Monday, June 01, 2009

what a gorgeous day

We’re a little late this year, getting the garden in. The trip to Michigan and wet weather delayed us a bit, but this weekend was great. By tomorrow we should have our tomato plants in the ground. And the corn planted (I mean raccoon treats planted, I think).

We enlarged the garden a bit—we need more space for tomato plants that will get some sun and I want to try corn this year. A fool’s dream, probably, since we have deer this year when we never did before—damn things ate most of my tulips and munched down a lot of peony buds and the top of a burning bush.

The climbing roses are stunning this year—and they smell wonderful. The rugosa has barely started blooming yet, but it’s loaded with buds. And the false indigo plant is really pretty—worth waiting for it to really shrub out and bloom.

Roses, false indigo, and Stanley working, May 31, 2009
Climbing roses, false indigo, a peony bud the deer didn’t notice, and Stanley, May 31, 2009. Photo by Lee Fleming Thompson (click to enlarge)

Stanley rototilling May 31, 2009
Stanley rototilling, May 31, 2009. Photo by Lee Fleming Thompson (click to enlarge)

backyard wide view May 31 2009
A wider view of the backyard—looking forward to getting our plants and seeds in. May 31, 2009. Photo by Lee Fleming Thompson (click to enlarge)

We put in several pine trees and arborvitae about five years ago and this year they’re quite substantial—except for the blue spruce. Those are still stubby shrubs. The lilac didn’t bloom this year, though it did last year. I think last year was a fluke since it really has another two years to go before it’s supposed to start flowering. You can see our eclectic sorta hedge in the photo below:

Ruby and Bingo May 31, 2009
Ruby and Bingo had a great afternoon playing. May 31, 2009. Photo by Lee Fleming Thompson (click to enlarge)

Ruby, who was one year old on May 13. 5/31/2009
Ruby is mostly a mellow, sweet dog. She likes sitting in the shade and watching Stanley in between mad bouts of wrestling with Bingo. May 31, 2009. Photo by Lee Fleming Thompson (click to enlarge)

Bingo busy finding the ball, May 31, 2009.
Bingo is a busy dog—always looking for a job to do. Her favorite thing to do is play fetch—and she actually brings the ball back to us! May 31, 2009. Photo by Lee Fleming Thompson (click to enlarge)

We went to Home Depot on Saturday to get replacement tomato plants for the ones from Burpee that croaked—Burpee sent them way too early and we had to leave them in the sink while we went to Michigan. Some survived. Helene gave me basil, and we got rosemary, lavender, petunias, and marigolds. Still need cleomes—gotta have them!

We need to replace the porch boards this year so I don’t want to load it up with pots as I usually do, but we did put the big pot outside and I planted the rosemary, some basil, some marigolds, and put in Bibb lettuce seeds. Whether or not we get any lettuce remains to be seen—depends on how close the deer and bunnies get to the house. If they get up on the porch, well, I guess it’s good to feed the wildlife, but I love homegrown lettuce so maybe we’ll get lucky.

It just felt so good to be outside, get my hands dirty, watch Stanley with the tiller, play with the puppies. We have lots more to do over the next few days and we have the whole front side section to clean up, shade plants to get in ...

posted by lee on 06/01/09 at 03:59 AM

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Saturday, May 16, 2009

david’s movie

I also made a little movie at David’s house, featuring his brothers (his sister wasn’t home), mom, and dad. He’s a sweetie too, didn’t cry while we were there though he had every right to with all the commotion.

We off back to Connecticut tomorrow, staying at the Holiday Inn in Clarion, Pennsylvania tomorrow night and back at home by Monday night, at my desk by Tuesday afternoon. I’m not really ready to go, but I know we’ll be back in late August (if Dad is in town), and we’ll see Dad again in June when he goes to Boston and takes his cruise to Bermuda (June 5th).

Tonight, though, we’re taking him to dinner at Tait’s Bill of Fare, a restaurant here in Oscoda that I like a lot. Then maybe rent a video. Not ready to go back yet.

posted by lee on 05/16/09 at 09:24 PM

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Friday, May 15, 2009

starting a ticket pool

Well Dad went and got himself a muscle car. It’s sweet:

Jim Fleming with his new Charger
Dad and his cherry red Dodge Charger Photo by Lee Fleming Thompson (click to enlarge)

Jim Fleming, Dodge Charger, Oscoda, May 8, 2009
Sitting in his brand new car (trying to figure out how to use the satellite radio) Photo by Lee Fleming Thompson (click to enlarge)

I love the color.

