Sunday, November 30, 2008

Edward Spends a Day at the Beach


Happy Mr E
Originally uploaded by wellingtonrabbit
The day after Thanksgiving was Edward's first full day at the beach. Well not technically since he was here in October for D&T's wedding. But he & parents slept next door and so that only half counts. After a breakfast or two and a nap in between we all took a walk to the toy beach. Stephen was sad to see only the light house remaining of the old playground toys but as fun as they were, those icons of Colington Harbor childhood were really not that safe with sharp corners and so on, although the structures were fine.

Next S&S&E and I explored life by the dock of the bay while Donny went shopping. Mr E really really wanted to get in the water. He is going to be some water baby!

Donny came home with a shiny new PS3 and a copy of Wall-E for our evening entertainment. S&S had not yet seen it and upon Stephen's recommendation Donny got the PS3 so we could watch in movie quality Blu-Ray.

Before retiring for bed (after 3 day naps) Edward showed off his page turning skills with Mom's help and then his kicking skills using his new beach entertainment center which turned out to be exactly the same one he has at home! He also explored some of the vintage Ball baby toys and found them rather intriguing and worthy of his attention.

All in all a well balanced and fun day!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving


Mr E
Originally uploaded by wellingtonrabbit
Stephen, Sarah & Edward joined us for Thanksgiving weekend and it was a lot of fun! They arrived Thursday afternoon in plenty of time for a dusk dinner. Earlier in the week I baked an Alton Brown coconut cake that turned out so well, plus a pumpkin pie, cherry pie and lemon chess pie.

Thanksgiving Day Donny roasted the turkey on the Primo grill. I made Mother Leigh rolls, fresh cranberry jelly (which we forgot to put out), Cook's Illustrated garlic & butter steamed green beans, and another Cook's recipe of baked brown sugar glazed sweet potatoes. To this we added our traditionals; home made Pepperidge Farms stuffing, mashed potatoes, and Donald's turkey drippings gravy.

We toasted with bubbly, dined with a fine Chardonnay and started our desserts with Neige, a French dessert cider. Jess was going to eat with us but ended up stopping by for a quick after dinner hello instead.

Edward was awake for dinner and after his much eying of the food Stephen offered him a green bean to suck on which was well received and then a sweet potato slice to taste which was also well received. His first food at his first Thanksgiving.

Lewis called to report that his dinner was a resounding success. He was Top Chef and the gals filled the gaps.

We all retired early, after a very fun and full filling day!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Mr Benjamin


Mr B
Originally uploaded by wellingtonrabbit
We had a great sleep and awoke to find that Benjamin did too. He slept straight through until 6, his first all nighter. Lots of company will do that to just about anyone, but especially Mr Social Butterfly.

Andrew, Benjamin and I chatted for awhile and then Mr B was tuckered out and decided to take a nap. Donny got up and we had coffee and fruit while B Boy dozed. He woke after a short nap and Donny got his play time in, that is after Benjamin had 2nd breakfast.

Then it was again nap time and time for us to head home after a great vacation and marathon experience.

Scarecrow Town


Spectators
Originally uploaded by wellingtonrabbit
Wednesday morning we had a leisure breakfast with Bud & Amy and loaded the car for the short trip to Greenville SC. Crisp fall was in the air and traffic was obedient on all roads. We elected to follow Garmily and traveled merrily along country roads to hook up with I-85. Suddenly I spied a row of scarecrows lining a fence watching a scarecrow (or dummy I thought at first until I saw a Got Scarecrows sign) football game complete with referees, cheerleaders and spectators in a small stand. We were intrigued. Donny stopped while I snapped pictures noticing that each scarecrow had a tag with Guiness World record and a number.

Back on the road we we pondered the set up. Probably a football game inspiration we reasoned. A few miles down the road we entered a small rural town to find MORE scarecrows. In every direction. One riding a scarecrow horse, mechanics working on a car, an angel choir, a gingerbread family. We took more pictures and finally moved on.

I googled scarecrows and got the answer. The small town of Hoschton, Georgia population 1,700 decided to enter the Guiness Book of World Records for the most scarecrows in one location for their fall festival in September. These were some of the still standing entries. The town made 5,441 scarecrows trying to beat Cincinnati's record of 3,331. No word yet on whether they won. But I read that it did not pay to try and thwart the project. Vandals that were caught knocking down scarecrows (one rule was that each scarecrow must be standing) were sentenced to make 25 scarecrows.

When we got to Grandma's and told Beth about this, she was ready then and there to go see for herself. They really are something if you happen to be in the area.

We had a nice visit with Mom and then headed to Raleigh where AJB waited with dinner. SSE came over but Edward needed to go home before we got there.

Benjamin was still up and greeted us with his ever present smiles!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Traveling


High Museum
Originally uploaded by wellingtonrabbit
We get an early start from the Big Easy Tuesday morning but we do take time to walk four blocks to Cafe du Monde, a 24 hour coffee shop on the corner of Jackson Square, that has real coffee and sweet beignets. We get ours to go and head east.

We are intrigued by the miles and miles of bridge systems over the bayous all along the way through Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. Seems like the proposed Pea Island bridge project is nothing compared to these.

When we stop for coffee in Mississippi I am starving for protein and we find amazing burgers at a take-out called Steak Out. They charbroil your burgers to order. The cashier has a voice just like Tara's in True Blood. We ARE in the deep south!

We reach Atlanta in time for our tour of the First Emperor's Terracotta warrior exhibit. It is impressive. There are over 600 pits of which this exhibit has articles from two. Over 7000 warriors were created, to date 1000 have been unearthed. And the first warrior was discovered only 34 years ago in 1974 by a farmer plowing his field. I can see how Qin Shihuangdi rose to be First Emperor. Among many dictates, he demanded that every item, even parts of items, made be signed by the worker so blame, or praise, could be assigned if needed.

We meet John & Donna at Ted's Montana Grill after an anxious moment when they are late and I begin to doubt myself as to whether I have remembered the plan correctly. They have been in a traffic snarl. John recommends the entire menu but says the bison is wonderful and it is.

We bid farewells and head to Conyers where Bud & Amy await in their charming cozy home. We chat for a long time, have a nice lemon dessert and turn in for some delightful sleep.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Big Easy


Hotel le Richlieu
Originally uploaded by wellingtonrabbit
Monday morning we get on the road a bit later than planned after trying for breakfast at the exceedingly popular Gunther House a few blocks away amid the really huge houses in King William District. It is too crowded and we opt for our favorite coffee house only to find it closed and so we elect to eat one more time at the Hatters. Their food is great, the coffee is less but we endure.

500 miles later we are in New Orleans at the hotel we have booked a room in, the only hotel in the French Quarter that has free self parking. It is older and quaint. Our desk clerk gives us directions to Coops a few blocks away for some real creole food. It is marvelous. A fun casual hot spot. After filling up, we wander over to Bourbon Street and try to find Preservation Hall. We have a map but keep walking by where it should be. It is either give up, ask, or go back to our hotel and look up more details online. We opt for asking and soon discover our problem. Amid all the bustle of Bourbon Street it is exactly where the map states but is so subtle as to be easily overlooked. And it is not on Bourbon Street but just off on St Peter St.

We are in time for the last set tonight featuring Willie Smith on trumpet and Marie Watanabe on piano. There are enough folks to make it seem real but not so many to crowd us out. We have a few minutes before the start. The house cat makes friends with us and ends up siting on my lap until half way through the set. How homey is that. Perfect legendary New Orleans jazz with a purring cat on your lap.

We head home and gather the camera for a few shots of this charming town. And then it's back to our hotel with a real room door key that you turn in when you leave and pick up from the desk clerk when you return. I love every quaint little quirk of New Orleans!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

San Antonio


Alamo chapel
Originally uploaded by wellingtonrabbit
Saturday is tour San Antonio day. First we checked out the path to get us to the shuttle bus so we won't be wandering around at 6AM. Next we walked through the quaint neighborhood next to the Alamodome where the original train station which has been refurbished into a restaurant and shops is located.

From that it was a quick walk to the Alamo. Yes, it is tiny but that is only the mission chapel we learn. The entire Alamo that was defended is huge. Most of it today is under streets and buildings. There were survivors of that fateful day in 1836, March 6, but they were women and children; all the men perished.

Next we strolled along Riverwalk home. This amazing project, a series of paths, steps and bridges along the river that goes right through town, was started in the 1920's and today is truly worth all the work, time and money. Someone had a great vision and followed it through. The Riverwalk meanders only two blocks from our apartment. Once out of the downtown area the complexion changes into wide landscapes and tranquil vistas. In the heart of the city it is bustling with cafes, shops and many walkers.

We have pasta dinner at an Italian restaurant a few blocks from home and then it is bed time. We agonized over the 31 degree weather for the start but our only choice is to plan clothing accordingly.

Race day dawns with the promised cold but it does not feel too bad. We end up in a monster shuttle line that is still huge by race start! We get on the first add on bus which happens to be a cushy upgrade from the city buses.

They are on corral 16 when I get to the start, good enough for me. Donny shoved me on wanting to adjust his shoes. He dropped into corral 21. In comparing our times later we paced each other perfectly.

Along the marathon way after we split from the half marathon at mile 10, we run out Mission Road. It is very tranquil and nice. We pass Mission San Jose, Stinson Airport and run alongside and back and forth across the San Antonio River coming back. I did great until mile 21 when everything fell apart. I felt bad and so wanted to quit and definitely wanted the race to be over. I spied a girl who was doing well but she kept stopping to stretch more and more often. Finally I turned back to where she was and asked her if her calves were bothering her. She said it was her hamstrings. I told her to come along, we could do this. I had no doubt that she would finish but I was thinking it was going to take her a really long time. And so we walked those last five miles in shared agony. We listened to our own music until mile 26 and then chatted. She is finishing up law school at UT in Austin and is headed to LA to practice. This is her first, and last marathon! We walked across the finish line together. She could not even sprint and I was okay with a slower time of 7 hours flat.

I so wanted to get my shoes off but first I had to walk the mile home. And then finally there it was with Donny, who completed his race successfully, waiting with a tub of hot water and fresh pecan pie. He had been tracking me online. Bless his sweetness.

We tried for a Tostada burger recommended by Donald but the place that offers them is closed on Sunday so we had a burger at the Hatters and free beer from Lone Star who had brewed a batch and shared a keg with the restaurant.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Texas


Full Texas moon
Originally uploaded by wellingtonrabbit
An all-nighter from Nashville with lots of ground fog brought us well into Texas in time for breakfast. Following our Garmin on a coffee trail proved fruitless but landed us in Italy at a small town diner. The waitress told us that Dale Evans grew up here and gave us diner t-shirts. Texas is a friendly state.

Moving on, we arrived in San Antonio in the early afternoon, unloaded the car into our great apartment in the King William district (which we have learned is the favorite location with old restored homes, comfy restaurants and shops), showered and immediately crashed.

Friday morning much refreshed we had breakfast around the corner at the Mad Hatters and it is true Tex-Mex here is completely different from any other.

We took the trolley into town and got our packets from the Alamodome. After cruising the expo we took our bus tour of the course. The bus was freezing and we felt like we had been in a marathon by finish, prepping us for the freezing weather predicted for Sunday morning no doubt!

We walked home popping into a cool coffee shop for coffee and dessert and then a charming art shop with an awesome Day of the Dead alter arrangement in the upstairs gallery.

Upon request our course tour guide suggested Rosario's for dinner and we were excited to discover this wildly popular and economical spot located a mere two blocks from our Texas home.

I had a legendary Margarita even with a race two days away.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Visiting Benjamin on the Way to San Antonio


Mr B
Originally uploaded by wellingtonrabbit
On our way to San Antonio we stopped to check in on Benjamin. And we found him just getting up from his morning nap and ready to visit. He demonstrated his soccer kick exercises and showed off his baby talking. Andrew said it is really hard to catch him smiling with a digital camera and so I felt happy to get this start to a smile. Mr B worked on his laugh playing a flying fingers game with me. I think we wore him out because he was not fussy but definitely ready for a nap when it was time for us to get back on the road.

I was so involved in getting past the OBX Marathon that I did not think to get up with Sarah to see if she could bring Edward over. We had talked to Andrew on his birthday and that was as far as I got making family contacts prior to the race.

Donald will attest to this as he chided me with a chuckle about giving him relatively no head's up about stopping for dinner with them. Even at that he had delicious cookies ready for the balance of our road trip and we did have a nice dinner with Lorrie Bradley joining in.

Then it was back on the road to Texas for us.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

OBX Marathon 2008


Here it is the LAST 2008 OBX full marathon medal (until they make more for the true stragglers) and I got it race day. That was fun although less time on the course would have been even better.

I did something funky to my back Tuesday afternoon of race week and I truly thought I would not even be able to walk the course much less run. Donny & I worked on it relentlessly over the next days and by Friday I could see hope. And I really could only roll out of bed with great pain, do no body twisting at all or get out of the car with any ease for days!

Still Sunday needed to be the perfect weather day it was for me to take on the challenge because any less and I would have been struggling too much. I did get to run the first 13 miles with minor walk breaks. I was on my usual pace which I was pleased and surprised about because my back still hurt.

I passed a lot of people in the woods and last year at that point I was already doing too much walking. This year around mile 15 the back said enough and I found myself power walking instead of running taking the biggest strides I could. I felt fine, the back was just the issue and then the pain moved to the front on both sides somewhere along mile 17. Last year I sadly noted that the entrance to the woods is slightly uphill and it defeated me. I never notice these things when we are on shorter runs.

This year I was ready for the woods and zipped through. This year it was the causeway with its gradual uphill climb I have never noticed that got me. It actually is not much of an uphill at all including the bridge except when you are fatigued from pain.

I did run the entire downhill side even through the pain, I cannot waste a good downhill. If I had been able to stay on pace I would have gotten back under 6 hours but it was not to be this time.

I always am but for this race in particular, I am ever grateful for good friends along the way that perked me up at key moments. It really does make a difference! Nancy Atkinson in her adorable fat lady ballerina costume ran me through mile 7 shouting, "Here is our own rock star, Sandy Ball."

I came upon Laurie Donlan and family cheering midway through the woods and she ran with me for a bit telling me a funny story about a guy that passed them and snatched up a bloody Mary thinking it was power drink. She thinks he probably did not finish the race.

Gail Hutchison made me feel humble as I passed her at about mile 17.5 marshaling with a cast on her leg.

Robert Trivette my lawyer friend cracked me up in his prison garb at mile 18.

It is always good to see Rick Gray at mile 25.5+ because it is Rick and it is mile 25.5+.

Bobbie Murray was a beacon at mile 26 and ran with me until the finish was in sight.

