Wednesday, September 29, 2010

it's been pretty hot lately

so hot, ya gotta wake up as early as possible to catch some cool air. you might end up napping around 10am though. eegads but we need jobs. let's hope yer ploy helps us Domenico. the temps got so hot that the laundry practically dried before mr. a-go-go could finish hanging it.but even in the heat, dusk is pretty cool. it is perfect for watching the birdies, going for a spin on the bikes and searching for the batty, bat, bats as they swoop in front of our faces.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

slide show fun

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a few weeks ago i went to an old fashioned wheat threshing. blogged about it but wanted ot put together a slide show for the mama a-go-go since i am SOOOOOO behind on my flickr uploads

Monday, September 27, 2010

the week in review: sept 20-26

the week started out cool and fall like. we baked pie and then the heat came for a visit and it brought it's friend wind with it. i wish they would chill out and come back in a few months. let's see, we a-go-gos made things. yoyos, sock monkeys, pie, was too hot for bike rides but we managed to hop on the bikes for a few errands instead of using Rodney. the evenings have been warm as well but nice for hanging out and taking walks. still no luck on the job front but we're trying. keep sending us good vibes, we could use them. happy fall (or spring if yer across the globe)!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

summer is finally here

yesterday the heat chased us into the car and up the coast for a beach day only to find it was HOTTER there than back down the road. crazy! we lunched at a tiny place that was slightly disappointing. i became the whiny woman who complained about her salad.. crikey! i AM old but really, it was listed as a seven dollar salad and what i got was a tiny plate with three forkfuls of lettuce, some grated beet and a very sad tomato (don;t even get me started on the tomato). we asked the gal refilling our water if perhaps our server thought i ordered a smaller side salad and she said there was only one size. moments later, our server appeared with another tiny salad and apologized for the hullabaloo. and before you think i am a crazy salad lady, mr. a-go-go and i were splitting a sandwich, fries and salad. it was hot and greens were a good idea. sniff.after the salad fiasco, we (sis & mama a-go-go included) wandered into an herb shop while mister camped out on a bench out front. they had fantastic garden out back and the prettiest hollyhock colors i have ever seen. they also had a pretty good collection of essential oils and i was tempted to pick up some black pepper oil to make a black pepper soap but i decided that black pepper was really my thing and not anyone elses (have you tried the black pepper jelly bellies? sooooo good). after a quick wander to another shop we decided it was far too hot for anything we drove back down along the coast. once home after a bout of crankiness i decided a nap was a good thing. mister woke me up with a "homemade" cherry limeade and the rest of the day was spent drinking cool fizzy drinks, reading, yo yo making (me), sock monkey stitching (mister) and chatting out in the garden once it got a tiny bit cooler. after an outdoor dinner of sandwiches we wandered back in to watch The Human Face a nice slow end to a very slow day. it was icky hot all night, ya gotta love california. which i do, but i wish it would cool down, just a tad. my brain is in fall mode.

Friday, September 24, 2010

the bird we call Peg

there is a one-legged blackbird hop, hop, hopping about the garden. she arrived a couple of weeks ago and it appears she has moved in. we have no idea what happened to her leg but she seems happy and alert and acts as the garden's busybody cheep, cheep, cheeping various alarm calls to other birds and sometimes scolding us when we interrupt her loafing. every morning one of us goes out to see if she is still around. we grow a little anxious when we can't find her until we hear here sharp scoldy cheeping. it is very distinct and i find it utterly charming that i can recognize her call. she hasn't warmed up to us completely but still, everyday we are happy to greet her lil beady eyed face. i wonder if i can get her to come with the coaxing of something delicious?

last friday morning, the witch-baby came rushing into the house with something suspiciously feathery between her teeth. i threw my hands up to my face and gasped "Peg!" mr. a-go-go chased the witch-baby into her room (she sleeps with the sister a-go-go) and managed to scare her into dropping the bird. it wasn't Peg but i tiny mad house finch that flapped like mad all flippity-flappity about the room. I dashed into the kitchen for a plastic tub with a lid and managed to catch it my heart beating almost as fast as the tiny bird's. it had lost quite a few tail feathers and managed to fly away to safety atop the fence in the garden. poor thing. the witch-baby then hid under the bed for the rest of the day and a good portion of the next. i can't be mad at her, she is after all, a cat and cats hunt so she did. when she was a kitten she used to bring me butterflies and grasshoppers, she never managed a bird before so i guess i am grateful for small favors.

