Archive for January, 2016

five years

This is Jen and her daughter Reese heading out for Halloween in 2009.

You can almost see how long-awaited Reese was, what a fantastic and amazing turn of events she turned out to be. She had just learned to say her cousin Maggie’s name when this picture was taken. Look at Jen slinging the weight of that love and hope, all wrapped up in sparkles, casually onto one hip.

She was a big sister to me when I was a very small and anxious person. I miss her a lot.

blue lily, lily blue by maggie stiefvater

…in my head, everything is always so tangled. I am such a damaged thing.

the dream thieves, by maggie stiefvater

“Do you have a better idea?” she demanded. “Maybe we can hurl some stuff into the underbrush! Or hit something! That solves everything! Maybe we can be really manly and break things!”

the raven boys, by maggie stiefvater

Blue tried not to look at Gansey’s boat shoes; she felt better about him as a person if she pretended he wasn’t wearing them.

new year adventure planning


Bike the Iron Horse Trail (Shoreline Park, near enough)

Go to Anne and Mark’s Art Party

Hike Tennessee Valley to the Pelican Inn and back

Kayak Sausalito and/or Tomales Bay

Learn archery

Serve a meal at Glide Memorial

Summit Mt Diablo and/or Mt Tam

Visit Hearst Castle

Further afield

Getty Villa

Grand Canyon

La Brea Tar Pits

New York

San Diego Zoo/Safari Park

all hail the executive functions!

Jeremy is in Australia and I am, naturally, bereft, but otherwise hanging with my cats, my children and my children’s recently developed executive functions has been good fun so far. When he is here, Jeremy (as a programmer by definition a member of the proletariat) makes the kids’ school lunches for them, whereas I (having ascended to the managerial class) supervise the children making their own lunches the night before. They’re also pretty competent cooks of simple if eccentric evening meals, such as sweet-corn-with-bacon or this evening’s tentacle-y pasta surprise. Our tastes in media are converging, so we pile onto the sofa to watch and discuss Steven Universe or The Fosters. It is convivial, and it’s a world away from his business trips when they were small. Parents: it gets better!

They’ve both been taking advantage of the time alone with me to grill me on various topics. Today Claire asked about Ireland, and I told her about the great Not-Getting-Into-Oxford fiasco and how well that all turned out in the end, and how picking up how a stray copy of Wired Magazine in Dublin sometime in 1994 led so unexpectedly and wonderfully to San Francisco. Later I made some wild assertion or other and Claire scoffed: “What would you know? You didn’t even get into Oxford.” Later still Julia (and this is a good illustration of how hilariously both the same and different they are) named different people in our family-of-choice and asked exactly why I loved each of them, requiring me to show my work.

“Our children are pretty great,” I texted Jeremy. “Did you know? Why wasn’t I told?”