Friday, March 31, 2006

full of life

It feels like it has been a long long week. My head is a little fuzzy and hasn't quite wrapped itself around the idea that it really is Friday. As an old friend used to always say: "Life is full."

The big bug and I had fun putting together an apron for one of her classmates - complete with wooden spoon and this book.

for zoe

The little bug started to show interest in the potty. Hooray!!! We will be taking it slow and see how it goes.

Mom's visit came to an end. We miss her terribly already and she has only been gone two days! We love you - and can't wait to meet up in July!

We had dinner with dear new friends and met their new babe. So sweet. And though she isn't fond of hats yet she accepted the one we made her with grace! (And with news of another friend expecting I have an excuse to buy more wool!)

And our mailbox seemed to be overflowing...

I have been watching Lizette Greco's work for a few years now. Since a friend bought a piece at a street fair in Venice. Now we have one. For the big bug's Easter basket - but the little bug couldn't resist.

greco.cuff action

(I must order another! and maybe one for me too!) The craftsmanship is beautiful. Thanks Lizette!

Then this little guy hopped over...

jek.bunny recto

destined for another Easter basket. Another fabulous print gocco'd creation from Jessica of jek in the box. When I saw these I knew I had to get one! It is even better in person. The packaging was adorable, and the back so cute too!

I also want to post a special thank you. It was very sweet of Kristina of karkovski fame to list jumilla bugs as one of her "blog loves". It is a strange thing this blogging. As has been discussed in various places. I do find it a wonderful way to keep in touch with those "back home". And I have also made some wonderful new connections. Thank you! As I stated in her comments I wouldn't be doing this if I had not been inspired by blogs such as hers. And thank you to all those bloggers out there who provide me with such constant encouragement and inspiration...

Happy weekend!

Inspired again - who else wants to try this next week?

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Corners of Our Home 8

The kitchen.


I have shared this spot before - here - and a peek here. But I think that this room best illustrates the direction we are taking the house - and the quality of light that drew us to it in the first place. We are lucky here in Southern California to have most days with blue sky overhead. This house was designed with that in mind.

kitchen window

The kitchen, and the bedrooms at the opposite end of the house, have these wonderful windows. Every house on our block has these. So the developer was thoughtful enough to also ensure that there are no street lights in our neighborhood - so no glare at night - just a wonderful view of the cosmos!

The original kitchen cabinet doors were pegboard sliders - unsalvagable. And D decided to modify them slightly by building all new cabinets with plexiglass sliders(much easier to keep clean). We aren't sold on the finish yet and talk about doing some with a more frosted appearance. But the reflection is nice!

kitchen cabinet

More corners here.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Self-Portrait Tuesday Time.3

9:35:15 AM
9:56:45 AM
10:03:54 AM
10:05:21 AM

Time. I spend what seems like so much time. Driving. This city is notorious for this. I don't like it. But haven't found a way to get around it - yet. My commute isn't bad. I know others that have much worse. And the nature of my job requires that I have a car available. So public transportation isn't an option. For me. D has been taking the bus to work for almost a year now and loves it. Though he is a bit of an anomaly here in La-La-land... (Sandra Tsing Loh's perspective on public transportation offers an amusing view of this at The Big Orange) We talk about getting a diesel and converting to veggie oil (anyone tried this?) - but haven't got the time. or money right now.

Though would have both if I spent less. time. driving...

Have you made any changes to cut down on driving time?

More Self-Portraits here.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Look Down

pondterrazzo floor
marble floorgarden

Wondering where we have been off too? We were lucky to get tickets to the newly re-opened Getty Villa in Malibu and spent 4 marvelous hours exploring on Friday. It was a perfect day. The girls were entranced by the architecture and the gardens. I didn't think they would have the stamina for more than a couple of hours but they were really swept away! It is beautiful - and proved to be well worth the wait.

Oh - and the collection was fabulous too! Some photos here.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Look Up

look.upceiling decoration
paintedbird on ceiling
painted ceilingpainted ceiling

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Corners of Our Home 7

We are having lots of fun!

But I had to run over to the studio so am checking in and couldn't pass up posting another corner...

fish corner

Our "fish corner". You may have read about our fish. We had a bout of bad luck but are again feeling optimistic!

We have refilled our bowl and have two new fish with us. Aptly named "Goldee Marigold" and "Charlotte Olive" by the big bug. Many a tea party has been held around this table with the old fish. Who arrived on the big bug's second birthday and were a source of constant amusement and enchantment for her over the last 2 1/2 years. Especially for the first year or so after we got them. She would even play hide-and-seek with them. Hiding under the table and peeking out to say "Boo Fishhhh". With the little bug soon turning two we thought we better get some more.

