The Forever Optimist — A Family Beach Staycation

Free Family Fun for the New Year!

Forty Something Parents

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We moved to the island last year…on a wing and a prayer; hoping we could make it work, blind to the struggles we would face.  Because of many financial hardships and our rather modest (to put it nicely) means, we’ve learned to become quite creative with how we entertain our toddler.  Free family fun is the norm for us; a very simplistic way of island life.  It has made us better people and parents…all-the-more.

Now, with the holidays behind us, we have welcomed our first new year as full-time Islanders.  And because we love the ocean and the beach so…we felt compelled to go shelling at one of our favorite family-friendly spots along the coast.   This particular stretch of Galveston Beach is a place we have come-to-call ‘Nixi’s Pirate Play Park’.  In our opinion, and Baby’s, it is the best little park on the island!  We highly recommend it to…

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The Perpetual Pot of Stew

Click on Pic!  And…Enjoy!

.V..

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A White Christmas For Baby

The Blessings of Baby’s First Christmas; when she was as new as the freshly fallen snow.

Forty Something Parents

One magical Christmas, when our Baby was as new as the freshly fallen snow.

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LIVING ON GOLDEN POND

Each day, I try to wake up with a brand-new perspective on life–I love to see the sunrise on golden pond. And I must admit, there are many days I awake to find myself not seeing the brighter side of things; like yesterday…when I had allowed myself to become downtrodden from events in the past
which no longer matter in the future. I tell myself, ‘I cannot change what has already come-to-pass’, but I can alter how I cope with such adversities of life.
I know it sounds rather cliche’, but Each Day really is a New Beginning.

Many people wait for the New Year to bring change to their selves or surroundings, but I choose to make it happen on a daily basis. I have to…because I am the only one who has to live in my skin.
So…if I don’t like something about ‘me’, I chisel away at the unacceptable part of myself and start working on molding the new & improved ‘me’ into shape. Sounds a bit funny I guess, but if you sit and think about these words I write…you will see that we could all use a bit of molding, chiselling, reshaping from time to time.

I find, following close examination, that sometimes I scrutinize myself and everyone around me way too much. I have no control over what others do, but how I respond to things is all on me. I realize I am too sensitive; as my mother always told me. I need to develop a ‘thicker skin’, so to speak. We all do, I guess…every now and again.

In the end…all we are really left with is the very thing we came into this world with–ourselves and the ones who love us most…if we’re lucky.

Which brings me back to what really matters to me in my immediate life; I see my children…their beautiful faces–two of whom I miss so much my heart feels like it is bleeding. I see my husband–the man who wakes up daily to trudge off to a job he hates more and more each day…for pay he sometimes doesn’t even get on time. I hear our daughter say “Bye Daddy”, every time he opens the door.

It makes me sad. Day after day, my time is spent without him; except for weekends; which fly-by in a glance. Day after day, I miss the rhythm of our old Volkswagen Camper Van humming down the highways and biways, looking forward to the next town…the next new discovery or adventure. I miss the sunrise over a new horizon, though I love the one I see on cloudless days. I miss the feel of tiny grains of sand, sifting softly between my toes; the big seashore is calling.

I miss my Mom…I miss my Dad; though they have both been gone too long. Losing your ‘Life’s Blood’, the one’s who gave you life, leaves you feeling like you have no home, like you belong to no one anymore, like you are only half-alive. God forbid, if-ever anyone has ever lost a child; well…I can’t imagine that. I only know that such a loss…to me, would leave me barely alive at all.

I know I ramble on a bit, but that’s just how my thoughts have always worked. I write and write and write…hoping I’ll find the feelings I bury so deep within myself. I’ve never really learned to cope with some of my deepest pains. Perhaps…I never really have grown up after all.

*Never Lose Your Inner-Child*

Life’s Little Annoyances — Being Faced With Rudeness

I woke up this morning…long before sunrise, feeling like I might find some answers to the problems I face…if only I sit down and write it all out. So here I am, tapping away at my keyboard with a thousand-and-one thoughts in my head. I know my time is limited; my husband and Baby will soon be waking to watch our Saturday morning cartoons en espanol. It’s one of my favorite things that we all do together. Simple…yet priceless.

So now…with those few words behind me, I am left only with the problems I am trying to work out in my life. I find they are too many to list in one sitting, so I am back to life’s little annoyances that have occurred these past few weeks. I want to kick myself for jumping too soon last year, too soon into something we thought, at the time, might be a good thing for our family.
Almost a year later, we are happy for what brought us to such a scene but not so much the scene itself. You see, when you have a very impressionable toddler you have to watch yourself…and others, every minute; she picks up on everything. You have to know that the example you’re setting and allowing others to set around her, especially the language being used, is something that cannot be unlearned.

Which brings me to my first little ‘bother’–
We were caught completely off-guard when someone we had the utmost respect for; someone who had always respected us and our little’n, started dropping F-bombs right within ear shot. We had no escape, nor did we have a chance to cover Baby’s ears. It was completely out of left field. This person is a leader, or so we thought. But I guess we are all, plain and simple, only human.
So I guess the question is: Do we need to contiunue putting ourselves in such situations? I know the answer.

Though the rudeness didn’t stop there…no siree! Just this past week, we were completely disrespected by a horrible person, who doesn’t seem to like anyone…so we never thought much about him not saying a lot to us. Well, he made up for it when he cursed and yelled at my husband over a TV ((?) Get a life, you old fart!), while Hubby attempted to serve himself from a buffet to which I had contributed; which, if I may add, was placed right in front of the damn TV! What nerve…the arse!

