Friday, April 30, 2010

Bird Nest-Day 6

Lookie Lookie who lets me get close to her now! She lets me stand about a foot away from her to take photos! Isn't she beautiful?! I was so close that I could see the mud around her beak!
She has been on her nest about 90% of the time now, so it's very hard to get a photo of just the nest. There was one point that I noticed the nest was empty and I wanted to check to see if there was the fourth egg, and by the time I got my camera she was back on the nest again! I visited her another time during the day and she was sitting opposite way.
My neighbors probably think that I'm nuts because I talk to her all the time when I take photos! lol For someone who doesn't know that there is a nest there, they probably think that I'm talking to the swing set! lol She just looks and looks at me when I take photos and talk to her! It's like she knows that she's safe and that I won't hurt her!

I also think she knows that I really don't need the zoom lens that I am saving for! That's why she lets me soo close! lol But I know it'll come in handy in a couple of weeks whenever her babies are born! :)

Normally I take photos during the late morning towards early afternoon. It hasn't been really sunny so the lighting is ideal. Well today it was really sunny, too sunny to take a photo. But I can't determine when she's not going to be there, so I take a photo any chance I get! So you have to excuse the bad photo today, it was soo hard to get one! The mama bird came back as I was taking this photo and she was really throwing a fit and I was scared that she was going to peck my eyes out! lol So I just snapped a few! lol
But this is what her nest looks like today! 4! :)
I haven't decided what to do about continuing documenting through photos. I mean they shouldn't hatch for a couple weeks and not much is going to change now. The only thing that will really change is that they will be turned in new positions each day. Do you think I should keep taking a photo every single day until they hatch? Or should I just document it through journaling? If I take a photo every single day it'll be one very LONG slideshow for the Pre-K class, and they might get a little bored! lol

After today I've decided to dig out the old hockey helmet for protection! She was one very mad mama today! I can't blame her though...her eggs are just soo precious! :)

Tomorrow is going to be a busy day here! It's the community yardsale and I'm participating! Hopefully I'll make enough money for that new lens! I'm so exhausted right now from preparing that I'm finally taking a break now! About an hour more and I'll be ready for tomorrow!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Bird Nest-Day 5

Today the mama robin has been sitting on her nest the majority of the day. I patiently waited until later in the afternoon until I saw that she was gone and I snapped this photo! Three little blue and oh so perfect! I gasp every time I climb the ladder and look in! :)
I did manage to get a shot of her sitting on her nest. She lets me get about 5 feet away. Sorry for the quality of the photo, I'm in need of a zoom lens!

So that's about all that's been happening today. One more egg to go! I can't wait until tomorrow!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Bird Nest-Day 4

Today is Day 4 of the bird nest! It was in the thirties here last night, so hopefully the lone egg survived. I'm hoping that she sat on the nest during the night to keep it warm. From the research I've been doing on Robins, the mama usually sits on them once there are at least two in the nest.

I've also come to learn that if she didn't mate with a male the eggs won't hatch. I never realized that they can lay eggs that are not fertilized! Hopefully for the sake of the preschool class that I'm going to teach about this process, the eggs will hatch! I don't want a class of 24 disappointed kids! lol

A robin's temperature is about 104 degrees F. The mama has a "brood patch" where here feathers are missing. This is what keeps the eggs warm! It's her motherly instinct to stop laying eggs once her brood patch is fully covered by her eggs! From what I've been reading, if you remove one or a couple of her eggs, she'll keep laying them until she reaches four! I think it's mean that someone had to do that for the sake of research! To read about this miraculous process you can go HERE. I've really learned ALOT over the past couple of days!

