June 30, 2020

There’s actually one downside to Jim’s fantastic new workshop. That lathe? It generates a gazillion tiny shards of metal, called swarf, which collect in a large pile on the floor in front of the lathe. And these swarves travel into the house on the bottom of Jim’s shoes in spite of the spiffy new abrasive floor mat Jim recently laid in front of the door that goes from the garage into the kitchen, and in spite of the fact he removes those shoes at the door and leaves them there.

And I walk around the house barefoot (silly me).

I’ve been stepping on these things a lot, and can usually just peel them off my foot, but today one wedged itself just so into my toe as I brushed my foot across the kitchen rug. Felt like a tiny knife sliced m’ toe. A tiny droplet of blood emerged and that was that… but I couldn’t get it out (nor did I want to try).

Definitely a job for Jim. Splinter removal is one of his outstanding talents. I mean look at this concentration!


He couldn’t get it out, though. Couldn’t find it, actually. So it’s still in there (I have toe throb to prove it) and after many attempts (with lots of squirming and whimpering), we gave up, so now I’m hobbling about with a bandaid and a thick sock. I am a world class wimp when it comes to this stuff. Whole thing gives me the vapors.

So I looked it up. Embedded swarf is definitely a thing. This guy has a lot of swarf stuck in his fingerprint grooves and he can’t get it out. Elmer’s glue is one of the solutions they suggest.


Crazy stuff, this swarf, huh?



That is a lyric, slightly altered from “sunshower” to “sunflower,” from a song I used to listen to (and sing) in the mid-seventies, introduced to me by Stig-Gunne Bengtsson when I lived in Sweden, sung by Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band. (Lyrics at the end of this post.)






Sunshower, just a sign of the power
Of loving you, oh, baby
Sunshower, got me by the hour
Wanting you, oh, baby

When my eyes went out to you
I made up my mind
That every little thing I do
Be designed to glorify you

Ooh, my whole life through
I’ve been walking in the rain
Until that day, I chanced on you
And the sun came pouring down too

Sunshower, just a sign of the power
Of loving you, oh, baby
Sunshower, got me by the hour
Wanting you, oh, baby

Ooh, a passing word from you
Makes my day worthwhile
It takes all of my deadened dooms
On a ride to a faraway moon

On the dark and troubled sea
You gave me the light
And now I’m sailing so fast and free
Leaving stormy skies behind me

It goes on, but you get the idea.


Oh.. and these shots were taken just north of the ditch in North Davis..at sunset tonight on a walk with Janet. Lovely, lovely.


Nice Bookends

June 28, 2020

Jim’s Sunday breakfast was a deviation from the regular rotation (pancakes, waffles, french toast, repeat). We were out of flour, but had a yummy poppyseed scone mix… which was fantastic, actually.



And then another kind of yummy… a byop (bring your own picnic) for a socially distanced park gathering, which served as a replacement for our usual quarterly dining divas dinner, minus Madeline, whose back went out this afternoon, but who’ll be back for the next one, because these’ll probably go on for a while, as we’ll prolly never be able to return to normal life.


Carol, Rissa, Tracy down by the creek, near the gazebo. Pure delight.

On This Day…

June 27, 2020

…. seventeen years ago….

We were at Susan and Jim’s Echo Lake Cabin, an annual tradition that is not so annual anymore. We probably got a good fifteen years out of it, though! I’d give anything to be up there right now…

This is a selection from June 27, 2003, a trip that included Susan, Jim, Heidi, Mumsie (Susan’s mom) and us. Likely other folks were there, too, but not on this particular day, it appears. Peter was always the only kid, except the one year he brought a friend (Daniel). Guests would come and go over S&J’s usual two-week stay.  Treasured these trips.

Breakfast around the table..




We did a lot of canoeing on Upper Echo..


Explored the many (teeny) islands that dot the upper lake.. so fun. Always involved this..


View of the Ricker cabin from one of those teeny islands:



End of the day at the outdoor shower..

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Includes some rock climbing..


Slept on the outside deck.. heavenly.


Bizarro World

June 26, 2020

Trump alone is responsible for the U.S.’s failed response to the coronavirus. Against advice from public health experts, he chose to favor the economy over the health of the people of this country. And he did that for one reason: his reelection.

