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.