They sit in our living room - on a Parsons table refinished by D after being saved from his parents' garage. (Yes Stephanie we are "lucky ducks"!) When not a play spot - the girls like to sit around this table and draw or eat or play "with" the fish - it is a contemplative spot. Where you can curl up on the sofa and just watch them. Quite therapeutic actually.

fish corner2

More corners here.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


No self-portrait today. Don't have the time for time. We are busy getting ready for company!

My mom arrives tomorrow. Reading Amanda's post today I thought about my girls' relationship with their "Grammy" and how important it will always be. I love watching them play together. My mom has a patience that escapes me - no matter how hard I try. And an imagination rivaled only by the big bug herself. I can recall hours spent playing with my mom. And have no idea when she got everything else done that had to get done! The things I can't seem to get done... The big bug has been counting down the sleeps until her arrival for weeks now. She can't wait to play! I read with envy that Stephanie's parents have moved closer to their grandkids. (Have I mentioned how happy I am she is blogging again? So happy!) It really would feel like winning the lottery to have her near! Oh, if only we could lure Mom off the prairie to SoCal. Somehow I doubt it. But maybe meet in the middle? (1280 miles for us, 1786 for you... not bad!)

I am going to take a few days off to play too. To travel to far off lands with them. And see what I learn...

Monday, March 20, 2006

spring is in the air...

at least in our house anyway... Thank goodness for bouquets of daffodils!


It is so unseasonably cold here right now. Temperatures hovering around the 50 degree mark. (What is that in Celsius again??) We poured the first of the raised beds yesterday and I am anxious to open the mould tonight and see what we have. And to fill it with dirt and our little seedlings.

I am so ready for spring.

Re-reading this it does sound a little pathetic given that in most parts temps like this would be considered spring. What kind of southern california girl am I turning into? I'd have been in my bare legs in this weather, at this time of year, back home sweet home. Happy Spring!

Friday, March 17, 2006

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

We have the annual wearing of the green in full swing at our house. Em proudly put on this cape this morning - another thriftshop find - "Made in Ireland"

Erin Go Bragh

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Corners of Our Home 7

There is a reason I am running out of corners to share.

Our house is a work-in-progress. This is the current view from the end of our bed. It is our master bath.

bathroom redo

When we bought the house from its original owner in 2001, I was 6 months pregnant with the big bug. I had told D that the only way I would move to "the Valley" was if there was a pool. (It gets up over 100 F most days between July and October in our particular corner of The Val'. As we were signing the papers for the house the woman owner, in her 80s, told me that the only place hotter than her yard in the summer, was hell. She wasn't kidding.) This house had a pool. It didn't have a working kitchen, laundry facilities, working a/c - but it had a pool. It was also in an area that D had had his sights on for some time. The development was constructed in 1955 by the Alexander Company. Alexander was inspired by the Case Study Houses and by the work of developers such as Eichler. He is most remembered for the thousands of homes he constructed in Palm Springs, including renovating the famous Racquet Club, and for his own home - popularly known as Elvis' "Honeymoon Hideaway". He hired the architecture duo of Palmer and Krisel - who had designed his home in Palm Springs - and set to work. They are great houses. Not too big. Lots of light - floor to ceiling windows in every room (except the baths) and clerestory windows at each end of the house. High, open beam ceilings. Utilizing innovative materials and construction methods to build what were, at the time, affordable modernist homes. We loved it. But saw that it would be a lot of work. Nothing had been done to it since the early '70s and alone and in her declining years, it hadn't been maintained by the owner as well as it should have been. So D set to work redoing the kitchen and laundry (priorities with a babe on the way). And I went into labour. Early. The big bug arrived and my in-laws graciously stepped in, picking up laundry each evening and returning it the following morning. We did have a working fridge and hot-plate and everyone saw that we were well cared for. The appliances arrived about the same time as my parents - to meet their first granddaughter. My dad and D made all the necessary installations and finishings and we settled in to our new family life.

It seems that from that time on we have been a little behind schedule. D is doing almost all of the work himself. And with a full-time job and two kids it takes even more time. We have watched - enviously - as childless friends renovated homes quickly and efficiently. And while I wish the master bath was finished - I wouldn't change our path for anything! So here we are. With some corners finished. Some not. Next on our list - the yard. Will keep you updated...

By the way - this is what the bathroom is to look like... soon. I keep it tacked beside our bed. So that when I wake every morning to view the construction at the end of our bed, I can turn and remind myself where we are going.


