Here and There

Friday, November 04, 2011


I've been trying to find out some stuff.  Where do clothes from Old Navy get made?  Why can't I resist Target shopping?  How do you live out your ideals and values when it's so easy to unintentionally support bad stuff?
This video was a good place for me to start:

Thursday, October 20, 2011


 With the mouse himself.  Lily spoke of this later, remembered that Mickey was in a robe, about to get ready for his show...?
 On Heimlich's Chew Chew Train.  Both kids love this ride. 

 The cotton candy on day 2 matched her shirt perfectly. 

Just a little Disney Magic.  This is Goofy's house in Toontown.  The clothesline is spinning and looks so crazy and cute.  Hard to see.

As always, I love Disneyland.  I noticed this time that my hips hurt when I walk around all day and night.  Not my feet, my hips.  I have a feeling this is something about having children.  I also noticed all the wonderful things that just seem to "happen" to you when you're in Disneyland, but are happening so often, everywhere in the park that it just seems that way.  Catching a performance at the Golden Horseshoe.  Seeing the tail end of a parade disappear behind a gate that you didn't notice until it opened and the performers waved at you with their last waves!  The music everywhere: marching bands, parades, performances, not to mention the muzak pumped throughout the park, it's the finest Disney muzak that can be achieved.  I love it there.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

A poem I found.


Maybe the camera crew is at someone else’s house,
a spotlight haloing over another’s fleshy story.
Maybe the mailman is delivering the good news
to your neighbor, or a different city entirely,
and you come home to a rash of catalogues,
the second notice for a doctor’s bill, a plea
from the do-gooders for whatever you can spare.
Maybe you haven’t cleaned your kitchen floor in weeks,
forgotten to nourish the front garden, spilled too much
coffee in your car, weaving through traffic.
Maybe you are 10 pounds heavier than last year.
Maybe your skin is betraying your age.
Maybe winter is ravaging your heart.
Maybe you are afraid, or lonely, or furious, or wanting out
of every commitment you entered with such vigor and trust.
Maybe you’ve bitten your nails down to the quick,
chosen your meals badly, ignored the advice of those
who know you best. Maybe you are stubborn as a toddler.
Maybe you are clumsy or foolish or hasty or reckless.
Maybe you haven’t read all the books you’re supposed to.
Maybe your handwriting is still illegible after all these years.
Maybe you spent too much on a pair of shoes you didn’t need.
Maybe you left the window open and the rain ruined the cake.
Maybe you’ve destroyed everything you’ve ever wanted to save.
If anything, believe in your own strange loveliness.
How your body, even as it stumbles, angles for light.
The way you hold a dandelion with such yearning and tenderness,
the whole world stops spinning.

Maya Stein 

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Body prayer from this morning at Godly Play training.

"Take, oh, take me as I am,  (Arms extended to heaven)
summon out what I shall be; (Arms outstretched to your sides)
set your seal upon my heart (two hands on your heart)
and live in me." (bow from the waist)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Things that make you go, hmm.

I am a blog reader.  Avid.  I love the blogs.  I love my google reader.  I love seeing new ideas and glimpses into lives all around the country.  There are the very chic and spare, desert themed, artistic southern Californian mom blogs.  The very annoying, but helplessly addicting Minnesota mom blogs.  The kansas mom blog who is so artistic and inspiring.  The super fun New York mom blog.  The crafting blogs, the cooking blogs, the spiritually challenging, etc. etc.

I spend too much time looking at these blogs and I don't even update my own blog more than once a month usually.  I try to quit.  Delete feeds of blogs that are annoying or rile me from my reader--why bother?!  Delete feeds of blogs that are never really that interesting, but I still click on to read anyway.  I just discovered a blog called Mennonite Girls Can Cook.  How amazing and weird is that?  But I'm not really the kind of gal who makes "Hired Hand Macaroni Casserole".  Do I really need to read it?  Yes, I do.  And the NieNie Dialogues, yes, it's such a compelling story and she and her husband are so sweet, but it's usually kind of boring, right? 

