Sunday, March 30, 2008

A Double Easter

Easter was unusual for us this year. Last week we had a wonderful celebration with the wedding crew on Easter Sunday (A1 and A2 hosted a marvelous Martha brunch and had a little Easter egg hunt for the little kids.) The weather was bright and sunny and warm down in Paradise.

But, since we were out of town last week, this year we celebrated Easter again with my side of the family. Easter is an important holiday for us. Not because of the obvious, which is of course because of celebrating our Risen Saviour, but also because, well, because....

This side of the family has rules of engagement for Easter

Rule #1. Easter celebration is always, always at the Gardening Aunt's house. This is because her house has the prettiest yard, the only yard free of dog doo-doo, and usually she is the first to have her yard in tip-top shape each spring. One of my sisters said it will be 200 years before Easter is this early again, but, despite the earliness of the holiday her yard was, as always, a delight.

Rule #2. All the siblings (there are 5 of us)bring candy for the hunt. As the kids have gotten older we've been known to throw in some money with the candy. We all sit in the spare room filling the eggs together. Gives us a chance to conspire in secret if needed.

Rule #3. ALL children of the next generation (our children) must participate in the hunt until such time as they have children of their own who can take their place in the hunt. Doesn't matter how old they are or whether or not they are married. This year we had one married couple, an engaged couple, and children from the age of 6 to 24 participating in the hunt.

Rule #4 Children exit the house in reverse age order. Youngest first.

Seth and Sophie are the two youngest.

Then comes Sam

Rule #4. We take all the kids' pictures with them standing in chronological order, then we take a picture of them standing in order of height. That has been fun over the years to watch as positions change in the line-up. This year we were missing 2. One was on Spring Break in Florida (the tallest - a 6 foot 4 inch 280 pound offensive lineman), and one was in a studying frenzy (I hear Pharmacy is a hard major). She is the tallest girl in the group, although one of the younger ones of the bunch. It wasn't the same this year without them. We joked about photo shopping them in, but it just wouldn't be the same.

Rule #5 Must look at all of the gardening aunt's "stuff" to see what's new. I don't want to say I "covet" her belongings. I think that is going too far. I don't like that word. Let's just say that she has a lot of neat stuff that if she ever decided to get rid of, I would be happy to help her out.

She kind of has a theme about her home. If you read her blog, MayDreamsGarden, then you have already guessed the theme.

I really, really like this doorbell. If I remember correctly she had this doorbell before the house was built and had the door frame built to accommodate it. If I had this doorbell, I'd do the exact same thing. It's pretty cool, don't you think?

This quilt is something that I admire and if she tires of it, she knows where she can send it. It's her garden. Really, seriously. The fabrics are vegetables. Our mother made that for her. Guess we know who she loves best......

I also admire these books. The only reason is that I remember the middle two as ones that sat on our bookcase the whole time I was growing up. But, I really don't want these books. I know they are right where they belong... in a place where they are deeply loved, never neglected, and maybe even used upon occasion.

Yes it was a wonderful Easter for the Zoo Family both in Paradise and at the home of MayDreamsGarden.

This blog post has been viewed and approved by Carol at MayDreamsGarden prior to publication.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Happy Birthday Prince Charming

Happy Birthday to You,

Happy Birthday to You,

Happy Birthday Prince Charming,

Happy Birthday to You!

Father of 7

(You'll only ever count 6 here at the Zoo, the 7th is a top-secret spy or something because he won't let me post his pictures on my blog)

Grandfather of 4 (so far)

Avid Bicyclist

(Prince Charming's philosophy: Always, always, always wear a helmet)

Animal Lover

(Prince Charming's philosophy: You can never have too many animals, but remember, people are always more important than animals)

Professional Student

(Prince Charming taught himself Spanish at a ripe-ole age and is now fluent)

Life philosophy: Listen more, talk less.

And yes, this is true of him.



Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Time Warp

Have you ever been caught in a time warp? You know...when you are having so much fun or are so deeply involved in a thought or activity that you are oblivious to the way time moves?

I have a friend that lives in time warp mode continually. We all love her and tease her about her "black hole of time." We've all been sucked into the time warp with her from time to time (she's well known for it). You go to her house or out shopping with her, and before you know it your Prince is calling asking where you are, and you wonder what he is doing home from work early in the afternoon, only to discover it's way past dinner time.

My friend is a hoot, very loyal, very compassionate, and her friends all love her despite her inability to be on time anywhere. In fact, in the 6 years I've known, I think I can remember two or three times when she was really, actually on time.

Once my kids and I pulled into a parking lot and proceeded to panic because we saw my time-warp friend's car already there. See, we are the opposite. My motto is, if we aren't 10 minutes early, we are late.

I do weird things like set clocks ten minutes ahead so I will always, always be ahead of schedule.

In the summer time, we keep a basket of shoes in the car so no one has the excuse of not being able to find their shoes. In the winter time, we keep extra coats in the car for the same reason. Must be on time. MUST.

If I need to head out somewhere early the next day, I have everything I need to take piled in a chair by the front door so I don't forget anything and most importantly, so I can be on time.

