Saturday, October 11, 2014

A Little Catch Up

How do I even play catch up with the Blog at this point. I'm not going to try but will offer a look over the last "few" months over a couple of posts. Highlights if you will. Hugs and smiles to all who check in!

The snow and ice of winter melted - finally! So as we head into the Thanksgiving season, I offer you our Easter Sunday pic.  No, I wasn't allowed to be in the photograph because I didn't match.  Seriously, they all came downstairs before church and Gasp'd.  I was in black and tan.  I obviously missed the memo:
Bart was in Zurich and Rachel went to Florida with the school music program so Kendra and I headed for a favorite 'park' and took cool pictures.  One of many photographs I like from that day:
On Mother's Day, Bart was gone - again!, and so I coerced the girls into a trip to a perennial nursery out in the wilds of New Jersey near the PA border and then a picture.  I think the camera was set up on the patio table as Eiger is reluctant to add photography to his repertoire of tricks:
Someone had a dance recital and so we took some really fun pics after - this is but one.  I will have to post some more at another time - her pink dress and the pink flowers in my neighbors border look so pretty together.  Have to leave you wanting more after my absence:
We went to Boston for the first time over the Memorial Day weekend.  Loved it.  Great city with so much history, good food, University town and oh, we will be back:
As soon as school was out (on June 25 - longest year ever!), the girls and I headed to London.  We rented a studio flat in Sth Kensington for a week  so we could have a couple days to play together before dropping Rachel off for school in Oxford (two week High School program). Afterward, Kendra and I stayed to do some Kendra specific sightseeing - she's a huge Dr. Who and Sherlock Holmes fan.

Funny thing was - Bart got re-routed  on his business trip and instead of going to Poland as planned, he ended up in London.  So we met him for dinner two of the nights that we had remaining. 4 family members - 3 different locations in England (Oxford, Kensington and Canary Wharf).
We took THE LAMEST selfies in front of Buckingham Palace - such that the silly shot is the best one of all:
Rachel in the Quad of St. Edmunds Hall, Oxford.  She had a fantastic time there through the Oxford Summer Academy Program.  She took Advanced Algebra, Critical Thinking - the Art of Reasoning, Public Speech and Debate and tutoring in Essay writing.  She met some great kids from other States/Countries - like being in International School again.  Needless to say, she loved it.  I would love it!  Oxford is well worth a visit if you ever have a chance to go:
Kendra and I enjoyed our first "real" Tea at the Cellar CafĂ© at Westminster Abby.  Delightful, yummy and a view of the towering Abbey:
We had such a great time.  I love my girls and so glad to have these adventures with them.
I'm getting to a place in life where I might have more time and energy for blogging again.  And at least to finish my quick photo update of life as we've known it since last winter.  Love to All! S

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Winter for the Hound Dog

Eiger loves the snow - most of the time.

Up until last Wednesday's storm of snow and ice, I could take him around the block to exercise in the school yard.  These pictures were taken after last Monday's storm when we had about 14-16" on top of what was left from the week before.  I'm losing track.

Eiger is a tall dog - long giraffe legs.  So running him around in deep snow is great exercise - until the ice came.  Now we worry about sprains, tears or breaks since the top crust crumbles beneath his/our weight but you don't know when and it's uncomfortable to lurch across the snow. 

He had fun when it was good though:
It's so deep that he runs like a rabbit pulling both back legs up and forward at the same time.  It's very amusing and the more we laugh the crazier he acts.
Taking a breather - I think he's such a handsome pup.
Trying to find something - head completely buried.
Canine winter bath:
In this next pic you may or may not be able to tell Eiger is walking gingerly around the yard.  The backyard has become a minefield - not from his piles (those are in a frozen pile in a corner when I can find them!) - but from the crusty collapsing over the chewed up snow from layers of storms.

He continues to show reluctance to go out and take care of business - any business - in his own backyard.  I thought he was a bit pycho.  He may be but I found out that everyone else's dogs are having the same problem.  It is therefore necessary to walk them a bit more and seriously - it's been 8-10 degrees most mornings and 15-20 at night and this furless human doesn't relish the bundling and fresh air much anymore.  It's safer to walk them on the icy sidewalks and streets than their own backyards.

I'm writing while watching the snow come down in our latest nasty storm.  I thought I saw enough of cold winter/snow from living in Iowa and our location in NJ is suppose to be closer to weather in Zurich - which I liked.  This winter has had more snow than any of our winters in IA and has definitely been as cold with below zero mornings and days that stay in the teens/low 20's - plus windchill.  Granted, we only had 4 winters in IA - I know there are years that are worse.

