Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Junior's and Fletcher's

Just down the street from our house was this adorable little bait and tackle shop that also happened to sell fabulous seafood. Fried scallops with your blood worms, anyone? Needless to say the food was so good I have to admit we indulged more than once. And if you'r meandering along Delsea Drive on your way down the shore and pass by in the area of Middle Township, I recommend a pop in.

Just a few doors down was this archery range aptly named The Fletchers Corner. For those of you who don't know my lineage, I was formerly a Fletcher.

Dragonflies

The house we stayed in had a pond out back. I don't mean a little goldfish pond that people artificially construct. I mean a mini lake flanked by reeds twice my own height. It was beautiful and sheltered an array of wildlife I can only begin to imagine. Among the frequent visitors from the pond where an entire colony of dragonflies. Little tiny baby ones and mammoth six-inch long ones.

Despite their abundance, their rapid speed and infrequent rests made them difficult to capture on camera. Even this shot is a little blurry.

Quite humorously one morning we noticed a line of several dozen sitting along the telephone wires strung outside like little birds all in a row.

World Cup

Proof we watched a lot of World Cup while on vacation. We still have not bought a television for our new home. We gave our old one away and now watch all our favorite shows online. Between that and a Netflix subscription, who needs the cost of cable? Live streaming of all the games completes our every viewing need although Trey insists it would be better on a 50" flat screen mounted in our family room. Hmmmm...he may have a point.

This picture was taken obviously before this past Saturday's heartbreaking defeat to Ghana. Then England fell in a mighty way on Sunday. Now we have no particular team we're rooting for, but still have the fever.

Oh, and we call it football in our house.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Water Play

You probably noticed that our beach house had an enormous front deck. We would let the kids out there to play since it conveniently had a lockable gate and was fully visible through the huge plate-glass windows which walled the front of the house.

We didn't bring many toys with us to the beach, at least not inside toys. Buckets and shovels abounded, but it didn't matter all that much. Kids find the simplest things to amuse themselves. Davis particularly loved it.

Evidence of the oppressive humidity outside, steamy patio door on a house with a crankin' AC. You can keep it as cold as you like when you've pre-paid the week.

Baby Finches

Do you see them?

There they are.

Little known fact about about baby birds. They sleep...A LOT. I haven't heard them cheap at all. Every time I've checked on them they've been sound asleep. Just like all infants, I guess. Second little known fact about baby birds. They breathe really fast. Also, like infants do sometimes. Very sweet.

Chocolate Goatee

This is what happens when...

Davis and chocolate popsicles collide.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Wall of Heartbreak

This post comes with an initial plea for understanding. Don't judge me. I am an unabashed fan of the show Sex and the City. And so if you, unlike me, were able to resist that cultural comment on the state of single female life in a bustling metropolis, hats off to you and you can skip this post altogether because it will make absolutely no sense.

I was not so fortunate.

Friday during my lunch hour I ventured across the street to Liberty II to find a birthday gift for a friend's little girl. In the atrium they often have exhibits or promotions or sometimes even a piano that random people come and play. This particular day they had a number of art exhibits and one of them was called 3M Heartache...also known as the post-it break-up...also known as "I'm sorry. I can't. Don't hate me." (Berger breaking up with Carrie)

Some were funny. Some were hateful. But all were tinged with sadness and I walked away feeling a whole lot heavier.

Sunsets

The unexpected

and remarkable benefit

of staying on the bay

were the breathtaking and daily unique

sunsets that glowed across the water

night after night

after night.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Home Again

We arrived home yesterday afternoon right before a horrific thunderstorm blew across our area. Winds in excess of 70mph knocked over power lines, branches, and even an enormous tree that landed squarely on the house next to it. Many neighborhoods were without power, including many traffic lights out in the area, which made driving around slow and painful, especially when you're in desperate need of groceries following a week away on vacation.

I went back to work today with a mixture of eagerness and trepidation. Eagerness because I love my job and enjoy my co-workers. Trepidation because I knew what I left on my desk and what my inbox would look like. Needless to say, it will take a few days both at home and work to settle back into the routine. Our time away was thoroughly relaxing. No agenda. No expectations. Very low key. The best kind of rest actually. We were blessed with lots of sunny, hot weather and even got to enjoy watching a magnificent thunderstorm come across the bay one evening just around sunset. We have scads of photos to share and plenty of amusing tales. Look for them this week.

In the meantime, no matter how lovely the break, it is always good to be home.

PS The finches hatched while we were away. Will try to get some pictures.

And Thank You for Baseball

Lately Davis has been asking quite frequently to say grace before our meal. His prayers tend to ramble and are halting to be sure. But without fail they conclude with, "And thank you for baseball."

The kid is rarely seen without a bat in his hand and will beg anyone willing to play with him.

He is definitely in love.

Email Communication

Today was Addison's Kindergarten evaluation in order to assess where the incoming class falls developmentally in order to be better prepared. Trey admirably toted all three children to the evaluation and emailed me the following report while I was at work. Trey's dryness had me in stitches.

"It went well they said. He seemed to have a good time. He didn't have a lot of details. They asked him to count to 10. They asked him to stand on one leg. He objected saying that he might fall but he obliged them. They asked him to draw a line to a little boy's soccer ball. They asked him to draw a bicycle wheel. It sounds like high level stuff here..."