Monday, September 20, 2010

the week in review: september 13-19

crafting, bike riding, pie baking, book reading, movie watching, job hunting and general tearing out of the hair. still, it was a good week. this week will be much of the same.

the post that got hijacked by hormones

**warning. this post was written under extreme distress. it didn't begin that way but the mind goes where it goes and methinks i needed a vent. there is anger that follows and a hullabaloo of cussing and such. i could lock this up so you don't judge me but i'm leaving it open in hopes that i'm not the only one to succumb to petty venting and that my story may make someone laugh, cry or feel some sort of kinship. isn't that what we all want? to belong, to feel liked and to feel not so alone?

i'm having that feeling again. of not fitting in. of feeling like i am not nearly cool enough to hang out with the cool kids. i know this is nonsense, i have written about it many times before but why is it that our junior high experiences stick with us so? whine whine whine.

on the one hand i want to fit in and be a part of the pack. on the other i don't want to fuss with pretending to be something i am not and this is how it compares with my thirteen year old self. back then it was Duran Duran and now it is somber colors and knitting.

back when i was an impressionable teen, i hit puberty much like everyone else did. my unfortunate misfortune was to be poor. poor and creative.

recently a friend said to me (in response to me pontificating on perception and how people perceive me) "the only thing i can say about you jessica is that you are soooo excited by everything around you." she then went on to exclaim about the sky or a rainbow or much like i do (ahem) all the time. and i got what she said, i did but then i felt utterly embarrassed and misunderstood. if i seem excited about the world damn staight. i HAVE to. i have been through far too much crap and sadness and anxiety in my life. i have these tiny little all important and all too sucky merit badges etched into my chest. i have sad lungs and cannot breathe very well. sometimes i stop breathing in my sleep and am woken up with a sharp shake as mr. a-go-go panics at my gurgling (gotta lurve apnea). i have a disease that can lead up to heart damage and makes me uninsurable. my mother died from a disease that i may very well have and i am fucking infertile. you got that? i cannot have children. i have both a deformity to my reproductive parts (thank you DES) and am in the unwanted throes of early menopause. so don't even attempt to soothe with talk of adoption or surrogacy. either or, they both cost a bundle and that is a bundle that we do not have now or maybe ever (nevermind the bundle, we don't even have jobs). i am sad. i am angry and it rips me apart every time a friend waves that happy little stick or flashes a black photo of a tiny ghostie baby shape. do you get that? it RIPS ME APART. makes me want to throw in the towel, hide under the bed, drink myself int a stupor and jump off a cliff. so if it seems i see rainbows and am excited about everything it is because i HAVE TO.

an employer once told me i am high strung. that smarted. i talk fast and loud and yeah, the eyes tend to weep over any little good or bad thing but to battle it out to convince someone that i am NOT high strung would just make me seem um...high strung, right? all i can dignify is that i am a stickler for fairness and rules. not that i don't break rules but when we are held to a standard of rules (like in the workplace) and popularity negates ones need to follow those rules, i call foul. i believe we should all be treated with the same respect. you may not like someone personally but if they do a good job then they do a good job. i do my best to be unbiased to a fault. i'm far from being a goody goody and am just as guilty as the next for making fun of someone, passing judgment and snarking out. but i do my best to call myself on it, to work through the why of the snarkiness and to keep an open mind for those i don't like. i'm not always successful but my heart is in the right place. if there is something that i have learned it is that life is too short to hold grudges, shit happens, and lemonade is a must what with all the crappy citrus life throws at us sometimes.