I did do my power sprint the last 100 meters and there was Donny, Amy, Robyn, Millie, John, Merry & Bob (who posted a fun picture of D & me on Facebook) all waiting for the last runners, me included. One fun thing about finishing after the pack, you definitely get a star finish because it's just you!

Finish time = 6:34. Surprisingly the back is better now, so perhaps it was anxiety or a cold. Anyway we'll see how this Sunday works out in San Antonio.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

OBX Halloween


IMG_2466
Originally uploaded by wellingtonrabbit
Since the grands are rather spread out to visit on one night not to mention that the two youngest are too fresh to even consider Halloween anyway it's time to post a HOWL O SCREAM from the big grands to the little grands.

So these not so haunted but rather silly spooky sightings are for Martin, Lydia, Edward (with the sniffles) and Benjamin.

Love, OBX Grandma & Grandpa

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Just a Few More


IMG_2358
Originally uploaded by wellingtonrabbit
Here are a few more celebration photos. I also added these pictures into the original set linked in the prior post but figured I would go for redundancy and put them into their own separate entry.

These are from Emily's camera and point of view to include the long table, the celebration and me.

It truly was a cherished day.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Let's Party Donald & Terri style


THE cake
Originally uploaded by wellingtonrabbit
One wedding = one celebration party. Lewis pulled an all nighter on Thursday getting the cake (vanilla with strawberry filling, chocolate with chocolate filling, lemon with lemon filling) just right for the Saturday bash. When I got up at 4:30AM to go running he was putting the finishing touches on the top layer.

Dana, Joe & Luke made it after a blow out on the road and a never ending wait to get new tires put on and balanced. Granne made it thanks to Marty riding his bike leaving a space in the car for her. Emily and the kids planned to meet Julie and Mom in Yorktown for the transfer but got stalled in Northern Virginia traffic and found themselves hours late. Not to worry , Mom & Julie took the time to shop at Costco. Andrew, Jenn & Benjamin had an uneventful trip from Raleigh Friday evening as did Stephen, Sarah & Edward from Durham. And thus the families were assembled.

Saturday brought breakfast brunch compliments of Becki; buckets of dazzling fall flowers at every turn thanks to good friend Dorothy Morris and her amazing Blooms to Your Door; a photo session with photographer guru J Aaron Trotman aka Jim; a celebration ceremony (photos of that to come) complete with Lydia as flower girl wearing a dress her great-great grandmother made and carrying a handmade willow basket our neighbor made decorated with ribbons from Donald's bassinet (which also decorated the cake knife), Martin as ring bearer, Becki as impromptu pianist providing a traditional processional & recessional & Dana as impromptu maid of honor; a sit down dinner for twenty-six at the long, long table with good eats by Food Dudes, Donny & Bill, and Kelly's; and a quality sing-a-long to round out one full delightful day.

Babies were passed from willing arms to more willing arms throughout the weekend, the trampoline got a good workout, the porch riding circuit was in full swing and Rock Band II in the new pub room a smash hit.

Congrats Donald & Terri!!!

Gonna Get Married


Terri & Donald
Originally uploaded by wellingtonrabbit
Freshly engaged in late June, Donald & Terri danced through a mini-series of elopement ideas finally settling on getting the paper work completed on the Outer Banks two days prior to their celebration party.
The magistrate (long time friend Phil Ruckle) arrived a week early and then on countdown day, 10.09.08 (not selected on purpose but awesomely cool nevertheless), he forgot and had to be rounded up.

Terri's folks, Bud & Amy, arrived on schedule the day before. We were still doing a lot of last minute cleaning up. Friend Suzanne was helping out and laughed and said that she felt like she was on one of those redecorating shows when I reported that Bud & Amy would be here in thirty minutes.

The weather behaved for a waterfront ceremony on the brand new dock. In attendance were both sets of parents plus wedding and celebration cake baker as well as on the spot photographer, Lewis.

Dinner at Colington Cafe hosted by the Onstads and Portal cake dessert provided by Lewis (which was not actually cut into until Friday evening because we were all pretty tired and full) completed a memorable day.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

And More Wanderings


IMG_2115
Originally uploaded by wellingtonrabbit
We go forward one year from the time noted in my last post and we find an entry from Stephen making the cut into the 1988 Manteo Elementary School Gleanings

WHY PEGASUS FLIES UPSIDE DOWN

Once upon a time, there was a flying horse named Pegasus. Sometime before this story, Pegasus had beaten a chimaera. The wizard who made the chimaera was so angry that he had been trying to beat Pegasus for years. He had never beaten him, and after seven years he was still angry. So one day he made a spell in prison. A few days later Pegasus was doing a new trick. He could fly upside down. When the wizard saw this, he thought, "This is my chance to beat Pegasus." So he cast his spell in prison on Pegasus and that is why Pegasus is still upside down in the sky.

Stephen Ball
Mrs. Gaskill
Grade 4

Friday, October 03, 2008

More Wanderings Through Time


MES Manteo NC
Originally uploaded by wellingtonrabbit
This from the Volume IV of Manteo Elementary School Gleanings 1986-7.

My Favorite Friend

My favorite friend is Lewis. Because I get to play with him. He is a good boy.

Andrew Ball
Grade 1
Mrs Walterhouse

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Not Far from the Tree


Tatting
Originally uploaded by wellingtonrabbit
My grandmother made this set for a dress that she also made for me to wear as a young girl. The dress is blue velvet and Lydia will wear it for Donald & Terri's celebration. The set is off of the dress right now because it needed refreshing as did the dress (although I was reluctant to trust it to a cleaner so am simply airing it out). The collar and cuffs will be sewn back on the dress by hand, a process that was done every time the dress needed cleaning.

The trim on the edge of the collar and cuffs is called tatting. It is all handwork. While the finished result is beautiful, the process is insane. It is crocheting, with thread. I cannot imagine the patience it must take to make something this intricate and perfect.

Thank you Grandma Boschen. I cherish and treasure my dress with the tatting trim.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Threads of Time


Handmade
Originally uploaded by wellingtonrabbit
When I was seven I made this dress by hand for my most favorite doll, Bethleann. In the picture I have turned it inside out to show all the stitching. At the time I thought it was a pretty sad attempt at sewing. But I made it myself and I was proud of that. Later when I was twelve I made a LOT of clothes my beloved 8" Muffie dolls, but this time I got to use the sewing machine. Sometimes I look at those clothes and wonder how tedious each tiny seam must have been, but my dolls needed clothes and sewing was the answer.

I found the first sewing attempt today when I finally got into the last box of things that have been packed up for almost a year while our house revisions were going on. The box mostly held my dolls and their clothes. Bethelann, the doll I made the dress for, looked as sweet as ever but when I picked her up her head fell off. Ah, I sighed, probably time to really pack my dolls away and not just have them on display.

I got a vintage suitcase, took everyone's picture, nestled them in a comfortable arrangement so that they could giggle and chat, closed the lid and put the suitcase on our new crown shelving right next to the Muffie collection. I am sure I will check on them from time to time and surely introduce Lydia to my oldest friends.

There is Bethleann, Sue, the German doll who never had a name, and my two Storybook dolls. I had a few other like Betsy Wetsy and Tiny Tears but they did not survive the transition from childhood. It is a small collection but very, very loved.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

The New Grands!

Finally! we got a real visit with the new ones. Baby E is quite unaware of his name fame now that it is associated with the Twilight series. But he, like the male lead, sparkles and knows how to make great eye contact.

