Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Sombolulated in Sonoma

This weekend we scooted off to Sonoma again for some sun and screen-rest. And a real treat - a special book club meeting at our friend Jean's house.

Book club meeting at Jean's house in Sonoma
Views to the outdoor shower

Some of our book club at Jean's house

Cy under the moon at the Meritage Martini Oyster Bar 

Back home (sorry, should have made the bed) teal jeans, necklace, sweatshirt from McMullen

I've been thinking a lot about blogging lately; both reading and writing. Sometimes I feel at best wistful, at worst rubbish, after reading other dreamy blogs of the perfectly happy, the always "embracing" or the Mamas joyfully baking with their children. (How do I find that gene?) Maybe I'm just the cynical Colleen in the corner, (Alex Baldwin's mum in 30 Rock) who's always searching for the chink in everyone's armour.

Conversely am I just "skiting" (Kiwi for "showing off") when I post pictures of the 1% pretty of my life? Or am I simply sparing you the yucky? The above tranquil photos are just a tiny portion of our weekend - the rest was about feeling ridiculous for paying for an over-priced cramped hotel with loads of sloshed wedding guests - like being trapped at a party you haven't been invited to. (When will we learn that hotels with kids is just expensive camping?)

The reality:  Les Wattle

The reality: kids glued to phones, weekending in the car

While in Sonoma we dropped off our Maltese puppy, Teddy, at a highly recommended "dog camp" as the kids called it, where he'll be for two weeks while I'm away in L.A and Santa Barbara. Teddy knows which side his niblets are buttered and hopped up onto the owner's lap immediately. We bought him a teething bone made of bull's penis tendons, hovered around sadly for as long as was decent, and drifted off, peering through the fence for glimpses of him. It was harder than leaving my first child at nursery school. "I miss Teddy so much..." "I wonder what Teddy is thinking now..."And that was just me and Kevin...

I've been sad too because the fantabulous Kiwi writer, Margaret Mahy died last week. She was described in obits as a childrens' author but I think I love her stories even more than my kids do. She lived next door to us in small-town Whakatane and my Dad worked for her family's bridge-building firm. Margaret Mahy was a genuine star, a single mother bringing up two children. She dressed in feathers and wild frocks to read her stories in local libraries. Her characters defied every cliche without ever being studied or PC in a self-conscious or preachy way. Just two are The Man Whose Mother Was A Pirate about a fearful accountant whose mum takes him back to meet some of her old pirate mates and Keeping House, the tale of Lizzie Firkin, a messy trombone player and the dashing young "Wonder Housekeeper" Robin Puckertucker who loves to clean.

Life is not a blog. Sometimes it's murky and growly and sad and boring and we need writers like Margaret Mahy to remind us of "surprises that lurk in the heart of everything" and that even washing machines can become "discombobulated" and take on their own fantastical life.

We returned home to a huge blip on my credit card - video downloads for.... Porn Stars? Just about to cancel my credit card when we realised The High Schooler (who had stayed at home) had downloaded Pawn Stars, a reality show about a crazy family who own a pawn shop in Vegas which specialises in ...historical stuff.  We found The High Schooler totally fired up about canons and rifles from the Civil War.

This morning I had a spring in my step as I dropped two of my kids at a soccer camp (three of my four kids have stayed home with me alldayallsummerlong - we're talking 10 weeks - what was I thinking?) So today I had two hours by myself. To be a Pirate. Or just have a quiet latte. But not to do a Puckertucker. (Sorry Robin)


  1. It sounds like you are having a fabulous summer even with 3 of the 4 kids running around. ;) Every time I read your posts I want to move back to the bay area.

  2. Too funny what you say about other's blogs. I think about that a lot. Because to me your blog is about your fabulous life and exotic travels, weekends away, cool house and awesome clothes - and I want that!
    But I always love your perspective on the reality of things like over priced resorts and reluctant kids. And I can't believe your kids were home all summer. I thought I was the only one not booking back-to-back camps.

  3. Well, you know, life is just so "daily," isn't it. Lot's of jeans and t-shirts days, occasionally a tuxedo (though I haven't worn one of those since I left university, a "few" years ago).

