Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Grandma's Plates

Nondescript plates.
Obviously well used for many years.
Discolored by years of delicious hot meals being served on them.

After visiting Corey's blog, in which she described having found an old 18th century plate at a flea market, a flood of memories came rushing in ... about these plates. They were my grandma's plates. Only two of them, and certainly not her prettiest plates either. They were the best plates in the house, she's say! Why? Because they were special. They had been her own mother's first ... and now they are mine. Some would think they were not valuable... maybe even worthless. Not to me. They are valuable because of their history. Because I remember them on grandma's table.

If only plates could talk...

If they could ... what would they say to me?
If I could ask them any question I wanted to, what would I want to know?

I know what I'd want to know ... I'd want to know about every happy meal when they were used, and I know there were many. My grandparents were happy people... a happy couple. Grandpa incessantly teased grandma. Her middle name was Mae... so he called her "Zella Mae, ... or Zella may not. Because sometimes she will, and sometimes she will not!" My sister and I laughed and laughed over that one... all while eating corn straight out of her garden. Often, they were the ears we had shucked just before dinner.

I know there were so many happy meals for these plates, and I'd love to hear about them all.
One day I'll pass them on to my Sophia... AFTER I've served her many happy meals on them!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme

These are the days I live for. Spring...

I spend hours, days, weeks, months ... lost in the joy of coaxing tiny sprouts out of their winter homes... tending them under the sun... and ultimately placing them on my table. I can only think that the love of doing this one thing is genetic. Since my grandmother's passing a few weeks ago, I've been on a journey into my ancestry. For some reason I'm driven to know... Who am I? Why do I do certain things... like certain things... think a certain way... etc., etc., etc. Why do I love to garden so much? After plying my Dad, aunts and uncles for photos and information... I now know... it IS genetic!

My dad... worked most of his life in computers, but he's also a man who can't help himself... he farms a few acres of antique oat varieties. Why?

Because... for the past 9 generations, my family has kept and tended the earth, planted seeds, watched them grow and fed the family and community.

My grandfather... a full-time farmer who fed his family through the great depression with his farm. During those days, farm families fared best. They had plenty of food. And my great grandfather before him... and so on, and on... back to as far as I have found in 1742 when my family immigrated to America on a sailing ship. They came... and they worked... and they passed their love of growing things on to me. I plan to pass it on to my Sophia too. (:

Today started out with a low, thick, misty kind of fog, that cleared before 10am. The sun came out and I walked out to the garden with my cup of coffee to see how my garden grows. Somehow I didn't make it back into the house until 4:00. Where does the time go?

Below is a picture list of what is growing out there:








Parsley, Sage, (Rosemary - no photo), and Thyme (:

One of my helpers - Borage, which brings in my favorite visitors, the bees.

...and a few wildflowers under the Walnut trees

Tomorrow I'll walk out to the garden with my coffee in hand ... IF I can find my mug from today... and maybe not come in until 4!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

We had a bit of fog in the morning, and I could hear the waves crashing from up the hill on my porch... so I had to investigate.

The local news said that we had rip tides due to wind vs. current directions. From what I understand... when the winds come from the Northwest and the tidal currents are coming into the bay from the southwest, the two elements push the waters from each of the two points of the bay toward each other ... causing the rip tides. They are dangerous, and everyone was warned to stay out of the water.

At certain times of the year the beach is full of little pockets of
shells, seaweed, and all kinds of interesting tidbits.

The sun came out late morning and so did all my visitors!

These two buddies of mine come to visit almost daily. They're my neighbor's dogs, but I borrow their love since I lost my 14 year old border collie a little over a year ago. Hana and Luigi (Weege for short)come over especially when I'm out in the garden... or when we have a BBQ. I don't know how they figure it out, but even before the fire it lit here they come!

I welcome them. They earn their keep!

