Graduation 2021

Ceremony #2 under the Covid-19 pandemic. Last year, Charlie’s graduation was a strictly distanced & masked single file line through the Half Moon Bay High, the stage in the gym. Speeches, etc. were recorded for consumption asynchronously. Actually, super efficient, but perhaps not as collegial, etc.

Also last year, Pescadero High School had a drive in graduation which was comparatively kind of fun, what with the horns honking and all. This year, the stage was in the same place outside in front of the gym, but there were chairs for everyone to sit (not in their cars). Nakshli was the valedictorian, Jackie the salutatorian. (Kevin v. Phil…?)

This year at Half Moon Bay High, Veronica’s graduation was outside on the football field, distanced, masked, but all together live with a big screen TV for those far away in the stands. Good times! Enjoy the stage walk, then pix of the event, some kooky miscellany, a trip to UCSC, and the prom party a couple days later…

Congrats kid, and on pretty much all A+’s for four years…!

Ooops! It’s 2021… Part 2

A word about WordPress: If you go back to the beginning of my blog in 2015, there are short, not well formatted, posts. I got into it more and eventually made huge posts with multiple galleries of many photos. This new block editor is already changing my posts, hopefully for the better, but I hope the old stuff can stay as it is – kind of an archive. Speaking of which, I’m planning some archival posts, pix of pix from bygone days….

Back to the Ooops: It may be that the fires from last summer (rather than Covid) caused my hiatus. Watching the fire burn towards us, then being evacuated for a week (leaving our home, expecting it to burn up), all was very traumatic, but also reorienting, perhaps causing a ‘bearable lightness of being.. Ashes to ashes, funk to funky…?

Anywayz, this’ll be a longer post as clip some snippets from the last several months, certainly, as always, random! First up, more on the fires, then commentary as we roll…

Slo-mo of the cozy home fires burnin’…
Time lapse of CZU lightening fire just over Butano Ridge (taken from Haskins Hill). Note smoke bursts!

The collection below includes the aftermath of the fires, celebration at the Fire Station, and a visit to Pie Ranch (which was much more imperiled and suffered far more damage, including the destruction of their historic ranch house from the 1860s). The hills above their new home (thankfully spared) were particularly scorched, and you can see how some trees burned down into the roots, some of which have continued to burn for months!

Please know, as we’re now in the midst of another hot summer during a drought, the fire dangers continue. Much work is still being done to prepare for a repeat. Nonetheless, other. aspects of life go on, let’s keep going…

Supermoon! ~ (“Pink” or “Flower”?)

The collection above is on the theme of nature, pix from bikes & hikes (and community service for Veronica)…

The collection below is on the theme of Covid, getting vaccinated, pix with Mom, and Zooming with students…

Uncle Jered’s birthday party at the Santa Cruz Roller Pavilion

The collection above is from Mother’s Day and Jered’s Birthday, two Pie Ranchie events: a lovely afternoon dinner at the Lawson-Vails, and a rolling out of the rollerblades at the Santa Cruz roller pavilion…

The collection below is random: spring disc golf course, hidden beach/tidepool expedition with A. Burr, climbing roses, trail-walking (& bush-whacking) around CLHG, a lovely giant moth, and a preview of the library post…

Happy Trails to You!

Ooops! It’s 2021… Part 1

A lot can happen in a year and it has been almost that long since I last posted. I’m not blaming it on the coronavirus, but it has seemed Iike we’ve been in a state of suspended inanimation. Maybe it’s just me. In any case, it is time to ease back into publishing some thoughts and photos, writing and pictures, ideas and images. However, in the interim WordPress has changed and I gotta figure out this block editor system. Please bear with me. (Even if I just do a return, I make a new block (sheesh)).

So, first up our little house, round about the time of the fires. We survived, but will we again? Next, some pix from the Roquena Trail bridge project, a summer 2020 extended endeavor that was pulled off thanks to Liam Hussey, Grant Kern, and a great crew of guys who spent several days over more weeks getting almost done (we’re still waiting on the locally sourced redwood railings). Finally, there’s a miscellaneous batch of the fires, some hikes, kayaks, Zoom meetings, etc. More on the way…

Summer 2020 Visits & Vistas

In spite of Covid, its been a busy summer. We had three visits and took one quick camping trip. ML, Charlie & Veronica took another trip to SoCal, but I demurred.

