Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Day 2.171: Cat swallows wax

I pretty much promised you some birds from our Five Rivers visit. Here they are:

Gray Catbird - one (maybe this one) kindly put on an excellent display of cat-like mewing for us.

gray catbird

Some swallows - this picture came out better than I hoped but I'm still not sure if they are young Tree Sparrows or Northern Rough-winged Swallows or even Bank Swallows...


This, however, is definitely a Cedar Waxwing. Its waxy wing feathers are clearly visible and what about that yellow stripe - zingy!

cedar waxwing
I even managed to catch some half-decent in-flight shots.

The work-week can be a barren time for the daily-blogger - which encourages me to get out at the weekend (good) and to spend the whole walk looking through the viewfinder (less so). Now - let's hope something of note happens tomorrow...

Monday, June 29, 2009

Day 2.170: Green-red-green

Today, Exile #2 took 'my' little car to have its annual inspection. I'm happy to report that after all its problems, it passed without intervention for the second year running. While waiting for it, she took the kids to have their tea at a nearby 'family restaurant'. The waitress came over to see if the girls need a refill of their drinks. A few minutes later E5N1 decided it was time to investigate this phenomenon - as she was passing he lifted a hand to get her attention and then launched into: "Ree baa izz umm an a tuk erm ur - more joooss" holding up his not-yet-empty-cup. Who could resist?

Pictures are from our walk yesterday. Also seen: various birds (maybe for another day), snapping and painted turtles and, as announced proudly and loudly by E5N1 to some passers-by who asked if we'd seen anything, a BLUE BUG!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Day 2.169: Rivers gear

OK - I'm seriously running out of puns for these shots now.

We had a nice walk at Five Rivers this morning and saw quite a lot of interesting wildlife. During the afternoon, Exile #2 ironed the T-shirts that the kids had decorated earlier in the week and they all proudly wore them to our church gathering.

Thanks to Exile #3's godmother for providing initial materials and inspiration for this project!
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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Day 2.168: Many Can Gothic

I spent seven hours or so painting again at our new church facility today, with only a few momentary breaks to take pictures - including this tribute to American Gothic, and a few minutes to eat lunch. My body is grumbling now - I suspect its saving the real complaining until tomorrow (or even - as happens increasingly now - the next day).

The colour scheme that Exile #2 put together during a walk-through yesterday came together very well, but many of the surfaces - like the old brick-work in the picture - were heavy work and slowed us down quite a bit. We used six different paint types in the end. Exhausted at 7.30pm, I left J and T (pictured) with most of the brush and roller cleaning still to do - no wonder they are looking so cheesed-off with me (sorry guys!).

Friday, June 26, 2009

Day 2.167: Friday Haikus #2

Getting a bit bored,
Exile #4 said to her Mom,
"Can I do some math?"*

A stranger hugs him
This is not cause for concern
Because he's a pig.

Sun glasses at night
One of life's simple pleasures
Like writing haikus.

* Yes she really did have a book of math(s) problems with her at the baseball - she loves her math!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Day 2.166: Opening night

Today was the opening night of the Tri-City Valley Cats' baseball season. We were there with a group from work. The evening started off hot and sunny.

After five innings with no score and the very dark clouds rolling in, some people were leaving, but we'd seen it before and stayed to tough it out. In fact, the clouds passed us by without a drop of rain (despite major thunderstorms nearby).

In the end, all nine regular innings were run-less, but the visitors scored in the tenth - and the home team responded with their first two runs of the season. By this time it was getting late:

But the kids were still going strong, and so it was time for portraits by firework-light...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Day 2.165: Albi? - no!

White Peacock
Originally uploaded by Lady_Fox
Exile #2 took the kids way out into the rural west today to visit a farm. She failed to take a camera with her, so missed out on getting a picture of the white peacock they saw there. Fortunately thanks to Flickr user Lady Fox, I was able to find this one and in the process find out that it is not an albino, but a white variant of the Indian Blue.

And now you know too.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Day 2.164: The E5N1an Job

Exile #2
was the one who found E5N1 the other day recreating the end of the Italian Job by driving his custom* mini onto the bus**.

* It lost its roof in an unrelated incident in which he was only supposed to blow the doors off!

