Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas eve. Swingin' tunes in the DVD player. Pete in the back wrapping presents. Kids in the garage. They have probably put in a full work week in hours on their latest projects - which will remain secret until tomorrow. The garage is rather chilly but they seem impervious. The good news - a home made Christmas. The bad news - the presents appear to be huge and I am sure we will be expected to find them homes somewhere in our house.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

From a Facebook app. Interesting to see what it grabs and includes from your status updates.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

We were ghosted last night. Here is what the accompanying paper says:

You've been Ghosted!

Late last night, we left you a treat.
The tradition is fun, one we hope you'll repeat.

Take the ghost and pin it on your door,
to let the others know, you need ghosting no more.

Now it's your duty to pass on the surprise,
to at least one more family we must advise.

Gather some treats and deliver them soon,
within two nights, under the light of the moon.

Include a ghost with each package you give,
along with this poem for the tradition to live.

 The reverse of the paper has "instructions" - we are supposed to ring doorbell after dark after leaving a bag of candy and the ghost taped to the door - and don't get caught! We collect a copy of the poem and ghost from the originator's house and leave our ghost on the door so we don't get ghosted again... We can't agree on which house to ghost tonight. The one a block away or down the bottom of the hill. The bummer of it all - we had to go buy some candy today...  ;-)

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Quotes from A last night while on our doggie walk: "The only things I don't like about our new house are the bugs, scorpions, and snakes" (for the record I have NOT seen any snakes although the boys report seeing them while hiking on the hill) and "Grandma has GREAT taste! Everything she likes is what I like" (I think mainly referring to her cooking and car but he might have had other things in mind too).

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Friends brought this little sparkly covered keychain flask gift for liquid courage. I was photographing stuff for email thank yous (printed ones never manage to get in the mail somehow...). It cracks me up. Dog was keeping me company at the time so I decided to see how she looked sporting it. Not bad.
Didn't manage to photograph it before we'd eaten a couple pieces :-)

mango mousse cake

mango mousse cake, originally uploaded by beverlykaytw.

many thanks to Kazumi for this lovely (and tasty) cake

Thanks to Heidi for the lovely flowers. It was great to see everyone at our house this weekend.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Since the FedEx truck dropped off our new fireplace screen and tools last night the kids determined it was desperately cold this a.m. and we needed to build a fire. They did it all. There were already some logs in the fireplace but they gathered sticks from around the block (Q used the motorized scooter to drag some big ones up the hill!). They were so happy to see smoke coming out the chimney. Don't they look proud of themselves?

Saturday, October 02, 2010

I had my first adult birthday party today! Look at my beautiful Chocolate Decadence flourless cake - it was quite yummy (and lived up to its name in decadence). Many thanks to Pete for keeping the food flowing all party long - it was awfully nice not to have to do anything other than socialize! The house is nice and clean and we have plenty of left overs - we really should figure out someone to invite over to join us for dinner tomorrow...   :-)  The kids had plenty of friends to play with - even the dog had a new friend (Devo the Morkie) to play with! People enjoyed the views from the deck for a while until the wind got too cold from the encroaching fog. The city friends enjoyed seeing the sun for a change.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

the family

daddy and daughter in the tree

extended family

throw me daddy!

one shot inside

a beautiful couple
in the treehouse
On Saturday in between soccer games and doggie class and general family running around I had a photo shoot with a lovely family at their home near the kids' school. I had Q in tow (happily ensconced on the sofa with his book!) and generally felt a bit rushed unfortunately but overall I think I ended up with some nice images despite the crazy weather day (including heavy drizzle just before!). I hope they think so too.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

hubby slalom skiing, originally uploaded by beverlykaytw.
He was looking good on one ski - kicking up rainbows. He also looked good wakeboarding for the first time. Even the kids were looking pretty - thanks to our guide they both got up!

If you want to see more photos from Lake Almanor and Lassen Nat Park click here or if you are family click here and enter the usual password.

boy down, flag up

boy down, flag up, originally uploaded by beverlykaytw.

