This is the story of our adventures -- every day and extraordinary; our dreams -- tiny and grand; our gardens -- ornamental and sustaining; this is the story of our journey.  We are a family of four living a mindful, simple life here in Los Angeles County.  We are green, conscious, and forward thinking.  We keep an eye on the past because some of the best things have already been done and bear repeating.  Walk and talk with us, have a glass of wine, taste a peach or a tomato, blow some bubbles and watch them drift up over the canyon ridge.  Enjoy!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Touch rocks

Yesterday Gregorie handed me a chunky-plastic-heart-shaped-jewel-y thing and said, "Can you make me a necklace?"  I was on my way to clean the bathroom and I really wanted to say, "NO!"  I looked up at those roll-y brown eyes and thought about all the plastic junk my kids have, despite my best intentions, and about how she didn't need to be "fancy" in this moment, and I said, "No."  And then she pressed that chunky-plastic-heart-shaped-jewel-y thing into my hand.  She did.  And I reeled.  Whoa.  I felt it.  I held it. And I was transported. To a moment sometime far away.  I was 4 or 5 or 6 or 8.  I don't know.  But I held something, I dunno, was it a heart or a stone or a random piece of chunky plastic?  But it  And it was intended to be hung on a string. What was it?  I searched my memory.  But, no, I'll never know.  I just know it  in my hand. Ya, that...  I made her the necklace.  And when she sleeps, I touch the heart.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

For Kat

There are people you meet on your journey who touch your soul, become part of your being.  Then the ribbon flows on and you leave those parts, stop pressing those places, make new spaces.  The friends aren't gone, they are just  And sometimes it's so hard to get beyond  But then, once in a while, you let go of the immediate and think across the miles and the years and you want to say, "HELLO FRIEND!  Here I am!  I miss you!  How are you?????  Look at me now!"  And often when you're a mama, it's not so much "look at me" as "look what I made!"  So, for my sweet old (as in, we've known each other a while!) friend, here are my crazy, wild lovelies.  Or the last couple months of them anyway.

Ready for the hot tub.

Sleeping angels.

A girl and her car.

Gregorie Ann.

Alex John.

Bubble in bubbles.

And another. 
In the tipi.

Funky chicks.

Light Bright.

1st Grade Smarties.

Kindergarten Sweets.

Through the forest another comes laughing.

And ready for cake.

Or ice cream.

Sisterly love.

Gregorie's idea of the tooth fairy.




CO2 experiment.

Alex's poem.

Make lemonade!

It's all good!
Flowers for you!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A round life...

...does not fit in square lunch boxes.  I've really tried.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

But can she make a cherry pie....

Pie.  It all started with one simple word.

Yesterday, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, an old friend (and I don't mean she IS old, just that I have known her since before I was even really ME) posted on Facebook that she was grateful for:  pie.  And I was hungry and my head reeled and my mouth watered.  The day before, at about the same time (the I've-cooked-two-kids-breakfast-and-packed-their-lunches-and-dropped-them-at-school-but-haven't-eaten hour) a blogger I read had mentioned popovers AND posted a picture, which prompted me to run to the kitchen and whip up a batch.  They were good.  I ate them with Stilton and gouda and apricot jam.  But THIS was pie.  It was two days before Thanksgiving so on everybody's mind (and lips) were apple and pumpkin.  But the image lodged in my brain and taste buds was CHERRY.  Oh, those Rainer cherries I had put up in light honey syrup this summer called to me and said, "THIS is why you put us in these jars."  And I resolved to bake a cherry pie, darlin' (or is it charming?) Billy.

I researched some recipes online quickly and consulted The Joy of Cooking.  It seemed that I needed tapioca to thicken the cherry syrup, in a nice clear, unassuming way.  Tapioca.  Not something regularly stocked in my kitchen.  So, I needed to hit the grocery.  But life gets in the way.  I got the tapioca yesterday afternoon, when I took the girls for their Halloween treat from Gran and Poppy (who live 3000 miles away and sent $$) -- they got frozen yogurt.  But then it was time to cook dinner, eat, clean up, bath, bedtime.  No cherry pie.

Today was a new day and I was determined. Yesterday I had considered buying a crust and just filling it.  But that seemed wrong.  Those hand pitted cherries could not go in a store bought crust.   I looked at the go-to recipe for crust for so many people -- Ina Garton's recipe.  But hers uses shortening.  Uh, I just can't.  Part of my "hang up" is straight up nutrition -- trans fats, GMO's, all that... bleh!  But there is also this.  I remember Crisco in my mother's pantry when I was a child.  I remember her pulling it out to fry chicken or such things.  I remember looking into that open container, at that gorgeous snowy white STUFF.  And thinking, "OH MY that looks yummy.  I want to taste it!"  And tasting it.  And finding out that it somewhere between doesn't-taste-at-all and makes-me-want-to-retch.

And, total pie aside, brief off topic!  Today for the kindergarten party in Gregorie's class, I made popcorn.  I, as I always do, popped it in coconut oil.  And every time I open the container of coconut oil I look in, at the gorgeous snowy white stuff.  And I stick my nose in.  And I inhale.  And I usually taste. And I always think, "THIS is what I expected back then.  THIS dreamy goodness!"

But anyway, I decided that an all butter crust was the thing for me.  So, I went with Smitten Kitchen's all butter recipe.  And I started at 4 pm and clearly hadn't thought about "chill it for an hour or two" part.  So, I waited.  And dreamed of store bought crusts.  And thought about the fact that I don't actually own a pie pan.  Hmmmm.....  All this was a bit much, so I drank some homebrewed IPA and thought that tomorrow would be a good day to make a cherry pie...

[to be continued...]

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Tying down bubbles

I was working on my short story tonight and I needed my journal. And I couldn't find it. Not my "right now" journal, obviously, but my Journal. The big one. I needed a quote from it. To make part of the story "hang". And I looked and looked. And while I was looking (panicking) I saw the popcorn pot in the sink. And I started to wash it. And I saw the dish rack full of dishes drying. So, I started drying/putting away. And I came to the lunch boxes. The Bento Boxes. Oh, the nice, square boxes into which I pack the nice square lunches. "Where is my Journal????" And I dried the boxes and set them on the counter and dried all the little rectangle containers that go in... And I thought, "MY LIFE DOES NOT FIT INTO SQUARES! IT DOES NOT FIT IN THESE BOXES!" And I remembered where my Journal was. But I'm still wondering where my life fits into these boxes....