More corners here.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


Inspired by my recent visit to the "Garden School", my recent bedside reading material (see sidebar),and the bugs ongoing love of digging in the dirt, we bought some peat pots and seeds and got ready to garden. Beans, peas, pumpkins,and watermelon started by the big bug. Tomatoes for me.

beans and peasbeans and peas.2beans and peas.3

They took off quickly. Now we have to build these.

(torn from an old issue of Sunset but found again here.)

Add carrots, basil, sunflowers, parsley... And convince spring to arrive!

How does your garden grow?

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Self-Portrait Tuesday - Time.2


Our morning routine is pretty regular. Monday thru Friday the little bug wakes me up at 6:00. She cries for her sister and I explain that she needs to let her sleep. She asks for her dada and I tell her he left before she woke. (D leaves the house at 5:50 now so that he can take the bus over the hill to be at the museum by 7:00.) The big bug is up by 6:30. She immediately takes her spot in the sun on the sofa and leafs through a book before joining her little sister at the breakfast table. It is usually cereal. Though waffles have seen a rise in popularity rating lately. Especially with maple yoghurt. Milk for the girls. Green tea and oatmeal for me. The little bug likes a tablespoon of my oatmeal dabbed beside whatever she is eating.

Saturday and Sunday they rise with their dad and like to sit on the counter while he grinds the coffee beans. This past Sunday they brought me breakfast in bed as a special treat.

It was a treat - but my quiet mornings in the sun with them during the week are my favorite times.

You can see all the pics taken Wednesday through Tuesday here.

And more Self-Portraits here.

Monday, March 13, 2006

w h i r l

t w i r l

1. The act of rotating or revolving rapidly. 2. Something, such as a cloud of dust, that whirls or is whirled. 3. A state of confusion; tumult. 4. A swift succession or round of events: the social whirl. 5. A state of mental confusion or giddiness; dizziness: My head is in a whirl.

All of the above.

The weekend flew by. As they seem to do now. Friday picked up the big bug early to drop off an application at a charter school we are very interested in. It is a lottery - so wish us luck. Then off for a haircut and the requisite french braids she loves. (I must learn to do this!) Saturday full of birthday parties and family get-togethers (so nice to be together) and Sunday going to church, playing catch-up with the laundry and taking in a Purim Carnival. (Yes, we did win two new fish!)

What did you do this weekend?

Let's hope the week goes by a little more slowly...


Thursday, March 09, 2006

Corners of Our Home 6

chair.corner 2

I am running out of corners. At least corners that are one's I want to photograph and share.

Can a chair be a corner? I guess if one could - then this would be the one. Again, acquired through D's family. We have somewhat of a love/hate relationship with this chair. We often speak of "getting rid of it" - it is large and hard to place in our space - but in the end I don't think we will ever part with it. I can't imagine what D's Dad was thinking when he purchased this - besides "How cool would this be..." It has speakers inside but isn't currently hooked up to our system. (To me it just seems to demand to be hooked up to a turntable and not anything but...) And it is a wonderful orange. (I ♥ orange!)

It is virtually impossible to hold a conversation with anyone while sitting in this chair. It is a reading corner, a quiet corner, a knitting corner, a late-night after the kid's are asleep TV watching corner... A corner that attracts everyone who as ever entered this room. A corner that many have been photographed in...


More corners here.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

International Women's Day

My dear friend reminded me of this. I am on a bit of a media fast and had completely forgotten. But it is important to take (at least) a day to remember. It seems timely - and somewhat frightening - this year to remember where we should not be going. What legacy am I creating for my daughters? What more should I be doing? How do we ensure that we move forward instead of back?


Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Self-Portrait Tuesday - Time

this morning - 1hr 7mins

These were shot this morning. It always amazes me how much / how little I can get done in a short amount of time. Here 1hr 7mins. And we are out the door...

I like this theme of TIME a lot. Last month's got the best of me and I didn't make it through to the end! This is a bit more fun - more ideas. We will see where it takes me.

More Self-Portraits here.

Monday, March 06, 2006

monday monday

I am having trouble writing anything today. I just delete then start again. It is grey and cloudy and I am tired from the weekend! Not too much got done. And now here we are at Monday.

It may be that I had my first mammogram today. I'm 35 but my doctor advised me to do it now, instead of waiting until 40 given my family history. (Both my maternal grandmother and aunt are breast cancer survivors and my aunt was quite young when she was diagnosed.) I am not a pessimist. I don't think much about my own mortality - or of those around me for that matter. Maybe it was losing my dad so suddenly. I try and cherish each day (try!) and not to worry about things I have no control over. I do eat healthy (organic where we can) and exercise (not often enough) and do all those things one should but I know that there is still a chance that "something" can go wrong and that I don't want to spend my time worrying about what that may be.

