Thursday, May 24, 2012

It is her hour so let it be heard, for Missa is the girl of the hour! You won't soon forget the name...

You may have heard of it here, here, here, here, or here,  and wondered quietly to yourself "when is that lazy-bum Milla-girl gonna get her version up?". Safe to say, a pinch and a bit before another California sojourn. But frankly, if you look at the sheer number of photos on this post (every so often I use the word epic and there's no time like the present, right?), and remember I don't actually have a computer of my own, you may begin to understand my slackerness.

Enough excuses though, instead I invite you to travel trough time and space with me to Missa's kitchen, where I arrived via the magic of aviation in a mere two hours from Seatown; apparently right in time to save Lucas' hide from Missa's lack-of-celebration-wrath.

I'd arranged for Heather, Amber and lovely little Mycie to provide further distraction, though at times I think our girl energy ended up being more of a obstacle to Lucas' planning activities. Sorry dude.

"Is the entire blogosphere gonna show up at my doorstep?" Were Missa's words when she finally recovered from finding Heather and Amber on her doorstep, mere hours after finding me casually chillin' in Clover's room. "No, no. Just us." I lied, sort of unconvincingly.

The fun part about surprises is that you discover how smoothly your friends and loved ones are able to deceive you.
 But anyway, here we were, in Missa and Lucas' cozy little house, all of us girls together again, only this time Mycie was bigger, Heather gloriously and unexpectedly and blessedly pregnant and Amber at a lovely new place in her life. Though it had been a year since we'd last seen each other in person it seemed like hardly any time had lapsed at all.

The little girls were laughing and chatting and dancing and playing and changing clothes and the big girls...well much of the same. There was a cat present and Heather's smile had only grown more radiant with her belly.
Us four snuck out for Mexican food (sorry again Lucas!) at the same lovely place Missa and Lucas took C. and I last year.
These ladies sure can match any wild backdrop. Their colors are only enhanced by the decor.


Heather had gotten all of us girls some lovely birthday packages as well as wardrobe Valentine's for Clover and Mycie.
The girls also got coloring books that drew their focus while we chatted and caught up, and tried on things and talked up a storm.




As always, the packages were like a Christmas and birthday rolled into one, complete with books, of course.
After some coloring, the little ones turned to a tried and true favorite:
pillow case ghosts.



And when it was time for the ghosts to retire to bed, we stayed up a while, talking and sipping on beers and petting Missa's new cat Zephyr. Heather and I shared the comfy L-shaped couch and had a good night's sleep. This in spite all the scheming and secrecy that I was an accomplice to, just by knowing about Missa's surprise party. 

These faces are the best, even in their sleepy morning guises.
Clover and Mycie had new characters for the day, going as kitties.
Lucas' lovely mother Oosa stopped by to have a sweet motherly chat with us. And snap some much needed group shots, naturally.

We headed out to the farmer's market, stylish women, kitties in red ruby shoes and all. 
It's so fun to travel with these little folk, they find small surprises everywhere; flowers and good curbs to sit on and adventures on the sidewalk.


Not to mention rolling with these beauties. It seemed we caused quite the splash at the market decked out in our customary eye-catching dress. It's funny, as Amber remarked, how one unconventionally dressed woman just gets a second look, but a whole posse turn heads everywhere. All day we kept getting comments about how people had seen us at the market.
Insert pregnant boobs joke.
The whole time that we were at the market I kept making clandestine phone calls to yet another pair of lovely bloggers. Turns out that even though I'm not that sneaky, we managed to sneak all our schemes past dear Missa.






Missa and Lucas' garden is amazing, even in the 'bleak midwinter' there was kale and chard in abundance and meyer lemons on the tree.
When Nicky and Anne finally showed up, with darling baby Marianne in tow, it was exactly the same as it was when Missa and I first met Amber and Heather; like we'd always hung out together on Saturday afternoons, shopping and chatting, flitting from serious to silly in one fell swoop. Only with more pictures.




When I finally had to say our goodbyes to Heather and Amber and I herded the rest of the girls back to Missa's, stressed out Lucas disappeared, seemingly unnoticed by Missa. We hung out on her front porch, enjoying the evening sun and the incredible mellow cuteness of little Marianne. What a dream baby.

