Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Down Under - New Zealand Part 2

So here are some more pictures of my son's amazing trip to the other side of the world. 

I hope you enjoyed the pictures from yesterday's post.  I have lots more to share with you today and I can even give a bit more detail about some of these pictures.

Now what trip to New Zealand would be complete without a visit to Hobbiton?  Logan's tour group visited the movie set that was created for the Lord of the Rings movies.  Here is a link so you can read more about it if you like.  Pretty interesting stuff on that site so check it out if you have a moment.  Logan said it was a pretty cool place and I bet it was.  
What a cute house.   I love the round doors.
After touring Hobbiton, they went to the Agrodome where they learned about sheep and sheep shearing.  Here's a link
Logan said it was amazing how fast they sheared the sheep and it doesn't hurt them.  Makes me think of the Pixar animated short film called "Boundin'" about the sheared sheep. 
I love the Cheviot sheep behind Logan with his mouth open.  Check out the horns on the one Logan is posing with. 
Look at the smile on my son's face.  Is he happy or what?  That boy just loves animals.  Seeing him this happy just makes my heart soar with gratitude that we were able to send him on this trip where he made memories that he will have forever. 
Well, that's all for now.  There'll be more coming so stop back here when you have a moment.

Until then, have a great day!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Down Under - New Zealand. Part 1

I can't believe that I've completely forgotten to post pictures from Logan's Australia and New Zealand trip last June.  He took 971 pictures, all with his iPod.  We'd given him a camera and two 32gb sd cards but the camera broke after he dropped it as they were climbing a volcano on the first day.  Nice, right?  It couldn't have broken on the last day?  Oh no, it had to be the first day.  So he, being the son of a scrapbooker, did the only thing he could given the circumstances, he used his head and his iPod, thankfully!

Could you imagine my disappointment had he not taken pictures of his trip and experiences?  I can tell you, I would not have been a happy camper and he knew it.

Naturally, since I didn't go on the trip with him, I don't have much to impart in the way of details regarding the pictures.  I'm lucky if I can tell you which were taking in NZ and which were in Australia, omitting the obvious ones, of course.

I'm not quite sure if NZ can be included in the Down Under phrase or if that is strictly for Australia's use but for my purposes, I'm going to assume they both fall under that category.  Well, here goes. Get ready for a litte Down Under tour.

Fans of Lord of the Rings will recognize this statue which greeted them at the NZ airport.
There's Logan with Auckland behind him.  If you look closely, you can see a rainbow.  He said he saw quite a few rainbows there. 
 Not quite sure where this is in NZ but the sky is lovely with another rainbow.
 I love the water feature here.   I think it's some kind of a memorial.

I just love this shot.
 Of course, Gollum from Lord of the Rings had to be there too.
 Not quite sure what the deal is with this hole. 
 What a nice spot from which to overlook the city complete with a bench.
I really should have Logan tell me about these pictures as I post them but that doesn't stop me from enjoying them.  I hope you enjoy looking at them too.  
I'll be back with more pictures and perhaps even some more details.  After all, it would be nice to tell you more about them.
Wishing you a happy day. 

Friday, October 11, 2013

Happy Birthday, Logan!

My son turned 16.  I can't believe he's that old already. My, how the time goes by quickly.  He's a young man and I'm very proud of the man he's becoming.  He is, by far, my greatest achievement and I'm thankful to be his mom.

At his request, we went out to dinner at Red Lobster.  He was craving some lobster or crab legs.  He couldn't quite make up his mind which prior to going.  Being seated in the restaurant didn't make it any easier to decide so he did the only logical thing, he ordered both!  He had a rock lobster tail and an order of snow crab legs.  Initially, I thought this was going to be another dinner where his eyes were bigger than his stomach but he surprised us by putting it all away.   He was quite satisfied after devouring his crustacean dinner.

Jim looks like a lobster himself with his red face.  They'd gone to the beach earlier in the day so that accounts for why he's so sunburned.  I wish that man would learn to use sunscreen. 

Check out my drink aptly called Alotta Colada!   The glass was huge.  I love the sidecar of extra alcohol hanging off the rim. 
I had to take a picture of this guy sporting a "Spock" haircut. 
 His crab came before the rest of our meals so we watched him adeptly crack the shells.
And a little something sweet to sing Happy Birthday over.
We had an excellent meal which we shared with 2 other good friends who happily joined us to celebrate his special day.  
It was a nice day and Logan had fun but so did Jim and I.
Here's wishing you all a nice day too.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Australia Bound

Well, it finally came.  The day we planned for a year and a half finally arrived.  Last Thursday Logan began his long awaited trip to Australia and New Zealand.  For the longest time it seemed like it took forever for this day to come and all of a sudden it was upon us.

