Sunday, November 25, 2007

Albany Bulb?

Right on the shoreline where Berkeley and Albany meet the ocean there is a place called the Albany Bulb. I remember it as the place where people made sculpture out of driftwood and found objects that had washed ashore. I clearly recall zooming by it from the back seat of the family car, trying to take in all that I could of this interesting "hobo" type art. Well, Bill, Annie and I went over there today for a hike and after a disturbing and creepy two hour walk around the entire area, found out the Albany Bulb is the old Albany dump. And yes, there are some wonderful, imaginative and innovative sculpture and art pieces there, but all made from, and atop, a ton of toxic garbage! Depressing amounts of broken up concrete, all kinds of batteries, hoses, sharp and dangerous metal scrap, wire, glass and I can only imagine what else. Yes, much new life has grown over the top of this teeming mass of waste; cattails, scrub brush, blackberries, pyracantha, copious amounts of fennel, and many other marsh growing plants. Despite all this growth and renewal, I felt a deep sadness seeing all of this waste so close to the water, not to mention the alarm of having Annie (and us) romp through it all. Having said all of this, I guess I'm really starved for clean, open spaces. I feel so restored and hopeful when I walk through trees, fields, beaches and wild spaces and I know I'm just mourning the many close and breathtaking spots we used to frequent in Santa Cruz. Even from our bedroom we could hear elephant seals barking on the shore. I know there are many places of beauty here in the Bay Area, now we just have to find more of them, and make them our own.

And to end on a more uplifting note, Annie collected "stuff" along our hike at the Bulb and she was insistent on creating a sculpture of her own. She called it a "Tree Shrine" and we three added to it, fully knowing that the cycle of life and trash is in each of our hands.




Saturday, November 24, 2007

Warm Glow

I'm still basking in the warm glow of the holiday! Ahhhh... LaLa, Jordan, Rebecca and the kids drove up from Los Angeles honoring us with a visit! It was so wonderful to have a houseful in this new house! Bill and I worked hard on prep of both the house and the meal(s) and it was so worth it because each meal and all the time we spent together went so smooth and pleasurably. The kids were amazingly harmonious too and so considerate of each other, plus they played non-stop without interruption, except to fall into bed at night. I was so proud of them, and relaxed since I didn't have to mediate or worry. They played with all the toys and games in the house and enjoyed themselves thoroughly. They went native on us the first morning after finding paints on a bench outside, so I snapped a few. Each moment was so filled to the brim that these are all I took and they don't begin to portray all of the happiness, gratitude and beauty I felt then and am still feeling today.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Little Here, Little There

We had a very sweet weekend. No plans really. Just one moment to the next. Yard work, pet care, a real date, a few open houses, a little Christmas shopping and a bunch of prep for Thanksgiving. Whew! Now that I read it back, we did a lot! One thing I did was get tableware and linens out for the big dinner, and I attached a small fabric tab with each persons initials on it, to each napkin, so our guests can use the same napkin for all meals we have together over the holiday, which in our case will be four or more meals. I also found a grease pencil to mark glasses so the kids don't need a fresh one for every drink they need. Now that I'm writing that, it does seem kinda stingy or unhygienic (we'll wash them), I just know to use a new glass or new napkin for each setting is a major waste of resources, human (wash, dry, put away) and earth (water, electricity, etc.). When I think of the amount of waste around Thanksgiving, I really want to be mindful about how we care for the earth!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Getting Ready for Thanksgiving

Forcing Paperwhite Bulbs : Freezing Pie Dough :
: Making Cornhusk Dolls : Looking at Recipes : Buying Fresh Spices :
: Ironing Tablecloths : Collecting Firewood :

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Pot Pies

Now that Bill's away so much more, I am forced to face the fact that he is not going to be able to do the amount of cooking he has enjoyed in the past. Well, we all enjoyed in the past. So, I'm trying to excersise my cooking muscles. Last week I made a big pot of split pea soup and we baked madeline's, and today, Annie and I went into production and made six chicken pot pies. Five individual, and one family-size. I also made nine (!) disks of pie dough for future pies and quiches for eating ourselves and for giving away. I'm excited to try a recipe that LaLa gave me for a savory bread pudding. Next week.

Saturday, November 3, 2007


It was a really hot day today here in Alameda, and Annie's been wanting to have a lemonade stand since we move in three months ago, so today we finally did it! Business was bustling! Annie made almost $10, so at a quarter a glass, we were busy. We used more than a dozen lemons from our tree, and Papa and I washed a lot of glasses because Annie wanted to "care about the earth" and not use any plastic or paper. It was a great way to meet people in this town. So many people saw us and had to come back for a glass!