focus on the kind because sometimes you just have to

You know those days where you just want to punch it in the face?

Yes, those days!

Well on those days I like to focus on the kind and the good rather than the exhausting suckage. So today, right now, I will focus on this right here.

Last week, Zoë’s beach cruiser that she has had for more than five years was stolen. For Zoë this sucked. This sucked a lot because the last couple years she has been trying hard to be an adult even when it was hard to be an adult. The easy way would have been to ask mommy and daddy to help her out but she hasn’t. I know it has been hard, very hard for her but I am proud of her for being the grownup especially when it has been hard.

Come back to the Valley, her family and friends told her. You can start over, they told her. So she did and she has…as hard as it has been…but at least she has people here. It’s so much better to adult when you have people because adult is a lot harder than kids can imagine.

But having her bike stolen was a tipping point. It is currently her only form of transportation to work and, in the Fall, school. In her words, it like her independence had been taken away. But with the determination of her enterprising big sister so as to restore Zoë’s faith in human kindness, a few generous, kind people – family, friends, strangers – did just that raising more than enough funds to replace her red beach cruiser with something shiny and pink to get around the 209!

yay new bicycle! 💕
Thank you all so much. I was so incredibly upset when my bike was stolen, but you guys restored my faith in humanity. There are some really shitty people out there, but there are so many more kind and generous people. I love you all!

Hurray for kindness winning!

the Fourth’s top four

On the Fourth, my family circus celebrated Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness in our own special way; which I like to imagine is exactly what Thomas Jefferson envisioned when he wrote down those words.

Why should pundits and politicians be the only ones who can know what our Founding Fathers were thinking some 239 years ago?

Am I right?!

Our family circus top four moments on the Fourth are:

Watching Independence Day as we do every year because it makes perfect sense to us to be sitting together and watching this movie. Next year is likely to be different because Independence Day Resurgence…thank you, Roland Emmerich!

Barbecue, swatting flies, trading stories and just generally enjoying the company of family and friends.

Number three is a two=parter because it is.

Prime viewing of our town’s fireworks show. Added bonus not getting stuck in traffic because we are in our neighbors’ backyard.

Lighting our own, although this year The Big Top’s fireworks show was greatly subdued, as was the rest of our neighborhood’s, because everything is brown and dying while we all do our part conserving water during this drought…all of us except that one neighbor on the corner who literally waters his lawn SIX TIMES DAILY!

But, hands down, the top moment of our Independence Day celebration was when this kid swam underwater the width of our neighbor’s pool for the very first time! Absolutely the very best moment!!

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. ~ Thomas Jefferson

photo dump: triple digits edition

Dear East Coast, I’m sorry you are dealing with all that annoying wet stuff falling from the sky and saturating your neck of the woods. What is it that you call it? Oh, yeah, rain. I think I heard of rain before. I might have even seen it…then again, I don’t know for sure. Perhaps it’s just what I seen on the evening news. Meanwhile we are hot here in the Central Valley and pretty much everywhere on the West Coast. Very hot. Very dry, miserable hot with sticky clouds up above that only offer dry lightning strikes in the mountains because what’s one more raging wild fire right now?

Whatever!

We’re going over to Casa de Scarborough-Jacques because they have a pool and it’s hot…freaking, broiling hot.

Yeah, this will work. This will work out just fine.

At the end of the day the added bonus for Hollie and Ben…

…sleepy water babies.

not wasted

Nothing brings me more pleasure that the the sweet, unaffected laughter of any of my circus clowns. It’s so bright and so pure. Something so perfect I sometimes want to catch and keep forever with me; which is why I am always so very happy when I capture a moment like this.

In spite of the heat and the dry, dusty wind that has caused my allergies to flare up in such a way that is nothing but miserable, it still was a wonderful weekend because through swollen, red, itchy, tear-filled eyes I enjoyed the laughter shared with my family and their friends.

As for today, I have Benadryl and Motrin and so much laughter in the images that I collected.

I’m good.

A day without laughter is a day wasted. ~ Charlie Chaplin

too tall and other squad adventures

The perfect time to get away from the dusty triple digit temps that is the Central Valley is right now.

And in Santa Clara at California’s Great America, today was practically sweater weather. Kidding. But it was literally 20 degrees cooler than Manteca. So sorry work for not taking that call to come in and work extra.

This guy was literally counting down the days until we could play at California’s Great America.

So was Abby

And Abby’s BFF, Maci.

It was a great day enjoying all the food, all the drinks and all the rides in the park, courtesy of Bill’s company. Bonus, Daniel was more than tall enough to ride any ride of his choosing.

Well, almost any ride of his choosing.

One disappointment in a day filled with adventure for this squad?

We’ll take it!