Living on island time

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Everyone’s heard of the phrase “Island Time” which stands for “nobody cares what time it is”. And it stands true that islands have a certain feel to them, where time really does stand still and your worries seem to melt away with the waves on the sand. While living on Orcas Island we have experienced this and so much more!

There really are no clocks on the island! Ha! Well I’m sure there are some but we are yet to find one, minus the ferry terminal which is the main artery of the San Juan Islands. No matter what the nautical clock on the wall says there are always ferries shipping people of every decent and economic class through these timeless waters.

The islands are a melting pot where people are less concerned about social status and just looking to enjoy themselves.

Everyone should spend some time on an island! Living on Orcas is like stepping back to the good old days where there’s a little family farm with fresh fruits, veggies, eggs, and a variety of other goodies around every corner. Which is always a great reminder for us to eat healthy foods that are locally sourced. Everyone waves and smiles at each other when driving and walking around the shops. People even hitchhike! There’s a true sense of community in these small island towns, neighbors helping neighbors and it’s refreshing!

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Summer in the San Juans is a boaters’ paradise! Beautiful harbors of crystal blue water teaming with marine life just begging for an anchor. There’s also amazing food, drink, and of course nature. Mother nature is one of the most influential forces on the island. When she is shining her sunny smile on us, all is well and the party is swingin’. The sun tanned bodies sharing drinks and stories on the docks are a permanent staple here in the summertime and everyone’s going on a sail or hike and invites you to join. But when her seasons change the island is not far behind.

The month of October has brought a whole new feeling to the island. One of urgency and dedication to tradition that’s handed down from generations long ago. It’s harvest time like you would expect in central or Eastern Washington, and everyone is preparing for the winter storms. It’s a way of life that cannot be ignored.

The best part of this demanding time is that everyone is so thankful to be working here and living this dream.

That’s what I’m really discovering here. That this “Island Time” feeling has nothing to do with time… and everything to do with a well-rounded healthy lifestyle. Learning that there’s no reason to stress over time is invaluable, and I have some tips straight from the island for ya!

  1. Find your happy place –

When you wake up in the morning are you excited to go outside and see what awaits you??? If not then you’re in the wrong place! Some people love the hustle bustle of the city, and others love the solitude of the country. I like both so I live on a boat where I can visit all of them!

     2. Be Proud –

I know it’s hard in the world we live in today to be comfortable in our own skin, when we are constantly being reminded of how we need to alter ourselves to be skinnier or more beautiful with the latest greatest style. But you were made the way you are for a reason! If we all embrace our freckles, crooked noses, splotchy skin, and under eye circles then we embrace the past that got us to this future. Every mark on us tells a story, one of our heritage and adventures. Let your story shine.

    3. Prioritize –

Be literal and everything else will fall into play. Our basic needs are water and food so start there. You have to fuel your body and mind before you can nourish anything else. Take time while you eat to self reflect and check in. Then you can start to prioritize. We all have to pay the bills so work is a high priority, which brings up the question… what is all of this hard-earned money for? If you’re paying for things that aren’t a real priority for sustaining your life; food, shelter, clothing, then is it really a priority? If you prioritize, then you focus on what’s really important in life to you and the other stuff has a way of falling off.

     4. Don’t let anything ruin your day –

We all have those days when nothing seems to go right, but when your on an island the waters remind you that the tides change often and there’s always a calm after the storm. So when bad things do happen, put yourself on your island and look for the calm after the storm because even if it’s not quite visible yet, you can see the change coming with the tide.

I hope that you use some of these tactics for embracing an “Island Time” lifestyle. Stress is one of the leading causes of illness and disease so be kind to yourself and unwind a little, just like on the islands!

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Do you like serving customers?

It’s amazing to me how many businesses are really going the extra mile when it comes to customer service. Car dealerships are bending over backwards for a good review and google specialists wont stop until the problem is solved. It’s also mind-boggling how so many others aren’t jumping on the band wagon.