Here is the mama bird on the railing of the playset on the right. She likes to sit on here during the day to watch her nest. She really does watch it! She'll look around and then glance down at it! It's like she's soo proud! :) Sorry that I couldn't get a closeup. Hopefully I'll get my new lense in the next couple of weeks so I could get a better closeup shot of her near the nest! Oh and don't mind the fencing along the back right of the photo...we burned it down by accident! lol ;)
Robins tend to lay their eggs in the mid morning after they have a full meal. This is what I discovered this afternoon...a second egg! I just love it!
If she lays four, the boys have decided to name them Batman, Riddler, Penguin, & Mr. Freeze!
Oh and they've decided that her name is "Robin"...not because she's a robin, but because of Batman! lol

Can't wait to see if there's a third egg tomorrow!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Bird Nest- Day 3

Edited: I couldn't help but peek in on the nest this evening. The only change is that she has flipped her egg! The pointy end is now facing the right! How exciting!
Today is Tuesday, and yes I realized I missed "Movie Monday" yesterday. I apologize, things have been so crazy for me lately, that believe it or not Richard Gere is the last thing on my mind! lol Plus I'm having a huge yard sale here on Saturday with hopes to raise enough money for a new camera lense! YAY!

Yesterday was Day 2 of the bird nest. I didn't blog about it because it was basically uneventful. Yesterday it rained all day! I managed to sneak out and look at the nest, and also got a brief photo. All she did yesterday was line the nest with green grass! She weaved it through perfectly! It's almost like she knew that the color green is the "it" color of home decor! :)

I checked on the nest this morning around 9 and it was still empty! Not much longer after that, I noticed the mama sitting on her nest. I waited a few hours later and when I went out to look at the nest, this is what I found! One little egg just perfect and such a pretty shade of blue!

Besides the color pink, robin egg blue is my favorite color! I've definitely decided to accent my loft with window seat in this shade of blue! I plan on using some of my photos to display on the walls! I can't wait!

I'm not sure if she's going to lay more eggs today, but I'm not going to go out until tomorrow morning. I'll post more photos of what she does tomorrow!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Bird Versus Toddler

What would possess a bird to build a nest right on top of a child's play set? Do they not understand that toddlers (especially boys) are rough and destructive?! As you can see from the photo, this is where a robin decided to build her nest. Right on the platform of the boys play set! Tucked right in the corner above the stairs! At least she was courteous enough to leave room for the boys to get by on the ladder! lol
The other day Alex was playing outside and he said that the bird wasn't letting him go down the slide! I had seen that there was a bird trying to build a nest, but I didn't think she was actually building on there! I thought he was just making up a story! He likes to chase birds around the yard and try to pet them! He gets so upset when they fly away, he says: "I'm only trying to pet them!"

I don't understand why wildlife always picks our yard to raise their family? Our yard is the most unwelcoming for animals! lol Rabbits always have nests in our yard. I don't know how many rabbits our Golden Retrievers would get a hold of each year when they were alive!

Allie my little chihuahua mix hates any type of animals. She despises the squirrel that has a nest in the tree in our backyard. She will stand at that tree and bark forever! And it almost seems that the squirrel taunts her because it knows she can't get it!

A couple summers ago she was running in the backyard and she had something in her mouth. I called her over to see what she had and there were these little bitty legs just flopping around as she ran...she got an entire chipmunk. She didn't do anything with it, she just ran around with it in her mouth! Gross! I had to yell for her to drop it, and get a shovel and a pair of gloves to remove it because I didn't want her tearing it apart! lol

Back to the summer I heard this high pitch squealing coming from the backyard. I don't know if you ever heard a baby bunny squeal, but the dogs got into the nest and were playing with it. They never ate the bunnies, they would just toss them around, chase them, and in the end the baby bunny would die. That particular bunny was spared that day, when I made the dog drop it!

I hate the fact that the dogs would get into these things. And it would really bother me when an animal would die! But my husband tries to convince me that it's an unpleasant part of "nature!" It's just a sad part that I do not like! I wish that all the animals could just live in harmony! lol

But I just can't figure out why my yard?

