sweet words

Zane and I went to visit a dear, lovely older lady today we know from church. Each time we visit, we hear touching stories about how she met her husband, high school and college memories, and about her children/ grandchildren whom live in other states.

She and her husband are healthy and active. They travel and go to The Opera. He refers to her as darling and they always greet us with a warm welcome. I look for opportunity to offer charitable service or assistance, but they insist they are blessed beyond necessary; no help is needed.

Today as we said our goodbyes her final sentiments gave me pause. She took a deep breath and with tears filling her happy eyes she told me about her love for her endearing husband. Of the wonderful years they have had together and the adventures they have had with every move. That every single place they have lived there have been wonderful experiences.

I want that. I want to stand with a friend in 30-40 years from now and shed tears of joy for the years I have spent with my husband. I took the chance of asking her for any advice she had to offer for us as a young family. Of all things she simply said: "Just support each other". She went on to explain that of all the moves they had she always supported his career advancement. And never wanted him to miss out on an open door of opportunity. Unless it would cause great pain for the family, in which case it never did.

She has no idea how timely this advice is for me. How much I needed to hear those words. How much I look up to her and admire her deep love and supportive heart.

Like many relationships I have, once again I am gaining much more in relation to what I offer as a friend.


little red

Not only is he into a new size, but a new season. I will miss this little shirt of his. And a few others. But mostly I enjoy getting him into a new array of threads. The new shirts are like little canvases waiting to be decorated with stains and scrubbed or faded into a comfortable routine of cold weather wear.


it's official, I'm a stalker

I admit it, I am stalker-ish. But really, if I have an idea that I think is a really good one that would really work out well on several levels, I go for it.

So DHC, I recently wrote about them. The band is right up there in ranking under The Cure. Their stickers grace my first snowboard. That is big-time band love right there. Knowing their drummer worked at the comic book store and knowing he probably still has connections there I called with a proposal of sorts.

The helpful guy who talked with me for so long about comics actually answered the phone. He remembered who I was and humored me while I suggested how great it would be for me to take drumming lessons from Gavin. (important- NOT because he is attractive, because honestly he is not attractive to me. BUT because he is a killer drummer and contributes greatly to sounds that inspire me year after year).

The worker bee agreed to give him my message and email address regarding lessons. I made sure to note I was MARRIED WITH A KID and that I am not trying to be a stalker. Even though this is SO stalker-ish behavior.

So, we shall see if he emails. He could email and turn out to be a total @$$hole upon actual lesson efforts (I try to only swear on my blog once a week and only when highly necessary).

My current situation isn't so great with my drumming instructor. He has good chops and awesome credentials with successful electronica groups, however, we just don't seem to jive. Conversation is forced and his passion is jazz. I travel 45 minutes one way to get to the rehearsal space and he always goes over the scheduled time. Usually this would be a great thing, but the time is often filled with the history of JAZZ drumming or something else I honestly don't care much about.
I can't say I have not learned from him, however, the time away from my family (3+ hours) isn't worth the 30- 45 minutes of actual value that comes out of it.

So crossing my fingers, Gavin or not, that something else will work out. Ideally someone closer to my home, not on the sex offender list, and a rockin' teacher.



This is the most useful (and unsettling) website I have ever viewed.

You can plug in your zip code to learn about registered sex offenders in your area. I know this link had circulated many years ago, but as I have since had a child and moved, it is interesting to revisit. To be aware of how the map looks in my new area.

I keep erasing the words I want to write about this topic. I am struggling with my gut reaction to the dots I see on the map within my area. The territory around my home, the places I shop with my son. And comparatively, there aren't THAT many versus other areas within the state/ country. I want to write about how disgusted I am and outraged that these types of bad-decision-people are allow people to live around us. That the pit of my stomach turns into painful black soot at the very thought of my son being a victim. That the people that do such things cannot possibly be God-fearing people, they have to be on the Other Side. How did they get passed the veil and receive a body and come to earth? how - why - i don't get it - can't wrap my head around it........

The other part of me? That religious part that hugs the pain of my imagination and terror of 'what if' reminds me about judgment. It tells me there is a lot more to the story than I can imagine. There is a bigger picture. That humans come to this earth and some screw up pretty bad. That I cannot throw a stone, because I am not perfect either. I am also reminded of the process of repentance and forgiveness. I am not sure how that works with various levels of crime, it's hard to separate the thoughts of Natural Man comparatively with the One on judgment day who ultimately decides.

These two parts of me are in conflict. Easily looking at the names and faces of the people who have been convicted as the world sees them versus the way their Maker possibly sees them. They are his children, too.