First, Steve & Christina brought the wildly adorable lil’ Freya for a visit…

Then, Josh & Adrienne Crockett came to visit and camped in our back yard. More kid fun with Sophie and Isaac…

Then, we took a trip to Eagle Lake and Lassen National Park. Cousin Elayna was going to come with, but she had car problems. So, Veronica invited her friend Paulina. Eagle Lake turned out to be nice, what with a super large campsite and a long relaxing day in the refreshing water. Check it out…

This second batch is of our drive through Mt. Lassen Park which included a hike to Bumpass Hell, a natural hot springs. Couldn’t get the crew to go to the top of Lassen (which I did solo years ago), even tho’ you practically drive to the top…

Who doesn’t love panos? Who doesn’t love having twins?

IMG_E8063

Who doesn’t love time lapses? Heading home over the Bay Bridge into San Francisco…

Our last visit (so far) was Elayna! She got her car fixed and come up to camp in our back yard. We were able to turn her on to the natural wonders of our area by hiking, mountain biking, and as you can see here, kayaking (in the San Gregorio slough). I’m throwing in an old picture of a littler Elayna holding baby Veronica (ML looks exactly the same). Cheers…

As mentioned, the rest of my crew adventured to Oceanside & Santa Monica, but I stayed home, bereft with cognitive dissonance. I owe my dear cousin Steve a visit to his hood, and I want to go. However, legit Covid fears (spiking!) and complicated house projects edged out my wanderlust. Further, my Santa Monica homies, lil’ Stevie Whalen, Uncle Jon Amsden, Ol’ Danny Boy, etc. share my Covid concerns. Most significantly, they took the rings off the rings, so a trip to the beach would have lacked a certain swing. Like the Olympics, and notwithstanding my carpe diem sensibilities, I’m putting such a trip off until next summer when I can do it all, including visits to North Hollywood, Riverside, and maybe even a lil’ Newport Beach/Balboa Island action. I only hope my kiddos will come along down that memory lane…

As ever, thanks for you time & attention!

Graduation 2020

The Covid-19 pandemic and consequent quarantine put a kibosh on all the activities that students enjoy near the end of every school year. Sports, concerts, plays, proms, and more were all cancelled. However, there was an attempt to put on graduation ceremonies.

Here in La Honda, both Charlie and our friend Phoebe Deacon graduated from HMB High School this year. Some friends, teachers, and community members did a drive by, complete with music, honking, and kind shout outs, first to our house, then to the Deacons near the top of the hill. A very nice, even touching tribute to our kids. Can you find his graduation sign?

At Half Moon Bay High School, there was a kind of walk through, one student at a time, through campus, into the gym, across the stage, and out the door. Charlie was able to be in a cohort with a few of his friends, but the one-at-a-time thing rather mitigated the camaraderie. I think ML and the school have other pix, but here are some…

At Pescadero High School, we did a kind of drive-in graduation. Everyone stayed in their cars parked in front of a stage set up in front of the gym. The kids and their scholarships were announced, they walked the stage, but it was quite efficient. The fun part was all the cars honking for each graduate. They filed out and off campus, then did I kind of parade through the town of Pescadero. A pretty good consolation prize…

In one era and out the other…

Nature Walks! (Actually, it just stays there while we walk through it…)

I should have a post or two about the Coronavirus pandemic, but I’ve got nothing to add to the barrels of ink spilled into the ether.

Instead, here are some pix from adventures with Dr. Alan Burr, my friend and neighbor. His daughter was a student, his wife was our dog’s vet, and he was vet (retired). Anyway, we’ve explored some of the local trails during the quarantine, of course physically distancing and wearing masks. First, up to the Hiker’s Hut and thereabouts…

Some stills in the stillness…

Alan invited me to go tide-pooling with our mutual friend and neighbor Mark Nolan, AKA “Marine Mark” and his son Shea. Here are some pix of a very low tide around the Pigeon Point lighthouse (same spot I brought my Environmental Field Studies class when we did the LiMPETS program)…

Finally, some banana slugs running through the woods…

Hey WordPress, why won’t my video of mating bullfrogs load? It’s only a minute and a half? Kind of exciting the way they hop around and make those alluring bullfrog noises. Here’s a link: https://youtu.be/cvyTrk-M-ek

 

Old Dogs & old photos…

Thinking about our dear Sugar Pie led me to reflect on our old dogs of the past. When I was born, Mom & Dad had a doggie named “Heidi.” She was a boxer (related to my Dad’s summer endeavor “The Boxer Boys Club”), but she passed away when I was seven and I don’t have any pix.

When we moved to 1375 Tareyton Drive, we had three dogs over the course of the rest of my childhood. “Pasha” a Siberian Husky, “Dudinka AKA Dude” a Samoyed, and “Ziggy” a black Lab. Here they were…

Going through those old photos led me to some others of my wonderful family…

In the process, I also found some other fun pix: some student ID cards from my junior year abroad, and travels in Mexico, France, Togo, and Sequoia National Park…

Finally, sometimes I tell folks about an extraordinary experience at Idyllwild School of Music and the Arts. I took a painting class from Picasso’s former partner Françoise Gilot. During that summer in 1977, she brought along her husband, polio vaccine discoverer Jonas Salk. In the middle of the two week course, Françoise & Jonas flew to Washington DC where Dr. Salk was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom Award (along with Martin Luther King, Jr.) by then President Jimmy Carter. Here they are showing the award whilst pouring me a glass of champagne at the after-class party. Good times!

