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30 June 2009

More NY sunsets and fun at the Discovery Center (and a random graduation pic)

The stormy weather has brought about some nice sunsets. A lot of cloud coverage, but still a pretty scene.

Two nights ago.

Tonight's pretty sky.

More of tonight.

I took my three nieces (minus Kiersten) to Binghamton today to have some fun. We wanted to go to the zoo, but it was rather rainy and miserable. So we decided to check out the Discovery Center. It was PACKED full of children and moms getting out of the rain. We still had some great fun.

Kyra, Leah, and Sami

Kyra makes an adorable little bunny.

Leah's version of a bunny is a bit more haughty. But I still love her!
I also attended Newfield High School's graduation last week to watch my last batch of 7th graders commence. They are so big now! It makes a girl feel rather old.

Here I am with my favorite graduate.
(By the way, I am not really a giant. I just play one on TV.)

29 June 2009

Winetasting fun

Today we all went to taste some good ol' NYS wine. We decided to tour Seneca Lake because it's been a while since I've visited those vineyards. We had a really fun time, and the weather was beautiful. We visited quite a few wineries, but I only bought four bottles of wine!! Of course, my mom and the rest of them made up for it. (Mom came home with 14 bottles of wine!!!!!!!!) We spent about 7 hours with Dad being a wonderful DD for us.

I love how all of the vineyards have such beautiful views of the lake. Despite the hard rap I give to Upstate NY, it is a really beautiful place. I'm rather blessed to call such a beautiful place home!

Farming life seems to be much more appealing with a lake view.

Here's where the magic begins.

A cool barrel.

A nice view from the vineyard's front porch.

Belhurst Castle ... the wine was so-so, but the location was nice!


More vineyards.

Vineyards by the lake.

All in all, it was a very nice day.

27 June 2009

Evenings in Ithaca

Despite the relatively cold and rainy weather, there have some beautiful sunsets over the past few nights. And my parents have a pretty great view of the beauty.

Tonight ...

Last night ...

And, on an completely unrelated note, my parents have bluebirds nesting in boxes in the backyard. They have some really cute babies. I was a bit nervous about getting so close, but my mom told me that bluebirds are almost domesticated and you can actually touch the babies without rejecting the mother. While we didn't touch them, I got some cute picks of Bluebird Butt. (They had all rotated away from the front of the box. Yesterday, they were all facing the door with their little beaks craning for food.)
Look at his cute little leg!!!

25 June 2009

Some pics from CNY

I just got my camera back! (I had forgotten it at Rae's wedding shower and LL FedEx'd it to me) I took some pics of my beautiful surroundings and share them. 

The view.

Beautiful B exploring the high grass. 
The view off the right of the front porch.
The view from the right of the porch.
A killdeer has laid a clutch of eggs in my parents' driveway. 
You know, where people park.
Perhaps this is why birds haven't risen any further up the food chain.

More to come later!

23 June 2009

Gems from my niece

I spent the afternoon with my little niece, Kyra today. She's a cutie ... all of 5 years old. We ran errands -- the bank, the beer store (as Kyra affectionately called it ... It was a brewery.), the vet, and then we headed to the park ...

 to chill out for a bit.

Kyra is a pretty quick little whippersnapper.  She's pretty hysterical, actually. She says some pretty great things. A few examples.

The scene: Driving down the street, Bailey is sitting in the front seat, Kyra is in the seat behind her. B's ears are flapping in the wind. Something like this:

Kyra notices how transparent Bailey's ears are and see her veins. 

Kyra says: "Aunt Mary, why does Bailey have cracks in her ears?"

Aunt Mary almost pees herself.

Later Kyra speaks up from the back seat:

"Aunt Mary, why do boys have so much hair on their legs?"

Aunt Mary started to explain testosterone and all that jazz but reconsidered. 

(I'm also rather proud that she bears my resemblance. 
Or, as they say in the South, she "favors" me.)

22 June 2009

Home Sweet NY

As you may have heard, I'm in Upstate NY visiting the fam for a few weeks. Two whole weeks to be exact. I drove in yesterday (Sunday) to surprise Dad for Father's Day. I left NC at 5am at made it to NY by 2:15pm even with DC and Bal'mer traffic. Nine hours ain't bad! Dad was really surprised, and it was a nice little get together. A bit overwhelming to get out out of the car after a nine hour drive and be surrounded by a million people. Well, more accurately, twenty or so rather loud people.

