Archive for August, 2009

Open Source: 95th Birthday Present

Every year, my extended family picks one night to convene at Magnolia’s Restaurant in Bethany Beach for a reunion dinner. With aunts, uncles, cousins, second cousins, and cousins-to-be from all around the country, it’s definitely a celebration.

And a loud one at that.

This year, we had something extra to celebrate. Next month my grandmother turns 95 years old! When someone has been on this planet for 95 orbits around the sun, they’ve pretty much seen it all as far as birthday gifts go. But my Aunt Julie came up with a great idea to make this birthday memorable.

Each member of the family was tasked with filling an 8 1/2 by 11″ sheet of paper. It could include anything– pictures, drawings, a printout of memories or well wishes. Some people mailed their pages in advance. Meanwhile, some of us worked on ours together at the beach house.

Bethany Beach 2009 - Mom, Melanie, Frank Scrapbooking
Mom, my cousin Melanie and my cousin Frank work on their scrapbook pages

Bethany Beach 2009 - Melanie Works on Scrapbook Page
My cousin Allison’s page is on the left. My cousin Melanie works on her page on the right

Before the big event, my Aunt Julie compiled all the contributions into a big 12″ by 12″ scrapbook. The end result was beautiful and eclectic and full of memories and affection. The birthday girl seemed to appreciate it!

Bethany Beach 2009 - Family Dinner - Grandma Smiles with Cake
Birthday Girl is all smiles!

Next time you are tasked with finding a birthday present for a ninety-five year old, keep the scrapbook idea in mind.

Note: I suspect this notion just may work for other birthdays as well. 🙂


August 17, 2009 at 9:31 pm 1 comment

Tiger Fail

Saw this at the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Musuem on Wednesday:

Bethany Beach 2009 - Ripley's Believe It Or Not Musuem - Hahaha Fail
Tiger Fail

The caption reads:

Biting Off More Than You Can Chew
Believe It Or Not! Tigers are the only big cat that like to play in the water. Ferocious carnivores, tigers will eat just about anything, even turtles!

Shown here is the skull of a tiger that drowned trying to swallow a turtle whose shell got lodged in the tiger’s teeth.


August 10, 2009 at 3:00 pm 4 comments

Piranhas of Popcorn

Last week I was on vacation– which turned out meaning we were busier than ever. Saturday, August 1st, Ryan Somma and I met his family in Virginia Beach for supper. Then we continued north to Bethany Beach, Delaware to spend a week with my extended family. Friday, August 7th, we headed down to beautiful Assateague Island for our annual camping trip. Then Saturday morning, August 8th (August 8th is a NOFX Song Title!) we left the island and drove to Williamsburg, Virginia. We washed off all the sand, got dressed up and went to my friend Meredith’s wedding. This afternoon I leave for another trip — Blacksburg, Virginia. Easing back into blogging, I’m going to share something quick this morning.

Wednesday, a group of us went to the Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum in Ocean City, Maryland. As we strolled across the boardwalk, we saw some seagulls feasting on popcorn. When we returned the same path, we got to see the aftermath. In our absence, they picked the street clean (except for the kernels).

Bethany Beach 2009 - Ocean City - Seagulls Before
Seagulls with Popcorn

Bethany Beach 2009 - Ocean City - Seagulls After
Seagulls with Kernels

August 10, 2009 at 10:06 am 2 comments

Silo Tree Updates – August 3rd, 2009

Silo Tree Divining Rod, Ken Wolf, has photographed four more silo trees in Kansas. The Silo Trees of the U.S. listing has been updated accordingly– putting Kansas’ total at 12 trees!


Silo with tree This silo tree is located in Jefferson County, Kansas. Photograph courtesy of Ken Wolf
Buck Creek, Kansas is home to this silo tree. Photograph courtesy of Ken Wolf. Silo with tree different view
Silo wlth tree Another find by Ken Wolf in Sibleyville, Kansas. Photograph courtesy of Ken Wolf.
Another silo tree from Sibleyville, Kansas! Photograph courtesy of Ken Wolf. Silo with tree

More photos can be found in the Trees in Silos Flickr group. If you spot a silo tree you’d like to share, let me know!

August 3, 2009 at 9:34 pm Leave a comment

Week of Produce

Saturday July 25th, I had a great day at Elizabeth City’s Downtown Waterfront Market. I acquired a bounty of fresh, healthy produce and carried it back to my home on Hunter Street. I was feeling pretty darn pleased with myself. I was going to ingest all these delicious nutrients and I was supporting local growers at the same time.

It wasn’t until I plopped my purchases onto the kitchen counter that I realized, “Huh. We have six days to eat all this before we leave for the beach.”

And that we did. In the past week, the following items were ingested:

Chunky Vegetable Chili
1 onion
2 green peppers
1 starship squash

Eggplant Parmesan
1 eggplant
1 bunch of scallions

Tomato Caprese
3 tomatoes
fresh basil
fresh oregano

5 peaches
5 bananas
1 tub blueberries
1 nectarine

Fresh Carrot Apple Juice
2 pounds carrots
2 apples

Side Dishes
6 ears of corn
1 batch of asparagus

Blackberry Cobbler
1 tub blackberries

Of course, we did have some help from the neighborhood kids… They assisted with the eating and the prep!

Elizabeth City - Tykee Smiles with Corn on the Cob
Tykee Eats Corn on the Cob

Elizabeth City - Jasiya, Qualik and Tykee Prep Asparagus
Jasiya, Qualik and Tykee Prep Asparagus

Elizabeth City - Tykee Snags More Asparagus
Ryan Cooks Blackened Tuna Steaks… While Tykee Helps Himself to Asparagus

It was such a delicious and fulfilling week. Perhaps I should start off every week with what seems to be “too much produce”.

August 2, 2009 at 11:17 pm 3 comments

Heart in Nature – Curling Leaves

This heart in nature is courtesy of Flickr photographer, Lisa Ratcliffe. Beautiful green leaves form a heart as they uncurl.

Nature’s Green Heart (Photo courtesy of Lisa Radcliffe)

August 1, 2009 at 5:00 am 1 comment

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