Friday, July 30, 2010

A Pretty Good Book

Last week, I took Daphne to the library.  She played on the computers and picked out her books, and then it was my turn.  Theoretically.  My turn = making Daphne sit on the floor with one of her books by a column in an aisle while I quickly scan that same aisle for something with a cover that indicates it is not a book about murders, vampires, plane crashes, or recently divorced women on shopping sprees or trips to Italy.  I came home with three books.  Two were unreadable.  I didn't make it past the first chapter of either of them.  The other was a collection of short stories.  I like the idea of short stories, but almost always find them unsatisfying.  I can't take all that disappointment, over and over in the same book.  So on Saturday, I went to the library by myself, and I got this book (above).  I love it.  It isn't perfect - I completely agree with some of the issues reviewers have had - but it's different, and I'm finding it hard to put down.  More info here if you're interested.  I think this book would make a great movie. With an awesome soundtrack. 

Next, I think I am going to re-read The Secret Garden, which Daphne picked out at the bookstore yesterday.  She had a gift card from her birthday, so I let her choose what to buy.  We just watched the movie, so she wanted the book, even though she's really still way too young for it.  One of my all time favorites. 

A couple of quick things:  Project Runway started last night!  I have to say I am a little disappointed in the results of the first episode.  It seemed like the judges were more interested in keeping "characters" for drama's sake than in judging the actual pieces they designed.  But it's early, so we'll see. 

Also, great news!  Target has their school supplies section up and running, and it is awesome as usual.  I had to pry myself out of the notebook aisle.  Oh, to be a student nowadays!  (Well, we DID have better lunchboxes back in the 70s, so I guess that's something).

Finally, Kev has something up his sleeve.  Big secret plans are afoot for my birthday, and I can't wait.  I know I will love it, whatever it is. Especially if it involves someone who is not me deciding upon and executing the meal plan.  I will keep you posted.

The other day, I told Daphne we were having tacos for dinner.  Daphne loves tacos.  But, she said, "Mom.  Why do you always cook the same thing?  Why can't you make a VARIETY?"  What a stinker. 

OK.  Off to the park with our neighbors.  It's finally not a million degrees.  Have a great weekend!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Monday PSA

The other night when I was out with my preschool Mommy friends, I found out about  Do y'all already know about this?  I feel like I'm always the last to know about anything out there in the real world.  But in case YOU are the last to know, I'll tell you about it, because it's pretty cool.  You go on there, type in your zip code and a radius of however many miles you want, and it spits out a list of participating restaurants within that radius.  You can then purchase gift cards for these restaurants with a value higher than what you pay, and then print them out and use them.  For example, yesterday when we went to Angeethi, I bought a $25 gift card for $10.  So, we saved $15 off our meal.  You have to read the restrictions, of course.  The catch for this one was dine-in only, and a minimum purchase of $50.  No problem last night since there were six of us.  So, try it's a pretty good deal.  There are 25 participating restaurants within 10 miles of my zip code, including 2 of my favorites: Angeethi and the Cajun Experience.  Just for fun, I entered my old Zip in Dallas, and there were 64 restaurants within a five mile radius.  Anyway, there you go.  And thanks to Tina for the heads-up.

Fun with Texans

Over the weekend, we were visited by our good friends Tracy, Kevin, and Shane, who are doing a big Summer 2010 Tour of the Northeast.  They arrived Friday night and there was lots of catching up over jambalaya, a short walk around town, and a quick stop at Shoes.  Daphne was thrilled to have Shane around.  He is a real live teenager after all, and she thinks teenagers are the biggest rock stars there are.  Shane is awesome and treated her like his little sister immediately, patiently doing his best to answer 1001 crazy Daphne questions, mostly about science.

My friends are insane, and spent the enitre day Saturday in DC, walking 12 miles in the 103 degree heat, along with every cub and boy scout in the United States as it is their 100th anniversary and they had a big to-do about it in our nation's capitol.  On Sunday, we went in with them.  We decided to take Metro, which was pure torture.  The boy scouts apparently all made that same decision, so they joined us on the train.  We were packed in there like sardines and the AC was taking the day off, so it was like an oven until they all got off at Smithsonian station.  Then it was more like a green house. 