I know soap operas are going off the air these days, it's because all the ladies at home with their littles are reading blogs instead of watching soaps.  And it's kind of the same thing, soap operas are boring 90% of the time and then there is something interesting and you were watching so you caught it and then you watch more to see what will happen next.

A lot of blogs I read rah rah about not being a "mainstream" family.  Cloth diapers, organic foods, no tv.  I've thought a lot about this idea of not being a "mainstream" family.  Is it not the most mainstream thing in the world to blog and blog and blog about your life?  How does "simple" v "mainstream" living really look, without a blog?   What about me?  Am I a mainstream family?  I love all the ideas, the inspiration, but sometimes it's tiring to see it all and not even know how to integrate the blog reading into your life in a good way, let alone the recipe or project featured. 

So as I contemplate my relationship with blogs,  (Read them at one time a day, no constant google reader checking?  Read them once a week?  Pick a few of my favorites and dump the rest?)  I offer a short list of my favorites:

joy the baker
lovely morning
nat the fat rat

Monday, May 09, 2011


 At the beach at Montana de Oro State Park 

This past weekend we went on our first family camping trip.  We visited a state park near Morro Bay and then our dear friend Cristy Rose at a permaculture farm called Quail Springs.  I wish had taken photos of the animals and some other parts of the farm, but I did get a few that show a little of the place.  It is truly in the wilderness and I saw so many stars that night.  I wish that I had lingered looking at them so I could see a shooting star.  But I was just too tired.  So wonderful to be in nature so much, feels like I'm living out my new year's resolution.
 This is the kitchen in the common house. 

 Camping next to Dianita, Cristy Rose's camper home.
 Lily playing near the clay ovens.

 Inside the common house.
 Such a foggy morning.  High desert is indeed such beautiful country.

 A glimpse of the well organized shelving in the kitchen.  I love kitchens and seeing other people's systems.

Through the kitchen to Lily eating the goat buttermilk with honey and Peter playing a bit of guitar.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Lately, in pictures.

 Made Lily a booster seat out of this fun oil cloth.  Too bad she won't sit like this all the time.  She still sits on her legs and just throws the booster on the ground.

Yountville in early Spring.  So lovely, romantic and peaceful.  Bike ride around the vineyards.

 'Peace' rose is blooming.
 Hung some inspiration above the washing machine. 

New curtains in the kitchen. If you weren't sure there was enough pattern/color in my house, there is now.  I promise.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Things are what you make of them.

Me, with one of my favorite pieces at the deYoung.  I do like visiting there enough to have old friends waiting. 

Lenten disciplines this year:  no desserts, read the Bible every day.  So far so good.  If good means difficult and sometimes failing.  I'm getting it.  Understanding it, learning from it better than I have in the past.  So that is good. 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


The only picture I took on my trip to Boston a couple weeks ago.  I had 10 pictures of this sunset, sidewalk and sweet friend.  This one was the keeper.   A long walk in the snow from the T.  Invigorating, made it home just as the sun slipped away. 

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Orange Morning, Gray Morning

The light in the kitchen in the morning is helpful.  When we wake up so early that it's dark I squint.  But when we wake up a little later and the kitchen is full of sun I don't.  That's easy to appreciate.

The magnolias and the cherry trees are blooming everywhere.  The oranges are sweeter than I ever remember.  I was listening to Townes Van Zandt and Weezer and Ladysmith Black Mambazo and feeling overwhelmed with gratitude for the music, for the oranges, for the sun.  Then, driving alone and remembering how sprinklers come on in the early morning and how soft gray it can be, the sound and the sprinklers adding to the dew.  Let nothing be lost on me!  I beg.  Even the dawn, even the cold.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Chard is one of my favorite vegetables.  I crave it sometimes.  I wish I craved it more often than I crave ice cream or nachos, but when I do crave it this is how I like to fix it.  Rainbow chard is the prettiest, but any will do.

