Sunday, December 14, 2008


There's this older couple that comes into my coffee shop a lot. They are they so polite and nice, and alway ask how me and my family are doing.
They get a small coffee and a water ALWAYS. Well, at least for the four years I've been there.
When they go one vacation, they bring their photos in afterwards to share.
They often dress in coordinating colors.
They are pretty darn adorable. I secretly hope to be like them when Don and I are older.
They know most of the other regulars, and when they miss a couple days other customers ask me where they are.
They told me a few months ago that their son died when he was 40.
Ester, the wife, gets teary eyed talking about him.
They don't have much family around, so I think the coffee shop has kinda become their extended family.

Today they brought in a Christmas card for me.
I was so touched, it was so thoughtful.
When I open it there was money in it.
I seriously felt like I was a kid getting a card from my grandparents.
Except I wasn't and they are just customers that I see maybe once a week.

I actually cried.
Then I cried, when I told my co-workers about the card.
Then I cried when I told my husband.
Now I'm about to cry again.

It was just floored that they even thought about me enough to write a card.
But sticking money in it?
Don't they know I'm way too emotional for that!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

I just can't stop myself!

These are all local Tucson artist, and as I looked I realized that a lot of these artist are more local than I even realized!
I guess this is my version of Black Friday?!

But I just lurve these fabrics! Check out All Above Fabric and you will realize my obsession.

And talk about local!
Here are two artists I found from my daughter's amazing school.
Cosmo's Mom
Chet's Mom

There use to be the cutest little coin purse on here at Siobhan Clothing .
Heh heh.

And here is Chandra's friend, Jessica at Rainestorm .

Looking for something cute and local for a small child? Look no further!
Woolies Shop

And I love the onesies at dinglee . If they weren't $30 a pop I would have added one to my shopping list fer sure!

Also super cute!
And sweet yet simple!
I've always liked Liz Vaughn's paintings!

OH, and if you were my real friend you would buy me a purse from Species Designs or Blind Cicada!

I mean really? I just totally took care of all y'alls Christmas shopping!

Shop Local!

We decided to shop local for our in-laws this year.
Etsy is just the worst place to go online when you decide to do this.

Anywho, I just bought this little coin purse for my SIL in Australia.

So addicting, please stop meeeee...

"Best Thankgiving ever!"

That's what both my kids proclaimed today was.
Actually Ari insisted that it was also our first Thanksgiving ever. And I suppose it kinds was. Our first one at home at least.
Usually we go over to Don's grandparents house and have dinner with them. It's nice to see them, but other than dressing nice it's no different from the other days we visit. The kids like going there, but they get bored and aren't allowed to play with much.

For today we actually broke out the fine china for the first time ever! That in itself was reason to party!! Teags was so into it and wanted to help out as much as possible. She decorated the table long before it was time to eat, and made little turkey place settings for all her family. Ari supplied the pine cone turkey and Barrett supplied the fine Terra Valentine wine.

It really was perfect.
It rained all day, which in Tucson is rare and special.
In between the rain we decorated our outside mesquite tree for Christmas and went for walks. We let the chickens out and Teags and Ari held umbrellas over them and then they danced in the rain.
We played board games and Teagan made us all gifts of homemade books. Ari made us cut out animals and monsters, I think?
Most of all it was easy and non-stressful. Is it rude to say that most of the tranquility was because of the lack of in-laws present? Probably, but I'm guessing that all 3 people that actually read my blog will keep my secret safe!

OH, and did I mention we cooked our very first turkey?
It was a sweet little 10 lb. free range turkey and he (or she) was delicious!


Teagan entertained us with many Thanksgiving jokes.

Here's some pics of our tree ourside, which every year I swear I won't decorated again. Mesquites are prickly!

We also saw two red-tailed hawks in the sky, which was fascinating to the kids.
I think Teags is looking for it in that last pic?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

All Souls et al.

I've been stressed out and busy and now I'm just looking for something to get my mind off what I should be doing.
Anyway pictures from our Day of the Dead and Alls Souls week have been looming in my mind and now it's time to get this monkey off my back.

