Monday, December 30, 2013

burn baby burn

d has spent most of his holiday working around our 5 acres. clearing brush and debris with my mom & k. and building some beautiful burn piles.




at night we trek down when the embers are getting nice and hot with marshmallows and chunks of dark chocolate (leaving behind the graham crackers) and bask in the glow.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

beach walk

during our island summers we rotate through beaches - those for swimming, those for sunning, those for exploring tide pools...

in the winter we tend to be drawn to two in particular.

shell beach, at montague provincial park, is a constant.

beach walk

beach walk

beach walk

beach walk

beach walk

beach walk

facing westerly, it promises beautiful light late in the afternoon, under any conditions.

i realize i now have hundreds of photos of this spot. of those girls wading and skipping stones. and while they are the same, they are also each very different, the light, the clarity of the water, the vegetation, and these girls, growing before my eyes.

Friday, December 27, 2013

island christmas

we made the annual trek to "our island cottage" again this christmas. it felt so good after heading off in a different direction last year. arriving on christmas eve, our first task, to find the perfect tree. a perfect cedar growing just below our meadow fit the bill.

christmas tree

christmas tree

christmas tree

christmas tree

Sunday, December 22, 2013

progressive dinner 2013 :: making merry

{home from our holidays and playing catch-up}

our annual progressive dinner this year happened with new to the neighborhood hosts and an ever-growing guest list.


my dear friend - who has been part of this tradition from the beginning - found me the most beautiful caroling bell. (part of our tradition is ringing a bell between courses to get people moving on to the next house.) the tag on it read: "Our caroling bell is a symbol of holiday nostalgia when family, friends and neighbors would gather to make merry and sing Christmas hymns in chorus from home to home. Filling the streets and sidewalks with joyful song..." so perfectly fitting. our streets really to fill with joy as we trek from one host home to the next.

progressive 2013

most visible to me - how our kids are now the "big kids" and how there is a whole new generation of littles and their parents. love.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays!

from us all. see you in 2014!

(card by tinyprints)

Friday, December 20, 2013

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

ranch christmas

we were able to attend the ranch holiday party last night. i think i've said it before - but this is really one of my favorite places to be. the people are amazing. not to mention being able to interact with such beautiful animals.

there was hot chocolate and horse cookies (which i took to mean cookies shaped like horses, but no, cookies for horses of course!) k made dozens and fed them to her favorites (all of them seem to be her favorites.) but her very very favorite is curio, who was given the heart shaped one.

k dreams of her own horse. someday.

in the meantime we spend as much time here as we can.



thanks t.e.e.!


Friday, December 13, 2013

weekend to do


haircuts for everyone
a special friend turns 13

around the house
last batch of holiday cookies
last trip to the post office
paint closet interior
make packing lists

deep breath and remember the reason...

Thursday, December 12, 2013

"all is calm. all is bright."

it has been a rough week. lots of prep as we head into the holidays along with unexpected automotive and pet hiccups. (happy to report all is well on both front this p.m.!) and with news that a new baby has arrived we couldn't be happier!

the tree is up. school and lessons are winding down. the short cold days are welcome to this northern soul. the girls took on the gingerbread house on their own this year and did a marvelous job.


looking to this last weekend to wrap up the last of the presents and start packing!

Monday, December 09, 2013

(holiday) wish list


fireplace tools

we have long been on an unfulfilled hunt for fireplace tools. what we have found is either no longer available or outside the budget. our preference is for wall mounted - but would settle for the right freestanding set. we want them black, to match our fireplace screen. and we don't want them too large - keeping in scale with our fireplace.

here are a few that inspire:

one hand forged wall mounted fireplace tools
two amish outdoor fireplace tools
three wrought iron fireplace tools set after george nelson
four and more george nelson
five amish crafter hearth tool set

oh, and can fireplace tools be beautiful? yes... yes, they can.

Friday, December 06, 2013

weekend to do


violin recital

around the house
clean out front closet
bake gingersnaps
finalize master bedroom shelving
relocate attic access
wrap and post gifts
finish holiday cards
gingerbread house & christmas tree!

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

december habit

december 3

excited to be joining in with old friends this month back over at habit

i already feel a little like the month is getting away from me. it is always grounding to return to the ritual of a daily photograph and words. thanks as always, ladies, for having me.

Friday, November 29, 2013

weekend to do


make bubbe's favourite cranberry sauce
finish holiday shopping
order holiday cards
family thanksgivukkah party!

around the house
put up christmas lights
post items on craigslist / etsy

Thursday, November 28, 2013

in gratitude (tradition)

we gathered together with friends like family, as has become our tradition.

and as has become our tradition, pie making fell to us. this year we presented:

salted caramel


pumpkin banana mousse

chocolate pecan

and as has become our tradition, we worked to get a photo for our holiday card.


