Becoming 16

Gus longboarding in Chelan last summer.

this one.  this kid o' mine.  August.  he is turning 16 today.  big day, i tell ya.  those of you who know him.....can you believe it?!  because i can hardly believe it. and i gave birth to him!
how did this happen, that he is 16??!!

us in Chelan last summer during a storm.

it kills me that he is turning 16, that i only "have" him for two more years. 
akkk!  i hate that! 

but it gets me thinking about what a fantastic gift it is to be his mom.

catching fish on lake roesigner, at jeremy and kirsten's, 4th of july.

it's a pleasure to help guide this child o' mine as he finds his way through the big, big world. 

waiting for the ferry to Lopez Island to hang out with the Kvistad's.

even though it can be an intimidating and messy task, this raising kids business.

listening to music at the woods stage, Pickathon 2010

the figuring out when to offer counsel, direction, assistance, and advice
dinner at Six Arms before the Head and the Heart and Vampire Weekend concert.

the knowing when to dive in and advocate for them without being in defensive mama bear mode,

trying on a full length fur coat at the thrift store to crack me up!

and when to put on the brakes, back off, trust in all you have offered and exposed them too, and let them discover their own path,

stylin in a vintage plaid jacket, denim shirt and silk tie

even, and foremost, when it means allowing them to flail, falter and find their own two feet.

carving pumpkins with the family.

but really this boy of mine has transformed me, changed me,
nudged me gently and willingly into motherhood,

August with his cousin Jack at Thanksgiving.

altered me,

cracking me up, being a total goof ball!

made my world more deep and meaningful than i ever thought it could be.

trying on an awesome vintage sweater that his great grandma knit for his uncle almost 40 years ago!

he is amazing.  August, you are awesome!

whale and bird watching near Sayulita, Mexico

you are more than worth the worry, stress and sleeplessness!

after a day of surfing, la lancha, mexico.

you are my sunshine.

playing nightly guitar.

you are an amazing artist and musician.

massive comic collection (self portrait!)

you are smart, silly, and thoughtful.

asleep in the car from Tombstone to Tucson.

you are a loving and influential big brother!

new vintage shirt, tucson

you can do anything.

birding in Sabino Canyon

you are golden, my son.
my boy-man.
my love.

Happy 16th Birthday August!

I love you to the universe and back!


Hotel Congress Cafe (kinda)

Hi Friends!

the boys and i are in Tucson for spring break again and i have a couple posts i am working on to show you our adventures and discoveries.  the posts will be out of order but i wanted to show you what it's like these days when i take my boys out in public.  it's a real blast, let me tell ya!  Here we are at the Hotel Congress, Cup Cafe, where we visit and eat every time we are here. and just look:

good times, friends.  good times.  oh yeah.  see.  see what i'm dealin with. 
these two are about to be half as old and twice as old as each other, for the first, last, and only time in their lives. 8 and 16.  in less than a month.  wish me luck my friends.  wish me luck.

jennette.  in tucson.  alone.  with two boys.

Bird Art

this is a painting August did several months ago for me.  he calls himself a "bird nerd."  he went to cascade bird banding camp last summer and attends Bird Watch at The Burke Museum once a month.  he has over 180 birds marked off his life list!

one view of Jasper's palm cockatoo, kiwi and bunny painting

another view.  he was supposed to use wild colors.  he came up with the cow kiwi and the spiral palm cockatoo.

these are paper mache on a wire structure.  his art teacher found the stick and attached it to the base for him.  Jasper loves his art class!

working on my own Get Your Paint On week 3 painting,

Pickathon, I miss you!

Goofin off at Pickathon!

Oh, I can't believe it's over.  My beloved Pickathon 2010 has come and gone.  Oh, how I miss you, my Pickathon, my roots, indie, americana, folk, alt country Pickathon.  Not one other subject has been spoken of since our departure.  We will reminisce about you till the end of our days.  You give love in mega doses.  It's just like the sign in the barn says, "Your pleasure is our motto!"  True dat!  I was as pleasured then as I am now, to have the memories and loads of new vinyl to listen to. Pleasure, pleasure, pleasure.....
This may end up being a HUGE post!  I took a lot of pictures and video.  May have more images and less words as we progress.  And so.  Here we go!
Our trip started on Thursday when we camped at Beacon Rock State Park, on the Washington side of the Columbia river, in Skamania county.  Gorgeous!  We loved it and cant wait to stay again next year.  Camping here made it so that we were less than an hour from Pickathon so we could roll in early on Friday morning. 

On Friday morning we had breakfast
then bought some local honey at the entrance to The Bridge of the Gods and crossed over to Oregon.

Once at Pickathon, the real fun began!  There are a million cool things about Pickathon and one of them is that for the entire weekend, there are kids activities scheduled.  So after we set up camp we headed over to the Circus Cascadia area to try our hands at some circus stunts.  They also have yoga, self defense, tracking, wild edibles and medicinal plants walks, crafts, story telling, music workshops, theatre performance for the kids to experience.  Way cool!

