Friday, August 15, 2014

My niece leaves for college today.

I remember the day she was born. The car ride to the hospital where, when we were pulled over by local law enforcement, my father-in-law explained that we were on our way to the hospital for the birth of his first grandchild. (Not sure if Tarzana's finest believed him or not.) The tears running down my brother-in-law's cheeks when he raced into the waiting room with the news that that he and Michelle were the proud parents to a bouncing baby girl. The way my mother-in-law pulled a pen out of her bag to fill out her new granddaughter's name on the Hadassah life membership paperwork. The broad smile on my husband's face when he looked at our sweet niece's teeny, tiny, perfectly formed face.

Today she gets on a plane and heads for Texas. I entered her new address in my contacts, thinking of all the addresses I had during four years of college, of all the crossing out and rewriting my mother did in her address book. I bet she still keeps a paper address book.

I remember the day I left for college. It was night, actually. My parents and two besties accompanied me to the airport. Tears were shed. My five boxes and I caught the red-eye to Chicago. In the morning I got on another plane, this one to Madison. I hopped in a cab with all of those boxes and gave the driver the address of the dorm. Where my college adventure began. (Does anyone know why all of us Alaskans heading further east than Seattle had to take red-eyes?!) The picture here is of me with those two besties, this time, I think, when I left a Anchorage for good.

My niece is smart and makes friends easily. She is fun and has a natural interest in people, much like my father-in-law. She will have a great time. I can't wait to hear about it.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Houndstooth

Please step away from the screen and then squint. Hopefully you'll see the houndstooth pattern. I made this quilt in the spring for my youngest niece. We picked out the fabric together.

I should have made the blocks smaller. Live and learn. The backside is polka dot purple minky, super soft and great for snuggling under. This is especially important on California days like today where the temperature hit triple digits.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Age is just a number.

We have close friends who are closer to my parents' age than our own. They are very active, young at heart, and in much better shape physically than most people I know.

This weekend we went to a party and I chatted with a woman, the grandmother of 10 or 11, who is, also, closer to my mother's age than my own. She is a strikingly beautiful woman, again very active, and easily looks 20 years younger than she is. During the conversation she mentioned being old, which I see as very far from the truth.

I am inspired by these people.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

A Sweet Simcha

Yesterday was our sweet neighbor's Bat Mitzvah. They moved here from New York four years ago and so many of their east coast friends and family came out to join in the celebration. It's bittersweet for us, their California friends, because they are just relocating to Ohio. But the day was perfect and the party was a beautiful combination of east meets west.

Sherman Chu photographed the event and although I've known him a long time, I've never seen him at work before. He seemed to get every shot yet remained nearly invisible during the event itself. Look at how stunning these pictures are! Crazier yet is that Sherman got up this morning and ran the San Francisco Marathon. I guess that was easy compared to Ironman Lake Tahoe, which he completed last September and at which we cheered him on.

My favorite part of the day was just looking around and knowing that this room contained so much of their universe, their people. Mazel Tov sweet neighbor.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Fondling the Flowers

An early morning run to the San Francisco Flower Market with Jill and one of the Pinks. The summer solstice is only three weeks past so the sun is up by the time we arrive. We are the only ones still wiping sleep from our eyes. The vendors have been there for hours and the florists are long gone.

I come home with ribbon, bamboo in many forms, vases, cellophane bags and five varieties of cut flowers I don't need but can't resist.

On Tuesday I bring orange tulips to my client to celebrate her recent promotion. She gets all goopy on me.

My purchases join the tablecloths, paper goods and bottled water in our dining room, for the next two months the B'Not Mitzvah staging area.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Delancey

For the last five years I've been a fan of Orangette, Molly Wizenberg's food blog. Molly is a beautiful writer, posts great recipes and good stories, and has a new memoir out, too. (I just love her blog posts about her wedding.) A friend and I went to a the reading a few months ago. The book goes too much into her relationship with her husband in my opinion but I really enjoyed the description of how they came to open a wood-fired pizza restaurant in Seattle's Ballard neighborhood.

And so when we were in Seattle last month we Uber'd it to the north side of the city to check out Delancey. The pizza was great and, as promised, the husband was manning the oven. However, we didn't like either salad that we ordered. And unfortunately the wait on this Wednesday night was 90 minutes. Like the tourists we were, we waited. This wait may be the reason the duo opened an artisanal bar next door. One can nurse a lot of drinks in 90 minutes. The menu is short -- two or three salads, maybe eight pizzas, two or three deserts.

Overall, Molly and Brandon achieved what they set out to do - open a casual, neighborhood eatery. We, though, won't be going back, even when we get back to Seattle.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Just Don't Look Down

Today, July 5, the five of us went to Tahoe Treetop Adventure Park. There we zip lined, made our way across bridges suspended 40' above ground and overcame any fears we had of flying through the trees like monkeys. Thing 2 skipped the beginner course altogether and by the end of our two hours there had done all the intermediate and advanced courses. I stuck to the beginner one which, with eight separate challenges, wasn't all that easy!

Like bicycling around Seattle, this was a reach for me. Again, I'm glad I did it. And although I'm exhausted, I'm proud.

The Youngest Pinks and I had been there before and I've got to tell you, it was a lot more fun this time when it wasn't raining buckets. We're going to go again in a few weeks! Anyone up for joining us?