Friday, July 14, 2017

kid photographers

My kiddos really like to try to use my camera.  It is always on manual setting, where the aperture and shutter speed have to be adjusted and the lens is manual focus, so needless to say we have A LOT of mess ups.   Some of these are in Ithaca, some at  Hampton house, and a couple of my dahlias.

Friday, May 19, 2017

My baby boy is three today

 He picked up a stick...
 It immediately became a baseball bat...
 Look at that swing!  Good-bye!  Home-run!
 Run around the bases Tommy Fairbank!
Tommy's dream of a duck duck goose party came true!  The Neighbor kids were so awesome today.  They made Tommy feel so special on his birthday.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Charleston, SC

Jeremiah and I had the opportunity to take a weekend getaway thanks to my fabulous parents being willing to come here and "hold down the fort".
 It is a beautiful romantic city with many lovely shady alleys, parks and gardens.  Jeremiah felt a special kinship with a city that has such a deep appreciation for shade.
 These are some of the ruins of Fort Sumter, where the initial shots of the civil war were fired.  I've been to quite a few civil war battlefields...I actually once was a bit of a buff.  My dad and I went to see the movie Gettysburg on opening night in the theater when I was in middle school.  We sat next to an actor dressed in costume.  He described in detail an amputation scene that didn't make it into the final cut.
Anyway, this was the southernmost battlefield that I've visited.  It was interesting to note the differences in the displays.  For example, at Gettysburg, Lincoln is portrayed as a hero and savior to the enslaved people.  But at Fort Sumter the following Abraham Lincoln quote was on display.

“I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in anyway the social and political equality of the white and black races – that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race." 

Fourth Debate with Stephen A. Douglas at Charleston, Illinois, September 18, 1858
(The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume III, pp. 145-146.)
It really struck me how limited was his heroism, and how the minds of so many were darkened by the times in which they lived.
 We took a boat ride out to the island and had a lovely time walking around the ruins and talking about the things we were thinking about.  We continually missed our kids but also recognized how peaceful it was not to have to tell them to stay off the ruins or not to throw broken bricks into the sea.
 We visited a former plantation 9 miles outside Charleston called Drayton Plantation.  This house has remained empty since about 1890.  It was never modernized with plumbing or electricity.  It has been preserved in place, the way it was left.  It is a mystery as to why this house wasn't burned with the others along Ashley River.

 We are walking on our way to dinner at our favorite of all the fabulous places we dined.  Chez Nous.  It is a small out of the way place in a house.  They have 6 menu items (2 apps, 2 entrees, 2 desserts) each day, and post the days menu on instagram.  We ordered all 6 and did not regret it.
Here is a list of all the spots at which we partaked:
Fishnet seafood- an old gas station turned fish market outside of town.  Best fried scallops I've ever tasted.  Thanks to a plug by Sean Brock, it enjoys a near endless stream of luxury and rental cars.
Minero- mexican place.  I was sadly too full to order the Churros.
Hominy Grill- loved the shrimp and grits.
Husk-  Sean Brock's place.  I think my favorite parts were the baked beans and the hush puppies.
Artisan Meat Share- We just shared the leftover Charcuterie with our kiddos.

One might question how we were able to cram so many meals into the time we were there.  It was a struggle, but we gave it our all.

visited two mansions within the downtown.  We  Above is the dining room of the Nathaniel Russell House.  This house is restored to look as it may have in 1790.  The other house we visited was the Aiken-Rhett House.  This was our favorite.  It is also preserved as it was found.  It remained a primary residency for one family until about 1950.  All furnishings were original and were found buried under decades of accumulation.  Below is the warming kitchen, used by enslaved people for the warming and preparing of food.
 The actual kitchen below was in an out building.
 Below is the rear of the property.
 Here is the formal drawing room.  I really found these decaying spaces interesting because you can feel how much time has passed, and how their fancy things literally turned to dust.  What really lasts are the consequences of the actions, good and bad, done by those who came before us.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

spring break and more

I'm still trying to blog every once in awhile.  I like to share our lives with my family, but that isn't my main reason.  I'm making a record.  I'm not good about making scrapbooks anymore, or even about getting photos printed at all.  But I want to remember how much I enjoy my children.  I'd also like them to have something they can look back on and see what a good time we have together.

We went to the Peep show in westminster, Md.  All the sculptures were made out of peep marshmallows!  This was Libby's favorite.

 We came home and had a picnic out on the deck with homemade blackberry Italian sodas, guacamole, chips, and cucumber sandwiches.

Later in the week we were invited to join some friends at their condo in Ocean City.  I'd never been there off-season before, and it was fabulous!  We had a great time.  The boys rented these awesome speed tricycles on the board walk.  They were so funny to watch.  Looked like a gang of bikers.

 It was pretty cold, and the water was like ice, but this kid still had to get in.  He's crazy.

After Ocean City we went to State College to visit Nana and Papa.  Papa had 1 lb Chocolate bunnies for each of them.  They are still enjoying these!

 Nana really loved seeing Libby.  She couldn't really remember her or how they were connected, but she loved asking her about school, and her eyes lit up at seeing the children.  She loved Libby's hair and holding her on her lap.
 James did a report on Maurice Sendak and needed to dress as him while presenting to the class.  This was his costume.
 Luca did this awesome painting of Hampton House.  It is a mansion and former plantation very close to our house.  They held an art contest and this was his entry.

 James won his baseball game on Saturday and was awarded the game ball for his fantastic lead off hit and his excellent play as catcher.  He was so happy.  It was his first game ball.

Jeremiah made us this incredible lemon tart this weekend.  

And, Tommy is on the Potty Train!  Chugga-chugga, Chugga-chugga Poo-Poo!!!  That line in a library book finally got him on board with the whole idea.  It only took a couple days and he had it down!  And that is all the news from here.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Graphic Art Open House

 MICA graphic design open house was this past weekend.  Jean's thesis was on display.  We loved the whole experience.  For a minute I had flashbacks of Jer as hip Architecture student back in the day.  It ended quickly by one of my kids tugging my leg.  Actually, maybe taking 4 kids to an event like this makes you a unique brand of hip.  Jean is super cool and artsy and fun.  It was really cool to see her work.
 When Luca got home he made a collage from the pieces he'd collected at the exhibits.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

My New Niece

I had the awesome privilege of photographing my sister Emily's new baby girl Drew Cynthia.  She is the happiest most lovely agreeable sweet darling.