his deadly intentions. The nearly 3ft long snake made it clear he meant business and Dad yelled “SNAKE!” Zach, dropped his half of the bleachers and began running in the opposite direction. He got about 3 feet away when he heard the unmistakable warning rattle of an Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake. He froze and before him in the brush was the rattler. He turned to run back towards the bleachers. By this time the moccasin had decided he’d rather hide than fight. A local guy who’d been mowing the field, seeing Dad and Zach running, waving and yelling decided he’d better see what all the fuss was about. He made his way over. “What ya’ll doin’ out here fellers?” he asked. Dad explained the purpose of their adventure. Zach now excruciatingly hot voiced his great displeasure of being in the snake infested field. “I don’t want to be here” he announced to everyone as he wringed the sweat out of his shirt. Dad recounted the story of the wasps and snakes to the man. “Well sounds like you boys have had an exciting day, but what in the world else did ya’ll get into ’cause ya’ll stink to high heaven!” It was at this time my Dad noticed something fury just in the place where Zach had dropped the bleachers as he had escaped the snake. A small brown and white skunk had also made his home beneath the bleachers and had met his end when the bleachers crushed him. In a final blow, he had sprayed everything nearby, including my Dad and Zach.

That night as my Dad narrated the story to the me, I was thankful for the horrible head cold I currently have. He had run everyone else out of the living room with the stench of skunk. “Well, I guess I’ll go get a bath and we’ll try again with those bleachers tomorrow.”

The Misadventures of the Musical Mechanic……..

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Alabama Gulf Coast · dogs · Gulf Coast · Pets · Sailboats · Sailing · Travel · Uncategorized

Summer Wind Down: Bucket list 2018

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Where has the summer gone?? I know for my New England friends you are just now in the height of summer, but here on the Gulf Coast summer is “unofficial” over. Of course we won’t experience the fall cool down until you know like JANUARY, but summer vacation for kids and teachers has ended. I guess I’m still in a New England state of mind, not having kids starting a new school year. I’m not ready to let go of summer just yet. I still have a TON of things on my summer bucket list. I wanted to share the list with you today, let you know which activities have been completed and which ones are yet to happen or not happen at all. So here goes: SUMMER BUCKET LIST 2018

1) GO STARGAZING- Well technically I do this every night but it hasn’t been a purposeful activity. Will do tonight if the monsoon holds off!

2) Ride a Roller Coaster- Sorry Nope Not Happening I get horrifically sick from roller coasters. I seriously can’t even watch people ride them!

3) GO CAMPING- I actually have a camping trip planned later this month in the Smokey Mountains. I’m really excited about going as I have never been to the area before. 

4) Have a watermelon eating contest- HA! This happens everyday around here. I love watermelon and will eat till I make myself sick of it!

5) Go to an outdoor music festival- I am actually headed to New Orleans this weekend for the Louis Armstrong festival. I can’t wait! I love New Orleans. It’s always been a second home for me. I’m excited to go with my friend who has NEVER been. Cafe Du Monde here we come!!

6) Have a water fight- Does bathing Ava count as a water fight? I think it should. Or maybe all the torrential downpours I’ve been battling to get through lately?!?

7) Go on a hike- I hike Blakeley State Park but I’ll definitely do it again! I’d like to also hike that nature trail at the Gulf State Park. This weekend I’ll be hiking the streets of New Orleans and cemeteries. 

8) Play mini golf- Kaitlyn, Brian, and I played mini golf last week while she was here. We had a really great time at Pirate Island in Gulf Shores. The course has two sets. One challenging and one fun. Let’s just say we should stick to the fun course. Sorry Arnold Palmer, Golfer I am not. 

9) Go to your local farmers market. I love love love farmer’s markets! I don’t care if it’s the same vendors with the same produce, there is just something about shopping outdoors for fruits, veggies and art. Right now I’m really digging ShipShape Urban Farm (www.shipshapeurbanfarms.com). They had AMAZING herbs this past weekend at the Farmer’s Market in Cathedral Square. The mission at ShipShape is pretty incredible and I am all about supporting local, sustainable, veteran owned farms!

