Tuesday, January 30, 2007

This edition of NETTY'S BRAG PAGE is dedicated to PEOPLE GOIN' PLACES:

He's IN THE NAVY NOW. Mick's cutie-pie cousin, Scott Reynolds, just left for eight weeks of boot camp at Great Lakes Naval Training Center in Michigan. His mother says that he'll eventually be trained in "Advanced Electronics / Computer Something." Here's Scott at what he called his LAST SUPPER: pictured with Kate, Rod and Susie. Go Sailor!

On to ORAL SURGERY. Our friends the Nelsons got good news yesterday: Tyler's been accepted to his #1 post DDS program choice at Highland Hospital in Oakland. In the words of his most happy wife, Natalie, "It's 4 more years, we get paid, and no more tution/student loan debt!" She also said Tyler slept soundly for the first time in 3 weeks last night.Here's the Nelson family: Tyler, Natalie, Whitney and Cole. They've been our Ridgeway Apartment neighbors since we moved here (Tyler started UoP the year before Mick); Whitney and Aubrey have spent many hours together in flouncy dresses and glass slippers.

And another UoP student doing the Ridgeway Apartments proud: our friend/neighbor Rich Michaud found out yesterday he's been awarded a PEDIATRIC RESIDENCY at Temple University / Hospital in Pennsylvania for 2 years. Rich and Shari poured their hearts and souls into getting there and this is great big huge cool news.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Bike/Van Update

Lucky for us, Dane's friend Vincent got a new bike for Christmas and was happy to let Dane borrow his old Spiderman bike (with hand brakes!) until we get Dane a new one. This has been particularly nice, since we're still riding bikes to/from school while the van's in the shop.

The van might be ready today or tomorrow. Mick found Paul at Valley Wagonworks via some nerdy Vanagon listserv Mick's on. Paul only does Volkswagon vans, on his own, and at his home. The word from Paul is that he's replaced our clutch, our front brakes, and our back brakes. He still doesn't like the sound the brake pedal makes, though, (sounds like a low, um, farty leak -- those of you who have driven with us have heard it) and he'd like to get that figured out. Other than that, he took it for a drive yesterday and says the engine still sounds good; says we got a really good year Vanagon (which we knew). Can't you just feel the love there?

Monday, January 22, 2007

Transportation Update

Dane's Dinosoaur bike (including dino squeaker!) was taken from our garage on Saturday when new neighbors left their door open. Aaaargh! Dane's handling it better than we are, though: he's already planning that his next bike will "be a little bit big for me, and have hand brakes and flames."

The van's still in the shop, It's been out of service 10 days now. When we get it back it'll have a new clutch, new brakes, and a much needed tune-up. Thanks to everyone who sent Christmas money! :)

Aubs and I are off to her class now via bike and trail-a-bike. It's sunny and crisp out. As Aubs says, time to feel the wind on our skin.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

(for Writing Mamas blogsite)

My son’s been drawing racecars lately. Really good ones. Of course they’re of the animated Pixar car, Lightning McQueen, but he’s six and they’re 3-D, and except that I’ve never seen the number “95” drawn accurately on the door – it’s usually “65” or “92” – they’re pretty impressive. He’s got the spatial stuff down, as well as the colors and character personality.

But yesterday he was in some sort of slump. I watched him rip page after page from his notebook and throw them to the floor with just a single line or curve on each tossed page.

“I can’t do it!” he screamed – and this from a kid who doesn’t usually lose his cool. He’s the kid on the playground saying, “Excuse me, guys? Excuse me? Could you please stop yelling at each other? Let’s just try to figure this out, okay?”

But in this moment of frustration he’s irrational. He’s lost his cool because he’s lost his ability to do something he knows he’s capable of doing. I try to explain that it’s temporary, that he’ll figure it out again, that maybe he just needs a break or a snack.

Truth be told, though, I’m a little nervous for him. Deep down, I’m right there with him.

I think of all the half-written essays in my journal, and the essays I attempt that look nothing on the page like they do in my head, and the rejection letters I’ve received for the ones I’ve completed. I get scared that, like me, he might wonder if he’ll ever “arrive.”

To have the desire and the ambition, but to feel like you no longer have the knack, or, worse yet, that you never did, is terrifying.

But I keep these thoughts to myself, give my boy a hug, and stick to my solution that he take a break, have a snack, and try again later.

Imagine, then, the triumph I feel the next morning when he has powered out two fully-sketched, fully-colored Lightning McQueens before I even have the chance to put peanut butter on his toast.