Which brings me back to the robin's nest. I went out tonight and photographed the nest. Isn't it just beautiful? And perfect! Notice the white type of plastic string to the left of her nest? That's part of the house wrap that is from our house! lol We're close to getting siding, so part of our house still has some house wrap on it. Some of it is tattered, and she must have pulled it off of our house for her nest! lol At least she's resourceful! :)
She went to a lot of trouble building this wonderful nest! A nest that she feels is safe. My question is: Should I remove it? I know what it's like and how protective they get once they lay the eggs. One summer there was a baby bird nearby that left a nest and the mother would swoop down and peck at Allie whenever she went outside! I don't want that happening to my kids. I don't want them to grow up with these bad memories of mean birds! lol Remember that Alfred Hitchcock bird movie?! I remember being terrified of that movie when I was a little girl!

I've been researching robin's, and it only takes a few weeks for the eggs to hatch and not long after that the birds will vacate. I really want to keep this nest, because I think it'll be an educational experience! I want to photograph the entire process. I just figure I'll wear my hockey helmet with a caged mask outside whenever I get close! lol

So what would you do? Would you keep the nest? Chris has been trying to talk me out of it, because of birds being dirty and pooping all over the play set, but I'll go out and clean it! I just want to experience first hand this wonderful miracle!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

I'm All Cried Out!

I planned on taking a break from blogging & facebook, but I've had a rough few days and just need to vent!

Did you ever have one of those days that you cried about every single little thing? Maybe it was a mistake watching "Extreme Makeover-Home Edition" for the first time ever today!
Today started off crappy, just like the last few days. It was raining this morning and I thought that Ben's soccer game would get canceled, but it didn't. The weather has been unusually cooler and with that my fibromyalgia has been acting up. I think it has to do with the weather, and being stressed out lately because of our newest remodeling project. Whatever it's from, I've been in severe pain for about a week. Add that to taking care of the boys and Chris working the last 16 out of 19 days/12 hour shifts! I've been more than a little stressed!

On Chris' last day off, I napped for 5 hours during the day! One thing about me is that I am NOT a napper! You know that I'm not feeling well if I am napping! Besides the pain it's the fact that I feel flu-like all the time! And I can't regulate my body temperature, so I'm either overly hot, or I'm freezing!

Anyway what really upset me the most today was when a few people close to me (whom I actually think would care about my well being) was talking about how bitchy I've been lately. One person said to the other person that it was because I wasn't taking my medication (which is unbelievably false)! The only time I haven't taken my medication was during both pregnancies. So what angers me is when people make assumptions without even knowing the truth behind it. And what bothers me I think the most is that people don't even ask about how I'm doing! Maybe if they'd ask me once in awhile without totally being absorbed in themselves, then they wouldn't be so judgemental!

People just don't understand what it's like for someone with chronic pain. The smallest thing like walking up a flight of stairs or picking up a toddler can seem like a daunting task!

So this is where the story gets funny. It definitely wasn't funny at the time, but looking back at it, I feel badly for the guy that had to take my phone call!

So I was on my way to Dick's Sporting Goods to pick up a pair of soccer shorts for Ben. I decided to go the toll road, because it's much faster, and I didn't feel like being in the car long. Anyway I pulled into the Full Service Lane, because I never have exact change. I was nearly in tears when I pulled into the lane to give the man my money. The man handed me the money and said "Thank You." I didn't say anything because I was soo upset that I wasn't in the mood to speak, much less talk to the man. As I started driving away, he threw up his hands and yelled "Your Welcome!"

Oh that was it! If I wasn't soo upset about what was already going on in my life I would have totally back up and gave him a piece of my mind! But on my way to the store, I just cried and cried! I was a total mess! I had to sit in the parking lot for a few minutes just to get myself together! All these emotions were coming at me saddness...anger...hurt...etc.

So I did what any stressed out woman would do, I called and filed a complaint! I called information and asked for the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission. I called them, and they gave me the number for the toll road! And this is where it gets funny. Like I said not at the time, but looking back now. A guy answered and I said "I'm calling to file a complaint." And he asked what about. And I said that I pulled in and gave the guy money and I didn't say anything to him and he yelled "You're welcome!" I tried to keep calm during this conversation, but I started crying uncontrollably and said "I'm going through a rough time in my life, and he has no idea what a person is going through and he shouldn't make such remarks!" "It really hurt my feelings!"