    Off to Sonoma for book club. Such a tough assignment; such a trouper you are! And the kinds having to hang out in a hotel or the back of the vehicle. And Poor teddy!

    Blessings and Bear hugs in the ordinary!

  4. You look so cool in that photo of you in the jeans. Even if the bed isn't made (and who cares anyway?).

    I love the outside shower, does it produce warm water too?

    I tend not to read young child mummy blogs any more. My kids are older and we do different things and they are more independent so want to do less stuff with me (unless it's taking them shopping for airguns, clothes, XBox games, new phones, etc).

    I like hearing about stroppy teens and awkward preteens. That's my life too.

  5. I think you look great, hard to believe you've had 4 kids! You must be a very busy woman. I hate leaving my little pup behind as well. I never read any of those My Life is Perfect blogs, because 'perfect' can be perfectly dull.

  6. Loved the pictures of reality!
    Honest blogs are the way to go xx

  7. I guess blogging about pretty things and happy times is a way of keeping hold of them a bit longer..... certainly 90% of my life is mostly about cleaning stuff and too many evenings spent on my own. I'm quite envious of your four noisy children at home!

    You look beautiful in your jeans and about 19. Oh I'm sorry to hear about your friend. It must have been wonderful to know someone so talented - the books look terrific! xxx

  8. I love the honesty. Sometimes we have good days and some days we have to photo edit. I keep my face out of it to ensure a good photo ;o) But you totally rock the jeans and top combo. No one has a perfect life but I have to say, yours still looks pretty good!

  9. When my life is just ordinary I cannot write about it. A bit like taking photographs of the everyday. We want to remember the best bits be they funny, scary or just worth it. I wonder if anyone would read my ordinary life! I love yours not just because of the best bits because you write so well whether it is the best bits or not!

  10. Heavenly place for a book meet.
    Your reality brought me up sharp as a blogging friend - who I haven't seen for three years - is coming soon to take photos of me - who is as old as the hills. Help!

  11. I never write the yukky bits of my life on my blog.... hence I haven't posted in over a month!!

  12. You are right Jody! Life is kinda boring .. we try to show and tell the nice stuff. Looks like a great weekend and your friends yard is lovely - perfect spot for a girls lunch/book club.

    (so funny about the pawn/porn! been there!)


  13. I think you strike the right balance with your blog - love the style and glamour, but there's always a sense of humour to your posts.

    My kids are about to finish summer camp, no idea how I'm going to cope for the next few weeks....

  14. I think it is nice to blog the interesting and exciting--- not the mundane. Seriously, my mundane is painfully mundane.... I wouldn't want to subject anyone to this- lest they may slip into a coma!

    Life is pretty and ugly and I think you share the interesting bits from both with a sense of humor!

  15. My entire blog (as you well know) is predicated on all the crap that comes my way, my feckless children, largely absent workaholic husband and criminally-minded cat....Where did I go wrong? I find it impossible to write about hearts and flowers and anything with the word "Mummy" in the title makes me gag! I'm just a sad old cynic but I hope that makes you feel better!!

  16. Your blog always makes me smile, regardless of the topic. Your book club sounds and looks great - we had a book club meeting last week where we started with Pimms and croquet on the lawn by the river, I wish they were all that good; and we managed 5 minutes chat about the book too! ;)
    Hope you get many more "quiet lattes"

  17. Hahah you always make me laugh! You always manage to balance the beauty of your life...I mean your home is just magnificent and you have such a full and lovely life, wonderful family, fabulous friends {who have fabulous homes as well, I have to add}, amazing parties and events. And then you show the not so "blog perfect" parts. The reality of life and that is beyond refreshing :) xoxo

  18. We buy Bully Sticks in bulk at Costco. The smell is enough to make me hurl, but the dogs love them so much. it is so hard leaving your pups behind. I always wish that I could explain that I was coming back.


  19. Great post. I don't have that gene either, and I'm about to go crazy. I miss my alone time. You have the best figure. Jealous.

  20. I am sure you could bake with your kids if you really wanted but most of us could not cycle through the Pirreneas :) you have a fabulous life and this is nothing tone ashamed of that does not mean perfect of course. You know just the thought of FOUR children makes my head spin neveind the baking. Love your sense of humor, I guess I am an old cynic too.

