So, we did go, and it was lovely.

Untitled Rainy walks, bike rides through forests, shore birds — Untitled

Perfectly lovely.


It was rainy and stormy and we ended up stuck on the island for one extra night — we were by ourselves, since our friends, without a car, managed to make it home. It meant we condensed the family obligations into one day and had an extra day to go look at beaches and go to bed early in a cottage by ourselves.

It is exhausting being out in the weather.

So that was nice —

I think I am finally worn out, though. Good thing there are no more trips, vacation or otherwise, scheduled for a while.

Hello again!


Hey! I found my key again, or rather someone did. It was in the lost and found. I think I dropped it on my way to the car one night. I am very happy to have it back.

We’re getting ready to go away on one last trip of the year. We’re flying east and taking bicycles on the ferry to Martha’s Vineyard. On the way back we’ll stop off to see K’s brother’s family and my mother. We’re just going for a long weekend, and I am slightly worried that some rain is predicted — but actually, a while ago it was predicted for the whole weekend, and now it seems to be just for a morning. That’s fine.

I do love fall. It’s been raining here, which is exciting. (Northern California = no rain all summer.) Seems that there is some snow in the mountains, too. I went birding Saturday and Sunday mornings. Sunday I came home just as the rain started and spent the whole day doing indoor things — I folded laundry, vacuumed the cat hair off the couch, sorted out a ton of mail that had been piling up, and read a book. It was great.

And now, I believe, it is time for lunch.

I am feeling kind of pleasingly boring these days. I really have nothing to talk about. It seems like a good thing, though. I might attribute it to faithful gym attendance — this week, at least. Also, I think I heard a hermit thrush in the yard this morning. Such a pretty song — though I’m not sure they should be singing at this time of year — could it have been a young golden-crowned sparrow? And I’m finally thinking about sewing up a sweater I knit over a year ago. See? Boring, but happy.

That’s it —


Testing this thing out again —

M has been putting together a website, and I’ve been helping her, and it’s made me remember that it’s kind of fun to have a blog.

So, here’s what I am thinking about:

  • I have lost my card-key for work. This is a disaster, because it has my card key plus my bus pass, plus who knows what else — oh, keys to the conference room. I’m sure I’ve just misplaced it, but it’s indicative of just how insanely busy I am. I just cleaned out my bag looking for it, and that was a good thing, but it wasn’t there.
  • I am crazy busy, but it seems to be ok. I’m taking two birding classes. The year-long one is three sessions/2 field trips away from finishing, but that also means I’ve got lots of work to do. I am really enjoying, it, though. I’m going to miss it. What will I do next?
  • Should I become a naturalist? Possibly. Why didn’t I think of this at 20? I’m not sure, but honestly, there is nothing I like better than tromping around outside.
  • N and M (my daughters, 26 and 24) are both, at this moment, doing great things. N is applying to nursing school, and I read her essays and am so proud of her. Well-written is the least of it — she knows what she’s doing and she understands her subject and she writes so well. She’s the one who surprises you — she never talks, and then she does and surprises you with all she’s been thinking. (I’m sorry to brag, but if not here, where?) And M! She’s living in China with the boyfriend, working on her art, taking Chinese lessons and now teaching English — she accepted a job teaching English to 24 nursing students 2 hours a week. This may not sound like a big deal, but it is a big deal — she tends to think that she’s much less competent than she is, and for her to agree to do it and then do it is huge. She said it went well.
  • The writing of this has been interrupted about 8 times, and now it’s time for lunch, and then to go read some stuff in the archives about local birding. So that is fun, although it would be so much easier if I had not lost my key.
  • I was supposed to go backpacking this weekend, but there is going to be snow and wind and rain so I am not, which is just as well — feels like there are all sort of things I need to do around the house, including find my winter clothes in the attic and bring them down — seems kind of early, actually, but I think it is autumn here now —

I think that  may be all —


On hold

I’m on hold.

I’m waiting for the registrar of motor vehicles to explain to me where my registration tags are.

This could take some time, I think.

In other news, two out of four visitors have now passed through without incident. Actually, the visitors themselves have been a lot of fun —

[Oh! Just spoke to RMV person who promised to send another copy!]

Anyhow, the visitors have been fun, but my life is kind of in shambles. Or, more specifically, finding time to exercise is just not happening.

I’m taking things in hand, though. I’ve ridden my bike 2 days in a row, and I’m going to go to exercise tonight. Really.

Also, I am dreaming of gardening, and going to look at wildflowers (look up Carizzo Plain), and going to look at birds.

I am reading Kenn Kaufman’s Kingbird Highway.

And, I don’t have to go back to the dentist until August. And that’s something.



Well, a cat has come to visit us. Her name is Cora, and she belongs to Maddy who is also here for a month or two getting ready to move to Beijing.


Apparently Cora is moving to Beijing, too, but she is welcome to stay here if she’d like.

I had a terrible cold. I’m still not over it — it turned into a vast untapped snot-reservoir in my head (sorry). I’m trying to resume normal life, but it feels like I’m floating out near Pluto. Unpleasant.


What else. I’m taking a Master Birding course! I’m very excited about it. Last night we got to see finches captured in the Galapagos in the 1880s. Amazing.

I’ve been out birding despite my stupid cold. Maddy and I went up to Bodega Bay and saw a lot of loons. That was cool.

We’ve also been watching Midsommer Murders, which has to be the most wonderful show ever. It’s the combination of the cozy with the bizarre, I think. The theramin doesn’t hurt, either. K hates it — it’s too odd for him. He generally sits in the other room while we watch it and is disturbed. Ha.

I think it’s going to be a busy year. My mother is coming to visit next weekend. My best friend from college is coming a few weeks after that. Then M will leave for Beijing and I’m cooking up another trip for April. I’m hoping to go birding in the Sierras in June and maybe biking in Patagonia with N in December . . . That’s a lot!

I’m hoping that if I plan it all out now it will be doable. And also that I will be in reasonable shape. I’m feeling vaguely elderly and fragile lately — I think it’s this blasted cold.

In any case, that’s what I’ve been up to. What about you?



It’s dark, these days!

In other news, I have had to be out of the house early, these past few days, and I can say that that last half hour or so, where I drink my coffee very slowly with no disturbances at all, is pretty important to my sense of well-being. And if I don’t get it, it takes me a while to recover.

On the positive side, though, my desk is getting a lot cleaner at the office.


View of the new bridge.


So, I did something possibly crazy. I signed up for Master Birding classes at the Academy of Sciences. I think it’s a big time commitment, but according to people I went birding with last weekend, really worth it.

I’m excited.


Classes start next month.