Saturday, October 23, 2010

Soundtrack for Preparing a Birthday Dinner

Oh yeah! Get your booty shakin' while you're a-bakin'!
Here's my Rock Steady Pandora Station.

Friday, October 22, 2010


Don't even think that with all this unpacking, settling in, minimizing and dreaming, that I haven't been TOTALLY FIXATED on the fact that my sweet girl turns TWO years old on Monday! I'm just speechless. Dumbfounded. She has the key to my heart right in her increasingly independent hand.

How quickly do these precious days zoom by?

This quick.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Gratitude: For Family

Was I talking about gardening in that last post?
Yes, that's a nice side story,

This: THIS is what it's all about! I love these people.

Our first official, homemade Family Dinner in our new home.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Tears. and Brightsides

I'm really supposed to be being otherwise-productive right now... Naptimes are only so long.. But I want to write this post to keep track for myself. And share a bit.

Moving is stressful. This move is stressful for us. Sealion and I exploded at each other yesterday morning (yuck. )-: ), and I left with Anjali on my back for a walk to get some fresh air. When we returned, Sealion and I resolved our issues (mostly acknowledging our stress and once again agreeing we shouldn't take offense at anything the other says before breakfast and coffee!), and I had a weeping big cry on his shoulder. He cried some, too. [And for the rest of the day, Anjali's "favorite phrase to repeat over and over and over" was "Mommy ky-ing (crying)." And then sometimes, "Papi ky."] We know the reasons we are moving to Sacramento, and feel good about our long-term goals. And even though we're not trying to re-create our Berkeley experience... it's not Berkeley... And we love Berkeley... and there is noisy construction work next door to this house in Sac... and a choir of small dogs who bark... and air conditioners that kick on and wake us in the middle of the night right outside our window... and... and... and! Boooohooooo!!!!!

After I wiped my eyes, we got in a sweet little bikeride on the awesomely bike-able, laid-back streets of Sac before Sealion had to leave for work. And visited the community garden our friend Clark has wanted us to join, right next to the industrial space he and a collective of others want to rent for a crafty-boy space ~ absolutely dreamy for Sealion.
appropriately named, eh?
The garden looked like most community gardens I've seen ~ a flat lot of delineated plots, some showing more upkeep and attention to artistic detail than others. Two folks were steadily working their plots when we rode up. The place was overflowing with the late-summer "Sac-o-tomato" tomatoes, gourds and beans, and tall- tall sunflowers bending their heads down in a sighing recognition of autumn.
A pile of mulch, bales of straw, a play area for kids, as well as a "Children's Garden" brimming with beans and gourds, and a welcoming shady area with hammock and swing and table and chairs.
Talking to the gardeners, we learned that this community garden is only a year old, with a toolshed in the making, and fruit trees just planted around the perimeter. And, optimistically, no one on the "waiting list" mentioned on the sign. We also learned that there are already chickens in the artists' colony lot next door, so it wouldn't be a stretch at all to build a coop and have a few there at the garden. (Sac is actually the only city in the whole state that doesn't allow backyard chickens ~ an effort to try to shed their "agricultural" image back in the day when it wasn't cool. It was put up for a vote to rescind, and then put off till next year, I hear. But since the community garden is in an industrially zoned area, it doesn't have to follow that law! :-) (Amazingly, our landlord in Berkeley found a family to rent the house who actually asked if they could keep the coop and the girls! So we are going to bring the two quietest ones here to Sac and put them up in Brian and Arlene's backyard in the coop that Brian has just finished. Shhh! Don't tell!) We like keeping chickens.

Well, this is quite a rambling post; none too tidy.
But my point was: feeling the dirt on my toes and the hot Sacramento sun on my back, seeing Anjali immediately content herself amidst the beans and the toy dumptrucks, envisioning a meal on the shaded table with the pleasantly chatty clucking of a new group of laying hens in the background...maybe some refreshing homegrown herbal tea...I could see myself spending time there. Finding a little bit of home. A very short bikeride away from our new place. And at least a step or two closer to our dreams.

I think it's gonna be ok.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

A Week in Maui, or: My Love Affair with Flowers

The natural beauty abundant in Maui quickly romanced me. I learned that I am a warm-water-beach slut; give me a warm ocean to float in, and I'm ready to call the place home. ; ) When I wasn't gazing contentedly for hours at the aqua and indigo waters from our "Lana'i",
or scheming for an opportunity to immerse myself in their accepting embrace, I was flirting with the fragrant tropical flowers that literally tumbled at my feet from every shrub and tree.
Following the islands' tradition of decorating oneself with these luscious natural trinkets made me feel more feminine and delicious than Marilyn Monroe with a case full of diamonds. It did! Plumeria blossoms littered the lawn outside and begged to be put behind my ear.
A rainbow of hibiscus lined the sidewalks I traveled daily ~ so ubiquitous they practically advertised to be picked.
I'm sure the sun and surf fueled it, but with one of these delicate beauties behind my ear ~ not to mention a whole lei of real flowers around my neck(!), I smiled bigger.
Me and my mama ~ all lei'd up.
And took more self portraits than I have in years.

I felt like a lovely attractive flower myself.

See my collection of flower photos (and other vacation pics) here.

Friday, October 08, 2010

The Matter at Hand

Huh. I think we're moving. Whatta you think? We have been immensely fortunate in having family come to help us pack boxes and move Stuff.

