What is wilson silverleaf? We're organitarians; it's best for our bodies and the planet. We cloth diapered Nina for the same reason. We drive a hybrid car & wish we could afford solar panels on our house. I'm a strong advocate for homebirth, full-time mom, & also a movie junkie. We don't have a tv though; we watch dvds on our computer. We love contradancing. I garden & knit; Larry's a puzzle lover & plays fantasy football.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Nina wrote a special message for her Granki and Grampa. She reads it to me in this video.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Nina asked for an octopus pinata...so we made one together from paper mache and a baloon. Simple streamer for arms and...ta-daaaa! I don't like the mad rush that happens when it gets busted open where some kids get more or less than others so I stuffed the pinata with little waxed paper bags. I put in wind up toys, stickers, tattoos, and a couple of lollipops; Nina and I had fun putting those together too.

Apparently the vegan cupcakes were a hit!

You can see more pics in the set if you are my family or friend on flickr.

Oh, and I'm fully clothed, Jill.

Nina's birthday party!

It was such fun, though a little stressful getting ready for it. I made two kinds of cupcakes, gluten free and vegan. Not many were left, I have to admit!


Can I blow out the candles yet?

Arwyn & Rochelle

When you've got a balloon and a lollipop, what more can you possibly need?


Nina and I both love bubble machines. I have been trying to find one but it seems they are only sold in the summer, even if you live in a place where it's bubble weather almost all the time.

Luckily someone was willing to lend us one for Nina's party.

We used it before, though, and had a pretty good time with it!

Oh, and yes, she does pick out her own outfits. Can you guess what her favorite color is?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

my birthday

Was spent with good friends and good food, always a fantastic combination. Here's the pumpkin pie that I made (super yummy).

And three special girlies having a moment together.

peter yarrow

Peter Yarrow (of Peter Paul & Mary fame) was at our local Barnes & Noble performing and signing his children's books (all of which come with cd's). We got this one, which has some of my childhood favorites on it. You may recognize my mom in this pic, I called her and she was able to come join us.

He was a fantastic performer, funny, improvisational, and personable. He kept asking people to sing along and telling funny stories. Here's one you might recognize, acoustic style.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

blog lag

I'm on a serious delay here. But I really do have some good reasons, the first being that when we came home from two months in DC our home was...if not trashed, not exactly livable, either.

We had asked out house sitter not to leave the dogs in the house when we weren't home and it's obvious (and she admits) that she did exactly that. And both of the dogs need to lose weight because she doubled their food intake as well as giving them biscuits (when I give treats, I use freeze dried liver). And the toilet was running the whole time we were gone; our water bill was over 200$ each month. When I got the bills I assumed she had been zealously watering my plants, which was definitely not the case. When I went to do my first load of laundry it was apparent to me that the lint filter hadn't been cleaned often (if at all). Which is a major cause of house fires, in case you didn't know (obviously she didn't). And my lovely expensive faux-down pillow is missing; I had splurged on it because it was so comfy. I suspect that an unsupervised Sugar ate it while lounging inside. And the furniture was re-arranged (fine, but put it back before you leave, ok?).

And the ick. The house was FILTHY. Here is what my glider is supposed to look like:

Here is what it looks like after 3 dogs have been rubbing against it for two months(she has a rottweiler):

It came clean, but...seriously. My purple velvet couch was in the same shape. And didn't come quite as clean as the glider.

When she moved the futon frame out of my office she gouged the (brand new) cork floor all up, this is not the best pic of it.

And because all the cabinets looked like the inside of this coffee cup, I had to clean them and every single dish I own before any of it could be used.

This is the floor in the bathroom (she must have washed the dogs inside, I do it outside):

And see that one lighter colored tile in the upper middle of the pic? That's the one I washed for contrast. It took me 3 hours to clean and it still didn't really come very clean.

To add insult to injury, my mom offered to help her clean before we got back. She declined. And she left me two huge dog beds (placed conveniently in front of the couch) and a passive aggressive note telling me how good the dogs were inside and how much they loved being groomed. The dogs have beds that I spent a lot of money on, one in the kennel and one in the dog house, and I do know how to and do wash them regularly (sorry, brushing isn't in the cards very often). In fact, I can't imagine that I have an amazingly healthy looking (everyone comments on it) 11 year old german shepherd because I don't know how to take care of him. It will probably take months to get both dogs down to a healthy weight (as an aside, they don't nees as great a quantity of food when you buy high quality food, which I do).

My sister wants me to confront this woman but I don't really see the point; it's not exactly as if we will ever use her again (and I am willing to give out her info if you email me so you don't either).

All this when I had 6 days to prepare for Nina's birthday party. And the arrival of my sister, her friend, and my inlaws.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Jury Duty

On Monday, I was called to jury duty. Here in California, you go for one day and if you don't end up on a trial, then you are done for at least one year. If you do get on a trial, once that ends you are done for at least three years.

Lorien was still out of town, so I took Nina over to Mima's at a little before 7. I then parked at the nearby Euclid Station and took the San Diego Trolley downtown. It was my first time riding the trolley. One drove off while I was still buying tickets, but the next one came 15 minutes later. I was a few minutes late for our 7:45 reporting time and they had actually started the introductory video. The tickets were $5 for a one day pass or $2.50 each way. I think we were paying less than that to go from Silver Spring to downtown DC, but maybe just because we weren't going during rush hour. The parking was free and there was enough at about 7, which was really nice.