Baby B likes sleeping, a lot. It's his favorite pastime when he is not eating. He tries to be social but it is way too much trouble just yet.

We spent the entire day from noonish on until twilight with the cherubs. It was fun and will hold us, for a few weeks anyway. Cannot ever get too much of the grands!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Goodbye Camp OBX

The last day!

Lydia gets up in time to give Uncle Lewis a new beta fish.

We play our last game of Mario Party and Lydia aka Boo wins...again!

We go to the beach and roll in the surf. We hug Uncle Lewis goodbye.

We have one last lunch at Kill Devil's. Jess comes too. We have used enough punches on our locals' punch card to get a free sundae.

We tell the fun pool goodbye with one last swim and slip down the slippery slide.

Well that's about it for Camp OBX 2008! Hope you enjoyed our blog entries. We had fun talking about our camp days.

So long and thanks for all the fish!!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Camp OBX Session 2, Day 5

Today is blitz day. We have a lot of things to do. First, we skip Kill Devil's for lunch since it is too close, then we try Big Al's but there are too many people, then we look at Poor Richard's but we do not like anything on the menu. Finally, we stop at Full Moon and it is just right.

Refreshed, we look at the Boat Shop and see a boat being build just like one we can build at camp next year.

Then we go to Art Glass n Fire and pick up our finished things.

The Christmas Shop is next. Is this ever a cool place. We can not decide what to look at first. Everything is so beautiful. Every room is so wonderful. 'Just like Santa's home,' declares Martin. We meet writer Suzanne Tate. She is restocking her books.

We leave Manteo and head for the beach. We stop at Cloud 9 so Lydia can make a necklace.

Now we are ready to do some swimming. We stop at the pool. Martin jumps in and almost immediately swims 50 meters with only a small stop at the turn.

Then he decides to try the slide. He is tall enough, he does not even need to take the swim test. He LOVES the slide. We play and play.

Then we take a shower and go to Jockey's Ridge to see the sunset and the castle. 'It is like Tatooine here,' says Martin. There are lots of people. People flying kites, playing with their dogs, jumping and running.

Finally we go home and have dinner while we play Mario Party mini-games.

A very full day at camp!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Camp OBX Session 2, Day 4


Ahoy Mate!
Originally uploaded by wellingtonrabbit
Another busy day at camp.

Counselor D held an improv drama class that was very exciting. AND the ice cream man rode down our street ringing his bell right in the middle of class. He has a neat truck that is painted like a cow. Counselor S raced after him to come back and let us buy an ice cream treat. Lydia got a Snoopy treat. Martin got a Reese's treat.

We watched the USA women's soccer team win a gold medal in overtime!

Lydia got an important phone call.

Counselor S took us to play Mutiny Bay mini-golf. Martin got a hole in one. We liked the cool breeze.

We had our very first Slurpee.

We went shopping and picked our own toy.

We played Mario Party. We watched Cinderella.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Camp OBX Session 2, Day 3


Just a rocking
Originally uploaded by wellingtonrabbit
Today we went to Art Glass n Fire to glaze some things to keep forever. It was FUN! And in only two days the kiln will be cool and we can get our new things and take them home. We worked hard glazing and then we went to Garden Deli for lunch.

After lunch we went to Front Porch for a sprinkle cookie. Lydia took a mini photography workshop while Martin finished his cookie. She learned about the macro button. Back at camp, Lydia changed to go swimming and Martin decided to play Mario Party.

Uncle Lewis said it was not a good beach day for kids. It was too windy. He was right. So it was more time at the Fun Pool. The pool water was warm but the air cool.

At dinner time everyone played or watched Mario Party. Uncle Lewis let the computer take his turn. Martin won with 4 STARS!!!

Another very busy day at camp.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Camp OBX Session 2, Day 2

Today we had breakfast on the go, ice cream sandwiches and apples. We were rushing to get to the monument and in line to climb to the top before the line got too long.

We made it! And climbed all 142 steep twisty stairs by ourselves, no carrying allowed. Lydia led the way up. Five were in our group. Only one group at a time can climb to the top and down again. Even with a short line it took a long time to get to the front and start our climb!

It was very awesome at the top. We could see the ocean and our car. Next we played on the Wright flyer sculpture and had lunch at Kill Devil's. Then we went home to play Mario Party. We learned how to play it all by ourselves. Martin won.

Later we went to the beach to see Uncle Lewis on his lifeguard stand. We played in the silly surf, then we went to the pool and stayed until it closed. Then we watched Uncle Lewis win his basketball game in overtime. Lydia got to get warm in the hot tub during part of the basketball game.

We had late dinner and watched part of a movie.

It was a BIG day at camp.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Camp OBX Session 2, Day 1


Martin & Lydia
Originally uploaded by wellingtonrabbit
It was a lazy camp day. Mario Party and pajamas ruled. Then toward evening a field trip to the new construction site was organized and still in our sleep clothes we ventured forth.

From the sandhill we wandered to the playground and tested all the equipment. We even climbed the big tower that mom and all the uncles used to play in when they were kids.

A quiet, busy camp day.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Grandma is 89!

Betwixt Donald & Terri's beach vacation and Emily & Marty's we traveled to South Carolina to help mom celebrate her 89th! That's amazing. We had the kids with us and they were great travelers.

We even got to stop in Raleigh and be the FIRST visitors to meet Baby Benjamin, born on 08/08/08.

That was about half way through our trip, so it provided a nice break for the kids too.

We meet up with everyone at our hotel several hours later, had some dinner and turned in. S&S&E rolled in around midnight. Edward was ready for a quick hello but changed his mind at the last minute so it was next morning before we got a chance to see fast growing Mr Ed.

And then off to the party. Cameras and photographers abounded and the pictures you see linked to this post were taken by me, Peter, Kayla & Abby.

A shower had been planned for AJ even though everyone knew they would not be there. But no one expected Baby Benjamin to arrive in time for his party even via long distance. Emily was stand in receiver of the presents.

We all sang Happy Birthday to mom and then we packed up as we wanted another visit with Benjamin and also wanted to get home not so late since I had a race Sunday morning.

Kayla and Abby rode with us to meet up with Daniel & Devon for a beach vacation and all the kids had fun watching videos and snoozing off.

Another successful birthday for Grandma!

Friday, August 08, 2008

Camp OBX, Day 5


New kittens!
Originally uploaded by wellingtonrabbit
Another up & down day. Lydia finally got her trike like Martin's. Only to have Martin's trike suffer a pedal casualty, so now camp still only has one favored trike.

The diving area of the fun pool was still closed, sharks and minnows was mildly popular and then the whole pool got closed because a bogus bolt of lightning was spotted. We say bogus because we never saw it or any more or heard any thunder.

Home for showers under duress and then off to Slice for dinner. Martin wanted absolutely no pizza and said Uncle Donald could have all of his, until we got there and he changed his mind. Donald was not buying any of the story until Martin piped up with a new line, 'I was just teasing about no pizza.' Uncle Donald liked that approach and gave Martin a thumbs up.

The pizza took a long time to cook and Lydia went shopping for itch lotion and found a new stuffed kitty.

Lights out was easy as Ninja Turtles was the movie of choice.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Camp OBX, Day 4

Today was topsy-turvy. Everyone got up too early, USA lost their first game in the Olympics, and Terri had to go home. Things could be better, things could be worse.

We DID have Uncle Donald cinnamon buns for breakfast.

We did go to mini golf while Uncle Donald took Terri to the airport. We really like mini golf but it was hot and everyone had a melt down including Grandma.

