Tuesday, July 30, 2013


... in shoes :)

It's a bit weird...

... without the dog.

Holly is spending a couple of nights over at the Heffernan's to make sure she's fully acclimatized (and Violet & Sparrow are fully acclimatized to her) before she goes there for the 3 weeks we'll be in the UK in a couple of weeks. It'll be awesome for her to be there rather than in a cage at the kennels, but she needs to learn to fit in with the routines of a different household, and spending a couple of nights and then coming home should also help her realize that this isn't a permanent move :)

But it's very odd without her in the house- there was no-one to go to the woods with yesterday, no-one to help me open up the building this morning, and no-one to come running into the kitchen at the sound of the cheese being unwrapped as Jackie made a sandwich this morning. I think the cat even misses her.

Oh well, she's probably having a blast and she'll be back tomorrow :)

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Boy's night, wrap-up

So, the Star Wars marathon has come to an end. Nearly 7 hours in the darkened living room watching with the big screen down and the surround sound turned way up. What an awesome way to spend an evening with my son!

We cheered and jeered our way through the movies: rooting for the good guys (and the bad guys too!);  pointing out gaffes, continuity errors, and problems with the physics ; laughing at the more ridiculous characters and yelling the classic lines along with the actors; we ate popcorn, fast food burgers and cake; and we drank Irn Bru and Dr. Pepper.

A truly geeky way to do some father-son bonding... and I had a blast! Thanks to my brilliant son for sharing it with me :)

Boy's night, finale

Dessert and Return of the Jedi :)

Boy's night, part 2

A quick run to Micky Ds and we're into the 2nd movie:)

Boy's night

2 bowls of popcorn, 2 recliners, 7.1 surround sound, a 10 foot screen, and 3 Star Wars movies = 2 happy Crispians :)

Wet dog :)

After nice gentle walk and a dip in the stream.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Ward kids...

... in good voice!

Ward Concert

A full house :)


The Ward Camp have their big concert tonight, so rehearsals are in full swing (!)

Meanwhile all the teenagers are taking the chance to catch up on their social networking :)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Archive project

Photographing the Stations of the Cross that parishioner Howard Bratches painted before they go off to be reframed.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


It seems crazy to be thinking about snow in this heatwave, but thanks to the generosity of a parishioner who is downsizing and moving to a smaller place the church is now the proud owner of a Toro Wheel Horse 14hp, 512cc garden tractor with a 48" snowplow!

I have all the best toys :)

Friday, July 19, 2013

A tad warm!

This is the thermometer on the outside of our kitchen window (on the shady side of the building).

I've just come in from walking the dog- she's a smart pup, when I tried to go a little further than the shortest loop (up to the bridge for a picture and then down and back) she just sat in the middle of the trail and refused to move 'til I headed back towards the stream! So we spent an extended time in the water before heading home: me chilling my feet in the water, and her playing happily with her tennis ball :)

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Sunday, July 14, 2013

It's so cute!

We were at the game store this afternoon and we found this adorable portable version of our favorite board game, Settlers of Catan. It's all there, just in miniature (quarter on the table at the bottom to show scale).

Perfectly sized to pack and take to England this summer in case of rainy days :)

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Dinner (sorry, couldn't resist)

Shrimp with lemon, julienned zucchini, fresh black pepper pasta and focaccia bread :)

Into the woods

Jackie joined Holly and me on our walk today, she hasn't seen this "bridge" tree since it came down :)

Let us ride to.... Camelot!

Crisp is going to spend the weekend with his stalwart group of buddies at one of their dad's lake house, and what have they all requested he bring for them to watch on the way there? Monty Python and the Holy Grail- I'm so proud!

Friday, July 12, 2013


This is how Jackie watched most of the game (that we stayed for)... thank goodness for the cheap raincoats we got from Disney a while ago :)

Yankee game

The rain has not let up but I guess they really want to play this game  as they just brought out a whole wagon of that stuff they use to dry the dirt, but we've had enough and are heading home :(

Rainy skies over Yankee Stadium

Hopefully the weather will clear soon!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Weird, alien grape leaves

I was out in the alley beside the parish hall this morning cleaning gutters when I noticed that some of the leaves on the grape arbor have these weird spikes growing off them- there's nothing on the underside of the leaves, just these little cones on the top.

It's obviously  some it's some kind of parasite, but I have no idea what... I shall have to Google it when I'm done with the gutters!

OK, Update- I just came inside and did a quick Google on these and they are caused by a midge called the Grape Tube Gallmaker. It's a tiny fly that apparently only lives for a day once it hatches and does no real damage to the grapes...
"These are Grape Tube Gallmakers formed by a Midge, Cecidomyia viticola. Galls are growths on plants caused by insects (like wasps, flies or aphids), mites, fungus, bacteria, viruses and other sources. Galls can be found on leaves, stems, roots, buds and other plant parts. Most Galls are harmless, though unsightly, and a few are destructive. The Grape Tube Gallmaker is an example of a harmless Gall. The larval Midge forms the Gall and the Gall acts as the food source for the insect."
...good thing as this is the first year that the birds seem to have ignored the grapes so we may actually get some that mature enough to be eaten :) 

It's not the heat...

... it's the humidity!

This is what the windows in my office look like this morning.
Inside: 74F & 55% humidity
Outside: 76F & 91% humidity!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Shingles and teeth update

I've just got back from the dentist having had my new, permanent crown put it.

The temporary glue holding the temporary crown lasted all of about 18 hours and the temporary crown came off again as I bit into my first hamburger on the 4th. But luckily by then my dentist had called me and had said if it came off again to just leave it off and chew on the other side... so that's what I did. He had offered to see me on Monday to re-glue in the temporary, but he said that if I wasn't in any pain I should just wait for my appointment today. I was a little more sensitive to hot and cold, but it was nothing I couldn't live with, so I waited, and now I have my new crown :)

I'm a little sore (he did the crown with no anesthetic) but he said that should wear off pretty quick and I can eat on it, brush it, floss it right away and it shouldn't go anywhere.

As to the shingles, that never developed any more than a small rash that has almost gone. It may not have been shingles at all, or it may be that I started taking the anti-virals so quickly that it was beaten back before it could go anywhere- either way I'm happy- shingles is not fun! I have an appointment for a full physical in a couple of weeks, maybe we'll learn something more when they do my blood-work then.

So... it seems to have been a happy ending all round... let's hope that was it for the summer!

It must be summer at Christ's Church...

... there's a dumpster in the parking lot :)

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Misty woods

Out for a quick walk between rain showers and just thought this beam of sunshine in the damp woods was quite pretty :)

Monday, July 08, 2013

Facebook profile pictures

I must be doing something right when I have a camera in my hand- of my 93 Facebook friends 7 are currently using pictures I took as their profile pictures, and 3 or 4 are also using my pictures as their cover pictures :)

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Fun, hot afternoon...

...over at Jody's to celebrate Jason's & Nikki's birthdays. It was very hot, hence all the adults in the baby pool...

Click on the picture of Crispy below to see the whole album :)

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Cliche picture 2

Flame broiled :)


... proving that mac & cheese is not a finger food :)

Cliche picture...

... happy 4th ;)

Holly's and my 4th of July good deed :)

As Holly and I set off for our walk today we ran into a distraught lady on the lower path who had lost her dog, so I took her cell number and promised to keep a look out. All through our walk we kept hearing people calling "Bailey!" And everyone we passed asked if we'd seen him.

About an hour later I was cutting around the parking lot on the way back to the bridge to put Holly in for a swim before heading home, and there he was, wet, tongue lolling and looking dumb. So I quickly hooked Holly's leash on him, checked his tags and called, and 5 minutes later he was reunited with his owner :)

Good thing we all carry cell phones now- she'll have a happy holiday!

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Roofing and repairs

It's been a funny last few days... On Monday evening as I took my shirt off to take a shower after walking the dog Jackie noticed a small rash on my left side, and after some quick Googling we decided it looked like a recurrence of the shingles I had a few years ago (not fun!). But when I had shingles before I had all of the discomfort with almost none of the physical symptoms- just red areas, no blistering- and this time I have a small area of blisters but no discomfort.

On Tuesday morning I had a routine visit to the dentist scheduled, so I went to that where he did a cleaning and some xrays and told me I needed a crown on one of my lower, left, back teeth- bloody useless National Health dentist I went to 23 years ago before moving to the States, almost everything he did has caused trouble and pain since! But I digress. He had a cancellation and so did the prep work for the crown then and there, took impressions, drilled and filed and then installed a temporary crown until the new one comes next week. On my way home I stopped in at Urgent Care at our doctor's office to get the rash checked out, and they confirmed that it looked like it was shingles and told me that there is a 72 hour treatment window and if you start treatment within that time you stand a good chance of avoiding a huge flare up, so they started me on anti-virals- and fingers crossed it seems to have got no worse and I still have no discomfort or itching.

Fast forward to this evening and we went over to the Curatory to play Settlers of Catan with Colin and Christie and on about the third move I bit into one of the delicious, soft, undercooked brownies Jackie had brought with us and noticed my temporary crown was loose in my mouth. So, after Colin Googled what to do when your crown comes off and I left a message on the emergency voicemail number at my dentists, we abandoned the game and Jake and I went to CVS to buy emergency, temporary dental adhesive (it's a wonderful world we live in).

So... now here I sit having rinsed and glued my temporary crown back in. The package says the adhesive starts to set in just a few minutes but takes 2 or 3 hours to reach full strength, so no more brownies for me tonight. I hope this glue does the trick, because as tomorrow is the 4th of July I think it's extremely unlikely I'll see the dentist before Friday (or more likely Monday). I'll just have to eat my hot dogs carefully and chew on the other side!

My brother...

So it's been a while since I've seen my older brother Simon (older by 5 years) in the flesh. He's always been the "hunky" one- and recently he's taken up triathlons- here he is at the recent 2013 Windsor Triathlon.

But last week he (and most of his older kids) went to the annual Glastonbury Festival, and today my niece Martha posted the following link on Facebook-

If you scroll down to number 17 you will see this picture...

Yep, that's Simon in the middle :)

I think we're gonna have a good time!