Wednesday, August 20, 2014


(photo by Hayley Gordon

I haven't wanted to turn the lights on all day. It's dusky out and there are the craziest thunder storms overhead, but something about this lighting brings a peace I'd like to stick around.

My foot's mostly healed and I'm back to surfing. I'm taking a skateboarding lesson tomorrow to try to learn how to fall, because apparently there is an art to it that I don't know about yet. It sounds like something you could easily learn on your own, falling safely, but I still like having teachers sometimes. I like to know how they teach and I like getting to know who they are, plus the awkwardness I worry about when meeting new people easily slips away because you both need each other and there's something specific to talk about.

I think everything you said helped me get better. Thank you. Now knowing that someone I love is very sick, I am comforted by the fact that the loving thoughts of others might carry some weight against illness.

Scott and I have been playing Chicken Foot with Dominoes lately. Next, Mexican Train, but the directions were confusing, so we'll have to give it another try once we take a break from the chicken game. We have this version of Dominoes. Do you know any other fun games to play with them? 

This morning when the thunder was cracking I was looking for peace in my house away from the storm and then I was looking for peace again in the ocean after I got the bad news about sickness and a family friend and then I want peace to find us at night with the TV off and the game out. And I know I just said peace in the same sentence three times, but I'm just going to leave it because it seems to be the word of the day.

Here is a bit of a poem I wanted to share on the subject. I saw it on instagram the other day and I'm still trying to absorb its possible meanings, but the first line is what got me.


by Wendell Berry

All goes back to the earth,
and so I do not desire
pride or excess or power,
but the contentments made
by men who have had little:
the fisherman's silence
receiving the river's grace,
the gardener's musing on rows.


Monday, August 18, 2014

An Interview with Crystal da Silva

My first memory of CJ is when I saw I had drawn her name in a heat at a Sun Diego surf contest in Oceanside. I didn't know her face or how she surfed or the warmness of her smile. All I knew was that she was to be feared in the contest scene because she had a crisp backhand attack and an amazing bottom turn. We had the same surfboard shaper, but had never met. Our shaper would tell me "She goes for the gold at the end of the rainbow."

My second memory of CJ is how she encouraged me to take a nicely lined up right, two minutes before our first heat together ended because she was going to go left. She came first that heat and I was third. We both advanced. The announcers howled "That was bold of Crystal, giving the competitor in yellow that right, but when you can crack an off-the-lip like that, you're not that worried!" What I didn't know at the time was that CJ didn't hear any of that.

It was a little while before I learned that Crystal was born deaf. We would lay our towels out next to each other and write messages in the sand. I would signal to her when the horn blew, signifying the start and end of heats, and how much time was left. I'll never forget how upset she was when I was given second place instead of the first place she thought I deserved at an event at Scripps Pier. 

CJ went on to win many contests. She moved to Hawaii and surfed big waves on the famous North Shore of Oahu. She met her husband and now has a two year old named Anela. I'm always stoked when I run into CJ, which I'm pretty much guaranteed to if I surf the harbor. When she was five months pregnant she began sewing swimwear as a hobby that quickly turned into a successful online shop. Check out CJ's swimwear and get to know her more in the interview below. I am so excited and honored to share this friend with you. 

What was your life like growing up?

My life was pretty normal as I went to regular public schools and college, but with interpreters. Most of my hearing friends would learn sign language for me or we gestured or wrote things down. I dated mostly hearing guys.

Tell us about your surfing roots. When did you start?
I started surfing in 2000 and joined the Carlsbad High School Surf Team in 2001 with many local talented surfers. I've surfed consistently ever since.

What did it feel like when you rode your first wave?
I remember I stood up on my first wave on a 6'1" in white wash for a few seconds in the middle of spring season. I practiced at the warm water jetty after school until I was ready to advance to Tamarack. I remember the many gnarly waves that broke between Tamarack and Maple Street. I had to be quick to catch waves in a crowd of wave hungry groms!

What is your experience like being a hearing-impaired surfer?
I think it was pretty much normal, like I've surfed in many contests. I can’t hear the horn so I have to look for the flags. Also it was a bit difficult in pro contests as I couldn’t hear the place I was in during the heat or what score wave I needed to advance. That was a bit of a disadvantage. When I surf local spots, I see mostly familiar faces and they wave or write in the sands.

Tell us more about your Etsy shop. What inspired you to start creating swimwear?
When I was pregnant with my daughter I felt creative. I stopped surfing after five months pregnant and decided to design attractive bikinis that stayed on in the surf. I opened my Etsy Shop a year later after my daughter Anela was born. This was a way for me to earn extra income as the job market can be difficult for those who don’t hear or speak.

What makes you happy?
My healthy family, the calm ocean and a clean house make me happy.

What’s your favorite food?
I try to eat mostly organic food. I love tempeh with rice and salad. I eat mostly Mexican food too. I love Pitaya Bowls for energy snacks as well.

What's your favorite surf spot?
Oceanside’s South Jetty or the middle of the harbor, Silver Strand and Oxnard is a favorite spot too.

What was the last gift you gave someone?
I gave a gift to a special friend before she had her heart surgery. She's doing well now.

What would you like to pass on to the surfers of the future?
Surf because it’s healthy, creative and a great stress reliever. Compete if you enjoy it, but the gift of free surfing is a wholesome lifestyle.

What is the greatest thing you have learned in your life?
Being a mom and a wife is a really busy life, but worth it!

Thank you so much for sharing your story with us CJ! Don't forget to check out her shop: KalikalaCJ Swimwear 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Lemon Sesame Kale Salad

I had something like this from the prepared foods section of our local grocery store the other week and since then I've been wanting to re-receate it. Here's what I've got...

Servings: 2-3

1 head of kale
2 leaves and of rainbow chard, chopped
1/4 red onion, chopped 
1/4 red cabbage, chopped 
toasted sesame seeds to taste



the juice of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon flax seed oil 
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon Lawry's seasoning salt (or sea salt)
1/4  teaspoon pepper 
a pinch of cayenne pepper (I did 1/4 teaspoon, but it was pretty spicy)

Remove the stems from the kale and place it in a bowl with the chopped leaves and stems of the rainbow chard. Start massaging the leaves with a little bit of salt until it starts to "cook" them (i.e. break down the leaves so that they are "wilted"). Keep going until you see juice start to come out of the kale. Add the red cabbage and red onion. In a separate dish, whisk together the lemon juice, flax seed oil, seasoning salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper. Combine and sprinkle sesame seeds on top. Add avocado if you're in the mood. 

Besides the dressing, the best thing about this salad is that it has a ton of antioxidants and is said to promote lung health. 

*allowing the leaves to soak in the dressing for a bit is not a bad call.
*if this is your first time cooking with swiss chard like me, you might want to check out a 101 video on You Tube. 
*My friend Roberta has swiss chard in her garden. She said it grows like crazy and is hard to kill, which appealed to me, but I wasn't sure the taste would. Now I might consider it.
* 8/18/14 revision... I've recently been adding avocado to this and it's been awesome. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

"Devon Heals Quickly"

My eyes are on the ceiling. I've got that couch-bound feeling. 

My computer broke on the same day I found out my ankle was either sprained or broken (luckily I have my MacBook from college). That was last Friday. I'm still waiting on the X-Rays to come back. I hate even saying something in my foot could be broken, because I know it's not. I never thought it was. I just want to be sure it's not so that I know for certain that I'm taking care of it the right way. And most of all, I want to make sure I can get back to surfing and skating in an amount of time so short, I won't barely remember it someday. Although, I guess being laid-up is not the worst thing to remember because it makes you appreciate normal things like being able to lace your shoes up tight or being able to run back in to the house to get your sunglasses or being able to surf little waves all the way to the inside where the sand is yellow. 

The truth is, I've been surfing anyways. Only once since I found out my ankle and heel bruises could be more serious than I thought, though. And it was totally worth it catching a few little insiders while our friends Ross and Jenny swam around next to us (sometimes it's about mental health, too). 

