Monday, February 28, 2011

29 again

Today is my birthday. A mellow, sweet day, lazy kind of day. I ate chocolate. I thought about my mom. I got sweet phone calls from my family. And I loved seeing all of the birthday wishes on Facebook from as far away as Burundi, Guam, Spain, and Kansas :) I heard from friends I have never met face to face. And I heard from friends I have known for 35 years (which I still can't figure out, since it's my 29th birthday...)
Thanks for all of the heartfelt birthday wishes!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

And the Oscar goes to...

A blogger friend of mine remarked that he thought it was odd that I LOVE to watch the Oscars. I always rail against mainstream media and pop culture. We don't own a TV. And in an earnest effort to keep family screen time at a bare minimum we rarely watch movies and when we do they are from 2 years ago at best (for the grown ups). But Doug and I truly do love movies. And being in the TV biz I can really, truly appreciate the art and craft of the moving picture. I understand sound mixing and how it's different from sound editing. I geek out over lighting. And who doesn't get lost in a great performance?

So each year we'd make a date with our fellow Oscarphile boat dwelling neighbors and good friends Scott & Lisa. We didn't just get together and watch the show. Oh no. We'd make a night of it. Fabulous food. Loads of chocolate. Intense competition on winner guessing. And a genuine red carpet experience.
Serioulsy how cool is that? Scott & Lisa pull out all the stops with this led light red carpet dock walk complete with Hollywood style gold stars.

And inside Lisa's boat we get a little silly as well.
Tonight we're home though. Naia is snoozing on my shoulder as I type. Doug and Zach are crashed out together. And Lisa is home recovering from cancer surgery. Her third to be exact. Anyone who ever met Lisa has loved her from the first minute. She is all smiles, crazy smart, super adventurous, and one of the strongest people I know. So tonight my Oscar for Best Fight Scene in a Human Body goes to Lisa.
Kick some butt girlfriend and get better for next year's show. I'll bring the champaign and chocolate.

Friday, February 25, 2011

~this moment~

A Friday ritual. A single photo capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. - via soulemama.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

art start

When I was a girl my mom would love to drag me to art museums. I say drag because that's what I thought of it. My mom would have been an art historian if she could have a life do over. But me, no thank you. I even tried taking an art history class in college. I dropped out after a week. Slide shows of painting after painting, jotting down names and aritsts... YAWN.
If only I had a start in art appreciation like Zach is getting this year. The National Gallery of Art here in DC has these marvelous classes -- yep you guessed it-- FOR FREE that introduce little ones (and big ones who were too tuned out earlier in life to appreciate art) to the world of modern and classical art.
(The amazing work of Chuck Close. I love how all of the kids are unknowingly striking a different pose while looking & listening.)

Each class has a theme, and last week was shape and color in the east wing which holds modern works of art. We were worried that the sweet, elderly docent charged with making these paintings and sculptures come alive for a spirited group of 6-8 year olds might, well, get eaten alive by our kids. But she held court like a rock star.
(Synecdoche by Byron Kim is a grid of 400 small panels that each recreate the skin color of a friend.)

Zach was hooked from hello when she had the children gather around an Andy Goldsworthy piece and talked about the architecture of the building ("Hey mom, the gold guy from that movie we saw! He made this!" - referring to Rivers & Tides).
Our docent encouraged the kids to ask questions and express ideas and make noise and move their bodies. In short, she made art more than a static canvas, she made it come to life. (damn that professor who bored me to tears. I hope he moved on to some other career.)
(exploring the works of Alexander Calder...)
(... then she gave the kids colored wires and encouraged them to make their own Calder-esque works.)

(Making mini Matisse creations whilst in the shadows of the real thing.)
(This was my feeling when my mom used to take me to art museums. Now that I know how to do it, I'll make sure she wakes up to the beauty of it all when the time is right.)

If you come to DC, don't miss out on the galleries. If you get a group of at least 10 kids together, you can arrange a class tour of your own. And if you can't make it out here, click on over to the National Gallery of Art web page for some cool kid activities. And once again, thank you American taxpayer. And thank you mom. Now I get it.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

green place

It's turning into Outing Week here. We've been out and about so much with the recent thaw it's felt so good to stretch our legs and feed our minds. Another favorite spot in Washington DC is the United States Botanic Gardens.
It's like walking into a warm, earthy hug  - perfect on a day when the cold is still nipping at your nose outside. "Mommy, this is like being back in Hawaii!" Well... close enough for here and now.
There's a desert plants area, medicinal plants area (my favorite!), and so on. But the tropical jungle room is a true oasis on a winter's day. How amazing to wipe sweat from your brow in February. ahhhhhhh.
It's full of fun things to see and touch and smell. And like everything out here on the National Mall, it's free. Thank you once again taxpayers!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

chocolate love

I know many people have strong feelings one way or another about Valentine's Day (yes I am talking about Valentine's day more than a week later, really are you surprised?) But for us, it's all about chocolate. If I could, I would rename it Mid Winter Chocolate Cheer Day where tired mommies and cooped up children drown their seasonal affective disorder in that intoxicating mix of sugar and cacao beans. Isn't that better than cheesey Hallmark poems and overpriced roses?

