Thursday, June 26, 2008

Shots from Our Garden on Garden Street...

Every Winter we decide to move. Our place is too small and there is sure to be some tempting 3 bedroom with a pool and a gym tucked closer to the PATH for less money.

But each Spring...

Green creeps up and over on to our deck. And flowers we've optimistically planted ...

Surprise us with endurance.

And the stairs into the Garden invite and remind, 'This is where you are, and this is where you belong.'

These are a few shots I collected today from, what will continue to remain, our own back yard.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


After my aunts left New York, my little brother Seth came out, and we drove upstate, returning to Niagara Falls and Palmyra. It was a terrific trip, made better by excellent company. We rented a car, which we were all a little worried about--I mean, we all enjoy each other's company, but it's been a long time since we embarked upon a roadtrip together. We got a GPS system for the car and decided to just wander, stopping wherever struck our fancy. Luckily for us, fancy struck a lot of interesting places, including Woodstock, NY.

So, funny story about Woodstock. It's not actually where the famed concert took place. Apparently, the concert was supposed to happen there, but they didn't have a space big enough. So, some crazy kid convinced his father (who lived in a town 60 miles away) to let them hold the concert in his field. So, that's what they did, but they liked the name Woodstock so well, they decided to keep it. Interestingly enough, the fact that the concert didn't happen there hasn't prevented loads of people (read: hippies) from visiting there, including this lady:
Now, if you look closely, you will realize that she is sporting a very respectable goatee. Only in Woodstock, folks!

In between Woodstock and Niagara, there was much sleeping, especially by Scout. He was plum tuckered out by the long drive, as you can see. I got a fair amount of sleeping in as well, I'm not gonna deny it.

Along the way, we also stopped at several antique stores (most of which were closed) and somehow happened upon a Revolutionary War site. The site was fine, but what was really exciting was the creepy woods that surrounded us. They were definitely Watcher in the Woods-type woods, made exponentially creepier by the presence of giant spiderweb nests of death on many of the trees.

Luckily, we didn't encounter any of what was inside said nests, but we did get a little lost in the woods. It was scary and exciting.

Finally, we made it to Niagara and promptly went to bed. The next day, we headed out to see the falls, and it was a stunning show indeed, as evidenced by our many wonderous looks:

A terrific time was had by all, except for Scout. He had to stay in the car.

After we visited the Falls, we set about finding more antique stores (for some reason, this was a most sought after activity in this group). Upon arriving in Rochester, we typed "Antique Stores" into the GPS and Edna, our very unpleasant navigator, kept sending us to people's houses. I am fairly certain that theses people were not all named "Antique," and that Edna was acting out some kind of internal technological aggression. Finally, we found a bizarre antiques "mall," which was a cross between The Quilted Bear and an old lady's yard sale, only bigger. Much, much bigger. There were all sorts of treasures to be found there, but most valuable of all was the art we created ourselves in a partially decorated booth:

The next day, we headed out to Palmyra to take in the church sites. This time we did it right, though, skipping through the long pre-recorded exhibits (the Dead Sea Scrolls) and going straight for the good stuff.

We spent quite a while in the Grove, at the shop where the Book of Mormon was printed, and at the two Smith farms, the first of which Seth was almost too tall for:

All in all, it was a delightful, peaceful trip that reminded me just how lucky I am to have a family that I not only love, but that I enjoy spending time with (even time in a car).


Sunday, June 22, 2008

Saturday, June 14, 2008

A Day for Dads

Happy Father's day to two particularly shining, stellar examples of the genre:

Clarence B. Kelland once said "My father didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it." This quotation perfectly applies both to my relationship with my father and Patrick's with his -- many of our best qualities we learned not because our fathers told us how to live, but because they showed us.

So, to Colby and John: we love you!


Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Aunts take Manhattan

So Josh is right. I am lazy, and I ain't got no alibi. But I have reason to be lazy this week: we just finished having 2 1/2 weeks of guests in our funky New York life! We were pretty much 24-hour party people. There is a small qualification to make about all these guests--they are all related to me. Every year, my family plans and executes an extended vacation that begins in New York City and often ventures into other neighboring areas. Last year it was Washington, DC; this year it was a return to Palmyra and Niagara Falls.

This year's trip began with my sister Haylee,

my Mom (on right), and her two sisters Gina (center) & Julie (left)

arriving on our doorstep at about 11:45 PM on a Thursday night. From there on, our adventures included a trip out to Ellis Island and the Statue (which we've never done before...I liked the museum), dancing and dinner at a sidewalk cafe in Little Italy, chocolate overload at Max Brenner, delicious Dominican food at El Malecon, dinosaurs at the Natural History Museum (where we naturally underpaid), and, finally, Central Park, where I took a series of photos which my aunt Gina said made it look like I was the gimpy friend in an after-school special, and they had to take me out with them to fulfill a personal progress goal in Young Women's. Whew, that was a long sentence! Well, gentle readers, if you come visit us in New York, you will get a long sentence of your own on this illustrious blog.

Hearkening back to my earlier confession that I am, indeed, lazy, when we were at the Natural History Museum, we had to take pictures of all the characters in the movie Night at the Museum so Gina could take them home to her kids, Gabi and Kai. After spending two hours in the museum, we were too tired and L-A-Z-Y to walk up more flights of stairs to finish the photo list, so we just took photographs of the pictures on the wall map. Who can tell? Not me, that's for sure (observe photo at left).

Another highlight was a bizarre festival that had shut down Little Italy, allowing revelers to walk wantonly through the middle of the streets without a care and shop owners and restauranteurs to fully take over the sidewalks. In the midst of the parades celebrating some monk-looking individual (it was the Feast of Saint so-and-so), there was gelato aplenty, carnival games, and, for some bizarre reason, a really bad rag-tag band that had taken over a parking lot and was giving a concert. Now, the members of the band did not, individually, seem so bad. But the combination of them all created a horrifying cacophony of ungodly sound (most inappropriate at a saint's feast). But people started dancing, and what could I, as a true drama geek, do? Dance, of course! With my aunt Gina and this guy:Don't I look real comfortable having a picture taken with this stranger? Anyway, it was fun, magical, and a little Italian.

This trip also included our yearly pilgrimage to Chinatown to buy cheap knockoff goods. But this somehow lacked some of its past magic. Perhaps it was when a shopkeeper told me and my sister to move away from the sunglasses and let other people have a turn looking (we are not large girls and it was a very large wall of sunglasses. Plus, we had only been looking at them for about 10 minutes. Plus, we were just about to buy three pairs. You can bet we didn't!). Or maybe it was when another shopkeeper pushed Haylee away from the front of the booth. But probably it was when that same woman approached my aunt Julie. Julie is a rather no-nonsense woman who doesn't really care for Chinatown all that much. When Julie told the lady she didn't want to buy anything, the lady replied, "I don't want you to buy! You move!" A few minutes later, another seller approached Julie. The previous lady warned him off: "Don't sell to her! She crazy!"

Luckily, we got away from the crazy in Central Park, where we relaxed on the Bethesda Fountain and watched Thoth in the distance. It was a lovely end to a stupendous visit.

Sadly, after only four days, the aunts had to go home. But don't you worry, gentle readers! We just traded them for my little brother Seth

and headed up north to Niagara Falls and Palmyra, a post for another day...


Monday, June 09, 2008

Meanwhile, on Eric's Page...

So we are getting right back to blogging this week, I promise!

But, in the meantime, check out our NYC exploits with our friend Eric here in his very funny column "Snide Remarks."


Sunday, June 01, 2008