More Beach

I’m not quite done with our holiday recap, despite the fact that things have been hopping around here! We just had an incredible weekend, but I’ll just give some highlights:
– We had a garage sale on Saturday morning. We got rid of a whole bunch of things but managed to keep our marriage. Olé!

– Saturday afternoon, Amy and Peter invited us into the city for dinner with a bunch of friends. In particular, we got to see Pauline, Dave and their boys, who are visiting from Seattle, so that was spectacular. The food was magnificent and the visit even better. What a great night.

– Sunday afternoon we participated in a badminton invitational at Courtney and Russell’s house. The hosts were charming. The competition was fierce. I won’t lie – I have some suspicions that certain participants were using their ridiculously cute children to disarm their opponents. Those dirty tactics aside, it was awesome. We also discovered that Honey has clearly inherited some skills from her badminton-champion grandmother, so she’ll be someone to watch at the San Rafael Open.

Today we got back to business – swim class, laundry, reading, summer. We’re still just going on faith that it’s actually summer here, of course, as we bundle up in our fleece. I’m a little nervous for our east coast visitors this week. They certainly know cold, but boy are they out of practice! I’d better prep the hot water bottles.

But let’s get back to real summer. Here’s what it looks like:


These are the shirts we made last year for the 2009 Hampton Beach Skee Ball Team.

We don’t know any of those guys.


First, address the ball.

That’s it for me. Time to put on my flannel pajamas and head to bed!


Yes, we’ve been back from our east coast trip for a week and a half and I’m just getting around to this post. You are probably figuring it’s the staggering number of photos, or perhaps the intimidating stack of stories that’s holding me back, right? Or maybe you know me better and assume I’m just sitting around drinking scotch and watching Mad Men.

As it turns out, you’re… you’re… well you’re partially right on that one. BUT I have a bone to pick with you nonetheless. Last week it seemed like a really grand idea to give Honey’s room an overhaul. I had terrific images of snapping my fingers and getting that room shipshape in no time, but as it turns out, Mary Poppins was magic and I’m not quite so when I snapped I triggered an avalanche. I’ve been buried in that room for days, under piles of drawings and stuffed animals and clothes and Japanese erasers and dress ups and stuffed animals and cleats and playmobil and stuffed animals and bags and books and figurines and mysterious clay objects and did I mention stuffed animals? Days, guys. Did you hear the muffled cries for help? That was me.

I’m totally asking for a Saint Bernard for Christmas.

The good news is that I finally clawed my way back up to the surface. There might even be some photos once the room is completely back in place. In the meantime, here are some beach shots.

Ahhhhh. Really is there anything like the beach? (Thanks to Tom for those middle two images.) We had a spectacular time, and it’s good to be home. I think.

Distract Me, Please

Things have been grim here, summerwise. It’s unseemly to say this, in the face of the East Coast heat wave, but we have been freezing all week. So much so that Tom has considered turning ‘fog’ into his own three-letter expletive. I guess we’re supposed to expect as much from a summer in San Francisco, but this has been a little over the top.

Anything that breaks up the chill is welcome, so when Tom asked if the kids and I could spend some quality time up at the Civic Center renewing the Fictional Business Name for our office, we thought, “Why not?” At first, I was a bit concerned about two kids in a county office not particularly known for zippy service. Once we got up there though, I was won over yet again by the building itself, which is Frank Lloyd Wright’s last commissioned building. I only have some quick shots taken with my phone, but fortunately there are lots of images on the interweb, like these over at

There’s an excellent exhibit on the ground floor with the history of the building and some early models that are spectacular.

Architectural models rock, and this one was inspiring.

The kids and I spent some time wandering around and looking for recurring shapes – circles and long long ovals – and admiring the original signage. Oh so beautiful. It hurts a bit to see the gorgeous original doors and windows taped all over with laser-printed directions and notices in a clutter of colors and fonts, though. I’m afraid some of our friends who work as graphic or industrial designers might just start crying softly at the sight of it.

