Lyla James Ginley


She’s here. 6 pounds 9 ounces. 19.5 inches. Liked to suck on her fists two at a time. Baby and mom (and dad) doing great.



House needs a baby

…and waiting and waiting and waiting.  I told Carly yesterday that every day past my due date (with Erin I was ten days late) felt like a week.  Her due date was yesterday.  I imagine they’ll start feeling like a week to her, too.

Nothing yet, folks.  But it has to be uncomfortable in there. Carly is so tiny and looks so big at the moment.  Maybe today.  Maybe tomorrow.  If it’s tomorrow, this little girl will share a birthday with her cousin, Lana, who will be twelve tomorrow.  (Twelve??? What happened to that little girl?)  Lana texted me this morning:  Is the baby here yet? I’m getting impatient.  SHE’S getting impatient?  She should be here.  The waiting may kill us all.

Loving the slow, easy days, though.  I’m reading, I’m going through hundreds of pictures and deleting a lot of them, I’m taking walks in the neighborhood (lots of flowers) and enjoying just hanging out with Carly and Sean.  We checked out a daycare yesterday…not too dazzled by it.  The waiting lists at daycare are awful.  This little girl will most likely be going to one in October but it’s time to begin looking…

The only place I really want to go (besides the hospital to see a newborn) is Homeboy Industries, Father Greg Boyle’s place. They give tours.  I signed Jerry and me up for a tour but they haven’t gotten back to me about availability.  Love that man, dying to see his place. His book, Tattoos on the Heart, is special.

Two books…Less (which won the Pulitzer) was delightful.  Beautiful writing.  Didn’t capture my heart but did capture my mind and my sense of humor.  And The Hemingses of Monticello, (listening to that one) …fascinating.  Not sure what’s next…Goodnight Moon?  Go Dog Go?

Love to all…hope you’re enjoying the weekend. In spite of my whining about a baby who hasn’t shown up yet, we are totally enjoying this weekend. (Did you read this, Carly??? We are NOT bored!)

Crib needs a baby

Toys need a baby

Books need a baby

Last Day on the Road

Pier at Pismo Beach

We spent the night at Morro Bay.  I thought we’d see a sunset.  Every other night we’ve been either too tired or too far from the beach or both.  But this looked easy…the receptionist at the Morro Bay Inn said it was just two blocks down to the water.

So we went…and it was two blocks to the water but there were buildings and a wharf and fishing boats…couldn’t even SEE the water.  I kept walking and walking (Jerry eventually gave up) and never did make it to the hill where I would have been able to see the sunset.  We should have taken the car!! Who knew????

Sculpture at Morro Rock…saying goodbye to fisherman

Morro Bay is amazing.  Huge rock and jetty separates the bay (which was quiet) from the ocean which had lots of surfers catching the waves.  And they did catch the waves.  Loved watching them.

Morro Rock

Pismo Beach was next.  The sand reminded me of Siesta Key…not as white as Siesta but just as soft.

And then we headed for Solvang, a Danish town just off the 101.   Great lunch, great pastries, neat little museum.  We poked around for an hour or so and then headed to Los Angeles and arrived around 5:15.  So glad to be here.  So glad to see Sean and Carly.  Love their new house.  Happy days.  I’ll let you know when that girl shows up.  In the meantime we’ll just enjoy our time with the grownups.






One More Day

Breakfast in Carmel

If you’ve traveled the Pacific Coast Highway before, you know it was fairly easy to get from Monterey to San Simeon on Route 1.  Not any more.  Mudslides have closed Route 1 south of Big Sur for about 30 miles.  So after a lovely breakfast in Carmel, we headed out to 101 and then back up Route 1 in San Simeon to see Hearst Castle.

The castle was impressive  but I think we’ve been so dazzled by the wonders of nature that it just

View from the castle

didn’t speak to us.  I told a young women from China that the most beautiful thing in the castle was her five month old baby. I did love the view! Hearst knew what he was doing when he built his house overlooking the ocean.

We went a bit further north to see the elephant seals at Piedras Blancas. They’re molting and spend most of their time just lying on the beach at this time of year. There were hundreds of them.Fascinating. They’re huge. They mostly just lie there doing nothing. Every once in awhile t hey throw some sand over themselves or roll over or flop down the beach a couple yards. And everyone gawks at them and takes a million pictures. (including us!)

Sandy seal

And we walked the boardwalk at Moonstone Beach.  Lovely.

We’re at Morro Bay for the night and will slowly make our way to Sean and Carly’s house by late tomorrow afternoon.  Can’t wait to see them.  This has been loads of fun but we’re ready to hug those two and wait for that little girl with them.

Boardwalk at Moonstone Beach

More elephant seals

Such Beauty All Around

Point Lobos, Carmel

Today we stayed pretty close to Monterey.  

Sean and Carly recommended The Cottage in Carmel for breakfast.  Cute little place, great food.  

We went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium…best aquarium I have ever seen.  We loved it.

Three hours later we headed south to the 17 Mile Drive (Pebble Beach).  Beautiful ride and Jerry picked up a Pebble Beach cap at one of the stores.

Then we headed a bit further south for Point Lobos State Reserve which I loved even more than Big Sur.  We took the “easy hike” and climb around on rocks and just stood and stared.  Oh my!

We finished the day at Dametra Cafe, a tiny little Greek restaurant in Carmel where we shared a Greek salad and crab and shrimp ravioli and chatted with an fascinating local who looked about 80 and is still going strong, flying to the east coast tomorrow to listen to dissertation defenses for PhD candidates in theater.

One of these days we’ll see a sunset over the Pacific. As yet, we are usually too tired to last that long.

Tomorrow we head south to San Simeon…Hearst Castle and elephant seals and Morro Bay.

Unless, of course, a little girl shows up…

No clue…somewhere today ..ha ha

Breakfast at The Cottage

Takes My Breath Away

Lower Yosemite Falls

Just a quick post for my dear friends who don’t do Facebook and think we’ve dropped off the face of the earth. California is blowing me away.  We’ve love our time with Jerry’s nephew, Ed, and his family in San Francisco and with his niece, Karen and her family in El Grenada.  The trees in Muir Woods and Yosemite, the flowers and birds on Alcatraz, the waterfalls and majestic rocks in Yosemite have blown me away.

Heading down the coast today.  And as so many have pointed out to us, the most miraculous thing is still yet to come.  Sean called the other night to see how our trip was going and I nearly jumped out of my skin, thinking that was THE call.  Won’t  be long…

El Capitan


Brave and Beautiful Women

Saying goodbye at Croissant and Company

I know a lot of them…brave and beautiful woman, I mean.  Some do big things like travel alone across country with a dog for company.  One I know is willing to try new things ALL the time …knitting, painting, standup paddle boarding, origami, volunteering for Audubon programs…she will try anything once. One bought a condo on her last day in Venice before she headed back to Berlin, trusting everything will work out. One has sold and bought a  home, picking up her life after her husband died and still been consistently kind and thoughtful and giving.

One is facing medical issues that keep slamming her over and over again and still manages to keep smiling. One is dealing with Stage 4 lung cancer and came  home from California after seeing her first granddaughter saying, “I am so lucky.”  One is sitting quietly beside the bed of her husband who is dying and will be most likely be gone before Jerry and I get back from California.

One is  offering to host Dining for Women after attending just two meetings.  Others are  showing up at yoga for the first time (the yoga is only part of the scary thing; the fact that everyone else seems to know everyone and has friends is even scarier).  All those firsts that brave women I know are doing day after day.  Lucky me to know them and learn from them.

I was thinking about brave women when Mandy Manning, the 2018 National Teacher of the Year, met with the President last week and gave him letters from students in her Newcomer Class…refugees who came here not knowing any English  (they are REALLY, REALLY brave) and now are articulate enough to pen a letter to the president describing  their hopes and dreams.  She was wearing some buttons in support of the Women’s March and Trans Equality and Peace Corps.  She was  brave.  For every comment on the internet praising her there are plenty vilifying this woman who has dedicated her life to helping refugees make their way through those frightening first days and months in America.

There’s another brave woman I know who is about to do what hundreds of us have already done and were just as excited and thrilled and yes, scared as I imagine she is these days.  Kudos to you, Carly.  You are getting ready to bring a new baby girl into the world.  And yes, you are brave and strong. And yes, Jerry and I love you more than you can imagine.

This has been a week of goodbyes.  Snowbirds are leaving and actually, Jerry and I are leaving before some of them do.  We’re heading to San Francisco tomorrow on our own adventure.  If our baby comes early, we’ll skip the sightseeing and go see the most beautiful sight in California…a newborn girl. If she waits until her due date, we’ll see some amazing things along the Pacific Coast Highway.  Carly cracks me up…she’s hoping the baby isn’t early so we can get our trip in.  Talk about self sacrificing.  When it got this close to my due date, I just wanted it OVER!!!  The suspense (and weight and sleepless nights) was killing me. Erin was ten days late and I remember every one of those ten days.

No new books.  I started Natural Causes by Barbara Ehrenreich.  It got too technical for me and I quit.  The rest of my reading has been books about the California coast.  But on that long plane trip tomorrow, I’m reading Less.  I started it this week and I think it will be good.

Love to all