October 2009

Pumpkin Seeds and Snow

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Who’d ever thought that the rumors were true? Ever since we’ve celebrated Halloween here in Denver we’ve heard that typically All Hallows Eve had snow. Trick-or-Treating was done in snow boots. Well, this year we have finally experienced a white Halloween. I think we will use the sled as transportation from house to house.
Last week Ezra convinced me that his teacher said he could wear his costume. So 5 minutes from when we’d be out the door we scrambled to get his costume on… and face painted… and picture taken before things got smudged. Once we arrived to school, he was the lone super hero. No costumes. I did have a memory of someone telling me he could wear his costume. The next day we headed to the library and guess what? Costumes! Yep, that’s who told me that. I need a calendar implant for my brain.  Do they make that??




Uncle Noah is here while Zach is in Australia.  Pumpkin carving was a blast for Ez.  India could do without all the slime and seeds.  Although she did try one of the salted pumpkin seeds I roasted last night.  She shied away from the sweet ones.  She’s not into cinnamon.  Ez called his pumpkin guts “My experiment” and was sad when he caught me sifting through the goo to get to the seeds.  I told him our compost could be his experiment now.  That we’ll add a few apple cores from lunch to it.  He accepted that.


Relishing the goo.


Zed is basically crawling.  He’s been pushing up for about a month now.  When I say up, I mean up.  Downward dog style.  If you don’t know what that looks like, then do some yoga- would ya?  Cute pjs from our friends, just in time for Halloween!


Pumpkin seeds and snow.  Everyone should try it.

She’s One!

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Ever since this little one was born, I have become the recipient of many wonderful hand-me-downs as she’s grown. You would think that I was the first time mom with the gifts this family has showered on us. It is so wonderful to have a community. It really does take a village.
Now that she’s one, we got together again for another photoshoot. What a lucky girl. Really, I was the lucky one. It’s so nice to photograph kids other than my own. I keep having dreams of working more and more; getting my name out in various ways. I need to have patience. But I love the variety that photographing others provides. I get excited at the prospect of being busy with work again.
She’s a budding bookworm too.

This swing was made by the parents. So much better looking than our plastic piece of… maybe we’ll have to commission another from them. You game for that?

Momma love. I always know when I’ve worn out my welcome. But just another with this cool little house…

So precious. Thank you for everything, you guys are the best. Have I told you that?

A Quick Vacation

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Last month we flew to San Fran for a wedding. We had such a blast! We began our trip early Saturday morning, with the entire day ahead of us. We were ambitious and decided to head to Santa Cruz and check out the boardwalk. I had never been there and thought “How far could it be?”. Ha! Too far.
Along the way we drove through Half Moon Bay. I wanted to see what this place I had heard about for so many years was about. Zach’s parents almost moved there and every time Zach visited San Fran he’d head to Half Moon Bay to visit his friend, who’s wedding we were to attend the next day. So we drove through. On the way in we saw so many farms decked out for the fall, I was feeling nostalgic for the East Coast. Nothing looks quite so seasonal in or around Denver (that I know of).
Soon, India was feeling sick. Car sick. We promised to turn off at the next stop. The next stop happened to be a farm with this HUGE hay bale maze.
On the road to the farm, there was this kind of Roman column structure made from hay bales with a huge metal gorilla statue. This preview didn’t disappoint. The place was a fantasy made of hay. So many structures and the maze was to die for. It took us about 45 minutes to get through and the entire time we had a blast. We may have been faster if the kids (and dad) didn’t have to pick up all the bb’s left behind by the teenagers. I’d like to think the guns were only there at night… and the kids had snuck in. Ezra finds bb’s everywhere. It’s a bit disturbing to realize how common they are.

This Trojan Horse is similar to the gorilla we saw on the way up the road.

Just one of the many structures made outside of the maze.

Inside the middle of the maze. We ran into two centers. One had 5 exits, the other had about 8 or 10. There were even two revolving walls that we came across. A very complex, well done maze.

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There was no way to see over these walls. The sound inside the maze was pretty strange too. Voices didn’t travel very far with all that hay. When we first entered the maze the kids ran ahead. We soon chased them down and made sure they were always between mom and dad. We did make it out!