I took my computer to the Apple Store today. I wrapped my hard drive in a baby blanket Nonny made for me, but when I went to unwrap it in the store, I realized it smelled like my halloween costumes did that time I left gourds, soon to rot, in the same box with them for a whole year (kinda like musty old garden dirt that's never seen the sun). I need to find out why. 

The doctor gave me some physical therapy exercises for my ankle. One of them is to try to write the alphabet with my big toe. That was boring, so I started writing sentences like "I think some of 'Shark Week' is totally fake" and "Devon heals quickly". Let me know if you have any other ones (exercises or sentences). 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Oregon Transcript and a Few More Photographs

(scott thinks most of tips are very obvious, so now I think they're funny; 'use blog' means mention it because you could get discounts if you have one)

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

When your ego gets out of control.

Lately I have been thinking things I don't want to think. I picture shaking myself upside down so I can dump all these thoughts out on the ground. But that's not exactly how it works. I'm a cry it out, surf it away, write it down kind of person. So here's the writing part...

I think my ego has gotten out of control. 

I really, really need to finally read that book by Eckhart Tolle addressing this problem. I started listening to it on tape on a bus trip in New Zealand seven years ago because I thought it would be easier than reading it, but then I fell asleep and never tried again. 

In an article I just read online Tolle says "Vanity and pride are what most of us tend to think of when we think of ego, but ego is much more than an overinflated sense of self. It can also turn up in feelings of inferiority or self-hatred because ego is any image you have of yourself that gives you a sense of identity -- and that identity derives from the things you tell yourself and the things other people have been saying about you that you've decided to accept as truth."

The other day I was pissed because I saw a four year old on instagram drop in on a bigger ramp than I can with my skateboard. Last week I told my mom I was worried people would be critical of my parenting skills to a baby that hasn't even been conceived yet. Scott's new job is working for my dad (something I do one day a week, too). Today they are out in the field together exploring behind the scenes aspects of the business. I am extremely happy for Scott. I also started wondering while I was microwaving lima beans if my dad likes hanging out with him more than me.

Someone needs to get ahold of me! Unfortunately, the only person who can do that is me.

I really do need to read the rest of that Eckhart Tolle book.

My mom says that being human sometimes involves thinking bad things, but you have to try to choose to think the good things. 

I have good things in my mind.... I love this weather! It's hot and my back is stuck via sweat to this leather computer chair, but it is so summery. And there's a warm breeze, which makes me think the wind is in a good mood. 

The bad thoughts come from things that have happened to me in life. Things like this happen to everybody and even if they happen when we are only six years old and think we are stupid because it takes us a longer time to learn to read, they can still stay with us. The bad thoughts stalk us and can jump out when we are trying to enjoy a family vacation or make breakfast. 

One thing I know is that someone lives in me. She is excited and curious and determined and loving, but sometimes she thinks she looks bad in her bathing suit, and that her instagram account is lame and that she isn't as loved as she obviously is by her family and friends. She is bat-shit crazy! And sometimes she chooses the bad thoughts over the good ones.

And so, she needs to get a grip on the ego inside of her skin, and leave those thoughts on the ground. She needs to focus on being a good person, not the best person. She needs to listen to her mother and focus on the good. 

Monday, August 4, 2014

Polaroids of Vegetarian Food (and a drink)

tomatoes with sea salt and pepper // mexican bean and corn salad
citrus vodka, champagne, fresh oj, a splash of cranberry // daphne's tabouli salad
homemade pizza with jalapeños, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms with olive oil and sea salt instead of pizza sauce (have you tried this? got the idea from a local restaurant)// "healthier fried rice": *barley and wild rice sautéed with carrots, peas, corn and an egg 

Hey guys. I'm back from my hiatus. I'm trying to write down some things, but mostly I've just limped around the house with a bruised heel I got from skateboarding wondering what the heck I want to tell you that will be worthwhile to read. The term writer's block comes to mind, and I had hoped that whole thing was just a myth. I guess not. I'm trying to decide if this whole vegetarian polaroid thing is something I want to keep doing, too. There are so many food blogs out there now, which is awesome, but I'm no professional chef (you don't say). All of these recipes are really easy, as are most of the ones I share, so at least there's that. Hope you had a nice week! 

