Sunday, December 27, 2020

Christmas Beginnings

Christmas eve:  our social bubble (my parents and sister) came over to a cozy meal at our house and fun opening presents from each other.  I tried a new recipe:  mushroom spinach soup, which was good.  I also made gingerbread, which was good, but I was most impressed with the way I decorated it (below), which turned out so well.  The girls got a waffle maker from my parents, so that helped determine what we were having for Christmas breakfast.

Christmas night:  Midnight Mass (Zoom) at St. Dominic's.  Lovely Mass that filled me with tears of joy.

Christmas day:  Fantastic sunrise that changed the light even inside the house.  Nice walk with Puck.  Presents and fancy breakfast at home, then dinner with family (in our social bubble) at my parents' house.  I made roasted carrots and arugula salad, garbanzo bean salad, 'quatro formaggio' pasta for the pasta eaters, and two pies (pumpkin and apple) with lots of help from K, who was my sous chef this year.  Good food, nice light rain, relaxing day.

Dec 26:  We declared this "blanket day" and had a cozy day at home, mostly.  I went for a walk in the morning, took a morning nap AND an afternoon nap, and read three books.  (I so rarely have time to read for pleasure that I forget how fast I read).  Now I need more books for the rest of the holiday season...

Happy and cozy love

Gingerbread with fancy decorations

Starting with their stockings, with fun treats for girls and pets

For the rest of Christmas?  Not sure yet... everything is shut down, so there's no where to go and not much to do except bike and hike.  That sounds good, at least to me... 

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Christmas Crafts

 Every year (nearly every year?) we've made ornaments for the tree, some as gifts, some for us.  I've been wanting to make these for years and never gotten around to it.  Love the way they turned out!  We also made cute snow people and puff ball reindeer (not pictured).  And a whole tiny herd of these...

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Gaudete Sunday

 Joyful Sunday!  The third Sunday of Advent.  Our pink candle is lit and anticipation grows...

(G here prepping for her online Confirmation prep class after online Mass (Fr. Ken at St. Columba's! on "Good Religion."  He's amazing.))

Friday, December 11, 2020

That Time Zippia Quoted Me

 Worth savoring being considered an "Expert."  And of course, with all of the career changes life is mandating, it is nice to be recognized for my affiliation with the field of Human Services.



Notre Dame de Namur University

Professional Studies Programs


What experience really stands out on resumes?

Dr. Therese Madden: Accomplishments stand out on resumes. Not just classes are taken or previous jobs held, but a listing of what a student has accomplished. For this reason, I love to see resumes that are backed by e-portfolios. These give students a chance to elaborate on their resumes; explain, for example, that their capstone class was more than another grade, but that it encompassed a detailed project plan that they carefully executed so that it matched the needs of the organization that they were working with and that it included measurable outcomes. That way, it is more than another grade, however excellent, more than volunteer hours, but a list of measurable outcomes that can be reflected on a resume and in more narrative descriptions of what someone brings to the job.

How do you envision technology impacting this field in the next 5 years?

Dr. Therese Madden: Technology will have a serious impact on human services, allowing both providers and clients to have more control, better ways of communicating, better ways of individualized services to help each other grow and serve. I think we have seen it already during the pandemic, with tech providing the support to reach out when being physically in proximity to one another is inadvisable. Once the pandemic is over, combining what we've learned through tech solutions with more traditional hands-on approaches will allow us to serve clients in better and more personal ways.

Will there be an enduring impact of the coronavirus pandemic on graduates?

Dr. Therese Madden: I think that every industry will see enduring changes, some good and some challenging. I think that the enduring legacy of this pandemic - once we are past the sadness and uncertainty - will be a celebration of innovation and a commitment to build on the new ways of working in ways that help others. Helping others is the essence of the human services profession, and finding new ways of doing so suggests an exciting future that will draw more interest in the field.

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Happy Thanksgiving

 We wore masks when not eating.  We ate spread out, including eating outside like these four.  The food was delicious and we are deeply thankful to be able to celebrate together, with the joy of these four when they are together always a highlight of what makes me grateful.

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Election Results

Puck tried hard, but in the end was defeated in his battle for the White House.  We refuse to concede, however, that he remains the cutest, youngest, and sweetest candidate.  He's recouping his losses and will decide soon whether to revitalize his election for #Puck2024.  Minerva, in the meantime, maintains that she IS the President and proceeds bossing us around accordingly.

Here he is pictured at the Oval Office reading, "Donuts with Grandpa," a *sweet* book about a grandpa (my Uncle Mike Keefe) who buys donuts in different circumstances for each of his grandchildren.  It is a loving tribute from a grandpa to his 11 grandkids.

