Thursday, August 29, 2013

Quite A Few Things.

-I spoke comfortably in Spanish yesterday, off the cuff and for the first time in a long time. I usually dream in Spanish, flawlessly I might add. My friend Esmeralda once told me the only way a non-Spanish speaker speaks perfect Spanish is in a dream or while inebriated. Anyways, I think I communicated well and I feel proud.

-Today we had a break from the smoke of the Yosemite Rim Fire. By "a break" I mean we only had smoke for a little this morning. I just read a discouraging report describing the immense efforts battling the blaze and the projected complete containment? Months away. Until the Autumn rains put it out. Ugh...Heavy.

-The Goo put on a fantastic show of screaming all morning yesterday, I was strung out last night from emotional overload. When I woke up this morning beside two of my three children (I swear this smoke is giving The Honey Hut nightmares galore), I knew something had to give.

So Goo and I attended "Mother Goose Is On The Loose" nursery rhyme time at our local library. The Little Girls and I used to go to this First Five Program only, it was a lot more of a challenge having two children to spend equal amounts of time between. I felt a bit free to only participate with Goo. Piece of cake. Then we went to the feed store to look at baby chicks (I know, I'm sick...bird flu). We went thrift shopping and came across this...

Once we got it in the car, he couldn't keep his eyes open he was so exhausted.

-Savannah told me the first sign of aging is wrinkly hands. Then she told me my hands look wrinkly. Awesome.

-As you may know we don't really watch television here at The Hut. The Little Girls watch movies once in a while but at the start of the school year Tim and I decided to make a household rule of no t.v. viewing during the school week, only limited movies on the weekend. In case you are wondering, it took The Little Girls exactly 10 days to stop asking to watch a show. They are comfortable now with our routine and we are taking many trips to the library, checking out books on CD, chapter and picture books and children's music CDs. This detachment from t.v. has been a bumpy road but one necessary to the emotional health of one Little in particular and now that we are consistent and vigilant, her healing has changed the dynamic of our family time together. It's that big of a deal.

-I had a nightmare Monday night and still I just can't shake it. Here's how it went...Our Little family was touring a new area in search of a new place to live. Everyone kept telling us to visit Bolstoy. On our way, we drove past a road that dead ended off a sheer cliff. We looked at each other and Tim said, "let's make sure NOT to go that way." But we ended up lost and backtracking, heading towards the mountains on a very straight path. Before we knew it our minivan was flying off that cliff and we looked at each other knowingly then told each Little how rich they made our lives and the depth of our love. They were smiling and singing, "weeee!!!" Then I woke up.

-Today Savannah looked just like my Mom. Her hair, her outfit, the way she ran and smiled. It was beautiful.

-I am reading a great book. I couldn't handle the suspense of the big secret the main character holds. I looked in the back and potentially ruined the surprise for myself. Now I'm not sure I want to finish it. I'm trying to break my habit of abandoning books. Trying not to be a difficult...

-Just now I spent the better part of a half hour up in our overgrown, not-been-pruned-in-two-years plum tree rescuing Ginger and Beatrice from roosting high in the branches. When the sun goes down, and if chickens haven't made it into the coop, they roost up as high as they can for they have night-blindness. Before we found them in the plum tree, we searched their favorite haunts. On my way around the lilac bush, I felt a crackle on my face as I walked straight into this...
with my face!!!!!! I can still hear that crackle of web-strands snapping. Can't blame the smoke on nightmares tonight.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

FUN. With Eva.

FUN. was in at State Line last night headlining at the Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena. Eva invited me to go when, at the last moment, David couldn't make it. And she couldn't have asked a more gleeful fan. It was so nice to spend time with Eva, just us ladies. Nice to talk about life and family but have a break and be removed from it while enjoying great entertainment. The FUN. show was fantastic and the opening, Tegan and Sara, really good too. We ran into a girlfriend from high school and college at dinner (Julie Hata Ching) who was on a date to the concert with her husband Brian, so lovely to see them. I feel so fortunate to have been a spectator last night at a great venue with such a fun (pun intended) band. Thank you Eva!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Wright's Lake.

