Monday, December 21, 2009

The Shovel


I think there's a kid in there. Zach, given the choice between sledding and using his new shovel, seemed more interested in the shovel. This could work out well in a few years when he's a bit more coordinated.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Thanksgiving '09 (Toddler Invasion)

I'm finally catching up from a disruptive hardware update (new computer which Josh has spent hours setting up and I can't figure out how to type on the keyboard...), and dusting off pictures from Thanksgiving.

Josh's mom, Estee, in addition to hosting dinner for a flock of relatives and friends, had her house overtaken by 2 toddlers - Zach + Ryan, in addition to granddaughters, Sarah (3) and Sydney (9), who tried to keep them all in line.

Below we have toddlers getting underfoot checking out the reflective oven door, drawn in perhaps by the smell of the cooking turkey:

toddlers attempting to "help" sweep the floor:

toddlers piling on Sydney under the table:

and Sydney attempting to keep the little ones in line in Grandpa's boat (in the driveway) for a picture:

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Zachem, Zakim

I know... how original, a photo of the Zackim bridge. It seems like a lifetime ago that it was built. Now it's just...there, over North Station.

(Originally published without the corrected spelling. But, try googling Zachem - a lot of other people apparently make the same misspelling.)

Monday, November 16, 2009

I'm not done with fall quite yet

Yellow leaf on Plum Island dune, red blueberries overlooking Halibut Point. 2 of my favorite spots, though Zach is still freaking out about how scared he was of the ocean, weeks after seeing it.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Josh on the rocks

Incidentally, Josh only appears in the first of these 3 photos. #2 only include rocks and water. #3 also includes a reflection, of my mother. Location: Halibut Point, Rockport.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Halloween with Disco Zach

We had some fun picking out Zach's costume this year, choosing this fine sequinned leisure suit (ok, in reality it's made of the cheapest crappy material available, but whatever, it's more or less a single-use garment). Zach refused to wear the accompanying wig, so Dad got to borrow it for trick-or-treating.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Sunday, October 25, 2009


I got a set of close-up filters, after deciding I couldn't justify spending $400 on a macro lens. Probably the right decision, all in all. Here's my test on the vines growing outside the kitchen door on a rainy Saturday afternoon. Observed: range of focus is very narrow. Stillness needs are greater than I'm used to. Next time, maybe I'll be less lazy and find my tripod to minimize the blur.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Topsfield Fair (2009)

Clockwise from the top, we have: 1) Zach and Josh flanked by the ferris wheel that made Zach bawl with fear. Zach also wasn't so sure about many of the animals, especially of anything bird-like. Bunnies went over well, as did the elephant ("epantant"). 2) Ryan taking in the scenery, next to a picture of a hot dog. 3) Jeni in front of a miniature horse. 4) The all-butter udder on the all-butter cow. 5) Vegetable ram, pumpkin strawberry. Very confusing, no? 6) Sarah and Jeni squeezed in a small roller coaster seat.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Smolak II - Wagons and Berries

We had so much fun the first time, we found ourselves there again this weekend. Without too much thought for the safety, we loaded Zach, Ryan and Jace into the tail end of a tractor-pulled wagon train, aka toddler heaven, after Ryan helped Zach to pick through the end-of-season raspberries.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

The apple picking post

Yes, it's that time of year. (In fact, we ended up at the same orchard on the same day as Jamie, Cate and Luke and didn't realize till we were on our way out.) Well, here Zach is, testing the apples and giving Dad a hug in the orchard, after some fun climbing the tree ladders.

Monday, September 21, 2009


with enthusiasm.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Hay Ride

Sunday, at Smolak Farms, after picking peaches with loose guinea fowl, in the hay ride, before stating "beeen tractor" over and over again (the hay truck was pulled by a green tractor), a kiss between Zach and Lilia followed by several minutes of hand-holding.

Hopefully they won't hate me for posting this picture in a few years (photo credit, I think is Josh's).

Below, they examine a field of pumpkins, before heading to the raspberries and the goats.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

House and self painting

Spent Saturday of the long weekend at a barbecue chez Howells, who had prepared a fantastic toddler activity of painting a pre-constructed cardboard house with finger paints. The kids seemed to prefer brushes to fingers, but nonetheless enjoyed getting a bit of paint on them, some more than others.

"Self Portrait" by Ryan Wade:

Zach's fingers + paint:

Activity overview:

More pics of various children here. (Disclaimer, there's a bug in sugarsync with sideways photos that I've given up on figuring out.)

Thursday, September 03, 2009


With spatula, play-doh, and personal style.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Monday, August 24, 2009


I spent a lot of time out in the woods hunting for mushrooms in Maine, much to the chagrin of my in-laws and annoyance of my husband. Mushroom hunting is a great activity for anyone with a hopeful streak of OCD, especially if you don't mind taking very small gambles against an Audubon Society field guide, crouching in the dirt with mosquitos, and some labor-intensive dirt removal. It's a also fun way to have a low-carbon-footprint meal.

I learned about chanterelles from my aunt and uncle, Ute and Hans, while travelling with them in Sweden as a teenager. I decided it was time to branch out, so busted out my new above-mentioned field guide and set about gathered specimens that were either unique, pleniful and/or and interesting-looking (to improve the chance of positive identification).

Once identified, I cooked a small amount - one - up and ate myself to confirm no any adverse reactions. This is the government-approved way to proceed when testing a food when you're not 100% sure it won't kill you, if you're ever stuck in the woods and not sure what to eat.

I discovered the painted siullus mushroom which had a slight slimy beef flavor when cooked, which were great on top of hot dogs with coleslaw.

And cooked up a lot of coral mushrooms - these looked like brain with a nice texture - these were all over the place, but intertwined with bits of dirt. And, yes, I also found a couple chantrelles, mixed in below.