Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wednesday Surrender.

Yesterday morning I finally gave in and moved the dollhouse from the playroom to the living room. The Little Girls have been asking me about this for weeks, I just didn't want the doll disaster in our living space. I'm so glad I gave in, they played Barbies for just about 4 hours breaking only for lunch and quiet time. "Clean Control" often works against me and this is a prime example. Yes our living area is a disaster but what else is new. I gave in about the face-painting too. I don't like it ending up on the white furniture and the smell makes me less likely to kiss those soft lovely cheeks. Usually the third straight day of cabin fever is the most frightening, this time I gave in and let it all go.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tuesday Gratefulness.

Yesterday The Little Girls had their yearly check-ups. They adore their Doctor, he is the best pediatrician and a family friend. Both girls triumph over their eye tests and exercises the Doctor asks them to perform. They hate the shots given by the nurse once the exam is over and though they are both small for their age in weight and height, I am overwhelmingly grateful to be reminded of their health and happy young lives. I cringe to imagine what parents go through when their child is sick. I'm sure it is the lowest depth of misery and so today I say a prayer of humble thanks that so far Tim and I have been spared this unimaginable torture and worry. Cheers to healthy kids, may I never ever take it for granted.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Monday Thankfulness.

I can't remember the last Thanksgiving week we had this much snow. It has steadily snowed since Friday night (that wet heavy snow), making shoveling a gruelingly difficult process. Today I am thankful we had the sunshine we did early last week so we could prepare for the storm ahead. Too many seasons have passed when we didn't rake enough or finish burning, making Spring a bit tedious in clean up. This Winter coming, I feel more prepared. 

I raked, Tim burned and The Little Girls had the best job, weighing down the wheelbarrow a.k.a. "rides".

Friday, November 19, 2010

Mad For Plaid.

 While wandering through my magazine collection in The Honey Hut searching for winter decorating ideas, I came across one of my favorite articles from Domino Magazine (R.I.P. in periodical heaven...sniff, sniff). I love plaid. My previous living room curtain adventure was of the plaid variety but quickly I grew tired of the colors as well as feeling like were living in perpetual winter. However, I do so enjoy touches of this Highland pattern during the cold months and if I were ever to be so lucky to afford a Winter cabin/home? I would decorate it just like Domino did.
 (photos scanned,  from the November 2007 issue)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Oh this baby! She is pure joy. And seeing her parents as well, parents? Amazing. This is a lucky girl and of course Craig and Shelley are lucky too. Their story of meeting their baby in Ethiopia is better than any birth story I've ever heard, they were instantly a family.
 I was so busy holding her every chance I got, I took very few photos. These two are Craig's, The Little Girls with their buddy Julia and me with a happy, proud Mama and her Naomi.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Baseball Birthday.

 Before The Little Girls, years passed unnoticed. Seasons passed, recognized only by wardrobe change or holidays. Nothing marks time more now than children, their development and growth. I can remember what I was doing with The Little Girls at this time last year and what stage they were in. I remember clothing they wore and what their faces looked like. A year ago, Jackson was born. I never imagined how much love can grow in such a short time. It continues to surprise me. I love this boy for his sweet nature, his easy smile, his adoration for the small things which he greets with pointed index finger, his connection to his cousins and how they all care for each other and for the special relationship we've built together every Tuesday when he comes to play.
 Jackson is 1 year-old. 
This precious boy is growing up too fast. Jared and Jenny 
celebrated by giving him a Giant's Baseball Party, two celebrations in one.
 Hot Dogs and French Fries.
 All in the Family.
 Jackson and his Auntie LiLi.
 Deeds and Savannah.
The 3 J's, a beautiful family.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Sac Antique Faire-November.

 Yesterday, the Little Girls and I wandered through the Sacramento Antique Faire. This dresser would have matched my side tables perfectly, especially considering it was refinished by the same vendor, but it was very pricey and unneeded.
 Ivy loved this jar of BLUE buttons, I was drawn to the red pliers.
 There were a lot of refinished pieces of furniture, in brightly painted colors.
 I ♥ these shoes! Had they been my size, I might have unnecessarily bought them.
This is what I ended up taking home. 
Vintage wrapping paper, bright orange fringe trim, 
an old lock, an embroidered runner and a tablecloth-perfect for my dining table.

Friday, November 12, 2010


Hello my dear Honey Hutters, what are you up to this fine Fall weekend?
We are meeting Naomi! Our friends Craig and Shelley waited at least 4 years through an arduous international adoption process to get their baby. We can't wait to see them as parents and meet this baby girl who came from so far away. 
Have a swell weekend!
(photo via Craig's facebook page.)