At this point I can tell the guy on the other end is finding this very amusing, and is almost laughing. And he said: "I'll make sure I talk to him about this." So I hung up, went in and bought the soccer shorts and avoided the toll road on my way home! I think I'm either going to take cash from now on or go the back roads!

But it just seems like these things keep happening to me! Maybe I'm just overly sensitive!? I ended up calling my husband on the way home and I said "Am I losing my mind?" It just seems like things aren't going my way lately. I have so much negativity in my life, that I need to avoid. But that's a whole other blog post that maybe I'll talk about in a few days. But I think I'm totally cried out for today, looking back it feels very therapeutic! lol

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Movie Monday-Looking for Mr. Goodbar

I have decided to do a new thing on my blog each week. If you read my blog then you know I have a Richard Gere obsession! lol Since I'm still discovering a lot of his movies both old and new I figured that I would share my opinion of them! He has done so many movies, the majority I've never seen, so it should take me the whole year to review each one of them.
My first review is on the movie "Looking for Mr. Goodbar." This movie is from 1977 and stars Diane Keaton and was directed by Richard Brooks. This movie is based loosely on the novel that was written by Judith Rossner. While the movie has gotten some bad reviews, the novel is supposed to be really good. So I may have to check that out as well.

The movie is about the character "Theresa Dunn" played by Diane Keaton. She is a successful first grade teacher who teaches deaf children by day and cruises the bars of New York City looking for men at night. The movie to me was very bizarre. Diane Keaton has a lot of weird day dreams in this movie and I felt like I needed to be on some sort of drugs just to understand this movie! lol I guess that maybe it has to do with that whole seventies time frame.

Diane Keaton plays the role of an innocent school teacher who is discovering her sexuality. She gets into relationship after relationship with controlling men, much like the relationship that she had with her father.

Richard Gere plays the character of Tony Laponto." His character doesn't appear until about 45 minutes into the movie. Richard Gere's character Tony was one of the many men that she formed a relationship with. She met him in a bar. The one thing that I thought was somewhat funny was that she was reading the book "The Godfather" and Richard Gere made reference to the book that she was reading when they met. He said something like that he enjoyed watching the movie. I thought it interesting because Diane Keaton also starred in that movie as well.
Tony introduced Theresa to hardcore drugs and this spun her further out of control.

Tony walked into Theresa's apartment when she was with another man, and this led to a very violent encounter. It wasn't due to the fact that she was with another man, he got angry because she kicked him out. He beat her up. He returned to her school the next day. They were arguing on the playground and one of her student's brother (played by LeVar Burton) beat up Tony. I looked at my husband and said: "That Reading Rainbow guy really beat the crap out of Richard Gere!" My husband said: "What's Reading Rainbow? That guy's from Star Trek!" lol You can tell we are both from two totally different generations! lol

During that conversation with Tony at her school he said to her that she was a "virgin school teacher, pill popping, bar hopping, coke head..." among many other vulgar things. This led to her to have a daydream later when she was at home about getting arrested for drugs and her Catholic family would discover that her innocent teacher persona was all false. It was then that she decided to give up drugs.

The end of the movie was extremely violent and disturbing. She's was at a bar and it was New Years and she said that this was her last night bar hopping because her nightlife was interfering with her day life. She met a man and took him back to her apartment. During the sexual encounter they got into an argument, and she was brutally murdered. It was a very disturbing movie to say the least. It contained a lot of nudity, drug usage, disco, and violence. I will not be watching this movie again.

One thing that surprised me is that it is based on a true story of a New York school teacher named Roseann Quinn. And from what I've been reading about the story is that it caused awareness of how dangerous it is to take home strange men. It put fear into many women in New York City! I personally think I would know better than to take home someone I didn't know, but the seventies I guess were a whole totally different time!

