Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Take the Long Way Home

We took our time coming north from Astoria, taking long detours just to stay within view of the ocean. We played like real tourists, even stopping at Washington's tallest lighthouse. We burried our feet in the warm sand and lost our shoes in the waves. We collected sand dollars and were thoroughly whipped by the coastal winds.
Give me dune grass or give me death. There is nowhere else on earth that I feel such a rush than on Pacific Northwest beaches. Zion seems to feel the same way. I thought I'd be coming home from this trip (after weeks of abnormal busyness) completely exhausted. Instead I came home with salt and sand on my ankles, ready to write and draw and otherwise take on my world. We picked out our next vacation spot, too, and I'm holding on to the hope that we'll get back down there before the end of Summer.

PS My husband's wingspan comes in handy a lot, but perhaps never so much as when we take pictures of ourselves. Pretty sweet, huh?

Monday, June 29, 2009

Sloth Love Chunk! ... er... Tyler Love Gina!

So the reason for the Thompsons to make their great Westward excursion, was the beautiful Russom - Rubert wedding in Astoria, Or. Of course, through the flurry of wonder - from the gorgeous (and breezy) waterfront ceremony to my not-so-expert Thriller dance, from the darling bridal party exit onto the shiny red trolley to the open adoration spilling out of Tyler's face as he looked at his bride- I managed to completely fail at photographically recording the event.

I didn't even get a single picture of Molly and B together in their dress up duds. Nor did I get a picture of myself in my really awesome (and really expensive) new dress. I looked like a real girl, I even straightened my hair for the first time in years. The above is the view from our hotel room. The ceremony took place right under the bridge and the reception was in a great renovated, historically industrial building. B did his best, given that he wasn't feeling well, and Zion did his best, given that he hates to be photographed.
We had to get B to bed right after dinner, and thought that our evening was over, but in true Thompson form, our friends sprung us with a plan to take shifts. So we all got to enjoy both the reception party, and the quiet conversation on the hotel room deck with the kids sleeping behind the sliding glass door.

The whole thing was beautiful, and so easy to feel celebratory about the joining of this particular couple. Tyler and Gina have this unabashed doting nature with each other, sort of an old fashioned gallantry but without duty or formality. It's delightful to be around.

Congrats to the delightful and refreshing Mr. and Mrs. Rubert! Thanks for including us in the festivites. I hope we see your newlywed (and newly tanned) selves after Fiji!

Good Golly, Miss Molly!

We've been so blissfully busy lately with the visit of our friends, the Thompsons. Andrew and Jen and their 4 year old daughter Molly, were like family to us. They still are, but now they're like family who up and moved home to North Dakota. The nerve of some people, right?

We hadn't seen Molly in two years, and likewise they hadn't seen B since he was about 6 months old. But being all together again was like no time had passed. Andrew and Jen have the uncanny ability to lighten us brooding Brewers up. Zion laughed more in the last few days than he has in months, and I was so happy to be back in the presence of my relaxed and graceful first ever mom-friend. Plus, Beckett fell for Molly like she was his long lost big sister. It's been amazing. Now that the visit is over, and despite our exhaustion from all the excitement, the quiet and solitude of being home is starting to creep and take on a somber life of its own. We've missed our friends so much over these past years. Having to say goodbye again has made that missing acute once more. My heart is so full of love for this little girl and her parents. It's wonderful to have this kind of friendship, I'm so thankful for it, and for this visit. But seriously, you guys, do you have to live soooo far away?

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Reaping

How'd you like that intense post title, huh? I figured I'd better inject a little melodrama into this post in the hopes of masking the fact that it's really just another garden update. Without further ado, here are the reaped:I picked some strawberries and peas today. I snacked while I harvested, too. And I have to say, all melodrama aside, that this little housewife succesfully raised the most delicious snap peas she's ever tasted. Here too are the to be reaped:
These tomato plants have been the subject of much debate this weekend. To prune or not to prune? At the end, though, Zion and I realized that our goal was perhaps, never to grow tomatoes, but to grow tomato plants. There are few smells as nostalgic for me as tomato leaves, and having that scent clinging to my fingers through the summer was the impetus for planting the things in the first place. So not to prune, was the conclusion, realizing that we may have a (literally) fruitless season. But a few green bulbs were waiting for me today. Perhaps, we may just be able to have our cake and eat tomatoes too?
Also check out all the legitimate color out there in the previously brick and tar world of our roof. Kinda crazy. I hope to have some entirely un-botanical projects to show you soon. Particularly with Father's day coming, plus the 3rd birthday of a very special someone. Somehow I don't think either Zion or Ella Bear would appreciate a hand picked bouquet or a basket of peas.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Huntington Library

There was so much more to the Huntington, but of course the only pictures I have to show for it are of my sister and niece. They completely stole the show, the latter more than the former. So I don't have a picture of the Corpse Flower bud, just a week or so shy of blooming. I can't say seeing it was the realization of a lifelong dream, but it's been a good 6 or 7 years of curiosity and fascination made tangible. Sara described it best when she said "Feed me, Seymour!"

Nor do I have a picture of the "cloud garden" full of tillandsia, high altitude air plants that get their moisture straight from the clouds. Or the expansive cactus and succulent garden, Chinese garden, Japanese garden, herb garden, rose garden, or something called the Shakespeare Garden.

It's true that the place was dripping with Industrialist excess, but I couldn't help loving it. Not only did it give me my first glimpse at a Corpse Flower, but it also gave me my first face to face encounter with Joseph Cornell, actually 3 Joseph Cornell's. Lovely.

