In The Garden

The Crow And The Crepe Myrtle Tree

CrowEvery morning for about a week now, a crow has come to our crepe myrtle tree. She hops around on the branches, looking for just the right twig. When she finds it, she snaps it off and flies away. A while later, she'll be back for more.

I've never noticed this before. Then again, every spring before now - when Myrtle was still bare from winter - I didn't have this direct vantage to witness the twig gathering.

Are the twigs suddenly pumped with spring life and therefore the crow needs to pick them now? Not when they are on the ground and dead? Does Ms. Crow pick twigs from other Myrtles in the neighborhood or just ours? (I ask, selfishly.) Does she pick twigs from other types of trees that are in their pre-spring nakedness? 

I assume Ms. Crow is building a strong nest to lay her eggs and I wish her and her new family well. 

She can have all the twigs she needs from Myrtle. I just wish I could fly with her and see the progress.



Mimus_polyglottos1As someone who named their daughter Harper, I will never be able to write a book with the word "Mockingbird" in the title. I'm thinking of titles like:

To Kill A Mockingbird at 3am With An Axe Without Waking Your Neighbors

Silencing the Mockingbird With Poison Darts

Mockingbirds: Loud Mouth Bastards In Your Backyard All Night

Will I Ever Sleep Again? A Tail of Mockingbird Revenge


Can't wait for our own happy mockingbird to FIND A GIRLFRIEND.




Back To The Farm

Last year we discovered Underwood Farms in Moorpark (and their smaller sister farm in Somis). They close from December to March and recently reopened so we drove out and picked some lovely veggies and strawberries. Then Harper had fun in the bouncy house and feeding the goats.


Strawberries1 Strawberries2


















Aside from the super delicious strawberries, we picked carrots, sugar snap peas and radishes. Harper had mostly carrots (with ranch dip) for dinner. She tried the radishes and seemed okay about them. But then just had more carrots. Awesome.



PS you know a place is uber kid friendly when all their porta-potties have these in them.


Halloween Round Up And A Bit More

Kids change your life, blah blah, you've heard it all before. The one part that I didn't anticipate was how my blog writing life would suffer. I mainly default to pictures of Harper simply because that's quick and easy. Okay okay I admit she's pretty cute too so I know it's not toooo horrible for you. (It's not, right??)

But I sometimes miss my really bloggy life. Writing about my time in Belfast on Game of Thrones - OMG that was five years ago this month. I miss writing about LA, events, music, food, wacky stuff. Remember when I walked the entirety of Western Ave in the Fall of 2008? That was amazing.

Even just random LA things "ICME" = It Caught My Eye stuff. Like this one:


Saw on a car during one of my morning Constitutionals. Awesome.



You know what I'm obsessed with lately? Serial Podcast. From the amazing people who do This American Life. I first heard about Serial no TAL, and thought - really? One Story for hours and hours? Now I am HOOKED! I wrote them fan mail. I can't wait to listen to today's episode! I can't wait to see what comes of it all and I can't wait to know what their next Serial story will be! How can they top this? It makes for great exercise listening as you don't want to STOP until the whole hour is done.



I like to garden, not a ton, but planting tomatoes and beans is fun every spring. Harper liked picking beans and eating them right off the shrub. For fall I planted a whole bunch of kale. It was doing great and I was excited to pick some to eat. Then Harper got sick, I got sick, Halloween, etc. So I went out to look and...uh...WTF!?


Caterpillars!! Well, I hope there are lots and lots of beautifully healthy butterflies out there somewhere soon. Silver lining is, there are tiny sprouts of new leaves coming in the middle so maybe they got the first crop and there will be a second one coming along soon?

Fall seemed to arrive in late October. (Though today it's going to be 90 so whatever.) In the few moments we had cool weather, I introduced Harper to tea. (Plus I think it was nice for her cough roughened throat.) Chamomile and honey. I think she really liked the whole process including the teapot. Child sized Monkey teacups also helped.

Tea1 Tea2


















And then of course there was Halloween.

Kurt carved a pumpkin under Harper's watchful eye.


She seemed to then  -- what's that phrase? -- look askance at it. But can you ever really trust a Jack-o-Lantern?


At Harper's Preschool they had dress up day on the 30th. Harper had two costume choices and chose Princess Leia for that School Day. Of course she didn't want to put it on after all. But being wiser than I ever expected myself to be, I took it to school and, well, what do you know? She wanted to wear her costume after seeing everyone else dressed up!

Big Ups to Uncle Tom Ford for the costume. Best Princess Costume Ever! (Elsa who?)


And the big night itself. We had a hand-me-down Tinkerbell costume that Harper also liked, but she was still being fussy about wearing it or the Leia costume for the actual night. I told her no trick or treating and especially, NO CANDY unless she put one of them on. She picked Tinkerbell and I just jammed it on her and we left.

We met up with the Other Harper and had two blocks of fun candy gathering. These first two pictures were taken by Other Harper's mom, Mercie. She is a fantastic photographer!



This was just me with my iphone...


Harper enjoyed herself quite a bit. And when we got home, I knew that she was going to love Halloween a lot from now on.

I quote Harper: "THIS IS ALL MINE!" while wrapping her arms around her haul. That's my girl!



The Trees Get A Haircut

Household maintenance, always fun. Last weekend it was Tree Trimming Day! Though it might have come a week early as now there is much less shade on our house and it is HOT HOT HOT in LA this week. Oh well. I'm hoping in two weeks it will all be a distant memory and Fall will truly be upon us. Though "Fall" in LA will simply mean it's 80, not 90.

TreeBefore1 TreeAfter1

TreeBefore2 TreeAfter2

After it was all over, I saw a squirrel on one of those power lines behind the pine tree. I swear it was giving me major stink eye. Sorry dude.

Um, Has Anyone Seen June?

Today Harper and I harvested our first batch of green beans. Harper picked and then we washed and ate the beans immediately. Yummy! Later we cooked then for dinner with a touch of butter. Still yummy! I love Harper having this little garden/food experience. Tomatoes will be ripening soon as well.

I'm not sure where June went. Seems like it was March about two days ago. But that's what happens when a) there is a 2.5 year old in the house and b) your new mantra is MAKE CONTENT!

I'm making content in a variety of ways. One is a movie we've been developing for a while, but the burner has been turned up a bit on it, yay. Another is an original tv series idea I've been working on in the wee small hours of the morning. A third is a new site I'm prepping. I'm going to say adios to Safety Graphic Fun after 5 1/2 years and move onto this new thing. You'll see something later this summer. Lastly, there is a podcast I'm going to do with a friend. Not sure if it will work out as it is a wacky concept, but life is short and I have to try.

So June is gone in a haze of life and fun and awesomeness. We are off to Maui for a week to visit "Gamma-Jane". That will be an adventure!

Hopefully I'll be checking back before August...

Um, Has Anyone Seen June?

Um, Has Anyone Seen June?

Um, Has Anyone Seen June?

Weather Extremes

A few weeks ago we had rain. A rare and wondrous thing in Los Angeles. We desperately need the rain and so do I. I think I have the opposite of Seasonal Affective Disorder. I need MORE cloudy rainy days in winter. All this sun is depressing. Yes yes, I know I know, I have it good out in sunny California. I just like a little more variety in my weather. A little more = just rain once or twice a month at least!

But back to the rain we did have. Harper was prepared! She loved going out in her awesome boots and splashing around. She also loves using an umbrella, inside, outside, anytime actually!


So that was three days of rain this whole winter. And this past week or so we've had days in the 90s again. Blech. But Harper loves that too. She gets to dig in the garden and find her new favorite thing BUGS! She loves the bugs and I'm making sure I help her gently hold them and then put them back. I don't want her to be freaked out by them at all. We'll see if that sticks.



Spring Planting

Last year I literally had my hands full with a new baby so putting in a garden was not so high on my priority list. But this year, couldn't wait to be done with the job and get planting! Harper and I planted yesterday and our bounty is soon to come: tomatoes (3 types), romaine lettuce and basil. I also planted sunflower seeds along the wall there (the 2 foot tall variety). Can't wait to eat lots of ceasar and caprese salads!