Archive for the 'Memories' Category

some snapshots

Sunset at Rosemary Beach:

My porch, after a late-day rainstorm:

The entrance to my neighborhood, after a storm:

Zach, checking ye olde facebook:

The cat rarely comes indoors these days, and has found a new bed:

Mosca runs around in the morning:

and in the evening:

and even Cinza comes for midnight walks to the beach:

Little boy shares his new bed with Mosca:

and throws an EPIC tantrum and falls asleep outside the door:

We shaved Mosca yesterday with newly oiled clippers, on the closest setting, because of the intense southern heat. While we were sitting on the moonlit beach last night, he huddled up next to me seeking comfort from the distant thunder. I stroked his head and my hand came back smelling like motor oil. My heart sunk; it appeared he’d swum through a tar patch, but I couldn’t see a thing. This time, though, it was just machine oil from the clippers.

Not photographed: scrubbing all the floors on my hands and knees, the mounds of laundry produced by a family who always has sand and salt in their clothes and sheets, homemade bread (for once made by me and not by Zach) and father’s day lemon cake, the empty bottles of sunscreen already used up, the stack of cookbooks and sci-fi checked out from a library 9 miles away, all the little prints and quilts and knickknacks finally displayed to make this cottage feel like home, the pain and triumph of waxing my own legs, the ubiquitous damp swimsuits hung on the shower rod, and my sobbing frustration at becoming the stay at home parent, and not feeling so very good at it.


Too Much Fun

The fountain with a button to push (that’s the very best part)!

Enjoying someone else’s digging:

Zach surfing before the storm hits:

Zach looking for a lost beach umbrella on the dunes:

taking dorky self-portraits at dawn:

Making homemade pasta:

Mushroom-garlic-three-cheese stuffed raviolis in chicken soup!

Chronicle of a Cross-Country Move

Sunday, May 23. Clean until my back hurts. Then stop and watch guiltily while others do the rest.

Sunday/Monday 1:20 am. Depart in the middle of darkness on I-80 toward Chicago. Weather is harsh, damp, cold. I’ve thought only of our ultimate destination and packed shorts and flipflops for the roadtrip.

5/24, 2am, Zach drives us through a scary, white-out blizzard up Parley’s Canyon.

Monday 5:20am. Stop, exhausted, in windy, frigid Flaming Gorge. Sleep for a few hours.

Monday mid-morning. Another horrid blizzard in Wyoming. Ethan navigates the white-knuckle pass. Can’t stop…no where to go but forward. Finally find an exit with a little coffee shop…

Monday. Decide to skip Chicago and the tornado warnings on the Plains, instead head south toward warmth and calm skies. Another night sleeping in the van somewhere.

Two days through Texas.

Almost lost Ethan and Jess’ dog, Koda, who decided to herd cattle while out for a potty break. She came back an hour and a half later, when she got tired.

Sleeping in Dallas at my sister’s house. Restraining myself from stealing all her gorgeous cookbooks. Knitting all the way.

Camping near a lake, cat attacked by a raccoon around 5am…rescued from a tree covered in her own pee.

Next morning, a horse back ride, a treat from Ethan and Jess.

Tire was going to blow out, Zach noticed. Tire shop just down the road! Temperature? 95 degrees. Humidity? unbelievable.

Camping in a swamp? Who does that? We do, and the dogs get ticks and I get irritable.

The Boogedy is thrilled to find a playground in the swamp.

The A/C in the van is NOT up the the challenge of driving through the South (supposedly this was fixed by the mechanic before we left town). Mosca monopolizes the vent.

Marathon drive to our new pink house in Sunnyside, Florida.

Unpack the van and then take a midnight swim.

Current daily  goal: spend as much time as possible in the water before the oil arrives.

Things not mentioned or photographed above:

not getting enough sleep. hearing the ABC song a hundred times. discovering that the vcr in the van works, but that we only have one movie, toy story. watching dvds on the portable player…over and over. getting eaten by bugs while camping. eating tons of junk food. shelling sunflower seeds to keep me alert while i drive. the sheer grouchiness of traveling that long with anyone. the memorial day weekend traffic in mobile alabama. all the varieties of sweet tea. the dirtiest bathrooms I have ever seen. gorgeous sunsets along the way. realizing that I have the best kid in the whole world, and I couldn’t have asked for a three-year old to be better for 5 days of travel!

A Letter Written on the Way Home

This is a photo post to accompany a letter I sent to my friend Alexis in San Francisco. I wrote the letter on my way home from work and throughout the letter I referenced where I was on my journey.

1. First bus stop

2. Graffiti from the train

3. Train station reflections

4. Debarking from the train. One more bus to go.

5. Seats on the last bus.

6. Dreary neighborhood.

7. Speed bump

Airport cruelties

We spent two gorgeous weeks in and around Rosemary Beach, Florida. My skin cleared up and I looked 10 years younger. I got a nice tan, but got out of shape just laying about on the beach in a bikini, with my most strenuous activity being playing “Jump Like a Kangaroo!” with my kid in the surf.

After I whine a bit about my 3.8 mile ride to work today, I will regale you with a miserable tale of my 4-day airport adventure. Ok, the ride to work today was grueling. It should have been a piece of cake, it’s been too easy all summer! But leave for two weeks to relax at sea level and suddenly Salt Lake City doesn’t have a lungful of air for a poor commuting biker. Whew. My head hurts.

Ok, the Airport. Here’s how it went. On Thursday afternoon we enjoyed lunch with our friends in Rosemary Beach before heading to the Panama City airport.  We managed to convince the Boogedy that going through airport security was an adventure (rather than the fit it usually causes when he is subjected to a change of shoe status). We checked only our carseat and had our allotted carry-ons carefully arranged, even managing to fit in a brand new life jacket we bought for the little guy down there. Our toiletries were in their plastic ziploc bags, even our dirty closes were folded neatly.

The ticket agent announced that the flight to Memphis was overbooked and so we volunteered to give up our seats in exchange for lots of airfare vouchers plus hotel and food for the night.  It was a kitschy hotel there in Panama City…I’m planning to post pictures separately. It was fun and felt spontaneous and “worth the trouble”, even though we found out that our carseat had lost its tag and was probably living it up in Memphis without us.

We came back to the Airport the next afternoon, returned the carseat the airline had loaned us, and went through security again. This time we were booked to go to Atlanta, but weather was terrible, Atlanta got shut down,  and that flight got so delayed we would have missed our connection to SLC. So we rented a car (on our own dime) and drove back to Rosemary Beach and played with friends and swam in the ocean one last time. We also bought a huge bag of Cajun spiced boiled peanuts…so yummy!!!

The next day we went BACK THROUGH SECURITY (please raise your hand if you’ve done this even once with a 2.5 year old). By this time all the security guys were chuckling with and pitying us. Our flight to Cincinnati was so delayed that we missed our connecting flight to SLC and had to spend the night there. They gave us food vouchers, but no hotels were giving up rooms because of a big jazz festival in town. I couldn’t face the thought of sleeping on the Cincinnati airport floor, though, so we paid for a hotel in the industrial zone beyond the runways.

We got up the next morning at dawn and went back to the airport, where Cincinnati security personnel take their job VERY seriously, and stood in long lines. We finally flew out of there and landed in SLC 20 minutes early, so we had to sit on the tarmac waiting for our gate. In those last 10 minutes of waiting, the Boogedy finally had his only huge airplane nervous breakdown, which ended as soon as we were let out of the plane.

We needed this travel drama so that we would be glad to get home, rather than just wishing we could stay longer on the beach.

Stirrings-Violet bouquet

No. 5 in my collaboration with Jen at Painted Fish Studio, looking for signs of spring.


When I was about 10, my mom, dad, and I lived with an elderly lady named Marilla. My mother was her caretaker and my dad kept up her property. She had such a tranquil home. I still remember the way the light filtered in through the sheer curtains and lingered on the velvety drapes. In my memory, everything is a shade of gray mossy green or slatey light blue. When we moved in, I was thrilled that my bedroom came with a little alcove and a built in vanity mirror and dresser, just like in old movies! And two pianos, which inspired me to beg and beg for lessons.

Marilla had had a daughter who had died young, I think perhaps she was a hemophiliac and had died in her teens. It was very sad, and she never had other children. Her dear nephew cared for her property and hired my family to live in and care for her.

She adored our dog Missy, a black cocker spaniel, and the feeling was mutual. Missy would rest her soft head on Marilla’s knee, and the gentle lady would stroke those long ears and croon “Poor Mitzy, she has lost her bone. Has Mitzy lost her bone? Yes she has. I shall find your bone you pretty girl.” Marilla was always kind to me, even though I was so impatient and half the time couldn’t restrain myself and had to correct how she said the dog’s name, as if Missy cared!


Along a long, narrow cement pathway that ran between our house and the one next door, where my sister lived with her little children, grew patches of several different varieties of violets in the cool shade. Marilla produced tiny embossed green glass bottles for me to fill with violet bouquets. Violets are one of my favorite flowers and will always remind me of a very happy time of my childhood.

Those houses are no longer standing: they were long since torn down to make way for a strip mall, but the smell is in my nose, and the height of the trees, and the biggest icicle in the world that grew from the second story roof to the ground and was bigger around than my arm.

Six–Photo challenge


Jen of Painted Fish Studio tagged me to “open the 6th picture folder on your computer, open the 6th photo and blog it. write something about it. then tag 6 more people to do the same.”

the photo above is my 6 of 6, a detail from this set:


Years ago my mom painted this wooden farm set for my Aunt Suzie’s grandchildren (my cousin’s kids. At this point of familial reltionships, I just consider everybody cousins). I don’t know for sure if my dad cut out all these little animals and sanded them before mom painted them. It’s likely. After I had the Boogedy, Aunt Suzie gave me the set, complete with red barn carrying bucket.


This toy is always a hit for visiting kids, and I’m so pleased that we still have all the pieces! I remember when the Boogedy sat down one day and was able to do all the animal noises.

Also see The Boogedy’s Ark, for another handmade and hand-painted toy made by my parents (for me when I was little!).

I’ll tag: