Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

Wow, 2009 is drawing to a close and I don't want to let the year end without a shout out to a few people. These people don't even read my blog (I know....there are precious few of you readers out there), but I LOVE looking back at old posts, so I'm doing this more for posterity's sake than to actually thank these terrific people.

To my husband - Wow...our 20th Christmas together. I'm excited to see what happens in the next 20 years. Life with you is always exciting.

To Alyssa - You, my dear daughter, have blossomed into an amazing young woman. I'm privileged to be your mother. Thank you for being my "guinea pig". I'm excited to see what God has in store for you next year.

Kevin - Your desire to serve the Lord here and abroad is such an inspiration to those around you. I'm truly thankful for the "front row seat" that I have been given in your life. I can't wait to see what all God is going to do through you.

Hannah - You are amazing. I love watching you cultivate those things in your life that you are passionate about. Thank you for being patient with me. Sometimes I think we are too alike for our own good. :-)

Victoria - Your zeal for life is precious - thank you for making me smile. I love watching you dance and your stage presence is amazing! You are soon going to be 11 years old...I guess I don't have little girls any more.

To Wendy Jeffries - YOU are a blessing, a true gift from God! You are more than a riding instructor, horse trainer and owner of the most beautiful stables are a tremendous mentor to my daughter. What a privilege to see her blossom under your tutelage.

To Mark Linton - Thank you for imparting life to my children. You inspire them to seek the Lord for themselves, not just attend church because that's what our family does. Your energy and enthusiasm are contagious.

To the friends of Carenet Pregnancy Center of Coastal Georgia - Thank you for your prayers and generosity. In the midst of strange economic times, YOU have been faithful and Carenet is thriving. What a blessing to look back over this past year and see God's faithfulness. It's because of YOU women are served and lives are changed.

May God richly bless you in 2010.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

As a lover of Christmas music of all kinds, I like to think I'm pretty well versed (no pun intended) in traditional carols. However, at the Christmas Eve service last night I was struck by the richness of the lyrics of some of the lesser known verses of common carols. This one especially caught my attention.

What Child is this who, laid to rest On Mary's lap is sleeping? Whom Angels greet with anthems sweet, While shepherds watch are keeping?

[CHORUS] This, this is Christ the King, Whom shepherds guard and Angels sing; Haste, haste, to bring Him laud, The Babe, the Son of Mary. we all know this part. One of my favorites.

Why lies He in such mean estate, Where ox and ass are feeding? Good Christians, fear, for sinners here The silent Word is pleading.

[CHORUS] we hear this verse occasionally.

Nails, spear shall pierce Him through, The cross be borne for me, for you. Hail, hail the Word made flesh, The Babe, the Son of Mary.


Wow...the entire gospel, right here in this hymn. I LOVE this verse.

So bring Him incense, gold and myrrh, Come peasant, king to own Him; The King of kings salvation brings, Let loving hearts enthrone Him.


Raise, raise a song on high,
The virgin sings her lullaby.
Joy, joy for Christ is born,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.

Hope you have enjoyed the season!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Happy Birthday Patrick!

In the midst of all the Christmas hustle and bustle, we did pause to celebrate Patrick's birthday. All kids were present (no small feat considering everyone's conflicting schedules) and a good time was had by all. After a delicious birthday dinner, some chocolate cake that was to die for, and a couple of presents, we topped the night off with our annual viewing of It's a Wonderful Life.

Mmmm...just gotta love Publix bakery's decadent dessert line.
My goal is to try them all.

Patrick's office is about to be refurnished, so I thought he needed something new on the wall, you know...something trendy and a quote from Winnie the Pooh.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas with a Toddler

In the midst of my hurried house decorating, I forgot that a toddler roams the house four days a week. I wasn't worried about her getting ornaments from the tree, as she's quite obedient and rarely out of sight. However, Caitlyn did manage, in a brief moment, to find some baubles on a little side table. Most were plastic, so when she threw them down, it was as if she was playing with of her own. But when she threw down a glass one, we all came running. We found her staring at the shattered, red ornament saying, "Uh, oh...NO, NO baby!" We all burst out do you reprimand a child who chastises herself?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Let's Play Jeopardy

Alex, I’ll take NYC numbers for 100

The answer is: Three

How many college friends met together to reconnect; OR how many seconds did it take to feel like we’d never been apart OR how many times did Natalie buy hot, melt in your mouth coconut, almonds, peanuts and cashews from the Nuts for Nuts vendors on the street? Seriously, it’s a good thing I don’t live near those vendors…they could be addicting.

Alex, I’ll take NYC numbers for 200

The answer is: One

How many times did Laura and Natalie wander aimlessly trying to figure out where they needed to go next. Yes, after leaving the Empire State Building, we circled the entire block once before realizing where we needed to go to catch the subway to Uptown. We were quite pleased with ourselves that we navigated the city by ourselves so well.

NYC Numbers for 300

The answer is: 3000

Approx- imately how many calories were in the cheese cake and frozen hot chocolate Laura and Natalie sampled at Serendipity 3? For a fleeting moment, we considered a third dessert when we heard a waiter tell a neighboring table that the peanut butter frozen hot chocolate is like drinking Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Yummmm……

Alex, I’ll take NYC Numbers for 400

The Answer is: 12 Million

How many 19th and 20th Century paintings did we look at in the MET? Okay, maybe that’s an exag- geration, but it was a lot; or how many people were AT the MET while we were there? I hate crowds, so it was sensory overload in each and every way possible.

NYC Numbers for 500, Alex

The Answer is: 12 or more

How many Broadway shows would Natalie see if she had the time and money to see them? Alas…I settled for one, South Pacific. We fell in love with Paulo Szot's (Emile de Becque) voice. Oh my…hearing him sing Some Enchanted Evening is enough to make any young woman fall in love with him.

I can now say I’ve seen Times Square, Central Park, the Empire State Building, and Ground Zero. I’ve shopped on Canal Street (no, I don’t want a Gucci, Coach OR Chanel bag), bought $5 pashminas and walked more in one weekend that I ever imagined. I’m hoping this is the first of many reunions with dear friends. Angelique and Laura, my life is richer when you are a part of it.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Skipping the Rambling

You'll be relieved to have me simply post pictures and skip the 1000 words.

Here's what my weekend looked like.

And then on Sunday.

And, before you ask; no, I did not make the cookies. I could have, if I had the time and talent. As it is, I just have connections to people with the time and talent.

