1. The House of Suicidal Bees is what I call my aunt's house in San Diego because so many bees try to drown themselves in the pool while getting a drink. I am constantly fishing them out, alive or dead, when the kids are swimming. And, usually, someone gets stung at least once. This time it was Alex but his finger did not swell because we flooded his system with antihistamines moments after the stinger was pulled out which seemed to do the trick.
I did not take many pictures while we were on vacation. I will need to get photos from my sister in law or my mother to share.
This is from a rose bush in front of my cousin's rented house. Absolutely the prettiest rose bushes I can remember seeing in a long time.
2. Yes, we returned last Wednesday and it's now Monday and I've been fairly silent, blog and FB-wise. Well, our transition to our regular space-time continuum was rather rocky (our plane out of Chicago-Midway was delayed so we didn't walk in the door until almost 1 am local time); Thursday we kinda sleep-walked through life. Friday was a little better but I still have whatever illness or condition that is limited my energy to about 1/3 normal so I move slowly through every day and only left the house for the first time today. Big thanks to my parents for doing some grocery shopping for me on Friday.
This is from those same rose bushes. The color variation of flowers on the same stem was amazing. These pictures just do not do it justice.
3. For some reason, I thought this week would be a good week for doctor's appointments, so we have 4 on the schedule. Alex had one today at the Chung Institute and then tomorrow Miranda has one and I have two. We should be able to finally visit the Larchmont pool for the first time on Wednesday after Alex gets home at lunch time from summer school. When I bought the pool pass in April, I wasn't expecting to be weighed down by fatigue.
My doctor ran extensive blood work in June and it showed how perfectly healthy I am. I'm seeing him again tomorrow to see what we can do next. Both my aunt and uncle in San Diego are medical professionals and they looked at the six page printout and didn't have a whole lot of suggestions, so I'm a bit discouraged. I may try an allergist next.
This is the best picture I have of my niece with my daughter. They played together really well.
4. Only a few movies viewed in the recent past. Watched The Grand Budapest Hotel with my brothers, watched 300: Rise of an Empire and the new Robocop with my honey. The first one was curious, the second one was at least visually interesting and the last had a lot more nuance to it than I expected.
Now that The World Cup and Wimbledon are over and the Phillies keep losing, I may go back to the server and see what's been waiting to be watched. Lots of British television, that's for sure. New Tricks Series 9, Wallander Series 3, I only remember watching the first story of Case Histories, I have 7 unwatched episodes of Endeavour, the last episode of Poirot, and the last 6 episodes of Lewis.
My niece and nephew playing with the "drive thru" window.
5. My cousin and her husband introduced us to a couple of new authors. I read The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern on the plane from San Diego to Chicago (it was excellent, especially for a first novel) while my honey started The City & The City by China Mieville. The latter has a passel of interesting books that I may get from the library.
Here's Miranda reading Tiger Can't Sleep to her cousin before nap time. Why has this wonderful book gone out of print?!
6. If you're not following Mike Rowe on Facebook, you are missing out on some hilarious and eloquent writing. I can't wait for his new television show.
I forgot I had yellow lilies until they bloomed, right before we left.
7. Here is my family, all together. It was not perhaps the most restful vacation all crammed into my aunt's house but it was wonderful to have lots of time with my niece and nephew and catch up with my brothers and their delightful wives.
From the left, Colin, Stephanie & Jonathan; then Marshall, myself and Alex; then my parents; then Miranda; then Madelynn, Brandon & Piper.
Bonus 8. If you have somehow been living under a rock and missed this video which has my children laughing like fools at least once a day, here you go:
And, randomly, Miranda's new favorite song:
And here's Jen.