First, are pictures from the Day of the Dead festivals at the Tucson Museum of Art.
Plus a little piece of advice...
...don't paint your kids faces for the event.
It's not the face painting kind of event and your children will be mortified the whole time, and probably have to seek therapy at some point.
(Teagan thinking about how much her mom just humiliated her in public.)

Procession of Little Angles.
Clare's alter was on display here and the girls meet up with some buddies.

And last but not least (drum roll please....) the All Souls Procession!
This year we went with Sophie and her mom, and meet up along the way with Isabelle her sister Mia and their parents. We tried to stay for the finale to watch Sophie's dad hanging off the the crane, but once again the kids got too tired and wanted to go home.
We lived in Tucson for five years now, and haven't missed a procession yet.
I think it remains my favorite thing about Tucson.
Obviously, it's cool to paint your face at the All Souls Procession, just not the Day of the Dead one. Word.

Sunday, November 9, 2008


I thought of waiting until after tonight and then posting a big Halloween/ Day O Dead post.

But, now I'm realizing it would just be too big.
Both holidays are big for us, and there are way too many photo's to share with y'all.
So I'll just start with holidays past.

This year we had a big Hallow Weenie party at our house. It was so much fun!
In years before the party was held at our friend Chandra's house, but since she moved away she has left us with a Weenie void. Thanks a lot Chandra!
So this year we hosted the party instead and it was a little bittersweet.

We went trick or treating in a big group, then came back to food, music (my halloween mix rocked btw,) kid craziness, and grown-ups finally getting a chance to relax.
There were eyeballs in the chili, dry ice in the juice, fog machines a-blasting, and sugars skulls galore. The trampoline and new playhouse helped the kids out with their sugar highs, and the cocktails helped us grown-ups wind down.
Hopefully all slept well afterwards!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Clare Hope

Not to make everyone weep while they read my blog again, but I just now saw this and had to share!
I was searching for a picture of Clare to use for an alter and I couldn't find the one I had saved on my computer. I'm making an alter for her for the Procession of the Little Angles this Saturday.
I finished one of two plaques I made for Clare a couple weeks back and emailed a picture of it to my good friend Jill, Clare's daughter. I'm planning on mailing Clare's family the plaque after I use it in the alter.
I never received an email back, and never really thought about it.
But just now I went to Clare's memorial page to see if I could copy her picture off for her alter and saw this:
Clare's Hompage .

I can't quite describe what I feel right now.
I guess just feel so honored that a picture of my plaque is up?

Now I'm even more enthusiastic about making and alter for her for Saturday! Plus I know if I had died first she'd be the one making one for me.
One of the reasons I love the whole Dia de Los Muertos celebration, is it lets you celebrates the lives of people who have died instead of just mourning their deaths.
And if anyone knew Clare they knew she loved to celebrate and threw the best parties!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Danny Hope

Today is Danny's Birthday.
He'd be 36 years old today.

I remember going to his 30th Birthday bash, even though he wasn't there to enjoy it.
He died a few months earlier.
His mom Clare still wanted to have a party for him and do it up Danny Style. She hired an Irish musician and there was a huge party for him. We had cake and ice cream and sang Irish songs all night. We celebrated his life, and were able to mourn for our lose. It was a beautiful party.

Danny was also my first boyfriend.
Through him I found my way to succeed and go to college.
Through him I found a loving family that I never let go of. His sister Jill has always been a close friend and I loved his mother Clare very much. I remember going to the hospital when Rane was born, and even the exact flowers I brought. I remember their house and living there and everyones friend's always hanging out. It was by far the "cool house."

I remember how after Danny died Clare, Rane, Guy, and all their friends and family would have a party at Danny's grave on his birthday. They would bring all his favorite food and music and all kinds of special little things.
It really was a celebration of his life and was beautiful.

