Monday, August 31, 2015


Oh Happy Day! My tests results came back negative for breast cancer. Thank you for your calls, texts, thoughts, prayers and positive energy. If I've learned anything these last few days-- waiting for the unknown, it is that life is so very, very precious.
Love to you all, 

Saying Goodbye To The Very Best.

For the past 2 years I have sat in this kitchen 2-3, sometimes up to 4 mornings a week drinking coffee with Tara. Littles played at our feet or upstairs in the playroom or out in the yard while we sat marveling of them, discussing their triumphs and failures, hoping for their bright futures, cracking up at the things they say and sharing our hard times raising Littles. We shared recipes, clothes, children with food allergies, a deep involvement in our Littles' schooling, instilling in them a love of outdoors and teaching them about artists and different styles of art (we did summer art school once a week for all the Littles, we all loved it! We used this book). Tara and I gardened together, shared books, shared a love for running--helping each other train for different races, we both have family businesses and our husbands work long hours. We both have a loving parent who has passed away. Tara has been a partner to me, having coffee with her and watching our Littles grow has been akin to "going to the office"/"heading into work". We met when she changed schools after a few weeks into the school year, her daughter Olive joined Ivy's Kinder class and the rest is history. Tara, Olive and Luxen left this morning early to start a new life in Poulsbo, Washington. They are joining Jeremy, who has been working up there the last few weeks. They have bought a lovely house and piece of property. I am so happy for them--to settle down, raise a farm, start fresh in a place Jeremy's business can thrive.
And I am sad for me. Friendship came easily between Tara and I. I hate to see her leave and...I really did. This morning, hoping she hadn't pulled out of her driveway yet, I got up with the sun and took her a last cup of coffee to share at her house in Camino. Her Littles and I talked while she finished packing the car. We loaded up her 3 cats and I watched them pull away; from me, from Camino and from a future here. 
Tara packing up while we chat, coffee and Little Boys play.
Tara, Olive and Luxen at Silver Lake.
Goodbye dinner for the Morris' Family at Potter's. This group is together often on Saturday nights during the Summer at Potter's ranch. (l-r Mike, Tara, Jeremy, Potter, Tim, myself, Krista behind the camera)
All our Littles playing as the sun goes down here in Camino.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Donuts, Toes and Boobs.

Raise your hand if you are ready for the weekend Hutters! Yes, it's okay to raise both. Today is opening day for Apple Hill, I plan on taking the Littles to Rainbow Orchards before school, it has been a long 9 months since we've indulged in one of these Apple Cider Donuts. I can't wait.
The last 4 days have been a bit of a whirlwind for me. I rarely see the doctor and so this week's events have taken their toll. Monday I saw my doctor after becoming concerned with a lump in my breast that had changed shape. What followed Wednesday were 2 mammograms, an ultrasound and a scheduled needle biopsy and follow up mammogram for Thursday morning.   
In the meantime, Wednesday night I broke my toe...again. But it's a new toe I haven't broken before so does it count? Pain receptors say aye. AYE!
While I sit here with an ice pack tucked into my bra let me tell you what happened. I have a long standing relationship with a cyst in my left breast. When I noticed during a yoga pose a small discomfort, I did a self check which pushed me to make an appointment. The lump seemed to have changed shape and density. Fast forward past the 2 mammograms and ultrasound and straight to the biopsy: the biopsy had me nervous. A hollow vacuum needle goes into the breast guided by the image on the ultrasound. The doctor opens up the needle and starts vacuuming up the abnormal breast tissue. Once samples are taken, a marker is placed inside my breast and the needle comes out. I felt none of this thanks to the pre-numbing shots given at the beginning of the procedure. Once the needle is out, extreme pressure is applied to the breast to stop the bleeding. This was painful and because of my typically low blood pressure, I started to feel faint and nauseous. After bleeding stopped and bandage applied I felt better and got up to take a final mammogram. At the machine during the second slide I .....................................................................................saw a tall man in a black suit and bowtie, he was wearing a top hat and was holding his hand out to me. I was about to take his hand and as I reached out.......................................................................................................
nurse Debbie brought me back. She caught me on my way down, I passed out cold. And you know what? Those 5 seconds were the best sleep I've had in days. I stayed laying flat on the floor for quite some time then graduated to sitting up and eventually taking that last mammogram image then retreating to the comfort of my own clothes. I stayed an hour or so longer until I felt good enough to drive myself home. Since then it's been ice packs (boob and toe), Tylenol and laying low. I don't find out the results from the biopsy until next week, which is you know, unnerving. But I do feel optimistic thanks to some reassurance from the doctor and nurses who took exemplary care of me.

Monday, August 24, 2015

A Mountain Date.

On Friday I took The Littles to Grandpa and Grumbie's house for the weekend and Tim and I celebrated a late, late anniversary weekend. Our destination/plan? Stay home and do things normally challenging with 3 Littles. We ate at our favorite local restaurants and our big outing was to hike out of Echo Lake as far as we felt we could without loosing enjoyment of the adventure. Which took us to Tamarac Lake. Tim was the first to get in, brave lad, the waters were cold. And the lake is a bit eerie: the shoreline is rocky and shallow for about 10 feet out then an extreme dark drop off awaits. I was spooked.   
But not enough to miss out. I forgot my suit but couldn't resist a refreshing swim. So in true adventure style, skinny-dipped.
I have always wanted to take the water taxi across both lakes (upper and lower Echo) and so on the hike back down Tim indulged me. The cabins on the perimeter of the lake and on the islands were charming and picturesque.

