Hot Cats on a Roof

April 20, 2016

Or something like that.

My kindergarten pal Sarah (will she forever be known as my kindergarten pal?) texted to say a former high school classmate of ours was in town and did I want to join them this evening?

Yep. Yep I did.

We met on Sarah’s downtown Sacramento rooftop.

Sarah and Mindy:


They are lifelong friends and such smashing looking senior citizens!  Both are so much fun.

It was such a lovely evening for a nostalgia tour. We touched different communities in high school, but had enough intersections to keep it interesting. Great snacks, great conversation…. and a great sunset.



Aunt Annita

April 19, 2016

Annita Martins Frame  ::  November 11, 1923 – April 18, 2106


Dear sweet Aunt Annita passed away yesterday; she was 92.  I wrote a little bit about her life  here. 

She was Jim’s mom’s sister. Theirs is a fascinating story that started with a beautiful life growing up in Brazil–daughters of a French mom and a Brazilian dad–and concluded in California where they married brothers from Kansas.

Since Jim’s mom died when Jim was only 17, I never got a chance to meet Sonia. Aunt Annita was like a surrogate mother-in-law to me, the closest I would get to knowing Jim’s mom.

I adored Aunt Annita and am so glad she had a long, full and happy life.




Big Doings

April 18, 2016

I have to say, the baseball story of the day was playing against a guy who’s likely to be playing in the big leagues in short order. It turned a normal Delta League game into a bit of a circus as the stands were crowded with scouts, coaches, sports writers, and photographers in addition to the usual assemblage of diehard fans (family and friends).

This was our first clue that something was up.


But let me back up a little.

Here are Peter, Eton and Ryan crammed into the backseat as we are driving to Sheldon High School (on the Sac-Elk Grove border). I did a Facebook post about transporting three of the league’s top five pitchers–which is true, as stats go…


But stats are funny. While it’s true that Peter (4-0), Ryan (3-0) and Eton (2-0) are #1, #2 and #5, respectively, on MaxPreps’ list of the league’s top winning pitchers (at this moment in time), it’s also true that they are not the most talented pitchers in the league. They just happen to be earning Ws for a wide variety of reasons. You can also measure ERA (Peter’s amazingly #2 at the moment) or strike outs (Ryan’s #5), but those don’t tell the whole story either. It’s not that they aren’t pitching well, they are, but W/L, ERA and SO are not the only metrics in evaluating goodness.

(Still, it was fun to note.. at least for the purpose of a fun Facebook post.)

But speaking of the league’s best pitchers…  like I started to say earlier, a larger-than-usual crowd gathered to witness and assess the guy most believe is the real best pitcher in the region. In fact, he is one of the nation’s leading high school pitchers. Thus the scouts…


…with their radar guns:


The guy, Matt Manning, throws routinely in the 90+ mph range, today hitting speeds as high as 98. I should note that that is a very speedy little pitch even for a professional MLB pitcher. It makes for a very fast ball.

He ended up going  5 2/3 innings and struck out nine of our guys, impressive given how well we’ve been hitting this season. We only got four hits today… a season low. We didn’t get a hit until the fourth inning, and didn’t get another until the sixth when our guys finally started adjusting to the speed. Or perhaps Manning just pooped out. Whatever. We scored four and went ahead 5-2 in that inning and thought we might notch another win, but then things fell apart in the bottom of the inning, and we gave those four runs right back. Their relief pitcher was no slouch either: he faced a total of four batters and struck each one out. We ended up losing the game 5-6. Damn.

Still, it was kind of a game for the record books. They’ll always remember playing against a guy who throws just like an MLB pitcher. Ryan H, Hunter, Griffin and Max will be able to say they hit him; Solly, Ryan K, Griffin, Max, John and Peter will get to say they stole a base off him; AND Peter will get to say he struck him out on three pitches (in last Friday’s game). How ’bout that?

I got one marginal pic:


If I ever find out who he signs with, I’ll let you know.




We’re not asking questions, but after many, many years of Peter forgoing Sunday brunch with his parents, he joined us this weekend.. second weekend in a row.

It probably won’t be a thing until he does it again, and maybe again after that, but two weekends in a row is pretty earth shattering.

