Saturday, July 28, 2012

The haps

July. The month of mad swirling memories, hazy, crazy, thunder-stricken. The population doubles around here in July and August, with gawking expressions peering at you through every window.  Strangely clad people with unfamiliar faces suddenly populate the roads. In their spandex and outdoor gear, high heels and purses, they look too city, or perhaps worse, too back country. We're a genteel little island (at least at first glance ;), with good roads and two coffee shops and endless galleries and really, there's no need to dress like you're about to hike the PCT.
This month, when I'm not working, which seems to be rarely, I've been spending more time reading and writing, and like I said before, less time socializing. Part of this is thanks to my mad book luck of late, finding just the right volumes in Serendipity's chock-full shelves.
In these months, I have more energy, yet want to mostly hang out with my nearest and dearest. 
I'm impartial to soft, blonde things.
When it gets hot, we like to eat our meals in the yard, by the fire pit, have some friends over, watch the sunset and the stars. 
The culmination of the summer madness is, in many ways, the fourth of July. That single day, the population doesn't just double but triples and quadruples. For a few brief hours our town becomes a small city, teeming with people, and then, after the parade ends, the crowds disperse as quickly as they appeared and a rather eerie calm settles in.

If one is in the parade, which I try to be every year, the effect is particularly spooky; seeing hundreds of people line our "main" street.

Each year, our group tries to do some subversive theme and this year's float was a non-GMO one. Some awesome, rebellious folk are striving to create a county ordinance banning GMO seed and plants out here. It's a mighty effort, but a worthy battle and the float took a playful look at this serious theme with "monsanto scientists" spraying "round-up" into the crowd, mutated animals and vegetables (including the freaky fish from the Simpsons;) and happy non-GMO veggies.
IMG_7524 IMG_7502 IMG_7542 
Our group certainly had the best tunes, singing non-GMO  slogans over Beatles songs.
If ever some sharp-eyed visitor came to our town  they might notice a strange uniform look to the signs of the businesses and wonder if perhaps there was some county ordinance, or a neighborhood by-law dictating the look of the town; but no. Each business simply turns to the same talented sign maker. Ours arrived in the beginning of the month and is beautiful.
Speaking of beautiful, I've had the pleasure to hang out with Emmy from time to time in the last month, since she moved out to Doe Bay to garden for the summer. She first came out for a Homesteading class our friends Jen and Josh hosted and was right at home with goats and the chickens.   
  IMG_7404 IMG_7412 IMG_7405 
Since then Emmy and her friends have come out for drinks and the biggest thunderstorm of the summer, when all the lights went out, the band played in the dark bar and we danced in the pouring rain. Such fun. I'm hoping to visit Emmy soon in turn soon, though the way from one Island to the next can be surprisingly long. She's thinking of staying through the winter, and so here's to spending long nights soaking in hot tubs and short days hiking in the rain.

  bouquets and presents 
July is a big, important birthday month for my Island family. Mali, her mom and her dad (who are kind of like my aunt and crazy uncle) all have their birthdays and since Mole star was home for the summer I wanted to throw her an actual celebration. 
  my card is the best 
Brunch, champaigne, Gunnes and of course a multitude of presents. I was mighty proud of my presents, especially since originally we were gonna gift sister with a tattoo, before she chickened out. I made her a dress (which I'm going to try to force her to pose in.), the perfect letterpress poster and many other assorted bits and bobs. 
  champaigne champaigne pop goes the
and punch too! 

In the evening we had a little party on the beach with sangria, salads and fake kitten tattoos.
  tattooed babes 
When in doubt, tattoo a kitten on your boob, kids.
  posers sunsets 
The sun came out, balloons escaped to the sky, we drank and ate.
  party on players sunkissed 
I, who sort of hate baking, even made a gluten-free layer cake that turned out rather okay. Anything for my sister.   
Kiss kiss 
So July draws to a close, giving way to the even crazier month of August, a day at a time towards the fall. The good life, the sweet light. How is your summer?


  1. man, that's the kind of summer i need to be having. still no sun here. i have given up on summer.

  2. A Brautigan I have never heard of! I must track it down. I just read the book his daughter wrote after his death- just lovely but sad, as you can imagine.
    I read your blog regularly and love hearing about life on your little island. Books always get me to join a conversation.

  3. Lovely pictures. I'm glad that your summer is filled with so much happiness! Our summer seems to slip through our fingers since everything, absolutely everything, is somehow moving-related...

  4. Ahhhhhhhhhh well my winter has been mostly perfect seeing as i got to visit the sunny-ness of California....right this instant however I'm wearing wool on my legs and on my arms - but the sun is shining hooray! I love that you threw a party for her; that is the sweetest thing, and reminds me to be more kind to my friends, and to give them parties! I have become bewitched with the beauty of your flickr photos, so i'm pretty happy right now that i get to read the stories behind them. Well lass, i have to get on with my own blogging now...which is taking me such a loooooooong time. xooxo

  5. Your Island is cool. You're cool. Your cat is cool. Your seester is cool. Everything is just so cool it makes me wish I could be in the cool PNW, having a cool time, not sweating.

    It makes me happy to see you looking so well, so HEALTHY! You were worrying me there for a while. You look great with a tan! ;)

    So that gluten-free layer cake is boss, as are those fake cat boob-tattoos.

    I see some foxglove in those vases in your house. Love it!


  6. visiting your blog always gives me a sense of peace and calm...i live in a small village in a national park and have the same tourist problem each year. its good for the forest economy but boy do they drive me crazy!

