Sweet 16.


They look like sassy bank robbers, right? If you check out the tiny signs that we’re clearly still in a pandemic, you’ll see: 1) Zoe is wearing furry boots and shorts; 2) Ella’s hair is slightly wavy because she insisted we braid it wet and let it dry overnight; 3) There’s a cat with a unicorn horn. On second thought, maybe those things could happen any time.

Another blurry week, filled with more online classes for our Camp Kikiwaka summer camp, which actually started at 7:30 am with two very different “building” courses. Zoe’s class was called Recycled Art, led by a college kid and consisted of building a house by cutting up a cardboard box. The teacher moved so fast, it was impossible to keep up… In contrast, Ella’s class was led by what seemed to be a high school history teacher who was so in love with his content that he forgot he was teaching small children.

He showed them various slides with bridges on them to help them understand “trusses”, then had them build their own. You’ll find no pictures of any structures in this post because the only ones they built were constructed of marshmallows and toothpicks… You can guess where those ended up. Zoe also took a “Mock Trial” class where Goldilocks was put on trial. Apparently there was support for both her guilt (breaking & entering, stealing, etc) and innocence (extraordinary circumstances, door was unlocked).

I also embarked on a new, completely unplanned sewing effort one night as Bart went to the grocery store. Here’s how it happened: I picked up a random leftover piece of pink and white cloth with an uneven edge and wrapped it around Ella. I put two pins where her shoulders were and started cutting. Once I cut out a hole for her head, then I put it back on her, eyeballed where the sleeves might go, and started cutting again. In no time, I had literally “made a dress” (quotation marks intentional):


She was ecstatic! The straps kept falling off her shoulders, so I sewed a quick pleat in the front and the back of the neck – très à la mode! To seal the deal, I folded down all the edges and sewed, making a hem of sorts and smoothing out some of the rough cut bottom of the dress. Then I remembered what my seamstress friend said about washing it first… Apparently this fabric is forgiving, and even after a wash the dress holds up. She’s worn it several times already. #winning

After a short work week, we began a FUN Fourth of July weekend on Friday with a socially distanced backyard pool party at our friends’ house – probably the closest to “normal” experience we’ve had since March. Great friends, great fun!


On the actual Fourth of July, we headed to Descanso Gardens to hike and see some nature. There’s a paved pathway all through the park with well-worn footpaths spidering off in lots of directions. We followed a dirt path uphill to what we thought was going to be an incredible view but ended up being a pretty OK view with an incredibly dusty, weed and root filled route where at one point a huge black carpenter bee was flitting back and forth across the path to guard its bounty. It was also almost 90 degrees.


We even did Hiking BINGO on my phone (I found an image and used the markup tool) and almost got a Blackout!


Don’t worry – the snake was just a snakeskin on display, and while we weren’t able to find a frog or a bicycle (who finds a BICYCLE on a HIKE?!), we were able to find two cool dragonflies and a turtle! That’s something.

Most years we go to our friends’ pool party ON Fourth of July (see prior years here), and we get to watch fireworks from the freeway, all the way home. This year we partied a day early. Organized fireworks displays were called off in LA county due to Covid, but we took a chance and decided to take a drive and see if there were any.

O.M.G. I do not have a photo of this, because it was just too dark (believe me, I tried), but I have NEVER seen more fireworks in my LIFE. Zoe lost count at over 500 distinct explosions – and I will bet we saw at least 1,000. They were clearly in backyards, everywhere. Lines and lines of fireworks going off in every direction. Don’t believe me, check out what the news had to say about it. It was absolutely breathtaking. Here’s an LA fireworks video someone captured – imagine driving through the middle of it!

On Sunday we went to a drive-in! Who says there’s nothing safe to do during a pandemic? You literally don’t need to leave your car. Another friend had recommended the Tribeca Film drive-ins (also in other cities over the next 3 weekends). We packed a car-ready dinner and watched Space Jam with Bugs Bunny and Michael Jordan, then drove back home. I read that Walmart is going to setup drive-ins in 160 of their parking lots (and they also have some free summer camp content). Since they’re partnering with Tribeca, I bet it will be well done.


The screen was huge, and they broadcast either through a radio station or you could stream through your phone. Everything was hands-free. You could also order from two food trucks and be alerted when it was OK to pickup your order, socially distanced, wearing a mask. We didn’t need that, but nice.

And I’ll wrap up with some flowers, first with a photo of my garden (after the two cute kids in matching outfits), followed by more walk-around-the-neighborhood beauties. Hope you had a safe but fun July 4th and that next year we are all celebrating with hugs.


4 thoughts on “Sweet 16.

  1. Can poor Ella see anything between that big hat and mask?! And I like that I’m now your “seamstress friend” – I better make something to redeem myself.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s