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, September 13, 2009

The new travel blog is up and running though there isn't much content yet!   Stay tuned for a map that tracks our progress using our SPOT GPS tracker as well as details and photos from the adventure, which kicks off in 17 days.

Here is the link:

Friday, September 4, 2009

I am more than a tomato-ist!

I know, you all know, I grow lots and lots of tomatoes!  I've been tending, harvesting, and canning them all summer.   I'm also obviously the mom of two young girls.  I love being mom, entertaining them, teaching them.  I am also kept busy with planning our trip to Central America.  BUT, I am trying to do more.   I think of myself as a writer, a poet, a ....something...  I am writing poems.  And some children's stories (which are too long for here), so here are some poems...

I'm remembering a friend
with pen point blue eyes
who ran like the wind

I'd set her blocks
and watch her go

I wanted to run like she did
but I was too lazy
I jumped instead
Jumping was playing
Easy and fun

I wonder if that's how
she felt
about running.

Sept '09

Little girl sad
Little girl cry
Little girl did not hold tight

A balloon on the end
of a string is
a wonderful thing

Balloon so bright
Balloon so light
Little girl did not hold tight

Orange over green
orange through blue
Fly ballooon fly
And, little girl cry

Next time
Hold tight.

July 2009

The orange cat sleeps
The baby sleeps
The mama sleeps

The stars hum
The night blurs
The mama dreams

The moon shines
The creek slides
The baby dreams

The house creeks
The mouse squeeks
The orange cat dreams

July 2009

Tempo tempo
Le temps
The time
The weather
Blue blue
White white white
Breathe in
Breathe out
Tempo tempo

July 2009

I'd like to have
a house with a tin roof
I'd paint it blue.
If I got tired
of my blue roof
I could paint it red.

In the front
I'd have a meadow of flowers
Out back, a creek
Running through.
I'd like to have 
a house with a tin roof
I'd paint it blue.

On the bed
I'd have an old woolen quilt.
On the porch
a rocker I'd buy new.
I'd like to have
 a house with a tin roof
I'd paint it blue.

In the morning
I'd bathe in the cool creek.
In the evening
[among the flowers]
I'd kiss you.
I'd like to have
a house with a tin roof
I'd paint blue.

If I tired
of my blue roof
I could paint it green.

July/August 2009

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Alex-isms (and one Gregor-ism too!)

Today Alex and I were outside picking tomatoes. I was behind the long row, squeezing between the fruit trees and grape vines and trying not to step on the herbs. She was in front with the colanders. I would hand the tomatoes to her and she'd put them in the colanders. I handed her two plums of four I was holding and she said she could take them all. I said, "Wow. You are a good helper." and she replied, "See, I told you I was a handful!" 

Then we headed up to the house with our crop and she said, "Mom, we're tomato-ists! You and me!"

Later I was busy inside and went outside to check on both girls.   They were down under the living room deck where Gregg is digging a ditch to lay irrigation lines.  I asked what was up and Alex said, "There's something fish going on down here.  We found all these nails in the dirt and all these quarters on the floor.  Something fish is going on."  And then Greggie held out a handful of mixed coins and said, "See, Mom.  Here are the quarters.  This one is a penny quarter and this one is a...."  That's fish alright! 

Ironically, we had fish for dinner, whole trout.  I was trying to lift the meat out onto their plates before they saw the whole animals when they came up.  One said, "Can I eat an eyeball?"  And the other said, "Do we eat the heads too?"  I think I spawned bears.  They each ate a whole trout and Gregg and I had to share the other. 

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Images from a late summer day

Packing Part II

Mosquitos, and avoiding being bitten by them, are prime concerns as we plan what to pack.  A WAHM in NC made these "jungle outfits" for the girls.  Lightweight cotton gauze with elastic neck, wrists, and ankles to keep the critters out will cut down on the exposed skin!  The girls also got new sunglasses -- and there is always time for a Hollywood moment!

Friday, August 14, 2009

All in a summer day!

The girls painted today!  Greggie's new suity:
Alex's suity and shirt:
Geggie models!

Greggie gets luvins!
My garden doesn't just grow tomatoes!
But it sure grows tomatoes!

The cutest kitty!

Loves his Poodle!

Packing up Part I

When you are planning for traveling for 6 months to places that you know won't carry your brands of health care products, the idea of packing toiletries becomes fairly daunting! I have decided to take mostly raw materials and mix up bath gels, shampoos, conditioners, lotions, deodorant, and mosquito repellent. I have been assembling raw materials!

I still need to add aloe, 15% H2O2, and almond oil. We'll take prepared toothpaste and sunscreen (and probably run out and end up using icky stuff for a while).

As we will be in jungle locations with biting things and itchy plants and humid air I am particularly concerned that the girls don't scratch themselves a lot and end up with an infection. So, I stocked up on my traditional herbal anti itch stuff and added a little of the heavy hitter too.

A new shirt for my pal Zane

Almost dry!
This is the back:
And the front:

The purple is much brighter than it looks in these pictures.  Greggie moved the pennies and slightly skewed the peace sign.  

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Variety is the spice of life!

Black, purple, pink, red, orange, yellow, and green!  We have some of each!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


Edited to add, more tomatoes from the roof!!!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

A visit with friends

My friend and ex-coworker Dave came by today with his lovely wife and two beautiful daughters.  The older girl, 27 months, had a great time playing with Alex and Gregorie.  Each girl painted herself a new shirt!  Lots of pink going on...

Alex also painted a shirt for me:

And I painted a dress for each of my girls: