A Slice of My Life – The Lost Weeks

September 24, 2012

Allllllllll right.  I’m back.  Sorry about that gigantic lag.  I knew it would be long but I’m not sure I realized it would be that long.  The very short version of our moving story is that we left Seattle on August 22nd.  We took three days to drive south with overnight stops in Portland, Grant’s Pass (where we also went river rafting on our 10th anniversary), and Chico, CA.  We rolled into an extended stay hotel in Emeryville a day and a half before the boys started school.  The boys started school.  Our new house closed.  We moved in.  We unpacked.  We waited for wi-fi.  And here I am.  Before I show you some photos of what life has been like for the past month, I will tell you that I know many of you are waiting for food, for recipes.  It’s coming, I promise.  I’ve been cooking in my new kitchen and I love it.  And the light is great.  I think some great things are going to happen here.

Spending the first week and a half of your new life in your new city in a hotel is not ideal.  Good thing there was a pool.

First day of school.  This was a big one – second grade for Graham and kindergarten for Spencer.  My baby in kindergarten.  If we had still been in Seattle and all had been more or less familiar, I would have been very nostalgic and would have come up with a meaningful post about this milestone.  But so much chaos with the move pushed it to the back burner.  Maybe when things settle a bit.

I have a lemon tree in my front yard.  They are Meyer lemons.  It’s pretty awesome.  The tree also grows limes which I didn’t know was possible but I’m pretty excited about it.

I put this photo on Instagram and Facebook and got a lot of questions about it.  Randy and I have the boys do pushups from time to time.  It started on a family vacation when we were getting tired of saying the same thing over and over again and time outs were not feasible.  One day, while we were on the boardwalk in Rehoboth, DE, Randy told Graham to drop and give him five (his age at the time) push-ups.  Which he did on the filthy and gum-strewn sidewalk.  So it became our thing, whine too much and you have to do push-ups.  Hit your brother and you have to do push-ups.  It’s actually a great tool because it puts an immediate stop to the negative behavior and it is a clear sign that they have done something wrong.  Randy has to do push-ups himself when he says a bad word so he does them surprisingly often.  This session was a family attitude adjustment.

And this is my kitchen.  I never took photos of my old kitchen because the light in there was terrible.  It was very big and very nice.  This is smaller and very nice.  And the light is better.  Obviously, now that we are moved in, the kitchen actually looks nothing like this.  It’s a lot messier.

When the kitchen was finally unpacked enough for me to cook, I made dinner.  We ate on the deck.  I can’t believe this is our view.  And what I hate to even mention is what you can’t see in this photo.  Beyond those houses and those hills is the San Francisco skyline, the bay, and way off in the distance, the Golden Gate bridge.

Giants game.

BART ride home.

This lake, which has a lovely walking path, plenty of space for picnics, and a swimming beach, is a 15 minute walk from our house.

I took a vegetarian Thai cooking class from Pim.  It was just outside Santa Cruz.  Randy took the boys to the boardwalk for four hours while I was in class.  They came to pick me up…

…and then we went right back to the boardwalk.

Graham was horsing around (ironically in the same parking lot where he had to do the attitude adjustment push-ups) and fell and cracked his chin open.  He got 5 stitches.  He was so scared he was shaking when the doctor came at him with the needle to numb him up.  But he was a trooper and five days later, they were already out.

My first baked good.  The two things the boys liked best from our time in the extended stay hotel were the pool and the buffet breakfast every morning.  They loved the breakfast potatoes and the small muffins.  So I made mini blueberry muffins.  They were a big hit.

Did you know Oakland is really hilly?  This is our backyard taken from our deck.  That is Graham trying to rescue a paper airplane from that tree.

I’ve always been jealous of people who could just walk out into their yard and pick tomatoes.  Now I am one of those people.

Two soups – coming up this week!


  1. dana
    can i just stay on your webpage all day?
    you have no idea how much i miss my hometown of cali.
    being able to pick fresh limes or lemons in your pajamas.
    having constant sunshine
    and an abundance of farmers markets.
    love love love your new home–can i come visit? LOL

    Comment by vanillasugarblog — September 24, 2012 @ 1:11 pm

  2. Welcome back Dana! Its great to read a new post- I love your stories just as much as the recipes! Loving the view from your new place too-it looks so relaxing!

