Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Greening of Connecticut

Even though I grew up in the mountains of North Carolina and the hills of Ithaca, New York, have lived in coastal South Carolina, New York City area and the farmlands of Virginia, I have always been fascinated by how dramatically Southeastern Connecticut "greens up" in the spring.  To me spring always seems to be coming, slowly....two steps forward with warm weather, one step back to the frigid temperatures again.  Lots of rain and occasional flurries along the way.  The anticipation can be torture after a long cold winter. 

Then suddenly spring is here with the brightest green of anyplace I can remember ever living up and down the East Coast.  This year I decided to document the change, taking photos of the same set of trees over our chicken coop and the coop with its wooded background every weekend.  I started on March 21st, just before the buds began to show on the trees and stopped on May 15.   

March 21st - The buds are just starting to make the trees look fuzzy

The chicken coop on March 27th

One month later, not much difference - April 18

Taken the same day as the above shot, but showing the ground

May 1st - Pale new leaves show promise

Voila!  Spring is here!  May 15th looking up at the same trees

The chicken coop is now in the shade

Monday, May 17, 2010

Jay's Birthday Letter and a Recipe for Cat Stew

My husband Jay celebrated his birthday with the family recently.  Kelsey decided to she was going to write her step-father a card.  I thought it worth sharing:

Hey there old man, so today's your you're old....geez...well there's always an up side to getting old.  It means that if you act crazy and a little bit out there then no one will really mind 'cause they're just like, "Hey, he's old, he deserves to act crazy."  Now don't you feel better about being old? :)  No?  Yeah I didn't think so.

Well at least you've got a loving family...and a whole bunch of cats.  Hey, at least you'll never be lonely and soon enough we'll have so many cats in the house that I'm sure Mommy won't notice if a few "accidentally" disappear into a pot of water on the stove.  There ya go.  I just totally gave you a genius recipe, Cat Stew.  Brilliant, right?  Anyways I hope you have a great birthday and if you don't....I blame the cats because they can't talk back and argue with me when I blame them.  See they are good for something!  :-D 

Sooooo...why are you still reading this?  Sheesh seriously you probably have something way better to do so stop reading this dang card!  Haha.  I love you and Happy Birthday.

Recipe for Cat Stew:

  • 1 fresh cat (the meaner the cat, the better the taste)
  • some table salt
  • some butter
  • some vegetables
  • a fork, a knife, a plate, a napkin
  • and one huge appetite

Love, Kelsey Marie (the only)

The Birthday Boy studying the legal ramifications inflicted by his wife in the event that he follows Kelsey's recipe.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mother's Day Addendum

I added a link to Snapfish on my previous blog, not thinking that viewers would have to set up a Snapfish account in order to see them.  Sorry, but I didn't know of a better way to display all the photos (I edited it down to 30) as doing anything creative on Blogspot is an exercise in extreme frustration.  So I'll add a few more photos now to give you a sample.


Kelsey persuading a bug to join her

Jay's friend stayed on his shirt for over an hour

Tyler trying to look nonchalant

Benjamin trying to blow the butterfly off his shoulder

Monday, May 10, 2010

A Terrific Mothers Day

I had a very full and fulfilling Mothers Day yesterday.  I got some nice cards and gifts, but more importantly were the non-material gifts I received.

We had the grand kids over while their mother (Jay's daughter) worked.  Usually Tyler and Kelsey are too caught up in their teenage lives to spend time with a 5 and 8 year-old, but Ben persuaded Tyler to play with them outside for quite awhile, giving Jay a needed break so he could study for his last law school final this week.  Ben adores Tyler even though Tyler barely speaks to him.  It's part of that older boy worship and I've spoken to Tyler about how his thoughtful, more sensitive nature could be a positive influence on Ben, a kid who sometimes enjoys misbehaving for the sake of attention.  It was rewarding to see all three kids outside, laughing as Tyler bounced them on the trampoline, then showing them his back flip and different tricks on the swing set. 

One of my Mothers Day requests was to visit the Butterfly Pavilion in Norwich.  Kelsey has had a fear of butterflies ever since she had a nightmare  a few years ago in which evil butterflies ate peoples' faces.  Irrational, I know.  Logical explanations on the anatomy and nature of butterflies she understood, but her fear was real.  Amazing that I have child afraid of bugs at all considering my fascination with all animals, even the creepy, crawly ones.  I'm the type of person who would rather pick up a spider (not with my bare hand) and carry it safely outside than squish it.  Kelsey is fine with snakes and rodents, but a basket case when it comes to most insects. 

So against Kelsey's wishes, we all (Jay, myself, Tyler, Kelsey, Amanda and Ben) went to experience a tent full of Monarch and Painted Lady butterflies.  I gave Kelsey my camera to give her something to do, focus on the beauty instead of reacting in fear to one landing on you.  It worked; within minutes Kelsey was trying to get a butterfly on her finger.  Visitors were given "nectar" to dip their fingers in and instructed to hold their fingers in front of butterfly to see if it would crawl on your finger and lick it.  We were not to touch the wings as removing the protective coating can harm the butterfly.  Children were everywhere, amazed at the creatures on their little hands.  Kelsey joined in the amazement, wanting to stay longer than the rest of us.  She is very proud of her photos although my favorites are the ones I took of my daughter, conquering her fears.  To see more pictures, click on the link below.