Also, if you are in the neighborhood, drop by for some tiramisu. I begged the owner of a local Italian place to let me buy a pan of his Godiva cocoa sprinkled tiramisu for the baby shower. He reluctantly agreed and gave me a fair price for what I thought was going to be a 10x13 pan of deliciousness. Turns out, he only had a monster size pan and so made me enough tiramisu for the whole neighborhood. Seriously, the pan barely fit in my refrigerator. I feel a little he probably lost money on the proposition; but I did tell everyone where it came from, so I guess he could just consider it an advertising expense.

Oops...sorry. I guess I just can't help a little rambling.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook

Since I seem to have no time to think up clever, pithy blog posts (especially like my dear friend Micki) I'll steal an idea from another homeschool mom. Here is: The Simple Woman's Daybook

Outside My Window -- it's dark, not even any moonlight. Is it a new moon?

I am thinking.... how glad I am that one of my dear friend's husband is running for a State Senate seat. I'm thinking how glad I am that it's her getting to be the congenial trophy wife and not me. We attended the Brunswick Stewbilee in 90+ degree weather today. I got to go home after only and hour and a half of sweat and misery. She stayed for hours "meeting and greeting". Lord bless 'em...that's all I got to say.

I am thankful for.... great kids. Really, they are so much better than I deserve.

From the learning room.... I started reading Robinson Crusoe to Hannah and Victoria. I didn't exactly love it when I read it for the first time a few years ago and but it seems a bit more palatable the second go around. Hannah in particular seems to be enjoying it.

From the kitchen.... Hannah made cherry turnovers for dessert tonight. Quite yummy!

I am wearing.... shorts and a tank top. Yes, I's supposed to be autumn. Southeast Georgia didn't get the memo and thinks it's still the peak of summer.

I am reading.....Paul Johnson's A History of the American People. I love his style...In talking about the original settlers he says, "America had the liberty of vast size. That was a luxury denied to the English; the constraints of their small island made dissent a danger and conformity a virtue. That indeed was why English settlers came to America. A man could stand on Cape Cod with his face to the sea and feel all the immensity of the Atlantic Ocean in front of him, separating him, like a benevolent moat, from the the restrictions and conformities of narrow Europe. And, equally, he could feel behind him---and, if he turned round, see it---the immensity of the land, undiscovered, unexplored, scarcely populated at all, a huge, experimental theater of liberty...Here was the dominant geopolitical fact which bore down upon the settlers from their first days on the new continent: if they did not like the system they found on the coast, and if they had the courage, they could go on. Nothing would stop them, except their own fear." The man can turn a phrase: benevolent moat, dissent a danger and conformity a it!

I am hoping.... I can really implement Ambleside Online with Hannah this year, and even some with Victoria. I'm sensing the need for some beauty in our lives...studying some composers, artists...doing the things I've always wanted to do in our school but haven't. We're going to slow down and smell the flowers along the way, and maybe sketch then as well.

I am hearing.... a Georgia Tech football game. Go Yellow Jackets!

A few plans for the rest of the week.... Ummm...well...the week ends in less than 30 minutes, but for next week, I'll be planning a baby shower to be held here next Sunday afternoon, doing a normal school week, teaching a Bible study at Carenet on Monday, attending the Kingsland fundraising banquet on Thursday, and watching Hannah's second horse show of the season on Saturday.

This is written in the tradition of The Simple Woman's Daybook.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

How's that working for you?

Generally I eschew daytime television and pop psychology, but I have to admit Dr. Phil's words are echoing in my head today.

The school day was moving along normally until 10:15 when Kevin asked for the denatured alcohol to put into the bunsen burner for his chemistry exper- iment. It was no where to be found, so I was tempted to tell him to just use the stove. But, it's the beginning of the school year and I'm still feeling like I need to do everything by the book, so I decide to run to Wal-mart and pick some up. But, as I pull up to the first stop light, my aversion to Wal-mart kicks into high gear and I talk myself into going to Winn Dixie (for all you yankees-that's a grocery store). It's closer and a less painful shopping experience. After hunting down a few groceries, I wander around the newly renovated store looking for the item I came for. No luck. So I ask a group of employees where I might find denatured alcohol. They look at me like I'm not speaking English, but one finally pipes up and asks if you drink it. I resist saying "only if you're suicidal". After an all out hunt involving 3 employees, one who thinks they used to have it but doesn't remember seeing since the remodel, I give up and follow their suggestion to try the Family Dollar just a few stores down in the strip mall.

Family Dollar was a bust, so I head to Wal-mart. But on the way I have to pass Target, and I'd MUCH rather shop at Target than Wal-mart, so I turn in. Here I only stump 2 employees with my odd request. After a bit of roaming around by one employee and another checking the computer for the item (but she confessed to not knowing how to spell it, so it COULD be somewhere in the store), I realize I need to go home and check on lunch progress.

But, on the way out of Target's parking lot, I pass a hobby store that I had heard has science supplies. Ah, I think to myself, "Maybe THEY have some," so I whip into a parking space near the door. Turns out they don't stock the item, but the nice man behind the counter did know what denatured alcohol was...and knew that the people who fly model helicopters use them to remove stickers. Exactly! I'm getting least I've found someone who knows what denatured alcohol is?

I return home to find everything going smoothly, help feed Caitlyn, who had just gotten up from her nap, and suggest just using the stove to heat the beaker. But, seeing the burner, the stand, the thermometer and Kevin's sad puppy dog eyes, I volunteer to go to Wal-mart. After all, I don't want to squelch his enthusiasm for chemistry, right? Really, I fear he doesn't care about chemistry, but does want to play with fire.

So, I head to my FIFTH, yes fifth, store in my quest to find something I should have already purchased. After looking a couple of places I think it might be, I head to the hardware department, thinking it might be near other adhesive removers. I immediately see an employee and hold my breath as I ask for denatured alcohol. To my great surprise, a second employee overhears me and says "behind the paint counter". What! Someone who knows what I'm talking about AND knows where to find it. I could have hugged her....really! I can't help but think, "why didn't I just come here first?"

My family knows how much I despise Wal-mart. When someone wants to go there I groan inwardly (and usually outwardly). I'd rather take a beating than shop at Wal-mart. But, I confess, today my aversion wasted the better part of an hour. I'm willing to swallow my pride and admit "this might not be working for me".

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The New Normal or Same Old Chaos?

School has officially been in session for a month, but we are still looking to find our groove. I'm hoping this isn't how the whole year is going to feel, and we can settle into a routine soon.

Alyssa continues to work at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center and has added a bit of nanny-ing to her schedule. For the first time in twelve years I am not her primary teacher, as those duties have been relegated to the local college and an online instructor.

Kevin continues to work at Grandy's and volunteer at Braveheart. Combined with his church activities and social schedule; working, volunteering and school keep him fairly occupied.

Hannah continues to love her horseback riding. We're going to attempt to get her to the barn more often this year, so she's thrilled. She's decided to try her hand at Western riding, so we'll shove all the English paraphernalia to the back of the closet and make way for the cowboy hat and spurs. Stay tuned for updates as her first show is a week from Saturday.

Victoria just keeps dancing which means I keep on costuming. Nutcracker is in full swing, so I forbid her from auditioning for a lead part in the Christmas play at church. I confess, I am a mean mom!

And last, but certainly not least, is little Caitlyn. She is a joy from the time she arrives until she is picked up. A few "Hannah-like" behaviors have begun to emerge, so she might end up being more of a challenge than first suspected. But hey, I've got some practice under my belt, so I'm not intimidated.

All in all, we're surviving the new school year, and with Patrick's "banquet season" (3 fundraising banquets in 3 weeks) fast upon us, chaos my not give way to normal until...the holidays. Yeah, right.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Father of the Year

Okay, so most of you sports fans have probably already seen this; but in case you haven't, check it out here. This guy deserves an award for his reaction to his daughter's shocking throw. Really, this guy must be a gem!

And then, if you have a tissue handy, check out this article about Albert Pujols. See why he's so popular around our house?

Friday, September 11, 2009

Which Season Is It?

Every year about this time I grow nostalgic. As a rule, I love living in the South. But when the beginning of school rolls around and we're still running the air conditioning twenty-four hours a day - every day, I begin to long for autumn in Ohio. I just can't seem to help myself. I miss waiting for the school bus on crisp, fall mornings. I miss new sweaters and football games. I miss seeing the fog roll off the pond when the cool air brushes against the warm water. And the leaves. I miss deciduous trees. Don't get me wrong; live oaks, with their massive spreading limbs, have their charm. But they don't change colors. I daydream of playing in the mountainous piles of leaves in the neighbor's front yard.

Really, do you think kids can grow into normal, healthy adults when they've never bundled up and huddled together on freezing bleachers at a football game? Aren't you scarred for life when, instead of sweaters and coats, you wear shorts and flip-flops to the season opener? No matter how long I live here, I can't wrap my mind around wearing tank tops to football games in the end of September. It just doesn't compute. The calendar says it's fall, but the temperatures are unmistakably summer-like.

Eventually, fall arrives here too and gives way to a winter of sorts. And then I decide I'm glad I'm not in the North. Really, wearing coats and gloves is way over-rated. No boots to find. No snow to shovel. No gray, dreary skies for days or weeks on end.

So, I've come to expect my season of nostalgia. And like all other seasons, it too will pass - only to come again next year.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

After a rousing grammar lesson involving colons, semi-colons and ellipsis points, Kevin suggested to Victoria that she seriously consider not growing up; that she simply stay the age she is right now. Without missing a beat, she quipped; "I considered that when I was seven."

Monday, August 17, 2009

You know summer is ending when...

...random first names take on great significance. Ana, Bill, Claudette, and Danny.
...checking 's tropical update becomes a daily occurrence.
...everyone's swim suits develop threadbare spots from too much sun and chlorine. (note to self: check suit for those spots BEFORE going to the Beach Club on Sea Island)
...we are so tired of the heat we beg for relief, and make rash promised to God that if we can just have a bit of cooler weather we will never again complain about the cold weather in January. begins. The cousins have left and so I fear it's going to be back to the books for the Eades kids. The local college starts this week, and since Alyssa is dual enrolling in two classes (College Algebra and English), she jumps into the fray tomorrow. Other than the co-op classes that Kevin, Hannah and Victoria start tomorrow, I wasn't planning to officially begin until next week. But with Patrick out of town and our days free, I may bump our start date to later in this week. Then maybe we'll be back in full swing by next Monday. Yeah, right...full swing. Hey...I can dream, can't I?

Friday, August 14, 2009

Flashback Friday

Sunday, 22 April 2007

Too busy?

If anyone saw me or talked to me on the phone about a week ago, you probably got an earful about an amazing article in the Washington Post. The short version is: The Washington Post asked Joshua Bell, a famous violinist, to do an experiment to see if beauty, greatness in fact, would win out in the midst people's busy schedules. To really appreciate what happened, you will need to listen to Joshua Bell (and if you are like me, will open his website often just to hear the music) and then read the Washington Post article. I can't begin to explain all that happened, so just take the time and read the article. It's totally amazing.

Okay, if you have read the article, what would you have done? I would like to be able to say I would have stopped to listen. I would...really. A musician friend, Fred McKinnon, says he's 99.9% sure he would have stopped...and he probably would have. But I had to ask myself, would I have been too busy to stop even if I had recognized the greatness? I know I would have heard the beauty, but I don't know that I would have had enough "margin" in my morning to have the liberty to linger in the subway station. I admit it...the Eades are usually running a pretty tight schedule. So I have to ask myself, what am I missing in the midst of my business? Would I find more beauty in life if I didn't schedule my days down to the minute? If didn't wait until the last moment to head out the door to barely make the next event on time, would I have time to stop and gaze at the painted buntings in our bird feeder or admire the flowers blooming in the yard?

I'm afraid we are more like the people in the subway station than I would like to admit.

Thanks to the Washington Post for making me think. I have a few more ideas stirring about their "experiment", but I'd best save those for another time.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Flashback Friday

Well, what's the old saying...the road to hell is paved with good intentions? What can I say? I intended to institute Flashback Friday as a way of moving posts from my old blog to here for posterity sake and as a fun reminder of the not so distant past. Summer and it's lack of routine has taken it's toll but I'm determined to just pick up where I left off and begin anew.

Wednesday, 18 April 2007

I Knew She Was in Trouble

Some months back I had one of my better "mom moments". Sometimes I look back over an "incident" that has occurred with the kids and I wish I had been more patient, more understanding, slower to anger. Maybe I should have held my tongue altogether. As I look back on that particular day, I have no regrets. I returned from an errand while the rest of the family stayed at home. I walked into an empty kitchen to find my favorite teapot broken. No guilty party was near. A bit of inquiry brought the truth...Victoria had done it. I can't remember if there were streams of tears as she confessed how the accident had occurred, but then it happened. I calmly and gently told her what my mother vividly taught me many years ago, "Things can be replaced, people can't." She looked at me as if some alien had invaded my lecture, no raised voice, no pointing my finger telling what she should have done differently. In that moment, she needed to know I still loved her even if she had accidentally broken my best teapot. Even if not consciously, she needed to know that our relationship was more important than any "stuff" we have in the house. She needed to know that "Things can be replaced, people can't."

Fast forward to yesterday evening. Victoria tracked me down in the garden, walked up and said, "Do you remember what you told me when I broke your teapot?" I knew she was in trouble...something was broken, but she was wisely preparing me, reminding me of my own words before she confessed. There was no sense of urgency in her voice, so I didn't think there was bleeding involved (besides, I think we already met our April quota for blood shed on Saturday night when Hannah cracked her head open on the cabinet door). She informed me that "just a little" finger nail polish remover had spilled on Alyssa's desk. None got on Alyssa's computer though, and she had wiped up what was on the wood just left a few marks. So...while this was an accident, it was also disobedience. She is only allowed finger nail polish and remover in very controlled situations with permission. Sitting at Alyssa's desk, with hard wood floor underneath her is NOT one of those controlled environments. So, she will have to make restitution to her sister. Since refinishing the desk is out of the question....maybe Victoria will be buying Alyssa a desk blotter. Any other suggestions for a punishment that fits the crime?

And just in case you were wondering: Victoria did buy her sister a desk blotter to hid the evidence of her misdeeds. Let's all hope she's learned to be more careful with the polish AND the remover.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Refreshing and Renewing

For the first time in more years than I can remember, I spent time alone - really alone. No husband, no kids...just me and the dog. Despite a lengthy to-do list I was incredibly lazy, taking naps at will, sometimes staying up late and sleeping late, sometimes going to bed early and rising at dawn. Whatever tripped my fancy, that's what I did. Sadly, I think I kicked into "selfish" mode more quickly than even I expected...and I ran with it. I was reminded of the fact that selfishness doesn't get "used up" like the gasoline in your car. If fact, I found it to be quite the opposite with my self-indulgence only breeding more self-seeking desires. I have an endless supply of selfishness...something I'm sure my family can readily attest to.

However, I did attempt to redeem bit of the time by renewing my vision for our family, our school and my purpose at this particular juncture in my life. I had already started Keeping House and then began A Life that Says Welcome. Through these books I was reminded that though the tasks I perform seem small and insignificant, they can have profound, life-long effects on my children and husband. I was challenged to treasure the life I have, value the mundane by seeing it in a whole new light and dig a little deeper in an effort to serve those inside and outside my household. I snooped around some blogs, most notably Girltalk where I was smacked up side the head (again) with the challenge to be more hospitable.

So, in the weeks ahead I will be seeking to be intentional in my hospitality and in doing that I'll also be serving my family with renewed vigor and...well...happiness. It's a privilege to do what I do and my actions need to reflect that truth. I'm reminded of the childhood song, "if you're happy and you know it clap your hands...if you're happy and you know it then your face will surely show it..." Sadly, I fear my face doesn't always reflect what I truly desire to communicate to those around me.

And as if to seal the work God was doing in my heart, someone on a Yahoo group sent this link to encourage us homeschool moms. It really does say what I realized during my time alone...and says it much more articulately and creatively than I ever could. If you're a mom who feels might want to grab a tissue. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Summer Fun

Everyone has returned from their various travels. Patrick and Kevin had a fruitful trip to Honduras while Victoria and Hannah had a memorable time at Grandma Camp. Alyssa took her first road trip with a friend while I stayed home and was just plain lazy.

Hoping to give more in depth updates at a later time, but for now, we are soaking up the last days of summer and enjoying them more than Duke (my nephew) enjoyed his Klondike Bar. Hope you all are doing the same.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

A Turn for the Worse

We just got word that Bj had to be put down just a short time ago. He didn't improve at all and took a turn for the worse during the night. As is typical, Hannah took the news well, but has retreated off by herself to process her loss. Wendy is getting a lock of hair for Hannah to keep and a print of a professional picture that Bj was in some years ago. Hannah is relieved he's not in pain any longer...but the barn just won't be the same without him.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Other Side of the Story

This is the companion view to Hannah's story found here.

Early this morning, Hannah and I arrived at the barn to find Wendy (owner/instructor) leading Bj, the horse Hannah usually rides, into one of the stalls that backs up to the covered arena. Odd...but I saw the vet there and so hoped it was a routine visit by him. That was not to be the case. After Wendy told us Bj had a bad case of colic, and she was getting ready to transport him to the horse hospital in Gainsville, FL, I knew the situation was serious. Hannah proceeded to help out with some morning chores and Wendy got the truck and hitched up the horse trailer. At some point she had told Hannah she could ride Buff, and so Hannah headed out into the gelding pasture to get him. Not really knowing HOW serious this might be, I asked another lady who was tending a wound on her horse if Hannah should say goodbye to her dear riding partner, just in case he didn't make it. She nodded. But Hannah was WAY out in the pasture and Wendy had already loaded the horse and was ready to drive away. But then she rolled down her window and said the words I was hoping not to hear, "Hannah may want to come and give this horse a kiss. He may not be coming home." Knowing Wendy was anxious to go, I tried waving and motioning to Hannah to come in...and she was, but not very quickly. So what's a mom to do? I couldn't let her miss her only chance to say her final farewells? Well, what option did I have? I ran across the gelding pasture...IN MY FLIP FLOPS to lead Buff so Hannah could run in and say her goodbyes. I was holding it together pretty well until I walked up to the gate and saw tears in Hannah's eyes. Then I broke down. I'm still not sure just what I was crying about...the horse, Wendy, Hannah's breaking heart. All of the above, I suppose.

I've been toying with the idea of getting some boots for my hours at the barn...and after dodging piles in my flip flops, boots may have just moved up my priority list.

The good news is the vet was optimistic that Bj would recover and after 48 hours on fluids would be released. Wendy generously offered to take Hannah with her on Friday, so the horse lover will be able to see the inside of a horse hospital. So, stay tuned for more horse lessons from Hannah.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Vacation Superlatives

Best Museum - According to Victoria and me: The Clark. Who knew a tiny little town in Massachusetts could boast an art institute with an impressive collection of 19th century French Impressionist art. Some people collect stamps, Francine and Sterling Clark collected Monets, Manets, Renoirs, and Degas. The Clark even displays one of our favorite works of art: The Little Dancer Aged Fourteen, a bronze statue by Degas.

According to Kevin: Duh...the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.

According to Alyssa and Hannah: Norman Rockwell Museum. We especially loved it when the guide explained the paintings to us. Shed new light on everything Rockwell did.

Best Baseball Stadium: Tie! Fenway is old; Citi Field is new. Kevin says they can't be compared. The boys attended a game (and got rained out) at Fenway while the girls and I connected with a friend from high school. The whole fam went to a game at the brand spankin' new Citi Field (Mets). It was quite nice, and we were thankful for seats under cover, as it rained.

Biggest Surprise: How many Dunkin Donuts are in the northeast. They are everywhere! I suppose if you can't have Krispy Kreme, you have to replace it with something second rate.
Kevin was just sad that it was so stinkin' cold and therefore was not in the mood for the drink he loves, Dunkin Donut's Iced Coffee.

Best National Park: Acadia Nat'l Park in Bar Harbor Maine. Hannah even likes it more than the Grand Canyon. The Statue of Liberty was great fun...and we saw that before the clouds and rain moved in so our pictures of Lady Liberty are terrific. Minuteman Nat'l Park has a great multi-media presentation, and it was sobering to see the North Bridge, home of the Shot Heard 'Round the World. We just love Nat'l Parks...can you tell?

Biggest Disappointment: the rain. We LOVED Bar Harbor and were so disappointed that it rained the entire time we were there. We drove to the top of Cadillac Mountain twice, only to find the view completely obscured by the clouds.

Favorite Old House: Hildene, but it had no competition. Amazingly it was the only "old house" tour we made. The gardens were breath-taking and the sound of the organ alone was worth the trip to Vermont.

Best Meal: Lobster in Maine...what could top that?

Best Reunion: Both! I plotted and planned to meet Micki, a dear friend from high school who now lives near Boston. It was everything I imagined it would be and more. Despite a slew of e-mails over the past few months, I still found catching up after twenty plus years something akin to drinking from a fire hydrant. The second reunion was with a great friend from college, Angelique. This one was spur of the moment and Angelique was a dear to let the girls and me visit her at her Queens apartment while the boys soaked up the sights and sounds of Citi Field during batting practice. We were captivated by Lily, her adorable, curly-haired two year old and loved seeing a glimpse of her life in NYC. Now, both of these friends need to venture down the coast and visit me!

City with the Best Subway Workers: Boston. The very kind ticket agent helped us get the most bang for our buck. The ticket agent in NYC just acted irritated that such a subway dunce (that would be me) was taking up his time. I AM happy to report we did not get lost or miss a stop in our travels to and from Citi Field and Angelique's apartment, no small miracle for small town girls like us.

If it sounds like we lived in the van...we did! Grand total we logged over 3400 miles in about 75 hours. Except for the rain, we couldn't have had a more fabulous time!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Bringing You Up to Date

I can't seem to find the time to be creative or witty; both of those require too much effort on my part, so this post is just a plain vanilla attempt to let you know what everyone is up to these days. Grab a cup of your beverage of choice and see what occupies our time these days.

Alyssa is still working at the store at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center. They seem to be working her more hours during the summer, for which she is thankful. She begins some type of volunteer work at the hospital this week and needs to get her application in to the local college so she can dual enroll in a couple of classes this fall. Dance recital is this week...and we will ALL be glad when that is over.

Kevin entered the working world last week. He is carrying on the family name at Grandy's and seems to be a quick study, though eating there since he was born has probably helped him know the drill. He also joined Braveheart (the abstinence education program at Carenet). We haven't pushed the kids to be involved...don't want any accusations of nepotism, you know, but he's a natural at talking to kids and, well, doing what his dad does. He is also preparing for an upcoming trip to Honduras...those of you with check books will probably hear more details of that soon. :-0 And isn't Caitlyn adorable, sporting Kevin's Grandy's hat?

Hannah is still in love with horses and would live at the barn if Ms. Wendy would let her. She has day camp this week and is probably too excited to sleep at night. She has been surprised at how much joy her blogging efforts have given her. Giving her a platform and a voice makes me nervous, but it's great to see her personality shine through her writing.

Victoria is Victoria. She continues to love the stage and so is looking forward to the dance recital. She won her division in the South Georgia Scholarship Pageant on Saturday. She placed first last year too, but had no competition. She was relieved to hear she would actually have girls to compete against this year. How a child of mine can be comfortable with all eyes on her is beyond me. Definitely her father's child. Check out the hair bow...and no, I did not do that myself.

Patrick is busy as ever. Other than family travels and the trip to Honduras, it looks like he'll be home most of the summer. The fall is shaping up to be quite busy, but that's the norm. He received an unexpected phone call last invite to join a group traveling to Israel. Now that's a fun blip on the radar screen.

Me? I'm having a blast seeing these kids grow up. I can't tell you how relieved I am that everyone's horror stories of teenagers have, so far, not come to pass. I am blessed beyond measure. Keeping Matthew and Caitlyn has also been a blessing. I can't imagine our days without seems odd when Caitlyn's not here on a weekday. The garden started off well, but is looking a little weedy as of late. My family will soon be tired of eggplant and the neighbors will be reaping my harvest during our vacation. My recent diversion has been facebook and reconnecting with old friends. It looks like a couple of reunions are in the works and I am practically giddy with excitement.
The fruit of my labor
Discussions around the house have ventured in the direction of child rearing and training techniques. Some of this has come about as I've recounted funny comments from the parenting class I'm teaching at Carenet, and some from reading my sister-in-laws tales of life with toddlers. All my kids can recount times they received "the rod of correction" and apparently some more than others. Hannah even boasted, "Yeah, and the one who got the most, turned out the best." I think her older sister and brother would beg to differ; both about who received the most spankings and who has turned out the best, but I'm glad she now sees the wisdom in our correction and discipline. It's been a long, often exhausting road...but well worth the effort. So, for all you parents of toddlers, I'm rooting for you! Keep up the hard work of consistency. The results are priceless.

Friday, June 5, 2009

An Ill Wind

I've had blog posts swirling around in my head all week, yet haven't taken the time until right now to sit down and try to capture them with words. Just as I was at the point of inspiration, I received a message from someone via facebook. And everyone who has facebook knows, once you've logged in, you might as well check everyone's status. In doing so I came across this, which completely took the wind out of my blogging sail.

Flashback Friday

Wednesday, 18 April 2007

I Knew She Was in Trouble
Some months back I had one of my better "mom moments". Sometimes I look back over an "incident" that has occurred with the kids and I wish I had been more patient, more understanding, slower to anger. Maybe I should have held my tongue altogether. As I look back on that particular day, I have no regrets. I returned from an errand while the rest of the family stayed at home. I walked into an empty kitchen to find my favorite teapot broken. No guilty party was near. A bit of inquiry brought the truth...Victoria had done it. I can't remember if there were streams of tears as she confessed how the accident had occurred, but then it happened. I calmly and gently told her what my mother vividly taught me many years ago, "Things can be replaced, people can't." She looked at me as if some alien had invaded my lecture, no raised voice, no pointing my finger telling what she should have done differently. In that moment, she needed to know I still loved her even if she had accidentally broken my best teapot. Even if not consciously, she needed to know that our relationship was more important than any "stuff" we have in the house. She needed to know that "Things can be replaced, people can't."

Fast forward to yesterday evening. Victoria tracked me down in the garden, walked up and said, "Do you remember what you told me when I broke your teapot?" I knew she was in trouble...something was broken, but she was wisely preparing me, reminding me of my own words before she confessed. There was no sense of urgency in her voice, so I didn't think there was bleeding involved (besides, I think we already met our April quota for blood shed on Saturday night when Hannah cracked her head open on the cabinet door). She informed me that "just a little" finger nail polish remover had spilled on Alyssa's desk. None got on Alyssa's computer though, and she had wiped up what was on the wood just left a few marks. So...while this was an accident, it was also disobedience. She is only allowed finger nail polish and remover in very controlled situations with permission. Sitting at Alyssa's desk, with hard wood floor underneath her is NOT one of those controlled environments. So, she will have to make restitution to her sister. Since refinishing the desk is out of the question....maybe Victoria will be buying Alyssa a desk blotter. Any other suggestions for a punishment that fits the crime?

Friday, May 29, 2009

Mercy abounds....all around

Last Saturday night Kevin and Patrick were returning home from running a couple of errands. Less than a half mile from the house, a lady coming toward them turned front of them. Kevin slammed on brakes and cut left trying to miss her, but the collision was unavoidable. Here are the results:

So here's a reminder: Wear your seat belts and thank God for airbags. I had never seen how the dash just rips open, but there it is.

Thankfully no one was hurt badly, though two passengers in the other vehicle were not wearing seatbelts and were transported to the hospital for neck/back trauma.

And on a much happier note, mercy abounds in our home, and Patrick and I were able to get away for two nights at The King and Prince Resort on St. Simons Island to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. It's a sentimental place for us having spent our wedding night there, dined there for various anniversaries and escaped there for a night away once or twice over the years. We had a wonderful time enjoying each other without interruptions (well...except for the phone calls to Gieco...see above). The kids did well on their own and a special thanks to Mark and Chrissy (my wonderful sister and brother-in-law) for hosting Victoria. I am blessed beyond measure to have a devoted, loving husband!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Drum Roll Please.....

Hannah has started a blog. I'm a little nervous about this adventure...there's no telling what she'll tell you, but here it is

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

To Patrick: 20 for our 20th

Twenty short years ago we embarked on a journey, and what an amazing odyssey it has been! Since that hot, May afternoon when we said "I do", we have traversed waters we never dreamed existed, and have created a beautiful life.

I'm stealing an idea from my sweet niece and in honor of our 20th wedding anniversary am presenting 20 reasons I am blessed to have YOU for a husband.

1. You have an amazing gift for loving people! People make me crazy...but your patience and compassion have no limits.

2. You are a man of the Word! I can hardly remember a day passing in 20 years that I haven't seen you with your Bible open (or seen you scrolling down your Palm). Truly, you set an incredible example for the kids and I.

3. You are one of THE punniest people I know. Though I often groan outwardly...secretly I love your jokes.

4. You watch Jane Austen movies (over and over again) with me...and I even think you like them.

5. You love baseball. And I love baseball. Doesn't that work out swimmingly?!?

6. Despite my grandmother's prophesy to the contrary 20 years ago, you still open the car door for me...each and every time we go somewhere. Chivalry is not dead! You are my knight in shining armor!

7. You let me have whatever I think I need for homeschooling...and never complain about how much it costs. You are a prize!

8. Similarly, you don't complain that our house looks like a library (albeit a messy one) and books are everywhere!

9. You are amazingly understanding when the laundry gets behind or the house stays cluttered. If you think ill of me and my homemaking skills, you never let on. Thanks...I'm trying, really I am.

10. You have the most astonishing connection with teens. I love your heart that sacrifices your time to communicate God's truth to them. This county and school system are incredibly blessed to have you here!

11. You see value in everyone's life...even pre-born lives! Carenet and LifeSteward Ministries found a gem when they found you! This country is blessed to have you here!

12. You have a heart for the nations! You aren't afraid to give up the normal conveniences of life in America to go to the nations and preach the gospel. The world is blessed to have you here!

13. You eat anything I cook with nary a complaint. No matter what my latest food quirk just eat what's in front of you. Thank you for making my life easier.

14. You take care of yourself physically and are in great shape. You are a runner...and runners amaze me. Seriously, I hate running (but you know that) and I think it's great that you can crawl out of bed ridiculously early, take the dog and run. Keep up the good work!

15. You can fix anything! Your tinkering used to scare me, but now I have complete confidence in your abilities.

16. Similarly, you are a computer genius. I am in awe of the breadth of your knowledge of hardware, software and host of other things about which I am completely ignorant.

17. You are a terrific father to four of the most beautiful children to ever grace the planet (I'm the I can say that). From birthday lunches to the rotating Friday breakfast dates, the kids know that they are valued by you and that you always have time for them.

18. You love me. Many days I don't know why or how, but you do. You have loved me through times of incredible grief and times of great happiness. Your steadfast love is a comfort to me.

19. You watch musicals with the girls and I. From funny ones like Hello Dolly to more serious ones like Fiddler on the've seen them all, and you tolerate us singing the songs, over and over when they get stuck in our head.

