Blue Camping…

Hello, Loves…

I’m trying to get this done because one of my best friends will be here TOMORROW!!

A group of us went up to Tahoe. The same group as last time. It’s a thing now…

We decided on a hike the first day… Actually, the guys repaving the road outside the cabin made the decision for us.

Brianna posing with her tree that she ran straight into… Beauty AND grace.

Sangria…

The princess found a worthy perch.

This was the best key lime pie I’ve ever had. I thought it was my birthday…

This goose was an asshole. That kid behind him was kinda one too…

More infrared…

This little guy tried to hide from me.

Jalapeno sauerkraut.

A’s game on the third of July…

(She was trying to catch popcorn in her mouth.) Our entertainment while waiting in line to get to the field.

Waiting for the fireworks to start.

The coldest winter I ever spent, was the summer in San Francisco.  – Mark Twain

This quote goes through my mind a lot while I’m out walking in full winter gear, in July.

Craft night at the salon.

Spider vs. fly. The fly did not win.

Carrot blossom.
Mom- these are what I was telling you about…

I have one volunteer tomato plant. It’s a tough bugger. I don’t have the heart to pull it. It has never in its life gotten water.

Same waterfall… My image is much cooler.

I’ve never met an oyster I didn’t like, until now. It was the kind that convinces you that you are going to get food poisoning the minute you chew it up. (I didn’t.) I guess I’m an east coast oyster snob.

National Donut Day! We drove over to Walnut Creek to one of the two Dunk’s we know of in this area.

Blue camping… We got up close to our camp before I realized I only had one memory card. Two cameras, one card. So naturally I chose the infrared. There was only a couple times I wished for my regular camera.

My garnet. I carry it around in my pocket most days.

Yes, I know, I was in a campground… It’s hard to camp within four hours of here and not be stuck in one, especially this time of year. And, of course everyone wants to escape the rat race. So we smile and enjoy the family who is also a bluegrass band, one camp over.

And the soft penny tootsie rolls at the convenience store within walking distance.

Tiny moon.

(King-  I thought about crawling across, but I didn’t think my knees could handle it.)

Molting cicada, or the stuff nightmares are made of…

Not sure if it’s an infrared thing, but I get some crazy lens flare that I don’t seem to get with my regular camera. Makes me think of Anthony every time.

Homemade Ramen with bone broth, rehydrated jerky and mushrooms.

Our camping game is becoming strong.

Yes, our first aid kit get used.

This tree came tumbling down the cliff, and brought several boulders with it.

Putah Creek Cafe, go there. We only had two things, but I bet everything is fantastic. Attention to detail, my favorite.

And that is ketchup, not mayo, in that container…

It’s National friendship week. So, this is me sending my love to all my friends around the country.
LOVE LOVE LOVE you all!!

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I’ve Been Off The Dry Shampoo For Two Weeks Now…

Happy Summer!!

We don’t have a lot going on at the moment.
I’m actually kinda loving the simple of our life right now.  No trips other than camping planned until the fall.

Work and school.

Two out of the three things on this plate came out of my garden…
I’m now over my garden. I’m done growing things here. It’s too frustrating. I want a huge, overwhelming garden that produces enough to support us, give to my friends, sell… Dumping 200 dollars worth of water on plants so I can get two meals of peas and 8 raspberries, isn’t doing it for me.  And with us only really being here another year-ish, I’d rather spend my energy in other ways.

I do dream about my future plot everyday…
Our next move will hopefully be it, or at least for a good long time. I say hopefully because I can’t say whether or not my husband will love Montana like I love it. I have that love you only get from being born and raised in a place. It certainly has its flaws, but what place doesn’t…?

Peter’s friend, Boswell came for a visit from Tanzania. He is a gentle soul. I enjoyed meeting him a lot.

I got one of my camera bodies converted so it can only read infrared light. I have been wanting to do this for YEARS! The only catch is that you have to dedicate a camera body. It will never again read light like a regular camera. But it’s totally worth it!! And since one of my most awesomest friends sent me a camera body for my birthday… I couldn’t think of a more perfect use for it.

These images are what they look like straight out of the camera. I haven’t played with them much in photoshop…

Our eyes can’t detect infrared light, so this is kind of a hidden view of the world.

Creepy fire face.

It sees through most sunglasses.

Sunshine day with the girls…

We’ve been talking a lot about the exiting of this part of our lives. And even though at times I’ve loathed this place like no other, I have made some lifelong friends, and I am going to miss them terribly.

We had a birthday for Elon’s partner (I say that because I live in Berkeley and it makes me giggle). She can be a bit of an emotionally crazy person, so when telling stories of said craziness, she says, “Poor Kyle” a lot. We decided it should be the theme of the party.

We had one firework left from the three we ended up with two, Fourth of July’s ago. Tequila Sunrise: it was bigger than the black cat and sparkler, so we didn’t know what to expect. It sat in our house for two years waiting for the right moment. There were people running around backing up like it was going to shoot 50 feet in the air. My stomach hurt from laughing, it was worth the wait.

