Friday, July 30, 2010

{this moment}


{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Inspired by SouleMama.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

There are times…

…like these, when our annual 4 week staycation that constitutes Little Guards pretty much blows me away.  I don’t often sit and take in the view, but yesterday I actually was able to plop down and simply drink it all in.  (For about 8 minutes, a new record!)  Really, to spend 4 weeks with my kids running free on the beach, nary a Backyardigan in sight, hours of digging and splashing—it is a lot of work sometimes, and by the end of the day when we’re back home, I often feel truly spent, mentally and physically—is a privilege so few know.


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Gloomy Beach Day

It’s usual to have morning fog here – it’s a saving grace, actually.  Fog = salvation from flames of hell consuming everything.  Also, in the mountains, it provides an astonishing amount of water to trees, etc.  I like a sunny morning as much as any person, but I appreciate foggy mornings a lot, too.

Usually on our side of ‘the hill’ the fog burns off sometime between 9 and 11 a.m., but often it lingers at the coast, and it has really lingered this week!  We don’t mind, though.  There is something different and peaceful about the beach when it’s emptier, when sweaters are needed.  That’s when we explore.

Working out some testosterone, scaring me hoping that rock the kelp is still attached to doesn’t fly at anyone…


Gently poking a sea star, which we left to wash back into the surf… wanna make me angry?  Pick up one of these and tote it back to your blanket, then play with it.  Hello!!  It’s ALIVE, people…  anyway!  :)


Remembering, once again, that gross and cool can and do coexist.

Feeling happy we brought ‘the grabber’ that day, since gross also is linked closely to touching and carrying around—just to see what happens.

However, the sun did make a brief appearance after Little Guards was over, and we were also pleased to explore a little more in the glittering afternoon.




Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Co-op Cookin’: Kohlrabi “Kohl” Slaw


Kohlrabi is a weird bit of earth’s wonder.  I had no idea how I would use it when I first spied the Sputnik shaped globes in my share.  Whenever I don’t know much about a veggie in the box that week, I spend a little time Googling around the intertubes for ideas, but could not find anything that quite struck my fancy this time.

I like cold sides in the summer, so I decided to see what would happen if I subbed shredded kohlrabi for cabbage—and it worked nicely!  Since kohlrabi smells a little peppery, it seemed to need sweetness for balance.  Being much the same texture and as moist as an apple, I figured that would fit the need, then I threw in a few radishes for color and, um… ‘cause I have a lot of radishes.  :)  The dressing is my basic recipe I use frequently—a ‘go-to’ quickie.

My husband and I loved it, and my eldest tolerated it.  She likes ‘normal’ slaw more.  I’ve made this twice, once with a fuji apple I had on hand, and another time with a tart granny smith.  I think, were I buying an apple specifically for the slaw, I’d go with tart, but I’m a use what I have kinda chick who says either is a-okay.

Kohlrabi Slaw

3-4 average sized kohlrabi, peeled and halved
3-4 medium carrots, peeled
1 apple, cored and quartered, peeled if desired
2-4 radishes, optional
1/2 c mayonnaise
1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1 packet splenda, or 2 tsp sugar
3 dashes hot sauce (I like Tapatio)
pinch celery seed
1 tsp milk, if needed, to thin
Salt and Pepper to taste

Prep: Ideally, use the grater of a food processor to julienne the kohlrabi, carrots, apple, and radishes, or get a nice workout with a hand grater—either way, grate it all, and place in a large bowl.  Mix remaining ingredients in a smaller bowl, then add to vegetable mixture and combine well.  Can be made ahead and chilled until time to serve.

Monday, July 26, 2010

{this moment::perhaps a little late…}


{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Inspired by SouleMama.

Friday, July 16, 2010

{this moment}


{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Inspired by SouleMama.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

2nd Amendment…


Somehow we made it until my daughter was about 5 before anyone in the family played with a toy gun.  Now?  Ha ha ha.  It’s like the Wild, Wild West here.

I buy 3 water guns at a time to prevent the truly dangerous fights – the ones where fists fly – over whose turn it is. 


Sunday, July 11, 2010

A Backyard Fair

My friend Christi is one of those women who, in spite of having four children ages 11 months, 3, 6, and 7 1/2, is a hostess with the mostess type. She does everything up right, be it a playdate, birthday party, or whatever… but I think her forte is the theme party.

We were so glad to be back in town in time for the…


I had to create this graphic, because it really was the neatest party we’d been to in a long time.


I’d be lying if I said I didn’t appreciate the sno-cone/margarita table. However, as I discovered, any adult lingering near the shaved ice might just be hooked into making any number of sno cones depending on how many kids swarm you. :)


Bunny had some real luck – or is it skill?? – at this ping pong plink game. She got two balls in the center cup, meaning she was able to pick a prize from the ‘best’ prize box, and she got that thrill of success!


Carter had a blast, if not success, with this game. He knocked over a few, but never managed to get ‘em all down.



Ryan was very patient with Carter as he kind of spazzed out over that game. Balls flying everywhere, I tell you… :)


The apple bobbing was really refreshing on that warm afternoon. Jack pretty much dunked his head in over and over just to cool off.


Pretzel fishing with a gummy worm – I can’t even say how many times Christi had to, um… well, lick the worm to make it sticky enough. We kept telling kids to NOT eat the pretzels, but later on caught Jack eating one, saying, “What? They taste great!” At least it was his mom’s saliva…


Katie was determined to master this one, and very patient with herself.