** I know that purists will say it was meant to go in the back, but this would have been even trickier to pull off at speed.
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Monday, June 22, 2009

Day 2.163: What a water baby

This picture was taken back on Day 2.155 - at this point E5N1 was refusing to get back in the water or to get dry and instead was just standing by the pool getting progressively colder and more shivery. He looked cute with the goggles on though.

Last night a friend and former colleague came to stay while passing through on a business trip with his new job. We had a couple of beers and most of a bottle of very nice wine. The conversation turned to our mutual friend, who died last week, on several occasions - but only with a measure of melancholy.

On a happier note, here is another picture (or three) of E5N1 in water-play mode. Exile #3's friends braved the cloudy sky and warm, but not hot temperatures to run through the sprinkler in their bathing suits on Saturday. E5N1 joined in rather less appropriately dressed, but with more staying power than the girls.

Click to see this bigger and to get the full impact of the wetness!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Day 2.162: Five Guys and two girls

Only two guys pictured at lunch at Five Guys:

at Five Guys

This was Exile #4's Father's Day greeting for me (that's me at the top, my legs from the knee down stretch all the way around Exile #4 who is doing yellow jazz-hands!

I (heart) yo Daddy

And here are three of the four sides of Exile #3's card for me:

Happe Fatr's Day Daddy

To Daddy - thack you foor being my Dad

The back page was a picture of us chopping branches off the tree from Day 2.157, and jumping over waves on Day 1.197:

Tree and WavesHappy memories for me too!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Day 2.161: Going for Goldie (and White-Tail)

Some images from Exile #3's birthday. First thing this morning E5N1 helped with the present unwrapping:

E5N1 likes to help

At noon the girls from her class started arriving. The rain held off until they all left (just like last year). They spent a good deal of the time outside, but (unlike last year) also retreated to Exile #3's room. I found this on the floor outside when I investigated:

Do Not com in EiKsaPt FOOR PARtte GRlls (Do not come in except for party girls)

Later, the cake made a starring appearance.

It's not quite Damien Hirst

After the party, we went to buy fish to put in the tank that we prepared late last night and presented to Exile #3 this morning. After looking at every type of fish, Exile #3 finally decided. "I like these ones," she said slightly sheepishly. Fair enough. They were all of 13 cents each. The aquarium and the trappings were donated by the mother of one of the birthday girl's classmates. This one is called Goldie, the other one is White-Tail. 26 cents (plus tax) well spent!


One of the party girls gave her a ribbon-on-a-stick for dancing (or rhythmic gymnastics possibly). She gave an enthusiastic, if inexpert recital for me after tea.

Arrhythmic gymnastics

It's pop pun 101 for title watchers - a nod to today's celebration and where I might have liked to spend it. (I know it's been a long time since PP 100, but...) I never said never, ever - you took the words right out of my mouth.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Day 2.160: Between rock and the cards

It was Rock Band night tonight - the regulars who weren't camping in Maine were joined by these summer migrants (they spend winter weekends at a ski resort) for a fun evening. We called a halt at 11 pm to allow time for getting some jobs done ready for tomorrow's birthday and party and to allow the kids to get a decent rest - they claim to sleep through the sounds of rocking, but we're not always convinced the next day.

Kindly, when it was time to put the guitar and the microphone down, B&C offered to help and ended up putting in a good hour of cake decoration and present preparation before they finally excused themselves.

Hopefully we will manage to pull everything together tomorrow. Exile #2 is starting with a migraine this evening and we're expecting rain, so it may be an interesting challenge.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Day 2.159: As much E5 as N1

E5N1 now has a British passport to go with his U.S. one. This will make things slightly easier next time we visit - and significantly easier if employment or immigration issues force us back to the U.K. more permanently. This is his latest passport photo - fortunately they relax the prohibition on smiling for under six year-olds!

His passport application hit a back-log at the British Embassy in Washington D.C., so it has taken a while. Not that we can go anywhere at the moment, with the rest of us subject to pending visa-renewal applications.

So here he is - the newly documented British/American dual citizen - he can legally live and work (well OK, live) in any number of places in North America and Europe. Well, just look at that picture, what country could turn him away?
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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Day 2.158: Homecoming scenes

I never quite know what I will find waiting for me when I get home.

Yesterday it was the tree dismantling project, today it was a gift of shirts and a belt from Marshalls. On Monday however, it was this arrangement. E5N1 summoned me with the word 'drum' and then sat down with those improvised orange drum-sticks. I sat down with the other sticks and we were a very happy percussion section for a few minutes.
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