Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Boogie boarding with Mary and Jessica at Stinson Beach - we had a blast! That's me on the right catching a wave.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Aunt Love

My mum at the birthday party for Bob Love and his aunt, who is 104. Good party!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Samuel Goldwyn Lives

"That's a bridge far under the water."

Said by Felix while dismissing some long-ago domestic crime.

Good Lunch

Latest Commission

Sixteen Sunbrella cushions for a marvellous Mexican-inspired concrete bench, high on a hill in Marin.

Green and Smooth

This morning on our walk Barbara was extolling the virtues of green smoothies and I am intrigued - well, she is a nutritionalist, so she knows what she is talking about. You drink a quart of green smoothie a day (collard greens, kale and spinach, carrot, turnip and beet tops, and fruit so you can choke it down) and there is a spring to your step, you feel and sleep better and you lose weight (as well you might, since a quart is going to fill you up). I have a blender - maybe not the Vitamix 4500 Turbo which is $320 on the internet, I checked - but it's a start. This is the silly season after all.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


True summer heat, brutal and relentless but then we asked for it, driving in an open car up to Novato, like entering an oven. Coming back I could feel the temperature drop - first, my ears stopped throbbing, then the arm beside the window stopped burning, and finally I could feel delicious cool little runnels in my interstices. I am so glad, just so heartily thankful that we live by the water.

Everything is interesting right now, from recipes and fabrics to old friends, to NEW friends, work... I am both sick of marketing and keen to push on with it. I tell myself that I need discomfort to rout complacency, that it keeps my edge (if I have an edge to begin with). I am certainly not warm fuzzy, resting on my laurels. I need a few more laurels to make that comfortable. If I felt secure, I'd just worry about other stuff.

Marin Yacht Club Car and Boat Show

Well, the boats certainly look much bigger close up! I was struck by the Las Vegas styling too, all ultra shiny veneers and glittery synthetic bedspreads, in beige and brown and black. Most strange, like a poor person's idea of moneyed.

The vintage cars were interesting too, and after having driven past that marina for seven years I enjoyed seeing inside. Great views of Mount Tam. All in all though the County Fair is more fun, with the hens and cows, and the piglets in their racing silks.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Giddy on Colour

Yesterday was so busy neither of us stepped out of the house, but I finished the sofa hems, covered two chairs and made speaker cosies of linen scrim, very satisfactory. we then settled down to experiment with our keywords, far more fun than I would have thought. And today I shot some room sets, it all is progress. How are people going to love my cushions if they don't know they exist?

I definitely have favorites. I love the diagonal navy and copper 'O', but then again the soft blue, natural and rust 'W' is great too. Red ochre and olive 'T' from Mombasa is a great one too, but oddly enough the blue and yellows are the ones that are selling best. I will never understand.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

George's Present

I couldn't buy it so I had to make it - and it works!

High Summer

What a rollicking time we have been having!

Dee and Ed had their barbeque on Monday, which gave it an edge, and since it was in the high nineties I spent a lot of my time in the pool, along with Scout and a darling little naked nymph who lifted her arms and said 'Carry me!', so we went round and round in the water, visiting everyone sitting on the sides with their feet in.

Yesterday morning we visited Chris and Karen in Petaluma, to update their website and for a most satisfying debrief of Pinot, and then some inspiring brainstorming. Dizzy with it all, I sewed in the afternoon until Mary hauled me off to swim at China Camp, since we hit 100 degrees. It was wonderful, and I will do it again. She is very athletic so I can see she is a Good Influence.

I am peeling in sheets after falling asleep in the sun last Monday, it feels like being young again.

Today we are experimenting with Elly's cool-house method: shutting the windows and shades as opposed to opening everything and letting the air go through. Of course Elly's house is stone...

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Ever Wondered What's at the End of the Rainbow?

Thursday, July 09, 2009


Remember the wrenchingly vulnerable sequence in Stromboli when Ingrid Bergman, foreign on her Sicilian husband's island, goes out into the village and implores the women to come and visit her, to see how she has white-washed her house and planted flowers, and made curtains from old clothes to make it her home? I want to go onto the highways and bring people in to see the milk paint on the old concrete floor, how smooth and inviting it looks.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009


We are still enchanted by our three little swallows and their wonderfully fierce, forthright mother.

The dock is her preferred feeding place, because she can swoop by to feed them, barely stopping. They are practicing flying and look like little bumblebees, rounded and sedate beside their jetset mother.

We have many song bird too, suddenly. I slept out on the deck last night, the moon was so beautiful, the water high and a wonderful breeze, no flies or mosquitoes so far this year. I just drifted, suspended over the water, then went early to Mary's house to finish putting up the trim in her new rooms.

Home again now, back at the data base, haunted by wondering: is this the best use of my time?

Monday, July 06, 2009


We ate outside this evening despite the cool breeze coming straight from the Pacific, engrossed in the three swallow fledglings sitting on the rail of the dock waiting for their mother, who had obviously said, "Stay there!" They fluffed their feathers in the sun and tried brave short hops over the water, while she flew past and fed them one at a time without even hovering - you can see her in the middle of the top photo. Truly miraculous.

I am finding the data entry far easier today, my synapses must have adjusted. Maybe the fierce exercise of ripping up the carpet (cathartic), or maybe the delicious, forbidden sun-bathing has refreshed my spirit. The porch looks far better in its naked state, all cleanly painted and bare except for the floor, which is scraped and bare but strange colours. I need to mend the cracks, then prime, then paint, but I don't want it to look TOO respectable. and all of that is rather secondary to our two business ventures, which take up every minute.

I have stigmata from the nails in the skirting boards.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Cheering Up

Building blocks for the effort to pull self from the slough:
gardened and swept up leaves, planted out geranium cuttings and took honeysuckle slips, to replace the starveling bougainvillea.

Took delicious picnic to China Camp and ate right on the beach under a tree, admiring the shacks, the boats and the babies, and the glorious smell of the maquis.

Finished all 300 database Pinot entries.

Lovely chat with my insomniac mum, from her laptop.

Painted toenails.

That little lot should do it.

Anoushik just rang from the bank to say my business Visa has been approved with a limit of $7000. What are they smoking?!

PS also walked Buckley in a limpid, moody summer evening, and got a handful more of honeysuckle.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

A State of Grace

In an early morning scrabble for virtue I dusted, sorted, cleaned, and now am dressed and ready in everything but spirit to go and peddle my wares.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009


When I do something that is original and difficult, my own creation, if it doesn't succeed immediately I feel a blast of shame, rage, contempt and impatience directed at me. Where does that come from? I associate it with: spraining Norma's ankle at age six while putting on her sandals, the doctor ripped into me; tidying the work bench in the garage at age seven or thereabouts and my father was not pleased; his exclamation at another point, "You're meant to be an intelligent girl!"; Mrs Murphy burning my sewing because I was not doing it the way I was meant to (we had an open fire in the classroom); being punished for catching Tim's hand in the car door and knowing there was something cumulative about the anger behind the punishment. I was a bumptious child, cocky and self-willed.

I also remember the absolute conviction at age four that my father was bathing us for my mother's sake, not our own. When I think about it, he was only twenty-six.