Sunday, July 15, 2018

Surprise Visit

What a fun surprise!  Back to St. Dominic's for Mass with friends and we run into good friends who relocated to New Jersey a few years ago.  Just for fun, I couldn't resist a 'then and now' photo, 'cause they all seem so grown up so fast.   :-)

(The girls wanted to know why so often when I get together with old friends it is to go to Mass together.  They consider this the height of geekiness, but - as our friend Kirsten said - when we are geeking out with the kids is often when we are doing something right.  :-)

Both just about one here... the photo is July 2006.  So adorable!

And at St. Dominic's, just about 12 years later...

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Happy Birthday, Charles!

A dinner with all of his favorites:  steak and potatoes, simple salad, and spice cake, decorations by G.

Friday, July 13, 2018


G had a week of dance camp and then her group did a mini-show, showcasing their original composition, ballet, lyrical, tap, and hip hop routines.  I'm so impressed that they could remember so much with so little practice; so glad that she had fun and made friends.  I love to watch her...

Sunday, July 8, 2018

USATF Region 14 Junior Olympic Champsionships

And then, in one day we went from "Purple Mountains Magesty" to "Amber Waves of Grain," the high country to the hot farm country of Fresno.  We left the mountains a day early for another Track and Field meet.

K had competed in the local Association Championships two weeks ago; the top eight competitors at that meet were allowed to move on to these Regional Championships.  Here, only the top five competitors were eligible to compete in the Junior Olympic Championships, each of the five representing one of 16 regions across the United States. 

She did it!  Placed fourth for the entire region, which qualifies her for the national championships.  Not bad for someone who has been without a team or coach and with little-to-no training since the end of her "regular" track season.  One advantage:  without a team, she could wear her Gryffindor shirt.  She looked a little out of place among the serious track athletes, with their fancy high-grip shoes and lycra everything, but she threw like herself and that's what matters.

Love watching these athletes and seeing their strength!  Proud of this athlete, too!  (I saw awesome parent shirts at the meet that said, "Some people wait their whole lives to meet their favorite athlete.  I'm raising mine."  I thought that was cool.  A bit sappy, perhaps, but cool.  :-)

Friday, July 6, 2018

Hike to Glen Aulin

So many of these views reminded me of a guidebook's description of a gorgeous Swiss valley as I was finishing a two-week trek of the Haute Route, above Zermatt, many year ago:  "... what was spread before me was a priceless gem of perfection, an unmatched, unparalleled, vision of glory."  Indeed, I found myself in tears of awe before such gorgeous beauty.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Camping at Tuoumne Meadows

Welcome!  (Unfortunately, we never saw one!)
Cozy with Puck and Ahwahnee
Shooting Stars - a favorite

At Saddlebag Lake with Abuela

With Grandpa

Love mountain flowers; this one on the east side, where there is less water, more reddish coloring in the rocks.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Happy Independence Day!

A barbecue with my parents, sister, and her family; then, when it got dark, watching all of the illegal fireworks from high above Oakland (the streets were alive with them all over both sides of the bay). 

G came up with her own recipe for a dessert for the day and then, unfortunately, didn't like it herself, which was disappointing.  I thought it was good!  Graham cracker crust, yogurt, and fruit.  Delicious, nutritious, and themed for the celebration!  As always, I appreciate her creativity and industriousness.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Campus Birding Walk

We covered only a small portion of the campus with experts from the Audubon Society and found 24 different species in about 90 minutes. In that time, we saw Stellar Jays mob a Red Shouldered Hawk right above us and - new to me - saw a Brown Headed Cow Bird that was being parented by the much-smaller Dark Eyed Junco. Apparently, the Brown Headed Cow Birds are "predatory nesters," meaning they lay their eggs in other birds' nests and let the other birds parent their offspring. So interesting! Made me re-appreciate our gorgeous campus.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Mass at Mary, Star of the Sea Parish

Love this tiny church with its tall windows overlooking the ocean through pine and eucalyptus forests, often shrouded in changing patterns of fog.  Love the beautiful labyrinth next to the church and the gorgeous Stations of the Cross on a path surrounding the church; love the parish's tiny, ancient graveyard.  Welcoming and enthusiastic congregation, too, which made our visit perfect.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Fun on the Mendocino River

A day on the river, no one else around.  How gorgeous; perfect weather, delightful fun.  The water was the perfect temperature; Puck wasn't the only one who felt like he was in heaven.  I love being in the water, surrounded by redwood forests.  The mosquitoes were only bad in the evening, but the butterflies and dragonflies were out all day. The latter looked like small, red helicopters - just awesome!

Here our silly dog is "rescuing" his girl, towing her to shore.

Looking upriver, vintage mode.  This type of idyll is timeless...

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Inverness Day 2

A gorgeous sunrise, lovely hike to the very deserted and gorgeous Kehoe Beach with friends, then a fun game of basketball.

I had to drive past our destination over a hill to see this field of yellow glory up close.  All gorgeous and wild!

Our very own deserted beach

Basketball with Father Ken and friends

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Inverness Day 1

Gorgeous!  And a gift from Father Ken for the girls!  Thank you so much, Marianne, for having us!

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Pacific Association Track Championships

She rolled out of bed, no recent coaching or practice in a month and not much athletic training, and qualified for the state championships!  I had told her that though I was rooting for her success, part of me wouldn't mind so much if she didn't qualify, since she was obviously capable, but not putting in any work.  So afterward she put her arm around me and apologized, "Mom, I know that you wanted me to learn the value of hard work.  Sorry."  Ha, ha.  Funny, kid.  (She then committed to a daily workout from now until the state championships.)

(I love track meets; pole vaults!  hurdles!  teensy kids running so fast... we saw girl in the eight and under category running the 1500 meters and when she was done, they had to tell her to stop... she just kept charging around the track.  So cute!)

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Last Basketball Game of the Season

Three seasons with this league, plus two other leagues since fall; long year of basketball.  Love this league; always mellow and fun.

Yep, she's taller than the coach, but only the fourth oldest on the team.

Monday, June 18, 2018


We have wildlife at home, too.  The wingspan on this one had to be nearly six inches - incredible.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Yosemite Hugs

Ah, the beauty!  Ah, the incredible animals!  Ah, the cousin fun!  All awesome... but just as awesome was day after day of Yosemite hugs from this funny, cute, affectionate, giggly, loving, nephew: