Saturday, November 27, 2010


Nothing new, but I am so thankful for these boys.

Thankful for ....

Thankful for ....

Moments like this, when it all seems possible ...

Thankful for ....

Or like this when doll stuffing becomes Santa's beard (the same Santa he shunned just hours earlier.

Thanksgiving Snow

And that I live in a place where one Sunday we can be at the beach and the next Saturday facing the prospect of being snowed in for a day or two.

Thanksgiving Snow

Happy Thanksgiving weekend, folks. Hope I feel the same way in a day or two of being trapped with kids in a cabin. While watching fresh powder fall knowing there will be no boarding on said pow involved.

But sledding, well, we can still do that.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


hot cocoa rose

The roses are almost done here, the last of the blooms waning. This was in October when the flower became full and fragrant and caught my eye after a rain. The bush sits there, at the end of the drive, often overlooked but not on this day.This is how I wished I felt right now ... full and drenched in possibility.

IHeritage Pumpkin Patch

And then there is this, this image. The trees at the park down the street, full of fruit not yet ripe. The crop will be ready in another month and the orchard will open for picking, bags and bags of citrus to be had. This is what I am right now, hanging out, full only of possibility and waiting for that day, that time when something comes to fruition.

It has been a frustrating few months. In truth, it feels like it has been a frustrating year. A year of catching my breath. Of remembering to breath. A year derailed in so many ways. I want to look at it and think I loved some parts of it. I know I did. But I also just want it to finish up and scoot out the door.

But that fruit ... I keep thinking about those unripe oranges. I want to believe that is what I am right now, all the potential for change and sweetness right there, just waiting for the right time to come ripe.

Friday, November 19, 2010

They Might be Giants

It struck me that someday my children will be giants. Some days it seems that they already are.
Sunset hike

I held my niece yesterday; 2 days old, 3 pounds bigger than Mason on the day he was born. She felt beyond fragile and her miniature limbs were so delicate and unnatural looking to me. And yet there was that part that recalls marveling over the tininess of their nails and joints and veins. I came home to the boys, reading library books before bed and telling us all about this matter or that matter.
Sunset hike

They run now with total confidence, no stutter to their steps. They string together long sentences, convoluted stories full of stutters and vigor. They create from their minds and remind us of events and recall in the morning that they have a planned date with their Grandpa Jim and their excitement knows no bounds.
Sunset hike

I love this age, three point five. Everything is so full of meaning and joy. The inevitable period of why? is actually fun (up to a point, of course). The other day we walked in the stroller at twilight and they watched the Moon follow us and could not figure out why it would do that. Then we walked toward it and Mace panicked as he thought it was falling on us. Do you remember when you were young and you thought the same? I recall being in the car and watching the Moon through the window glass, amazed that I was important enough to be followed by a celestial body.
Sunset hike

We hiked the other night, up in the hills above our home. It is a completely familiar spot, we know every turn and climb. Over the years we have taken it by foot, bike and Bob stroller. This time the boys hiked 70% of it, running up the fire road and switchback with such gusto. This from Mace, who makes us carry him after a half a city block of walking. I realized they know it as well as Tim and I, that they recognize it as part of Home. We talked about rattlesnakes and stinkbugs and the rare tarantula sighting. I recalled the first time they took this switchback on their toddler feet.
Sunset hike

There is no way to deny their boyhood. I don't want to. I am enamored of this age though my spine still shudders at the inevitable whining and rigidity that comes as part of three. I like my kids. That is truly a relief as I have never been a big fan of kids in general.

They will be giant to me some day. But for right now I think I will savor them just as they are.
Sunset hike

Monday, November 15, 2010

Serenity Now

That was always one of my favorite Seinfeld episodes ... George's dad yelling that line at the top of his lungs. Serenity Now !!!!

