Tuesday, September 18, 2018

A Documentary on Young Entrepreneurs

The girls were asked to participate in interviews for a documentary about young entrepreneurs.  They had fun talking about their various businesses and plans for more!

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Ahwahnee Visits

We love her.  She loves us, but is fascinated with Minerva.  She wants Santa to bring her a kitty for Christmas, clearly!  :-)

Friday, September 14, 2018

Teen Night

A night of games with teens and pre-teens at our parish.  We need to grow attendance, but had fun with those who attended so far!

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Fall Sports

They are both busy with sports:  for G, soccer and ballet; for K, baseball and basketball. Soccer and baseball have nearly matching jerseys!

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Our Porch Garden

Too many deer for a garden in the yard; ours has to be up on the porch where they have (not yet) come (to my knowledge).  We have a nice crop this year of fruits and vegetables that are new and familiar to us in our limited farmer role:  watermelon, beans, cucumber, zucchini, strawberries, mint, and tomatoes.  The fabulous vine of watermelon spilling down the front stairs is our favorite!

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Fall Classes

With Labor Day over, it is back to the grind. An ambitious schedule this year, in part to make up for the fact that I don't know if I have challenged them enough in the past.  (List as my reminder.)

AP English Literature
AP Human Geography
Honors US History
US History through movies
History with Kaluga (post Civil War US)
Psychology Workshop
High School Biology
Spanish (online through the Univ of Valencia in Spain)
Math (Algebra/economics) and Math with Kaluga
Religious Ed (confirmation)

Math/Math with Kaluga
Comparative Invertebrate Biology
Arc of Democracy
History with Kaluga (post Civil War US)
Sewing (Starts in Oct)
Religious Ed

So far, AP Lit is a lot of busy work AND a lot of actual work.  The Arc of Democracy class (history) fascinates K, while K's High School Biology class fascinates G.  First classes started the third week in August; except for sewing, everything else will be in full swing by mid-September.  The slow accumulation of classes in the schedule is both reasonable and daunting... i.e. if it feels like a lot now, what will happen next week??  But so far, as long as we stay consistent and they work hard every day, it has been a reasonable load.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Labor Day Weekend

I don't like starting school before Labor Day, but had to admit that a three-day weekend was nice after a couple of weeks of classes.  We relaxed doing one of my favorite summer activities:  picking blackberries (for making blackberry ice cream immediately and later for planned holiday pies).

Thought this was just a neat street scene in Tomales

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Wine and Beer Walk

We didn't go for the alcohol, just to see friends and support local businesses.  But I noticed later that G's shirt matches the theme!    Nice evening event...

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Les Miserables

"To love another person is to see the face of God!"  The girls knew all of the songs, but said - inexplicably! - that it was better to hear them sung by real singers instead of by me!  Ha!  The songs were great and the singing absolutely amazing.  I cried.  (OK, six times.  Maybe seven.)

Thought of my Mom a LOT.  First, because the first time I saw Les Miz was with her, before the New York Marathon, on Broadway.  Second, because when we were on our nine-day trek in Torres del Paine and it rained for three days straight, she asked me to sing the whole Les Miz album to keep her mind off of our hunger, the weather, and the very-muddy, scary trail.  (Mom and Kathleen are the only people who "like" my singing.  So of course I thought of Kathleen, too, and our trip to the Shakespeare festival in Ashland and our singing of Les Miz there.  :-)

Lucked out with cheap, last-minute tickets.  Hurrah!

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Spaghetti Study Break

A day of homework, catching up from the first week of classes.  But I'd read about physicists studying how spaghetti breaks and decided to show the girls, who wanted to do their own experiments.

The video here is worth watching to understand the challenge and the solution.  (The mess now in the kitchen, not so much.  :-)

Monday, August 13, 2018

RIP Betty June Glass

Ms. Glass was my kindergarten and first grade teacher.  She taught me to read, a gift for life.  We stayed in touch, somehow.  I think that she - amazingly - remembered when I'd be graduating high school and sent me a card.  After that, I'd send her Christmas cards and postcards from my travels around the world.  She'd send me updates from the work that she did in retirement at the AIDS foundation.

Here's what I know about her life:  She was raised in the orphanage near our home, which was closed by the time I was a kid, but still standing.  (It is now replaced by homes, literally across the street from one I used to own (!) It was known as Homewood Terrace, run by the Pacific Hebrew Orphan Asylum.  I found images here of what it looked like when she lived there.   She told me once that she did have parents, but that they turned her over to the orphanage... I'm not sure why, poverty issues, I suppose.  She wasn't close to them and did not have any siblings. She would have been there anytime between 1928 and 1946.  During that time, she attended Commodore Sloat Elementary school, Aptos Junior High School ('42?), and Lincoln High (class of '46?).  I don't know where she went to college - maybe SFSU?  There could have been another elementary school in there too - Commodore Sloat only went to third grade until 1976, when it expanded to fourth and then fifth in 1977.  Conveniently for me, Aptos became a Middle School in 1978.  A generation earlier though, for Miss Glass, I don't know...)  She never married and never shared stories of romantic interests or even close friendships.