And, this is the point where it turned into a frat party.

This perfectly sums up Kory, the newest member of the Aya team… Or CoCo Loco as we’ve renamed him. When he drinks he turns into a combination of a Sassy Black Woman, Big Daddy off the Golden Girls, and a 4 year old with ADD.
Dinner and a show.

Happy Simplicity Day!
I didn’t even know there was such a day! Brilliant!!

Simplicity is what I strive for in all areas of my life. My brain will not do chaos, I turn into the worst part of myself when faced with it.
Calm, Calculated, Fluid, Simple.
The lack of, is what I feel is wrong with most of this world.

Keep it Simple, Loves…

 

You CAN Go Home Again…

Montana, my Love…

Gardening with bff 1.

Her view does not suck.

This is what the pine looks like after it gets killed by beetles.
Beautiful death.

My pack of nieces.

She eats so fast they have to spread her food out.

I LOVE this girl. She is an extra special soul…

THIS girl is one of my favorites! Oi! I love her like my own. I remember vividly my first memory of her: my oldest sister showed me her belly for the first time when she was like three months pregnant. I was 11.

Dancing is not one of her top qualities.

And manners are not one of Natalie’s…

Day in the sun with bff  2, Casey Jane, and Casey. (My nieces man friend is also named Casey.)

We have an extreme fondness for sour cream.

“The spot.” We walk here a lot when we’re at my parent’s house. Their town is so adorable and quiet, it’s therapeutic to walk around.

I was lucky enough to have breakfast with a couple other people on my short list. I have so little time in MT I have to keep it to the really awesome. My bff#1’s mom has such a huge part of my heart. Her daughter has been “my person” since we were in junior high. She has watched me grow up. She is my second mom. I’m thankful to be loved by her.
I have no images of our morning. She had me spellbound…

Lilacs are the one smell that will launch me back to my childhood quicker than any other… They pretty much grow wild in Montana. They lined my grandmother’s block.

Scobey
(my birthplace)

We have 16 nieces and nephews. Two from my husband’s side and 14 from mine. They are not babies anymore, they are people.

Emily and Sarah. Could they be any more country…?
Makes my heart smile. I love this life so much.

My middle sister.
Another person who has a huge chunk of my heart. And a very big part of why I want to get back to Montana permanently. I can’t put into words how amazing she is. I need to physically be around her more.

I went to MT for this guys graduation. WOW, that went fast.

The graduates gave out flowers and chocolates to the important people in their lives. My dad is known for his above average love of chocolate. Hershey is still his favorite.
This picture is so him.

Two pictures from the slideshow they played during graduation:

The first time we really got to hang out. He was five months, I was 22. We bonded during an easter egg hunt.

The one below that is one of my favorites. My sister looks so happy. That baby is her pride and joy, she waited so long for him.

My “old soul” my sister’s next in line, Sarah.

I never get tired of listening to what she has to say. We do a lot of strolling.

These are the direct descendants of  the lilacs from my childhood…

BOB’S GARDEN!
This may be the earliest I’ve ever been there. I love it in all it’s stages.

The bees were in heaven!
There was a low hum all throughout the apple trees. Millions of little beings.  Some things there is no way of capturing on film. For your senses only.

One thing I always get when I’m home is chicken fried steak. Yeeeea baby! Cube steak pounded out, breaded and fried, then smothered with sausage gravy. Either hashbrowns or mashed potatoes on the side.
Some things you love because you realize you can’t get it anywhere but back home.

FYI,  this is half of what it started out as, my mom and I split it and didn’t even come close to finishing.

Thanks for the visit, Loves….

 

 

 

Peace, Sister…

Happy almost June. I like June. I like the name.
Lots of people I love were born this month.
It is spring…

Our “go to” happy hour spot. 

14 14.

This is all that was left from my birthday bouquet from my sister. It lasted quite a while, I just kept taking the sad stuff out…

Two of the most annoying words in the English language.

MY rhubarb…

My mom is  a great everything.

The tail end, of the end of term party for the Mr.
One more down…

This lady is good people. She is a co-worker of mine who is also going to acupuncture school. She is one of the hardest workers I know.  Whenever I complain about being worn out or tired, I think of her. She works full time, goes to school full time, and has a son and a household to take care of…

Roses from my friend’s garden… I actually get to see this friend today, if you’re  reading this, see you soon…!

I planted the amaryllis my sister gave me like two christmas’ ago, it sends up pretty leaves, but never a blossom, until this year!

Casey Jane: These are the leaves we need to use to make that one fountain… They were HUGE.

Camping trip up north…
Botanical gardens on the way.

Skyler (J’s classmate) offered us a little piece of his parents land to camp on over part of J’s school break. Camping is by far one of my favorite soul refreshing things to do. Its hard to camp around here without running into people… people however, are not my favorite.