  21. Oh Jody, you make everyday life more enjoyable! I don't believe there are any "Perfect" homemakers. Just all of us that try our best and that includes you too!!
    You always make me laugh with your wonderful sense of humor!
    Love Di ♥

  22. Jody I can see why you'd be sad that Margaret Mahy passed away. I don't know her books but they sound wonderful. And I'm often bewildered by the "dreamy" blogs too--life is so not dreamy for the most part and when it's really good, who wants to be at a computer blogging? Ha! Anyway, hope you have a great time in LA and SB and take some time for daydreaming over lattes!
    xo Mary Jo

  23. You ARE genuine .... and very funny ! Personally, I don't give a hoot about being a perfect housewife ; I don't even try !xx

  24. I hope it wasn't me ( the perfect housewife) that you were talking about.
    just kidding!!!
    life is sometimes up, sometimes down for all of us..right?! that's what makes the up times so much better!

  25. I think it's interesting what others chose to put in or leave out of their blogs. Whether we focus on the funny, grizzly, emotional, or political, for personal, artistic or career ends: we are all starting with the same raw material: life.

  26. I took the kids over to Sonoma on saturday for lunch with Vinogirl, what a great place.

  27. What a fun book club! I've always wanted to be in a book club, but it hasn't happened yet. So this summer, i created a mini-book club with each of my children. We've all loved it!

  28. wow, her house is absolutely beautiful! i wish there was a book club around here i can join. ;)

    <3, Mimi
    Twisted Orchid Giveaway -- Win any bag of your choice! :)

  29. What a great spot for a book club - looks so relaxing there! Another great and varied post!

  30. That's what I love about you, Jody. You keep it real. While I'm all for pretty blogs with pretty clothes but after a while, the superficiality of it all gets to me. Speaking of which, I've got just the one kid but like you, itsalldayallsummer long. *sigh*

  31. Gosh, your life looks so glamorous (I'll excuse the unmade bed).
    Nice to see that kids are the same the world over.
    You: "Look at that glorious scenery"
    Kids: "Ughm"
    You: "What beautiful lakes"
    Kids: "Ughm"
    You: "Oh, look, a Grizzly Bear"
    Kids: "Mum, I'm texting, leave me alone"

    Bless their little cotton socks.

    How is the Angel stuff working?
    Is Teddy still leaving brown stains on his coat?

  32. I love the way you show us the real stuff in life Jody....warts and all....makes you even more likable!

  33. No, life's not all pretty pretty.
    I posted pictures of our beautiful vacation away at the beach last week but left out the ones where I snapped at my kids and my mother. Tsk'ed tsk'ed at my drunk husband napping at 5pm only to fall asleep on the floor myself a few glasses of wine later.
    If only someone had captured those moments on camera.... ;)

  34. Thanks Jody for the reality check! We post all these cute pics, but the truth is we are really a mess! You're right about expensive hotels rooms! Our kids also have their heads in their phones. We could have saved the money and stayed home! I've got the wattle too and it's getting worse. You can't see yours! That picture angle would make anyone look bad.

    Funny thing about Pawn Stars- my parents got my sons addicted to it! My mom keeps telling me the kids are learning history! ;)

    Love your blog Jody!


  35. I love to read about the glamorous parts of your life and the down to earth bits. I think once you worry too much about whether to post something for fear of people thinking you might be showing off, then the blog isn't the real you. I used to worry that if I wrote too much about some of the fab holidays we have, it might put off people who aren't so fortunate. But then I realised that if I censored my blog in such a way, it would be pointless having it in the first place. Your style of writing is so tongue in cheek and self deprecating, no-one could accuse you of showing off anyway.

  36. ahhh love this post - I often feel that way too about other blogs and how glamorous life seems. And then as I look down at baby food covered t shirt and I realize that these other people have these moments too - they just photograph and blog the *other* ones... ;)

  37. You are always perfectly down to earth which is why we all adore you!! I struggle with that same issue and often wonder if people will hate me for sharing the better bits. Truth be told, though, life is good. Not perfect, but good. And why preserve or linger on the bad bits.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...