I really like this one for whatever reason. I also liked the flag - that says "California Rules" (and goes on to spell out boating rules) but I think CA does "rule".

jet ski excursion, originally uploaded by beverlykaytw.
We rented jet skis for first time ever during our vacation at Lake Almanor. I love them!

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Great Egret & chicks

Great Egret & chicks, originally uploaded by beverlykaytw.

There is a nice bird sanctuary/rookery right in the middle of the Sarasota Bay and Inland Waterway (not sure its exact name). There were a ton of these Great Egrets but also Brown Pelicans (with big fuzzy white chicks) and Cormorants as well as a few other species scattered within. I seem to recall that it was over 1000 adults - or maybe it was 1000 pairs... on what seemed to be a very small island.

sunrise in Sarasota Bay
This isn't a bad pic and I loved how calm the bay was with the fishing birds as the sun rose but I really wished I could have caught it just a few minutes earlier when the sun seemed so huge and glowing red on the horizon - we just couldn't get the boat out there quite fast enough.
I just loved the colors of the ocean and sky this trip. It really was iridescent. I love my 2 boys and dad too :-)
the boys caught fish!
My 8 year old caught a 4 lb trout and my 10 year old caught a 2 lb mackerel. There were more of both kinds of fish but this was by far the best day out ever for my youngest - usually his brother is the big fisherman - he also caught first fish of the day. They love going out in the boat with my dad. My eldest really has the patience for it too.


scorpion?!, originally uploaded by beverlykaytw.

The kids found this guy in our family room earlier in the week. We kept him in a container for a while and today Q & I let him go high up on the hill. I just learned today that our neighbor to the west found one (caught in a spider web in garage) and the neighbors 2 houses to the east have also seen them recently. Not sure why nor if we'll see any more. Apparently this is a native Marin kind of scorpion and its' sting would be similar to a bee sting.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

looking at San Francisco

looking at San Francisco, originally uploaded by beverlykaytw.

We've taken a couple of great hikes up and around our local mountain this week. Friday the kids, dog and I set off for about 1 1/2 hours. They were touting their new camelback(like) backpacks to stay fully hydrated. Q said this was the kind of hike he likes - where you decide where to go and don't just follow some boring path. On Sat some friends joined us for even a longer hike with stops along the way to climb the big rock (which Foxy no longer felt the need to bark at!) and climb several trees in a little oak forested area we came across. Nothing like having another kid along to make a hike more fun for my kids!

Queen of the Hill

Queen of the Hill, originally uploaded by beverlykaytw.

Foxy was on full alert here including some barking - at a large rock. I like how she perches up on her own little rock to achieve maximum height. She likes to stand up tall on her hind legs whenever she gets the chance.


biking, originally uploaded by beverlykaytw.

Since we moved to Marin and Pete picked up a cruiser bike for me off Craigslist the kids and I have started exploring the local bike paths. This one is stellar - a couple of flat miles in Tiburon almost all on a multi-use path along the water front. We're having a cool windy summer (thanks to the San Francisco fog). We've even taken the dog in my basket. The kids especially like trails that have a cafe for a snack somewhere along the way :-)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Meet Foxy!

a boy and his dog, originally uploaded by beverlykaytw.

A dog? A fox? A cat?

I ask myself what she is. She is our new family member - she picked us out on July 5th at the Oakland Animal Shelter - she stood silently on 2 legs and pawed the air to get our attention. She gave us love and entertained us with her whapping of a stuff football. We took her home Thurs eve after she was spade. She was the most adorable easy going 5 month old you could hope to have. She LOVES people. I mean desperately. She does her circus dog trick whenever she sees someone in hopes they will give her a little love. I put up deer netting around the backyard fencing - since she is small enough at 6#4oz to scamper between the rails - but it didn't seem necessary since she just wanted to be around us. We were able to take her out front without a leash. That has changed. She is now comfortable enough to run down to the next door neighbors in hopes of being mauled by their 3 & 5 yr olds and pay me no attention when I call. Leash time. She didn't seem to know how to jump. Made it easy to enforce the "no getting on furniture unless invited" rule since she needed to be lifted up and down. Alas, no longer. She now leaps with the best of them.

