family 20150816_144911

this is it, right here: love.

i have emerged, victorious, from the peach frenzy of 2015. 63 quart jars plus 17 pints of peach bbq sauce. 152 pounds of peaches later, i am ready for a canning break, so i have decided to not bring home a single box of tomatoes until september. the only reason i believe i can manage to hold out that long is that we will be headed to new york next week and won’t return until september is underway. i only have one farmer’s market left between now and then, and i think my will power is strong enough to come home this saturday sans tomatoes.

at work it’s more of a fish frenzy, and i am mindful of the way this temporary position is speeding along rapidly towards its conclusion mid-winter. i am hopeful for more job opportunities coming down the line, either in the same position (extended, with projects i am currently helping to develop) or in something else marine-oriented. i have been enjoying being back in the lab, and i just put in an application for another opening in the next building over from mine at the marine science center, in case this one doesn’t last.

we are having a great time at the vacation house, although nothing i have been doing actually suggests vacation. (example from 7:30 wednesday morning: in the rush to get out the door, get quinn to camp boss summer program, and get to work on time, i removed a splinter from quinn’s heel while brushing my teeth.) it’s more the atmosphere of the house itself that gently whispers ideas about rest and relaxation. breezes through screen doors, sunshine on the front porch wicker love seat, roses blooming, apples reddening, kitties milling around and snuggling.

the kitties have adjusted well to the vacation house, and taken up new hobbies of unprecedented cuteness and mischief. just in the past week, lisa has started climbing up from underneath the bed to snuggle under all of the blankets, making herself into a little lump in the middle of the bed.


the first time i saw her do this, i laughed, checked to be sure it was her and that she was breathing, and then went back downstairs to shower. when i came back up, i found her big brother, sitting smugly where she had been, looking like he had eaten her!

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quinn seems to be adjusting fairly well, too. he likes his room, and has encrusted the entire floor with legos in a very short time. he is reading big books, doing big math problems at the dinner table, and tackling his responsibilities with increasing, um, responsibility.

last friday, he tested for his orange belt in karate! unlike his yellow belt test, this time he was the only yellow belt promoting, so when it was his turn to test, he got to stand up alone and do all of his forms. he was so crisp and professional! he practiced very diligently all that week, and had not only gained his second black tip but also his red tip (which signifies ready to promote) all in the same week. his head teacher had told him he could test for red tip, and when one of the other teachers was leading the class, quinn advocated for himself and let her know that he had permission to test for red tip, and his willingness to speak up, more than anything else, made me feel so proud. the student creed begins with the phrase, “to build true confidence…” and i think this is something karate really is helping quinn to develop.

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red tip!

belt test IMG_0094

waiting to test

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ridge hand IMG_0099

ceremony IMG_0116

belt promotion ceremony

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the new orange belt!

orange belt

joy bubbling up through his seriousness after the ceremony was complete!

“student creed: to build true confidence


through knowledge of the mind


honesty in the heart


and strength in the body


keep friendships with one another, and build a strong and happy community

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never fight to achieve selfish ends, but to build might for right.”

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yup. we live here. karate on the beach! throwing ninja stars in the sand.

here’s a little action movie, filmed from above-mentioned front porch love seat.


“universal set 1” by quinn

and since this post is so full of the non-sequitur, here is a random image of the 3 mugs we brought with us to the vacation house. one each. i am thinking that we might go with a “one each” theme in the kitchen at dragon house 2.0 and keep enjoying the simplicity of having just enough (beautiful) things (we really like) when we live there.

3mugs IMG_20150815_114653

i’m feeling so grateful for my family, the abundance all around us, the ability to live simply during this busy time, love, martial arts, trips to see family to look forward to, simple pleasures like sitting on the back porch with my love after dark, talking about real estate and looking at the north star, that make every day life like vacation. love is true north, and all the other details fall into place when i stay on that course.

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