Easter Dinner

Homeschooling Mommas everywhere use any available opportunity to teach their kids. (Some of us can even be a teensy bit irritating about it.) When a lesson needs to be taught that we aren’t equipped to teach, thankfully we have a wonderful array of other homeschooling families that we can call upon. That is, when our pride doesn’t get in the way.

I decided that preparing our Easter dinner would be a super ‘lesson time’ spent with my Anna. She really loves to be in the kitchen with me and entertainment and decorating are right up her alley.

Early Sunday morning, we enthusastically began our lesson. We gathered our ingredients, made up a menu and timeline list so everything would come out hot at the right time. We had time to make our Church service, get the house company ready then to prepare and lay out the hors d’oeuvres.  According to our detailed plan our beautiful meal and the dessert would all come out Martha Stewart perfect and hit the table hot and tasty and of course, all with impeccable timing. We even put up some super cute little decorations. I was feeling quite proud.

My sweet Anna is such a great little student. She’s enthusiastic and sharp…. plus, she stops to give me little hugs and sweet smiles. What a treasure she is!

I use Pinterest to keep my most current recipes in order. But honestly, for this particular Easter meal I wasn’t exactly pulling out all the stops. We’d be serving Ham (easy, peasy ~ just heat and serve), Scalloped Pototoes & Deviled Eggs (both dishes we had in my family growing up countless times ~ no mystery to me how to turn these out) and Parmesan Garlic Roasted Asparagus (not exactly a tough thing to toss together). So my carefully Pinned and catagorized recipes weren’t of much use. Basically, I blew them off.  Anna asked a few times about them… and I explained that ‘some dishes don’t really even need a recipe!’ And then… went on to let her know how I could basically do this meal up with my eyes closed. I didn’t use that phrasing… but the implication ~ yeah, exactly that. Wow! Her eyes twinkled a bit with what I am pretty sure was admiration.

After enjoying our lovely table of hors d’oeuvres, the beautiful meal hit the table with yes, perfect timing. Ahhhhh… there were eager looks and a few compliments for the cooks about how wonderful it all looked. Success was ours!

Then, we picked up our forks. Anna’s face showed it first. Her eyes searched mine out, eyebrows slightly raised, with just a tinge of panic. The Ham: dry and hard. Like really dry. And really hard. The Eggs: SOOOO salty my throat burned a bit. The Scalloped Potatoes: Hard and crunchy. Like I didn’t even cook them at all. Oh, and super bland. The Asparagus: Barely cooked, stringy and hardly any parmesan at all (where the heck it all went, I have no idea) but, with SO much garlic it would have melted Dracula’s eyebrows right off.

So my kids, who were already nauseous from the vats of chocolate bunnies & jelly beans they’d consumed in the morning… dove into the little mini cheese cakes and the pineapple cherry cake…. which of course, turned out perfect. Clearly, my priorities are the desserts.

Plus, Anna had a solution. She announced her idea with excitement to the whole table. “Hey Mom… remember when I took that (insert whatever class she took, that was yet another area I obvioulsy fail in) from Mrs. (insert name of mom who clearly is wayyyy more awesome and better at… well, everything than I will ever be)? She had lots of cook books in her kitchen! Maybe we should ask if she’d like to teach this lesson?!”

Uhhh yeah…. that’s a great idea. Maybe she can also teach us a lesson in pride and how to mop your ego off the floor.

How was your Easter dinner?

(photo: looks good enough to eat, right? yeah, looks can be deceiving)

(photo: looks good enough to eat, right? yeah, looks can be deceiving)

Big Guns

IMG_3661.121526

I rarely have to call on the ‘big guns’ to handle my battles, but I’m glad that when the occasion arises, my Fisherman’s got my back.

The trouble I am referring to (this week, anyway) comes in the form of a twinkly eyed, curly headed, 2 1/2 feet tall package of dy-no-mite.

Many, many days of homeschooling these kids and I have had FUN! We’ve also had our share of difficult, trying days. And, let’s face it, some days that I randomly call a ‘parent-teacher conference’ (ok, I walk out talking to myself) and put them all in front of an ‘educational movie’.

