fifth seed waterproof flight chases ants from honey

Azelle popcorn hat Nirvana

How did Dan become sixth seed in a six person family basketball playoff? Will his friendship with someone named LaBron help change that? How does it feel to be seeded below a 7 year old? (And a 5 year old? Would you be able to manage a trans continental flight with a two year old and a four year old? Can you iPhone swim? Will a waterproof case help? What takes more honey from a bee hive — marauding ants or benevolent caretakers? Read More...

Galloping Gertie blows out ferry-less sunlit rainforest volcano

The Martin Families Palm Sunday 2021
What excuse would you use to dash to the store to get a bottle of Champagne? More important, why do you need an excuse to get a bottle of Champagne? Will the collected Families Martin make the 2:00 Ferry to Whidbey Island? Did anyone think that the Ferry might be cancelled? Will the Bayview Cafe have what Dan orders? Will Carteret High School beat the Green Bay Packers? For Ferry Cancellation, the alternative route crosses the Tacoma Narrows Bridge? Did you know that Galloping Gertie also crossed (for a short while) the Tacoma Narrows? Where can you find a temperate rain forest?

Fort Ferry bashes birthday bunkers with hurricane views

everyone at hurricane ridge

Is it safe to order the ‘famous crab roll’ in the city of Dungeness, Washington? Hint: We were at the Salty Girl Girls Cafe. How about Salmon, Sauvignon Blanc, Crab Melt or Salad Nicosia? Where is the best view in Washington State? Who would bring his wife on a romantic walk through abandoned gun emplacements at a maritime fort? (While surrounded by grazing deer?) How many birthdays were celebrated during a short visit to the great Northwest? And why might it be risky top drive across the Tacoma Narrows Bridge?

Birthdays! Airplanes! Haircuts! (with Grandchildren)

dan and the girls local park March 2021

Does the (second) Moderna vaccination mean that you can get your hair cut? (Professionally?) Is it possible for a professional to do a mustache trim when both the client and the pro are wearing masks? Would you think to ask “How Much?” if a car rental place offered you an upgrade? If you’re two years old, is there anything more exciting than a storm sewer? (Well, maybe a swing?) How did flying feel after a long hiatus? Read More...

Read Hop on Pop ’s Bananas at Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Patch

Leandra and Auriane at the pumpkin patch in a cart

Who knows, and communicates, the Washington State Rules of ‘This House’? Are swings and slides safe in the time of COVID? Will Dan be able to successfully walk around Lake Padden? It shouldn’t be hard: Magellan and Francis Drake circumnavigated the whole planet. But — Dan was on foot and they had sails. How is Trader Joe still able to sell a banana for the same price they charged in the 1960’s? What do you look for when you go to a pumpkin festival? Who made a Jack-O-Lantern with glasses? Read More...

marines layer fog on new walker near hand-holding diapers

PJ photo July 10 2020
What does a PR specialist call Santa Barbara morning fog? Hint: It has something to do with the marines. Who has learned to walk? (And sleep in her high chair.) Can Dan master a Dr. Seuss book that he reads via Zoom? In this case, ‘master’ means that he reads it without having the listener, a three year old who has memorized the book, detect a mistake? Is it good news that 1 year old Azelle has figured out how to remove her diaper? What, or more specifically, ‘who’ will convince Arrow that it’s okay to dip your toes in the ocean? Will Arrow wear his size four pajamas at the party? Read More...

June-uary Birthday marbles dance with hatted crayons

dan and nazy at Tiger's birthday party

Why didn’t it feel like summer had begun on the West Coast? (Hint: it’s called ‘June-uary’ in Washington State and ‘June Gloom’ in Santa Barbara.) Is it easier to fall asleep in a high chair or in an economy class seat on a trip to the Far East? What is the best way to get from Santa Barbara, California to Bellingham, Washington. And, if that’s too hard: Is there a safe way to get from Santa Barbara to Bellingham? Who just happens to have five
crayon costumes? Did Nazy complete both The Family Tree and The greatest marble run? Read More...

Tie dyed family trees are composting in the garage

Arrow and Tiger closeup June 5 2020

Will Dan have a place in Nazy’s Family Tree? Would it have helped if Dan’s surname was the same as Nazy’s maiden name? And if so, would the tree’s roots be hopeless entangled? Why does chocolate ice cream tend to melt faster than rainbow sherbet? Will Nazy remember how to tie dye tee shirts? Is anyone brave enough to ‘clean the garage’ — again? Who is this month’s recipient of the Birthday Zoom call? Read More...

rainless, but colorful rocks watch linguistic children reign

Tiger and computer Jan 2017

When visiting the Natural History Museum with Mitra and Dan, what exhibit will be most interesting to Arrow? And, on a related note, what happened to the building blocks and the earthquake simulation table? Can florescent rocks take up the slack? How about friendly raptors? Can Dan cope with the limitations of monolingualism? Can Darius take pronunciation corrections from a 2 two year? Read More...

smashing pumpkin donut festivities while parking with the Queen

Dar, Leandra and Christiane pumpkin standing

Where can you find delicious pumpkin donuts? (Hint: Think Pumpkin Festivals in patchy plowed fields.) Can we find a Washington State grown pumpkin that is suitable — well, not merely suitable, but perfect, for a family Jack-o-Lantern? How far into the patch will we have to stroll, eh, walk, eh, hike to find it? Has Vancouver changed since The Martin Family lived there in the 80’s? Did Queen Elizabeth really park in Vancouver? Read More...