What if one of these dots was my elderly neighbor across the street that I know on a first-name basis? Who waters the plants every day and waves hello to us every afternoon. Who has more medication than I can count to keep him alive due to cancer and Valley Fever. Who has regular visits to the emergency room for weeks at a time while his sweet wife waits lonely and hopeful for him at home.

Would I stop smiling at him? Would we ignore his weak, waving hand? Would I leave mean notes in his mailbox? Would I still look him in the eye? Would I move? If my friend, my neighbor turned out to be a sex offender in the neighborhood?

I really don't know how to close my thoughts. There are so many fears I gained becoming a mother, I don't think my mind can handle it sometimes. The inability to truly and fully protect my son 100% of the time his whole life is a feeling I was never prepared for. The only possible filler for that gap for me is religion. Not that I think bad things will never happen because I have religion in my life, but that each member of my family can be guided (hopefully to avoid some trauma if it's His will), but most importantly to cope with the journey that unfolds with each of us. That hopefully if something awful were to happen to Zane that I would not commit the crime my mind would tell me to act towards the offender.

There is a place of misery for some souls once they leave this earth.
I have to remember it is not my place to make that list.
I think I will take it upon myself
to name this fruit


she's away with the pixies

I have not made very many friends that are girls that have a fondness of music near the calibur of my enthusiasm, let alone similar genre. Cannace (sp?), however, was a girl I met briefly when I first moved to Brooklyn. I met her at church. She was single. So while I was married I always felt like a boring old hag and didn't bother to initiate hanging out with her. I never really put effort into being friends. In between (and during) church meetings we had several conversations at length about music. Then she moved. But! Before moving we each allowed the other to borrow one of our personal favorites in our music collections. I gave her Ben Lee's Grandpaw Would. In hindsight, a stale CD of years past by an Australian chap probably didn't suit her fancy.

She gave me a Yo La Tango CD titled And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out. I admit they have a sound that doesn't appeal to me. I think from a big picture scheme of things (re-sale value) I got the better end of the eternal CD exchange.

The point of all of this is to say that even though I won't purchase any of their albums, they officially get my vote for Best Album Title Ever with their newest titled:

I Am Not Afraid Of You

And I Will Beat Your Ass

If I were still in high school I would go to the concert just to get a shirt with this title on it. And I would make sure to wear it to the dinner table every night. To honor the step-dad.



just for the tzatziki

If I could be anywhere else right now it would be in Santa Cruz in front of a table full of food at Vasili's. It's a Greek restaurant with the most flavorful variations of food I have had under one roof. The owner is Julie, a friend of Mike's sister. She is charming and funny and smart. Her story of buying this little place and moving there after culinary school is most inspiring. Go visit her and get some good food, it will be a trip well worth your time. I promise you will find a way to go back again and again.

These are some of my favorite things from the menu I like to read and pretend I can taste from the monitor:

Cucumber, garlic, yogurt & cream cheese dip served with French bread* cubes. [*for the gluten-free crowd she has amazing tomatoes and cucumbers]
Fried Zucchini
Garlic Fries

Salads(Salads are served with Vasili’s special dressing of pure Greek olive oil, red wine vinegar & a blend of Greek spices)
Maroulosalata Lettuce, tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, red onions, feta cheese, pepperoncini & Greek olives.

Souvlaki (aka Gyro) Choice of roasted slices of lamb, seasoned ground beef, marinated chicken breast or pork tenderloin rolled in a hand-made pita with lettuce, tomatoes, onions & tzatziki sauce.

Lamb Kebab Two skewers of marinated lamb sirloin charbroiled with lemon, garlic & Greek spices served with roasted potatoes, triangles of handmade pita bread & tzatziki.

Vegetarian Moussaka Eggplant, zucchini, potatoes, bell peppers, tomatoes, parsley, onions, garlic & parmesan cheese topped with b├ęchamel sauce & nutmeg.

Bar-B-Que Chicken Kebab Two skewers of marinated chicken breast or pork tenderloin served with roasted potatoes.

Rizogalo Creamy rice pudding with cinnamon.




1) Deviled Eggs

2) Black Olives

3) Mashed Potatoes

(cream cheese version)

4) Vanilla Pudding

(Banana/ Nilla Wafer Layered)

That's all I really need

to eat tomorrow.

let's be honest here,
it's all about making the
post-dinner table
look like a bake sale.

not my pic

things i hate vol. II

bratty kids throwing sand
aimless roaming
movies with sad endings
celiac disease
sand in my shoes
my breadth of patience
belle and sebastian
the length of my fuse
beans without lard
wood burning stoves
the mars volta
moldy grapes
the wonder pets
vertical blinds


grateful for my ceiling

photo by m.f.