Hana locates a gopher hole and alerts Weege of the little critter underground. Weege dives into the work! Before long he has a nice fat gopher in his teeth. Though I really can't stand to watch it... I have to admit, its better than putting out traps! We have a lovely gopher population, since the amount of "stuff" they put on the strawberry fields across the road drives them to my organic garden.

A few strawberries from the patch today,
and I'm sure you can guess what we had for dessert this evening!
Thanks to Corey for the great new recipe!!!

The finches are back!
I look forward to the little lovlies arrival each spring.
Their bright color is so striking, and they are the sauciest little imps!

Hey, can't you kids get along!?

Nope! Guess not!
You'd think they were tiny chickens,
the way they peck at eachother!

~A Merry Spring to all~

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A Lil-bit-o-green

This bit of spring is showing up across the street.
For those of you who enjoy a wee bit-o pinch'n fun,
have a happy green day. (:

Saturday, March 14, 2009


Jaime , a wonderful photographer and new blog friend, has given me the letter "M." I am to list my 10 most favorite words starting with the letter "M." So here they are...

A mystery is something not fully understood, something a little unclear, something yet to be discovered, unearthed, defined. Life simply would not be interesting without mystery. Mysteries challenge us to find out. Mysteries encourage us to look deeper, further, wider, longer, more... You can read a mystery book or watch a mystery movie. You can be a mystery if you want. Life is a mystery. Love is a mystery.

No one compares to mother. We all have a mother. I have a mother. I am a mother. The earth is our mother. Life would not exist without mothers. Thank God for mothers. No one cares for us like mother. No one loves us like mother. Mother is the best word on earth.

A collection of stories that have been passed down from the ancients, usually by word of mouth. Stories about heros and ancestors, villans and supernatural beings, of events and happenings that make us wonder . They may be fiction or half-truth, but the themes are ones we live by even today.

One of my grandmothers was a superstitious woman who warned me never to stare at the moon when it is full. I never knew why, or what she thought might happen if I did ... but I never could help myself. When the moon is full, I simply must stare at it. Nothing bad has happened because of the staring, so its all good. The moon is a friend ... with its smiley bright face when all else is dark. In astronomy class I learned that we could not survive without our lovely moon. It keeps our planet alive, and it makes me dream good things.

Living here on the Monterey Bay, mist is one of our closest friends. Its our built-in air conditioning system. It arrives somewhere in the middle of June, and usually stays until mid August. NOTE: to all who would like to visit the Monterey Bay area ... Fall is best. Summer is misty. Sometimes I get a little tired of it, but all I have to do is drive a few miles inland... where I'm reminded that I'd much rather have my 65-degree air conditioning mist, than the 100+ degree temperatures that makes everyone run their air conditioners.

Without them, we are but "shadows and dust." Its important to build good ones and put them into our memory banks for our older days ... when we can take them out one by one, smile at them, recount them (to ourselves if no one else), remind ourselves we had a good life, and pass them on to our children and grandchildren.

The human mind is the most amazing arrangement of protons, neutrons and electrons... one mix of them produces a grain of sand, while another produces the brain, and yet another our mind. Our minds are capable integrators of fact, emotion and experiences. How? What really is "mind?" Beats me! How is it that we are conscious of being conscious ... and that being conscious is different from all things material or physical? Owwww Eeeee Owwww... deep enough here, but the idea of "mind" facinates me.

Something we need more of. The word "Mutual" means to share something in common, and is a foundation to build relationships upon. To give and take in equal measure... mutually ... to care together, share together... do things in common. I want to practice mutual giving and sharing more in my life.

I have no idea why, but if I can walk into a cave and breathe deep... musty is the word for that scent, and I love that scent. What is it anyway? Moisture combined with clean rock or earth... silly me, but musty is a good thing. (and not to be confused with moldy or stale)

She was originally one of the nine daughters of Mnemosyne and Zeus ... I'm not sure which science or art she presided over at the moment, but somehow she became a guiding spirit and the meaning of inspiration. We all need inspiration and we all have our muse. Mine happens to be my garden.

... and one for the road

This is what my study/office/art-craft room looks like! A mishmash... a collection of STUFF. I conglomeration... Organized bedlam... A hodgepodge... Would I have it any other way? No.

uh... one more...

What would life be without meaning? It's nothing without meaning, right?

Have a great weekend, and if you want to join in the letter game... email me and I'll give you a letter too.


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Poppies, poppies, poppies ... and a greenhouse

First the wild ladies... all dressed in orange. California orange! I love California poppies. I mow around them. There are way too few of them these days. As I kid growing up in Southern California, I used to make a hollow in a field of them, to lay and dream while looking up at the blue sky. Those days are gone for California... but here on my little bit of earth in central California , there are still a few, and I try to give them a home.

And here are the tame ladies?
That seems so untrue!
They are far from tame.
These ladies are such a wild shade of orange,
that they seem very fancy and flamboyant.

Still... they are from the tame nursery.

My greenhouse is for tomatoes and basil. That's its only real job... other than providing a place for me to hang my chandelier and set my chair. When the air outside is a chilly 65, its a toasty 85 - 90 F inside. The perfect place to sit and read! I must move my chair out there tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Nothing had gone right in his life
...right from the start.
He was an abandoned child.
Only his adopted mother had wanted him,
...and now even she was gone.
His father had told him outright...
"...if it had been my choice, you would not have been here!"

All his life he had struggled.
He had no power to change things for himself
not until the day he heard about it...

a place...
and something out there that would give him what he wished for...

It was abandoned... out on a grass plain.
It had been used long ago,
but not anymore.
He had to go.
He had to go find out for himself...

There it was...
Old, and almost nothing left of it.
Would he find the power he craved
...the power to change his life?

Oh yes... he would find power...
...but what would it cost?

Would he win...

or lose...

Our two youngest sons are student filmmakers. They and their crew of fellow students shot a film this week. It was an amazing collaboration of friends and family. It was an amazing amount of work. I have a deep appreciation for a 2 hour film now!

I miraculously became a caterer, and my husband a go-fer. My sister and her husband too. It was a family affair... to support our kids.

One son a director, the other a screen writer, my nephew a production designer... along with lifetime friends from high school ... all have hatched a dream. A dream to have their own production company. And they have made that dream begin to come true.

I'm terribly proud of them. Here they are! There is a long road ahead, of course. But one day when they have made it ... my heart will explode with pride for them. It already does.

But for now, they make promo films and advertisements for companies, school, organizations, and more. They are making a decent living... but the dream is to make films. Real films. And one day it will be so...

This particular one will be entered into the University and local film festivals.

Good luck boys! Keep at it.
Stay true to your dreams, and it will happen!
I love you!
XO, Mom

Saturday, March 7, 2009

A Monterey Day

“Break, break, break, On thy cold gray stones, O sea! And I would that my tongue could utter The thoughts that arise in me”

Alfred, Lord Tennyson

If you ever chance to come to California... to the Monterey Bay... may I suggest that you visit the southern most tip of the Bay. Just dawdle your way through Monterey ... see the Aquarium Monterey Bay Aquarium at 886 Cannery Row, Monterey, California 93940 ... wander on past the B&B's and Inns that will drop your jaw... and on around to the tip where the waves of the outer sea meet those within the Bay, and you will find a place you won't want to leave. Pick up tiny shells, poke around in the tide-pools at low tide, but take your time! On your way back, stop in at the best kept secret on the Bay... (see article). A co-op of fishermen have a little surprise for you. The Sea Harvest... a little restaurant that (in my opinion) rivals any of the 5 star restaurants at Pebble Beach, in flavor and ambiance. As you sit looking out the windows, you will see seals who think that dock was built just for them! If you time it right, you'll see the best otter population on the Bay. This is my stomping grounds. Hope you can visit one day. (: