Monday, September 3, 2012

Summer Daze

A whirlwind of summer hit hard and fast after Donovan Boy's graduation from 8th grade... Flying out to europe to visit family in the UK, friends and new places in northern Italy and just playing around in Paris, we were fortunate to have such lovely weather, great food and company to go with our very sore feet and legs each day!

Donovan boy age 15!!

The Cutty Sark in Greenwich, London in full glory!!

A wonderful bike ride out to Monet's House and Gardens...truly inspiring!

Great place to soak sore feet in Paris at the end of the day....

The quaintest village in Piemont, I think we were the only guests....
Upon our return, work and jetlag hit at the same time, so only now a couple of weeks after getting back are we finding a more relaxed rhythm. We have the good fortune to have our nephew from New York visit us for a week and the boys really had fun with him also!

Whilst I'm hankering for another get away in a tent somewhere, it seems that high school may start in the middle of August and so we may have to wait until later now.... we have yet to completely find the perfect high school in La La Land, but have faith that the right opportunity will present itself soon.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Among Giants

As the summer started to swelter, August found us heading for the hills, (mountains really) and certainly being unplugged for a number of days was a breathe of fresh air!  Unreachable by anything other than walking feet, smoke signals or other clever wilderness device (or passing car indeed!), we joyously camped among the giants - Sequoias that is.

Cooking only by fire, gathering locally felled dry wood and timber, handmade fire starters (recipe below) and home-prepped pouches of fare warmed our bellies by night. The Hairy One, Donovan Boy and Little Gandalf spent late afternoons reading, whittling, wading and watching, whilst I napped, sketched and stretched my thoughts to the fading light.
spotted snacking on pine

Super hikes to the deepest depths of crystal caves, the highest highs of Moro Rock brought us to the sharpness of our senses. Our catching breathe only to spot eight bears in one day!! Some were a close encounter of the very hairy and hungry kind, but none ventured into camp thankfully! Maybe my crazy new evening head-wear scared them off?
Stunning crystal cave
Vista from Moro Rock peak

Nonetheless, the family hugged (as a group) super giant trees, whether they be reaching the skies, felled by winds or age or even deeply scarred by elements long since gone, they all gained our deep respect and wonder.
Trying to span for a hug....
The underside of the Buttress

Failsafe Firestarter!
cardboard egg cartons, dryer lint, cotton wool balls, paraffin wax or old candle wax, newspaper.

  1. melt wax slowly in double boiler - an old sauce can (wax inside) placed in a pan of water
  2. stuff cotton wool balls and dryer lint into each empty egg hole 
  3. place onto several sheets of newspaper to catch drips or seepage
  4. pour wax over each hole until it's at the top and the dry stuff is wet!
  5. let it cool, close lid, keep dry and away from fire until needed. 
  6. Just tear off a couple and place under kindling to get your fire going quickly!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Woolly Wilderness

I think I've found the perfect spot to wear my newly aquired woolly art-hat creation ( thank you to Girl with a Hook) -  in Kings Canyon! Whilst looking around for a suitable spot to spend a few days dodging bears, we decided on Kings Canyon Wilderness .  I'm quite sure the bears will appreciate the loveliness of my understated evening wear while we camp there this Summer!

On another note, I am now not relocating to San Diego to assume a new teaching position...long story short.....we are staying in Los Angeles for now. Little Gandalf is rather pleased to be returned to his classmates and super energetic and creative teacher - for that I am so grateful. Dear Donovan Boy will start anew with Westside Waldorf School in 7th grade no less, so we are looking forward to many long rides and talks over to Sunset Blvd! I am still looking for my long term home as a teacher, but have my hot Waldorf certification in hand and will be pursuing deeper waldorf study soon.
Projects looming for me to chase down lots of artistic endeavours are...lazuring my living room and gallery corridor - pics to come later....wooly workshops in August in between some sand castle creations ala Malibu beaches...and of course the quet to finish my fuzzy felted version of Kandinsky's Farbstudie Quadrante.....explored in full fuzziness, depth and dye....

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

It's been Grand..

Well, it's been so long since I posted, even blogger has changed it's format!  The first part of the year has been a whirlwind of sometimes frustrating, 'up-in-the-air-ness' no matter what the area of life. For someone, who could not inaccurately, be called a control freak, this was quite a challenge for me to - let go....but through perseverance, some meditation and lots of dark chocolate, I feel the lightness once again and a new path has become clear.

Wet Felted Tapestry with story pockets......made with Suzanne Down ;-)
 Our family undertook quite a collective journey when I entered the Waldorf teacher training program three years ago and now with graduation looming this May, we carefully looked to several options for next year in my teaching career. Cut long arduous story short, I was offered a position at The Waldorf School of San Diego as their newest first grade teacher! Woo Hoo! Here's the odd thing though, we had been looking to move there a few years ago and it was just not lining up, so this is a welcome move be it the harder physical one.
View from Eagle Point
 To celebrate a few months of very hard work and exhaustion, The Hairy One and I decided a 3 day music festival, which happened to fall upon my birthday and close to our 15th year anniversary was just the now back from Coachella, which was full of great sets from bands I either loved/didn't know but liked very much/still don't know the name but loved. Being among crowds of very peaceful music loving people warmed the cockles and let me forget the super-grown-up-stuff for a minute.

That coupled with a great trip to the Grand Canyon for Spring Break, really has me ready to start making lists....more to come...and a couple of workshops coming up soon too..
Quite Happy in dusty solitude

Little Gandalf trying out Native American shelter

Guano Point - Grand Canyon West 2012
 Donovan Boy is excited to have his own room and the possibility of new friends and freedom, Little Gandalf is less enamoured about leaving his "whole life" behind, but he's not really wrong, only a two hour jaunt away. I am very excited to meet my new set of parents and I am contemplating writing my first story for the children already!
Cabins on the rim, cowboy style!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Candlemas and a half....

The more minor festivals of the year are always fascinating to me, as they are rarely celebrated by one and all, and many are not aware that there are other notable events that happen. Astrologically speaking, Candlemas or Groundhog Day - Feb 2nd marks the midpoint between the winter solstice and the spring equinox.  To mark this auspicious day The Hairy One likes to organise a Groundhog Day jam if possible and I like to dip or roll beeswax candles and then light as many as I can bear and contemplate the unfolding of the flickering lights and it's shadows..
If Candlemas be mild and gay,
Go saddle your horses and buy them hay;
But if Candlemas be stormy and black,
It carries the winter away on its back. –proverb

As the light grows longer
The cold grows stronger
If Candlemas be fair and bright
Winter will have another flight
If Candlemas be cloud and rain
Winter will be gone and not come again
A farmer should on Candlemas day
Have half his corn and half his hay
On Candlemas day if thorns hang a drop
You can be sure of a good pea crop

Friday, January 6, 2012

Good Health to all this 2012!!

What a busy busy time the end of 2011 was, with so many festivals, faires and relatives coming and going since Thanksgiving! We are so thankful to have been able to host all our visitors and will now say adieu to the Admiral who has found another ship to stay on!! (But I'm sure the wafting cooking smells will lure him back sometimes....)

Once again we will Wassail tonight with all those who dare to join us for the hot bowl of apple cider, a little spice and some getting rid of all the chocalate left in the house!! Every year we clear out all the sugar on Jan 5th/6th and stay off it until at least Feb 14th! by the time the second week comes around I can safely say that cherries and strawberries are so darn sweet, I can hardly believe it!

For those who care to know what on earth Wassail is...please listen to this carefully......enjoy!