Monthly Archives: August 2010

Vacation, day 2: Chincoteague!

Planning around weather can be a bit tricky this time of year in the mid-Atlantic region. A storm is nearly always in the forecast, so the goal is figuring out where the storm is expected to be and where you can go to avoid it.  The original plan for the day was to rent kayaks at the local state park, but when SuperDad looked up the weather report on his BlackBerry, we decided to postpone that activity; instead, we loaded up and headed for the beach at Chincoteague.

Click on any pic to enlarge


Playing in the hot sun and the rough surf is exhausting.
Luckily, there was plenty of time to relax.


There was time to build sand castles…

…and to observe the constant battle of man vs. nature.

After 3 hours at the beach, we were all ready for a late lunch in town. On our way back out to the island after eating, I noticed a sign about mosquitoes but didn’t have time to read it. (Hey, I was driving!) I hadn’t thought about mosquitoes at the beach; the breeze had been steady enough to keep the bugs away. But there was no ocean breeze on our 2 short hikes and I still have some welts on my back to prove it!
Mosquitoes and I have a long history of one-sided attraction vs. my strong reaction. I’m still waiting for a bug spray strong enough to keep them away from me.

The famous Chincoteague ponies


The ponies in the photograph above as seen through my camera’s zoom setting.
Click on photo to enlarge picture.
The view below is how close we actually were (look for the 2 specks in the right top quadrant) but SnakeMaster still happily posed.

At this rather anti-climatic point, we decided to call it a day, loaded back up, and stopped for ice cream on our way back to our home base.

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Vacation: the first day

Before summer ends
And a boy goes to college
Take a vacation

We were lucky to stay in this lovely house for free! It belongs to the estate of a friend’s mother who sadly passed away this year. And if you want to purchase a waterfront house in Southern Maryland near Jane’s Island State Park, I’m more than happy to share the Realtor link.  The master bedroom suite is the entire second floor… oh, the views!!

For the first time ever, we took both vehicles on vacation. It worked so well it may just happen again! Two people drove/rode in the Honda Element, where we stashed boogie boards for the beach and bikes to share on the pathways. We also managed to use it to haul the camping supplies for later in the week. The other 4 of us rode in the minivan with all the rest of the stuff a family needs for a week away.

SuperDad grilled burgers, which we ate on the deck — mine included grilled summer squash and provolone cheese melted on top:  heaven!  — while we enjoyed the incredible sunset view.

Day is Done

At night when the house is dark
and I lay quietly on my bed,
my thoughts bubble up to the surface.
If I have time before slumber arrives
I’ll examine those bubbles
and wonder
Do they tell the truth?
Is inspiration a dream meant for sleep
or ill-fated hope for morning?
The cooling breeze from the fan cannot blow the clouds away
to give a clear view of those thoughts that hide in the deep
when the day is bright and busy.

It’s back!

Actually, the Random Dozen has been back for a few weeks, but I am just now getting back to it, in my own haphazard way. Here goes…

Hosted by:
Lidna at 2nd Cup of Coffee

1. What is your favorite Mexican dish?
Wow, that’s a difficult question for me to answer, because I really love Mexican food! Enchiladas (my first love) come to mind first, so I’ll go with that answer, but the tortilla soup made and served by the cafeteria ladies in our El Paso public elementary school was some of the best I’ve ever tasted.

2. When you were a kid, did you get started on your homework right away after school, or did you procrastinate?
After school was for playing and piano lessons and reading; I did my homework in the evening.

3. What is your favorite store for home furnishings?
I rarely purchase things like that, so I don’t have a favorite store.

4. When you were young, did you like school lunches?
When I was in elementary school, way back in the age of dinosaurs –or at least Bonanza metal lunch boxes– I rarely purchased a school lunch. There was a rule that we had to eat everything on the tray, or at least TRY it. I was very picky eater.

5. Is religion a crutch?
Religion is the easy scapegoat of wars and disagreements. Religion is often an excuse for those very same things.
Faith is something entirely different, and no, I do not believe that faith is a crutch.

