A very brief encounter!

That’s a.m. – 3:20 am.

Wednesday morning.

I think we’d maybe gotten a couple of hours’ sleep, and this was just about the time we were throwing last minute stuff into our suitcase, making sure we had everything we needed, and were thinking seriously about getting in the car and heading toward the airport.

Jake seemed happy that I was out of my bed and he was able to climb in. But less than amused that I would leave the lights on and go about my business – while he wanted nothing more than to sleep!

We finally left for the airport at about 3:30 am – we wanted plenty of time to make it through security, since I’m still sick – and on TPN, IV antibiotics, and have all sorts of medical paraphernalia that we figured the TSA might be a little stressed out about. We’d read up on the appropriate protocols for carrying this kinda of stuff while flying – and had the appropriate documentation.

We were surprised to find:

1. Delta’s counters were open and going like gangbusters at 4:00 am. What a surprise! Many previous occasions we’ve had to wait until 4:30 am for them to open.

2. How easy it was to get through security. Although I think it helped quite a bit to have a sympathetic TSA officer who went ahead and let us know that she’d let the screeners know that we were coming. I did have to go through the whole full-body pat down, etc – since I was still hooked up to TPN – it doesn’t finish until 7:00 am. They were very nice, I have to say.

Here’s our gate.

Yep – it says Flight 744 departing at 6:25 am for New York, NY.

Wild, huh?!

I was pretty wiped by the time we got settled on board. And I slept a good portion of the flight. I woke up at one point in time – looked out the window and saw this:

A great big frozen lake!

John looked over at the map and said, “Well, I guess that makes sense – we’re over Michigan – it’s one of the Great Lakes!”


Here we are on the plane.

Honestly – we didn’t purposely coordinate the blue thing. We never do – it’s just that we both like blue a lot and wear it often! We’re really not trying to be matchy, matchy – honestly Stacy and Clinton!

I slept a while longer, and shortly after the announcement that we’d be landing soon – just four hours after our take off! (We had a seriously kick butt tail wind the whole trip.) – I looked out the window and saw this:

I wish you could see this clearer – I was scrambling to get the camera out and get a picture at all – but those houses are AMAZING! These are not just houses – these are estates – gorgeous!

We landed, found our suitcase, and were met by a driver, who drove us to our hotel.

I’ll warn you – there are a LOT of photos taken through the car window!

Like this one…

Isn’t that just a beautiful church? I have no idea which church it is – but it’s pretty, so I took a picture!

I know – nearly impossible to tell – but that’s Ground Zero – THE Ground Zero. It was emotional just driving past it! And it wasn’t that far down the way from our hotel, either!

We made it to our lovely hotel, got checked in, and then got my TPN pump plugged in – so it’d be ready for use later that evening.

Here’s our hotel room – it was nice! 🙂

Nearly all of the bags you see there – with the exception of the suitcase – were what we needed to take along to deal with my health – crazy, huh?!


Here’s the view out our hotel window. We were in Tribeca. The Tribeca Film Festival was right around the corner!

I thought this was kinda wild:

The add with the violin on it is saying that this building is going to house 5 condos. Each condo will be a floor of the building. Here’s a better view of the building – although it’s a pretty long building, and you can’t see that well, unfortunately:

We were trying to figure out how much that would cost – a condo that was a whole floor of a building. Not cheap, we’re pretty sure.

This is up the street from our hotel a block – the AT&T building. We had excellent cell service in the hotel! LOL! That was one stinking tall building, by the way!

John did a little research in the hotel’s informative notebook. Then we got our coats on and headed out for a bit of a walk around the ‘hood.

I couldn’t help it – I just had to have this picture. It’s just that I’ve never seen this sign before and – I admit it – I thought it was funny!

See the red awnings back there to the left? That’s restaurant in the hotel.

That’s a little closer shot – kinda shaky, though – it’s hard to take pictures with mittens on!

Speaking of mittens – it was seriously cold. The wind was crazy cold – but, being that Manhattan is an island, I guess that makes sense. We walked as long as we could handle it – but the cold finally got the better of us and we headed back to our hotel.

John had dinner in the restaurant at the hotel – I watched. He was kind and picked something I wouldn’t want to eat! (Well, at least I’m 1 month down, and 2 to go on being NPO.)

I started not feeling so great that evening and went to bed pretty early.

