Saturday, June 26, 2010

Eva is at camp!

This week I took Eva up to Camp Arcadia in Maine and left her there.  WAH!  (That's me crying, not Eva.)  It rained the morning of drop off but things cleared up quickly and she was so happy to be back and to see all of her friends.  The returning counselors were surprised by how much she had grown.  I cannot believe that I made that trip and took NO CAMERA.  Here are a couple of photos taken with my cruddy Blackberry camera.  The indoor photo is terrible but it shows Eva in her cabin with Emmie, her good friend from camp last year.  The girls have kept in touch all year long and were so excited to see each other.  The outdoor photo is Eva in front her cabin, Plebe 2.  This has a much less picturesque name than last year's cabin (Chickadee) and I do not recall seeing any electricity in this cabin. 

Today we received our first letters from Eva. One was to the family and one was specifically to Lyra.  Let me tell you Lyra was positively ecstatic to get her own mail personally addressed to her.  Similar to last year, the water is cold.  But it sounds like she has settled in nicely; there was no immediate request for us to go up there and bring her home.

Posted via email from Cathleen Phelps

The Salad Bar

We have some pretty flowers blooming out back as well as mint that is
threatening to overtake the garden, so I finally cut some to bring in
the house. The cats immediately came to check out what they believe
to be their "Salad Bar." Perhaps the mint is a close enough relative
to catnip to be interesting. We don't have any catnip growing because
Sabu, our previous cat, was a teetotaler. But maybe I should plant
some for KC and Noelle to enjoy.

Posted via email from Cathleen Phelps

Friday, June 25, 2010

Lyra Learns to Swim

Here is Lyra at the end of her second week of swimming lessons and it's going really well! This is much better than last year's experience at the pool. Lyra is learning to swim for the wall, flip to her back to rest and float, and then flip back to swim. And this from a girl who, two weeks ago, refused to put her face in the water. Kudos to Miss Sarah!

Sorry the video is a bit long. I personally do not have the patience to sit through videos at all but this is cute and the length of the video actually matches the song (that never happens!)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Photo: Blue Tongued Alien (Lyra after a blue rasberry lollipop)

Lyra loves lollipops that turn her tongue bright colors. She just finished a blue raspberry pop. The photo is processed through Plastic Bullet for added spookiness.

Sent from Bill Phelps' iPhone

Posted via email from Bill's Photos & Miscellany

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Cherry Fest - Eight Quarts of Sour Cherries Pitted this Weekend

>> We picked up eight quarts of sour cherries at the farmers market yesterday, and they spoil very quickly. We could not find our cherry pitter (last used a week ago) so we had to buy a new one. Of course now we have found the old one and have two. My sister Edie is in town and she helped, as did Eva and even Lyra pitted about a dozen cherries. We now have seven quarts of pitted cherries in the freezer and a fresh cherry crisp to have for desert tonight with vanilla ice cream. >>

> >>

Posted via email from Bill's Photos & Miscellany

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Alexandria Farmers' Market, June 19th - A Bountiful Harvest

My sister Edie is in town for a visit and we all went to the market this morning while Cathleen went on a long run. One of the many, many, joys of living in Old Town is being about three blocks away from one of the oldest farm markets in the country. We have been going to this market for over 15 years and it has really improved in the last five years. Far more vendors selling their own produce, more organic produce and more vendors selling meat in addition to fruit and vegetables. This is a year round market, but it is obviously at its best in the summer and fall. The market is just hitting it's summer stride now. Today was the first time this season there have been local peaches, and the early summer vegetables like summer squash and greens are incredible. Most exciting, sour cherries are in the midst of their (very brief) season. I bought two quarts last week and we made cherry sauce for cheese cake and a cherry cobbler. This week I brought home EIGHT quarts. We will freeze six and makes a big crisp with the others. Of course this means we have eight quarts of cherries to pit. At this point we have three quarts down and five to go. Somehow after last weekend we lost our cherry pitter and had to buy a new one. The new one is an Oxo Good Grips cherry/olive pitter and it is no where near as effective as the old one. Don't the people who make products like that ever actually use them? It has a couple of very basic design flaws.

Via iPad

Posted via email from Bill's Photos & Miscellany

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Eva's Birthday - Entering Double Digits

Eva had a great tenth birthday celebration yesterday.  We were joined by her friend Sarah and Anders, their parents Eric and Leigh, and of course Eva's grandmother Emily.  

Eva carefully planned a menu of her favorite foods, and dinner turned out extremely well.  We had pulled pork BBQ, Eastern North Carolina cole slaw (e.g. spicy), potato salad, fruit salad and tossed salad.  It sounds like a lot of salad, but it all worked well.  Eva had asked Cathleen to make her a cheese cake for her birthday cake, and it came out fantastic.  As a last minute bonus I had gotten sour cherries at the farmers' market, and made a cherry sauce for the cake.  It was amazing.  I think everyone faced a battle between how much cheese cake they wanted to eat (a lot) and how much would fit in their stomach after the rest of the meal.

Grownups of course also had some good wine, an Amisfield Pinot Noir I brought back from Australia and a Coturri Zinfandel.  These will be covered in more detail in later blog notes. 

Posted via email from Bill's Photos & Miscellany

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

City Wine Shop - Spring Street, Melbourne

One of my favorite spots in Melbourne for a casual bite to eat. Open early to late with a bar menu and a few main dishes. I had roast tomato and fennel soup for Sunday lunch. Good by-the-glass wine selection and bottles for drink in or take away. Staff is knowledgeable and quick to offer good advice. I have received many good wine suggestions and education on Australian vineyards.

Sent from Bill Phelps' iPhone

Posted via email from Bill's Photos & Miscellany

Saturday, June 05, 2010

AVRO 504K - Australian War Memorial

This is the oldest surviving plane from the Royal Australian Air Force. It was built in the UK and arrived in Australia in 1919. 8,000 of this plane were built, and used mostly as trainers.

Sent from Bill Phelps' iPhone

Posted via email from Bill's Photos & Miscellany

Hawker Sea Fury - Australian War Memorial

This fighter bomber was one of the last propeller driven naval aircraft. This one flew in the Korean War.

Sent from Bill Phelps' iPhone

Posted via email from Bill's Photos & Miscellany

Australian War Memorial - Canberra

I had several hours yesterday afternoon after my workshop ended in Canberra, and the War Memorial was highly recommended as a place to visit in Canberra.  That was good advice and I was not disappointed.  The War Memorial is a large and comprehensive shrine and museum commemorating Australian soldiers across all the wars in which they have fought.  I spent most of my time in the Gallipoli and broader WWI exhibits.  It would have been easy to spend most of a day going through the museum thoroughly. 

Gallipoli, a battle and siege in Turkey during WWI is fundamental to Australian history.  One of the Australian Prime Ministers said that Australia established itself as a nation through its role and valor at Gallipoli.  ANZAC Day (25 April) was originally established in 1916 to commemorate the battle at Gallipoli.  ANZAC Day is now officially a commemoration of soldiers from all wars (much like the US Memorial Day), and is one of Australia's most important holidays.

I liked the number of exhibits that were actual art, not just documentary material.  Australia had a number of artists who are designated as official war artists (they continue this tradition today - see paintings from Iraq and Afghanistan here).  Many of the photos I took were of bronzes made of scenes in the war. 

I am having some technical problems with blog formatting and will do an update later with more info on some of the specific photos.

Posted via email from Bill's Photos & Miscellany