We named her Foxy for obvious reasons. They have her down as Papillon/Terrier mix. I'm not convinced. Perhaps Papillon and fox... Lately as she heads off after her thrown toys she hops - like I see foxes do in nature shows. She really does look like a fox in many ways and blends in really well with the dry grass hill by the house. Doh.

Catlike. I even saw her rub up against a door jamb like a cat! Tonight she found a pea from a sugar snap pea pod on the floor. She played with it for at least 15 minutes to our great amusement. She batted it and leaped after it like a cat.

She is clearly intelligent and easy to train. First up was "stand" - since she already loved doing it :-) She knows "tinkle" and "treat" and "sit" (although she doesn't like to). Not sure she knows her name - we think she might think her name is "Good Girl". Since she started mouthing us yesterday she is hearing "NO" and clearly recognizes it. "Drop it" and "Fetch" seem to be on their way to part of her vocabulary.

She likes other dogs - off leash. She was great at a dog park - but isn't very good when on a leash when she decides to be very aggressive. Fortunately she is very small.

We are happy to have her.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

view of Mount Tamalpais at sunset from our deck

One of our pretty sunsets.

early morning over the bay

early morning over the bay, originally uploaded by beverlykaytw.

I was taken with this view at around 7 a.m. one morning because the bay was so still that it had full reflections - usually the bay is more stirred up than this. This is the view from my bed pretty much. (Except I went outside to snap the pic).

Mount Tam

Mount Tam, originally uploaded by beverlykaytw.

this is the view from near our side yard back along the back deck toward Mount Tamalpais to the east. Apparently "our" property heads on down the hill quite a way but we haven't explored it yet.

Happy Children's Day

Happy Children's Day, originally uploaded by beverlykaytw.

John & Kerri from downstairs had this up in our backyard on the day we moved - it was a great addition. They said it was in honor of us (the kids @ the Japanese school - big fish = dad, next = mom, 2 smallest the boys).

So much was going on that I've just been a bit busy to blog. May 2nd we moved into our new home in Marin. I just never believed that it would be easy to live there and commute to the city. Door to door on any day other than when there was an accident has been under 30 min at any time of day in either direction. I also didn't believe that the weather was really all that much better. It really is. Most days it was 10 degrees warmer - mid 70's instead of mid 60's (and w/out the gale forced winds in the city). So what did we do as soon as school's out? Head to Florida. Of course. But back to the house. It still needs some work and desperately needs some outdoor furnishings - but from day one the views - oh the views! We also now have 3 bedrooms instead of 2 and 2 baths instead of 1. And a nicely outfitted kitchen instead of cheapo rental kitchen. I have hopes the car(s) will one day soon fit in the garage. We had to invest in a couple of beds for the kids. Q had his room painted "maine lobster" (red) on one wall, a hunter green across from it and "pistacio ice cream" on the 2 walls in between. It works surprisingly well and you don't end up seeing much wall by the time you put in the bunk bed, dresser, shelves, and dresser. He is a happy boy (originally he didn't like the idea of sleeping in a room apart from his brother). He also gets a lot more sleep now. A had his room painted light blue. He is pleased with his room too and keeps it fairly tidy. Our room is big enough that our bedroom furniture actually fits inside it along w/ a recliner chair (yet to be used for other than storage). Our dressers used to be in the dining room. We've purchased a media cabinet, side board, storage ottoman, and shelving/dividers so far (in addition to beds for the kids). We still need a sofa(s). We've bought a couple of aiderondack chairs for outside. We've eaten dinner out most nights using our old fold up table and folding chairs. We'd like to get actual outdoor furniture for dining. We've also eaten on both back deck and side yard and have to decide where we want to eat. The side yard makes a lot of sense as it is off the kitchen and by the grill but back deck is easy enough too and perhaps a bit prettier. Did I mention the view? I am so captivated by it that I frequently have to grab my camera and snap yet another sunset. We look north toward San Quentin across part of the bay. The lights of the adjacent town twinkle in the distance in the evening. A ferry boat cruises by below every half hour or so. P's new commute. To our east is Mount Tam. Behind us (or across the street from the front door) is a bit of a rock face on the big hill. The kids are loving climbing it. Since there are only 2 more houses before the street ends they feel very comfortable playing in the street - a huge change from living on the fairly major city street in San Francisco.