The next morning when John went down to breakfast (and I was getting ready for the day) – I got a text message on my phone. It was John, and it said: “It’s snowing!”

And it was!

Here’s John – it’s snowing outside – and we’re waiting for the car to pick us up.


It snowed a lot!

In fact, it snowed most of the morning.

Good thing I had plans that involved being indoors and warm!

We were in NYC for an interview. That took up the better part of the morning and into the early afternoon. (More on the interview later.)

Then, when we were all done – we went for a quick walk around the neighborhood we’d been in for the interview. And here’s what it looked like:

Bright! Beautiful! Sunny! Cheeking cold, yes, but lovely! And no sign of snow anywhere!

We walked over to Rockefeller Center. You know what? It seems so much smaller in real life than it does on TV!

And just across the way is this building:

Pretty, huh? It has something to do with the show “30 Rock” – which, sorry – I have no idea about – I just really don’t have much time for TV.

I thought this building was pretty, too.

See that? On the left side? It’s Radio City Music Hall. Wild, huh?

And that, pretty much, was the end of our walking tour.

And then that, pretty much, was the end of our time in New York. We walked back to where we’d been for the morning, met our car, and then headed back by our hotel to pick up our bags, and then directly on to the airport.

Warning: more pictures through car windows to ensue!

Crazy neon everywhere!

Huge ads everywhere!

Cars everywhere!

I took this picture for Jonathan – aka Basketball Boy – gosh, I wish we’d had time to go to the NBA store – he’d have loved a t-shirt from there!

John took this one for Jessica – they saw tons of Dunkin’ Donuts when they were in Philadelphia and Boston in the Spring. I gotta say – there were – roughly – about a bazillion Dunkin’ Donuts in NYC!

We drove past Chinatown – and there was a REALLY COOL open air market going on – I could just barely get a snatch of it as we were driving by – but oh, it would have been so fun to go to!

Honestly – one day I’m coming back to NYC and I wanna eat really good Chinese food while I’m there. Sigh… I miss eating. And I really miss Chinese food!

This place looks like a good candidate for a try for yummy Chinese food, don’t you think? Get a gander at those roasted duck in the window on the left!

Okay – so you’re going to have to do some work to see this next famous site:

Yep – that’s the Brooklyn Bridge. But that’s not what I’m talking about.

See her? On the far right? She’s French, and probably the most identifiable landmarks in the United States!

See her?

On the far right – it’s Lady Liberty! One day – we’re coming back – and she and I are going to get better acquainted!

I gotta say – the NYC skyline is pretty impressive – even from inside the car!

And that was pretty much it.

We made it to the airport in good time – actually, the driver was blown away how well we did. We got checked in, John got a (very) late lunch, and we found a quiet corner so I could do my IV antibiotic. It took forever – it’s a gravy driven IV and we couldn’t find a very tall place to hang it from – but it got done, and that’s what matters.

We got on the plane, we settled in, and I fell asleep. I woke up one or two times, but the 7 hours went amazingly quickly, and before long we were back home.

We were in NYC for slightly more than 24 hours.


Next time – we’ll go when it’s warmer weather, we have time to go, and see, and do stuff. 🙂 And I think we should take our friend Ann with us – she used to live there, and her husband is a native – THAT, I’m thinking, would be the best way to go!

It is lovely to be home, though.

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…and then there were more!

Four more, to be exact.

Meet Millie (we call her M2), Rosie, Louise, and Speck.

They are young-ish pullets that came to live with us this week. They are Rhode Island Reds, and from the looks of it, a few months behind – age wise – than our April 2009 chicks. They are sweet and fit into the flock beautifully.

They come from a family not far from here who found that continuing to have chickens wasn’t working out for them right now – and we were fortunate enough to be the recipient of these lovely ladies.

Honestly – I think our Millie (aka M1) and Henrietta are a little relieved to have some kin added to the flock. It’s funny how birds of a feather do – actually – flock together. I was watching them the other afternoon kinda hanging out together and older/wiser Millie and Henrietta seemed to be giving the new girls the insider tips. It’s been fun watching them interact!

These four came to us not having roosted at night before. It took them a few nights, but they they soon not only figured out HOW to roost – but exactly WHERE they want to roost – and they’re willing to defend their spot! 🙂

I love Rhode Island Reds… probably because our first four were RIR’s too. It’s been great fun getting to know these girls – and we’re so glad to add them to our family!