It’s been at least five years, I’d guess, since he was a regular attendee. Before that, it was our no-fail Sunday morning ritual, a practice that started when he was just days old. I’m not kidding. I remember months and months when he slept in the carrier on the table. Then he could sit in a high chair (big deal). Then, of course, he transitioned to booster seats… I’m sure you know this progression. There were a few years where we’d battle over venue, but we finally devised a clever system of rating and ranking choices and then used those rankings and our elaborate point system to determine a rotation schedule that accommodated everyone’s favorites. That resulted in a few blissful, non-confrontational years of dining. But then, sort of abruptly (and sadly for us), Peter opted out. As the teen years settled in, he favored sleeping over breakfast with us. Go figure. But we acquiesced. We’d have preferred his company, but he preferred hanging in the house by himself, on his own time. We’d bring back his usual, unless he texted us otherwise. Depending on the hour, that could even be a hamburger from Burgers and Brew, an easy stop on the way home. We’re swell that way.

I lobbed an invitation his way on countless occasions, Hey, you wanna join us for breakfast?, which he never, not once, took us up on. But I did it anyway.. cuz you never know, right?  If one of our birthdays landed on a Sunday he’d come, but otherwise.. nope.

But now, on the cusp of turning 18 and leaving home, he’s coming back. Well, maybe. He’s done it twice. Without prompting.  I feel like Sally Field… “You like us, you really like us!

Let’s be clear: Two is a micro trend… but two does not a habit make.

So.. I, being weirdo me, got some pics:

Because it was the day after Picnic Day, downtown was crowded with students and their visiting families. We couldn’t get into Black Bear Diner (never a place Jim and I go), and Peter didn’t want to go to Bernardo’s, El Toro Bravo or Crepeville. Season’s wasn’t open yet, and Jim was not having any part of Bistro (see.. this is why we had developed our point system), so we decided to try Caffe Italia, even though that’s where we’d gone last weekend.

It was a nice walk on a warm morning:


No lines, no wait, got right in. And it was great. A bit stressful talking about college choices and the need to tour some of his options, but otherwise lovely.

Here’re some shots on the way home, because I’m still thinking this may not happen again.

You’ve seen this butterfly bench?


The mural-filled bike tunnel?


This is the cut-through in Aggie Village:


I liked this…. a little K just sitting there on the sidewalk…


And that was that.


I liked this picture I took last night of the Waterboy, where we joined Don and Trish for dinner….  always seems like a treat to drive into Sac.. the big city, you know.






It’s annual Picnic Day day. That means our Saturday includes a parade. There’s the official one that wends its way through campus and downtown, and there’s the other one, the constant stream of gaggles of students, marching with boisterous excitement, always shrieking and laughing, often yelling at someone far away for some reason, up and down our street.

But it’s fun.

Here are some shots on our way to the official parade. People getting ready on Second near campus…


Kids at the Turtle House…


Here’s a cutie pie, excited about bubbles:


And here are the bubbles, everywhere in this shot but not quite seeable:


We had a good spot on the curb on Second Street, opposite the Odd Fellows Hall. Turned out to be GREAT because it’s also one of the places where the Cal Aggie Marching Band stopped and performed. I had to tuck in my feet so I didn’t trip anybody. That close.



A funny (or not so funny): Soon as the band started up, I started crying. I was looking at all those college kids–specifically UC students–thinking Peter was going to be one in about 6 months.. and just lost it. Been happening a lot lately (ask me privately about the episode in the bathroom at Jamba Juice in Elk Grove last Wednesday before the Franklin game).

Ahem. So anyway, there were some vintage vehicles:


And, being Davis, the parade had lots of political entries…



To be fair, we had college republicans, too, and lots of veterans groups. As well, an anti-Katehi group.

Here are Jim and me:


(Nice sunny day!)

Here’s a shot of a party on the way home:


I was aiming at the Bernie poster, but got, as an unintended bonus, some waving guys and a side boob (these were big at the Oscars this year). Ya just never know what’s going to turn up in these hard-to-decipher-on-a-cell-phone shots.

Note: Based on a recurring slogan appearing on many of the vehicles, I’m guessing Cultivating Your Authenticity was the theme this year.

Works for me.


Note to self:  Remember to bring chairs next year.





