Saturday, June 22, 2024


Top Ten Moments of 2023:

10. E-biked the lake loop around Lake Monona
9. Bucket list item - crashed a wedding and danced to Shania Twain 
8. Spending time with family at my cousin's beautiful backyard wedding in Arizona
7. Getting 7 tiny baby chicks in the mail.
6. Being bougie in D.C. 
5. Slumber party with my best-friend-since-the-third-grade in San Francisco
4. Seeing The National live with my lovey
3. Burgers and beer with my dad in Avila Beach
2. Singing at the top of my lungs with my best friends on the Peddle Tavern in Nashville
1. Sipping prosecco in Piazza del Repubblica, Cortona, Italy 
.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Music: Paprika by Japanese Breakfast and #41 by Dave Matthews Band

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Goodbye Special-Needs Charley

I am so sad to share that our sweet Special-Needs Charley girl joined Bannie and Bubkat in chicken heaven. Charley had such a tough start and frankly, we didn't think she'd even be strong enough to grow into the peppy and sparkly little bird that she became. She was the smallest of the pack, and struggled with poor eyesight which led to over-scratching her poor eyes and cheeks to the point her skin was rubbed raw. She had trouble pecking at bugs and making it up to the roost at night. We gave her eye drops and neosporin, but mostly, we gave her all of the love and quality time that we could. Steve built ramps and stairs and perch-assists for Charley, and we carried her to her friends when she got left behind. Steve collected crickets and made sure Charley got the most. We'd shoo the other birds away when we found a score of beetles and bugs so that Char would have a fighting chance at chasing after them. She loved it. She'd squeal with delight chasing those crickets and pincher bugs, and thanked us with visits, hops onto our lap, cuddles, and snuggly naps.

Charley was so unique and funny. When she found herself alone because she didn't see her friends run off, she'd stand on the edge of the deck and crow! I mean like a rooster crow! She picked this up from her rooster friends...they crow often...and crowing can mean a call out to tell others where you are. She learned this and called out the sweetest, tiniest crow and guess what...her friends ran back to her! Often times from way across the field. 

Charley also loved sunbathing but what she loved the most was sunbathing in my lap. She'd lay there in the nook of my legs with her wings spread out, soaking in the rays and the love. She could lay there for hours if I let her. She closed her eyes while she drank water, hopped onto my knee every time I bent down to say hello, fell asleep in my hands almost instantly, loved dust baths, her favorite treat was tomatoes, she was so so soft and had the sweetest scent. 

Char ran up to Steve every time he was around...without fail. She absolutely loved getting pet by Steve. She'd fly up to his shoulder or arm or back if he was nearby. She was a great flyer. Sometimes, when she found herself alone, ditched as her friends explored the treeline, she'd try to get to them across the field by flying. She would catapult herself straight up into the air as if she was reaching for the tippy tops of the oak trees, and then she'd land and with a quick gleeful and wobbly run, she'd catch up to her best pals. 

We didn't like when she was alone because we knew she was more apt to a hawk attack given her size and lack of eyesight. On her last day with us, she followed her friends to a whole new area of the yard - the front woods by the driveway.  They all  had the best time together, scratching and exploring the new vast underbrush and shaded hillside. Being completely covered by trees, we thought they'd be safe. I sat with them for an hour, just watching them all play together and then I brought Charley up with me to the coop to do some chores. She called out to her friends and I felt bad so I walked her back down, with a feeling in my stomach that I just wasn't sure about. 

Thirty minutes later, Steve yelled to me that hawk flew out of the trees and he heard screaming. He knew someone was attacked. We ran down and searched for the babies but they were no where to be found. I finally heard their sweet beeps call out to me, and found a group under a sticker bush. It took me awhile to tell, but they were all there except one...Charley. 

We continued to search the woods and finally found her feathers....and then nearby her poor slumped little body. She was still warm and we couldn't find any large wounds so I held out hope she was still alive and cradled her in my arms for awhile until Steve had to convince me she was gone. My sweet, tiny Charley couldn't escape the tight squeeze of that hawk. 

I wish I would have kept her with me at the house but at the same time I am so glad she had a fun last day with her friends in the trees and I know that is where she belonged and will now rest forever.

We miss our Char Char so much...she gave us back the love that we gave her and it's so rare that a tiny chicken would do that. We are lucky and so happy we had the time with her that we did and know she lived a very happy and spoiled life with us and her little friends.

Sunday, January 15, 2023


Top six of 2022:

6. Curry in Belfast, Ireland.
5. Disneyland with my chem twin.
4. Death Cab show with my Mom.
3. My brother Ryan's surprise for my 40th birthday.
2. Raising our chicken beepers.
1. My brother Philip survived!

1) Nick Drake - Pink Moon
2) Death Cab for Cutie - I Will Possess Your Heart

Wednesday, January 19, 2022


A few things that happened during Year 2 of the Pandemic:
  • I read 12 books.
  • I mastered my sourdough loaf recipe.
  • I became a Big Sister with the Big Brothers Big Sisters program.
  • I played frisbee with my dad and brother like the old days.
  • I dipped my toes in Lake Michigan.
  • I SUPed for the first time.
  • I finally visited Red Lodge, MT
  • I went back to work onsite (and put on hard pants).
  • Steve and I went to a Milwaukee Brewers game.
  • I threw a 70th birthday/Retirement party for my dad.
  • I hammocked.
  • I danced in my kitchen with my parents.
  • Steve grew his hair longer than mine and perfected the man bun.
  • I surprised my bonus dad for this 60th birthday in Montana.
  • I went to Yellowstone National Park.
  • We got vaccinated and boosted.
  • I happily attended a virtual baby shower.
  • I sadly attended a virtual memorial service.
  • I roasted mallows in my own fire pit.
  • I hauled and stacked a ton of wood.
  • I wore a mask everywhere.
  • I cooked and ate deer and cow testicles.
  • I got a haircut.
  • Steve got a haircut.
  • I celebrated 15 years with Promega.
  • I turned 39! 
Enjoy the show!
Snow in Gothenburg by Kasbo
Bizarre Love Triangle by New Order

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Growing old together

Isn't it romantic
A walk in the white winter woods
A sugary sweet smooch among the owl hoots

Isn't it fun
A bonfire above the frozen alfalfa
Bubbly brown mallows and ice cold beer

Reminiscing about where we've been
Skateboarding along del playa
Dancing with the girls DT

An email about getting caught in the rain
Avocado and CD surprises
Phone numbers scratched on paper

Eating quesadillas in my studio
Talking to the plants and listening to Of Montreal on Higuera
Tall cans and tunes over the shower radio at Montana de Oro

Motorcycle rides to the pines in a pink helmet
Growing palms and tending fruit trees
Tending to our hearts

Big eyed winding through white country roads
New red birds and orange tractors
Grey hair and tiny wrinkles framing kind eyes

Every single simple moment before this moment
Brought us here
And still we grow old together.
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