**and now i need to follow up with a post about the junior high feelings. there was a reason for that intro but a bumper car whomped into me and spun me in a different direction. let's just say i was thinking about it all when i spied a colorful papel picado in a local chocolate shop and sighed a sigh that betrays my want for more solemn colors to surround me. moving on. snark out, have fun at my expense and thank yer lucky stars yer not me.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

this morning we rode to the beach...

in the fog. it was wonderful. there weren't many people out and those that were nodded a happy hello. we rode out to the coast, stopped for coffee and treats then walked along the pier in the fog. it was at once calm and eerie. we heard gulls scream off in the distance further than where the fog kissed the sea. we stopped to watch a seal watch us as it danced in the green water and we crouched low to touch with gentle fingers the dozens of water droplets bejeweling the spiderwebs that decorated the pier like lace doilies in a grandma's cottage. the air was cool, salty and fresh and the bike ride was a welcome end to a week spent in worry.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

in which i dream of an enormous mantis (and billy got pants)

seriously. again i slept fitfully but i managed to struggle awake in the morning and for the first time in a long while i wasn't the last one up. but i went back to bed eyes filled with grogginess and did one of those tumble to sleep falls where i the dreams were 3D, hi-tech, HD and what have you.

you know the kind, the kind in which they are so fantastic that your blood pumps with happy and your life seems to be of the most magical kind. where you hum and sing and skip and see impossible things (at least six) that are so magical the only thing to do is BELIEVE. in my case i saw a witch-baby sized mantis land outside the front window. it attached itself to the glass and hung there with its head slowly taking in the scenery. i was inside tippy-tapping away on the laptop (as i am wont to do) and i startle with blood pumping because an insect THAT BIG is SCARY. intrigue sets in along with my love of non-icky bugs and i creep up to the window to investigate. from underneath the mantis is all crisscrossed and veiny much like a fall leaf freed from its branch. the head moves to look at me (as mantis' are prone to do) and i see that the top-front-back (?) of the thing DAZZLES. it is black, black, black with a patchwork of colors scattered about as if it were an appliqued wall piece from somewhere not home. i gasp and hold my breath and grab the closest camera to photograph it all the while it poses with an elegance that brings tears to my peepers.

having taking a zillion-and-a-half photos i run to grab mr. a-go-go or sister a-go-go who are all outside elsewhere not near this majestic being. i run with my hands and arms a-flapping and gather everyone to look and when we round to the front of the house it is not there at least not that we can see and i am gasping and holding my hands up demonstrating the "one that got away" syndrome i hear many a fisherperson experiences. they look at me as if i am quite bonkers and i grab the camera to show them but there are no pictures camping out on the tiny smudged-up screen. with a start i find myself awake, yet not, and thinking oh drats it was only DREAM but then i spy the camera all tilty stashed across the room. i stumble towards it, turn it on and to my delight i spy with my near sighted eyes an magical mystical mantis decked out in rainbow colors camping out on the window in front of the house! i run out of the room and through the house wincing with the knowledge that i am indeed the last one up. no one is to be found until i hear the family a-go-go out in the garden. wheeling in their directions i hear a pathetic howl as i step on the poor witch-baby's tail in my haste which makes my heart race and WAKES ME UP all over again. so confused am i that i simply lay there in the darkened room seriously considering if maybe i was still asleep and in yet another dream.

i am disappointed to confirm that i was indeed not and there was no such magical-mystical mantis rooming out on our window. just a very sandy and very dirty witch-baby returning from her secret hollow in the neighbor's backyard. drats.

can you imagine?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

changing worlds

i stayed up way too late last night, for me at least. my head was too full and i needed to do nothing, nothing, nothing, like watch tv and play endless games of sudoku. when i finally crawled into my borrowed bed my brain exploded. suddenly there were words swirling all over, musical words, thoughtful words, words i should have gotten up to write down for now they have escaped and i was left wordless. i'm in one of those moods where i want to write and create things. i NEED to write and create things. not just for the creative urge but for my tomorrows and future days. they seem to stretch endlessly all clouded, foggy and grey. i NEED to write resumes but i want to create recipes. i NEED to finish up articles but i want to make patchwork. i'm all topsy-turvy and ID driven save for the manic consumption of coco puffs or lucky charms. each night as i crawl into bed i pine for dreams of clarity.instead i dream of giving birth to kittens that never grow and crayons that melt in my hands. i dream of forgetting my children (the ones i do not have) and of losing my sniffer again. instead of waking up with a fresh slate, i doze, doze, doze in a room that never brightens. i wake up groggy and foggy and spend my time obsessing over what i can contribute and how i can make money and where can we get health insurance and...and...and...