The day itself was fairly dull; I read and did some word puzzles (thanks to Mima and Mom and Dad for the magazine subscriptions). My friend Joel from work was also there; he had been called for the Monday before but forgot and took advantage of the generous come anytime within two weeks of the day you were called policy. During the hour and forty-five minutes for lunch, we walked over to the central library and got lunch. The central library does have children's books in French, like the library in Silver Spring, but they were mostly too advanced for me. I really liked that we could get them so easily in Silver Spring and wish the Mira Mesa library had them. Of course, under Mayor Sanders, I should just be glad that the library is open ever.

Joel did get called to go to a courtroom the third and, it turned out, final time they called for people. They hadn't gotten enough people for the jury when they quit for the day at 4, so he had to go back this morning. They asked everyone to come at 8:30, but the judge got tied up, so they twiddled their thumbs for an hour and a half. Then, an hour later, they had enough people for the jury and Joel was one of four people who hadn't been interviewed, so he got to come to work for the afternoon. Lucky him, huh.

One cool thing about jury duty is that they have someone from the Grand Jury talk about what the Grand Jury does in San Diego. It is apparently a roving investigative body with subpoena power. It seemed like a really cool thing to get involved with, but the time commitment is 9-3 M-Thursday every week for a year. Most of the members are retired. Last year's Grand Jury wrote a report on climate change. You can find it, plus responses from San Diego County, the Mayor's Office, the City of San Diego, and others, at http://www.co.san-diego.ca.us/grandjury/report07_08.html.

if Nina ran the zoo

This is what the animal enclosures would look like. I think it's a great use of our pillow furniture.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Nina's first basketball game

Nina and I went to see the Mesa College woman's basketball team play tonight. It's a small gym and we started in the front row, really close to the basket that Mesa was shooting at. Unfortunately, the whistles were just too loud for Nina and we had to move back. Still, after Nina got used to how loud the game was, she seemed to enjoy it. We only stayed for the first half so we could eat dinner and get her to bed somewhat close to bed time. The score was something like 12-35 when we left so we didn't get to see very many baskets up close.

I am not a huge basketball fan but I usually enjoy games. My general opinion of woman's basketball is that the refs don't call fouls strictly enough and so the game has a lot of just scrambling around after loose balls. There was definitely a lot of that but much of it seemed to be due to poor play by Mesa. One thing really impressed me; one of the visitors was called for a foul when the Mesa player had clearly committed the foul. She didn't gripe, complain, or anything, just got into position to play defense. The coach calmly explained to the ref that he had the call wrong, there was a brief discussion, and the call was reversed. There was no grousing from the Mesa player or coach.

Friday, November 14, 2008

one more thing...

I made a 20$ micro loan to someone in Cote d'Ivoir today. I used MicroPlace and chose to invest my money with a woman. In return MicroPlace gave me a Green Fest t-shirt, a hemp wallet, and a ceramic piggy bank that they will send to Nina. Pretty good investment, the money is going to lift a woman out of poverty, and I will get the money back with a little interest (I chose the lowest interest available). Even if I never get the 20$ back I feel pretty good about it.

this is all I'm going to inflict on you

Plus, I have to get to bed, it'll be another long day tomorrow.

Here are some compostable to go containers and flatware

Some more

Check out these shoes...

Pretty cool!

my crappy pics

I was all cracked out on coffee, what can I say?

Refillable whiteboard pens, GENIUS.

Bamboo flooring

Cork flooring and some carpet

So many people...and this was a break in the crowd

Mushrooms! mmmmmm

green fest

Oh lordy I had an exhausting and fun day. I flew in from SD last night to help Arwyn work the Blue Canoe booth at Green Fest. We got there at 11, it opened at noon, and immediately we were swamped. For a while it was just the two of us but then the owner got there and I went off for a while to check out all the samples and booths. The amount of people and booths was mind boggling, overwhelming, and amazing. Adina's was giving away full cans and bottles...mmmm. I had an organic tamale for lunch and there were tons of people giving away samples of organic dark chocolate. We got done at about 7:30 and picked got takeout from Sol Food. Not to be missed if you're in Marin.

I took a few crappy pics, check them out in the post to follow.

greetings from marin

So, I know...it's been a while. I have lots of good excuses, all of which I'll tell you about when I return. But for now I'm going to tell you about the man from Marin...

Monday, November 10, 2008

sea stars

Mom and I took a long walk at Torrey Pines and there were a lot of these long strands of seaweed washed up.

I think the "root" looks like a placenta. When I bent down to examine this one, I could see what looked like worms wriggling around in it.

I was kinda grossed out until I noticed that they were actually tiny sea stars. Amazing!

Here are a couple of videos I took:

It was a gorgeous day and fantastic walk, thanks mom!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

76 days

I can't wait to see what happens. I am hopeful...

Soggy voters

Nina and I walked over to the local elementary school this morning through a light drizzle. We got there at 7 and waited in line about 20 minutes before being able to vote and then walked home through a heavier drizzle. Nina got "I voted" stickers in three languages. The woman behind us in line said she still hadn't made up her mind who to vote for.

Sunday, November 02, 2008


Crap, I missed making it already! But I am planning to do the rest of the month. Feel free to ask me to write on any topic you wish, I'm sure I'll run out of inspiration at some point...