These are the gates that fold out and lock at night.

There was a classic Frank Lloyd Wright moment when we were walking out of the ground floor atrium, and Honey noticed that this garden ended outside the exterior glass wall. She did a double take at the whole indoor-outdoor design and her delight would have made him cross his arms and cock and eyebrow at any critics – “See? I told you so.”

This is actually one of the driveways – the building manages to be retro and futuristic at the same time.

All in all – foggin’ incredible.

Look What We Found!

Honey had an excellent intuition yesterday to swing into a consignment shop where our friend Ruth used to volunteer. We strolled in, and in the first 30 seconds we made two important discoveries: our neighbor Barbara, who was working there that day, and a set of sterling silver animal birthday candle holders. Shall I break that down? Birthday candle holders. Shaped like animals.

They were so lovely we bought them up, just like that. And then when our friends came over for dinner, we knew what we had to do.

Our friend Sean said it was a little like choosing your monopoly piece – it was fun seeing which animal each person wanted most.

We’ll all have extra birthdays this year!

Excuse Me Sir, Your Fish is Past Its Curfew

Confirmation that we live in Pleasantville came this morning in the local Police Log.

Suspicious Vehicle:

———– Highway Frontage Road at 3:30 a.m. On routine patrol, officer saw a vehicle with one subject. Contacted subject, who was fishing, caught one striped bass.

Happy 4th!!

I hope you get to go to a parade.

We’ll be having a barbeque with some great friends, but a corner of my heart will be at the parade in Needham along with my family, watching 3,742 fire trucks wail their way along Webster Street. Wherever you are, I hope you have a terrific day, and I hope you get some pie.

I’ve Got Your Number

Ok, raise your hand if you like Mythbusters. We’re all fans here – it’s a tasty blend of curiosity and craziness with a dash of scientific method. Plus it’s good to support your local team.

Well, the other night we saw the episode where the myth was if you interleave the pages of two phone books, you can’t pull the phone books apart. If you haven’t seen it, the whole episode is fun and surprising (at least it sure was for me). Turns out I have a new appreciation for phone books. Scratch that – turns out I have an appreciation for phone books.

If you’re the type who likes to read the ending first – this clip on You Tube will show you how it all turned out.

The best part was that we got to the end of the show, there was a pause, and Hot Wheels asked, “What’s a phone book?”

Tom’s Party

Amazing how some events feel like they’re forever in the planning and anticipation, and then they’re over in a flash.

It was such a fun time – a beautiful day and a whole bunch of great friends. We counted 115, but there might have been a few extras. There was one gorgeous little boy that we all thought came with somebody else and in the end we think he might have just wandered over from the playground. It was such a gift to see all these terrific people we know from different areas of our lives all coming together. It was like a wedding, with bouncy castles.

And cupcakes!

(We had some serious icing and decorating help from our friends across the street.)

Here’s the thing – we’re insanely fortunate to be surrounded by such fun, generous friends and family. It’s ridiculous. Tom was the happiest birthday guy in the world yesterday, and we’re just so grateful to all our friends for making it a real party.

It’s Official

Happy Summer. (At least if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere!)

We had our first play in the creek behind the library, and it’s the 21st, so summer must really be here at last. Here’s to late light and slow days!

Happy Father’s Day!

Here’s to all the great dads out there. Thanks for all the stories you tell, the problems you fix, the performances you encourage, the time you make.

This is what you call a soft-focus Father’s Day photo. We were walking through the outdoor mall after we saw a matinee (!) of Toy Story 3 (!!) and there was a guy handing out balloons. As we approached, he looked at Honey and said, “I’m wrapping things up here today – would you like a balloon, or all of them?” It’s like asking a kid if she’d like a puppy. Oddly appropriate, seeing as we’d just walked out of the latest Pixar wonder, to walk around under a huge bunch of balloons. Hand me my cane, Russell, we’re off to South America…

Happy Father’s Day!