The apples

apple pieI am not prone to insomnia. But sometimes something in the darkness will wake me, and I will not be able to fall back asleep. There are some memories that are curled up in my heart, like ribbons, or snakes – it is at those moments, when I’m laying awake in deepest night, that they unfurl themselves.

The apples are one of those memories.

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ginger-kicked stir-fryA couple of weeks ago, I bought myself something for my birthday. I won’t keep you in suspense: it was a wok. I told you about shortcake in Santa Cruz, but we spent my actual birthday in San Francisco, mostly in Chinatown (with a brief but worthwhile swing through the Mission on our way home, to show the guys some murals and get ice cream).  But anyway, the wok.  Continue reading



The other morning, there was a distinct hint of fall in the air. No really! We have been having sunshiney days in the 90s, yes I know – but the other morning. It was overcast and I was making oatmeal and the windows were open to let in some cool before the heat of the day, and there it was. Just the barest glimmer, enough to make me turn toward the windows and sniff the air and think, soon. Soon. But not now.  Continue reading

Happy day day

one perfect cupcakeWe spent the weekend celebrating Kyle’s “day day” (Lucas). We visited the Cal Academy, we played at the playground, we took a long long walk. We had Gordo burritos and Carvel cake and Racer 5 (it was 100 % the dayday boy’s menu, as you can see). We made wishes in fountains and ate Gravenstein apples and listened to The Golden Gate Park Band – and through it all Kyle and I watched our boys run and laugh and marvel at the world, and we almost couldn’t believe it.  Continue reading

Lunch time

cheese crackersI know that there are a great many of you who have packed hundreds, thousands even, of “school lunches” for your kids. I, however, have packed exactly 17 of them to date. And until today, they were all duds.

I was new to this whole lunch thing, and I wanted to shine. I consulted with him on his choices each morning, put his favorite foods into his favorite snack bags, tucked those bags lovingly into his bright green lunch box. I put an ice cube in with the water in his froggy water bottle and arranged it next to a carefully rolled cloth napkin. Perhaps I even RErolled the napkin, once, maybe.

cheese crackers

These lunches, my friends, were my own personal visions of motherhood done right, of care and nurture and love. Love that he would feel come lunch time, even though I was a whole half a mile away, up the hill at home.

While he was spending his mornings playing with his friends, splashing and swinging and singing and sandboxing, and having the time of his life, surely – surely! – while he was doing this he would work up an appetite for these delicacies. Delicacies he himself had selected. Delicacies that I had packaged not with preservatives or BPA or hydrogenated-syruped-who-knows-what, but with gobs and gobs of love. LOVE! (And perhaps a touch of anxiety about being away from him for a whole four hour stretch, alongside a wee smidge of pride about his abiding love for vegetables).

And of course I don’t need to tell you the next part. Continue reading


pistachio bread

Parents can secure so little for their children, so little safety, even in the best circumstances. Great faith is required to give the child up, trusting God to honor the parents’ love for him by assuring that there will indeed be angels in the wilderness. ~ Marilynne Robinson

This has been one of those weeks. It seems that everywhere I turn I am reading about global warming that has passed the point of no return, or the dry scorched earth where crops should be growing. The seas are rising, and the planet is choking on plastic (sorry, that one’s a graphic photo). I pride myself on taking things in stride, but sometimes I feel things catching up with me.

Of course, this feeling that the whole weight of the world has washed over me always comes on those weeks when projects, laundry, and lack-of-sleep have also swamped into things. And possibly hormones too. So anyway, it has been a doozie. By Wednesday night, I needed something to bring me down from the ledge.

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