Sunday, August 18, 2013

Our view this morning...

We are no longer in Cape Cod.

Monday, August 12, 2013


I wish I was a better blogger.

I have not blogged in 2 months, because my April blogging was behind. You still don't know how our April road trip ended up! You don't know how the story of the pigeon turned out! Or how Solenn continued on without her beloved pigeon. These voids exist in your life because I'm not a better blogger.

And how can I continue to blog when I haven't finished blogging my previous events??!

I am obviously a terrible person.

Nevertheless I am going to forge on.

Maybe I'll get around to telling you about the pigeon one day.

Now I'm going to blog about summer.

This is a typical day in my summer.

11.45 am. Solenn and I had already hit all the sights by bicycle: sailing class, the coop (little town grocery), the library, the post office, and a quick survey of the point of the island. We had to make sure it was still there from the day before. Work done. The rest of the day to relax. It's a tough job, but somebody's got to do it.

This is what keeps me so busy I have no time to blog.

ok, so it's a little idealized, but still...

Quote of the week:
"Mom! Pick me up! I'm not too big. Quick! Before you lose your chance!"  -Carys

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Day 8 Books on Broad

The day started with a story hour at the fantabulous Books on Broad!

Check out their website at


(Photo by Laurie Funderburk- Thanks Laurie!)

Laurie Funderburk (bookstore proprietor and South Carolina state representative!) invited me to come and read to a few kids at her new bookstore, and it was a wonderful morning. The bookstore was gorgeous and inviting. The kids were sparkling. Laurie was amazing.

And it was a cozy way to finish up our stay in Camden. Yes, sad but true. We had to leave.

We had lunch with Laurie and Mary at a The Every Day Cafe (a terrific little place), packed up our camp (I'm making that sound like a dainty event, but it was a monster of a job), and headed on our way back north!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Day 7 History and Horses

We read it in the Brochure. Camden is all about Hospitality, History, and Horses. Also, Buddy told us. We had experienced plenty of Hospitality. And now on our very last full day in Camden we were due to get our dose of Camden (yes, the oldest inland town in South Carolina) History and Horses.

We started out with History.

A trip down to Historic Camden to learn more about the beginnings of the oldest inland town of South Carolina. The children were naughty so I had to lock them up.

Our visit was cut short by a dramatic dinosaur drenching downpour. We rushed back to our tent where we had left all the windows open to dry the tent out from the night before. Don't ask.

When we had dried out our camp for the second time that day, we went out for a walk in the woods.

And then we moved on to Horses...

We were honored to have jockey lessons from Hope Cooper, director of the National Steeplechase Museum. 

And then by 2 actual steeplechase jockeys!

I think they're worried about the competition.

And then Hope brought us off to visit the kennels of the Camden Hunt. And we were met by Camden Hunt Master of Foxhounds, Sue Sensor, who introduced us to the hounds! English Foxhounds and Pennmarydel Foxhounds and hybrids. Fantastic. One of my favorites was a hound named Dragon.

 We were even lucky enough to meet the newest members of the pack, six week old pups!

"I'm a hound dog!" Name that movie.
Yes, the kids watched it in the back of the car at one point on our trip.

We dropped in briefly at the Equine Center to check out the horse show in town. The kids were impressed to see kids their own ages competing on their ponies in the hunter class.

The evening held an art show opening for artist, Katie Walker, at the Fine Arts Center of Kershaw County as well as the opening night of Camden's Jazz festival!

And we finished the day with the kids latest second favorite restaurant (second, because nothing can now top Waffle House), Chili's! Please, nobody tell the kids they exist up north too. And yes, the kids discovered the southern joy of free drink refills while we were down there too!

What a day!

RoadTrip part 2

You may remember way way long ago, last month, I was posting about our adventure of a road trip to South Carolina. Well, here's how it all finished up...

Day 6  Daytrip to Charleston.

We went down to Charleston for the day. What a beautiful town! And we enjoyed it immensely. I'm afraid, though, that we did not do it justice. There was so much there to do. We wandered around and enjoyed the scenery. And we took a carriage ride tour. And got ice cream. A good day out!

The girls favorite part of the whole vacation was opening and closing the gate.
This was usually Carys' special project. But sometimes Solenn joined in.

 Along the way we found some of last years cotton fields. I was so excited I pulled over on the side of the road and made everyone get out to look. The kids were less impressed. I may have even received an eye roll or two.

They were much more impressed with the roadkill I stopped to show them. I'm not in the habit of stopping to show the kids roadkill. But this time I had to. It was a giant wild boar. The size of a bear. I swear. Didn't get any eye rolls on that one!

But cotton: booooriiing.

The horse behind us on line at the carriage ride.
Sorry. Not many pictures today! All pictured out.

Day 7 coming up shortly...

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Working backwards...

Ok. I seem to have a few unfinished stories out here...

People want to know where I am and why did I move to South Carolina.

Short answer: I'm here and I didn't.

And people want to know what happened to the pigeon!

Short answer: Pigeon is all gone and I'm sad, but Solenn's not.

Stay tuned!

For now, here's our now annual New Canaan St Mark's May Fair photo:

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Anyone missing a homing pigeon lately?!

We found this today at Noel's baseball game.

Does it belong to you?

Send me an email!

It was sitting just on the inside of the outfield fence. I was setting up my little canvas chair just on the outside of the fence. I looked up and he was just staring at me. Not frightened at all. Just sitting there. And I had Moxie with me, maybe a foot or two away from him. He was huge. And very clean. And all by himself. No other pigeons around. Something made me think there's something a little different about this pigeon. Then I noticed the band on his leg. So I thought... maybe he belongs to someone.

But I was on the wrong side of the fence.

Noel was warming up with his team on the inside of the fence.

So I call him over. And I say- Go pick up that pigeon. And he says- What???
And I say- Go pick up that pigeon. I think he might be tame. As he gets closer I suggest he might have better success if he puts down the baseball mitt. So Noel puts down his mitt and walks over and gives a few shaky attempts to pick up the pigeon. And after strike 3, he (the pigeon, not Noel) flies off to a nearby house.

But a normal wild pigeon wouldn't give you three chances to pick him up. He wouldn't let you anywhere near him.

So I go walk around to the house where he flew. I ring the bell. No answer. I walk around the side of the house, and find the bird in a little alcove leading into a basement door. He's just sitting there. So I pick him up.

I ring the door of the house again. The lady comes to the door. But doesn't speak english. I show her the pigeon. She's pretty sure I'm a crazy person. I don't think he belongs to her.

So we bring him home.

And name him Nigel.

And look up the band on his leg.

It's a homing pigeon.

Solenn is in love.

We looked up information about homing pigeons.

Check out 

I think Nigel is a girl.

Solenn renamed her Athena.

I think she's associated with a homing pigeon club in Hicksville.

I'll send them an email in the morning.

In the meantime, if you know anyone who's missing their homing pigeon, let me know!!

ps. For all authors, librarians, editors and teacher--Sorry about the mixed up tenses.

pps. Yes, I still need to post about the rest of our road trip. Sorry about that. I'm easily distracted. By pigeons. I'll get around to it.

edit: This is the information on her tag- IF EMC 2013 715

Friday, April 12, 2013

Day 5 Crash course in forestry!

We head out to the woods with forester Tracy Knight and learn all about short leaf, loblolly, slash, longleaf, and bottomland hardwoods. We look for the elusive red cockaded woodpecker and learn about pinestraw harvesting. What a day! Noel was a champion question-asker as usual.

And we ended our day with a wonderful shepherds pie and some southern hospitality chez chef Buddy and former mayor Mary.

Day 4 Our destination: Camden, SC

We settle in at our new home in Camden, South Carolina. The kids enjoy their first ever experience at a Waffle House. We are treated to a deluxe tour by our friend Buddy Clark of the town where my grandparents lived and where my mom grew up. We have some refreshing ginger ale, a dip in the pool, and meet some lizards.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Day 3 Luray Caverns and the Blue Ridge Mountains

We start the day with some light spelunking. A mile of trails through these spectacular caves. Then a fun little maze. And we hit the road again! Heading south past the Shenandoahs and through the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Day 2 yogi bear and Old Rag Mountain

We started out the day with bouncing and the requisite Yogi Bear flag salute, complete with Yogi, Cindy, and BooBoo.

And then we followed that up with an 8 hour crazy persons hike, up a mountain, the likes of which I have never experienced before. We had to shimmy through crevices and out over rock ledges and through a cave. The moment I will never forget though, was when we almost had to quit 4 hours into the hike. We met a crevasse. The only way past was over. Noel jumped right across. It's was maybe a 3 foot jump, but a long,messy way down if you missed. Solenn sat and cried. And, I have to admit, I panicked. I mostly couldn't figure out how to get Carys across. So we sat for a while with Noel on one side and the three of us on the other. Until Solenn abruptly stood up, wiped her tears away, and took the leap. Yes, my heart skipped a beat. But wow, what a girl.

Then a long legged, rock jumping stranger wandered up and offered us his assistance. I said yes, but my heart entirely left my body as I watched him with a foot on either side of the world., slow motion style, pick her up from under her armpits, dangle her briefly over the bottomless pit, and deposit her safely on the other side. Then we continued our hike.

We met many helpful, kind, and patient people on that hike.

At the end of the day, there is only one time in my life I have ever been so tired. Will have to tell you about that one later. I don't know how the kids did it. What an amazing day.

If you ever get a chance to hike Old Rag Mountain, don't pass it up!

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Roadtrip with the SnickerDoodles Day 1

Yes, we're on a road trip!

We're already on Day 4, but here's what we did on day 1...

Amish country in Pennsylvania!
We visited the Amish Farm and House. The kids had a lesson with Teacher Kate in the one room school house.

And were intrigued by Chris the whittler who whittled flowers for them and showed them how to whittle a little rooster from a stick.

Next stop was Abe's Buggy Rides.
Earl was our driver. We chatted about horses, cell phones, technology, lifestyles, and family. Fantastic little adventure.

And then a quick stop at Gettysburg. Wish we'd had longer! You could spend days here. It was fascinating.

And then on to Virginia...

Photos are from my iPhone and unedited!

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter!!

We worked hard getting ready for Easter this year!

I'm happy the kids are as obsessive about Easter eggs as I am. This year Solenn made a pretty design on paper and I used it as inspiration for my egg.

I used to make these Ukrainian eggs when I was a kid. I can't remember when or how we started making them. I don't remember learning how to do it. I'll have to ask my mom if she remembers. I used to loooove making them. I made Easter egg Christmas ornaments for my grandmother. I won the high school art award with an Easter egg my senior year (Go Rams!).

Anyway... now the kids love making them too. A few years ago I started looking around for supplies and I called around to some local craft stores. And got awesomely insulted. I'm still trying to think of a good comeback. And when I called one (which shall remain nameless, but starts with the letter M) I said, "Excuse me do you have Ukrainian egg decorating supplies? No? Do you know where I might be able to find them?"

I can still hear her answer in my head. A little scratchy and nasal.  "Ummm... maybe back in the 70's?"

Let me know if you have any good comebacks. I'll call them back up again now.

These are some of mine from this year and the last few years:

These are some of the kids':

Here's the store in New York where I eventually found supplies. No one mocked me there.

And here's how to do it: