Monday, June 27, 2016

First Beach Day

I'm usually at the beach way earlier in the season . . .

. . . but this year, because of circumstances that were extenuating . . .

. . . Saturday was my first Beach Day.

How was it, you ask?

Oh, it was pretty great.

Ocean Beach knows how to be extenuating.

And no, I have no idea what that means.

Happy Summer, my peeps!

Friday, June 24, 2016

this kid

It was a birthday week around these here parts, and although I'm not supposed to wantonly blog about my kids now that they're old deserve privacy or whatever, I've just got to say that this kid? This one right here? 

She's a force to be reckoned with.

Happy 15th birthday, my baby YaYa. I love you big.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016


My girl is fast and strong. She can climb and run like nobody's business. So I wasn't surprised when she scored a place on her class's end-of-the-year baton relay team.

The race pitted all classes in each grade against each other.

My girl's class took the first grade prize.

And she did her part.

But it's not so hard to win when you are actually flying ;)

Monday, June 20, 2016

Getting Somewhere

Here's what we did on Saturday afternoon:

We watched Jonny take all the everything right on down. 

I can watch Jonny all day, myself . . .

. . . especially with my girl by my side.

Jonny is an indefatigable worker . . .

. . . and that chain saw of his is magical.

Here's what Jonny did all afternoon . . .

And here's what Billy did . . .

Kidding! Jonny did do this all afternoon . . .

. . . and Billy did a whole lot of this.

See Jonny in there? Trees get felled left and right when that kid's around . . .

. . . while the rest of us watch in amazement. In amazement with drinks.

It was all highly entertaining. And slightly scary. And wildly productive.

Artsy Mistah shot of my godson and me.

And then on Sunday?

After Mistah cleaned up the piles of felled trees and strewn branches, The Field was utterly transformed.

I mean, you've got to remember:

The Field looked like this . . .

. . . and then like this . . .

. . . and then like this . . .

. . . and now?

Well, now, The Field looks like this.

We're starting to get somewhere around here.

And speaking of getting somewhere . . .

Somewhere is exactly where we went On Sunday, through the Field, down the newly-bush-whacked Secret Path formally known as Whiteway Way, to our neighbor's meet-and-greet-the-candidate Garden Party.

And yes, we did hop the fence like gazelles . . .

. . . with step-stools on both sides just in case the whole gazelle thing didn't work out.

Bye, Kat! Don't forget to leave the flute on our deck!

Apparently we looked so cute, waving like mad geeks, for Kat not to stop for a quick photo . . .

. . . I mean, look how cute! Thanks for the photo, Kat.

And Whiteway Way is a pretty magical Secret Path.

. . . and the commute home?

It's like we never went anywhere.

Friday, June 17, 2016

leaves of woe

Ellie's discovery in the field brought me nothing but pain (scroll to the end, down past the gratuitious grasshopper porn).  

I've long been smug about having an easily accessible bounty of fresh grape leaves right in the backyard at work!  See?

The kids call that structure the grape house, for obvious reasons. It's been a seasonally productive part of the family for many, many years. It's been harvested annually for a seemingly eternal freezer stock of grape leaves.

The glory of which was described and illustrated by both Ellie and me at various times. Last year, I somehow missed the window to pick those beautiful babies, and I was bound and determined not to make the same mistake this year. 

I patiently waited through the dormant winter, and was pleased when it got watered by rain that one time. 

Then spring came, and I was overjoyed to witness the birth of these wittle baby gwape weave buds

So I watched and I waited, and it took a really long time for anything to change. Then when it did change, it was ... well... less of a lush green bounty and more of what the crayola folks used to call greenish yellow.

Sparse greenish yellow.

That's it, I think. I've always picked the leaves well before my summer trip back east, which almost always falls during the last two weeks of July. In fact, this year's adventure begins in almost exactly a month. I've come to accept that there will be no grape leaves. 

