Monday, September 28, 2009

Summer Fun

Nothing says summer fun like spending a beautiful evening out together with family and friends when the carnival comes to town.

Here is Mickey and Lily. Lily lives with her mom out near Boston and spends weekends with here dad here in Southfield. Mickey and Lily spent loads of time together this summer.

Daniel and Abby are older than Mickey, but became friends because they rode the school bus together. Their Dad is our electrician.

This is Hunter and Chaice. They used to ride the bus with Mickey, but now they ride the "big bus" which takes them over to the school in Sheffield.

Mickey loves hanging out with the older kids, and was usually just as daring. The one attraction that appealed to them all was the slide. Mickey couldn't get enough of it! He went down it . . .

again . . .

and again . . .

and again!

Lily wasn't exactly too keen on the slide, nor any other kind of ride which went too high or too fast, which was just fine. Mick began to notice that by hanging out with just the older kids, he was missing out on some really fun things that appealed to he and Lily but that the older kids, for some reason, had no interest in - like jumping endlessly on the bouncy thing.

It was a fun time and a beautiful evening.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Graceful Wanderer

I realize that in my catching up, I'm darting from one topic to the next, paying no mind to chronology. I mean, I'm about to talk about the summer after summer camp without having ever mentioned a word about most of July! Sorry. I'm sure you'll forgive me.

Mickey spent all of July at a nearby day camp called Flying Cloud. A neighbor, whose little girl was attending camp as well, agreed to pick Mickey up from the store each morning and take him along; I agreed to pick them both up at the end of each day and bring them home as I got off work a half an hour before camp ended. July was busy, July was great. Then August came.

We wrestled with putting Mickey in a day camp at the Y for the first two weeks of August, but having just spent all of July with people he knew, I didn't want to throw him into a situation where he knew no one and where he could possibly be the youngest one in the camp. That happened earlier in the year over Winter Break and I didn't like it. I felt like I was dumping Mick off in a situation which was essentially glorified babysitting, and it felt kind of icky. So, instead, we opted to pay a babysitter who knew him to take care of him. The babysitter, Mrs. Dehey, had actually been a teacher at Kolburne, the school where Tom works, but she had been the victim of budget cuts and was let go. She could use the extra income. Mickey had gone to Mrs. Dehey's house with Tom and had made friends with Mrs. Dehey, her son, another teacher's son and the swimming pool. So he was good to go.

Every morning, Mrs. Dehey would come up from Connecticut to pick Mick up at the store and then they would go off and have adventures, run errands, and hang out at the pool, rain or shine, cold and miserable weather or not. One morning after they had left the store, I noticed that Mickey and Mrs. Dehey were out in front of the store and Mrs. Dehey was lying on the ground. It was a bit alarming. Did she fall? Had she lost her mind? No. She and Mickey were just taking a closer look at the enormous dragonfly they found idling on the front patio.

The dragonfly was alive, just not kicking - much. We thought maybe he had come to the end of his wandering life and was about to expire before our very eyes. Then we noticed his tail. It looked like, perhaps, a bird had taken a bite out of it. If you open the photo below, you can see his wound back toward the end.

Mrs. Dehey showed great bravery and picked the thing up and held it in her hand and let it perch on the tip of her finger. Now, I put dragonflies in the same category as cicadas, praying mantis and walking sticks, so you'd never catch me picking up a dragonfly much less letting one perch on the end of any one of my fingers. Creepy. A little ancient and ominous looking for my well-being. Mickey, who HATES bugs of every stripe actually let Mrs. Dehey perch the wounded wander on his finger. Inexplicable.

Notice the position of Mickey's head in the last photo above and how it's slightly tilted away from the dragonfly and how his shoulders are raising - a clear indication that he was getting a bit freaked out. Well, this paying of attention to a dying bug really couldn't go on ad infinatum, so Mrs. Dehey placed the dragonfly gently on the blossom of a bright red begonia. As if instantly revived, the dragonfly took flight, though a bit wobbly, and was soon high up over our heads and up, up and away.

graceful wanderers
pause in the afternoon sunlight
gone the next instant

- author unknownnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn

Fowl Visitors

Nearly every morning last week, we had a rafter of turkeys in our yard, hunting and scratching and pecking. I don't know my turkey families, but it looks like hens and poults. Not sure when poults are no longer called poults. There may be a tom or two in the bunch, I'm just not up enough with my turkey knowledge. But whatever they are, they are startling to me whenever I see them. They are such large and ancient looking birds. We usually spotted them as we were dashing out to our cars, headed to work. One morning though, just after I came in from walking Misty and before we began our mad dash to get ready for work and school, I spotted the turkeys on our front walk. I tried to be as quiet as possible as I crept out onto the porch to take a movie of them. They heard me coming nonetheless, so they moved down the front slope and across the street. They walked up the street, foraging as they traveled, and crossed back across the street into our yard and up into the woods behind the house. One big guy (gal?) stood in the woods looking back over his (her?) shoulder at me for a time before catching up to the rest of his crew.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Catching Up

Lord have mercy. Time does fly. I cannot believe summer is over. Where in the world did it go? It rained for two months, everyone molded, gardens rotted. It's nice now, but soon we'll be up to our eyeballs in snow. Lord have mercy.

As usual, lots has happened since my last post, but I simply haven't stayed up late enough to sit and type at my blog. By the time I get through watching So You Think You Can Dance, Top Chef, Dancing With The Stars, Project Runway, and Kathy Griffin, while drinking super-sized gin and tonics, I can only do one thing and that is to go to bed. (When I started composing this post on August 7th, the preceding sentence was an apt description of my usual evening. However, I have since begun to pick up three night shifts, in addition to the 40 hours of day work I put in at the store, so now I really have no time to write my blog!) Tonight, however, I decided I'd better sacrifice some television and sleep in order to do some catching up. Fill 'er up!

Earlier this spring, when it was still cold out and snow was still lingering on the ground, Mickey and I dropped by the home of one of the Store's regulars. Her name is Julia and she loves to collect animals. Her husband is a famous Oscar-winning special effects designer. Julia is very nice and is always trying to get me to bring Mickey to her place to see her animals. This spring she had baby goats and donkeys. We made over to see the goats but we never got to see the donkeys. By the time I got Mick back for a second visit, the donkey's weren't cute babies anymore. Oh well. There'll be more.

Mama and Kids, in miniature.

Mickey just had to hold the goats. It took a bit of coaxing from Julia, but the goats finally obliged.

Okay, everybody look at the camera . . .

. . . and smile!

Come back here!

This crazy old goat poked his head in to see what the heck was going on.

Julia took Mick out to see rest of the livestock.

The ram to Julia's left LOVED to ram anyone who came near. Watch out, Mick!

Goats in motion: