"That old September feeling, left over from school days, of summer passing, vacation nearly done, obligations gathering, books and football in the air ... Another fall, another turned page: there was something of jubilee in that annual autumnal beginning, as if last year's mistakes had been wiped clean by summer.”
We stayed around home and cleaned all weekend long. Majorly. More clearing out than cleaning, but still, lots of labor happening these past few days. Mike pulled out the entire garage (which was awfully packed with all kinds of wood & clutter and God only knows what else) to get organized and build a better working space before the holiday teepee orders kick into full effect next month and we get buried in the mire of all that crap. As well as open up floorspace for all the other constant projects that go on out there. Guitar repairs, car restoration, electrical, wielding, furniture building, household fixits, and a whole lot of packaging.
The boys helped both days. They were even paid for their efforts by the guy who came to pick up our excess tile listed on Craigslist, grateful for their help, pulling load after load to his truck by wagon. 5$ each, to "buy some ice cream" - Which we did, late Sunday night.
Rex joined me for a quick trip to L.A Sunday morning to drop off some orders and have breakfast at *Sqirl Kitchen with friends before heading back home. We also stopped by my friend Courtney's house to take some photos at her request, of her 36 month of pregnancy. Happy we did. A text this morning shared that labor came almost a month early and her sweet baby will be here today.
Other than that, we are back to school. And half way more organized than before. With still, quite a ways to go before things look and feel "ready" to open up shop again.
* which, while very healthful and cute with their mismatched dish ware and festive (but tiny) lattes, was likely not a place I would visit again too soon. For a few reasons: the chalk board menu appeared far too hip to have any numbers so while ordering you have to point and read full breakfast descriptions, and the space outside is teeny, so breakfast with a kid (who is admittedly a bit distracted) proved annoying to people sitting almost elbow to elbow beside us. And my rice plate was maybe a bit too exotic for my liking, and all that dill, I'm not a fan of. but the open face Brioche toast is like no other. And well worth the other annoyances listed above. Oh, and, they don't serve pancakes until 11AM! What . . . ?
There were races, and maybe some pouting, snacks on a wind stricken picnic table. A short tunnel adventure, a plastic pool on the sand, flips that made me cringe, lots of wave chasing and plenty of delighted squeals coming from two incredibly sweet little girls.
And one hug, denied.
Rex is a grump.
What can I say.
An especially exciting playdate considering the back story: I had met Kate briefly during an all girls trip to San Francisco years ago, fresh out of college and newly pregnant with Arlo, where we stayed with a mutual friend - her roommate at the time - and I was instantly intrigued by her because of the collection of unique art and knick knacks scattered around her room, as well as her extensive Dylan records and super rare photographs of him in the early 60s. Oh, and a coonskin cap. . . I can faintly remember snapping a single photo of her wearing it that I loved, and have since lost (Like all of the photos from that colorful era, trapped in the poor fate of my old stolen laptop)
Sot it was really nice to meet face to face all these years later. To laugh about the old days, life before children, and life with. Seaside with a bunch of beautiful babes by our side.
And that beach, I can't believe I didn't know about it until now.
A new favorite for sure.
A couple years ago the kid (a med student we found on craigslist who rented our little room out back for over three years) came home from a small local festival raving about this guy he saw who played the banjo. Old school. He swore I would love him. He also said he went out to a bar with Frank and his wife after the show. That they were incredibly nice and super down to earth people.
I listened. And, like so many things, the recommendation slipped my mind the following morning. I never looked into the frank and the fiddle. It was later that I saw his name mentioned yet again *I believe?* onMilla's blog few months down the road. Again, I failed to dig in.
It wasn't until last month, when that I finally took note. And only because Mr. Fairfield was listed on the line up for the Newport Folk Festivalin Santa Monica this coming October. We're going. I figured I should better acquaint myself with some of the other artists seeing that really it was hearing that Shovels & Rope were playing that sealed the deal. Initially I could have cared less about the rest of the show, but now, I'm quite excited to see this guy live.
Take a listen and let me know what you think.
* for the record, I do prefer him with the big mustache.
- Gutting every closet in the house (AGAIN) to rid those spaces of all that mysterious crap that accumulates over a year. How does that happen ...?
Old clothes, unused toys, piles of junk that sit and wait for months to finally be sifted through, mixed with papers, and school work. So, much, school work....
- Gearing up for a camping trip next weekend. Likely our family's last, in the RV, for the season.
- Binge watching Orange is the New Black (during nap time) on Netflix. It's great. Watch it.
I actually just finished the 13 episodes and am wondering now how to go about my mid afternoon hour without it. Laundry, emails, and no Orange to keep me company. It's been rough. Any new show suggestions are much appreciated.
- Planning a birthday party for Leon in Sept. He is our only summer baby, so his parties are usually the biggest, and well, probably the most fun. Weather makes all the difference. This year he wants to celebrate on the beach. I think we know the perfect spot.
- Considering a pet gold fish. Arlo wants a frog, Rex wants a snake and Leon could care less. I figure a fish might hold them over for now. I think we can handle that.
- Pushing chores, big time. Especially with Arlo. He's seven now, so his help is really needed. Every day he has a list on the big chalk board in his room reminding him of what he needs to do in order to get the 5$ allowance that comes on Friday when all the week's boxes have been marked off. So far it's been very helpful. For me, and the house. And the dog he's feeding ( regularly now)
- Practicing some new gluten free desert recipes. So far our flour less peanut butter cookies have been a big hit, cupcakes are the next hurdle. Hoping to find something tasty in time for Leon's party.
- Eating a slice of sourdough toast every morning, with one, beloved cup of coffee just before they wake. It's 15 minutes that I look forward to every day. I'm not a huge breakfast person, but toast is one thing I never tire of. And a dim, quiet house is nice too.
- Searching for two new patio chairs. Ours are busted. Perhaps the flea market will help us out next month, because a porch with no chairs is a pretty sad sight.
- Looking forward to a Friday date night, which we have not had in months. Literally I cannot remember the last time Mike and I went out to dinner, or a movie together just for the heck of it. Seems the only time we plan a sitter is when Mike has a show, or we have some kind of official engagement to attend - neither of which count as a "date" in my book.
Simple nights out are far and few between.
We don't know what, or where will go tonight, but really, it doesn't matter.
Hope your end of summer weeks have been treating you well. At first I was mourning the passing of summer, but this humid weather has me feeling much different all of a sudden. So I'm ready to now see it out. Also, please forgive my increasingly sporadic posting schedule round here lately. I can't seem to keep up on the blog as easily as I use to, but I do plan on sharing some things I've been thinking about including new music, thoughts on public schooling, and a couple cute stories I jotted down regarding the boys, and how they are adjusting to school very soon.
So a few of us girls made over to Pasadena again this Sunday, for the Rose Bowl Flea Market.
Not as early as I'd prefer, but a small step ahead of the crowd, which helps considerable when you realize how quickly it starts to fill up about 11, and it becomes just another hot, over crowded parking lot event. And besides, early bird gets the worm, eh?
The R.Bowl is tricky. It's almost always overwhelming if you let it be. All the rugs, and pillows, and lamps, and rockers, and crates and baskets and boots and posters and mind century trinkets you could possibly imagine. Old world flags, amazing canvas goods, art, and so on, at varying prices and often wedged in underloved corners you have to dig through if you have it in you (when the weather is hot, we most certainly do nog) So we've learned to stick to the specifics. Scouting only the chosen items we have in mind for that month. Be it vintage clothing, old boots, felt hats, or, in my case, most typically, antique furniture. Otherwise, it'll make your head spin and your wallet shrink faster than you can say "hold the change"
This time, our group stuck to clothing. I had in mind dresses in particular.
Below are the picks I walked away with on this trip.
2 pretty great summer dresses - 10/ 30 2 batik skirts 10 / 10 2 rings 3 / 3 1 cowboy hat 5 1 leather carved clutch 10 = 81$
* If you add a late lunch at CaCao Mexicantessen - 18$ (which was delicious, btw) it brings the day to just a little over 100 bucks.
And to that gorgeous blue Indian gauze dress I tried on and walked away from, hang in there. I just might see you in September . . .
We sat and watched their girls play dress up on the patio,
ate hot dogs and sipped margaritas, listening to new music
talking about babies, and how quickly babies become children,
taking note of the cool breeze on our shoulders after sunset
snacking on chocolate and taking photos.
It wasn't an official end to summer, but simply our last free day before school began. And a nice one at that.
The season isn't over. I remind myself of this to calm my anxious heart, jumping at all the stuff we still need to squeeze in before the month if through, and Fall comes knocking. Camping at Doheny, Big Sur in September. A block party, a birthday party, and hopefully, a couple more bon fires if we're lucky.
In the meantime, we're back to early bedtime and homework in the afternoon. Alarm clocks and brown bagged lunches.
But the daylight is still long. So we make the most of it while we can.
Because if there's one thing this family does well, it's Summertime.
When: Monday, August 5th
What: Sunshine trail hikes with Henry & Lucca + picnic on the trails
Seeing that this is our last free week of summer, we really tried to squeeze in every last overdue play date left on the books. Monday morning we met Jaime and Henry at San Elijo Lagoon, for some hiking. The boys (and sweet tiny Lucca - who held her own amongst these crazy guys) walked the trails, hopped around in muddy banks and listened to bugs, collected sticks and ate sandwiches in the shade before heading up the freeway a few miles for a short tour of the Salk Institute, which, by the way, is completely mind blowing. I'd actually never even heard of this place, so I had no idea of what exactly it might entail. But it's incredible. Not an ideal place for kids, but worth visiting however/ whenever the opportunity strikes. We weren't there long, but did walk the courtyard area, checking out the gorgeous pools and sleek fountains. Watching the hang gliders jumping from the cliff across the view, until temptation took over and the kids all decided to jump into the center of the cement water creak that lines the middle of the place, and we became sorely aware of their sense of adventure growing higher the closer it got to nap time. Not the best place for loud, overly excited children.
We were home by 3.
The boys perfectly exhausted, and me, eagerly searching the web for this documentary, to learn a little more about the man behind this stunning building.