Friday, December 31, 2010

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Perfect Pear

Poaching pears in white wine
for tomorrow night's festivities!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Monday, December 20, 2010

Sugar Plums

Going to the Gingerbread Tea at the Fairmont with her friend Kiira was enough to send Claire into a royal tizzy! They looked so adorable and acted so lovely, and both were delighted with the selection of treats and the take-home miniature nutcracker they each received as a gift. Us moms didn't mind the glass of champagne, either...

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Monday, December 6, 2010

Ya Got Me!

Where he gets these ideas, I'll never know...

Friday, December 3, 2010

Sugar Coated

This morning's gingerbread extravaganza was, well, not pretty. Claire, Jack, and Wynham argued over architectural integrity. They argued over who got better building supplies. They refused to share. They ate more of the decorations than they used on their houses.

I have never seen so much sticky stuff in so many places: hair, clothes, faces, floor, trunk of the car. When I got Jack home and removed his pants, they stood up by themselves. All that, topped off with a sprinkle of powdered sugar for a snowy effect. Like I said, not pretty.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Spot On

Thanks, Claire; I would never have known...

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Twinkle, Shimmer, Glimmer, Glow

Even though I was feeling a bit "bah, humbug" this morning, Chloe insisted that we go out in search of our Christmas tree. It was selected in record time this year, partly due to the fact that Claire, Jack, and Wynham were jumping on a trampoline instead of arguing over which tree was THE best.

Of course, as soon as we got it home Chloe disappeared to go bake cookies and everyone else scattered to the four winds while Wynham strung the lights, after which he was not seen again until dinner. I don't mind hanging the ornaments myself; there is literally a world of history on our tree, and the memories come flooding back each year. For a moment, I feel the childlike wonder of my own tender years...

Friday, November 26, 2010


In the midst of the holiday shuffle we celebrated two more birthdays, and though her actual date fell on Thanksgiving, Claire graciously deferred the celebration a day on the condition that we go out for fondue. For his part, Jack was laid back about bringing in his fifth year a couple of days early...

Thursday, November 25, 2010


There are many other snapshots of Thanksgiving I could have posted (potatoes being mashed, rolls baking in the oven, raised glasses, smiling faces), but this (unlikely) quiet moment caught my eye. I love the light, and Wynham's earnest contemplation in the midst of the surrounding chaos. Just a simple pleasure for which I am thoroughly grateful...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Pie, Oh My!

It's impossible not to long for my mother around the holidays; she was the reigning queen supreme of beautiful cakes, pies, and cookies. Mincemeat was her favorite, and her version was always spiked with loads of extra brandy and bedecked with a miniature Della Robbia wreath she would painstakingly sculpt out of marzipan.

Her Christmas cookie assortment -- known to make people swoon -- included cinnamon stickies, apricot tarts, and stars glittering with those silver nonpareils which are now illegal (if she were still around, she'd have them smuggled in from somewhere, I'm sure).

My own humble pie has a too-brown crust and a cracked surface on its pumpkin filling and makes me miss her even more. But she would have smothered it in whipped cream and eaten it just the same, and for that thought, I am thankful...

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Mouse Invasion!

Whenever I decide to go all Martha Stewart, I'm always actually relieved when it doesn't turn out as perfectly at the picture. The whole point is -- even with burnt ears and red-rather-than-black tails -- the kids simply had a blast with their friends creating these little mouse cookies (it's the journey, not the destination)...

Saturday, November 20, 2010

We'll Always Have Paris

Just LOVE this photo of Dad which Debra sent me from Paris;
a picture worth a thousand words!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Penny for Your Thoughts

Look at this simple joy... Where does it go? Where do we lose our wonder? I'm glad I have little ones around to remind me not to forget...

Friday, November 5, 2010

Belting it Out

Chloe steals the show at
the Night of Blues...

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Making Faces

The picture speaks for itself:
Claire expresses volumes with a few
simple strokes of the pen.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

What a Treat!

Claire? In a skirt?
Now, that's a treat for Halloween...

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Athena Adorned

At the very last minute (what a surprise), Chloe demanded a crown to embellish her Halloween appearance as the goddess Athena. Lucky for her, it was my night in the metalsmithing studio...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Song Sung Blue

Cabaret at Redwood Theater.
Not a dry eye in the house when
Chloe sings a song sung blue...

Monday, October 25, 2010

90 Candles and Counting

Happy Birthday, Grandmom!
So glad we got to celebrate with you...

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Color My World

I've been experimenting with food and light and tried to steal a page from More Magazine's September issue... I love the way the thinner edges of this cranberry relish ignite with the back lighting, how the seeds and pulp cast shadows, and the color reflects off the surface of the Pyrex dish. Glam!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A Most Fortunate Event

Claire and her friend Nina were thoroughly delighted to sneak up
on Lemony Snicket as he signed books this evening...

