All posts by susan

our photos lately


Storms a comin’.



Getting out while we can!


Music all day every day. Listening, playing, singing!


“Mama is this is like a tree?”


Being bird lovers.


Lots of reading! We have a great many books at home as well as books borrowed from three different branches of the libraries that we visit.


Stollen bread, freshly baked from a cute bakery nearby called Boniere.



Visiting Berkeley and a few of our favorite places, like Cafe Clem, the downtown library and Berkeley Bowl!


little me

Sometimes nostalgia creeps up on me. Like when today I heard the end song of the Richard Scarry video that Emma was watching. It was the music that played when Sesame Street ended, the credits for the Public Broadcasting System. All of a sudden I remembered when I was three and watching Sesame Street at my grandmother’s house. It would be sunny and afterwards I would go out and play in her backyard for hours. I remember mostly climbing a tree, crawling into the dog house shaped shed, swinging from the branches of a hanging tree and finding snails and small living things. Once I found a large iguana roaming around in the plants. I remember eating hot cream of wheat, with cold milk and turkey burgers with mayo and lettuce. The pink tiled bathroom and the ceramic owl that held her glasses when she wasn’t wearing them. The magnolia scented soaps, and that one time I was “swimming” in the bath and she came in and freaked out because I was laying on my back completed submerged in the water. I remember laying with her and her dog Tinkerbelle on the couch in the afternoons, watching General Hospital while I fought back sleep. I remember her back room that was darker than the rest of the house, it was covered in family pictures and had a ceramic panther that I was always afraid to go near. I remember my cousin’s picture on the wall and how she was wearing a strawberry shortcake necklace. I remember her always ironing. I remember how she always felt so soft unlike her scratchy wool blankets. And I remember the little ceramic dogs that sat on the ledge of her clock that hung on the wall. I wanted to play with them so badly. I don’t know if I ever asked and I don’t where they came from but I loved to look up at them. Sometimes I look on etsy and search for “small ceramic dog” to jog my memory. I know that I will be a mess of tears if I ever find one that fits my old memories.

Not the same but this one is from etsy seller iammie
Not the same but this one is from etsy seller iammie


Sometimes I think about what Emma will remember about the two places that we have called home. Will she ever remember the cottage aside from the pictures that she has seen. And how much grief will I cause her if I got rid of most of her stuffed animals. I know I still remember the stuffed rabbit that I got on vacation when I was around ten. It was from Harrods and I left in a little hotel in Germany. I loved that little rabbit and I still remember it now and that was twenty something years ago. The human brain and its memories are astounding to me.

Oakland gnomes


According to the Oakland Wiki they were anonymously painted on pieces of wood and then tacked to the bottom of utility poles throughout the city. There are over 2,300 gnomes painted on utility poles throughout Oakland. Last January, after intervention from City Council, PG&E agreed to let the gnomes remain on the utility poles. Yay!

It occurred to me the other day that Clover had probably never seen the gnomes even though they are all around our neighborhood. So she was introduced and quite impressed by the “globlins” (they do resemble the goblins in Little Bear). I am always happy to find bits of whimsy through out the real world. My gratitude goes out to the artist whoever they may be!



weekend adventures

We met an iguana named Spike.

Family picnic in the garden.


Emma and some fish at the museum.

Showing papa the birds’ eggs.


Making flat pennies to add to our collection.

We celebrated in the sun as it was finally not raining this weekend. We had great times going to the Farmers’ Market, picnic at the garden, visiting the Oakland Museum, listening to live jazz and bringing home treats from a bakery in Chinatown. At home we watched Sleepy Hollow as Clover slept and viewed the hilarious and heart breaking documentary of Trevor Noah, a South African comic and his first one man show. The film is called You Laugh But Its True and its so wonderful. It was a very cathartic experience as I cried and laughed and felt like the world was going to be a little bit brighter now that he is in it and sharing his unique point of view.