Alleged Giant LAX in pumpkin booking fiasco

Darius and Leandra in greenhouse Oct 2019

Who forgot to paint the pumpkin orange? If the answer is ‘Exit 734’, what is the question? (This is for fans of Jeopardy and for Tiger.) Why did the pumpkin patch roll out a tractor with ‘Big Wheels’ in the front and the back? They did it right after Dan explained that tractors have big wheels in the back. How long did it take to get from the hotel room (1.2 miles from LAX) to the gate? Hint: you won’t believe it. Where did we find (the lovely) Leandra and (the astounding) Auriane? Did we have time to notice their parents?


Blue Sky and Pink Pregnancy on Trickle Creek Boulevard

darius family lummi island Oct 2018

Where is Trickle Creek Boulevard? And why is it a (very) BIG deal? Would you travel to a place that historically experiences rain every day from October 1 until May 15? Would it make a difference if your first grand daughter lived there? How about if history was a less than perfect precipitation predictor? Has any home inspector ever failed to find a flaw that cost at least as much as his fee? Where was Mount Baker hiding? Was Mount Shuksan an acceptable alternative? Read More...

Leandra christened, poltroons dither, Tiger cares and Arrow shares

Leandra Christening

How did two-year old Arrow attempt to endear himself to his new sister? Why were his Mom and grandparents far more impressed than the 1 week old baby? And did the new baby accelerate Tiger’s maturity process? Would any reader like to purchase a copy of the Los Angeles Times with the headline: “
On The Moon!”? What big event was celebrated, in Lebanon, by (the lovely) Leandra and her family? Is it necessary to neatly pack garbage? If you’re in pre-school, what’s cooler - a starfish or a dolphin? What is a paltroon? (And why are so many of them ‘serving’ in Congress?) Read More...

hummingbird underwears butterfly bricklayer on tulip anniversary

darius, christiane nazy and umbrella April 2018

Who told the local hummingbird colony about The Martin Family Petunia Plantation? Does Tiger want to read ‘The Creepy Pair of Underwear’ book? Would you hire a butterfly as a bricklayer? Are there any flaws in the story about the Dutch Tulip Mania? Hint: Was the story initially touted by a ‘journalist’ in the 18th Century? And, on the subject of Tulips: Have you heard about the Skagit County Tulip Festival? How does it compare to Holland’s Keukenhof? Finally, did The Lovely Leandra get over her fear of grandfatherly beards? Read More...

Leandra’s elevator challenges rainy otter on Apple’s pointless (useless) cloud

mirror all of us again

Where does the grandest daughter in the whole wide world live now? And, did she bring her parents? How did Nazy arrange perfect weather in the Pacific Northwest?When did Apple Computer become vertically challenged? Who, in particular, is responsible for ‘upgrades’ that degrade services? Why are they unaware of a simple concept: airplanes can fly above, below and through the clouds, but that doesn’t mean that Dan can access ‘The Cloud’ from seat 26B? And speaking of vertically challenged — who designed the ‘elevator’ in Darius’ new building? Where can you see sea otters and deer during a mid-afternoon nature walk? Read More...

Siri touts Portuguese Volvo sharing cupcake in Washington DC & State

Darius, Christiane, Leandra Sept 2017

If Siri says: “It’s too early to be up”, would you go back to sleep? How about if Siri is a guy speaking with a South African accent? BTWL ‘you’ are three years old and tasked with waking up Grandpa. Is The Martin Family cable TV system sophisticated enough to resist the probings of 13 month old Arrow? (Hint: at two years old, brother Tiger adjusted the system so that all movies had Portuguese sound tracks.) Did Dan get a new car discount because he has a single digit shoe size? And, finally, who booked Nazy and Darius on the same (United Airlines) flight from Washington DC to Washington State? Hint: Someone looking for material for The Weekly Letter comes to mind.

Coke Zeros (again) as The Prophet (and Arrow) walk

dan, leadra winery background dar and Chiristiane

Did you know that Mount Lebanon is a mountain range and not a mountain? Did you know that there is a 10,000 foot high mountain in Lebanon? What is easier to replace: a transmission or brakes? (And why did the subject arise?) What corporation took advantage of Dan’s time outside of the country? (And how gargantuan was their blunder?) Hint: Not quite as bad as the April 23,1985 disaster.) Did you know that in addition to poetry, Kahlil Gibran was a painter — from Lebanon?

anniversary dreams and new jeans while Leandra beam

dan Nazy and leandra

Can Melika and Nazy fix Dan’s baggy jeans problem? (Did that pair really make Dan’s butt look big?). What is a perfect way to celebrate a wedding anniversary? How about a perfect place? Is there any correlation between the way, the place and the grand(est)daughter ever? Who sleeps better: six week old Leandra or jet lagged Dan and Nazy? Who is the center of attention: the international arrivals or the new arrival? Read More...