– First of all, I’d like to say thank you so much for all your donations and well wishes for the Serio family. You are good people and I am proud to know you. If you have five dollars you can spare, please consider donating now and know that you are helping a wonderful family through the worst experience of their lives. You don’t have to know this family to donate, as cancer has affected us all in one way or another. Jenna said it best, “If you think about it, five bucks is more or less the price of a condolence card. This is more useful.”
– We had a lovely and laid-back Valentine’s Day this year. Isobel, my mother and I spent the morning at a retirement home for a Teddy Bear Tea Party Picnic with friends from our MOMS Club. It was a nice way to brighten the residents’ day and get our kids together. Isobel and I sent this photo to Anthony, and when he came home from work we got some food from the taco trucks and watched Sense and Sensibility while making chocolate chip cookies.
– My beautiful bestie Angela was born on V-Day and so we like to believe that everyone is getting flowers and chocolates in her honor. Our children celebrated by hugging each other past the point of what is considered appropriate in most circles. It wasn’t hanky-panky, though, sometimes they just hang on a little long because one of them starts falling over and they are trying to keep their balance.
– Isobel started school last week and I feel like the luckiest of moms because she transitioned almost painlessly. I signed her up for a couple hours a few days a week just to get her used to being away from me and to reap the social and behavioral benefits of being away from home. I was anticipating a really rough transition with leaving her, but so far she’s adapted quite well and of the two of us I have definitely had the harder time. Her cousin, Jewel, attends the same session with her and on the first day I dropped her off Isobel turned to me and said, “Don’t worry, Mama. Jewel will take care of me.” Sob. The first day I left her I walked slowly back to the car, feeling sorry for myself, when I looked down and saw a miniature, cunningly-made, and empty bird’s nest on the ground. I gently picked it up and drove home feeling content within the pattern of nature.
– My lovely, local, artistically-talented and bread-making whiz friend Bontanica drew a portrait of me that blew me away. She is so talented! She is also incredibly sweet. She sells custom and ready-made necklaces that feature miniature paintings in shop on Etsy.
– In addition to starting school Isobel is also attending once a week dance classes through a City program. It’s a rather hippy-ish “exploration through movement” sort of class and I think it’s perfect for Isobel. It’s non-competitive and affordable and I think it’s helping to improve coordination. I think she’s going to be an athlete like her Mama– a really, really crummy athlete, that is.
– We really like watching nature documentaries as a family and we’ve found the perfect series on Netflix. It’s called Feeding Time and I’m so disappointed it’s only three episodes. It was filmed in a few different zoos, including the San Fransisco zoo, which we’ve actually visited before. It’s extremely high quality (HD, maybe?) which makes it beautiful to watch, and it’s a lovely, educational close-up view of the animals as they eat and play and interact in their enclosures. Because it’s about animals in the zoo there’s no animal-killing-animal scenes (with the exception of a fish) so it’s great for sensitive viewers, as well. We end up watching some part of this show a few times a week. Isobel’s favorites are the meerkats and the baby gorilla.
– Isobel has decided to call our neighbor’s dog “Potato.”
Fuck Cancer. Donate $5 in honor of someone you love.
Scrapbook: Home Life. Isobel digging in the garden, Pink Purse in tow. The Library book sale. A tiny airplane.
Sponsor Spotlight. My favorite people, including two new sponsors.
Follow Friday: Guest Photographer Accidental Olympian. Ashley made me weak in the knees for Alaska.
Links for Valentine’s Day. Easy links for V-Day inspired food, activities, and crafts.
Recipe: Mushroom Tofu Marsala. An easy, healthy weeknight favorite. No previous tofu experience required.
Goats Yelling Like Humans. I don’t have to sell this link. It sells itself.
The Flawed Concept of Good Vs. Evil: The Philosophy of Hayao Miyazaki. Beautiful. We’re huge Miyazaki fans here. Via @MrsFridayNext
Public Speaking for Introverts. “I didn’t ‘get better’ – I hacked myself.” I try to explain this to people sometimes when they exclaim, “But you’re not shy!”
I answer a reader question once a month. Do you have a question for me? I’d love to answer it! If it’s a short one I’ll answer it here. If it’s more complicated, I’ll give it its own post. You can leave your question in the comments, @-reply me on twitter, email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or send me a messenger pigeon. Don’t actually do the last one, though. My cat will eat it. Be sure to let me know if you want me to include your name and link to your blog or shop. Anonymous questions are fine, too.