*barley helps lower cholesterol and reduce blood pressure

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Summer Songs

I should've called this post crazy hair. Scott took this before the water had a chance to cover the chaos. The waves have been so small lately that I've paddled out with dry hair almost every day this week. It's actually one of my goals to have a whole dry hair session, but I don't know why because it's really annoying having my mad hair harassing me while I'm trying not to run over tourists and little kids. Anyway, this post isn't really about hair at all. This post isn't really about anything, except to say: I'm taking a brief break from blogging this week and here's a playlist.

C  H E C  K I T O U  T >>

I especially like the songs Sun Sinking Low by Mr. Airplane Man and Pray for the Sunshine by Mylee Grace and Ozzy Wrong (Ozzy "Wrong" aka Ozzy Wright.. one of the greatest free thinking, free surfing surfers ever; he sings that song with his wife). I love the song called California, too (thanks to my sister Maddie and her boyfriend Andy for that one and a few others). I hit the back button and made that song repeat around the same time our wheels crossed the state line from Oregon into California. I think it's really about wanting to get out of California though. 

I hope you all have a great week! It's Scott's last week of summer break before he starts a new job on Monday and I want to give my full attention to that. I'll be back next week .

Thursday, July 24, 2014


I am embarrassed to start this story by saying our third wedding anniversary was almost ruined by the backgammon game of India. 

We picked it up at a thrift shop in Oregon for $1 and have been playing everyday since. I wonder about who used to own it and why it ended up in a thrift shop.

Our first game yesterday went fine, because I won. Then we decided it would be interesting for each of us to play two colors instead of one. If you are unfamiliar with Parcheesi, the game is very similar to Sorry where players get knocked back home if an opponent lands on the same space. Playing with all four colors increases your odds of being knocked off. I got three players sent home in one of Scott's turns and told him, "I wonder if the people who used to own this game gave it away because it caused too many fights." 

It was actually kind of a fitting anniversary as marriage always seems to be about growing and working together and getting through challenges and blah, blah... you know, not pouting about board games. 

What games do you like to play? 
I want to learn chess next. That should be good for my patience. Do you know how to play?

Monday, July 21, 2014

"Summer Teeth"

notebook from Matsumoto Studio

We are home from our Oregon road trip (as you may have guessed from these pictures of our house). My car smells like firewood and bananas. 

I'm listening to this song on Pandora by the Arctic Monkey's. I thought it said "summer's in your teeth," but it said "something's in your teeth". It got me thinking that at the end of it all, I hope it feels like summer's stuck in my teeth.

Scott and I went to the beach at home yesterday and today. On our first day back, I was hoping the waves and water temps would convince me beyond any doubt that it was good to be here and not traveling through Oregon anymore, but the waves were terrible. It didn't really matter though, I still wound up persuaded. 

Today the waves were smaller still, but better. I love those kind of days where you and the waves feel like you're playing together.

The limes and the plumeria decided to bloom while we were gone. I have to smell the plumeria everyday because I know those flowers don't last very long. I have to check on the limes every day to make sure the ants "squatting" on the land, aren't trying to take over. 

The last picture above is of winter squash stuffed with kale, red peppers, garlic and onions, sprinkled with a little sea salt, butter and olive oil. We had it at our neighbor's house last night. I can't take credit, but I'm definitely going to try to make it and maybe even bring it to something for other people to try (doing that always makes me nervous even though I post recipes here for you all the time). 

Also, I thought you might find these pictures amusing. 
I didn't realize how close Scott was to me. Luckily not closer or he might've of ended up with some other kind of summer teeth! Our friend Nick saw this all go down and said "You should really smile for the camera!" 
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