Sunday, June 28, 2009

Life at Land's End

Lately, not knowing when we were going home or whatever comes next.  I've felt like we're traveling in a boat, sails unfurled, full-steam ahead toward  the end of the world.  It feels like God is pushing land and water underneath at the last possible second, for which we're thankful.
So it seemed fitting to hike across Land's End this weekend.  The farthest point west in San Francisco and our little corner of the world.

Beautiful Braidilicious

Sun, sand & joy!  Auntie Minga made sure Sophia was 'Stylin'  Oh and the sunglasses were brought to you by Nana.  'My Nana is cool!' quote of the day from the Sassafras! 

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Remember that song (from Forest Gump for those of us who were born in the 80's) If You're Going to San Francisco. . . .the song suggests you wear a flower in your hair.
Personally I'd suggest a coat.  It's the end of June with a high of 68 and a low of 54! Most days there's a brisk wind blowing off the Pacific. So we improvise!  Hot tub on the porch (only takes like 12 trips with pails of hot water from the sink.) Feels like spring but we're eating like summer.

New favorite recipes:  California Kabobs  & Panzanella
We'd been saving the heals of bread to take to the ducks in the park.  But I couldn't resist this Panzanella recipe. It uses broth instead of oil which makes it really light.  We used feta cheese, doubled the red wine vinegar, and added capers, parsley and olives instead of turkey pepperoni (We Love having Tara Ely stay with us so I'm vegetarianizing all our recipes) Mmmm think I'll see if there are any leftovers!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Happy Father's Day Daddy!

We got to see Gavin Rossdale, Matt Nathananson, Sugar Ray & Parachute this weekend in Golden Gate Park.  Do you think Sophia likes concerts? 

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day Fun!

I'm so impressed with the men in my family.  A quick phone call to my dad today, he's in Tampa Florida getting his scuba certification with my little brother.  

Baba (father in Nate's language) Mama, Melom & Minga (Nate's sisters) all visited us last weekend (hence no blogging) We got to go to a GREAT church in Berkeley (seriously didn't think you could find God in Berkeley--the place pushes my weird meter. I was anxious to get back to normal San Fran proper!)  

Turn's out my 83 year-old grandfather, went to UP the Pixar movie this weekend. And we took Nate to a concert in Golden Gate Park.  Seriously how cool are the men in my family!?!!?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Sunshine in San Francisco

The Presidio at sunset

Alcatraz Island

Mommy & Sassy's trip to The Wave Organ

Sophia and I wandered on to a movie set, a Bollywood movie in California? That's San Francisco! Mandarin, Russian, French, Italian anything but English. There may have been a famous person or two out there, but I'm not up on my Bollywood stars.  I've LOVED what I've seen.  This crew was very kind. Helping Sassy find the best spot to hear the ocean and letting us play in the background.  I'm really looking forward to this movie-based on a true story-MY NAME IS KHAN.

I couldn't help it! It's cute when you're three and you're pants are falling off! 

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

What Ever Happened to Predictability. . .

the milk man, the paper boy, even MTV? . . . .Obviously I'm a child of the nineties, Full House is a part of my history.   I remember being 14 and leaving the family dinner table to catch my show!

Today I wouldn't call it a pilgrimage.  More curiosity. For those of you who are to young to remember when Mary Kate & Ashley were cute toddlers.  The theme song has the whole happy family having a picnic in San Francisco, with these famous homes as back drop.  Admittedly, I wanted to see this spacious plain for myself.  I'd always wondered how you could have such wide open areas in such a crowded city?  Sunday afternoon I decided to see it for myself. Alamo Square is about the size of a large city block.  Complete with rolling hills, play ground and picnickers. In reality, its just what it seems. A rolling hill flanked by great architecture, but my young mind created a sprawling expanse found only in the Midwest.  

Driving away with new found perspective I began wonder about the rest of the show? My Full House clung steadfastly to sitcom values nestled between cute babies, one liners, hugs and life lessons all wrapped up in a half an hour.   Except, that isn't how I think of San Francisco at ALL.  Iconic images include Mrs. Doubtfire and Monk, with their beloved oddness?  Then there's Harvey Milk, the Rock, Haight and Ashbury, Medicinal Marijuana. And the man in full drag queen make-up and men's street clothes, clutching his platinum wig and the dummy that supported it, running past my house to catch a night bus. This is the San Francisco I came expecting.

My reality, honestly, has been a lot more like Full House!  'Course I live in Mommy world--a family friendly neighborhood where I rarely venture out after dark.  However, I now understand why two "uncles" would move in with a young family living in huge house.  Not much has changed in that regard, Craigslist was founded here because housing is really that expensive and overlapping.  It's not uncommon to rent out your house while you  go on vacation, simply so you can afford to leave. Or turn every last nook and cranny into space for someone to rent.   I'd take renters that I'd trust to babysit!  