After everyone finally left, Mom, Dad, a pair of good friends, and I all had cocktails on the porch and watched the setting sun. This morning (Monday), I was awoken by an obnoxious clock in my bedroom. AT 6 AM!!!!!!!! I was ready to throw it out the window. We fixed that for tomorrow. Believe me. After getting up at the crack of dawn, I spent the day hanging out with Mom, Pop, and my two nieces. It was a good time.

Now it's time for cocktails and relaxing!

19 June 2009

Gifts for people I like

The Long Island Princess' wedding shower is tomorrow. I'm normally pretty anti-shower (baby, wedding ... whatever), but I'm excited about this one because I LOVE the couple and they are my NY peeps. Plus it will get me back into the 'boro to visit my chicas one last time before my crazy new life begins. 

So, along with being anti-shower, I'm pretty anti-registry as well. The gifts are always so practical and boring. Avocado slicer, blender, bundt pans ... B-O-R-I-N-G! I like presents to reflect my personality and my unique relationship with the recipient. After talking to LL (the amazing hostess with the mostess!), she convinced me to try to find something off of the registry for the L.I. Princess and then buy a little something "extra" that was more me. So I did. 

I started with a cake display stand and then added the MB touch ...

Oh yeah. That's some pink lingerie. 

And a burgundy bra and thong set with black lace trim. (There are some naughty stockings to go with the second set, but they wouldn't fit in the display!)

How's that for a cake?!?!

I'm pretty sure she'll be a wee bit embarrassed, but what are friends for, right? Nothing screams MB more than lingerie in a dessert display!!!

18 June 2009

Pics from the National Art Gallery

In the busy visit to DC, I was only able to see one museum. Happily, it was a museum that I had never visited before. I stopped into the West Wing of the National Art Gallery and made a B-line for the classical and Renaissance art. Specifically religious art from the 15th and 16th centuries and preferably by Italian and Spanish painters. I'm pretty interested in all of the religious iconography and the interplay between different saints and the Holy family. I like to test myself and see how much I can recognize in the painting before consulting the description tag. But, most importantly, I really enjoy absorbing the beauty and devoutness (I'm pretty sure that's not a word, but whatever) expressed in the paintings by the artists. 

I also got to see the famous painting of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire! I was EXTREMELY stoked about that one!

So, without further ado and with the exception of the first painting, here is my photographic collection of paintings from the NGA!

Georgiana. If you haven't read about her life, YOU MUST!
Fascinating stuff, I tell you.

Christ, washing the feet of the Apostles at the last supper.

A triptych of the Crucifixion

St. Francis (of Assisi) in prayer. 
He's kinda my patron saint.
Plus he is the patron saint of animals, so that's a bonus.

St. Cecilia being visited by an angel.
The Boy was born on St. Cecilia's Day.
She's the patron saint of music ... as the image depicts. 

Veronica's veil.
After she offered it to Christ to wipe his face during the Passion, it was embossed with Christ's face. This is a painting, of course. Not the actual veil. :)
A relief of the Madonna with Child.

The Crucifixion. Mary has fainted in the foreground.

Mary and the Apostles (along with Mary Magdelene) retrieving the body of Christ.

I was particularly interested in this painting. It is of the Magdelene (Mary Magdelene). She is so beautiful and peaceful and serene, not at all the whore that she is often portrayed as. 

Girl with Shell. 
A non-religious sculpture, but I found the pair to be very playful and fun.
Here is Puck. I love how mischievous his face is!
The Nativity.
A bust of the Madonna.

And there you have it, my friends!

Pics from the DC trip

I just got back from another trip to DC, and, while the weather was a bit rainy, I had mucho funno!! I even got to visit with my FAVORITE cousin (he came down from Annapolis to visit me and meet The Boy.).

Here's a nice pic of the Capitol.

The Reconstruction of the Globe Theatre inside of the Folger Shakespeare Library.
Some more Capitol pics ...

My man Lincoln at night. I swear I didn't enhance these pics. That's the way the color turned out!

The WWII monument at night.
The Gettysburg Address


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