maggie and millie and mollie and may
went down to the beach to play one day
and maggie discovered a shell that sang
so sweetly she couldn’t remember her troubles
and millie befriended a stranded star
whose rays five languid fingers were
and mollie was chased by a horrible thing
which ran sideways while blowing bubbles
and may came home with a smooth round stone
as small as a world and as large as alone
for whatever it is like a you or a me
it’s always ourselves we find at the sea.

e.e. cummings


Merry Christmas!

And Happy New Year 2011!

Made in Nature

Friend KJ makes some pretty amazing t-shirts.  She uses organic bamboo whenever possible, and environmentally friendly dyes.

We like the anglerfish, torrey pine, and the whale.  She’s also at lots of farmer’s markets in La Jolla and Del Mar.

Here’s a link to the website:

HOA letter – I don’t want to be confrontational, but…

Please appreciate the letter sent to me by our HOA’s president:


Dear Hallie,

As you are aware, the board over the last year or so has been trying diligently to cleanup and add value to our CVI community by (1) expending significant reserve funds to paint the entire community and (2) trying to impose a fine structure so that we can enforce our rules and regulations. We have done well with our painting of the community but have yet to make any substantial gains towards getting a fine structure in place. That being said, we as board members need to do other things to try to ensure that the rules and regulations of the community are upheld so that all residents can enjoy a quiet and beautiful community.

One way we can do this is by leading by example, which would mean that we as board members would abide by all the rules and regulations of the community.  If we as board members do not follow the rules and regulations of the community, how can we expect renters and other homeowners to follow them? So, it is imperative that we set an example and follow the rules and regulations.

Thus, I am requesting that you please follow our rules and regulations and as soon as possible rectify your current violations or our rules and regulations and remove the following:

1. Having a planter pot on the edge of your balcony where you have your outside storage (This rule is there to ensure we keep the paint and structure of the balcony intact and to ensure safety of the community from the pot falling off the ledge)
2. Having more than two pots on your entry way to your home (This rule is there for aesthetics and to protect the coating that is on your entry way)
3. The two yellow tables that hold pots in your entry way (This is for uniformity and aesthetics)
4. The Christmas lights (While I hate asking this because I love Christmas, this rule is there to respect the religious views of others as well as ensure uniformity and aesthetics.
(The bird feeder on your front tree and the blue curtains in your window, I think are violations too, but, I would have to verify this in the rule book as it has been awhile since I reviewed it.)

I am sorry that I had to write this email as it seems somewhat confrontational, but, that is really not my intention. My intention of this email is to get my community looking great. We just spent over $150K to paint our community, and it would be nice if we could keep its aesthetic value for some time.

If for some reason, you do not have a rules and regulations book and are unaware of the rules and regulations, Co-Lee can get you a copy. This goes for all of us. We should all be following the rules and regulations, so, if anyone else on the board has violations, please consider the impact it has and the message it sends to your non-board member neighbors. Please rectify them asap as well. I know I tried to be the epitome of a rule follower when I lived there and I now ensure my renters follow the rules as I gave them my book and wrote it into my lease. I check up on them often as well to ensure they are keeping my community looking good.

Thank you for your time and consideration of this very important matter.



Ode to the holidays

The holidays are here, there’s no escape

From piles of wrapping paper and tape,

Christmas cards and the dreaded letters

Detailing the Smith family’s every get-together;

Crowds flock to Walmart, Target and the mall

To find the right gift for big and small,

There is of course one stop necessary

To see the fat man so jolly and cheery,

On Santa’s knee children clamor

For a bike, bb gun, or toy hammer

With bearded wisdom he nods and winks

To let the good boys and girls know what he thinks,

Unfortunately not all who pass across his knee

Exhibit the same form of glee.

Poor poor Eleonor, who screamed and resisted

Despite her parents who grudgingly insisted,

She squirmed and she screamed and she let us all know

That she did not trust this man with the beard white as snow.

But despite Eleonor’s deep-seated Santa fear,

She still wishes you all the best for the new year.

Mojitos, grilling and sand between the toes

The season is upon us.  Summer.  Backyard grills are being fired up, blenders are whirring with ice and tequila, and personal space at the beach is rapidly diminishing as crowds flock to enjoy a California summer.  And it’s predicted to be a hot one too, thank you La Nina.  So here’s a couple recipes to celebrate the arrival of summer. 


We made mojitos last night.  Super easy cocktail, and super refreshing.  Here’s what we did. 

Start with fresh mint (easy to grow too), white sugar, and fresh squeezed lime juice.  Using the handle end of a wooden spoon, crush it all together at the bottom of the glass. 

Take a bag of ice cubes, wrap them in a dish towel and whack them on any hard surface to make your ice chips.  Add the ice to the glass.  Pour desired amount of rum and Perrier or any other sparkling water over ice cubes.  Stir and enjoy.


Making this tonight.  Thinly slice yellow and green squash and fill baking dish.  Drizzle with olive oil and herbes de provence (rosemary, thyme, oregano).  Mix.  Sprinkle grated parmesan or asiago cheese on top.  Bake at 375 for 30-60 minutes, depending if you like crunchier or softer veggies.

Who says southern California has crowded surf?

The glare of the computer screen dries out my eyes.  I rub them and adjust my glasses.

What time is it?  Ten more minutes and then I can slip out the back door.  Butterflies flit and flutter in my stomach, the excitement and adrenaline mounts. Almost as if I’m about to skip school.

I read emails with an air of seriousness, hunched over the keyboard.  But hiding behind the window is the browser with the surf forecast open.  Oh Surfline, please say it’s onshore and poor.  Oh please Bird from South Coast Surf Shop, tell those FM94.9 listeners to go for a bike ride, it’s just not worth it.  Oh please let the whole North County decide a surf just isn’t worth it today.

The forecast calls for small and poor conditions.  Perfect.

The clock hits twelve.  I weave through the maze of cubicles,  jump in the car and push legal driving techniques til I pull into the parking lot.  A couple of black forms bob in the grey-blue ocean, its surface slightly textured.  A set begins to feel the bottom.  I’m already ripping my jeans off and wiggling into my wetsuit.  A glance over the open trunk reveals a wave ridden all the way into the inside.  Small but not poor.  Definitely worth more than a bike ride.

I paddle out as a couple guys paddle in.  No one else out.  A little set takes shape over the fingers of the reef.  Quick repositioning to the peak.  The wave stands up and offers up a long wall, small but punchy enough.   All the way to the inside.  The next one goes right, softer but still peely.  After a while, I get that gut feeling.  Lunch is over.  But the tide’s dropping now, and it’s getting better.  And still no one’s out.  I scrape into a little one, float the end section and belly in to the beach.  Running back up the cliff, I turn around one more time.  A perfect head-high set rolls through.  And still no one’s out.  Thanks Surfline.

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