Thursday, November 11, 2010


 At the Ranch yesterday, my Dad, Sylvia and I canned applesauce.
I love this tradition and the stored shelves of yummy sauce.
 Peeling and coring Golden Delicious, Granny Smith and McIntosh  Red apples.
 Steamed and sterilized jars straight from the water bath and ready for fruit.
 Water Bath on the left, fruit cooking on right.
 Final product. This year was a canning record, 51 Quarts!
(crummy photos via my iphone.)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Elephantine is a favorite blog I follow. Rachel is having a giveaway. 
This Zig-Zag Tote from the eco-friendly Kind Boutique. Follow the directions at the bottom of her post and you might find yourself a lucky winner!

A friend of mine has started a new blog, Separate Checks. It's very clever and sure to be a favorite. Lucky for me, the Napa Valley isn't too far away and so I plan on dining at these "dive/sketchy" establishments based on "Frugal Guy's" recommendations. You really must check it out. So bookmark it. Now.
(Jed...genius, can't wait for more!)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Hudson's Big Birthday.

 Our cousin Huddy had his 1st birthday. 
To celebrate, his parents threw a big birthday bash. 
He is such a happy little guy, he is well loved.
 Lissa saw to every detail, I loved and children drooled over the candy cart.
 Sizing up the competition, getting ready for the task at hand. 
He is a boy Bishop, so this was an easy task.
 Hudson sharing his prized new car with all his birthday buddies.
 Lissa and Scott, thank you for inviting us to celebrate with you. 
The party was fantastic!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Family Hike.

 Friday was the perfect Autumn day for a hike at Sly Park Lake.
 Throwing rocks in the water, who does like this outdoor pastime?
 Con-TIM-plating life.
 Jack's first hike, I think.
The fresh air, quiet family time was intoxicating...can't wait to do it again.

Friday, November 5, 2010


Cheers to the weekend, some much needed rest and relaxing, 
spending time with friends and celebrating autumn. 
Dear November,
Thank you for making up for such a cold, miserable Spring. I do love an Indian Summer, and you are very gracious to spoil us Sun Worshipers each fall day the thermostat reaches 75. And yes, your magic paintbrush on Autumn leaves has not gone unnoticed. Spectacular, especially our pistachio tree. But sweet November, could you please give us cooler yet sunny weather by Thanksgiving weekend? I have ordered a delicious wool sweater I'd like to wear by then. Thank you and keep up the good work (until the 25th).
Love, Dusty

Thursday, November 4, 2010


This photo does not appropriately represent the size of this spider who dared to crawl across our living room floor the other night. I was as big as the shiver that ran up and down my spine twice over. It took Tim and I, a tupperware and some choreography to get this arachnid outside to its proper habitat. He was fast and on a mission. As a child I never really noticed spiders, I was more annoyed by mosquitoes and ants. My sister Dee Dee used to let out the most alarming shriek/squawk/shudder when she spotted a spider, and if one ever touched her? Well, her reaction evoked monster goosebumps on anyone within earshot. When I moved to Spain in my early 20's, I lived on the second floor of a well kept apartment building in the heart of the city. I didn't see even one cobweb let alone spider for about a year. When I moved back to California, I noticed every web and it's creepy maker with a shiver. Recently I canceled our pest control service to save a little money over these next cold winter months ahead. Hmmm...perhaps I should reconsider.  

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Thanks to...

 Mike and Jo- you have a warm, happy and welcoming home. You made me feel quite at ease in your space, like family. Thank you for watching out for us and guiding us through your city. You are every bit as delightful as I imagined. I'm so glad we are now friends, thank you for your generosity, the many smiles and your kind spirits.♥Thank you♥
Leilani-for the idea in the first place and including me on your "Last Hurrah Before Baby Comes, Trip". I'm so happy to have shared in this experience with you. ♥

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Here and There, NYC.

 Raoul's. A New York institution. My friend Aaron was the wine director here for four years, the food was incredibly delicious. If ever I am in a situation where I am asked for a "last meal" and could choose any cuisine, I would choose exactly what I ate that night. The stories Aaron told me about this establishment, the frequenting patrons, the servers and employees, the movies shot here- all of it was so colorful and alive.
 This was delicious, I don't even know what it was called but it did include grilled squid. It was divine.
 The dining room and the portrait? The Duchess of York.
 Aaron in his East Village.
Somewhere between Soho and the East Village. I love the pink.
 This restaurant was delicious also. I think it is called 44th and 10th...I don't know. All the servers were wearing shirts that said "Heaven" on the front and "In Hell" on the back. Clever. It is in Jo's (our gracious host's) neighborhood, Hell's Kitchen.
 Jo and Leilani.
 Ever wonder how the tiniest of children get around the city on a field trip while in nursery/preschool? These two examples fascinated me. Top: Hell's Kitchen, Bottom: Chelsey Market.
 If you visit New York, you must find Levain Bakery in the Upper West Side. The cookies are super-yummy. A 1/2 pound a piece. Crazy sweet.
 Looking in apartment windows at dusk. The Upper West Side.