The last month or two have had so little to do with the blog world and so much to do with life and some of the rough turns it can throw at you. I alluded to a court case which thankfully was settled today. I do not want to talk details but I can say we found ourselves confronting some of the most rigid, bitchy suburban folks that I have ever seen. It had to do with leaving the first pre-school we were in last year. It had to do with Owen's finger getting cut off there. It had to do with poor communication and pretty mean people. It came to a head today in an almost laughable conclusion that had the judge scratching his head, shrugging his shoulders and giving me a little smile. I liked the judge. I am pretty sure the people that sued us (yep, sued us) are branded forever in my mind as assholes. But at least I can unclench my jaw and know that we are done with this matter and that karma will hopefully take care of the rest.

In truth, the whole thing kept me in such a heightened state of stress that I just wanted to run. So, I did. Just a little.

Hotel Kabuki

I spent the weekend with my sisters in what I hope becomes an annual ritual, the kind that sisters swear to uphold despite all the layers in life. SF hosts a West African dance festival in the Fall and this was our second time making it. It is held close to Japantown where my sister scored a beautiful room at Hotel Kabuki. It was serene with a fun, diverse neighborhood just outside the door.

Hotel Kabuki
Hotel Kabuki
Hotel Kabuki
Hotel Kabuki

We could walk to the dance, we were close enough to visit this French bakery with to die for ganache tart and croissants (and chasson aux pommes .... and baguettes ... and macarons de paris ... you get the picture). We joked that if we ever won the lottery, we would rent the whole bakery for a day and eat our way through it. Heavenly.

And we danced. Danced with Masters from Africa that make your heart sing and your body want to rejoice. Drums and beautiful ringing and legs that jump and twist faster than I thought possible, smiles that stretch wider and wider the faster the movement and sound. It is such an unbelievably release and I know that my body lacks the skill to make the shapes of the dance, but my heart ... that is in the totally right place.

The weekend went too fast, we were tired a lot, we ate too much. But the main part was laughing and gossiping about people in that sisterly way that only sisters can do because it isn't bitchy when you are talking to your sisters. We did not fight. We did not cry. We just enjoyed, which was what we all needed.

And we totally scored Advent tchatchkes at the little Japanese 99 cent stores.
Japanese goods

And could not help laughing over the totally crazy collectible imported toys. There was some nutty stuff, like little mini figures the size of a thumbnail that were titled "French cuisine dinner" and "Woodland animals". Hee hee.

No pictures of the dancing, totally against the rules to bring cameras around unless it is approved. No pictures of us because half the time we were sweaty and too tired to lift our arms to take photos.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Today I am thankful for ::

++ The south moving Sun that brings bright morning light into our South facing bedrooms.
Scrappy Quilt Top

++ Remembering to light scented candles to warm the rooms and dispel some of the little boy pee smells that seem to permeate our hall bathroom.

++ Snapping away to capture those first few days when their skin is still fragile and glowing and they do nothing more than root, flail, grunt and make you fall in love.

++ Sewing. And sewing. Patches and quilt tops and dolls and pants.
There is nothing like sewing.

Quilt Top
Quilt Top
Skinny Jeans and Chucks

Boy Doll
Doll pattern via Bolt.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Fall Here, Fall Where?

We are having a terribly schizophrenic Fall with temperatures that are bouncing from the 100s to the 50s with not much middle ground. I am not a big fan. I know that the seasons seem hard to seperate in Southern Calfornia but this is getting a bit ridiculous.

We tried to feel Fall-ish last week by heading up to Oak Glen, a little foothill enclave of a town where they grow apples and host a few small family farms.
Oak Glen
Oak Glen

The weather accomodated by staying a bit on the chilly but bright side. The boys actually needed to wear the hoodies they had on (though Mace threw an awful fit when we tried to get him to wear a pair of pants)(They happened to be a pair of pants I sewed for him and so I felt a little miffed).
Oak Glen :: chilled
Oak Glen :: chilled