Whenever I go anywhere, I automatically account for a 15 minute cushion time. If my destination is an hour or more away, then the cushion is bumped up to 30 minutes. MUST be on time.

In contrast to my BFF in the last 6 years, I can probably count on one hand the number of times I have been late to anywhere. Actually, I don't know if I can count beyond once or maybe twice. It's really quite annoying to my friends. They make up silly little rhymes about my promptness. They cheer and applaud if they get somewhere before me. Do I feel badly about this? NO. At least I'm ON TIME! Applause or no applause.

I found this clock on the Internet, and it so totally describes my friend.

I would love to be this care-free. Sometimes I think it would be better to take more time to smell the roses when the opportunity presents rather than always being ruled by time.

But I also feel it's the courteous, respectful thing to do, to be on time and not make others wait on you. My time-warp friend doesn't have a mean bone in her body. She is the most loyal person, she just truly operates in a time warp. I've learned to accept her as she is, time-warp and all.

It's really kind of like spring this year. It's late. We're stuck in a winter time warp, and it's time to bail. Time for spring to come. I'm wasting what could be valuable gardening time waiting for spring. Last year at this time, I'm pretty sure I had all the beds cleaned out. This year, I have one.

BUT, thanks to Carol's urging from MayDreamsGarden, (she's my big sister, she's allowed to boss me around), I do have raised beds this year and this Saturday was able to plant sugar snap peas, turnips (for the greens), radishes, lettuce, and spinach. The earliest I have ever planted. My planting is ON TIME.

My time-warp friend started a blog one day when she was here. Her first post was very good, and I really like the look of her blog (I helped her set it up), but she's late. She hasn't posted since. Why don't you click on over and encourage her to add another post? You can go to her time-warp world here. Remind her that she's a little late with that second post. I'm sure she'll laugh and maybe, just maybe, she'll feel compelled to write a second post.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Poor tired puppy.
She's had a busy day.
Herding children. Playing with children.
Herding cats. Playing with cats.

You can do anything to her when she is in a deep comatose sleep.

Shall we cross her arms?

Looks much more lady-like, doesn't it?

Bunny ears anyone?

Deep, deep sleep. ZZZ........

Did you miss us Victoria?

Hi Muncie!

Yes, Muncie. We love you, too!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Bye, Bye Little Birdies

Do you ever watch the birds and wonder who they are? Not just what type of bird, but where have they been? Where were they hatched? What brings them to this cove, to roost on these posts? Where will they go tomorrow? Whose post will they be sitting on then?

What are they thinking? Why did this one bird choose to fly away?
Bye, Bye Birdie....

What are they thinking about....Father and son, walking on the beach. Memories of the past? Hopes for the future? Looking for the treasures of today?

Look at them. 3 grown up. 2 already wives and mothers. A 3rd taking that life-long commitment, a 4th still growing up and dreaming of her Prince Charming someday. But, today is A4's day. She was a beautiful bride.

She lives so far from us.

Birds usually come home to the places they were hatched to raise their families, don't they? Why don't children do that?

We are so happy for them, but there is also a sadness in knowing that we are not a part of their day-to-day lives. The distance prohibits it, but we will see them as often as we can.

Sam especially finds it hard to say good-bye to his sister. He knows it will be awhile before he sees her again. He is old enough to know that life goes on and there is a lot you want to share with those you love, but distance is so cruel and prohibitive.

Next time he sees his sister, he'll be taller than she is. Maybe she'll be expecting her own child. Maybe he'll have his braces off.

Seth is too young to grasp how much of life will go by before he sees his niece again.

She too lives far, far away. She is so precious and at such a fun age. We have enjoyed being with her so much. Next time Seth sees her, she will probably hold still for pictures without having to be mesmerized by the paparazzi calling out Princess names. He will be much, much taller.

Life goes by so quickly. Fly carefully little birdies. Be safe.


He's the Light at the end of my tunnel...
hope He is your Light as well.

May you all have a blessed and safe Easter.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Indulge Me by Allowing Me to Post Some Family Pictures....

I thought my sister, Carol, from May Dreams Garden would enjoy these pictures.

A2 will enjoy these pictures, I'm pretty sure...

These are for A1.'s to you, kid.

After all, today is your wedding day....

We know your happily ever after will be just that.....happily ever after.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

A Guest Post

Man, I am sooo tired. Long bike rides in the sun, walks on the beech, and tonight I'm babysitting. son has graciously allowed me to steal a post from his blog. (Oh, he doesn't know I stole it, so let's just keep that part of it quiet between the two of us, OK?)

So....without further ado, here's Sam....

Look at what I found in our condo! Isn't it cool? A Beetle!

But THIS is WAY better!

A giant horseshoe crab!

The beetle's backThe horseshoe crab's back

The beetle's stomach...The horseshoe crab's stomach...

This is how big the beetle is. It's laying next to my pinkie.

This is how big the horseshoe crab is.....

I'm lying next to it and I'm 5 foot 1 inch. Which one do you think is better?

Mom? Which one can I take home?