21 December 2008

backyard terrain park

The boys (and even Darren) hauled snow all day to complete the ramps and rails and so the fun began after the sun went down. What a way to celebrate the shortest days of the year.

18 December 2008

This is for my nieces, cousins, sisters, friends who blog and inspire me to keep on keeping on creating. Have a good one!

16 December 2008

time since... seven months

My package would arrive a few weeks before Christmas. Brightly wrapped and heavy-solid... to be opened before the holiday. A Jim Shore figurine from my mother. Bittersweet as I put them out this year wondering if I should go pick up a new one to add to the collection as if it is all the same. I decide no... I read a prayer that a woman uttered at the loss of her child:
God, we thank You for the gift...
You know what a treasure she has been for us.
It is painful to part with her physical presence.
Bless the hurt in our hearts as we trudge through each day.
Grace us with awareness...
I soak up the words of Terry Tempest Williams; she has been through this shattering,
Who will give up this world?
The catalog of forms is endless.
No one sees everything.
I am looking for a way to vocalize, perform, act out, address the commonly felt crises of my time. These are spiritual exercises.
I went back for the disembodied arms with the hands clasped in prayer, but they were gone.
Fragmentation and breaking up is indeed the essence of the twentieth century.
We are now living in the twenty-first century.
We have no compass to reorient ourselves.
Memory is redundant.
didn't we plant the seeds?
weren't we necessary to the earth?
There is an old saying that when you change your life, you also change your ideas.
I listen to a thousand tiny pieces, and lift the treasured mementos {the seeds} and tenderly arrange them on the table and anxiously await the return of the light. {the new ideas} I am filled with love. Merry Christmas Mom.

15 December 2008

who throws a shoe, honestly

Props to President Bush for quick reactions and shoe ducking skills.
{I don't even want to think of the reasons the man felt he needed to toss his shoes, but in a land of everyday bursting bombs, maybe chucking the chucks showed quite a bit of restraint while still expressing his "sole" felt point}

December Morn

Wake Up. Yoga... (hmmm, I think I cheated, unless just laying on the mat counts). Heat waffles I made last week in the toaster. Stare out at the blinding snow lining the backyard while eating. Now, go calculate the rest of the semester grades.

13 December 2008

you put the lime in the coconut

I said doctor ain't there nothin I can take
I said doctor to relieve this bellyache
The cure: Coconut Lime cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes take Over the World.

For the cupcakes you’ll need:
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup soy milk
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil (I used this instead of soy yogurt or coconut oil)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp coconut extract
  • 1 Tbs lime zest
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut (or sweetened, whatever)

Then you:
Preheat your oven to 350 and line a pan with paper liners. Combine the dry ingredients together, set aside. In a large bowl, mix together the wet ingredients- this includes sugar, I don’t know why sugar is considered wet but it is. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet, mixing just until combined. Add the coconut and mix to incorporate. Fill up the cups and bake 22-25 minutes, until the tops spring back when lightly touched. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and cool completely on a wire rack.

For the lime buttercream you’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance margarine
  • 3 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp lime oil (I didn't have this and it was still tasty)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp lime zest

Then you:
Cream together the shortening and margarine. Add the sugar and beat for 3 more minutes. Add the vanilla, lime oil and juice and beat for 5 more minutes. Add the zest and mix. If you want to make these cute, frost the cupcakes and then roll the tops in more coconut.

09 December 2008


Turtle Trip 2008

Mission: get to San Diego, cross the border at 5:30am into Tijuana, fly Volaris airlines to La Paz, meet your new best friends, participate in sea turtle research and recovery, be changed forever.

As we began our pilgrimage I thought of the first "hero" that the "true fans" met on their pilgrimage across the nation with a basketball. He was a minister in California and his echoing advice was "make a friend, before you need a friend" and "you are seeking something". That is how I felt on this voyage... as a seeker... and what I found was... things can and do get better, just keep on the journey.