Bad ass garden onion…

First day: term nine. Two more!!
(Or three, if you count this one.)

I shall chat with you again soon. I have two more posts waiting to be done…

Happy Tuesday, Loves…

 

Happy 10 To My 10…

Ten years ago I met this guy in St. Louis… My mom thought I was crazy for flying all that way to meet a guy I barely knew. But something told me it wasn’t so crazy.

A lot has changed since this moment. (I can’t believe I ever had fake nails.)
I still look at him the same way.

I’m looking forward to the next ten years… (Provided you don’t decide to go back to school for anything else.)

Love you, Mr.

Four Zero…

Hello, Loves…

I turned 40 since we last chatted.
I gotta say, It feels like 39.

My favorite swear word. So versatile. You can change the emphasis on any syllable to cater to any given situation.

My friends are so talented.

The guts of my pinata… Not the guacamole.

My mom’s birthday is the day before mine. We sent her a little birthday wish…

CAKE!

Off to bowling…

This picture makes me laugh…

This is Kory, the newest addition to our motley crew. He fits in well.

The points from the pinata just happen to turn into princess hats.

Morning after birthday cake is just as good as day of birthday cake. Although this picture was taken on my actual birthday. Day after birthday party, birthday cake…

You can’t read this, but I am officially out of student loan debt. I made my first payment on Christmas day 2007 and 10 years later on my fortieth birthday, I made the final payment.

Birthday lunch…

A lot converging all at once…

Baja tacos with this wildcat… She is no longer my work neighbor, so we now schedule our chats. She is still as good for my soul as ever…

Take control of your own wishes…

Elon got me a gc to Costco. The story of her getting it was my real present. I’ll spare you the details since I can not tell the story the way she did.

Every time I feel bad about myself, I remember the people I get to share my life with, and think, “Well, you wouldn’t get these  people around you if you were a total shit-bag.”

Why yes, that is a shirtless man with a flute strung over his shoulder… The moustache is epecially fitting.
I have a record store near my house, I often stop by the outside bins to take a gander, I’m never disappointed.

Road trip to Tahoe… Five girls and two dogs. That’s a lot of bitches in one car.

This is where our bad food decisions started… It went down hill from there.

Good peeps.

I feel like I should say something profound since I’m now old and wise…

In France it is legal to marry a dead person.

Donkeys kill more people annually than plane crashes.

For most people, no matter how hard you pinch the skin on your elbow with your fingers, it doesn’t hurt. (Including myself. My husband would say that has more to do with my weak fingers.)

Rubber bands last longer when refrigerated.

 

Happy Monday, Loves. Tomorrow is No-Brainer Day. Thank God!

 

That’s What You Get For Being Hasty…

Yes, I’m still alive…

I’m inspired right now, just not with this.

The thought of writing about the last three months feels like a thousand pounds.
It’s painfully time consuming getting the cat dribble in my head to transfer to paper.
Instead, I will write very little.

In seven days I turn 40. I’m really kinda excited…
I’ve come to appreciate my birth-date.  I get a month right after the crazy of the holidays to take a breather, and plan my  “new year”.
I’m full of hope.

My husband wanted to start acupuncture school when he was 40, and he did.

My purple tomatillos were the most beautiful things ever, I will grow them always.

The Mr. and I scored a seat at my friend Ruth’s Thanksgiving table.
I relinquished control, it was a rare event.

I’m eternally grateful for family: new, old, borrowed, invented… and food.

It was a delightful day, with delightful people.

J and I went neighborhood shop shopping the day after Thanksgiving. We figured we were safe on foot.

I do so enjoy hanging with him. He makes the simple shine.

Co-workers and Christmas lights…

First day of the advent calendar, we lost interest after that. I blame the chocolate quality.

I still cook with my mom’s thermometer.

I made chai concentrate for part of my co-workers gifts.
It was Christmas in a bottle, plus it made my house smell perfect.

I’m so much better of a friend when you live close. Handmade or baked presents are my jam. That rarely translates well with shipping.

Holiday (work) Christmas Party…

My sister and her minis spoil me.

I’ll photograph my other treasures later…

East Coast trip…

We left for New Jersey Christmas Day.

We got winter…

I sat in this spot next to the wood burning stove for five days.

We watched a lot of DIY tv (became instant fans of Chip & Joanna).
And, Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.
I read all five Percy Jackson books, (thank you MIL)…

She is one of my favorite parts of J.

My Sisters in Law are remarkable.

The perks package is what sold me on him.

He was/is a bit of a spiderman fan…

My first train ride: Philly to Boston.

NYE with very good friends.
We miss this crew.

Snow Days a plenty…

Mexican Train: Highly recommended for all.

Goodbye cold Boston, thank you for teaching me what a bomb cyclone is.

J’s eighth first day.
Eight hours after getting home from the East coast. He’s impressive.

Tomorrow is Belly Laugh Day.
Please find a reason to have one.

Happy New Beginnings, Loves!