Friday, June 29, 2012


The berry crop at The Ranch isn't quite ready for harvest so The Little Girls, Goo and I got our sweet/tart berry-picking-fix just above the Sattler property line at Patrick's.  
A view of The Ranch from the top of Patrick's. I used to walk home from babysitting through these acres.
Marionberries, Olallieberries, Tayberries...

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Funky Things.

Can I tell you something? I'm in a funk. Low energy, kind of down, really tired and desperate for a change of scenery. I've been low like this since Savannah finished the school year (when I abandoned my other blog) but really just began to admit it to myself this week. It isn't a constant "down" feeling, but it does creep up on me a couple times a day. I think it's a little of this. But it's also what my sister-in-law Jenny said: I need to get something big on the calendar. Our next (definite) big trip is a good 8 months away, I need a fix quicker than that. I'm thinking the ocean, Mendocino, this house.
When I was feeding The Goo early this morning, I stumbled upon this bright post. I love the comment thread, it cheered me up and got me thinking...What am I good at? And you know, running a short quick list in my head made me feel ready to face the day. When Tim woke up, I asked him off the top of his head something he is good at. I thought he would say one of the many things I think he is good at. For example; the art of conversation, his brain is a frickin calculator, ignoring whining or crying, setting his mind to something and following through (he is scary good at this, he once cut out eating sugar for months...DURING THE HOLIDAYS!) these sort of things. His response? "Being a dick at work." (this is true, it is the reason I don't work at our shop anymore). So something I am good at? I have a built in compass. I am very rarely lost and always know which direction I am facing. I can navigate my way around any city confidently even though I am a small town girl. What about you? What is your special talent? 

The other day Tim and I went on a date (thank you Deeds!) and I stopped to take this photo on Main Street. I have seen this historic spot a million times but for some reason it gave me the chills as I said to Tim, "That dummy hanging there is so freaky." Tim said, "It's fucking awesome is what it is." Confirming another thing he is good at; appropriately, but rarely, using the f-bomb to emphatically state his point.    

Monday, June 25, 2012

Living Vertically.

I am not fond of bunk beds (Have you ever changed the sheets on those damned beds?). I spent a large part of my childhood sleeping on a bunk bed or on the lower bunk of a trundle bed so when Tim and The Little Girls asked me what I thought about bunk beds, I cringed then said no. But the begging hasn't stopped and after much convincing on Tim's part, I caved then started the search.
Using this photo as a start,
and ultimately deciding on this set,
this is the end result.
 After two days of painting (me) and a third day of assembly (Tim), The Little Girls are in heaven. And I must admit, the extra floor space plus the amount of time Savannah, Ivy and The Goo now spend in this bedroom is worth the anxiety I have over changing the bedsheets. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

13 Years.

 June 20, 1999.
Out of all the photos taken on our wedding day, this one is my favorite. I love how it captures a private conversation between the two of us; our rings are showing, Tim is wearing a band aid, our mouths are full of food. It's a real life moment, not posed or contrived. Just real. I'd love to be transported back to this scene on that day. As of this year Tim and I have been together half our lives, a total of 18 years (We dated 5 years, have been married 13). Crazy. Love.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

♪♪ Mejor Sin Ti ♪♪

Last night I dreamt in Spanish. I could end this post here and now because for me, the impact of this statement is profound. Little else needs to be said. But it has been 14 years since I lived in Spain, 11 years since my last visit and 7 years since I last taught high school Spanish- so dreaming in Spanish has become less frequent as has my practice or use of the language. Anyone who has lived in a foreign country understands that you don't start to feel at home in your new surroundings until you dream in the local language. When you return to your hometown and settle back into your own culture and routine, a dream in your adopted language leaves you a bit heartsick and homesick. So naturally I'll do what I always do when I dream in Spanish...listen to Ella Baila Sola, La Oreja de Van Gogh and Alejandro Sanz on repeat today.   
San Sebastian, July 2001.

Monday, June 18, 2012

     Father's Day morning, Tim snuggling The Goo.

Something I didn't think about before I had kids was, what kind of a Dad would Tim be? This consideration is probably a big deal in terms of choosing to share your life with someone but not something I put any thought into at all. I'm sure that on a subconscious level I knew Tim would be competent in whatever he put his energy into. But to say I hit the jackpot when it comes to him being an involved Dad is an understatement. Little else matters to Tim than our little family, save our family business (because it supports our family financially) and some personal time (so he can come back to the family prepared to be a parent again). And while the lion's share of raising our kids is my job, I feel supported and cherished as their Mom because Tim lives in the present moment as an involved Dad whether we are at home or out and about. This is a gift he gives me everyday.

Something super important to Tim is the children's education. Did you know he volunteered in Savannah's class this last year? Yep, every Friday. (There are moments in parenthood where I look at Tim and his fathering skills and think he is sexy as hell. This is one of them.)

Friday, June 15, 2012

And Now Introducing...

