Rockstar at the farmer's market

Today we ventured out to the farmer's market in downtown Santa Cruz. Recently Claire has taken to wearing cute hats, however, this has come with a problem. When wearing a wide brimmed hat, it falls over her face and she can't get it off, she then starts to violently hate life. So today as we walked around downtown, the hat had to come off. Oddly enough, it was sunny in Santa Cruz and poor Claire closes her eyes when the sun is on them. I didn't want her to miss the wonderful sights that God had provided at the market. The pleasure of looking at the peaches and plums. The corn, tomato and peas. The piles of fresh lettuce, it is so evident that God loves us that He designed food perfect to consume during hot weather that grows in the summer. Being a resourceful person I decided that the time had come for sun glasses for the little bear. We were downtown already and I knew of a great baby store with lots of organic stuff in it. Sure enough, they had the perfect shades for the little one. I was astonished at the transformation that took place as we placed the shades on her head. Instant rock star! As we walked around downtown an even greater number of people waved at Claire and made cute sounds as they walked by. So by the by, it was a great day. We got grapes and onions (everything else came in the CSA earlier in the day) and sampled some good Indian food. We saw amazing flowers and savored the sweetness of various stone fruit. So if you see Claire around in her rock star glasses, please don't ask for an autograph 1. She is still the same sweet Claire and isn't headed out on tour 2. She can't hold a crayon to sign, but we are working with the OT on the matter.


Almost like Christmas

Slow Food Nation is coming and I am so excited. Excited like a child before Christmas. I contemplated making a chain of little paper loops and allowing myself to break one off every day until the event, but I think that it might be going too far. I cannot say how excited that this is and that it is happening somewhere that is so close to me. So if you see me around and I look preoccupied, I am only dreaming of the big event in the back of my head. Below I posted the Slow Food Manifesto which is something that I find so inspiring. No I don't read it at night before I go to bed, but I think that there is a lot to glean from it.


Words to Eat By

The Slow Food International Manifesto

Endorsed and approved in 1989 by delegates from 20 countries

Our century, which began and has developed under the insignia of industrial civilization, first invented the machine and then took it as its life model.

We are enslaved by speed and have all succumbed to the same insidious virus: Fast Life, which disrupts our habits, pervades the privacy of our homes and forces us to eat Fast Foods.

To be worthy of the name, Homo Sapiens should rid himself of speed before it reduces him to a species in danger of extinction.

A firm defense of quiet material pleasure is the only way to oppose the universal folly of Fast Life.

May suitable doses of guaranteed sensual pleasure and slow, long-lasting enjoyment preserve us from the contagion of the multitude who mistake frenzy for efficiency.

Our defense should begin at the table with Slow Food. Let us rediscover the flavors and savors of regional cooking and banish the degrading effects of Fast Food.

In the name of productivity, Fast Life has changed our way of being and threatens our environment and our landscapes. So Slow Food is now the only truly progressive answer.

That is what real culture is all about: developing taste rather than demeaning it. And what better way to set about this than an international exchange of experiences, knowledge, projects?

Slow Food guarantees a better future. Slow Food is an idea that needs plenty of qualified supporters who can help turn this (slow) motion into an international movement, with the little snail as its symbol.


Where you go, there you are.

I was reminded today of a saying that I was told on a trail ride when I was in high school. "Where you go, there you are." I know that it sounds so obvious, but so accurate. Lately I have found myself watching where I was going, but not so much being there, but being in the next step. Today I had the pleasure of iced tea at the Abbey with Colleen and Grace. We discussed my obsession with a need to buy a home, which is really silly. As I walked in the door to our apartment I felt a sigh of relief, I was home. Why is it that I am constantly fighting the urge to be planning or working on the next thing? It seems crazy to have to work at the beach bum mentality, but I will not give up. If you would like to see pictures of Claire and Grace at the Abbey click here to view my flickr page.


Iced Tea

Today Claire and I had the pleasure of venturing into Costco to get milk and supplies for The Abbey (coffee lounge at our church). After unloading the goods Sarah was kind and offered me an iced tea for the road. How had I forgotten what good tea tastes like I don't know, but I was reminded. The tea was intense and flavorful, it tasted so crisp and fresh. I don't know how Starbucks gets away selling the iced tea that they do, but they have deluded a lot of people into thinking that it is refreshing. As it might be decent, it is not fresh and bright like the iced tea that I experienced today. The drink was almost the highlight of my day. But Claire just laughed herself to sleep and I have to say that that takes the top honors, but the iced tea from The Abbey is right behind it.



Jared insists that I share with you all about our dinner too, so here it is. We had a marvelous dinner at Rio Adobe, our favorite place for New Mexican food. The gazpacho was fantastic as it always is and so was my shrimp burrito. The crowning moment of the meal was the sopaipillas. The three of us sat enjoying our fried dough covered in honey and powdered sugar while chatting with Jim, the owner. He told us about how he is able to serve lettuce for lunch that is picked that day, awesome! We talked about how great the bounty of the Salinas valley is and how lucky we are. Then we discussed how rough the winter is, with so much less growing. Beets, and that's about it. We decided that having a winter full of beets with an absence of snow isn't the worst thing in the world and we will be grateful for what we've got and where we are.

Snack Time

Today Claire and I had the pleasure of going to the city and seeing my cousin Zach. I love going to the city and the more I go, the less stressful driving there is. Today we had the pleasure of rich sourdough, which always tastes better when eaten in San Fransisco. We sat outside the ferry building and had sourdough dipped in apricot sauce and fresh strawberries. It was so nice to sit and chat and enjoy fresh air and some simple good food. Claire has been working very hard. Yesterday she worked with 4 therapist and Friday she has 3 scheduled. She is making such good progress, it is hard to not constantly be doing therapy type activities. I think that is what made today so sublime. She got a day to soak in all of the things that we are working on. She laughed a lot today. It is so great that she can laugh and have fun without challenge. Isn't that all that really matters?


Dinner at Alice's

It was a very long week as my body was fighting some major infection and I spent too much time with a very bad fever and in the company of doctors and nurses. Today Jared had the opportunity to help out and "work" on some demo rides up at Alice's. Claire and I got to stay home all day and I wasn't much fun. As the day wore on I was desperate to get out of the house. Somehow, it seemed rational to drive an hour through the forest to go have dinner with Jared and a few others. So glad that we did. Claire loved it, as she does eating in any place that is not pretentious. She was particularly smitten with Tim, one of the characters from Jared's work. It was such a simple dinner. Sitting and talking about the day and all sorts of other nonsense. During this sublime experience it occurred to me that Claire just fit in and everyone that we saw excepted her. I started to wonder why is it that because she does not use her mouth to speak and her hands to play like normal children, why do I assume that she will not be accepted. I suppose it is because there have been times, when she has made others uncomfortable and it has been brought to the forefront that she is "different". How sad it is that there is a part of our culture that requires that we conform to boundaries and expectation, but what a blessing it is that we live in Santa Cruz, where there is a lot more room, and people seem to be accepting. After it was wrapped up and Claire was snug in her pj's, back into the car and our journey home began. Quite the journey it was, words cannot explain the beauty of Skyline Blvd. just after sunset with a beautiful moon.


The Spider and the Cat

This morning I found myself intensely enjoying watching a spider cast a web all over our porch. I talked about it with Claire as we finished our oatmeal. When finished, we sat at the window and watched. Oh how I wish that I had an icon for spider and web. It is so hard to spontaneously do things with Claire and use laminated icons to communicate. To my advantage she was more interested in pulling the cats hair, so we used our cat icon, that for some reason I have two of.