Chad doing a balancing trick.

Gus on stilts.

Me on the balance board.

Jasper Hula Hooping!  By the end of the weekend he could raise his arm over his head, twirl the hoop up to his wrist, back down around his neck, and back down to his waist, all in one non-stop whirling dervish minute!  He loved it and boy did it wear him out!  He slept well at Pickathon!

Now for the music and musicians!
This is a (not so good) photo of Sam Quinn and Jill Andrews of the Everybodyfields doing a workshop in the Workshop Barn.  Oh yeah, another cool thing about Pickathon, they have an entire barn dedicated to workshops with all the musicians, on all different subjects.  Incredible!

The Fruit Bats in the Galaxy Barn!  I was SO excited to see these guys.  Big fan!  And I got to see them perform twice plus I attended Eric Johnson's banjo workshop as well.  Good Stuff!!

One of our favorite bands to return to Pickathon was Breathe Owl Breathe. Here they are on the Fir Meadows stage. We discovered them at Pickathon last year, have since seen them perform three times in Seattle, on of those at a house concert, and then again at Pickathon this year.  Yes, we are stalkers!  We love B.O.B.!!!  More below:
Here is Breathe Owl Breathe on The Woods Stage, a stage set in the middle of a magical forest.  Here are my kids watching them in awe:

A picture August drew about one of B.O.B's songs.

This is Michael Hurley's back!  Ha!  Love this guy!  Another awesome thing about Pickathon is that all the artists hang out in the crowd, checking out their favorite music too, and you get to see them, talk to them, appreciate them and get to know them.  It's Lovely!

Here are the Red Stick Ramblers doing a set in the Workshop Barn.  I love these guys, they are super cool, but I do love me any kind of cajun/french/Lousianna-ish music!  Chad and I were in Baton Rouge(Red Stick) last fall to see the Avett Brothers and bought both Red Stick Ramblers and Lost Bayou Ramblers, who we saw last year at Pickathon, CDs.  This is dance your booty off kind of music!  And boy did we!

Here are the Black Lillies on the Woods Stage.  Before we left town on Thursday morning, we had spent Wednesday night at The Tractor Tavern watching these amazing Knoxville musicians, along with Sam Quinn and also Chatham County Line, who I didn't happen to get a photo of but who are an amazing North Carolina string band and also played at Pickathon as well. 

This is Sean Hayes playing on the Mountain View Stage.  Look at the pretty clouds!  It was SO HOT over the weekend, the clouds provided random and welcomed bits of shade.  You can see Mt. Hood from here too but not in this picture.  Sean is an excellent musician from the San Francisco area. Bought a CD of his.  Also bought 3 Bonnie "Prince" Billy and the Cairo Gang albums on vinyl, 1 Michael Hurley vinyl, 1 Anais Mitchell vinyl, 1 Chatham County Line on vinyl, 1 Black Lillies on CD, and 1 Jill Andrews on CD.  Already had 2 Breath Owl Breathe on vinyl and CD.  Lots of new music to listen to!  Yay!
We saw a ton more music but I didn't get pictures of every single band or performance. 
 The last thing we saw before we left late Sunday night was Bonnie Prince Billy and the Cairo Gang on stage and it melted my heart.  LOVE me some Bonnie Prince!  I go gaga over them!

Pickathon is also a great place to meet up with friends and make new friends.
Here are some friend photos:
Karli and I chillin in the sun.

Eric, Karli, Cedar and Rowan visiting our camp sight.  We adore this lovely family and miss them now that they live in Port Townsend.  Don't get to see each other much but love it when we do!

Me with Tony, Daisy, Ruby and Cash.  Love these guys and have lots of fun being with them!

Jasper with Ruby and Cash.  Jasper LOVES his friends so much and it was such a blessing for him to have other children to run wild with all weekend!  Wore him out so he would pass out with his big brother in the tent each night so his momma and papa could go get their groove on!

Jasper with me and Daisy, my better half, more sweet, super cute "twin"!

Next I will show you some pictures from around the farm.  Pickathon is held on Pendarvis Farm in Happy Valley, Oregon, about twenty minutes from Portland, but out in the country.

Some of the "critters" around the farm.

Ewwww!  No, these feet aren't bruised!  They are DIRTY!!  This is what feet look like when you are having fun camping on a dusty farm!

Another farm critter and a 7th annual Pickathon t-shirt.  This was our third year attending and it was the 12th year of the festival.

Here is the amazing outdoor showers under the red tents, all made of wood and beautiful and gorgeous.  And an Airstream turned into a sauna!  Yes, a sauna!  And the other photo is of the Pendarvis Farm House.

Here is a back view of the stages with the sails strung overhead for shade and a view of the farm house mini amphitheatre in the backyard.

