Saturday, May 29, 2010

The adventure continues

Forgot to include the sailing photos! Capt. Jerry is hoisting the sail.  Moongates are several places around Bermuda, symbolizing peace, happiness and unity, they are popular in gardens and often used for wedding ceremonies. The thought is that if a couple passes through hand in hand and makes a wish, they will have everlasting happiness and good fortune. I figured kissing might be even luckier.
Day 2 we took the ferry to Rockaway to find the Somerset Bridge, the world's smallest drawbridge. At 22 inches wide it is only big enough when raised to allow the mast of a sailboat to pass through. It was built in 1620.  It was about a 2 mile walk from the ferry on a treacherous stretch of narrow road. Joan and Mike rented bikes for the day. I had gotten a bad cold and wasn't up to biking all day through hilly Bermuda, but the hot walk may have been as demanding. We passed a Hog Bay Park on the way and stopped by on our return trip to the ferry. So glad we did as it offered a completely deserted beach and a spectacular view. Wish we'd stopped sooner to enjoy it longer. When the tide is out, the beach is visible. It is home to several sea urchins. I found this shell at low tide in a water hole.  It didn't make it home with me, too fragile.

The bird above in the middle picture is a Bermuda longtail. They are pretty spectacular.  This was the only photo I could get.

Couldn't figure out what this was. Fossil?
More soon!

Saturday at the market

Taking a moment out of reliving the Bermuda trip to give you a market report. It is hot and sweltering here, not my kind of weather. A woman at Paul's Fruit Market said it too, " I like summer for the flowers, otherwise not my favorite season." -#4 on my season hit parade.
The best thing about the market, besides being back after missing two Saturdays, is OMELETS! Oh, my! I have missed them. Brent, the middle school teacher and generally all-around friendly guy, is back whipping up some fantastic omelets. Today's was chard, onion, goat and cheddar cheese, catfish (omit that from mine, please), with a choice of habanero, asparagus or dill pesto sauces served on top of Blue Dog Bakery bread.
Purchased today were: strawberries (picked at 7:30 AM and just delivered by wife of farmer), radishes, cilantro, eggs, brats, ground buffalo, and chicken breasts. The pansies were cut from my window boxes which I switched to summer flowers yesterday (well, at least the first floor-tonight, the second floor).
This years boxes have, Lilac and Violet Dazzler impatiens, Prelude White begonias, Rhea salvia, Merlin's Magic coleus, Silver Falls dichondra (instead of Goldilocks, which wasn't available -my sister rooted me a little which I am nurturing), and Gemini Cherry Red impatiens walleriana. We'll see how they do.
While trimming back nandina, I added these white berries to a vase for the dining room. Guess, we might as well take a backyard tour while we are at it. I hauled this heavy concrete urn from Georgia. I haven't planted the urn on the ground yet, probably will get impatiens from another flat I bought yesterday. I have some volunteer morning glory to which I'll add some more seed. Pots of lettuce, thyme, rosemary and thai basil,  and one of my beautiful oak leaf hydrangea that's hanging over the deck.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Bermuda, the adventure continues

Our first day was spent on St. George's Island. We did a little wandering around this older British part of Bermuda. Love this old bike outside the bike shop.  The town is hilly and reminded me on a smaller scale of Tallinn. We found a local sailboat captain taking a group out in the afternoon for a sail. It was the highlight of the day. Two hours sailing around the island, getting wet from the waves, and getting a nice history lesson along the way.  Jerry lives on his boat and is a great tour guide. If you go, ask for him, very reasonable and so fun.
We also visited the Unfinished Church, old with a great view. I love the picture with Joan, Mike and Jim because the house in the background is the exact color of the water. Incredible.

We also visited St. Peter's Church. You can see the cisterns used for water collection in one photo. The older ones are above ground, newer-below. The old cemetery behind it very interesting, too. The photo taken inside is at the Bermuda Perfumery, located in one of the larger old homes owned by the Preservation Society. We took a tour, samples all of the fragrances. I ended getting a wonderful bar of Lily soap there. 

The lovely little white house was located right beside the Unfinished Church. I thought it was so quaint and lovely. A woman came out while we were there and she was the first mate on our sailing tour! Lucky her!

Loved this picture of school children, in their bermuda shorts, playing at the park where we had a snack while waiting for the last ferry.  We waved to Captain Jerry, who's boat is docked just on the other side of the water about mid-photo.

More to come........

