Mountains Made of Molehills Made of Words.

Blogdom, I stalk your halls today.
I offer snapshots to appease your rumbling belly cavern.
I give newsy news to sweeten the pot.

Newsy news as follows:
My parents and two youngest siblings whirled into town last Friday and whirled swiftly out again Saturday night in full-blown, tornado fashion. (What an ugly word is siblings. Does anyone know of a palatable alternative that's not as wordy as "my youngest brother and my youngest sister?")

We planned to watch a performance of Hamlet at Shakespeare in the Park, but, weather being true to itself and no other, the storm clouds rolled in to drench all parched for rain, gardens and selves alike. We were grateful for rain, but it did put a damper on our ice-cream outing. (See snaps of my favorite ice-cream store below. A flagstone roof makes for the most delicious cones.) After waiting out the largest of the drops, we crunched our way to the bottom of each cone before going to The Albright-Knox. Free admission on Fridays hadn't enticed John and I for a visit until now, and it was great fun to browse, grinning, through the main floor with a humphing and snorting entourage. (Truth be told, I much prefer less abstract art, too, and although I immensely enjoyed a few pieces, the spraypainted plastic bags in a chorus line on the wall didn't speak to my soul, nor did the pile of fluorescent pillows on which cryptically strung together words were printed. A mystery.) I'd like to go again because we only saw a snippet of their collection, completely missing some works that would definitely beat out the pillow pile.

The next morning, I made omelets for all (thanks to our garden, the omelets get fancier and fancier as the summer progresses toward harvest's end). We then went to Oracle Junction bookstore and bought a few boxes of books (jointly choosing over 40 books from his back section warranted us a 35% discount!). The owner is a amiable fellow, and he told Debbie and I about his visits to famous authors' houses while we looked for more books to add to the teetering pile.

Next stop-Niagara Falls. We had a picnic lunch at Goat Island. Beset by dozens of greedy bees, we must have looked like a novice dance troupe as we ate. Side-stepping, twirling, back-pedeling, all to have a bite without an accompanying buzz. Millie spent most of her time feeding her lunch to the too-plump seagulls. We had a cheesecake feast by the car (company is always a good excuse to make a cheesecake) before heading to Big Water. It began to pour just as we began, so, umbrellas unfurled, we marched toward Horseshoe Falls and the Falls on the American side.

We drive to Nanticoke tonight in order to go to THE GREAT NEW YORK STATE FAIR with my family tomorrow! John, dear my friend, kindly decided to take us this year, as he patiently listens to me tell of its wonders every year around this time. A sculpture made of thousands of pounds of butter! The dancers on Turtle Mound in Indian Village! The glass jars of bulk candy lined up to tempt Johnson children who've saved all summer to buy a pound! The invisible ink, the itching powder, the whoopie cushions, and like magical merchandise! The fudge! The baked potato booth! The rides! The Rainbow Bar continuously replenished with fresh white and chocolate milk! The circus! The horse shows! The exhibits! The.....and it goes on.

(I should explain my excitement, which some may see as unwarranted. Every year, my mother and father would pack us seven children into whatever rickety station wagon we were driving at the time, along with a few gallons of punch, Adirondack soda, and an assortment of bologna, tuna fish, and egg salad sandwiches to head on our yearly vacation to The Great New York State Fair. The hour-long drive was, more often than not, fraught with mechanical peril, and we spent our fair share of summers broken down on the side of the highway, stewing as precious vacation minutes were wasted in waiting. We didn't go many places when I was younger, so all my vacation memories shine brightly with the rosy glow of nostalgia. And, believe me, after a summer spent weeding our monster garden and haying in the heat of summer, the State Fair truly was a Thing to Anticipate.)

If the garden doesn't croak in our absence, I'll spend next week canning dill pickles, dill zucchini relish, and, once tomatoes overwhelm us, sauce and tomatoes. Hold me to these words.
(p.s. Titi-I plan to try your dill pickle recipe. Thanks!)

In all of its gloom, the best rainy-day, ice cream place in existence. Posted by Picasa

This was at the ice cream store. Posted by Picasa

Some driver. Posted by Picasa

May I have this dance? (The bees are poised...) Posted by Picasa

Watching a black squirrel scamper even higher. Posted by Picasa

You can just barely see the Maid of the Mist by the Canadian Falls.. It was pouring at this point. Posted by Picasa

American side. Posted by Picasa

Sober. Posted by Picasa

A cheerful picture of a cheerful man. Posted by Picasa

Gripping interest. Posted by Picasa

She loved the Falls, lock, stock, and, um, barrel... Posted by Picasa

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Baby Berry by the Falls. Posted by Picasa

Joel's a handsome lad. You'll have to take my word for it. Posted by Picasa

She has a firm grip. Posted by Picasa

Here comes the sun. Posted by Picasa


In Celebration of Three.


Millie's birthday is today. She has splendidly grown from wee one to not-so-wee-one. Be of good cheer!
(She celebrated her birth day on Saturday morning.)

The Nixie likes pinwheels. Be of good cheer!
(Far too many pictures of her enjoyment await.)

I'm posting swampy snapshots. Be of good cheer!
(Remember, our local church group had a picnic at Alabama Swamp. A picnic! A swamp!)

Birthday Prelude: A Succession of Years

Sarah Owen took this picture of one-day old Millie. It remains my favorite newborn picture of her. Posted by Picasa

The best thing about this picture that Sarah took is that it's difficult to tell which is Millie and which is the glowworm. Posted by Picasa

The hat she's wearing is over 25 years old. John's dad used to wear it, and now John does. Posted by Picasa

Our friend Elizabeth took this photo of Millie shortly after Annika was born. Posted by Picasa

Visiting Grandma and Grandpa Owen's always means a beach or bay visit, too. Posted by Picasa

The Birthday Bash

The requested cake, which survived a nearly four hour trip resting by my feet. (Narrowly escaping several smushings...) Posted by Picasa

Not yet three, but celebrating with gusto. (photo courtesy of brother Luke)Posted by Picasa

This is included for the ware of belly watchers. My belly is boldly striped and growing nicely. Posted by Picasa

This was her expression for each and every gift. (All she had asked for were scissors and a motorcycle. We gave her scissors.) Posted by Picasa