Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Some things never change here in the ole countryside...

A day at Guy's hat factory never ceases to amaze and always requires a bit of bartering to get the entire, true experience.
Brocante, hat factory, flea market and vide greniers, the only way to shop!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Each Day a La France

Keeping our eyes out for interesting people with a lean towards the talents we don't possess, we came across a small atelier down a somewhat empty road off Albi's main square.  Again, with very limited french, we managed to have a sweet conversation with the couple inside.
Lovely people who invited us beyond the shop walls into their beautiful brick basement to show us the rest of their world, keeping our interest peaked.  They run this little brocante at street level, while the husband is painting in the background and the spiral staircase led us to their entire bookbinding business.

Never at a loss for wonderment.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Le Ferme

My sister never lets a long, unpaved road go without a bit of a drive-down.
Whats down there?
Je ne sais pas.
Well, let's go see.
Yes! What can it hurt?
And so we go.

The other day, it was an angora goat farm.  We had a flyer, we had an idea, and we had success!
Franc & Rudolfo, two brothers who've been handed the Angora goat farm from their father before them, and keep it running year round, were kind enough to welcome us in, take us through and even show us how to milk a goat.  It was like nothing I'd ever experienced.  I felt like I could move right in and feel totally at home.  It was as if I'd been missing something I'd never actually had.  My mom, sister and I are endlessly excited about other people's lives and this was no exception. 

It was just pure luck, we came at milking time.  Well after 'business' hours, we drove down their dirt road, knocked on the door and became like family.  Franc had us hold baby goats and squirt milk from udder to mouth.  It was an event we could never have imagined, but will never forget.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Nous Sommes Arrivés!

But I don't know where to start... Only in France 3 days and already we've had some crazy great experiences.

With random maps deciphered by Kick, and my sister behind the wheel, we're flying around the South of France seeing what we can see and finding all things interesting.  We've visited our old friend Patrick Bru and gathered some good junk; we ate at a completely empty, hugemongous restaurant out in the country-side where we ordered whatever we could understand on the menu and got some surprises to boot!; and, after much lookin and lookin and making unknown turns, we landed at our big find of the day, le chèvrerie (the goat farm).
I feel like the luckiest kid in the world!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Podcast Love

you rock my world. 
you bring me sounds and stories that stick in my brain.
i don't read the synopsis, i just hit the play button and find myself gasping. 
you take me to parts of the world i'd never imagined, even here in the 'united' states of america.
you make me laugh, 
and you always make me cry.

yours forever,

ps: episode #411{old boys network}  and episode #437{first contact}
are some personal favorites of late,

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Greer, grin

8mm ideas design

Chandra Greer is one of those shop owners that can really make your day.  I met her years ago at the Nat'l Stationery Show and her beaming smile along with her love of 8mm ideas , floated me along on great vibes for weeks afterwards. 
I've read a lot of fun interviews about Chandra and her spectacular shop, Greer, and this latest one (where I'm mentioned!) is no exception.  Thanks to Chandra, I feel like a smart girl in a quirky business that just keeps getting better. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Don't Know Much

Below, is an excellent editorial written by D.R. Burgess;  Less to do with Sarah Palin and her inane hubris and utter ignorance, and more to do with any potential leader in the free world today who may run our country.  It's a spot-on argument for intelligence.  As if one was needed...

Above, is a book I bought when I was in high school that I highly recommend for anyone wanting to talk about anything.

When Sarah Palin flunked third grade social studies last week, her allies were quick to defend her. What difference did it make, really? Does knowing whom Paul Revere actually warned make a possible candidate any more or less savant on fiscal policy? Should mistakenly declaring that the American Revolution began in New Hampshire doom one's chances for nomination?

Yes, oh, yes. And here I speak not for the Tea Partiers, with their broomstick muskets at the ready, but for everybody else. The American president is the inheritor of an historical memory that is the United States. It matters to get it right, because ignorance of the fundamentals is symptomatic of something much worse: indifference.

How can someone speak of oneself as a patriot, even an American, without knowing who we are and how we became it? These televised flubs are worrying enough in themselves, but what is even more disturbing is the response. Getting it right means that the story matters to them; caring about getting it right means it matters to us. If we don't hold our legislators (and Sarah Palin) accountable for knowing the history it is we who are at fault, and we will assuredly get the leadership we deserve.

I don't wish to be unfair, but until well into the twentieth century a preponderance of our presidents read Latin, quoted Milton and Shakespeare, and drew from an immense mental repository of human history in making crucial decisions of state. The founding fathers, to a man, regarded themselves as latter-day Roman Republicans, and often signed their letters to one another as Cato, Publius, Cicero, etc. They understood that the revolution they undertook was not singular, but part of an ongoing struggle for human liberty that predated their efforts and would continue long after.