Apologies without being prompted were a good thing for all to hear and Kill Devil's saved the day. Everyone was actually tired, thirsty and hungry.

Lydia likes the chicken wrap with only the wrap and the chicken. She even had a hot fudge sundae.

Uncle Donald got home right after we did and we are all settled in for a early evening of porch play and then a movie.

Camp OBX, Day 3

Aquarium day! We watched the otters playing. We saw the divers in the shark tank and a six month old baby octopus.

Then we went to see the Elizabeth II. We helped raise the anchor and saw the games and beds. We visited the settlement and learned how to make things.

We were hungry. Grandpa met us for dinner at the Full Moon. Martin ate pizza and Lydia chicken. The corn chips were good too. And the pink lemonade.

We stopped to visit Becki and the girls and then Becki went with us to see the purple martins come in to roost on the old bridge. We got there at just the right time! The swarm was arriving!! They flew all around over our head catching just one more bug. Finally they were tired. A photographer with a cool camera let us see the birds settle into their roost under the middle of the bridge. It was too far to see unless you were in a boat. We were very lucky to get to see the flock come in for the night AND to get to see them through the special camera land on their wire.

We were very tired when we finally got home.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Camp OBX, Day 2




It was a full day of fun. Martin & Lydia and Donald & Terri and Grandma went to the beach. Lewis & Jess came later and Jess's cousins too. Martin declared that it was his best day ever at the beach.

Next stop was the fun pool. The diving pool was closed but Martin and Lydia showed all of their swimming skills off in the deep water of the lap pool.

Then a stop at Kill Devil's for dinner where Lydia ate all the chicken out of 1 and 1/2 sandwiches.

And then it was off to Jurassic Putt. Martin got a hole-in-one.

Back home Jess & Lewis had cooked a wonderful dinner of fried shrimp, corn, slaw and hush puppies for the camp counselors. Jess made raspberry lemon. The campers retired to watch a video while the counselors ate their home cooked meal.

Another successful day at camp.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Camp OBX, First Day


Martin & Lydia
Originally uploaded by wellingtonrabbit
We met the kittens, we made a club house, we played in the ocean and we had dinner at Kill Devil's. Well actually Lydia got a slice of pizza from Slice and Martin got a hot dog at Kill Devil's. It was a good day.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

July 4th on the OBX


Boom!
Originally uploaded by wellingtonrabbit
Donny & I decided to take in the fireworks displays from the monument hill. It is a pretty well kept secret on the OBX yet enough people show up to make it festive. We found the Jacobson's hanging out on the beach side of the hill and joined them.

I thought the KDH official display would be at Ocean Bay like it has been but this year it was at Avalon Pier. Too far away for the straight on effect but still spectacular. We got a great view of Nags Head Pier's fireworks, too. And if you slipped to the dark side of the monument you saw Manteo's.

The wind was blowing enough that bugs were not a problem.

And midway through the displays a gifted trumpeter played the national anthem. It was hauntingly perfect, there on such a historical hill, watching fireworks go off in every direction.

My pictures are all hand held and still I love them. They're firework art!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Rock Star



It was quite a year, metal wise! Well, actually 18 months from start to finish, in this medal collection anyway. But all of the Heavy Medals were collected in the same year as part of the Elite Racing rules, ending with their big boy Rock Star!

At noon and going clockwise around the circle, first up (and my first ever competition) is the first OBX Earth Day Run 2006. It was an 8K and lots of fun. The medal is the small one with the dark ribbon. The goody bag all runners got was cloth and inside held Smart Wool socks. Awesome! I got first in my age group.

Then came the Nags Head Woods 5K Run 2006. I got second in my age group and a trophy. I repeated that in 2007. My two trophies are in the middle of the circle.

Third was a nasty 5K run in the sand at high tide in August. Still I was the only one in my age bracket and so brought home first place.

Fourth came our (my training partner Suzanne and I) first big run, 20,000+ runners at the Virginia Beach Elite Racing Rock n Roll 1/2 marathon 2006.

Donny offered to take me to San Jose for the next Elite Racing event which also happened to be an inagural race. Why not I thought? A trip to California and all I have to do is run 13.1 miles. We both competed and Donny, sans any training, was not that far behind me.

This brought me a 26.2 bonus medal for completing two Elite Racing R n R halves in the same year. That's all it took. I was completely hooked on medal collecting.

A quick 5K at home brought another gold into my brace of medals but only because not many women race after age 50.

Then came the reason I got into this whole marathon thing, the first ever OBX Marathon. It was grueling and I finished 4th in my age group but finish we did, Suzanne and I.

And then it was 2007 and my quest to be an Elite Racing Rock Star. This meant competing in all of their events (then five, now six). But you could pick between the whole or half marathon if it was offered. Not me. I had to sign up for every whole, of which there were three.

First off the block was Phoenix in January. It was freezing, literally. But I finished in 6:30ish. Sad but within the limits. And we got to visit nephew Adam and meet his wife, Kim and new daughter, Harlee.

Next was an open stretch until Nashville at the end of April so Suzanne and I did the inaugural Dismal Swamp Stomp 1/2 Marathon. We did an easy race at 2:40. And we were in the loo when the race started!

Nashville gave Donny and I a chance to visit Donald & Terri, and they were all sweet enough to meet me at the end and even run the last .2 beside me! Still clocking 6:30ish.

And I pick up my first 2007 bonus medal (all my bonus medals are toward the middle of the circle in the picture, save the Rock Star which has the place of honor in the very middle). I get a silver note for completing two R n R events in the same year.

San Diego was a short five weeks later. It was hot and I am STILL running a 6:30ish race. I am trying to finish without injuring myself so that I can be a Rock Star but still you would think my times would inch downward a bit. (This just in: The Kansas City Barbecue where the Top Gun bar scene was filmed burned completely June 27, 2008. Full story and photos on my LJ).

I pick up two bonus medals this time. The gold note for completing the Nashville full and San Diego in the same year. Plus the Triple Crown for finishing three R n R events in the same year.

September brings the Virginia Beach half and practically on it's heels the Philadelphia Distance Run. It is not an official R n R but is sponsored by Elite and if you do Virginia Beach and Philly you get a bonus medal. And new to 2007 if you finish any other Elite R n R in the same year plus Philly you get yet another bonus. So after Philly it's two more bonus medals for me!

And after Virginia Beach I pick up my next two Elite bonus medals. The Grand Slam, for completing any four R n R events in the same year. And a 39.3 for completing a whole and a half R n R marathon in the same year.

Last on the R n R circuit is San Jose. Donny will run this one again, as he takes on a half marathon just not a full. I have a gold/yellow Rock Star bib! How cool is that. I'm doing the halves in a slow time too, just under three, but I want to finish within the legal limits and not be limping across the finish. Finally it's done and I am a real honest to goodness Rock Star! One of just a few hundred of the thousands that ran these races. My name is in the archives and on the webpage. AND, I get a huge garish medal! Plus I get my last regular bonus medal of yet another 26.2 for completing two R n R half marathons in the same year.

But wait I am not finished running. Since we are in California anyway I have signed on for the Nike Women's Marathon the weekend following San Jose. The medal is a Tiffany charm on a necklace. It shows a runner and has the date on the back. These are given to finishers by cool dudes in tuxedos. I have since learned that this very popular race is now limited to lottery only. I am so glad I did it when I did. At that it took both Donny and I several attempts to get my registration completed and that was on the day that registration opened.

