Saturday, January 03, 2009

The Best Made Plans...
So, Alex is in a robotics club and today was the first day of strategy meetings for regional competitions. Today was the first day of many and even though I am not in the club, I have just had a small taste of how hectic, busy and robotically absorbed our lives are going to be. It's really cool stuff and I actually loved hanging out and checking in. But, um, wasn't I supposedly doing something else today?


I so totally blew that off... the whole thing where I was going to come clean with projects and cleaning, post about it and show the process. My bad. Ah, but not all bad. If you want to see how the process was supposed to work, then I suggest you visit "Infinity More Monkeys" and see a successful version of what I had hoped to accomplish today.

And now I am going to talk Geek with my guys and see what's up for tomorrow. My plan is to go with the flow.

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Friday, January 02, 2009

Today and Tomorrow

I say, let's begin with a joke. I don't tell enough jokes, considering how much I love jokes, especially rather bad ones. This joke came from my brother Hans:

A rope steps in to a bar and takes a seat. The bartender eyes him suspiciously and barks, "We don't serve ropes. Get out!"
The poor little rope slunk out, sad and dejected.
Then he pulled himself together, so to speak, and tied himself in to a knot and tousled his top end.
He turned around and walked confidently up to the bar.
The bartender caught sight of him and yelled "Hey you! Didn't I kick you outta here already?"
And the little rope replied, " 'fraid not."

Feeling something like a frayed knot myself, I giggle knowingly.

I am so behind!

So woefully behind.

To say nothing of my behind.

Today I am going to do somethings. Some. Things. I am being nonspecific, because I feel uncertain and uncommitted and unprepared. The holidays have taken their toll. Yes, I felt the deep, spiritual uplifting joy of seasonal gratitude and reflection, but honestly, I have to say it's a lot of work getting to that plane of existence, and sometimes the returns turn out to be something less than coal. My friend Anne may be reading this and having a chuckle at my expense... she knows what I am not saying.

Yes, so. So, I am going to clean some and move stuff around, and I am going to make a few calls and reply to some emails and then I am going to line up projects and give them serious consideration and devise a plan for finishing those projects. The new year does that to most folks... we feel a drive to begin anew and make things right and done and good. I am not alone in my quest, and I am extra inspired by Jennifer to commit to project completions. Tomorrow I will show the beginnings, middles and ends of WIPs and domestic projects.

My first thought, when thinking of joining Jennifer in tackling tasks and blogging about it, was to possibly finish the pink crochet blanket I started December 26th. I've made tremendous progress. It's getting big enough to appreciate the weight and comfort of it and to like the pattern that I settled on. I am far enough along to feel eager about seeing it complete, and even more eager to imagine it in the house that I want to move in. to. this. year.

I set the afghan on the floor so I could document the size, or the beginning, and prepare for documenting my task completion. Looks good, I though to myself. And, Ha! I guess I can have a glass of sparkling California wine, stay up 'til 1 am and crochet!

Err... or not.

On closer inspection I realized that I was 2 rows short on the last blue stripe. Grrrrr.

So, my first project or task, was to unravel two perfectly good dark pink rows of crocheting.

Yes, frayed so! lol

Then I'll add the missing blues and continue again with the dark pink, 8 rows of light pink, 2 rows of dark pink, 6 rows of blue, 8 rows of light pink, 4 rows of blue, 6 rows of light pink and 2 or 3 finishing rows of dark pink all around.

Even unraveling yarn is more interesting than the other tasks I should be attending. Check with me tomorrow and see if I get anything done, or better yet, join us and share your progress.

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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

That's So Last Year! 2008 Edition


Obviously this is not going to be a wordy post.

Great low tides.
Natural marvels.
Homeschool rocks.
Geek bliss.


Welcome to the world Parker.

No words.

Walking in the woods together.

March... William turns 17.
William, Delia, Max, Geoff, Maria.
Bill, Alison, Natalie, Alex.
Road trip.
California Central Coast.
Birthday Pie.

Maria and Jordan and Carol.


Grandma. Mommy.
Wild Animal Park.

Holly and Izzy.
Hope springing eternal, and the goodness of children in gardens.

Homework picnic, because chocolate and strawberries is smart.

Personality and sunlight and hilarity.

First haircut.
She cried.
I felt horrible.
She looked adorable.
We recovered.
Life is that way.