Like Full House, it's common for grown men and women to simply rent a bedroom, not an apartment, just a room.  No wonder Jesse and his family moved into the attic. Did you see that space?  It was beautiful, all utilities paid and more built in baby sitters!  
All these years I thought it was for comedic affect.  Now I see it's basic economics!

Some things have changed--the kids were WAY too normal an insanely middle America.  I went to highschool in the mid-west I should know! Including D.J.'s letter man jacket boyfriend, and kooky white friend from a semi-normal home.  Today,the story lines would be about recycling instead of family values.  The kids would be in Catholic school uniforms with friends like Yun See, and Ashra Pakal.  At least one of them would look more like Mary Kate or Ashley TODAY! Complete with eating disorder, huge sunglasses, designer bags, Iphones, and one or two nasty scandals erupting on Twitter.  But that's just my opinion. . . .

All Smiles!!

Four days without Effexor and all's well!  
Thank you everyone for your prayers and support making this jump. It's the end of a six month weaning off and emotional journey.  I'm sure I could've chosen a better time but I'm thankful to have it behind me.  Cracking open the pills and counting out the little granules was the only way to do it!  

Words cannot express how grateful Nate & I are for your prayers and support.  We both felt like we came to the end of ourselves over the weekend.  Then Monday evening the cloud lifted. Nothing in our circumstances changed, same stress, same uncertainty but peace reigned, love and apologies all around.  What an amazing outpouring of grace!  To experience the intense impact of your prayers-- I'm forever grateful!  

Monday, June 08, 2009

Dear Friends

O LORD, do not forsake me; be not far from me, O my God. Come quickly to help me, O Lord my Savior.  Psalm 38:21&22

"God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,though its waters roar and foam  and the mountains quake with their surging. Selah" Psalm 46:1-3

Thank you to everyone who's been keeping up with our  new adventure.  Being far from home has taken its toll. Especially when you need the encouragement of your brother's and sisters in Christ.   

Honestly, I've never experienced stress & pressure vicariously like I did this weekend.My heart really goes out to my husband, sort of like a caged animal, unable to find relief.  Even Sophia was having nightmares, and old issues from my past were rearing their ugly head. (Something about not being able to help, or have any control over our future) And we're not the ones in the middle of it all! Please join me in praying for Nate, that he may honor God and finish our time here well. 

In God's providence, the Ndjerareou family (most of them at least) will be traveling to Berkley this week.  We're so looking forward to seeing them! And full of thanks.

I'm also so thankful to Richard Marsceau, for recommending Sunset Church. As God would have it they are not far from us. This weekends sermon was so personal for me. A reminder that God is in control of every moment.  Thank you in advance for your prayers.

"Certainty is the mark of the common sense life. To be certain of God mean we are uncertain in all our ways, we do not know what a day may bring forth. This is usually said with a sigh of sadness, it should be rather breathless expectation. We are uncertain of the next step, but we are certain of God."~ Oswald Chambers

Wednesday, June 03, 2009


Expressive Arts Therapy: Tamalpa Institute 
Highly recommend this organization.  We acknowledge the need to grieve emotionally, but how does the body grieve, or process? This is a fascinating form of emotional processing, through art & movement.    Last weekend I got to study with Daria Halprin & experience a little taste of the work they've been perfecting for over 30 years.

The Bubble Lady-Rebecca Nile
Sophia & I got to see her at our favorite library! Great show. We stuck around afterwards b/c Sophia wanted to thank her.  The bubble lady said you're welcome by putting Sophia IN a bubble! Very cool & a great way to reinforce manners!:)

STARBUCKS CREATE YOUR OWN MUGS--What to do with all those art pieces your kids camouflage the fridge with?  Answer: Make it your favorite mug.  I have an i Phone for family pics, but Sassy was so proud to see mommy carry her latest picture around with her coffee! And believe me I carry my coffee EVERYWHERE!


Stow Lake, Golden Gate Park 
Great walking path, plenty of ducks, turtles, and other wild life to feed. Recycle your left over picnic, get close and personal with nature.  Inner Sunset District Love My Neighborhood 
Sunset Branch Library: Right down the street. So friendly, helpful with children's book selection in multiple languages (including French & Mandarin)
CHA CHA CHA Eclectic Cuban Food on Haight St.  Easily crowded but great food & service. Not exactly kid friendly but the food comes fast and the decor is fascinating for little ones. Try the tapas/family style menu and the sangria.  Careful it's strong!


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