Friends and Fellow Fans

April 15, 2016

Couple things to note in this picture. One, it’s not quite spring yet. In fact, it wasn’t that cold–not as cold as the blankets and woolens might suggest–but it was windy, which made it seem cold. Still. It’s not spring yet.

And two, these are my bleacher mates for the 2016 Varsity Baseball season. And I adore them all.. especially in the aggregate, as a species: the parents/supporters/fans of my kid’s team. All our kids’ team. We are so happy to be here cheering them all on.

Game hasn’t started, so don’t mis-read any of those expressions. Mostly, we’re being drowned out by some very loud music, and with a couple of exceptions, apparently, we can’t hear a thing, so can’t really engage in substantive conversation.


So, zigzagging through the stands, we have Tyler’s mom, Ryan’s mom, Griffin’s mom, Daniel’s mom, Ray’s dad, Peter’s dad, John’s parents, mystery man, Eton’s mom, Reed’s parents, James’ dad, Daniel’s uncle, Ryan’s brother, Ryan’s mom, Solly’s dad, Ian’s dad, another mystery man, Ryan’s dad, Pierce’s sister, Pierce’s mom, Griffen’s grandfather, mystery trio of standing guys and Eton’s dad. The other parent fans were there–every single kid had at least one related somebody rooting for them (as it should be)–just sitting in another cluster.

Shortly, I’m going to take my seat alongside Daniel’s mom, whom I could not score without.


For the record, because someone’s always counting, like me: we won 13-4.

This game took place in the manicured stadium of Sacramento City College, a place we love to play when given the chance because it’s fancy. Peter started on the mound–a great big tall mound at that–and pitched solidly for the first three innings. First: He picked off a guy who’d reached on an error (beautiful pick off move, Frame to Henrickson–boom!); then a guy who’d gotten a nice hit was out on an even nicer Jury throw-down to second when he tried to steal; then a nice swinging strike out. Second: Three ground outs to the ever-reliable third baseman Gibson, with a triple in between that went for naught. Third: a three up, three down inning, thanks again to Gibson, and outfielders Holgate and Biers-Ariel. But then the fourth: a pop up. Good. Then two singles, another pop up, and walk and Dan pulled him. Overall, 5 hits, 3 earned runs, 1 walk, 1 hit batter, 1 strike out, a nice pick off, in 3 2/3 innings of work. He left the game with a nice 8-3 lead and a 62.5% strike percentage. All good. And oh.. the guy he struck out? He is the 6’5″ son of a former NBA player, and was a first round MLB pick (as a pitcher, but is also the league’s #1 hitter with an average of .476). P struck him out on three pitches. Yay! Eton came in, pitched a very nice 3 1/3 innings and got the win.

Five Years Ago

April 14, 2016

You know how Facebook does that thing where they generate for you a memory, something posted to your timeline one or two or five years ago (or whatever) and encourage you to share it?

Well, maybe you do and maybe you don’t, but today, I logged onto Facebook and there was a photo taken five years ago when Karen, Leslie, Laura, Rick and I, under the expert guidance of Homnath and Pradip, trekked about 100 miles–give or take–to and from the base of Mt. Everest. It really took me back!

Here it is (Rick, Homnath, Karen, Me, Laura; and below, Leslie and Pradip):


How cool are we?

Five years ago. Five years and many injuries later (not to mention just general bone and body degeneration)–a reality that makes me wonder if I’ll EVER hike again.

Don’t want to go to that scary place. Everything will be fine.

In the meantime, how about I share a few from that trip, just for old time’s sake…

First stop Abu Dhabi. We visited the United Arab Emirates’ largest mosque (coverage required). Karen, Laura, me and Leslie…


This is also the 8th largest mosque in the world (it accommodates up to 40,000 worshippers) and contains the world’s largest single slab of carpet which, alone, can hold 9,000 people.

Some favorite shots of Nepal…

Spectacular trails with precipitous drops among immense mountains… (and locals traveling from one remote village to the next to shop or whatever, carrying their stuff on their back because that’s the only way):


With culture and Buddhist monuments along the way…


And amazing views…


The above was taken from the top of Gokyo Ri (down by that frozen lake, in the lower left, you can see where our little tea house was, and behind that the enormous receding glacier we crossed the next day).

