Monday, March 28, 2011

White. Out.

We came up to the Cabin for the weekend for a much needed escape to the high Sierra area. We brought good friends that were game for the trip even though 8+ feet of snow fell in four days and more piled on top throughout the week. We were pretty sure the water would not work and that we might be low on propane and that there might be certain complications with roads and access and stuff. But all four of us loaded up and headed out Friday.

We were greeted a five hours later by walls of snow, higher than I have ever seen here, ever. I thought the snow might be shoulder deep in the 'driveway' but I was off.

It was overhead, about 10 feet, almost level with the second story of the three story cabin. It was a little daunting at first but neighbors were all digging out and joined us in making sapces for cars. They laughed and gave us bathroom privileges at their place when they heard our plight. The propane was out but there is plenty of wood and down comforters to go around.

I laugh a little to myself because we voluntarily left Spring in full bloom to plunge shoulder deep into winter again.
Snow day
The town folk look exhausted, a building collapsed this week and they have been battered for months with more snow than this little nook has seen ever. But they hold on and we just visit and I reliaze that it would be very hard to live here but, man, is it gorgeous when the whole world is white and the sound dampens off and the light filters through and you have good friends to laugh with as you suite up to go dig something out again.

Here is to snow. Piles and piles that will eventually melt away.
It made a great cooler and an even better surface for that old board I have not ridden for a few years. As I type this I am feeling every muscle in my upper body scream from the yard sale crash I had yesterday on the slopes but it was totally worth it.

Now to clean up, pack up and head South, back to my babies that I am missing something fierce. Nothing like a few child free days to make your heart long only to get back to your kiddies.
Have a great (and hopefully Spring snow-less) week, folks.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Gone and Back

My parents were away for a week or so, North to see their other children. They take the trip as often as they can and I always find it occurs at just the right time. I will not lie, living in a multi-generational home has its up and down trajectories. There is a lot of compromise and sometimes misunderstandings or miscommunication. There is also a lot of extra love and support and hands so I tend to just shrug and try to get on with stuff even when it is hard.

But I have to admit I do love the weeks when we are on our own, the immediacy of the little family we are apparent and present daily. We do not do things differently but there is a different feel to it. A subtle difference in the rhythm of the household. And so we embrace those days, juggle responsibilities of work and home a little bit more and walk around naked a lot. Uh, that last one is a lie. I never walk around naked, ever. Not even when I am alone. Just not my thing.

The other side is that just when Tim and I start to feel the strain of doing this family thing on our own, when we have passed them off to each other and soothed one too many bumps and freak outs, just when it starts to get old ... well, the P's come home. And then there is that blissful morning when Tim and I snuggle in bed until 8 because the boys are in Omi and Opa's room having brekky and watching a show or reading a book and our world is still for a few moments.

This time they came home with my baby sister in tow along with her stellar man. A long weekend was in order as she had yet to meet her new niece. It prompted a weekend of family gathering, tracking down the Kogi bbq truck for mind blowing food, an impromptu museum tour of the nearby BMW car collection
Mini with the guys
Then the farmer's market and too much food at dinner. Family time.

Family lunch

It was a loud and fun and funny weekend and the rain did not dampen anything. Instead it allowed her to bake with my big boys and snuggle long hours with sweet sweet Havana.
Em and Michael each had a chance to the bedtime routine with the boys which is crazy but a must-have experience right now due to hilarious bedtime yarns and shadow puppet play.

These days reminds me that yes, it can be tough at times to juggle the sheer amount of people we number as a family. There is always some form of chaos and a little tension here and there. Old roles are always easy to fall into but it seems to happen less and less as we all realize that we can be grown ups.


These are the times when I realize that this is it. That there is no other bliss to seek. Goals are nice, ideas are grand and dreams are necessary. But where there is LOVE, so so much love, then you found it. Unconditional love given with as little conditions as possible ... well, then you are really living.

It is no wonder the heart of my dreams to move North is to land us closer to the units that have broken off and fled Southern California. Because as they head North, they take large parts of my heart with them and I am not sure I can resolve to stay that way for too much longer.

Especially not with a new Northern niece and nephew on the way. More on that later ...

Emmy and Havana
And you, Memmers? I love you and cannot wait to see what the next year brings you. Basitas form your big sister.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

How Does your Garden Grow?

To answer :: sometimes I am not really sure. But it does.
Pre-food P(o)rn

It will be our second real season with raised beds and I still feel a little thrill when I see them in the backyard. What it is about the growing of things that I find so very very satisfying? There is something about watching little bits of seed that have been placed by your hand come through, fight up through the soil and then make something beautiful and edible and sustainable.
Chard :: Bright Lights

Each season has bought new lessons, ones of bugs and holes in leaves and the results of refusing to thin out the bunches of seedlings. Slowly new knowledge accumulates and I have started to realize how long it actually takes to grow a carrot or a sweet delicious leek. Food goes from piles of inanimate produce in great heaps at the grocery to a precious pinkening strawberry that is anticipated like a Friday night beer.

Gardening is not rocket science but there is a science to it, and an art. There is a vigilance required and I am learning about all of these things in the process of growing things in my backyard.

Last year we had a fairly dismal strawberry crop, harvesting one or two here or there until the season for strawberries was gone and I thought it a total waste of the front bed space. I wanted to rip them out but was too lazy to take it on. But then the strawberries started to run and replant themselves in their instinctive plant ways and they weathered the chill and came round this year.
365 :: 54alternate
I read up on how to manage the plants and found out that the second season is always better than the first and that they need some mulch and elevation from the soil and then the pretty little bunches started to have flowers and flowers and flowers and now we are waiting on whole bunches of strawberries. Not enough to anticipate making home jam from really close to home but enough to make it worth the keeping.

Gardening is not easy but it teaches patience, it is a laboratory for my children who now know to smash the chubby grey cutworms and leave the silky red worms be. It is a place to teach us that food is not easy to come by, it is not to be taken for granted and it is to be eaten. It is also a joy because even though I did not make that little seed sprout, that maybe had it been scattered in any place at anytime, it may have come to fruition with intervention unneeded. But it did come up in my yard, under my hand. It's better than Church.

The chard, the peas, the bok chok and celery (which I whooped with joy to see because apparently it is tough to start celery from seed).
365 :: 75

Eating young fava bean leaves because you can, watching the boys record strawberry size growth in the notebook with their Uncle, anticipating and then receiving. It is a good thing.
365 :: 75alternate
But it makes one realize the preciousness of food. That if it were gone tomorrow, the Trader Joe's and Sprouts and Costco, would we know what to do? Hell no. But never say you can't learn.

Next up> Sweet potatoes and garlic scapes.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Let It Be

Sometimes life feels a little bit like a zoo with all the feedings, cleaning out the mucky pens, trying to keep all the animals happy.

Sometimes I feel a little too breathless and the attempts to practice yoga and eat right and juggle responsibilities approach overwhelming.

Sometimes nothing gets done right and opportunities are missed and it makes me feel sad.

But there is always a bright smile somewhere for me ...


And the reminder that sometimes letting go is just the right thing to do ...


Here is to finding a little freedom in the daily grind of it all.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

What to do.

I had a whole post on the garden written on Thursday but then Friday happened and it has made words stand still and not seem very important. The images that we have seen, that have been shown live as they happen have made some deep part still, in sadness and terror and shades of disbelief.

On Friday night an inane newscaster kept asking how many lost as Tim and I watched with horrified eyes as the wave of water swept into the land, watched what I now understand was just a small part of what was happening to so many. They ended the broadcast with a shot from the helicopter of a family waving a white sheet from the window as the water rose up to cover the whole first floor of their home. And there was nothing that we could do, silent and almost unwilling witness to this disaster.

Tomorrow there is something you can do. You can buy one of these ... photos.

Or donate as many have done ... in many ways

And maybe continue to hold a moment in your hearts and minds, pray if that works for you, send thoughts if that works better. They are going to need so much.

For those ...

I wish there was more to do.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

365 :: Caught

I've needed a little push with the camera the last few days so I thought I would gather the last 60 days. 60 days? Seems so quick and yet so many more to go. Already I love how the project365 allows days to be captured even if it is just one moment in the endless 24 hour cycle. Almost better than blogging. :)

3.6.5 :: January

3.6.5 :: January

3.6.5 :: February (plus 2)

3.6.5. :: February (plus 2)

There are so many things I would love to do better in the taking of photos. Better control of light. Better comprehension of subject. Less manipulation, more SOOC. New lens. Remote trigger. The list goes on.

At least I know I have 300+ days to address it all. Happy shooting, fellow devotees of daily photos.