Lucas reappeared with Missa's dear friend Abby. More surprises! But we swear this is the last one.
Until dinner that is. Missa swore she didn't catch on until she saw the number of cars on the parking lot of the shop-space where we were supposedly picking up their friend Joey. It's a giant dance party! Complete with Pegasus cake, amazing handmade decor, a band that played all her favorites (Including "Missa Is A Punk Rocker"!), a giant red rabbit and all her besties. 
 True Love is a pegasus cake! 
I wouldn't mind turning 40 every once in a while.
Mah girls
Pegasus cake Pleased as pabst Missa shop 
The theme was, of course, vintage, complete with a little shop.
  Ruben and Nicky party! 
It turned out that Anne and Nicky's crew were the best partyers.  Not only did Nicky manage the moves to some serious (or not so serious) line dancing, or their boys taking the strange scene into stride (and shaking a good leg themselves) but baby Marianne, rocked out alternately in mama and papa's arms, totally content after midnight. That's when she wasn't napping while Anne and I talked religion and other serious topics. I'm telling you; dream baby. Can I put in an order for a Marianne, please? 
  Marianne is not fazed. These two are Cu-te! Missa's sisters It's fun to be forty! Good thing one of us is photogenic. Hint: not me. Altar of Missakin Nicky's got the moves!  A multitude of Missa's
Surprise! Missa is a punk rocker!

Red Rider! There is a light 
It was a night to remember, but after a day of respite (and a few episodes of Downton Abbey), before Abby had to head back to Seattle, us three gals took a jaunt to the famed Salvation Army Compound, not too far from Santa Rosa.
  Fox bread and fox shoes  Follow me to the book bins The most scenic thriftshoppe 
Possibly the most scenic thrift store in existence, the compound has several little shops and overlooks beautiful California lit hills.
The Hudson River School California branch
  No, really it's quite scenic 
Abby, by the way, is all kinds of awesome. One of the many highlights of this trip was getting to meet her. And shop for vintage bling sunglasses with her.
No compound is complete with a Xanadu-like castle structure. 
  Sallie's Sky's ablaze 6878410661_9f41671b14_z

To make a perfect day even more perfect we stumbled upon a juice bar in Healdsburg. A juice bar! My hippie little heart and live culture-fed stomach sung for joy, tell you what. 

You are...a bunch of kale and sprouts 
Rice! Kale! Sprouts! Green smoothy! Menus that call the dishes stuff like "I'm enlightened.", "I'm joyous!" and "I'm grateful". Waitresses who say "You are enlightened/joyous/grateful/in need of a beer to be able to handle the dippyness." That's right, it was a bit much, but in spite the amount of good vibes and controversy, Cafe Gratitude was a good experience. They even had that beer.
After a beer the sprouts start to taste okay
You are a super hippy dippy cafe
  Well, that is kinda true, eh?

I think Abby's face says it all. Healdsburg by the way is the town that Into The Forest supposedly takes place near. This could be the very town square the characters hang out at. The nerd in me was pleased when Missa pointed this out. 
The town square from into the forest  Book bonding 
As we've discussed before, blogs can sometimes give you a rather idealized picture of someone's life, but I assure, that is not the case at all when it comes to these blond belles. Sure there are bellyaches and tantrums, but just being a part of their daily lives for a little while, I gotta say there's also a lot of genuine magic. 
  and then all the mice went to a party 

Clover and her papa

Oxalis, you're dead now! What are they doing?

Just another day at the office. 
Lots of reading too.
  All this for me?

The kindlers Greens and reds Have chickens Forage Wanta pig. 
That last sentence just about cracks me up and brakes my heart at the same time. I wanna get a Pig too, Clover.
  White Squirrel Pink lemonade 
I just can't get over those lemons. That to me is magic in and of itself. Lemons in your backyard. Missa always laughs at my enthusiasm about palm trees too. 
  Zephyr Meyer Abundance Speckled

Elmo's got business 
Missa and Lucas' house is so sweet, so full of light, so unlike my house. It's pretty inspiring, even if all I can aspire to is hanging up my pans and having my altars neatly placed in bookshelves. Lately Missa's been gripped by a serious house-plant enthusiasm and I have to say that it's catching on. Only it's hard to do house-plants without light. 
  Multiple Missa's Bread box Braking surf Blooms in her kitchen 

Inspired Little peeps Missa's room Clover's room
  Everlasting tickers Shelves Buy my melon 

  Keepin' shop

Buy Elmo's Stuff
The morning that we left for San Francisco, where I was to catch a train home, I got to shop at Elmo's fleamarket stand. He did not know much about bargaining, but had some good loot. 
Postcards Mourning Dove 
The morning we left, this palm tree had a Mourning Dove cooing on its crown. 
   A bridge!

