Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Porch Plants

It's Spring! A few weeks ago I put some seeds into my trusty porch pots and now I have teeny little herb sprouts popping up! I also bought some dianthus and petunias and have planted some of those to get some flowers on the front porch, too.

I like taking photos early on because I'm always amazed at how big plants can grow over time, without you even noticing. So I'm considering these the "before" shots. I'm sure I'll post again once they've grown up a little bit.

The herbs this year are basil, parsley, dill and oregano. I like having them close to the kitchen so that I can use them on impulse as needed. My community garden plot (which will hopefully be turned over soon) is a block away, so having herbs there would involve a little more planning.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Spring has Sprung on Campus!

One thing about working at a university is that they always know how to make the place look good for prospective students, parent's weekend and graduation. Well, Princeton is no exception! The past few weeks the campus has been packed with high school seniors and their parents coming to check the place out and soon it will be reunions and graduation, so of course, everything is in full bloom!

These are some shots that I took over my lunch break today in Prospect Gardens, one of the prettiest places on campus, in my humble opinion.

Love all these tulips!

From the University Website:

"The flower garden at the rear of Prospect was laid out in approximately its present form by Mrs. Woodrow Wilson after her husband had the iron fence erected around the garden’s perimeter. Mrs. Wilson was the one who laid out the garden in the shape of the University Seal, so that, when viewed from above, the pathways define the shield outline. Mrs. Wilson also supervised the planting of the evergreens, predominantly Canadian hemlock, that serve as a backdrop for the flower garden. The flowers are changed at regular intervals throughout the growing season."

Kiddos in Princeton

Last weekend I had the chance to hang out with my nephews and my brother, John, in Princeton. We crammed a lot into one day, but one of the highlights was going to the Geosciences building on campus and getting to see REAL dinosaur bones! Sebastian is studying dinosaurs in school right now, so he was particularly interested in this complete allosaurus skeleton that they have on display:

All three of the boys were pretty interested, and they were very good at being quiet and not touching anything (for the most part). John and I told them we had to act like spies because there were students doing work in the building and we had to be quiet.

After visiting the dinosaurs in Guyot Hall, we walked through campus to Firestone Library to visit the kids' favorite children's library. After spending some good time there, we walked to Labyrinth books and then over to The Bent Spoon for some delicious ice cream.

After sitting in Palmer Square and enjoying the day and our ice cream, the kiddos ran around a little bit, including Nathaniel giving Emerson a piggy back ride. Em obviously thinks this is great. I love his expression here:

All was well until Nathaniel tripped and skinned his elbow on the pavement, at which point we walked back to my house and cleaned him up. Then John packed everyone up and after nearly 6 hours of fun in Princeton headed home with the boys. It was a really fun way to spend a beautiful Sunday in Princeton.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Not unemployed...

The big news is that yesterday I accepted a new position here at Princeton. I will be a Digital Imaging Technician at Firestone Library starting May 3rd!

It has been quite a stressful few months since I found out at the end of last year that my position here would be ending at the end of May. I don't envy anyone looking for a job right now. It is practically a full-time job, it's frustrating and scary and makes you question all kinds of things. Although it was interesting to come up with a "List of things to do when/if I'm unemployed", in the long run I'm happy to not have to go there.

Here's to new beginnings!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter Adventure: Canoeing

After Grounds for Sculpture and having lunch, Mac and I headed out for a canoeing adventure on Lake Carnegie. Mac and his roommates have a canoe that they leave out by the lake, and they leave the paddles in their apartment, so any of them can take it out whenever. Earlier in the week, Mac and I had joked about how we should have these newspaper hats for canoeing, so I went ahead and made a pair for us to wear. Here we are before heading out on the water:

Mac was in charge of steering and pointing out all of the wildlife.

I just had a good view and had to paddle forward for the most part. From campus, we went up past Alexander Road (whose bridge you can see here), and then back past the boathouse, almost to Harrison Street and then back to the apartments.

We were out on the water for almost 2 hours and got to see a ton of wildlife. Here are some diving birds (cormorants?) and a seagull:

And here are some turtles:

We also saw tons of geese and ducks, and Mac saw deer and a snake, but his eyes are much better than mine. It was a wonderful day to be out on the water. We also saw some other canoers and kayakers and some folks fishing on the banks. Everyone was in a good mood because the weather was truly outstanding.