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Halloween Costumes

With their friend L, they were characters from a Disney show called, "Liv and Matty."  L and G were twins (the blonds) and K was their brother.  They had a ton of fun planning it together!  They all went to a carefully social distanced outdoor movie party on Friday night, then on Saturday night they hung out on the porch and shot Halloween candy at trick-or-treaters through a PVC pipe I'd fitted to the front railing to maintain social distancing. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Pawnee Visits

 He brought his parents and sister Ahwahnee, too.  We were about to head over to see them when I, idling time while K finished her shower, logged on to read that day's paper and learned about a recommended evacuation from my parents' neighborhood due to expected high winds.  The press release read as if fires were inevitable, the only question was how fast you could run to escape them - yikes!  So they packed up their motor home and came over, parking it in front of our house.  

Pawnee is a monster puppy, he barks at everything and doesn't behave.  This is him sitting on a chair in the living room, which technically he isn't allowed to do.  But he's so sweet, so loving, and looks so much like a Dr. Seuss character that it is impossible not to forgive him everything.

Their house was fine, but the day they spent with us was an unexpected treasure - so great to just hang out together all day.  Oh, I had to work and the kids had homework, but in between was great and just having them here was wonderful.  They were much more anxious to go home than we were to have them leave!

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Halloween House

 So, another unexpected thing for 2020: the girls got REALLY into decorating the house and so did our downstairs neighbors.  As a result, we spent a lot more time on the front porch admiring all of the work (and enjoying their company).  We are tremendously blessed with really wonderful neighbors.  The girls have often played the "what if we win the lottery" game and concluded that because of our neighbors, there is no where they would rather be, which is such a gift.  And the house was featured on the city's Instagram page!  Fun.

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Sorrow and Prayer

 A terrible, sudden loss of a good friend this month.  I never would have expected that a prayer rosary over Zoom would be so comforting, but it was great to connect, grieve together, and pray together.

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

K Drives

2020 has made a lot harder, but that didn't stop K from practicing driving the day she was old enough to do so!  She's pretty good... and better yet, says that I did a good job not freaking out from the passenger seat!  :-)  

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Monday, September 28, 2020

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Gualala Hike with Whales

 Great hike with Uncle Mike and Aunt Terry and amazing to see whales just off the coast (even if none of my photos quite captured them!)

Murphy loves to cuddle

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Puck for President Campaign Shots

Reading up on the issues


Earlier this year my friend @pawnee_puppydog was orphaned in Colorado.  I then dedicated my life to finding him a home and he was adopted into the same home as my sister.  This is the level of commitment and care I will show the American people (an animals) during my presidency!

Volunteer work is so much fun!  There's nothing better than the feeling you get when you help your community.  That's why I'm running for President, to help serve my country!

Volunteering for a local soup kitchen!  Vote @puck4prez for a President you can trust.

Puck on Twitter:  Puck4President
Puck on Instagram:  @Puck4Prez

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Social Bubble

 Having fun with our "social bubble," (partially pictured) with a Sunday afternoon/evening of ping pong, catch, burritos, chase, and games.

Friday, September 18, 2020

Puck for President

 The girls have launched a social media campaign to support the youngest, handsomest, and most loving candidate running:  They are mostly on Instagram (Puck4Prez) and Twitter (PuckforPresident).  He's been spotted at various charity events, showing his support for loving everyone.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Code Red Day

 It was a bizarre day.  High smoke from the various fires around the state blocked the sun and created a red haze all day.  Fortunately, the air quality wasn't bad, at least at the level where we breathe, at least that day.

A view of the street, mid day.  Lights still on.

G inside at midday

A photo my friend Maria took of St. Dominic's in San Francisco

Monday, September 7, 2020

Fall Classes

(For my records):


Math (Geometry)

Health and Wellness (ASU)

Spanish (SVHS)

Music Appreciation (Sky)

English Composition (ASU)

World History (Sky)

Literature (jumble of sources, incl. Othello re Harvard edX)


Spanish (RS)

Math (algebra)

Biology (AAA)

Marine Biology (AAA)

Academic Writing (AAA)

AP Human Geography

Religious Studies (Confirmation prep)

Dance (9 weekly classes)

Saturday, September 5, 2020

More Escaping the Heat

 It was cooler in the city, so we met my mom and took the dogs for a swim at Crissy Field and then a walk at Golden Gate Park.  Met a mama and five raccoons in a tree on the way back!

Monday, August 17, 2020

Working in the Heat

 Ugh, five days in a row of super heat and humidity.  We are poor at coping with this (but appreciate our beautiful porch/view and usually-okay wifi service)

My early morning work station

Homework and work work outside together all day, trying to catch a breeze

And the "unprescendented" (for this area) 3AM storm that G woke us up to see (glad she did!)

Thursday, August 13, 2020

G has a Birthday!

 Low key, due to COVID.  Our "social bubble," consisting of cousins and grandparents, came over for dinner.  Presents in the morning.  

A few years ago, one of my cousins told his wife, about me, "Therese is like a sister, only better."  The kids thought that was super-cool and frankly, so did I!   Cousins are awesome - all the closeness of family, without the sibling tensions.  I was so delighted and moved when I saw that my niece A. posted this amazing collage on Instagram for G's bday: