Monday, July 30, 2007

A day late

Camille, I hope you had a great first day at work! And remember, nothing is set in stone and if it doesn't work for you guys, there's something else out there.

Tiffany, I can't wait until you're on this side of the country.

And my husband comes home on Friday!!!!!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Scratch that itch

Yesterday I went to First Landing State Park. I had never been there before and I was hoping that it would increase the type and number of birds I have observed. I started in the Bald Cypress swamps. They are so surreal yet beautiful. It's almost like another planet. The Green Herons love them. They blend right into the scenery, so you have to look really hard to find them. I heard woodpeckers several times, but never saw any. I also heard several new songs, but too many trees kept me from seeing them. I startled several lizards, some of which startled me in turn. One of them had to have been at least 8 inches long. And I saw one climbing up a tree. That was pretty cool. But no new birds. I did, however, find frogs. Lots and lots of frogs. This made me feel better because the Botanical Garden does not have any frogs. I mean, I'm sure they have frogs, I've just never seen any. The swamp and all the frogs reminded me of the Muppet Movie, the greatest movie ever. I dare you to think of the movie without humming one of the songs or smiling about the Steve Martin scene. . . . Some day you'll find it. The rainbow connection. The lovers, the dreamers and me. . . . Sorry about that, where was I. Oh yes, not finding any new birds. My feet were starting to hurt, not bad, but enough that I wanted to sit down for a while. I also wanted to go on to find a new bird, but knew I would be even more disappointed if I went on and still couldn't find a new one. The bugs had discovered me as well, and apparently, I taste good. I have a line of huge bug bites on my neck. Anyway, I decided to leave and go back later, with my husband. Driving out of the park, an osprey flew over my car, gripping a rather large fish in its claws. HOW DAMN COOL!!! That made the day worth it.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Trying to make nothing interesting

I'm back home. On the plane ride back I sat next to a nice retired couple who were on their way to Russia. He was retired military, she was a retired teacher. We talked the entire trip. It made me realize that even though I'm not where I thought I would be, I'm where I should be.

Upon entering my home, I realized that one of my (five) smoke detectors had a low battery. I figured this out because it was chirping every three minutes. I called to put in a work order, but it was 4:30pm and they said they couldn't get it done that day (Thursday). I managed to remove it from the ceiling and hide it in one of the other rooms (it was outside my bedroom door). However, it is now the end of Tuesday and no one has come to fix it yet. I'm thinking I'm going to take it to the leasing office and tell them they can keep it until it's fixed.

Other than that, not much. I got groceries, cleaned (a little bit), watered my plants (they're all still alive), started a new afghan and started reading War and Peace. Tomorrow I'm going to visit a new state park (the state park isn't new, but it's new to me). My husband will be home in about 10 days. I can't wait!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

My sister is a Mrs.

My sister got married last Saturday. It was perfect and beautiful. Everything went well. Here's a few pictures, because to be honest, the day was kind of a blur.

This is my brother, my sister and me. The wedding colors were black and hot pink (hence the tie). My brother usually has this thing growing on his face that looks like a goat chin (not a goatee, a goat). He shaved it for my sister. Unfortunately I didn't get a good picture of Elise with her new husband.

This is me with my parents. Doesn't my mom look beautiful. Just about everyone fought back tears at the wedding. Justin's dad was the best man and at one point we were both tearing up, but then he caught my eye and winked at me. After that both of us felt fine.
I got to spend time with the most handsome boy at the wedding. But he's a little shy.
There's the little Phoenix. He was so good and so cute. He handed out Hershey kisses to all the pretty girls in the room, and then he handed them out to everyone. He found out that my mom hadn't gotten a piece of cake yet (the cake was pink with black polka-dots), so he got her a piece. "Nana, you stay right there until I get back. I'll get you cake. Don't go anywhere, I'll be right back." He's so cute! He danced all night too! We also had a photo booth, like the ones in the mall. It was a hit but Phoenix really loved it. He was just walk right in, no matter who was in there, but he was too short to show up if he wasn't picked up, so people let him in. Then he gave them instructions. "Ok, there's going to be four pictures." It was a wonderful day and weekend. My sister and Justin looked so happy and in love. Now I just need a week of sleep!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Why I eloped

