A Life in Pictures

Jul 20


Born to Vicki & Fred of Riddle, a tiny little town in the middle of Oregon chiefly famous for its massive lumber mill, Roseburg Lumber, where both my father and grandfather were lifetime employees. I entered the world after a 36-hour labor and looked like the Gerber Baby. I was my parents' first child, and the first grandchild on both sides of the family. Also the cause of a teenage shotgun wedding. Mom wanted to name me Crystal Amber, but was told by my grandmother, “If you name that child Crystal Amber, I will not love her.” So I became Christina Ann.

Oct 12

The Boy

Mom decides she doesn’t want me to be lonely, so she has another child. This time it's planned, and turns out to be a son, Jerry Michael. His labor is shorter, but he's a whopper of a baby at 11 lbs. Mom originally wanted to name him Michael Ulysses, but at the sight of my grandfather’s puppy dog eyes, named him Jerry Michael, thus continuing the Henson tradition of naming all first born sons Jerry. Mom and dad divorce two years later.

Jun 01


Mom shacks up with future Evil Stepdad and we move to California. We’re destined for the tiny mountain town of Long Barn, population about 100 or so, two hours east of Modesto in the snowy Sierra Nevada Mountains. Nevertheless, all the Oregon family is instantly convinced that we are going to die in a horrible gang related shooting and put the fear of God into us before we leave. The first winter it snows a record 6 feet overnight, thus setting us up for years of future winter disappointment. We spend our summers in Oregon with dad and his family, camping and riding on the sand dunes. I experience my first job, first kiss, first heartbreak and get drunk for the first time. I'm into American Top 40, chorus, girl scouts, reading late into the night and want nothing more than to own a white convertible Rabbit like I saw in Can't Buy Me Love. I know all the words to Top Gun. Around this time, Michael is accidentally caught up in a fight between two older boys. He gets kicked in the chest, which sparks an asthma attack that almost kills him. He's flown to Children’s Hospital in a helicopter, which he thought this was pretty cool.  

Jan 01

Childhood Friends

Summer, Cindy, Jennie, Stacey

Sep 01


We move to Washington state to be near Evil Stepdad's ailing mother. I do not do well with a mid-high school move and have trouble making new friends. I end up going to an alternative school where the primary subjects are environmentalism, wood shop and Fred’s delicious fried bread (Fred Bread). I learn to drive and buy my first car. I see a geoduck for the first time, and pass out for the first time - not related. Much to Michael and my mutual glee, mom divorces Evil Stepdad and shacks up with Foley, who ends a being a pretty good dude. Nirvana makes its monumental entrance onto the music scene practically right under our noses. I am an avid reader, astrology nut and history buff. Mysticism becomes all the rage with me. I want to travel to Europe, join Greenpeace and save the rainforest.  

May 29


I graduate high school, get a job and move in with two friends, Shawnette and Jesse. I spend the next year experiencing my first taste of adult freedom. Shawnette is caught up in a flurry of unrequited love for Jesse, and we behave recklessly, but I am ebullient and full of life. Eventually, they return to California and I move back in with my mother to start community college.

Apr 01

Daddy Pooh

In Oregon, my father dies in a car accident while driving home alone after a morning of fishing. I am completely undone.

Oct 01


I am overcome by grief following dad's death. I wear his locket around my neck, and continue going to college for a short while, but my heart is no longer in it. I drop out and leave my family in Washington to move to California, once again living with Shawnette and Jesse, though this time our living arrangements are fraught and short lived.

Aug 01


My friend Marianne tells me about her friend who is traveling to Europe in September. She thinks I’d like him and she knows I want to travel. She tells me to go talk to him, and I do. He's a musician, with blonde hair and green eyes that crinkle with laughter. I don't know it yet, but I will spend the rest of my life with him.

Sep 21

San Francisco

Jerry Garcia dies. Marianne, Ricco, Melissa and I go to San Francisco for his memorial concert.

