Monday, December 31, 2007

all you need...

2007 threw me a fair handful of curve-balls, and I have to say I never saw a New Year's kiss from a three-legged dog coming. I can't remember the last time I was in bed at midnight on December 31st, but it seems appropriate this year. As amazing as 2007 was, it wore me out.
Here's the last backyard light of the year.
I contemplated adding some best of 2007 photos--Peru, London, Madagascar...but frankly this one says it all. The stars are about to come out and the light is on in the living room.
See you in 2008.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

pie in the sky

Savory pies in New Zealand are a part of everyday life, like two dollar slices in New York or tacos in LA.
They're advertised here outside the 4-Square Supermarket in suburban Cromwell, where I'm living with my sis. Pies aren't just for grabbing on-the-go though, they're also fare for home-cooking, especially when you're feeding a hardworking farmer. Here, Sara shows us how it's done with some leftover chicken.

That's our Grandma Rose's rolling pin. She did her fair share of cooking for farmers in her day too.

Just wait till it's baked...

We ran out of pastry to completely cover the top...

It didn't seem to bother Bella. Here she is grubbing in her wetsuit after we worked up an appetite in the lake down the street.

Us big kids got chard, arugula (here they call it "rocket") and beets from the backyard with our pie. Soon the chickens will be from the yard too. Doug's Christmas present for Sara is a Chook-House ("chook" is Kiwi for chicken) that he's building with recycled materials from his builder buddies. More on that to come...

Here's the view out my bedroom window at 10:30 at night. Those "Endless Summer" guys were really onto something.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

babies and doggies

When my niece, Bella, was tiny we couldn't leave the house without Baby or Doggie--neither of whom was actually a baby or a doggie. Baby is the name of Bella's mangy green blanket and doggie is actually a stuffed leopard. Funny that babies and doggies were comforting to her at such a young age cause it actually doesn't change. My friend Josh Amos still looks up funny videos of puppies and babies on YouTube when he's feeling down. It feels good to be here surrounded by babies and doggies--specifically these four guys you see below.

Bella, my niece, 2 1/2 years old

Maizie, my niece, 9 months old

Lucy, Bella and Maizie's dog

Snoop, our friend Skinner's dog, is staying with us while Skinner is away for Christmas

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

man, our wings are tired

I had a happy stop for a day in San Francisco on my way to NZ. Got to see my Santa Barbara girlfriends in North Beach before I headed back to the airport for the overnight flight to Auckland...


Down the hill into North Beach

Brenna and Deanna at Cafe Pucini (we just ran into Deanna--fate is so kind to us.)

Sleepy plane ride over the south Pacific...
A sunrise layover in Auckland...

Every time I make this trip it feels like a miracle when I finally get off the plane in Queenstown to see the Remarkables--their mountains that sound like a Motown group.

That night, I had a quite a welcoming party. The dogs, Snoop and Lucy, had choreographed a table-top dance for me, which they are performing here. If it looks like Snoop only has three legs, that's cause he has. It does not impede his dancing.

Bella and Maizie's friend, Amy, is quite a talented fairy, and has mastered the art of flying around the backyard. She demonstrates here.
Sorry it's sideways...still getting the hang of this. It's really worth watching if you're in a bad mood though.

bye-bye brooklyn

I made it to my sister's in New Zealand just in time for Christmas. There's my niece Bella with her new yellow digger.

Last Week
They broke ground early one morning, plowing the one patch of nature I could see from my apartment. It was one of many timely signs to head for greener least temporarily.

There was a vacant lot outside my kitchen window with white butterflies in the summertime and a view of the rising moon. Here it is with autumn leaves crawling up the wall across the street.