Then it was time for a romp in the hay.

Back in the car and off to Santa Cruz. It was a very long drive. The kids slept, complained and asked if we were there yet many times. Once we got there they began making angels in the sand, relishing their freedom!

Then they had to play in the water. It was freezing!! The sun was out, sometimes, and the day hadn’t quite reached it’s full warmth. Thankfully dad reined them in before their clothes got wet.
After spending the day on rides and eating popcorn and drinking slushies, we decided it was time to eat lunch and head to Oakland. I’d like to say the ride back to the city was uneventful and that the kids slept. But, we had a sick kid who was miserable and lost her cookies. Poor girl. I think all the driving, flying, roller coasters and junk had gotten to her. Once she threw up, she was able to relax a bit and we soon arrived to our friends house and her woes were forgotten.
We had a blast staying at Zach’s HS buddy’s home. He has a boy a bit younger than Ez and a baby about the same age as ours. I had fun getting to know their mom and the next day we headed to the farm (the Martian Luther King Middle School garden a la Alice Waters was mentioned, but I wanted to do things everyone could appreciate). It was a great day and we were able to participate in the farm’s fall festival. It was one of those farms run by the city, in the city. It was a beautiful spot cut out from a grove of eucalyptus trees. I was really missing New England and wishing we lived in SF or Mass… either one, please!
Then we quickly got dressed for the wedding and crossed the bridge to San Francisco. The wedding was beautiful, unique and super cool. The day was filled with good music, interesting people and happiness. It was nice to finally meet the family that Zach new so well growing up. I had only met the groom once, when we got married. But I feel like I’ve known him forever too.
On the way. The headband lasted through the ceremony only. All I could expect.

A klezmer band with this screaming clarinet. The vocalist had such a hauntingly strong voice, and she played the castanets. So cool!

The chair dance. Did I mention this couple is not Jewish? Armenian and American. But ya know, I’ve seen couples borrow all sorts of traditions for weddings. And who doesn’t love a rockin’ Klezmer band? And who hasn’t wanted to have a chair dance at their wedding?

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India danced with all the cool people. Zed even had fun. Ez was busy running around with the boys. He couldn’t be bothered with music and dancing.

The next day we said goodbye to our hosts and headed to the Marine Mammal Center. It was sad to hear that they had treated and housed more animals by July than the entire previous year. There isn’t enough fish in the ocean due to El Nino plus there was a bumper crop of sea lions that spring. FYI: Did you know that herring and sardines are over-fished not to feed people, but pigs? So either start eating more of those small fish to drive up the price, or eat only vegetarian fed pigs!

The beach just outside the Marine Center. The fog horns were such a beautifully peaceful sound. They could have lulled me to sleep.

Goodbye San Francisco. We love you! This weekend trip was a blast.

A Last Visit


In August we had some good friends from Boston come and visit us.  This family lived about 5 doors down from our condo in Jamaica Plain, MA.  Their second child and our eldest would play every week.  We actually had a day when their boy would come to our house and a day when India would stay at theirs.  Of course, they became fast friends.

About 6 months before we moved, we added another girl to our rotation.  Since our move, those two have done almost everything together.  If only we could have stayed!

We were blessed to have this family visit us on their farewell trip across the US in their RV.  They now have 4 children and they will be returning to their home country of Switzerland sometime in November.

When I spend any time with this family I always learn something new; feel energized and inspired.  How could you not be inspired by the Irish flute, drum, and fiddle playing family?  Where the newest ‘baby’ was dad’s accordion?     Oh, and the story of washing their dishes outside, making their own music along side their ancient RV surrounded by retirees in their $100,000 vehicles?  Such adventurers.  Doesn’t everyone long for the freedom to take 3 months and travel a continent, teaching their children along the way?

It doesn’t end there, either.  This mom was the first I knew to order worms for her compost in the basement.  The first to avoid plastic (toys, utensils, anything!).  When I thought buying organic produce was getting me closer to the ideal, she was buying organic cotton.  She always shopped locally before I even had a chance to contemplate the implications of foreign imports.  Her example has helped me think beyond myself and my family when shopping, eating and teaching.  This mom has taught me.  I will miss her example and hope we can make it across the pond to see how this family continues to live and grow.