A Turn through Coffey Park

I didn’t put it together until shortly before our trip to CA that our vacation weekend fell on the 1 year anniversary of the Sonoma County fires. It was instantly sobering, and it was clear when we arrived that it was on everyone’s mind.

I can’t pretend to understand the vastness of the destruction of that day, the deepness of the fear. I wasn’t there, and no amount of first-hand accounts, photos, or even videos can adequately communicate just how devastating the fires were. (Video is from the firefighters out of Berkeley arriving on scene. Brief language.)

I wasn’t sure I wanted to see it first hand, but the Dearliest was sure, which swayed me, so after church on Sunday, we drove to Coffey Park. Continue reading

A Tire in the Mud (and other anecdotes)

“Mom, can you sing A Tire in the Mud?”WP_20180929_10_57_24_resize

I looked at my beloved 5-year-old. He blinked slowly from his bed, blankets tucked around his chin. I blinked back at him. I know he’s tired, but…

“What?” I said.

“A Tire in the Mud. Can you sing it?”

“I don’t know that one, buddy.”

“Yes you do! You know, There’s a tire, tire, wonder-working tire. There’s a tiiiiiire in the muuuuuud.

“…you mean Power in the Blood?”

“Oh. Yeah. That one.”

One track mind, that child.

This one too.


Indy regularly aims for (and knocks down) magnets on the fridge. He stands on his own, takes a step here and there. His coordination is scary. He’s barely 9 months old.

Ever since raspberry picking, the neighbor Mr. F has employed LK on occasion to help him with yard work. I now have an inkling how my parents must have felt letting me work at the pony school. Where has the time gone?


One of the Dearliest’s customers wanted to trade him a boat for some work. Since the Dearliest has taken a recent and keen interest in fishing, he agreed. The boat is set up for fishing, with things like a live well, fish finder (an old school one from the 90s), and trolling motors. It’s a big step up from the little dinghy.



A couple days ago he took me out on it, and it was grand fun. Quiet and peaceful (except when we were “up on plane” i.e. cruising at 25+ mph, then it was just plain fun). I didn’t struggle with even a hint seasickness, which was a welcome surprise.


After the sun set, we passed a machine unloading a barge. It dropped sawdust into the hopper, where a conveyor dumped it into a semi trailer.


I was pleasantly surprised the camera on my phone was up to this shot.

We are nearing the end of grape season here. We have made raisins and juice and battled wasps and yellow jackets through it all. The kids have learned to not be intimidated by them, and they are all experts with the fly swatters now. Some of them are experts with whatever they can swat with–cardboard, shoes, hats, gloves. I’m grateful for so many dead wasps. I’m more grateful nobody has gotten stung, especially now when the wasps and yellow jackets become nastier in anticipation of colder weather.

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Ahead of us is walnut gathering time, and perhaps elderberry picking. We shall see what tomorrow brings!

The Benefits of Walking

And I’m not just talking the exercise part or the “I’m going to wear the 3-year-old out so she naps” part.

We were out for stroll last month, enjoying a morning that wasn’t 109 °F. The city is installing sewer lines a block over, and it wouldn’t be a proper walk without stopping to see the progress and equipment (Arc especially loves the huge excavator on site).

This particular day our usual route home was closed due to said road work, so we detoured down a street we hadn’t been on before. It was providential, because there at the end of a driveway sat a large grill with a FREE sign on it.

(Aside: Before summer started we had to throw our little one out. The legs were rusted out. Other parts were damaged and unreliable. It had to go. We were sad, but we figured eventually we’d buy another, bigger one. Back to the story…) Continue reading