Friday, April 25, 2008

My Companion in Bliss

I'm haven't much to say these days... except

... I'm so in love with a girl named Annie!

Turns out she loves tiny colorful birds as much as I do!

Ahhh! We've spent countless hours in the last few weeks camped out in the yard enjoying Spring in the aviary. It's been bright, sometimes a little chilly, or like today, warm and perfect. While I sit just outside the aviary enjoying the activity within, Annie is choosing to wear a bandanna (to keep bird poops out of her hair), she turns over a bucket to use as a seat, and is enjoying a more "hands on" approach. She wraps the little chicks up in her sweater, talks to them, trains them to sit on her finger, and is naming each one. (Martha is the white one with the gray tuft on her head, and Butterscotch is yellow, napping in the sun on her shoulder. Both are Snow Flower's babies.) She can go for hours on end, and then I have to pry her away so I can tend to our lives.

There are so many layers of pleasure about this whole experience. First there is the bliss I feel watching Annie. Period. I'm so in love with her!
I'm so completely over-the-moon, head-over-heel, crazy about her! Just taking this time to really sit and watch her doing something she loves is quite enough by itself. But to share my passion for these colorful birds with her? Pure bliss!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Girls Just Wanna Have Fungus

I'll tell you, Annie has a sixth sense when it comes to sniffing out mushrooms. She has an eagle eye and a "sense" about where they are. This one wasn't hidden at all though, it was in plain sight growing in a front yard down the street near the Kung Fu studio she attends. It was one of three, this one being the biggest. It measures 5" wide and 5 1/2" high, and I'm guessing it weighs the same as a package of butter which is a pound. It has a wonderful earthy smell and it is perfect for eating at this time. I think sauteing it and making a wonderful soup with it is the way to go, except that Billy refuses to have any of us eat it until it is identified properly. All my books show it and describe it as a Giant Puffball. Any one out there want to second my identification? Michelle?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Happy Birthday Sara!

So glad you were born! Love you, Patrice

(This photo really makes me wish that you were sitting in my picture window right now while I make us a cup of tea and something delicious to eat. I can almost hear Annie and Ezra playing in the background!)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A Girl and Her Snake

Annie really enjoys taking care of her snake Cutie. She'll even pick up each little mouse by it's tail as she puts it in Cutie's line of sight for her weekly feedings. Annie took her out of her cage this morning and they hung out and spent some real quality time together. Only a few times did I have to help loosen Cutie's grip around Annie's little neck.

Annie read to her out of her favorite fantasy animal encyclopedia.

Cutie was in the bed, then on top of the bed. In the dollhouse, then behind the dollhouse. At that point I was called in to help untangle her because Cutie had gone out the dollhouse bedroom window and in through the front door. It would have made a great picture, but Cutie is so strong I needed both hands.

Our research went well yesterday, at the East Bay Vivarium and we are going forward with mating Cutie with our friend Yannai's snake Bino. If you are interested in taking one of the babies, let us know. I'll keep you posted in the meantime.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Kitchen Curtain Kimono Coat

I got two curtain panels a while ago at the good ol' Goodwill and I finally made them into something. I saw a shirt/coat thing over at Lilys House and I used it as inspiration for mine. I kept the hem of the curtains as the hem of my coat, and I made my own bias tape to finish off the openings and the kimono-style underarm vents, whatever they are called. I did this all as I watched the special on Ansel Adams last night on PBS, which was very inspiring. Ansel Adams was a driven and interesting child growing up in San Francisco, whose father allowed him to not attend school, and follow his own path of education. He had a ton of energy, even as a child, and throughout his life, created with such focus and drive, until he couldn't work anymore. Then he championed passionately and successfully for environment until he died. Wow! It made me want to do something big! Oh well, my little coat project will have to do for now. I wore it today over my overalls, to the East Bay Vivarium where we are doing research on corn snake breeding with a fellow homeschooler. Annie wore her new mola shirt that I made her from a San Blas Island Mola that LaLa passed down to us after many years of love and wear. Looks like Jasper is interested in the kitty motif too!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Two Hour Dress

I cut and sewed this versatile and comfortable dress today. I copied the pattern from a dress I got last summer that I've worn to threads. Start to finish -hems and all- in two hours. To top it all off, the fabric, which is a light weight version of cotton thermal, was $1 a yard. I bought 5 or 6 yards which is good, because Annie wants one just like it. The only thing I don't enjoy is how it reminds me a bit of leopard print.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


Thank you everyone for the birthday love! I really think this was the best birthday ever. In fact, I'm still enjoying my birthday and it's the 8th! I just returned home from 3.25 days away, by myself, visiting LaLa and really relaxing. Ahhhh. Thank you anyone who reached out and connected. Wow! I was very moved by each email, call, comment, gift or card! I feel celebrated and cared about!

So much has been going on around here and I haven't been choosing to blog about any of it. I guess my need for being present in the moment and pacing myself override my need for blogging. It's hard because blogging can really meet my needs for creative expression, self reflection and connection with others. So at times I'm torn! And then I choose the path that supports me most. I'll will mention a few things I hope to blog about and/or photograph soon.

We've got babies in the aviary. Both Livian and Snow Flower have healthy little chicks and it is such a treat to watch them mother them! Bill, Annie and I all sat mesmerized yesterday watching the birds eat, bathe, feed their young, build nests, and flirt. What's TV got that's better than that? Also I'm going out of town again. This time to get my broken tooth, (or cracked tooth) fixed and a major car thing repaired. Plus I got some fabulous fabrics while I was in LA and can't wait to get started on them. I've got fabric for a purse (!) and some nighties for Annie, plus a dress and coat for myself. Hopefully I'll be in a thoughtful and calm enough pace to blog along with my progress.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Fourty Four Turns Around the Sun

Today is my birthday! I turn fourty four. Annie has a playdate in the morning and I'm taking myself out to a special breakfast at Cafe Fanny's in Berkeley, courtesy of LaLa Pat. Then I may do a little birthday shopping at CP Shades, or I've been eyeing a dress form at a local store here in Alameda, so one way or another I think I might be getting myself a birthday present.
I really can't help but think of my mom today. And miss her terribly. My birthday was really always our day. Since she died seven days before my birthday in 2002, the days around my birthday have been bittersweet, mixed, and odd. Although this year feels different. Lighter. I'm enjoying how that has shifted.

Happy Happy Day!