We always said when we have kids we will bring them to the Macy's Day parade. Or at least to see the balloons get blown up the night before, a fun evening of hot chocolate and walking dark New York streets. I prefer the latter, as it allows for Thanksgiving Day slumber the slothful way it should begin.

So...as you can imagine we have done neither with our son. And that's a bummer. There is no event that can replace it. Not even a cold Turkey Trot in the suburbs.


Updated: The Ghosts of Thanksgiving Past:

1999 I am pretty sure this began the tradition of Mike making all the food and me napping, reading magazines and filing my nails. He recalls us going to The Wheelers (maybe just for dessert?) that night and we met their parents. The Wheelers were our only friends in new york for a long, long time. We have spent more holidays with them than we have our familes in the past 7 years. We *heart* The Wheelers for life!

2000 This was the year we were in the first Brooklyn apartment and Mike's friend was visiting with her new husband from out of state. I had never met either of them. First impressions have never gone more wrong. The day they were arriving our ceiling collapsed in the kitchen. The 40 Mexicans living above us wouldn't let anyone in to fix their broken pipe- the root of the problem. We ate turkey and tried to pretend there wasn't black plastic hanging above our heads. Nothing says Welcome to New York like a construction scene in the middle of the apartment. Oh yes, yes it's also true my rent is 5 times the amount of your mortgage for your 4 bedroom house, but I bet you don't have the luxury of a moon roof in your kitchen. Also, don't forget the charm of the slanted floors, boards under the fridge to keep it straight, and the toilet that gets in the way when you open the bathroom door. We stayed there way too long. But the memories make it worth it.

2001 This was a year we gathered with other families in the Robinson's apartment in Brooklyn on 4th Avenue next to the fire station. This one goes down in the books as THE BEST FOOD we will ever have at Thanksgiving. Each family brought a dish of their favorite masterpiece, so it was an amazing combination of perfected dishes. Nothing was gross. Nothing was cold. The children behaved, until the grown-up children got out the XBOXes. Then there were tears and tired babies and bold wives yanking their husbands by the ear. Now we are all scattered across the states, I wonder if any of us will ever taste such a combination of food and friendship again. p.s. The Wheelers were there, too.

2002 Mike's brother Richard, The Wheelers and our kittens in the good Brooklyn apartment. It was hard to leave that place. It's a sore subject for one of us.

2003 Days after positive prego test. We were new to Westchester, so invited a couple we knew from Brooklyn, but are no longer in contact with. She was a Broadway Baby (in training) and he was looking for work as a radio guy. He was hilarious and kept us entertained. He coined the new phrase of a town we lived near from Tuckahoe to Slap-a-ho. I made apple crisps and she took leftovers home in a caserole carry bag I never got to see again.

2004 Zane's Debut turkey day. Dastrups + new friends. Mike snuck out the back door with the leftovers from the turkey we brought cos he didn't want to share with the other guests. I love that about him- how he matches my serious love for food. Well beyond courtesy.

2005 Dastrups (+friendly strangers)

2006 Just the three of us. And a lot of food. Oh! and the Turkey Trot.

I miss Brooklyn. I miss New York. I miss my friends. and family.

Not so much the cats that pissed on the carpet.


dust mites

Today has been a day of deep cleaning my home. To thoroughly deep clean it requires looking at the house through a new lens. Like an outsider. Thinking: what would my sister say if she walked in and saw the dust on those blinds?! The process requires looking at rooms that have bothered me for months, but ignoring the bother. Taking the time to rearrange things and rid the annoyance of ignore. Settling into a change of space that will make it more comfortable and livable. Quite a task that will carry me long into the night, likely multiple days.

While spending the day mostly in isolation from the outside world, I got a much welcomed phone call from someone I have not talked to in a long time.

She is also doing some deep cleaning today, but of her soul. A similar process, I think, to my household deep cleaning. Looking at her 'house' and deciding how it should look and feel. If anything needs to be rearranged. Figuring out what those details are that need to be scrubbed.

I wish I could roll up my sleeves and help her. But it's not my house and I don't live in it to know what the subtle annoyances are. I am too distant from it to give insight into the right or wrong decisions that need to be made. Of what needs to change or stay the same. I only know I love her and that I have confidence that it's important enough that she will make whatever decision is right for her inside and out. It is a lonely feeling to make big decisions, the older we get the heavier impact they have on our lives (and others around us).

The only offering I had was that at times I have felt the best about the end results were the times I took it to The Lord.