Monday, April 19, 2010

20100417_0026, originally uploaded by beverlykaytw.

I was trying to take a pic of his snaggletooth (that he refuses to wiggle). You can barely see it here - next to the dark space. He wasn't at all cooperative although he seems to want me to take a pic so he can see it himself. What is most funny is when he smiles with his mouth closed - because it is then that you really get the full impact of the tooth - as it is the only tooth visible since it it now angled at about 90 degrees from where it started. I'll keep trying...

all about the ball

20100417_0117a, originally uploaded by beverlykaytw.

I don't think this really even captures the moment - our player (in black) has been playing really well and he went down in this kick and made the pass - quite the dedication to the ball!

the post goal chest bump

the post goal chest bump, originally uploaded by beverlykaytw.

this just so cracks me up

Monday, April 05, 2010

kids at play

kids at play, originally uploaded by beverlykaytw.

You know the old one that the box the toy comes in is more fun than the toy for kids? (A truism by the way). I picked up a dolly at Costco. I figured it would be a popular addition to our household. Boy was I ever right! Somewhere along the way Q dragged home a large chain. It works great as a giant leash for dolly play. Hours of fun! Dolly might even be useful when we move next month but if not it was so worth the $ for the hours of fun it has provided. This photo was taken around 6:30 in the eve after a rainy day so it was a bit dark out but they don't let dark, cold, or rain stop them!

Monday, March 22, 2010

view from the deck @ new home

The home overlooks the marsh. This is a pretty time of year when the hills are still green - they will be brown soon as we move into warmer weather. The Larkspur ferry shuttles back and forth down there - theoretically P's new commute. While we were here we saw a deer grazing on the hill below just a few feet away - apparently a common sight.

view from the deck @ new home

This is looking westward towards Mount Tampalpais from the deck of our soon to be new home.


running, originally uploaded by beverlykaytw.

Here's my little blondie determined to get that ball. Yay! I was struck when I looked at my batch of photos from the game this weekend how we have such a multi-racial team. We have more little blondies this season than before but we also have black, hispanic, arabic, and asian and within the anglos we have russian, danish, and irish (complete with parental accents to go with their countries of origin). At the kids' new school it will be about 85% white - the teams will look a bit different I suspect. I'll miss San Francisco.


jumping, originally uploaded by beverlykaytw.

This one just cracks me up. J (the girl) is a great athlete and SO competitive. She made several big leaps like the opposing boy is doing here during the game and stopped the ball. I hope we have more sunny days to look forward to as the light down at this end of the field is quite lovely in the late afternoon with the wall beyond in shadow.

wanting the ball

wanting the ball, originally uploaded by beverlykaytw.

I love the look on Y's face - I got several fun ones of him from the game. He has become a real force on the team and really wants the ball.

Monday, March 15, 2010

trying out a new "widget" from my favorite self-publishing company

Saturday, February 06, 2010

racing down the blue run

racing down the blue run, originally uploaded by beverlykaytw.

Q gets most improved skier award! On Friday he started off very shaky - holding onto dad's hand and not at all comfortable (we didn't ski last year after all and he'd only skied a couple of days before that). By the end of the 3 days he was zooming down the intermediate slopes and had done a nice job of changing from wedge position skiing to parallel skis. Awesome. Give the kids another day or 2 and they'll be heading down slopes I won't want to do - they are already faster than I am. At least they have a dad who can ski.

the view

the view, originally uploaded by beverlykaytw.

this is the view from the parking area at Bear Valley. A front was moving through which led to some drama in the sky at the end of the skiing day. Such lovely grandeur in the Sierras.

snowball fight!

snowball fight!, originally uploaded by beverlykaytw.

