Summer Mornings

Morning. I don't usually write this time of day but I find myself with ten minutes before I need to take a shower, house picked up, lunch made, breakfast eaten, Chloe still asleep, Ron gone to work. Cool still after so many days of hot and smoky skies. Birds are fed, bird bath refilled, ferns misted. Trash and recycles at the curb ready for pick up. Kayla fed and sleeping again.

I will miss my summer mornings. Time to get my chores done, sleeping until seven with no need for an alarm clock. No fussing with Chloe to get her night owl self out of bed and to hurry up so we can get out the door by 7:45. Leisurely drive to work with just NPR or Oprah for company. Such a treat. This is our last week and then fifth grade begins. 

I so clearly remember my fifth grade year, the start of the person I think of as me, with continuous memories to now. I remember being nine and ten as freedom. Riding my bike around the neighborhoods, drinking from a random garden hose when I got thirsty, playing at the school playground with my best friend, just us two. Death drops, death spirals, hours on the bars. Chinese jumprope, double dutch, magical games of dolphins and mermaids in her doughboy pool. Being the head of my class, without even realizing it was something you were supposed to work for. Envying the pretty girl in class, Kristi Passarelli, and her seemingly effortless cool while I struggled with my skinny legs and whether I was brave enough to wear striped knee socks with my pant legs rolled up. (I wasn't.) 

Reading, reading, and reading some more. Trips to the library, alone, coming home with an armful of books to devour. Getting lost in those worlds. Malory Towers, The Rats of NIMH, stories of nurses and stewardesses and female reporters. Fantastic worlds of societies below the root and above the ground. Tuesday and Saturday nights spent with Laverne and Shirley, Happy Days, The Love Boat, Fantasy Island, cuddling with my mom on the sofa. Endless after school afternoons filled with Hogan's Heroes, The Brady Bunch, The Partridge Family, Gilligan's Island. Elaborate worlds built for my barbies, with washcloths for bedspreads, a jewelry box as a dresser, small stuffed toys that became chairs. Playing school for hours, writing reports for the fun of it. Completely independent with my school work and homework. Sly Park away from my family, sitting on the bank of a stream, feet dangling, feeling so grown up. And free.

My girl, though, is different. She has her own path to walk, her own route to evolve into the woman she is going to be. I am here to guide, to help, to encourage, but ultimately, this life is hers. I do so hope, though, that it is a good one.

Fifth grade. Hello again.

Chloe in Central Park




We've been making clothes for McKenna. That sewing machine I got for my sixteenth birthday? Working just fine thank you.

Ron and I have a peculiar passion for model home visiting. Love looking for those special qualities that make a home work and when we find one that's special, it's like uncovering treasure. A bonus--the great backdrops for photo taking. Then there is going home at the end and remembering, again, how much I love the home we have. This particular day, Chloe wore her new dress and knee high boots and looked scarily grown up. In an Austin Powers mod sort of way.

Summer means finding things for kids to do to keep busy. The Sacramento Food Coop's summer camp is high on my list of recommendations. Passionate chefs teaching kids how to cook and eat real food with a different theme each day...Hawaiian, Italian, Mexican. They also spend a little time learning a dance from each part of the world. Picture this: twenty kids doing the hula to "Bad Romance." That image alone is worth the week! I ate a lovely sample of their fresh raspberry tiramisu, and even better, relished all the smiling proud faces as the kids served their parents their handmade creations.

Homemade strawberry shortcake from the cooking school recipe. Real whipped cream is nothing like Reddi Whip. It's like grocery tomatoes versus ones picked from your yard. No comparison.

The pool is perfect. Especially when it's 106.

It's been a very good year for the basil. I've never had one grow to such luxuriousness. The bees are thrilled; while I took this photo three different kinds burrowed themselves in ecstasy in these blossoms.

Ah, summer. I do love you.


My New York

You never know when you are going to fall in love. My latest crush, New York City. For the obvious reasons, yes, but also for all of these small moments that brought such delight.

This incredible beaded beauty in the 30 Roc building.

My favorite Upper West Side brownstone on my walk to the subway.
I just wanted to move right in.

The way I'd turn a corner and happen upon a park, over and over again.

Cupcake carts. Pretty self explanatory.

Random spots of loveliness.

Central Park. More than a crush. I find myself fantasizing a life where I can somehow visit every day.


And I pretty much wanted to crate up the whole ABC Home store.

Cute dogs everywhere.

Except not on the lawns.

Maybe this was me in a previous life. I sat a spell on her bench just in case.

Zabars. So many choices. So little space.

They say you should spend your money on experiences. I think I'm ready to agree.

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