Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Fun visit

We're having a wonderful visit with my parents. Yesterday was my dad's 88th birthday, so we all had a fun dinner. Here my youngest brother and my sister-in-law are preparing dinner.

My sister-in-law brought a lovely cake – actually, more of a torte...

...but comically, she mis-remembered how old Dad was and thought he was 87, not 88. So she improvised on the candles, which Dad thought was hilarious.

The end result was lovely and festive.

Today we all went to the beach, including my mom (who is confined to a wheelchair). The day was sunny, but there was a marine layer right at the edge of the coast, so everything was nice and cool.

However it meant the views across the water were limited.

Dad took us to a beach park which had a paved walkway near an estuary, so we could all enjoy the sights.

However portions of the beach were blocked off because of snowy plover nesting sites.

I think this is a snowy plover.

We also went to another beach, the same one Younger Daughter and I went to a couple months ago. On the way, we saw some deeply weathered formations in some sandstone.

At the beach, we pulled Mom as close to the edge of the beach as pavement would permit. My dad and my older brother stayed with her while Older Daughter and I kicked off our sandals and went to the shore. (That's the back of my mom's hat, in case you're wondering.)

The marine layer socked in any distant views, but it was still beautiful.

We got our feet wet, but that was about it. The water was cold.

That's Dad (left), Mom (center), and older brother (right), waiting for us. This beach access is at a train station, in case you're wondering about the signals.

We had taken two vehicles on this excursion, so after leaving the beach, Older Daughter and I peeled away and went to a second-hand bookstore.

This book bag cracked me up. Um, I feel seen.

The backyard of my parents' house is spacious. I have to confess, though, I've been mentally establishing an urban homestead back here: Turning the shed into a chicken coop and putting raised beds for a garden in every available corner. Imagine how much could fit back here!

Even the side yard has room for garden beds.

I've always found urban homesteads to be exciting concepts, so I suppose that's why I'm imagining it. Of course, such projects are far beyond my parents' abilities at this stage of life.

This evening we all went for a walk around the neighborhood, which is fully wheelchair-accessible. It was nice for everyone to be able to enjoy an outing.

It's a good thing we all played while we did. Tomorrow through Saturday I'm tied to the computer, working. I'm glad my job is portable.


  1. That is a killdeer

  2. I love the outdoor spaces of your parents home. Anyone would love to garden there, and it looks like someone has. Probably your dad in earlier years.
    One of the best things is that wonderful walkway all around the backyard. It's perfect for a handicapped person to get outside and get some exercise, even in a wheelchair. I can see in my minds eye, raised beds all along the outside perimeter, easily accessible for gardening, perfect for seniors or children! And it's so neat in appearance. None of us are getting any younger, and even those who are younger can appreciate something we'll planned enough to cut down on the drudgery of maintenance.

    I think the idea of urban homesteading is great, but with neighborhoods come HOA'S, which tend to frown on chickens unless the lots are very large, like several acres. While chickens do eat bugs, and mice, they also draw them. Also, not everyone likes to hear a whole flock rejoicing in a loud cacophony of sound, praising our Creator over every egg they bring into the world with their precious, off key, voices! And although I do kind of like the idea of chickens in that shed, a neighbors house is right behind it, probably too close IMHO. So I think that shed would have to serve as a coveted greenhouse.
    I wonder if having just a few bantams in an aviary type enclosure could fly under the radar. Once you fall in love with chickens it could be a hardship to not have some.

  3. The bird could be a snowy plover. The rings around the neck are more pronounced in your photos than photos referenced, but the birds are very similar. I find it fascinating that every single creature on earth has unique differences and DNA personal to their individual life. And then some things unique to their close family members, and so on. We could study it all forever and never get bored with the wonder of it all.
    And then to read in I Corinthians 2:9
    "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
    Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared
    For those who love Him."
    It's almost too wondrous to hope for or comprehend.
    Then verse 10, " But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit..."
    The infinite diversity of creation is testimony of infinity...of the infinite love of a Creator because love is the creative force. The love of Jesus caused Him to rise from the grave and redeem all who believe in Him.

  4. My Brother and Sister in law have a backyard perhaps 1/3 that size. She has some raised beds, some regular gardens, uses trellises, and raises 60 to 90% of their fresh produce. She has an extensive herb and medicinal garden. She rotates crops and plants a few cover crops. She grows sweet and grinding corn, along with popcorn. Cans, dries, and pickles what they don't use fresh. They live about 190 miles south of the Canadian border in the Midwest. It can be done!! NATOKADN