Here’s me at the top of Gokyo Ri (17k+):


(That easy smile belies how pooped I was at the top.)

And below, a nice shot of Everest (left) and probably Nuptse (right), taken by Rick from the top of Kala Patthar the day after we reached basecamp:


It was a life changing trip spent with these wonderful humans:

Our Group

Having just crossed a pass into the Gokyo River valley, having climbed out of Machermo. This is adjacent to the first (of 6) lakes in the region. Leslie, Karen, Laura, me and Rick.

[wow.. that came with its own caption.. no idea how that happened, but will leave it be.]

We returned to the warm deserts of the UAE, explored Dubai and spent a little time in the dunes with these guys:


Anyway, that was a very random set; there are hundreds more if you want to peruse, back in April 2011… I just grabbed a few since I was feeling nostalgic. Blame Facebook.

Today’s Mail

April 13, 2016

Five things in the box today. Do we live in Davis, or what?


Worried Rocker

April 12, 2016

wendy sanders

My latest art acquisition.

Now, before you get all impressed, it IS a lovely piece of art, and I’m thrilled to have it, and I’ll tell you why in a sec, but this particular rendition is a picture that I right clicked from a Facebook post, downloaded onto my computer and just printed out on regular paper. Then, I edited the edges down to size and put it in a very nice wooden frame I found in my photo project closet (where boxes and boxes and boxes of old photos go to die).


I am particularly enamored of this worried rocking woman because 1) it was drawn in 1974 by a friend of mine from elementary school days who moved out of Palos Verdes when we were in 7th grade and I never saw or heard of her again… until she surfaced a few months ago in my Facebook world–the friend of a friend of a friend (each of those an elementary school buddy); and 2) the lines and colors and simplicity really appeal to me.

Wendy (not Sanders anymore) is, as best I can tell, a professional illustrator who specializes in children’s books. I’ve seen lots of her work via FB and see that she is very talented, successful and has done a lot with her art.

I’m still searching for just the right place to hang this so I can enjoy it every day. Right next to my rocking chair seems like the obvious choice.

Yep, another first of a last thing, last thing being Peter’s last league season in his high school baseball career. (Not that I’m a documenter or anything.)

Today was the start of league play and the Blue Devils won!

DHS plays in Division I, by virtue of being a large school. We are part of the Delta League, which in turn is one of seven leagues in the huge Sac-Joaquin Section (somewhere around 46-49 schools total). Our Delta league has eight schools. We hope to win our league and go on to compete in playoffs against the top schools in  the other leagues. Davis has won the whole Sac-Joaquin title three times… it’s too far to look ahead to that, but that is the brass ring. This is all under the auspices of CIF, the organization through with California schools compete.

Anyway, the Blue Devils won their opening game. Officially, league-wise, we are now 1-0. (overall, 13-0). One down, many to go.

The boys started a little slowly, behind Franklin 5-1, which was kind of scary. But in the bottom of the third, we put three more runs up and another two in the fourth, and from there never looked back. We won 10-6. GREAT start to league play.

Pierce got the nod for this game and would have faired a lot better but for a costly error in the first inning that lead to 3 unearned runs. He made quick work of the second, but when he loaded the bases in the third, Dan pulled him and sent Peter in. It was just like the last game: bases loaded, no outs. Fix this. Which he pretty much did: sac bunt and two ground outs.

He ended up pitching 3 2/3 innings, held them to 3 hits and no runs, and happened to be pitching when our bats came alive so earned the win. He started the sixth with a fly out, but when he walked a batter (his second for the outing), Dan pulled him and put in Daniel to finish things off. Daniel held the Wildcats to just one run over his 1 2/3 innings with 2 strike outs, 2 hits and a walk, and that was that (and assorted ground and fly outs). Whee! And the streak goes on.

I neglected to get any photos, but will post a couple here taken by Kristen at last week’s game when Peter relieved, also a home game, so just pretend it’s today:


(Nothing like a strong telephoto lens.. it makes the bleachers at the track–about 125 yards away–look close!)

And here’s another Kristen took last week following the game. This was immediately post the heaping dog pile. I like this one… for obvious reasons…

IMG_9845 (1)