Twelve dancing princesses


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I came home from my Tuesday visit to the library with a smaller than usual, but typically eclectic stack of books: Treasures of the Civil War, legendary leaders who shaped a war and a nation (commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg); Weed Land, inside America’s marijuana epicenter and how pot went legit, by Peter Hecht; and The Girls at the Kingfisher Club, a slender little novel by Genevieve Valentine.

I started reading Weed Land and was immediately caught up in the turf war between the Feds, state laws, the work being done on so many fronts to bring medical marijuana to those who are suffering incredibly, those who simply want to get high, and the entrepreneurs who see a booming marketplace. The Girls at the Kingfisher Club was to be a little “light reading” among all the heavy stuff…until I picked it up and couldn’t put it down.

I read into the wee hours this morning, finally stopping after dropping the book on my head as I fell asleep. This story of 12 sisters who stole out of their home in the middle of the night to go dancing, moving from speakeasy to speakeasy avoiding the law, is a captivating retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses — but better! Set in Jazz Age New York, it explores love, sisterhood, and freedom.

It is lovely.

World Series Champs (again!!!)


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Tonight as I watched game seven of the World Series here at home, wanting more than anything to simply watch in peace and quiet, Olivia wanted to play Lalaloopsies and Lily decided she needed me to explain baseball to her. Sigh…So I helped the Ponies talk to the Loopsies and tried to explain the basics to Lily without missing any of the action myself. Challenging, at best!

Olivia already understood how to read the scoreboard, and knew that we were the “orange guys”. And Lily finally determined that if a hitter got to Fourth Base his team would get a point. (That’s Home Plate and a run, I explained.) Both girls were already Pablo Sandoval fans, since I brought them home the Panda hat from a Giants game three years ago. They watched every time he came up to bat, and thrilled each time he got a hit.

Then came the Ninth Inning. By the bottom of the Ninth, the three of us were counting strikes and balls together, practically tasting the win. Then came the Royals’ final hit, and the Panda’s amazing catch and flat on his back flop. We cheered, we yelled, we cheered some more. Then Olivia ran to the garage to tell her parents the Giants had won the World Series (they were watching the game out there, too, of course).

We watched the trophy presentations and the player interviews. After the interview with Sandoval, Olivia announced in her best four-year-old fashion, “I want to kiss him!” Then she jumped up and squealed, “I want to marry Panda!”

I’m sure she’s not the only one.

Cozy and warm


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Tonight is beginning to look like a great night for sleeping. I came home from work just slightly chilled by the newly Fall air, and then added to my chill with a big bowl of Dreyer’s ice cream. Yum!

Our weather has been so hot for so long that I welcome the opportunity to get a bit cold around the edges. Although as Olivia and I were on our way to preschool and she heard the weather report for later next week, she commented, “Seriously, Grammy? Rain, on Halloween?” It is hard for me to remember Halloween from her vantage point, but I do know that rain was definitely not in the plan. (At my sister’s in Ohio, they sometimes have not only rain, but snow! I cannot imagine trick or treating all bundled up and warm. And the children quite often do not add a warmer layer to their costumes to account for the snow.)

But I’m not whining about anticipated rain, not at all! Our valley…no, our entire state, would consider rain any day this week to be a treat, rather than a treat. May you sleep all cozy, and dream of gentle rains.



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My goodness…my evening was hijacked by a whim that ended up taking ages! I have been wanting to open an Etsy shop to sell the greeting cards I have been making, as well as some of Mom’s vintage collectibles. So nearly two hours ago I wandered over to and started messing around, creating my store. I’m not yet ready to open, but I do have a name (KatieDeMurl) and one item listed, at least in draft form.

Here is one of the cards that are included in that first posted set: are awesome

Believe…you are awesome

Perhaps I will be ready tomorrow night to share my site.



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Today I had the pleasure of working with Georgia. Not side-by-side all day, but off and on, rather like dancing. When she works as a server, she has her sphere, and I have mine, but every once in a while they intersect. I hear her voice talking to a co-worker, or see her caring for a guest, and my heart sings. And sometimes she asks for assistance, and it is fun helping her provide excellent service.

This is my baby girl, all grown up. That tiny, inquisitive, rebellious little radical firebrand has matured into a competent, confident, highly polished woman. I marvel at her people skills, the many ways she causes them to want to follow her lead. And I love that she calls me “Mom” at work. Not in a wheedling, childish way, but simply because to her that is my name. Occasionally a guest will react with surprise, but generally I think they get a kick out of it.

Tomorrow our shifts coincide again, but tomorrow she will be my “boss” rather than a server. In many ways that is even more fun. I happily take credit for teaching her many of her “people handling skills”; then I stand back and enjoy watching her use them in ways beyond my talents.

What a wonderful way to begin the week!



