All right, friends, it has been awhile since I posted an update. I have a very tight routine during the school year, with minimal decision-making, because my job requires constant decision-making. And also, I can not stand disruptions at work, so I try to avoid doing any non-school business during the school year.
So you can imagine how jarring it has been, to move right in the middle of the school year!
And add to that, multiple freezes and unusually cold weather, and you have a recipe for crabbiness…
Nevertheless, we are moved into our new home, and we are very warm and toasty here! So I thought I would share some of our adventures since Christmas break.
Getting Settled In
My goal was to get as much moved as I could before break ended, and we made a lot of progress!
My incense and yoga plaques found a home in the main salon…
My tea kettle settled happily on the stovetop.
We have almost never planned our last night in a place, during a move, and this was no exception. We rang in the new year on Cruise Forever, and we have not slept in the apartment since then (we are officially moved out on February 8).
One of the first things I did on the boat, was take a bath. I have not owned a home with a bathtub since 2014! We don’t have enough hot water to fill it even halfway, but it is enough, and lovely. The tub is extremely deep and the same length as the tub in our mobile home.
Rob has occasionally washed the dishes…
Iliana made herself at home…
She loved lounging on our bed!
We bought yet another Walmart Keurig. We name the “Kreg”!
We had some time to walk the docks before it got dark…
2022 promised great things for our family!
We were once minimalists. Then we lived in the apartment for almost 2 years. It was time to pare down again!
We cooked some meals in our new kitchen.
We burned incense.
Ili spend some quality time with her saxophone and guitar.
We had custom stemware and travel mugs printed…
My vintage handbags made it onto the boat!
We enjoyed meals in our horseshoe dinette!
Most people assume that live aboard families homeschool. We do not.
And if you have looked at Iliana’s pictures, you may have noticed her uniform and assumed she goes to a private school. She does not.
When we first moved to Texas, we enrolled Iliana in a traditional public school. With all of our moves and with her special education services, she ended up going to 4 schools in 6 years! She started attending a public middle school, through the district we were zoned to, but because of her special education program, she didn’t get home until 5:00 pm or later. There were a lot of bussing complications over 2 weeks, and the school was 30 minutes away by car, so driving her was not an option for us, with our jobs.
That was the year that I started working at Odyssey Academy, which is a charter school. There are a lot of misconceptions about charter schools, but they are actually just public schools that are not a part of a school district in the traditional sense. Odyssey has 3 campuses, but nobody is zoned to go there. Parents must request to have their child attend, and they must provide their own transportation with a few exceptions (high school students can go to their previous campus and be bussed to Odyssey’s high school, for example). Students wear uniforms, classes are smaller, but it is a public school with no tuition other than paying your taxes.
The best part? While there is a geographic zone that is allowed to attend Odyssey, it is much larger than the zones for the local public schools. Basically, if we move to any marina in this county, Iliana will still be eligible to attend. So she did not have to switch school for this move. As long as we stay in the Houston/Galveston area, she can count on graduating from Odyssey.
The added advantage is that her classes are small, and she has had the same teachers through middle school. Special education is handled on an individual basis, so Iliana has been supported and challenged appropriately. She is in algebra and pre-AP language arts, and has gotten “masters” on the state test in both areas. She sees a therapist weekly at school, and she will continue to work with the same therapist in high school.
I definitely recommend charter schools to anyone living in a transient situation, and to anyone who is looking for something that is a better fit than their zoned public school. (And yes, they treat their teachers well too! I am on my third year working for Odyssey, and it is the best job I have ever had!)
Update: Before publishing this post, Iliana and I went to a meeting at Odyssey’s high school, where we discussed her options. Students can go to Collegiate High School, where they start their freshman year taking high school classes on the campus of a community college. In the upcoming years, they take college classes and graduate with both a high school diploma and an associate’s degree. Students also have the option of doing dual credit, where they take high school classes on Odyssey’s campus in ninth and tenth grade. In eleventh grade, the teachers from a different community college come to Odyssey’s campus and teach college classes. Then, during their senior year, the students are bussed to that college’s campus. They will either finish with an associate’s degree, enough credits to be close to an associate’s degree, or a vocational certification. And of course, there is the option of taking traditional high school classes.
I decided I would leave the decision up to Iliana, but I was hoping she would choose dual credit. She asked a lot of questions during the presentation, and we took an impromptu tour of the high school afterward (a perk of having a mother who is a staff member!). She listened to her music during the drive home, then announced that she would like to do dual credit! Parenting win for me!
Freezes and Low Water
Our first, very cold, morning on the boat, we noticed that our world was slanting to port. When we went for our morning walk, we saw that someone had pulled the plug on Clear Lake!
We could see our prop and rudder. Our boat was leaning on the dock, and the intake for our a/c unit was in the mud. This meant that we could not run the unit, which meant the only heat we had was our electric fireplace. After Iliana took a shower, the bilge pump would not turn off, because the float was stuck due to to tilting boat. Our toilet could not draw lake water in order to flush, so we had to flush it using the hand shower.
We have since had multiple freezes this winter, and we are very prepared now for a grid crash. (And we have a Mr. Buddy heat for the super cold nights and just in case our a/c intake ends up in the mud again!) However, it has not happened, and this winter was been more annoying but less dramatic than last year.
Happy Birthday, Rob!
This blog post has been a work in progress, with me getting spurts done before the next major event happens. And between writing the first part and now, Rob turned 44.
Ili was eager to decorate!
Every year, I take Rob on a weekend getaway for his birthday. Two years ago, we had our “last normal” weekend and went bike riding in Montrose…
Last year, we went “glamping” in Conroe, and most likely caught Covid while we were there…
This year, since it was going to be cold out, we rented a house on the Southeast side of Houston and went thrift shopping!
Crab Day, Salon Visits, and a New Piano!
When you’ve been married for 20 years, Hallmark holidays get a little boring. So Rob and I have decided that Valentine’s day is now Crab Day. We celebrate by eating all things crab! This year, we had fake crab, crab cakes, and crab dip.
I have been slowly getting into a rhythm at the boat, but it wasn’t until I got my nails, done, that I felt like a lady again!
While we were on the weekend trip, Iliana stayed with her grandparents and got herself a new hairdo!
And yes, we got a piano for the boat! Our beautiful electric piano from the apartment would not fit here, so we bought a Korg keyboard that fits perfectly into the desk in the main salon. (Ili and I both play).
So that is a summary of our latest adventures! Life is settling in, in spite of yet another cold snap. Thank goodness for the marina’s hot tub! (That is where I am heading tonight!).