Super Sad Coughing Picture

I still need to post pics from Ireland. Internal media archival and sharing issues all up in chez nous.

This week, however, has been about Violet being sick. She’s had a terrible cough, very low energy and has been eating very little.

So she’s been home from school, swimming, etc., and hasn’t even wanted to play outside. As sad and heartbreaking as it’s been to see her feeling so bad, I’ve actually enjoyed getting some extra time with her.

There was one night where she was having a terrible time coughing and couldn’t get to sleep. I had her on cough meds, she was slathered with vapor rubs, I had her propped up with the mister on, but she was still miserable. I sat with her in the low light, in the heavy humid air rubbing her forehead. She was cuddling with a stuffed llama. I was feeling that maternal connection to all other mothers before me who have nursed children in the night, and a special appreciation for Violet when she is her usual rambunctious self.

She then held the llama out towards my face as if she were using the llama as a proxy for herself, to give me a kiss. I leaned over and kissed the llama.

“No,” she said. “He wants to rip your head off because he wants to live inside your neck.”


She’s feeling better today though. So much better that she asked for her notebook bound with an antique Japanese kimono that her aunt’s lab co-worker gave to her.

She drew a picture and told me that it was called “Super Sad Coughing Picture”.

Here’s the drawing along with her description of the different elements:Super Sad Coughing Picture

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I’m leaving for Ireland for a week with a pal tomorrow while Jack is here with the girls.

I decided to “prep” the kids for my departure by buying half off post St. Patrick’s Day shamrock cookies at the store and by putting on “Darby O’Gill and the Little People” while I pack.

I’m not even kidding. Because, you know, accuracy, authenticity, truth. That’s what we’re about over here.


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Take A San Franciscan Bay Cruise Today!

Come aboard the lovely “Royal Prince”, Red and White Fleet’s premier bay tour boat! See the sights of the San Francisco Bay, including Alcatraz, the Bay Bridge, the San Francisco Skyline, the Marin Headlands, and the world famous Golden Gate Bridge.

Did you know that Wednesdays in winter are the perfect time to come aboard? And all kids under 5 sail for free! As the locals know, winter is far warmer than the average summer day in S.F. Additionally, the usually hellish Fisherman’s Wharf on a day in early March plays host to 75% less tourists, 50% less Peruvian pan pipes, 45% less drummers playing cardboard boxes and upended utility buckets, and 10% less junkies!

Take this ringing endorsement from a recent customer, Violet, a lifelong San Franciscan:

“This is totally annoying. Can we go home now?”

Book today!

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Yeah, I think I’ll Just Stay Fat

This just showed up as an ad on the front page of S.F. Gate. I don’t think I want to get in on the “frenzy” as it were.
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Morning With Violet

Violet twirls her hair at night, and this morning she had a pretty gnarly dread next to her face.

I was doing my hair, and she was getting into stuff in my vanity per usual. She had a large mustache of dried carrot juice on her upper lip.

She put one of those old school pink hair curlers in her hair and without clipping it, just wrapped her hair in a giant wasp’s nest on the top of her head.

“Why don’t I help you take out that curler?” I said. “You have a big tangle I need to get out of your hair.”

“Um, but ACTUALLY, I look pretty spec-takoolar,” she said.

Then she asked if she could help me do some yard work. I asked her to help me pick up some fallen yucca leaves. She picked up five, then said, “ACTUALLY, I’m pretty exhausted.”


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How Hazel says “Toothpaste”


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Hazel’s 3rd Birthday – Pippi Longstocking

We lucked out and got a sunny day. The kids loved the playground with the pirate ship, the adults loved Jack’s smorgastorta tea sandwiches, and everyone loved the “pancake cake”. It was a great 60’s, Swedish, Pirate, Weight Lifting, Tea Party extravaganza. And yes, that is me dressed as Mrs. Prysellius, Jack as Ephraim Longstocking, Violet as Annika and Hazel as Pippi. Plus the spotted horse and Mr. Nilsson.






















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Kitchen Update

I should have taken a more recent “before” photo, but here’s what the kitchen looked like when we bought the house:



We got rid of that hospital waiting room blue within the first two months of living here. The cabinet hardware was really outdated, and there were practical Corian countertops, but I hated them as they felt so heartless. I also hated the pattern. It looked so 90’s. I used to joke that if you put your ear to the countertop you could hear the “Friends” theme song playing very softly.

So, the epoxy is still drying, but ta-dah!

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Foodie Town

We were on our way to school this morning.

Violet: “That green noodle place is my favorite restaurant.”

Me: “The Thai place?”

Violet “Yeah.”

Hazel “I like trees.”

Me: “Trees are you favorite restaurant”

Hazel: “Yeah. I’m a giraffe.”

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Guess What Stupid R.E.M. Song I’m Thinking Of

Houses of the Holy

It’s a perfect, balmy, beautiful day. The kids are frolicking on the beach. They’re copying a man who is getting meditative while balancing rocks on top of one another, forming zen towers.

And yet something is wrong. It’s like the opening scene of a Ray Bradbury story. There’s a foreshadowing of doom. Maybe in the story, Bradbury describes that across the bay is Fort Baker, known to all Trekkies as the future headquarters of the Star Fleet Federation. But there’s some turn of phrase that he makes letting us know that the future will not a utopian society. As readers, there is an intimation that reaches beyond the sunshine and naked, happy children. Foreboding is lapping at the shoreline and foaming around bare ankles.

It’s January. It hasn’t rained in months. Underneath the Golden Gate, we should be shrouded in mist. We should be hearing fog horns warning ships that enter the bay. People should be more alarmed that the worst drought ever has arrived. But everyone just keeps smiling into the sun.

We’ve started to remodel our kitchen this week, meaning that I had to break down and clean out all of our cabinets. It’s not like it was filthy in there or anything, it’s just that it was an unorganized jungle. When you have two little kids, there’s always something more pressing that organizing your spices. Still, when there are two or more open bags of agar agar in your pantry, something is awry. Did you know that a group of Bullfinches is called a “Bellowing”? Or that a bunch of bears is called a “Sleuth”? Ever heard of a “Coalition” of Cheetahs or an “Array” of Hedgehogs? I’ll tell you something else you and I were unaware of. The amount of dried pasta in the nether regions of our cupboards is called an “embarrassment”.

It’s kind of disgusting to see just how much excess we have without even knowing it. It’s even worse when I think about the multitudes of those with so little. And then I think about my children and global warming and the attendant catastrophes of ever escalating earth destruction.

I could go on a crusade, begging everyone I could get to listen to stop eating meat. I could tell them that California is the breadbasket of the nation, and that we have no water, and that even if we adopt “if it’s yellow, let it mellow,” it won’t matter. 90% of the water in this state goes to agriculture, although there is a huge amount that just goes to produce fodder for livestock and that it’s wanton waste. But it won’t matter. I don’t think people will change their habits en masse until people start dying in huge numbers. I think there will be no change until it resembles the end of the Orwell or Bradbury novel and it’s all too late.

And we’re ignoring it too. Tomorrow, we’re all jumping in the car with new skis and goggles and jackets to burn petroleum based products all the way up into the mountains for a ski trip where there’s no snow. This is gross denial.

But all I have is right now. So I’ll smile up into the sky, and watch the kids play, and think about how I’ll use up all that extra pasta.

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