But in closing I would say that I don't recommend this movie. Diane Keaton gave a really good performance, I will say that, but it's not worth the rental. On the other hand if you want to see a 26-year-old Richard Gere doing push ups in a jock strap, then it may be very worth the rental price! ;)

Sorry for such a confusing/weird review. It was a very bizarre movie that was very slow and hard to follow. Next week I hope to review something a little more upbeat! Stay tuned next Monday!

Monday, April 12, 2010

More Photos from the Retreat

I got back late afternoon yesterday from my retreat! I had such a great time, that I hated leaving, but looked forward to seeing my family! The boys were excited to see me, but Ben was disappointed that I had to miss his first soccer game! I had scheduled this retreat way before he signed up for soccer, so I had no idea at the time that I would miss it!

Here are the other photos that I said I would post. This is the area where we crafted! (Photo by: Ang Valent)
We had two talented ladies in our group who knit and crocheted! This was the room that they hung out in. Isn't it great?! I sat in this room alot with them, it was soo cozy! (Photo by Ang Valent)
On Saturday I took a walk outside and they had this wonderful pond on their property. If you look through the trees you can see the building that we stayed in.
The back side of the building was the entrance to the office and chapel. Look at this beautiful arch that led the way to their back entrance! I love all of the details in this old building!
And I cannot forget about this cute little guy! As I mentioned the other day, there are elderly people who run this Bible College. They take care of the maintenance and cooking. They live in apartments in the upstairs. The one lady has two little pugs that are just adorable! I didn't get a picture of Sassy, but this is Elliot! I just love his sad little eyes!

These were the first pugs that I met, so I don't know if it's the personality of this particular dog or in the breed, but they were very much like a cat! could call them and most dogs will run to you and you can pet them and play with them. These dogs came to you on "their" terms only when "they" wanted...just like a cat! lol
I feel just like this pug looks...sad...I miss the great time I had this weekend! But I'm looking forward to the end of September, because there is another retreat being planned!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Crafting Retreat

I arrived yesterday at the Biblical Life Institute for my crafting retreat! Isn't this place fabulous?! It's so wooded and serene, I wish I could stay all week! There is a group of elderly people who run this place and they make the most delicious food! They set off the fire alarm to tell you when it's time to eat! lol It scares the crap out of you, especially when you don't know it's coming! I have felt spoiled over the last couple of days!
This place is very old, and it kind of gives me the creeps to be honest. It's beautiful inside, but very very old. We were talking about ghosts last night, and the one lady said that she cannot go down the long hallway upstairs. At the end of the hallway there is a red curtain, and an "A" over the door. She said the curtains move and she just gets this uneasy feeling!

Well as I was going to bed last night around 2:30 am, my friends and I went looking for the red curtain! Well guess where my room is?.....Look at the photo it's room #28 right by the red curtain! LOL

I was soo afraid to go to sleep, that I thought about staying up all night! I did go to sleep, however I woke up about every hour startled looking around the room for ghosts! lol
Here's the sign on the front of my bedroom door. It says: "This is your crafting home away from home. Enjoy!" I thought that was very cute!
Check out my room! I think it is so cute! I love the antique's very charming!
The bed was very comfortable, except it squeaked each time I moved an inch! lol
Tomorrow is my last day. I'm going to be very sad to leave! Tomorrow I'll share some photos from around the campus here. This place is just fantastic!

Unfortunately, I have talked more than I have crafted! So hopefully I can get a lot done in the morning!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Round Hill Park- Part 2

It's Spring time, and the farm had many baby animals. I totally fell in love with this baby lamb! If I had a big purse with me I probably would have smuggled him home!