Just the mere act of getting together and going somewhere special helped the season come a bit more into focus and though we skipped bringing home a apple pie (it was freaking 14$...woah, right?) we did bring home a bag of apples and some shots that I think are destined for the next Christmas card.
Oak Glen :: old school

There was a tiny stone building open for tours, the old school house. It was well preserved and charming and managed by two little autocratic elderly German ladies (one of which kept thrusting an old 3D view finder into the faces of all entering. That was a little weird). The boys loved it, carefully seating themselves at the old wood desks, shuffling the little wooden dominoes and looking more than a little like school boys.
school days

Life has been almost a schizo as the weather lately. I am coming off a three week stint of working full time and feeling grateful for the extra income, but also aware of how freaking ridiculously hard it is to work full time and mother and make life happen. I was glad to have the opportunity to make the extra money and glad to see this Friday come as it marked the end to the 40 hour work week.

And so, today, I spent sewing and with a 'picnic' in the park gathering some brilliant leaves with the boys and walking them in the stroller (a very rare occurence these days) and I feel as if something has decompressed. I made a doll, I made a dinner and I made a faux pregnant belly for a friend for a late Halloween party and I am ready to call it a day and throw that 30 Rock Season 2 DVD in and relax with the husband.

Sometimes I marvel at how the mundane in my life feels so much more like living than other parts.

Just like I marvel that it was 98 yesterday, and it's going to be 65 tomorrow. I prefer the 65. We get to wear more hoodies and hats and that makes us all look cuter.
My boy

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

In Due Time

I've been taking pictures when I can. Pictures of people. Last month it was a boudoir session with two of my friends. That was fun and by the end we were giddy on wine and blushing a little bit upon review of the last pictures. Not many that I can post up here but this is one of my very favorite ones. The irony? It was a test shot and she has all her clothes on. Never know when you are going to get the right light.

But this month, oh, how happy I am with the pictures I took. They are the first time of have taken photos of a mama-to-be and her precious bebe. This is my sister in law Jeanette and we are all waiting for the day we get to meet her little one. She is so radiant and graceful, I marvel at this so late in her pregnancy. She is also holding up admirably well while their whole kitchen is gutted and rebuilt piece by piece, just mere days before her due date. That is a big WOW.

I love taking these photos. I want to do more. I am loving the idea of taking photos of scantily dressed ladies, then ones of lovely pregnant women. And I am wishing for more time to do just that.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010


Happy Halloween !

The boys did not don home made Mama costumes this year. There was no luxury of time for that. I did manage to squeeze in a quick sewing session to make caps for their respective chosen costumes. The Buzz was a hand-me-down from their Auntie Libby and cousins. The Spidey guy came for 1.59 from the thrift store.

Happy Halloween !
They spent the month in a frenzy of Creating ... at home, in school, avidly talking about spiders that live in our home and pumpkin pie that we still have to make.

They spent the actual day with their beloved neighbor girls ... all of them dressed and giddy and demanding the continuing of candy getting until all at once, they all decided they were done.
Happy Halloween !
Happy Halloween !

Owen even handed a piece back to the little old man and told him "No sanks, me no meed any more candy today."

We spent a good part of the night with good friends, I assumed candy passing to the hordes of children (literally hordes, think Disneyland-like lines) that come to the old town part of our city.

It felt good, right, fun, even though I feel more weary than I can ever remember.
Happy Halloween !

This month held a lame attempt at disclosure, a return to full time work, a law suit, a birthday and birthday party (dude, my best friend gifted me with 4 bras, all awesome and cute and told me to try harder. I love my best friend), a visit from their Gramma and Halloween. I am still reeling.

But I am so glad in the chaos we remembered to catch them as they move through yet another round of holiday love. And next year one of them is going to wear my brilliant (and as of yet un-made) costume idea. I swear it.

(One thing I am proud of, though, is that they are using their homemade cloth spider bags for candy gathering... a little nod to tradition and making).
Happy Halloween !

Now if only they would stop asking for the candy that I told them I threw away. Wink wink.