  7. Teillä on siellä kyllä mahtavan eläväinen ja mukavankuuloinen yhteisö! Ihan huippu tuo sinun herneneito asusi.
    Tällaisen käytännönsaneleman töissäkäyvän yksinhuoltajan korvaan tuntuu kovin kaukaisilta tuollaiset ihastuttavat illanvietot,vaikka toki ne lapsenkin kanssa onnistuvat. Täällä suomessa vaan kaikki jotenkin kökkivät omissaan ainakin syksyllä ja talvella jo iltapäivästä alkaen,tai ainakin siltä musta välilä tuntuu:-) Nyt onneksi vielä vähän lomaa jäljellä ja uimakelitkin parhaimmillaan.

    1. Voi Kerttu! Samalta minustakin usein tuntui kun asuin suomessa, mutta vaikka meilla taalla maalla onkin harvinaisen tiivis yhteiso, niin nyttemmin olen ajatellut etta kyllahan sita suomessakin olisi pitanyt itse vaan kutsua rohkeasti mukavia ihmisia yhteen. Noista kuvista ei nay, kun meidan porukka on niin muorta ja jengin ainoa lapsukainen oli alasti niin en viittiny laittaa niita kuvia, mutta juuri lapset on meidan juhlissa usein tarkeat osallistujat, kun on tarpeeksi lapsia ja muita aikuisia saavat vanhemmat levata ja toisaalta lapset tekevat kaikista juhlista hauskemmat. Ihanaa kesaa ja kokoontumisia!

    2. olet ihan täsmälleen oikeassa. ihanaa kesänjatkoa sinnekin ja kisuille rapsutuksia:-)

  8. so where's the part where you don't socialize as much ;)
    it might be photos like these that keep those droves of strangely clad folks visiting your island...or maybe it's just this strangely clad person :)

    hugs to you and all your critters!

  9. Really should just invite neighbors over and things like that. Our neighbors brought us strawberries from their garden which is pretty great. We just keep so much to ourselves. Maybe when some kids move into the neighborhood. Right now it's just older folks, my parents' age and older.

  10. I think if I ever make it to the islands I won't be able to return to the city.... It all looks sooo lovely! xo m

  11. Super sweet birthday party and parade! I've been workin like a crazy woman here at DB. I'm thinking about making it your way next week, maybe Thursday? I'd love to come see the farm! Meanwhile, I've been swimming in the bioluminescent waters, harvesting mountains of flowers, cucumbers and lettuce and soaking up the love and (limited) sunshine of summer. I'm glad to see all is well with you and your little tribe of friends and animals. When was this barn dance you spoke of before? I must be there. I found the perfect dress.

    And yes winter is coming -- I think I have found a cob house to live in with my lover and a gig brewing chai. Ah the the future is upon us!

    Love and sunlight,

  12. What a gorgeous looking summer. I have loved the Western Washington weather this past month or so! I also love your little stack of summer reading (the kind of reading perhaps!). That John Muir book is so perfect for a sunny afternoon of laying in the grass. Your shop sign looks great too! I can't wait to stop in next time I'm up that way!

  13. oh my dearling, i just want to kiss that fuzzy little kitten head...and i'll kiss you and mali while i'm at it! this post is just a whirlwind of delights. the new shop sign is SO BEAUTIFUL! but nothing so pretty as you and your sis in the loveliest calico frocks surrounded by sea and wildflowers. ahhh what a life. lucinda and darin and i got your sweet lopez card the day we got home from the hospital, and read your words with joy. darin loves the idea of an "uncle charlie" :) he's a fun unc to have alright! well keep shining away in your northern corner and beaming out that good old fashioned milla light to the world!

  14. i will call you tomorrow night!

  15. That last pic is the sweetest thing ever! We've been havin our share of summertime fun around here too. I finally blogged about some of it yesterday :)

    I looooove your give peas a chance outfit! The whole group is awesome, what fun you folks have up there in that dreamy little community of yours. I can't wait to come back and visit. Speaking of which, while on our trip, I think I managed to convince Lucas that next summer needs to involve another trip up your way for us! I think those enticing wave photos had something to do with it, he's excited to check out surf spots up there ;) I told him about our Doe Bay plan and he seems totally down for it, yay!!!! Time to start rounding up the troops :D

  16. You crack me up Milla :) You have a wonderful way with words and wit. Those are some of my favorites reads (Pollan's book rocked my world)... and Stalking the Wild Asparagus was such a treasured thrift find! Love the summer parade and your musings on tourists. I know exactly how you feel. We have a saying here... more an obnoxious bumper sticker really... that says "Welcome to Florida, now go home!"

    You did a great job on that beautiful cake--true friendship is worth celebrating for sure! Summer hugs your way as well :)

  17. Love this!!! Especially the creative paraders and the spraying of round up (had to read that out loud to my hubby). You and your sister are glowing beauties- sounds like a fun birthday celebration!!! Guitar out in a field, animals, storms- all good summer themes! :D Happy Tuesday lil lady!

  18. so great! i love the non gmo banners, costumes and just the whole thing! what a worthy cause. actually i'm a bit surprised that would be a problem there. i guess it's a problem everywhere :(

    beautiful faces, smiles, flowers and dresses in this here post! that last picture is so heart warming! you can just see the love through the computer screen. you made a dress! how exciting an impressive! you must show it to us!

    sending some so cal love your way :D

  19. oh milla, this is so dreamy. makes me envious of the island comradery . such a fun and inventive post - full of so much life, color, love and humor. I've missed you so.

    Slowing down enough to catch up on stuff like this. things that put me in an easily happy place.