Tuesday, October 30, 2007


The whole family recieved hats this past weekend. We were at the Hillcrest Farmers Market, and like always, we walked past one of my favorite booth's, The San Diego Hat Company. We went on to buy our usual fruits and veggies, but as always, the sun was just a little to hot for our heads. So on the way out, we decided to find Chloe and Sun Hat, one that she would wear, (she's a picky girl! ).

Then we realized that Blake needed one to.. A cowboy hat.. it will be great for his Halloween Costume...and his large growing head !!

Mommy needed a fancy one for the upcoming Garden Festival at School...

This one is made out of ribbons sewn together...beautiful construction.

We could not forget Daddy, a Man needs a good sturdy hat for all the outside work he does...

All we need now, is a vintage Hat stand...

Thursday, October 25, 2007


First off, sorry for the scariness of my last post. We are doing fine. I was a little worried about being evacuated, but thankfully that didn't happen. The fire on Mt. San Miguel was contained on Tuesday, partly because of wind changes and also because of helicopters that were able to drop some water. It's one thing to know you have fires going on all over the county, and to see photo's, but once you can see it from your driveway with your own eyes, it really brings it home so to speak. In all reality, that fire about 10 or so miles away and would have had to jump the Sweetwater Reservoir, and two freeways to make it to us. It was unlikely that would happen.

So since Monday we have been camped out in our house (except for a visit to friends yesterday). I would love to report that I spent all this time getting crafty and creative, and would love to have pictures to show, but unfortunately the only creative one in this house was Chloe. She spent lots of time spelling out new words, and making cards for her friends that she misses. Since we have had to have all the doors and window's shut, it has been quite warm and stuffy. I guess it pretty much sucked every little ounce of creative juice out of me. I look at my house and realize all I got done was laundry, and baked one loaf of banana bread, but not much else. Sometimes I secretly wish for a week off of school and time to just piddle around the house. (School does not resume till next Tuesday because of Air Quality). But this by far, is not the way I would want that to happen.

If you would like to look at a map of where the fire has been, check out this. You can also read on the KPBS website. We pretty much listened to Public Radio during this whole week. I did not have the heart to turn on the TV and watch regular news coverage. I honestly cannot stand the sight of a newscaster standing next to a fire, telling us how hot it is, or standing next to someone house that has just burned to the ground with the shot of the address in the back round, walking through to show us, when the people who actually lived there have not even seen the devastation yet. It seems so wrong. I have to hand it to KPBS, they reported with decency, real information, no hysteria, and they used their coverage to help people by taking calls, and advising the best they could. At one point their communication tower was burned in the fire, so the local rock station 94.9 shared their signal and let them broadcast on their airtime, quite noble of the Rockers. I can't imagine what it must be like for so many people right now, who have lost their homes, and animals. I hope in the days to come, I will be able to help the people who have been affected in some way...

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Earth, Wind and Fire

As most of you know by now, San Diego County is on Fire !

Alan woke me up at 2am last night to show me the fire on Mt San Miguel. We can see that mountain clearly from our driveway, and last night is was burning with red nasty flames. It was a moment of panic for me. Unlike the fires of 4 years ago, our air quality was just fine yesterday, we had pretty clear skys, and sunshine. We figured we would be fine, and put the call out to our evacuated friends to let them know they can shack up with us. When I look at the fire maps it seems like we are on the path of the Harris Fire. So, needless to say we are packing up just in case...

Here is a photo from The Union Tribune Blog from last night, our photo's didn't turn out, I think we were to tired and to shaky to get a good shot. This photo is probably from Lemon Grove, which is just below us, so maybe this is 3 to 4 miles closer than what we were seeing...

Monday, October 22, 2007

A New Birth...

Well..you might be wondering, what birth? If you are looking at the photo above you will see me sitting on the root ball of a lemon tree, with my Garden Partner Annie working hard to set it free. I guess this photo is a metaphor of sorts for me. You see for the past month, I have been working hard, with my friend and fellow Parent, Annie to organize what we called "The Big Dig Day" at Chloe's School. Long story short, we formed a Garden Committee with Parents, Teachers and Students of the school. What we set out to do, was create spaces where we would have Organic Gardens for the students to work and learn in. You can read all about the details of what we accomplished on our Blog.

Our plans have grown and evolved in just one short month, and it is so wonderful to sit back and see. I feel like this is probably one of the most significant projects I have been a part of, ever! Of course the most important project ever, would be becoming a Mother...but now I have found that Motherhood leads to even more Births, even if its not an actual child you are bringing forth.

