Friday, February 27, 2009

Spring is teasing us

Can you see it??

The early signs of spring??

There, in the center....those sweet pink blossoms.

Spring is coming to our winter island in South Carolina. Temperatures next week will range from 56 to 77 degrees. Heaven.

Back home on our other island in the Niagara River, there are no blossoms. Just snow. Temperatures between 24 and 46 degrees.

I think we'll stay right here for a while longer.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Thursday Thirteen

Some random observations on 10 days with a son, daughter-in-law, 3 kids waiting for the birth of a new baby........

1. Old people CAN make the adjustment from a king size bed to a double bed pushed against the wall.

2. I can still sing "I'm the map, I'm the map, I'm the map,I'm the fact, I wish I could stop singing it already.

3. Kudos to my DIL for devising a morning hassle-free dressing system for her 5 year old. She organizes outfits on hangers then ties them together with a sign showing each day of the week. She plans the week's wardrobe in advance and keeps the outfits in a locked closet so there is no 5 year old reorganizing (genius!) Each morning the closet is opened for the appropriate day's outfit. There was nothing easier than getting Olivia dressed for school each morning!

4. Laundry! I'd forgotten how it doubles in volume every few hours, just like yeast bread!

5. They don't make car seats to accommodate a 3 year old wearing a "puffy" jacket.

6. Packing a gluten free lunch is a challenge but it sure makes for some interesting lunches!

7. A 3 year old boy can eat a bowl of cereal, a banana, an orange, yogurt, cheese, juice and pudding for breakfast and say that he is still hungry.

8. It is impossible for 3 kids between 10 and 3 to whisper (inside voices????)between 5:00am and 8:00 am so Grandpa can sleep.

9. Kids really do not like to have their hair brushed.

10. Balloons and stickers are Grandma's best friends.

11. Root veggie chips! Thank you Trader Joe! A new way to get veggies into Grandpa!

12. ANYTHING can be recycled into a craft. Just ask 5 year old Olivia.

13. Washers and dryers still eat socks.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

WW: Introducing Baby Jacob

Jacob Taylor Storm Gullett born February 23, 2009
8 lbs and 20.5 inches long, he is four hours old here

Jacob has ten perfect little piggies....

And perfect little fingers too....

He has a big sister, Hayley

and a big sister, Olivia

and a big brother, Elijah, who helps his Mommy to hold him

oh, and he has a Grammie and Grandpa who love him very much too!

Can't get enough WW? Go here!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

we did it, we did it...

A little while ago I posted here on the challenges of getting a photo of the three generations: "Daddy's Daddy" (Tai's name for his Grandpa), Daddy and grandsons Tai and Luc.

We had another opportunity during our trip to North Carolina this past week.

Hurray! We did it! We did it!

And just because we were on a roll, we got a picture of Mommy and Daddy with Tai and Luc too!

Monday, February 23, 2009

He smiles!!

After posting Baby Luc refusing to smile for Wordless Wednesday, I had to show you that he does, in fact, have a charming smile when he wants to!

Friday, February 20, 2009

waiting for Jacob.......

We drove up to North Carolina last Saturday to lend a hand with the kiddos when Jacob was born.

Mama was having contractions every three minutes and when it's baby #4, that usually means something.

But Jacob changed his mind.

It's been a week now and we're still waiting.

Apparently Jacob is in no hurry.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


I confess I'm not a G.R.I.T.S. That's a Girl Raised In The South for you Northerners.

I am a G.W.I.T.S. That's a Girl Wintering In The South.

One of the best parts of spending the winter in South Carolina is enjoying the gardens. Having spent my first 20 years in Southern California, I recognize many of the flowers: camelias, gardenias, hibiscus. And, of course, the hardy annuals: pansies, snap dragons, flowering cabbage and ornamental kale and parsley.

But I don't recognize this. I was so captivated by the berries that I tried to dry them and take them home with me one year. But they wouldn't dry. They rotted. Darn.

So can anyone identify this shrub and it's berries? I think it might be a type of philodendron. Do they ever bloom? Or are these green berry clusters the blossom?

Any gardeners out there???

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Project: family picture

We wanted to get a picture of Daddy's Daddy (aka Grandpa), Daddy and the grandbabies.

Thought we'd get Baby Luc settled first.

"Hello, Daddy's Daddy!"

oops...didn't want the flash...

Brought in big brother Tai.

Baby Luc is not happy.

Tai says,"I'm not the problem; it's Baby Luc!"

Project postponed.

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Bucket List

This came to me via email from a non-blogger friend but I thought it would be fun to send out in the blogosphere. Just copy it onto your blog and adjust for your own experiences. Leave me a comment and let me know when you've posted!

This is for your entire life!