We have been hoping around the San Juan Islands for a couple of months now noticing the same trend of poor customer service. So I’ve been asking myself, is the tourist industry killing customer service? Are people flaunting their wealth and social status getting the working class down? I have met a number of sweet young adults from our country and others, and the majority of them are just floating around, trying to pay the bills with no loyalty to their employer what so ever. The really disturbing fact is that even the managerial staff have caught the bug. One of my favorite examples of this “customer service black hole” is when a resort restaurant manager had a progress report with a waitress behind the bar that was 10 ft. from our breakfast table. And lets just say he made it very clear with foul language and all that she had a lot of progress to make.

I’m realizing the importance of those horrible, sexual harassment meetings we all have to endure at our work place because apparently this kind of stuff isn’t common sense! Yikes!!! I mean really people… there’s a time and a place! 

I know that there are many undesirable jobs in this world that have to be done, and they do not allow you to afford the life we all want as the American Dream. But maybe, just maybe we should all stop being depressed or anxious and figure out our own dream and standards of life. It’s sounds pretty harsh when I put it like that but it’s true. Generations have been raised with the vision of living in a beautiful home with a white picket fence where the family of 4 are playing and barbecuing in the yard, and Mom and Dad both drive a nice car to work everyday while the kids excel at school. Wow! That does sound nice! Ha! But it’s really not the world we live in these days.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s definitely a revolution happening in our country right now where prejudice thoughts and actions are finally condemning people. So we’re on our way to rebuilding a current American Dream of true freedom to pursue our vision of happiness. And when the people of our nation accept the responsibility of creating their own dream then maybe we can get off our high horse and realize that it takes hard work and dedication to get there and nobody should have to give us a free handout. If this is the case then we can all decide for ourselves how hard we want to work for the lifestyle we want to live.

I started teaching dance at the age of 12 and have continued doing so through out my 35 years. This early education in the real world helped me develop a very strong understanding of customer service because a 30 something mother is not going to be happy when another child is reprimanding her child. So I honed my skills by watching my co workers who happened to be a mother(studio owner) and 2 daughters who loved they’re careers! They were invested in their company and it showed by the way they treated their customers. I knew then that I wanted to stick to my passions and that I loved the challenge of working with people.

Having a vision of what you want in life is the first step in achieving it.

I always like to hear a persons story because it’s fascinating to discover someones vision. Often times they may not even see their own vision but when they light about their hobbies and passions you can see it. We all have a vision, whether you think it’s achievable or not is the question. And I’m hear to tell you it is! My husband and I are 35, debt free, and living on our sailboat in the beautiful San Juan Islands. Our bills are few and we get to spend the majority of our time hiking, playing on the boat, homeschooling and raising our son. If we all walk through life with the desire to do and be our best and leave things better than we found them (because nobodies vision includes littler and junk in the streets) then we’ll enjoy ourselves so much more no matter what we’re doing. Waiting on the tourists or being waited on as a tourist, both have their place and if done so with a smile a love of life/vision then the world will be a happier and customer service oriented place!

Quotes that support my theory:

  • Better to loved and lost then to never have loved at all                                                         -Alfred Lord Tennyson
  • “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”
     -Mahatma Gandhi
  • “Count your age by friends, not years. Count your life by smiles, not tears.”
    ― John Lennon

To sum it all up, customer service is really a way of life that can be taught and has been adopted by so many other names. It’s people loving on people. Treating others the way you want to be treated and having a desire to better yourself by serving others. It can sound demeaning at times but you should try it! Selflessly caring for another’s needs can be one of the most self-fulfilling feelings in the world! When a child’s face lights up because they know a teacher really cares, or you get jobs because of your friendly reputation you’ll know that you’re doing something right in this world. This feeling is also very helpful for those moments when you’re on the receiving end of a customer servant got off the deep! Remember… it never hurts to gently remind people that they should look for a job that they enjoy.

Marriage Insurance

Isn’t marriage such a wonderful thing? You find your soul mate and become one, under God, to live happily ever after in the suburbs. Ha! Ha! Ya right! Marriage is a wonderful thing, when tended to like a newborn baby!

Devoting your life to someone is a lot of work! Of course you must have a strong interest in this someone and want their life long company. And trust me… though you will both grow and change, the original person you either did or did not fall madly in love with will always be there. Don’t expect to wake up with a prince if you took home a donkey!

We all work really hard when it comes to dating.

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Think about it, we had to make sure we were always looking and smelling our best with good conversation and fun atmosphere. We were conscious of setting up those romantic moments that lead to a deeper relationship. Never rushing into anything, taking it slow and letting it sizzle! Wow! Sorry… got a little spicy there! But that’s what was so exciting about those early days… they were spicy!

So what changed? Now that your married and together all the time your spending that creative brainstorming on other priorities. Which is saddening at times but totally normal. Major life changes always come along…

  • New house Mortgage/Rent
  • Raising a family
  • Work

SAD!

Well don’t fear! I’ve got a solution to those marry-time blues.. Dancing! 

Please don’t try to drag your partner out to your favorite Zumba class, I’m talking about good old-fashioned Ballroom dancing. Though it’s not old-fashioned at all, Ballroom dancing is straight up marriage insurance. Just in case something catastrophic happens, you’ve got a safety net. Something keeping you together . This type of dancing is not always an easy thing to learn but that’s why there are hundreds of organizations to help.

  • Arthur Murray Dance Studio – It’s expensive, but 100% worth it! They take very good care to teach you the right way.
  • Fred Astaire Dance Studio– Also expensive with similar results when you follow their system of learning.
  • Private School– This link is to a fantastic studio in North Seattle that has great prices and amazing personal instruction. There are studios like this everywhere!

 

You may be thinking ya right, my partner wont have anything to do with this, but you are most likely wrong.

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Dancing is primal, and in all of us. All animals have their mating ritual which is often a series of movements or… DANCE. And who’s the one doing the majority of the moovin’ & groovin’??? The Male! In ballroom you have a leader and a follower, and these roles are very dependent on one another. If the leader is not confident in his movement, the follower loses trust and stops dancing. This is exactly the same general idea of what happens in a marriage pre-divorce.

So this is where the dance lessons come in. Learning to dance is a bit awkward at first but that’s part of the fun too. Being vulnerable is a way to create intimacy. Learning something new together is also a way to break out of the normal old routine and learn something new about each other. I do highly recommend taking lessons from a trained professional versus trying to teach yourselves off YouTube.

When it comes to a new language or dance, imagine you speak Chinese and your partner speaks Romanian. You wont be able to understand each other without an interpreter… a.k.a. your dance instructor.

So how to get your partner to participate. It’s actually really easy… Just paint them a picture! Explain to them that learning to dance means having their hands all over you while your bodies cuddle up close on a dance floor listening to their favorite music. That’s right… you can learn a dance to any kind of music so don’t be shy on telling your teacher your likes and dislikes. And don’t shy away from a little liquid courage either. It takes the edge off and helps most of us loosen up.

I have personally had my life changed through this wonderful pastime and I hope you too can benefit from the experience of dancing with your significant other.

Here’s a quick reference of what music goes with what dance/style:

  • Classic Rock – swing, west coast swing/fun and sexy
  • Slow music – rumba, waltz/sexy and classic
  • Pop – cha-cha, swing/ sexy and fun
  • Latin – salsa, cha-cha
  • Smooth jazz – Foxtrot/super cool

Now you have no excuse! Give it a try. I bet you wont regret it!

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*Also stay tuned for my instructional videos.

Tiny kitchen Must have’s

Are you thinking of embracing the wave of the future, and daring the thought of tiny living? Maybe you’ve already made the leap and are enjoying the freedoms of lower mortgage and utility payments, as well as having less to furnish and therefore less to clean. Either way, there are some hardships when it comes to cramming a normal size life into a small space, especially in the kitchen.