Dec 16


Chris and I agree to meet in Europe. He leaves in November and I'm to join him in December, but he unexpectedly has to cut his trip short and he returns a week before I fly out. I go anyway, despite the fact a solo trip on the other side of the world fills me with fear. I get scammed for 20 pounds my first night. I tell my hostel mates about it, and one of them, Jacob, says he’ll show me about the next day. We spend the week pub crawling, where I very happily discover hard cider. I visit Hampton Court Palace where Anne Boleyn lived and the Tower where she died. I tour the cathedral in Bath, miss the train back to London and instead watch a play at the Theatre Royal. On a whim, I take a flight to Amsterdam. The weather is bitterly cold and the canals are frozen solid, with frozen fish visible mid-swim beneath the surface. I tour the Red Light District and then take a train to Brugge, where I go on a bus tour of WWII bunkers and cemeteries, then finish with a Belgian brewery tour. Everything is cobblestoned and ancient. The pastries are amazing. By American standards I am not a beauty, but in Europe I find myself inexplicably pursued by men wherever I go. I mention this to Chris on the phone and instead of scoffing, he says, “You’re a walking Venus,” matter-of-factly, without any hint of sarcasm whatsoever. I am smitten.

Feb 15


Chris and I move in together. We relocate to Washington state to live with mom and Michael so we can save money. Chris cooks coconut shrimp for the family and mom declares him a catch.

Jun 16

Olympic National Park

Chris and I tour the amazing Olympic National Park in his van, where he rides a giant wooden slug.

Oct 01

Truckee Take Two

By the end of summer, we're both heartily sick of Washington. The continuously cloudy weather and soggy conditions are depressing for anyone, but especially for Chris who is a California boy. We decide to move back to Truckee and get a little place on Donner Lake. I go to my first music concert, Jamiroquai. We smoke a lot of weed and play a lot of Nintendo, where I kick ass at Mario Kart. Our friends Rich and Derek form a band, West Coast Rhythm Section, and other friend Ricco opens a coffee roaster.

Mar 01

Terror of Petters Everywhere

We adopt a wee grey kitten. At first we think she is a boy and name her Tobias. A week later the vet tells us she is a girl, and we're so confused that we just end up calling her Miss Kitty for the rest of her life. She likes to play catch, sometimes fetching like a dog, and will walk on a leash. As an adult, she is known for her habit of slinking up to visitors with a come-hither look in her eye, only to lash out with her claws in a lightning speed punch that strikes fear into the heart of all who enter our home. We adore her.

Jun 01


Marianne briefly moves in with us, bringing her two maine coon cats. They terrorize Miss Kitty, but she gets her revenge by eating Marianne's hair while she sleeps.

Sep 01


Vacation! We eat the best, freshest sushi of our lives. We drive up to the top of Haleakala to watch the sunrise above the clouds. We snorkel off Molokini and drive the winding road to Hana.

May 01

Santa Rosa

We decide to go to college and move to Santa Rosa, CA to attend the JC, where I take a photography class that changes the direction of my life. We live in a small upstairs apartment. The neighboring building's roof acts as a giant balcony where Miss Kitty likes to sunbathe. I work at Mixx Restaurant, my first real taste of expertly and lovingly crafted fine dining, spirits and California wine. This begins a love affair with gourmet that will be one of Chris's and my chief pleasures in life.

May 16


I begin playing the MMO EverQuest as Scarabae Calliste, a Wood Elf Ranger raiding with the guild Sphere of Transcendence.

May 01

Santa Barbara

Following my passion, we move to Santa Barbara so I can attend Brooks Institute of Photography. Undoubtedly the most beautiful place we have so far lived, I am enchanted by the beach, mediterranean-like weather, restaurants, culture and general vibe, but the cost of living makes it impossible to stay forever.

