Thursday, October 30, 2008

the times

Dropped in on an old friend who's been out to sea for awhile. We were on our way to the pumpkin patch. The times of late have been jam - packed, but calm somehow. Nice family times that feel connecting and nourishing, but definitely energetic. Not for the faint of heart.

Nice Dad and I are having lots of fun being parents lately. We share a deep admiration for the shiny being we share. She can ride a horse, feed the chickens, and get dressed by herself. Her word count is growing before my eyes as we read together, constantly - in the car, before bed, during spontaneous in between moments here and there. Last night we did a puzzle together while we ate dinner.

And here is what she wants for her birthday. Only four more weeks, Nice Dad.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

simple pleasure

Back to the Felton Farmer's Market. Little P. feels comfortable enough here to take her shave ice to the church steps and hang out with the other resting shoppers while I peruse.

I am starting to like this one better than Santa Cruz (downtown). Much less crowded, a smaller and therefore less confusing layout. Live blues instead of a tribal drumming vibe. More Zen.

And it sells shave ice, which hits the spot on these warm warm days of Indian Summer.

Tonight I whirred up the last delicious raw tomato sauce of the season. Equal parts fresh raw tomatoes, seeded, and oil packed sun dried tomatoes. Salt, pepper, all the garlic and fresh herbs you want (my basil is done, so I used rosemary.) Process until smooth.

I served it on angel hair pasta, alongside organic steamed broccoli and frozen wild salmon from Trader Joe's, steamed with lemon, garlic and dill.

Ummm. Thanks for the memories, summer. They are still raw.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


I forgot to mention that the day I sent my swap partner's package, I mailed my ballot as well. Don't forget to vote, people!!!

My package arrived the same day I sent Claire's. Coincidence? Perhaps. I love the little stuffed pumpkin she sent. So simple and clever!

My Kindergarten class is getting a big kick out of this book too. It is stuffed with ideas for making all kinds of pumpkins, with patterns for faces and accessories. Cool!

The total loot involved: stuffed punky, Halloweenie dishcloths, a mini photo album for Pumpkin Patch pics, and a pack of stickers (already being put to good use in the classroom.) Thanks Pal! I've lost your email, so let me know if you are reading this.

Thanks for the nice swap Susan!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

fall jig

The only dance to do after sucking down a rainbow shave ice at the Felton Farmer's Market? The jig, of course.

Tents were up for yesterday's intense 85 degree weather. The veggies were fine. I got kale for more smoothies, and broccoli, so good, for last night's dinner, and tonight's.

I bought three Fuyu persimmons, in tribute to an old rental I once had where the trees dripped with Fuyus for two to three months. It's an acquired taste that I will love forever.

The place pulsed with life, full of chefs, mommies, artists and locals. The flower stall did a brisk business in sunflowers and daylilies. So soon to pass.

Little P. dresses herself each morning. She is reading simple books and takes on great responsibilities at home and school.

We just bought these shoes...just so you know she's a well-rounded type girl. And fashionable.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


A morning with no plans equals lingering in bed with homemade biscuits topped with homemade plum jam or honey and one sticky finger on your favorite Dora game.

Made all the more perfecter by a certain black friend.

Monday, October 20, 2008

don't look Claire

I bet I forgot to tell you that I'm doing a Halloween Swap.  I arranged it back in oh, August or September sometime, with a blogger I wasn't familiar with.  This, to me, is one of the blessings of blogging - you get to connect on so many levels with people from all over the country, this time New York.

It all started with the cute melanine dish set from Safeway.  I bought it in September I think.

I made four simple napkins, just fat quarters squared off and hemmed.  I stuffed them into a cute drawstring bat bag from last year.

Now my swap pal, Claire, can mix and match different ways to create a unique place setting all for her.  Or use the whole set and set the table for two, mixing and matching.

There is a little bit of each quarter left, but putting together a little Halloween quilt for myself will be highly unlikely, not to say tempting.  Little P. has claimed it for bean bags.

Majicakle mystery!  The same day I completed and wrapped this package, another appeared in my mailbox...from New York!  Pictures to come of Pumpkin Goodness...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


A little blossom springs up among the burnt out mountainside of Ormsby Trail. See it shining there against the rock? A wellspring of hope.

The resident llama at the top of Ormsby whispers to me: not long now. First Winter, and then Spring. Then all will calm down and stress will subside. All things are possible. This from a wise soul who somehow survived the fire and still holds the king's position among the ruins. Calm abiding at it's best.

Nice Dad and I partied hardy at the annual Loma Gala last weekend. And we scored a trip to Mazatlan! (Vacation dates TBA.) Behind us glows the terrific painting of Crayons donated by a local artist to our school. Oooooh, I wanted it so bad. Final bid: $20,000 (unfortunately not by us). However it was a wonder to see, made even better by an after party at their beautiful home (straw bale and gorgeous).

We are rich. Stay tuned for Mexico...