20. Marrying you has made me a better person. In the words of a song from Wicked (a musical I have yet to share with you), "I do believe I have been changed for the better" just by having you as my husband. I can't imagine my life without you.

You are a treasure...and I'm blessed to be your wife, friend and lover. Happy 20th Anniversary!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Flashback Friday

I've recently become a bit nostalgic. A couple of weeks ago, we turned on our main computer to see a message to this effect: A hard drive failure in imminent. The short story is the hard drive failed and despite hours of effort and several hundred dollars, nothing was recoverable. Our entire life on the computer - evaporated. Lesson learned...back up computers, even new ones.

Anyway, I'm quite thankful for the pictures and memories that have been recorded on my blog since mid 2007. In an effort to have all my blog in one place, I've decided to slowly but surely copy my old blog at xanga into Imitating Steventon here at Blogger via Flashback Friday. Each Friday (Lord willing) I'm going to import a post from my old blog to this one here. Here is my first post dated

Tuesday, 17 April 2007


Are you wondering about the name...Imitating Steventon. To be proper, it should be Imitiating Steventon Rectory, but I liked the sound of it w/o the Rectory part. Steventon Rectory was the childhood home of Jane Austen. I love the quote by one of Austen's family members about "the home conversation being rich with shrewd remarks, bright with playfulness and humor," so I have incorporated it into the name of my blog. I'm sure Steventon Rectory was indeed filled with witty dialogue and mischief. The Austens had 8 children AND took in boarders from Oxford and Cambridge. No doubt there was never a lack of lively conversation. So, while we don't plan to add boarders any time soon, we do aspire to have a home with lively and loving conversations. As the kids and I read in our devotion today, we desire to follow Paul's admonition to "let your conversations be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone." (Col.4:6)

Patrick always refers to our house as Stately Eades Manor...maybe I'll start calling it Steventon Manor. I prefer my home be named after Austen than Batman...don't ya think?

I guess I just lose the comments...maybe someday someone will figure out a way to import xanga into Blogger.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Sometimes I just can't help myself. My compassion and mercy run roughshod over reason and good judgment. Two weeks ago, the center director (not the executive director...the one I am married to) at the Brunswick Carenet asked me to speak to a group of soon-to-be moms about babies and caring for newborns. Of course I was delighted to do it. Well, before the evening was over, I had fallen in love with the girls and heard myself offering to teach the parenting portion of group for the next 6 weeks or so until it is time to begin the Lamaze/medical portion of the class. What was I thinking? I need one more commitment like a drowning man needs more water. But, the deed was done.

The girls and their boyfriends/husbands/mothers attend the class, hopefully become more prepared for labor, delivery and parenting, and accumulate Dedication Dollars that they can redeem for maternity and baby clothes, diapers, cribs and all kinds of baby paraphernalia in the Carenet Baby Store. The girls range in age from 15 to 26, and most are having their first baby. Most are outgoing and most of my attempts to hold the discussion to the topic at hand often prove futile. I challenge them to eat a little healthier than they did last week, drink a little more water and a little less Code Red Mountain Dew, and think about parenting as a long term proposition. I want them to see that small decisions add up to big consequences in the future. Often taking the easy route with a 3 or 6 month old will make parenting a little harder with a 9 month old. Most of them seem to love the mother figure nurturing them...I guess what remains to be seen is if they actually put any of our advise and wisdom into practice.

After last night's class, one girl stayed late to talk to the other leader and I. Despite having just found out she was pregnant last week, she and her fiance have kicked their preparations for marriage and parenthood into high gear. She pulled out her Bible and a Bible Study book that she had recieved at Carenet last week and showed us how she and her fiance had nearly completed the study questions. Then she inquired, "Do you think I could have another Bible so my fiance could have his own while we do the Bible study together?" Doesn't that request just make you smile? While the week has hardly begun, I knew I wouldn't find a better quote of the week than that.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Dreaded Gaps (and my Quote of the Week)

I have tried to avoid typing this blog entry because it's not very, correct. But you know, I've noticed LIFE is not always politically correct, and this is just way too funny (and sad?) not to share.

Homeschooling. So many times I feel like a failure; like I'm ruining my kids for life, and their future success or failure rests solely on my puny shoulders. I confess, my kids have gaps, huge academic gaps in their education. I'm often shocked at what they don't know, and some days it's downright discouraging. The one thing I have never worried about, but is foremost on homeschooling opponents' minds is the "s" word: socialization. I think our kids are very well adjusted and can hold their own (and sometimes dominate) conversations with peers or adults. But much to my dismay, this past week has revealed several gaps even in their social skills. Man, the one area in which I was formerly worry free!

Patrick has the distinct privilege of speaking to every 7th, 8th and9th grader in the Glynn County School system during their respective health class. He encourages the kids to look to the future and make good choices, specifically in the area of relationships and sexuality. Based on the feedback we get when we are out in public, the kids love him AND his somewhat unorthodox presentations. On Wednesday, he had two 8th grade "shadows" - you know, kids following him around all day to see what his career is like. Funny, his shadows from one middle school had to go to another middle school and sit through a whole days worth of repeat performances...but I guess they didn't mind. Part way through one class, he was interrupted and asked to come and help break up a fight between two girls in another classroom. He found one girl holding the other by her hair, er - uh her hair extensions (also know as weave), and attempting to pulverize her. Patrick did help break up the fairly fierce cat fight and eventually returned to his classroom. Before picking up where he left off, one girl raised her hand and timidly offered this: "Mistah Eeeeades, I don't know if I should tell you this, but you have weeeeave on your elbow." Gee, one of the casualties of breaking up fights, huh?

After a full day of his shadows patiently enduring multiple presentations, he treated them to Chick-fil-a. As they were dining together, one shadow quipped, "You know what the problem in the school is? They got too many black kids in those classes?" Shocked to hear such non-politically correct speech, Patrick questioned the statement. "Yeah, you put that many black kids in a class and you're gonna have trouble," clarified one of the two African-American shadows.

So, let's see if I have this right. My girls have failed to learn how to physically fight (they prefer verbal lashings), and possibly none of the kids have fully developed their prejudices.

So if the previous two gaps were not enough, Kevin brought one more to light. He has joined the Braveheart drama team, and on Friday had his first experience speaking to the kids in the public schools. While enjoying the delicious cafeteria food (hmmm...maybe he won't complain about leftovers any more), he witnessed a boy attempt to sit down at a table with his tray of food. The kids already seated informed him that he could only sit there IF he gave them his bread sticks (which he did). Drats, it had not occurred to me to teach my kids proper and effective bullying techniques.

