Friday, August 29, 2008


Mick's been in Eugene all week for the second week in a row, training for his new job. Here's what he had to say on the phone the other night:

This job is sweet, Anj. I've got assistants cleaning up all my messes! I do the work on one mouth, an assistant comes and takes me by the elbow, saying, 'Dr. Reynolds, we need you in the next room now,' and I leave all my instruments just where they are and move on to the next task. No clean-up required.

Yeah, it doesn't get any better than that, does it? I warned him not to try that at home, though.

Monday, August 25, 2008

elizabethan 1


Yeah, this means I'll need to change the blog title, but I'm going to have to think about it. Don't want to come up with something like Sausalito Sketches. Don't get me wrong, it did the trick, but I'm ready to graduate from a place-oriented alliteration to something else. Ashland Adventures or It's Ashland Ah'ight! aren't going to cut it. See what I mean? (Your suggestions are welcome and will possibly be respected.)

Anyway, this'll be brief for today, since I'm still unpacking this place. Just an FYI, though: that photo above is part of the Elizabethan Theater for the Ashland Shakespeare Festival -- and I have a mini version of that in my back yard. Literally! Our rental house has a little Shakespeare cottage out back that was the Shakespeare booth at the 1962 Seattle World's Fair. From there, it came to the Ashland Shakespeare Festival, and from there it somehow ended up in my back yard. Guess who has a new writing cottage??? I'll post photos and other descriptions of the whole house soon, but that' s a little tantalizing tidbit for now.

In other news...

Dane spent last week in YMCA Basketball camp while Aubrey stuck by my side. (She didn't have any interest in basketball.) I wasn't sure how Dane would like it, since he's never really played except at MiniHawks or in P.E. -- but here's what he had to say about it on his way to the second day of camp:

D: Mom, how long is camp?
A: It's from 9 to noon every day, so that's three hours a day.

D: Boy, yesterday it felt like it lasted ONE MINUTE.

He's already asking be on a basketball team after soccer season.* I think he might even get a hoop for his birthday. We live on a quiet street where we can set one up. And it's likely no one will steal it! (As they might in Marin City. Yes, we do a lot of comparing to Marin City here, with a surprising mix of pros and cons).

Another interaction:

Living by the cousins is thrilling for Dane and Aubrey (and us). Cousin Jude, age 4, was over the other day playing with Dane while the girls were all still at Kai and Dana's.

Dane and Jude came to me and Dane says, "Mom, you know what I just told Jude?" (Jude's standing next to him nodding and repeating occasional words Dane says.) "Jude just said we're cousins, and I told him we're more like brothers. We're brothers, Mom. We're like brothers, aren't we, Jude?" Jude nods vigorously and says, "Yeah, me and Dane brothers." And then they talk a little bit between them, because they have to establish that, yeah, they're actually cousins, too, so Dane adds, "Well, it's really like we're 50% cousins, 50% brothers and 50% friends."

That's right, boys...

Today I signed Dane and Aubrey up for Fall Soccer teams through the Y.

Saturday, August 09, 2008


Listening to Louis Armstrong's What A Wonderful World the other day, Aubrey said, "I love this song. It's beautiful -- is Yoda singing it?"

Apparently she's not the first to make that connection...

Friday, August 08, 2008

but I like to eat. So, here's something the kids and I cooked up the other day in our attempt to add vegetarian selections to our lives.

Sweet Potato and Fruit Medley
8 servings, egg-free
5 medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed
2 1/2 Tbs. butter
2 bananas, sliced
1 apple or pear, cored, peeled and chopped
1 Tbs. grated fresh ginger
1 cup chopped dried apricots (6 1/2 oz.)
6 Tbs. thawed frozen apple juice
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1. Preheat oven to 475 [degrees] F. Pierce each sweet potato in several places. Place on sheet of foil and bake until tender, 45 to 50 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in large skillet, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add bananas, apple and ginger and cook, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes. Transfer to large bowl; set aside.

3. Remove sweet potatoes from oven. When cool enough to handle, peel and slice. Add to banana mixture along with apricots, apple juice concentrate and lemon juice and toss gently to mix.

4. Spoon mixture into 11 x 7-inch glass casserole, cover with foil and bake until hot, about 35 minutes. Serve right away for best results.

COPYRIGHT 2000 Vegetarian Times, Inc. All rights reserved.

I LOVED it -- it was like eating pie it was so sweet. It had great texture to it, too, between the sweet potato rounds and the dried apricot bits. Aubrey DIDN'T like it. For probably the same reasons I loved it. This kid doesn't even like jam. Mick LIKED it. And Dane gave it a thumbs SORT-OF up.

Don't eat too much at a time. It'll make you gassy -- at least that's what I, um, heard. And don't snack on the dried apricots while you make it. That only offers predictable repercussions as well.

Monday, August 04, 2008


Aubrey has handled the delay to move to Ashland this summer better than all of us. A move-out date of August 15 means she got her big wish: she got to go to her best pal Gia's birthday party.

It's importance? Well, one morning in May, I learned it. As we were getting ready for school, Aubrey asked me, "Is August before June, Mom?"

I'd quickly answered, "Nope. You know that! You know... June, July, August?" and winked at her and kept brushing my teeth, or something trivial (oops, sorry Mick) like that.

At that point, Aubrey just crumpled onto the floor, sobbing. With huge tears streaming down her face she'd cried, "Then I'm going to miss Gia's birthday!" (That's when we thought we might have to move in June.)

I knelt down beside her shuddering little bod and held her for a while like that, realizing that at that moment she was really grasping our imminent move and what it would mean to say goodbye to close friends. It even made me feel sad to think of what it would mean to leave.

So, anyway, it turns out she didn't have to miss the party, and she/we have been able to say heartfelt goodbyes to all our friends with this extra time. In fact, we've said goodbye to several people several times, but that's just fine by us.