Wednesday, July 20, 2016


Oh, sorry mama, I'm sorry! As she opens fridge
For what?
I just already caught one!
Holds up a cheese stick.

As she returns to a carrot she's saved from earlier: Why does my carrot need a nap? Crunch.

Sticks her hand into her bowl and A bit of onion sticks to her middle finger. She sticks it up to display:
Aaaah! What is that?
It's an onion.
Aaaaah! I don't like onion! Get it off!
But you like onion when it's cooked.
Eats it. 
Mm that livered the flavor!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Need More Books

Public message for anyone who likes to fuel my eldest's voracious appetite for literature...I think we can skip the abridged versions of...anything. Tonight at bedtime Cadence turned to me and said:

"Mom, I read three books today. Oliver Twist, Moby Dick, and The Odessey."

...and she also had a ukulele lesson, made cookies from scratch with Hazel (and used the oven solo for the first time), rode her bike to the playground with her sisters, ran errands with James, and learned how to play super mario bros.wii.

At this rate, we're just going to need to reserve her a library of her very own.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

We are not our bodies, by Hazel

"Mom, sometimes I feel like...I don't really know how to explain it. It's like, it's my body, but it's not wow, I can move these arms and this body, but I am not my body. Like maybe there is one molecule inside that is actually me, and the rest is I can control it, but that one molecule that's me is surprised and doesn't know how it's doing it, because it's like...operating it. and sometimes It's like, my body is here but I'm over there looking at it."

-Hazel Rose, age 6.

I can't describe how much I love this kid.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Happy birthday, Dad!!

My dad has always been an adventurer, and that hasn't changed. Today he is celebrating his birthday off on another wonderful adventure, spending some time at the YMAA retreat center in the mountains of Northern California where cell reception is spotty enough to encourage unplugging.

I may not have been able to call to wish you a happy birthday, but I have birthday gifts for you here...(and still have a couple letters the kids wrote and your Father's Day stuff...clearly making it to the post office is not one of my strong suits). But in the meantime, I thought you might like to see some of the pictures I found in our old photo box!

Dad, Al, Mom, Me...I have no idea where this was or what that box of "pink peppermint" is.

Sandy, Al, Dad...I kinda like how the water looks like a view coming off the hat!!

The back of this says "Scott and Al surfing the San Juan"

Dad with his Grandma Rosie - who never did like having her picture taken...

Molly, Dad, Me, Grandma Carol, Meghan
Happy birthday, dad. I love you!!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

One degree of separation...

I have been waiting for an opportune moment to share this; but I am realizing there will never be one. This world is crazy and fractured, and we have the power to hold each other up or tear each other down...

This documentary hits hard for me. I know it is long for our usual western media attention spans, but these stories are important and so worth the listen.

It starts out in the port of Pireaus, which is where my own journey working with refugees in Greece began, and ventures through many other places (some of which I also visited) and ends with a discussion with siblings Ali and Wisam - friends of mine, that I met in the refugee camp at Idomeni, along the Macedonian border. 

When I met them, they graciously invited me into their home for a drink. I was so honored to be welcomed in, and so impressed with how they had managed to build such an impressively functional community space with so little - and I really do mean build...they had branches and wooden structures to create gates and other sufficiently home-like amenities out of repurposed was pretty cool, even if it was born of necessity. It would have been even cooler if that was just a sweet hangout, and not the home they were stuck dealing with...but Ali said something to me as we talked around the fire that really stuck with me:

We were talking about whether or not it was a good idea to get on one of the buses taking people to new camps, where there could potentially be better conditions and an opportunity to get paperwork through to begin the relocation process. His point was that the people stuck in Idomeni -most of whom had been there for weeks or months - had no reason to trust the authorities (true, misinformation was rampant enouh to be considered the norm), and since no one could even tell them which bus was taking who where (also true, I think because they didn't want to have people start fighting about who went there the drivers were not allowed to tell anyone where they were taking their passengers...I'd be pretty creeped out by that, too!), why on earth would they want to take the risk, when "at least here, we have our family and our friends, we've built a community that we can trust and rely on...why would we ever want to give that up?"

The conditions may have been bad, but they had the human connections that make life worth living there, and that would always matter more than having a slightly nicer tent even farther away from their desired destinations.

Take a listen, and if just hearing the stories of unknown individuals is too abstract for you, maybe the fact that, through me, there is only a single degree of separation between you and the very real, very kind, hardworking and intelligent people who are living through this hell will help you to feel the connection.
The only picture I have of Ali and I, along with our friend Christina...the polaroid was part of a project she was working on.
ADDENDUM:  I am not going to mention their current locations in order to protect their safety, but Ali and Wisam have since been separated, and are still working to reunite their family.  The situation is awful, there is a very real potential for them to be prevented from bringing the two separated groups of their family together for at least five years, and the saddest part is that their story is anything but unique in this regard. There has to be a better way to help families escaping crisis than tossing them into a bureaucratic nightmare where they are objectified and left stuck, no way forward and nowhere to go back.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

My Daughter Is Nine Years Old Today...Cadence, Take it Away...

Dear Cadie Lady what to say to you?
You have your father's eyes,
You have my mother's name,

When you came into the world, you cried
and it broke my heart

I’m dedicating every day to you
Domestic life was never quite my style
When you smile, you knock me out, I fall apart
And I thought I was so smart

 You'll come of age with our HEALED nation,
We’ll bleed and fight for you,
We’ll make it right for you
If we lay a strong enough foundation
We’ll pass it on to you,
we’ll give the world to you
And you’ll blow us all away…
Someday, someday
Yeah, you’ll blow us all away
Someday, someday

 Oh Cadence, when you smile I am undone
Look at my SUN.
Pride is not the word I’m looking for
 There is so much more inside me now
Oh Cadence, you outshine the morning sun
My sun
When you smile, I fall apart
And I thought I was so smart 

Our nations hearts have been blind...

I swear I'll open my eyes for you

 I’ll do whatever it takes

 I’ll make a million mistakes

 I’ll make the world safe and sound for you…
…will come of age with our HEALED nation
We’ll bleed and fight for you,
we’ll make it right for you
 If we lay a strong enough foundation
We’ll pass it on to you,
we’ll give the world to you
And you’ll blow us all away...
Someday, someday
Yeah, you’ll blow us all away
Someday, someday

Watch out world, she will be enough!