Lucas Sebastian Graf!
Tim's sister Angela had her sweet baby boy yesterday morning.
 Weighing in at 6lbs. 15oz.
Angela, Lucas' big sister Addie and papa Ricardo.

What pride!
Congratulations Angela, Ricardo and Addie.
We can't wait to meet him. 

Thursday, June 14, 2012


Hank Miles Sattler
Born June 12, 2012 at 3:18pm.
7lbs. 4oz. 19in. long.
Jackson meeting his baby brother.
Hank and his beautiful Mommy. Good job Jenny!
My brother Jared, the proudest Dad.
Adoring cousins.
There is always more room in our hearts for love. The moment I looked at baby Hank, my heart swelled. Welcome to the world sweet boy.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Dream Tent.

Originally when The Little Girls and I planned for a sleepover with Jack, I promised them we would put up a tent like the one on the film The Holiday complete with paper stars hanging from the ceiling. Instead I brought in our camping tent and hung cupcake twinkle lights from the attic attachment. After I set it up (difficult to do indoors, go figure!), I was a little disappointed with my lack of creativity, but the wide eyes popping off three happy little faces reassured me I made good on my promise.
We also took Jackson to the hospital last night to meet his beautiful baby brother. Witnessing my brother's happy family meet together for the first time is surely one of the greatest moments of my life.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Magical Morning.

Jackson is here for a slumber party.
 Do you know what this means?
 I. can't. wait.

Friday, June 8, 2012

New Boy Cousin.

Meet Cruz Ty Bishop.
Baby Cruz is so sweet, already a month old! Yesterday we had a little play date with Lissa and her boys, Hudson is such a proud big brother. He gave us a play by play of every squeak, wiggle and cry Cruz made.
Grady was so excited to meet Cruz. He looked like a giant next to this newborn.
Savannah, The Baby Whisperer, couldn't wait to cuddle Cruz.
We have two more baby boy cousins on the way, due any day now...we can't wait to meet them.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Project Courage.

Remember last week when I said I don't make clothes for The Little Girls? It got me thinking...why not? My neighbor Nita has been making her own clothes lately, really adorable pieces and her bravery has been rubbing off on me. Yesterday during The Goo's first nap, I ran down to The Honey Hut grabbed my sewing machine, scissors, a zipper, some left over fabric mustered up a little courage and got to work. I didn't have a pattern and so the quality is likely poor but overall I was impressed with the dress until my brain went numb and I had to stop. The hem is unfinished but Ivy doesn't twirls and that's what matters most. She slept in it last night and still continues to wear it today. Success!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Juniper Tuesday.

 I haven't seen Tuesday since last Thursday. She never stayed away from me for more than a couple hours let alone this many days. She always comes to me when I call her and since I've all but lost my voice calling her out the back acre, I believe she is dead. Her usual sleeping haunts look sad and empty without her curled up body soaking up sunlight. I figured her end was near, she wasn't going to make it another winter let alone through this summer. She was 14.
I picked her up on a Friday during the Summer of 1998, I had just moved back to California after living a year in Spain. She was a wild kitten, very rebellious, reminding me of where I had been emotionally the year before. The first year or two she made a habit of sitting on my shoulder while I did the dishes, hiding in the laundry hamper and sleeping on the ironing board. She always curled up on my lower legs while I slept and often on my lower back. During cold winter months she would find her way to the bottom of my bed, buried deep under the down comforter. Sometimes I look out towards the playset at dinnertime, she climbs up the wood frame and goes down the slide (not kidding). She was only fond of me but then there were the frequent incidents when she punished me too. Nobody trusted her, she went from sweet kitty to bitch fe-LION in a nanosecond. She has had a long life and survived me having a roommate, Tim moving in, a household move, the birth of three children (punishing me every. single. time.), outlived Maile (our St. Bernard) and Marv (other kitty) and 2 horrid raccoon attacks. Many people who knew her will undoubtedly be unfazed by her demise but as for me, I already miss her softness, her sweet way she only showed me and the significance of our relationship-she is my only touchstone to a younger, single, carefree me.  

Monday, June 4, 2012


Last Friday we celebrated Savannah's Kindergarten Graduation. Look at these precious little children with so much promise! There was a slide show and the children sang a sweet song (video below).
Receiving her certificate from Mrs. Reeves. 
Savannah and Jackson (he brought her cute!)
Grandma and Grandpa Botting came to celebrate with us,
 Grandpa Dan and Sylvia too.
 Uncle Bubba, Aunt Jenny and Jack.
Her proud family.
 Best friend Gracie.
With her Mrs. Reeves.
And my favorite photo of the day. We all left Mrs. Reeves with tears in our eyes.

Mrs. Reeves read a lovely poem during the program. Sniffles filled the room. I don't know how she does it, sending these children out of her care. These babies spent more time in her loving classroom and under her guidance than they did {wakeful hours} with their families.