Tuesday, December 19, 2006
All around the merry-go-round are Christmas trees decked out with an incredible selection of ornaments for sale. We have a tradition of buying a new ornament for the kids each year (we plan to give them all their ornaments when they leave home), and this is a wonderful place to shop for them.
I didn't have my camera or I would include some pictures of the trees and ornaments. I asked someone working there, and she said that the owner spends all year searching the globe for ornaments, and then hires four girls to decorate all the trees. Each tree has its own theme -- there was one covered with
feathered ornaments, another one all white with silver stars and white peacocks. And the ornaments, oh my, so many to choose from. Kitschy and romantic and silly and artistic, tiny and huge.
I picked out a little school-bus ornament with spinning wheels for Michael. He grabbed it out of my hand and he sat there in my sling quietly spinning its wheels and investigating all its nooks and crannies for the next forty-five minutes, looking up every now and then to stare at the lights and the merry-go-round
The lawn outside of the merry-go-round is covered with lighted structures, and there is a 150 foot live pine tree bedecked with lights that you can see towering over the forest as you approach the merry-go-round. There is a little cafe serving hot cider, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, popcorn -- all the favorites of kid kuisine.
We discovered this event a few years ago, when Ariel was really into the merry-go-round. At that time the event was pretty low-key - the crowds were light, and Santa was riding the merry-go-round, waving, walking around and saying hello to kids, handing out candy.
Since then the word has got out. This year the parking lot was packed. Santa had to have his own house outside, and the line to see him was about an hour. But for all that, and even though it was FREEZING (OK, freezin for Berkeley), everyone seemed to be having a wonderful time (except for some of the staff, who seemeda bit overwhelmed with the crowds).
We're heading off to New Mexico on Thursday, for a big family Christmas. All my siblings are coming, some with their new beaus in tow. My Mom lives in a big log house in a small village in the mountains
called Chama. We'll be going skiing, lighting luminarias, and cooking lots of big meals.
Happy Holidays to all!
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Ariel wasn't this way. Really, not that I remember. But of course, she didn't play much by herself anyway, we were always carrying her around. But she was much more interested in looking; Michael must have, touch, and roll on his back and play with it on all fours. He must incorporate it physically.
I know this isn't unique or special, but it still is surprising and has unexpected impact on my daily life. I'm constantly racing to get into the fridge or through a door before the little tyke gets underfoot and is going for something he shouldn't be in.
Friday, December 08, 2006
The latest blog about Alone Time rand the Myth of Keeping Up eally gave me a lot to think about. A lot. It's something I think many of us should pay attention to.
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
This is a great clip where Moonshadow patters across the living room floor while Michael goes after him. Notice that Moonshadow plays hard to get, but never just flies away. This is an ongoing game they play.
Friday, November 17, 2006
The problem is, I walk and ride my bike around Berkeley a lot, and I have two little kids, and these things are a menace. When they're driving slowly, say through parking lots, or coming up to a stop light, they're almost completely silent, only their tires making any sound. As a pedestrian I constantly find myself jumping to discover one of these things coming out of nowhere.
It seems to me they should require some kind of signature sound to let those of us using people-power to detect when they're nearby.
Monday, November 13, 2006
Later I went to the grocery store, and as I was standing there looking at all the amazing produce, I was struck with gratitude that we had this little place, Berkeley Natural Grocery, which has 100% organic produce, it's quiet and sweet and the people are incredibly nice. So much better than the zoo at Whole Foods or Berkeley Bowl.
I've travelled to a lot of places in my life, and I do have to say that Berkeley is one of my favorite spots. The weather, the people, the food, the quiet nature of the town - not Big City and not the 'burbs - all fit very well with me.
Monday, November 06, 2006
Here is a different view of the landscape than the one we're normally fed here in the USA. I feel like, just a bit, I can peek through the curtain of US media and see a different world. These are the words of someone who is living in the middle of it, and sees how it is impacting a community, families, a home.
Through her links, this blog also leads me to a whole group of people I never heard of before, sharing a world view that is not the one we see here. Finding blogs like this is very refreshing and seems incredibly important. Sometimes I get tired of technology, but sometimes, like in this case, it can bring us together and cuts through the layers and layers of space, time and misinformation that lie between us.
I love this photo of Michael, because it shows his personality so well, and it also shows how much he can raise his eyebrow. He's done that since birth.
Michael is now 8 months old and so close to crawling (he scooches). He is a boy on a mission, and it's great to be his Dad.
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
We just had a great time at Halloween. Nothing like having a six-year-old in the house to get things going. We had major decorations outside, cobwebs galore, a moaning ghoul and four jack-o-lanterns.
I love this photo of Ariel, it's so dramatic. And Ariel loves to be dramatic. What a cutie.