Sunday, January 18, 2015

Merry Christmas

Over the holidays, we visited the East Coast branches of the family.  Here are some highlights. (Sorry so late)

First, as is my habit, I insisted on having Christmas day at home.
 Linda came down for these festivities, an we enjoyed a mellow hike up at Fremont Older.
 Nimue in her new cow hat.  What other 12-year-old wants a cow hat for Christmas?
 Bright and early the next morning, we flew out to Boston and drove up to Maine.  The rental car agency gave us an entertainingly cute Beetle to drive.
 There was a bit of snow still on the ground, but it was unseasonably warm when we first got there.
 Notice I could get away with just wearing a vest. (i.e. no coat!)
 As is usual, much walking in the woods,
smiling in the woods,
sitting on rocks in the woods,
and goofing off in the woods!
 Ninja Nim in her new orange stripey scarf.
New (ish) bridge in the woods.  Chad felt compelled to scrape the last remaining bits of snow off it the first time we were out.
 Leafs in the woods.
 Scary-large woodpecker holes in the woods.
 Wuuh in the woods.
Fungus in the woods.  Notice a theme here?
 Gran taking a picture of Nim in the woods (notice you can see the kiddo on the phone).

 On our last day in Maine, we visited high point most proximate to the Towle's place.  While we enjoyed the view (look over the woods!),
the small one amused herself carving pieces of the snow up with an ice chunk.  I guess ice is a novelty if you grow up in California.
After several enjoyable days, we headed down to Rockport to visit Chad's relatives there.

One must have lobster.  Mmmm...lobster.  It came right off the boat and home into the pot.

 Happy New Year!
Roaring fires are festive.
And there are woods in Massachusetts too...
Kids in the woods.



Ice in the woods.
 Old quarry in the woods.
Big cousins in the woods.
Ma climbs a stone ruin in the woods (then has to sheepishly point out to kids that they shouldn't be compelled to follow...)

 And post woods, we of course had to enjoy Uncle Bob's bookstore.
Thank you all!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Fall band concerts


We went to 'em; here are a few highlights:

SMS Symphonic Band



Los Altos Community Jazz Band





Nimue quite likes the jazz band -- between her liking the music, having a disciplined but fun director, and liking the other middle school kids who participate, Wednesday afternoon rehearsals have been a high point to most of her weeks.

And of course, there is the silliness of Jingle Squid.



Friday, December 5, 2014

Thanksgiving

The plan:  Go camping at Arroyo Seco with friends; spit-roast the turkey and enjoy outdoor festivities.

Step1:  Pre-bard and season the bird.

Step 2: Realize that all of Los Padres National Forest is still under stage 4 fire restrictions.  Translation: NO FIRES ALLOWED, even in the campgroud fire pits.  How is one supposed to spit-roast????

Step 3: Curse. (not pictured)

Step 4: Improvise a fire pit in the front courtyard with some old bricks. (These are the bricks a neighbor was getting rid of several years back, originally salvaged from a building up in SF decades ago -- I knew they would come in handy sometime...)

Step 5: Unload the firewood from the top of the truck.

Step 6: Make a nice little fire.

Step 7: Have a beverage.  Chat with passing neighbors who comment how much they love the smell of a wood fire.

Step 8: Friends arrive; con friend into doing the slimy part of getting the turkey onto the spit pole.

Step 9: Engage in complicated machinations to get the bird lined up correctly so the cross-brace knitting needles will go in and keep it from slipping.



Step 10: Turn the spit around...and around...and around....and around...  A 12 lb bird takes about 2 1/2 hours.

Step 11: Feast!  Then pack up and drive to the campground.

Step 12: Enjoy being outside at Arroyo Seco.

Step 13: Pack up and outrun Sunday's torrential rainstorm.

We hope everyone else had as enjoyable holiday!

Compulsion

Sometime, one just needs to make a Jingle Squid.  Or maybe others don't suffer these problems...