Saturday, August 01, 2015

Moonstones and Beanstones and Nursery Cats

While William and Geoff took care of the Bird House & Barn, Max, Maria, Alex and I went places north and west. It was part vacation, part academic. We visited schools... viewing, assessing, rating, and ranking by our own precise and unique criteria. But let's talk about moonstones, and other gems. We spent lovely hours on the beach, reading books, walking, talking, and sifting through sand and pebbles in search of luminous, pale, smooth and round moonstones. The risk, I suspect, of naming a beach for a singular treasure is that the poor beach will be pillaged and robbed of its treasure. Nonetheless, we enjoyed the search, and came upon our own treasure: Beanstones. If you ever find yourself combing the shores in Cambria, California, do stop and look down; there are beautiful beanstones, everywhere. We found pinto beans, kidney beans, black-eyed peas, lentils and split peas, black beans, adzuki, and all sorts and sizes of Scarlet runners. Little caches and piles of these stone beans made a pretty sound tumbling in our hands, and pockets.

The beach was cold, windy, bitey. We were not well-prepared for this kind of weather, which was fun in its own way. It made it all the nicer when we hunkered together, or dashed back to our room and sat by the fire. We explored the town, too, which is quaint and charming, and winds through a valley, and up the sides of high sea bluffs... making for enjoyable explores, fun discoveries, like finding Cambria Nursery and Florist. We followed paths, came upon a tea party, made friends with the nursery cats, and declared it a very good nursery. I could have filled the van with salvia and blue hibiscus, cape mallow, and rock rose, too.

The sardines? Naturally, that's a long story. Last summer, when we were in Wisconsin, we celebrated Paul's birthday. Geoff's brother took us out on his boat, then back to his lovely home for a cookout. A friend brought appetizers, including a can of sardines. The sardines that changed my mind about tiny fish in tins. And I cannot be entirely certain they were sardines. Could they have been anchovies? She opened the can and introduced them as having particular qualities making them delicious and above all other tiny fish in tins, but I was foolish, reckless, unheeding, because, after all, I do not like tiny fish in tins... or so I believed, and I did not pay close enough attention. The brand, the ingredients, the specifics? I know not. To be polite, I took a small, timid sample, on a big cracker. The small, timid sample changed my beliefs about these things. All year I have had happy recollections of this particular delicacy, and have held firmly to the hope that it could not be so difficult to find the same delicious tiny fish in a tin can. I didn't realize it, but Max had tried the fish, too. And on this trip, perusing the aisles of the Cookie Crock, searching out our supper, Max asked if we could try canned fish, sardines, or anchovies, or something. Whatever it was we had at uncle Paul's birthday party, last summer.

Round One: Cento, Skinless and Boneless Sardines in Pure Olive Oil: No. Not bad. But not the ones we enjoyed at Paul's birthday party.

We will not give up. We will not surrender.

Friday, July 31, 2015

~This Moment~

~This Moment is a Friday tradition, capturing a special moment from the week~

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your moment in the comments, for all to see.
Agent A, and Agent M, on the job, at the Zoo.
Mission: Explore and celebrate.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

A Heart For Sharing

Close to home, far from home, wherever you are, we hope you...
*find pretty stones
*watch sunsets
*look for a blue moon
*hear rainfall
*plan a party
*eagerly await what lies ahead
*feel relief 
*know what to do
*fix a problem 
*see something weird
*make something you can't not make
*love, and be loved

This little pebble heart was sitting on the beach, and we're happy to share the hope and caring, the kindness it stands for. 

Monday, July 27, 2015

Five Good Things

Sewing again! It's the same simple dress I drafted for Maria 6 years ago, and a second time when I wanted her to have something light and cool for Hawaii. This time I want to honor the original inspiration for the dress... the beautiful embroidered dresses from Mexico. So, I've cut the yoke and sleeves. I love using freezer paper to make my own patterns; it's convenient and practical. Then I turned the edge over, twice, at the neckline, hand stitched that in place, and then added simple blanket stitch and crocheted that edge. Now, embroidery. In my usual eager style, I sketched some forms and grabbed some embroidery floss... stitch-stich-stitch and... I already want to start over. I'm not happy with the colors, the shapes, the pattern. It's so hard to stitch in mirror... making the left look like the right. Even if I do start over, I won't be too disappointed by the extra work... I need the practice, obviously. I'll tell you what's easier, and more instantly gratifying: Pinning beautiful embroidered work on Pinterest! {I am so good at that!}

Good Things...

1. I finally made it to one of the monthly Mom's Night Out gatherings. We're approaching a nineteenth anniversary. Lovely women, who care deeply and share generously.

2. Learning to be patient... though I admit this is something I can still work on.

3. Another successful dance performance for Maria; this time at a wedding. The special bonus was being with Emma and Priscilla.

4. 1.5 minute showers... three times a day, to beat the heat.

5. Talking to my cousin Priscilla about college visit strategies, as a parent... questions I can ask, services I can look for. She helped me expand my expectations, and release some self-doubt.

Who about you? Still feeling summer bliss? I hope there is good in every day for you.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Birthday Zooza-Palooza

We filled the day up with a picnic, carousel ride, and zoo explore,
then a family cook-out at Holly and Rich's place...
where there was badminton, and bison burgers, patio lights, and tiramisu!
All of this to say:
Happy Birthday, Mom-Tutu Ruth. We love you very much~