Friday, July 30, 2010

Sea turtle eggs, dragonflies and more...

Just after sunrise, I spotted this on the beach...

The Loggerhead Turtle Protectors were out. They have a huge project moving all the babies to the Atlantic. If the babies were left to hatch here they would swim in their usual pattern, which would be out to the oil in the Gulf. BOY & GIRL got to witness the removal of the turtle eggs from the nest...

The eggs are removed from the sand very gently, one by one. As they take an egg out of the nest, they place it in the exact same position within the styrofoam cooler, along with sand from this beach. Each female lays anywhere from 100-120 eggs per nest. We were amazed at how deep the nest was.

We have had our own Wild Kingdom here this week. Thousands of Dragonflies flying all around. We decided it could only be called a Dragon Fly Festival.

Not to be confused with our seashell festival....

Or the hundreds of female crabs bursting with bright orange egg sacks in the shallows, under the sand.

It's been quite an extraordinary few days...

Goodnight moon...

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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Looking for ghost crabs...

Evenings at the beach...

Looking for ghost crabs...

Warm water...

A net...

These are the good times...

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Sunday, July 18, 2010

JCK just sat back and gave it up

JCK is not quite sure why it seems to be her fate...that flying solo with a BOY and a GIRL always has to be quite SO dramatic. Is it really necessary for the flight to spend an hour circling the Atlanta airport only to be rerouted to Birmingham, Alabama of all places? Not that there is anything wrong with Birmingham... But, getting off the plane for 30 minutes, after 6 hours on a plane, and getting back on...only to stay on the plane for 4 more hours seems a bit, well...TORTUROUS. Such is the way with JCK and her brood.

Except that there was a major blessing. BOY & GIRL were angels. Troopers. Really, really good. In fact, during a rather turbulent segment of the flight between Atlanta and Birmingham, BOY yelled out: DO IT AGAIN! Everyone appreciated the ability to laugh, since LOST is only fun on TV.

As the plane sat and sat and sat in Birmingham, JCK finally decided sugar was in order. For everyone. You've never seen a debit card fly out of someone's wallet so fast. The flight attendant understood. She gave JCK an extra bag of candy at no charge.

Once JCK and kids arrived in Atlanta around midnight, with no flights on to Florida until the early AM, they were rescued by JCK's dad who arrived to whisk them to his house. BOY & GIRL were enthralled with the adventure and had no problem staying up until 2am, which even with the time difference was LATE. After a refreshing 5 hours of sleep, the adventure continued with a commuter train ride to the airport the next morning. When the flight board read that the flight to Florida would be delayed an hour, it only seemed the way. JCK just sat back and gave it up.

But, now it has been 5 days, and the weight of that arduous journey has lightened considerably. JCK has been watching dolphins dance their way across the Gulf, while her children grow bolder every day in the waves of the ocean. She is looking forward to the adventures ahead...out of the air.

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Sunday, July 11, 2010

Our summer has begun with a bountiful harvest

BOY has decided that GIRL should have a nickname. And that it shall be...Shookas.

Good night, my little Shookas.

Good morning, Shookas!

GIRL hasn't quite decided if she likes it or not.

Sometimes she does. She smiles, her head tilted, chin tucked into her chest, as if she is treasuring a secret.

Sometimes she let's him know that she hates it.

Do NOT call me...SHOOKAS!

The summer has begun with a bountiful harvest. There have been gifts of melt-in-your-mouth plums picked fresh off the tree, where the juice rolls down your chin and the heavenly sweetness is like nectar of the Goddess. Homemade apricot jam...spread on toast with strong black tea. Divine peaches to top ice cream or make into a cobbler. All this bounty from friends. And for this The Motherscribe household has been blessed.

BOY & GIRL have managed to work down their Summer Activity Wish List: reading together, swimming, playing in the water sprinklers, painting together, children's shows at the library, baking together... JCK would like you to notice that there is a lot of...togetherness. This can be both good and very bad.

Yes..*JCK sighs theatrically*...There has been your every day, run of the mill contentions ...sulking, temper flares, teasing, whining... In FACT, it has not been unheard of for JCK and E to exchange a look of terror and mutter...It's Jack O'Clock! ...elbowing each other out of the way, to be the first to pour.

In two days JCK will be flying solo with the kids to Florida. JCK is cautiously optimistic that their arrival will not be as eventful as the last time she flew by herself with the kids. 3 years ago. When BOY was 3 and GIRL was 2. *Sniff* Where does the time go?? They will be there for a few weeks, enjoying daily beach time, grandparents and frolicking with lots of cousins. E will join them at the end of the trip. They are counting the days until he arrives...

Photo of chalk drawing from the amazing 2010 Pasadena Chalk Festival.

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Thursday, July 8, 2010

It is the puerile age where we again become adolescents

We erect walls around ourselves. Each year they grow higher. An illusory protection. But, there is always that day. The day when the walls come tumbling down, because we realize that we've been holding them up...alone.

Loneliness. All of us experience it. Sooner or later, it arrives on our doorstep. Creeping in like a cold, wet fog or slamming into us unexpectedly, the burden and weight of it boring deeply into our core.

When we are young, we assuage our loneliness with things easily obtained. Seeking the warmth of our parents' bed, stuffing ourselves with anything sweet... Later we slide into a drink, or find our own version of Ecstasy - our limbs wrapping greedily around a lover... and man-made concoctions dissolving on our tongues.

Middle age. It is the puerile age where we again become adolescents. Because we see that there IS an end. And we're half-way around that final block. Yet, we continue to eat from the bountiful plate of denial. And we are scared. Shitless.

Loneliness knocks perhaps loudest now. What do we do? How can this be? It seems a wicked, noxious beast...a cruel joke, to feel loneliness when our lives are seemingly full with family and friends. Yet, needs change. Now we look in the mirror and perform a pas de deux of avoidance with the stranger looking back at us.

Who are you? And what have you done with me?

What we choose to forget is that we aren't that other person anymore. We have evolved. Yet, how tempting when someone comes along who sees us as "we used to be." Who can resist that?

Perhaps we don't see the red flag. Perhaps we choose not to see it. Waving wildly above the frantic sea. We get in the boat with an attractive stranger and paddle out. Toward the vortex. Why? Why do we even get in the boat?

Because if we don't feel alive again, we will die? Because the loneliness of not getting in that boat, turning our back on the adventure that beckons... and walking back home is too painful to contemplate.

Why don't we reach out and take the hand of a friend? We can't. The risk is too great that others will view us as broken, unsure...weak. Instead, we experience both the fear and the conceit that no one else can possibly feel like we do. So, we paddle alone, battling waves that grow increasingly larger and harder to manage. Until we...capsize.

If we're lucky, we make it back to shore without drowning. But, sometimes others are left to clean-up the wreckage on the beach...

JCK would like to dedicate this to all those who feel lost at sea. You are not alone. And to her husband, who always keeps a lifeboat handy.
Painting "The Last Ride" by Chuck Gumpert.

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Friday, July 2, 2010

Eavesdropping on God

Having Faith is not something that has come easily to me. I'm a bit stubborn. And a lazy ass in the practice of prayer. I am learning slowly. I like to think of myself as a work in progress. A travaux en cours... Sounds much better in French.

It takes training. Repetition. Lately I've been giving it my best shot. Praying a bit. Eavesdropping on God.

BOY: GIRL, guess what's in Heaven?!

GIRL: What?

BOY: A HUMONGOUS refrigerator full of chocolate bars.

I do believe that God speaks to us. And if we have a thing for chocolate bars we listen. My husband likes the idea of creating heaven on earth. And sometimes he does...thank ye, JESUS!

The thought is lovely, but I have a hard time feeling that slice of heaven when my heart is clenched like an icicle wrapped in bubble wrap...surrounded by barbed wire. Practice. Practice. Practice. Maybe it's like tennis, and some day I'll whoop ass on the court.

So, this week has been about moving one foot in front of the other, checking off activities on our summer wish list, quieting my mind by reading aloud to my children, and believing that this challenging period is temporary. As is our time here on earth. Until we get to bite into those chocolate bars...

Photo: page 2 of our Summer Wish List written by GIRL.

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