Friday, August 21, 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.
An after school special... lime popsicle~

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Handmade Onigiri

It was nice of enough of Lani to invite me out, but she raised the bar when she brought me a gift from her trip to San Diego. I wish I could have joined her when she ran an errand to Ikea, then stopped for bento. Do you know bento? It's both lunch and art in Japan... and it can get downright adorable. Lani and I texted back and forth... I asked her to please ask me again, next time she goes, and mentioned my craving for onigiri! Do you know onigiri, or musubi? They're white rice formed into shapes, like triangles, or cylinders, and wrapped in nori. I lovelovelove onigiri with pickled plum, and furikake! Lani brought me a mold for making onigiri! That was so sweet of her!

Maria and I were looking over the package and noticed the little anthropomorphic onigiri character on the label. It's very kawaii. Do you know kawaii? Think adorable, cute, lovable. There is a lot of kawaii out there! This little Onigiri Guy gave me an idea...

Handmade onigiri! Made with French knots rice, and satin-chain stitched nori!

The hardest part was deciding where to put him when he was done. Since he's a tasty snack, I decided to add him to a snack bag. These bags are fun to make. I made this one lined. Also, I enjoyed trying my hand at some sashiko stitching.

It's a good thing I was dressed in a pretty skirt yesterday...
I couldn't possibly do housework in a pretty skirt.
Obviously, I had to sew, instead!

{Maria wants a whole bento box of handmade embroidered kawaii treats... what have I started??}

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Still Summer

{This is not a casual connection: I was sad because of the consistent, and persistently mounting, evidence that I am not destined to leave the hallowed halls of Blogging Anonymity, a private pity party I host for me, and my ego, and I decided not to post again until there was at least one new comment, because the universe always responds kindly to ultimatums from suburban housewives in pretty skirts, but being a compulsive blogger and glutton for humiliation, I formatted new pictures, and began composing something in my head, something about "balance" and "nature" and "restoring my soul" and "the life affirming power of stepping where waves are washing the sand," and I was debating whether or not to bother starting to make a new post from the photos and deep thoughts I had laid out, when a very dear friend, a kindred spirit, shared these thoughts:

"My theory is that summer lasts longer than school vacation and therefore, it is still summer; summer in a different way, through different schedules and experiences to be sure, but still summer."

And it was everything that I needed, everything I could say about our two evenings, after school, after dinner, after homework, before sleep... walking in the dusk, following the waves, and holding onto the goodness of our summer. It is still summer. And I am thankful to be reminded of this, and to have just enough gumption to go out and enjoy it. Thank you, Jennifer, for commenting, for connecting, for knowing just what to say.}

Monday, August 17, 2015

Good Things

La Jolla, California... The Shores, The Cove, seen from Birch Aquarium~

Scripps Pier, Scripps Institute of Oceanography~

Good timing... dive time and talk in the big Kelp Tank~

Lunch with a view, UCSD glider port~

Scotland update... Bambi and the Highland cows~

Geoff, Andy, and Alvaro with the prancing Pony sign~

La Chalupa~

Maria with Tioga and Curry

Alex and Bambi, keeping us posted from Scotland~

Fresh news from Edinburgh and The Edinburgh Festival: Fringe~

Fifth grade. 5th GRADE. Grade five. Quinto grado.

No matter how I say it, it's still hard to believe~

Emma and Maria, ready to start their new year~

Back to school means back to in car crafting~

Well. I tried. I tried to squeeze in as much fun, as much summer into our summer as possible. And it's been good. It's been busy, and laid back, structured, and wildly boundless. But, no matter how hard we played, no matter how earnestly we stalled, the days slipped by, and somehow or another, we are here, at the first day of the first week of school. It begins. Ready or not. We are ready... Maria is ready. None of us wants to give up our easy schedule, the unplanned jaunts, the drop in visits from new friends, and old friends, and dog friends. School is all well and fine, but it can get inconvenient at times, and can tend to interfere with learning, play, making, discovering, exploring, and sleeping in. Alright, one look at Maria's expression, and I think you can see she's on good terms with going back, with new subjects, new pencils, packed lunches, and the egg drop... especially the egg drop!

While Max took care of his course schedule and registration, I waited in the car, and so begins a new season of things I can do while waiting in parking lots! Right now, the mania is for embroidery, but I've added a new element: acrylic paint! The pieces I am sewing are small, playing card size. I started experimenting with adding paint for more color, to fill space without thread. El Pajaro and La Chalupa are traditional Lotería game cards, but I made my own La Gallina card... no surprise, here. I am having fun. Using thread and paint together feels more playful, more creative, and I can see why Grandma Nancy enjoys mixing things up for her quilts.

We even had one last Summer Movie Night {which makes it sound like the end of Movie Nights, but is actually just the beginning of Fall Movie Nights!} It was a last minute thing, but don't you love when those work out? Andy's home from Boston, and he came with his friend Alvaro. Celine and James were here, Emma, and Leo, Carol and Michael... and we all but forgot the movie because we were having such a good visit. Finally, Emma, Leo, and Maria took the giant popcorn bowl to the living room and watched Fantastic Mister Fox, and the rest of us carried on in slightly more hushed tones.

Whatever else is happening, laundry or good conversation, finishing breakfast, or being deep in REM sleep, when my phone chimes I know it's Alex and Bambi and all my attention turns toward Scotland and the travelers. Every text, every message, every photograph floors me, thrills me, brings happy tears... it's true. My emotions are plainly worn on my sleeve. I love their adventures, the tidbits they share, the updates, and glimpses. I want to be there, of course, but this new thing, this next step of seeing my son making his own story, taking his own path... it's amazing. It's bittersweet, and gratifying. Like first steps, first words, and first days of school... seeing Alex happy, on his own, fulfilling his dreams, it's this mother's dream come true. Of course, it helps to know they'll be home again, soon. I think they're returning... he's really happy there...

Good Things...

1. The sign for the Prancing Pony is done. 99% done, and it is stunningly beautiful. No reveals until Alex and Bambi are here to see it in person.

2. Today is much cooler than yesterday. Enough said.

3. Max endured bureaucracy and long lines to tweak his school schedule. Painting and cooking are out, chemistry and AP Calculus III are in.

4. It's almost time to pick up Maria. Gosh, I type slow.

5. A shout out for the Internet and its power for bringing us together... this week I have been in touch with my son from half way around the world, been connected with family of family who need prayers for a young man named Archer, and found answers to questions, reasons to laugh and sigh, and hope.

Thank you. Blogging is weird, but I like it, and I like that you share this with me. I am wishing everyone good things, and happy first day experiences.