Monthly Archives: August 2009

we found ourselves in the sea.


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i don’t know why, but i love this picture i took. it reminds me of what i loved about our trip: those quiet moments where we just stared out at nature’s beauty.

despite having a wonderful stay here, it was when we broke away from the crowds when i was in total bliss.

maggie and milly and molly and may

went down to the beach(to play one day)

and maggie discovered a shell that sang

so sweetly she couldn’t remember her troubles, and

milly befriended a stranded star

whose rays five languid fingers were;

and molly was chased by a horrible thing

which raced sideways while blowing bubbles:and

may came home with a smooth round stone

as small as a world and as large as alone.

For whatever we lose(like a you or a me)

it’s always ourselves we find in the sea

-e.e. cummings

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second-season gardening.

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all our “second season” seeds for our fall/winter garden arrived. i’ve always let our garden go during fall and winter, but i’m committed to eating as locally as possible (as much as possible) all-year round, and you can’t get any more local than your own backyard. i was reticent as fall and winter usually is essay reading season, not veggie growing, but i’m determined, and excited. andrew also made 4 x 4 raised beds, as we are going to try square foot gardening, recommended by my friend emily.

 

have a good weekend everyone! we’re going to have a scorcher this weekend. it is hot, hot, hot.

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the privilege to work.

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{early morning coffee}

the end of summer is always bittersweet. especially after a particularly merry one full of adventure and guilt-free idleness.

people always ask me if it’s hard to go back to school. isn’t it hard for anyone to get back to work after a vacation, no matter how long? i spend the week before school starts acclimating myself to early mornings again, and much of the week is spent planning lessons and cleaning my classroom, readying it for the eager and happy (ha!) teens whom will arrive soon.

in extra preparation, i make a conscious effort to count my blessings, even when it comes to work. i am grateful to have a job in these troubling economic times, but it’s much more than that. in the last issue of seeing the everyday, writer carol soelberg reflected on her mother’s lessons about work: “written in mother’s unique handwriting for all to see on a simple piece of poster board were the words: ‘the privilege to work is a gift. the power to work is a blessing. the love of work is a success.'” the work i do is important. if i can instill even a fraction of the love i have for literature then my work is satisfying. some novels are more challenging than others. this year i’m devoting myself to those texts, to make them interesting and accessible for our modern world.

the work we do isn’t limited to the work that sustains us financially. i once read about the shaker philosophy of loving every aspect of everyday work, the most mundane tasks that we take for granted, the dish-washing, grocery shopping, food preparing, cleaning the house tasks that we all too often put off or say that we “hate”. i’m making an effort to be present in all those moments, and reminding myself that i do these things because i love my family and want to make their lives beautiful. i want j to love his work as i do, and common sense dictates that if he sees that i enjoy and find important all work then he will too.

here’s to working!

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"change isn't good or bad. it just is." * you know it's fall…

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{via}

when all your favorite shows come back on.

am loving that mad men and project runway have already started.

now looking forward to the office.

*quotation from don draper.

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an epic summer.

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it’s good to reflect when something good comes to an end, and this summer has definitely been an epic one. that’s my new favorite word. epic. among other things it means majestic or impressively great, and that’s the only way i can describe our first summer with j. it was a dream come true, topped off with a great trip to hawaii.

every morning j woke up, looked out the window, and said, “mommy, daddy. the beach is close!” it was like he couldn’t believe it, and every morning had to check if it was really true. despite all the things we did he remembers the beach, his friends natalie and isabel, and his cousins elijah, carson, and frankie being there with him.

while in hawaii, there was a column written by andreas arvman in the honolulu advertiser where the writer discussed a trip he and his wife planned to sweden with two young daughters. despite the many activities they planned, their eldest (2 1/2 years old) remembered running around in her grandmother’s backyard the most. the article made me think back on my fondest traveling memories, and yes, like the author discussed, it was the people that i shared them with that i remembered the most. and i’m sure it will be same for j.

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it was a summer of long leisurely mornings, al fresco meals and a (re)discovery of good, slow food, hours of looking at the pacific, playing in the sand, journeys to see new and familiar family, little adventures, sharing joy and laughter with good friends, and, most memorable, becoming one step closer to being a forever family. summer, we will never forget you!

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something's fishy.

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we’ve recently become members at the aquarium of the pacific, and this summer learned a bit about “sustainable seafood” during our visit. it’s much more than checking your can of tuna, let me tell you. i learned too much information to contain.

thank goodness for my magazines! this month’s sunset magazine includes a really good guide to shopping for fish.

gourmet magazine also has a small write-up on the monterey bay aquarium’s seafood watch guide. download it here.

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and if you live in the area, long beach’s whole foods market is having a free {yes, free!} cooking class this thursday night from 6-8 p.m., focusing on sustainable seafood. this is in partnership with the aquarium of the pacific, and, get this…every person with a reservation will receive a free ticket to the aquarium.

Menu will include:

Seared Albacore Tuna w/ Fennel and Arugula

Gently Roasted Halibut

Vanilla Dusted Sea Scallops

Sautéed Oysters w/ Sweet Tomato Relish

 Dungeness Crab Salad w/ Apple and Avocado

sounds good, no?

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shameless promotion of loved ones.

i come from  quite the musical family. but don’t look at me. yes, i can carry a tune, if i do say so myself, but you won’t even get me up to karaoke.

my brother’s band recently opened up for ziggy marley. their site and music is worth checking out if you’re a reggae fan.

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and my cousin just posted up a video of her music on youtube!

both isouljahs and chel can be found on itunes and amazon.

i am so proud, and if we’re being truthful, they really wouldn’t be so talented if it weren’t for me…; )

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