Bound for anywhere

boysOn Fridays, we are bound for anywhere. Today, flock after flock of brown pelicans paced us as we headed first for lunch with my dad. Steady down the coast, we discussed directional cardinality, and left and right. (That is, Lucas pointed out that his left shoe is always his left shoe, and Jacob noted that left is always left, but left can also be north or south or east or west.) We talked about why the compass in the car wasn’t broken, even though it said for a while that we were driving west when Santa Cruz is south of us, and we wondered about how compasses work. (Magnetism and the poles, or something? Oh, right. I had mostly forgotten.)

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How we learn

what's the oil for?

When I decided to do this NaBloPoMo thing, I forgot to take into account a few of my evening commitments for our preschool. Last night found me at an event put on by a local mother’s group, talking to parents of toddlers about why I love our play-based emergent curriculum and what it really means to be part of a parent-participation nursery school. It was a fun night, but it meant that I didn’t get to the computer in time to finish my post. I owe you guys one (maybe this weekend?) but I think you’ll forgive me, because if not for our preschool, I would not have this samosa recipe to share with you.

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To be practiced


For the last three weeks, any time I can’t find Lucas, I look for a trail of kishu peels – peeling is a recent development, and one he’s quite fond of. He is a well-known citrus lover in these parts, but still I have been astounded at the rate he consumes these tiny (they make Satsumas look massive) sweet-tart darlings. The citrus farmer at our Saturday market sells them by the pound, and each week I have purchased a pound more than the week before – but to date, they haven’t lasted past Tuesday.

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What we choose to keep

serrano chilesMy dad and stepmom had a bumper crop of Thai bird chiles this year. Thai birds are a mouth-punching terror of a chile, so we figured it out quickly when Lucas came in from their garden screaming and wiping frantically at his mouth, Jacob hot on his heels calling “He didn’t listen to me when I said that it wasn’t a tomato!” Continue reading

A bit of a cheat

Lucas feetSometimes when I find that I can’t work through the words in my head, that I’m stretching to sift them onto a page, I put away my pen. A walk helps. But often I turn to someone else’s work. It’s a bit of a cheat, maybe. But depending on how I feel stuck, I have a medicine chest of writers close at hand, writers who can remind me of the many ways people make magic with words. In a lonely business, their voices can bring me back round to my own.  Continue reading

Traveling the deep

At the Monterey Bay Aquarium there is an exhibit called Open Sea. It is a spectacle, awe-inspiring; a magnificent 90-foot window glows blue in the dark of the viewing room, and behind it, enormous tuna swim with shoals of sardines and green sea turtles. There are big sharks, 5,000 pound sunfish.

The water is so deep that looking at it, I feel something sort of like vertigo.

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