Saturday, March 26, 2011


Today, while vacuuming, my sister came up to me and said,"hey, come and look at this."  I walked to my bathroom window, which faces up a hill towards our grandma's house and saw this:

With all the rain we've had for the last couple of weeks, I guess this tree couldn't hold on any longer.  This is be a fun tree to clean up!

Looking forward to some sun this coming week!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Singing by Heart

The imagination of a child is so exciting to observe.  Natalie, I feel, has a special connection to the raw world, which I feel are animals, the arts, and music.  I sensed, even when I was pregnant, that Natalie was going to be a child with an old soul.....truly in touch with how the world works.  She seems to have a natural sense of music and art.  I believe she can sense the raw music and art of the world around her, which gives her a natural love for singing and draw.  We have an art easal my mom purchased for her several years ago set up in the living room.  Natalie frequently paints whenever she feels the nerve.   While she is painting or drawing, she is usually singing her own songs that she has created in her mind.  We usually cannot hear the words, for they are her own and for her alone to know what they are.  She is a very shy child, even as her Kindergarten teacher told us this week during our parent/teacher conference.  So, she rarely will let us listen to her sing, but will always show us her drawings.  This past Friday, I was lucky enough to hear Natalie singing from her heart.

The previous evening, the school that I am a secretary for, put on the musical production of The Wizard of Oz.  One song in particular, which Ernie says was not in the 1939 movie, was called the "Jitterbug".  Keep in mind that Natalie heard this song only one time. 

The next morning, while I was in the kitchen making my breakfast and letting Natalie lay in bed for a few minutes, I heard singing eminating from her room.  I could somewhat distinguish the tune.  I listened some more, trying to figure out where I had heard the song before.  Then, after a few moments, I realized that it was the jitterbug song from the night before.  A smile came across my face.  I walked into her room where she was laying in bed. 

Then I said to her,"Natalie, are you singing the jitterbug song from the play last night?" 

She, shy as she always is about anyone hearing her sing, turned over and whined, "ehhhaaaaa!" 

Then I said,"Natalie, I have to tell you:  you sounded so good from in the living room.  I am completely surprised that you knew that song after only hearing it one time.  Do you know all of the words too?" 

She looks at me and nodds 'yes'.  Then I said,"wow, I am impressed.  That is a special talent you have.  You really should be proud that you can do that.  Not many people can listen to a song one time and be able to remember both the tune and all of the words."

She smiled at me and said,"I know."

I often feel Natalie will someday understand just what a special talent she has for expressing herself by singing and drawing.  Ernie and I allow her complete freedom with these forms of expression.  Both of our parents are artists, so it must run in the family. 

So, I will continue to relish in Natalie's natural creativity and love for the arts, in all their forms.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

My Childhood

As all of you probably know, I follow my mom's blog.  Yesterday was an emotional day for them.  They have been in the process of selling their house, and yesterday was the home and pest inspection.  The buyers were at the house to hear the results, and my dad was taking them on a walk of the property line.

My parents own 8.5 acres in a small town in the Sierra Nevada foothills.  They found this property in the early 1970's after leaving the San Francisco Bay Area where they grew up.  For some time, they lived in a school bus, and then my dad, with the help of a couple of friends here and there, built their house.  It is a salt-box style home. 

I have so many wonderful memories of this home.  April and I lived there for the first 20 years of our life, and then moved into an apartment together in Sacramento, while we were going to college.  For the first few months away from home, April and I talked to our mom and dad every night.  We would tell them how noisy the city was, how bright it was, and how much we missed home.  We really were country mice living in the city. 

Yesterday, my dad got to meet the buyers.  He says they are also from the bay area.  I really have a good feeling that this family will love this home as much as our family has loved it.  It was my mom and dad's creation.  It was not a home from the cookie cutter developer in a suburb.  They built a small house with what money they had, then added on to it when we were 9 years old.  My mom created a wonderful garden of roses, azaleas, irises, poppies, lilacs, and many more plants.  I now have some of the lilac from my their house in my yard.  The spirit of their yard has now been planted in my yard.  Many of the plants in my yard are from this house. 

The memories of this home will always be with me.  I loved this house, but most of all I loved my parents in this house.  The memories of this property and home are there because of my mom and dad.  They are truly the most wonderful people I know.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


I loved the way the clouds looked this morning.  Somewhat like a mushed up cotton pillow that had been put through the dryer and became lumpy.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

A new addition coming

As some of you who may follow my mom's blog, you have heard that my sister and brother-in-law are expecting their first baby in May.  What is so fun and exciting about this is, that she is due 3 days before my daughter Natalie's birthday.  My husband and I decided from very early on when Natalie was young that we were only going to have one child.  It wasn't for medical reasons, or anything other than we knew what our limits were as people.  One child made us perfectly happy.

So, it is especially exciting for me to experience another baby in the family.  I am positive Natalie will feel as if this baby is her own sister.  Our relationship as sisters (and neighbors) is very special.  The five of us (soon to be six) go on vacations together, invite each other down for dinner on the weekends, and just hang out with each other.  We are not only family, but each other's friends.  And Natalie loves her "auntie" and uncle Joel.  Joel is the goofy uncle who Natalie can rough house with.  And April is like Natalie's second mom.  I think because she is my identical twin sister, this is especially unique.  April acts a lot like me and probably feels a lot like me when April holds her or hugs her.

It is fun and exciting to see April's belly growing.  It brings back memories of when I was pregnant with Natalie 6 years ago.  But, I think what I am most excited about is meeting this baby.  How similar will baby (already named) Mae look to Natalie?  What color eyes will she have?  April and I are married to brothers, so they will genetically be 3/4 siblings! 

We are excited for your arrival Mae!  We already know we love you!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Turtle with a Top Hat

Natalie found this funny little piece of plastic the other day and was using it in many different ways.  At one point she stuck it to the bottom of her glitter wand, and was pretending that it was a sword. 

But I thought what was pretty clever and amusing is that she decided to place this little piece of plastic on top of her ceramic turtle's head as if he is wearing a top hat:

He looks quite happy to have the hat on his head, doesn't he?