Caples Lake Fishing Trip

On the day after Thanksgiving, Bruce and the boys went with one of his colleagues, Andrei, to Caples Lake in the Sierra for a fishing trip. As the plan was for them to leave at 2:30 in the morning, spend the day in the freezing weather, and then drive back in the evening, I passed. I did have a twinge of jealousy when I saw the gorgeous photos Andrei’s wife took, but not enough to really make me regret my decision to stay warm and cozy at home. Here are some of those photos. The boys had a really good time.









There are more pictures here.

They got home safe and sound, sans fish, but looking forward to going again!

Thanksgiving 2016

We spent Thanksgiving in our own home — the first holiday we’ve had at home since we moved. Now that we actually have a house we want to spend time in, it was a nice change to have a holiday there. It was, however, quite mellow as it was just the four of us. Everyone pitched in to prepare the feast.



The kittens got a special treat — some turkey — which they loved.


In the evening we walked down to the Detchemendy/Eides’ house for dessert and wine which definitely helped the day feel more festive. Alas, we were having such a nice time that I forgot to take any pictures.

FSOC Party 2016

After Baris’s departure from Bruce’s work group, he thought it would be a good idea to get the remaining team members together for an outside-of-work morale booster. Of course, between the time we set the date for the party (early November) and the actual party date (November 19th), the election happened. We were all pretty depressed, and work had continued in Baris’s absence well enough that we thought the party might not be such a good idea. However! We had the party anyway and we’re so glad we did! We had a great potluck with lots of wonderful food, a new cornhole tournament (with Devin defending his title much to Bruce’s chagrin), and a new game of LED bocce ball that Bruce made up.

I have no pictures from the actual event, which is actually a sign that it was a fun party. But here’s one of Ezra demonstrating the LED bocce game. It’s basically LED lights and batteries taped onto magnets and thrown at a board to see who could get closest to a target. It was fun!


And here’s the cornhole tournament board showing Devin’s win.


It was all in good fun, but I’m pretty sure Bruce will try to avenge his loss again next year. It’s also a good sign that many guests were already talking about upping their game, assuming there would be a rematch.

Cal Academy Field Trip

On November 15th I drove Ezra and four other boys to San Francisco’s California Academy of Sciences. I don’t have very many pictures because I was mostly trying to make sure the boys did the worksheet they were supposed to do and that no one wandered off which was a real possibility with our group. We spent the first part of our visit in the earthquake area learning about tectonic plates and experiencing the quake room they have there. Here’s Ezra at a game about how the continents have moved around.


We also spent some time in the room with the penguins. They were definitely a hit.


We made a quick stop to see the albino alligator which was, thankfully, pretty far away.


We visited a couple of other areas, and of course, the gift shop, and we had lunch there before heading back to school. The boys were all bummed that we were back in time for their last class.

Election Day 2016

We were very excited for this year’s election to finally happen. We’d decided to put our American flag on the Little Free Library for the day …


… and I’d been holding onto a copy of the Constitution to put inside.


I should’ve known this day was going to go horribly wrong when a grumpy woman who walks past me all the time without even so much as a nod took the Constitution before 7:00 am.

At any rate, we began the day with a lot of nervous enthusiasm. Our polling place was right across the street, so we had the boys go with us to turn in our absentee ballots before school started. We all got our I Voted stickers. Ezra put his on his wall; Finn proudly wore his to school.


I decided to use some of my nervous energy on a bike ride and hike at the Stanford Dish Loop. It was a beautiful day.


In the afternoon, I switched to my Pantsuit t-shirt …


… and got ready for the election results to start rolling in. As it became more and more clear that the unthinkable was happening, our moods sunk into the abyss of realization that this is really our country now. I was so hoping that we could just put the whole Trump fiasco behind us, but alas, it will be years-long.

The next day the boys and I drowned our sorrows in ice cream.


Nearly a month later, and we’re still trying to come to grips with this reality. I suspect it’ll take a very long time.


We finally got our act together and booked a trip to Alcatraz on November 5th. I’d previously tried in the summer but tour space is limited and there was never any room. Even for the November date I had to book several weeks in advance. However, it was super interesting and I’m very glad we finally did it.

We took the ferry over and then got the audio tour, which we’d heard was really good. It did not disappoint! Here are some pictures of our visit.





This was the library.


Kitchen, with knife diagrams so the guards could easily tell if one was missing.


The buildings have not held up to the weather very well.


The audio tour did a great job explaining the different escape attempts, and they’d recreated the cells of the prisoners who famously tried to escape — especially the ones they never found.


Here’s a shot of the boys after we left the main prison building.


And here is an outside shot looking back at San Francisco.


After the tour we walked around for a little bit, but everyone was getting pretty hungry by that time. We took the next ferry back to the city and had lunch there. Here’s a shot from the ferry. The skies were finally clearing.


And here’s a shot looking back at Alcatraz.


I don’t think it’s something I need to do more than once, but I’m really happy we went!