TBT: Julie and Martin in 1999

I’m certain I’ve shared this photo at some point before, but nevertheless, here’s Martin and me taking a selfie while waiting in line at Kings Island amusement park in Ohio during his first visit to the United States in August 1999. We did this with his big SLR camera and had to wait for the film to be developed a few days to see if it turned out okay.

Night School

This guy in my “Digital Media and Society” class insists on sitting next to me, and always wants to see my notes. Apparently, he’s an accounting major, and he suspects I could probably teach this course myself.

He is definitely rocking the normcore” look. Must be a hipster.

I dropped the#NetflixandChill hashtag on him, but I fear I revealed my digital smarts too quickly.

It only confused him.

PS – About the class, sooooo I was the first to post to the online discussion this week, and here I thought I kept things pretty simple about the evolution of mass media markets and evolving technology, didn’t ramble, cited a few sources, sprinkled in some humor, and applied it to every day life, but Martin was like, “Dang it, Julie! STOP. Stop. You are making it worse for the rest of us.” Noted. Now I wait until others post, and then I chime in with a “Very good discussion points. I see your point very clearly. Nice work!”

Lunch Date

Martin called my office and told me to look outside the window. He was down at one of the picnic benches, sitting with these roses and lunch.

Our Bird Family

It’s like she knows we’re watching.

[dropcap style=”color: #9b9b9b;”]L[/dropcap]ast week, I suffered a figurative heart attack when I opened up our grill to make some salmon, and a tiny bird shot out the side like a bat out of hell.

And let me tell you, had I not paused before pushing the ignition button, had I not listened to that little voice in my head that warned me to open the lid first, that poor little bird really would have been racing out of a hellish inferno.

I’m really not sure why I listened to that voice in my head, but I did, and in the split second I saw the bird fly past me, I realized that the mossy, green pile of sticks and grass in the corner of our grill was, in fact, a nest.

We normally have a cover on our grill, but this past winter, the weight of the snow from all those snow and ice storms actually pulled our cover apart at the seams and destroyed it. We weren’t in a rush to replace it, and obviously, that’s when a resourceful bird found her new home.

So I called for Martin, and noticed the tiny bird up in the tree next to our porch, chirping furiously at us as we gingerly peered into the nest, using our iPhone camera feature to get a good look  without touching anything. As far as we could tell, there were five little eggs inside.

So, we closed the lid and took our salmon inside to throw on our countertop grill. There was no discussion other than asking each other if we had the capabilities to set up a web cam.

We love bird watching via webcams, as I first described three years ago. Up until now, though, it’s usually been bald eagles in Maine or Iowa. Having our own little bird family in our own back yard is much more awesome!

We went out over the weekend and purchased a webcam with night vision, and Martin carefully placed it in the grill with a perfect shot of the nest. We discovered that some of the birds already hatched — so far, we can see four babies — and we enjoy seeing the parent birds flutter back and forth, bringing them worms and bugs to eat.

After a few late nights, consultations with techie friends, and cursing, I figured out how to share our web cam with you! You can see the live-stream on our Bird Family page. (Now archived.)


We don’t know how long this will last, but we’ll keep the camera running as long as the birds are there. Eventually, they’ll leave the nest (they always do!) and we’ll get our grill back. But until then, enjoy our bird family!


Return to the Crazy Life

Martin is home now from his Air Force temporary duty (TDY) in Delaware. He arrived Friday afternoon and immediately went out back to play soccer with the kids and check out Miss C’s toy drone which she got while he was gone. He was also given a tour of the house since we moved things around. I think he did a pretty good job overlooking the dusty corners and piles of laundry.

Instead, he praised Miss C’s new bedroom (our former guest room), gasped when he saw everyone’s closets (which I culled free of winter/out-grown garments, sorted, and organized according to color), and nodded approvingly when he saw the space I carved out for him in his man-cave as part of the total house spring-cleaning I did throughout the month of May.


As wonderful as it was to go out and visit him every other weekend, we’re all pretty happy to have him home with us full time again. This past month felt really scrambled for all of us. Even though he was only gone for a month — and not the four months he was away for basic military training and tech school — we didn’t have the luxury of easing into a new routine, getting the kids and house prepared like last time. He was given less than 24 hours notice to up and go, and while the things we *could* control (like finances and childcare) were always at the ready, the disruption to our lives was much more apparent and I never felt like I recovered from that.

But now he’s back and I can catch my breath (and a nap)!

Routine as we [usually] know it can return again … until he leaves for more out-of-state training next month.



Dusty Corners

Another group shot on the beach from over the weekend. Patches der Hund joined us this time!

Like the corners of my house, this corner of the Internet has collected dust in recent weeks. The only thing missing here — other than my presence — is a wad of pet hair, but frankly, my expectations and standards right now are pretty low, I wouldn’t even care if there WAS a dust bunny on this page.

And I usually hate dust bunnies very much.

But I’ve since decided dust bunnies add character. Let’s just say my house is exploding with character, thankyouverymuch.

Continue reading

TBT: That Date in History


It’s #ThrowbackThursday and the little cutie in this picture is Martin at age two and a half … exactly the age Jaz is now. The story behind this photo is family legend, relayed to me by both his mother and his aunt.

Martin claims to also have memories of this day, although I suspect some of it may have been from hearing the story so often. Continue reading