His motive is no surprise to me, but what astounds me is that, on this crisis, this is completely, 100% on him. There isn’t a single person who has any influence or authority over his whims, his impulses and ultimately the decisions he makes as regards this pandemic response. There may be some in his small circle who share his focus on the economy at the expense of (expendable) people, and/or some who share his objective to win a second term at all costs. But there is nobody who’s got authority greater than his own. So if he wants to do something — anything — he can. And has. He ALONE, based not on facts but on the degree to which it impacts his chances at reelection, has decided the pandemic is a distant concern.  He alone decided not to prioritize testing, not to wear masks, not to  adhere to CDC guidelines, not to hold press briefings. He decided to start up rallies. For whatever reasons made sense to him. He bent the whole thing to his will…  his will being to dismiss it, because its being gone serves him. It’s all him.

He alone decided to make it political, to turn it into a culture war to fuel his campaign. Because he and his base thrive on culture wars.

And nearly the entire GOP clung to his narrative, because they are afraid of him.  And many/most republican governors followed his lead, to the peril of the people of their states.. because he said so. I understand that governors and smaller jurisdictions have their own authorities to act as benefits their people, but with rare exception, they’ve opted to follow his lead.. because that’s what they do in this era.

So again, what just blows me away is that he has this kind of control over so many of our fates. Even as he makes perilous, self(only)-serving decisions. This is all him. He alone has charted this course, and a weak, immoral, terrified GOP has followed his lead b/c he has them all by the balls.

We can place the blame squarely on him for a huge percentage of these deaths. Not all, but a huge percentage of them. Just look at the charts that track deaths in European countries next to our chart. All the charts go up together, then the European ones go down, while ours plateaus, then goes up. Because HE rushed us to open. And nobody could stop him and a large percentage of GOP govs followed suit. Thousands have died needlessly. This did NOT have to be this way. It’s all on him.

And I just wonder: HOW CAN THAT EVEN HAPPEN? How is it that a single, immorally-driven person can exert that kind of power without anyone to stop him? I’m serious. Anyone with a brain knows his position is bullshit, but nobody can stop him. If he wants to downplay the virus, say that people are wearing masks to make him look bad, hold rallies, lie at press briefings, craft his own narrative.. he can. Dangerous as hell because he’s a cult leader and his followers hang on his every word, and believe him. A lot of us don’t, the media calls him on it. But it doesn’t matter. The virus is going to spread b/c there is a lot of transmission happening in a lot of red states, and red areas of blue states.

In the case of this crisis, his stupidity puts us all at risk.. but not a soul can stop that.

Were he to have sung a different tune, we’d be in a different place. His followers (his 35% who’ll vote for him no matter what) will do whatever he says. If he’d worn a mask and directed people to do so, they would have. If he tells them it’s a violation of their freedom, they’ll believe that. They’ll follow him right off a cliff. And the GOP will do whatever he says too, because they can’t withstand his wrath, nor can they afford to lose his base.

So I wonder how is it even possible that a person, any person, but especially a person so dangerously ignorant and ethically challenged, can have that much control over something like a pandemic response.  We are all living a nightmare and can’t do anything about it. This is not a constitutional checks and balances kind thing or. This is not a three equal branches of government thing. This is just an idiot calling ALL the shots. How is that possible?! 

And the smaller thing I wonder is: why is nobody pointing this out?  I mean, this is some crazy, destructive power, power he’s just grabbed and run with that’s killing a lot of people. Why isn’t anybody commenting on that kind of sickening abuse? I mean, I know there is plenty of talk and analysis about the spread, the deaths, his selfish actions.. etc. But I’m not hearing any commentary on how ONE SINGLE PERSON is pretty much the cause of a huge percentage of the mess — deaths, a crashing economy and no end in sight.




Imagine Me and You…

June 25, 2020

… I do, I think about you day and night, it’s only right, to think about the bird you love, and hold her tight…

So happy together.

And speaking of turtles…


Not a great picture, but I love this turtle and bird on the little floating island. And, looking at them in their little island bliss.. went right to the song.

It was also a good duck day:



And generally, it was a lovely early morn at the arb.



Twenty Two!

June 24, 2020

Our sweet guy turned twenty two today. He’s down in La Jolla.. we’re up here. So.. I went to my favorite archive of photos, “Best of Peter, ” and grabbed a handful for today’s post… because I LOVE looking at pictures of Peter through the years. As moms do.

Thanks for indulging me.






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smugly smilin



My Heart is Full

June 23, 2020

A lovely mix of Frame and Peterson family members, plus long-time family friends popped into a Peter Frame Zoom Open House Graduation Celebration this evening! From about 4:55 to 7:40 we hosted the comings and going of a few dozen folks who dropped in to congratulate Peter on his college graduation (and wish him a happy birthday TOMORROW)!

