Saturday, July 24, 2010

Wild blueberries and summer storms

Down the stairs into the wild beauty of the mountains. Through a rhododendron forest, and over a creek. The kids climbed and splashed in the cold water, sliding down rocks and exploring. Then over to the high meadows of blueberry bushes and wildflowers. I felt as if we were walking in the storybook setting of Blueberries for Sal. Gorgeous berry bushes as far as the eye can see. The kids leaped along the narrow paths with delight. The berries are tiny and delicious. Then, the rain cloud begins to grow and all of a sudden, it is raining cats and dogs! The downpour lasts a good fifteen minutes, or longer. We are all soaked to the bone, laughing and hungry for snacks back at the car. We scrounge up a change of clothes for the kids, little toddler sized apparel that I was passing on to a friend... amazing what will still fit a ten year old!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Random Bits of Fun

Summer is full of little moments to be grateful for! Here we have the pirate/policeman variety show. Move over, Saturday Night Live.

And a most adorable cake from my sweet family. "Momily" - reminds me of my third grade teacher who spelled my name "MLE"  Vivienne learned to play Happy Birthday on her violin, just for me.

The lovely  bag Mia made for me .

Mia's Indian dance and culture camp ~ such a nice experience. We celebrated with an Indian meal.

Vivi finds kindred spirits to monkey around with.

Oh, I love my silly darlings.

Monday, July 12, 2010

For the Love of France

Reading Julia Child's autobiographical book, My Life in France, has been so inspiring. She discovered her true passion in her late thirties, becoming a world class chef of her own making. I love and admire her story, her adoring relationship with her husband, her sense of humor, and the willingness to adapt to another culture and to learn so much from it. If there is any place that I would most want to live other than where I am, it would be in France. Ever since participating in a sister city exchange program in high school , I have longed to return. Reading her book was like taking a trip to a familiar landscape. Another super effect this book left, was inspiring a superb meal for my food (er, I mean book) club. No matter the book, we always have a beautiful meal together. But sharing a French dining experience, this was exceptional! Ah, c'est magnifique!

I made Julia's Salade Nicoise, which was just as delicious as I had remembered it to taste when I'd order it in my favorite Santa Barbara cafe. The table was decked out with the most incredible food! And much had come directly from the gardens of my lovely friends.

The kids asked to bake a cake so I got inspired to make one of my all-time favorites, the chocolate zucchini cake from Clotilde Dusoulier's awesome food blog. Yum! Here is another excellent food blog, it is in French but even if you don't read the recipe, the photos are incredible!

bon app├ętit!

Happy Surprise

Vivienne was delighted to open her most recent issue of Ask magazine and see looking back at her, her very own illustration. She had entered a drawing contest and there it was, published in a glossy magazine. I have to share my love of this publication group. My kids have adored these magazines for years. They are fun and informative, filled with beautiful illustrations, stories and articles, and best of all, there are no advertisements! The kids love to get mail, and these subscriptions are among their favorite gifts each year. I love the Babybug for toddlers, which comes in a board book style. Jasper has moved up to Ladybug, while Mia is enjoying Spider now. The contests are such fun, too. Mia has a short story published on the website as well. Now that they have met success, as soon as they get a new issue, they hurry off to write and draw their contest entries. Such fun. My version of exciting mail is the awesome Living Crafts magazine, and someday I will challenge myself to send in a contribution offering, too. My kids have inspired me.~

Jasper reading with my Aunt Maureen on our recent visit to the beach. Hooray for the love of books!

Capturing the spirit of summer

Here we are in the golden days of sunshine, living in expansive energy, filled with imagination and creative freedom, connected to nature, enjoying friends and family time, and the luscious bounty of our garden...this is summer. Today I sensed the first glimpse of the subtle shift to autumnal days, which brought me to seek a picture of summer at it's height of gorgeousness. Mia embodied the green world today, as she wrapped wild vines around her self and enjoyed the mystery of nature. I felt blessed to be able to witness her experience.

Behold, the wonder of the natural world!