Sunday, July 24, 2011

Friday, July 22, 2011

vacation at the beach house means...

there is plenty of time for...

challenging the waves to a duel...

bobbing with the tides...

treasure hunting...

digging to the center of the earth...

constructing castles that rival Cinderella's...

watching the waves caress the shore...

sitting together and sharing a laugh...

falling in love with the ocean all over again.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

the best of neighbors

Living next door to the cranberry bogs is close to one of the reasons I love living in my home. Not only do we not have to deal with crazy neighbors (unless coyotes and geese can be classified as crazy), we watch firsthand some of nature's great marvels. Discovery of the tracks of our wild neighbors in the soft sand of the uplands is like finding treasure. Witnessing the wonder that is the cranberry harvest and learning how a bog is made and farmed are incredibly eye-opening. Every single walk on "our" bogs is a joy for all of us. The kids ask to go for a walk on the bogs daily and most days we are happily able to indulge. Today we had a few of the kids friends over and late in the afternoon strolled over to see what was going on with our neighbors. After coming within a couple feet of a blue heron, catching miniature toads, getting up close and personal with our resident swans and making wishes on dandelions one of Katie's friends declared this to be her best day ever. I heartily agreed.

Living this close to nature also teaches us about life in the wild. It isn't always beautiful and sweet. It can be harsh. I posted a picture a while back of Romeo and Juliet and their brood of seven babies. Sadly, over the course of a couple weeks we noticed the number of babies dropping steadily. One day there were only five. A couple days later, just four. Then two. And now they have only the one little cygnet left. The kids have asked what happened and I answer them honestly. Life isn't always fair and happy. And even though we are sad all the babies didn't make it, we celebrate the one that has. This little guy seems to be holding his own as it's been just him for about two weeks now. Momma and Papa are very protective of their last little one and keep him close at hand but we were able to get close enough to get some pictures as they rested on the banks of the bog pond.

Momma Juliet standing close to baby and Papa on guard in the water.

I think they were getting a little nervous with our proximity because Papa hauled himself up and out of the water and began to march towards us.

He came slowly and steadily closer, stopping every few feet and stretching out his neck, it seems in warning. The bog workers had told us he can be vicious so we heeded Papa's warning and backed away.

Momma watched the drama never leaving baby's side. We are all rooting for Baby Swany and look forward to watching him grow. The kids have asked me when he will turn white and if he will stay here like his parents and how long the parents will take care of him if he doesn't. We are finding out the answers to these questions together.
These neighbors of ours may not welcome our company but we love them just the same.

Friday, July 15, 2011

those summer nights

Summer days are for swimming, exploring, and adventure. But summer nights are something else altogether. They are all about kicking back around the firepit...telling stories, sitting quiet watching the pictures in the flames and being together. Marshmallows, chocolate and graham crackers are a bonus. As are the sticky kids that land in your lap.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

from the mouths of dogs

Daisy and Mudge love to chew things to shreds. I know, I know, what dog doesn't? But long does this chewing stage last anyways??? I am getting a little tired of coming home and finding something chewed up and spat out all over the house or chasing one or the other or both when I catch them in the act. It's really quite comical too, to watch me grab at one of the dogs and give pursuit only to nab him or her and then miss out on fishing out of the coveted object because they pass it back and forth to each other. I look like a damn fool.

I can never predict what it is they will chew up either. They are random and ruthless in their selection of chewable material. I do my best to make sure anything precious is out of reach but with these two fruitcakes, out of reach would mean over state lines. Thankfully they haven't chewed anything too irreplaceable but I just don't get why they'd want to chew some of the things they chew up. Here's just a sampling of some of the things I've wrangled out of their mouths or picked the leftover bits and pieces up from the floor.

several hairbows
numerous small roll of tums
mint life savers (wrappers and all)
the kid's fluoride pills (Daisy is the culprit here, she's figured out I put the pills on the counter in the morning and when I realized that and began hiding them under my notebook, she figured that out ass little pup!)
dirty tissues from the bathroom trash
actually, anything from the bathroom trash
box of floss (which was twisted and tangled from one end of the house to the other)
two balls of yarn (see above note)
a couple of webkinz stuffed animals
little monkey made from pom poms and pipe cleaners
more beer cans than I can count
a bouquet of flowers
a bottle of sand (one of the kid's projects)
lots and lots of crayons
a mouse (still alive mind you but that's a story for another day)
the remains of three rolls of red, white and blue crepe paper
red, white and blue garland
two red, white and blue fake floral bouquets
a couple of small American flags (they worked on these items on the 4th of July...we came home from a cookout and it looked like a parade exploded in my playroom)
an entire roll of paper towels
the little vials Teresa's nebulizer meds come in
plastic play food
the cat (Benjamin is so passive. He just lets them nibble on him and he lays there with a look of suffering on his fluffy little face)
a baseball glove
white board markers
a number of specimens from Sam's stick collection
periwinkle shells
beach buckets
sippy cups
swim goggles
juice boxes

And the list could go on and on and on. Keep in mind this list only encompasses the last couple weeks. I really and truly think they are part billy goat.

Monday, July 11, 2011

she keeps on giving

Less than two years ago, Teresa sat in a chair at the salon and chopped off more than twelve inches of hair to donate to Locks of Love. She was nervous and unsure of how she'd like shorter hair. Not to worry though, she liked it just fine.

A couple of months ago she was looking through a scrapbook and came across some pictures of her just after that haircut and surprised me by declaring she wanted to do it again. She said she was proud that she could do something to help others all on her own. I looked at her little face and wanted to squeeze her to pieces for being such a generous girl. That probably would have resulted in much eye rolling and "Mo-uuuhhhmm!" on her part so I resisted the urge. We weren't able to get her hair cut right away as she had her dance recital coming up (and her long hair made pulling it up and out of the way much easier) and were so busy all the time.

So finally, at the start of July I took her in and she climbed into the salon chair and told the stylist she'd like to cut off enough to donate to Locks of Love. The woman cut off more than fourteen inches of beautiful curly chestnut hued locks. Teresa watched her do it with a huge smile on her face and swung her newly shorn head with glee. I'm so proud of this girl. She has realized at such a young age how good it feels to help others. I hope this spirit of generosity stays with her her whole life long.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

perfect for measuring out ingredients for tea cake or scones or biscotti or shortbread get the idea

Are these measuring "cups" not the most adorable measuring cups ever??? Honestly, I nearly swooned over their preciousness. I've blogged before about my love for kitchen gadgets. And my love for tea. And my love for any baked goods one might have with tea. These measuring cups and me were a match made in heaven. My wonderful friend thought so too and gifted them to me...just because. I love presents "just because." Now I need to decide what baked goodie to make first.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011