10) Head to the Beach-C’mon guys you know this is a given for me! 

Here’s a great summer bucket list from Pinterest! Share your summer bucket list in the comment section below!

Happy  Endless Summer Everyone!

Alabama Gulf Coast · Gulf Coast · Sailboats · Sailing · Travel · Uncategorized

The Misadventures of the Musical Mechanic

DE3657C8-5620-4E86-82F0-63029469701EThe last few months have been insanely busy. It’s really kept me from working on the boat. This depresses me. My dad seeing how discouraged I’ve been with the remodel project decided to help me out.

My Dad has been been a band director for nearly 40 years. He is an amazingly talented musician. Put any instrument in his hands and he’ll be playing it in 5 minutes. Put any instrument into your hands and he’ll have you playing it in 10.  If you were to meet him you probably wouldn’t take him for the musician type. You’re just as likely to find him tinkering on some wood project or working on some piece of machinery. He grew up in the country where he learned to play the guitar and work on engines. He was raised in a time where you worked on things with your own hands and you fixed it instead of buying it new. I have always admired him for this. Sometimes however, he gets in a little over his head and that my friends is the misadventures of the musical mechanic.

When I returned home for New England, I sparked a love of sailboats for my Dad. He has always loved the water, especially the Gulf and we spent MANY days on it with him in various friends boats. Eventually he bought his own power boat when I was a freshman in high school and oh the adventures we had that summer! So when I moved back home with the dream of purchasing an older sailboat to remodel, he purchased one first. He sold the Deja Vu only a few months after he had become the owner. I knew it had made him a little sad as he loved that little boat, but he assured me that this meant he’d have more time to help me work on my boat. He claimed he really liked the Rialto Zephyr because she was big enough to take the whole family out. I don’t know if I really believed him but I definitely appreciated his offer of help.

A few weeks ago I began having engine trouble on the Rialto Zephyr. I thought it was the batteries at first as the Perkins Diesel in her belly wouldn’t start. Whining, turning over, but nothing else. My dad played around with her, trying to charge the batteries as Mr. Hall, the old salt who owns the marina watched him fiddle with her. I guess he saw my Dad and wondered what he could possibly be up to. He walked down and started a conversation with Dad and they came up with the wiring was loose. Once rewired, she roared back to life ferociously. Well maybe a little too ferocious. As Dad idled the engine the thermometer crept higher and higher. When it went over 200 degrees, Dad shut her down. He shook his head and thought he’d just burnt the engine up. He began formulating how he would break it to me that I would need a new engine. He waited for the engine to cool a bit and then took a closer look. He decided that maybe she was just really clogged up and began to clean her out. What made him decide to empty her completely of oil and fill her with soapy water I may never know, but I do know that he sat white faced across from me as he related the story of how she bubbled up water and oil. He said “I may have really screwed it up Rebecca, but don’t worry I think I can fix her.” Ever the scholar, he pulled books that the previous owner had stored on board. He also combed the internet in search of information on the engine. Once satisfied that he knew enough to continue the project, he replaced the oil filter and serviced the engine. Two days later my phone flashed his number across the screen. Before I could even say hello I heard the engine purring in the background. “Well, she’s singing now!” The joy in my dad’s voice was contagious. He had fixed her.

The project gave him the sailing bug and before I knew it, he had enlisted the help of his friend David, an avid sailor, with the rigging project. They rigged the halyards, straightened out lines that had been crossed and were backwards, reconnected the jib, oiled the tracks and basically did nearly $2000 in rigging work for free. I cannot tell you how blessed I am to have my dad. Were there some mishaps? Of course, one of them stepped onto the hatch and fell through, but you know what, I don’t care. Like everything else it can be replaced. The excitement and joy that I share with Dad cannot. I will remember these days forever. The Rialto Zephyr has become a family affair.

Yesterday my dad called me again. I could hear the engine and the faint splash of water. “I’m a mile out Rebecca and she’s cutting through the water like butter!” The Rialto Zephyr sails again.

Last night after tucking her safely back into her slip, he let me know the auto pilot fell apart. “Don’t worry though, I’ll get right on it!”

Thanks Dad! I love you.

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