Although we don’t have big classrooms and school assemblies, or a football team… we do utilitze the idea of a ‘Teacher’ (me) and ‘The Principal’ (Captain Chris). The kids know that every few weeks I show a selection of their work to their Daddy/Principal. And yes, I use that as motivation to get ‘nicest handwriting’ and ‘best efforts’.

This week, I was exhausted by trying every tactic in the book to get my littlest guy to give me his best work…. or for that matter anything that even seemed like work. Instead, I was getting: 1. disco dancing 2. hiding under the stairs 3. pretending to be an out of water jelly fish (flopping deadlike over the school table) 4. an amnesia portrayal that included ‘forgetting’ the alphabet completely and 5. answering math questions with random, unrelated Spanish words.

Needless to say, a visit to the Principal was in order. And Chris did a great job. We all sat down and Chris gave a well thought out, heart felt explantion to Micah on the virtues of ‘doing his best work.’ He talked about the reasons it was important, touched on the good feeling of satisfication in a job well done and how important it is to be honest with yourself in your own self evaluation, and to not allow yourself to be convinced that ‘just doing OK’ is actually ‘doing your best‘. He talked over the consequences of not working hard at school and of not showing your teacher respect. Micah listened. He nodded a few times, sitting quietly (who knew he was able?) and even said ‘OK, daddy’ and ‘Yes, daddy’ a few times. I was pretty sure he even looked a little remorseful for all the flack he’d given me lately.

When my husband feels strongly about something, he can be quite an orator. He’s a great Commercial Fisherman ~ but I believe he could pull off some sort of public speaker quite easily. He has a gift for inspiring and motivating that I am quite impressed with. This particular discussion left me with the desire to be a better teacher, and inspired to strive more for showing the kids that I am also ‘doing my best work’!

We ended with hugs all around. Then, Chris asked Micah a simple question.

Chris: Micah, when Momma has school work for you this week what are you going to do?

Micah: (blank stare)

Chris: (trying to narrow down the choices) OK, when you do your school work you are going to…..?

Micah: (blank stare) Ummmmm…. (squirming a bit)

Chris: Micah, you are going to do your……?

Micah: Uhhhhhhh….. CAPITAL LETTERS!!!! ….(noting the let down on our faces)…. and, um…. but, NOT while I’m dancing!!

 

I think the Teacher and the Principal might need a night out for ‘student evaluations’…. at a place that serves really good Margaritas.

Q & A

Crab

I normally use this spot to just yammer a bit about being married to my Fisherman…. and all the stuff that goes with it. But, I thought I’d take a minute to answer some very common questions we hear at the Market. In doing so, I hope to clear up some misconceptions but also to shed a little light on exactly how that tasty fillet gets on your plate.

1. Do you really catch this fish yourself?

~ Yes. And no.

My husband Chris and his deckhand go out on our own boat and fish seasonally, all year. His main focuses are: Halibut, White Sea Bass and Swordfish. Depending on the season, he also lands Angel, Thresher and Mako Shark, Blue Fin, Albacore, Opah, Spider, Rock and Ca King Crabs, Sole and a few other species that I’m sure I am forgetting because right now my kids are fighting and I can’t think straight. So yeah, most of our products we catch ourselves.

The no part: Although we land a gorgeous array of fresh fish, and are so proud to be able to offer it to you guys, one of our goals has always been to be sure our customers have as much freedom of choice in their fresh seafood as possible, without compromising our very high standards for freshness. This is a hard balance when you are dealing with seasonal products that are by nature, easily ruined if not handled properly. So for example, we are not Shrimpers. But who doesn’t love a buttery sauteed Shrimp along side a lovely pasta? Chris is working on his 33rd year of complete and total immersion in the Commercial Fishing/purveying/eating/providing of fish industry. And y’all gotta hear me when I say ‘total immersion’. This man lives-breathes-eats-sleeps all things ‘fish’. Like, seriously. I think of it like this: If I ‘needed’ an expert on a sweet little new diamond ring to commemorate my 15th wedding anniversary, which by the way, for planning purposes, is 10 short months away, I’d probably make a bee-line for experts (you know the ones with the little blue boxes?) as opposed to ordering something online from practicallyreallookingrocksrus.com, right? In the same way, I’m thinking it would be a really smart idea to hang out with Capt Chris at Fresh Fish Fanatics if I was planning to plate up a to-die-for seafood dinner as opposed to let’s say… roaming, dazed through the local paper towel/laundry soap/wine/socks/diapers pallet sized crate store. With Chris, you get the resident expert who uses those years of experience and career long industry relationships to get his hands on only the very top of line, freshest fish available. Plus, he doesn’t mind telling you some cooking secrets while you’re there. Hmmmm…. now I’m sorry we don’t offer some really cool signature packaging with our fillets. A nice shade of blue, perhaps…?