Nike also had a virtual half marathon option for this race using their chip as validation of your run. Since I had a Nike chip I signed on for the virtual race and so got that nifty Spanish leather key chain tag too. It is stamped with the date.

My penultimate race in my marathon of marathons was the Raleigh City of Oaks newly reinstated marathon. It was a nice race but I felt bad and would have quit except at that point I was in the woods and no where near a good bailout point. The ick cleared up and I finished in my usual 6:30 time frame.

My last marathon for awhile was back home for the 2nd OBX the week following Raleigh. I was pretty tired but actually felt stronger although my time was no better.

For now I am resting on my laurels, polishing my medals and getting lots of pedicures for my 276 official racing miles later weary feet. I am still training though and will pick up the thread again before long!

It is quite an impressive display I must say.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Happy Birthday, Suzanne



Friend Suzanne celebrated her birthday yesterday. After exercise classes we journeyed off to have a pedicure at our favorite spa, Diva's, where we pretty much learned that former local caterer, Petrozza, does win Hell's Kitchen (next week will tell for complete sure).

Then it was off to Good Life for lunch and after that I thought a stop at the monument would be fun since this was day one of the reopening of the edifice, for climbing the interior to the top that is.

We who are fairly fit but have just worked out and eaten, trudge, yes really trudge, up the hill in the 90 degree heat to find the door, locked! We take a picture anyway. On our way back to the car we meet a ranger and quiz him about the opening. After all, I have heard it on the radio and am pretty famous for mixing things up. Yup, he replies it was open but you just missed it.

We look puzzled. Seems that a woman fainted inside and it took so long to get her out, that they decided to close it again and only have it open for a few hours in the morning once a week.

But it's her birthday I protest to no avail. Oh well we tried. He was funny and nice. I recognize you he says to me. That is because I am the runner that is always stopping to take pictures. I'll use any excuse at all to stop for a moment.

Suzanne is the real runner. She runs early in the morning and fast. With a couple of guys around six am he asks. Usually is her reply. Okay I've seen you too! You can't hide on the OBX.

After our chat we go our separate ways to meet again at 4 for track work with Ari. It is my first day to finally fit this in. Suzanne has been working with Ari for over a year.

Ari has forgotten her shoes so we do minimal jogging but at that I do not keep up. We do a gazillion abs and leg lifts and other forms of torture which are actually very good, when you are finished.

So hopefully it was a fun birthday for Suzanne!

btw For you three people that actually read this blog with any regularity, take a travel to The Other Me, as I am starting to post again there now too. Live Journal has an awesome photo uploader. It only takes seconds. BlogSpot is still pretty s-l-o-w although I love the formats on BlogSpot more than LJ.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

AJ"s Baby Shower



Babies, babies, we're having lots of babies. Our grand baby fold is doubling, from two to four. Baby Ball #2 and grand baby #4 is due in two months and party queen Laurie, aunt to new baby Edward, threw a wonderful party for Andrew & Jenn to celebrate.

Amazingly too everyone from the Ball clan, sans Marty, could make the date.

I picked up Mom on Friday so she could be at the shower and also for her photo opt with great-grand #4, for her, Edward.

Jenn's Mom got to arrange her schedule to be at the party and it was delightful catching up with her. We'll meet again in August.

The kids got a lot of really nice gifts. And as Donny says enough baby clothes to cover a day at least.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Two Week Birthday


Edward
Originally uploaded by wellingtonrabbit
Happy Birthday, Edward. Two weeks old!

We had a really nice visit and everyone except Stephen even got a nap. Sarah got the best one yet, she declared. It was a comfort to her to know that Stephen had ready back-up in case he needed an extra pair of arms or legs to walk the baby and so she settled in for a one hour nap.

I loved it when Edward slouched himself sideways in my arms and tucked up his little feet into that cute fetal position and promptly went to sleep. He was doing some unwinding most likely. On he slept and I gave him to Donny after a good while and still he slept. He is most relaxed, like his parents.

He is really strong and can hold his head steady with no problem. S&S say he even turns it from side to side and lifts it easily. He is also quite the diaper man and we got a steady baby fashion show as he whizzed through set after set.

We visited all afternoon and then slipped away to meet with Lance to pick up the washer and dryer from the apartment. The same set that saved Emily & Marty from the laundromat after Martin was born. The apartment they were in at the time had no hook up and so we got the portable kind from Sears. Next the set went to college with Lewis and now it is headed home to do beach laundry duty.

After our apartment stop, we make a run through Trader Joe's for dinner supplies and also Whole Foods where we found local grass feed thick cut rib eye steaks.

Back at babyland Sarah was just arising from her refreshing nap that extended from one hour to about three. We prepped the steaks and corn headed for the spiffy grill that Stephen got for his birthday from Orren & Pat.

We tossed the ready mix Asian salad, sliced the Havarti cheese and bagette. And put the wild Maine blueberry pie in the oven to warm.

The grilling was quick and we sat down to our hearty meal that we polished off with the pie and vanilla ice cream. Edward slept. He missed his party entirely.

We got home around 1am and are ready to go again!

Happy Birthday E.D.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Mr & Mrs Reynolds


Adam & Kim
Originally uploaded by wellingtonrabbit
It was a perfect day (we writers always say that, but it was)! Threats of thunderstorms held off until evening (but did the sky ever open up then with a huge downpour, hail and power outages) and so the beach was in its glory. Just enough surf added the ideal backdrop to the pictures.

The ceremony was held on Mom's private beach and the use of neighboring stone steps to reach the sand provided the perfect entrance for a barefoot bride and groom.

David did a stellar job on the gals hair giving the casual wedding just the right touch of elegance.

Adam & Kim's two year old daughter, Harlee, was the cutest attendant in her long Hawaiian print dress. She is definitely a beach gal seizing every opportunity throughout the weekend to get there, although that sand in her shoes is a complete annoyance.

The buffet tent that Grady & Diana got at BJ's was right on the money too, adding a special sparkle. That coupled with the cloth covered tables decorated with lilies and glass pebbles of blue hues made for a comfortable and relaxing lawn reception.

Congratulations to the bride and groom actually renewing vows from their Las Vegas wedding on Kim's birthday two years ago.

My favorite part? I loved it all, but Kim bringing the beautiful cake that she baked and decorated the night before to the reception tent was the best of the casual chic day.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Welcome Edward!



Edward Dyott Ball named for his maternal great-grandfather, sharing his middle name with Dad, Stephen, joined us in this world May 29 at 3:44pm. They picked the name knowing that oodles of nicknames come with the territory. My favorites so far are CubED from Donny and IncrEDible from a friend. He is adorableness packaged to go. He is adjusting well to his new surroundings not minding a bit being held and cooed over.

"He doesn't look like a newborn," was Great-Aunt Beth's comment. Sarah and I agree. He is not the least bit wrinkly or squashed looking. He is absolute perfection.

He weighed 7lb8oz and is 20" long. He has reddish hair and long piano playing fingers.

After Stephen found out that visiting hours for newborns did not exist, we hopped in the car and arrived in at Durham Regional about 11pm. It took a few minutes for us to find the night entrance, aka Emergency, and then our floor but we finally negotiated the maze. We had a really nice visit and left for home shortly after midnight, our choice, as we dropped everything to zip to Durham and thus left much undone on the Bayside School Services front. AJ offered accommodations at their home and S&S told us to go crash at their place. Sweet kids.

More cuteness and fun comments on Stephen's blog.

I'm ready for another visit already!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Baby Ball



Here he is! No name yet. Labor relatively easy. Born a little before 4. Details later!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Movin' On



The wall is coming down. The wall with my fun sketch of water birds painted in a flash to cover up a ratty looking wall. Much more delightful than plain paint. We'll try to preserve the birds but if not, c'est la vie. Dorrie and Nemo that I painted were sacrificed when Martin's wall was the access point to bathroom repairs.

The Coke machine is now in the pub and it looks awesome. Andrew found the very one we have online and so maybe we can actually locate a key and get it going again.

I am so excited about the revamp of my tiny website, SandyBands. It is definitely a work in progress. Selling this type of product online is pretty much a non-event so I decided to create a joyous website and let the muses take it where they will.

I sit here in what Donny's calls my Chinese office. Clutter (organized of course!) surrounds me. But for the moment I really cannot do much, so I look at it like the figure changing stages of pregnancy when your body is not your own and there is not a thing you can do about it, or would want to. So you enjoy the watermelon look with the ass wider than that, eat what you want, and beam knowing the end result is pretty cool.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy 100 Years Mother's Day



Anna Jarvis would be proud of my day today, nary a gift in sight. Just personal contact of one sort or the other all around from Twitter to talk. And that is exactly what Anna proposed when she started the movement a hundred years ago in 1908. But in no time it seems her simple plan had sprouted into an annual gift giving responsibility. She cringed and pouted and even protested one Mother's Day celebration to the point of being thrown in jail. That girl had spunk. How dare they ruin her beautiful idea of honoring mothers with maybe one white carnation and definitely a hand written letter of thanks. Period.

We get it, Anna. In this family, we get it. No frills and no stuff, just a chat and a smile.

Smiles across the miles.

My smile lasted the entire trip to Springfield midweek. Right before I left Em called to report that Lydia had gotten up early (for her) and dressed and gone downstairs. Martin found her sitting and looking out the front window wearing her birthday crown from her recent party at school (summer kids get a party before school is out). He asked her what she was doing. "Waiting for Grandma," came the reply.

I was not due until early evening.

And more smiles the next day from Mr Martin. We had a great time playing board games betwixt Lydia's bedtime and his to the point of overstepping his bedtime. I kept telling him he was going to get me in huge trouble as we sailed past the official time and into later. He promised to not be grumpy in the morning and Em later told me he actually did pretty well, for Martin. Then as I prepped for the trip home Em tells me that he asked her if I would be there when he got in from school. "I need to play with Grandma more," he explained.

Miles of smiles...all the way home

Monday, May 05, 2008

Love In



This quilt, actually more a coverlet, was not lost among the many things that have been found in the great clean-up (like the poignant book that Andrew gave Donny for his 50th birthday, I'll Love You Forever). I keep this, love you forever, coverlet where I can see it. My grandmother made it for me and just one glance will tell you that it was used and used and used. It has outlived its usefulness. Still I do not part with it. Mother Leigh (so named by me because while Mom & Dad were both working I lived with my grandparents and they became Mother Leigh and Other Dad) made it for me on her treadle sewing machine and at least once she mended, by hand, the many thread weary seams.

This coverlet is my grandmother in my life, now, today. Happiness!

I am so smitten with Twitter. It is such a simple way to drop a line to followers and to read a quick clip from those you follow. I am so hooked, I need more friends to follow! Feed my fix and join...please.

I have the BeTwittered gadget on my iGoggle page and am constantly getting to read snippets from Dooce and Finslippy and Miranda as they travel though their day. It is just like a neighbor waving hello. But you don't have to be a high power blogger to Tweet. Just sign-up. The text box is right there for you to jot your own note to your followers. No logging in necessary. Very, very cool!

For the record, I beat Donald in Scrabulous. I did not cheat either.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Simple Things



I went to pick strawberries yesterday and even going early I was late. The field was packed with pickers and it took some simple ingenuity to find a bucket of berries. The farm is just over the bridge into Currituck County and we have been casual acquaintances with the owners for years. Stephen and Andrew were in school together with strawberry son, Lee, who is now finished with the NC bar and ready to hang out his shingle. Yesterday he was helping Mom and Dad and he walked with me to the car as we caught up. He was not at all surprised to hear that Andrew was teaching math. We both agreed that Andrew has what it takes to write a world changing scholarly paper some day.

Lee added to this vision with a story about how Andrew had written a formula for him to better his chances at a shooting competition he was facing. I am sure it was thorough down the the nth point. Lee said he used the formula and hit his mark dead center every time. He never got a chance to tell Andrew because they all graduated and scattered. When I told this story to friend Becki (Mom to Katelyn) last evening she replied that an ad in a NRA publication would bring Andrew a lot of business!

And now for your viewing pleasure I present, Simply.



Keep your eye open for these gals, Elanit, Katelyn & Marlowe. Last night while they were performing a lady from Busch Gardens slipped her business card in their tip jar. The cool thing about these gals is that they don't need thoughts of fame. They are strongly supportive of each other and all have very different creative lives on their own. They write all their own arrangements. I missed recording their version of Over The Rainbow, but it's awesome. They sang for almost three hours straight and only repeated a few selections. You can slip on over to YouTube to catch another of their tunes, Break Bread Together (Simply sings Break Bread Together).

They simply LOVE singing together and it shows.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

May Day



I might finally have it in gear to plow through the cleansing of said household. But please don't hold your proverbial breath because it is going to take me a LONG time, still progress is being made.

Em called last night to hire my child sitting services for next week so that she can go see Marty play his fine drum compositions in Julius Caesar as no one in the show is capable of this task. So Marty is now in the show as well as composer for the show. And not only is he in the show, he is in every scene.

In our conversation Em mentioned that the new princess dress that I made for Lydia is not quite making it. It needs, after all my pains to make it not so, a zipper or button for entry and exit. So while in our local blue light special store today to get boxes for the great reorganization, I snapped up an on sale tank top set to make L a second dress until I can get the first one adjusted.

Home, I yanked a tulle under layer off of one of E's old prom dresses and stitched it onto the top. Voila! Princess dress to go. It's in the mail. And, no, Martin did not get left out. He gets Ebay Lego figures for his collection. In the last box, he was so excited to see a Tuskan Raider that he immediately yelped with glee, "I need to write a thank-you note." I may be paraphrasing but I'm close.

I almost split my side (really) laughing at Quinn's blog today. I have been in that spot so many times myself. You are blathering on, the poor recipient of your diatribe is struggling to look interested, the clearer headed part of you is grabbing the blathering part by the collar to rescue you from yourself. But blathergirl is not to be stopped. She slaps collar girl, hard, and keeps right on a talking. Oh it is not a pretty sight at all.

I actually do not think that men have this genetic disposition. It is unique to us gals. And anyway, as we all know, men have a far smaller daily supply of words so they would barely get started before being cut off. I'm thinking that D would probably give the QC Report entry that tickled my funny bone a cursory glance, try to get into it, but the more he read the less he would understand the humor, and finally throw up his basketball (it would be his hands but the basketball, an extension of said hands, is almost always in one or the other) in a, what's so funny about that, gesture.

Happy May Day everyone!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Blog On Blog On blog On



I don't think I quite realized how really TIRED I was after my crazy marathon schedule. Starting in September 2006 and stopping in November 2007 (but not completely, just for awhile) I ran 7 full marathons and 6 half marathons. My time was slow but it was consistent and that included the finale when I ran two marathons on consecutive Sunday's.