We stayed on to Eastern Market.  Above, you can see Daphne and Shane taking the escalator straight into what looks like the sun, and it might as well have been, as hot as it was.  We had brunch at a place called Banana-something in Capitol Hill (yum!), and then went to Eastern Market where it was really too hot to shop, but Kev and I found a dresser!  Woohoo!  Goodbye plastic bins from Target!   

Then it was back to Smithsonian because we promised Daphne she could go see the dinosaurs at the Museum of Natural History.  Unfortunately, all the boy scouts were promised the same, so it was pretty crowded.  But we still had a good time, and Daphne got to be a paleontologist and search for various bones and teeth and things hidden in some rocks:
Here are our friends on the National Mall, with the Capitol building in the background, and Daphne too, apparently still searching for bones and teeth and things in the dirt there.  She handed me a small rock and said please put this bird tooth in your purse, mom.  Then it was time to head home.
 As the train came out from the tunnel a few stops from ours, we saw that it was raining, which was a very very happy sight.  When we got off the train, the rain was over and it was about 25 degrees cooler than when we got on in the District.  Daphne fell asleep on the train.  A big day for a little Peanut.
In the evening, we went for Indian food at Angeethi, which was delicious as usual.  Murgh Makhini.  Medium spicy.  I'm telling you.  You won't regret it.

Our friends left this morning for a few days in New York City, and then a stop in Philly before heading back here next weekend for one more day before going home.  Daphne is missing her buddy Shane and I am missing having my friends here.  It was a good weekend.  Hope yours was too.

Good Daddies and Itchy Pirates

On Friday morning, Daphne woke up to the promise of adventure. On Thursday night, she was pretending to look for gold and jewels, so Kev stayed up that night and prepared a pirate treasure hunt for her. He hid eggs around the house with clues inside which lead her from one to the next until she found the lost treasure of Itchy Island.
The last clue was in the barn.
The treasure was a string of pink Mardi Gras beads, hidden away in her lunch box by those crafty pirates.
She wore them all day.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Easy Bake Wednesday

 All during the school year, Daphne repeatedly asked her teacher to come to our house.  She said she could only do that in the summer, but promised that she would.  Today was the day.  So, Daphne, with a little help from me, busily prepared brownies in the Easy Bake oven so we would have a treat to share. 
 We decorated the brownies with some chocolate frosting and a few sprinkles.  Here's the result:
Hmmm.  Well, you don't get a lotta bang for your buck with the Easy Bake Oven, but it's still fun, and they tasted alright.  Miss Heidi (pretended that she) enjoyed them very much, which made Daphne happy.

We had a nice visit.  Daphne showed Miss Heidi all around the house and the garden, and we sent her home with some tomatoes and peppers. 

After she left, Daphne, Austin (in the blue chair), and I had a tea party, which Daphne set up all by herself.  We each got two cupcakes, a cookie, and a piece of birthday cake (all toys, fortunately).  It was lovely.

I have just decided that I want to have tie-dye day.  Daphne's cousins did it recently with very nice results.  I guess it will have to wait for cooler days, though. to read for a while.  MNO tonight at the Wine Kitchen.  Yep.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Daphne's bathtime used to be awful.  Really really awful.  Bath day filled me with dread.  Every time, there was a huge battle.  There was crying.  There was hiding.  There was yelling.  (And for me, there were sudden explosions of new silver hairs).  Some of you have witnessed it.  Not a good scene.

But, thanks to the 100 Point Bath System of 2010, I dread it no more!  See that piece of paper on the table with the colorful line on it?  We started at zero, and for each "perfect bath" (no crying, no hiding, no yelling) Daphne received 10 points.  The goal was 100 points, which would earn her a trip to Target to pick out a new game for her Leapster.  Over the past couple of weeks, the colorful line has been creeping slowly toward the 100 point mark.  Sunday, she reached her goal.  We went directly to Target, and she picked a Pet Pals game which she loves.  Today was the first no-points bath, and it was GREAT.  Bad habits broken.  No more bathtime battles.  Mommy wins.  Yes.

This time, anyway.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Monday Field Trip

 Today we took a field trip to Winchester, Virginia to meet some friends at the Discovery Museum.  It's a science museum for kids.  It's perfect.  They get to touch EVERYTHING.  They get to climb on stuff.  They get to be noisy.  It is a great place, especially on a hot hot day. 

