Thursday, October 29, 2009

Sunset Gardens

We subscribe to Sunset Magazine, so Kirk suggested we visit Sunset in Menlo Park before continuing our drive to San Francisco on 10.12.09. We did the Sunset Gardens Walking Tour (representing the western climate zones). I'm so happy we did! A storm was coming and it was gloomy outside, but it was nice to stroll Sunset's grounds. We were the only visitors during our visit ... lucky day! I'm not a good nature photographer, but I still had fun shooting in the garden.

Resting on a wooden walkway with her feet in a rockbed facing the Sunset office.

Views from the garden. A birdhouse, a lone cactus, the beautiful stone-embedded walkway and a little flower.

Kirk & Lauren paused on a bench, views from Sunset's back patio, and the painted tile in the lavatory sink.

Beautiful succulents

The overcast sky made all the colors pop. Perfect day to enjoy His creations.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Pedrick Pumpkins

We stopped at Pedrick Produce in Dixon on our way to San Francisco last weekend. We just left brother Alex & Lani's in Sacramento and this is my bro Teddy's favorite produce stand. After buying Asian pears, we shot some Fall pictures with the pumpkins.

Even now, she still picks a big pumpkin. See the headband? She learned to crochet so she could make those. Lots of those.

My favorite pumpkin in the patch

Lauren and Papa

Lauren's folks

You know we're at a market because the pumpkins have price tags!

A parking lot sign (I shoot these so I remember where I've been)

Me and my girl.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Three Little Cakes

We spent a couple days in Sacramento visiting my brother, Alex, and his wife, Lani. They surprised me with a birthday treat of three little cakes.

A carrot cake.

Tiramisu and German chocolate

Three treats. Thank you, Alex & Lani.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

DMV. Take One.

Some things just have to be done. Going to the DMV is one of them. We had a triple appointment today (Lauren's first driving permit, my license renewal, Kirk's car registration).

California's state furloughs have increased the backlog at the DMV. The average wait (without an appointment) is 2.5 hours. This line doesn't show the crowd of people waiting on the right side and outside the building.

Kirk's smiling because I made an appointment (for all three of us).

I asked permission to take pictures in a state office. The clerk was puzzled (no one asks to take pictures in the DMV, but she agreed because Lauren was applying for her first permit).

The clerk asked Lauren if we take a lot of pictures. Lauren smiled and nodded.

Taking her vision test.

Passed the vision test. Check out the clerk's smile (and the look on the other clerks faces).

Thumbprint completed. Next, dreaded driver's license picture.

Last stop before the written test.

Sadly, we're all returning to the DMV. I've made another appointment for three of us.

1) Lauren didn't pass the written test. (Missed by 2)
2) I didn't pass my vision test. (Need to wear my nearsighted contacts)
3) Kirk couldn't register Lauren's car. (Forgot proof of insurance).

Monday, October 19, 2009

Crochet Lessons

Lauren learned to crochet last month (Isis taught her in Starbucks). She started to have technique challenges (going cross-eyed) so I enlisted help. I don't crochet and Loretta graciously volunteered.

First, Loretta watched the newbie crocheter.

Then, she demonstrated proper technique.

Loretta crocheted some herself while chatting with Lauren.

The Master then correct Grasshopper's tension.

Grasshopper improved!

Loretta made a scrunchie in Lauren's school color.

Scrunchie demonstration.

While visiting San Francisco, a saleswoman commented on Lauren's pretty headband. She told her she made it herself.

The woman said, "Your grandmother must be proud."

I hope you are, Loretta. Thank you.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

AAU Basketball. Our Last Tournament.

Lauren's a shooting guard and a senior this year. This is her final pre-season AAU Tournament. It's sad for all the seniors (and their parents). The Bullard Girls High School Varsity basketball season starts in December and that will end in February. It's said, "Every end is a new beginning," ... and, so we start with a new end.

Driving at the EBX Tourney (Saint Mary's College in Moraga).

This is her "regroup" stance ... eyes closed, hands on hips, deep breaths.

DWAC (Dad With A Camera)

Lauren always spreads her fingers wide apart when she shoots and defends

Under the net

Bench view

Leg view

#4, it's been my honor to be your cheerleader.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Branden. One.

Branden's First Birthday Party was last Sunday (10.11.09). I haven't seen this little one since he was born and a year has quickly passed. To make up for lost time, all these pictures were shot within one hour because he and his Mom Chanel were leaving to get ready for his big party. He's the apple of his Ama Lani's eye and Apa Alex (my brother) can't wait for him to come over and play.

I think he's going to be a musician. Look at his happy expression as he strums this guitar.
Ama Lani pulls him away from the guitars, but he crawls right back to them.

As soon as the front door opened, he squealed and ran out the door. He's too fast for me!

I was laying on my back on the floor and had Branden propped on my legs (he's holding on to my flannel pajamas on the left). He has such an expressive face.

He really loves this car. He was laughing, talking, and squealing down the sidewalk.

Lovely smile. Infectious laugh.

Happy First Birthday, Branden.
You have a wonderful life ahead of you.

Friday, October 9, 2009

A Birthday

Some girlfriends (Vicky, Julie & Shari) dragged me lunch to celebrate a birthday. I DID NOT want to, but I'm glad we went yesterday (it's not THE day). We had breakfast enchiladas for lunch at The Patio Cafe in Fig Garden Village.

I like pictures when friends are laughing.
Looking at shots like this makes me relive the moment and laugh all over again.

Vicky shot this picture

Then, the waitress shot the four of us together

Breakfast enchiladas (with potatoes & a fruit cup)

I told Vicky I was going to put this cookie flower in a vase. She strongly suggested I eat it. If the evidence is in my tummy, does the birthday go away?

I taught Vicky about depth-of-field so she practiced and focused on the cookie. Good job, Vick! Hmmm, I think I look better out-of-focus.

Thanks for the group therapy. Nothing like friends to put birthdays in perspective.