Monday, May 31, 2010

Got itch?

Recently I packed up a carful of Girl Scouts and headed to Jack London State Park for a hike in the hills with a bunch of other scouts.

The week before our hike, a number of the parents peppered me with questions about our plans.

Would the hike be particularly strenuous? What time would we be back? Should the girls wear pants or shorts? Should they bring bug spray? More than one quizzed me about poison oak.

What a bunch of Nervous Nellies, I thought. Come on, it’s just a walk. And as far as poison oak goes, there’s no one more vigilant than me, I assured them.

When I was about 14 I got poison oak so bad I missed a week of school. I must have rubbed up against it at the Christmas tree farm because within a day I was covered head to toe with poison oak. I had it on the palms of my hands, I had it down my throat, and my face was swollen like a balloon. Readers may also recall my infamous poison oak/high school dance episode of 1980.

For more Surrendering, click here.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Geocache Saturday

DJ and I met our good friend Gerry at the Fremont Diner in Sonoma for a late breakfast this morning. If you haven’t heard of this cafĂ©, check it out here. It feels like you are eating in Sunset magazine story. Very cool. So after our breakfast we were inspired to geocache around Sonoma for a bit and we headed off down one country road surrounded by vineyards to our first cache. Success! Next stop, a cache by Stornetta Dairy which I am proud to report I found. Then we drove over to Stanley Lane near Carneros in Napa for another cache, and finally the toughest of the bunch, located off Foster Road. Had to make our way through tall grass (ticks!), and prickly oak branches (but luckily no poison oak). Just when we thought we’d never find it, boom, there it was hidden under some brush. They call that cache “the library” because it’s a tackle box with books inside. Thanks G and DJ for a fun geocache afternoon. For more about geocaching, check out this website. Happy Saturday to all from Napa!

Beautiful spring views of Sonoma vineyards.

Gerry and DJ find our first cache. A little muddy but we got it!

PlanetClaire finds "the library". Success is sweet!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Chooka boots!

How cute are these Chooka boots??!!!
I found them on sale at a funky shop here in Napa called WildCat. (WildCat doesn't have its own website but here is a Yelp site for the store). I looked online and saw there are bunch of other cool Chooka boot patterns like geisha, tattoo and voodoo. Neato! I got lots o' compliments on my Chooka boots today.
Chooka, chooka, chooo chooo!!

Monday, May 24, 2010

A month in the life a busy news reporter.

My collleague Natalie let me take this picture of her calendar.
Everyone keeps track of his or her story assignments differently. I use my favorite Franklin planner. Some use a yellow note pad. Others a reporters notebook. Natalie likes to see her whole month at a glance.

In the end it's all the same: schedule, interview, write, repeat.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Goodbye Boss.

Today we said goodbye to our editor Bill. He's moving to LA to be closer to his elderly mother, so it wasn't one of THOSE kind of goodbyes.

Bill was the best boss I ever had. He brought me into the newsroom even though I had no idea what I was doing and had never worked for a newspaper. He helped me discover a job and co-workers that I love. He didn't get mad at me when I asked dumb questions or even when I broke his Mike Grigch bobblehead. He was patient and kind. He is an amazing person. I'm really going to miss him.

Don't panic.

Flyers left on tables at senior center next to free bread and bagels.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

On the hunt...

Some moms like breakfast in bed on Mother’s Day. Others want brunch at a restaurant or big ol’ bunch of roses or flowery cards. I like that kind of stuff, but for this Mother’s Day I had something else in mind. We were going geocaching.

What’s geocaching? Think of it as a high-tech hide-and-seek. Geocachers hunt for hidden containers, or caches, using GPS coordinates. A cache can be a small tin, a larger Tupperware box or anything in between. More than a million such caches are hidden all over the world. Each usually includes a log to sign and maybe some small trinkets to trade.

Click here for more Surrendering to Motherhood

Monday, May 17, 2010

Growing more than just roses...

Aren’t these roses pretty? I admit I cut them from my neighbor’s garden. But they won’t mind. There’s no one living there -- the house is in foreclosure.

That’s because the owner of the house rented it to some tenants who turned it into a grow house. As in a marijuana grow house. And they did a good job of it. We live next door and never suspected a thing. The owner was always quiet and his new tenants, were very, very quiet. The tenants installed a bunch of lights, planted some pot and then watched it grow. And grow. And grow. Our local drug cops eventually figured all this out, staked out the house, and then one night they busted them.

Now the house is empty. The grass is overgrown. But the roses are still blooming. And now they’re decorating my desk.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Thursday, May 06, 2010

More giant pumpkin

Why are we growing a pumpkin in the newspaper parking lot? 'Cause we can.

Actually, it's because our pressman is really into giant pumpkins. He competes in pumpkin growing contests around the Bay Area. A couple of weeks ago he brought in free giant pumpkin seeds and we gave them away to the public. More than 100 Register readers are now growing their own giant pumpkins. This is what community newspapers are all about -- connecting with our readers in a unique way.

Giant pumpkin update

Our giant pumpkin at the newspaper has outgrown it's original little patch and now has a new enclosure. It sometimes grows as much as an inch a day.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010


Our girls aren’t in any local theater groups. They’ve never taken acting lessons and they don’t sing. But that hasn’t stopped them from giving Oscar-worthy performances around the house.

It’s like they’re in a three-way race to win the Most Dramatic Actress award in a production they call “My Terrible Life.”

For more "Drama" click here...