This year Clare Hope is not around for Danny's Birthday.
I hope that she is with him somewhere and that they are having their own celebration today together.
I'm sure there was still a party for Deej, and maybe an extra chair for Clare?

I have an alter up for Clare at our house right now and two candles lit for both Danny and Clare.
I miss them both.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Look what I can do!

I can pet rhinos.
I can feed giraffes.
I can touch a tamandua.

I can spend two evenings at the Children's Museum, and one full day at the Desert Museum, and another behind the scenes at the zoo.

And I can LEAVE my kids at home while I do all of this.

This whole seminar I'm taking is to help me teach my kids science in fun ways.
My kids don't understand why they can't come with me to all these great places and why I can't just teach them science there?

It's mean, but I kinda just want to say "ha ha, look what I can do!"
After all I do for them, I mean really?
Isn't it time that I get to play without having to listen to complaining and arguing?
I know, how preschool of me.
Maybe I should follow it with a "neener-neener-neener?"

Did I mention I get paid?


gettin my dork on

I was finally giving the okay to "get my dork on" this week.
This means HALLOWEEN PAAARTY at my crypt!

Oh, yep, I'm a nerd.
I spent all day today avoiding cleaning my house and making a Halloween playlist.
I also plan on painting styrofoam heads and hanging them from the trees.

Oh, I like Halloween waaay too much...

Definitely, some punch with dry ice in it.
Bloody Mary's with eyeballs.
Sugar skulls for the kids to paint.

Anything else?

Maybe YOU?!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Prop. 403

My small plea for this proposition to pass.

Both my daughters class sizes increased quite a bit this year, plus teacher assistants dropped.
OH, and librarians? Apparently on Thursdays and Fridays who needs them!
Both schools share one principal now, and everything just sux!!!

I know Rebecca and I both volunteer 3 to 4 days a week to make up for all these cuts, and luckily other parents have stepped up too.
I love my kid's schools (way too much...) But I'm also exhausted.
So please... for my sanity vote yes on prop. 403.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


Oh yeah..
BTW, here are pictures of the owl.
Amy releasing her.
Her new home in BELL...

Can I get an "Aaaaaw?"

dodging the media

I credit my great media ducking ability to working in The Embarcadero.
Several local TV stations dwell in downtown SF, and trying to duck newscasters is an everyday occurrence. "No, I don't suffer from allergies," "No I have never heard of that proposition," "Whose Willie Brown?"

My very cool friend Rebecca posted this picture in her blog and I had to share it.

First an exclamation.
BELL was on the news a couple days ago on KGUN 9 and Fox 11.
Forever Wild gave us a Western Screech Owl to release. The owl had originally flown into someone window, she was fine, but she needed a new home.
The principal grabbed me an informed me I was going to talk to the news. I latched onto my co-coordinator who refused to be on the news. Then we grabbed poor innocent Rebecca and basically shoved her in front of the camera.

This is me and Kurt hiding in the background as Rebecca is being interviewed by Mr. Bighead guy.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Self Perception

While I was sick I started two painting that were inspired by
The Black Apple
To me it was obvious who the paintings were of.
Can you figure out who they or is my perception of Teagan and Ari just waaay off?

My kids had NO clue who these were pictures of. Even with lots of coaxing, I finally had to give in and tell them. To me they look just like them.

I wonder if it's because in both paintings they are pouting and they do not percieve themselves this way? I also wonder if I had drawn them smiling that they would have figured it out instantly?

But for me this is how I perceive them every morning before school.
Just sitting on the couch all grumpy.

Free Bird!

Just an update on the chicken coop which is now finished and has eight happy fowl living the good life inside. The kids are always crowded around the coop and love watching their little chicken antics.
The school is holding an election for their names, but almost for certain the little polish gal will be called Einstein. How appropriate, right? We have to thank Miss Jane for coming up with that one!

Here's the finished coop before the chickens went in.

Tamale's class getting ready to release the chickens.


And Teagan, Ari, and Jane releasing the chickens into their new home.
Teagan and Jane got to leave school early just help with this, lucky girls!
(Look there's ^Einstein^)

They have been in the new coop for about two weeks now and they look happy, well as happy as a chicken can look anyways.

