Thursday, February 26, 2009

In Napa

The girls and I are out in California visiting my mom and dad and brother and sister in law and we are having wonderful visit minus missing Ben. This is absolutley the most beautiful time of year to be in Napa. The feilds are so green they look like Ireland and the blossoms are blooming. I have been enjoying the great shops and my dads cooking. I can't remember the last time I had a long break from cooking. I think it was when Julia was born! So I have been reading lots and hanging out on a blanket on the lawn with the girls, and calling Ben on Skype feeling so sad that he couldn't be here :(

There are always so many tiny things I forget about Californians that I love. I've been wishing Ben was here to share them with me . . . so here they are Ben.

How everyone puts potted plants EVERYWHERE.
How there are fruit trees even in suburbia. Some people in my parents neighborhood even have vegetable gardens instead of front lawns!!!!
painting in bright colors
how people are always out walking around, running, jogging, biking, cause hey, they have a fit Californian image to maintain.
the salsa
west coast bay area fog (love it)

Otherwise I am hoping to kick my miserable cold so we can do some day trips into San Francisco and to the beach to see the seals!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Well its been a quiet February for the most part. We did another hike in George Washington last weekend, making the most of the warm spell and this time we did a portion of the Signal knob trail. I was hiking in the rear and looked down and found a huge crystal in a bed of moss. Then Zita found two more in a tree stump and the search was on. We found a whole bunch of them all hidden on the trail in funny hollows of trees and such. It was so magical! The girls told me they are now convinced that fairies are real. It turned out to be an awesome hike and the crystals are now sitting in a little wooden bowl in the living room and the girls get them out and play with them all the time.

Currently I am reading an excellent book called "Fruitless Fall: the Collapse of the Honey Bee and the Coming Agricultural Crisis.° For its very doomsy title it is actually written in a very witty way and quite delightful. The guy who wrote it obviously wishes he was Michael Pollan but gives an important subject a just treatment. I didn,t realize how agribuisness really depends on the honey bee and how they are all dying. Like um tons of them and its mostly because they are pushed to the limit being trucked around the country to pollinate massive monocrops of almonds, etc. Oh well, I'm sure Barack Obama will sign some kind of magical stimulus package for the bees since he is going to solve all our country's problems and herald a new era of soaring real estate, bulging 401ks and wildly productive apiaries. Whatever.

Pardon my sarcasm. Anyway I am looking forward to someday owning some bees of our own and when I do, this book has convinced me to buy Russian bees because they are REALLy tough little bastards and are not as prone to mites and varoa and all the other things that plague our poor Italian bees.

Its sad of course because I feel like I should have solidarity with the Italian bees.

Well until next week, cheerio.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

One more thought on warmth. I think that dressing warmly--with undershirts and heads covered-- is the single biggest thing I wished I had realized more when Angelica was a baby. I think it has taken me a while to understand the importance of warmth for health partially because I was raised in California and had to learn about layering clothes only after moving out east-- but also because our society of constant temperature control 24-7 and shuttling from heated house to heated cars to heated stores has made us forget the connection between our bodies and the world around us. It is possible for us to lose heat very fast, especially a child, and when that happens we are much more prone to illness.

My favorite book for home remedies is by Aviva Jill Romm, called Natural Healing for Babies and Children and she has a whole section on the importance of warmth for the child to grow and thrive, which is wonderful to think on. This is not always easy because children often insist that they are warm when they are really cold and just distracted. Remember those kids that pee their pants because they'd rather play. But I think the payoff is well worth keeping those little necks and ears and chests well covered from the cold winter winds.

okay, I'm off my little warmth soapbox.


Ah February. This is usually my least favorite month of the year, but this year I am not finding it quite so bad. We have been blessed with one unseasonably warm weekend and another in the forecast. When the weather hit the fifties last weekend we drove out to George Washington national forrest and hiked. Ben has this rock face he loves to climb but getting to it was tricky and at one point we were crossing passage creek which was frozen over in sections and the spot we crossed over on broke off and we were stranded in the middle of the raging creek. (Thank God for the Beco!!) Anyway poor Ben saw that the only way to get his family back across was ferrying us each on his back while he forded the freezing creek. It wasn't deep but I have an idea of what it was like. Ben didn't catch a cold either which was what I was afraid of. Righty, well I'm going to post a little posty for all our friends in Gravagna now which was what I came on the computer to do. . . oh and Mary Grace thanks for your comment and I am working on an e-mail to you about all that Waldorf stuff!!!.

Ciao a tutti! Ecco qua la prima neve qua in Virginia. Finalmente. Angelica era triste a prima perche ha detto Ben che cèra la neve in Gravagna, ma non qua. Forse venganno a Gravagna i genitori di Ben questo Maggio e Ben ancora sta lavorando sul libro. La Giulia diventa piu dulce e intelligente quotidianno. Ma anche birrichina. Adesso ha scoperta come butare i giochi net toilet. Io parlo italiano con la Giulia quasi sempre e adesso capisce lei, le parole "bano" e "stelline" e "micio." La Angelica e Zita stanno bene anche loro. Oggi ci habbiamo trovato ala biblioteca un libro dei fiori delle Montagne di Virginia e Angelica ha trovato dentro tanti fiori similare da quelle che nascanno anche in Gravagna nella primavera. Mandiamo baci a tutti!!!!!!