not even the king



Some people so poor all that they got is money.

Love love love.

euphonious

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The night before L’s last finals. On the way to help her study, I get dinner at Chipotle. I try to Shazam the background music, but there’s too much interference from the ambient noise. I check the app’s Top 100 list, and note that I’ve never heard of most of the acts. I could blame my ignorance on old-fogeyism, but actually I haven’t followed popular music since my early teens. I watch the brown, long-legged girls in their short shorts and white tank tops giggle as they fill their cups with fizzy sugar water. I was never one of them, though at one point, long ago, I wanted to be.

Then a few hours with my own long-legged girl. My red-headed stepchild. We drill vocab. Aesthetic. Ascetic. Prodigious. Ponderous. Desecrate. Elucidate. Depravity. Autonomy. We roll them in our mouths, euphoniously, and find links between word and definition, ways to remember.

This.
This is the girl I was.
This is the girl I still am.

coming home

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Now, instead of turning into the winding canyon as I drive home from work, I climb a small hill above the ocean. I pause at the top of the driveway to check the mail, and breathe in the briny view and the homestead below. This is where I live.

Man and dog greet me happily. He shows me the wall he’s been building, and the hummingbird nest he found. Then I go inside to start dinner while he waters the trees.

birthday camping trip

With my birthday approaching, I knew how I wanted to celebrate it: getting grubby around a campfire. So the Guy + dog & I headed for the hills inland from Santa Barbara, where we found ourselves a place by a creek in the Los Padres National Forest.

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Due to recent rain, the brook was babbling ….

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… and the wildflowers were out.

Hours were spent hiking …

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… and staring at flames.

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The weather was perfect, and a good time was had by all.

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After two days, we took the high road home, scoping out possibilities for the next camping trip, which will require a 4WD. As I’ve been saying for, oh, six months now, I really do need to get myself one of them.

‘wonderful’ check-in #1

Winter sunsets are so gorgeous

Wonder-ful, for me, boils down to two things: paying attention, and gratitude.

So lucky to have access to a wealth of fresh seasonal organic veggies. Love my farmers market! #365gratitude_hashimaree

It’s easy to become despondent and disgusted when one pays attention. Obviously, there’s a lot of shit going down in the world. I don’t need to point out the ways in which humans hurt each other and the creatures sharing this planet with us. We all know there’s plenty of bad out there, and it’s important to pay attention to that crap, and speak up, and be the change you want to see in the world.

Grateful for silliness at work #365gratitude_hashimaree

For me, a huge part of being that change is noticing and celebrating and being thankful for the things that make me smile, that give me hope, that create connections, that make space for silent wonder. That’s why my one little word this year is wonderful.

Grateful for another day to live, laugh, and love in. #sunrise #365gratitude_hashimaree #noedit #nofilter

Not to be all ‘la-la-la I can’t hear you’ about the bad shit. But simply to give myself respite, and strength, and a reason to do my part to make this world better.

Thank you #bigbluebus for getting me to work this morning when my car was in the shop #365gratitude_hashimaree

Because it truly is a wonderful world we live in, and those other humans we rub against, they’re people like me. We’re (mostly) all trying to do our best with what we’ve got. If we all approached each day with gratitude, there might be more smiles all around.

Sunday afternoon jam session in the living room #365gratitude_hashimaree

It’s also important, I think, to create environments in which people can share, enjoy, relax, relish, have fun. If we are always wound up and unhappy about how messed up things are, how do we make space for things to be different?

Succulents are breeding!

While I totally respect those activists who pit themselves against oppression, right now my path seems more about an open table, good food, gardens, music, and kindness.

Yeah, so far my year’s pretty wonderful. How’s yours?

new years hike

Flowering plant that looks a bit like Pacific Wax Myrtle

At first, he said he didn’t want to go anywhere too steep. But then he urged me to the summit, when I might have turned back earlier. We got a great workout and the view was lovely. A perfect way to start the year.

christmas without you

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I miss my family at Christmas. The excitement of littlies, the chaos, the food, the crackers, the tree. Yesterday we opened gifts via FaceTime, and later videos were posted (so I could see how much glee the bubble wrap brought), and that was all lovely. Thank goodness for the technology that allows these connections.

Today good food and wine were shared with dear people, and pleasantness abounded, but …. I miss my family. Especially at Christmas. Love you guys so so much. Big hard hugs to you all.

friends and food

At last my longtime friends came for sunset-viewing and dinner. About time :-)

I need to feed more people in 2014. There hasn’t been enough of it lately. But cooking and serving up to a table of friends just feels right sometimes. A lot of the time. Except when I don’t want to :-)

home

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Travelling is fun. So is coming home.

xoxoxox

pip

Tunnels under the Georges Head battery #military #history #sydney #australia

My last half-day in Sydney was spent with the favourite-family-that-is-not-my-own. As a teenager, I babysat my neighbour Pip in Weetangera. Decades later she moved to Pasadena and we became adult friends. She now has three kids who, for some reason, regard me as a fairy godmother who bestows them with unique handmade gifts.

Snakes and Ladders

Blue thing

Hopscotch

Car caddy

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As always when I spend a night with Pip’s family, I felt very hugged.
It was a wonderful ending to a full-on two weeks.

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