Le Tour de Home!


In an attempt to lure you all here to come visit, I will take you now on a virtual tour of our abode. This is a pretty big deal because we never clean it this clean. Maybe I shouldn't be saying that. I just don't like to clean that much-it really is my personality! Cleaning really wears us ENFP's out-there's always something more interesting to do. That being said, Aaron and I romantically attacked this place Valentines' weekend and I just had to take pictures so I could remember this event always.

And just think, if you come to visit, we will break out the big guns and get it back to the way that it looks on the Internet. Really. Just for you. Feel special now, k?

Before we get any further, please understand that we live in a converted apartment (formerly 4 dorm rooms) in a boys dorm. It's wild.

The first room is our living room/music/media room. Yes, those are floating shelves made of vintage books, and my lovely husband did mount our guitars on the wall. The piano was given to us by my grandparents. (see previous post). We both play anything we can get our hands on, and we often just leave our apartment door open to guys to come in to jam.

This is my office. Aaron gets his own office in the dorm so this is where I throw all the bills and papers I don't want to deal with. Since I work from home doing freelance work, I thought that I would use this workspace to get all my stuff done. But it gets a little lonely so I usually work from the couch in the living room.

This is a little embarrassing. We're into vintage photography and cameras and have recently accumulated around 14 or so cameras. Enough to teach a class. We do have a darkroom for processing black and white film, and are just getting that up and running.

Some of our random photos that I taped to the wall for inspiration.

Here's the kitchen, a nice big square kitchen. Most of our stuff was given as gifts (recognize the dish towel, Monika?), or bought at our local Salvation Army. My coffee maker is my favorite part of the kitchen. Only cause it makes me my coffee.

These knives were meant to be with us. Aaron loves knives, I love color, and they're Kuhn Rikon-like our blog. It's so cool. We brought the burly one on the right back with us from Taiwan. It will cut anything. I cut the tip of my thumb off this weekend with my new mandolin slicer. That is not in the picture, and a little off topic-I just thought of it because it still hurts a little to type the spaces.

The fridge is cluttered, but I love it. If you send us a picture, we will attch it to the fridge until it falls off.

This is what I see when I look out my window this week.

This is my dresser made from pecan wood. It's gorgeous and we got the whole set (2 dressers, 2 nightstands) from an old couple in town for around $200. It's the circle of life. Hope we can hang onto them forever. I want to paint them some amazing color but my grounded husband likes them classy.

This is our bedroom. Kingsized bedframe/headboard found on craigslist for $100 and carried home on the roof of my Neon from San Jose. Bam isn't supposed to be on our bed but I used him as my model so he can stay for a little while.

Now you can come visit. We have guest rooms too that I'll feature later on some blog when I have nothing else to write about. In case you didn't know, Northern California is a top-rated destination and there is so much to do here. Think of all the money you'd save by staying with us!

The Scary Internet is Eating Our Children!!!


While working with kids, I often hear complaints from other educators or adults on the dangers of media or how much time these kids are spending on their phones, computers, ipods, and any other portable device. I’ve recently been a part of some very meaningful discussions in how raising kids is like a war between good and evil, only the good side is vastly overwhelmed by all the powers of the bad. It makes me shudder to think about bringing a life into this ever-changing world of evil and danger.

We really do have the odds stacked against us. According to studies by the Kaiser Foundation in 2009, kids between 8 and 18 are averaging 7.5 hours of media consumption per day. Yes, even school days, and much of the time they are multitasking between two or more media devices. So what are they doing during all this time? In my observations, I have seen that most of the media consumption is social. Kids are juggling between facebook and texting and are holding fifteen different conversations with fifteen different people simultaneously. They will reply to a status merely seconds after it was posted. Students at are our school are connected even when the Internet’s out, the electricity is off, and they are room-bound for disciplinary reasons. The guys have already figured out how to reach around the Internet filters with the same method as citizens of China, to access Youtube and Facebook. I see Internet bullying and gossip happening on a daily basis. Kids will write hurtful words on someone’s wall that they would never say to their face. Others stay up until the wee hours of the morning playing video games or texting and barely make it to class the next day.

So the discussions I am hearing by staff around me, the administration, the parents, and teachers are mostly, what do we do now? How do we set up a system that regulates what our kids are watching, consuming, viewing to protect them from all the awful stuff that’s out there? Do we make our Internet filtering system stricter, take away cell phones, march to take down Facebook? Or are we asking ourselves all the wrong questions?

Maybe we should be asking ourselves, how can we instill standards in these students that they will be able to take from here and teach boundaries for a world that is ever changing? What many of us don’t understand is that our way is not real life; theirs’ is. These kids and every generation from here on out will not have lived a day without the Internet or cell phones. Like it or not, mass media and its consumption is here to stay. Yes, in the great battle, the odds are against parents, educators, mentors, and leaders. However, KIDS ARE NOT DUMB! Kids can tell the difference between someone who genuinely takes an interest in them and someone who just wants to enforce a bunch of rules and regulations. I bet you money that if you offer to take a kid to Taco Bell, they would much rather spend time with you than a bunch of fake cyber facebook friends. This year, I’ve discovered that all of these devices are not the enemy. They can be used for good.

As long as adults distance themselves from kids and what they’re into, it will be more and more difficult for them to get a glance into these kids’ lives. Good news, everyone! Kids still have active imaginations! They still get excited about noble causes and are moved to action by youtube documentaries and stories! They are creative and find joy in making projects with their friends. And…kids like you, and want to know you and want to learn from all of those embarrassing stories and mistakes that you made when you were their age. Because when all is said and done, you weren’t so different from them, were you?

So instead of cowering in fear at the Twitter, why not join? Subscribe to these kids’ blogs, comment on them, encourage good writing, or comment on their photos. Let them teach you how it’s done, and then they’ll be willing to take values and lessons from you. I do believe in regulation and giving kids boundaries in their consumption, but this cannot come before a relationship. Rules and regulation must be founded in something deeper. Just ask the creator of those ten commandments.

Luckiest Girl in the World


I hope in 50 years I still feel this lucky to be with you, Aaron. I love you with all my heart and am so so happy to be with you every day of my life.