We were all excited about this trip.  Jim and I are happy we were able to give him this opportunity but I must admit I was very nervous too.  I'm still nervous but I'm dealing with it.

I'm expecting him to bring me home fabulous pictures so I made sure to take pictures of him leading up to departure to add to my Project Life album.

Here he is unloading his luggage from my car at JFK.
We were the first to arrive at the airport.  We waited about a half hour and then others started showing up.  The knot in my stomach was growing as the time for him to leave drew nearer.  

He's checking in here.  The suitcase I packed for him was 31 pounds which was well under the 44 lb weight limit.  He'll have some room for souvenirs on the return trip.
Once everyone was checked in, they started to move towards security.  I stopped them and asked if they would pose for a group shot.  I heard someone moan, "already?" and then everyone laughed.   It was funny because they knew they'd be group shot posing for the next 2 wks.  None of the other parents there had said anything but once I did, the other parents all lined up to take their own pictures of the group.

There are only 14 traveling from Logan's school but they will meet up with 2 other groups along the way. 
Once we'd all taken our pictures, it was time to say goodbye.  Logan came to me and hugged me.  I had trouble letting go of him but I did with tears in my eyes.  He hugged me again and then Jim and I left him as I had to go back to work.

I still can't believe my son is on the other side of the planet now.  I hope he has an incredible adventure.  I can't wait to see him and hear all about his trip.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Flea Marketing

Hello, friends.

I'm not a frequent visitor to flea markets but last weekend we went to one with Leo and Andi.  This huge flea market takes place a number of times during the year on an airfield in Stormville, New York.  It's about an hour and a half north of me so it's not too far.  Due to the large crowd it draws, Leo suggested we get there early.  So, we got up very early at 5:15 am and were out the door by 6 am.  We picked up Caterina and then continued upstate.  We broke up the drive by meeting Andi and Leo at their house about an hour north and then we followed them to Stormville.

The flea market is divided into sections and it even has a food court.  One can find almost anything  as there are vendors selling a variety of things.  We saw booths selling all sorts of things like antiques, furniture, socks, clothing, leather goods including bikers' gear, coffee, bird feeders, lawn ornaments, plants and veggies, incense, hair care products, kitchen supplies and lots of other stuff.  There was even a guy selling insect eating pitcher plants.

It was chilly but sunny day.  There was a good breeze too which warranted jackets.  I even wore a pair of knit gloves but it felt good to be outside walking around.

Here are Andi and Leo.   They were kind to bring bagels and juice for breakfast which we enjoyed once we got there.
I had Jim stand on the picnic table bench and take a few shots in either direction.  This was taken around 9 am so there weren't too many people there yet.  When we left it was packed and the car line to get in the entrance was backed up for miles in both directions.   It was a good thing we listened to Leo and got there early. 

This was the view to the left of where we sat to eat breakfast.
The vehicles you see belong to the vendors.
My mother-in-law and her boyfriend were vendors, too.  He makes wooden lawn ornaments and other cute things.  Thank goodness I had their spot number which made it easier to find them.
  Here are Logan, Jim and Caterina.
I bought a few things that day.  I found a vendor selling trimmings for a dollar so I bought some cute little fabric flowers and embellies that I can scrap or even use in my Project Life layouts.  I also bought some ribbon.  My favorite find of the day was a pretty blue bird feeder that now hangs from a shepherd's hook outside my house. 

After we left the flea market, we went back to their house where we had a great lunch.  After Leo did the fish rubbing that I mentioned in the previous blog post, he, Jim and the kids went fishing while Andi and I enjoyed some girl time.

When we finally got home that evening, I saw a couple of flies buzzing around my trash cans.  I made the joke that we should have bought that pitcher plant. 

It was a long day but as always, whenever we are with Leo and Andi, we have a great time.

Thanks for reading.  Here's hoping you find some bargains of your own.  

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Fish Rubbing

Ever hear of it?  I'm a big time crafter and I hadn't heard of it either but it's pretty cool. 

We were visiting with our good friends, Leo and Andi, on Sunday when Leo decided to do some fish rubbing with the kids.

Leo pinned a real fish down on a board and then painted it different colors.
 He then laid a t-shirt over the painted fish and gently rubbed the paint into the shirt.  Here you can see Leo rubbing the shirt as Logan looks on.
 And here is what the finished product looked like. 
  Caterina took her turn painting the fish with her choice of colors. 
  And her finished product.
Once your fish print is on, all you have to do is turn the shirt inside out and iron it to heat set the paint.

