Category Archives: Caleb Powell

Los Cangrejos de la Isla Whidbey

Ava & Gia in Grandma's studio

Gia in the "shower".

Gia in the kitchen. No remodeling here.

MUSEUM, LIBRARY, or ASYLUM? This weekend the Powell family went to Whidbey Island to take advantage of the wonderful yet odd house of my parents. Grandparents’ house is on the north side of Penn Cove and faces the small town of Coupeville. Grandma’s studio, above, and the whole house for that matter, is probably the cleanest and most presentable in years, yet remains a clutterfunk of random bugigangas (a Portuguese word meaning ‘junk’). However, hidden within is an impressive collection of books and art . The “shower” on the left comes from the fact that, sometime around 1979, my parents decided to hook up plumbing. Nothing has been done since, and the shower is now a repository for stuff, including my mother’s ubiquitous artwork.The kitchen, built in 1953, is unchanged, with the exception of a countertop and perhaps a new faucet. Visiting grandparents’ house is somewhat like camping.

Lots of books...good! Lots of romances...hmmmm? old bedroom.

BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS EVERYWHERE! Though we have many books, finding a good one within is not as easy as in the past. I would fathom there are over 10,000 in the house, a conservative estimate. My father is a voracious reader of romance novels, however, and my mother has given up the intellectual ghost and now is consumed by tabloid trash. However, growing up with Encylopedias, a National Geographic collection that dates to the 1920’s, and as eclectic a library as can be imagined did have advantages. I am grateful for my parents raising me in such a milieu.

Wife & baby.

Dad with mussels, beer & daughter. Life ain't bad.

CRABBY NEIGHBORS: My parents are fortunate to have kind and welcoming neighbors, and on the weekend I got my crab license the neighbors happened to have been out on Penn Cove hunting the eight-legged monster. The harvest quite good, with plenty of crab to feed their large family (they have twenty-eight children, and a hundred-and-three grandchildren…slight hyperbole). 


San-J in 'take a dump' mode...Aunt Tracy behind.

The shame of no crabs...

THE BROTHERS -IN-LAW ‘J’: That week my wife’s family joined us, including Aunt Tracy and her future man Sanjay, which will give me two brothers-and-law whose name ends with ‘J’. My sister’s husband, Somjait Pongklub (beg as I did, they did not name any of their three children ‘Ping’), will arrive in August w/family. Anyway, San-J and I were good to go! Pops (stepfather-in-law) brought the crab pot, and off we went on the high seas.We let the crabs sit overnight.

My wife & Kaya. In the background are pictures of my mother and one of my father, pre-children & recent.

Unfortunately, dorks that we are, we forgot to release the doors. And thus had to resort to picking up a token crab. To keep a crab, the shell must have a diameter of at least six and quarter inches. Our crab (in the picture you can’t really see it, but it’s there) is shy about six inches…we had to throw it back.

PHOTO of the MONTH: Grandy! My mother-in-law at the Powell House.

Mother-in-law and art, on the left is a picture of my two sisters & I back in the day when I had hair.


Filed under Caleb Powell, Tracy

2010: Year of the Sexist Stay-at-home Father!

Welcome, and thanks to everyone who encouraged me after reading the essay Notes of a Sexist Stay-at-home Father, without you I wouldn’t be blogging. Of course, I must thank my wife and daughters (and sisters and sisters-in-law…), as the primary source of my inspiration. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Caleb Powell, I’m sexist, and I’m a stay-at-home parent. I will post weekly (hopefully) on all sorts of topics. Let’s get this blog started: 

THE SEVENTY SONGS OF CHRISTMAS: How many Christmas songs are there? Fifty? Seventy? Let’s say seventy. Sound like a lot? It’s not. Especially when you hear them nonstop during December. My wife is addicted, and she listens to Xmas songs 24/7, in the car, at night, in her study, and our daughters are addicted, grrrrrr!

Ava sleeping with 10 day-old Kaya

Celebrations in 2009:  My wife Terry and I celebrated our sixth anniversary. We saw the birth of our third daughter, Kaya, she is now nine months, and though they say they grow fast, it seems like she’s been a baby forever (savor the baby times!). Our other daughters Ava and Gia turned four and three. They have their own blog: Ava, Gia, & Kaya’s Page. My youngest sister Min (lives in Hawaii) also had a daughter, Satori (older brothers Orion and Damien, five and three), at the end of 2008, and Satori just celebrated her first birthday. Younger sister Sarah’s son Nikolai (they live in Saudi Arabia) turned nine.

Gia posing with 10 day-old Kaya

IS IT OKAY TO PEE IN THE POOL? We enjoyed Mexico, (for pictures click) San Miguel de Allende and Nuevo Vallarta. In Nuevo we met a lady who told her kid it’s okay to pee in the pool. I figured she was Canadian, and I was not far off, as she turned out to be from Minnesota.

Kaya our little pumpkin!

MY WACKY PARENTS: This Halloween my parents gave our daughters a book and signed it “Love from Uncle Dave and Aunt Trice” (They crossed this out, though, and wrote Grandpa & Grandma…the thing is, Sarah had sent the book from Saudi Arabia, but had forgot to sign. Anyway, you just got to know our parents). This is not unusual, as earlier in the year they gave my wife Terry a birthday card, and wrote inside: Our Dearest Tracy (Terry’s younger sister)…

FACEBOOK POSTERS: I finally set up a Facebook account. It has uses, and sucks time only if you let it. It’s a curious look at human nature, there’s Guy-who-photos-everything-he-cooks: “Caramelized Beets…yum yum!”, Party Girl: “Peace Muthaf**kaz! I chooze da bottle of Bacardi at the White Elephant!”, and so forth, I guess it’s fun…but I will not use Twitter. I swear.

CELEBRITY WIFE BEATERS: Not that this is good news: Charlie Sheen spends Christmas in jail, but hopefully my wife will stop watching Two and a Half Men. She Tivos and watches at four in the morning, meaning that the laugh track also wakes me. Laugh tracks are vile and despicable even when the jokes are funny, but when they are programmed to hoot and snort at egregious inanity they become evil. Turns out Sheen attacked a girlfriend in 1996 and went on probation. Go figure. My wife, who’s against all forms of domestic violence (although she would consider hitting me), wants to wait before we judge. Whatever. They found OJ innocent too.

NUTS: Nuts, anyone? Someone gave us a basket of nuts for Christmas. I realize I’m not being the most gracious here, but damn, that’s like giving us hard-shelled crab: lots of work, but without the exquisite seafood taste. In defense of nuts, though, the girls love ’em.

CHRISTMAS ETIQUETTE: According to my wife, as soon as Christmas ends, it is time to start taking down the trees and lights. Every year she reminds me how my parents once kept the tree up until February. Our block is not the most festive, and we have one particular neighbor who grates on my wife because they keep their Christmas lights dangling from their eaves year-round. And, extraordinarily, they did not turn them on this year, even though they had a window light display.

Xmas morn!

Xmas day

CHARITIES: Looking to give after the Christmas holiday? Go to Kiva. But what about the likes of corporate charities like Children’s International, where executives make over $300,000 a year? These charities are run like a business, with mass advertising campaigns, and college students getting paid minimum wage all over the U.S. to sell ‘feel-good’ on the streets. I was in the U. District a while ago and signed up for Children’s, then I did some digging and found out the egregiously high salaries beginning with the CEO James Cook (for a balanced discussion, the ‘James Cook’ link shows there are defenders of this practice, and they have valid points, but non-profit charities hire for-profit companies to canvas and promote, and these staffers may appear on chat boards anonymously), yet I wondered how much of the dollar went to help. I cancelled the donation and my wife and I gave to A Common Bond (helps families at Seattle’s Children’s Hospital whose infants have critical needs). Records are public, and so we can take a look at the legal business of charity where money trickles to the children. Am I cynical, you bet! Research your charity, advertisement is expensive, thus dig and find the ones with low budgets using word of mouth and Internet. Here are some leads: Camino Seguro/Safe Passage, Volunteer Vacations, and Legitimate Charities.

Anyway, Happy New Year and peace and joy for 2010!



Filed under A Common Bond, Caleb Powell, Celebrity Wife Beaters, Christmas, Facebook, Kiva, Politically Incorrect, Seattle Mariners, Sexist, Sexist Stay-at-home Father, Stay-at-home Father