Tuesday, October 29, 2013


I will keep this short because I really want to keep this blog about our family's fun adventures.  But it would be strange to keep writing this without letting you know about something that has impacted my life greatly.  My father, Bill Kelly, passed away yesterday.

He was generous, funny, smart, inquisitive, curious, opinionated, caring, empathetic, and so, so loving.  He never ended a phone call without saying, "Love you, Sweet."  He made sure that I always knew how much he loved me and how proud he was of me.  Nothing left unsaid. 


Kevin reminds me a lot of him in some ways and I'm guessing that's why they got along so well.  He devoured books, getting a weekly stack from the library.  He was a news junkie, reading every single source of news he could find.  The internet was made for him.  And he shared what he learned, wanting others to learn, too.  He had a good, good heart and he always not only rooted for those whom he felt were being wronged or shortchanged, but held out his hand to pull them up.

I will miss him more than I can eloquently tell you here.  But my heart knows.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Storm King

On Saturday we went to a place called Storm King Art Center, in no small part because I just love the name.  Storm King.  If we have a third child (which we most certainly will not) I will name him Storm King Skaggs.  Even if he's a girl.

But probably the bigger reason we went is that we have heard it is absolutely amazing.  It's about an hour's drive up the Hudson River, which in late October is knock-you-over gorgeous.  It's a sculpture garden or "open-air museum" that is 500 acres of the most beautiful landscape you have ever seen.  Especially in mid-autumn.  And it is home to more than 100 carefully sited sculptures by some of the most famous artists of the last century.  Read more about its history here.

I knew we had to get out of town this weekend because the leaves have been changing colors and I needed to head up the Hudson to get my very first dose of real fall foliage.  We rented a Zipcar and headed north.

Stopping at the New York/New Jersey state line:

We were a bit rushed because we had to wait until after Ella was finished with soccer and hit some traffic on the way (other leaf watchers), so I know we'll be back again (and again).  I'll let the photos speak for themselves (and I promise, I only chose the best ones - I took dozens and dozens of photos).  And remember to click the pictures to make them bigger.

Pyramidian by Mark Di Suvero

Three Legged Buddha by Zhang Huan

Eight Positive Trees by Menashe Kadishman

Schunnemunk Fork by Richard Serra

Storm King Wavefield by Maya Lin (even the landscape itself has been turned into art)

Mermaid by Roy Lichtenstein (Ella recognized this as the artist of Grrrrr!)

Jambalaya by Mark Di Suvero

For Chris by Mark Di Suvero

 Ella gets to bang the inside with a mallet which produces a thunderous noise.
Beethoven's Quartet by Mark Di Suvero

Five Swords by Alexander Calder

Suspended by Menashe Kadishman

The Arch by Alexander Calder

Momo Taro by Isamu Noguchi

And the highlight for us was seeing two more Andy Goldsworthy pieces.  We've seen several in San Francisco and have watched his documentary Rivers and Tides.  We even re-watched it for Sunday Family Movie Night which was fun after seeing this piece that is highlighted in the film.  If you haven't watched it, please do.  It's the most beautiful movie.

5 Men, 17 Days, 15 Boulders, 1 Wall by Andy Goldsworthy

Storm King Wall by Andy Goldsworthy

I'm not even going to bore you with the rest of our weekend's activities.  They would surely pale in comparison.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Healthy Eats in the Big Apple

A quick mid-week food post -

Our farm box is coming to an end in a couple weeks (no year-round growing season here as in California).  But our haul each week is bigger than it's been all year long.  I'm completely overwhelmed at the amount of veggies we're getting and having a small sized refrigerator isn't helping.  I learned one trick online that's been a Godsend with all of the greens we're getting.


These babies are like little magic health nuggets.  I packed my blender as full as I could with greens (in this case spinach and kale) and added a bit of water.  I pureed them up and spooned it into my ice cube tray.  Once they were frozen I popped them out and put them in a Ziplock in the freezer.  Every time I make the kids a smoothie I toss one of these in there and then add whatever fruit I have (fresh or frozen) with either milk or water or juice and they get a smoothie with a big boost of nutrition.  Depending what I put in there with these cubes, the smoothie may or may not be green (blueberries hide the green, for instance).  The first time I made it for them I told them to taste it with their eyes closed.  Once they realized it was delicious even if it looked green, they never complained again.

Did I also tell you that I have a gallon size Ziplock bag that I keep in the freezer at all times?  Every time I have a piece of fruit that's about to go bad or half an eaten apple or banana left on the kids' plate, I just cut it up and pop it into the Ziplock for future smoothies.  No waste.

I've also made another loaf of no-knead bread.  It is ridiculously easy to make and tastes, so, so good.  My friend who introduced me to this technique recently discovered a yummier way to make it using Chapati flour.  He bought a 20 pound bag and offered me a pound.  I also threw in some ground flax seeds for added healthiness.  The kids and Kevin asked me to make this every week.  I just need to figure out how to halve the recipe since it made a loaf the size of our dining room table.

And finally, another friend shared a homemade granola bar recipe that involves NO COOKING!  I swear people, these took under 10 minutes to make and I made the mistake of cutting them up and bringing them all to the playground after pick-up.  I came home empty handed.

You can throw whatever you want in these but mine included raisins, slivered almonds, flax and chia seeds and then topped with vegan carob chips (totally taste just like chocolate on these).  No one but me knew how healthy they were and a good pick-me-up at the end of a long school day.

Happy cooking!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


First of all, thank you for your continued concerns about my father.  I was able to spend some good time with him over the weekend with another whirlwind 48 hours in the Bay Area.  While he has a long road ahead of him, his doctors continue to give him a good prognosis.

And I was able to spend some good time with my favorite furry friend, too!

While I was away, Kevin and the kids had another jam-packed, fun-filled weekend exploring the city.  I'll do my best to recount what they told me here.
After soccer on Saturday morning, they walked through Central Park (where as you can see, it is now officially fall) to El Museo del Barrio for a Dia de los Muertos celebration.

Last week, Ella and I came across this plaque on 85th Street:
New York City is really good about putting up plaques at historical sites.  You'll see these all over.  Anyway, this plaque prompted a conversation about who Edgar Allen Poe was and when he lived (had to pull out my phone for that one).  Not a week later, I see a notice about an Edgar Allen Poe Halloween event going on at The Morgan Library.  Kevin was thrilled to take them.

Apparently they had actors acting out a toned down version of The Raven.  The kids were given masks to wear.  They're still talking about it.

Their Sunday included Little League, reading, carving pumpkins, decorating the apartment for Halloween and seeing the latest Banksy installation which happened to be just down the street from us.

 Halloween care package from Grandma Diane

 Holden's become a reading machine

Banksy strikes the Upper West Side

I don't think they even had time to miss me.