Staycation // Week 16

Spring Break is here and I am not having it. What do us working mothers do? My usual fall back (after school care) closed its doors and I selfishly was more interested in getting caught up on work and projects. I decided in the spirit of my Tofino trip, where the mantra was #stayloose, to just give in a little to my need for control and let things unfold. That is a recipe for disaster in my book. Kids whining, nothing accomplished followed by guilt shopping? It was all starting to come clear to me, I needed a play date. I actually planted the seed the weekend before knowing I would need some distraction but when that date was postponed and tears were being shed. But first, cinnamon rolls because it’s Monday.

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Polaroids at pieology

So to distract I offer to take her down to the Spectrum, it’s an open air shopping center complete with Nordstrom, Pieology, a ferris wheel and haagen daaz ice cream.  I brought a bunch of cameras because I feel like I have been so focused on sporting photos that I am beginning to lose touch with what I love most, details. Plus, I’m headed to NYC next week and I have high expectations for myself. I’m sure I am going to get there and be so completely awestruck that I wont be able to shot anything that doesn’t scream first timer in the city. Can you believe that? I have never been to New York. Boston? Yes, so many I can’t remember but never made it south to the big apple. I am beyond excited and nervous. I feel like I have so much going on its almost impossible for me to stop the momentum long enough to gather my things and refocus on something else. After a long uphill battle with selling our condo and the severe financial hit taken I dragged my feet in buying a ticket. But someone told me twenty years ago that I would end up on the East Coast and it revolved around books. I still don’t know what that means but it stuck and I’m going.

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My heart melted just a bit when I saw these photos on my monitor. Funny a few hours later in old Navy, we were approached by a British woman who works for a local agency. She said she had just stepped off a plane from Europe and my daughter could fit right in, she also described my daughter as an aryan looking child.  I cringed.  I get it the indo-european thing, you mix my English/Scotch with my Irish/German/Danish husband and you get this blonde blue eyed lanky creature … but still that word reminds me of master race, can’t we come up with something better?   The irony?  I went through the “modeling” gig with Super B when he was 18 mos. old and we were turned away time after time because my baby was too ‘white bread’, as one casting person said.  It was obvious that there was no need for blonde babies and that was that.  This is my holding-my-baby-in-the-grocery store look.  We didn’t get the part, but they did let me keep the Polaroid, it remains in his baby book.

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This is the part we auditioned for in the Aida video. I loved this album, I even cut my hair like Sarah’s a year later (see photo week 9)

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I took her card. Super A asked me what she wanted. I told her well she thinks you would be a good model, like those girls in the Justice catalog, is that something you want to do? She shrugged and resumed her digging through the sale rounder. I’m not sure how I feel about this either.

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The next morning I confirmed we had successfully found a playdate.  My strategy for handling the unsightly livingroom turned dumping station was to plan outside activities. We worked on replanting the garden, they mostly watched and screamed when I flung giant earthworms in their direction. We had lunch by the pool.  I tired to bribe them to pull weeds with sundaes but as luck would have it, our guest had given up sugar for lent. And for the record frozen fruit bars are totally OK according to her.

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Here’s what my garden looked like. Complete neglect. We live on teeny tiny plots here in So Cal. I am eternally grateful for the room I have for my small raised bed along the side, this is considered palatial in many parts ’round here.  You can see my challenges, half sun half shade and as we move through summer so does the sun, eventually full sun all the way from wall to fence, but in the meantime I need to plant strategically. Its too soon to plant in the shade so we will leave it until June.  The sun side gets lettuces, tomatoes, squash, watermelon and some replacement herbs. Rosemary will get a healthy haircut. I let all the herbs go to bloom, I have no idea if I am supposed to or not. I have bigger concerns, grubs. So far I am not seeing any yet, but its early the beetles are out at night laying eggs that eventually develop into lawn destroying translucent looking ugly grubs. Yuck! I feed them to our bearded dragon and wish them well in their next life.

