Guessing Game on the Sea of 'G'

G... e... l? v?  e... R?
Why is the 'R' at the end capital?  Geve R.?
We had an idea we wanted an ocean or sea painting but didn't think we'd find one so easily or quickly.
Click below for more on the adventures of our ocean painting voyage...


Pool side in July

It was a hot one this weekend.  Observed this squirrel who was so hot it just hung around the birdbath for awhile in the shade with legs dangling over the side.  So glad our yard is a little oasis.

Photos of birds at the feeders....


Rescuing a baby bird - Saving a barn swallow with help from The Raptor Trust

Found this little baby barn swallow outside an office and it couldn't open its left eye.  It wouldn't move at all so we scooped it up gently in a tea towel into a shoe box and drove over to our helpful friends at The Raptor Trust where the recovery is going great.


Barn Wood Mantle

We really wanted a new mantle and are so fortunate a like-minded soul and dear friend just so happens to own a barn with old barn wood to spare!

After assessing the situation a few days going over measurements, then triangulating checks and balances of various online searches we engineered how to mount the beam to our existing brick fireplace.
Next we purchased necessary supplies from the hardware store: metal french cleats, masonry screws, masonry bit, ear plugs, and a hammer drill.


Finally repaired and painted: Our Nesting "Beachy cottage-London influenced-Shabby chic-Nestled in the mountain woods-Informal garden style" Ranch!

Finally, all the Sandy Damage repaired over the winter, we then had to decide what colors to pick for the house so as to make the old siding and new siding match.  

Since the house was originally white before getting covered in harvest gold aluminum siding we decided on white.  Mind you, we like the texture of the wood grain in our aluminum siding which is why we decided not to replace it all, just not the color.  

Then after our trip to London, seeing all of the cottages and white-on-white town homes, the decision for white siding with white shutters accented by black hardware - we finally were prepared to paint in the spring

We slid the paint swatch cards into the plastic packaging on the new shutters.  Then we painted an old piece of siding from the damage so we could compare in different light.

Our final decision was Sherwin Williams Cay Blue paint sample for the front door.  Alabaster White on the siding. 
Rainbows courtesy the sunrise hitting our chandelier.
 & spring came along but it was a very cold spring that it snowed again and was too cold to paint...
Snow in late April
So we waited for the first warm day and finally had the painters start painting the house white.
See how the hyacinths pop against the background!
Then we all took a few weeks months of a break before finishing the painting of the front door and putting the shutters with hinges up due to:
a) the tree pollen
b) cicada invasion
c) waiting for a new storm door - which got put on backwards by the installer
d) waiting for a second new storm door
e) all of the above

.... and here's how it all turned out!  More photos....


Spring Garden photos

Spring Garden photos
Dogwood and daffodils
more photos...


We lived thru an amazing experience, literally in ground zero, of the Cicada Brood II for 2013.

We asked one of our neighbors who has lived here since the beginning of our neighborhood in 1965 and she didn't recall them at all like this.  Looking back for more history on the last time we found this 1996 footage of Pat Battle of WNBC Channel 4 (& Matt Lauer with hair) reporting on the "invasion" in Scotch Plains.

Other areas nearby that had it bad were Mendham, Warren, Watchung, and Westfield.  Driving along Rt. 78 at 70mph with both music and AC on you could still hear the drone of the cicadas. We went to an antiques store in Scotch Plains, then drove into Westfield and it was like we hit a wall of accoustic sound droning and drilling sound into the car.  Really something to experience.

We picked up this very timely new book from the library "Bug Music: How Insects Gave Us Rhythm and Noise" by musician and philosopher David Rothenberg at the height of the experience to really give us some historical and relevant parameters on how we could try to embrace and enjoy what seemed like an outright plague covering our cars and newly painted house.

Here are our photos and videos... enjoy!

OMG! Baby Chucks!!!

Hey Chuck, glad to see you made it thru Hurricane Sandy!  
Simon thinks you look a little different...
 Henri says so too...
 Chuck, whats up?  Why are you laying on the deck like that?
  What?!  A baby chuck!
 Two baby Chucks!
 Four baby Chucks!
Cute video and more pictures below...

Donkey Bath!

Hello, Nice Donkey!

This is how nice donkey roll... 
Video of how nice donkey roll a.k.a. donkey bath!
more photos...

Turtle Back Zoo on a rainy day in May

Who should you hang out with on a rainy day in May?
Sea Lions at Turtle Back Zoo, of course!

And here's the rest of our rainy day adventure ...

Birds photos in April and May with our new Deer Proof Bird Feeder Pole

Here are some bird photos we snapped in April after having installed our new bird feeder pole which has been soo great (sorry deer, sorry squirrels)

Oh, but first, one of the cutest birds - a female Blue Bird **Correction: this is a female Eastern Towhee** - puffed up on a chilly day getting seed that wouldn't fit in the feeders when refilling so just put it on the deck and picnic table.

More bird photos from our great new bird feeder pole...

Visiting the spring blooms at Longwood Gardens April 2013

What a lovely spring day we had ...

more photos...

Easy no fuss tips on how to hang a picture

Sometimes hanging a picture is a real pain because it comes with these things to hang the frame that are far more complicated than necessary.

If you have an alternative craft for these things, we'd love to know because we just put them in the recycling.  Sometimes we save the nails cos they're pretty cute little nails.
 Read more on an easy picture hanging tutorial...

You're so special Henri

Today's lesson is don't let your cats play with the strings from balloons, they will swallow them.
But omg, how freaking funny is that guy.

The balloon says...
... You're So Special ... .. .
Yes, yes you are indeed special Henri.

Lots of catching up...

My, my it has been a busy busy spring.
Catching up now that summer is under way over July 4th holiday with "new" photos.

Sun rising over the mountain and the forsythia, April 14th 2013.
3 more photos....