The Real Housewife of Santa Monica

Free the People Immigration March (Los Angeles) Week 1 – South Street & Smith Memorial Park Found Sticks Christmas Tree Leaving Oz Homebody Mostly NOT Potato Salad Shaka Shack Lemon Curd utah get-a-way, bloating & 3.2% beer

My friend and I attended this event on February 18th. We missed the march and joined the rally at City Hall in downtown LA. It was a much smaller crowd...

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We started out at my sister’s house. My niece had a day off of work so we grabbed her and headed to South Street. The last time I’d been there...

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This is so cute. There are many variations on Pinterest. I think the original idea came from the Free People blog which is worth looking at. I had these animals...

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Last fall when I heard about the Ice Bucket Challenge I claimed to have felt bullied into donating since I didn’t want to make a spectacle of myself on Facebook....

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After 20 years in the Castro, my dad decided to leave for a flatter, easier life. St. Allison met me in San Francisco a couple of weeks ago to help...

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We braced ourselves for the start of kinder this year. After all, we knew how pre-school had gone two years prior. She only cried every day for 1.5 years of...

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It’s getting HOT and making pasta every night is killing me. I’ve been trying to branch out to more salads now that it’s summer. This is a really tasty dish...

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This cute little burger place opened up in Sunset Park last year. It’s diagonally across from Bob’s Market. One day Maddie and I rode over there on my bike after...

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It’s been exciting having this huge yield of lemons from my next door neighbor’s tree. I’ve been getting “Southern Living Magazine” this year thanks to my niece’s magazine drive and...

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Last weekend G’s company sent us all to Park City which happened to be the last few days of Sundance Film Festival! We took advantage of Jack & Patsy’s stay...

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Free the People Immigration March (Los Angeles)

Signs obviously not paid for by George Soros.

My friend and I attended this event on February 18th. We missed the march and joined the rally at City Hall in downtown LA. It was a much smaller crowd that the Women’s March.

Although I am not (yet) directly affected by the new Republican president’s immigration “policy” I decided to go after reading several observations of the Women’s March by some people of color (POC).

  1. White women (in general) at the Women’s March were more concerned about the misogynistic and women’s rights comments and concerns than for dangers facing POC. White women expected all vulnerable populations to turn out to the Women’s March yet very few turned out for Black Lives Matters and to protest police brutality in the past and very few showed concern for immigrants rights.
  2. Many articles gushed over how peaceful and safe the Women’s Marches were. Some POC described this as a direct indication of systemic racism: how white women are viewed as unthreatening even when conducting themselves the same way POC do during protest.

I originally decided to go JUST to be a warm body there in support of the undocumented immigrants in my city. I thought, “I just need to turn up and stand there to show support.” However, I learned a lot there. What I took away needs to be shared specifically amongst people like me: white, privileged, not in any imminent danger.

I hope my observations can be taken in and considered with open minds and hearts. Some of it was hard to hear but totally necessary if we want to form bonds and become allies against our new reality. I have procrastinated writing this out of fear of not doing it “correctly” so I will just go for it. Please realize my intentions are for love, understanding & progress. I still have so much to learn.

1. White people who are alarmed and want to help vulnerable populations, please work to educate YOURSELVES versus asking affected people to educate you on their reality. This takes work and initiative. Affected people are exhausted and struggling.

2. Attorneys cannot get people released from detention. Only COMMUNITIES can do this through peaceful protest. Show up for rallies and protests on behalf of the affected people. Make the calls to your elected officials. Educate your friends and families.

3. Work for progressive immigration reform.

4. Instead of advocating and speaking for affected people, provide a platform for them to speak for themselves. Example: at the Women’s March speakers did not seem to include undocumented immigrants and/or LGBT folks. In contrast, the speakers at the Immigration March included Black Lives Matters, and members of the LGBT community. Most were undocumented.

5. When the new Republican administration talks about detention centers, they mean prisons. In California, here are the ICE detention centers operating today:

The one closest to me is called “Santa Ana City Jail” if that tells you anything.

6. Elected officials need to be pressured to protect immigrants.

Los Angeles Residents: this is for you!
Local example (in Los Angeles): Mayor Eric Garcetti. Garcetti is running for re-election on March 7th. Here is his stance on immigration:

The mayor maintained the federal government cannot withhold funding if Los Angeles refuses to cooperate with immigration policy “with a gun to the head.”

Garcetti said it violates the 10th Amendment.

He again stated Los Angeles was not a sanctuary city, explaining police would turn over arrested felons to federal authorities who have a warrant.

He discussed the positive economic impact of immigrants, citing a new study finding foreign-born residents contributed $233 billion to Los Angeles County in 2014.    -

Garcetti has been extremely “careful” about how he responds to the new administration’s failed executive order banning immigrants from 7 predominantly Muslim countries. Unlike other leaders he has refused to describe Los Angeles as a sanctuary city.

Here is his statement on the executive order:

FEBRUARY 10, 2017
“Today I spoke to the Deputy Director of ICE’s Los Angeles Field Office and made it very clear that I want greater transparency about ongoing operations and the status of all Los Angeles residents who may have been arrested or detained. I told the Deputy Director that I will do everything in my power — working alongside our City Attorney, the LAPD, immigrants’ rights advocates, congressional delegation and outside lawyers — to make sure that the legal rights of all Angelenos are respected and upheld at every stage of the enforcement process.

