August 18, 2015

Moment with Mutts









Because of my dogs, I'm committed to finding animal inspiration in the day to day moments.  What animals inspire you? Share your stories and links in the comments!   
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The Links:
-Jon Katz on bringing the game face to animal training
- "Project Unconditional" (with a direct link to a memorial my friend M recently wrote about her dog)

During the process of putting peanuts out for crows, I've since seen 0 crows, BUT a blue jay and I are beginning to enjoy each other's company.  

Thus, I want this to happen, like STAT!
And this lucky, dude.  Why, he didn't even have a peanut! 

The Dogs:





Huckle wears a muzzle when we are out and about.  He's not a fan of off-leash new dogs who rush up to him, but since we live in a rural area where people come to vacation we encounter situations like that quite regularly.  I want to prevent any negative encounters for Huckle.
This little friend of Trot's and Huckle's just turned 10!



August 15, 2015

Jeckyll and Hyde type photo shoot



Photography outtakes are always good for a laugh, right?  Maybe an explanation too.  

Picture it: Bear, Ace and I at a super cool spot in the New Hampshire woods.  The plan was to take some photographs for Bear's 7th birthday-this is tradition- just as is the birthday boy being able to pick the setting.  In this case, Bear wanted a castle setting to go along with his Harry Potter themed birthday.  Lovely I thought, but then I found it!  I found a castle!  Smack in a New Hampshire forest.










So on a sunny day we drove there and my child model posed and posed for me...




until he could grin no longer.  And then the mood changed and the darker side of Madame Sherri's castle came out...





Notice the shoes: Ace came over to see why his brother was writhering about on the stone walkway.  So we packed it in and began our hike back to the car.  Along the way I tried to discuss the finer points of how to behave when tired and hungry and so over everybody and everything; Bear had his own opinion on things.  We would have gone on this way for a few more yards, but then something caught our attention in the water.




He grabbed my hand and pointed.  We held our breath, watching.  The spread of colors in the wing, the burst of sound as the heron launched into flight.  Those amazing, amazing crazy long feet.  

Nope, Bear wasn't magically un-grumpy after that sighting, but his actions became a bit more thoughtful.  We were back in sync as son and mother; slightly disagreeing with each other, but always loving. That bird was a reset button to our day whose favor won't soon be forgotten.  But how to repay a heron?  


As we entered the parking lot, Bear and I chatted about what beautiful something we might give the heron since it's beauty stopped us in our tracks.  He said, "I will stop being loud and crying in it's woods home."  

Well there you go.  

I have found that difficult days tend to leave larger imprints on my memory, what could almost be described as a feeling of fondness for them.  For when will I ever again find myself in a forest with all the very same dynamics as this day?  Let it pass (oh dear God, let the day pass), but if the heron's flight is to embed in my memory, so too I collect beauty from this time in the woods with my 7yr old, grumpy grumbly boy.

August 06, 2015

Sprinklers and (Light)sabers






You know, it had started out with a suggestion to turn on the sprinkler for a little bit; to cool off while perhaps watering a flowerbed or two.  As the water indeed cooled us, our brains began to defog.  Suddenly the boys grabbed their lightsabers for some Star Wars action, and I grabbed my camera to practice capturing moving water.  
I love spur of the moment summer!

PS: the goggles??!!!  He's the first person I've ever met who wears goggles when playing in a sprinkler!

August 03, 2015

July {Harry Potter Birthday Party}


Ahhh, it feels like only just days ago Bear was turning 6....

and yet today's post is going to be all about his 7th birthday- you know, the one with a Harry Potter theme.  Fun times ahead!










First up, Bear appreciates his clothing matching whatever theme he's got going on in that head of his (Star Wars pilot?  He wears a helmet.  Magician?  He dons a black top hat for the day.).  I love that quality about him, so when birthday season arrives it's prime season for outfit pairings.  This year he picked out:

- a Quidditch robe ordered through Target.com (lucky dog that Harry Potter's        number happened to be the birthday year Bear was celebrating!)
- his annual birthday shirt to "look like it came from Hogwarts".  I custom        ordered it from Priceless Kids and it was perfect!  It has his name on it under   the star.


Bear's July birthday is great because it's in the summer and it gives us time to plan and allows flexibility for people's schedules.  It's is not so good because it's right around July 4th.  We usually have a houseful or are travelling, and Bear usually wants to invite everyone and their mother.  So we've learned to compromise ;)

He's had a party or two with lots of guests and lots of activities, but more often than not (like this year)  he and I plan his party around whoever happens to be in our house for the 4th of July.  Since this means a guaranteed splattering of both children and adults he is fine with the idea and Champ and I are able to mesh everything together in just one weekend rather than 2.  Score!

Harry Potter Birthday
























I broke the party into 3 separate parts.  Part one was "The Great Hall" aka dinner time.  Each place setting had Gryffindor colors.  Champ created a snitch centerpiece out of a gold paper lantern from Target and some wired ribbon.  Candles were lit, Harry Potter books were spread on the table and butter beer was served with dinner.  Everyone was given a pair of Harry Potter's infamous glasses to wear- we all looked ready to attend Hogwarts School!








After the meal, the gang had opportunity to create their own magic wand (we had some previews floating around to give everyone an idea), sample Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans and develop a potion.






And then we had cake!  Bear wanted to help decorate his Basilisk (Harry Potter speak for giant snake) cake. We used rock candy and giant malt balls to make it seem cavern like.  Bear also wanted green icing, so whatever, we did that too!



Happy, Happy 7th Birthday, Bear!

Party Details
- field research done here and here and here
 - butter beer recipe
- Harry Potter glasses purchased in Target party favor section and spray 
    painted black.
- directions for cardboard roll candles (I used white paint).
- potions table was created with recycled bottles filled with colored vinegar or      water.  Muffin cups held baking soda and gold stars.  Set of small cork bottles      were purchased at Target.com.
- printable Bertie Botts Bean labels here.  I cut and pasted them onto brown       paper bags along with eyeball stickers and filled each with a few jelly beans.
- my free printable Harry Potter Thank You (bought feathers and thank you    medals at Michael's).
- directions for wand making.

 
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