Tuesday, August 28, 2007


My cousin Dani (my mom's sister Karen's daughter) married her longtime sweetheart this past weekend aboard the Safari Rose at Lake Tahoe's Emerald Bay. I loved how Dani showed so much expression in her eyes, how Wade looked mellow and peaceful, how their friends gave the event a spirited feel (they were a riot) -- but my favorite part was that they ended the ceremony by dancing to "You Shook Me All Night Long."

To the decades ahead of you, Dani and Wade -- Cheers!

Monday, August 27, 2007


I hope you make ice cream with the ice cream maker some day! Thanks for letting us have the kayak! Happy Birthday, Grandad. - Dane

You're a cute, cute Grandad. Grandad? You're a good Grandad. - Aubrey

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


It may not be the official last day of summer according to the solstice calendar, but since school starts tomorrow at Willow Creek Academy, it may as well be.

Dane returns, entering 1st grade with Ms. Lurie, whose specialty is reading (could she be any nearer and dearer to my heart then?), and AUBREY STARTS KINDERGARTEN!

Come 7:45 AM we'll ride our bikes in, drop Dane off at Ms. Lurie's, and then drop Aubrey off at Ms. Perez's. I'm incredibly excited for each kid -- and, yes, for myself (the time! the freedom!) -- but I have to admit my stomach is really upset today. Could this be psychosomatic? I like to think I'm tougher than that, but I'm probably not.

Aubrey has been such a great little partner over the past year, at my side for a lot of long, sweet days. And riding my bike with the trail-a-bike still attached after I've dropped her off (she's still not very interested in learning to ride her own two wheels) will probably feel weird.

As for the two of them, it's also been a great summer spent watching them grow and pal around. Things like that change a little during the school year, although hopefully not too much.

After dropping them off tomorrow, my friend Sharon is letting me sit in on her Bikram Yoga class. We'll see if 90 minutes of 105 degree heat and 40% humidity helps me keep things in perspective.

My plan for the school year will include a nice balance of part-time work at the rec center, lots of writing, volunteering in the classrooms, riding my bike for transportation, and maybe taking a fitness class a couple times a week.

Mick's plan is to keep charging through school, drumming up the kinds of patients and cases he needs to graduate (a lot of his class is frustrated and challenged by this these days).

I'll post FIRST DAY pix when I see Mick again and can download them onto his computer. He has clinic until 9 Thursday night; I leave for Tahoe the next morning for a couple days to attend my cousin Dani's wedding.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


Two Saturdays ago, we took the kids to the DeYoung's 10:30 AM children's art class. Mick studied in the cafeteria and I sat in on the docent tour/lecture and art project.

The topic was textures and patterns and symmetry. The first item we looked at was a thousand year old South American king's tunic made entirely of jungle bird feathers. You could barely tell they were feathers -- the texture was very flat -- and it was brilliant. The main color was yellow, with patterns created at the outer edge from blue, red, white and black "wave," triangle, line or square repetitions.

The kids' project was to cut colorful felt shapes and glue them onto a rectangular sheet of white cotton material in the symmetric pattern of their choice. Dane was done pretty quickly and not terribly engaged (I think he likes drawing or sculpting best); Aubrey took quite a while and cut out very tiny hearts and circles and triangles, and then accented with little pearl beads. All symmetrically, of course.

Afterward, we grabbed Mick and went outside to find the Sky room (not sure of its real name) where the accoustics allow for you to to hear sound purely -- where a whisper can envelop you if you stand in the center. (see photo above, taken when Maureen and Jackie visited)

With our packed lunches we headed across the street to the Arboretum in Golden Gate Park. We ate on benches next to the turtle pond, took a walk, played some frisbee, and finally headed home in the late afternoon.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Aubrey and Katie frozen in 'freeze dance' at Katie's Princess party on Saturday.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Momma? When I said goodbye to Uncle Kai I kind of felt like I was gonna cry. -Dane
If you get an error at the poll, click refresh way up top and it should work.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

LAKE TAHOE IN JUNE!(She couldn't wait to wear the size 6!)

Rob, Dane's dentist.
We stayed at his family's cabin.

Friday, August 17, 2007


We didn't renew our Bay Area Discovery Museum membership this year since Dane was in Kindergarten and Aubs seemed plenty busy. However, we returned with friends Josh and Abby (mom, Camille) yesterday and shut the place down! We got there when it opened and we left when it closed (10am to 4pm).

The most exciting part for the kids was the new exhibit called "Joshua's Journey," a full-on wild west exhibit about a black cowboy. The kids could dress up in cowgear (I wish my camera battery had been charged): they had boots, spurs, chaps, hats, prairie dresses, bandanas, sombreros, and plaid western shirts galore. The kids could lassoo cattle from a wooden saddled horse and rope in the wooden calf. They could sit around a campfire next to a covered wagon and cook up supper -- there was even a triangle and spoon to call in the gang for chow. Overall, we probably spent 2-1/2 hours in there.

It was a gorgeous sunny Bay day, so we were lucky to spend the rest of the time outdoors at the play area. They searched for buried treasure in the "sunken ship," played Star Wars out at the stick maze (hard to describe that place), dipped their bods in the mock tidal pools, shoveled gravel in the gravel pit, and climbed up the crows nest.