Aug 01

Serbin Communications

I start an internship in the web design division of Serbin Comminications, Inc., a local publisher of sourcebooks for artists.

Oct 01


I graduate from Brooks with a doctor's worth of school debt.

Feb 12

Manager Extraordinaire

After a few months of internship, the manager of the web design division quits the company. I am offered his position and remain at Serbin for the next 12 years.

Nov 23

World of Warcraft

I begin playing the MMO World of Warcraft as Luxe, a Blood Elf Mage raiding with the guild BlackWatch.

Sep 16


We tie the knot in Montecito, CA at The Barefoot Wedding, greatest wedding of all time. Just ask anyone.

Sep 29


Vacation in Mexico! Pyramids, cenotes, chicken mole, diarrhea, oh my!

Nov 30

Grandma Jody

My Grandma Jody on my mother's side passes away. I was never terribly close to her, but she was a firecracker of some renown and I loved visiting her garlic farm. She married several times, had 5 children, and generally did as she pleased. Her death is a great blow to my mom.

Mar 01

Palm Springs

Following gold, we move to Palm Springs, CA. I begin working from home and Chris delves further into the world of schlepping booze. We eat well, spend time in the pool, attend the Palm Springs Film Festival, ride ATVs at Algodones Dunes, tour Joshua Tree National Park and drive around in Idylwyld.

Jul 15

The Big Island

We vacation in Hawaii, on The Big Island, with the mother unit and the boy. We eat fresh fish, kayak in the ocean, take a boat tour and drink excellent coffee.

Oct 15


To be closer to family, we move to Placerville, CA. We love picking blueberries and cherries at the U-Pick farms and dream of owning our own land some day.

Nov 04

Goodbye Baby Girl

After 14 years of cuddles, Miss Kitty passes on to Kitty Heaven, where she greets the Cat Goddess by giving her a good scratch and a hiss, as any good kitty would. We're devastated.

Jan 24


My granny, my father's mother, dies. The family had fractured after the death of my father and I had not seen her in many years, but as a young girl she had absolutely meant the world to me and the heart never forgets.

Sep 14


Vacation in France! Veuve Cliquot! Dom Perignon! Grivot! Michele Cluizel! Louve! Gordes! Notre Dame! So much good food! Aaaagh.

Feb 15


Vacation in Napa! Not our first, not the last. Mmmm Mustard's Grill, Red, wine tours.

Mar 17


Yosemite with the boy. The highlight is Mariposa Grove and General Sherman.

May 03

Las Vegas

Once again following gold, we move to Las Vegas, NV to pursue Chris’s short-lived career working for Douchebag Dan. We take up hiking in Red Rock and The Valley of Fire and for the first time have legit ramen from Monta. Also Joel Robuchon dinner, Bouchon breakfast, and the discovery that Mario Batali is a fraud.

Jan 15

Red Rock Canyon

Stunning Red Rock, one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen.

Feb 14


Trip to Phoenix for a wedding and a visit to the Botanical Garden with magnificent Chihuly installation.

Apr 29

Washington DC

Washington DC and Baltimore, including a stop at Niagara Falls.

Sep 01


Following the discovery that Douchebag Dan is indeed a douchebag, we move to Reno to be near family and open a water store.

Sep 14


We adopt a little insect eating, leg batting, ball chasing, meow meowing, food beasting, silky soft black ninja kitty who warms laps and bevomits carpets: Lotus of Loud Ninja Clan.

Jun 15

Blue Dot Water

Our very first business, Blue Dot Water, opens its doors!

Nov 24


After two solid years working on Blue Dot Water without a break, we're feeling pretty good. Business is excellent, better than we expected, but we long for some rest. We take a 4-day mini vacation over Thanksgiving and drive to Sonoma. We visit our old Santa Rosa JC stomping grounds, Bodega Bay and Armstrong Redwood forest. And of course, Napa for food, where we have the famous Ad Hoc Fried Chicken.