6. In your region, what is the “big” (most popular in the community or state) high school sport?
My kids are not sports-minded –we are more about Marching Band and EB’s Cross-Country meets– but I’m guessing that the Biggie is lacrosse… although I’m not really sure what lacrosse IS!
You can, however, almost always find me at the home football games, and not only because the band is playing. 😉

7. Do you consider yourself rich?
We live in one of the richest counties in the country. My husband likes to say we helped bring down the median income level. So, no, we’re not rich when it comes to financial wealth.  When you talk about blessings, I think we are rich indeed!

8. Which of these would you have the best chance for success in administering:
A) CPR
B) Heimlich Maneuver
C) Changing a flat tire

It’s been quite a long time since I’ve undergone CPR training, but it is still probably my best bet.  Unless by “changing a flat tire” you mean me watching the tire being changed!

9. Which dance would you prefer to learn & why:
A) Salsa
B) Hip Hop
C) Waltz
D) Swing

Hmmm…. I already know how to waltz and I have taken swing dancing lessons  (it’s been a long time) so I guess I will say SALSA!

10. What’s the worst news you’ve ever delivered to someone?
Telling my husband that our oldest son totaled the car. This was very much tempered by the fact that the boy was safely sleeping in his room during the telling. It could have been SO much worse.

11. Name something you learned in college that had nothing to do with classes or academics.
Mixing drinks (beer, vodka, rum, etc., etc.) is a bad idea, roommates hate it when you puke in the garbage can all night long, and hangovers are painful.
This probably explains why I worry a little about sending my kids off to college. Perhaps they will be more like their father instead?

12. New variation on an old question: If there’s a song in your head that just won’t get out, what is your favorite (or most repeated) line in that song?
“All Aboard!!……
Crazy, but that’s how it goes
Millions of people, living as foes
Maybe it’s not too late, to learn how to love and forget how to hate.”

When 45 = 11.25 = $150

Last night I watched my son run for 89 minutes.

With each passing lap —45 in all — the sweat glistened more brightly on his skin, the determination evident on his face.

At the end of the fundraising event, he had run 11.25 miles and raised $150 for the team.

I’m very proud of him.


Way to go, EB!

Musical Monday: Bluegrass Baby

I spent a wonderful Saturday evening at a bluegrass concert. While the music from this first act was decidedly amateur (it was dark when the headliners hit the stage), I couldn’t resist filming this adorable little girl. This is why I love bluegrass:

I found out about Musical Monday from Thom.

This post also segues with this week’s Thematic Photographic subject of kids.  (Thanks, Carmi!) I couldn’t figure out how to get a screen shot from this video, but I did get to choose the thumbnail shown above as the video opener.  Isn’t she adorable?

Okay, back to work for me. I’ll be around to visit you all when I can. Must. Work.

Barefoot Summer

Those precious days of childhood
living in a different world
immersed in imagination

I snapped this photo of my 11yo as he intently watched The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.  His sword is his own homemade creation, a product of time spent in SuperDad’s workshop (a.k.a., the Bat Cave). The scabbard is what remains of a cheap plastic sword that lost a battle long ago, and “Tex” is the horse he received on his 4th birthday.
After 7 years, Tex is more likely to be a clothes horse than the faithful steed of a young knight, a prince, or a cowboy — yet here is proof of childhood hanging on to what is good and true, at least in our imagination.

This post goes with Carmi‘s weekly topic over at Thematic Photographic.

Friday 5: Teasers

Just to tide you over until I can get back to blogging regularly, here are 5 pictures from our vacation — one from each day:

I’m still slowly working on those vacation posts but I also have pesky duties like cleaning the house, buying school supplies, and making dinner. Next week is Newsletter Week… please be patient with me!

Friday 5: the college edition

Ladies and Gentlemen, the bird has flown the nest.

1. MusicMan has headed off to college… on the other side of the country.

2. The Onion has  tips on how to keep in touch.

3. Lucky for him, I do have a life, which means I don’t have time for stalking him.  (But go ahead and click the link above, it is classic Onion.)

4. Four minus one really does equal three.

5. There’s an empty spot at our dinner table. 😦