Amazingly, Anjali and I have just returned from a week in Maui (!) with my mom and Sealion's mom, as well as Brian and Arlene, and all of their extended family. So while we were soaking up the restorative sun, surf, and gorgeous landscape of Maui, Sealion was mostly working, and Papa and Grandpa Chris were filling boxes and making trips with the Jetta and its trailer in between Berkeley and Sacramento. Boy do I feel lucky [understatement]!

Papa filling holes in the freshly-bare wall
Our almost-two-year-old spectates
I hope that I have the time to share a little bit here about my experience of Maui and Hawaii. It left an impression. And added to my growing theory about warm-beach-centered cultures ~ any society whose abundantly overarching adornment is fresh, fragrant flowers has to view life in a special way. I like it.
But now back to the boxes. And the insistent pondering of: how did we accumulate all this Crap?!! Even though we buy as much second-hand as we can, I'm feeling quite American in the obvious Consumption that all these boxes represent. Mainly with the inspiration of Your Money or Your Life, and also with a book called The Joy of Less, I'm making some hard culling decisions. Wish me continued strength and courage in this endeavor!

Oh, how frustrated Blogger makes me!!! I hate that this is all underlined, and in my techno-ignorance I can't fix it! So I'm leaving it like this even though it irritates the bejeezus out of me!!

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Fear is Your Ally

AKA: Courage
from our cross-country trip in 2005 ~ rainshower on the horizon.

Rob Brezsny: "Life always delivers the creative energy you need to change into the new thing you must become."

As I sit here snuggled with a napping tiny girl, I look out the window, and: am I seeing things, or ~ is it raining?
It's raining.
In the Mediterranean climate of the Bay Area, summer is the dry season. It might rain once the whole season. And instead of a classic, White Christmas-style winter, we have a rainy season. This reminds me of so many years past, sitting in this same place: the expectation of the gray time, and anxious dread that I will go under again ~ into that foggy, nebulous, apathetic-unmotivated-sad-darkness of a hermit hole-turtle shell. And re-emerge: when? (wow! it's crazy-enlightening to go back and read all those posts [and even more so ~ the silences in between...] that are so indicative of the recurrent nature of this "Low Frequency", as my friend Michaelah calls it! ready for a solution? um. yeah.)

On the Lucent Dossier website, they now have a page for the Oracle ~ a weekly horoscope-like drawing of a stone and expounding on its wisdom. Here's one that caught my attention in the same week as my Bold Awakening settled in:
The stone of Courage focuses our awareness on our fears. Courage is facing your fears... Face your fears so wholeheartedly that fear becomes your ally! We typically avoid what we fear and fear itself as much as possible, but what are our fears trying to alert us to, what could our fears be pointing at that beckon our attention? What if the answers you seek lie in the path of your very fears... Allow your fear to be your guide... instead of taking cover when your fears arise, get excited and Go There, investigate, for the fear is most likely showing you towards an area of your life in which greater awareness will lead to greater understanding and learning about yourself (and your current situation or relationship). Encourage yourself, knowing that you are already greatly courageous by having the very courage to experience your fear in the first place. And as you dive into what has been up until now scary territory, living from this place your experience of fear begins to dissolve and reveal itself to be the energy or excitement that was always at its core. Sometimes what we sense as fear is simply an activity of energy, but since it revolves around something unknown we translate as fear. This activity of energy, or excitement, is our barometer for where we're at and where we want to go. It may be disguised as fear, but that only indicates that this is an area not yet known to us and thus highly potential for expanding our self awareness and unrevealed possibilities.

In his book, COURAGE... The Joy of Living Dangerously, OSHO speaks about how courage is not fearlessness, rather it is in fact being in the "total presence of fear."
My best girlfriend Woo confronted me with this question during late-night wine sipping on our recent girl-trip. I didn't feel like talking about it, because I'm feeling Up right now and would like to pretend that Down is never a possibility Ever Again, but she persisted (oh-so-lovingly and -gently ;-): what do you experience when you're depressed? What does it feel like? What would you like for your friends to do to help you when you're There?
Though I can describe how I feel when I'm There, I honestly didn't have an answer for her to that last question. But I'm ready to try to figure things out while I'm Here ~ in an Up place. Ready to gather the tools to help myself if/when I feel that way again. I'm not wanting to dwell on it or label it dysfunctional to give myself more baggage, but just to be mindful, open and extending for help. Empowered. Equipped. I am afraid. And I'm trying to use that fear as energy and a guiding light into the darkness.
I believe I have a leadership position to fulfill and that its time is coming soon. I'm not really sure how it will materialize or what it will look like. But I'm ready to prepare myself for that position, and to move on with awareness from this Moon-dominated period.
Right now I'm observing the patterns that exist, talking with friends, regularly taking fermented cod liver oil (for brain function) and nettle infusion (for energy), and researching Vitamin D supplementation.

If you have a suggestion for me, or if you have a vision of me as a leader, please let me know.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

To-Go Ware

An Ad-VER-tissment

We had several people respond to our ad to rent this sunny Berkeley house. Interestingly, the entrepreneur of one of my favorite eco-conscious product lines, To-Go Ware, was one of them ~ thanks to a recommendation from our movin'-and-shakin' mutual girlfriend, Erica! What a cool "small world" connection. : )

We love our stainless steel To-Go Ware containers. We pack Papi's lunches in them everyday, we fill them with leftovers to go in the fridge, and take them to restaurants to use instead of disposable stuff ~ for take-out as well as doggy bags. We've used them for years, and I recommend them.