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There is such joy to be found in traveling with like-minded women. I don’t mean “like-minded” as in being in agreement on everything, but being equally open to new ideas and new experiences. Such were my traveling companions this weekend. The conversations began when we got into the car together, continued throughout the drive to Modesto, in the nooks and crannies between the church services, meals, a few hours sleeping, and on again today.

Case in point: Bathroom struggles. There weren’t any. Four women, one hotel room, one bathroom, limited time to get ready…an easy, relaxed calling of turns (two to shower in the evening, two the next morning). No one primping in the bathroom to the exclusion of the others. No one who devoted more than a few minutes to face and hair. Just pleasure in each other’s company and the happy exchange of ideas. Ideas about ministry, family, church, school, community, music, food, health…life!

So to Teri, Suzy, and Nancy…thank you. Thank you for being wonderful traveling companions, both “on the road” and here in town.

And to Walt, who brought me home so that I didn’t have to hang around during the after-convention meetings, thank you. Thank you for listening to the World Series on the car radio with me and remembering transistor radios at school. Thank you for being such a gentleman and schlepping all my scrapbooking stuff. Just thank you for being you.

Nancy and Walt "flying" the doves after the recessional.

Nancy and Walt “flying” the doves after the recessional.

Travel Day


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Today is a travel day…the annual Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin happens this weekend in Modesto, CA. I will be talking to congregations (as a vendor) about the importance of telling/keeping their church’s history through scrapbooks. I will also share the joys of our Second Saturday Scraps, and encourage them to start their own.

Happy Friday!

Know Thyself


I have been having so much fun playing with the Base & Bling jewelry from Close To My Heart. I imagine Mom watching from Heaven as I pick up one of her crafty interests this late in life. Feel free to ignore the shameless plug for my business, but enjoy the beauty of the necklaces. – Fawn

Originally posted on Photo Fun With Fawn:

I have been putting together some Base and Bling necklaces in anticipation of my booth at the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin’s Convention this weekend, and wanted to share them with you.

Base and Bling Necklaces:  "Know Thyself" and "Faith"

Base and Bling Necklaces: “Know Thyself” and “Faith”

The top one is a Faux Antiqued Silver Square Pendant (Z1962) with “Know Thyself” from the Journey Style Sheet (Z2054) and the Owl charm from the Free Thinker charm set (Z1957). The bottom necklace is a Faux Antiqued Gold Oval Pendant (Z2007) with “Faith” from the same style sheet and the Key from the Free Thinker charm set.

With the addition of a chain and glass cover for each, and some Liquid Glass to adhere them together, each necklace only takes about ten minutes to make. To order the components for yours (they make wonderful gifts), visit my Online Business Address.

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New experiences


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One of the moms at Olivia’s preschool also happens to be the Women’s Volleyball coach at College of the Sequoias, our local community college. She and I have been talking since early spring about bringing Lily and Olivia to watch a game, as with Lily easily heading towards 6′ tall and beyond, we want her to enjoy the “tall girl” sports.

So tonight the Lady Giants played volleyball at home against the Fresno City College Lady Rams, undefeated thus far in the season. By the time we parked and found the new gym (an absolutely beautiful facility), the Rams had won the first game of the match and the second was just beginning. The cheerleaders were sitting just below us in the stands, and the girls got a real kick out of their antics. And during the early part of the game, COS President Stan Carrizosa was sitting next to us.

I loved listening to Georgia explain the finer points of the game to Lily (Georgia played volleyball in junior high and high school until she was injured). The Lady Giants played tough and at times seemed fairly evenly matched, but in the end the Fresno City team was victorious.

I visited with Coach Rix for a few minutes after the game, and she seemed truly delighted that we had come. On the way home I told the girls how important I felt it was to attend games like this, because the athletes work so hard to make the team and play their best, and it is no fun playing to an empty set of bleachers. We all agreed that we want to come back and see more games. We couldn’t have asked for an easier, more affordable evening, and we were still home in time for the girls to get to bed on schedule.

Thank you, Lady Giants Volleyball Team. We had a great time!

A (very) full day


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I am so very glad I retired so I wouldn’t have to do anything! Since I had the day off (yes, I have come out of retirement, in case you missed that) I was able to take the girls to school, go to Morning Prayer with Suzy and Teri (very interesting to be the only un-ordained one in the room), attend a Project Homeless Connect meeting, and retrieve Olivia from preschool by noon. Wow!

Tonight was the October Helping One Woman dinner, this month honoring Heather Lemon, whose daughter Sydney died of Aplastic Anemia earlier this year. Once again our community made me very proud by sharing so generously with this precious family.

And as icing on the cake I had the joy of volunteering with my best partner in crime who has recently become a part of the HOW team, Vickie Baldini Mendez. After many years as co-workers, we went in separate directions career-wise. Being in the same room with her again makes me happy.

Tammy, Vickie, and Fawn working the front table at the October HOW dinner.

Tammy, Vickie, and Fawn working the front table at the October HOW dinner.


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