Some days are like that…

Today was one of those days that PMH, or Present Moment Happiness, figures into with gusto.  No alarm in the morning, an hour’s work in the garden, then the day with good friends, good food and a whole lot of laughter on the delta. It was opening day for boats on Bethel Island after all. And they were out in fine style.And so were the mermaids.

It was one of those fine spring days that masquerade as summer.

Things observed: The sun can make you happy, same for a misting system on the patio, there is nothing like good friends to laugh with, except when those friends can cook well, and being on the water is a really rejuvenating thing. More, more, more said the baby.

March 3, 2012

Yesterday was one of those amazing days that make me realize what Present Moment Happiness is.

A sunny spring day, hanging out with good people, and the ocean.

Things observed: I am very fulfilled at the edge of the continent, I need to be there more often, and I love my family.

Sunny Day in the East Bay

It’s freaking February 9 and it’s absolutely beautiful here in Oakland. Talk about your Present Moment Happiness, I got together with a friend to simply do some art. She had her project, I had mine. It was nice to just sit for a couple of hours and be creative. I worked on a painting that I’d started a while ago and have moved it along nicely. I miss how that sort of thing aligns the brain cells in the unique way it does. Must do more.

Oh, those paints up on the header? They’re David Hockney’s paints. They’re on display at the Pompidou Museum in Paris. Anything is possible if you just get some tools and do some work.

Things noticed: I can spend quite a bit of time on a project in one sitting. I was beginning to wonder. Color is hard. Watercolor is beautiful, unless it’s muddy. And it’s easy, except most of the time when it’s not. And I need to loosen up. Really. And probably in more than painting.

Out and About

First off, let me apologize for how boring that last post was. I was not experiencing PMH when I wrote it, because I was tired. Sorry! I will try to do better today. Shouldn’t be hard, because I got taken on a driving tour by a local this afternoon. Mary Katherine first took me to a wonderful groovy cafe on a tiny street where I ordered quinoa salad and curry carrot soup and no one looked at me funny.

It was delicious. We then drove through the Bywater neighborhood and across a bridge to the Lower Ninth Ward. We first drove through the new housing created by Brad Pitt’s Make It Right project. Surrounding that, though, were empty lots and boarded up houses where residents fled and never came back.



It was really windy, and warm, and beautiful, and eerie.
After the Ninth Ward we went to the levee and stood in the wind by the Mississippi.


Then we drove through the Treme and ended up in a wonderful little book storeat the corner of Ponce de Leon Street and The Esplanade. How cool is that intersection of street names?
Everywhere, people are getting ready for Mardi Gras.

And some houses need no decoration.

All in all, it was a wonderful afternoon and I got a real feeling for the city beyond the French Quarter. Thanks, Mary Katherine!


Self-guided PMH

This afternoon I ditched the booksellers and took myself on a tour of the French Quarter. Lots of pretty buildings, touristy shops, historic markers, miscellaneous museums, street musicians, and art galleries. I saw the mighty Mississippi, too. Also the courthouse, seat of the Louisiana Supreme Court and appellate court.

I wanted to go to the museum in the courthouse but they wouldn’t let me in because I had a camera with me.

The self-guided tour pamphlet said the building above was the first skyscraper in New Orleans. And of course, there was lots of this sort of thing.


On to New Orleans

On Tuesday we embark on a week-long trip to New Orleans! Well after Paris where else really?  It’s time for the American Booksellers’ Assoc. Winter Institute. Three days of educational sessions on how to be a better bookseller and store owner. Can’t wait! Photos and entries to come.

Author Love

It’s a fun day when an author drops by.  The book store, not the house, although that’s fun too, just not today.  Jonathan Auxier, author of the new and wonderful Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes stopped in after a local school visit. His book is getting great reviews and is perfect for kids in about 5th grade and up.

“Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes is the utterly beguiling tale of a ten-year-old blind orphan who has been schooled in a life of thievery. One fateful afternoon, he steals a box from a mysterious traveling haberdasher—a box that contains three pairs of magical eyes. When he tries the first pair, he is instantly transported to a hidden island where he is presented with a special quest: to travel to the dangerous Vanished Kingdom and rescue a people in need. Along with his loyal sidekick—a knight who has been turned into an unfortunate combination of horse and cat—and the magic eyes, he embarks on an unforgettable, swashbuckling adventure to discover his true destiny.”

There’s a great deal of PMH to be had when meeting the person who thought something like this up and made it a real book that kids are going to read and love.

Things observed: Jonathan is a really nice guy. Authors are generally pretty cool.  If authors and booksellers believed all that we’re told about our industry, we wouldn’t do what we do. Thankfully we’re an optimistically  stubborn lot.

Daily Life with Halloween Treats

We went to see Cirque du Soleil’s new show Totem last night. That was an extended bout of Present Moment Happiness! From shopping under the bigtop to holding my breath while the show was going on, it was awesome! I love Cirque, they bring PMH wherever they go. I’m not sure who had the bigger gasps, me or the 10 year old next to me.

Tonight is Halloween though, and I lovelovelove this night. I was something of a slacker with the decorations, but we did grow three beautiful pumpkins that are now on the porch.

This is the largest of the three, and today it’s more orange and dusky than when the pic was taken.  A year ago I’d seen a man at the farmer’s market cut into one of these. Deep orange flesh, and it smelled so very pumpkiny. I don’t know how else to describe it. So I set out to get a plant and grew them in the front yard. Musquee de Provence is the name of this beautiful fruit. Now we have three and I’m determined to make something wonderful from them.  I’m not big on the traditional pie. Might need some suggestions.

Gardening and the things one can grow- pmh for sure.

Things observed: We don’t get many kids for trick or treating, but man are they cute. Emily is fond of spraying them with Silly String. We will need many more cans next year. I love my new clown accessories. I’m glad we don’t have any chocolate left over. Perhaps we should grow more pumpkins next year.