At that it took a tear in my plantar facia to slow me down because I am still in training for the next interesting looking event. The body does know best. After the tear in which I ended up hobbling, I dropped all workouts including yoga because it hurt to stand for any length of time and simply slept in as my workouts are on a morning clock.

It was wonderful. I missed seeing my gal pals but the sleep was delicious. I am now back in class but taking it slow. I go with option #1, the easy choice, in Cathie's step class.

A gardening friend gave me a huge hollyhock Friday and I am striving to help it through the transplant shock. We have a nasty looking channel marker we planted beside the driveway years ago after Donny swam it home. It is showing the test of time and needed to go but would not be pulled up even with help from machinery so I am thinking that the hollyhock will be a good way to conceal it.

Stephen's birthday party was really nice. We all (to include the McKays) hung out and visited while eating tasty hamburgers and hot dogs the men cooked and just plain relaxed. Donny and the guys put together the new portable basketball system which now boosts an oval rim as I stepped off of the base too soon and the whole thing toppled over. Luckily no one was in range. Would you call that a self christening?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Hop!



Wellington has a new friend. (That's the series I'm writing on the True Story of the Easter Bunny).

Dr Dowty and his wife Debbie stopped by yesterday to give Henry and Huey had their annual check-up and shots. I asked Debbie how their own pets were doing and she got a sheepish look on her face as she pointed to a cardboard box on the floor of their mobile clinic. I peeked inside to see the tiniest bunny I have seen in a LONG time. I say that because my first cat, Poo aka as Christine, brought home two baby bunnies once years ago and we tried to save them but they died after a few days.

Debbie's bunny was just as tiny. They found him on the farm and he was so tiny his eyes were not even open. They could not find the litter or the mom. Probably victim's to a fox they reasoned. Don told Debbie the baby would probably die but they could try to save him. She bottle fed him every few hours for the first few days and kept him by her side all the time.

After they left, I lamented not getting a picture of him/her (too early to tell) and so this morning I called her to see if they could stop by Friday on their next trip in from the farm. She called back a bit later to say they were in town today for their clinic inspection and if I wanted I could come over and get some photos today.

I dashed over and to my amazement the little guy (until we know differently, we are calling him a he) has already grown! He posed more or less for his portrait and I even got to hold him.

He has imprinted on Debbie so well that she had to put her shirt in his box to settle him down yesterday evening. But that was not for the night. No, at night he sleeps right beside her.

You need a pouch for daytime I suggested. She grinned and agreed.

His name is Hop and he will be in the Wellington books. He'll just hop right into the story line.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Happy Day, Earth



The blooms on this red tip wanna be a tree bush in our yard could almost pass for white lilacs, one of my favorite spring flowers. On my walks from school in Ohio I would pass a small yard with purple lilac trees blooming in full glory, their branches truly laden almost to the ground with sweet scented lavender blossoms. They lined the street side boundary of this modest yard and I would pick an armful of the fragrant flowers to take home to Mom. The owner might mind you doing this it was suggested and so I refrained from the picking but never the admiring.

We do have that promised rain today but it is rather pleasant and maybe an end to the drought.

Today being Earth Day the newspaper is full of articles on the subject. One features the pros and cons of different types of diapers. I don't know that any one out weighs the other as the conservation winner. Statistics are not much help for, as someone once pointed out to us, that number game can be spun to favor any point of view.

Raising five babies, we actually went through the entire litany of diaper choices. With Emily we used cloth which we washed and sun dried. (Donny needs to blog about the one that got away and clogged the septic system in a most unfortunate spot for recovery.) For Donald we switched to paper. Then with Stephen & Andrew we tried cloth via diaper service. And finally for Lewis a wool snap diaper holder that did not need to be washed with every use. It had a cloth liner that could be replaced, so there was less daily washing involved. The seemingly inevitable rashes happened with every single system, therefore my real choice in the summer time when we were home was au natural.

The best we can do is what works for us without forgetting our planet. So perhaps today we can make an Earth Day pledge to make good choices for all types of consumption for ourselves and for our first mother, Earth!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Budding Talent



Friend Anna Lee won 3rd place in her school's art competition. There were a lot of quality entries in all sorts of media. She's got her grandpa's, fellow RPI art school graduate, talent.

Our weather forcast for the next THREE days is rain, rain, rain. I am reminded of my second year at RPI when one spring it rained endless Tuesdays in a row. I was considering changing majors from art to aquatics.

I lifted the following YouTube link from Dooce. It's not new but it sure is guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

We have sequestered the two black cats to be ready for their vet visit tomorrow. It's shot day. And Huey will not be touched by human hands so cleverness is required to catch him. We lured him inside (they live outside on our covered non-screened in porch as we choose not to deal with a litter box and also Sarah breaths better without cat dander around) with promises of tuna (delivered) and brought Henry along too as he often neglects to show up for meals choosing to dine out instead.

So we put them in the downstairs new room with their needed amenities and thought no more until I heard the door that separates the downstairs from the upstairs jiggle. In all my nakedness as I am about to hop in the bath and am finishing up a phone conversation with Emily, I scream for Donny to see who is at the door.

Everything is locked below he replies still coming to my aid from his upstairs office and then notices the door is slightly open. The pull down handle has been wrangled by (beat) the cats.

Oh so smart they are.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Showering


Stephen & Sarah
Originally uploaded by wellingtonrabbit
Pat, Laurie and Jenn gave Stephen & Sarah a baby shower last Saturday and it was well attended by family and friends of all ages.

The weather which threatened all day off and on was perfect and the cookout part by Orren a yummy success.

S&S got lots of really nice gifts from baby clothes to furniture. Lydia even gave Baby Ball one of her favorite personal baby toys.

After the party Em, the kids, AJ, Donny & myself went to S&S's house to see the new bamboo floors and the ready and waiting nursery complete with comfy glider chair.

We visited a while and then it was time to go to AJ's for sleeping.

"You are dragging us from house to house to house," moaned Martin, our family member that lacks a transition gene. But he survived and even got a chance to school Andrew on Lego Stars Wars the next morning. Schooling Andrew on anything is a coup, the wealth of knowledge that he is.

Baby Ball #1 is due in about six weeks!!

Stephen is already planning the first basketball game.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

500 miles



Lydia's after school enrichment class held a small performance this week and it could not be missed.

The time was 1PM, not bad unless you dawdled too much leaving home and then got stuck in a traffic snarl.

So by the time I got to Richmond I had 1 hour and fifteen minutes to finish up the trip to northern Virginia. Be late I told myself or go for it. The go self won.

I am just waiting for the by mail speeding ticket. I thanked Donny a hundred times for putting the V6 engine in my Rav4. At that I could not keep up with a new SUV Saturn that was figuratively and almost literally flying.

No directions please, I told Emily after the show as we were headed to the house to unwind for a bit before I headed home. I mostly know how to get there but a few turns are fuzzy. I will follow you I said. I used up my directions allowance on getting to the school, into the school, and to the right classroom on time.

But back to the show. A hit! They sang and performed from the heart. Fifteen minutes and it was over but every one of the 500 total driving miles was worth seeing those precious minutes. And THE SMILE with,"Grandma!!" that greeted me as I walked in the door beating the start of the performance by about 10 minutes.

Lydia told her teacher that I was coming to see the show. The same grandma that made your Mary dress she was asked. "Yes, my dress for the Mary & Joseph show," came the reply.

There's definitely theater in that gal.