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I lost him for 10 minutes (remind me to tell you about the time he had a sleepover in the backyard)

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Starting seeds outside (we can do it in this zone) a new batch of herbs, tomatoes, melons and squashes using something new to me, sustainable coconut coir (byproduct from coconut harvesting.)

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Taking stock of my roses. This is Double Delight. my dad gifted me roses on my birthday over 15 years ago. When we moved in 2000 I dug up this one and brought it to our new home. It has always been my No. 1 producer.

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This is Gold Metal ?? the tags have long fallen off and now I cant remember. It has always struggled. Its vibrant yellow for only a few days and immediately begins to drop its bleached petals. Even the leaves are an off shade of green with a matte finish. Its an odd ball.

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This is Grande Dame, maybe, I thought this was Alexandre Girault, I could have turned this shrub into a single bloomer. Maybe there is a rose expert out there that can identify this beauty.  I need to go and find my notebook, or more likely a photo of its purchase.  I planted it soon after I had emergency surgery to remove a burst fallopian tube, turned out my second pregnancy was ectopic. It was a sad day for me. This plant brought on even more special meaning when a girl friend passed away too soon in 2005, the last time I saw her I was just 12 weeks pregnant with Super A, we didn’t know but Ronne told me it was going to be a girl. She was right about so many things. When butterflies hang around this rose it is the most peaceful feeling. (her blog thebutterfly777 is here.)

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This is Henry Ford, an addition in the last 3 years or so, its a hybrid tea. Its just now becoming a better bloomer, I think this part of my yard has some bad juju, nothing grows over here and I can never figure out why.

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Hello Easy Does It, I have 6 of these along the edge of the planter. They are a carpet of blooms and then they all turn yellow and look really bad. Definitely a reminder of how the pendulum swings both ways.

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The next morning we happily discovered we had monarch caterpillars! Our first since last fall. We have been trying our best to keep a bee/butterfly friendly yard. No pesticides, humming bird, bee and Monarch loving plants abound. It truly brings me so much happiness to sit and just be with these creatures. I am so happy that they come back every year. Last year we had a humming bird lay eggs around Mother’s Day and when the nest eventually became overrun with mites they babies died and the mom just sat there next to them and I cried. I really did. It was so painful to watch the mom sit with the lifeless babies. I took the entire vine down this year because I couldn’t get a handle on all the bugs. We are hoping maybe next year they will try again. The passion flower vine is a year round home to finches so I am sure they are confuses as to why I destroyed it all.

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This is a good sign. Early butterflies. I’m going to do a post on our Monarch garden with a video of a caterpillar cocooning that will BLOW YOUR MIND! I cant believe I have been hoarding that video for almost a year.

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Peeps on a stick in the pool. Say that five times fast.

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Sunset rainbow. I jumped up on he back fence to see a better view.  I think that is  as close to a sun dog that we will see in CA.

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Playdate #2. We had to go to the store to buy a pool toy and Nutella, apparently our guest only eats Nutella on white bread. Seriously. I tried to coax her into trying everything else but all I got was a polite no thank you, so what he heck we bought a jar.

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A few more days of balancing work and kids unused. We had beautiful weather well into the weekend. Thank God because we had a LAX tournament all day in Temecula, and that place can be HOT. I wrote a little mini series about Temecula way back when, its really a great place for wine tasting.  I made sure to stop by and buy more Basil Olive Oil.

I took a zillion photos, here are some favorites. Easter was spent editing.

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It was a looooooooong day for that girl. She was an angel, so good so patient. She deserves a nice big Easter basket for sure.

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My day was spent behind a computer editing all the tournament photos with a few breaks for chocolate and coloring eggs.

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By the end of the week these guys have quadrupled in size. Pretty soon every milkweed in my garden will be stripped of its leaves. So I gotta wrap  this up I have been here for a lonnnnng time here are a few photos from the B roll.

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Happy Easter Peeps.

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