Monday, December 19, 2011


 I stopped in at Panera bread to have coffee with a friend and arrived a little early... so I popped over to the stores that were nearby. When I walked into ROCK PAPER SCISSORS, my brain began to tingle a bit! Looking around I was completely delighted! Small perfect displays lay on tables, dressers and bookshelves throughout the store.  On one table in tiny round glass bowls, were pretty little beads or tiny copper birds. The jewelry maker would be content running fingers over colored crystals, and tiny clasps. Beautiful fabrics for any type of sewing projects are yours for  the choosing. The colors are nicely and neatly coordinated to please the eye and push you forward to the next display. The details are what make this store a standout. Open drawers holding quilting squares that are neatly wrapped in ribbon, ric rac trim hanging from wooden spools, and small unexpected pairings.  The owner Beth Rowan really has a grasp on what's happening in the crafting world, not to mention she is very pleasant. The store offers sewing, crafting and holiday gift classes for adults and for children. Such a neat store, I may try to take a class and brush up on my sewing skills (which have suffered in the last 22 years) I've heard it's like riding a bike! Stop in and have a look.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet written by David Mitchell.... I don't know where to begin, but I do know I have never been more frustrated and intrigued at the same time. I read a review of the book in some magazine and the reviewer raved about the eloquent language and beautiful prose...blah blah and whatever he said made me go buy the hardcover for $26.00 or rather.. my husband went and bought it for me. I liked the first chapter,  after that I became completely disinterested in the characters, the names were forgettable as were the personalities. I put the book on the shelf for about five months, I took it down twice and attempted to begin reading again, and again I couldn't remember what I had just read??? At the beginning of December I thought I would attempt once more, thinking I WILL get through this book, after a few chapters my interest deepened. The language mostly bothered me, but I got past it. Here are a few examples:

The music provokes a sharp longing the music soothes. How can such a prig, wonders Jacob, play with such divinity? Night insects trill, tick, bore, ring; drill, prick, saw, sting...

The yeasty moon is caged in his half-Japanese half-Dutch window...Glass panes melt moonlight; paper panes filter it, to dust. Daybreak must be near.

Gulls wheel through spokes of sunlight over gracious roofs and dowdy thatch, snatching entrails at the marketplace and escaping over cloistered gardens, spike-topped walls, and triple bolted doors. Gulls alight on whitewashed gables, creaking pagodas, and dung-ripe stables; circle over towers and cavernous bells and over hidden squares where urns of urine sit by covered wells, watched by mule drivers, mules, and wolf-snouted dogs, ignored by hunchbacked makers of clogs; gather speed up the stoned-in Nakashima River and fly beneath the arches of it's bridges, glimpsed from kitchen doors, watched by farmers walking high, stony ridges.    AHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!! (that's me!) there are many sentences that go one this way, about all kinds of things and also he sometimes rhymes things like you are reading a child's book!

Twilight is cold with the threat of snow. The forest's edges dissolve and blur. A black dog waits on an outcrop. He scents a fox's hot stink.

and.... here are some poetic phrases for your reading enjoyment

"Will yer cork yer quack'n' an' do it yer f'ck'r...."

The rectum of Wybo Gerritszoon releases a hot fart of horror.

So, I do have to say I came across a very lovely phrase and this almost made me forget how much some of the language bothered me.

Here is is.

Creation unfolds around us, despite us, and through us, at the speed of days and nights, and we like to call it "love."

As the story became a bit more clear, I actually got a bit excited and enjoyed my time in the pages, as I rushed toward the finish, I was once again thrown into this bogged down unsettling pile of useless wording!!!!! After finishing the book, I thought briefly of promptly throwing it into the fireplace where a nice fire was blazing away. I'm not one for book burning but I was highly tempted, just for the pissed off feeling it left me with. Maybe it is a good thing, to stir up ones emotions with a book unlike any you've read before. I've heard this novel was a departure from his other works, but I don't think I will be reading any of those, but... maybe.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

For you

Thinking of my husband - no matter where, our hands will be entwined


Pablo Neruda

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Eataly NYC

 What a great place to shop and eat (or have a glass of wine) in NYC. I have to go back here without the kiddos, that way I can take my time and really explore all of the delicious options! Don't these photos make you want to stop in?

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Day of the Dead

 My birthday is November 1st, the day after Halloween. When I was little my birthday never garnered much of a celebration. Arriving into the world on November 1st is kind of like being born the day before Christmas, everyone is full of Halloween candy so no one wants cake. What I like about November first, and because I grew up in Texas, is that my birthday falls on a cool Mexican Holiday (also shared with November 2nd) Day of the Dead, Dia de los Muertos. It's just a cool holiday celebrating those who have passed, remembering them, taking colorful gifts to their grave sites. There are also a ton of artists who depict this holiday and there are some incredibly beautiful images you can dig up (hahaha). My favorite so far is by an artist who I came across a few years back,  Sylvia Ji. Here are some of her paintings! Happy Halloween & Day of the Dead! Oh and Happy Birthday to me!