(Mystery – on the ladder to the right – getting ready to ask if she can scootch in with the new girls.)

All about passion…

If you were to ask me – pretty much any given day – any season of the year, “Where’s Jonathan?”

Nine times out of ten the answer would be, “He’s playing ball.”


His love affair.

This kid eats, drinks, sleeps, breathes, walks, talks basketball.

When he’s not playing ball at the Rec, he might be at Training. (He works with a professional basketball trainer – a great honor.) When he’s not at the Rec or at Training, he’s probably at JV2 basketball training at the high school. Or at a game. Or at the elementary school up the way playing ball. Or at a friend’s house playing ball.

Have I mentioned that Jonathan loves basketball yet?

Yeah – this kid knows all about passion and the motivator it can be to excel.

I am so proud of this kid.

He’s starting to think about his future seriously.

He’s thinking he’d like to try out for the JV team next year. I’m thinking he’ll make it.

He’s thinking if he makes JV next year, he’ll try out for Varsity his Senior year. I have every confidence he’ll make it.

And he’s thinking UCLA would be a really great place to go to college and play ball.

Basketball, of course.

I love that he has dreams.

Have I mentioned how proud I am of this kid?

Just have to share some great pictures that one of the dads on the JV2 team has shared with the rest of the team. Of course, Jonathan features prominently! 🙂 He’s number 22.

New Friends

About a week and a half ago two new girls came to live with us.

They are Annabelle (left) and Hildy (right).

Annabelle has a bit of a reputation as a bossy girl. She’s been known to beat up some on Hildy (note the Blu-Kote on Hildy’s comb!).

Moments into their arrival here Annabelle took on Ducky – who currently sits at the top of the pecking order and it was only moments before blood was drawn.

Dang it all.

Ducky was NOT amused.

BB became pretty miffed that someone would go after her pal Ducky, and joined the show down. More blood was drawn.

It took about 3 minutes to get Annabelle cornered and captured, and sequestered in solitary confinement. We kept Hildy in a separate location until everyone had gone to sleep, and then put her on the roost next to her new flock mates later that night.

Hildy melded into the flock with hardly half a thought.

Annabelle stayed in solitary for several days. It was interesting that after the first night, Hildy would come and sleep near Annabelle – with the chicken wire wall between them. There must be some love between the two!

Things have gone swimmingly since Annabelle came out of solitary confinement. She has avoided further conflict with our existing flock, and has been getting along quite nicely with Hildy. We have noted that each night Hildy and Annabelle roost up on the roosting later next to each other. It’s also interesting that they seem much more attached to the coop than the rest of our girls are. They do free range some with the rest of the girls – but they come back to check out the coop pretty frequently throughout the day.

I will say they are likely the smartest two of the flock – when it’s raining, windy, and cold – they head straight for the cover of the coop. Smart girls! How come the other girls haven’t figure that out yet?

(The girls enjoying stir fry for morning snack – Annabelle waiting her turn.)

I am happy to report that Scarlet is finally over being broody. Hooray! If she goes broody when it’s warmer I plan to let her set eggs and see how it goes. I think she’ll be a good mom. To be honest, I’m hoping Shelly or one of the other girls will go broody, too. I’d like to hatch chicks this year, rather than buy from a hatchery. We’ll have to wait and see if the girls will cooperate with my scheming!

In real life news – I started my new job right before the end of the year. The other day I met one of the managers for the hospital and we got to talking. He asked where I lived, I told him, he mentioned he lived in the same vicinity. We got a little more specific as to location and then he said, “Oh! I totally know where you live – you have the chickens in your yard and a large garden!” Turns out he has chickens, too. Gosh, I’m starting to think about half of our neighborhood has them! Anyway, we had a lovely conversation, and he promised to stop by one day to meet the girls. 🙂

Seems impossible that we’re 8 days into the New Year. Time has just flown. Jessica got an acceptance letter to another university – it’s about number three on her list of five faves. It will be late March or early April before she hears from her first choice. Jonathan continues on with the JV2 basketball team – he’s loving it, and continues to train several times a week to go on with developing his skills. William – after much nagging, potential bribing, etc. on his mother’s part – has finally decided that reading is pretty cool. He’s read two books in one week. That is quite possibly a miracle! All we have to do now is keep on with this trend!

There have been a number of developments in the family that I’ll write about later. Suffice it to say that we’re trusting God to guide and comfort us as we go forward.