Monday, July 25, 2011


Well, I turned 35 a bit ago.
This post is a little late, but I promised details and a promise is a promise.
It was truly a wonderful day - from all the greetings on facebook to wonderful presents and, quite frankly, the cake.
I had a lovely breakfast with my family and lunch with my mom and middle brother in a nearby town's best local spot. My baby brother and his lovely wife Mindy hosted us for dinner. So, of course, we got to visit with my little nephew.

My brother really knows how to cook a mean steak.
Birthday dinner? Oh yes. Incredible.

We had to wait a while after dinner before we could handle the cake.
S'mores cake-in-a-jar.
Lots of people were a little incredulous that I made my own birthday cake. But the truth is, I knew what I wanted and I hated to ask somebody to do all the work. Since I have food allergies, this cake meant that I had to make the marshmallows from scratch and use a vegan cake recipe and...well...I already know how to do those things pretty well. It was totally worth the work. Plus, we all know that I like doing that kind of work, so...I didn't mind making my own birthday cake at all.
We brewed up some French press coffee (which my kids also love) and played a couple hands of rummy.

I like being 35. It's going to be a good year.


This will totally spoil the Two for Joy post I'm working on, but it isn't finished yet and these images are and...I just felt like posting them here.
My alternates for this week:

The theme? Summer.

Friday, July 22, 2011


Yesterday was my birthday.
But you all knew that, didn't you?
I've said before that numbers don't mean much to me - they really don't. I usually can't tell you how old I am without doing the math. I didn't even realize which birthday was sneaking up until somebody mentioned it was kind of a big one. And I though about it and decided that yes, maybe it was a big one.
It was a wonderful day.
I hope to post more details soon.
(And yes - that is some new ink peeking out of my shirt. It's not finished yet, so, I'm not showing it off yet.)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


This day has already been long and it's only 1:30.
Let's begin with the fact that I could not eat breakfast today.
I have a fitness agreement with my chiropractor and today was my BMI check-in, which meant I had to come in with an empty stomach. I don't know why that really matters, but I wasn't about to argue. Did I make progress? I don't know. I don't remember what it was last time, since numbers hold very little meaning to me.

But I got a call, a text, and an email from my college warning me that there had been a bomb threat. This is the second bomb threat in the last month. But I am not in classes, so it should be of no consequence.

Except that my children are both in summer camps at the college.

On separate campuses.

No matter. Arrangements were quickly made for retrievals and rescheduling of other things, but it was still a nuisance.

I received a phone call from my husband with information about a kitten. This kitten had showed up under our carport a couple of days ago, hungry and mewing. It was tiny and obviously not well and also obviously not part of the out-of-control feral cat population in my neighborhood. My heart had gone completely to mush for this hungry baby and I bought a little cat food, but we couldn't find her after we got home. Cut to this morning, when she reappeared under some bushes. Her condition had definitely worsened. We broke out the food and she didn't know what to do with it. I couldn't let this poor dear suffer and, although we really shouldn't have a cat (allergies, pet birds, etc...), I absolutely wanted to take Her Royal Sweetness into our home.
Fortunately, I have a friend with connections to our local SPCA and she agreed to take the tiny kitters in to see their vet.
I was still a little hopeful, even though my friend confirmed that she was very sick, but we got the sad news a couple hours later that the vet had determined it was better for her to be put down. We are heartbroken in this house today. Of course, we know that it was a much better end for this kitten than being left in the dirt to starve for who-knows-how-much longer, but still - we are heartbroken.

So, having handled bomb threats and the death of a kitten on an empty stomach and only one cup of coffee, all before noon, I have decided to take the rest of the day off from disaster. I just sat down with more coffee and a piece of chocolate birthday pie and, though I don't know what I will do with my afternoon, I know that I will not be setting foot outside my front door, lest the sky begin to fall.

Also, is it just me or does it seem like my carport is turning into a wildlife rescue shelter?

Friday, July 15, 2011


I love that my posting is so sparse and I am so hurried and unfocused that I totally didn't realize I posted the 4th of July pictures twice!
Oh, my. I hope you all still love me :)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Woooo! 14!