The first hint of Summer.
We love heat + water.
We play.

Chickens return to Chickenblog.
It's just like real life.

Life in Garage Mahal.
Our home.
Our columned, grand entry, slick floored, lousy plumbing, small yard, rental wonder.
We make due.

This is just pure childhood magic.
Maria meeting Mary Poppins, and falling in love.

Family time.
Good stuff.

On our way home from Oregon.
Time with Delia and Ron.
Healing time, with prayers and gentle hugs.
Oh. And 3 chickens in the trunk, because I am "Crazy."

Alex turned 14.
She turned out to be a He.

An anniversary dinner.
19 years.
4 children.
Lots of living.
Lots of love.
More ahead.

Best friend.
Thundering Nerd.
Lots of love.
More ahead.

Very Smart.
Lots of love.
More ahead.

A year full of surprises.

A year full of creativity, sharing, reading, playing, exploring, learning and sitting together.

Geeks converge.

Max turns 10.
Our L.A. weekend.
Tar Pits.
Art Museums.
More Geek awesomeness.

Bricks in to spheres.
Not as easy as it looks.
William has sweet skills.

Mi Abuela Antonia.

Welcome to the World Marissa.

Pie and Jack-O Lanterns and pony rides and country vistas and a season of gratitude.

All through the year I miss family.
It's the blessing of having so much family that I care about.
I like to remember that everyone is safe and happy, doing things they enjoy and that we will be together again for nice visits and happy exchanges.

Getting together is the best part of living, it's the best part of having friends and family.
Getting together and sharing makes life very good.

Playing and creating and imagining makes life very good.

Thanksgiving in the mountains, sharing laughter, recipes, prayers, memories.

Hans and Gretchen.
Lots of living.
Lots of love.
More ahead.

A celebration of Maria's 4th birthday.
Much to reflect on about girls and women and dreams and love and how we grow and where we belong and flights of fancy.
We can make our own light, and heal, and trust, and live in faith.

I love this memory.
More light, healing, trust and faith.
I am so thankful and filled with awe.

Cousin Nick and a sleepover.
Remembering games and laughing late in to the night and boys playing together and that really cool kind of friendship that cousins share.

More time together.
Just can't get enough of time with family.
Happy to have them safe and near.

New schools. New rules. New expectations and paths.
I am proud of Max and William and Alex.
I hope they are proud of themselves.

My Mom and my daughter.
This makes me very happy.

A 2008 memory post must include some Maria-isms.
Like hide and seek. "2, 6, 7, 8, 10, 7, 8,10, 2! Wready or not, here I come!"
She calls William "Yo-wee."
Cat barf and other messes are "Bigusting."
The tub of slime uncle Bill and aunt Alison sent her for Christmas is fascinating and also "Ugul-lee!"
She wants to be a "Beanerina" and wear a pink tutu and tights and beanerina shoes.
Pink is her favorite.

Changes and new traditions.
Christmas time spent playing and dancing and singing.
Ruth and Maria taking a spin, making merry!
A beautiful sight.

2008 has been a full year, a hard year, a sad year, a year of challenges and triumphs and adventures. It has been memorable...

and joyful...

and I have learned that we can expect to be surprised.

It's impossible to cover it all, the ups and downs, the details, the significant people and moments. I like how these images trigger a million synapses and thoughts and feelings and recall a year full of living. And it makes me pause, and look forward to the year ahead.

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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

It's Like My Own Personal New Year Day

And if you think my last post was reflective, you should hear my brain today. I will say this, a gift from my Mommy, "We are all works of art in progress."

Sometimes I feel like I am still trying to choose the right paint.

Sometimes I am glad that a work of art can be a collaborative effort, and with words of inspiration from another good friend, I am ready for my new year.
Happy birthday to me.

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Sunday, December 28, 2008


I'm thinking.

... I went to get bagels, and I'm still thinking.
This is a reflective time of year.
I'm thinking how lucky it is that when I got to the bagel place they were bringing hot, freshly baked bagels from the oven.
I like cranberry and everything bagels.
I like making coffee in the fancy new coffee maker I gave Geoff for Christmas.

