Saturday, January 14, 2017

Parting is such deep sorrow

The 3 year old grandkid is going off to his new preschool, giving his younger sister lots of hugs, as if he is going to be gone for weeks, rather than just 3 hours.  I think this is darn cute!

Monday, January 2, 2017

The Magical Blue Hat

The 2 kiddos both got to wear the magical blue hat on days that became filled with delight and fun.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Welcoming 2017

The Japanese have a tradition where on the first day of the new year, they greet and welcome the rising sun. JRQ follows this same tradition and I'm sharing his lovely video of the first rising sun in 2017.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Jingle Bells - Kiddo Style

Some celebrate with dinner and a movie. Others celebrate dinner with a distracted singing of tinkle/jingle bells.

Munchkin is left under the Christmas Tree

Looks like Santa left a munchkin under the Christmas tree!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Giving a Shout Out

"I think I'll grab one of these megaphones and give a shout-out to all my friends and family," declares the Bambina.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

At Santa's Workshop

I told Santa I wanted some little munchkins for Christmas, and I think I'm getting them in a special delivery!

Friday, December 16, 2016

Official Soccer Team Photo

Can you tell which soccer player belongs to our family?  Yep, the one refusing the uniform and to look at the camera. Ya got to love that independent nature!

He continues to crack me up.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

The 3 year old meets Santa

Many people must have received the notice that Santa was coming for a special visit in Silicon valley.

Even some we know went out to brave the crowds to get a chance to meet Santa.

FINALLY, the moment came when it was our hero's turn! But this was not the Santa the 3 year old was expecting. This one was real and not a cartoon. And was wearing rabbit fur. And he seemed kind of scary.

Our hero refused to get close, didn't want to sit on his lap, and the thought of whispering his secrets into his ear was something he refused to consider. He used all the gyrations and squirming he had learned from tantrum class....

BUT THEN, there was a mention of a TRAIN, and our hero succumbs and becomes like putty.

 He even received a candy cane prize from Santa for getting through this ordeal.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Q's in Hunting Season

These are the hunters in the family.
The most seasoned hunter is taking the lead...

And here are the results of being out in the wild and braving the cold. 
They got 2 big ones.

John Muir's visit to Salt Lake City in the 1860's

John Muir (1838- 1914)
John Muir is known as the Father of the National Parks, and because I'm on a kick to visit the National Parks, I've been reading some of his journals. One of his books, "Steep Trails California, Utah, Nevada, Oregon, the Grand Canyon" has a chapter about Salt Lake City, the area and culture where I was raised!  Of course, I wanted to know if I was in it. (I'm not).

But I did find it interesting to read his observations of my former home town and what it was like 150 years ago. Mr Muir was a trained and passionate observer of flora, fauna, and geology, but since he was in Salt Lake City and the Utah Mormon culture, it was interesting to read his observations on this city.

In his won words, here are his brief observations about Salt Lake City in the 1860's ....

"Salt Lake can not be called a very beautiful town, but neither is there anything ugly or repulsive about it. Most of the houses are veiled with trees, as if set in the midst of one grand orchard, with only the angular roofs clearly visible.They are set well back from the street, leaving room for a flower garden. The gardens are laid out with great simplicity, indicating love for flowers by people comparatively poor. In almost every one you find daisies, mint, and lilac bushes, and rows of plain English tulips. Lilacs and tulips are the most characteristic flowers. (Flowers are still plentiful and appreciated. My Scottish grandparents farm was filled with lilacs, hollyhocks, and daisy's, as well as a large orchard - just as John Muir describes)

"The streets are remarkably wide and the buildings low, making them appear yet wider than they really are. Trees are planted along sidewalks - elms, poplars, maples, and a few catalpas and hawthorns." (Yes, there are lots of wide streets)

"Even in the business streets there is but little regularity in the buildings - a row of plain adobe structures, half store, half dwelling, a high mercantile block of red brick, and an immense store with a sign on the roof Z.C.M.I - Zion’s Co-operative Mercantile Institution. (I understand that landmark is no longer there)

ZCMI in 1860's
"Most of the women I have chanced to meet, especially those from the country, have a weary repressed look, as if for the sake of their religion they were patiently carrying burdens heavier than mother were well able to bear. But strange as it must seem to Gentiles, the many wives of one man, instead of being repelled from one another by jealousy, appear to be drawn all the closer together as if the real marriage existed between the wives only. (I found these observations rather interesting. Now days, many notice how there are lots of smiling pretty blond blue-eyed women in SLC. It sounds like things may have changed in 150 years.)

"In the Tabernacle last Sunday, one of the elders of the church, in discoursing upon the good things of life, the possessions of the Latter Day Saints, enumerated fruitful fields, horses, cows, wives, and implements - the wives being placed as above between the cows and implements without receiving any superior emphasis. (Women were chattel and like property even then, huh? even then???) 

Polygamy, as far as I have observed, exerts a more degrading influence upon husbands than upon wives. (This was a surprising remark. I never considered that some of the men may not have wanted to have a flock of wives.)