Is the air smoky where you are Hutters? Ugh, the mornings here are thick with smoke from the Yosemite Rim Fire. The ash and burnt air blow away before noon so I feel very fortunate we have clean-ish skies for the majority of the day. On Sunday we jumped at the chance to get out of the foothills and head for higher ground. My friend Jaxi invited us to join her and her family on a little outing to Wright's Lake. I spent many summer weekends hiking here as a child and teenager. It was a sweet feeling to return and enjoy the peace of this quiet spot. Strangely and awesomely we ran into our neighbors and they joined us too. A gaggle of girls splashed in the cold water then shivered on the banks while Goo, the only boy Little, tried to keep up. We picked wild blueberries and enjoyed easy company while taking in the fresh, crisp air.
Littles on a log.

Friday, August 23, 2013


Tomorrow night is Book Club, my sweet friend Sarah is hosting. She has been talking about and recommending Moloka'i for the last year. I'm so glad she picked it. Hutters: I fell hard for this book. It is so, so, SO good. Difficult to read as a mama, but worth the hard passages. I read most of it today (just in the nick of time!) while Goo and Ivy slept away the stomach flu.
I had the good fortune of visiting Moloka'i on one of the Botting family trips to the Hawaiian Islands. We had been staying in Maui and on a whim decided to check it out. Moloka'i is an amazingly beautiful if not rugged island, quite remote and sparsely populated. Truth: The ferry boat over from Lahaina was harrowing. And there were moments of such trepidation on the angry sea, we wondered if the boat might indeed capsize. If you ever decide to visit, maybe don't take the ferry boat. Also the atmosphere once off the ferry was spooky. We all agreed the island felt haunted, no doubt the tragic history of so much sickness, sadness and death of the residents of the leper colony contributed to that prickly feeling on the back of our necks. Margaret broke her foot our one morning after breakfast, it was awful. We visited a coffee plantation, the aroma was divine. We looked out over Kalaupapa (the leper settlement) but didn't tour, it was sad enough from above (though now I wish we had). I enjoyed two of the best meals of my life (dinner: local fish, breakfast: coconut French toast) during our two day stay on the island. We decided to fly back to Maui rather than risk our lives on the ferry and Margaret more injury or trauma to her foot. 
At the lookout over Kalaupapa. Here is a better snap with Angela.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Odd Woman Out.

This is what I miss most about The Little Girls being in school all day: unlimited hand-holding. I miss their sweet little hands reaching out to mine as we walk along or as I help them in and out of the car. Their absence during the school day is strange for me. A little too quiet. I keep thinking of projects I need to do to keep my mind off their being gone. And today when I had an hour to myself as Goo slept, I found myself picking up my book and reading, uninterrupted. It felt wrong or weird or like I was slacking around the house and property when I should/could be utilizing that time to clean bathrooms, fold laundry or finish the chicken run in the garden. I'm not sure what to make of this time with just Goo and I at home. I haven't been in the company of just one of My Littles for long periods of time in 6 years. Whatever this is, it is new, and is going to take some adjusting.

Monday, August 19, 2013

New Kitchen.

So this is likely all a little too anti-climatic for you dear reader, but I want to show you the almost finished kitchen project Tim and I worked on this summer. I've been waiting for a custom trim piece for the front of my new sink to be finished (the craftsman is taking forever and I have just about had it) but I took some photos a few day ago and decided to share. First the horrid before...
and now...
Here's what we did;
tore down the cabinets on one wall, pulled down tile back splash, ripped out the counter and sink, painted (rolled) all the boxes and sprayed the cabinet doors, added new hardware and hinges, installed the butcher block counter tops and farmhouse sink. The only thing we didn't do ourselves is replace drywall, lay the tile or install shelves. We are quite proud of ourselves, Tim and I, we had zero experience (or tools) with this type of demolition or installation. A project like this is confidence building and inspiring. We look at other areas of our living space and wonder "what if we...".
(super crummy pic, I know...but as you can see all the cabinets were sprayed white and so I no longer cook in a cave of dark cabinets!)
None of my appliances look great with this all white kitchen and so once they give up the ghost I'll invest in a new refrigerator at the very least, maybe the dishwasher and I want to change the tile floor and...oh dear, I guess in my mind I'm not done here after all... 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The First Day.