(not this one!)

i am so grateful for these two. for their eternal sunshine. and for their dad. and for the friends and family that surround our little circle. for traditions honored and created. so grateful.

happy thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

happy hanukkah!

today we prepared for thanksgiving

but tonight we pause, and revel in the light & love.

happy hanukkah

happy hanukkah.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

12 hikes :: november :: san vicente mountain park

12 hikes

12 hikes

12 hikes

12 hikes

For National "Take A Hike" Day we headed off, close to home, for a hike that wasn't so much about communing with nature, as connecting to some local history. "[F]rom 1956-1968, San Vicente Mountain was one of sixteen Los Angeles area Nike-Ajax supersonic anti-aircraft missile launch sites. During the Cold War, Nike sites were located in defensive rings surrounding key urban and industrial areas throughout the United States. This site contained ground-based radar and computer systems designed to detect and track hostile aircraft, and to guide the anti-aircraft missiles that would be launched from nearby Sepulveda Basin to their targets." Along with this bit of cold-war nostalgia, the area offers spectacular 360 views of downtown, the SFV, and all the way to the Pacific.

12 hikes

12 hikes

12 hikes

12 hikes

12 hikes

12 hikes

12 hikes

San Vicente Mountain Park
17500 Mulholland Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90049
Neighborhood: Encino

Proximity: 8 miles
Hike length: about 2.5 miles
Bonus features: Nike site
Tips: Definitely not a destination that feels like an escape from the city, but a good destination for quick urban hike. The kids were fascinated by the old infrastructure. While the weather was warm and sunny at home, by the time we reached the top of the mountain it was quite chilly. Bring change for the telescope!

* * * * *

K: 10/10. I liked the tower. We could see the whole valley from there.

E: 9/10. It was a lot of fun to climb up that tower ;)

Saturday, November 16, 2013

saturday bookshelf :: week three


Title: Woodcutters

Author: Thomas Bernhard

Reader: D

Thoughts: I've read about half a dozen books by this author. Translated from German. I guess I'm a secret hipster. So what is this book about. Well it's more about the author's constant critique of the bourgeois in Austria. He dissects them in such a loathsome manner one would think it as pure hatred, but I think that he is trying to inspire them to be better, truer, more substantial human beings.

In the excerpt below, Bernhard derides the Auersbergers, old friends that he now is estranged from...Yet accepts an invitation to an artistic dinner. (intellectual masochism)

"All her life she was constantly trying to escape from her origins, just as he was from his - she from the idyll of her gentle Styrian birth, he from the paternal destiny of petty local officialdom and the maternal low pressure zone inhabited by butcher's assistants - all of which was bound to appear irresistibly comic to anyone around them who had eyes to see and ears to hear."

Boring you say? Well it gets bleaker. Bernhard writes this singular thought diatribe of a novel in one paragraph(180 pages). Sheesh. He is relentless in his character attack of the Austrian people and takes no prisoners. Banned in Austria. Reads like a weird art film.

Friday, November 15, 2013

weekend to do


violin recital
dress shopping with e (her friends are all starting to celebrate 13!)
finish hanukah shopping
finalize progressive dinner list
take a hike.

around the house
store away outdoor cushions for winter
plant kale
deep clean coop
build rainbarrel

while listening to this and this (go sfv!)


Tuesday, November 12, 2013


d and i on our wedding day. with his eldest brother. 14 years ago.

this day is always worth celebrating.

we keep it low key. but there is a good red wine. a toast. and pumpkin pie for dessert.

the girls giggled when we looked at photos together.

14 feels good.

Monday, November 11, 2013

happy baby

young and old (2 to 84!) from around the 'hood came together - pups too! - for a shower to celebrate a new wee neighbor's arrival. she is still a month away - and so worth celebrating! we think her mom and dad are awesome. and feel very lucky to call them our friends.

the girls and i pulled off some simple decorations: tassle garland and some geronimo inspired balloons. d did a nifty "happy baby" papercut inspired by this. we reneged on the games - but did have a "tip jar" and a onesies decorating station for the kids. we served brunch - my go-to fritatta, crab cakes, potatoes, and lots of carbs, sweet and savory. of course there were bloody mary's (virgin and otherwise), mimosas and coffee.

happy baby


happy baby

happy baby

happy baby

we can not wait to meet her.

(e made sure they will have matching shoes. xo.)

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Saturday Bookshelf :: week two

I try not to edit what the girls want to read*. (love Neil Gaiman on this subject.) it is not always easy - and these days finds them reading things as disparate as poorly written movie tie-ins to heady young adult material. I've noticed that they don't really come to anything before they are ready to talk about it. and books have always, for me, provided a wonderful opportunity to talk about it.

looking for alaska001

Title: Looking for Alaska

Author: John Green

Reader: E

Thoughts: "When I look at my room, I see a girl who loves books"

Looking for Alaska is the story of sixteen year old Miles, nicknamed "Pudge, who moves to a new boarding school. Through his roomate Chip he meets a girl named Alaska. She has a tragic life. The story is funny, adventurous and sad. It keeps you thinking because it is a bit of a mystery too. It is so well written; I really love this book.

Mom note: this book holds some pretty sophisticated stuff - and is recommended for grades 9 and up. I'm reading it now and preparing for some discussion around various subject matter.

*for the record I do edit what I buy for them. thank goodness for our neighborhood public library.

Friday, November 08, 2013

weekend to do

happy weekend

celebrate the imminent arrival of a baby
fancy party balloon diy
bake fritattas
bake cinnamon rolls
beverages, fruit, etc.
coffee maker
double check on potluck list
pick-up carrot cake and decorate at home

around the house
prep csa fruits & veggies
finish office clean-out
drop to the goodwill
meal plan
bake cookies

happy weekend!