Friday, February 25, 2011

Back Home in Kingston

Hello from sunny Kingston- around 20 degrees but sunny. As always, it seems like we never left but there are plenty of fun memories to remind us of our vacation. You know by now that California met us with stormy, windy rains  but the food, wine and company were enough to offset the weather and then some.

 Healdsburg was our first stop. It was great to see Kyrsa and Dave's new home. Their house is really great, tucked in the amazing beauty of the many grape-growing valleys around them. Dave and Kyrsa are getting into the spirit of Sonoma by combining new expertise in cocktails, wines and food in their cozy new space. How can any of this be bad?

Judy wishing for a swim
A 6 hour drive through pouring rain found us at Hearst Castle, where we met Judy and Ralph. We took a wonderful tour of this giant monument to American industrial giants and their egos. Despite that, it is quite amazing and extremely interesting to consider, as a connection to our national history. We watched giant herds of elephant seals, walked the beach between rain showers and drove the coast through towns and fields. The company of old friends was the real gift.

On Sunday morning the sun decided to shine on our last beach walk. The drive up Highway 1 was long, windy and beautiful at every turn. Because it was the middle of the 3-day weekend, the traffic was light until we turned into the city of Carmel. San Fransisco had decided to drive to Carmel! What a weird little spot of trendy shops and bistros. The streets and sidewalks were packed with gawkers of all ages and incomes. Shop keepers were almost hawker-like in their efforts to invite customers- an interesting diversion on the long drive north to Davis.

We actually met Colin and Susan in Oakland for  nettle pizza and homemade tonic water, along with much more. The next day we walked the wonderful arboretum trail in Davis, drove through the acres of fruit trees to Winters for lunch and had a great afternoon with Susan and Colin cooking, drinking and eating in between lots of sharing.

So it is back to life in the northwest after much fun and sharing. Barb and I took in the Northwest Flower Show and I bought a new pruner- yikes! I hope I don't get tree pruners elbow this weekend. Today was my first day getting back into the rhythm of Tulin Road. I did projects, cooking and animal care. I walked around in the cold sunshine, imagining new garden spaces, new ways to grow better crops and filled with hope for Spring. That is the curse of the gardener- eternal hope.

While on vacation I was gifted with many conversations about ideas, philosophies, problems and solutions. I think back on all the words now and reconsider those ideas with a different perspective. That is the best part of "free speech". We have problems to solve moving ahead into a new century. This is easily agreed upon. We also have every reason to believe that there will be hard decisions, some suffering and new solutions on the road to a future I can't imagine but am excited to watch unfold. I am so very proud of the children in my family who have grown into adults now and who all work with passion and creativity, unfolding their days into tomorrow.

Keep up all the great work and believe in your tomorrows especially when you can't see where you are headed...and keep on traveling. I believe in us all.

Mama Llama

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine Day

Happy "celebrating love" day to you all. I know that it is common practice to think of February 14 as a Hallmark marketing ploy but there is really no reason not to celebrate the love in your life- friends, family and lovers. We all need occasional reminders to show people they are special to us; to let them know they make our lives better and make us better in the process.

I am especially aware of this after working 5 days last week and realizing how much time work takes away from our energy and creativity. Today I am sending you hugs, kisses and lots of love. This morning I had that fun of creating and puzzling little projects that are wending their way into the world. I hope they will  remind you, again, that you are the most important parts of my life. I am thankful daily for your examples of strength, adventure, love are generosity. With those examples in front of me, you would think I would be better at sharing my love but at least I continue to try. With that said, have a happy Valentine's Day. Share a smile with everyone you see this week and hugs with those you love. The world will be measurably better when you do. Surround yourself with love by remembering how very wonderful YOU are and give yourself some love too.

Love you always and today,

Mama Llama

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Making it through January

After the holidays, January is always first restful then a long slog.Though we may feel bored, tired and sluggish, those of us on the west coast can't ever complain when we hear of the winter weather in the East. That makes us even more tired and bored!

Still, the entire nation must be having a January slump and fighting it with unusual gun violence. What on earth- even in Port Orchard (now don't roll those eyes) a gunfight erupted at Walmart between  the police and a man on the run with a kidnapped teen!?! Why is anyone carrying a gun to Walmart? And this is just one of many stories reported each week in the local environs. I, of course, have a course of action to change things.

I think we should have a law making any crime committed with a fire arm a federal offense. Anyone committing a crime involving a fire arm should immediately be sentenced to 20 years in prison without parole.

We will never pass legislation to limit gun ownership in this country but no one seriously believes in the right to commit crimes with guns! Those who will argue about the cost of incarceration should consider that anyone using a fire arm while committing a crime will by statistics have a high rate of recidivism, costing the state much money in legal fees on both sides of the court as well as continual social service costs and the eventual cost of life when just one of those crimes goes wrong.When the person cost of gun-toting crime is realized, criminals will re-access the cost-return and the casual carrying of guns to Walmart will be affected.

Crazy people will always find guns to kill. Hard core killers, professional criminals and mobsters will find their guns and their paths. But the misdirected deserve a bit of unsolicited help. The spontaneous stupidity needs a chance to think and society needs to be a little bit safer and saner.

So there is another "big idea from small person". Take it and run!