2. Is this fish actually fresh?

~ Ummmm…. Yes. See #1.

3. Isn’t this fish ‘overfished’/’on the bad list’/unsafe to eat?

~ First, we can’t legally (or morally for that matter) land or sell species that are overfished. Second, because something 27 years ago was one way…. does not mean it is still that way today. So much work goes into improving/fixing/optimizing our industry. And much of it works very well! But OLD, skewed, one sided ‘information’ can ruin all of those efforts if people are not careful to seek out truth and facts.  Third, I’d suggest getting off the internet and just go over and have a chat with the guy whose whole entire life depends on every single detail of the health of the species and the laws and regualtions related to them. You will be stunned at what you learn.  Or, you can know this: US Commercial Fishermen the most regulated fishermen in the entire world.  Strangely…. nearly 90% of all fish consumed in the US is IMPORTED…. from places that (get this) DO.NOT.HOLD.TO.OUR.STRINGENT.REGULATIONS. So…. where’s that ‘flappy-fish-like-shaped’ piece from? And, how and when did that thing start it’s journey to you? Yeah, I’d maybe rethink that meal.

SOOOOO…. if your concern is to help keep our fisheries and the species healthy and plentiful, the short and simple answer is to SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL FISHERMAN whose catch is monitored, regulated, legislated and watched over by about 5 zillion agencies at once to ensure it’s well-being. And for goodness sakes… please, please, please get real information about the seafood your eating. Not something that was photo shopped and altered and edited and estimated to sound like whatever money making entity needs it sound sound like.

4. How do I cook this?

~ Barely. Our fish is fresh. Like really, really fresh. You do NOT need to cover it’s taste with spices and sauces and stuff. I’m all for a very tasty recipe…. I’m just saying, if you want to you can actually just brush a little olive oil on and put some heat on our fish. If you have more than 5 minutes, you can also… BBQ, roast, pan fry, sautee, poach …. you get the point. No matter how you decide to prepare it, do not overcook the fish. It’s fat content is relatively low (for most species we offer) and if you cook it until it looks ‘done’ ~ it will end up DRY. Other than that, have fun trying new tastes. Some examples: Our Thresher, Mako and Swordfish all go wonderfully something tropical in flavor like a good pineapple mango salsa. Or a nice Teriyaki flavor. Our Halibut… Oh, my fav!… is my go to meal for quick, simple and easy. Pat it dry, Avo Oil, S&P… a few minutes on one side…. over it goes…. add butter (yeeee! so good) and finish it off.

Some of our super cool customers (who are way more adept in the kitchen than I) have shared their recipes on our FB page and some are featured on our website. Go check ’em out!

4. Hmmm, sounds good! How much will all of this goodness set me back?

~ Our fish is sold ‘per pound’. Each species is individually priced, based on current market value. Popularity, availability and costs involved in landing the fish all go into the pricing. Our offerings are cut and packaged and ready for you to prepare for your meal. When I price the fish, I consider what is happening in the fish market in general right then….and adjust our prices accordingly. I go the extra mile to compare our prices with other local retail prices and have found my prices nearly 100% of the time to be UNDER other listed prices. Feel free to ask about our prices and when a ‘best time’ to buy certain species might be. We can also offer insight into how you can care for your fish or even how to properly freeze it for later use, if you find something you love and the price is nice so you can consider stocking up. Speaking of stocking up: We also offer most of our fish ‘whole’ (as opposed to filleted). Many people take advantage of buying a side of beef and freezing it. There are pricing advantages to doing the same with our fish. Ask us…. we’ll give you all the info you need to make that decision. Plus, we are happy to fillet it out for you once you purchase a whole fish. And last, for great cost effectiveness, don’t skip over the chance to try our collars, ribs or belly trimmings! These are a great way to enjoy our super fresh fish, at an even more attractive price point. Fish soups, grilled ribs and roasted collars are all wonderful meals ~ and help to ensure not a scrap of these beautiful fish goes to waste!

