All afternoon I have had the “Back to Life, Back to Reality” song by Soul II Soul stuck in my head. The sad part is that I literally only know four lines out of this entire song, that part and the high pitched “however do you want me, however do you need me”. But it keeps replaying and I keep groovin’ to it no matter how lame I am with the rest of the lyrics. The reason it’s stuck there is because I feel those first couple of lines are very much how I am feeling today. After our whirlwind trip to the DR, where 16 days flew by due to the manner of work and all the discussions and emotions that came about from it, we are back to our life and reality. 
   Today our friends took the rental car and went exploring a bit of the island on their own. While they did that we got resettled on the boat and back to the things that make our life our own. There is a large comfort in what we are accustomed to, and falling back into our habits felt good.
   Eben got to work on a new and unexpected project while I took care of the girls and some laundry. While we were gone we hauled our dinghy engine on to our deck for safe keeping. In that time the thing started seizing up. We got it back on our dinghy but it was nearly impossible to steer. Eben had to use his full body weight to push the handle from one side to the other. So off it came. Hauled it back on deck, where he proceeded to take it apart to find out what could be causing the issue. Unfortunately this job was a bit too much to handle without the owner’s manual to our Enduro 25 and so now we have a dismantled outboard on deck and an appointment with the outboard mechanic in the a.m. He showed me where he thought the issue was and what he would have to do to take it completely apart, but without a manual to show us how this puzzle is put together and how much of it actually has to be unscrewed and dismantled is a mystery to us, and so the only smart thing to do was to seek help, from someone other than me.
   I got the girls back into their prior routines. Nap at noon, playtime afternoon, early bedtime, some education time with Arias, and now both are asleep. With all the craziness of what we have been doing the girls naptimes and bedtimes got pushed around a little. That combined with the fact that while we were in the hotel the girls were getting away with a little more than usual because we really didn’t want them screaming/crying and bugging the neighbours, that they got accustomed to the resutls that they were getting from their bad behaviour. We are not entirely sure it is due to this, but Ellia sure has had a negative change in attitude. She has become a little bit of a terror with her screaming and constant whining, teamed with an aggressive behaviour. Tonight I was more than willing to try putting her to sleep earlier again and being more rigid with their punishments/consequences. All in all, going back to our old routines felt good, for everyone I think.
   The only “old routines” I am having a hard time coping with are 1) being back to the manual pump toilets. After four years on boats, always with manual pump flush toilets, I had grown a key constellation of three calluses in my right hand where the pump handle sits. But after only 16 days of being spoiled with the regular push lever flush toilets my calluses melted away and now I am back to painful zero. And 2) playing the “how did we get bugs” game. It seems while we were away small ants decided our boat was a good one to inhabit. They are not out of control, but I have found 4-5 of them now, all in completely separate parts of the boat. They have made themselves at home, hopefully they are not too settled in.

boat projects. they never end.
pictures to remember what it all looked like
that’s where my precious constellation used to be