Zoo Day

Aubrey went to the San Francisco Zoo yesterday with her friend Jennifer from Miss Jane's class at the Mill Valley Rec Center. Lisa, Jennifer's mom, said Aubrey seemed to have a great time with both Jennifer and little brother, Ryan. When I asked Aubs what she saw, she said they saw zebras and giraffes -- "really close up!" -- and some mice. She said they didn't see any chihuahuas, though, which is a word she and Dane like saying lately: "oo oo chihuahua, oo oo chihuahua." Don't know where that comes from. When she got home, we drew a zebra and a giraffe and a "piggy goat" (not to be confused with "pigmy goat-- a "piggy goat" is just hungry and pushy). The zebra was striped rainbow colors, which looked a lot like the character from the Fruit Striped Zebra gum wrappers of the 70s.

Dane spent the day at school. I worked in his class for an hour as they learned about different kinds of clouds and then I got to help Dane's group make a cool cloud art project. Dane gets really excited when I work in the classroom, and always hopes I get to work with his group, so this was a really special day: not only did I work with his group, but I was there sans Aubrey. After school, Dane had Spanish and then we walked home.

Because the van is still out of service, we've been walking to and from his school this week-- I did 3 round trips myself yesterday, which is about a 6 mile day. The crisp cold walks seem to do us all good though. (Perhaps you're aware how cold it is here? In a nearby part of the state, 50-75% of the citrus crops have been damaged due to frost/cold weather. Gov. Schwarzenegger declared a state of emergency. It's not so bad here in Marin City/Sausalito, but there's been frost and ice and some cold wind. Feels almost like the PNW winters I'm used to.)

Mick did an OTCP in the clinic. Not sure what the letters stand for, but I think it's just an initial check up and cleaning.

Monday, January 15, 2007


Pictured here with Kai, Dana, Barritt and Indi.
(Jude was under the weather.)

Pictured here with Jen (WWU roomie), Rik, and sister Lucy.

ANDREA JOY CAPPELLO - January 10, 2007
Her family is Sarah, Joel (a Mick WWU friend), Sofia, Paolo, and Sonya.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Off The Grid: Just Some Newsy News Catchup

Took a break from blogging last week. I ended up taking care of one of Dane's classmates, Terrance, for an unexpected amount of time. In the mornings, his parents would drop him off at 6:30, he'd eat breakfast here with us, go to school with us (van, or bike -- he and Aubrey in the bike trailer, that hurt my back so no can do -- or walking). After school, we dropped him off the first day, but then the rest of the week it turned out he needed care after school, so he was here indefinitely every afternoon, ranging from 5pm to later with dinners and one over-night.

I was happy to help out, but on Friday I set up with his parents that I won't be available two days a week, when I'm committed to riding bikes to school with my kids, and that I can do one day a week where he can stay here after school, but that they'd have to arrange for some help other than me. I might extend that availability to two days, because the kids really love having him around, but I decided to err on the side that helps maintain my sanity/space first.

That said, here's what's great about Terrance coming over:

*He and Dane immediately get out their homework and set to work with pencils and crayons. The conversations and engagement are marvelous, with lots of "This fish looks good with purple and green, right?" and "Sometimes I have to erase my '6' so it doesn't look scribble-scrabbly, right?" Homework that usually takes Dane about 20-30 minutes ends up being a full hour of drawing that extends into race cars and tow trucks with Terrance (and Aubrey).

*Dane and Aubrey really love playing with him. And, on Wednesday, when Aubrey was in ballet, they got to play soccer together outside the rec center.

*Dane gets to 'rassle' a little bit with Terrance around. It doesn't usually start until Terrance's mom comes to pick him up, but then while we're chatting, the boys kind of pin each other on the floor, or throw each other against the couch, or trip each other by the heel. Kind of a treat for Dane.

*Terrance's mom is 23, newly married to a really sweet and loving guy, and she's putting her best foot forward to give Terrance a good life. They had a few obstacles this week, but she impressed me with how she handled them.

So, other than the clutch going out on the van Friday, which could put a cramp in my carpool style (I also take our neighbor girl Shewanna the days I don't bike) and my pocketbook, that's some of the skinny here in Sausalito.

Friday, January 05, 2007


7 lbs, 1 oz

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Congratulations, Dani and Wade!
My cousin and her beau of seven years are engaged!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

BIG NEWS! (x2)

1 -
Welcome to the planet, Weston James Reynolds!
Congratulations to Kai, Dana, Barritt, Indi and Jude.
Will post pix of our new little nephew/cousin soon.

2 -


Monday, January 01, 2007


I took down Christmas decorations
The kids had a tea party in the bathroom
The kids rode bikes at our playground
Mick set up the iMac our friends gave us
I took a long walk up the hill and back
Mick and I sat down at Starbucks writing our goals for the year
The kids played at Whitney and Cole's (dental neighbors here)
We all said goodbye to Mick's last day home for the next 10 weeks