Pearl River Trip

July 27-31, 2007

We drove to Pearl River to stay with the girls so Jeff and Darla could have an anniversary celebration weekend. It wasn't hard to persuade us since we were anxious to see the girls.

The girls were anxious to show us the animals, including the birds in the back yard. This ruby-throated hummingbird was waging an agressive battle to keep all others off the feeder on the back porch. Staging from their magnolia or one of the blueberry bushes, it would fly quickly to intercept any other hummingbird daring to approach "his" feeder. There was a lot of twittering and squeaking, and sometimes you could actually hear the impact as the ruby rammed the interloping bird. Even so, sometimes a persistent hummingbird like the one at right would sneak through the defense for a sip.
Watching the hummingbirds was very nostalgic for me, as we spent a lot of time watching them on the trip down after Katrina. It reminded us of the time when we saw the hummingbirds cooperate just after the storm. The smell of Jeff's shop plus the view of the hummingbirds created powerful feelings in me and vivid memories of the time just after the storm.

Rod, Ashleigh and Jordan went out for a walk and got soaking wet in a quick shower, but still got back before the real downpour came. In that downpour we watched a bedraggled bluebird bringing home food to the nest. You can see the white streaks of the falling raindrops.

The children's weekend chores included feeding and caring for the animals. Ashleigh gave Thumper the bunny a wet combing wash and was drying him off with a towel. The bunny actually seemed to be quite happy with this process.

The girls get a kick out of watching Granddad shave and getting the shave cream all over them. I guess the old man is one of the few people they know that still shaves with a razor and shave cream. They like pretending to shave by turning the razor around backwards. But I have to watch, because Ashleigh got it turned around last time and shaved off part of one of her eyebrows.

Granddad Rod and the girls head out for a morning bike ride. Rod is pulling Elyse in the trailer. We rode to the city park and they seemed to enjoy all the gymnastic equipment there. Elyse in particular seemed delighted to be able to run around to all the pieces of equipment.

On Saturday we drove over to Tom and Debbie's house in Mandeville for Jessica's birthday party. Debbie lights her candles with Ashleigh looking on. That draws a whole crowd of mostly family members.

The fancy cake features waves and a beach, and thin squiggly candles.

The children gather around for the opening of gifts.

Tom tosses the candy from the broken pinyata into the air and triggers a scramble for the candy.

All the kids enjoyed the party and playing in the pool. On Sunday morning we took the girls to Northshore Church, which is currently meeting at the Crazy Carl's Fireworks building, the eighteenth location for their meetings since Katrina wiped out their church building. In the afternoon, Jeff and Darla returned and we enjoyed games and activities for the evening.
Jeff got out the big bubble-maker and produced some impressive large bubbles. Experimenting with mixtures of dishwashing detergent and glycerine can give a bubble mixture that can form large and long-lasting bubbles.
Scooter the dachshund enjoyed chasing the bubbles, and Elyse enjoyed chasing him.
Elyse likes watching Mom make bubbles. Scooter would rather chase them.
On to Monday's activities

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