She taught at Visitation Valley for 22 years and then at Commodore Sloat for 22 years.  She retired after a few years at Second Community Elementary School.  I believe that she focused on the younger grades throughout her career.  We called her "Miss Glass," but she told me that for most of her career, she was "BJ."

Her car was stolen in 1972 or 1973 and she never replaced it; from then on, she walked everywhere - from her Stonestown apartment complex all over town.  I used to see her in West Portal when I was growing up.  She lost most of her eyesight at some point and was legally blind for nearly the second half of her life.

I remember that she and my Mom organized a series of field trips during the summer between kindergarten and first grade.  Museums and Marine World; that's what I remember.  I also remember that she took a bunch of us to see ACT's "A Christmas Carol" and how special that was.

She was a huge Giants fan, season tickets.  When K was born, she sent her all sorts of Giants regalia - she's wearing the hat and jacket in the photo below when K was just two.  Miss Glass also walked all over town to every African American bookstore to find children's books that depicted African American characters.   I was always overwhelmed by her generosity - especially the time she invested in such thoughtfulness.

She met K when I was pregnant with G and told me "no Kindergarten teacher is going to know what to do with her intelligence.  You've got to homeschool her."  From that point, she started to send me books and other homeschooling resources.  Obviously, I followed her advice!

Shortly after G was born, I lost contact with Miss Glass.  I tried to contact her, but the phone number changed and I got no more cards.  She had told me when she was in her early 80s that her doctor said that she had a heart condition and wouldn't live past 85, so I sadly assumed that she had probably passed away.  I learned today that indeed she did, but later than I knew... in Dec 2016.  I'm sad not to have been in contact in her final years - I can only think that some disability befell her.  Without family... maybe that's why no caregiver could reach out.

I felt her presence at the Barry Bonds ceremony yesterday and told the girls everything I could think of about her.  I know that she was there cheering too!  One of the last gifts that we got from her was a "Pitch to Barry" t-shirt.  It came with a note for K that said, "this is my favorite t-shirt.  Now it is yours."  K wore it until she outgrew it, then pinned it to the wall above her bed.  It only came down briefly yesterday, so that G could wear it to the game.

RIP Miss Glass and thank you for all of your gifts of inspiration and thoughtfulness, which continue to enrich our lives and our family.

She sent me this picture of her a few years ago, saying that she knit her own sweater and hat and that this was only one of two times in her life that she ever saw snow.  She dated it late 60s-early 70s.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Barry Bond's Number Retirement Celebration

Then and now: the first two are from 2007; the rest from 2018.

The first ball game and the first home run that K ever saw.  I knew I wanted her to be able to say that she'd seen Barry Bonds play.  G was there too, but it was a few months before she was born, so she could only hear.  We had no idea at the time how much K would love baseball.  Barry Bonds and Betty Glass probably both contributed to that love!

K at her first game, just after a Bonds homer un in 2007

Both girls at the celebration; G on the right in the famous "Pitch to Barry" shirt

Fun!  All of Barry's 'splash balls' in giant form in the bay.

Live (below) and on camera (above).  We got SRO tickets, so could stand pretty close.

Pretty cool

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Birthday Tea

We tried to get reservations at a fancy tea house to celebrate G's birthday, but thought of it too late and they were full.  So we made our own!  Quite lovely for a very wonderful kid.


Love this picture!

So great to have A, E, and the very cuddle-full, happy H there... though we missed the other A!

Friday, August 10, 2018

Pedal Boating on the Bay

A fun, silly adventure that turned into a rescue mission when we found a lethargic gull that could barely pull itself out of the water.  Clearly a broken wing and maybe more.  We called animal care and they sent an officer to pick it up... the girls named it "Icarus."  Then, as if to prove that nature prevails, a mama Mallard wandered by with the cutest little ones...

Friday evening adventure

Waiting for animal care and control

Icarus awaiting rescue

Mama Mallard and her cuties

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Sewing Camp

A belated photo of a short camp G did a few weeks ago.  Signing her up was motivated by a hope that it would give her tools to feed her desire to create, create, create!

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Family Reunion 2018

A super-fun three days camping on the beach in Carpenteria.

Thanks to Tina for this picture!

One of the girls took this; beautiful!

Big hugs! 

Minerva (the kitty) was a big hit with all ages

Pizza on the beach

My parents' camper.  Ahwahnee (Puck's sister) wanted to get in on the photo.
Last morning there.
I caught her nuzzling him in the tent.

Funny photo; he looks tentative, she looks bossy, but actually they seem to each hold their own and get along.