Reframing nightmares.

A six year old houseguest of ours walked into the kitchen clutching her newly built lego dragon that slept alongside her last night.  I knelt down to say hello only to learn that her night hung thick with the dark cloud of a nightmare.  A fear filled awe filled the space in between us, as she explained her dreams with big, wide eyes and not a hint of a smile.

I listened to the play-by-play, which honestly, was kinda boring the way other people’s dreams usually are.  While I nodded in understanding, I pondered the juxtaposition of her fear with my experience of her very passionate relay.  From my seat, there was obviously nothing to truly fear.  It was a dream, one.  And two, it was actually kinda funny when you hear it in the morning.  But, not to her.  To her, it was very, very real, and I felt for her.  And, I understood that trap.

Inspiration struck, and once she finished with the flourish of the monster locking her friend in the bathroom, I asked her what she would do if she could return to her dream right now.  She immediately said she’d punch the monster.  I saw her eyes perk up, so I kept going.  Then what would you do?  She’d run out the side door into the town and tell everyone.  Great idea!  Then what?  I’d go back with the police and find my friend, then we’d all throw a party!  Hooray!

With that, she was over it.  She and her lego dragon bounced out of the room and into the rest of her day.

I just told her so.

I started taking dance classes a little over a year ago, and I loove it. The desire comes from my heart; I can almost feel it burning.  Over five years ago, I started thinking I wanted to dance.  I used gaze through the windows of an advanced ballet studio near an office where John once worked.  So much grace and raw, composed effort.  Too newbie for that studio, I went by myself to this mildly depressing studio in a Pacific Palisades, CA strip mall.  A beginner’s jazz class, I walked in feeling awkward and left feeling worse.  The teacher was horrible; I don’t even think she looked at me once.  I didn’t know what to wear (fyi – not shorts), and I had the wrong shoes (fyi – not sneakers). I felt invisible, unwelcomed and absolutely talentless.  I unfortunately decided I was wrong about dance. 

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The tone of the farm is different at the moment.  It is winter, projects become more restorative, whereas the spring & summertime are all about sprinting to keep up.  John and I are using this breath to finish two creative projects.  I’m hard at work on the cookbook, which will be woven with images from the farm.  Filling my early mornings and late evenings with recipe tests and writing.  

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Comings and goings.

A friend of John’s came out to the farm last week.  Steve is a great farm guest.  He settles in, finds his own routine and helps where he can.  I actually think we wore him out a bit this time.  Not so much that he won’t come back, but enough that he’d occasionally say, “I just couldn’t DO this every. single. day.  Like maybe for three or four days, and then, I would just need to SIT DOWN…

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I wub u.

Aren’t dogs the best?  There’s nothing better than that little face.

Sarcastic looks.

My husband just sent me this picture of our dog Todd.  Two years back, a week after we adopted him, our friend Malcolm dog-sitted for us.  Malcolm sent us a similar picture commenting that Todd keeps giving him “sarcastic looks.”  Well, this is it.  He’s still at it.  Someone obviously just asked him to do something that he didn’t feel like doing.

Project whistle.

For a long bit, whenever I’m determined to learn something new, it feels near impossible, or maybe a little closer than near – like pretty much totally impossible.  Not the often caffeine-induced moment of inspiration, that moment’s totally cool and confident.  It’s the long pause after the initial spike, when I’m typically reaching for chocolate, desperately trying to recreate my initial high. 

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Beautiful things.

Today, we invited all of our old neighbors and all of our new neighbors to Apricot Lane Farms for a day of swimming, BBQ and general barnyard shenanigans.  We had a great time, and though I planned on talking to you tonight about an incredible trip we took to Benziger Biodynamic Vineyard in Sonoma with our Biodyanmic consultant Alan York, I am too beat and will be heading to bed for a long autumn slumber.  However before I do, I wanted to share with you a few pictures of the most beautiful flowering cactus I’ve ever seen.  Our gardener, Maria, found this one day and encouraged us to check it out first thing in the AM, before the daylight makes the flowers close.  It is magnificent.  The latest gift the farm has given to us.  Enjoy…

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Ahhhhhhh…. Summer vacation.

I’m fully committed to doing NOTHING these bliss-filled 11 whole days, and I’m surprisingly quite adept at it.  I don’t count reading (Bossypants, by Tina Fey), eating too much, goofing off, sleeping excessive amounts or drinking caffeinated tea (to ensure I have plenty of energy for my nothing-doing.)  And, I’ve not once had to reprimand myself for trying to slip in something productive.

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We’re in!

Well, maybe not Todd.  He’d been out chasing this guy…

But, the rest of us and our many, many, many boxes of belongings are officially home.  Mom‘s here, too.  She’s come to help and stay for the next two months, while John’s in South Africa for work.  Dad flies in later today for the same reason.  Through the window of my temporary kitchen office, mom walks past, probably switching the laundry and definitely making me wonder how we ever, ever could have done this without her.

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