It started with Eric Idle. If you and your little ones have never heard him read Charlie and The Chocolate Factory in the audio book version of Roald Dahl's classic you must download it or get your paws on it somehow. Aside from Idle's spot on interpretations of everyone from Grandpa Joe to Mike TeeVee to Veruca Salt to Willy Wonka himself, you can truly smell melting chocolate by the end of the story. Or maybe it was the brownies we were making.
The brownies were good. But the melted spiced chocolate at the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian was divine. They held a chocolate festival the weekend before Valentine's Day and the faithful flocked to partake in the good bean.
(grinding cacao beans. a few went home in his pocket and are in a place of honor next to the mongoose skull from hawaii. boys and their treasures.)

The museum itself is always a fabulous place to spend the day. They have, hands down, the BEST lunch food in all of Washington DC (this is not opinion, it's local fact). And the building itself is relatively new and full of eye candy. Our favorite are the giant prisms in the walls and ceiling that cast rainbows all over the museum throughout the day.
Happy chocolate addicts were then treated to some amazing traditional dancing from Bolivia. Zach loved the colorful costumes (hey mom, they have chullos just like me!)  Naia wanted to boogie along with them.
Reason number 268 why I love homeschooling in the DC area. Thank you taxpayers. And here's wishing you all had a wonderful Mid Winter Chocolate Cheer Day!

Monday, February 21, 2011

winter beach

Is there nothing more uplifting for the sad winter soul than a sunshine, short sleeved day at the beach?

 I think not.

Friday, February 18, 2011

~this moment~ metro sunshine

A Friday ritual. A single photo capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. - via soulemama.


A huge thank you to everyone who helped with the Dyneema rigging campaign. You all ROCK!  If you haven't already done it, please click and help until March 4th... read about it here. And spread the word!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

127 days

To concentrate so hard on something that you drool and go crosseyed...

To spend your entire morning playing with an orange peel...

To discover the magic of feet (and the fun of colorful jingly shoes)...

To know you can charm a whole room of grown ups with one well timed coo...
To be 4 months old.

A huge thank you to everyone who helped with the Dyneema rigging campaign. Our team went from 20-something to 120-something in just one day! You all ROCK!  You can click and help until March 4th... read about it here.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

hey brother can you spare some line?

Ok, I am here to beg. I need a favor. From all of you. Yep, each and every one of you. Even if you don't comment normally. Even if you aren't here all the time. Even if you clicked over here today by accident. Here's the deal:

I am entering an online contest. Wait, don't click away. This is easy stuff. We're in the middle of getting the boat ready to sail away. And rigging is a HUGE part of making this fiberglass beastie go. Hugely important and expensive as well. DYNEEMA is best in the buisness and they're running a promotion where sailing social media networkers get FREE rigging by showing how well they can network! Really fabulous Dyneema, wheee-watch-me-go-fast rigging! (think fancy ropes, we call it "line".)

So here's where I need you. The more people who "join my team" the better chance I have at winning the rigging. It's a really easy, really fast two click process and it doesn't require anything from you other than the 30 seconds to make it happen.

Click #1
Go here, find the orange tab at the bottom and click "FOLLOW ME CLICK HERE". Fill in the info and enter.

Click #2 Check your email a little later. PLEASE check your spam box too. There will be a confirmation email you will have to OPEN and click a confirmation link in order for the process of signing on to my "team" to be complete. Otherwise, you don't count :(

Once you click that confirmation link, your name should appear on my list, I will smile and thank you, and then I promise never to bug you again. And if I win and you're in my neck of the woods, I'll take you for a sail!

If you're feeling the love and want to help some others... click on my pal Tucker's team too.  He's awesome and deserves the free rigging for his family cruising boat too, check out their blog.


Monday, February 14, 2011

scary corners of my home ~ the forepeaks

fore-peak  n.
The section of the hold of a ship that is within the angle made by the bow and is used for trimming or for storage of cargo.
At least we're using it correctly. Our forepeaks (we have 2 because being a catamaran we have 2 bows) are a scary place to be indeed. In the hands of a tidy couple with no children, one might find a stack of sailbags, rows of neatly hanging spare line, maybe a few boxes of storage items in properly labeled boxes. What a lovely image.
For us, it's a catch all junk closet in desperate need of cleaning.
You access the forepeaks by crawling over the bath tubs on either the port or starboard heads. What's in there? Anything and everything. On one side there are indeed sails (our spinnaker and storm sail) and camping gear and dive gear.  And on the other side mainly off season and "next size up" clothes for the kids, and seasonal items too. And my gift stash. You know those goodies you buy on sale through the year and save for special occasions or for friend's birthday parties.
It adds up. I am at a point of wanting to thin out the seasonal items. I am trying to get the winter holidays to fit in s small box. And I want all other holidays combined in another small box. As it it each season has a fairly huge box, but once we cast off we won't have traditional 4 seasons. So it seems silly to keep nature table items and so forth for spring and winter and fall. And clothes will thin out too, as I won't need a collection of snow boots and winter coats and sweaters and footie pajamas and wool blankets. I want to have one small box of next-size-up items for each kid, but it'll mostly be sandals and rash guards and swimsuits.
So here is the before. And I can't promise the after will look all too much better or less scary, but I'll post as we make progress. In the mean time, if you come over to play and then can't find your kid... there's a good chance they'll be somewhere up in the forepeaks stacked amongst the stuff.

p.s. Don't forget to enter the fabulous GIVEAWAY from Kohala Kids Co. open until Thursday!

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