5. What’s it like to be a Commercial Fishing family?

~ Awesome! And scary/frustrating/amazing/hilarious…. To read a bit more about this life of ours (OK, a little too much about it ~ I have no boundries sometimes) check out our website for some archived Fisherman’s Wife notes, or you can look back through them by scrolling through our FB page.

Remember, it’s your support that keeps this all moving. Please keep sharing your recipes, photos, questions, ideas, comments. We love getting them from you!

House Zoo

Our house is a zoo. It’s kind of like that normally… all wild and busy. But NOW it’s really a zoo.

About 6 years ago, we got our oldest son a dog. I was never a dog person myself. I had cats mostly growing up. I just didn’t understand how people who had dogs could tolerate their dog hair everywhere, making messes of their houses, their dog smell – you get the picture. Then, we got Tippy…and everything changed. This dog is the best dog ever. No really. She came to us after being very abused but has been exceptionally wonderful since the day we got her. No health issues, sweet and calm & just loves to be near us. She instantly turned me into one of those dog people. Hair everywhere, smells and mess? Who cares!! Tippy has brought love to our home. It’s been a breeze really. She’s been such a gift to us.

Last week, we succumbed to our other kiddos wishes. Our youngest boy has always wanted a Turtle. So for his birthday, he finally got a cute little water Turtle. So far, easy enough. I’m OK with the Turtle. The kids like it well enough, at least the clean up part is in a contained area and I’m fairly certain it won’t escape from it’s gigantic tank thingy, so I am good. And so the zoo expands.

Then, sweet girl’s birthday was a few days later. She’s been promised her own dog for 2 years now. We’ve even tried a few out and been forced to return them for various reasons. This time, it pretty much must work out….she’s been heartbroken already & we kinda need to make this work.

We got a call from a local animal rescue letting us know they had what they considered a ‘match’ for us. So I quickly stowed my little ones in the car, grabbed a leash in case it worked out and zoomed out to take a look. Well, unless you have a heart of stone, you can’t visit a place like that with 3 little kids and leave without a dog. Maybe if you have your more logical thinking spouse with you, you might even think things through a bit before you rush out the door.  But if it’s just the kids and the makes-decisions-based-on-the-level-of-cuteness/emotion/begging-factor Momma who is in charge, you pretty much come home with a new dog. Crazy Zoo family, meet Tucker. He’s a really cute, 7 month old thing… maybe a Lab/Shepherd mix?… wild and fun and should fit right in. Except for one thing. He’s a 7 months old wild & fun thing.

See, part of the reason I love Tippy SO MUCH is because she is SO EASY. The Turtle is tolerable, because it’s not a complete pain in the foot. Mr. Tucker, the new puppy…??? Uhhh, the thing jumps all over and tries to get in the house and tries to ‘hug your leg’  if you know what I mean..ackkk… When I tried to walk the wild beast, it pulled me over & I twisted my ankle. Don’t get me wrong. Tucker is a good dog. He is already learning & will do great with training. He’s just a wild puppy!

So in my irritation with myself, for not making wiser decisions I did something selfish. I talked to my daughter about re-thinking our choice & considering exchanging Tucker for a dog that is a little older and more settled. Yes, I really did that. And yes, she cried her little eyes out and made me feel terrible. Now I could easily pull my ‘I’m-the-mom-card’ and take charge here. But guess how I learned what the right response in this situation is? My kids. Yep, the ones I am supposed to be leading and teaching. They reminded me that LOVE, real true love, takes TIME & COMMITTMENT. They said I had told them that we SERVE the ones we love. It’s not always about getting our needs met. Sometimes it’s about meeting the needs of others. Welcome to the Zoo Family, Tucker. You’ll be in good hands here. You are already loved.

