Monday, September 30, 2013

Savannah's Birthday

We were in Truckee for Savannah's birthday, she had a super fun three days with her siblings and little boy cousins, Jack and Hank. Here is the play by play of her expressions while being celebrated by our off-key but proud rendition of "Happy Birthday".

Friday, September 27, 2013

Last Day Of 7.

Savannah Jane turns 8 years old tomorrow. This little girl is pure sunshine and compassion. She still believes in magic, she has a vast imagination, she is kind, she is a champion pretender and make-believer, she is loving and believes in good. I wish I was her. She is who I want to be when I grow up. I'm so proud and thank heaven for her companionship these almost 8 years. Today we are celebrating the last day of 7 and squeezing out every last drop.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


Apparently I live in a cave, deep in the woods because "The Fox" from yesterday's post is supposedly old freaking news. 

I've been sick with the flu for four days now and today I felt the worst. But life doesn't slow down for the person who holds it all together and yet is falling apart herself. Littles are healthy and therefore carry on as usual: they need lunches made and help with homework, to be taken to school, ballet, the dentist, Cross Country...I really need my Mom right now. If she were here, I'd rest my head on her lap and just cry. 
Goo's first dental appointment and cleaning.
My sweet friend Sarah, cheering on My Little.
Miss Savannah at the finish.
This fungi is spilling out of the base of an old oak tree here at The Hut.
This photo doesn't quite capture the growth's ruffles, detail or brilliant orange color. I'm sure this can't be good for the tree but I love it. It's radiating vibrancy brings a smile to my face each time I see it.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Neighborly Advice.

My neighbor Nita has been telling me for weeks now about this video. Today she popped over to make sure I watch it. I'm so glad she did. Remember this?

Monday, September 23, 2013

Adventure By The Sea.

There were six of us. My sister Shannon, our little friend Wrenna, My Littles and I. We headed west through the valley and across the coastal range. Just as we were about to view the sea Shannon says, "Dusty, what's your plan for gas? Your light is on." My fuel gauge, while in my line of sight for three solid hours, wasn't on my radar. My one goal...get to the beach. At first I mini-panicked, then relaxed. Surely there was a gas station at Dillon's Beach.
In the village, I asked around while anxious Littles salivated at the waves. The answer? Next gas 20ish miles in Petaluma. If I could make it to Tamales, 5 miles south, the fire station MIGHT sell me a gallon. I was fairly certain I couldn't make it out of the beach parking lot but took a chance and drove down a road that promised boat launching/campground. My hope was I could buy a gallon off someone at the campground store. The clerk inside took pity on me but told me she had sold a gallon some time back and didn't have any gasoline at all. 
With a quivering chin I asked her, "Do you have any advice?"
She said, "Ummm..."
When out of the corner a voice said, "How much do you need?"
I searched for the owner of those words and focused in on an old fisherman, in a wheelchair, drinking hot tea next to the Ice Cream case.
"A half gallon." I said weakly.
"I've got some gas." he stated.
My hopes rose, "You do?"
"Yes. Let me finish my tea here and I'll meet you out back." He pulled the tea bag out of his disposable cup and blew the steam away.
"Great." I said. "I thank you so much."
I walked out to the car and brought good news to Shannon, then took all The Little Girls to the restroom. By the time I got back, the fisherman was with a friend telling us where to meet them for the gas. We drove through the trailers and mobile homes and came to a raised boat with a ramp up the side. The fisherman's friend was there to pour and he told his friend to give it all.
"That's 2 gallons. Should get you to Petaluma or beyond."
I pulled from my wallet some money and he wouldn't take it. I was persistent and finally he had no choice. After thanking him and saying goodbye I turned the car around, looked to wave and he was gone. I caught up to his friend who had started walking around the corner and asked him,
"Was that guy for real? I turned around and he was gone!"
He told me, "His name is Tim... He is 77 years old. That man is a great man. He was paralyzed in a car accident when he was 20. He is a commercial fisherman out of Tamales Bay and has lived in that campground for 33 years. He has the best seafood and sells it for a great price. He is a proud man."
I thanked him and we drove down the road towards the beach parking lot.

Friday, September 20, 2013

The Sea Is Calling.

Today I NEED to see the ocean. I cannot read another line of this until I drink in the sea. I've packed up My Littles, and I'm headed west. I cannot wait to smell that salty, cold, cypress/eucalyptus, Pacific Ocean air. That rugged Northern California coastline pulls on my heart at this time of year. Happy Weekend! 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Why I Might Be Considered A Buzzkill To My Little.

Savannah had her second Cross-Country race today. She is handling all of this quite well considering all the second-graders run with the third-graders because some of the schools participating don't start their running program until third grade. She is so small...and on the day of the race, so nervous. I think she may have waited for her friend towards the end who was falling behind, which I think is kind but not at all competitive or the point of an individual sport. I couldn't help but remind her to run for herself and not worry about those around her. She was compliant but annoyed, I may have bummed her out a bit. 
Here she is at the finish. LOOK at how big that third-grade beast is in front of her! Oh My Littlie...

I must mention because I am still burning up inside about this...the burn is not yet eased...
I walked with Savannah to get on the bus before they left for the meet. As the driver was reading off the names, the coach jumped on the bus to reprimand the loud and unattended riders to pipe down. At the top of the steps she yelled cruelly and shortly, "SHUT UP!" Savannah's neck wiped her head around to look at me, I'm sure she thought I would combust into flames out of anger over those two words. Instead she saw my eyes as saucers and eyebrows arching so high they joined my hairline. On the way home, I told The Little Girls how inappropriate her words were and how I do not intentionally put them in the care of adults who behave in that manner. Savannah defended her by saying how nice her coach usually is. And I am glad she defended her coach because this ultimately means Savannah respects her and will listen to her while on the team. I however, feel differently.

Monday, September 16, 2013


Yesterday I canned 18 quarts of peaches. That's peeling and prepping over 100 peaches. As with most adventures in food preserving, I grossly underestimated the task at hand. The time, energy, waiting, cleaning...oh the cleaning! I'm sure the end will justify the means so I'm focusing on the promise of this summer's harvest in the winter months ahead.
Back in June we had some very hot days. Our lawn was looking lush, thick and bright green. I mow the lawns on a regular basis here at The Honey Hut and so as I looked ahead at the weather in June, I saw unseasonable and miserably hot weather ahead. I like a very short grass, easier to scoop the dog poop or find Goo's lost and precious cars in the blades. I cut the grass very short that day to prolong the next mowing. The next day was hot and no matter how much I had watered after mowing, the short (oh, very short) lawn shriveled back to a sad brown color. Tim was...perturbed. And he was gracious with me because he only mentioned it a couple times. But I know he has been annoyed because he admitted he hasn't enjoyed spending time in our garden this summer. So over the last week I've been on a mission to revived the lawn with what little free time I have. I found an aerator at the thrift store, an archaic tool of the 1960's. It was a few callouses and blisters, a full afternoon and $3.50 worth of torture. BUT tonight as I was watering I couldn't hold back a smile of pride: I am happy to say the lawn is looking great considering I mostly killed it only months ago.
So my brain is mostly mush. No really. It's an odd byproduct of this choice I've made to stay home and raise My Littles. Before I had kids I was a junior high teacher. My brain's capacity and retention were exercised on a daily basis. I had a thirst for information and facts. My day-to-day fed that curiosity. I feel now my brain is challenged in stamina and endurance, it is competing in an obstacle course in a dense fog. Yep. It's cool though, because even with all that mushiness? The best job I've ever had and will ever have is growing up with My Littles.
And on that note, it is killing me inside to see how big The Little Girls are getting. I looked at Savannah today as I walked her to her classroom and I felt a physical pain in my chest in response to
how grown up she seemed. I'm sick about it. Sick. So, so sick. Time is my enemy as far as The Littles are concerned. I really, really want them to stay little forever.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Something About An Apple And A Tree...

Today was Savannah's first cross-country meet. She is in the youngest age group and new to running. The course was long for her and in this heat, tough. She was overwhelmingly exhausted from the hype and her performance. Seeing her joy and excitement during the race gave me a sharp, swollen lump in my throat. I am so proud of her. And that elation at the beginning of the run? I know exactly how she feels.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Everywhere I look today I see the people of this small town remembering the victims of 9/11/01. I love this country and never has our flag stirred so much emotion inside me than on these anniversary days, remembering how quickly we lost our sense of security and peace: uniting us deeply in protecting our freedom.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Farm Wishlist.

Someday I want...
Welsh Harlequin Ducks. I can't get these Lovelies out of my mind. Did you know ducks imprint with their owners when raised as pets? How precious is that? I think I need some pets.

Friday, September 6, 2013


This week has left me a bit shaky, Hutters. Whenever Autumn creeps in on the end of Summer and the nights are cooler and longer, my body longs for deep sleep. No amount of eye cream or coffee can make me look more alert, I'm just tired. This weekend I have one goal. I want a nap. A big fat nap. And I'll wake up on my own when my body is ready, without hearing Pug's barking or a Little crying in the garden. And when I do wake up on my own, I'll drowsily walk outside and watch My Littles play joyfully in the sprinklers.
Have a lovely weekend.

Thursday, September 5, 2013


Happy Birthday Tim! (I'm sure everyone gets a good laugh from the photo with you donning the birthday hat but my favorite is the one above. I could watch you read to our Littles forever in complete happiness. I love you.)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Pony Party.

Our sweet friend Amani (Wrenna's sister) invited us to her 4th birthday party. We spent the early part of the afternoon at a local riding stable and then after headed to Amani's family ranch for dinner.
Miss Wrenna and Miss Amani
Wrenna and Amani's family put on the best parties. We have been so fortunate to spend quality time with them this summer as they live just around the corner from The Honey Hut. The food and decorations (flowers) are from their enormous, elaborate garden. Their view of the sun setting on the hills around their little ranch is dream-like and unimaginable unless seen in person. 
Miss Amani in all her 4 year-old splendor.
Goo doing what Goo does best.