A more withdrawn, compact, sealed-up body of people could hardly be found on the face of the earth than gather here. Most of the Mormons I have met seem to be in a state of perpetual apology (An interesting remark - perpetual that still the case?) 

“We saints,” that are continually saying, “are not as bad as we are called.  (Always trying to explain... I have noticed this, too). We don’t murder those who differ with us, but rather treat them with charity.” (So that is where the standards were back then- 'well at least we don't murder those who are different'...interesting comment. Kind of a low bar.)

While taking a saunter the other evening, we were overtaken by a characterizing Mormon, an humble man, “who made us a deferential salute and then walked on with us about half a mile. We discussed whatsoever of Mormon doctrines came to mind with American freedom, which he defended as best he could, speaking in an excited but deprecating tone. When hard pressed he would say: “I don’t understand these deep things but the elders do. I’m only an humble tradesman.” (I guess obedience and not questioning authority was part of the culture even back then.)

He really was a talented observer. When you read his descriptions of mountains, plants, landscapes, and even the weather, you can FEEL his passion for these things. But when he is placed in society, his observations sound more like a report. It feels like you are waiting and watching for the water to boil. You can tell his heart just ain't into it.

You know, John Muir's home is not far from where I currently live (in Northern California), and you would think I would know this man since I pass by his home almost weekly, But when I read his words about Salt Lake City, I felt I now had a greater understanding of who this man really was. One can tell a lot about a person and what they say about a place you know. 

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Comparing John Muir's Yosemite Trip to Mine

John Muir decided to go see Yosemite and recorded this in his journal in 1868.

I decided to visit California for a year or two to see its wonderful flora and the famous Yosemite Valley. Arriving by the Panama steamer, I stopped one day in San Francisco and inquired for the nearest way of town and was directed to the Oakland ferry. So on the first of April, 1868, I set out afoot for Yosemite. I wandered enchanted in long wavering curves knowing by my pocket map that Yosemite Valley lay to the east and that I should surely find it. 

In the next paragraph, he is at Pacheo Pass, then across the San Joaquin Valley, up the Sierra foothills and the next page he is describing Yosemite - "The Valley looks like an immense hall or temple lighted from above, but no temple made with hands can compare with Yosemite. Every rock in its walls seems to glow with life.”

He has walked over 230 miles over a couple of months with no mention of food, shoes, clothes, health, shelter, trail conditions, or even other people AND described his entire journey in a mere 3 pages.

This is a map of his walk-about, starting at Oakland, CA, and ending in Yosemite.
Here is MY journal of MY trip to Yosemite.

Starting Place
Google maps says it will take me 4 hours to get there! I thought it was much closer. What should I wear?  What shoes shoes should I take? Is it going to snow? Are there bears? What music should I bring? Will I need chains? I better pee.

1st hour
OMG, where is a Starbucks? How is this even possible to NOT have a Starbucks in this town?

2nd hour
WTF, a 2 lane highway??  Why is this dude going the speed limit? 

3rd hour
Where is a bathroom? 

4th hour

I concluded John Muir and I are very much alike - we don't use many words but focus on the important stuff.

One, two, pick-up sticks

This kiddo is on a quest to pick up all the pine needles in Yosemite.
Me thinks she is a neat-freek.😀

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Story time in flight

The kiddo's mom reads her a nail-biting adventure story....

The times of reading "see Dick run" are so over. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

My New Qi Cultivation Class begins in Jan 2017

If you are in the bay area of San Francisco, I'm starting a new Qi Cultivation class series in January, 2017.  For me, when I had my first experience with Qi, it was life changing. I'm hoping that for those who attend these classes, they will feel the Qi and experience their own personal life changing moment, too. In addition, each class provides tools and methods to work with Qi, which will help a person better navigate through some of life's challenges.

The class will be at Golden Circle Acupuncture in Walnut Creek and goes for 10 weeks, starting on Jan 3.  You can get more details here and if you want to attend, let me know by posting a comment.

Here is a description of each class.

Class 1 – Jan 3, 2017 - What is Qi? How to sense it, use it, and direct it to improve your life experience
Desired Outcome: To be more aware of subtle energy and train yourself to receive, accept, and interpret these subtle energetic communications.

Class 2 – Jan 10, 2017 - Qi and your emotions – how this impacts your health and life experiences 
Desired Outcome: To recognize how different feelings impact Qi flow and ways you can manage your emotions by better managing your Qi.   

Class 3 – Jan 17, 2017 - Sensing, using, and moving Qi in your PHYSICAL body
Desired Outcome: To learn ways to sense imbalances in your body and use the tools of movement (Qigong), nutrition, and meditation to help keep your Qi balanced and flowing.
Class 4 – Jan 24, 2017 - Sensing and using ENVIRONMENTAL Qi
Desired Outcome: To learn ways to sense and interpret different types of environmental Qi and learn to protect your space. 

Class 5 – Jan 31, 2017 - Sensing and receiving SPIRITUAL (subtle Qi) messages
Desired Outcome: To receive and interpret spiritual messages, such as sensing truth, sensing the future, regressing to the past, command projection, dream interpretation, astral travel, and telepathy.