Now that the chicken coop in done the Borton Community Garden can begin!
We meet with Lisa Shipek from Watershed Management Group ( this morning about holding a rainwater harvesting workshop to use earthworks for retaining water for our edible garden at Borton!
But that's a whole 'nother blog.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

One of those weeks

This week has been super sucky.
I'm finally well (yey,) and able to take on all my responisilities!
Feeling goood, right?

Then I get about three emails in a row basically saying "I'm too busy so I'm canceling and you get to take over all my duties too."
First I cried.
Then I denied all of the people.
Then (as alway,) I did it anyways.

Then our car broke down this morning.

I was actually excited to have a legitimate excuse not have to do anything!!
Like a window opened and angels were singing "aaaaaah" as a bright light was cast upon me.
I may have even been smiling as a helped push the minivan to the side of the road?

I email both kids schools saying that we may not be in because of car troubles. And since we have one car, fixing our one car in always an issue.
DANM I felt SO free!

Then Don fixed the car.
Stupid husbands with their car fixing capabilities!

I took both kids to school late.
Missed my time slot for the art assignment I was suppose to do with the kids.
Went to pottery late.
Left pottery early.
Went back to T's school to do the art assignment at my "new" designated time.
Opened the library (but once again the computer was locked so I could really check out books to kids. But I guess books aren't really important on Thursdays.)

Tomorrow I can't take the kids out to BELL. I won't even go into that.

Next Sunday there is a "thank you" party for the chicken coop that was planned around me.
I can't go, I always work on the day they planned it.
And why should I?
I only bought the chickens.
And housed them for three weeks.
And bought all their food, and feeding containers, and straw.
And helped build a coop at 7am on the only day I can sleep in.
Okay I'm disgruntled, even though I said "it's cool," and pretended not to care.

I guess every once in a while you just need to give the world the finger!
Also I should stand up for myself more.

On a positive note, my kid's principal actually offered to drive over to give our car a jump start.
I love my kid's school more than most normal people, but how many principals would say that? She was also covering in the office for two employees that were out.
Maybe she just can't say "no" either?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Old black mare is not what she use to be

I've been sick since Wednesday with a stupid stupid cold.
It seems like it's been dredging along fer-ever!
It's really getting in my way of playing with my friends and watching Alex get a tattoo.
Plus I still have to work, and yesterday I even came in early to cover someone else's shift.
Hmm, now why can't I seem to get well?
I'm sure it has nothing to do with building a chicken coop at Borton while I'm sick either?
Or taking 18 kids out into BELL.

Gotta go, I think I just coughed up a lung?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Tuna Margaritas

Doesn't that sound delish?!
I suppose I could also refer to them as prickly pear margaritas, but what is the fun in that?!

This was actually an experiment aimed at Ari's classroom The Shooting Stars.
No, I did not mean to get them all drunk.
Yes, I know that is illegal.

My goal was to figure out how to make juice from the prickly pear fruits (tunas,) so that next time they are in season we could harvest them and make juice with the kids.

Since all the original tunas at the school disappeared, the wonderful Rebecca lent me some of hers.

So here is how you make tuna margaritas (....or tuna lemonaid for the kiddos.)

1) Pick tunas CAREFULLY, they have tiny spines in them called glochids that are a female dog to get out! I used BBQ tongs from the dollar store.
Make sure when you pick them off that they red at the base, that means they are ripe!

2) Boil the tunas. This gets all the prickers off, and softens them up.

3) Peel the tunas and then boil them again. Add sugar and lemon to taste.

4) Strain out the seeds. This also strains out any missed prickers! Muy importante.
The leftover is your juice. You can add this to lemonaid, sparkling water, or ta-kill-ya.

for the kids I added sparkling water and more lemon.

Teagan loved it, but Ari hated it. Ari still felt the need to smile for the camera.

Mine went into a margarita, and it really was delicious!!!