Thursday, December 20, 2007

St. Nicklaus filled our shoes on December 6.

The jammies have been nightly favorites since (which can be a stretch when laundry gets done just once a week!).

Monday, December 17, 2007

Did I Mention Karen Came To Town?

It turns out me-n-Granny share a birthday month, so Karen made a layover here for a couple days on her way to L.A. The way I see it, you're not doing too bad if your 37th birthday makes the cut with the 100-year-old.

We made a day of coffee, ferry rides, fish-n-chips at the wharf, sidewalk vendor shopping, Ghiradelli Square, and more coffee.

Thanks for coming, Url.

Q: How can you tell when your child has nearly forgotten her Pacific Northwest Roots?

A: When she's lived in Marin for almost half her life and says things like "Why would it rain today? It rained yesterday..."

Sunday, December 16, 2007

This is another (short) edition of Netty's Brag Page



Plan. Shop. Eat. That's the motto at, the new business started by our Bellingham friends, the Sheldrups.

If you're like me, the Eat part of mealtime usually comes easy -- it's the Plan and Shop parts that lack luster. Well, and sometimes that affects the Eat part.

This course smells like a good idea....

The Christmas party was fun -- even though the family was dressed like goobs.

Dane and Aubrey were in jammies my mom made them last year (the jammies aren't gooby -- just wearing them to a party was), with ornaments strung around their necks. Mick and I wore our matching jammy pants and these awful white sweatshirts from our Long's, our drugstore across the street: Mick's had I 'heart' 'picture of Santa' (I love Santa) in sparkles on it and mine was a line of snowpeople.

Of course, the kids thought the sweathshirts were cool, so when our family won the "Ugly Sweater Contest," which can also translate into "The Only Family Who Showed Up Completely Decked Out," we told the kids our sweaters were indeed cute, not ugly.

Our favorite part of the night was when Aaron -- a former Cleveland Institute of Music student, now almost a dentist -- played his cello as background music. First Dane just sat up on the stage steps next to Aaron. He listened like that for a good 20 minutes, mesmerized, while everyone else at the party mingled and ate. Aubrey joined him later and sat for another 10 minutes with them the same way.

Aaron eventually asked them if they wanted him to play Christmas carols, so he played Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer... The kids sat there quietly mouthing the words. After a while, Aubrey and I went to get food, but Dane stayed on. While we were dishing up our mashed potatoes and string beans, someone leaned over and said to me, "Don't look now, but guess who's about to sing." I slowly turned around and there was Dane at the microphone in his jammies singing "We Wish You A Merry Christmas" while Aaron accompanied on the cello. He sang the entire song, very sincerely and on some of the same notes as Aaron's cello. He got a huge round of applause when he was finished.

Later, he told us he was "kind of embarassed" to sing up there in front of everybody, but it was his favorite part of the night. I told him those are the normal feelings people have when they perform, and he could just let his body and mind get used to that. It's also what makes performing exciting and fun.

Aubrey danced later in a corner while people mingled, practicing her ballet spins and twirls.

The kids thought the White Elephant gift exchange was a blast. Aubrey came away with a huge bag of Ghiradelli Chocolates, Dane got a battery-operated monster truck (Mick's big friend Josh stepped forward at that point and yelled out "Anyone who takes that gift has to answer to me first!" -- very cute), Mick got a bag with chocolates, a bottle of beer and a cookie, and I got a huge box of toothpaste. ha ha.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


Mick has finals ALL DAY LONG today. Then he'll be FINISHED with Fall quarter -- with only TWO more quarters to go!

He still needs plenty of problem mouths for case work, so if that sounds like YOUR MOUTH, open it and give him a call.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Dane and Aubrey,

15 days until White

list of stuff to do:

1. drink hot chocolate/ with marshmallows
2. ski
3. sled
4. swim in the swimming pool
5. open presents
6. read books
7. maybe make a gingerbread house
8. play games
9. laugh a lot
10. fondue

snow is coming soon!

love, Barritt

You're right, B (turning your somersault above) -- we're going to have SO MUCH FUN! xo

Monday, December 10, 2007


WANTED: Wheels for Soapstone.

That's right, if you or anyone you know has an extra car in the Portland area LET ME KNOW! I need a vehicle for my two week residency at Soapstone January 15-30. I know it's a long shot, but I thought I'd start here before forking over the big bucks for a rental...

Sunday, December 09, 2007


I woke up in the middle of the night and heard Dane laughing in the other room. Then he yelled, "Mom! Mom! Come here!"

I rolled out of bed and shuffled into the room, whispering, "What? What is it?"

He looked at me and laughed, "I just had the funniest dream: Jabba the Hut's body with Boba Fett's head! Isn't that hilarious?"

And then he smiled and fell back asleep.

George Lucas, do you EVEN know what you've created?

Aubrey fell asleep last night to visions of the Sugar Plum Fairy dancing in her head.