Tim and I haven't had a "trip" or time away from Littles in quite some time. It is easy for a relationship to get put on the backburner while family time and the raising of Littles presses emergent. After some perspective and alone time with Tim I realize how very important it is to reconnect with my partner. Thank you to Tim's parents for taking such tremendously good care of our Littles and for spoiling them so fantastically.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Ivy is 8.

All Ivy wanted to do for her birthday was go to Granite Arch and rock climb with her family. We loved the idea! So her Grandparents, Margaret and Gordon, met us up in Sacramento and we spent the afternoon watching The Littles climb.
She chose The Old Spaghetti Factory for her birthday dinner.
And opened a few presents, she got exactly what she wanted!
Her actual birthday fell on the 2nd day of school, she wanted chocolate dipped meringues to share with her class then peach cobbler for dessert after dinner.
Grandpa Dan and Sylvia joined us for dessert and celebrating Ivy's turning 8. This Little Red is sweet, tender, loving and funny. She has a mind of her own and marches to the beat of her own little drum. I can't wait to see how she grows this new year.
By the way, Ivy is the best sleeper. She knows just when she has had enough, powers down and once asleep, sleeps solid. I love and admire this about her, she doesn't try to push herself into exhaustion and values the rejuvenation of a good night's sleep.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

First Day of 2nd and 4th Grade, Last Day of 7.

Today The Little Girls started back at school. Ivy is in 2nd Grade and Savannah is in 4th. Both girls are on the same campus but they now go to different schools. Ivy is in the traditional program with a favorite teacher of ours while Savannah was accepted into the Science and Natural Resource Charter School. They will see each other in passing each day but no longer share recess together.

Sending The Little Girls back to school is difficult for me. I miss them terribly. I am not the mom who dreads summer and can't wait to get the kids back in classes again. I am the mom who comes home after drop-off and sadly looks at the last places The Little Girls touched, pining for them. The half eaten pancake swimming in a syrupy dish on the table, the 3 outfits that didn't make the cut strewn across the house in piles on the floor, beds unmade and loved stuffies settling in for the long day without their people. Sniff, sniff. I might be the mom who told Goo, "Let's go clean the girls' room and make it nice for them when they come home!" just so I could sit in the light of their living space for a bit longer. I likely have a harder time sending them back to school than they have readjusting from easy summer to school schedule. I'll get back into the swing of things soon I'm sure. 
Also, today is Ivy's last day of 7. For the last few weeks she has been so excited for her birthday. Just now as I kissed her goodnight, she told me she was sad. She wants to stay 7, is a bit afraid of turning 8. She wants to stay little forever and you know? I am right there with her.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Nevada City Craft Fair.

On Friday afternoon we met up with Shannon and John for a fun evening in Nevada City. Each year The Miner's Foundry hosts The Nevada City Craft Fair where local artists and crafters set up booths and present their treasures for sale.
Littles waiting to see their aunt and uncle.
Shannon and John spoiling the girls with a choice lovey for their birthdays. (Thank you!)
The venue.
Where boys sit and wait for girls who shop.
We each walked away with something special, one of a kind items. A fun little story: while perusing beautifully screen printed t-shirts, the artist and her boyfriend leaned over saying, "We couldn't help but hear you talking with your son, did you say his name was Grady?" I said yes and the boyfriend said, "My name is Grady too! And get this, my dad's name is Tim." Neat connection as we have never before met a Grady and certainly not a Grady whose dad's name is also Tim! Mind blow. We all got a kick out of such a unique coincidence. The evening was such fun exploring a different town with Shannon and John.
Saturday morning Savannah Jane got a back to school haircut. I just had to share her first look reaction, she loves it.   

Friday, August 7, 2015

National Night Out.

Did you go to your community's National Night Out? This is Camino's best free event, the Community Action Committee provides live music, a BBQ, raffles and family old timey games. The Sheriff comes out to give children a tour of the gear and vehicles, local paramedics also let children sit in the driver's seat.
Krista and I help Edie (below at the fishing hole) with the games; water balloon toss, sack races and 3 legged races. 
Goo and I were partners...we didn't fall down!
Potter and Botting girls.
Our picnic
Water balloon tosssssssss!!!!
I love this event. It's charming to see our neighbors come together and enjoy our little town on a Tuesday night.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Peaches And Littles.

The peaches are ready at Sattler Ranch, I couldn't be more delighted. The conundrum of what to do with so much fruit is a happy puzzle to solve. So far I've canned peach bellini jam, vanilla white peach and nectarine jam, made sangria, dried peaches, peaches for the winter months are zipped away in the freezer and I still have several boxes for eating and canning. Such bounty, thanks Dad for sharing with me.
This last week we took a little break from peaches and rode over to our new Auburn store with Tim for the day. Littles and I drove up to Nevada City for breakfast, explored a bit
then spent the afternoon at Funfinity, an indoor play place. Where Grady made a new friend!
We ended the day at the Kuest's house, friends of ours from way back. Seeing our Littles play together was awesome.