Among many other things, Daphne helped build a roller coaster:
 We played in the infinity mirrors:
 And there was a rock-climbing wall:
 The museum is located in a section of old town Winchester where the street is closed to cars.  There are cute shops on both sides (which we didn't get to visit) and cafes everywhere.  So we took a lunch break and went to a cute little cafe for sandwiches and hot dogs and lemonade.  Then the kids got to make a wish in the fountain:
Daphne got to choose a souvenir, so she picked a little T-Rex, which she named Dyno.  Of course.
On the drive back, we got to stop at a frozen custard stand because our behavior was good at leaving time.  It was a great day in a new place with nice friends.  (But next time, I'm going with an extra helper so I can go in those shops.)

Good Eats Weekend

Friday night, we watched a movie and had Earthquake Shakes:
Saturday, Kev made fresh salsa with peppers and tomatoes from the garden:
And I made some pesto with some of our basil (Note: I need a new food processor):
Yesterday, Kev took Daphne to the water park and I stayed home and made homemade granola:

And last night, Kev cooked some delicious Jamaican Jerk chicken with cous cous and flambe-ed pineapples.

Good eats, indeed.

And now, it's Monday. Back to the regular old Taco Night or Leftover Surprise or Choose-Your-Own Cereal. It's too hot to cook. For that matter, it's too hot to eat. I am going to go sit in a chair and think about Christmas.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Dates and Melons and Things

On Wednesday night, Kev and I went on Date Number 3 of my Mother's Day dates. Daphne was down south, so we enjoyed a nice quiet dinner for two at La Lou, which is probably my favorite restaurant in Leesburg. I had linguini with mushrooms and some really good Italian sausage, and Kev had grilled swordfish. I loved mine, and Kev liked his a lot. For dessert, we each had sorbet. Mine was orange, and Kev's was lemon, and it was served inside a hollowed out orange and lemon, respectively, with some sauce, a strawberry and whipped cream on the side. Delicious and refreshing! I hope more people will go to the restaurant. It's always good, and almost never crowded. The owner/chef knows us and always visits our table. He is an interesting guy. He caught a fly with his bare hands right in the middle of our conversation! I hoped he washed them before he went back to work. He reminds me a little of the chef (played by Tony Shalhoub) in Big Night. Great movie if you haven't seen it. It will make you hungry. And it has a great soundtrack. Anyway, it was a fun night out. Thanks, Kev. Three more dates to go!

Yesterday, I spent the day in Frederick, MD at a seminar. It was like it always is. Long, cold, uncomfortable. The best part was going to lunch by myself. I ate at Bob Evans and read my new book. It was sort of weird going to a different state just for the day. Texas mentality, I guess. It takes forever to get to another state when you're in the middle of Texas.

Last night, I stayed up late and finished reading my book. So, so much for that. I couldn't make it last. A trip to the library is in my near future.

The combination of staying up until 11:00, getting up with Daphne to potty at 2:00 am, and being awakened by an EARTHQUAKE at 5:00 am has left me a little unrested and unsettled this morning. Yes, I said earthquake. In Virginia. The whole house was shaking and I couldn't figure out what was going on. My first half-asleep thought was that for some reason Daphne had gone into the attic and was jumping up and down. But unless she was accompanied by 3 or 4 elephants, that theory was not likely to be true. Then I thought it was an earthquake, but quickly dismissed that idea. Then I thought maybe we'd been bombed. This is not unlikely considering our proximity to DC. But I didn't hear any sirens, so I figured that wasn't it. Eventually, I got up, and the computer confirmed the earthquake theory. It was a 3.6, centered near Gaithersburg, MD. Anyway, that was my first, and hopefully last, earthquake. Nothing was damaged, but stuff definitely moved around on the shelves. It was freaky.

Meanwhile, things are getting exciting in the watermelon patch:

And we have a couple of eggplants unless the critters get to them before they're ready:

And it looks like it's probably about time to make some pesto:

So, things are good in the garden. But it's HOT again. The don't-go-outside kind of hot that makes me lethargic and unproductive. I'm glad we don't really have any big plans this weekend. to launch an Iron and Wine station on Pandora while I make some lunch for me and the Peanut. And I think after dinner tonight, I might make milkshakes in honor of our morning wake-up call. Have a good weekend!

