Gulls (and Boys) Just Want to Have Fun

focus and take the shot

 

Recently I challenged myself to try to catch some action shots with my phone’s camera.

 

seagulls on beach

 

Not much action here. Just some seagulls, hanging out.

 

seagull reflection

 

Although, some gulls took a little time for reflecting.

 

seagull showing off

 

Others stretched their wings–or showed off.

Can’t say for sure as I’m not really a gull expert.¬†

BUT…

I do know that birds like bread.

 

seagull eating bread crumb

 

They will crane necks to get bread. 

 

seagull landing

 

They will swoop and fly.

 

seagull frenzy

 

They will get rowdy.

 

seagull standoff

 

Not all though. Some will be cautious–maybe even a bit suspicious.

This gull probably has an agent.

 

beach boys

 

So I moved on to other subjects.

Replaced the bread with a Frisbee.

 

beach frisbee

 

And … action.

 

playing Frisbee on beach

beach frisbee action

catching frisbee on beach

 

What challenges have you set up for yourself lately? 

Happy Monday!!

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Habit is What Keeps You Going

‚ÄúMotivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.‚ÄĚ
~Jim Rohn

 

A couple of days ago I stood next to the kitchen counter peeling a banana. I dropped the peel–and the stringy banana “hairs”– into our compost container.

Then, without thinking, I broke off the end–a.k.a. the butt of the banana– and added it to the pile.

I have no problem with the banana butt. But my son always has. When he was younger he wouldn’t eat a banana unless I broke off the ends. The ends grossed him out.

My kids are teenagers now, still under my care, but it’s different. For the most part, there’s less micro-managing (I say for the most part, because somehow I can still hear my echo of have you emptied the dishwasher yet?)

But it’s not uncommon to see me filling their glasses half full at the dinner table, a nod to the days when my kids were too old for sippee cups, but not so old that they weren’t prone to spilling.

Leftover habits, lingering. Happily. Because every time I catch myself in one of these random mommy flashbacks, I smile.

 

It’s definitely the kind of habit that can keep me going.

Kind of like a dangling banana butt.

What are your happy habits? 

Have an awesome week,

 

Up for fun posts and cool pictures? Check out author, Patricia aka Jansen Schmidt. You may learn what a Xebec is, if you don’t already know. ūüôā

 

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The Heart of the Matter: What Grounds You?

 

So all last week I found myself thinking about a button.

button heart_opt

 

 

My son decided he wanted to go to prom (a week before prom, mind you), which meant a last minute run for prom tickets, a boutonniere, a corsage, and a tux.

My husband suggested he try on his tux. His twenty year old wedding tuxedo.

 

 

 

The tux fit. It was a tad roomy, but all it really needed was a new button.

I put mending on my to-do list, but the button stayed on my mind. Somehow that button represented happy nostalgia: twenty years of marriage, family, and kids being almost all grown up.

Of course, all this symbolic button thinking took place amidst the back drop of crazy, tragic things happening in Boston and all over the world.

But I had the luxury of thinking about that button.

And then this weekend we had our own bit of crazy to deal with, when some neighborhood kids thought it would be funny to rig up what looked like a homemade bomb on the steering wheel of my daughter’s car.

My daughter drives a retired Crown Victoria police interceptor and while we wondered if this thing in her car was a stupid prank, we also couldn’t help but worry whether this contraption rigged not only to her steering wheel, but attached to the door and the outside mirror, was some threatening message aimed at the police.

So we called the non-emergency police line and an officer came to the house. He was perplexed, cautious, and called his supervisor…

Who then called the bomb squad.

And then began the process of securing the roads around our neighborhood.

And then an officer asked us if we wanted to leave our house because this could be a very dangerous situation.

At this point, one of the kids responsible, came over and confessed. My daughter instantly burst into tears. She was relieved, but very hurt someone wanted to purposefully scare her like that.

I was mad. Because while it may have been a joke–and everyone was safe–our fear had been REAL.

You may think what I did next is a strange reaction, because while the bomb squad took the stupid contraption out of my daughter’s car (they still had to consider it a threat until they knew otherwise), I went inside the house and sewed the button on that tux jacket. I didn’t know what else to do with my confusion, my anger. Maybe because I’d been thinking about that button all week, that button somehow become some sort of fastener for my thoughts. It helped to ground me.

I mean what do you do when you get tangled and tripped up by the web of someone else’s stupidity?

You can’t control it. You can’t change their thinking. All you really can do is control your own actions (and somehow resist a response that might make you a contributing member to the spectrum of stupidity).

So I shifted my focus to the things that ground me.

Turns out, one hand me down tuxedo, plus one button, equals lots of love and support.

prom smile borrowed tux_opt

My son wearing his dad’s wedding tux.

 perfect troll face goes to prom_opt

The “perfect troll face” goes to prom. ūüôā ¬†My family grounds me, but also lifts my spirit.¬†

 

And because I couldn’t find a great quote for this post, I’m sharing this absurdly funny one.

funny quote computer beat me at chess_opt

 

What grounds you when your world gets shaky? 

Have a great week,

What’s Your Starbucks Name?

 

 starbucks SHAKESPEARE NAME QUOTE_opt

On a recent trip to Starbucks with my daughter, I learned she has a Starbucks pseudonym.

She tells them her name is Mary.

It makes sense. She has an uncommon name. One that is typically difficult to pronounce, especially when you factor in the coffee shop chatter and the hiss of steam from the machines.

So, she says Mary to avoid playing several rounds of WHAT?? with the barista.