Very cool craft, Leo!  Thanks for teaching me something new and for the shirts for the kids.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Memorial Day at the Rockaway Beach

After a week of rainy, damp weather, Memorial Day happily brought blue skies and warmer temps.  Unfortunately, it also brought some serious wind.

We were all eager to enjoy some pleasant weather and being that Memorial Day marks the opening of our local beaches, we decided to put that brand new wetsuit our neighbor, Dave, bought Logan to use.  Dave had mentioned he was going to go to the beach so we joined him.

Upon arrival at the beach, the damage created by Superstorm Sandy was apparent.  Many of the houses across from the beach had major damage.  The most stunning site, though, was the missing boardwalk.  I had trouble processing the boardwalk was actually gone.

These are the supports for the boardwalk.   For as far as I could see, there was no boardwalk in either direction.  This is the view to the left of where I was standing at Beach 91st Street.
This is the view to the right.  I was also surprised by how high the sand was under the supports.
I was saddened to see such damage but there was hope to be seen too as I saw stacks of wooden planks which means they are going to start rebuilding the boardwalk. 

Once we got settled on the sand, Dave and Logan took a walk to see the newly built comfort station.  I caught this picture of them as they were on the way back. 
Logan decided to try the new wetsuit and go surfing.  The water temp was only in the 50's but he was determined.  Jim helped him into the suit.  It was hilarious to watch them trying to get it on.  You can tell from Logan's face, they were working hard.  
Once it was on, however, he looked like a surfer dude with his board in hand.   He was happy to have it on because it kept him warm from the blowing wind.   About that time, I was wishing I had a wet suit, too, because I was freezing.  
I love this shot of him.  The wind had the zipper pull behind him flying.
Here he is waiting to catch a wave. 
Getting up.
He enjoyed surfing but it was just too cold from the wind so we decided to call it a day.  I was so glad as the two towels I had wrapped around me weren't providing much warmth or protection from the wind.  We packed up and headed back to the car.

I'm looking forward to going back later in the summer to see what progress has been made in rebuilding the boardwalk.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Hello, Friends.

I hope you are all enjoying spring.  May has been a lot more like April around here.  We got a lot of rain this month but look what all that rain has done to my plants.

There are some baby orange peppers budding here.
  First tomato of the season is already growing. 

My green pepper plants have grown a few inches too.

I even have strawberries.

This Double Million Bells is simply gorgeous.  I just love this plant. 

This picture doesn't really capture the bright pink tones of this plant.  It's really pretty.

We went to a huge flea market on Sunday where I picked up this blue bird feeder.  I bought some bird seed today.   Jim filled it up and hung it.  I think it's a bit too low so I have to raise it some.

Jim weed whacked the grass this afternoon and I love how nice it looks now.  Seeing all these flowers when I come home makes me so happy.  Although, I think I have to ask my neighbor to trim that tree a bit as it is encroaching on my walkway making it hard to get by.  

My strawberry plants in the center are flanked by flowers.  Well, they will be flowers soon.  I planted these from seed last month and they are really filling in nicely. 

Here's a picture of the porch.  See how it needs one of those 3 tiered pots on the right.  It looks unbalanced but not for long.  That brown potted bush is my neighbor's.

Here's another flower box filled with mixed seeds.  Look how full it's going to be.  I went a bit crazy planting seeds but it was easy to get carried away.  The bag of seeds I bought had more than 50,000 seeds in it.

I spray painted my little bench a bright red.  It's definitely seen better days and winter dulled the color so it needed a bit of refreshing.  I placed 3 pots on it which I planted with flower seeds.  There are sprouts popping up through the soil.  The other four pots to the left were also planted with seeds.  As you can see, it shouldn't be long before some blossoms are showing.  I'm eager to see what kind of flowers will bloom.  I bought a bag of mixed seed so who knows what's going to show.

Jim and I went to Home Depot this morning where he spotted this 3 tiered potting system.  I loved it but wondered how he would mount it to our porch.  Well, it's apparent my doubt was unwarranted because he had these up in no time.  I filled them with Wave Petunias which will cascade downward.  I'm going back to Home Depot tomorrow to get another set of tiered pots and more petunias which he will hang on the other side of my porch.   You know me, I love symmetry.
 And of course, Raven had to get in on the planting. 
I'm having fun doing all this planting.   I'm hoping you're having fun too this spring.