PS: If you felt the quake and want to be a good citizen, go here to report what you felt to the USGS for their research. Science is good!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Surviving the Shots

Last week, Daphne went to her 4-year-old check-up and had to get four shots. It could have been really really bad, and I anticipated lots of screaming and running away and hiding under whatever furniture was available. This is a kid who used to scream on the scale and scream at the sight of a stethoscope and forget about even trying to look in her ears. But it ended up going pretty well. There were some tears, but nothing over-the-top or embarrassing. In fact, she was worse about taking off the band-aids than about the actual shots. So, a happy ending to that whole ordeal, and no shots at the five-year, so it's all good.

As a post-shot treat, I took Daphne to Target with a gift card she got for Easter that I've been saving for this occasion, and let her spend it however she wanted. And she is a girl who knows what she wants. She took all of five minutes to decide. She is now the VERY proud owner of a kid-sized suitcase with a New York City-themed design on the front, wheels, and a pull-up handle. She wheeled it all around the store, showing it off to anyone who would pay attention. "Hi! Look at my cool new suitcase!" she would say. I let her pay for it by herself. By the time we left, she was such a big-shot that she had totally forgetten about the shots.

This morning, she got to pack it for the first time because she is spending the night with G-Ma, G-Pa, and Uncle Jeff (I have an all day conference tomorrow). I was surprised and pleased at how neatly she arranged everything in her suitcase. You can't really tell, because on top she put all the most important stuff:

Here she is, packed and ready to go:

I took her to Manassas, had lunch with my mom and dad, and then went to the bookstore. By myself. For two hours. It was WONDERFUL.

I have decided I should read more. I love to read, but I don't make time for it. The biggest problem, really, is finding good stuff to read. Today I chose a book called "Time of My Life," which I remember thinking looked pretty good in a magazine review that I read a while back. Easy summer reading, I think. Not too heavy or depressing. Just what I need. I am also still reading David Byrne's "Bicycle Diaries," which is really good, but I can only read a little at a time. I'll admit he uses a lot of vocabulary words that are over my head, so I get a kinda tired while reading it.

Tonight, Kev and I are going on one of my Mother's Day dates and I am really looking forward to that. For now, I'm off to enjoy being in the house by myself. I think I'll read my book!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Hot Hot Heat Takes a Day Off

Saturday morning, it rained for the first time in two weeks. This was much appreciated. It cooled things off significantly outside and gave us a day off from watering the garden. We took advantage of the break from the heat by biking to a local park for a picnic and attempted kite-flying.

This is about as high as we got the kite. It was breezy, but only in short spurts.
So we ate sandwiches for lunch and had Wegman brand Oreos for dessert (just as good as regular Oreos, and these were free...I had a coupon!)
Then, Kev and Daphne took a little hike around the park while I sat under the trees and enjoyed not being hot.

It would have been perfect except that Kev and I both stepped in dog poop, which someone had failed to clean up. It was fresh, and it was right next to the only picnic table in the park. Nice, huh?

The rest of the day was nice too. I actually took a nap on the porch swing, and in the evening, there was Dairy Queen. Yep.

Friday night, we tried a new (to us) Vietnamese restaurant in Sterling (Taste of Vietnam). It was pretty good, but certainly no 38A at Mai's. Daphne ate white rice. She refused to try anything else. She usually likes that kind of food, so I don't know what the deal was. After dinner, we went to see Despicable Me, which is the best movie I've seen in a LONG time, and definitely one of the best kid movies I've ever seen. It was really funny and sweet. It was my first 3D movie experience, and I was very suspicious going in, but I loved it. I can see how these 3D movies could be really tricked up and annoying, but this was very well done...not all over-the-top with special effects just for the sake of special effects. (I did find the glasses to be extremely cheap and ill-fitting...I had to keep pushing mine back up on my nose. They could do better for what they're charging.) Steve Carell is genius. So, go see this movie. I am about 99% sure you'll like it. I'm so glad we chose to see it instead of Toy Story 3, which I have heard is very dark and scary.

So, overall a great weekend. The heat is back, so it's back to hiding out in the house. That's OK...maybe I'll finish my closet.

Fun with Bubble Wrap

  1. Cut shapes out of bubble wrap.
  2. Paint them any way you like.
  3. Press them down gently on blank notecards or something.
  4. Let them dry.
  5. Write a nice note inside and send them to someone you like.
Voila!  Minutes of fun!  You're welcome.

