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May Celebrations

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Spring brings us a quick succession of my birthday, Paul’s birthday, and Mother’s Day-a combo which leads to all of us being tired of celebrating and Paul remarking to the kids on Sunday morning “aren’t you glad you don’t have to make any more cards for a while?” This means that this past weekend we had a busy few days which were fun and featured a lot of cake, but yes we’re ready to just garden, watch movies, hang out at home, and so on. Friday was Paul’s actual birthday-happy birthday, Paul!
Happy Birthday, Paul!
and we started the day with a medium nice breakfast and some presents and then everyone went off to school and work. The rest of the actual birthday wasn’t going to be particularly focused on him since in the evening Tabby’s grade was having a special family movie night. So no birthday dinner, we all trooped off to watch Paddington on a big screen outside with the rest of the first grade families. [Note: Paddington seems to be a delightful movie, but let’s be honest-not an ideal viewing experience because half the people are talking, running around, etc.] We got home late but still cut into the birthday cake I had made that afternoon.  I went with a white cake (made from a fantastic Martha Stewart recipe) with strawberry cream cheese frosting. It was delicious.
Birthday Cake
The next morning we had a proper lavish birthday breakfast (sausages and homemade waffles) and then I went on a hike with Tabby’s Daisy troop, which was great. The girls had a really good time and we all learned something from the naturalist who took us on the hike.
Spirit in the tree
At this point we realized that the birthday plans would need to be altered as the weather was inclement. Part of the plan was to go up Bowman’s Hill Tower for the spectacular 14 mile view of Buck’s County, but since it was foggy and drizzly that wouldn’t work. We decided to go to a different place for lunch, followed by the special science fair at the NJ State Museum. Our lunch ended up being laughably bad, but Paul was thrilled to receive his final birthday present there, which was a total surprise to him-one hour of being a DJ on WDVR, a local radio station.  Paul knows more about music than anyone I know, has a huge music collection, and this is the perfect gift for him. He was pretty excited.
2015-05-09 13.17.18
The State Museum had lots of interesting activities and groups presenting science experiments and activities for the kids. This is what Tabby and I look like with thermal vision.
Thermal camera at Science Day at the NJ State Museum
Back at home that evening it was time for the proper birthday dinner-steak on the grill, spinach salad with mandarin oranges and toasted almonds, and creamed corn with leeks and bacon. I’d never made that corn recipe before, though I’ve held on to the recipe for a number of years, and oh man was it fantastic. I’m totally making it again. And of course, more cake.
The next morning was Mother’s Day and I think I shall never tire of these school made cards and gifts. I absolutely love them.
Happy Mother's Day
We had exciting plans this year-reservations for a Mother’s Day brunch at a restaurant in Bethlehem, PA. We saw it advertised when we were there last month–

2015-05-10 14.50.23 and thought it could be fun. The restaurant is a British pub type place. It was wonderful!
A windy Mother's Day portrait
The food was great, the pub charming, the live Irish music terrific, and it was really lovely.  The sun shone and the weather was great, which made the rest of the afternoon extra nice.  The main street was closed for a fine arts fair and we enjoyed strolling through all the tents, and wrapping up with a good long visit to the super bookstore.  The kids also enjoyed the free craft a Girl Scout troop was hosting, which was making gigantic hats.

2015-05-10 16.14.36

All in all, a great weekend. And then on Monday, the greatest gift of all began–the true repaving of our road!! At long last, it’s finally happening. We’ve been waiting for this literally since we moved here 11 years ago. Our road was notoriously terrible,I wrote letters to the town, it was awful, unsafe, and just not maintained.  It’s day 3 of the project and the road has been fully torn up. I am keeping my fingers crossed that they do a good job of it and fix the underlying problems.

I feel behind in gardening simply because we’ve only got stuff in two of our four raised beds. It concerns me that in turning over all the soil in the beds I never came across any worms. Is the soil that terrible? The peas are growing well, at least, and the lettuces actually look great.
Lettuce
I bought little herb plants which I put in, and a few days ago I bought lots of beautiful annuals and got those all containered up.  The butterfly garden seems to be missing some perennials. Did they just die? Where’d they go? I definitely need to add some more this year. At least the columbine is looking good:
And pretty little columbine
Out front the peonies are looking strong and glorious and getting their buds. Today I noticed the welcome ants have arrived on them!
Peony Buds
Last year’s new rose bush is looking very healthy and I do hope it will bloom successfully.  And back at the pond, after being certain that the new frogs (from tadpole last spring) hadn’t survived, they did show up a couple weeks ago.
IMG_2737

Hooray!  So overall, things are looking pretty and lush, the trees are leafy, baby birds can be heard cheeping in the garage (try as we might to prevent sparrows from nesting in there we were unsuccessful),  and spring is looking pretty good.

a surprise visitor Saturday morning, beneath the birdfeeder
Surprise Visitor

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About Sarah

I'm a librarian living with my lovely family in a gorgeous spot of New Jersey, where we raise chickens and love the outdoors. I try to find enough time to indulge all my hobbies-cooking, photography, gardening, sewing, and I write about it all on my book blog & personal blog.

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