It was an awesome Adventure Day!

Easter Adventure: Grounds for Sculpture

Sunday was an Adventure Day for Mac and I. First we headed to Grounds For Sculpture, which is a wonderful sculpture garden about 20 minutes outside of Princeton. And it was FREE thanks to Bank of America's Museums on Us program. The day was perfect and we took advantage of the weather and enjoyed the outdoor sculptures and gardens. GFS is known for its peacocks, and we saw no shortage of them. They were all out squawking and trying to impress the peahens with their plumage. It was quite a site.

One of my favorite things to do in a sculpture garden is to imitate or interact with the sculptures. GFS had no lack of opportunities for this! Here is Mac doing his best hobo impersonation:

Here's me being very interested in this girl's writing:

Mac as ballerina (nicely done!):

Me baring my teeth like this little monster:

And Mac looking sophisticated with this lovely gentleman:

It was a perfect way to spend the morning. We wandered the grounds, had a nice mid-morning snack, perused the gift shop and then decided it was time to head out for lunch and the second part of our Adventure Day.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter with the Fam!

On Saturday I went down to my parent's house and had a great Easter with the family. I was first to get in around lunchtime, and then John and Jill showed up, and then Dad and I headed into Philly to pick up Aunt Angie at the train station. The boys were very patient and waited for Dad and Angie and I to get back before starting the Easter Egg Hunt! Mom and Dad "hid" 117 eggs in their back yard this year.

It was so fun to watch the boys run around the yard picking up eggs. Emmy preferred the blue ones (as always) and Nathaniel and Sebastian pretty much grabbed what they could. Here's Aunt Angie helping Emerson open his eggs to see what he got. They either had candy or quarters in them.

After the Egg Hunt the kiddos wanted to stay outside because it was a perfectly gorgeous day. We had fun with sidewalk chalk:

And Big Wheels:

And just sitting out in the grass pretending to fly helicopters,

And tell Batman stories:

It was a perfect day to spend with the family.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Weekend in Syracuse

I spent March 20th and 21st in Syracuse, NY. After flying in from Atlanta on Friday night, I unpacked, repacked, slept a little and then left for Syracuse early on Saturday morning. I drove straight up to the SU campus and arrived a little late for a accepted student reception for the School of Information Studies (aka the iSchool). I was accepted to pursue a Certificate of Advanced Study in Digital Libraries and depending on how job things pan out, I might be starting that as a distance program this summer. It was great to meet some of the faculty and I definitely got some of my questions answered about the program. And it was just nice to be back on campus. It was a beautiful day.

I also had a chance to head over to the Orange Grove and see the paver that my parents got to commemorate the 3 SU grads in our family - me, my mom and my sister-in-law:

The true purpose of this trip to upstate NY was much more somber than my reception at Syracuse. Last December my dear friend Jerri lost her brother Ross to diabetes and she and her family organized a beautiful memorial service for him to be held on the first day of Spring, March 20th. Many close friends from college came to support her, along with family and friends from all parts of Ross's life. Ross was an amazing musician and wished to be remembered through his music, which you can hear here. You can also read more about him here. He was a sweet, beautiful and talented person and is sorely missed by many people, as was shown by the over 150 people who attended his memorial. I'm so glad I was able to attend. It's always great to see Jerri and Mark's families. The kids running around and playing the instruments after the service was a great reminder that this next generation will amaze us in ways we can't imagine and that music is a wonderful thing to encourage and pass down to them. Here is Jerri's daughter Zoe at the service:

I roomed at the hotel with Christa and enjoyed catching up with her, as always. After meeting up with everyone Sunday morning for breakfast at the hotel and saying our good byes, Mark, Christi, Tara & Hal and I headed into Syracuse to have lunch and watch SU basketball in the NCAA tournament. We ended up at Empire Brewery in Armory Square. It was fun to watch the game with the townies since all of the students were on spring break. After watching SU win, we headed our separate ways and they all headed back to Boston. It was an easy drive back and I had a chance to stop for some dinner and shopping at an outlet mall in the Poconos.

This weekend was a mix of emotions, from thinking about my unknown future, to mourning the loss of Ross and offering support to friends, to rooting for the home team and cheering them on to victory. Through it all, it was obvious that the group of friends I made in college is a truly outstanding group of people and I'm so happy that I met them and that we are all still in touch over a decade after meeting. Love you all!