Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Birch Aquarium

My Meetup group took a trip to Birch Aquarium this week. Being summer, it was busy... lots of kids. I thought Taylor would enjoy it more than she did. She saw the ocean on our way there and just couldn't get it off her mind. I tried to dissuade her interest by showing her all the amazing things in the tanks...

...but she couldn't get her mind of that "lotion" (ocean). She just kept saying, "I wanna go to the beach." She did recognize Dory from Finding Nemo though. That interested her for a couple minutes. Dory lives in one of my favorite tanks at Birch.

It's so colorful.
("I wanna go to the beach, Mommy.")

("Can we see the 'locean', Mommy.")

These seahorses amaze me! Everything in the center of this photo is part of a seahorse. You think you are looking at a bunch of kelp, but no!

("I wanna go to the beach, Mommy.")

("Can we see the 'locean', Mommy.")

We weren't really dressed for the beach, so I bought her a distraction. It worked. I tried putting it on her wrist as a bracelet, but she wanted to "make it fly".

It was nice to see the "locean" today...

Mission Bay

After a Sunday of driving aimlessly, we ended up in an area of Mission Bay we'd never been to before. Sunday drives often lead us to great treasures. I remember Sunday drives with my parents as a kid. I liked to drive around in the hills and see the huge mansions with their immaculate landscaping. There are a lot of those to admire here in Southern California, but...

"I've got a mansion just over the hilltop;
In that bright land where we'll never grow old;
And some day yonder we will never more wander;
But walk on streets that are purest gold."

Wandering around San Diego isn't so bad. Who needs Bora Bora!

Until we walk on streets of gold,
we'll enjoy the beautiful views we find wandering this land.


Daddy brought home some craft projects for Taylor after work one evening. She couldn't stand that she had to wait until the next day to paint her birdhouse. Hopefully the birds who frequent our backyard have an appreciation of colorful, abstract art.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

First Performance - Sort Of

On Thursday nights Taylor goes to a program at our church called King's Kids. Last week she had her first performance. Well, she didn't actually perform. She did exactly as I predicted she would and stared silently at the crowd before her with that "deer in the headlights" look. She is her parents' child.

There is a deaf ministry at our church, so sign language was incorporated. Thanks to Miss Heather, Taylor knows how to sign most of the alphabet.

Taylor also received a participation award that night... yea, a bit of a contradiction. She wasn't a bit shy about climbing the steps to get it. In fact, she seemed very proud; although, I don't think she understood what exactly was going on. She just watched the other kids go before her, heard the applause, and decided it was something great to be a part of.

Our baby is growing up.

Soon she'll be walking to get her diploma.

Balboa Park

A couple weeks ago Taylor and I went to Balboa Park on a weekday. This post is really an excuse to show this photo of the beautiful black eyed susans that were on display.

"Even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these."

After a hot stroll, I had to let Taylor ride the Carousel. I love old carousels. This one was built in 1910 - soon to be 100 years old! All but two of the animals are "original hand-carved European craftsmanship" (that's what the website says). "Also original are the hand-painted murals surrounding the upper portion of the carousel and the military band music. This carousel is one of the few in the world still offering the brass ring game for everyone taking the 5-minute ride." I didn't know about the brass ring game until I heard some clapping and a girl behind us beaming proudly. Next time we'll have to participate.

Peculiar People

A few weeks ago (forgive me, I am catching up on some blog subjects) after Kennedy came home from work, we decided to escape the heat and head to the bay. Harbor Island and Shelter Island are great places to be on a summer evening. Many people take their dogs down there to walk... we brought our cat. Yes, weird. We got some strange looks, but Taylor didn't know it was weird. She thought it was great. Plus, it was only the right thing to do. It had been a particularly hot day (nearing a hundred degrees) and we don't have air conditioning. Well, we do, but it's not efficient and quite a waste of money to run, so we don't. I felt bad for Kora in her thick coat, panting the day away, trying to find some cool places to lounge. We couldn't go to cool off without her.

We got a leash for her, but she seemed content to stay in the safe, strong arms of dad.

Garden Visitors


I happened upon a couple grasshoppers while watering one morning. I suppose that it's a common thing to happen upon grasshoppers, but for me it meant an opportunity to look closer at something inconsequential. My camera picks up a lot that my eyes miss. Like the spiky hairs on a grasshopper's legs; their strange, oblong eyes that remind me of seeds; and the claws that I found out I never knew they had (you can see them grabbing on to my hand in the picture above).

Insects are one of God's wonders that most people squash or run away from, but ever since I took my first close-up portrait of one, I find myself seizing the moments I can discover something new to appreciate about them.

The grasshoppers did make Swiss cheese of some of my bougainvillea leaves, but I decided they can stay.


While we're on the subject of garden pests, I had to write about the unappreciated clover. Yesterday, Taylor brought me a clover and wanted to play "he loves me - he loves me not". This reminded me of the clover growing between the cracks of the concrete porch that needed to be pulled; however, as she handed me one of those clovers, I couldn't help but stop to consider it.

The clover. Take a second look.

It sure does come in some beautiful colors. One might even mistake it for a flower. Who would have thought after of all the things I've planted and failed to keep alive, the weedy clover would rival the most beautiful flowers I've toiled over.

Ever notice how the clover is three connected hearts? I love that. It reminds me of God. It'll will be difficult to pull after seeing it with new eyes. Oh, and...



It took a while and I wasn't sure it would happen at all, but my hibiscus bush finally bloomed. It was quite a surprise - since I was diligently checking it everyday for buds - to look out the back window and behold one large beauty shining brightly in the morning sun.

This is the first bloom, which by mid-afternoon had lost its orange, and turned a very bright yellow.

As I type, there are now four of these blooms on the bush.


I found this guy. I think it's a moth, but I couldn't say what kind. He's not much to look at, compared to a large, colorfully painted butterfly, but I think he's beautiful in his own right. I like his big eyes.