    Comment by Natasha — September 24, 2012 @ 2:02 pm

  3. Welcome to Oakland! I love it here, and I hope you do too! Your new home looks lovely. Enjoy the bay area “summer” these next few months :)

    Comment by elizabeth — September 24, 2012 @ 3:33 pm

  4. Love the pics and I’m so jealous of the lemon/lime tree and the tomatoes. Good luck with the unpacking and settling in although it looks like you are well on your way!

    Comment by Charlotte — September 24, 2012 @ 7:17 pm

  5. Oh Dana, you look like you landed on your feet! It looks lovely-I get the lemons thing. When I first visited my aunt in San Jose from cold, cold Europe, I could not believe there were oranges groing in her backyard..ORANGES!! Can’t wait what all this inspires you to cook, lhave ots of fun adjusting!

    Comment by Inka — September 24, 2012 @ 7:31 pm

  6. As a Berkeley native, it’s so exciting to recognize all these places that are popping up in your photos. Welcome to the area, and can’t wait to see more of the beautiful things you do, cook, and eat in the little ol’ Bay Area.

    Comment by Cassie — September 24, 2012 @ 9:31 pm

  7. Your move seems to have gone very smoothly and it looks like the boys have adjusted well despite having the need for occasional attitude adjustments! Are you familiar with the blog Tea for Six? She’s a mother of four who has moved to the Bay Area (her husband took a job with Google) from Australia. They’re living in temporary housing for a while and thank goodness there’s a pool! She’s having a bit of trouble figuring out shopping for flour and dairy and I thought you might like each other and you could give her a hand. Looking forward to the soups.

    Comment by Lynn D. — September 24, 2012 @ 9:39 pm

  8. Okay I admit it, I’ve been checking in…and checking in. We just need to get together…Matt owned it and now I think I just need to own it. :) I wanted to hit the like button on all of your photos and posts…I have a Facebook problem. Our temp housing had a pool too and was my saving grace…no one was ever there either. Anyway, glad you’re settling in and that view is fantastic!

    Comment by Lindsey — September 25, 2012 @ 12:37 am

  9. I think you are doing pretty good for one month out. I’m so so so jealous of that meyer lemon tree.

    Comment by Michelle — September 25, 2012 @ 12:50 am

  10. we lived in Alameda for a while – it is such a lovely area – it looks as though that was a good move. I love your kitchen…

    Comment by Africanaussie — September 25, 2012 @ 12:59 am

  11. I love this post…. mostly because you are admitting to not knowing that your lemon tree can also yield limes. I just recently learned that you can graft branches onto any tree of the same family… so lemons/ limes / oranges… you’re all set. :)

    Comment by Jenn HK — September 25, 2012 @ 7:14 am

  12. Aaaah so glad you’re back! And dying to get those soup recipes! xx

    Comment by Clara — September 25, 2012 @ 5:47 pm

  13. Welcome home, friend. Loved seeing the images from the first few weeks. Can’t wait to come visit! :)

    Comment by Ashley — September 25, 2012 @ 11:36 pm

  14. welcome to the bay area! so excited to meet you and finally take one of your amazing classes!

    Comment by Priya — September 26, 2012 @ 4:38 am

  15. Great to have you back, what a great kitchen! Love it!

    the light granite countertop is very very nice, mine in the new kitchen is black, and I must say I’m not wild about it. It looks elegant, but… something about it doesn’t feel right.

    I love push-ups, one of my favorite exercises!

    Welcome back to the blogosphere!

    Comment by SallyBR — September 26, 2012 @ 3:43 pm

  16. welcome to california!!! i hope your first few months here are lovely as you adjust to a new home, schools, streets, etc. :) i really hope to meet you someday!

    Comment by angie — September 26, 2012 @ 7:20 pm

  17. yay you’re back! it looks like everything is going wonderfully! I absolutely love the push-up idea…plan to implement that with my future family :)

    Comment by natalie — September 27, 2012 @ 6:38 pm

  18. Dana!

    It looks like you are settling in well, and somehow this new life and home seems to suit you. It looks great! Beautiful kitchen, veg cooking classes, a “Greenlake” nearby, public transportation…yay! I recently moved away from Seattle too…here’s to making home wherever you are!

    Comment by Melinda — September 28, 2012 @ 4:27 pm

  19. It’s so neat to read about my favorite blogger so close to home!
    I am from Santa Cruz and I now live near Chico! Your new kitchen looks wonderful, and I think the push-up idea is great. I think the adorable photos of your boys nudge my ticking clock.. I hope CA is treating you well!

    Comment by Natasha O — September 29, 2012 @ 4:12 am

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