Needless to say, we didn’t expect to be treated that way in a place that claims to be a ‘friendly and family oriented’. We now feel like we’ve been led into the wolf’s den, and we’re not too eager to be a part of it. Even still, I have to say that most of the folks in this ‘place’ are really great and nice people; We even received a few apologies from the decent folks who witnessed the ignorant behavior.
My daddy always told me that rudeness is just ingorance in disquise. I have to agree!

So, here we are: not too eager to be walking into the wolf’s den any more. We have to protect our family, ourselves, and what rightfully is ours…bought and paid for. So now, I think I have the answer I’ve been looking for.

Ask yourself… What would you do?

*Life is just too short*

Sailing Club Work Party

Here’s a little something I put together for the LWSC–to remind us of the good times!

Many more to come!!  Fair winds and see you at the club!

.V..

Sunday Mornings At The Club

Another Sunday morning…waking up at the Sailing Club, and all is peacefully quiet in this lakeside world we only-just discovered a little more than a month ago.  It is here, in this place, where I feel most alive; having felt a bit numb for the past year we’ve spent within the confines of the dungeon we are soon to vacate.  Not soon enough–I might add.  I am so happy to be waking up here…and not there.

This little ‘escape in the city’ is a pure joy to us.  Nico loves tinkering with Peniki II (our newly aquired San Juan 24 sailboat), and I love making coffee the ‘more primitive’ way with my campstove; enjoying the view from atop the peninsula as I stir…then sip.  “Aaaaah!  This place is a pure gem.”  I feel a rush of blessings as I turn toward Peniki (our trusty old VW Camper Van) to see that Nico and Baby are still sound asleep inside.  ‘Wow!  I really do love this.’  I tell myself.

The sun casts a glow over the port side of my face, as I realize this moment will soon end and day will overtake morning.  But that’s alright with me, since we’ll be heading back down to the docks to work some more on Peniki II, while I work a bit on my tan (to cover my forty-something flaws…no doubt).

I sip my coffee…I look around just to make sure I’m not dreaming.  I tell myself that this is my new reality, and I am thankful even more this minute than I was just a moment ago.  Looking over at Blanca–our little schnauzer–I see she’s been playing in the briar patch again, and has sticker-burs dotting her fir to prove it.  I have to laugh when I think back to yesterday, remembering when me and Baby went for a short swim and how Blanca swam out to us…only to discover that she couldn’t touch bottom.  Not only did I have a toddler clinging to me, but also a little white ‘scaredy dog’.  *heh um*

The music of birds chirping is now being joined by the morning stirs of Baby in the van, waking up and looking for Mom.  My time for ‘me’ is fast-coming to an end–this I know.  I hear her cries–it’s time to wrap it up.  To whomever takes the time to read my words, I bid you Happy Sunday.  May yours be magical too.

.V..

It’ll All Come Out In The Wash

My mom used to say “It’ll all come out in the wash.”, if ever I had a problem I couldn’t seem to solve.  Well, this week has been riddled with life’s little adversities…but it has all worked itself out in the end.

One challenge I faced was over this past weekend when we went camping; Baby didn’t take quite so well to sleeping in the van fold-out bed.  It’s been almost a year since we set up camp in Peniki (our old VW Westfalia) and it seems she’s forgotten the drill.  Last year when we were out there on the road, giving in to wanderlust, Baby was much smaller and was easily managed by placing her in her play-pen and giving her some toys and such.

This year…?  It’s a whole different ballgame!  She is our little explorer (she comes by that rather honestly) and she wants to see and be seen, hear and be heard…even in the middle of the night.  Which gets me to the root of the problem: she didn’t sleep…at all!  She screamed, kicked, and thrusted about the camper van like a rabid rag doll.  Needless to say, Mom and Dad did NOT sleep at all either!  Instead, we ducked and guarded ourselves against Baby’s kicks and jabs; I got it a few times, and I have the bruises to prove it!

So…we ‘somehow’ made it through the night–Baby finally went to sleep after I rocked her in my arms, while I was half-asleep…standing up…in the drive-away tent.  Then came the dawn on Father’s Day.  Here we go again…!

Just as the sun was about to make a grand entrance to our lovely, peacefully quiet, and breezy cool morning…Baby began to stir around, then came the screaming!  ‘Why me…?!’  I wondered silently.

Before long, Nico was awake and we were once again being punched and kicked by a half-awake toddler with a really bad temper.  Ugh!!!  I was fast losing my cool, so I enlisted the help of a much more ‘patient’ soul than I myself.  Daddy to the rescue!!!  Yippee!  I didn’t want to land Baby in Nico’s lap on the dawn of Father’s Day, but it was my only choice.

So…that was the start of our Sunday, and I won’t go into details exactly…but I finally had to take over again and enforce a bit of discipline once I ‘knew’ Baby was aware of her behavior, she wasn’t hurting, nor was she still asleep.  A Mom’s gotta do what a Mom’s gotta do sometimes.  And, just as my Mom & Dad would’ve done, I nipped it in the bud.

The crying stopped, I received good morning hugs and lubbings from the very same little girl who’d been kicking me just minutes before, and all was right with our Father’s Day.  We got through the rest of the day without incident, visited with our sailing club friends, worked on our boat a bit, and baby took her very first nap on our new/old sailing yacht ‘Peniki II’ while the rain drizzled lightly outside the stern hatch.

We invited a few club friends onboard Peniki II, had a few margaritas from what was left of the mix that’d been enjoyed the day before, rolled up camp then headed back to the city.  I look forward to doing it again…soon!

*Taking the good with the bad*

Traveling With Baby in a VW Camper Van

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