List of participants
Emily: our energetic, fearless guide from Baja Expeditions
Renatte: economics professor from SDSU, the other "mom" on the trip
Darren: "Who's the turtle guy?"(Darren is now the authentic turtle guy)
DeAnn: "I'll do anything for the turtle guy"
Antonio: chilango from Mexico City - really, a journalist dispatched to document our adventure
Tessa: 13 year old future marine biologist and turtle scientist
Daniel: computer specialist from Switzerland
Max: the youngest (11) commander and chief of Shell Island
Tom: Steve Martin incognito, engineer from San Diego, father of Max and Tessa
Jewel: grizzly woman, heads up a non-profit in LA
Dee: one word: Obama, "breathe the hope" - works in finance
Melissa: Ace Ventura (Darren's nickname) works for Merrill Lynch in Florida, but really wants to be in animal rescue... so sweet.

Here's a little press release about our adventure - more turtle posting to come!

06 December 2008

sometimes it causes me to tremble...

I am so sad today. I don't feel well, I am puffy and headachy and lightheaded. My stomach is nauseous and I can't quit crying. It is Grandpa's Christmas party right now. (check here for a bit about last year's party) I couldn't go. I feel so much is expected of me and I can't quite perform up to the standards. This has been such a difficult few years for the four of us - everything has changed - and we still don't have our feet underneath us yet. This mourner's bill of rights helped... reminding me that it is okay to venture through this in my own way.

"1. You have the right to experience your own unique grief. No one else will grieve in exactly the same way you do. So when you turn to others for help, don't allow them to tell you what you should or should not be feeling.
2. You have the right to talk about your grief.
Talking about your grief will help you heal. Seek out others who will allow you to talk as much as you want, as often as you want, about your grief. If at times you don't feel like talking, you also have the right to be silent.
3. You have the right to feel a multitude of emotions. Confusion,
disorientation, fear, guilt, and relief are just a few of the emotions you might feel as part of your grief journey. Others may try to tell you that feeling angry, for example, is wrong. Don't take these judgmental responses to heart. Instead, find listeners who will accept your feelings without condition.
4. You have the right to be tolerant of your physical and emotional limits. Your feelings of loss and sadness will probably leave you feeling
fatigued. Respect what your body and mind are telling you. Get daily rest, eat balanced meals, and don't allow others to push you into doing things you don't feel ready to do.
5. You have the right to experience “griefbursts.” Sometimes, out of nowhere, a powerful surge of grief may overcome you. This can be frightening but is
normal and natural. Find someone who understands and will let you talk it out.
6. You have the right to make use of ritual.
7. You have the right to embrace your spirituality. If faith is a part of your life, express it in ways that seem appropriate to you. Allow yourself to be around people who understand and support your religious beliefs. If you feel angry at God, find someone to talk with who won't be critical of your feelings of hurt and abandonment.
8. You have the right to search for meaning. You may find yourself asking, 'Why did he or she die? Why this way? Why now?' Some of your questions may have answers, but some may not. Watch out for the cliched responses some people may give you. Comments such as, 'It was God's will' or 'Think of what you have to be thankful for' are not helpful and you do not have to accept them.
9. You have the right to treasure your memories. Memories are one of the best legacies that exist after the death of someone loved. You will always remember. Instead of ignoring your memories, find others with whom you can share them.
10. You have the right to move toward your grief and heal. Reconciling your grief will not happen quickly. Remember,
grief is a process, not an event. Be patient and tolerant with yourself and avoid people who are impatient and intolerant with you. Neither you nor those around you must forget that the death of someone loved changes your life forever."

03 December 2008

What a day

While attending the interior design department's holiday open house I flipped out over the new Harry holiday tunes. Gets me every time... his voice, the jazz, the big band members, especially luscious Lucien. Take a look here for a Santariffic riff. Oh my.... can you imagine if he showed up at church?

01 December 2008

all things counter, original, spare, strange;

Spring and fall

Margaret, are you grieving 
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leaves, like the things of man, 
You with your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Ah! as the heart grows older 
It will come to such sights colder
By and by, nor spare a sigh 
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
And yet you will weep and know why.
Now no matter, child, the name: 
Sorrow's springs are the same.
Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
What heart heard of, ghost guessed:
It is the blight man was born for, 
It is Margaret you mourn for.

--Gerard Manley Hopkins
I tried to memorize a poem for every letter of the alphabet, and this Hopkins gem (my favorites beside this are Pied Beauty and God's Grandeur) came to mind with its leaf-crunchy rhythm when I was jogging with the dog on Thanksgiving morning.
We had ventured to cut down a Christmas tree the day before and trudged through the "worlds of wanwood leafmeal".
I hope you all have a poetic thankful week.