1. (x) Been to Europe

2. (x) Been on a cruise

3. ( ) Been on a blind date

4. (X) Skipped school

5. (x) Watched someone die

6. (x) Been to Canada

7. (X) Been on a plane

8. ( ) Jumped out of a plane

9. (x) Gone snorkeling/scuba diving

10. (X) Been lost

11. (X) Been on the opposite side of the country

12. (x) Gone to Washington, DC

13. (X) Been to Vegas

14. (x) Climbed a lighthouse

15. (X) Swam in the ocean

16. (x) Cried yourself to sleep

17. (x) Seen the Cherry Blossoms in Washington, DC

18. ( ) Played cops and robber

19. ( ) Flown a plane

20. ( ) Owned a boat

21. (x) Watched grandchildren grow

22. (x) Recently colored with crayons

23. ( ) Been to the Kentucky Derby

24. (x) Been to Key West

25. (x) Been to a rodeo

26. ( ) Sang Karaoke

27. (x) Paid for a meal with coins only

28. (X) Done something you told yourself you wouldn't

29. (x) Made prank phone calls

30. ( ) Laughed until some kind of beverage came out of your nose

31. (X) Caught a snowflake on your tongue

32. (x) Danced in the rain

33. (x) Written a letter to Santa Claus

34. (x) Been kissed under the mistletoe

35. (x) Watched the sunrise with someone

36. ( ) Seen the green flash at sunset

37. (X) Blown bubbles

38. (x ) Gone ice-skating

39. (X) Gone to the movies

40. ( ) Owned a convertible

1. Any nickname? Sweetpea
2. Mother's name? Betty
3. Body Piercing? ear lobes only
4. How much do you love your job? I love retirement more
5. Birthplace? Burbank, CA
6. Ever been to Hawaii ? Yes
7. Ever been to Africa? No
8. Ever eaten just cookies for dinner? Yes
9. Ever been on TV? Yes
10. Ever steal any traffic sign? no
11. Ever been in a car accident? Yes
12. Drive a 2-door vehicle? yes
13. Favorite number: 7
14 Favorite movie? Gone With The Wind
15. Favorite Holiday? Thanksgiving
16. Favorite dessert? creme brulee
17. Favorite food? I've rarely met a food I didn't like but I have a passion
for cheese
18. Favorite day of the week? Sunday
19. Favorite brand of body wash? Tresor cream wash
20. Favorite smell? peonies, a pine forest, freshly baked apple pie
21. How do you relax? Reading, cooking, walking
22. How do you see yourself in 10 years? Doing the same things I'm doing now!

Friday, February 13, 2009

a CSI moment

I'm expecting a call any day now from North Carolina to say that Baby Jacob is on his way. Grandpa and I will jump in our car and make the 5.5 hour drive to hold down the fort with Baby Jacob's three older siblings.

We've been exchanging emails for the past week detailing the "birth plan." Well, not so much the birth plan as what Grandma needs to know, like how to get to the school, how to get to the hospital, the dishwasher isn't draining, the dog sleeps in the garage, etc, etc.

When I inquired about internet access, my son said to give him my MAC number and he would add it to their router.

I don't have a MAC.

What is a MAC number and why would I have one?

He said it would be on the underside of my laptop.

There are five different stickers there....nothing to indicate a MAC number.

He said it would be a 12 digit number beginning with a 00.

I found the number. 12 digits. But they were teeny weeny digits. No matter where I adjusted my glasses, no matter how much I squinted, I could not make out the numbers.

Then I had a CSI moment.

I have always wondered why they investigate crime scenes with the lights off, using only their flashlights. Never mind that it makes for more dramatic cinematography. Or that it creates more suspense. But maybe, just maybe, it could help illuminate my situation (forgive the pun, I couldn't help it!)

I ran and got a flashlight. Well, not exctly a flashlight. More like the key ring with the little light beam that is supposed to help you find the lock in the dark.

And do you know that it actually does help you see more clearly? It enables you to pick up the details. It magnifies!

Yes! With my CSI light I was able to solve the case! I could read all 12 digits! And now I will have internet access with my own laptop in North Carolina!

I have a new respect for CSI.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Birds

Do any of you remember the Alfred Hitchcock movie The Birds?

My father worked at the studio where the movie was filmed and brought home some of the bird "extras." Pretty little birds like what you find in craft stores these days but it was my first exposure to to the little fakes. Just a little creepy.

And the movie was pretty scary too! Thousands of birds aggressively attacking humans. You would never look at a flock of birds the same again.

Hilton Head Island is a bird lover's paradise. From stately Blue Herons to Cardinals, Bluejays and Carolina Wrens, there are birds everywhere.

And then there are the birds who stalk you when you eat at one of the outdoor restaurants. If you mistakenly hold up a french fry and hesitate before taking a bite you just might lose it to a dive bombing bird. And once you vacate the table, they swarm over it in a race to gather the leftovers before the table can be cleared.