I totally get her predicament. You probably do too. Saturday Night Live recently did a Starbucks skit that had a Marsha getting a latte that read, Shar Shar.

Seeing what ends up on my own Starbucks cup has turned out to be kind of entertaining.

I kind of get a tiny zing of anticipation as the barista poises the Sharpie marker over the cup. What will they write?

coffee funny quote_opt

 

starbucks coffee fail 3_opt

starbucks coffee fail_opt

 

 

 

starbucks coffee fail 2_opt

starbucks coffee name_opt

This barista started with COLEOO. Then, second guessing himself, he showed me the cup.

I corrected him. This is what he came up with.

Close. ūüôā

 

Do you use a different name when you order? Does your name ever get misspelled?

I love lattes–what’s your favorite coffee shop drink?

Have a great week!

 

 

 

 

 

The Holiday Cookie Jar: A Sprinky Dink Bakes (& Sprinkles)

 ccokie quote charles schulz_opt

This weekend I baked.

chocolate dipped cream cheese cookies_opt

Cream cheese cookie dough

 

 

Chocolate dipped cream cheese cookies decked out for a Chanukah party.

 I remember my  mom making Cream Cheese Leaves for me to bring to a Girl Scout meeting way back when.  She dipped them in semi-sweet chocolate and then  nestled them in a wax paper lined coffee can.

chocolate dipped cream cheese cookie recipe_opt

This is my mom’s recipe.

 

I think they are now her official Christmas cookie.  My mom says she called them Cream Cheese Leaves because of the way the dough rolled off the spoons when she first made them.  She pinched each and every one to make them look more leaf like.

My mom has great patience when baking.

Sometimes I do.  But not this weekend. I used my handy-dandy cookie scoop to make precise dough balls.

Besides I was too occupied being a moving target.

 

My apron.   

And I wasn’t stopping at my mom’s cookies. ¬†I needed to try some new ideas for a cookie exchange party.

Next up, Compost Cookies!

 

Makes great dirt–not cookies.¬†

These cookies have a funny name, but they are super easy. ¬†You start with your favorite chocolate chip cookie dough recipe. ¬†It can be vegan, gluten-free, whole grain–whatever you like . . .

 

It doesn’t have to be homemade. ¬†This works too–just let it soften at room temperature first.

 

Then mix and match 1 cup of your favorite add ins:

 

Candy bars, nuts, cereal, butterscotch chips, dried fruit, pretzels–whatever you want. ¬†Even leftover cookies, although that seems a tad¬†cannibalistic.

Then drop and bake according to your recipe.

 

 

Up next, A Sprinkle of Fortune Cookie.

You take a basic sugar cookie dough (again, your tried and true favorite) and add in some freshly grated orange zest.  After baking and cooling, dip them in melted white chocolate.

Then you can sprinkle crushed fortune cookies and colored sugar on top.

 

If you like extra sprinkles, then you’re a SPRINKY DINK, according to Urban Dictionary.

 

 

What is your favorite cookie?  Are you a Sprinky Dink?

And to all those celebrating this week, warm wishes for a Happy Chanukah!

 

 

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Unforgettable Books: Dreams Wrapped in Words

 


I am not even going to begin to pretend I understand MEMORY. That awesome, fickle power that likes to ditch me as I step into another room (or¬†as Billy Collins says in his poem¬†Forgetfulness, retires “to a little fishing village where there are no phones”).

I don’t know why some things stick, like the thirty plus year old memories of being a kid trying to fry an egg on the summer sidewalk or dig a hole to China, as opposed to what happened in oh I don’t know, the entire year of 2009 (there had to be something significant, but right now I can’t think of anything).

Some memories stay locked up tight, while others eventually slip out of one of those dusty, creaky memory doors.

 

 shirley plantation store house open door _opt

Nowadays when something does stay with me, I’m thinking there’s magic involved (or dessert–dessert can be quite memorable).

And I especially LOVE when I read a book with that kind of magic, that special something that manages to capture prime real estate in my brain.

Ever read an unforgettable story?

 

We wrapped our dreams in words and patterned the words so that they would live forever, unforgettable.‚ÄĚ

‚Äē Neil Gaiman, Fragile Things

 

 

 

Happy Monday!

 

 

 

 

For the Love of Vacation: Family, Fun and Some Bison Slobber

 

 School is out.  Summer is here.

And that means vacation time!

car packed vacation_opt

“Those that say you can’t take it with you never saw a car packed for a vacation trip.”

 

I love¬†family vacation¬†for the break from routine–and the change of scenery.

 ireland road _opt

Ireland

 san francisco vacation view_opt

 San Francisco 

 

Niagara Falls

 

I love vacation because you can sleep in–or take a nap. ¬†Anytime. ¬†Anywhere.

 VLUU L210  / Samsung L210

My son sleeping on an airplane shuttle

 

I love vacation because I don’t have to make dinner and travel¬†offers opportunities for new experiences. ¬†Curious what 55 degree water feels like?

unexpected cold swim vacation NY _opt

It’s cold, really cold.

Stony Brook State Park, New York 


And of course, when you travel, there’s always the fun of meeting new friends.

 bison car trip_opt

That’s a bison. ¬†In our car. ¬†

Oh, the slobber.


But the thing I love the most?  Spending time with my family.

 family vacation fishing dodie smith quote _opt


Are you travelling this summer?  What do you love about vacation?

 

**I will be on a blogging break for the next couple of weeks (although I’m sure I’ll be blogging in my head). ¬†See ¬†you all when I come back–hopefully with lots of cool pictures and NO bison slobber. ūüôā