Yesterday we watched the Nutcracker's mice and soldiers and fairies and flowers dance their sparkly selves across stage. We sat with our first grade friends Makayala and Mia and their moms, Renee and Amy. Afterward, the girls had tickets to the Candy Cane party, where they got special treats and face painting, but, more importantly, autographs and photos of the stars of the show.

Aubrey and Dane and friends after the first day of school, back in August when it was still really hot -- way too hot for jammies in the loft.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

YAKIMA, WA - Gramps came through the surgery fine. He's got a long road to recovery ahead of him, but he survived the tough part.

My mom and her siblings, Uncle Lorren (TX) and Aunt Laurie, were there. My cousins Patrick and Deric drove over, and my cousin Chris (TX) arrives tonight.

When I asked Gram on the phone this morning if she could think of anything I could send her way to help from California, she simply said, "Some hope." Well, that worked out.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Emergency Surgery Thursday, 1pm - Pull through, Gramps.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Quote of the Day - by Shawanna, the 2nd grader I take to school

When asked what it was like to milk a goat on her field trip, she said, "It felt like a hairy hot dog."

Saturday, December 01, 2007

De Young with Pals

We brought Vincent and Amelie with us to Art Class at the De Young this morning.

The docents took the kids through the African art exhibit, focusing on patterns, colors and shapes. Then the kids got to identify shapes ("bowties," concentric diamonds, stripes, triangles) on their own pattern sheets in the art room, using a permanent marker to create a pattern of their own onto broadcloth. They ground up brown clay for brown paint and some orange pastel for orange paint (adding drops of water).

Mick tagged along to study in the museum cafe, and afterwards we went out for crepes in the Haight. Celine's taking the picture, so too bad she's not in it.

Sunday, November 25, 2007


To celebrate Mick's 40th birthday we went out with friends from the dental school, the Bowens, for a day on Lake Berryessa. It was a couple weekends after Labor Day and we had the entire, glassy, sunny lake to ourselves. It was crazy perfect.

Rhonda and Dean were enthusiastic boat owners, generous and fun, and their kids, Bronwyn and Kedrick, were fast friends with Dane and Aubrey. We camped overnight and woke up early to make the most of the day.

Mick rode for the first time since dental school started and was absolutely beaming. The Bowens thought he was a professional. (Mick kind of laughed because he's ridden with real professionals, and even some of his pals up north ride with a little more, shall we say, flair. But, don't get me wrong: he was good!)

In addition to his frontside 180s, his butterslides, his board grabs in the air, and surfing right behind the boat, Mick got an added birthday bonus: he got to DRIVE the boat. The expression on his face for this opportunity alone was one of pure joy.

I wakeboarded for about the third time in my life and the kids each waterskied for the first times in their lives! It was so exciting, and they were really proud of themselves.

The following pictures are in random order; it's kind of a pain to re-order them on blogger. Post a comment if you have a question about a particular photo, though, and I'll be happy to answer it.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Quote of the Day - by Aubrey when she saw a police car

If a policeman gave me a ticket, I'd just take it to the fair.

For tomorrow. My pal Camille says it's weird but it works:

6-7 large apples
1/2 cup sugar
2tablespoons flour
1/2 tsp nutmeg or pumpkin pie spice (I do about 1 teaspoon)
2 tablespoons of lemon juice

Core and slice apples
Combine sugar, flour, nutmeg.
Sprinkle over apples then toss and coat.
Spoon into unbaked pie shell (9inch)
Drizzle with lemon juice

Put the topping on.


1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup butter

Combine sugar and flour. Cut in butter until it's a crumble.
Sprinkle over apples to cover completely.
Slide into large brown paper bag.
Fold ends together and staple.

Bake @ 450 for 1 hour
Open bag and cool on rack

*Camille says she also puts cranberries in with the apples and chopped walnuts in with the topping.

I'll let you know how it turns out -- or, if you try it, let me know how it turned out.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING... we'll be with our friends the Javadis again for year #3 (final year!) so it will be a thrilling and somewhat sad event.

Monday, November 19, 2007

We decorated for Christmas yesterday. Is that ridiculous, or what?

Now we've got our tree, the little NOEL train, nutcrackers, gingerbread picture frames with baby and family pictures in them, reindeer stuffed in nooks and crannies, advent calendars hung...

It's not even Thanksgiving yet, but I will say, in our defense, that a) we had the time yesterday! and b) we're going to be gone for Christmas. So when the kids are begging for it -- and they're already writing fancy letters to Santa -- I figure it's ok to give in.

We re-arranged the furniture according to Dane's plans. The other morning before school he drew up a floorplan of how the living room should be arranged to accommodate the tree. It looked eerily identical to last year's arrangement, and when my other attempts at arranging the room didn't work out, he was smug and sweet on his success. I've saved the floorplan.

This morning the kids each got up at 6 and rolled a blanket up for a pillow under the tree and laid down under it on their backs listening to Raffi's Christmas album.

