Halloween Special

Almost Halloween!

I’ve always loved Halloween, dressing up, being out at night, getting candy, getting scared, what more could you ask for? This year Truman is going to be a ninja and Amelia is going to be an Eskimo. I’m glad they don’t want to be anything gory yet because they can be a bit morbid.

They’re mostly just silly.

I really wanted to be a giant chicken or a penguin to go with Amelia’s costume, but they’re expensive and I just don’t feel like making a costume.

There was a time when my job, well one of my jobs, was to dress up as a giant teddy bear and deliver little teddy bears and balloons to people. It was called, a Bear-O-Gram (genius).

I secretly loved this. It was so freeing to put on a giant two piece animal costume and walk through places like hospitals, retirement homes, and schools. Nobody frowns at a giant teddy bear, and those places need smiles. Everyone says, “hey a bear!”, and then you can respond with not very witty things like, “hey people!”. I was not required to sing, but I could be easily persuaded to belt out a “Happy Birthday”, or really any song, if asked. Maybe I should get one of those costumes again and go hang out where smiles are needed.

Looks like the silly doesn’t fall far from the tree.


Me Feel It All

Not only is that an awesome video, but it used to be Truman’s favorite song. I believe he was 3 almost 4 years old when he loved this song. At the time he only spoke caveman, and refused to use proper pronouns correctly. I loved that phase, I was a bit sad when he started using proper grammar. Truman’s version of this song was, “Me Feel It All”!

This was around the same time he wrote his now infamous song, “Us Can Do Whatever Us Wants” in our friends backyard with a ukulele in hand. On the Pony Express car of the Railroad Revival Train, he cleverly brought this song back into rotation when he got his turn on the microphone and it quickly became the theme of the entire tour. And it was true.

But today, me feel it all is my theme. I feel like I’ve gotten a brand new beginning starting NOW, and it all feels great. Finally out of my moving to Texas hermit phase, into life! Maybe it’s my new bangs.

photo by Amelia Conway (photo bomb bunny ears by Truman Conway)

Lesson of the day: Grammar is great, but meaning is more.

Photo Essay From A Big Blue Bus

A bit lonely in the house. The kids are in school, David is back in LA working, the dishes are done, the floor is swept, the cats are fed, and there’s a load of laundry swirling around in the wash machine. I am California Dreaming…

Several months ago, when we still resided in Los Angeles, we took a family bus trip into Santa Monica from Venice. The Santa Monica bus line is called The Big Blue Bus. I believe we were going to see a movie on the 3rd Street Promenade. Truman wanted to document this trip with pictures taken on my iPhone. Here is the result:

Lesson of the day: Remember what it was like to be a child, when everything was fascinating.

Brave Mouse

Directed by the sweet and talented Charlyne Yi

DP – Colin Rich
Edited by Ryan Brown

Starring: Truman Conway, Matthew Patrick Davis,

(the Elephant): Roxy Radulescu & Wil Donegan
Costumes & props: Charlyne Yi, Valeen Yi, & Kerry Hennessy

Deer Blind

There are a lot of deer around here.

A lot.

The kids have started a new game, which is basically called “how close can we get to a deer”. For Truman the goal is  to get close so he can shoot a deer with his bow and arrow. For Amelia it is to get close enough to get a video of deer on her Flip camera (given to her by her number zero friend Hilary. Zero is the new number one.). They have both been successful, but Truman only got a deer in the leg and his arrow is about as sharp as an apple.

The latest tactic is to put food out for the deer and then hide and wait. They built this deer blind out of one of our moving boxes.

They’re usually too noisy and restless for the deer to get too close to them. The poor deer are starving, though and will try to get to the food for quite some time. Then a buck snorts and  all the deer scatter. Buck snorts sound like an old man sneezing. There’s a town in Tennessee called Bucksnort.

Lesson for the day: Sometimes being still and saying less can get you more.

Wild Cat In London

Our cats have had personality changes since we’ve moved to Texas. Sugar Shug used to be our prowler, a real Tom Cat. We never knew where he was most of the day in Venice. He only came home in the morning to complain about his food dish being empty, sometimes in the evening to sleep someplace soft, and usually when it rained. Often he returned home with battle wounds, which have left him with two rips in his ear. But Sugar Shug  is not having this Texas heat.  He hardly goes outside at all.

Our younger kitty, London, a sweet little girl, barely a year old, has become our wild cat. She is now an explorer, a hunter and a mad tree climber. She has caught at least two scorpions, several spiders, a massive grasshopper, and this lizard:

She chewed it’s back leg off, but left it alive. Truman disposed of it outside. He is in charge of all things I consider gross in the house including, insects, spiders, lizards, and whatever other weird Texas creatures decide to come inside (please dont’ let it be snakes!).

London likes to go with me when I put food out for the deer in the back field.

She stalks the deer after they get their food.

She hides in the tall grasses and pretends to be a little lion.

Then she comes back in the yard and rolls in the dirt.

But I do not want to misrepresent her, she is still a lady and likes to lie out by the pool,

And sip tea.

I’ve been concerned that the children were becoming more like Sugar Shug, just wanting to stay indoors, out of the heat. They’ve been choosing computer games and Wii over imagination and physical activity. As an attempt to rememdy their lack of outdoor enthusiasm, yesterday evening I dared them to jump into the pool with their clothes on.

They took that dare, but with the stipulation that I had to go first. We all had enough fun to turn our dare into a night swim, which is one of the most magical times in our backyard. I can’t help but remember to be grateful when I look around and see my kids playing one of their bizzare make believe games under the big Texas sky with so many stars and a bright sliver of moon shining down on us.

Lesson of the day: Sometimes you have to be a little wild and daring.

I Go Out Walking

Today I decided to explore the 2,000 acres behind our house. I have been walking around the neighborhood after the bus takes the kids away, but I was feeling like an adventure today. I got on my trusty pink boots and a walking stick and headed out.

First I saw the usual deer family in the field. We have been giving them food and water so they are used to us. The deer are starving and dying from this severe drought and heat we’re having here in Texas. I was surprised at how aggressive they are with each other, I always thought of deer as mild creatures. A doe will stomp at another doe when eating the corn and kitchen scraps we put out. A few days ago we saw two young bucks rearing up on their back legs and kicking with their front hooves at each other over the food. It’s desperate for all the wildlife here. A hawk was just having a bath in our pool. It was a beautiful creature. Our cats were pressed against the glass doors, tails twitching furiously, watching it.

The catcus are doing OK.

There’s an abandoned farm out there. It is the kind of place I dreamed of finding with my brother when we were kids. We did find an old fort some older kids had left behind, and some empty railroad cars we could explore. What we did not have were poisonous snakes, which is why I brought the walking stick and made sure to poke around in the tall grasses and other suspicious places before moving on. David taught the kids and I that, and how we can eat the red fruit from the cactus if we’re lost and starving.

I can’t help but want to take those old doors and make something out of them. What can I make with all that lumber? Excellent raised garden beds I bet.

This fireplace was made right. It carries on strong and proud. The foundation and the fireplace are all that is left of this little farmhouse. There are cactus where furniture used to be, scorpions instead of people.

The dawn light makes this lost place magical.

I wonder what happened to the people who built all of this. All the labor and care is lost, nature and time crowd in and swallow their history.

It is interesting to me that the barns, the animal shelters, have outlasted the human home. Maybe these people didn’t plan on staying.

This cow got left behind. All that’s left is a hard leather bag of skin loosely holding it’s bones.

Lesson of the day: Taking the road less traveled can reveal new worlds.