Friday, July 09, 2010


And so it begins. Again.

I was doing really well at getting things cleaned and organized. I started with Daphne's room, then my desk, the food cabinet, the snack cabinet, the laundry cabinets, and two junk drawers in the kitchen. Then, we went out of town, and then had houseguests and a holiday weekend, and then several days of unbearable groove-derailing heat. I know I have a lot of kryptonites, but I think the real TRUE one is heat. It completely drains me of all power. I spent naptime the last three days on the couch watching Top Chef reruns, unable to move.

But today, I am fighting back. I just spent the last hour and a half starting the BIG SUMMER '10 CLOSET OVERHAUL. Above you can see the "before" picture. I am hoping to have an "after" shot to proudly show you in the near future, but based on the progress made this afternoon, it may take longer than I'd hoped.

I started with my hanging clothes. There was so much stuff in there that either doesn't fit, is from ten or fifteen years ago (I found a sweater with shoulder pads!!!), or that I simply never wear, so it's just taking up space. I now have two giant bags of "give-away" stuff. My plan is to research some kind of consignment type of situation to see if I can get a little money out of this. There is some really nice stuff in those bags that (I had to face facts) is never ever going to fit me again. I briefly became depressed and had to go sit down for a while during the "pants" section of the closet. But I got back up again, determined to at least finish going through the stuff on the hangers. And I did. Yay.

I had to leave in quite a bit of stuff I really don't like (old t-shirts and pilled sweaters), or there would have been nothing left. There is almost nothing in the closet that I actually like to wear or that makes me feel good. This is a problem, but over time, a solveable one I think. I shall just have to rebuild a wardrobe, one piece at a time, until I have assembled something that would make Stacy and Clinton proud. Baby steps.

Above is the next step. I do not have a proper dresser, so all of my socks, underwear, PJ's and housepants, hose, hats, gloves, etc. live in these unattractive ancient plastic bins from Target. So, I think maybe it's time to get a real piece of furniture to house this stuff in the bedroom, which would clear out a lot of closet space and would look a lot better. Plus, I might actually be able to find stuff if it was neatly organized in real drawers.

I will keep you posted of my progress. If there is any.

Have a great weekend. They say tomorrow, it may rain!

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

And One More Thing

Is anyone else as disturbed as I am by everything about the commercial for the denim-look Pampers?  Are people buying these things?  Are they paying more for them than regular Pampers?  I think these are a "limited time only" product.  Thank God.

Garden News

We have begun harvesting things from the garden. Above are two kinds of tomatoes, and some banana peppers. The herbs are also really doing well. Fresh basil makes almost everything better.
This is a cactus-growing kit that Daphne got for her birthday. So far, so good! Time will tell if we get any real actual prickly plants. It is perfect cactus weather right now, so maybe we'll get lucky.

Finally, we spotted a fruit on our watermelon vine! I didn't have high hopes, but there it is! I don't know if it will actually grow into an edible full-size melon, but it's still pretty cool.
Next year, I am insisting on corn. You cannot beat fresh corn in the summertime.

This American Life

Sometimes lately I feel like I am in some sort of Norman Rockwell painting come-to-life. I guess that's just the way it is in a small town in the summertime. And Daphne is enjoying every single minute of it. And while sometimes I get a little case of the I Need Some City Blues, I am enjoying it too.

Over the Fourth, there were hot dogs, ice cream, sparklers, parades, fireworks, cousins, swimming pools and sprinklers in the yard, fireflies, picnics, moonbounces...everything a kid could possibly want in a summer weekend. I remember weekends a lot like that when I was a kid in New Albany. Only back then, there weren't really moonbounces and a lot more people smoked. Still, I wouldn't trade those days for anything. I hope Daphne feels the same way.

Kev's sister and family came to spend the weekend with us, so in addition to all the things listed above, we went to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum and took a short road trip to Harper's Ferry, West Virginia, which is a cute little town on the Shenandoah River near the Appalachian Trail. Almost everything in town was closed, but we did find a pretty good place to eat dinner and an ice cream place for dessert. I really really want to go back when it gets cooler out and when the shops are open. I'm thinking there are probably canoeing possibilities there too...we saw a lot of people who had been tubing on the river. It will be beautiful there in the fall, so I may have to plan a trip back in October.

My favorite part of the weekend was the block party we attended on the evening of the Fourth. Our friends live across the street from the rec. center, which is where the town holds the fireworks display every year, and we were lucky enough to be invited to their annual Fourth of July picnic. We had good food, got to hang out with nice people, the kids had a BLAST, and the view of the fireworks could not be beat. Thanks, Tim and Suzanne!

I also really enjoyed watching Daphne and her cousins play together. They are finally starting to have real little kid conversations and it's very entertaining.

AND I briefly got to see two of MY cousins and my Aunt Kathy, who came through town on their way back to Indiana from a trip to the Jersey shore. Yay!

Our visitors left this morning, and the house is very quiet and a little sad. Daphne is sleeping, I am blogging, and outside the town is melting away in the hot hot heat. I think it's supposed to be 103 today and tomorrow, but a little relief is in sight at the end of the week. Daphne has to get four shots on Thursday, so I'm looking forward to Friday and beyond, when the heat and shots are behind us.

I hope you all had a safe and fun holiday weekend. I'm off to get a nice cold beverage and look at some pictures from last year's blizzard...

Thanks to D, P, R, and K for coming all the way here to visit us. We all had a great time. Come back any time!

Friday, July 02, 2010

Powering Up

HELLO! Guess who is back from The Big Powerdown?

I have so much to blog, but almost zero time to do it, so here are a few quick hits in case anyone out there has actually been waiting and checking in for some LRHS tales of adventure.
  • The powerdown was mostly a success. I definitely got a lot more accomplished, and I didn't really miss the internet much. I am back on line now, but not spending as much time. Everything in moderation.
  • We took a little trip to New York to visit Kev's family. The highlight was getting to see everyone, especially our new nephew, Carter, who is two months old. He is awesome, as is his big brother, pictured below, reminding me of one of my favorite images from the Blues Brothers:
  • Other highlights from the trip: Yet another birthday celebration for Daphne, complete with two different kinds of ice cream cake, a water balloon war in the driveway, a geocaching adventure (for everyone but me...I stayed home and read a magazine), some really good pork, and a stop at DQ on the way home.
  • Lowlight: Within the first hour of our arrival, Daphne and I each got a tick, which was not discovered until the next morning - within the 24-hour safety window, but just barely. Thus far, neither of us has developed the tell-tale target-shaped rash or any other Lyme Disease symptoms, but there is still a week to go before we are officially in the clear.
  • In the "I Could Make This" category: A Sock Monkey wine bottle caddy. I spotted it in a shop window downtown this morning but it was closed so I couldn't check out the price. On line, it sells for $9.99. Not only COULD I make this, I probably WILL, only I will make it better! With ears! So stay tuned for that.
  • I received my first volume of the LRHS in book form (2004 edition). So exciting. I am happy with the way it turned out and look forward to getting the rest printed out. I hope to someday give the books to Daphne so she can read them and realize she was right all along in thinking her mom was a total dork.
  • It is about to get REALLY hot. Like TEXAS hot. So Daphne and I have been making the most of the cool mornings we've been having. Wednesday, we walked to the Tally Ho for dollar movie day (Monsters v. Aliens), and then to the hot dog place for hot dogs (with ketchup). Then today, we set out at about 8:00 for a morning nature walk. Daphne picked up rocks and leaves and things along the way, and took pictures with her camera. When we got downtown, we noticed a commotion on the courthouse lawn and discovered that the FoxFive morning show was broadcasting live today from Leesburg, so I think we got on TV briefly.

  • Then we went to Shoes for breakfast and sat out back in the secret garden. I was very happy there with my iced latte and my nice kid (picture below by Daphne). We took our time going home and by the time I gave Daphne a bath, there was no time to do the grocery shopping that I needed to do, but I am not going to sweat it. I can do it tomorrow.
  • Visitors arrive tomorrow and there are things I should be doing, so I'm off. It is sure to be another Big Weekend, with visitors, a parade, a block party, and perhaps even a road trip to West Virginia, so tales of all that coming next week. Happy 4th of July!

PS. There are many pictures on flickr from our trip. Later today, I'll put some pictures on Daphne's flickr page from our morning walk.