we're finally here 
From one charming home to another, we headed out to meet new blog-sisters, Mary and Fern of Terrallectualism
  a cat! 
A cat is always a omen of good things for me and here it was hanging out on Mary's stoop. 
  ringing the bell 
I was giddy and excited to meet Mary for the first time, because I admire her writing and philosophy tremendously. Finding her log was one of the highlights of my last year and every time she posts I can barely write down half of the thoughts and emotions her ideas raise in me. Plus, girl's got mad style! 
See that sock!
  sun room and gnome house gnome house I want to be this tall! 
She may soon (fingers crossed) leave this home in the city behind her, but I feel so blessed I got to see it.
  maids in the kitchen

a portrait of the artist in her library

So Simple, so good 
Mary fed us incredibly nourishing rice and kale salad, who's recipe she simply needs to share. It was awesome. 
Stars above San Fran

A the solar gizmos

Found a little plot of land

Ready To Start

Hardly Strictly Can Contain My Excitement ! Truth 
Look at all these gorgeous details (and I didn't even get a shot of her giant anteroom Goddess). This is a thought-out home if I ever saw one.
  wild life still life Gnome home 
 And this sweet kid-ride with which we took the girls to a nearby park. It was lovely to taste a bit of big city life and discuss meeting nature in an urban environment.
  Mama's and the Bebes The Wild Palms life on a limb the wagoneers  
The girls got along well, sharing a ride and running around the park.
  Spring come early what's this? native 
They are both such strong-willed little women. And both rocking those ruby red slippers.

hide out tree people the forager

swing your own!

There is this energy in the cities that fills me each time I go now. A newness, an ever shifting, moving vibe. Cities excite me more now that I don't live in one, I want to just sit in cafes and watch people. Look at all the endless variety. It made me happy to see this little bit of San Francisco through a long-time dwellers eyes, feel like I belonged. Thank you Mary. 
  I'll have the little blond one

The Regular






The one shot I have of myself that day happens to include Mary's closet which I promised not to show, but really which of us can't relate to that sight? I hope you can forgive me m'dear.
IMG_4485 IMG_4487





I can't wait to see these girls soon again. Single socks and  tutus and all. 


The above is totally my favorite shot of the day. Something about it embodies so much of what girlhood is. There's fun, imagination and already, tender care. 
Thanks for having us and sharing your world, food and haunts for a few brief, beautiful hours.
And the wonders didn't end there. I've always dreamed of visiting, no not a psychic, but City Lights Books, the haunt of the Beats, the scene where the legendary scene began.

We wandered trough the stairways and basements giddy with history and book lust/love. 
I swear I cried a little just from the overwhelming feeling of being connected to so many writers who made me who I am, taught me about resistance and meditation and mad swirling life.  It wasn't the first time I've cried in a bookstore and it probably won't be the last.
My fave section

Read Here Now


Work Work Work

This picture makes me laugh 
Clover, the ravenous reader, clamors for Kerouac. 
Looking for piglet

Cassidy & Co

Busy being free

Avenues of the mind

Or this one 
It was everything I'd imagined and more. A bookstore for readers and writers and rucksack carrying revolutionaries. 
  This one








Hungry for more than knowledge, we wandered around Chinatown in search of a meal and found one complete with free ice cream and fortunes. 
   Shopping For Chinese Foods

San Fran Fortunes told 
Finally, before Missa and Clover had to head home and I catch a bus to the train station, we hung out at the tourist trap that is Pier 39. But even there we had pretty magical time. Clover's first carousel ride alone with her mama and horses and seals and lights. 
  Can we ride it? Here she goes Sea creatures seal of approval Clover rides again All ridden out fire juggle Look into the mystik spiral 
And this little old lady acrobat, magician trickster, who even on a cold February night could take her audience and win them over.

After Missa and Clover left I sat by the water with my rucksack and my tea and read my new Gary Snyder book, feeling every bit a happy hobo, watching the famous lights and waiting for a train to jump. 
  Strong men sunrise 
The next morning I woke to moon over Mt. Shasta, the moonscape of frosted fields and hills chugging along outside my window. 
  high desert 
If you ever can, I recommend taking the train. There is a gradualness, a gentleness to the shifting landscape. Time to acclimatize to your surroundings. It is a luxury really, to watch the world slide by slowly, lake by lake, crest by crest, pass by pass.
  lake of dreams Like a frozen lake Teeny food and California grub 
Sharing snacks and stories with fellow travelers. (Snacks sent by Teeny all the way from New Zealand and shared with her countryman.)
  'Round the bend Valley view Pine in winter 
So there you have it: another amazing sisterhood adventure to California.
  Hudson River School Oregon Branch 
And by the time you read this I'll be back in Sacramento. Ready to head to the Northern California Women's Herbal Symposium. Insert maniacal laughter. Mahaahah! 


