Wednesday, November 9, 2011


I am going to take a shower.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Saturday, January 15, 2011

New Year's Resolution

Blog at least one time this year.


I truly believe in the power of goal setting.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Old Soul

Delia just turned 10. "Double digits", she reminded us repeatedly.  As I talked about this recent milestone with my mother she remarked that time was going so fast and wasn't it strange to think that before we know it Deedee would be 12 and in the Young Women's program at church.  I felt like this was the suitable response to the idea of a child getting older.  A mild shock-- like two year old Wendy experienced in the garden  when Mrs. Darling declared, "Oh why can't you just stay this way forever!"--  that this was the beginning of the end.

But I couldn't muster that feeling because it seems to me like Delia is finally filling up the years that have always rightfully been her's.  She came with a seriousness, a gravity, about her situation on this planet. She combs through her experiences peering anxiously into the detritus of the day to see where she went wrong, where she could have done it better. She listens and sorts and makes meaning of all things all of the time. She plans with intensity and the first two or three pages of her many notebooks and journals are filled with neat lists of  ideas and what comes next . She is always aware of decisions and possibility. 

 I watch her living her life and I am reminded of a description that Wallace Stegnar uses in one of his novels to describe recounting a story from the past while being informed by your knowledge of the future.  He calls it the doppler effect. An echo through time. It is almost like Delia knows what her future is and each present moment resonates with the inevitable.

When I see her among her siblings or peers getting along without effort, lauging and giggling, I am so relieved because I get to witness her in childhood. I savor the images of her with an easy smile, a playful shrug or an unrestrained excitement when she is free from the weight of dissappointment or the burden of staying on course.  Thinking of her growing up for me is like thinking of watching Atlas grow from a slight little boy to a muscular man all while he bore the burden on his shoulders. In other words, a relief. When I think of her in Young Womens  I actually breathe easier because I imagine her stature beginning to match her spirit.
Right now, for her birthday, I want her to know that I am proud of her,
that I am thankful for her tender, tender heart,
but, mostly, that
 I love her.
Happy Birthday Delia

Monday, November 1, 2010

More OPB (you still know me)

Welcome to another edition of OPB.

The primary reason that I love these women (and their blogs)  is that they make me look good by mere association.  One is my sister by blood and the other my sister by marriage. 

And when you see what they are up to you will think that some how, either genetically or by the kind of people my genes attract I am smart, conscientious, inspired, dedicated, focused, organized, thoughtful and suprememly cool.  I will just let you think that I am all of those things.

After all these girls are related to me. 

And the truth is that both of them have influenced the way I conduct affairs.  Julie has even Hapalabbed my house and our crew is often seen in the background at the lab since we are very neighborly neighbors. And  Aleli's voice rings and resonates through so many of my decisions about housekeeping, childrearing and consuming. 

So get down with hapalab and Pomello Farm.  I know I do. 



and just to show you what connects Julie and I,  I give you my brother, Marc. He isn't actually a gay train engineer regardless of what the outfit implies. Although he has been known to hang out over at the south end of Berkeley Aquatic Park, but it was only accidentally

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Past, Present, Future Pie

I've been making a concerted effort to be right where I am lately. There have been moments these past few months, even moments that I would normally classify as difficult ones, when I have just been scrubbing, or swabbing, or wrestling or reading and felt completely present and, in retrospect, content.   Chatting in the halls at church today one of the young brethren mentioned his attempts at what he called Zen Eating.  Just really being in the moment of the food, the eating, the dinner. I liked this idea and thought  I might try it but I got to thinking a bit more about this. You see, while living through the days  I am often informed by the past and my hopes for the future.  It is almost like every bite of apple pie reminds me of all the pies of the past, where I ate them, when I ate them and  with whom.  The flavor is richer for it.  Also each morsel carries with it the possibility of maybe never having a pie this good again and that intensifies my appreciation for the pie I've got in front of me.  After all, it could be my last.    This is Past Present Future eating at its best. 

But the very real risk  in the comparison with the past and future pies is that you miss the pie you are actually eating and miss out on the delicious gratitude that can accompany it while you dwell on what was and feel anxiety about what might be.  Considering this, Zen Eating, as a practice, seems like, if nothing else, a useful way to avoid disappointment and anxiety. 

Then I started wondering why my own faith (I'm a mormon...yes I am)  didn't readily offer a way to eat a slice of pie.  I think it does and I will call it Eating By The Spirit.   One of my favorite, and uniquely mormon scriptures says, "For he that diligently seeketh shall find; and the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them, by the power of the Holy Ghost, as well in these times as in times of old, and as well in times of old as in times to come; wherefore, the course of the Lord is one eternal round"(1 Ne. 10: 19). 

I think the mysteries of God might actually be found in the flavors of life and in this scripture there is an implication that we can learn to savor  the present moment by considering the past and future moments.  And what comfort food to allow that if you don't get it in this moment that in God's time we go round eternally and have so many chances to taste of it.  I also consider that "His paths are strait" or in other words there is this small and perfect space where those mysteries reside.  So how do I eat in this perfect space in time without dwelling too much in the past or in the future?  Well, according to this "by the power of the Holy Ghost". 

So while I eat, or live, or whatever, I just need to be looking (diligently seeking) for the flavors (mysteries of God) and those can be from any moment in time( one eternal round). And, from my experience when I stay open (soft heart) to this strange and almost ridiculous idea that some unseen spirit (Holy ghost) can reveal the mysteries to me life tastes sweet and I feel a part of every moment...

Ric Estrada life snapshot from Seth Estrada on Vimeo.



and future.

Now that is good pie.

*I obtained the slideshow shown at my Father's funeral from my brother's website. He put the slide show together and is in post-production on a whole stinking documentary about my dad.  Go check out the website and see if there is any way you could help get this film ready and distributed!*

Thursday, September 9, 2010


No picture can do it justice. 
 I am alone in my house.
Completely alone.
And it is quiet.
I can hear myself breathing.
What a silver moment.