Showing posts from December, 2014

Midwinter Walk

How gradually can you learn about the natural world around you? Intimate details, like a lover learns. Does it happen over months, or a couple rambles, or can it take years upon years? Is it too late, at 38, to learn the names of common mushrooms, to know the properties of the riverbed's herbs? I hope not. It is my hope throughout the new year to spend some serious time identifying local flora and fauna. I take great inspiration from friends like Dolly and Mary, who can say the names with reverent and gracious ease, who know the life cycles, the natives, the folklore. Intuitively I think that this knowledge gives deeper meaning to time's passing, to the seasons. At this point all I know is beauty, I know how good it feels to walk, and hold my daughter's hand, and take notice.  I think that's a pretty good start. But seriously, I want to know so much more.

Christmas Eve's Eve, Darin finally got a day off and we took a little jaunt down Greenwood Creek with our hear…

Shoppe Till You Drop

Obviously if you are going to shop for Christmas presents it's ideal to buy local. Better vintage and handmade by locals! Sunday gave us the perfect opportunity to do just so; we crossed the canyon with Pops on a rainy afternoon to Nevada City where my sis and one of our very oldest and dearest friends, Ruebi, had set up shop at the Winter Craft Fair. Both collectors of minutiae, knick knacks, vintage housewares, and sundries, they had the fine idea of setting up a kind of mercantile right there in the heart of the craft fair offering a wide assortment of goodies and gifts. They called their little shop Sweetgrass General Store; Ruebi's husband made them a wooden sign, and they packed their shelves with the coolest trinkets. It was a stocking stuffer's dream, plus Addie framed some of her gorgeous 1920's sheet music pieces, Ruebi had some choice vintage children's clothes, and they had a collection of fun candies and kidstuffs on the front shelf. Somethi…

Children's Christmas Books

I don't know about you, but around here in the month of December it's pretty much all Christmas, all the time. That goes for the books we're reading of course. Here are ten of Lucy and Polly's current faves in no particular order.

1. I'll start with the most obvious.

This year Lucy is absolutely obsessed with the Grinch. She loves the book and the cartoon (not so much the Jim Carrey movie version although Darin and I are kind of sentimental about it because we saw it together in the theater even before we were officially together.)

We are pretty big Seuss fans around here, various titles are always in the bedtime book cycle and Lucy can listen through the longer ones with great comfort and interest these days. The good thing about the Grinch is that the message is actually pretty awesome: "It came without ribbons, it came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags....What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store? What if Christmas, p…