Happy Easter everyone!  I love this time of year. Spring is springing… Our house is wild, but full of love. A special thank you to Sonny and Jim for taking care of business for us this week. We are really excited as we’ll be celebrating both Easter and the Baptism of our two oldest children. Easter Blessings on each of you ~ and may your day be filled with the knowledge of how truly loved you are!

Shelly~ the new turtle. Our littlest guy's first pet.

Shelly~ the new turtle. Our littlest guy’s first pet.

Tippy, her first day with us. Gentle best friend for our boy.

Tippy, her first day with us. Gentle best friend for our boy.

Dog

(Above: Tucker, wild & sweet new puppy.)

Sleep

Sleep

We love our fishing life. We really do. Much like anybody else, our industry has it’s challenges. When we are in the midst of a challenge, often times the person I’d like most to commiserate with is 100 miles or so offshore. Or working during the hours that sane people sleep, and then still working when we are awake.

So, of utmost importance to any Fisherman’s Wife is another seasoned Fisherman’s Wife with which she can talk fish scale encrusted washing machines, patchy Sat phone service, and the joys/terrors/difficulties/guilty pleasures of handling everything (and I do mean every.single.dang.thing.) on the beach (home, kids, business stuff, political stuff, parts ordering, crew hiring/firing, ice procuring, slip locating, trucking/unloading, BILLS and lots of them, kids, kids, and well, more kids) all by ourselves, while our guys are out fishing.

It sounds like I’m fussing. And maybe a tiny bit, I am. But really, I say this more in just an informative, factual way. We (the entire Commercial Fishing Industry) are pretty misunderstood and sadly very poorly represented. Nearly always, in the media soaked world, we are totally misrepresented. It gets on one’s nerves a bit. Especially when that stuff threatens your livelihood… but that’s a subject for another time.

So, when you find that one sweet lady… who doesn’t even blink with the nonsense and gets all of it, ahhhh…. it’s like sweet relief.

Here’s an example: If I told most people that all of my kids and our dog end up in my bed most everynight…. and that means we end up with 3 1/2 empty beds in our house, while I wiggle and toss around into whatever empty spot I can find, they might have some logical advise for me that would indicate that I should train my little ones to, maybe, sleep in their own beds. But, a loyal, understanding, been-there-myself Fisherman’s Wife would instead refill my coffee mug and tell me about how I shouldn’t feel badly, and the she and her kids often make ‘nests’ on the living room floor, leaving all of their beds empty, so they will all be in the same room when their Daddy calls between sets, the only time Sat comm seems reliable, even though it’s 4 am. Thank God for empathy.

So here’s something that will help me out: If sometime, you see my kids at Costco, and they are all wearing their Xtra Tuffs (even with their shorts), smelling faintly of fish, and might or might not be using a swear word or two (they have been raised on the docks afterall) while we are buying what looks like end-of-times-bunker-filling amounts of ‘provisions’, do me a solid and wave sweetly and just keep walking. Please, I beg you. Don’t look at our cart like we are insane for purchasing $800 worth of batteries and food for a month for 10 ten people. Please don’t notice the fish scales on the cuffs of my pants and that my little girl is wearing boys pants (kinda dirty looking ones) and one glove. They are her ‘Daddy pants’ that she wears when she’s going to the boat. She’s proud of them. And of her Daddy.  And, if you happen to be on your way in from a late night out and you see us all heading out, to unload all of this stuff at 1 in the morning…. please don’t comment on how my kids should be in bed. It might be the only time and place, in a long 30 day span that they see their Dad’s face. Even if it’s just to load on provisions and help off load the catch and then go back to our communal bed while we listen for those scratchy Sat phone calls letting us know all is well.

Yes, that would be awesome. Just wave and smile. And, the next time you sit down to a lovely meal of fresh fish, please remember where it came from and the person who worked to bring it in, and the cost of it all. Our family loves this life. It’s our pleasure.

(If you enjoy reading ‘The Fisherman’s Wife’ or if you think our fresh fish is awesome, please consider sharing us with your friends. Word of Mouth is the only ‘advertising’ we use so far. Thanks!)

Big Kids

Toddler

Having a little toddler around the house, really makes your ‘big kids’ seem HUGE! We spent last weekend with my sister, my mom and my seriously precious little niece. She’s tiny (compared to my gigantic kids), and very gentle and delicate. OH MAN… my Anna was in total heaven having a little one around to ‘babysit’. Especially a sweet little feminine girl. Sigh…. oh, how I would have loved just *one more* little girl.

The weekend was a celebration of 3 family birthdays. We had a super time…. watching cousins play together, enjoying lucious birthday cake. We spent Saturday afternoon down at the Harbor. Our friend Sara, rents electric boats and we’ve found this to be a perfect outing for when we have friends/family visiting. We load on some drinks and snacks and slowly cruise around the Harbor, seeing it all from a different perspective than our normal daily view that the fishing boat and all of it’s ensuing Harbor activity provides. We saw porpoise, harbor seals, & birds galore. We tied up to the dock by Peninsula park and watched all the cousins run and play.

Then, everyone went home. Tired, exhausted. We shared photos via the computer and sent ‘we can’t wait to see you again’ texts. My house was quiet, a little sticky from the cake and empty feeling.

It took me a bit to realize why I was so sad this time. I always miss my family when they leave. But this time, a few days later,  we were celebrating Micah’s ‘actual birthday’, day. He had a great day taking the train with a friend & had a super special day out. BUT….  My sweet baby is no longer in the 5 and under catagory. He is six. years. old. He’ll be moving out soon! At least that is how it feels. Uggghhhh.

I demand a do-over. I want them to all be tiny again. I watched as my sister rushed to grab my little niece’s hand when we walked on the dock.  She cut the baby’s food into tiny little cubes. We all worried about her naptime and diaper needs. And, you know what I did…. for my 3 practically adult children? I yelled…. ‘get ready, we are leaving in 5 minutes!’ and I said many times ‘put your stuff away’ and ‘watch your language’ (yes, they have grown up on the dock).

My youngest sister is just starting her journey as a Momma. She wasn’t with us this weekend as she’s home with her newborn baby boy. I really hope she believes me when I tell her that those first foggy months of totally-overwhelmed-exhaustion-mixed-with-baby-spit up-and unwashed-hair will vaporize… and she will long for that sweet, amazing time again. I don’t think I could have even comprehend those words when older moms told me the same all those years ago.

So now, I will stop all of this computer nonsense and gaze at my 3 for a while, building Legos together and making up plays, before they all leave for college.

Fundraiser

Fundraiser

Hello to our newest Fresh Fish Fans! If you were one of the sweet people who signed up for our weekly email last weekend, I’d like to welcome you and thank you for your interest in our Fresh Fish. The ‘Fisherman’s Wife’ section is usually a place where I write about our lives as a fishing family. I tell way too many personal details, rant a bit here and there and generally brag about my kids and husband. For today, with so many of you being new, I’ll spare you my ramblings and just get you some info:

In case you didn’t get the full story when you signed up (OK, when my kids begged you for your email addresses – we knew you couldn’t turn them down), here is a brief overview:

My husband Chris and his deckhand fish right out of Channel Islands Harbor, year round. Most of our catch from early each week is sold to bigger wholesale companies. But, whatever he lands the last day or two of the week (known as ‘top of the load’ or the best stuff!) is offered directly to YOU, from us on Sundays. It just doesn’t get any fresher than this!

Depending on the season, we fish for Halibut, White Sea Bass and Swordfish. We also land Angel Shark, Thresher and Mako Shark, Opah, Blue Fin, Yellowtail, Louvar, Spider and Ca King Crab & Albacore. We will also bring in, from only trusted and tested sources a few additional fresh seafood favorites when you request them. Currently, we offer Salmon, Scallops and Shrimp on a regular basis. Chris hand picks these himself (after 32 years in this business I consider him a total expert), and will offer only what he considers excellent tasting products, from other local fishermen or providers that he is confident in, and that he is proud to stand behind.

On Friday, Chris calls me with an update on what they are catching and what our availablity should be for Sunday. I then complile that information, some tips or yummy recipes (please share yours ~ we love to feature them!) and send it out to you for your planning… and let’s be honest, to get y’all pretty excited about some fresh fish dinners!