I have to say this is one of the most romantic things
I have ever read.

from postsecret.


trees with dandruff

this is what fall looks like in northern california

some colors
and green, still green

i keep waiting for summer to end. not that it's such a rough life to walk around in t-shirts so close to thanksgiving, it's just confusing is all. my mind won't adjust. we are stubborn that way. so don't be offended if you get your christmas card 3 months late.


and you taste a bit like me

I spent 20 minutes crafting the exact words together to try and let you know how I feel about

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah.

To sum up: 'hey I like this cd so listen to them they make me happy'.

I have to go make dinner and shake my fist at blogger for tearing my careful post away before I could save it. Bastards. I had some good things typed out.

The only line I can remember now was the last thing I typed, although it was the only thing that wasn't specific to the band itself:

I'm incredibly grateful
for the gift of having passion for music.



right here, right now

I found a great quote today on this website.

She wrote this:

- I find myself nodding furiously in agreement with Angelina Jolie, who says, “If you ask people what they’ve always wanted to do, most of them haven’t done it. That breaks my heart.”


Hope you have started putting the pen to YOUR cue card. You don't have to do all of them right now, but decide this week which one makes sense to focus on at this time in your life. Make a plan for one of your dreams.

photos by Mike Fuller

Central Park 2.13.2005



My favorite scene in the movie Can't Buy Me Love is when Ronald (Patrick Dempsey) tells Cindy (Amanda Peterson):

"Yes, and you have the nicest pair of rhododendrons in town!"

She looks confused and says: "Rhodo-who's?"

Then she goes into her house. He is heart broken for not saying something more clever.

I wish I could say I have the best lemons in town, but I think it's probably not so when they are just turning yellow in NOVEMBER.

They also tend to be on the smaller side of the scale.


And someday I might grow watermelon just so I can say I have the best melons to everyone at the block party. Most of my current neighbors are over 70, so I think I might wait a couple of years until they get to know me better. Because, really, will I ever live in a neighborhood again when my chances of that statement being a partially true pun ever happen?

In the meantime, we are just the family with the pathetic lemon tree out front and the funny little boy who rides a
purple toy car.


november west

I can't remember the last time I felt so happy about the way one of my pictures turned out. especially considering i stuck the camera out the sun roof going 65mph on the 680.


Love & Rockets

Every week I pass this inviting Comic Book store. It's been teasing me to come in and explore. Telling me there are amazing illustrators I need to appreciate. Luring me to flip thin pages and carefully scan the shelves.

I have been ignoring the plea and found myself more drawn to the ice cream shop; until yesterday. I finally got brave enough to go inside. It was the most interesting forty minutes I have spent in a good

Turns out- as a super bonus- Gavin from Dance Hall CRASHERS (my fav band in college) recently worked there. To think, he could have been the one telling me all about Vertigo and Eightball! It could have been magical.
It would have gone something like this:

Me: Wait, you look vaguely familiar.....

Him: Yah, I was in this band a while ago. Just some ska band.

Me: Gavin. Gavin? Gavin. Wait, you'
re the drummer for DANCE HALL CRASHERS aren't you!? Remember when I saw you backstage in AZ and complained about how all the jocks are going to ska shows and you shrugged it off.

Him: Yea, well.

Me: I have SO been trying to figure out your drum fills on X, Y, Z songs while pounding the treadmill for months! How about I take some drum lessons from you?!

Him: {looking at my feet} OMG those are awesome Old Navy flip flops! Of course I can teach you- you will so be rockin' in no time fast!

Me: I turn on my heel, carried off with a dramatic gust of wind. JUST like Greta Garbo.

Why did I wait?


barbie and the rockers

One of my favorite past-times as a kid involved the Barbie Van. It was a giant yellow van that was passed down from 2 generations of barbie lovers in my family.

Sure, Barbie and her lady friends (and the one ken doll we had) would:

+ frolic in the roof-top pool (shoe box/water spray bottle for effect)

+ go on camping trips (outside under a bush)

+ drive across the country (from the bedroom to the livingroom)

+ party inside the van (turn MTV up really loud)

+ go to the drive-in (place ken on top of barbie in back of van and make smooching noises)

But the real fun came when we involved the cats.

It was a two-person operation. My sister would load the cats while I would prepare for take-off. We had a generously long hallway, one end at which the launch pad rested. As soon as cat #2 was loaded I was off. Tripping over my long nightgown, weak with belly laughs, off went the cats. In the Barbie van. We would fall to the ground in fits of laughter as the van crashed into the wall at the end of the hallway. Then they slide to the front of the van like it was a slip 'n' slide. Both cats would scatter, leaping into the air like cheetahs. We got talented at removing them from under the beds. The key was lifting the pads under the claws and swiftly pulling before they latched into the carpet once again.