He is so sweet, when he came up to the fence, I rubbed his soft little nose and he just closed his eyes! I really thought I was going to put him to sleep! I could have stayed there all day with him, but the boys weren't very interested in the animals!
The mother had three little babies. One black one, and two brown ones. Aren't they precious?! They constantly wanted to eat, and she barely stood there long enough to let them!
I'm not a big fan of chickens, but the little baby chicks sure were cute! There were tons!
And these pigs were enormous! I know it's sad for me to admit this (I would love to be a vegetarian) but I got so hungry when I saw that big pink pig! I immediately thought of a ham sandwich with spicy brown mustard on it! lol It sort of reminds me of the cartoon "Tom and Jerry"...there is an episode where Tom sees Jerry and he has this thought of Jerry on a hot dog bun! I was totally visualizing this ham on a bun! lol
And isn't this spotted pig sooo sweet?! It must have been a lazy day in the barn, all the pigs were napping!
Oh and the ducks! Usually there are lots of ducks at the farm, but that day there was maybe 20! I don't know where they all went? Maybe they are still vacationing in Florida and haven't gotten back from their winter migration!
Usually big geese/ducks frighten me! They usually hiss and come at you looking for something to eat! They can be very intimidating, especially to young children! The ducks weren't really hungry when we were there, but this duck and a couple others came out of the creek towards us. They nibbled here and there, and this duck was especially good with the boys! You can just see the gentleness in her amazing blue eyes! Alex was following her around...he'd make a sudden movement, and she'd flinch and that was about it! She wasn't afraid of the boys!
Ben, who is usually afraid of his own shadow, even fed the duck! Check it out!
Here's my little photographer, Alex, getting awfully close for a photo! I'll have to post some of his photos from our day at the farm! There is a really good one of me petting that baby lamb!
Here the sweet goose is coming towards him, and it looks like she is posing for the photo!
We had such a great time, and I cannot wait to go back soon!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Round Hill Park- Part 1

Yesterday I took the boys to Round Hill Park for a photo shoot! Round Hill Park is an exhibit farm, which is about a half hour from my house. They have pavilions for picnics, playgrounds, a duck pond, and various farm buildings. There is no admission, which is wonderful, and it's such a great place to take photos!

First we ate lunch in the pavilion, and then we went to feed the ducks. After that we explored the many buildings that was at the farm. More on that tomorrow, when I post some photos of the baby animals!
Here are some of my favorite photos of the day. If you want to see the whole album, you can view it at my photography site HERE. I used the opportunity of taking a rest in the shade as a photo opp!

The views from this park are awesome! I'm going to be sure to visit this Fall, when I know it will be beautiful!
This is my favorite place in the whole park! I just love this lane! I can't wait until Fall, I bet it's just beautiful with the trees that line the lane!

Check back tomorrow, when I post some photos of the cute little baby animals! Have a great day!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter!

Every year our local floral shop has the cutest Easter display! They always have real bunnies in their display, and every year we never get to see it! I always get so busy with the holiday and things that it's always too late whenever I think about going. So today I decided to take the boys! I apologize for the photos, it was a sunny day, the shop was closed, so I had to take photos through the glass. The reflection on the glass was horrible! Anyway, here are some photos!

It was the cutest mommy bunny, and four of her babies! If you look closely you can barely see the one little bunny's ear...cause he was snuggled right up under his mommy!
This little guy hopped on over to get a drink! They are all so cute...I want to take them all home!
I like the reflection of this photo, you can see a smile on Ben's face!
Here's a photo taken through two sets of glass..but I love the look of them looking through the window at the bunnies! It reminds me of the movie "The Christmas Story" where all the kids are looking through the glass at the amazing Christmas display!
I planned on cropping my reflection out of the shot, but I don't have photoshop on my laptop yet, and I don't feel like using it on the ancient computer upstairs! Plus, this is one of the rare times that I'm actually in a family photo! lol
The flower shop was closed, but as we were walking away Alex tried to go into the store. He said that he wanted to go in and buy a bunny! Alex takes after me...he's an animal lover too! Oh how I wish we could have a bunny! Maybe someday!
Hope everyone has a wonderful Easter!