Early on Sunday morning, Chris and his deckhands unload his freshest catch, and fillet it for you all so you can take home ready to cook portions. Often times, if you are one of our earliest customers you will catch them filleting one of our beautiful fish. It’s quite a sight to see! We are happy to offer our super fresh catch directly to you (seriously, at this point it’s never even left the dock), at very competative prices, with what we consider excellent service.

We are happy to pack your fresh fish in ice for your trip home (you may consider bringing a small cooler or insulated bag). We accept debit or credit cards and cash. For most items, you are welcome to email me if you’d like me to prepare your order and hold it for you until you arrive on Sunday. This works well for people who are busy Sunday morning…. but want to be sure to get their fresh fish! Just provide the quantity (in pounds), type of fish and your name and cell number.

Something to keep in mind: We are happy to offer a discount to active military persons, or foster and adoptive families. Also, if you have 4 or more children we extend a discount to you. Just mention it to us and we’ll take care of you!

So, keep your eye out for our Friday email…. and please, Forward to a friend, if you know of someone else who might enjoy the freshest fish available! We rely on ‘word-of-mouth’ advertising…(and my kids, of course) and are proud to have grown steadily from our sweet customers sharing about us. Feel free to check us out on FB and share your recipes or comments there. More information, some great customer recipes and comments and a some of my previous emails can be found on our website at http://www.freshfishfanatics.com.

We value each and every person we meet at the Market, are excited to get to know you and love to hear your feedback.

We look forward to seeing you on the dock!

Principle’s Office In A Boat

Kid in sunglasses

My two oldest kids really love to learn. They both have their favorite subjects, their not so favorites too ~ but for the most part, they are pretty happy when our kitchen table (and every other surface in the house) is covered with opened books, papers, markers, worksheets etc.

Then, I have my little man. He enjoys learning. It’s just a little different. He learns things like: Can I lay on the dog without it getting up and running away? If Momma is busy answering another child’s Math question, how far can I get before she notices? If I’m quiet, will I get farther? Exactly what does she mean when she says STOP!? Does she really mean it’s OK take one more tiny step away? If I pull hard enough, will this whole thing come down? Is there anyway to make it look like I had nothing to do with this? Just how far can I push Mom today?

He’s ‘the baby’ and therefore has gotten away with wayyyy too much. He’s also very, very cute. He uses both to his advantage way too often.

This week, during the brief rain fall we all watched out the windows and listened to the raindrops. We talked about clouds, evaporation the whole water cycle. We learned a bit about plants and water supply. We read a rainy day poem. We felt both cold and wet on our skin… and smelled the fresh rain air. Thinking they were all properly inspired, I asked the kids to each do an art project relating to the rain. We chatted a bit and left the directions pretty open with ‘just as long as it has to do with rain’. There were papers and paint and glue, markers and chalk, scissors and stamps and pencils strewn everywhere. We sat in front of the big sliding door, blinds wide open watching the lovely falling rain.

My first clue that one of them was not super into this whole thing, was when I noticed ‘little man’ wearing my sunglasses, not making any art, of any sort. He stated simply, ‘it’s not raining in my imagination ~ it’s sunny here, not a drop of rain! Can I go play Minecraft?’ I restated the assignment… trying to make it seem inviting, but probably sounding a teensy bit threatening. I should have known better.

From the others, I received…. colorfilled, whole page drawings of a bright lighthhouse in a raging storm, and a sweet kitty wearing raingear and holding an umbrella under a cloud and rainbow filled sky. How appropriate and lovely!  And then, little man hands me his plain #2 pencil gray drawing…. one side, ‘a dead man…. in the rain’ and on the back side…. ‘an elephant, stomping on a man…. in the rain’.

And… now I am regretting the lesson we did a few weeks ago on Hannibal and the War Elephants. And that I ever let my kids know about Minecraft.

I think it’s time to get creative in my teaching and parenting efforts. And by that I mean, stow the iPads for awhile and spend some time reminding my kids/students that yes, there is a Principal’s Office they can visit and no, that doesn’t mean a trip to the boat to hang out with Daddy. Well, it might mean that ~ but it probably won’t be as fun as it sounds.

lighhouse in a storm

lighhouse in a storm

rainy day

rainy day

...and, dead guy... in the rain

…and, dead guy… in the rain

30 Days

We’ve been given another 30 days!!! HAAAA!! It’s not the answer I was really hoping for…. BUT, it’s better than a big old NO! Next step is a sit down meeting to (supposedly) ‘find a way to make it work’. I honestly don’t know what the outcome of that will be… but we’ll keep you all up to date as it happens!

