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Dad's hamburger

The Fourth of July, the Summer Solstice, and Father’s Day. What do these three holidays share in common? Why, an excuse for burgers and margaritas. While two of these holidays are behind us, don’t let that dampen your enthusiasm. I have some storied recipes to liven up the third.

A couple years back my family planned a trip to Bar Harbor, Maine. I had caught a whiff of the New England nostalgia from my coworker whose family vacationed there every summer. His stories were irresistible. Ponds, lobsters, and white clapboard cottages—it sounded like a Norman Rockwell painting, with seafood! I had to go.

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Leaf buds

Spring is lingering where we live. Tree leaves budded out months ago, but the weather has stayed cool, brooding even. Tonight at sunset a thick layer of marine fog poured over the Santa Cruz Mountains and tucked our neighborhood beneath a downy comforter of clouds.

By my reckoning, it’s entirely too calm and peaceful for the raucous celebration that’s in order. Yesterday our niece was born! From the iPhone snapshot her momma sent, she has the most perfect rosebud lips and eyes full of astonishment. Her name is Mary Oliveve—Olive for short.

As if in honor of Olive’s arrival, on Sunday Mike and I saw two freckled fawns crossing the street on shaky legs. Like that, the world is new.

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chicks in a cardboard box

As I type this, I can hear a flurry of feathers and chirping from the back bedroom. The latest addition to the family has arrived! Allow me to introduce Jolie, Isabelle, Françoise, and Eugenie. (Can you tell we’re on a Francophile kick?)

Despite the chicks’ constant onomatopoeia—cheap-cheap—they were pricier than we’d expected: $75 for four chicks, chicken feed, food and water dispensers, and a sack of cedar shavings. But gosh they’re cute.

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