28 January, 2015  |   3 Comments

Linking Log


I wrote some things on the internet:
Oh hey! I wrote this piece about gossip and how I try to avoid it.

I also wrote about 3 healthy, cozy meals for couples.

We are eager to put the children to bed to watch:
Mozart in the Jungle – a fascinating fictional look inside the New York Symphony with eye candy and Malcolm McDowell. It makes James and I reminisce about the art we never took seriously enough.

Orphan Black, Season 2 – we cut out the cable this month and invested in a few shows that we otherwise wouldn’t have. I am in complete admiration of the job that … does with this character.

I just thought these were interesting:
How Leslie Jones got to Ghostbusters – She’s my absolute favorite SNL cast member and I couldn’t be happier to see this! Hooray! Hooray!

How to make the best Jalapeno poppers – Even though our family took this year off of the NFL, I’m not above checking out y’alls Superbowl snack links. Three cheers to Serious Eats for some great tips!

9 January, 2015  |   4 Comments

Pantry Unmessening

Apartment Therapy is featuring their January Cure. And since the Whole 30 wasn’t enough January obnoxiousness, I’m now dragging my home into it.

Wednesday’s task?
Clean and organize my pantry.

Ready to judge me?
Especially about that jug o’Crisco?


Judge away! This is my pantry, before.

I found 3 boxes of cake-cup ice cream cones, three (THREE?) bags of oyster crackers and had to come to terms with the fact that I’m a person who has 6 different kinds of salt.
(The judging comes full circle.)


Angels sing after my pantry gets the treatment

Dry food storage in American kitchens can be way too spacious, way too dark and way too sticky. Mine is all three.

Three things I learned from cleaning my pantry this week

1. Wait until I’m in the mood to toss.
If I’m in a mood where I’m feeling scrimpy or under-resourced, I will spend all my time consolidating Turmeric jars. Today I was in the mood to toss and my kitchen thanks me for it.

2. Organize for the person I am, not the person I want to be.
My pantry needs to have snacks at kid level. I need to be able to grab a bay leaf without looking and everything I put in a mason jar just for looks will go bad. I also love Penzeys Spices more than the average bear.

3. Forgive myself and do better
I feel pretty terrible about the entire garbage bag of wasted, expired, stale food I threw out. I can do better. I will do better.

The more I live, the more I know what works for me. I’m thrilled to have a program to follow – just as long as I don’t read the comments.
(Never read the comments.)

Play along! I want to see (judge) your pantry too!

8 January, 2015  |   5 Comments

Things I did right: House Plants

Something The Olds told me when I was growing up is that the biggest lesson I’ll learn is how little I know.

As usual, the Olds were right.

In my head, I consider myself a master gardener.
In my head, I’m green thumbed. wizard.
My soul teacher at Hogwarts (besides Emma Thompson) is Miss Sprout.
I’m green-kneeed overalls and dirty fingernails.

In reality, I’m a plant murderess.
Well, I WAS a plant murderess.
Until 2014.

Last year was the first year I have kept house plants alive for any more than two months. And I couldn’t be prouder.

Let me introduce my toddlers.

This one I call The Countess, she’s been with me the longest (1/2/2014) and holds her own on top of the piano. She always tells me what I need and for that, I love her.
The Countess

These are Fern and Oates. Fern had a rocky start, fpr a while this summer, I’d put her outside in the droughty-burny sun for two weeks and failed to water her. But it turns out, she just wanted to be close to Oates. She’s doing much better now.
Fern and Oates

Meet Lil’ Ivy. She went outside with Fern at the same, dreadful time and survived. This means she gives me strength during my workday.
Lil Ivy

Lady sits in our bedroom, she closes up when the sun goes down, all respectful of sexytimes. Thanks Lady!

In a quest for her right spot, Lucy has been all over our house. I’d call her a nomadic plant, if such a thing existed. Now, she sits atop her stand in my office.

It’s embarrassing to admit, but she fills me with cheer.

The next two plants are still unnamed. I got them in the last month and I don’t know them well yet, but I like them. Justina Blakeney recommended the fishhook succulent here — and she knows of what she speaks. Won’t you help me name her? I think a name probably came right to your mind when you looked at this photo.
Still Unnamed

This guy mans the remote basket and so far has done an exemplary job. He remains unnamed as well and would appreciate your ideas.


Plants! I kept some alive!
Let’s hear it for doing some things right in 2014!


6 January, 2015  |   4 Comments

Peak Tipping Point

I’m turning forty this year.
I turn forty this year.
I’m not forty yet, but
I turn forty this year.

Lordy. Lordy.

#tbt Favorite vacation bartender.

I’m fully middle-aged. Much to polite conversation’s dismay, I do not want to live past eighty. That means that this year counts as my actual tipping point. From here on out, I’m really headed toward the end.

(And in a weird way, I’m thrilled about it.)

Recently, my favorite radio show, To The Best of our Knowledge, produced a wildly compelling five part series about death. I was thrilled/horrified.