Sauteed Chard
2 bunches chard, cleaned, stems removed and diced, leaves roughly chopped
1 onion, chopped finely
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 or 4 slices of bacon chopped up (I usually use turkey bacon)
1/2 cup apple juice (water or broth is fine too)

Add a little vegetable oil to a large stock pot.  (Have you heard about how you're not supposed to use olive oil for cooking anymore?!)  Saute bacon, chopped chard stems, onion and garlic until stems and onion are softened.  Add the chard leaves, filling up the pot and stirring them all around to get coated in the sauteed mixture.  Deglaze the pan with the apple juice and sprinkle the whole thing with a lot of salt and pepper.  Keep stirring every once in a while until the chard is wilted and the juice is gone.  Check to see if you need salt and pepper. Done.  Sometimes I drizzle it with a little olive oil at this point.

I like to eat this kind of sauteed chard with a baked sweet potato and a chicken apple sausage.  Or with rice and grilled or baked chicken.  Or tossed with pasta and some parmesan. 

Friday, January 21, 2011


This is one of those basic things that I've always wanted to make, but never have.  Until Tuesday.  I adapted Ellie Krieger's Nutty Granola and the main reason I made it was because there was no oil or butter.  I love granola with oil or butter, but I wanted to make a granola that I could eat all the time, not a special granola as a treat.  I think I will be making this regularly.  I loved making it--it was easy, way easier than I thought and it made the house smell good.

Basic Granola
3 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt.

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl, bake at 300' for 30 minutes spread out on a sheet pan.

After it had baked for about 25 minutes I added 1/2 cup chopped dried cherries, 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots, 1/4 cup of unsweetened shredded coconut.

Monday, January 17, 2011


Planted a Blenheim Apricot tree and a Fuji Apple tree.  Actually planting trees in our yard is so exciting.  Our house has NO trees on the property.  Now it has two.  Trees that will blossom and bear fruit in season, even better.

I would also like to plant some boysenberries and blueberries this year.  Who knew January was the time to plant these things--I feel like until this year I had NO idea that this 2 week-long bare root tree thing happened.  It's like, they're there and then they're gone in the store.

Now to wait 1-3 years for some return on our fruit investment...

Friday, January 14, 2011


Always has been me.  Monday I saw a girl driving a big, ancient RV, with sheets covered the windows, sagging in the middle, looking absolutely artisitc.  She spun the wheel and parked, taking up three spaces.  She looked flushed, figuring it out.  My stomach actually hurt a little for wanting to be her in that RV.

Road trips through the desert, winding through the mountains.  Seeing views unfold and parking for the night, I love it.  Now it has this added component though.  It's not solo wanderlust to get away--it's this "wouldn't it be nice" longing to gather my favorites, Gid and the girls and be all together, just us, see a bunch of stuff.  No appointments, no obligations, no plan.  Just a few weeks of no schedule, no calendar and the wide open road.

Ah, on a Spring-like day like today I pine for it!!

Monday, January 10, 2011

A virtual place to collect virtual things...

that i love the looks of, virtually.

The Butterfly Net

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Louis and Serena

Or at least I imagined them to be.  These swans came so close I could have touched their feathers.  Which are so white!

Saturday, January 08, 2011


This year, my goal is find nature.  All the time, regularly, specially.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

New Year

Christmas Gimlets

Lily at the Exploratorium.
This morning the sunshine was warm and friendly through the window--like spring.  Not thin and pale like winter.  And I have 2 daffodils blooming in the front.  I should pick them and bring them in because it's too early to enjoy them.  Of course the world doesn't bloom in the winter, we can't be out there to enjoy it.

Reading Moby Dick, and completely delighted by it.  How did I not enjoy this book in college?  So dumb.  It is so good.

Some other holiday media reporting:

Read Chipmunk Seeks Squirrel by David Sedaris when I was sick after Thanksgiving.  I thought it was funny, but the last story about the owl, the hamster and the hippo was actually perfect.  I was amazed by it. 

Saw True Grit in the theater, one of those perfect movie experiences where you sit down and your mind doesn't wander, and you don't even think, you just watch and enjoy the story and leave after its over blissfully aware that for two hours you didn't come up with anything on your own, you just went along for the ride with someone's story and idea.  Very nice.  The movie was great too, I thought.

Also really enjoyed a netflix movie with all the old pals from The State in it, written by Michael Showalter called The Baxter.