Scott says we should set up a pool for when Dad gets his first speeding ticket. I think we should! We can each kick in a coupla bucks ... I’ll send email around and collect picks!

It’s a nice ride. We put almost 800 miles on it driving from Oscoda to Wyandotte, Dearborn, Ann Arbor, and back again. Satellite radio is really cool—you can get NPR all the time!

Now if gas doesn’t skyrocket, he should be happy with his new car for quite a while!

posted by lee on 05/15/09 at 08:47 PM

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Thursday, May 14, 2009

cinderella at skyline high school

The thought of going to see a musical put on by a bunch of high school freshmen isn’t exactly appealing, but when your nephew is the prop manager and made many of the props and your sister sewed costumes for the production, it becomes something you do if you can. We could, we did, and we were pleasantly surprised. It was pretty darn good, with a lot of good singing. The standouts were Emma Griffith as Cinderella and Richa Saran as Godmother. I made a little movie of snippets of stuff, starting with trying to capture the stage hands changing the set. The sets were pretty impressive and I think Leo did a great job managing it all. So, Leo, with apologies for sucking at videography, here’s my little movie:

The blurb in the program says:

Leo Robertson (Props Manager) is a freshman here at Skyline and has been involved with the theatre program here since the first show. He built many pieces for the set for this and the last show.

Kelly was a member of the costume crew and the prop crew.

Leo built the chandelier that hung off on one of the side stages—it was a pretty impressive feat. It was difficult to get any good shots in the theater, but Stanley did his best:

Leo under the chandelier he built for the set

Here is another picture of Leo backstage—he took us on a tour after the show was over:

Leo Robertson backstage at Skyline High School, May 9, 2009
Leo Robertson backstage after the performance of Cinderella, May 9, 2009 Photo by Stanley Thompson. (click to enlarge)

Leo took us on a tour of some of the areas of the school. Skyline High School is amazing—it’s green, brand new, and huge. Leo’s class is the first class to matriculate there and this year they have the entire school to themselves. It’s kinda nice to be the first, I think, and you don’t have to worry about any of the crap the upperclassmen dish out.

Skyline has a green roof, wind power, geothermal power, solar power, state-of-the-art green materials and controls. It’s huge and impressive though not very, well, warm—I think because it hasn’t been used enough yet it could be any institution if you didn’t know it is a school. Leo says there are windows in nearly every room. The media lab is power by wind power. The swimming pool is gorgeous. The theater is fancier than any I’ve ever been in and it’s also state of the art. You can read about it by clicking the link in the paragraph.

So a good time was had by all—I was very glad we went and it was great to see Leo and Kelly.

posted by lee on 05/14/09 at 08:11 PM

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

we met riley rose

We finally made it to Dearborn to meet Riley—she’s a wonderful baby. I made this little movie with my Flip:

Well I like it! Here’s GrandUncle Stanley (is it GrandUncle or GreatUncle?) holding Riley:

Stanley holding Riley Rose

I need to get a shot of four generations—maybe in August.

posted by lee on 05/13/09 at 07:52 PM

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

david allen mccaskey, may 1, 2009

Meet David Allen McCaskey, born May 1, 2009 at 10 a.m. in Dearborn, Michigan at Oakwood Hospital:

David Allen McCaskey, May 1, 2009
David Allen McCaskey Photo by James Fleming. (click to enlarge)

I know I’m way behind getting things blogged—blame it on a horrific deadline (two deadlines). But we made it to Michigan and we made it to Dearborn to meet Riley and then to Wyandotte to meet David (aka Baby DAM) and Sunday we have to leave Oscoda and head back to Connecticut.

Here are some more photos, all taken by Dad (he’s pretty good with the camera!):

David, mom, dad
David Allen McCaskey, mom Tammy, and dad Aaron Photo by James Fleming. (click to enlarge)

david and carolyn
David Allen McCaskey and Grandma Carolyn Photo by James Fleming. (click to enlarge)

Leo, David, and Kelly
Leo (in the background), and Aunt Kelly holding David Photo by James Fleming. (click to enlarge)

And one more—Leo took this one and I love it:

PapaJim holding great grandchild number two! Photo by Leo Robertson (click to enlarge)

Much more to upload, such as photos from our baby meets and hopefully some images from our trip to Ann Arbor to see the play Leo was prop manager for—have to process them first.

posted by lee on 05/12/09 at 04:36 PM

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