The memoirs of every departing president reveal that, at moments of great crisis, history is the greatest counselor. Presidents look to the actions of their predecessors for guidance and warning. Beyond that, with a wider field to draw from, they also look to events seemingly remote, yet crucial: the English Civil War, Alexander's campaigns in Persia, the legal reforms of Justinian. A greater knowledge of history means a broader field of precedents, and thus better-informed decisions. This does not guarantee success, as for every precedent there is usually one to counter it. But to argue that ignorance is preferable -- or even possible -- is to hand the controls of the jet to a five-year-old.

When choosing our next presidential candidates, they need to get it right, and so do we. Because after that, the rest is history.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Flora Grubb Time

photo: flora grubb

While searching for a place to rent out and teach classes at, I came across the fantastic Julie Benjamin, who used to own a place in Hayes Valley called Little Lane.  I never made it over to Little Lane while it existed here in the city, but I was lucky enough to get a great response when I reached out to Julie for advice.  No, they didn't still have the space in SF, they'd moved on to greener pastures, but would I be interested in joining Julie for the summer classes at Flora Grubb?
Why yes, yes I would.

So, that's how its come to this point:  I'll be co-teaching classes with Miss Julie at Flora Grubb this summer, getting my fingers dirty and my thumbs green while exploring the natural world with 6 to 10 year olds, all in the amazing, expansive compound that is Flora Grubb. 

I'm so uber looking forward to it.  I truly long for a gardening session and this may be the closest I get to it for awhile!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Bonjour & Bon Voyage!

Getting ready for our trip to France, our chateau getaway, with last minute bits and pieces to organize and create.  We know one thing everyone likes to have in their pocket is a cheat-sheet to converse with the locals.  We can't all be linguists, but it's nice to give it a try.  These little flash-cards I created will be a handy helper when we're out at a farmer's market or trying to barter for a great old textile at the flea market.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

An ode to English Plurals

We'll begin with a box, and the plural is boxes,
But the plural of ox becomes oxen, not oxes.
One fowl is a goose, but two are called geese,
Yet the plural of moose should never be meese.
You may find a lone mouse or a nest full of mice,
Yet the plural of house is houses, not hice.
If the plural of man is always called men,
Why shouldn't the plural of pan be called pen?
If I speak of my foot and show you my feet,
And I give you a boot, would a pair be called beet?
If one is a tooth and a whole set are teeth,
Why shouldn't the plural of booth be called beeth?
Then one may be that, and three would be those,
Yet hat in the plural would never be hose,
And the plural of cat is cats, not cose.
We speak of a brother and also of brethren,
But though we say mother, we never say methren.
Then the masculine pronouns are he, his and him,
But imagine the feminine: she, shis and shim!
Let's face it - English is a crazy language.
There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger;
neither apple nor pine in pineapple.
English muffins weren't invented in England.
We take English for granted, but if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square, and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.
And why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing, grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham?
Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend.
If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?
If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught?
If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?
Sometimes I think all the folks who grew up speaking English should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane.
In what other language do people recite at a play and play at a recital?
We ship by truck but send cargo by ship.
We have noses that run and feet that smell.
We park in a driveway and drive in a parkway.
And how can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same,
while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites?
You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down,
in which you fill in a form by filling it out, and in which an alarm goes off by going on.
And in closing, if Father is Pop, how come Mother's not Mop?

(i don't know who wrote it, but i loved it, thanks kick)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Work It!

I was given a Workshop Sewing 101 class for my birthday this year.  It was the perfect fit to last years birthday gift of a sewing machine.  I needed to just get myself out of the gate.
It was fantastic:  Fun, Easy-going, Just the right pace, Cute people, Great pointers,
and a really larger-than-life-personality in our teacher, Kelly.
She was rocking it.
And every funny, the-first-time-i-tried-to-sew-a.... sewing story had something to do with her liking some cute boy, sewing up a hot numbered dress out of some old heavy-metal tshirt, or wearing tight jeans.  I'm not remotely this cool, but it made me feel cooler for taking the class from her.

Turns out, Kelly has cancer.  And it ain't for the first time.  She's been fighting this dang thing for quite awhile now.  She's got an incredible attitude about it, has started a blog about her experiences and her friends and followers are throwing numerous fund-raisers in the wake of her uninsured honor.  So, here's to Kelly and kicking cancer's ass DIY style.