Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Be Weird Art

An original work of art by G; love her confidence in embracing her individuality!

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Independent Baking

The first cookies she's made entirely by herself: snickerdoodles. They were delicious and even the clean up was pretty well done!

Saturday, January 28, 2017

More Tall News

Well, more ice skating, really.  Those skates add some inches though, emphasizing the actual height growth!  (It isn't as if we are shorties in our family, either.  I'm 5'11" and Mom is 5'9"....)

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Ice Skating

A day of meetings for me, so I did some basics with the girls in the morning (history, math, writing), then Abuela picked them up for an ice skating lesson.  Looks like fun and the reports confirm that they indeed had a blast!  Thank you, Abuela!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

And Now We Have Some Tall News...

At 11, she is now officially taller than me.  She woke up saying, "I think I grew, measure me" and sure enough, our wall-chart showed that she's grown an inch-plus since her October pediatrician appointment.  I'm no shortie; this makes her nearly six feet tall.  ( always knew that I'd end up as her "little mommy;" I just didn't quite expect it so soon.  She looks a little surprised herself!)

Monday, January 23, 2017

Rainy Walk

Lots of rain lately and I still love it, especially walking in it.  Look at all the gorgeous green, so recently so dismally dry!

This was a new trail, near my sister's new home in the East Bay. These two cousins were ahead of me while the other two were behind.  We returned muddy and with soaked feet, happy and relaxed.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Exciting Baby News!

Exciting news! The girls have a new cousin, who will be born next summer. (Congratulations to Elizabeth and Len, plus A&A!) As soon as the girls heard, they began to work on baby names, per an invitation to do so by Aunt Elizabeth. They developed a really long list right away! Within a few days, G had made a blanket and a pillow for the baby and they've already begun composing a song to perform at the anticipated baby shower. Excited much? :-)

Friday, January 20, 2017


G pointed out that she doesn't remember ever seeing an inauguration before and she was very interested to see this one. (K remembers watching Obama take the oath of office eight years ago.)

I was caught up in a project and almost forgot, but she remembered that it started at nine and tried to turn the TV on.  How hard could it be?  She couldn't do it and when I went to help, we realized that both remote controls had no batteries in them.  We fixed that, but still couldn't get it on. We went to K for help.  She looked it over and realized that the power strip needed to connect the cords to an outlet wasn't there - or anywhere to be found.  We ended up watching it through NPR online on my computer.

We had some interesting discussions about the speech, but my main takeaway was being impressed with G's interest and determination not to miss a historic moment. She can be very focused, which as a parent can be wearying, but I do admire her for it and think that it is a trait that will help her accomplish much in life.  She's such a solidly good person that I have no doubt that her interests will bring great things to others, too.  I love her so much!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

New Class with Harvard EdX

This is the description for another new class that K and I are taking together - love these courses, with their great technology, international participation, and fascinating topics.  And the price is right too (free!)
Welcome to Hamlet’s Ghost, an online course offered by HarvardX. We are pleased to introduce to you here the course’s methods and goals. In this module we will read William Shakespeare’s Hamlet and discuss the play from a variety of perspectives and contexts. The goal of the course is not to cover all that has been written on Hamlet. Rather, it is to find a single point of entry that helps us think about the play as a whole. Our entry point is Hamlet’s Ghost. By beginning with the Ghost, we can see the different ways the play grapples with larger questions and issues, including death, mourning, and the power of theatre.

In each part we take a different approach to examining these questions. We hope that the course’s diverse methodologies will help you discover new and productive ways of engaging with this text and with others in the future.
We begin with with a section on Shakespeare’s Times. In this part, we visit London, the Globe Theatre, and Shakespeare’s hometown of Stratford-upon-Avon to learn about Shakespeare’s life and times and discuss their influence upon his plays. 
Part I examines the play from a dramatist’s and a performer’s point of view. Focusing on Act I, we examine the way that Shakespeare sets the stage for the Ghost’s dramatic first appearance to Hamlet. We also discuss how Shakespeare adapts his source material and how directors stage the Ghost’s appearance to ask what this tells us about the Ghost’s nature and the problem he poses for Hamlet.

Part II also focuses on Act I, now examining the play from a historical and anthropological point of view. We examine the religious controversies of Shakespeare’s time, especially the controversy over Purgatory, and their significance for the Ghost and for Hamlet. We also discuss how different cultures throughout time have mediated their relationship with the dead.

Part III invites learners to explore Acts II-V of the play from cultural, material, and aesthetic points of view. We ask how people might have thought of death in Shakespeare’s time and how they represented their conceptions in material and literary artifacts, and we compare these cultural views to representations of death in Shakespeare’s own plays.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Hidden Figures

The girls talked me into a Friday movie and we were off to see Hidden Figures, the story of the African American female mathematicians who were key to the NASA program beginning in the 1960s.  Inspiring and interesting, definitely a great choice for what is likely to be the one movie we see in theaters all year (if our pattern remains consistent).

When we came home, G painted the following self-portrait, which I just love.  Her choice of colors shows such positive identity as being like those smart, determined, African-American women.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Coach K

I love this; K helping to coach some of the kids from G's basketball team, pitching in during a practice when the head coach couldn't be there.  She looked so mature and seemed to enjoy it, too.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

New Year, New Class

The girls started a new class with an accomplished and amazing teacher that includes a long-time friend. Lots of smiles this day! Lots of learning, too - some math puzzles, biology-related experiments adapted from an older brother's AP biology course, and history. This latter lesson includes the history of food (beginning with the symbolism of cannibalism - very gross, actually!) and ties in the history of science while introducing some literature (poetry) too.  A great start to what looks like an amazing experience.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Puck has a Baby

When we were in Gualala, we discovered that Puck loves toys, especially "babies," any stuffed animal that he can carry around and cuddle.  (Apparently his dog-mom Delaney is the same!)

So the girls donated a few when we got home.  It's adorable to see him with them, to ask "where's Puck's baby?" and have him race to it and bring it back protectively. He's so sweet, so cute!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Chabot Space and Science Center Visit

A fun visit, but K commented later that it should have been called the "Space and Mythology" center, as they mixed science in with Mayan myths in one of the shows. My complaint wasn't with the show's theme, but with the actual content, which seemed pretty dull compared to most cultural studies. But then, turn the lights off and I'm pretty much going to fall asleep no matter what's on, so I'm not the best judge....

Monday, January 2, 2017

New Year's Hike

I wanted to start the year in the redwoods, 'cause, well... what could be nicer?  Redwoods are not only majestic and beautiful, they remind me of my favorite parts of childhood: camping among them and playing endlessly day after day on our summer explorer trips.  We'd take off with no particular destination in mind, explore little-known parts of California, stay in favorite places as long as we wanted, wear the same clothes every day, and spend our best days under the redwoods.  In these wonderful forests we would climb on fallen logs that even laying down were taller than my Dad, pick blackberries, build clubhouses in burnt out caverns in the trees, catch snakes in the rivers, and have so much fun that returning to the fog and routine of a San Francisco school year was never appealing.

This made the lovely hike even nicer:  great company (thanks, Mom)

And this was a happy bonus:  stumbling upon the ladybug trail, where thousands of ladybugs congregate:

Happy 2017!