So he's going to be THAT kid.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

On Holiday

I'm breaking the silence to let you know we are on holiday at a charming little beach house along the Delaware Bay near Cape May. We arrived Thursday evening and will be here until this Thursday. Despite my best efforts I can't get internet working and am forced to post this update on my iPhone. A little slow and without access to pictures. So I leave you with a mental image...Cedar shake shingles on stilts with a front completely windows, open floor plan, deck, warm salty breezes, privacy and peace. A much needed break. The stress in my life was way too high and I'm paying the price now with a mild summer cold. The beach does wonders for a tired soul. Nothing but rest and lounging and World Cup with some margaritas and fresh seafood.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Purple Finch or House Finch?

While not the greatest pictures, they at least show that the nest belongs to a finch family, not a sparrow family. I think they are house finches based on online descriptions, but house and purple finches are very hard to tell apart. The male, seen here, however, appears to have a curved beak, which is a characteristic of the male house finch.

And he does not appear to have the deeply notched tail characteristic of the purple finch.

And if you look very close, you can see the female

The Swings

Saturday a good friend helped us get the swings set up. I can't say enough about how much I love them. That night we sat out and chatted for a long time, enjoying the lovely breeze and the warm, fragrant air of late spring with the twinkling of lightening bugs all around. Bliss!





Lost Tooth

Now you see it.

Now you don't.

That's right. On Friday we made a little outing to Chick-Fil-A for dinner bringing our food with us to a nearby park. As the children enjoyed the equipment and Trey and I finished our own meal, Addison ran over with a surprising nonchalance and said, "My tooth fell out," with a wide, goofy, and now semi-toothless grin. "What?!?" we both said in unison, and upon closer inspection sure enough his bottom left pearly white was gone. It was clear enough to me what had probably happened and brought back such vivid memories of losing my own first tooth to a bite of Roy Roger's fried chicken. History repeating itself. However, not wishing to alarm Addison who can easily fixate on trivialities, we let him set the pace on how to approach this one. He wasn't concerned at all about not actually having the tooth and most definitely did not consider the possibility that he had, indeed, swallowed it. When I casually mentioned substituting something like a toothy drawing for the purposes of the tooth fairy, Addison replied, "The tooth fairy isn't real, Mom." Gee, thanks, Addison. I was confused on that point.

My change purse was sadly empty that evening, and so Trey and I scrounged up as much silver as we could between the two of us, which amounted to something like $0.80, and I justified it by saying that a boy of 5 was more likely to treasure a fist full of change than several paper bills. I'm still pretty sure that's true. In the morning, we came in and said, "Hey, Addison, did you check under your pillow?" He pulled out an envelope full of the coins and my suspicions proved correct. How long can we keep this one going I wonder?

But more importantly, Trey and I were completely caught off guard at the rapidity with which this entire situation transpired. Just a few weeks ago, he discovered the tooth was loose. Now it's gone??? What's next? Girls? Dating?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Nest

See the ferns? After an initial experiment with some early petunias and lobelia, an experiment which ended in failure probably due to April's unpredictable temperature fluctuations, at my mother-in-law's suggestion, we opted for some Boston ferns. After just a couple of weeks they are thriving in the heat and humidity and relative shade of our front porch soon to be joined by our two porch swings this weekend.

We noticed about a week ago that birds had started roosting in the bushy foliage of the ferns, and being great bird lovers, we were more than happy to contribute homes to our small feathered friends. Then the other night when I ventured out onto the front porch to check the moistness of the soil, I was startled in the gloom of early evening by a flutter of feathers. I had evidently startled the bird resting in the hanging fern. Little did I know that this tiny sparrow was actually sitting on her nest, a nest of 5 eggs.

See it? Trey discovered it yesterday when he took the fern down to water it.

At first he was uncertain how to proceed, but since we've been watering it all along and it hasn't deterred the sparrow so far, it seemed a logical choice to continue giving the plant its daily drink while it provided the bird and her babies a place to live. Not sure this will work so well once they hatch, but we'll cross that bridge when we get there. In the meantime, the sparrow has returned since our watering, confirming we made the right decision and allowing us the most close-up view I've ever seen of a wild bird's nest.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Memorial Day Weekend

Lunch on the way to DC along 95.

I love that Evie eats everything her brothers do. No more special baby foods. It really makes packing lunches easier.



Harley Davidsons.

They were everywhere for the holiday.


Lincoln Memorial.

Old Abe.


Our crew.

A little flushed from the heat but enjoying ourselves immensely.

The beautiful view down the National Mall -- Lincoln Memorial to Washington Monument.


The pool at the WWII Memorial.



Cooling off in the water.

Evie loved it.

So did D.

Because I'm a Jersey girl.

Evie playing with the cork of our wine bottle at the restaurant.



At Arlington.

The tail of the Veep's motorcade.

At Air and Space. Can't visit DC without a stop. The boys just wouldn't allow it.

Waiting for Hubble 3D to start at the IMAX theater.




Sleeping through the traffic snarl on the way home.

All except for one very wide awake little girl. Now that we've finally turned her carseat around a few weeks ago, she is one happy little traveler.