Thursday, October 27, 2011


It's close to Halloween, and soon...Thanksgiving.  I am reminded of two years ago at this time when we were living in Manhattan Beach.  I met a man, a father, who told me the saddest story I'd ever heard.  Greg and I were looking at properties for sale in the area. My realtor was going to show me a home that was just down the street. I walked over to the house, but arrived a little early and my realtor wasn't there yet. The owner of the home was just walking out the door. He saw me standing by the sidewalk and came over. Atticus, my youngest, was sleeping in his stroller. He smiled, introduced himself and asked how old my son was. I told him Atticus was two and he had two older brothers. To my surprise, the man put his head down and after a moment he wiped his eyes. He said, "I also have three sons, well, I did have three sons." I felt a little awkward as I said I was sorry and then asked him what happened. His voice became a little strained as he told me that he and his wife and three boys had gone to the country to pick pumpkins and go on a hay ride. He then said, "It was just a horrible accident, no one's fault, just a terrible accident.. he slipped off the hayride and fell under the wheels." When he said this he made a slashing movement with his hand across his neck. "He was three, and our youngest." I put my hand across my mouth before I could stop myself, then I reached out and touched his arm. I felt his pain overwhelm me. You could still feel his loss even though he was in his sixties and his other boys were grown. I had taken my boys on so many hayrides, laughing, taking photos, making memories. Never could I imagine the torture of what this family must have gone through. I think about him whenever we are on a hayride as a family, I grip the boys hands tightly and make sure that they hang on. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Union Square Art

This past Sunday we took the kids into the city. We wanted to go to Union Square and check out the art, the day was extremely windy, clear and sunny. The art vendors were few and we saw several pieces of artwork being taken by the wind!  Austin actually chased a few and returned them to their proper tables (I hope).  After having some delicious noodles at Republic, we went on a search for cupcakes.  I really enjoy people watching and what better place than New York city! The fashion is eye catching and unique, you can spot all kinds of trends and fallback styles around the city. A very pretty girl caught my eyes, she was Asian and dressed in a green silk skirt with a tweed vest and a black tee shirt, she was wearing red parent leather heels with fishnets and her hair was twisted into a braid and pined sideways. A small peacock feather stuck out the top of the braid, on her cheeks were rivulets of tears. There was a man standing about a foot away and she was leaning in towards him, he was talking in a low tone and I noticed her lips were trembling as she strained to hear him. I was very curious about what was happening.  I could just speculate as I walked by, having only from the time I spotted her, until I walked past. What a beautiful snippet to put to memory. I think knowing the REAL story may have killed the beauty for me.

boys trying on winter hats

Monday, October 3, 2011


My boys are a bit older than when we last lived here, approximately four years older. Four years is a long time for a kid and they learn things. When they were younger we would occasionally drive by the graveyard that was close to our neighborhood, the boys would smile and point and yell "STATUES!!!" Greg and I would say yes!, not having the heart to tell them what they were, not wanting death and the grave to be part of their young vocabulary. I have to say it really is a magnificent site; head high gravestones, angels that tower over you, stones of every height and varying colors of grays.  They are old, carved from stone... maybe before granite became the main choice, or maybe there were more sculptors in the business back then. You certainly don't see graveyards like this in California, Texas or Arizona or any place I've lived for that matter. I do remember New Orleans had some pretty memorable graveyards. Now when we drive by the boys are a bit more somber, quietly looking over at the stones.  It's as if the meaning has sunk in, that they are still statues, but they have a deeper value and someones loved one is buried underneath. I had some free time today and instead of just driving by this graveyard, I thought I would take a closer look. Most of these statues are of women, some angels, all the faces were different, serene, haunting and peaceful. All of these were life size or even a bit larger, it gave you the feeling that you might be standing next to a likeness of one who had passed. Quite a beautiful walk through the cemetery I have to say.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Fall is coming!

I'm excited about Fall. Around the corner are so many things I enjoy. There are warm sweaters, leaves of all colors swirling around in the wind, sleeping with the windows open while snuggled under a down comforter OR sitting in front of the fireplace sipping hot chocolate with the kids. Yes! And then... there is apple picking.....We LOVE going to the farms. Along with the kids choosing which apples they want to take home, there are pumpkins, candy apples, corn mazes, freshly baked pies... and just lots of fun overall! Here are some photos from our recent apple picking adventure to Terhune Orchards. Happy Fall!