morro bay getaway

Morro Bay Morro Rock from the Elfin Forest

Natal bottlebrush (Greyia sutherlandii)

Twisted oak trunks in the Elfin Forest #elfinforest #morrobay #lososos

Azure Bush Germander (Teucrium frutican azureum)






Just spent a couple of days exploring the back roads of the Central Coast with the Guy + dog. So much green. Wildflowers out early. Horses and bunnies and turkey vultures. We had a beer at Parkfield on the San Andreas Fault. We drove over the Santa Lucia Range from inland to Big Sur, and descended into an ocean of cloud. We visited the Leaning Pine Arboretum and discovered new plants. We earmarked lots of places for future exploration and adventures. I love the way every experience begets more; there is no end to the wonder of this world.

walkabout malibu to mexico

IMG_2392 Untitled IMG_2439


Untitled Untitled Inspired by this book, my girlfriend and I spent a second day walking the coast, over rocks and tidepools, under soaring bluffs, along empty sandy stretches between point and pier, past stinky seals lounging in the warm winter sun. Counting our blessings with every sandpiper, every anemone.

lunch break




Children in neon swimsuits, squealing. A plane and a kite, both soaring. Cartwheels. I kick off my sandals and sink into the warm sand.

A brother and sister are carting small pails of water to dump into the hole they dug. Running down to the waves, trotting back with their watery loads, over and over. Why didn’t they dig the hole closer to the shore, I wonder? But they are not concerned with efficiency, just with the joy and freedom of being out of school, of being able to run in the sun, back and forth.

She is panting. He asks, do you want more? Yes, she says. Much more. And after that, let’s go play.

birthday camping trip

With my birthday approaching, I knew how I wanted to celebrate it: getting grubby around a campfire. So the Guy + dog & I headed for the hills inland from Santa Barbara, where we found ourselves a place by a creek in the Los Padres National Forest.


Due to recent rain, the brook was babbling ….


… and the wildflowers were out.

Hours were spent hiking …



… and staring at flames.


The weather was perfect, and a good time was had by all.



After two days, we took the high road home, scoping out possibilities for the next camping trip, which will require a 4WD. As I’ve been saying for, oh, six months now, I really do need to get myself one of them.

what we need is here


Geese appear high over us,
pass, and the sky closes. Abandon,
as in love or sleep, holds
them to their way, clear
in the ancient faith: what we need
is here. And we pray, not
for new earth or heaven, but to be
quiet in heart, and in eye,
clear. What we need is here.

~Wendell Berry

public declarations of love make the world a better place

Public declarations of love make the world a better place

It’s not uncommon to find love notes in the sand, but I came upon this one in a local park today, and it really made me smile. I imagined a kid (aged 8 or 10) running ahead of his or her mother and quickly scratching the message in the pathway, for her to come across a minute later. And I felt the responding swell of love and joy that she must have experienced upon reading these simple words, publicly declared. I continued my walk with a spring in my step.

And that’s why PDAs are good for all of us, participants and observers alike. The beam of love that’s aimed at one person cannot fail to shed light on those around it. So go for it in public: cuddle, kiss, hold hands, stroke hair, write your love in the sand or in the sky. Others will surely smile. You’ll be making the world a better place.

dear 2013

Dear 2013, I just want to say … you were awesome.

Sock Monkee Therapist

In January, I made many monkees.

I had a sweet overnight visitor

L. spent several weeks with me, and we had many sweet moments.

Me and my pirate boy. Love you, son @jestus

February brought my boy Jesse to my door.

This magical sprite holds the #key to my heart

Together we traveled to Australia to welcome Miss Cali Hashi to the family.

@tuisted and #jaicook on the Brisbane river ferry

I was still there in March, spending time with more special people.

Desert globemallow

April took The Guy & I (+ dog) to Death Valley, for our first camping trip together.


May was all about tree research. We spoke to many nursery staff as we narrowed our list.

Lion Creek

In June the trees were delivered! Many holes were dug, gopher and deer cages built, and those babies were planted. Then we went camping, on the hottest weekend in history. Whew!


July brought sewing, hiking, gardening, and celebrations.

Brown pelicans

Summer fun continued in August. We bought a couch and threw a party. We went to outdoor concerts and kept buying plants.

Watched a historic defeat of the home team tonight. Most runs scored by any team ever at Dodger Stadium. And it was their arch rivals, the Giants, who shamed them.

Baseball. Lake Arrowhead. LACMA. Friends. September did not disappoint.


Little Corey James surprised us by coming early, so in October I flew back to Australia for some extended cuddle time.


In November the Christmas-gift-making began in earnest.


And December continued to blow me away with the beauty of the world around me.

So, yeah, 2013 … you done good. Thanks so much. I’m looking forward to hanging out with your buddy 2014.


the peace of wild things

Fence lizard

The Peace of Wild Things

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

— Wendell Berry

(this is why i hike)



Travelling is fun. So is coming home.


my sister


Sister and I spent a day in Sydney, wandering here and there, stopping to eat and enjoy the view. Just the two of us. It was perfect :-)