There was whole room filled with anatomical, zoological and botanical drawings from the last 600 years, with a few stunning examples of fantastical creatures, and, I kid you not folks, a whole room filled with the history of light bulbs! I could've died. I almost did, and it would've been a happy way to go.LIGHT BULBS!

Consider Yourself Warned

New favorite phrase, hands down. The fact that it was found at every entrance to the Huntington Conservatory, part of the whole Huntington Museum and Botanical Gardens extravaganza, which is absolutely beautiful and more than a little humorless, makes it even cooler. I searched the gift shop high and low for t shirts sporting this slogan for the whole Brewer family to rock on my return, but to no avail. I guess I just have to make my own.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Live from Beautiful Downtown Burbank

I arrived safe and sound at the Burbank (actually the Bob Hope) airport yesterday afternoon and I thought I'd share some my observations thus far.

-Screaming mothers and unruly children in confined airport spaces gave me a fleeting sense of relief to be traveling alone, and a lasting sense of lonliness. What can I say? I miss my kid.

-No matter how friendly a white haired old lady on a plane may be beforehand, I should know by now to expect iciness should she glimpse my tattoo.

-By contrast, a 22 year old flying home from college for a friend's wedding with House of Leaves tucked under her arm should always be counted on to be most excellent airplane aisle company.

-I've chosen to believe that the entire city of Sacramento, and not just one terminal at its airport, is entirely populated with steam shovels and cell phone wielding state legislators, and that the air is forever rich with the smell of cinnamon. Mmm... Sacramento.

-During my day of travel, I thrice saw small dark brown birds out of the corner of my eye that weren't there. I don't know what that means. A sign of impending madess? Or the raising up of vengeful ghost birds?

-Speaking of birds, I'm not claiming to be an expert on the aviculture of NW Washington, but it'sparticularly weird to be in a place where I can't recognize most of the birds. It makes me feel thrillingly far away.

-SoCal marketing firms are so damn good at what they do they've even convinced the plants that Burbank isn't a desert. Seriously, every other tree is laden with these crazy purple blooms and the air is dry, fresh and light with floral perfume. Of course that may have something to do with it having rained this morning.

-Should you ever have the occasion to walk to the landmark Handy Market for white wine and ice cream, please stop to enjoy the mythologically inspired topiary that adorns the Shell station on the corner of Buena Vista and Magnolia. It's amazing, complete with prancing hedge pegasuses and an inspired petunia sea serpent.

-Yes, that Magnolia. No, so far no sign of biblical plagues.

-Let me just say that again. A petunia sea serpent!!!!!!

-On my walk to the Handy Market, I was startled by local mannequins. Twice.

-Either my grandfather is haunting me (highly likely) but has lost a considerable amount of musical talent post mortem (highly unlikely) or my sister has an accordian playing neighbor who prefers to dabble in the very Italian songs of generations past. Despite the fumbling fingers on the keys, it was more than enough to stop my breath for extended moments.

-My neice has the most ridiculously marvelous nanny. She's a complete pro with years of experience and seemingly infinite tricks up her sleeve. She cooks, she cleans, she sings, she dances. But beyond all that she has endless warmth and genuine love for her charge. Do you think she'd mind terribly if I forcibly kidnapped her and stuffed her into my carry on? Honestly, I want a Marta. If any of you, dear readers, find a lone Marta wondering the streets please send her my way. Much obliged.

-My sister is Wonderwoman, minus the boots. Excet that she's pushing herself to limits that would make Linda Carter weep for mercy.

-My neice, Ella, is exceptional. I've never known a baby like her. She's a friggin' dynamo with no off switch and a ferocious appetite for learning and experience. And she only 6 months old! That having been said, I don't envy my sister the task of parenting her through her teenage years. Yowza. They're going to have fights worthy of history books, if there were history books written about such matters.

-Not that what happens this one infant weekend will inform the rest of our relationship too drastically, but I can't help feeling like Auntie Claire and little Ells are going to be buds for a long time.

-Despite my being such an old Northwest dog, being here this weekend, amidst mild weather and abundant flora, and getting to spend such easy hours with my sister and her daughter is almost enough to make me feel like I could be happy living here. Again, this could have a lot to do with the fact that it rained this morning.

Anyway, more to come. Next time with pictures. I promise.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Actually in a car, but then a jet plane. Adieu folks. Catch ya on the flip side.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Recipe for Blueberry Tart ...

... or ... How to Make Your Own Underwear in an Afternoon.

Step 1- Put on an old favorite blouse, fully intending to wear it to a bridal shower, and discover that it brings the term "dumpy" to whole new extremes. Let it bother you for 24 hours.
Step 2- Cut off the sleeves and frilly bits.Step 3- Start cutting down to your basic pattern shapes. *note* this step should be completed with something beyond recklessness, but not quite willy nilly.Step 4- Have a delicious snack of Life cereal and blueberries and ponder the extent to which you will regret having started this project.
Step 5- Realize belatedly that pressing might have been a good idea to begin with, but hey, better late then never, right?

Step 6- Find the closest thread match in your stash because this is definitely not the sort of thing you run errands for. And start sewing on your low budge borrowed machine that sounds like it's gearing up for interstellar travel.

Step 7- "Holy Crap I made undies!"
Step 8- Take in the sides, add a few darts, finish the edges and strategically place the ruffles and voila! Blueberry Tart!
Step 9- Hope someone else thinks your pun is as funny as you do, and admire your super cute bunsies (not pictured) in your home made uns.