or why weddings are bad. My sister is a wreck. She is a hormonal, tired, stressed bitch from hell. And that's putting it nicely. My mom is wreck. That's because, according to my sister, she can't do anything right. Anything. Nothing, zip, nada, nechevo. My poor mother. All she's doing is trying to make everything perfect for my sister. The problem: when there is a problem, my sister's definition of resolution is that everyone agrees with her. One day my sister hates her soon to be in-laws. If we just listen and nod, but not agree with her, then we are horrible, horrible people. If we join in the bashing, then we are causing drama. Except that the next day she loves them and if we can't anticipate that, we are trouble-makers. I just want to bitch slap her. And, she thinks that my mom and I are thick as thieves and she can't join in the club. And, of course, that means we are ganging up on her. I don't think I've ever bitten my tongue so much in my entire life. It is her wedding and I do want her to be happy. But geez, do you really want to piss off everyone else in the process? I just can't wait until it's over. Hopefully then everything else will be back to normal.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Ready to go

I'm all packed and ready to go. My toenails are drying as I type. I've watered all my plants, inside and out. Although, I don't think I will be getting any squash this year. I was hoping that because I wasn't outside much, I was just missing the bee rush. However, all my squash get to 2 to 3 inches big and then wither. Oh well, better luck next year. My heavy suitcase sits by the front door. I think I have everything, and if not, I know I can get it there. I'm throwing my sister a lingerie party tomorrow and thankfully, Frederick's of Hollywood was having a sale yesterday. Things are going well. I plan on seeing my best friend in the whole wide world, Camille, and I'm even going to have dinner with my old friend Andrea. She called me on the 4th and we had a great talk. Hopefully we remain friends. It will be great to see all my family again too. Tons of people will be there, including family I haven't seen in about 6 years. I think this will be a great trip.

And of course, I can't leave without a few bird pictures. This is a Great Egret in a tree.

This little guy is a juvenile Green Heron. He let me get real close, but then put up his little crest when I got too close. I love it, because it looks like a cute little mohawk.

I don't remember if I mentioned this, but I also received a diploma from UW for a Master's degree. That makes my second MA in the same field, but at least now I feel like I got something from UW (besides some of the best friends a girl could have).

Hope everyone is doing well. I need to eat something before the cab gets here.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Read it now!

Awhile back I read Alexandra Fuller's Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight. This autobiographical work tells of her childhood in Africa as part of the white ruling class (although not wealthy). It goes on to describe the horror of independence for all parties involved and the strange re-identification that every African must make after independence. Fuller is an excellent writer and I look forward to reading her other books as well. And, I am excited to write, I have found her fictional counterpart. I have just finished reading Barbara Kingsolver's The Poisonwood Bible. This book easily compares to Fuller's. Kingsolver focuses on a missionary family with four daughters, which moves to the Congo the year before independence is declared. The book is written from the perspective of the mother and the four daughters, in a diary form. Kingsolver obviously did her homework and the lives, traditions, religion, and socio-econonic structure of the Africans is crystal clear. Her characters are well-defined and so beautifully written about that you can picture them, as if you've met them before. This is one of the rare books that you don't want to get to the end, because you don't want the book to end. You want to keep reading and reading. Unfortunately, the book does end. But it does so on a wonderful note. This is the first of Kingsolver's books I've ever read. It will not be the last.

Monday, July 02, 2007

A little bit of this and that

Everyone is gone. The house is quiet and relatively clean. And I miss my husband. It seems like he was barely here before he left again. Oh yeah, that's right, that's because he was barely here. I had to drive him to his ship at 6:00 in the morning (the morning people). Since I was up that early anyway, I went bird watching. And that was wonderful. I identified five new birds. Not bad.

But now, I'm just tending to my garden. These are my squash plants about a week and a half ago. They are now twice the size and blooming and hopefully I will have squash to eat before I leave for my sister's wedding. I'm afraid they will all die while I'm gone. But I still don't know anyone close enough to come water them (ok, I know one person who's pretty close, but she can't drive. And I don't want her in my house).

I have also been spotting more than birds. Last week, while at the wonderful, amazing, terrific Norfolk Botanical Gardens, I spotted this little guy. And got a picture. How wonderful is that!

It's a fox for all you people who don't get out much. We just stared at each other for a while and then he ran off. He was beautiful. I wanted to run off with him, but I got the impression he really didn't want me following him.

And that's it right now. I leave later this week for Dallas, TX for my baby sister's wedding. I can't wait to see all my family and Camille. But I wish they were out here instead.