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July 2011
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September 2011

Flying into his teens

Tris flys
Tristan and Rufus

Tris sings
At home behind a guitar

Tris big
With sis

Tris then and now
Eighteen months / Twelve and a half

I was away for my boy's birthday on July 30th but before I left we organized a bowling party and I helped him with his piñata (a zombie head this year). Because I've had a crazy old, unpredictable month, I never properly marked his big 13th here.

What a huge year it's been jumping from twelve to thirteen (and not just for T, but for his mama too.) I suddenly see less of my baby in his face and more of the man he is becoming. When he speaks and sings, he also sounds more like the man he is becoming. And though sometimes the words that come out are more colourful than they should be, this, I'm told is a phase. We now look eye to eye and it seems any day now I'll need to crank my neck to look up to him.

He's a complicated soul, incredibly intense, yet refreshingly spontaneous. Tris loves many things; a beautiful sunset, our puppy and music are way at the top of his list... chocolate too. He's the best mate to take to the cinema, especially to see comedies – his belly laugh is infectious (but don't try and sneak some of his popcorn;) And his banana bread is second to none, a born baker he is.

I remember every detail of your birth my beautiful boy, what a wonderful day it was. Have a very happy year, before we know it 14 will be here.

Love Mama xoxo

PS, Happy 7th birthday to our special friend across the channel. Joyeux anniversaire U !

Seed packets for savvy gardeners


Whenever I collect seeds I must admit to being woefully bad at using them the following year. Some method of organizing is what I need and a consistent system for collection. Cute packets, that ought to do it. Maybe if I keep some packets handy in the shed and pack some in my handbag for when I visit lovely gardens like these, then I might have more success. Honestly though it's remembering where I put the seeds when I want to plant them that will be the tricky part.

I spent way more time on this than I'd have liked, but what the heck, it's been so grey and rainy outside anyway. After the fact I realized I could have probably searched online for some packet templates, when I did, sure enough there were loads out there but I'm happy I made the effort because I enjoyed folding these up and filling them and I can also share it with you.


These are a little end of summer gift from me to you. Simply click on the image above to download the full-size packet PDF file and print it out. Use them yourself or assemble a bundle and gift them to your favourite gardener.

What seeds will you collect? I'm after black columbines like these that I found under a bush in our garden and as many different hollyhocks as I can find in friends' gardens.


And speaking of the end of summer, can't believe it's favourite pie time already. The hedgerows are heavy with berries and I keep stopping to pluck them while I walk. Pippi however favours the plum tree in the back garden laden with so much fruit it's hanging down low enough for her to jump up and pick it herself – she's even sussed out that the purple are ripe and leaves the green behind. We have to keep her consumption limited though, the smells she creates after feasting on them are blinding ;) 

Although very belated, I will return to photo sharing soon. There are more images from our trip to see and a few from the birthday of my now teenager. 

Happy Thursday to you,




A quick peek at a very fine day

Getting ready

I'm out and about, backwards and forwards and not in computer mode right now, but I want to share a few images from my parents big day before their next anniversary roles along. The images were not taken by me, they're a mix of photos taken by family, including: Peter, Tom, Mark and my cousin Joe's talented daughter Brinkley, an artist in the making.

Renewing vows

It was a beautiful celebration where mom and dad renewed their vows in front of a lot of family and some close friends. I know my siblings share that it felt such a privilege to be able to witness our parents celebrate their 50th year together.

Mom-and-dadNot too solemn for laughs  

The ceremony was performed by a very fun family friend. Afterwards we celebrated at their home with great food, catching up with family and friends we don't get to see often enough (including three new babies), and lots of cuddles and laughs.

New baby jake held by his auntie and big cousin

A little paella ;)

Running with cousins

Some teenage cousins

Cool drinks

Friends since we were four and five

Climbing on Uncle Hank's tractors

Partying until we dropped

Gracie and I were so happy to be able to share this special day. The rest of our stay included more family fun with a pool party, baseball game and day in the City as well as lots of swimming and diving lessons with Uncle Pete. What great, summertime fun we had.

More images from our trip to come, but here's one last photo, it's of my parents leaving their reception after the first time they said their vows.




Forgot to say that Gracie and Tristan wanted to share that they've posted about a recent special day out and if you get a chance they'd be happy if you'd stop by and check them out here and here.

Also, Tristan is a guest DJ on EKR, a rock radio station you can get online tonight between 7 and 8pm, get it on this stream here. Thank you to the Leutner family for giving him a such a fantastic few days with you!

How's it hangin?


So little G and I are back, bleary eyed from jet-lag, tears of laughter and good-byes but we're slowly getting back into summer in England. I'm collecting images to share from our trip, borrowing photos from others because I was mostly camera-less, all fine because there are so many good picture takers in our family.

This image is in memory of one of our funniest moments. We went to a Giant's baseball game (that would be the World Series Champions, San Francisco Giants) and I followed my 9 year old over a fence resulting in a very comic sounding rip. The comic sounding rip was quickly met by a cool breeze on my bum and the sound of a huge party of men behind me trying to stifle their laughter. I thank them for trying to stifle their laughter.

Some of us at the game, photo by niece Claire=

My sister was right behind me with a rip in her shorts but she called me over (back towards the laughing men) to help her off the fence. Her rip was therefore tiny. I was lucky we'd all been on our way back to our cars after a day in the City to add layers of clothing for the nighttime game. My chivalrous nephew Brian gave me his jeans to wear that's him on the right in shorts and me to his left with the saggy jeans with rolled up cuffs.

If it wasn't so hilarious I would have cried at ruining my favourite trousers that were only a month old and a perfect fit. We ladies know how hard it is to find a perfect pair of trousers don't we?!!!

Now my favourite trousers are destined for the scrap bag. What should they become next?

Hope your summer is treating you well, back soon with more memories to share.


PS, the game was so much fun – even though the Giants lost.