We just had a few minutes at the sno-park but our friends had had a couple of hours. Just enough time for a good old fashioned snow ball fight! It was late in the afternoon so shooting conditions weren't great but I caught a few in mid-disintegration.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

crabbing, originally uploaded by beverlykaytw.

On the dock at the Dolphin Club. Kids were crabbing with cousin Phil as usual. We have a couple of new cousins to add to the mix. There was a break in the rain so I ran down to snap a few photos. I didn't even notice the rainbow in the sky - can you see it? I like what a colorful group they were. If you look closely you can also see one of the crazy swimmers in the water - a surprising (to me) activity but there are always a few in the water.

crab from the bay

crab from the bay, originally uploaded by beverlykaytw.

Phil brought a chicken carcass for the crab trap and this was one of many crabs it tempted - one of the biggest for the day.


swinging, originally uploaded by beverlykaytw.

He was quite proud of how he found a swing for himself.

I stop here

I stop here, originally uploaded by beverlykaytw.

this is where I drew the line. I had already stooped down under one pier but it was drippy and I wasn't interested in joining them for their further explorations with cuz Phil.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

bubbles in the face perhaps?

I posted this back in mid-October. For some reason it gets a fair bit of flickr traffic - why?? It is up to 453 views with 4 views just yesterday. Perhaps something in the tags gets searched often? I just wonder how people end up looking at my stuff sometimes.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

the sparkler

the sparkler, originally uploaded by beverlykaytw.

They had sparklers at the Target in FL so they just had to end up in the kids xmas stockings. We waited too long to do them - the cold front had set in but it was still fun.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Here are the guys at G-Wiz hands on science museum in Sarasota. They are deep in battle - one on one to use brain waves (Alpha and Theta) to control a little ball - the person with the calmer waves "wins" and the ball rolls towards the other person. Q's calm looking meditation didn't beat little Jack's scrunched up face approach - and my brother beat me soundly - twice. Argh!

Friday, January 01, 2010

For a change Q was the big winner at the fishing stakes. We had a great time out on the water the day before yesterday. It was our best weather day here and the bay was super calm. Q made the first catch of the day - a Bluefish - literally on his first cast of the day. That was followed in rapid succession by 2 more Bluefish - one each A and my Dad. Dad was using fake lures while the boys had live shrimp. P & I weren't fishing as we hadn't sprung for licenses. P was hooking on the shrimp as needed. I just hung out. Saw several dolphin as usual. We decided to head out after our haul of Bluefish as we weren't sure they were any good to eat. Also caught a few trout but can't keep them until Jan 1st. Our next couple spots didn't yield much but our last spot of the day was another bonanza spot - this time for Pompano. That is what Q is hauling in in this pic - the first one caught and by far the largest of the 4 the boys brought in. Interestingly enough Dad didn't catch one - they much preferred the shrimp apparently. Both boys ended up with the same # of fish. A is happy to fish all day but Q tends to get a bit bored - but not when he bookends his day with real eating fish! We called home, my brother found recipes, dad scaled, gutted and filleted the fish in the dark (flashlights!) while getting eaten by mosquitoes, I prepped the sauces for the fish and dad grilled them. Both fish were super! The Bluefish had red flesh and was stronger flavor but we made up a ginger/soy/lime/sugar dressing that was great. The Pompano was done in foil packets with a topping of onions/carrots/celery/garlic sauteed in wine/lemon/spices. Quite yummy too!

Yesterday we spent the afternoon at the beach after lunch at the Sandbar on Amelia Island. Such beautiful sugar sand. The kids had to jump in the pool when they got home for sunset. A bald eagle kept us entertained with his antics (he had a large fish in his mouth and kept swimming back and forth across the pond in the backyard). Tonite P and I walked along quite a few holes of the golf course for sunset and I saw a river otter head into one of the ponds. Also walked by a couple of chattering sandhill cranes within a few feet. Also saw hundreds of swallows all circle down and in to a couple of trees - then scatter back up to the sky. Love all the wildlife here in the community.