The family never really needed me to bring grape leaves, they've got plenty of spots around the towns from which to poach and pilfer. Now, of course, they can add the bountiful field to the playlist. I'm just so bummed that just when I finally perfect my wada filling and even have a bag in the freezer ready to roll, I can't pick my own leaves to stuff. First world problems, I know. But don't be surprised if while frolicking in Ellie's field this summer, I am found sporting some pinking shears and a zip lock bag. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2016


So my man Aq and I have found a remedy for challenging days, which lately seem to come on Tuesdays.

A few weeks ago, one of the guys I was partnering with at The House of Yogi let us know he had to move in a different direction. It 's all ok, and I get it, of course, but it made me sad. He's a great guy that was doing a lot of terrific work for the studios. I will miss him!!

So when Aq showed up that night after band practice, he sensed that I needed to get out for a drink. It was already 9:30 pm on a Tuesday, so we decided on the closest bar that we knew would be open. We decided some shuffle board might make things better. Wouldn't you know it? The shuffle board table was taken. So we peeked in next door. We were surprised to see the place was hopping. We sat down at the bar and low and behold -- better than shuffle board -- there was bar bingo. We were just in time for the last game.

We sipped our drinks and concentrated on those bingo boards and then BINGO! yelled Aq. First time players, and already winners.

Free drinks and a crown for the winnah!

He's so happy his eyes are crossed!

Skip to last night, also a Tuesday night. Not a great day for me again. Turns out there is a gas leak at my house. The neighbor's contractors smelled gas, this information was relayed to me, I called out SDG&E and before you know it, well, the gas was shut down and this was slapped on my front door.

No hot water, or gas range, or washer and dryer use for you, suckahs!! 
Not until you hire a plumber, he pulls a permit from the city, replaces your house's old rusty pipes, calls the inspector out, passes the inspection, who then relays passed inspection status to the city/SDG&E and the house is officially deemed safe and worthy enough to once again enjoy natural gas.

If all goes well, it's going to cost me 2k. If all doesn't go well, it involves three times as much money and making holes in numerous walls.....

But, thankfully, as I already mentioned, it was a Tuesday.

This time we arrived right at the start of Bingo, and lookie who won the first game.

That's right. Me! A crown and drink for the winnah!

There's really not much a BINGO crown can't fix.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Flora and Fauna

The plants and the animals are in full force, upon us.

Would you like to see what is growing and growling in and upon our homestead? The Upper *and* the Lower Forty?

All right then.

The Iri. Oh, how I love the Iri.

I don't know what this is but Mistah goes out to the Field to take cool photos all the time, like this one . . .

. . . and this one.

He also chops trees down and plants blueberry bushes and clears and weed-whacks and pontificates but that's a story for a different day.

This is actually on our front porch . . .

. . . and this is actually our neighbor's, which has grown half onto our yard, which we adore with all our heart and all our collective soul.

Now then. Let's talk about 'maters.

Remember these little guys?

They're not so little anymore.

(Sorry, Jacquie.)

From whence these . . .

. . . came these.

And Rosie down there?

Oh, don't even get me started on the beauty that is Rosie.

Even the lowly mint is having herself a Time this Spring.

Obligatory Field Shot.

But enough about the Flora. What about the Fauna, you ask?

Wild turkeys, baby. Not only are they hilarious to watch . . .

. . . but, well, Thanksgiving is right around the corner.

Remember our old friend Madame Mantis?

From way way back in 2011?

Well, her great-great-granddaughter paid us a visit yesterday.

"Quick, get a dime!"

A dime, as you know, is a small, small coin.

Big Cacti has gotten bigger since then, and Madame Mantis has gotten a whole lot smaller . . .

. . . there she is, though.

She jumped onto Mistah's specs . . .

. . . and right onto her great-great-grandmother's friend Big Cacti:

See her in there? I think they're going to get along just fine this summer.

Oh, but wait! In all this Flora and all this Fauna, there is one discovery we made this weekend that is a total gamechanger.

That's right . . . 

. . . bring on the wadda.