IMG_E7485

Sugar Pie

Sugar Pie Vail was born on November 22, 2006. Her mother was a yellow lab, and her father a wayward golden retriever. I always said she was half lab, half golden, all retriever, but only if it was a tennis ball, of which she fetching many. Not only fast, but that dog could hunt and eventually found the errant ones.

On March 3rd, Super Tuesday, our precious doggie passed away at age 13. She’d been showing her age and seemed to have a stroke the night before needing a sedative to sleep. ML took her into our vet who agreed it was time, but kindly waited ’til I came in from work and voting.

Here are some pix of Sugar Pie as a puppy in Southern California, before we moved north…

Here are some more pix of the old girl as an adult. With all the hikes and freedom, she had a pretty good life. Tho’ rather shed-worthy she was a sweet and lovable, and a wonderful companion. We knew the inevitable, but I was still surprised by my grief…

Above, tree’s too die. The beautiful oak in the picture with the green grass fell down when we were on our trip, which you can see in the pic with Sugar & Veronica. Speaking of fallen trees, I threw in a cute one of the kids too on a buckeye that had also fallen (doubtless Sugar was there with us).

Sugar’s last day…

Ski Week 2020 and beyond…

Altho’ there was not a ton of snow, they make it at Heavenly Valley, so when “President’s Week” rolled around in February, we went for it. Good thing we didn’t wait for more snow during Spring Break, because by then the Coronavirus pandemic had closed all the ski resorts, etc. In addition to the slopes and of course beautiful Lake Tahoe, there are some pix of a fun restaurant where you fill your bowl of goodies then have it grilled for you. Great weather, good times…

Here’s a batch of clips curated from the many videos. None are too long, enjoy the action…

Thanks for watching!

Fall & Winter 2019-20

Hi Scholars, Be warned, this is a big batch (could be bigger) covering approximately September 2019 to January 2020. I’m saving some video clips, including Veronica’s hoop season, for another post.

First up, the second field trip to the Stanford University library thanks to an Access Grant from the Center for Latin American Studies. The theme was “the historical antecedents to the current immigration crisis.” The previous year, we took 11th & 12th graders, and this year 10th graders. Once again, Adan Griego, the curator of the Latin American collection at the Green Library, did a great job as our tour guide.

I’m thinking it was around September that we realized we’d need a third car, so ML & I went to the Saturday morning auction in Redwood City and brought back a 2007 Prius with only about 25K miles on it. Kinda fun, but it didn’t take long for it to realize life in the mountains can be rough.

There should be more about this in the near future, but because of a grant from MidPen to Groundswell Coastal Ecology our students will have the opportunity to create a native plant nursery on campus and then conduct habitat restoration at Tunitas Creek Beach. Here are some pix from the first of several reconnaissance missions there (and to a natives nursery at Kelly beach in HMB…

The end of October always means the Halloween Carnival at Pescadero Middle & High Schools. This year, as ninth grade sponsor, we served up some donuts and games of chance.

Around the same time is the HMB Pumpkin Festival and of course lots of band action at the football games. I may add some live clips to a later post. This was the last year that Charlie & Veronica got to play together. Enjoy…

Here’s a batch of miscellany: pancakes, petrified wood at Main St. Sushi, a dog watching a turkey leg, ninth graders selling breakfasts, an HMB reporter guest speaking, and another great sunset…

Fall is also about Cross Country. Just a few pix from several meets. (Again, I may add some video clips to another post)…

And along comes Thanksgiving and Christmas. Just a sampling of festivities at our house (including the bookclub) and Nancy & Jered’s.

ML likes to see Cirque du Soleil for her birthday between Christmas and New Year’s and they come to SF around this time of year. Here are some illegal pix of the action, etc.

The following batch features my kayaking foray up Butano Creek as far as possible on the new, dredged section. Almost made it to the bridge going into Pescadero before bottoming out. Also, some pix of our newly finished shed, cabin, or casita. It has been a long process and these pix don’t show the interior which still took a couple more months to complete.

Mary Lynn put on another edition of “Alice in Wonderland” at La Honda Elementary in January of 2020.

Finally, here’s another batch of miscellany: hearts for Valentine’s Day, a car crash on the 84, an event in the gym at PHS, and some rascally rascals in the library…

Thanks for checking it out…