Monday, October 11, 2010

A Beacon in Darkness

Alcatraz is, at best, a grim place: a reminder of all that is unfortunate in society. The cells and the bars made me shudder as we toured the erstwhile prison, but for me, this lone little lightbulb brightened the whole experience.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Brilliant Blue

What a thrill to see the Blue Angels from Alcatraz this afternoon. Beauty and precision in a cloudless sky. Good ferry-to-ferry connections. Dinner on the waterfront at sunset. Some days work out just as they were planned...

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Lights, Camera

The Eagles live at the Oracle... Happy to report they still have it all going on!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Al Fresco

Warm weather grants us the luxury of dining outdoors, an opportunity which never ceases to delight the whole family. The young ones feel a sense of something special in the air, as if dinner by candlelight were a magical experience. Even their manners are better! Well, mostly...

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Angels and Demons

Even in an acolyte's garb, Wynham is challenged to keep a straight face...

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Life Aquatic

Seems everyone wants to be at the beach this weekend, otters, pelicans, whales, and dolphins included. I was swimming so close to these gorgeous creatures, they might have come over to play...

Friday, September 3, 2010

Let's Boogie!

Claire and Jack were so enthusiastic about boarding in Santa Cruz that I threw on a wetsuit and went in after them. Embarrassingly enough for me, they are both way better at catching the waves than I am...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Be Still, My Beating Heart

Jack? In kindergarten? How can it be...? Everyone seems delighted with this arrangement and there was an air of excitement as all the kids prepared for the first day of school. Still, there was a small wrenching of my heart as Jack jumped out of the car and trundled off to class with nary a backward glance...

Monday, August 23, 2010

After You...

The elevated temperatures can make even the most laid-back fellows feel hot and cranky, so I was delighted to see patience and good manners on display at the playground water fountain. Maybe these little guys could teach the parents in our school car lines a thing or two about waiting your turn with good grace...

Sunday, August 22, 2010


A neighbor invited a few families to a spur-of-the-moment cookout at her little bit of beachfront and I have to say it was a refreshing change from the usual. Why are we sometimes so challenged to step outside our spheres? Even the kids show a tendency to fall into a rut. Dinner at the beach? On a school night? With banjo-accompanied songs around the campfire? YES, we say, why NOT?!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Whisked Away

Mostly, I find myself alone in the kitchen except for the occasional passerby foraging for snacks. So when someone wants to jump into the fray, by all means, I say put on an apron and let's get down to it. If children grow up with an appreciation for home cooked foods made from scratch, they are that much more likely to eat well once they start cooking for themselves. Or better yet, once they start cooking for me!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Little Wonders

Jack's was astonished and delighted with this "underground" fountain; his brief moment of water play was a good reminder to stop and appreciate the small joys of any ordinary day...

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Where the White Fern Grows

Claire and Jack highly recommend the hot chocolate at Cibo in Sausalito. They were also quite keen on the poached eggs with goat cheese on polenta. "Your kids eat that kind of stuff?" people always ask me. Of course they do; they eat what I feed them. Kids will eat anything if they're hungry enough! I just get such a warm feeling watching their faces light up with joy at life's simple pleasures...

Friday, July 30, 2010

Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid

It's costume day at camp, and while there are bound to be lots of swaggering firemen and coquettish princesses, I'm pretty sure there will only be one Lara Croft. Where does she get these ideas, honestly? I don't know, but even the dog looks scared...

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


What is it we love so much about blowing bubbles in a glass of milk? Is it precisely because milk makes such marvelous bubbles? Wherever the sense of satisfaction comes from, it's one of those childhood pleasures that simply can't be replaced...

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Many Sides

Not sure where the last two weeks disappeared to, but today we took Claire and Jack to the Exploratorium for the first time. Some of my favorite exhibits from when I worked there 30 years ago are still on the floor, and it was fun getting to explain various ideas to the kids. They ran excitedly from one spot to the next, never losing interest, and I can't wait to take them back again.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

All Together Now

Now matter how many times I tried to get everyone together for a big family picture, it seems I could only catch groups of four or five at a time. And now it's time to go home! Jack and Claire were completely charmed by their new cousin, Marcella, who already has another sibling on the way...

Saturday, June 26, 2010

In His Element

Wynham is having the time of his life here, with every possible form of entertainment a teenage boy could dream up. It helps that Uncle Pepper is every bit as wild and crazy as he is, if not more so; the two of them get up to no good and I just look the other direction. If Wynham had his way, he'd probably just move in...

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Family Shindig!

Pepper and Debbie are brave enough to have invited the whole Pettit family (21 of us in all) for a reunion at their gorgeous house on Lake Lanier, and Katie outdid herself in planning a wonderful time for us. The oldest member of the family was thrilled to meet the youngest of the bunch today. Nothing beats time spent with the ones you love...

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Blasting Off

We took off Monday and haven't slowed down yet: breakfast in California, lunch in Georgia, snacks in Tennessee, and dinner in Alabama, where we've landed for a brief respite. Grandfather treated us to a visit to the Space and Rocket Center, and everyone seemed impressed by what they saw; Jack hasn't stopped talking about the Hubble telescope all day!