Archive for the ‘Family/Friends’ Category

Rainy Day in Paradise

When it rains on this island, it rumbles.  
Last night lightening streaked across the sky, thunder woke us up several times.  Finally, early yesterday morning, it burst into rain.  We got up to watch.  Our electricity was off inside the house, but there was plenty of electricity in the sky.
Front road mud puddles
Afterward, bright grey water settled on the dirt road out front
quite different from the brown mud-puddle 
that we get in New York.  This water reflects softened coral rock.
After awhile, the sky broke open with scattered light.
The ocean was still but the sky was not.

Plants opened up and started uncurling from their parched positions, relaxed with water.

This coconut palm captured the joy of water received.

Our Birdhouse

The backyard looks greener, softer.  The birdhouse sits midst stunning greenery.

Sabal Palm tucked under old almond tree stump.
Native sea grape in rain.
Wet hibiscus overlooks native plants.
Our upper deck, as our neighbor call it, overlooking nature’s theatre.

A perspective on our home from the  point of view of the native sea grape.

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Less apocalyptic than the blank that I first put up.

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I love putting fresh flowers together from the garden.  It dresses up everything, except me.

I used to wear formal suits and heels but now my work dress is “garden casual”.   I  wear a pair of old hiking boots with white sports socks, worn out shirts, baggy pants covered with paint stains.  To top it off, I wear a big hat the covers my face and protects me from the hot mid-day sun.

Here I am on the steps getting ready to head out to the garden.
My office
Project Number 1
Typical work site for Project # 2
Staff meeting – just the way I like it.

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Due to the pleasures of grandchildren, I have not written very much on my Blog this spring.  But after spending almost a month on the west coast, we returned to New York to discover that New York is hot and humid!  And the garden looks great.  The peonies have already come and gone, but the roses and lilies are flourishing.
As for grandchildren, I highly recommend the following incredibly expensive toys:  water, a bucket for pouring, and a water hose.  After cardboard boxes and a rubber ball, water is the best toy ever invented.
Children also revel in playpens, if one needs a way to contain them for a few minutes.  But they have to use it as a group.  Its more fun.

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 When this Azaelea bush is in bloom, I know that for sure, spring is here.  It is such a splash of color, just before everything else comes out in bloom.  Without exception, it is the first bush in our yard to be in full color and always contrasts with the brown bushes and trees that will bloom a few weeks later.

The giant peony is also set to bloom, and looks lovely with the tulips tucked underneath.

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Happy Easter!

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Spring is here, and the outdoors has shifted from frozen and cold, to cool and beautiful. My Australian friend recently reminded me in my “Spring is here” blog, that it is autumn there.  But spring is here, for sure.

I took some shots of the yard and tried to record the sound of a bird that I like.  I wish that I knew the name of the bird, but I don’t .  I have concluded that he is a small guy and not so colorful, because he is hard to locate.  He has a high whistle, like the sound of someone whistling to bring in the cattle or sheep.  I love the sound of it. It is a sort of high “da dee dee, dee, deee.”. Unfortunately, he only sings when the video is not running.    If I ever do catch the fellow singing in one of my videos, I will add him to this site.

For my kids, I captured their father heading out the door with the compost.

Take a look, click here:

 Composting in the spring

Your Dad misses you.  He and I had to pick up the slack on many of your old jobs that you left behind when you headed for college.

I remember one cold wintry day when our daughter walked in the door with the compost bucket in her hand and said “Well, that is that last time that I’m doing that”, with her head all wet, and her feet all muddy.  And it was.  We let her get away with it because he helped out in so many other ways.

As for the boys, I recall them taking the compost out every once in awhile, under duress.  But the end result, thanks to all their dedicated work, is lots of flowers and very rich dirt in the side yard.  Thanks, kids, for all those buckets that you carried.

Joe and I drove past our neighbors and three little kids were having an egg hunt, with their Dad watching them from the front porch.  One of the little boys was so excited that he forgot to run, and stood frozen in place just imagining where an egg might be, with the silliest grin on his face, his shoulders all scrunched together and wringing his hands with delight, that big silly grin on his face.  He was about 6 years old.  We cracked up laughing at him.  It reminded us of the many egg hunts that we had in our side yard.  Joe and I also used to hide the kids annual art supplies along with the colored eggs.  Our kids found hidden in the yard, sidewalk chalk, squirt guns and art materials, like crayons and paint sets.

We used to have a contest to see who would find the last colored egg.  I think one of the eggs actually made it to the 3 or 4 month mark before it was found.  No one ate it.

Here is our back yard during a lovely spring rain.  Click here:  Backyard in spring

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Colors Galore
Space to Explore

We arrived on Saturday to be met by perfect weather, peace and quiet, and so much color that it was hard to know where to focus one’s eyes.

Coming from the black,browns and dull greys of winter in New York, then to the pastel colors of the Abacos is really staggering.

Even though there has been limited time to play on the beach, those few moments that we had are so memorable.  The water is crystal clear.  We saw dolphins, Bally hoo, baby baracudas and jacks.  Joe almost bumped into some angel fish with his head when he was snorkeling out front.  They were so close that he couldn’t see them.

Just beautiful.  I will always miss this place.

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The Coconut Palm has Value

  We picked up a coconut that fell from our tree out front of our home in the Abacos.  Matt and Joe busted it open using a variety of means that included using a hammer and a machete and incorporated a lot of cheering and encouragement from our two grandaughters who were watching.
Here is Lila showing how it looks inside.  
We grated up the coconut and it had nice flavor.  But we wondered, how healthy is it to use the oil and meat of the coconut? A family debate ensued over the value of a coconut.
The New York Times just put out an article on the value of coconut oil.  It seems as though the problems with the oil were mainly from the items added during manufacturing.  Just using plain old natural ingredients of coconuts isn’t so bad after all. 
I would recommend opening up a coconut with guests as a high form of entertainment as long as one stands way back when the men take over.

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This morning I woke up early to the sound of the snow plow rumbling by and opened the curtain to find out what was going on.  Snow was silently falling everywhere.

It is the kind of day that used to bring shouts of joy from our kids when they turned on the radio to find out that it was an official “snow day” and school was canceled.

The local school system is closed but not because of snow.  It is because it is Presidents Day, a national holiday, and many people are on spring vacation.  However, the public library  is supposed to be open today, but it  is closed owing to all the snow.

 I hope that this is the last blast of winter before spring sets in.

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Take a relaxing outdoor shower.

Swim in the local pool.

 Try out our new summer dresses “Made in the Bahamas” of Androsia cloth.

 Take a walk with Grandpa and Grandma.

Search for sea stars.

 Find a sea shell.

Follow a hermit crab on one of his walks.


 Compare sizes of footprints in the sand.

Take another swim in the local pool with water warmed by the sun.

 Draw a picture for Grandma and Grandpa to hang on the wall.

 Ride a bike.

Camp in the living room.

 Good lord, how many sisters do I have?

 Eat outdoors on the patio.

 Play with a ball.

 Look pretty in our new dresses.

 Read a book.

 Check out information on the computer.

 Run a race with Mom, go swimming with Dad.

 Just chill.

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