Five Things: Pre and post vacation edition

happy to be home

We all felt a little bit like George in this picture when we got home on Saturday night. It’s always good to come home. I love the Ann Patchett quote: “I think the best vacation is the one that relieves me of my own life for a while and then makes me long for it again.” Except perhaps on the weather front: It was in the low 70s in San Diego when we flew out and 94 in Olympia at 6:30 in the evening. Not sure how I feel about this current heat wave. Here a few things vacation and pre-vacation:

teller's shot of a pelican

1. Telfer went deep sea-fishing with medical school friends the first day we were in California and this picture was definitely the highlight of his trip as he found out the hard way he suffers from massive and unrelenting seasickness on the open sea. Poor guy. But! Once on land and after throwing up 20-30 times on the boat, he managed to throw down fish tacos and a beer. He’s my favorite.

vacation reading...

2. I read SIX good books on vacation. I so needed a break…Basically, on vacation I like to read and swim with the girls and then read some more. I don’t want to cook, I don’t want to see everything there is to see, I just want to be with Telfer and my girls and read. Hausfrau is definitely a highlight of my summer reading…not exactly light summer reading but beautifully written (and that cover!). Links to books (clockwise): 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

first greens of the year!

3. Before we left on vacation we ate our first greens of the year. Such a big moment for gardeners. I bought humboldt fog, a baguette from the bread peddler and made some boysenberry (subbed blackberries and raspberries) fruit compote to celebrate. Lovely.

luke and telfer and break

4. The Sunday before we left for vacation we took the Duerres out on our boat. We planned to catch crab and let the kids play in the water at Boston Harbor. And about forty-five minutes into our trip, the boat engine started smoking and then made a terrible grinding noise with five children and four adults on board. Gemma (the terrible name of our boat) has officially sailed her last voyage. But not before the Harbor Sheriff had to tow us back to our slip. Sherry and I may have giggled while we documented the event in photographs. I wouldn’t want to be stranded on a boat with anyone else – such good friends and it helps that they are CALM.


5. Michael Scofield spent a day with us in California and he took this (high resolution) shot of the girls swimming with Telfer. Michael cares about my family which I so appreciate and the girls expect to see him when we go to California. I love that. Telfer is also so much more FUN in the water than me!
sailing on a sea of books

6. This is a window my new employee Clare and I did right before I left on vacation. Get it? Sailing on a sea of books! It looks prettier in person. And most of the books are blue with shades of green. Cate helped with the construction of the little boats but Clare definitely did most of it. I enjoy having artistic employees. I can come up with an idea but my piles of “waves” were a little too orderly.

jane's hair is amazing.

7. The girls are little fishes this year. Both have taken swim lessons and are so fun to watch in the water. They dive for bars and for rubber squids endlessly. After an afternoon in the pool, Jane’s wispy hair is crunched into crazy dreads and it’s about my favorite thing.

It’s Thursday night and we are getting ready to join my whole family out at the Griffith Lake House tomorrow for the 4th of July weekend. When it’s this hot (over 100 today) and you don’t have air conditioning, I find it hard to get much done past 8:00 PM. Which is why I am sitting outside enjoying the slight breeze and writing this instead of preparing for a weekend away. Enjoy the 4th of July friends.

Back from vacation


I am going to do a proper post tomorrow but we are back and I am sorting through piles and pictures and I spent the day catching up on shop finances and etc. items. We spent a week+ in California and I tell you, this vacation was needed by everyone in our little family, probably especially me. We spent a week lounging about the pool and our “apartment” (as the girls call it) at Welk resort in Escondido. We read and swam and ate simply and I will go on and on in length tomorrow but here are a bunch of Disneyland pictures from last Friday.

I have a complicated relationship with Disney. I love it, I hate it, am appalled and delighted all at once. I do think the desire to take the girls to Disneyland has more to do with me than the girls. But it was fun and the girls loved it and definitely served as an anchor moment for the summer. Neither girl holds it too closely which makes Telfer and I proud in a weird sort of way. Can you tell we have spent some time talking about this?

We spent one night at the resort and one day at both parks. We managed to see and do everything on our list without much trouble, even on a busy Friday in June. It was too hot in the afternoon, especially for Jane but both girls held up well. Highlights included meeting Anna and Elsa, riding on the teacups, pulling Chip’s tail during a character breakfast (only Cate and Jane, sigh) and picking out new “friends” to take home – baby Arista & Simba. Cropic Share File

Cropic Share File-2

Cropic Share File copy

Five Things: Last Day of School Edition

monday morning walk

This week has been so good. I had the day off on Monday (!) and George and I walked our long route. Sunlight on water is one of my favorite things. The hope is that this weekend shapes up similarly – a blend of work and down-time, out with friends and staying home, time with the girls and time out with adults (babysitter! tonight! in one hour!).

last day of K for cate - crazy girls!

1. As of 3:02 this afternoon, Cate is finished with Kindergarten! Telfer and Jane dropped Cate off this morning for her last day. I love that the girls are wearing winter hats in the middle of June. Telfer and I picked her up this afternoon and we found her sitting and sobbing at one of the little tables in her classroom. She loves school and loves her teacher Kari and loves her friends. Cate is a feeler. I love this about her.

summer list :)

2. The girls and I worked on our Summer 2015 list last weekend. I reminded them of the trips we have planned and then asked about anything they wanted to do before summer ends. Cate wants to swim and eat lots of ice cream. And Jane wants to invite herself over to dinner with a family from church and visit Telfer at work. Love it. We also need to get cracking if we’re going to finish all of this before September.

rachel's ginger beer (watermelon & lavender)

3. On Wednesday, I was able to sneak away to Seattle for the afternoon and evening to visit three bookshops (here and here and here). I wanted to check our prices against some other shops and also to look for inspiration. I enjoy going to Anthro to see how they display merchandise. Some shops do it so well and I still have a lot to learn on that front. I met Elizabeth for dinner at Oddfellows which was so restful and fun. I spent an hour at Rachel’s Ginger Beer working. A needed break.

origami in children's section

4. Speaking of windows, our pediatrician is a compulsive origami maker and she made these garlands just for the shop. I think they are magical. One of the things I love about this whole venture is how people other than myself contribute to making the bookshop a vital and beautiful place.

word. at the shop.

5. This picture is really two favorites. I love the words of this woodcut stencil. I bought it at Elliott Bay Books and hope to find a few to sell at the shop. The whole Margaret Atwood poem here. But also, I love the shoes I am wearing. I bought these clogs at the end of April and have barely taken them off. They are so comfortable and they are just the best color of cognac. It feels a little silly to love a pair of shoes so much but there you have it. Happy weekend friends.