Last weekend - what a weekend! A holiday, a birthday and a Big Event.
The 4th of July was a quiet one for us this year. We used to make a big hullaballoo and have a giant cookout and take the kids out in the mosquitoes and humidity to see the city's fireworks. We have been toning things down a bit these last couple of years and this year's quiet celebration was just right. We went to my brother's house and definitely ate well! My little nephew was so utterly pleased to have so much of his family at the dinner table - he was beside himself with silliness and laughter all night. We had a little package of sparkly fire things that we played with in the back yard too, which was of particular interest to Andrew!

Nolan watched warily from the porch. Pretty soon, though, he was loving the explosions.

Right after the fourth was Andrew's birthday. I mean, it's not like it moves around on the calendar or anything, but I'm always surprised to have one party so quickly followed by another! Now that he's a bit big for the giant theme parties we used to have, we have a tradition of taking him out for his birthday dinner to the restaurant of his choice. And I must say, our wallets and palates were all pleased with his choice of Chipotle this year.

After dinner came birthday cake (root beer float cake, no less!), homemade ice cream, and presents at Grandma's.

Aaaannnnnd after that? Well, our little family went on an adventure. As everyone-who's-anyone knows, the last space shuttle launched on Friday morning of last week. We took our kids to see it up close. Immediately following the Thursday night birthday festivities, we drove over to the coast, where a special parking space right by the water was waiting for us. Upon arrival, we could tell that we definitely had a great vantage point. The launch platform was so beautiful, lit up at night!

There were already so many people camped out, of course. We had intended to try and sleep a bit in our car, but it was so hot and humid and generally uncomfortable. We got out to stretch and walk a bit and stumbled on a perfectly-sized-for-a-family-of-four patch of grass. That's when we decided it would be better to just nab a great spot than to sleep. So we set out chairs and blankets and waited. The kids were able to sleep a little on the blanket and I had a chance to knit a little - something I haven't had nearly enough time for this year.

The crowds began to swell as the sun began to rise and I suffered from lens envy at every turn, feeling a little sheepish about my old tripod and 50mm lens. I borrowed a zoom from a friend, but it just wasn't behaving with my camera and, frankly, it still looked puny next to some of the other ones out there!

We managed to hold on to our precious bit of real estate comfortably enough. You could feel the excitement building as the launch drew near. We could see the ignition from where we were and the feeling of watching that shuttle lift off, bright and fiery into the sky - it was amazing. Emma and I both cried and cried. There was shouting and cheering like at the best of sports matches - fists pumping in the air and cameras snap-snap-snapping away. Andrew had observed a little patch of low clouds and had mentioned how cool it would be if the shuttle flew through it. We only realized after we were home and sifting through my photos of the day that it had done exactly that.

See? Beautiful.
Because of our great parking space, we were able to get out of town so much more quickly than most people and we dragged ourselves home, trying desperately to stay alert. It took the whole weekend for Chris and me to feel rested up again, but it was so worth it!
And now we find ourselves in the thick of summer camps and such. Busy? Eh, not really. Just having some fun and doing some cool things. Summer. I like it.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Space Playlist

As we were driving yesterday to see the final shuttle launch up close, we were listening through a playlist of my favorite songs and it struck me how many of them were space/star related! So, I decided to make up a little space playlist and I thought I'd share. Some of these were afterthoughts, but once the idea caught hold, I couldn't let it go (you know how that goes, don't you?).

Across the Universe - The Beatles

Northern Lights - Bowerbirds

Pink Moon - Nick Drake

Moon Dance - Van Morrison

My Moon My Man - Feist

Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds - The Beatles

Surfing on a Rocket - Air

Stars - Switchfoot

Stars - Hum

Supermassive Black Hole - Muse

Starlight - Muse

What are your favorite starry space adventure songs?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


We are having such a nice summer so far.
Chris took me to lunch at my favorite spot. It's a bit of a drive, but he was working in that town, which worked out to my benefit!

The kids and I took their annual trek to the M&Ms store with Miss Denise, who was always their summer supervisor when I was working stuffy old office jobs.

And of course, we celebrated the Fourth of July with family, food and fireworks!

This week holds big things. My son turns 14 on Thursday. It's kind of unbelievable - he will be in high school in a matter of weeks.
We have lots of fun planned for the remainder of the week, and I'll be sure to check in with pictures and stories to spare!