Saturday, July 31, 2010

If I Ran the World

There’d be fewer of these

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(I will admit they look good in this picture, but don't be fooled.  
The white ones are not normally this pretty.)


And more of these

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and these.

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And, as you can see, the City of Durham and the NCDOT agree with me. 
I love this. 
(The flowers, not that they agree with me.)  
(Although I also love it when people agree with me.)

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Friday, July 30, 2010

Look At What Came in the Mail!

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I made a blurb book of the first year of my blog.

It is so cool!

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The pictures are just beautiful.

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I am so excited!

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(and yes, that is my big toe holding down the pages!)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Birthday Season Begins (Began)

And it is with great (though late) pleasure that we announce that Jason is now…

18!

Indulge me for a moment while I reminisce through pictures.

We waited a long time for him to join our family, 
and he was worth the wait!

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June 187
April 055
December05 010
Beach Sept 2007 (165)
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Florida Keys 456
 Puerto Rico 151

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Downside of the Upside

One of the first things we learned 15 years ago when we moved to Durham and started going to church was that our ward (congregation) had a significant transient population.  (Not homeless families—student families.) Over the last 15 years we’ve gotten to rub shoulders with many Duke Law, business, and PhD students, as well as residents working at Duke Hospital.  It didn’t take very many years before we knew as soon as we met someone new just about how long they’d be here.  Two years for business (minus the summer), three for law (minus the summers), 5-7 for a PhD, etc.

The upside to living in this ward is that we have met so many interesting and wonderful people; far more than we would ever have come to know living in a more traditional ward with a stable population.  We have loved meeting the new arrivals each year, associating with them in our callings and getting to know them on a more personal level. 

And that’s where the downside comes in.  We decide we really like these people, they become an important part of our lives, and then, like clockwork, they leave us.

Earlier this summer it was Amy’s time to leave.  I know her husband had graduated from law school and all, and that they weren’t interested in poverty as a permanent life-style, but I really liked having Amy here.  She is one of the most fun people I’ve ever known, and I’m not just saying that because she had a totally Twilight themed birthday party.  Amy was always so much fun to play games with, she made any book group more fun, and who will watch all 3 Twilight movies with me next year when the 4th comes out??  Durham just will not be the same place without Amy.

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I thought that once Amy was gone the sadness was done for the year, but then we got one of those curve balls we weren’t expecting.

Katie, my dearly loved visiting teaching companion, is moving sooner than expected.  Now I have agreed to stay happy, and to throw a “we’re not so sad that you’re moving party,” and I will be true to my word. 

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But inside, I’m going to be sad, sad, sad.  How on earth will a new visiting teaching companion measure up?  Who will I have such interesting conversations with and such fun (and late!) girls nights? Where will I learn great dessert recipes? Who could ever have a husband quite as…interesting…to entertain us?  (I’m sure that no one else’s husband would eat a cricket!)  It just won’t be the same here without Katie, and I am going to miss her so much.

I’m trying to develop a more zen attitude about this.  Trying to focus on the upside; that I am truly so happy to have known these awesome women.  Really, I’m working very hard at it. 

But for right now, I’m more than a little bit sad, too…

My New Favorite T-Shirt

I went out to brunch this morning and saw this excellent t-shirt.  (With a very cooperative man inside it!)

July 2010 1257 Isn’t that great!

Although it is really my 2nd favorite t-shirt.  My real favorite I have yet to see anyone wearing, and I didn’t have the purse cam with me when I saw it.  But it said,

Basically under these clothes I’m naked.

 

Have a great day!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Before the Reunion

One of the great things about living where we do is that quite often we’re lucky and people stay with us before or after our family reunion.  We LOVE it when that happens!

This year my sister Laila and her kids arrived on Tuesday night.  They were such good sports about the non-functioning downstairs air conditioner and we had lots of fun playing in the pool and making pioneer bonnets for Laila.

On Thursday night my brother Jeff arrived with his wife Amber and their 2 kids.  We spent a fun Friday at the pool playing.

Here we are with an overloaded convertible on our way to the pool.

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Here are Jeff & Laila; notice Jeff’s great pink goggles.  Not everyone can pull this look off.

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We played volleyball with all of the kids,

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Jeff (who got more than his share of the “fun” genes) and the little kids played sharks & minnows,

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and then had a cannonball contest

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while Laila and Amber watched from the shallow end.

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Such a fun day!

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Then they all left to spend a night at our grandparent’s farm before meeting us at the BEACH.

Family Posts Ahead

I’ve been back now for 3 weeks from my family reunion and have yet to post anything about it.  (Other than it happened.)  I want to post about it, really I do.  This blog is supposed to be representative of my life, and my family reunion definitely deserves a spot (or four) on here. 

When I tried to figure out why I was not blogging about the reunion (once the swim team slideshow was done) I realized that I was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of pictures that were taken.  Five or six different cameras, over 12 GB of pictures and video.  Going through that is overwhelming to me!

But I’m going to do it, and if you stay tuned in the next few days you can expect to see pictures of what we consider the finest way to reunion in the world.

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Friday, July 23, 2010

Great Gerbers!

After all the complaining I’ve done about my gerbers I’m pleased to report that we’ve had a pretty good spell.

It started with some white gerbers on the deck,

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and a lovely orange gerber by the garage.

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Closely followed by a few yellow blossoms.

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I take far too many pictures of each flower, hoping for the exactly right combination of light and shape and luck.  Some pictures are keepers and some get deleted right away.

After the yellow gerbers the scarlet flowers started blooming—and this plant was obviously determined to outperform the rest.  It had four (that’s 4!) blossoms at the same time, and has 3 new buds now!

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I’ve also had some lovely pink flowers—like the amazing resurrecting gerber I posted about last week.

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And most recently, a salmon colored gerber.

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I still have 3 plants that haven’t bloomed, but I’ve sure been enjoying those that have!

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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Squirrel Success

The squirrels have been interested in our bird feeders from the get-go.  They have been almost as entertaining as the birds. 

First they tried in every way possible to get food out of the feeder.

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They tried from the top.

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When that failed, they seemed to give up trying for a while.

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The other day I saw that they were back at it, apparently with some success this time. 

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I was trying to figure out where the squirrel had gotten food, and then I saw it… (please pardon the blurry photo—both the squirrel and feeder were in motion.)

July 2010 905 Kamikaze Squirrel!

(The picture doesn’t show it very well, but the squirrel stretched between the deck and feeder, grabbed some food, and then sprang back to the deck.  It was very acrobatic!)

A few days later I saw a squirrel ON the birdfeeder.  It turns out he was using the birdbath (in the front right in the picture above) as a springboard for his attack on the feeder.  Very successfully, although it also knocked the birdbath to the ground below.

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I really don’t mind them finishing off the last of the costco birdfeed.   But I do mind them scaring off the birds!