....So if you look closely at my childhood pictures, you will see long red scratches along arms, face, and hands.

not my pic


9th grade

Mr. Johnson was one of those teachers you felt bad for. The kids made fun of him. He had a glass eye, he was rather rotund, walked with a limp and talked with a lisp. You wondered how he wound up choosing to teach in middle school, where the children are at an age that evil doers are at their peak.

Then one morning it was all different. It was the only day he pulled his face out of a textbook to meet our eyes.

As he passed cue cards around the room we all looked at each other quizzically. I secretly wondered if he had snapped. If one lazy eye joke went too far. If someone left a mean note and he was seeking revenge. I think I started to sweat as I waited nervously for his next move.

He silently struggled to pull his worn wallet from his back pocket. I felt a twinge that he wasn't getting paid nearly enough for the cruelty of my peers. I wanted to give him my lunch money and flip them all off in his honor. For his bravery of showing up each day.

...So the wallet....He pulled from it a worn out, dog-eared cue card. He proceeded to tell us that once in his English class years ago he wrote on this card all of his dreams. His goals. The places he wanted to see. The things he wanted to accomplish.

He gave us instruction to do the same.

I never forgot that day. I don't think a day in all of my education had nearly the impact. Each of us sat in that little classroom and imagined the walls crumbling as we dared to soar beyond the everyday way of thinking. Beyond the test scores of the week, social drama, gossip, and hairspray.

Mr. Johnson taught my English class. He also taught me to dream.

Why do I keep forgetting about that lesson?

Naturally, I lost the card, but this year I have been thinking about what to put on my new one.

it's all about the sunshine

If I had to choose one movie to purchase between the two, I would select Little Miss Sunshine over Borat.

While one was wildly hilarious, the other just simply has less male nudity.

And male nudity, if it's not my husband, is kind of gross and awkward.

But if YOU buy the movie, I would be happy to bring the popcorn and watch it a million times over and laugh until we cry.


As Requested...

Someone just suggested I post about ladies night ideas.

I think it would be so rad if someone would have a good, clean sex toys party. Yeah, I just wrote that. AND my mother-in-law reads this. Every day.

Someone needs to have one already. You know the type- we saw a sample on the movie Old School. Products (clean, unused), lingerie, edibles, books to view and purchase. I think it would be the most talked-about party of the year. I think my friends from NY would fly out. I think select members of my family would fly out for it. I think friends of friends would attend. THAT would be a useful party and our husbands would make sure our calendars are free!

Who knows a consultant that can hook us up with The Party of the Year?

Are you on board? Let's do this.


journey to oakland

After 7 weeks of weekday travel, we finally have him back!
Last week a friend asked me how I deal with it as she feels she struggles with her husband working late nights.

The truth is there are nights I don't feel I handle it very well. Then there are weeks I am amazed I was so positive, busy, and cheerful. We don't always have a great deal of time to prepare for all travel schedules that have come our way, but his schooling in NY prepared us for this. It was an emotional rollercoaster of an adjustment, but that ride wasn't as bumpy or long as we flew through each semester.

I am hoping that same pattern can happen (more quickly) as we adjust to this new-to-us industry of consulting. It's a career change that we both knew would be different and require sacrifice. "It is not forever" is what I often tell myself.

When I tried to respond to that friend about how I handle it, I found myself at a loss for words. I remembered what we used to do when he was in school, but I have neglected to draw from that experience. This pondering was a good time for me to remember the strategy we had in place before. That night I made plans for the babysitter and we are finally going to the Oakland Temple for the first time this weekend! I hope to make it a monthly ritual once again.


These are other things
that help pass the time:

-Ladies nights (I have them at my house while Zane sleeps since I can't really attend many social outings during the week nights)

-Hobby (e.i. write/ blog, drum, paint or build something, get a new t.v. show to look forward to, netflix, try cooking new things he wouldn't like, etc)

-Book date nights well in advance- so helpful!

-Schedule break time for YOU, too (get nails done on weekend)

-Day time outings, the weeks we have more play dates scheduled are the best (wildlife or science museum, zoo, mall, take walks, friend's house, explore something new)

-Call people! Newer friends, old-school friends, family...Most importantly is to not spend the week without seeing/ talking to other adults! Invite friends for potluck lunch and go to others' when invited.

-DO NOT INDULGE. I think in the past 7 weeks he was gone I replaced the list above with food and candy, so don't do that. It's bad news.

not my pic