  1. aww, i can't believe how much clover and fern grew since then! they look like different kids now! i wish i could have planned my trip so i could have met you as well. missa filled me in on your herbal symposium trip. have so much fun!

  2. awesome! i'll say it again, it was so wonderful to get to meet you in person. you are even more amazing than i thought you'd be :D

    i figured you were probably going to the herbal symposium, have a great time i'm sure it will be an incredible experience!

    oh yeah, mary's house is pretty darn rad! why doesn't she ever show it?! and yes, we all understand the closet. no need for embarrassment :D

  3. Whoa... this is a very impressive post Milla :) It was a nice return for me to the blog world.... full of lovely faces, babies, and books!!! Also wanted to add how adorable your new store is and also the lovely abode. Can't wait to see more!!!

  4. Love you crazy maniacal laughing Milla! It was well worth the wait for this post..timed perfectly actually, by leaving a gap this is like visiting an old pleasant memory - i wasn't there but cos of you girls all posting so much about it, I felt like i was! Happy travelling little friend. xxx

  5. I love reading your posts, they convey such a lot of joy. Looks like you had a wonderful time. I wish I'd known more about the Beats when I was very briefly in SF. But there is always next time.

  6. Too many glorious details for me to possibly process in one sitting. But I have to say, I absolutely love the glimpse/tour of Missa's house. So INCREDIBLE. And all the sweet photos of all your gorgeous girls in one place at the same time? Like a dream. Seriously.

    What a lucky girl Missa is to have such devoted friends.
    I'll be back again & again to take it all in :)


  7. How beautiful your stories and pictures are! Those are very powerful and lovely moments caught in your life and we thank you for sharing! I think the Cats in the pictures summarize it perfectly, Mischief and playfulness, that's what life is all about :)

  8. dreaming of you in herbal heaven right i relive this wonderful february experience here and get glimpses of more milla/missa adventures, i cannot wait to reconnect in just a couple days! baby marianne steals my heart once again, and i love that photo of you and anne together...both your eyes are glowy! you did so much, i'm glad you got to hit up the lytton springs salvation army, always a fave of mine when i lived over there and when i go back thataways. abby looks so fun and spritely, i hope to meet her one day. and i LOVe all your rompings in the city and your adorable pictures of mary. and city lights, juice bars, magicians, is but a dream my dear and it continues this week!

  9. so good to read this today as i'm feeling sad at missing you. i was just thinking this weekend how photography is the best way to really show others how you see the world. this post is such a great example of that (and actually there were so many posts about missa's party, i hadn't realized you hadn't done yours! its cool you waited, in a fashionably late, refresher kind of way). your pics are so different than the others so far and the ones of my house...! i almost think my house is cute from your perspective. to answer anne's question about why i don't ever show it...i'm embarrassed! my poor ol rundown flat feels like me 16 years ago...i'm still waiting to grow up and move into a home that i can decorate intentionally! i'm glad you showed my closet...that's CLEAN compared to what it looks like right now. anyway...i love the way you see the world...which seems to be on the lookout for magic, mystery, connection and beauty. loving you.

  10. Oh my god so many thought where to begin... THIS IS THE LONGEST BLOG POST EVER!

    I did not know that about Healdsburg. Mary's dress is awesome. Clover & Fern are two peas in a pod. I had the same reaction when I first went to City Lights. I can't get enough of seeing pics from Missa's bday party. I would have loved to see Nicky line dancing. Those close-to-home snowy shots are epic.

    I love you and miss you already! Come back!

  11. Oh, I could relive these days over and over! That's a good thing too, because I still have to post about my bday party, there will be plenty more pics, Amber! Once I get MY lazy-bum self around to it, that is. Wow, this truly IS an EPIC post, and fittingly so as it was by far the most epic birthday of my life. Thank you enormously for helping make it so, my dear friend. I miss having you here in my living room! WOW, so much to post about, LOVE LOVE LOVE!