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Bermuda, part one

Talk about a beautiful place! I knew very little about Bermuda prior to my journey. I usually research a place to death but not this time. I knew it was somewhere out in the Atlantic-that's about it. I figured there were multiple islands but didn't realize it is an archipelago encircled by shallow reefs which are home to over 500 shipwrecks. One of the most notable shipwrecks is the Constellation, a wooden-hulled schooner built in 1918, used during WWII as a cargo vessel. It's a primary shipwreck in Peter Benchley's book and later movie, "The Deep". We docked on Ireland Island at Dockyard where the Maritime Museum is located.
Jim's sister and brother-in-law went with us, we have such a great time with them, so that made for an extra fun trip!
The ship, Norwegian Dawn, sailed at 5 PM out of impressive New York City, down the Hudson and past Ellis Island and the stately Statue of Liberty. Very cool.

We cruised the Atlantic Sunday night, Monday and Tuesday arriving in Bermuda on Wednesday at 8 AM, a simply beautiful day.  It was pretty breezy and chilly on the trip there, but still there were some wind protected areas outside that also were away from the music and masses by the pool.  If you cruise with young children (and I don't see myself ever doing that-I can think of a lot more kid-friendly vacations) there is a very cute kiddo pool area with dinosaurs.

These are the views from the ship of St. George's Island. The color of the water is truly incredible.  It was too cold to snorkel or swim but you can see the beautiful coral reefs, the darker areas in the water. I'd like to go back in warmer weather to snorkel above the shipwrecks.

On the first night, I found the tiniest bit of white china in my food. Which presented no problem, but I did bring it to the attention of the dining room captain when asked if I didn't like my unfinished meal.  The chef sent these lovely desserts to the room and the staff must have memorized my ship ID photo as from then on we were seated at an aft window table in the dining room!  The one night Joan and Mike got the table first, we weren't, from then on, it didn't matter who got there first, we have an excellent table. The second night we got a fabulous seat we were suspicious they "knew" us.

Since I KNOW you are waiting to hear-the food was very good. Nothing has yet lived up to the food on the Dawn Princess ship that I took to Alaska, but this was still quite good.
My favorite dessert (doesn't everyone like dessert best?) was the baked apple in a yummy crust (I took one to go for a late night snack), my favorite breakfast- freshly made waffle with banana compote, yogurt with delicious granola and strawberry/ blueberry mix. My favorite salad was a quinoa with roasted red peppers and a delicious vinaigrette and my favorite main course,  maybe mahi mahi.

More to come, stay tuned....

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


This was Dave Seely's last Sunday as our youth minister after 16 1/2 years. Dave and Karen are our best couple friends. Dave has been a wonderful minister-steady, appropriate, encouraging, patient, incredibly fun and just the kind of person who you want your kids to hang out with. Someone who will let them walk out on the branch a bit, but not into dangerous territories. He truly loves teens and has a genuine interest in playing with them and learning what they are "in to". I am grateful that all of my children experienced many years in his presence. He continues to be supportive of them.
I'm sure I've posted before about the fantastical evenings for Youth Banquet each year. It is more fun than prom (without the dancing) and I look forward to it every year, I can only imagine how cool it is for the kids. At least I hope it is. It is HOURS of work to imagine and execute. Maybe only adults can appreciate it truly. The theme is a secret every year, but if asked, the response was alway "Oh, it's a HOBO theme- beans out of cans for dinner......" Everyone knew it was always something so spectacular that that couldn't be true. So it became the joke.  BUT, this year, while not the theme, the hobo was there-Dave was the hobo at the CARNIVAL! It was one of my favorite themes. ( I got to be Madame Elizabeth-Fortune Teller!)
As a gift several people at my request, worked on two large scrapbooks of various youth ministry activities to present to Dave, who said that he would be thrilled if someone did that when he retired. He and Karen take NO pictures of events! I had planned in the back of my head for this, but true to form, I waited until a month before his retirement to do the books. Thankfully, I had a stash of stuff: religious scrapbook papers, stickers, quotes, pictures, bulletins, programs and doodads, but not nearly comprehensive enough and I knew I couldn't do it alone.
Margaret is an incredible organizer and a wizard at spread sheets and scanning and printing. Being more hands on, I had a file folder box by year. Between the two of us we organized by year and by category.
I was able to locate pictures back to his first year, though the last 10 were best documented. I'll scan some pics of the books, which I didn't get to prior to giving them to him as I was still gluing at the last minute. I look forward to re-visiting it myself, especially the pages I didn't do. My life has been paper and glue for a month and only now can you see my dining room table again. Thankfully, too, there were seven scrapbookers who contributed their talents to the project. Gift of love for a wonderful person of God. Dave, we love you and thank you for your gift of ministry to kids and look forward to seeing what vision God will give you in Worship and Music now that you have all of your time to devote to that ministry.