I just did a little research and found that as of last Thursday, Newark Liberty Int'l Airport had reported 61.7 inches of snowfall for this winter season - we are in the next "snow band" west of Newark so we get a little more with each storm.  And Al Roker has reported NY hasn't had this much snow since '82 - if you can't trust Al for weather, who can you trust?  So yeah, we are getting dumped on and I was really looking forward to Live with Kelley & Michael this morning for snow day TV fun but all I can get on every channel is Live News showing me all the weather mess that is falling right outside my window.  I think I'll change to HGTV. 

And then we girls will get bundled and go to work clearing off the cars and walks before our snow changes to sleet......

Can you tell I'm done with winter?  So is Eiger.

Saturday, February 08, 2014

You thought I was gone?

I have to admit. I knew it had been a long time since I've posted to this poor, lonely Blog site but Sept. 6th! Wow!

I have various reasons of course.  Most valid (moving again was time consuming).  Some not (should an infatuation with Love it or List it replace dedication to ones Blog?). The most likely reason is that I chose to focus on what mattered most (family and health) in the past 6 months of moving and getting to know another place and community and maintain my sanity.  Very often this did not mean sitting down at the computer other than to pay bills and respond to emails - I've been woefully inadequate at responses as well.

After multiple moves, I can't say I'm the best at it.  Each move has been different and provides its own challenges.  I can say that I've fought my personality a bit in the last couple years and this has been reflective in my blog absence as well.  I'm getting through the book "Quiet- the Power of Introverts" by Susan Cain.  I found I wasn't sure what to write anymore - I needed purpose.  Living in Switzerland gave me purpose - I was sharing my different life with family and friends at home in the US.  Moving back - I lost focus and as I expressed to a friend recently the way people communicate changed significantly while we were in Switzerland and I don't necessarily feel like I fit into the fast-paced society we've become.  No one wants to wait for me to process information or develop my thoughts or listen to a full sentence - I'm not complaining, it's just an observation.  In talking, I realized the Blog had been a release for me in communication.  One I haven't had for a while.  It is not about getting more readers or showing anything off - simply sharing life and some fun pictures and knowing someone is slowing down enough to read something I wrote.  Something I had to say.

Kendra's white board with a Stephen Hawking quote says a lot:


So - I'm going to try again and we'll see what happens! What's been happening lately in our world is weather.  I have a lot of snow pictures today for you.  Now I love snow and have enjoyed some of our snowy weather this year but not this week.  Which is why I have to turn yuck! into something beautiful - right?

This was Monday - our 4th and final built-in "snow day" for school.  We received between 14 - 16 inches on top of what was left from the prior week.  It was a heavy snow but manageable.  Poor neighbors nanny was on the street when the plow came by - they dug her out before it made another pass later in the day.  Oh, and two ladies were cross country skiing down the street as well - wish I had them myself.

These next two pics of our house were taken at different times and I'll try to describe what happened.  The first pic is fairly early on Monday, we don't have much snow yet and you can see the snow on the roof and bushes under our windows, Yes?

Now you don't. See snow on our roof or many bushes under our windows.  Wednesday mornings storm brought snow and then sleet which caused everything to crust over with ice.  No one moved on the street until after 11am.  Around that same time, the ice and snow from the roof decided to come sliding down.  All of it.  Loud and hard and sadly, from the amount of breakage I can see, we just experienced natural selection in landscaping.  The large bushes next to our door are still covered in ice - some leaves and branches have 2inch layers of ice on them - it's wild. 
Everything was covered in ice but sometimes it's really, really beautiful:
Beautiful tree on the grounds of the school down the street:

Close-up of how ice covered everything.  All of our trees were covered like this and then the wind was blowing and it was crackling - very spooky.  If the wind blew hard enough it would send little shards of ice falling down - trees were so sparkly in the sunshine the next day.  In spite of the sun, that ice did not melt until today - Saturday.

Here's Kendra doing her best "Lucy" impersonation as it looked like we were living in Narnia:
Rachel on her way to a Semi-Formal dance last week - her first dance here in NJ. 
Here is the big dog having a run in the school yard.  Thank goodness he likes the snow!  What has been difficult is the way the snow iced over with Wednesdays storm.  He alternately slides on the iced over snow or suddenly breaks through it.  We worry about him hurting/breaking a leg and I'm starting to take him on more walks because he's so uncomfortable on the backyard snow, he won't do his doggy duties.  So we are more than ready for this icy mess to go away.

And Blogger just deleted the pic of Bart with his shovel.  I'm supposed to be going upstairs to say good night to the girls.  But I'm sooooo close to posting this that I will.  I'll post a pic of Bart with his favorite snow shovel (sarcasm implied) later.

I hope everyone reading this is well and if you are reading this, Thank You!