The old standbys in the art room and train/fishing boat room were great fun, too.

Today we're home cleaning up because Uncle Kai and Jason Hickman come tonight for the weekend! They're going to an all-day concert in SF tomorrow with Mick.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Oh dear... apparently this blog's going belly-up.
Profound thanks to the third mystery voter... ;)

Friday, August 10, 2007


Thursday, August 09, 2007


Mick was given 2 Oakland A's tickets for Friday July 20th; we were also given 2 San Francisco Giants tickets for the following Friday.

The first Friday, Mick took Aubrey with him to the A's game. They ate their packed snacks, plus hot dogs, cotton candy, and Tic Tacs. Aubrey sang "Take me out to the ball game" the whole time, sat on her dad's lap, sat next to him, met the people in the rows near her. She sacked out happily and suddenly within the first 5 minutes of their ride home, after chattering wildly about how she drank Diet Coke and how that has caffeine and how she wasn't tired at all.

In the meantime, Dane and I spent a specially planned evening home. Earlier that week we'd bought "Dino Dig" from the Discovery Channel Store. Dino Dig is like the game Battleship, but with raptor fossil parts to discover in your opponent's grid instead. Dane was incredibly focused for 2 hours as we used coordinates to guess where the others' bones were. Afterward, we curled up on the couch and read books until late.

In both cases that first Friday, Mick and I reveled in how sweet each kid was -- doing something special with our undivided attention. The following Friday, we swapped kids and had similar fun.

Dane went with Mick to the SF Giants game -- along with his friend Jacob and Jacob's dad, Mike -- where the boys watched Barry Bonds hit his 754th homerun, leaving him just 1 homer shy of tying the record. (The boys were ecstatic, although I'm not entirely sure they grasped the actual significance of the momentus occasion.) They snacked, ate ice cream, talked about baseball, held up their mitts, and stayed for the entire game.

At home, Aubrey was beside herself with enthusiasm and plans for our evening alone. The week before, we'd bought a special craft kit (also at the Discovery Channel Store) and she'd been waiting patiently since then to delve into it on our special night. When the moment arrived, we sat around coloring and framing our artwork as she chatted happily about the markers and designs; then, we played Pokemon Yahtzee and Disney Princess Dominoes, and looked (and found) every item in the Find It - Incredibles book while we sat propped up in bed side-by-side for over an hour. Of course, we also painted our nails.

Mick and I agreed that while it's always fun to do things together as a family, there's so much to be said about spending time with just one other person, devoting all kinds of love and attention and interest to that person. We're definitely going to be doing this again with the kids.

That said, Mick and I also got to spend time alone recently when the kids spent a few hours one evening at our friends' the Neilsen's. Instead of trying to do a big bike ride or go out to dinner, I found a scrumptuous curry recipe online and we went to the market to pick up all the ingredients, then came home and drank wine together while preparing and cooking it all up. We threw on some Morphine -- a band we listened to a lot that first summer we met -- and spent a sweet, chill kind of evening together.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

We spent July 4th with cousins and grandparents and Karen and Bonita and Amber and Heidi and Pete at Carkeek Park in Seattle.

It was a gorgeous sunny day; we potlucked, bbq'd, splashed in saltwater, waded through drainage tunnels, and, if you were Pete or Heidi, got special treatment by the birds perched on the branches overhead. (Hint: from a bird, rhymes with bird.)

And, yes! We finally met Weston! Here he is up close and delightful, in a photo with Auntie Anjie, and in another with Kai and Indi.

Note: Auntie Dana bought the cousins matching Independence Day outfits. See if you can figure out who matches! (Think gender; think occasion -- i.e. daytime, nighttime. You'll find both.)

That week we also met up with our friends the Malcolms and swam/bbq'd at Lake Washington. Pictured with the kayaks: the Malcolm kids and the Reynolds kids all sprawled out.

The link for The Sun on yesterday's post should be
www.thesunmagazine.org. (I'll change it below, too.)

Check it out!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Publishing Update

I can't remember if I've made note of some of my fun recent writing news. In case I haven't: The Sun's 'Reader's Write' section published a piece I wrote about being kissed on the cheek by my Mormon pal, Buddy, in 9th grade -- and its unexpected, lingering effect. (My payment: 6 months of free issues!)

And now I just stopped by my library and it turns out a similar, longer version of that story was printed up in the Marin Independent Journal on July 29th. (Think: Bellingham Herald for all of Marin County.) I'd submitted it a few months ago and had forgotten it. And, evidently, the IJ forgot to notify me that they were printing it! The headline was "Making choices today that will affect your children tomorrow." It takes up the bottom half of page D-4, and it has a computer-graphic picture of two people kissing. (Interesting choice!) My librarian and another woman from my library book club saw it and they saved copies at the front desk for me.

Visit http://www.thesunmagazine.org to see the August issue of The Sun.
The IJ's website is http://www.marinij.com, but you can't pull up archived issues.

Still working on downloading family pix for future blog entries -- I really want to write more about our summer.