Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween

We're home - happy, a bit tired, glad to see the kids, freezing back in the northwest. All weekend I felt disoriented at the signs of Halloween in California; I couldn't seem to remember it was the end of October in such a warm climate.

Halloween is magic for Abbott and Cal. I don't really think it's so much about the candy - they still haven't eaten all of the candy in their Easter baskets. I think it has more to do with the costumes, the mystery, the element of suspense.

You may recognize Cal's costume - this is the third year in a row he's worn it. Every year we buy him a new one and then he changes his mind at the last minute and goes for his old favorite. Next year I don't think I'll be able to stuff him into it; hoping he'll be up for wearing something else.

I hope you've had a nice weekend. More tomorrow, including pictures from our trip. xoxo

Friday, October 29, 2010

in the sun

Hello from Santa Monica! Alexi and I flew to LA yesterday. This is our first time away for more than one night, alone together, since Abbott was born eight years ago. The New York Times recently ran a feature about spending a weekend here; we're finding the suggestions helpful. Take a look if you come to visit.

We're staying at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel. It's a beautiful property, across the street from the ocean and within walking distance of everything in town. The last photo was taken from our room's balcony.

Our drink pictured above included hand pressed blueberries and organic lemon thyme. We're loving the unique flavor combinations and the food sensibilities here. The hotel's lounge is surrounded by a koi pond, full of fish and also turtles. It's quite relaxing and fun watching them.

It's so good to be away in the warm weather and have the time together. We're sitting poolside as I type this and I've been totally engrossed in Freedom by Jonathan Franzen. Thank you all for the great book suggestions earlier this week.

Have a wonderful weekend! xoxo Lecia

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wednesday

I believe we'd have a shot at world peace if we all had Cal's ability to decompress. After school, he goes up to the top floor of our house, where my bedroom is, locks himself in my room, and plays with legos until around dinnertime. He emerges for dinner regrouped and ready to be social.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tuesday

The wind has been scaring the wits out of me the past couple of days.

Alexi and I are going away for a few days at the end of this week to celebrate our tenth anniversary (!!). I'm looking for a couple of good vacation reads - I'd love to hear your suggestions.

In other news, Cal wants a puppy for Christmas. We haven't decided what to do about that one, but if you have any suggestions about small to medium sized dogs that are great with kids, please let me know!

Happy Tuesday to you.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

crisp, warm and happy

The following is a rough draft of Abbott's (age 8) for a school assignment:

"At fall, leaves crackle and crunch under my feet. At Halloween, which is in fall, we tell spooky stories. I munch on warm, nice, hot, just-from-the-oven pie. I play with my Halloween cape. I put up scary, hairy decorations. My mom puts up a warm, crackling fire. I look at interesting Lego Christmas catalogs. I play piano in my warm comfy house. Leaves swirl in the wind. Fall is here. I drive to school in the cold, misty air. Fall is here. Tall trees creak in the wake of wind. I like fall. Fall is crisp, warm and happy."

I hope you had a weekend that was crisp, warm and happy. xoxo

Friday, October 22, 2010

on no particular schedule

When our boys were younger, Alexi and I hired a sitter every Saturday night so we could go out on a ‘date’. The advent of children gave more ceremony to our time together than I ever felt when we were actually dating. I would look forward to it during the week, make a reservation somewhere. When the time came I'd dress up, and we'd hold hands as we walked from our car to our destination, a little giddy about being alone together. And eating food that someone else prepared. I tended to order a cocktail – something I never made at home, and something that elevated the evening to luxury status, given that at home meals were often rushed and included tired, sometimes cranky infants/toddlers. The drink felt symbolic of a completely unhurried occasion. Now, time and circumstances have changed such that we still go out, but not as often. We plan or are spontaneous with our time together at home, whether it be watching a movie after the kids are asleep Saturday night, or chatting while they're playing at a neighbor's, or having lunch out on a school day when Alexi's off. And unlike when the boys were really little we now live by the water, so just being at home itself often feels a little like being on vacation, if we stop and appreciate what’s in front of us.

Last weekend I made ginger sidecars from a recipe I saw in the October issue of Martha Stewart Living. I made them in a moment that epitomized the feeling of a perfect weekend: standing barefoot on a sun-drenched floor, on no particular schedule.

