sadie & santa’s workshop

img_2066-e1535148049488.jpgOn Wednesday, Sadie turned four and a half. The concept for an all-in adventure (but neither presents nor party) half-way through each grand’s year is new but they have quickly caught on. Sadie has eagerly anticipated her turn since we launched celebrations with Oliver’s five and a half in July.  Rosie is already on record with a request for February!

Sadie agreed on the destination: Santa’s Workshop at North Pole, NY. She doesn’t like car rides but was sold by the website depicting mechanical rides. The Hubs and I were somewhat apprehensive about a long drive with six preschoolers.  Continue reading sadie & santa’s workshop

five and a half

On Monday our eldest grandchild turned five and a half. That gives me pause. “Slow down,” I plead silently. “Don’t grow so fast.” I should know how chids grow, having raised three of them. Even faster now, with so many activities and more intense schedules. I don’t like it one bit.

A few weeks ago I was thinking about this phenomena and lit on the concept of “half birthdays.” Frankly, I never really got it. Suddenly it made perfect sense. Take time to celebrate mid-year, just because. Winter in the North Country sets some limits. It’s cool that two of our six grands can enjoy a summer “birthday” this way. Oliver is first up!

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stepping stones

IMG_1545This summer I resolved to take advantage of newfound flexibility and spare time to Get. Stuff. Done. What a list of projects! I’ve been putting most off since we moved into our new home two years ago. I wasn’t looking forward to the work. Ugh. Staining treated lumber is my least favorite chore. But one project I was enthused about: mosaic stepping stones.

Even so, I procrastinated, not sure how to accomplish my vision. There are at least dozen different ways you might create stepping stones, as a bit of research will reveal. I’m not going to try to fool you. I didn’t know what I was doing. Inching along, step by step and hardware store by store, I figured it out.

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rv newbies

Screen Shot 2018-06-11 at 7.24.56 AMWe know lots of folks who travel by RV, quite happily long-hauling a house on their journey. The Hubs and I have struggled to envision ourselves in this scenario. We’re not well suited. I look for pull-through parking spots and have difficulty backing our car out of the driveway. (Don’t judge. It’s a long driveway.) He maneuvers heavy farm equipment without a second thought but is easily irritated by typical traffic in a regular sized vehicle. (Meanwhile, I’m on high alert: brake-lights!) The mere thought of taking to the highway behind the wheel of a rig sized for intergalactic travel induces stress.
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retread#35: bruges and damme

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At long last, the final installment on our our 35th anniversary trip … of last summer!

Our last port of call was Zeebrugge, Belgium. I’d arranged a tour with Vera through Tours by Locals. The only hitch was that she didn’t provide transportation. We were to meet up with her in Bruges (Brugge), a 20-30 minute ride from port, then on to Damme. We had a full day planned and timing was tight.

 

 

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retread#35: county cork

Our third Irish port on our anniversary trip was County Cork, Republic of Ireland. We docked at Cobh on a decidedly gray day. It rained on and off until early afternoon but that didn’t much dampen our spirits!

Cobb itself is a lovely little city. Perfectly walkable and interesting in and of itself. I’d booked a tour with Helena through Tours by Locals to venture over to Kindle. We tooled around Cobh for a little bit, stopping by a beautiful and massive church viewable from the shop. Mass was almost underway so we didn’t go inside. Before long we were on our way to our primary destination, Kinsale.


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retread#35: northern ireland


I was super excited that our 35th anniversary trip would take us to three Irish ports of call. Oh, my mercy, three! Both Ireland and Scotland have been on my bucket list, like, forever. Good on the Hubs for selecting this itinerary. In both, the remote northern regions were my favorite days of the trip.

We docked in Belfast, Northern Ireland.* From our stateroom balcony we could clearly see Cave Hill, inspiration for Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift. The rock face was all but beckoning for a hike that would surely have to wait. We wouldn’t get very far into the local history of The Troubles today, either. To top it off, the mother of all Titanic museums was in plain view, a majestic structure rising like a ship on shore. I would have loved time to explore all of this and more.

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