My friend Anne has me thinking about food processors. She recommends having a food processor for making her pie crust. Anne never suggests retail recklessness and she is a good cook, so her suggestion is really stirring my thoughts. What else would I use a food processor for? Do I have room for another kitchen tool? What do they cost, and who has them on sale? Hmmmmm...

So, you saw the fez? Yes, these were very good children and they received a lot of wonderful gifts. William is sporting his very own piratey tricorn. Max is loaded down with enough Lego sets to fill his days and nights with bricklicious delight. William and Alex too. Maria has been coloring and drawing and placing stickers. She has a fresh collection of new coloring books, stickers, pens and markers and stamps and she is thoroughly blissed out by the bounty.

I'm thinking we need to have that garage sale I keep threatening, or even simpler... call a charity and ask them come by with the big truck. I'm thinking we can afford to share the love and pass on all those articles we've outgrown the need of.

Geoff was home Christmas day and he'll be home again New Year's Day. I wonder if we should do something for NYE... I never quite get the party craze for NYE, but I think it would be nice to have a beautiful dinner served on pretty dishes, with candlelight and sparkling grape juice in tall glasses. The children might like to have those paper poppers and we could make fancy hats. Maria would totally love making fancy hats. We could play "Apples to Apples" and munch pop corn, build a big fire and stay up late... like ten or 11!

BTW We love "Apples to Apples," but now I see what they are charging for it on Amazon, I suggest you buy it somewhere else. I think I paid far less at Target. Just saying.

Should I facelift the blog? I think about that. I think about adding new labels and maybe putting in a new banner. I think about taking a final bow, and then I think about posting everyday for a month and saying whatever I feel like saying, even if it's inappropriate or immature or weird or whatever.

I think about being a better person.

I think about forgetting to wish my cousin a happy birthday.

Happy Birthday Debbie. Sorry this is late. I hope you had a good day.

I think about stuff I am supposed to be doing or should be thinking about doing, or should be writing down on a list, so I don't forget about doing it later. Writing stuff down does not necessarily cause it to get done, but the added pressure of seeing it written down typically pushes me over the edge and in to action.

I think I need to be in action more often.

That last statement was just sort of blurted without much thought. Thoughtfully speaking, I am quite often "in action," and yet there is still stuff on my list that does not get done.


I think I will insert another chicken picture here.

The chicas are well. Maybe a bit blue in the lips. It's been really cold here. I can't actually complain about our weather. All of You tell me about your weather, power outages, ice storms, snow drifts, wind chill, downpours, frozen pipes, slush, sleet, low visibility and hail, and then I realize we've got no weather at all. But, it's been really cold here.

Was that paragraph supposed to be about the chicas or the weather?

Betty is still gifting us an egg a day. We've baked with them and shared some. I even made chile rellenos, which made Geoff cry and kneel before me with his head lowered. Maybe I should make them more often, instead of waiting a year and a half. Maybe when we have a house and garden I can grow my own peppers. This time I roasted peppers from the market, rather than use the ones in a can. They were so spicy, so fiery hot, I could only eat 1 and it made me cry. I was crying from pain and Geoff was crying from gratitude. What was my point again? Oh, yes, thank you Betty for laying eggs and inspiring me to make chile rellenos.

I think someone asked if I have recipes for the Mexican food served at Isaac's birthday fiesta. I do not. Sorry. My aunt cooked, and everything was delicious. Our family, Geoff's and mine, is full of good cooks. And I am a pretty good cook too, but I am lousy about recipes. I never have very good luck following recipes. Either I manage to follow it exactly and I hate the results or I rebel, do it my own way and discover something I like, but cannot duplicate. I learned how to cook by watching my Mommy and my grandmothers and so I cook from memory, from senses and emotions and pictures in my head. My recipes are not written down. Anne asked me for my soup recipe, albondigas, and I didn't want to disappoint her, but the idea of writing it down, thinking about measurements and process... it was actually overwhelming... so I sent her my own kind of recipe and she posted it just the way I sent it to her.

I am thinking all sorts of things, like how I really want to continue working on the blanket I started crocheting. I've filled our house with hats and scarves, and so I decided to try something new and big and decidedly light and Springy. Either it will be finished in time for Spring and sweet peas and birds in nests, or I will obsessively finish it while it is still Winter... then add it to our warm layers of quilts and cats, scarves and mittens. It is pink. I think Maria has reconnected with the prettiness of pink.

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