In case you were wondering… these are some thoughts I am taking away from this whole crazy process:

  1. As much as I want to be, or think I should be I am not in control of every single thing. Sigh. This one is… shall we say… tougher than a steel hull for me (see that, it’s a boat joke… a steel hull? tough? Ok moving on…)
  2. Fighting for what I think is right is exhausting. And worth it. Even if I don’t win, it’s worth knowing I didn’t give up. I have to give my husband credit for this. Honestly, I’ve wanted to give up more than once… y’all have no idea how out of my comfort zone I’ve had to get these last few years. Someday I will write about some of the doozies we’ve been in the middle of 😉 Back to the point ~ that guy has stepped up as ‘The Captain’ and lead us (and by us, I mean me) into not quitting, even if we end up going down with the ship, many times. Luckily, my dramatic similies and metaphores are as close as we’ve come to actually drowning. Although in my mind it’s been close a few times. And there was the one time I had to look up how to bail someone out of jail…  but that’s another story for another time.
  3. My kids hear every single word I utter. Holy guacamole. They don’t just hear my words, they seem to soak right into the little sponges. My frustration and lashing out at perceived or real wrongs, my attitude and posturing  –  it all soaks right into their little hearts and comes right back up again. At me, or their siblings or whoever. The good thing is they have attained great vocabularies (hey, gotta find the good sometimes) and, the more positive stuff sinks in too… and most times anyway, seems more prevelant. On the same note, my kids have learned to question pretty much everyone and everything and will likely grow up to  not be walked over too much, and to be unafraid to go after their goals. Well, I hope they take that away from growing up in this family.
  4. Working with your spouse is not for sissies. I will just stop there 🙂
  5. More than ever, I can see the stripped-down-to-basics good parts of this little Fish Market. We had a vision when we started, and our idea was a good one. Our community wants what we offer, we are so, so proud to do this and we love it!

Happy Super Bowl to you all… not that I have even an inkling of who the teams are that are in it…. but here’s to hoping Your Team wins!!!

Outer Space Jammies

Outer Space

My youngest is super into all things ‘Outer Space’  His grandma got him a nifty Astronaut Helmet for Christmas… it makes noises and has a flip up thingy in the front …. super cool stuff. His nightlight shines planets and stars up on the ceiling. Even though he is way too hot wearing them, he loves his zip up, feet jammies that have space stuff all over them. Well, he’s a giant of a kid. He weighed 11 lbs at birth and has kept on the ginormous track ever since. Anyway, the jammies are woefully too small. I tried to find others to replace them, but any other pair is just not the same.

A few nighs ago he was trying to shove his bear claw feet into the jammies, nearly bending them in half to get them in there. I felt so bad for him, he was so sweaty and frustrated. So I grabbed my scissors. I told him that I could fix them – I’d just cut the feet off and viola! he’d be able to still wear the jammies! Anybody with kid experience can image a typical reaction here… ‘NO, don’t cut them… they’re mine!!’ Well, it was late – we were all tired – I’m sure you get it. So it took me a few moments to fully understand the deal… But by then, my poor baby had turned WHITE as a ghost… fell back and backwards crab crawled away from me, curled himself into a tiny pile up against the wall and at the same time screaming very, very loudly ‘NOOOOO! PLEASE MOMMA NOOOOO!!! DON’T CUT MY FEET OFF!!!!’ Umm, what?? My brain, now panicking, trying to grab him and drop the scissors away from him and also explain that is NOT what I meant. Oh. My. Goodness. What a scene. All the kids and the dog were now in the room looking at me – no, more like glaring at me, accusing me. Eventually we all calmed down. He wore the Star Wars jammies instead that night.

I did eventually ‘fix’ the jammie problem. Hopefully only a few years of therapy will be needed later on. Nice job, Mom. Nice job.

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