Pickathon is one of the first festivals I have attended that is committed to going green.  They offered one pint Klean Kanteen stainless steel cups for sale AND offered NO PLASTIC OR PAPER!  Can you believe it?! The food vendors offered some cups but gave a discount if you had your KK cup.  The bottom of the cup says, "Eat, Drink and be Wary of Plastic."  Love it!  KK made the first BPA-free stainless steel water bottles.  It is awesome that Pickathon held an event of this size, with the help of Klean Kanteen and was able to pull it off with no plastic or paper cups!  It should be the law!  In the beer garden you paid $5 for the cup and then you could buy your beer or wine. We bought a set for our vintage travel trailer and we bought the Pickathon cup cozies to use with them.  Perfect! 

So now we are home.  And unpacking and repacking for a trip out to the Olympic Peninsula for a family reunion.  I have a lot of new music to listen too and I am happy for that.  The last three or four weeks has been a whirlwind of coming and going, trips, and lots of good times.  I enjoy it.  But I am really looking forward to being home next week, for a good solid three weeks, before another trip away.  I miss my crafting, sewing, gardening, friends, and house. I am sure my space at M&M is looking atrocious.  Lots to catch up on and do.  But I wouldn't trade it for the what the last few weeks has provided in fun, experience, and adventure.  Love you summer.  And miss you Pickathon.


A First.
Last night Chad was sitting at the computer and he asked me a question about my blog.  Unusual, I thought.  He has never asked much and lets me alone to do my thing here in blog land, undisturbed.  I said something like - it's kinda strange that I have this whole other blog life and you have no clue, whatsoever, what I even talk about or show to the world.  On I went, making dinner, roasted whole lemon chicken, caesar salad, steamed broccoli and sliced oranges.  Eventually I look back over and see tears in his eyes.  He just looks at me and says - pretty awesome this blog.  And I can see he has been reading it all.  And I can see he is proud of me.  This not a first, by far, but the reading of the blog, a first.  For sure.
Another First.
Celebrating our 16 year anniversary this coming weekend.  Amazed.  Both of us.  How did time go that fast and where has the time gone?  Now closer to twenty years.  Wow.  Hard work for us but oh so worth it.  Love, love love my life and family!
One more First.
I have a 10th grader and a 2nd grader now.  Summer break has begun.  Will I survive this summer with them?  I suppose.  One is going to circus camp for the first time and one is going to bird banding camp for the first time.  If they don't hurt each other first.  If we all survive the over exposure of each to the other, first.  Love my boys but sometimes wish I could will them to stop acting like brothers to one another.  Treat each other like you would your grandparents.  You don't scream at, slap, spit on or hit your grandma.  And you don't antagonize, pick on, or poke at your grandpa.  (Well, a little bit, you do, but you know what I mean!)Leave each other alone,  To begin with,  The first time.

Live, Laugh, Learn.  Be a super star.  You are awesomesauce. 

Garden Shed, I love you!

My garden shed.  You know, where the clippers, mower gas, and Spanish moss are stored!

Shed, I adore you.  You please me.  When you were brown, you were sad.  Now you're blue.  With some green.  And you are fun to look at from the kitchen window, all winter long.  You make me happy, garden shed!

You are adorned with my old broom-flying-witch-weather-vane piece that blew off the chicken coop and broke in a wind storm.  You have a vintage mermaid float attached to your eve, the twin of the one I gave Kirsten, after we found them 13 years ago in a thrift store.  Your good luck horseshoe came all the way from England when my best friend in fourth grade visited her grandma and brought it back for me.  Your galvanized bbq table turned potting bench delights me.  You are the best blue garden shed. 

I love the bird house next to you.

I love you blue bench, by blue bird house, by blue shed. 

I especially love you.  Old green rockerless, rocking chair.  A gift from my mama, 16 years ago.  When I was newly pregnant for the first time, young and secretly terrified.  Before your rockers were broken, you held me, rocked me, while I held him, rocked him.  My boy.  Now 15.  No longer rockable.  And you remind me.  That he is still my baby.  Still my little boy.  And I love you green chair.  You held me.


This is what I woke up to in our hotel room on Mother's Day.  Just LOVE it!

Best little surf shop in Westport!

Feet at the beach!

Me: getting up

Me: trying to stay up

Me: happy and pooped

Jasper: learning to respect the power

Jasper, instant pro

August on one of many waves caught

Family photo at the beach after Gus' 15th Birthday dinner.

Loving the Ocean

Celebrate, be with the ones you love, and love the ones your with!

Broken Wrist

My baby broke his wrist today.

Almost 15 and broke his wrist.  The left one, the one attached to the hand he writes with.  Major bummer.  No art class, no swimming in Tucson, no horseback riding in Tucson, no homework getting caught up on.

How will he Fly Fish?

How will he surf?

Poor fella.  I hope you feel better soon Gus.  Be a good boy and don't break any more bones.  I love you beautiful boy.  xoxox mom