The galley on our boat is an “L” shape that’s about 6 foot long by 4 foot wide. There is an ice-box (refrigerator) and two burner propane stove with a tiny oven on the long side, and a storage compartment and sink on the short. I’ve got two cabinets and a shelf for storage as well as five drawers.

Now don’t get me wrong, this is a very tiny space by anyone’s standards to house all of the things needed to sustain a financially and physically healthy diet. But it’s not as hard as you think!

I eat restaurant quality food everyday!

Here’s how…

Pressure cooker-

      • I use my

Fagor

    • 4 quart pressure cooker every day! Not only does it help me not steam up my entire home, it cooks quickly and efficiently every time! It’s also really easy to find recipes and how to’s online!

       

Hanging nets or baskets-

    • You don’t want to clutter your valuable counter space with fancy bowls of fruit or platters of artesian bread, but those things are very tasty so why not hang them in the sky! Utilizing your vertical space is a must! So get some drywall anchors and hooks and start hanging your favorite snacks! You can also hang a basket on the wall for recycling or mail.

Everything’s better in a hammock!

Teapot-

    • Using a teapot is about a lot more than your favorite cup of chai, it’s a way of life. I buy certain ingredients like minute rice, rice noodles, or quick oats knowing that all I have to do is add hot water. When you only have a 2 burner stove, you have to get creative

 

  • Coffee strainer-
      This amazing little plastic cone of goodness and a paper filter is all you need! Your coffee is fresh every time and it saves so much space.

Imagine how much money we could save by just making our own coffee!  

 

  • Dish drying mat-
      When you have the privilege of being the washer of your own dishes… You must have a handy-dandy dish drying mat! I personally prefer a micro fiber type of mat I can hang to dry and roll up for easy storage.

  • 4 cup Measuring cup with a lid- This versatile bowl can be used for measuring, storing any tasty leftovers, baking, and huge late night bowls of cereal! It’s the best thing ever to have a handle on your mixing bowl!

 

  • Cast iron deep skillet with lid- The number one Reason to have a cast-iron skillet is for the flavor! But this skillet is so nice because you can move it from the stove top to the oven, even to the barbecue with a couple pot holders. You can cook anything from pizza to chocolate chip cookies to soups and sauces.

 

  • The most important thing to have in a tiny kitchen is common sense!               You know you’re not having a dinner party for 12 in your little house so don’t keep all of the stuff to do so. I have eight medium size plates, eight bowls, and enough silverware for the lot because we can entertain about 6 people comfortably. So when we have a nice sit down dinner with the table set for 6 I still have 2 plates and bowls left for serving. This way of life is not hard by any means. It just takes a little planning and organizational skills to keep it running smoothly. It always feels great to do more with less so with these simple tools you can have a fresh and healthy diet and outlook on life.

Making Adult Friends

Living in a marina deep in the San Juan Islands allows you to meet people of all walks of life daily. I’m consistently reminded of my high school cafeteria days because some of us never really grow up.

You’ve got the popular crowd that looks really good, but might not have a handle on how to actually drive a boat. Then there’s always the partiers! The let’s drink too much and wake up the whole marina up at 3 AM when we jump in the 50° water people. And of course the dropouts, who just live on a boat because it’s cheap. They don’t actually care if it runs, or even floats in some cases! Regardless of the clique, I hope we’ve all learned something from that awkward time of life. That we all crave companionship.

It’s a natural human need to belong to something bigger than yourself. As an adult we get so weighted down with the duties of our social tiers that we forget how to simply make a friend. To walk up to somebody and say, “Hi! My name is Rachelle. Want to get a cup of coffee or lunch?” It’s honestly that easy!

Honest intentions are all you need to break the ice, and get to know this new friend.

Who?

What?

Where?

When?

Why?