But there is no bird greater at finding food than the inimitable sea gull. Just stand on the beach, hold out your hand with a cookie crumb and they will come.

An even better picture would have been the sea gull who grabbed our orange rubber baseball and flew off with it in his beak. Fortunately little Tai's Daddy was fast enough, loud enough and threatening enough that the gull dropped the ball before he flew out to sea.

Or else the bird just figured out his prize was inedible!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: When the temperature rises

and the snow pack melts

the flood waters come...

Check out 5 Minutes for Mom for more Wordless Wednesday participants.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Ice Southern Style

It's been chilly here for the past few days. Friday morning when I was preparing for my morning walk the temperature was only 22 degrees. I'm quite used to that back home in New York but it's uncommon and unwelcome here in South Carolina.

Southerners think it's cold when the temps are in the 50s! Back home we break out the sumer shorts at that temperature :)

I bundle up... hat, scarf, coat...and make my morning rounds. I recognize the icy patches on the sidewalks and drives where the sprinklers have left puddles and navigate around them. Growing up in California I've never made the adjustment to walking on ice... my litle boys had to hold me up back in the day! But South Carolina ice is minimal and I tread lightly.

Rounding the lagoon I see the lower branches of a few pine trees glimmering with ice. They look as if they were dipped into a silver bath.

By the time I make my 4th lap, the sun has risen and the ice is starting to melt.
In another hour the ice will be gone, the grounds keepers will be out with their leaf blowers and the little whispers of winter frost will be just a memory.

Monday, February 9, 2009

I can walk 500 miles.... or maybe 5000

Well, maybe 5000 is a bit of an exaggeration

but let's see what I CAN do....

Every morning when the first bird starts to sing, I walk around our complex for one hour.

That's five laps

Each lap is 1500 steps......and yes, I counted them :)

So that's 7,500 steps and I'm guessing that since I walk at a fairly fast pace that would be around 3.5 mph.

Now 30 days of 3.5 miles per day would equal 105 miles per month.

Or 1260 miles in a year!

Except I don't walk in the month of December.... and perhaps some of November and April due to the fact that snow and ice and I are not compatible.

But I think I do get to count the stroll my Honey and I take most days. I need to count those steps (he keeps interrupting my concentration!) but I would estimate those strolls are about a mile.

And a daily hour of walking at 3.5 mph burns 300 calories which equates to 2.6 lbs per month and over 30 lbs per year! (I didn't do the calculations but I did read it somewhere!) At that rate I should have no problems maintaining my weight and yet I don't seem to be dropping those lbs. Must have something to do with eating more....

It's so much easier to get out and walk in a South Carolina winter. It will be Spring here when we leave the end of March but still winter in New York.


Friday, February 6, 2009

My Long Winter's Nap

I had intended to take a short break from blogging...

just to rest

to recharge

and renew

Instead I found myself making the decision to live in the moment with those around me instead of living with my laptop and list of blog posts.

I chose to love my finite world while the bloggy world went unattended.

Days passed.....then weeks

I paid more attention to my husband. It wasn't a question of loving more but of giving him more of me.

I spent time with children and grandchildren.

I even made time for myself...without guilt.

I read.

I napped.

I savored the day's events without composing blog posts in my head.

I watched the sun rise and set.

I found joy in early morning walks.

I worked on trusting Him more so that I could find relief from the worries that too easily consume me.

I let go....

The real life issues are still there, calling out to me, demanding my time and energies.

I will deal with it all.

And there is also time for blogging.

Hello again.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Operation Love Zimbabwe

If you haven't yet discovered Mozi Esme's blog, you absolutely must go there now! Not only will you fall in love with baby Esme and her antics but you will find your eyes and heart opened to life on the other side of the world as Esme and her family experienced life in Mozambique.

For the first two weeks in February, Esme's Mommy is hosting OLZ- Operation Love Zimbabwe, full of giveaways like this, plus background information on Zimbabwe so we all can be more informed citizens of the world. This is what Esme's Mommy has planned:

The operation is simple. Two weeks of African-themed giveaways to attract attention of readers throughout bloggyland. And mixed in with the giveaways, posts that give you a glimpse of the real tragedies in Zimbabwe, as well as ideas on how you can make a difference in the lives of Zimbabweans.

Have a look around. Check back throughout the operation, which ends Valentine's Day, February 14. Enter the giveaways. If you have questions about Zimbabwe, leave them in a comment for our upcoming Q&A post.

It isn't often that we can hear first hand of the tragic conditions that exist on the other side of the world, outside of our comfort zone and on the fringes of our thoughts and prayers.

This is a unique opportunity. Open your eyes and hearts to Zimbabwe.