The Little Girls started school today. When we dropped Ivy off at her classroom, she hardly hesitated.

(This photo says it all; Savannah is pensive and nervous, Ivy is confident and happy and Little Goo just wants to be a big kid.)
Ivy walked in to find her friend from yesterday's Round Up and off they went to play toys on the mats. She didn't even look back. I cried. Mostly because I am happy this is a smooth transition but also because I was sad she wouldn't miss me today like I would miss her. But she is completely ready to begin her education, as she should be. That is what this whole extra year at home with me was all about: making certain she was ready.
 Ack, this look kills me. I want to calm all Savannah's worries and fears for her by taking her in my arms and out of discomfort when she gives me this mug. I can't hard to leave her looking like this...that tight smile...ugh.
I was on pins and needles all day, anxious to hear about each exciting detail. Both Little Girls had a great day at school. I got the full report the moment they stepped off the bus.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


Miss Ivy had a great birthday.
She woke up to the birthday song and EXACTLY what she wished for, a big and little sister Lalaloopsy set, from Grandma and Grandpa. I made her favorite breakfast and then she had to quickly get ready for Kinder Round Up (a 2 hour meet-and-greet with her teacher Mrs. T).
(I think she looks just like my mom in this photo)
Tim rode the bus to school with her, she was very brave and only looked back at me once. I was waiting for the emotional "scrunchedupfacearmsoutfingersgrabbingforme" panic attack to strike but it didn't, so I was relieved then incredibly disappointed and sad. I choked back a large sob as the bus pulled away. Then got back in the car to meet them at the school.
Ivy walked into her classroom and shook hands with her teacher, then went to the mat and pretended she was okay. I could see she was about to break form so Tim and I grabbed Savannah and Goo (who thinks he owns the place), and hurried out of the classroom. She took the bus home by herself, I couldn't be prouder of this Little Red.
She decided on Sushi for dinner (yay!) where I made her don the traditional birthday hat.
Tomorrow is the first full day of school.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Last Day Of 5.

Tomorrow Ivy Jane turns 6 years-old. She is so big and independent now, I hate it...and I love it, but mostly I hate it. I just want to freeze her in this age and very moment and never let her grow for even one more second. She has been counting down the days until her birthday since last Christmas, "Mama, how many more days til my birssday?" Minutes, Little Red, minutes.

Thursday, August 8, 2013


Ivy Jane has been in Kinder-Kamp with Mrs. Reeves this week. She is incredibly more confident to start school than Miss Savannah was but then again, she has seen her big sister off to school every day for the past two years and knows the routine by now (her Mama on the other hand...sniff, sniff). She did get a bit of a quivered chin that first day we dropped her off but now she is ready, dressed and teeth brushed before the other Littles have blinked the sleep out of their eyes.
And Goo...that lucky son of a gun...gets a sweet ride around the Kindergarten courtyard from Savannah while we wait for Ivy's class to finish. Secretly I know Savannah loves this, she has spoken fondly of these little bikes off and on since her early days in Kindergarten.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013


Did you go to your community's National Night Out? I don't know about any other town's NNO but ours is so sweet. This tiny town makes good on a summer shindig. Savannah and Ivy had such fun running around with their friends from Girl Scouts and school, getting their faces painted, stuffing their faces with s'mores and bouncing forrrrreverrrrr in the Incredible Hulk (what?) bounce house.
Meanwhile The Goo fully inspected the classic car line-up along the park. Each car got a "Hi!" and friendly gentle pat from his chubby hand. The tires got a good "Buahhh!" and rub, especially the whitewalls.