I have no clue what you call this, but it was a pretty neat game idea, and simple.


Eventually, though, the kids wanted to run around instead of playing games, and that was cool, too. It was a great mix of structure and free play – and a great way to catch up after missing park days for over a month for various reasons.

Hopefully it’s an annual tradition!


Friday, July 09, 2010

{this moment}

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{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Inspired by SouleMama.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Chugga Chugga

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Friday I had to come up with something to amuse ourselves as a dear friend and her family were struck with strep and walking pneumonia, and, understandably, had to cancel our play date.  They’re all on the mend, thank goodness…  Thank heavens for Google, too.  A few minutes of Googling around and I knew how we’d spend our afternoon.

Burke Lake Park was just what we needed.  We’re used to a lot of outdoors time, and if my kids don’t get some park time at least every other day, they are grumpy, which means I am too.  :)  In the summer beach time is a great substitute for park time, FYI.  ;)

The train there was a very nice surprise.

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Bunny was excited to go to the ticket counter and buy for us all by herself.

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My bigger two were excited as we found our seats.

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My baby was not a stoked.  He really didn’t want to stay on the train as we waited a few very long minutes to start moving.

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Once we started to chug along, that quickly changed.

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The train takes a lovely route through woods by Lake Burke as well as a meadow.  I think the kids liked the tunnel and very small trestle the most.

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By the end of our 10 minute ride Cole did a typical 180.  He was just as reluctant to leave the train as he was to board.

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It really is a fine looking little train, too.

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Tuesday, July 06, 2010


Living in a place that spontaneously combusts has its downside: not much in the way of good public fireworks displays, and almost nothing in summer for the 4th.  As a consequence, people smuggle in fireworks from other states and Reservations and shoot ‘em off in cul de sacs and other places, which is fun, but not the same as a big show.

So, it was an extra special treat to head to the local show when visiting my friends Alysen & Shawn for July 4th.  After a full day of play, you’d think these kids would be a little calm, but nooooo.  Of course not  -- it’s exciting to be out in a big field at dusk with thousands of people, allowed to run free.

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There were 9 kids ages 1 through 8 in our group, and many others very happy to join in a mad, senseless run just for the fun of it.  Eventually it was nearly pitch black, and we parents called the children over to sit for the show.

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Cole was so excited he tried to grab at the sky and shouted out the colors he saw at the LOUDEST volume possible.  It was pretty funny.  Once, he screamed, “Red!” in a blood curdling yell.  Can you say overstimulated?  :)

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After we returned to our hosts’ house, it was sparkler time.

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After a few, the kids were swinging them around like those fire dancers we sometimes see in Santa Cruz.

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The kids, except Cole who was out for the count before we left the parking lot at the fireworks show, didn’t get to bed until 12:30, but it was worth it.  I am so happy my three got to experience an Independence Day more like mine when I was little, though we’ll be happy to have our neighborhood parade and cake walk next year, too.  It’s all good fun, and ALL GOOD.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Lunching Ladies (AKA T-Room: Check!)

Our final day in my hometown Bunny and I had a mission to accomplish. We needed to check another item off the fun-do list, and this is a gastronomic delight that I believe you must be raised on or at least consume regularly before adulthood to tolerate it… as if you must be inoculated by a certain age or face consequences.

The Texas Inn, AKA Tea Room AKA T-Room. I could go on and on about the colorful patrons with which you share your meal at the dinged up stainless steel counter… and this day was no exception. My favorite was the lady of undeterminable yet advanced age wearing the kind of headwear you’d see Laura and Mary Ingalls wear to bed. Seriously, it was a blue bonnet with elastic all around creating a ruffle of eyelet lace. Still, she eyed me suspiciously. Rock on, Toots. Rock on.

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Though I am not a full octane soda gal, usually, when at the T Room you must get a small Coke. I think it is a rule because I never went with one soul who did not drink that with their meal. I suspect the sugar helps bolster the stomach to help survive what comes next. I always heard the reason these increasingly hard to find small cokes are so good is that the same amount of syrup is used in a small one as a regular sized bottle. Whatever the reason, they’re awesome and worth every calorie.

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Behold the Cheese Western, plain, cooked to order. It was even better than I remember, paired with ‘a bowl,’ otherwise known as a bowl of chili beans.

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The girl gave the Cheesy two thumbs up and asked me to order her her own ‘bowl,’ since I added Texas Pete to mine to give it a kick she did not desire. Atta girl.

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All told, we sucked down 2 Cheese Westerns, 2 Bowls, 3 small Cokes, and a Chili Cheese Dog, then I gave Bun a quarter for a handful of Chicklets out of the machine in the corner, which probably has had the same Chicklets in them since the 80s.

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Everyone with an interesting hometown has a dive or three they simply must return to in spite of good judgment or doctor’s orders. To me, when in the Burg, the mother ship is this joint right here. Yum, yum, yum. Pass the Tums. (Kidding – my stomach was happy during and well after the meal.)

P.S. The tab was only $15 for all that. What a steal.

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P.P.S. A ‘funny’ is a chili cheese dog minus the hot dog. So, basically chili and cheese on a bun. When you’re starving and have about $2 to your name it helps to have a $0.62 cent menu option, haha. I think they have jacked the price up about 10 cents in the past 20 years, the money grubbers. ;)


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