Class 6 – Feb 7, 2017 - Tools to cultivate the development of spiritual gifts  
Desired Outcome: To learn about the tools that can help you develop the skills for different types of spiritual gifts.

Class 7 – Feb 14, 2017 - Sensing and receiving guidance from your HIGHER SELF and SPIRITUAL GUIDES
Desired Outcome: To learn methods to connect, communicate, and be guided by your Spiritual Resources and improve your ability to cope with difficult life events.

Class 8 – Feb 21, 2017 – Trying out some new types of Qi experiences
Desired Outcome: To have a variety of different types of Qi experiences to help you learn which type of Qi resonates the most closely to you.

Class 9 – Feb 28, 2017 - Creating more time and space for moments of wonder
Desired Outcome: Learn ways to create more opportunities of wonder with Qi (such as soul expansion, OOBE, meetings with Spiritual Beings, automatic writing, travel to other dimensions, etc.)

Class 10 – Mar 7, 2017 - Expanding the possibilities with your Qi Cultivation

Desired Outcome: Find out what can happen next as you continue your cultivation of Qi.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Sunday, November 6, 2016

No Swearing Here

There are sometimes I'm glad the kiddo's vocabulary is still limited.

The Kiddos Learn new Computer Skills

The two kiddo's took a new computer course.
Bambino (GDQ) intently pays attention to the course material while Bambina (ARQ) initially thinks the mouse is a phone. She tries to call Kansas.

After a while, they both get the hang of this and successfully complete the course.
The next skill for Bambina was to receive a secret message - arriving through the window.

Message received! Bambina messages back with a thumbs-up.

The Bambino's next course was about trains.

Where he got a whole lot of new ideas on what a person can do with trains and imagination.

The computer world is one of wonder and continues to change and expand. It is going to be fascinating to see where these experiences will take the next generation. So far, this is a space they both like to participate in.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Q-style biking

The kiddo has a new hobby - BICYCLING!

It will be fun to see if he follows his dad's path of competing in triathlons, where a person gets to swim 2.4 miles, then bike 112 miles, and THEN run a marathon of 26.2 miles.

Of course, there is also that OTHER Q-path - you know, the one where you get to have a tempting reward of ice cream after the bike ride.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Making Mom's B-day Cake

"What is it we are doing? Making a b-day cake for mom, huh? OK, let's get to work."

"Are you sure this is right? It looks like something else I'm familiar with that is not edible. Wait, let me smell and make sure..."

"Does the recipe really say we are supposed to lick the bowl? Or can we just lick the beater?"

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Sometimes you have to just gaze upward and wait for the answer

"Let me see, how did that song go? Old McDonald had a farm and on his farm he had a____?  Wait, wait! What was it? Oh, yes, he had a DUCK. This is a duck!"

Low-rider jeans

The kiddo likes her low-rider skinny jeans.

Monday, October 24, 2016

At the Pumpkin Patch

It's that time of the year when the kiddo's get to choose a favorite pumpkin.  Here are some comparative photos from this year, and last year.

This year, the Bambino seems to know the ropes and how pumpkin hunting is supposed to go. He jumps right in and starts to evaluate the pumpkins.
Last year he was more cautious, taking time to survey the land and understand how pumpkin choosing works.

This is Bambina's first year where she actually gets to choose her own pumpkin. Last year, she did her pumpkin hunting in a papoose.

But this year, Bambina knows what she wants and how to get things done.
Some may call it hoarding. Others call it being prepared.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

He is out standing in his field

We now really do get to say, "the kiddo really is out standing in his field."

Friday, October 21, 2016

The 3 year old is becoming a soccer player

I love this video. It shows a lot of the Bambino's personality at this stage of life. The kiddo is very focused, driven, and loves completing the requested task or assignment. You can see the joy in his little face while he accomplishes what he was asked to do.


Growing up in Utah, every summer my dad would take us camping to Montana so he could try to find some farmland. On one of those trips, we camped in the midst of wild HUCKLEBERRIES, which thrilled my Dad to no end. We ended up picking the berries and then dad expected mom to preserve them.

"WHAT?  You want me to can this fruit over an open fire?" she asked.
So she did.

They found a store, purchased canning supplies, and mom boiled the bottles and canned the berries out in the open air. (Can you imagine?  She really was a good sport. Or maybe she was afraid of being left in Montana with no ride back to Utah.)

Dad had us continue to pick even more berries to keep this production going, smiling from ear-to-ear, while mom sweated over that hot stove... boiling water... bottling fruit....while on vacation.

This huckleberry event caused such an imprint on me. Whenever I hear about huckleberries, I am taken back to that family moment of picking berries and canning them in the wild. It will forever be etched within me as one of those memories of my dad. This event delighted and pleased him so much that it still makes me smile.

At Mount Hood, there is a little cafe called "The Huckleberry Inn," so obviously I had to stop and have some huckleberry pie. I wanted to see if the berries taste anything like I remember.

And, they do.
Love, and miss you, pops.
Thanks for the memory - and the pie.