Friday, June 19, 2009

He's Here

I am an aunt again. Jackson Davis Fant was born on June 18 to Hannah & Jonathan. He weighed 7 lbs, 6.5 oz and has tons of blonde hair. Mom & baby are doing well. And Marshall was very excited to finally get to meet his baby brother. Hannah sent some pictures to my cell phone but I don't know how to transfer them to the computer. Take my word for it, Jack is adorable! I can't wait for my trip down there next month to get my hands on the little guy!

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Sunshine State

Last weekend I flew to Florida to spend the weekend with a close friend from college. It was a bit of a belated 35th birthday trip for Christy & I. We had gone to New York City for our 30th birthday and she decided we needed to mark this birthday as well. The trip evolved from the initial concept but it was the perfect weekend getaway we both needed. I flew into Orlando Thursday night. We went to dinner with a high school friend of mine. It’s a story in itself how Angela & Christy got to know each other. Friday morning, Christy & I drove up to Amelia Island. It a 13 mile long island just north of Jacksonville. It is the only community in the USA that has existed under 8 different countries flags. Our hotel was in the sole town of Fernandina Beach. It was early enough in the summer season that things were fairly quiet and not crowded. We spent the afternoon wandering through the quirky little gifts shops of the main street. Someone was thinking when they named streets - the intersection of Front & Centre.
That evening we drove around the island down to the southern tip. Walked around the state park and out onto the old bridge that is now a fishing pier. Saturday we took advantage of the sunshine and spent the morning at the beach.
That afternoon in the drizzle we went to Fort Clinch State Park on the north end of the island. Toured the fort & ramparts. Got to see some dolphins frolicking in the river. We also took short detours in the park to walk out on the fishing pier and get a view of the light house while trying to ward off the mosquitoes. After dinner we took a walk through Fernandina Beach to view some of the beautiful old Victorian homes.

I highly recommend taking a trip to Amelia Island if you are looking for a little beach resort town. You can see the majority of the island in a weekend without being rushed. And the food choices were fantastic. A good number of nice seafood places to choose from. Christy & I were both impressed with the wine list at 29 South Bistro. They particularly impressed me by having Woodpecker English cider on it. I couldn’t pass up having one. All in all it was a fabulous weekend and exactly what I needed & expected.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Of backyards and movies

If you've been around me or talked to me in the last month, you know I've been working hard on the backyard. I hired a friend to do some of the heavy work and he did an amazing job - removing bushes, trimming a bed, fixing the gate, removing a sidewalk, and some other odds & ends. Then another friend helped me just because he likes playing in the dirt. I adjusted last year's plantings and added more. Slowly but surely the flowerbeds are coming along. I planted mainly perenials so it won't be so much work every year. Laying the ground cloth & mulch was a huge job that took me a week. But I am very pleased with the finished product.
I make this disclaimer: I have no clue what I'm doing when it comes to gardening. I'm as surprised as anyone that I have a somewhat green thumb.

This is my new daisy bed - shasta, button, gerber, sea-breeze, black-eyed susans, dahlias.

The hostas I planted last year have come back quite well. The back bed is mainly hostas with some coleus, ferns & impatiens.
I was surprised at how large this hosta is. That's my size 8 foot for some comparison.
The clematis is blooming like crazy.
The snowball hydrangea had great blooms this spring. And you can get a peek at the fixed & freshly painted gate.
My big deadline for finishing the backyard was May 30 - Backyard Movie Night. It's becoming an annual event. This was the 2nd annual. Saturday I hung a sheet on the back of the house and the boys set up the borrowed audio equipment & projector. After church Saturday night, people came over to hang out and I had the grill available. We hung out until dark to watch a movie or two. The only requirement is to show up with a blanket or lawn chair.
Forty or so people came and several brought their kids. We watched Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure and then a handful stuck around for Top Gun. The weather was fantastic this year except for a very brief sprinkle of rain in between movies.
A big thanks to all who helped set up or man the grill.
Be excellent to each other...and party on, dudes!