And it was so much less painful than I thought it would be. And certainly worth it. (Did you know that a mammogram can detect a lump up to two years before it would be felt by a physical exam?) An ounce of prevention as they say... Anyone who has any apprehensions about going through with it shouldn't. I think the worst part was trying to make small talk with the technician about Canadian beer while standing there with my shirt off and my (still!) post-pregnancy diastasis belly hanging over my belt!! My doctor will review the films and be in touch in a few days.

happy monday.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

and from Missouri to California!

The girls were thrilled with their miniswap packages which we picked up from the postoffice on Saturday morning. (An ordeal in itself! I thought I had packed our pick-up slip into another box I was posting and hoped that the post-officer could find our package without it but they couldn't so I opened it only to find it wasn't there which meant taking both kids back out the door across the busy parking lot and around the side of the block where we had parked because the parking lot had been full, digging around the van where I found and old piece of string cheese, an abandoned sippy cup and a vast quantity of breakfast cereal before finding the aforementioned claim slip, trudged back into the post office and got back in line where the officer - thankfully - recognized me and let us come to her window to get our packages - which turned out to be two packages! whew.)

The girls could barely wait to get home to open their packages! The "glitter storms" as the big bug calls them were the biggest hits - as were the purses, the too cute notebooks made from paperbags with stickers and gel pen too, the fishing game, the mystery paintings... So much care and thought put into everything! oh and the bracelets how could I forget the bracelets I can't get off my daughters' wrists! Thanks so much Shannon and family. I hope our package made it to you safely! And a big thanks to Molly too for organizing everything! This was a lot of fun for all of us!

to CA from MO to CA from MO

Saturday, March 04, 2006

from California to Missouri!

to MO from CA

Our miniswap package is off! Hope it has a safe trip!

(I'll reveal the contents once I know it has arrived!)

Lots of other fun things miniswapped here!

Update 03.07! Our package has arrived! You can see more here and here too! We included mystery rocks (playdough-ish rocks with plastic dinosaurs inside, aprons recycled from an old denim shirt, homemade soap with a plastic rat in the middle, sock puppets,t-shirts with drawings by the big bug to color with washable crayons, hair "pretties", pencil and pencil sharpener, California poppy seeds to sow when spring arrives!.. This was all so much fun!

Friday, March 03, 2006

"The day will come, when a single carrot, freshly observed, will set off a revolution." - Cezanne

Garden School

I went on an amazing tour today. A formidable project taken on by a cast that includes Emily Green , Nancy Silverton and Nancy Goslee Power among others. The Garden School Foundation's work at the 24th Street Elementary School is an inspiration. Oh to dream of a day when all children can run and play and explore and LEARN in a school yard full of native plants, vegetables, and shade trees. So far only the staff parking lot has been turned over into a garden. A wonderful experimental area to see what works best for the kids, teachers, and community at large. Hard to believe that anyone would prefer a parking lot to this...

24th Street ES courtyard garden

This project is to be a template for other LAUSD schools and I dream of bringing it to our neighborhood. A girl (mom, community and education activist, environmental optimist) can / should dream.

For more inpiration check out:

The Boston Schoolyard Initiative (How cool is this?!)

Treepeople (I have yet to be one but still plan on it!)

LADWP's Cool Schools program (A start...)

and of course Alice Water's famous Edible Schoolyard (The importance and success of this program, and it looks like the Garden School program is that there is an implemented plan for success. Not just planting and moving on...)

Is there anything like this happening in your community? I would love to learn more...


Looking forward to sunny skies and getting some spring cleaning done before the rains start up again Sunday night... This week has flown by.

view up

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Corners of Our Home 5

music corner

If I came with a lot of books - then D came with a lot of music. Guitars, CDs, lots of vinyl and this piano.

This is our music corner. Amps ready for an impromptu jam around the piano. This is the piano D took lessons on as a boy. Bought by his Bubbie so that her grandchildren would be blessed by music. It has been touched by many many little hands. Gently and not so gently. The bench is long gone. But when it was offered to us by D's sister we didn't hesitate. D even built a wall for it to go up against so that it would have a proper place in our little house.

I took lessons too, for many years. Many hours of practicing chords and scales and pieces I never thought I would want to play. Now I am so glad that I can. And I look forward to the bugs complaints about practicing as I complained to my mom.

See more corners here.

music corner 2