Angelenos should not have to fear raids that are disruptive to their peace of mind and bring unnecessary anxiety to our homes, schools, and workplaces. The Administration should take a just, humane, and sensible approach that does not cause pain for people who only want to live their lives and raise their families in the communities they call home.

— Mayor Eric Garcetti

Seems a bit weak to me. Instead of “more transparency” how about “a list by end of day Friday.”

Please contact him if you think Los Angeles should be a sanctuary city protecting undocumented people with no criminal history from ICE.

Mayor Eric Garcetti
200 N Spring Street
LA, CA 90012

Or email directly from here:

Link to the form email on his website. (Might have less chance of ending up in Junk?)

    Helpful Organizations

Black Lives Matter Los Angeles

Immigration Youth Coalition

Undocumented & Unafraid Movement
(a movement that started organically via the hashtag #undocumentedandunafraid)

LA Justice Fund Garcetti set this up – it’s up but not yet running – keep your eye on it or make a donation if possible.

At one point a member of BLM LA spoke about Mayor Garcetti. She described him as, “That white liberal lady you know who wears yoga pants, has one black friend at dinner and speaks Spanish…kind of.” I looked left and right – was she talking about ME?? She nailed it. I felt embarrassed but realized that for once I needed to do two things: 1. Listen. and 2. Serve.

My dear friend Erika told me the other day that at last white people understand how people of color have been feeling their whole lives.

This SNL skit illustrates it nicely.


Week 1 – South Street & Smith Memorial Park

We started out at my sister’s house. My niece had a day off of work so we grabbed her and headed to South Street. The last time I’d been there was probably 20+ years ago and it wasn’t the same but we had fun.

We happened upon the Magic Gardens:

Outside The Magic Gardens

M was pretty grumpy as we’d just flown in the night before and it was pretty hot. Ok forget the excuses – that’s her default mood.

We had lunch at this largely empty pub. Free air hockey and a local cider, what more could you ask for?

Rachel and me at a pub

After lunch we headed to Smith Memorial Playground. Acres of playground

When I was a kid we at times sprayed furniture polish on the wooden floor, put socks on and slid back & forth. Some genius translated this to a slide!

You grab a gunny sack, run around the walkway and WHEEEEEEEEEEEEeeee down you go!

This little fellow helped us up at the bottom.

Texting & sliding.

No texts were harmed in the filming of this slide.

Not a bad “Intro to Summer Vacation.”


Summer 2016 on the road

G and I had the idea to take the van on a road trip in a circle around the country. So we bought a map and started planning the drive. Holy Toledo (NOT one of our destinations) we’d never have time to actually get OUT of the van if we did this. Not only that but our plan had us passing through the deep south in late July. You can FORGET THAT!

We decided I’d fly east with the kids and see everyone we could while we were there. We’d meet G later on.

Christina: Thank god for Jet Blue and its TVs! Keep these kids off my BACK.

M knows "Real Housewives of Orange County" is not appropriate for a 7 year old.

Plenty of bribes made the flight go smoothly.

Part 2 Vacation


Devorie’s Craft Classes

My neighbor has been holding amazing craft classes for kids this year.

M made apple pie cookies and a cornucopia in the first one. Consistent with her behavior since birth, she cried when she heard she was going. Luckily our neighbor was there.

We arrived to find Devorie’s mini apple pie station.

A healthy snack table with some of the baking supplies.

A chill out area where the kids could draw and relax on a bean bag chair.
M still looks mildly pained at leaving our house.

The baking table.
Part of what makes this class so different from others is, can you see what she has for each child? Yep, besides a slotted wooden spoon they get their own apple peeler. Unheard of in this age of us helicopter parents!

First you must put on an apron:

When I arrived to pickup M she was finishing assembling her cornucopia.

She had already peeled and cut her apples (yep, with her own knife!), assembled & baked the mini apple pies.

At home we baked the cornucopia. It was beautiful!

Unfortunately for it, it was tasty and the girls couldn’t stop tearing off hunks to eat. It never got full of plenty but now we know how to make one next year!

We ate the apple pies SO quickly. Luckily Devorie stopped by with the extra filling the kids had made. So we made our own dough and took a stab at them that weekend.

We took them across the street to dinner at the neighbors’. Delicious!

The second class we attended was an ornament making class.

There was a hot chocolate station awaiting the kids!

Embellishment Station

Chill area

Does anyone have a brush around here?

Hot glue gun table

Hard at work as the sun set

Here are the ornaments they made:

K-Cup Snowman Hat Ornament

They also made Yarn Hats. M hasn’t finished hers but I’ll post a pic when she does!

When I got there to pick up the kids they were all having a big time! Some had gone off on their own project tangents but everyone was engaged in something. Devorie’s class is unique in that it’s very experiential. Instead of focusing on the end product she lets the kids focus on the experience of using all these materials. She is even teaching them how to use glue guns carefully and safely. It’s amazing! They feel so excited because they are able to do almost every part of the project themselves.

There is one more class left in December if you’re interested. It’s at Devorie’s house in Santa Monica.

Tues. 12/15 3-5PM

Darn the class is FULL. Hopefully she will start up again in 2016!
Feel free to email me for Devorie’s contact info!

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