I did not realize how Martha-Stewarty I actually looked in this photo until I searched for it just now. I've always thought of Martha as my polar opposite, she a domesticated goddess, and I her domestically incapable and humorous counterpoint, the Wild Woman of West Virginia. Here in this photo, however, when out of focus, I look pretty darn domesticated. Amazing what combing one's hair for the holidays can do. Berkeleyites, who tend to helpfully include the name of the chicken who produced the eggs you are buying in a pamphlet tucked inside each egg carton at the grocery store, will be so proud to know that no animals were harmed in the making of this Thanksgiving meal (pictured are vegetarian pot pie, artichoke and potato greek salad, and green beans and almonds. Gingerbread cake and lemon curd topping, and pumpkin pie were the desserts):
And we have the children's initial reaction to the meal:
The sweet little girl running away from the table, the food, and/or the boys, is Suresh's cousin (Uma)'s daughter, Maya, who came with her family to spend a glorious week with us. The children got along famously and it was very special for me to have this little girl, and her mom and dad, in the house.
A special treat this year was the long holiday the children got off from school. Thanks to the fact that Christmas and New Year's Day fell on a Wednesday, we had two full weeks to galavant around the Bay Area. And galavant we did. Here are a few pictures from our roamings. I was especially delighted that my long time friend Melicent Peck, her son Noah, and her husband Dave Weber, were able to come with us on many of our outings.
|Rohan loves his pal Noah|
|A special treat: sculptures on loan from the SF MoMA on Crissy Field|
|My dear friend Melicent, and her adorable son Noah, and my Wild Woman hair|
California Academy of the Sciences
All decked out for the holidays, the Cal Academy had snow machines running, live reindeer out back, and special programming with holiday animations and Santa dives. Their 'Evolution of Genetic Traits' exhibit is a must see!
|A special visit from Scuba Santa, who fed the colorful fish for us in the CAS coral reef aquarium before leaving for the North Pole. He parked his live reindeer just outside the museum, which we also got to see.|
Always a favorite spot for us, now moved to a new, larger spot on the San Francisco pier next to an artisanal chocolate factory! Science and chocolate -- what more could anyone ask?! The fruit flies and zebrafish embryo under the Zeiss microscopes were my favorites, reminding me of the reasons I went into developmental biology to begin with. Suresh enjoyed the physics exhibits and the stunning, accessible ways in which the museum presents science and math. The boys just soaked it all in.
|Aditya's shadow painting (center)|
Monterey Bay Aquarium
|Karen's Happy Place|
|An animal that captures the awe and humor of nature best, every time we see it|
|Reaffirming to me that all the Earth's creatures are works of art|
Christmas was a simple celebration this year. We left all our decorations and holiday gear in our home in Salt Lake, so this year we strung up some lights on a coat stand, decorated a gingerbread house and gingerbread carousel, played Handel's Messiah on an infinite loop, baked two kinds of cookies (double chocolate peppermint cookies and glittery lemon sandwich cookies), and dashed out for a pizza feast on Christmas Day with Suresh's former graduate student, Parasaran Raman (who is beloved by our children), and his friend and fellow photographer/ artist Franzi.
|Rohan's Christmas Carousel|
|No live trees harmed in the making of this makeshift contraption.|
|Presents! Santa found us!!|