Stuff from August, 2016

This is the archive of tumbledry happenings that occurred on August, 2016.


Rash decisions always feel like sure bets before you act on them: I recently went “you know what, upgrading this server’s Ubuntu LTS won’t be a big deal — I’ve done all these package updates for the past few years with nary a hiccup… I think I’ll just purge my PPA repo (since ffmpeg is officially back in 16.04.1), open a screen session, and get going! And, for a multitasking win, I’ll do it in between seeing patients!”


Mama Shirt

Mama Shirt

Boat Building

Making boats on Fourth of July eve. Mykala found this origami boat-making kit at Target for $1 and we got waaay more than a dollar’s worth of fun out of it.

Floating Boats

Essie liked my shipwreck boat!

Boats Again

Which one’s NOT floating?


Ess just called cotton “unk-unk”.



Eating Lunch

Eating Lunch

Happy Vacationer

Happy Vacationer

I took Ess for a little bite to eat while her mama was busy working at the dance competition in Wisconsin Dells. This is a super vacationy photo to me, because it is unusual for me to take a fill-flash picture with otherwise poor lighting… unless I’m in a new place and trying to document it. So here’s Ess in the most vacationy of vacation photos. A good tradition, I think.

Humpy Dumpy

Humpy Dumpy

This animatronic goose recites poems. The first one is Humpty Dumpty. Ess calls her ‘humpy dumpy’ and thinks she’s a hoot.

Birthday Smiles

Birthday Smiles

Here she is, on the morning of her second birthday. She knew it was her “happy day!” but didn’t quite know what that entailed.

Cards #1

Cards #1

Cards #2

Cards #2

Cards #3

Cards #3

Cards #4

Cards #4

Ikea Poäng

Ikea Poäng

This Ikea Poäng chair was from Emily and Nick (and their twin boys, of course).



Monkey Book

Monkey Book

This book is called I Know a Monkey and it is about Ess’ stuffed monkey Marge. In the book, it calls the monkey “he” but we change it to “she”.



“What do you want for you birthday, Ess?”
“Pink deek.”
“Pink cake? Anything else?”
“Pink deek.”

Custom-baked by Mykala.

Birthday Selfie

Birthday Selfie

Counting Caterpillar

A gift from Auntie Katy to Ess. She (Ess) has her own unique counting style right now. Colors are down pretty well, working on numbers.


Ess loves this. Doesn’t know how to pedal yet (her legs don’t reach, which doesn’t help); so we’re going to add in the ‘Ess gets to steer’ feature soon.

Belting In

Belting In

Trike Expedition

Trike Expedition





We grew this Japanese eggplant in our garden. Mykala sampled it: tasted awful. The tomatoes, though — Brandywine heirloom variety — have exceeded our wildest expectations in taste, sweetness, and quantity.



Sitting Pretty

Sitting Pretty



These little pots and pans are from my mom; Ess loves to shuttle little cashew pieces between them and “heat UP”.

Happy Birthday

Here’s everyone singing Happy Birthday to You while Ess continually asks where her cake is.

Ess Loves Tomato Plants

Ess Loves Tomato Plants

Ess is holding a basil leaf, which she calls baytil. She eats them, like just bites off fresh basil leaves.

Ess Driving

Bear Cereal

Bear Cereal

Ess calls the little cereal pieces in the orange snack container “bear cereal” since there’s a picture of a panda bear on the side of the box.

Play Cooking

Play Cooking

That looks like a misshapen egg in the background, but it’s actually a mini fake plastic piece of bread.

More Play Cooking

More Play Cooking

Giant Frog

Giant Frog





Ess reminded me for like 90 days straight to “water ‘matos.” Here is one of the first fruits of our labor.

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Kitchen Time


Kourtni and Arlene have this portable hammock that is designed for backpacking — you can sling it up anywhere you find two trees. Ess loves it.

Baby Own

Whenever Ess wants to do something by herself, she says “baby own”, or a lot of times “NO baby-OWN!” Here, she was in good spirits, and wanted to baby own in the hammock.

Ess and Doll

Ess and Doll

This is duck baby, Essie’s doll that looks, to her, like a duck when it has a pacifier on. In this picture, they are napping.



Mykala’s aunt Sue asked what Ess likes, and based on that made her this blanket. It is a very nicely made blanket and there are many, many lady bugs on it.

Blanket Doors

Blanket Doors

The blanket from Sue has doors on it - behind each one are people Ess loves or animals she recognizes.

Potato Head

Flower for Mama



Flying Essie’s First Kite

Flying Essie’s First Kite

The sign in the background says “Happy Summer”.

Dad’s Chair

Dad’s Chair

This was mine when I was little. Now, Ess fits in it! Her posture shows that she was trying to bop-a-dee in it (tough on a braid rug).



Mykala made this dress for Ess, and it was the best choice during a hot hot fair outing earlier this month.


The year is 1943. The Supreme Court upholds the right to not say the pledge of allegiance in a classroom:

The case is made difficult not because the principles of its decision are obscure but because the flag involved is our own. Nevertheless, we apply the limitations of the Constitution with no fear that freedom to be intellectually and spiritually diverse or even contrary will disintegrate the social organization. To believe that patriotism will not flourish if patriotic ceremonies are voluntary and spontaneous instead of a compulsory routine is to make an unflattering estimate of the appeal of our institutions to free minds. We can have intellectual individualism and the rich cultural diversities that we owe to exceptional minds only at the price of occasional eccentricity and abnormal attitudes. When they are so harmless to others or to the State as those we deal with here, the price is not too great. But freedom to differ is not limited to things that do not matter much. That would be a mere shadow of freedom. The test of its substance is the right to differ as to things that touch the heart of the existing order.

If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein. If there are any circumstances which permit an exception, they do not now occur to us.



Mykala and I were lucky enough to see another little sliver of Essie’s personality recently, and it started with a cookie. I was in the kitchen, Mykala was in the living room, and Ess was running back and forth between the two. I’d hand her cookie pieces: one for her and one for mama. She would then propel herself with a little bouncy toddler run into the living room where she and Mykala would eat their cookies. A few minutes later, Ess would reappear, requesting I fill her hands again. After a while, though, the routine was broken: Mykala watched Ess absentmindedly begin to eat some cookie, which caused Mykala to comment: “Oh, Ess, you ate my cookie piece.” It was merely a statement of what had transpired: no judgment or shaming could I detect in Mykala’s voice. But the effect (doubly unexpected given our toddler’s barely two years), was profound. Essie’s face immediately crumpled and her chewing slowed, when she realized that she could not un-chew what had been chewed. She could not, though her motions suggested she considered it, remove the cookie, dry it off, and put it into her mama’s unsuspecting hand. Realizing a decision gate had slammed behind her and lamenting Mykala’s loss, Ess began to cry, loudly. She cried and cried and cried until her eyes were bright red, holding Mykala as she did; a reaction totally disproportionate to what we had expected, yet only explainable by our daughter’s sadness at her mama’s loss. Small loss, big reaction.