Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Walked for two hours with Z...got nowhere.


It felt good to get back on a bike after so many hours in the car last week.


The view from our hotel room in Milford, NY just before 8 am. 


Thai and Chipotle are the two best options for a party of four consisting of two vegans, a guy who eats everything, and a mom who can't have gluten or dairy. This is Simply Thai in Oneonta, NY...we drove through tiny towns in swirling snow to get here and it was totally worth it.


A quick break for some pictures while driving through icy Vermont.

Friday, January 27, 2012


A view of North Conway's main road from the railroad station.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Snow!!! In North Conway, NH. After a day of driving and great visits with family, Z and I needed to do something active. I had big plans for walking to some cute stores and then completely lost my nerve when faced with ice-covered sidewalks. Instead, we ran around in the snow behind the hotel (much prettier than it sounds).

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


On our way to New Hampshire! Z spent the afternoon being navigator for my dad. We're in Auburn, MA for the night and then getting to my great-grandmother's house in North Conway tomorrow. I'm so excited to see Naneen and my great-aunt Cindy.

Monday, January 23, 2012


Z and I folded, stuffed, and stamped approximately one billion letters for a friend of my mom's. Gotta make money somehow!

Friday, January 20, 2012


My dad's birthday lunch, after an amazing glassblowing demo at the Chrysler Museum Glass Studio

One Twenty

In honor of my dad's birthday, a few of my favorite pictures of him.

Thursday, January 19, 2012


Took advantage of a sunny, 38 degree day to figure out a safe route to the bike path. Our ride was mostly great, but there were a few bummers...one really, really unsafe intersection and a dead deer (not connected as far as I know). My longterm bike goal: ride from the house to the oceanfront and back, which is about 30 miles.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


My brother graciously took Z and me to a thrift store and the library today. My intense focus on treasure-hunting at both places caused me to completely forget my camera so this picture of our lunch break in between has to suffice. Doesn't matter, the focus totally paid off in the form of a red Pendleton blazer and some Susan Sontag books.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


First Landing State Park...beautiful!


Nice to be near the ocean again. I miss my little stretch of the Pacific but this has its charms too.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Whale Tales

Z and I went whale watching with the family today...saw a few whales and realized how completely unprepared I am for a non-California winter. I am now desperate to hit up some thrift stores for flannel and sweaters (I'll call it my Darlene Connor phase).

After getting my sea legs, I was able to track down and photograph various family members wearing furry-hooded parkas.

The best part of the whole trip was how happy and excited Z was to see whales. He swears a whale winked at him, and given his ability to make friends wherever he goes, I don't doubt it.

Sunday, January 15, 2012


We tried to go whale watching, but it was too rough. I was totally prepared, with one of Z's vintage Pendleton shirts and a giant sleeping bag of a coat. Bonus theme dressing point for my sailboat tote bag.

Saturday, January 14, 2012


Old paint! Rust! I love it. A fence in Williamsburg, America's Colonial Theme Park.


Z. makes friends with a sheep (a Leicester Longwool, to be exact).

Obligatory shoe shot.

Old bricks!

Things you can buy at Ye Olde Shoppe!

Yarn you can buy at a different Ye Olde Shoppe! Possibly from the very sheep that nuzzled Z's hand.

Friday, January 13, 2012


Naneen, Gompy, my dad, me (on the left), my sister and brother. Mid 1990s, if my shortalls weren't enough of a hint.

Dad, Gompy, my aunt. Mid 1960s.

There's a certain look my father gets when he's mentally composing the delivery of unwelcome news. I noticed this look after dinner on Christmas Day and ran through a list of all the possible (and some impossible) bad things that could have happened. I didn't expect my father to say that Gompy's health was failing. Two days later, he came into the living room to tell us that Gompy had died.

Gompy, my dad's grandfather, was born in 1914. He was 97 (and a half!) when he died.  My dad has been scanning shoeboxes full of old slides; it seems Gompy was an avid photographer.

Whether he was behind the camera or in front of it, his energy and personality come through. He loved telling stories, he loved playing music, he loved talking to young people and just having a good time. He was famous for making a mean martini. Sometime in the '30s he composed a song for Naneen and it  was published. 

After my younger brother became interested in music, all our visits to Naneen and Gompy's had to include some time for the two of them to play around on the piano together. 

I wrote my great-aunt  a note of condolence and while I was writing I realized how fully Naneen and Gompy have shaped how I view aging. Maybe if I hadn't had such great examples I would think getting older was something to fear, that somehow my personality would vanish and I would end up a generic cranky old lady. I know that's just not true (I'll be the cranky old lady who knits and wears three kinds of plaid at once).

It's still really hard for me to believe that Gompy didn't live forever...if anyone could do it, it'd be him. I could never write a fitting tribute to a life so well-lived or a person so loved. What can you say about 97 years of laughter and love and music?


Gramma Jo, Gompy, Grampa Jay in the 70s.

Grampa Jay, Gompy, my dad, Gompy's dad. 1958. 

Gramma Jo, Grampa Jay, great-aunt Cindy, Naneen's mom, and Gompy. 1955.

Gramma Jo, Naneen, Gompy.

Dad and Gompy. 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Rollin with my Homies

I've been trying to get in little bike rides whenever the weather is nice. Sometimes I have two Zs rolling with me. My brother is the only person I've ever seen look bad-ass on a big white beach cruiser.


A little off-road action with Lisette (my bike) on the way back from an exhilarating trip to Food Lion. It felt good to ride, better if there hadn't been so many sketchy street crossings.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


A day of cleaning, organizing, and application proofreading. It rained nearly all day and I realized after dinner that I hadn't left the house once. Fortunately, I picked up a Georgette Heyer novel at the library a few weeks ago...who doesn't love a hero who always has his neckcloth tied in the latest fashion and never has a smudge on his boots?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Z and I decided we had to figure out how to walk somewhere from the house, anywhere, just so we can be a tiny bit self-sufficient. We set out, intrepid trudgers that we are, and valiantly crossed many residential streets. Then we figured out a shortcut through a golf course, which is where I took this picture. The reward for forty-five minutes of walking was a quick spin through Food Lion and some dubious takeout. All in all, it took us ninety minutes of walking to get to and from a place that takes about seven minutes in a car. Trying really hard not to remember that walking that far in San Diego got us to Sunset Cliffs...

Sunday, January 8, 2012


Recovering from hanging out with good friends last night. Hoppin John is perfect any time, but extra great when you don't feel so hot. Apparently two drinks is too many. Think I might be off the sauce for a while.