I woke up the day after our amazingly successful "Big Dig Day" and thought I would feel relief, that it wouldn't feel so overwhelming anymore, that I could take a breather...but somewhat to my surprise, I realized it was very similar to the feeling I had after making it through Labor with Chloe. I was so focused on the birth through out the whole nine months, and figured I would be home free once that was over, but low and behold ... I realized ..." Wow, I have alot more hard work ahead of me with this Child ... Labor was only one day!" Yes, the School Gardens are like infants , but the best part of all is that it was not just me who birthed those Gardens it was all the Passionate Volunteers, and Garden Committee Members that Birthed them together. Best of all we will all join in on the many years of feeding, nurturing and watching those babies grow ! We will all do it Together !! That was so beautifully displayed by the dedicated people that came and eagerly worked so hard on Saturday..

By the way, I got a great gift out of this...to work closely with Annie! Have you ever worked with someone that you found to be a great fit with ? I mean, someone who understands how you think, you how they think, and has the same level of passion and commitment about it all! I have had few working partnerships in my life that have ever felt this natural, and easy, and its great, because we have somewhat different approaches...but we mesh so well, like Yin and Yang, Thelma and Louise, Cheech and Chong...Okay, well not exactly like Cheech and Chong, but you get the idea. Annie, just know your a true joy to work with, and I love you !! Thanks for all that you do!

By the way, we joke that our Husbands need to form a support group for "Husbands with Obsessed School Gardening Wives!" Wives that spend all there time researching on their computers, making numerous phone calls to each other during the day, staying up late in the wee hours at night creating Garden blog posts...making them feel a very left out.. So, anyone out there interested, HOSGW will be announcing a support meeting soon! We will keep you posted !!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Summers Past Farms

Went to one of my most favorite places this past weekend, Summers Past Farms, to enjoy their Annual Pumpkin Patch Days. It was a beautiful Sunny day, just a day after a wet and rainy Saturday.

They have a beautiful Farm, full of different flower beds, an Herbal Soap shop, a Coffee and Tea Bar, A wonderful gift shop and lots of specialty gardens for both Adults and Children to frolic in. If you get a chance click on the link and read about Sheryl and Marshall Loiser. Not only are they some of the nicest people I've meet, but they are both very talented and together they have built one of the most beautiful places I have been blessed to experience here, in San Diego. Over the years whenever I go to visit, there is always some amazing addition to the grounds. This year was this huge arbor below...oh how I would love that for my Garden !!

Marshall has built pretty much every structure on the property by hand. I feel like I am in a sacred place when I'm there. The best thing about Summers Past, is that you can go there during the week...and literally have the place to yourself...Really you should check it out...you will love it !

Chloe and Blake had a great time. They especially loved the petting zoo. They both picked up and held the chicken, Chloe was quite gentle with it, but Blake got a little rough...Yikes...it was after I got those shots that the lady running the gate told everyone "please, do not pick up the animals". Oops... Sorry about that little Chicken...

I found myself getting all sorts of inspiration for the SDCCS School Garden...check out the rest of the images here.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Needle and Thread

This past Saturday Chloe and I finally got to sit down and have some Mommy and Me time!! I think we both really needed it. I have been so very busy with The Gardening Project over at Chloe's School, that Saturdays have become a retreat of sorts for me, and what better way to spend some of that time, than teaching Chloe about the wonders of Hand Embroidery. This was her first time using a needle and thread, and I was surprised by how quickly she took to it, and how determined she was to finish. She drew her own design, I showed her the basic split stitch and then she steadily worked away. I was working on a little project myself, I will post a picture when I am done.

As we stitched together, I felt a bond not only with Chloe, but with all the woman and young girls in our past that probably spent their time just as we were at that moment. The best part was that we were listening to one of my favorite Radio Shows, "A Prairie Home Companion". I wonder how many woman from years ago would stitch and listen to a radio show...simpler times, that's exactly what I needed for my Saturday....

Notice the heart shape leaves, and the heart shape center of the flower...So Chloe !!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Free Motion

I made this pillow for Chloe's friend Bidane. We attended her Birthday Party just over a week ago. I originally wanted to make her a skirt, but was so busy with the Garden Project at school, that the first chance I got to sit down and sew was the morning of the party. I thought it would be quicker to make a pillow, and I have been wanting to transform Chloe's Art in to Embroidery.

Chloe used an erasable marker to draw her design, and then I actually thought I could sit down and hand embroider it... Well, I realized that might take about a week, so I got out my Bernina and Free Wheeled !! Well, really I used the Free Motion feature, which is to drop the feed dogs on the machine, put on the darning foot and go to town with moving the fabric all over to do what I call "messy embroidery". I have to admit, I was a little afraid to try this. When I sew, I tend to become very detailed oriented and spend a tremendous amount of time on making sure what I am constructing is close to perfect, so this was a nice way to break those rules for me. I guess it made it easier to get away with, since the design was drawn by Chloe...sort of goes with what a child's drawing can convey.

Check out my most favorite decorative stitch.

I used bright colors, it seemed to match Bidane's personality, bright and happy. I hope she likes it !!