The frank way the experts spoke about the practical [Read: We are ALL going to die and there’s a big industry looking to make it even stranger] was nothing less than a revelation.

I’m unprepared for it and yet totally welcoming of it.
You’re probably unprepared for it as well.
Unless you are, and then I want to hear all about it.

31 December, 2014  |   2 Comments

2014, 2015, Resolutions, Resolvations


2014 started with my parents here for 3 months. We played cards, ate lunch and hugged a lot. That said, working full-time while taking care of parents and raising a 4 and 5 year old was rough as all get out.

We loved really big to make up for all the stress.

Grandma Grandpa

After my parents left, James, Nora, Dorothy and I went to Disneyland. It was the best vacation we’ve ever taken. Bonus points for getting to see the Howertons and Pamie.

Southern California, you make us hug people while wearing bathing suits.

Disneyland 2014

Then I quit my job.

It was for the best — that said, it was the most fulfilling, most interesting job I’d ever had, with some of my favorite people.

My family is all the better for it. I am too.
(But that doesn’t mean I don’t miss those marvelous people every day.)

We're married

I took a new job for 60 more days but it wasn’t a good fit.
(So I quit that one too. It’s okay. That happens sometimes.)

Artwork 2014

I was lucky enough to find a new job that is the perfect fit.
(I’m cheering on the wine industry again.)

So Helen Jane, why did you get back into the wine industry? @SFWSpiritsComp @ninerwineestates

Y&YY changed me in ways I’m still figuring out — if only to remind me to RELAX THE GRIP, HJ.

#RVIP #yxyy Winter Wonderland Prom. I missed this vehicle.

Nora Lea’s Lego Birthday happened in the middle of a crazy family stomach flu. I’m proud we all soldiered through.

Nora Lea's Lego Party

Our family attended an amazing wedding. Our daughters were lucky enough to be flower girls, and we were lucky enough to share in a community that prides itself on hospitality and love. (Also: CHAMPAGNE TOWER!)

We are in love with love. #eronimo

We hosted the Eighth or Ninth Annual Thursday Night Bocce Chili Cookoff and it was the best one yet.
Everyone's a critic

I gave up the NFL — it was embarrassingly hard for me. This sounds silly, but I can’t deal with the current culture, and I hope if enough of us follow, we can affect some cultural change. We’re getting into rugby and soccer — join us!

Oh, I love this man of mine. Also, Go Pack Go!

Bridge Brigade. We started playing bridge! A weird group of people looking to get a head start on the rest of you aging fools! You should try it! It’s hard and fun, like most worthwhile things.

Oh My God You Guys Bridge Is So Hard But Still Worthwhile And Not Just Because Of The Snacks.

Our family visited Green Bay, helping my parents wrap up the chapter of their lives in their big house and move into an assisted living apartment. Man, I love those guys. It was a hectic trip, filled with tons of fried foods and an unhealthy amount of time spent in my college sketchbooks.

James and family

We always love our town’s Harvest Festival. Three cheers for community spirit!St. Helena Pet Parade

This year, we did a family Halloween costume. Dorothy put Nora Lea to sleep for at least 10 hours.
The royal family says, "Hey." Thanks to @kerrygirvs for the pics!

After a fantastic visit from amazing friends, our weird Computer Engineer Barbie book got some attention — that culminated in our family’s first Good Morning America appearance. When I heard it as a Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me question, I knew that we had dug up something special.

Steven and Brian have to help me with ALL my computer engineering

That said, Computer Engineer Barbie also put the fear of the media and the current state of Internet Mob Rule in my heart. I also gained a hearty terror about what I’ve made public vs. what I’ve made private. How vulnerable am I, having put the last 17 years of my life online?

Am I exploiting my children? Am I just sharing? Who the hell do I think I am to speak in this place? Where is this place – that is at once private and public? What rules exist and why don’t I know them? How easy is it to misrepresent, steal and twist?

Let’s just say that 2015 is the year I become a self-made Information Superhighway cartographer.

THEN, we hosted our annual week of ragers — kicking off 2014’s holiday season with a KABLOWBY Thanksgiving/Holiday Cocktail Party/Dorothy’s Birthday Party extravaganza.

The headless squirrel is step three of the Thanksgiving ritual

Holiday Cocktail Wig Party.
The Annual Hearn Holiday Cocktail Party

Dorothy’s Birthday Party.
Dorothy Turns Five!

And after a relaxing Christmas, you’ll find us here, counting up our blessings.

This Christmas, I've struggled a ton with myths, rituals and beliefs.   That said, there is comfort in just going with what you were raised with.

We discovered we’re privileged as heck.

In 2015, I’m determined to do more to right some inequalities. It’s just embarrassing how much I benefit from those inequalities. I’m also doing more healthy stuff, aren’t you?

I’m pleased to say that like I resolved for 2014, I kept most of my house plants alive. Soon, I’ll be a full-fledged grown up.

I hope your 2015 starts off with the best intentions.
I know you have them.

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