my grandmother

Thanksgiving at Marina's

Thanksgiving at Marina's

I finally caught up on client edits for the first time since August, and I didn’t want these gems to get lost in the ether. Marina hosted us for turkey-day and cooked up a feast. Turkey and stuffing and gravy and three types of pies, cranberry, mashed potatoes, cookies and homemade crackers and cheese—and crab! The crab was so good that we bought more the next day. These two ladies are the cutest together.

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marina's visit

marina's visit

I want to remember this time, when you were almost walking. When your absolute favorite thing to do was help daddy water the apple trees. When your great grandma and I took you to lunch at the Lao restaurant and you made us laugh the entire time. When you ate everything we offered you like a little bird. When you started dancing every time music played. When you explored the contents of my purse for over an hour. When you brought our family unmeasurable joy.

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A Birthday on Tomales Bay

Last weekend we joined Marina at the Inn on Tomales Bay in Marshall for her birthday, celebrating with too many oysters Rockefeller and games of Scrabble (is there such a thing?), cappuccino It's-its, daffodils, leisurely breakfasts and dinners, long walks, and new friends. That woman sure knows how to live. I took some impromptu birthday portraits on Sunday and I'm so glad I did. Happy birthday darling, I love you!

Quality Time with the Sea Dutchess

In mid-February I drove out to the Point Reyes National Seashore to meet Marina and company and see the daffodils in bloom. It has become a yearly tradition. (See last year's trip here.)

marina in the daffodils

She is adorable. There were more in bloom than last year, although I think the word is getting out (and writing this probably doesn't help), because while we were there, multiple parties came and picked bucketfuls.

Afterwards, we went for a walk on Limantour Beach, where the tide was very low. 

At the end of February, Marina turned 77, and Jeffery and I took her to Schoolhouse Beach on the Sonoma coast for a gluttonous picnic lunch (crab cakes, champagne, pesto lasagna, pear frangipane tart, and chocolate!). We were treated to thunderheads all day. It was a beautiful drive through the country, all the animal babies were out and frollicking and it didn't rain on us until we had had our fill. 

Afterwards we got cocktails at the Valley Ford Hotel. It was a perfect day. Feeling thankful for time with my grandmother and beautiful spring days. Now we need some rain!

Last Weekend on Tomales Bay


Last weekend Jeffery and I drove up to Marshall, where Marina was conveniently house-sitting the Inn on Tomales Bay. We took a lot of walks, explored the coast, and ate incredibly well. It was the perfect reset after two long work weeks since returning from the Big Island.

Tomales Bay from Clark Road, the Strauss Family Farm below.

We enjoyed a late lunch of Oysters Rockefeller and tri-tip sandwiches as the Marshall Store (highly recommended).

Evening walk on Dillon Beach

Elephant Rock


Where's Waldo?


Marina's pop-up studio, I spy a naked lady bottom right.

Breakfast of smoked salmon Eggs Benedict, sautéed mushrooms, and mimosas.

Ed's Dock, Tomales Bay

Salad Niçoise and Scrabble for lunch

Point Reyes National Seashore

Before we left for the Big Island, Marina and I spent a drizzly afternoon exploring the Point Reyes National Seashore. She led me over a creek and through the woods to an old overgrown and abandoned daffodil farm that was just beginning to bloom. 


When we parked I was a little skeptical, it just looked like a marsh and some woods and a hill with no trail. But she knew where she was going. Pretty magical place. I have been wanting to go for years, but the daffodils are only in bloom the first couple weeks of February. Afterwards we took a walk on Limantour Beach, another place I had never been.


Feeling fortunate that I have such an incredible grandmother, and that I get to accompany her  on adventures. 

My Grandmother's Paintings

Last Saturday after my soccer game, Marina and I drove up north to her home in Petaluma. We left San Francisco around 5:30 (after buying a rotisserie chicken, which we ate in the car) and entered Sonoma County as the hills were turning pink. 

We had pasta with baby zucchini for dinner, warm brownies and coconut bliss for dessert, and slept like rocks. We awoke to the sun coming in through the curtains in her studio/bedroom and lighting up the orchids. We read in bed until we were roused by our appetites. I began photographing her paintings while she made eggs benedict from the leftover chicken. 

Five hours later I was still photographing paintings. The woman is prolific. And every work of art comes with a story that enhances it. I created a website to showcase her talent and wanted to share some of her best pieces here. I hope you enjoy. All paintings are available to ship worldwide. 

Marsh with Egrets // Oil on canvas // 24" x 36" 

Dillon Beach in the Morning // Oil on canvas // 24" x 36"

Pelican Point, Tomales Bay (part of a diptych) // Oil on canvas // 24" x 36"

Red Phase, Estero // Oil on canvas // 30" x 40"

Mariah's Irises // Oil on canvas // 30" x 36"

To see more, visit

Fish for Christmas

black kitten
family at the table
scrabble and mimosas ginko leaves apron
scrabble and mimosas
kitty face
crab and lemons
serving cioppino
cioppino for christmas dinner
legs and sleeping kitty
apple crisp in the works
christmas candles snowflakes ceramic lace

We had a really mellow Christmas. It rained all day. Marina brought ingredients for bouillabaise and we had crab as an appetizer, played scrabble, watched basketball and ate many desserts. The boys got new socks. The heater worked when it wanted to and when it didn't we put on more sweaters. It was nice staying home all day while the kitties slept and played, slept and played.

I leave for Hawaii in two weeks, and I can't wait to see my mom and dad and Nala and Mochi. It's probably good that Jeffery won't be joining me, because the 12 days I'm there won't feel as short and it will be much easier to say goodbye and come home again. I get a lump in my throat thinking about leaving Hawaii, not knowing when I'll be back. Spending 12 days a year there is not enough.