Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Glass Beach


Following a nice visit with Lucas’ dad (aka Grandpa Bill) and his wife up in Fort Bragg last weekend, we went down to Glass Beach for some fresh sea air before embarking on the two hour drive home.




Back in the early 20th century, Fort Bragg residents referred to this stretch of beach as “The Dumps” and threw household garbage down from the cliffs above. I know, can you imagine? The area was closed in 1967 and eventually cleanup programs ensued.

Over the decades, pounding wave action has worn the discarded glass of yesteryear into smooth bits of gleaming treasure along the beach so named for its plentiful sea glass.




It was windy and freezing cold but the rock formations were perfect for climbing around on and Clover (I mean Clara, yes, the tiara is under her hood) had a total blast doing just that.



Over the years, in spite of signs forbidding it, the beach has been totally picked over (we saw several beachcombers filling small pails while we were there), to the point where the remaining sea glass is mostly made up of tiny pieces. Though I imagine there were once some amazing treasures to be found.


Speaking of found treasures, this coat is my most favorite recent thrift find. It's like wearing a cozy wool blanket with pockets, I love it. Perfect now that the winter chill has finally found its way to us.

I scored it for six bucks at one of the two new Goodwill stores in town (the cutoff overalls are from the other). I love that there are still new thrift stores popping up here. We already have at least 15, that I can think of, I'm probably forgetting a few. Not to mention others in towns nearby. Whenever I travel anywhere, I always return feeling very thrift fortunate to live where I do.

Out of curiosity, if you don't mind sharing, how's the thrifting in your town?

Monday, January 9, 2012

Day Trippin'


We made the most of this weekend's bizarrely beautiful weather (what is going on January?!) by heading off on a little family outing yesterday. Any guesses where we went?

Nope, it was not The Shire. Guess again...











Following a gorgeous drive out to Point Reyes, we parked at the main visitor center and from there embarked on a short hike to a recreated Coast Miwok village called Kule Loklo.

As I said, the hike was short and when we reached our destination there were all sorts of neat dwellings and structures to explore, perfect for a kid Clover's age, and a fun way to learn a little bit about how these local indigenous people lived.

We followed up our hike with super yummy wood-fired pizza in the quaint and quirky town of Point Reyes Station perfectly paired with a refreshing wheat beer for the parentals. To top it off, they brought us the most delicious Florentine cookies! You-know-who was pretty excited about the free chocolaty goodness, yeah, and of course Clover was stoked too ;)

It was an all around lovely day and ended up being a perfect lil' Sunday family adventure, just what we needed. I mentioned before how I wanted to do more of this type of local exploring, so I'm thinking a good goal for 2012 will be to make it the year of fun day trips! Hopefully a few longer ones too :)


"Clara" fell asleep on the ride home. Yes, it's been awhile, but we officially have ourselves a new character. Remember that Nutcracker movie I told you about? Yup.

We rigged up this tiara thingy out of pipe cleaners and beads because she wanted to emulate this look. She wears the thing EVERYWHERE. I forget sometimes and we'll be walking down the street (or trail) and I'll notice people looking at her with these big smiles on their faces. Then it dawns on me, oh right, she's wearing a crown. Ha, never a dull moment with this one.

See, I'm actually guessing that her new interest in ballet is just the latest manifestation of her love for inhabiting new characters, in this case that of a ballerina, or now more specifically, Clara.

At this age the dance classes we sign her up for are really play based and more for fun than anything else. While there were some valid points brought up in the comments section of my last post regarding the possible pitfalls of girls becoming serious about ballet at a young age, I wouldn't be surprised if something new took its place right quick. We'll see though, I agree, it's definitely important to be aware of that stuff.

Anyway, welcome welcome to 2012! The year of fun day trips! Wishing many a lovely outing upon you this year :)

Friday, January 6, 2012

Tiny Dancer



Clover took her first ballet class recently and she loved it.



The session ended the week before Christmas and on the final day of class, the parents were allowed in to observe (and in some cases take a ton of pictures ;)



The whole thing was incredibly adorable.



Getting to see this little girl shine in brand new ways is one of the great joys of being her mama :)

A little back story on the ballet class: Clover has a tendency to stick to her mama like glue. For example, even though she goes on to be fine and have wonderfully independent days shortly after I leave, every morning that I drop her off at pre-school involves a whole song and dance with me often having to literally pry her from whatever body part of mine she has attached herself to in hopes of me not leaving.

Usually all it takes is an "uppie" from one of her wonderful teachers as they skillfully direct her focus elsewhere allowing me to quietly slip away. Though every once in awhile there are tears involved.

She had been wanting to take ballet for awhile and I had hesitated, knowing that it was going to be a drop your kid off at the door kind of thing. I was pretty nervous about how it would all go down. We had discussed it and she had assured me that she could do it. I was still nervous.

It was such a relief when we showed up that first day and she just darted off, never looking back, lining up outside the door with a group of little girls she'd never met, to follow a brand new teacher into class. Watching her sheer excitement over the class propel her little body forward, effortlessly away from me, made me feel just as proud as watching her do those sweet little dance moves for the first time in front of all the parents.

Little did we know that following the performance, there would be even more excitement awaiting us at home...


A lovely surprise package from Nicole!


Which included a special little bundle of goodness for Clover and some wearable treasures for Mama, as well as an awesome little book from the 70's that will be perfect for helping me with my goal of creating a more homespun Christmas next year. Thank you for being so thoughtful Nicole!

A couple of days later, we took Clover to see a local production of The Nutcracker put on by our friend Lily's mom's ballet studio in Sebastopol. The sets and costumes were so beautiful and fantastical and the music and dancing inspired even more of this around the house than we were already seeing:

I took these videos on Christmas morning as Clover danced around our living room in her new ballet gear. She looks so sweet and innocent in that first one, doesn't she?

Do not be fooled...

It starts off innocent enough, until her mischievous side takes hold. Our poor kitty, he is not a willing dance partner. If you listen closely, you can hear his little cries. I had to rescue him. It's amazing what the little guy puts up with from her, no biting, no scratching.


Yesterday we watched this 80's film version of The Nutcracker (costumes and sets by Maurice Sendak!) and when it was over, she immediately wanted to dress up as one of the dancers in the waltz of the flowers, her favorite part. So we pulled out the insane tutu that my friend Abby got her for her birthday.


As you can see, she was completely in the zone.

We just got her a pair of wee tap shoes too. Next week she starts a new class. This time it's ballet/tap. She's excited. Should be fun :)