This week they're going to write letters to Santa explaining that they won't be in Marin City this Christmas, that they'll be at Mema and Poppa's. They'll remind him of the Puyallup address, but I assured them he's been there before.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Ah... So sweet.
(But you can't eat it.)
Here's Mema's frilly
"birthday cake"
delivered to her office

Monday, November 12, 2007


There should be pix of THE KIDS on Halloween, and they'll come soon, I promise, but, for now, here's 80s Aerobics Instructor Micki (who wore this on his Pedo rotation that week -- yikes), our furball of a friend, Todd (Josh's dad, the Federal police officer), and Pat the "I'M(A)PEACH BUSH" (our friend and local dentist).

This was Halloween night after the Fire Station BBQ and before the fabulous trick-or-treating down Sausalito's Caledonia Street among the local vendors.

Note: Bear with me as I try to catch up on two months' worth of blogs. And, once again, I don't have consistently good use of iPhoto, so this could unfold very strangely. (Obviously.)

Friday, November 09, 2007

If you get the chance, send a photo so we can post it.
Hope your day was lovely.
Aubs, Dane, Mick & Anj

When you get the perfect perch in a tree, you’re cradled.

You straddle a thick branch while the coarseness of the bark works like Velcro or the sticky backside of a postage stamp.

There, you can lean back against the upstretched limb behind you, or you can lean forward to the branch reaching sideways in front of you. If you’ve got your notebook with you, you can rest it on that side-reaching limb: nature’s desk.

From the vantage point of the tree, you can see the horizon further than you could on the ground.

But if you’re 37, you’re not really that high up.

As a kid in the Pacific Northwest, you used to climb the Douglas firs, tree sap snarling your brown braids and staining your jeans.

But this tree’s different.

It’s not a fir; it’s a gangly pine in northern California on the Pacific Ocean. You’re about six feet off the ground and you haven’t had to get into the needles yet. The thought’s occurred to you to go higher, to let the needles catch in your hair. To grab a pinecone, toss it across the lawn, let the cone sap gum up your fingers.

But you’re different.

It’s been 25 years since you were that serious tree climber along Pipeline Road, higher than the power lines. Recovering from a bone break now doesn’t sound so exciting – it wouldn’t be such fun to see what your friends would write on your cast; it wouldn’t be such fun to see how you’d manage life with two kids, a job, and a third floor apartment.

So you’ve met this tree, this old friend, halfway.

You’ve climbed up her trunk, found one of her low-reaching and welcoming branches and hoped to have another 25 years of her at this level.

You try not to think of brown braids gone gray and coiled atop your head. You try not to think of yourself in the slow rocker your grandkids might drag out to the base of the tree, so you can watch them climbing above you to the tippy top.

Instead, you close your pen cap and shut your notebook, dropping them to the grass with a ting and a thud, and rest your elbows on nature’s desk to simply take in the crash of the waves and the squawks of the fish-greedy gulls.

To watch from above is what the tree offered from the very, very start, after all.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Happy seventh birthday, sonny.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

You, you make lovin' fun.
Happy Tenth xo

Friday, October 05, 2007


I got a letter in the mail today notifying me of acceptance to the Soapstone Writer's Retreat, with a 2-week residency.

My residency will be January 15-29; I'll work on 'Blue,' the novel I've been writing since Spring.

Check out I get the Wind Room!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Kid's Got A Record

Dane got hauled in on his way to the Giants game with his buddy Josh the other night.

Josh's dad is a Federal Officer in the Presidio.

As always, click on the pic to enlarge the image.
Happy Anniversary, Mema and Poppa!
from Anj, Mick, Aubs, Dane (and Gia!)

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Aubs and her little pal, Gia.
YOSEMITE - 9.22.07 & 9.23.07
Left Sausalito on Saturday morning around 9. Realized that with the forecast of rain and thundershowers in Yosemite, we might not need to high-tail it there with an early start. It took us about 5 hours and plenty of Pirate's Booty, carrot sticks, H2O and Jelly Bellies.

We had no idea what we were going to see. Didn't really know much about El Capitan and Half Dome. After looking up from the valley to these miles of sheer cliffs -- carved out millions of years ago by glaciers -- we figured out how Yosemite got its reputation. (Our friend Erik Otterholt climbed El Capitan one summer, sleeping overnite hanging from hooks in something like a hammock. Now that we've seen it, our admiration for his climbing has grown from big to HUGE.)

Once we got in the park, we went straight to Bridal Veil Falls, where Aubrey described the water coming over the edge as "dusty" -- water's low, of course, at end of summer. Apparently, I didn't even take a picture of it.

Dane keeps warm in the cold.

Dane took this one. (above)

Rock star in the tent at Curry Village while the rain came down. It was dreamy to have the heater that night. Sure, we were supposed to be roughing it, but sleeping in a wet 40 degrees doesn't top my list.
We brought our bikes and rode through the valley the next morning. Major puddle cruising first, and then we hit the trails.Mick and Dane ahead of Aubs and me.

Mick over my shoulder.

Aubs over my shoulder.
She intentionally styled her helmet hair for the "unicorn" look.

Dane rides alongside.

At the sandy beds of what was Mirror Lake this summer.

Can't wait to return.