Ginger Sidecar

Slightly adapted from October 2010 Martha Stewart Living

Place sugar on a plate. Run an orange slice around the rim of a glass; rotate the rim in the sugar. In a cocktail shaker, mash two ¼ inch thick slices of peeled fresh ginger with a muddler or a wooden spoon. Add a 1-inch piece of orange zest, 2 ounces brandy, 1 ounce cointreau, 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, 2 teaspoons maple syrup, and ice. Shake well, and strain into the prepared glass. Makes 1.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wednesday

Yesterday I accompanied Abbott's third grade class to a food bank (Northwest Harvest); one of a series of trips as a community service project. We bagged rolls of toilet paper and diapers in order to make them available to give away. Abbott liked this trip even more than the last one, 'because this time it didn't make me hungry' (last time the work involved food). I have lots I'd like to tell you about the day, but I'm going to have to leave it at saying it was an incredibly positive, memorable trip. I've injured my right middle finger - sliced it on a tin can - and typing is quite difficult for the time being.

What have you been up to this week? Hope you're having a good one. xoxo

Sunday, October 17, 2010

one fall morning

(random photos from the weekend)

This morning I went running in the first light of day, which I don't often do. I wasn't fully awake, and my limbs felt sluggish and disconnected from the rest of me. The cold made it uncomfortable to take really deep breaths. The skies were completely clear, allowing the sidewalks to be bathed in pale pink light and the dew on the grass appeared to be on the verge of frosting. Occasional bird chatter caught my ear. I remembered Martha’s calendar mentioning putting out winter bird feeders – that must be what I’m hearing, I thought, winter birds. I should find out what they are. I passed a woman who apologized for her dog refusing to get out of the middle of the sidewalk: “she’s trying to stage a chance encounter”.

Nearly every day, the same route; never two experiences the same.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Thursday

I don't ever want to forget the look of these fingers covered in marker at the end of every school day.

Every week Abbott (third grade/age 8) has to put his spelling words into sentences. This week, you guessed it, the theme/root of the words is 'phobia'. His writing made me laugh out loud.

Happy Thursday to you! xo

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

bounty

There is something poetic about those volunteers in the sidewalk crack, isn't there?

Every single day this week we've had sunrises and sunsets like this - embarrassingly good living.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Monday

Good morning.

Everyone's back home. The house is still quiet; soon, I'll be making breakfast and preparing to get out in the world again. Today I'll be at school three separate times to help with various things. Then there will be homework and an early dinner and soccer practice. It's too dark yet for me to tell what kind of weather we're having, and there's a kind of comfort in that - the day feels full of possibilities.

More tomorrow.

xoxo Lecia

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sunday

Happy Sunday.

Alexi and Cal are at Camp Orkila this weekend (yes it's been a busy month for Alexi - he went with Abbott last weekend). One of the wonders of the modern age is that he's been emailing us videos of what they've been doing - things like making pottery and playing on the world's biggest swing (make sure your sound is on for this video!).

I've started to notice Halloween decorations popping up around the neighborhood; we don't have anything up yet (do you?). I'm planning to spend some time today perusing these decorating ideas from (who else?) Martha Stewart, and all of her Halloween Central ideas.

I hope your day is nice.

Love,
Lecia

Friday, October 8, 2010

your acre

(This is my last post for autumn colors week - brown today. Top photo: some of our harvested potatoes; #2 - at home; #3 - at Jones Creek Farm; #4 - at Sitka & Spruce; #5 - a neighbor's house; #6 - my home; #7 - at Joe Bar)

What are you reading these days? I just picked up Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird. (Have you read her book Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son's First Year? Alexi and I read it aloud together when Abbott was a baby; I consider it a must-read for all parents.) I'd like to share this bit with you today:

'...every single one of us at birth is given an emotional acre all our own. You get one, your awful Uncle Phil gets one, I get one, Tricia Nixon gets one, everyone gets one. And as long as you don't hurt anyone, you really get to do with your acre as you please. You can plant fruit trees or flowers or alphabetized rows of vegetables, or nothing at all. If you want your acre to look like a giant garage sale, or an auto-wrecking yard, that's what you get to do with it. There's a fence around your acre, thougth, with a gate, and if people keep coming onto your land and sliming it or trying to get you to do what they think is right, you get to ask them to leave. And they have to go, because this is your acre.' p. 44, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life.

Enjoy your Friday.