Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween 2012

Iain decided to dress up as Will Smith from Independence Day. Technically, Smith plays a Marine pilot in that movie, but Iain chose a Navy flight suit. It came with aviator shades - very cool, he says.

Someone, somewhere, taught Iain that Halloween photography is all about making faces.

Don't look at me.

Also, he filled that little bucket with candy. Filled. He visited 15 houses, learned to say "thank you" and "Happy Halloween" and did not ask a single person his favorite question ("How old are you!?").

Monday, October 29, 2012


Rough night tonight. Iain declared bedtime, girls, stories, and Mom & Dad "stupid!" And from there? Downhill.

His enthusiasm for Legos remains strong, though. He likes to build space ships, submarines, planes, fighters, bombers, and helicopters (with blasters, phasers, and anything else that will blow stuff up), then fill them with mini-figs. See above.

In a desperate effort to keep the Legos under some kind of control, we've transferred them to the TV room downstairs. Now he can play alone, watch TV and play, and leave his thousands of sharp little plastic toys all over the place without danger to our sanity or feet. We'll see if it remains an appealing place when winter hits. For now, it's great. I'm tempted to flit across his bedroom just for fun - enjoying the sensation of safety I get knowing I won't step on a Lego block.

In other good news, he's eating well. Tonight he ate chicken, tater tots, and green salad (with spinach!) for dinner. For dessert he tried a lollipop from his friend Meg's Halloween party. Too sweet, he said. He's moved firmly into the Eats What Everyone Eats camp - no more special meals.

It's a relief. But now he gets a vote. And he's not afraid to use his vote, either. He wants this but not that. Your ideas are yucky. It's this or nothing. Nothing!! As soon as he's old enough to cook the dinner - it's his job.

Pretty cute, though. I'll give him that.

Monday, October 22, 2012

What Color Are Your Eyes?

The other day Iain asked, "What color are your eyes?"


"Mine are Basil."


"Do you mean Hazel?"

"Uh, yeah. That means green on the outside and black in the middle."

I explained that everyone's eyes are black in the middle. Then he said, "I love you I love you blah, blah, blah."


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Did I Mention Mendocino?

People. In Mendocino, there are unicorns on every corner.

Every. Corner.

Also, nasturtiums. Is it the moist air? I guess I thought of nasturtiums as plants that love heat and sun, not cool, misty mornings. But there they are, growing in bustling profusion on every fence and property line.

Also impressive are these dinner-plate sized succulents. People love to cram these into table plantings but they usually take up 3 or 4 inches. Not in Mendocino.

Four feet high, eight or nine inches in diameter, they pop up like weeds. Given the rate of growth for most succulents, I figure these at 10 or 15 years old. Maybe older.

Unicorns, I tell you.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Uh Oh

Iain walked in and asked me, "What's slingshot?"

So I drew him a picture. Here's the forked stick. Here's the rubber band. Here's the rock or acorn and here you are, drawing back the band and shooting the projectile at something.

I cannot explain nor was I prepared for the look of glee on his face.

"It's a weapon," I said.

I think he knew that.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Wedding

Above and below, the view from the wedding. Really.

Just outside of Mendocino there's a state park with a lighthouse. Quite a charming lighthouse, though not a tall one. In Maine, lighthouses tend to be pretty high up. Here, perhaps because of the height of the cliffs, the lighthouse was only a couple of stories tall.

Anyway, they lined up chairs out on the bluff and we all sat there listening to the wind and pretending that we could hear everything being said up front.

Once the happy couple said their vows and walked back up the path, Mother and I walked to the edge for a look. Pretty spectacular, I think.

Below, Mother listens to the service. After, we joined friends and family for cocktails (they had a non-alcoholic bar, too, with iced tea, lemonade, and water), then dinner. Butternut squash soup, green salad, grilled flank steak and poached salmon, polenta (ZOMG!), and mixed veggies. I love California.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

More Mendo

The view from Main Street. We checked out the local bookstore (there are two, but the used bookstore closes earlier so we headed for the one that sells new, deliciously-scented books) and emerged to find this across the street.

And flowers in the garden next to a chiropractor. Thanks to the moist air and cool breezes, the gardens here overflow with soft, delicate flowers. Anything the sun might burn seems to thrive. We saw one house with paving and mulch and I thought, "How sad." I don't think those folks can really expect to keep anything tidy in this climate. Better to embrace the vines and weeds and riotous color than to try to impose an unnatural kind of order.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Sea Gull Inn Mendocino

 Misty, floral, cool and lovely. There's a main house, but we're in the "barn," which is actually a little building that reminds me of the Tiny House movement.

 Above, the view from the bathroom window. There's a house on the other side of that vine, but you needn't worry about it because who could see through the foliage?

Neither of us can escape work entirely. Mother took some calls (and made some calls and then called some people and then some people called her) while I read exams.

Today: the wedding. We have the morning free. After lunch we'll toddle up to the shuttle stop and ride over to the Point Cabrillo Lighthouse. Then it's partypartyparty until bedtime.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

The Never Ending Journey

Ah, coffee. You were the highlight of my day.

My mother and I departed Salt Lake this morning at 10:18. Oh, wait. No we didn't! We departed at 12:20, two hours late. Thanks, United.

We missed our lunch date with our cousins (disappointing) but trekked up to Emporio Rulli anyway. Having risen at 630 (after a nice wakeup at 2am, 4am, and 6am - Iain!) and breakfasted at 7, we needed a little something to keep us from biting Californians.

But we ought to have known that our morning of delay, frostbite (small airplane plus cotton socks- ZOMG), and frustration (101N? Ha! Try 101S to 380 to 280 to endless traffic in SF) bode ill for a service experience. We happened to visit Rulli on a day when they were breaking in two new employees. So it took ten minutes just to order, then we waited endlessly for our coffee and sandwiches, then we found that Mother's turkey sandwich had morphed into a ham sandwich.

I might have stalked into the cafe and proclaimed, "My mother's Jewish, this ain't gon' fly!"


Anyway, while we waited the couple of women next to us got up, kissy-faced, bade one another goodbye and separated. So when two men walked up and said, "Is this table open?" I said, "Yes!" Then one woman came back. Oops. She was a complete...person who rides a broom. "What made you think I was gone? What kind of person just takes a table? Where's my stuff?"

Sandwiches consumed. Coffee swallowed. Let's get the heck out of here. Which way? How about this way? Nope. How about that way? Nope. Ten minutes up a crazy, windy, tree-lined road with ABSOLUTELY NO PLACE TO TURN AROUND? Sure. Great. Let's do it again.

Finally on the 101, we spent three hours in traffic. Every time we thought it was over it popped up again. Let me tell you about the 7 exits for Novato.

At last. AT LAST, we reached exit 523 - California Highway 128. Yay! Mendocino!

No. No. No.

68 miles on a windy, two-lane road lined with: construction, redwoods, boulders.

We finally arrived, achy and punch-drunk, at 815 Pacific time. Our B&B is utterly adorable. We're watching TV, drinking water in wine glasses (it's wine country, y'all), and eating the cookies we bought at Emporio Rulli. Thank god for those cookies, because there won't be any supper tonight.

help. me.