Thankful for Wes, Margie, Mark, Ben, Nina, Teri, Chad, Heidi, Jay, Saythong, Matt, Monica, Dror, Janet, Vicki C, Vicki S, Steve, Marie, Dianna, Chris, Bill, Sabrina, Marty, Maita, John, Matthew, Dean, Alan, Bob, Tam, Michael, Jim, Susan, Tobin.

Not traditional, not the ideal, but it’s June 2020 and everything’s upside down. It’s up to us to find new and creative ways of doing things.  So we Zoomed.

It was a joy to see everyone. It was especially fun every time the bell rang to see who would enter the call. The evening went in waves, alternating between chaotic and mellow, depending on who and how many were on at any given time.

Gratified beyond beyond for the love and support for our sweet guy. Peter was so pleased to answer everyone’s questions about next moves, career thoughts, favorite classes. Conversation got downright nerdy at turns, which was affirming.. as in: he’s on the right path.

Feeling mighty full of love and contentment at this moment.

A couple pics… a typical moment.. this moment had eight hollywood squares…

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And then, at the very, very end.. it was just the three of us. Soaking it all in.

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Some Handiworks

June 22, 2020

Sigh… another day, another day.  Pandemic Day #101.

Most days are pretty mellow with intermittent flurries of handiwork.. projects inside and outside. Jim’s a busy guy in the garage (that’s an outside project venue), customizing his workshop while also producing hammock stands and tables and tables and doors (yes, I said tables twice). And all manner of metal things I can’t quite describe.

My output is mostly from the kitchen (that’s obviously an inside project venue). I am amassing a huge stack of recipes tried and rated (rated for future re-making or just discarded as a fail) — dinners mostly, with a smattering of baking projects.

We are true to our X and Y chromosomes.

Here’re some pics of handiworks from the weekend:

Jim’s new screen door. He bought some livestock gate panel and crafted this screen barrier, which slides like a barn door (that’s clever handiwork in itself), and can be slid into the opening of our garage’s “person” door, so that he can flush hot air out (or let cool air rush in during cooler nights) which keeps his workspace temperature-tolerable and secure (secure when he’s in the house, that is…he doesn’t want to make it easy for would-be burglars to make off with tools). It’s well designed, functional and so good looking!

These are the garage doors all closed up..


This is with the person door open and the new screen door in place (immoveable from the outside)…


I don’t have a photo to share of the coffee table’s progress (but he’s also working on that right now ), so let’s switch to my home projects:

Here’s last night’s Chicken Marbella sauce — wine, brown sugar, basil, bay, garlic, olive oil, vinegar — reducing (after which, it’ll be strained and then served atop chicken w/ capers, prunes, green olives:


The choice of angel hair as a base for this was a good one.


That was Father’s Day dinner. And for dessert, these brownies (in their pre-baked state):


Jury’s out on these, as I had a baking mishap where first they were underdone, then popped them back in an hour later to bake further (that never works) and missed hearing the timer and they ended up baking for three times the suggested time (shoulda been 20 mins, turned into 60). We were talking to Peter as he drove from Phoenix to La Jolla and just forgot about the brownies in the oven. They’re hard, but tasty.

The night before, struggled but ultimately emerged victorious in my inaugural use of the Instant Pot.. this is a pearl couscous dish with toasted almonds, romano, basil, mint, pancetta and some other things I’m not remembering at the moment.. another Christopher Kimball recipe. Very rich, but quite good (in very small doses). Would be a good side dish to something simple like grilled chicken.


One day, I’ll summarize (maybe) all the projects undertaken during these stay-at-home-self-isolating days… it’s been productive.





Dadding a twenty one year old is different than dadding infants, toddlers, adolescents or teens. This Father’s Day, unlike so many in the past couple decades, Peter phoned it in.

Our young adult is far far away..camping and hiking in Arizona with his friend Helen. It’s late on Sunday night now and he’s actually driving back to La Jolla (as I write this). We spent a couple of hours on the phone with him tonight, as he drove, hearing about that camping trip, about post graduation life and how amorphous and untethered it feels, and playing a round of pub quiz. We got about two thirds of the way through a typical Dr. Andy pub quiz when Peter lost his internet connection … so, I’m blogging, waiting for him to re-enter the data zone and trying not to worry. He’s a bit tired, having hiked a lot of miles in desert heat over the last two days, and not getting a lot of sleep.. and the drive is about 5 1/2 hours from Phoenix — where he dropped Helen off — and La Jolla. Ugh.

So… I’m waiting for him to call back, and in the meantime…

Here is a collection of oldies but goodies — some of my all-time favorite photos of my two favorite people on the planet — in honor of Father’s Day:







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I have more.. but this was this year’s Father’s Day selection that I posted on Facebook this morning.