Remember back to grade school when your story had to be composed of these five simple questions? Well making a new friend is no different. Ask them their story and genuinely listen. If you have a common interest then you’re set, and if not… Move On! It’s just that easy. If someone is put off by your questions then you probably wouldn’t end up being friends anyway. So treat it like recess, if Tommy doesn’t want to play tetherball then ask someone else.

The great thing about getting out and having a real face-to-face conversation with someone you don’t know is that you have to think on your feet and stand by your opinions. Also a very important human need. To be heard and understood! It’s your chance to share your knowledge as well.

Just keep the conversation light and easy!

Even if your to your limit of friends, this is a great practice to be in in general. When you know the people you will see often with a little more clarity, your everyday, mundane routines can be brought to life again by the company of others involved. So look up when you walk and smile at people! They may think you’re a weirdo, but at least you’re happy one!

Remember that life has a way of throwing you a line when you least expect it, but you have to be out there to catch it!

Setting sail on the sea of home schooling

Walker is my adventurous little six-year-old, who sold the majority of his belongings to move onto a sailboat and travel the seven seas! (As he would say in a heavy pirate accent.) And with all of this craziness that change brings, Walker also entered into the school of mom and dad. Needless to say, it’s been a very interesting start to kindergarten!

Homeschooling starts with a lot of parent schooling!

Mom and dad did a lot of research on different state requirements on websites like…

hslda.org

washhomeschool.org

We also reached out to friends and family in the educational field. We found people are genuinely excited to share their knowledge and passion when it comes to this very close to the heart matter.

When you know exactly what is required of your child in a public school setting, then you know what your assignment is. So here comes the project portion.

Your ultimate project is to get them to love to learn!

Your child will basically do this portion for you. If you theme they’re learning around their interests then you’ve got their attention! Trust me… if they are having fun, then so will you! And of course there are always subjects that kids resist, but remembering the big goal of giving your little one the best possible education you can will always help in those troublesome moments. It’s a good life lesson to teach them as well.

One of the biggest holdbacks people have with homeschooling is the social aspect of it all. It is very challenging to be the big sister and brother and friend and mother and teacher all in one day but it is always worth it! I relish in the fact that my child’s education is made to be more important than clothing, cliques, or extracurricular activities.

However, kids need to be kids!

And they need other kids to be the crazy, silly, little goofballs that they are. So we do our best to get Walker in whatever sport is in season through parks and recreation departments and of course the YMCA is always a great option.

My other go to is church!

Church is a great way to get your child around other kids in a comfortable and safe environment where the parents are always welcome to be present and participate. Most Sunday school programs teach those little golden rules that we want so badly to instill in our youth.

*Treat others the way you want to be treated.

*If you cant say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.

*Respect!

So don’t stress on having the latest and greatest curriculum on the market because with the help of Pinterest, Google, and some divine intervention the creative possibilities are endless! Just focus on playing to your child’s strengths to give them confidence and the love of learning!

One

It seems logical to start a new blog with an explanation of the crazy name chain weeba. However, being this is the first post on my first blog ever and i am not normal or logical most of the time, I will save that till I get a little more accustomed to word press and writing. Its such a great story. The least I can do is save that gem for when i get better at writing.

Witch brings me to my next opening topic and the motivation to do this writing. My family. To teach my little man to be a real man and try to help people find a way in a scary world. I am a person who spends way to long thinking about stuff before i act. Im great at procrastinating but in my short time I’ve learned that things i know are useful to other people. So hear i am trying to get off my ass and put a piece of me out there.

A little about myself… Im not a great writer. Im a automotive mechanic by day. My wife and i used to live on a smalish sailboat in the puget sound. We miss it everyday. Part of this will be our journy back to that life. Part of this will be me working on being better. Started working out again today since i singed my wife, son and i up for a 12k. So from hear out my posts should be a bit more focused on what ever topic and i would love any positive feedback is out there. Thanks

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