So, just when I think I am free and clear in one aspect of home schooling, the dreaded gaps identify themselves right before my eyes.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

One Blessed Mom

The Laundry Maven

The past three Saturdays have been consumed with yard work. Patrick and Kevin tackled the installation of border boards to keep the St. Augustine grass from creeping into the rest of the landscape. I have feverishly been weeding, planting, fertilizing and spreading mulch - four pick-up truck loads to be exact. Okay, so to be fair, I haven't exactly done that ALL by myself. Patrick and Kevin did most of the heavy shoveling. :-) So, while I work outside, you might think everything inside the house lies neglected.

Thankfully, I have wonderful daughters to prevent that from happening. While Alyssa seems to have escaped the yard frenzy by miraculously being scheduled to work every Saturday morning and afternoon, the other girls have risen to the occasion. Last Saturday Hannah swept and mopped the entire downstairs. No small feat! The feeling of coming into a clean house after working outside all day was incredible. Thanks Hannah!

Up until yesterday, I'd been a bit of a control freak about me being the only one to do the laundry. While I think all the kids know HOW to use the washer and dryer, I don't generally LET them. I guess I don't want them to ruin any know....have something red accidentally go through with the whites. I'll leave that faux pas to me. But yesterday, it all came to an end. I was woefully behind before Saturday morning rolled around, and I knew we would all suffer if the washer wasn't humming for a major portion of Saturday; so Victoria took on the giant. While Hannah and Kevin worked outside, Victoria set up shop in the laundry room. At one point she could have been found sitting on top of the washer and dryer, folding clothes and watching a movie on Alyssa's laptop. She dutifully kept the washer and drying spinning all day and diligently asked advise about whether this shirt or those pants were permitted in the dryer. Amazingly enough, when I came inside mid-afternoon, the laundry room was void of all dirty clothes AND clean clothes. All articles had been taken to their respective rooms. The mountain of dirty laundry (and even a mound of clean that had been thrown on top of the washer and dryer) had been transformed into neat piles on my bed and in each kid's respective clean laundry container.

I have such amazing children. That is, after all, the best Mother's Day present they could ever give me.

Monday, May 4, 2009

It Takes all Sorts

Don't you love how differently God made each of us? I have a dear friend who is an incredible woman of God, faithful Carenet volunteer, pastor's wife, and one of THE funniest people that I know. She is also super organized. She is a calendar/planner/menu freak! She IS what I want to be when I grow up. Today she posted her latest menu effort on her blog . Not to be outdone, I posted mine too. If you scroll down on this page, you will see today's menu on a button just below my "Currently Reading".

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Katrina, the Wonder Dog

Wonder dog, you ask? For those of you who have ever visited our house, you think I've lost my marbles by calling her that. You've been greeted by the vicious beast who has yet to respond to any of our attempts at bark training. Yes, we've gone through every kind of bark collar known to canine owners. Nothing has helped. But other than that little (okay, giant) behavior problem, she is every child's dream dog. Just this week the younger girls decided to purchase a harness so that she can pull them on the garden cart. Amazingly enough, she loves it. Well, if she doesn't love it, she's a good sport about it.

So, despite the fact that I often wonder why we have a dog, another creature to clean up after, I am continually amazed at how much joy she brings to all of us, but especially to Hannah and Victoria.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Just Wonderin'

I'm thinking there must have been something in the air tonight that zapped all logic from the brain of most every store clerk I encountered. At Chick-fil-a I must have picked the line with the new cashier. When I ordered my Southwest Salad, he had to ask the manager if the button that said "SW SALAD" was the correct one to push. Seeing that Chick-fil-a only has about 3 salads to pick from, I would have thought he could have gone out on a limb and skipped tracking down the manager on that one.

I am really getting into these reusable shopping bags that all the stores are selling; not because I'm all that environmentally friendly, but because groceries and such are soooo much easier to carry in them. Really, they don't cut the circulation to your fingers off when you carry the gallon of milk in them. However, I just hate walking around with an advertisement on my hip, so I decided to buy a more generic and cool looking one at Pier One (then I can stash the grocery store bags inside of that one until they are needed). After plunking my three dollars onto the counter, the sales lady asked if I wanted the purchase (my reusable shopping bag) in a plastic bag. Hmmmm...I'm thinking it doesn't take a rocket scientist to guess the answer I gave.

Armed with my new, hip bag, Hannah, Victoria and I headed next door to purchase some ink cartridges at Staples (and kudos to that clerk...the only one with a brain firing on all cylinders tonight and who actually dropped my purchase into the bag I was holding open). Next, we walked to the pet store a few doors down. Hannah selected a few things she needed for the dog and we made for the checkout stand. I plopped my handy dandy bag onto the counter for Mr. Pet Store to drop my items into. Of course, the collar/harness didn't have a bar code to scan, so Hannah picked up another one. Same problem. While she was getting a third one, bright Mr. Pet Store laid the two other harnesses on the counter behind him. Finally we hit pay dirt and the third harness scanned. Our cashier friend promptly put the third harness behind him with the other two. I informed him that, since I was paying for a harness, I was planning to take one of them home with me, and could he please put one of those three into my open bag? He finally finished ringing up the rest of our items, which he promptly put into a plastic store bag that was almost directly underneath my open reusable bag. Wow...I guess it's going to take a while for folks to get accustomed to using those things.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Spring Has Sprung

Oh, what a beautiful mornin',
Oh, what a beautiful day.

I got a beautiful feelin'
Ev'rything's goin' my way.

from Rogers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma

Not even gloomy newspaper headlines and doomsday predictions can keep spring at bay. Doesn't the change of seasons do wonders to
chase away the winter doldrums? The weather is delightful, flowers are bursting into bloom and the world just seems a friendlier place. Come August or September, could someone please remind of these days - refresh my memory so I recall why I love living here?

I suspect you've been plenty take a moment and smell (er, uh look at) the flowers.

This is the third year these little guys have come back.
I love annuals that get confused and act like perennials.

A bottlebrush bloom about to explode!

The birds LOVE this bush. The hummingbirds will visit it all summer.

Can you see the indigo bunting hiding in there?
Our bird book says he shouldn't be in backyards, but he's too blue to be anything else.

And here is our pine warbler!