life is good, i'm just twitchy angsty and wanting to fast forward to the next stage already. we a-go-gos can't complain, we are so lucky to have been able to choose an adventure and to have a home to return to for as long as we need it. sometimes though, when the sun is down and the night is quiet we wonder if we made a mistake. we worry over possible foolishness and we sleep, fitfully. we go through our new daily schedule and create direction. we explore our new town and enjoy this quality time with family while we miss the family we left behind and the family that lives too far away. we landed in a pretty good place. we're looking forward to making it work and settling into our soon-to-be every days. until then we take each day as it comes. the pictures above are from the evening farmer's market. downtown is only two and half miles away and while we haven't quite made the leap to walking everywhere we did park far enough away to wander in and through, stopping for bbq dinner, a peek into the toy store, a hunt through the craft store and the lazy walk back, back, back to the car that got us safely home to enjoy a cup of cocoa. here's to lovelier days, nights and dreams. here's to clairty.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


the job hunt is not smooth sailing. but that is to be expected, right? i'm totally clueless on some positions, over qualified for others and feeling all sad racoony and lame. my head is full of ideas, full of projects i would like to work on and brainstorms of "wouldn't it be great if..." plans.

you know those people who are all positive energy with go-get-em attitudes? are you one of those? you know, the kind of person who thinks "i can do that" and then you do? you even turn it into something completely fantastic and it becomes your career? or you apply for a job that sounds interesting even though you have no idea how to do it and you jump in, head under the water and succeed? how do you do that? how do you, they, them have that special brain power that propels you/them forward? why do i lack that magic power? it's baffling to me, it really is. on the one hand i see how i can do amazing things but on the other hand i feel like maybe i should just hide under the bed and make friends with the dust bunnies...that is, if i had a bed of my own to hide under. i'm not all woe is me, i'm just thinking out loud and wondering, maybe wishing upon stars and keeping my fingers crossed. until then, i will putter on, making the days seem sweeter with whipped cream on top.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

the week in review: sep 6-12

in between bouts of job hunting and home searching we managed to make things, cook good meals, celebrate a birthday, visit an apple farm and flounce about in happy socks. this week will most probably involve much of the same. i wish i could find work crafting and writing about it. my head is so full of ideas it will soon surely B U R S T ! ! !

Friday, September 10, 2010

i'm a cover artist!

mixtape and i go way back. i was the first crafty profile girl in issue numero uno and contributed to both the kids issue 7 and issue 11. before the mister & i hit the road, i got to eek out a last bit of crafty business creating the cover image for the most recent (and second to last in print on paper) issue of mixtape zine. the theme was All Around the World and man, did we travel all around our little world. it's a great issue, if i do say so myself and i do and there will be at least two more issues available in time for the holiday season, so get your crafty indie-homemade-fix withmixtape (you can even pick up earlier issues) and be one of the coolest kids on the block! thank you justine, it was a fantastic ride!

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

bundling up in the summertime

a few weeks ago, mr. a-go-go & i went to see Where the Wild Things Are in the park as a part of a free summer movie program. since evenings tend to get chilly here in the central valley, we knew coats and hats were in order...and cocoa is is popcorn.and i cried like i always do when i watch this movie (well, both times).

Monday, September 06, 2010

the week in review: august 30-september 5

last week was chock full of hugs, squeeze, goood visits and ice cream. we left los angeles for slo on thursday where we met up with the danny boy who is no longer the young lad we knew. he's almost taller than mr. a-go-go and has facial hair to boot, gosh kiddo, we do adore you and hope you come up soon for a visit. back in slo we wandered around the valley with a sister a-go-go, hung out in morro bay, enjoyed some pretty tasty fish & chips and blackberry crumble. we rode our bikes into town in search of soba noodles and checked out an old fashioned threshing bee. a pretty good week mehtinks. a pretty good week. this week we get back to job hunting and project finishing. may your september be a happy one!