Friday, October 10, 2008

another October

October in Kindergarten means a visit to Johnson's farm. Farmer Rob is the classic example of the typical farmer, almost cartoon-like in his enthusiasm. On the hay ride around the property, he leads the children in a hearty "yeee - hah!"

Rob has done amazing things on his property over the last thirteen years (have I really been coming here that long?) Everything is picture perfect, and he comes running out just as enthusiastically, waving his hat, year after year, as the big yellow school bus chugs up the hill and the kids crescendo into an enthusiastic cheer at finally reaching our destination.

The ancient barn is lined with implements, all of which have seen plenty of action over the years.

The resident old horse, Pumpkin Pie, still holds court over the pasture. He follows the hay wagon right on cue, begging for grain treats and trying to snatch the ornamental corn as the parents cringe in fear.

Jack the dog guards the wonderful gift shop that smells of fall: cinnamon and cloves, pumpkin and coffee. Jack still lives for the chance that a Kindergartener will forget about Farmer Rob's number one rule: Don't feed Snack Jack!

Rob obviously loves children, and I can't think of a better job. He exposes children from Santa Cruz to Silicon Valley to the delights of feeding chickens, petting goats, and plucking pumpkins straight off the vine.

Along with pumpkins and Indian corn, Rob grows Christmas trees. I've always wanted to return during another season, but somehow can't bring myself to break the spell of quintessential Fall here at the farm.

The barn beckons from beyond the rickety fence. Come inside and discover the delights of rustic simplicity.

Cross the magic bridge to a world of autumnal fantasy.

Make a wish, hold your breath, and plunge into the cornfield. Emerge from the other side triumphant and smelling like fresh air and sunshine, clutching a colorful cob.

Harvest Days are indeed upon us. Are you ready?

Oh T., I missed you this year. I miss spending this special time together. It's still wonderful, but not the same.... big October love to you way over in Palo Alto!

Monday, October 06, 2008


I'm really starting to feel the inward pull of the waning light these days. The way I only see the sun in the morning on the weekends, otherwise it's still misty and dim as P. #2 and I pull up the driveway towards the coming day. I do so love to see my house in the morning.

I'm afraid these sunflowers have faded away now. All gone, all gone.

The inward pull makes me want to knit, spin, read, and cook. Due to homework and looming deadlines I am unable to do much of any of these. I confess to spending too much money last month on cookbooks that I now have no time to read. But winter is long, right? Oooh, all of these books make me smile, but that one on the makes me smile AND drool.

A young wild turkey hen has taken up residence. Here she is, caught on camera as she makes her way across the top corral. I suspect she is nesting somewhere nearby. Nothing says Autumn like a turkey lurking.

Yes Goddess I feel your inward, cronelike pull. I know it's approaching the dark time, the reflective time, the divination and revelation time. I want to make soup and start socks and plump pillows and stack wood.

Darn homework.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

brain food

I am not 100% raw, but I still enjoy dabbling in the kinds of raw food that help my brain function. Some mornings I crave something fresher and more stimulating than coffee.

Here we have frozen organic mango chunks, kale (sometimes I use spinach), lemon juice, and water. I've also used orange juice successfully for this, but lemon cuts the sweetness of the mango just right and makes it highly drinkable.

I'd rather be juicing, but this is a good alternative for the early morning rush. I turn on the blender and then run off to round up books, lunches, shoes and sweaters.

I totally agree with all the raw fooders out there that this kind of food makes your brain work better. I always feel sharper and more clear after I drink my green. You should try it.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

betty's place

I spent Autumn Equinox at the Kindergarten Forum in Saratoga, led by Betty Peck, the doyenne of Waldorf inspired education and the self-proclaimed Queen of Kindergarten.

Betty's house is incredible. She is so very much like Tasha Tudor (so sad to lose her recently) - she seems to inhabit a different time and space. I hope I can be equally eccentric, creative, and intelligent when I get that old.

There is an amphitheatre in Betty's garden, where plays and presentations are held under the twisting vines.

Benches and tables appear around tree filled corners, ready for tea and organic, vegetarian treats.

You can feel the little people here, they are happy and well fed. The veil here is thinner, especially at this time of year.

Painted furniture, pots of colorful plants and flowers, and a bucket for the compost.

Inside are stacks of books, shelves of artifacts, mystic puppets, and a real skeleton.

Cats, birds, frogs, bugs, fairies, elves, sprites and children.... all are welcome here.

Angels beckon: Learn the songs, return to the garden, feed your inner child. Go back to Kindergarten through the spirit of the plants and the music and find hope in the world again.

See the beauty all around you. Focus on the light, find the time to drink deeply and just be.

Leave your boots by the door, and enter a magical world of innocence and unconditional love.

Taking tea with Betty and the circle of magical Kindergarten teachers was amazing. I toasted the Autumn Equinox with water (Betty calls it "Adam's Ale) and felt the fleeting balance as we began the tilt towards darkness.

Hoping to return soon.
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