Saturday, September 24, 2016

2016 Family Reunion

Today Elyse and Jessica and I went to my aunt JoAnne's house for our annual family reunion. (Anna stayed home to rest because she's had a tiring and stressful couple of weeks.) There were about forty-five people there, all of them related to us in one way or another, and also one dog, which Jessica and Elyse had a good time playing with, until he got wound up and almost knocked Elyse down. ("Daddy, I just like little dogs. I don't like big dogs," she said to me as we were leaving.) There were also a couple of other little girls that they had a good time playing with, though Elyse was disappointed she didn't get to be the #1 Secret Agent.

Here are some pictures from the day:

Friday, September 23, 2016

Vines Gardens Haiku 5

Fuzzy hanging fruit
and a twisted, knotty trunk--
what is this strange plant?

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Vines Gardens Haiku 4

Abandoned hothouse
at the edge of the gardens--
weeds prosper there now.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Three Vines Gardens Haiku

Selfie by the lake
as summer makes its exit
this lazy Wednesday.

Faded red flowers
of plastic still standing watch
the boy now long dead.

Essays left to grade:
sixty. Yet the air is cool,
this swing, inviting.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Anna's New Car

After nearly fifteen years with her 1998 Nissan Altima--a darn good car, she was--yesterday Anna and I went to CarMax in Roswell, and she bought a new (albeit used) car: A 2012 Nissan Leaf:

So far, we love it, though it has been less than twenty-four hours since we drove it off the lot. It does have a range of only about eighty miles, though, so it won't be our family vacation car. When it comes time for me to get a new car in a couple of years, a Leaf won't even be an option for me.

(In case you're wondering, you don't actually bring the giant yellow bow home with you. It's just for a photo opportunity, then they take it off the car and put it back in a locker somewhere. I was rather relieved by that fact.)

Monday, August 8, 2016

First Day of School

Today is the girls' first day of school! Elyse is very excited to start first grade, and Jessica is...well, Jessica is accepting of, perhaps reservedly excited about, the fact that she's starting fourth grade. Elyse is in Mrs. Enciso's class, and Jessica is in Ms. Elser's class.

Here's what they looked like just before we left this morning:

One of the things we did last week to make the last few days of summer break special was go to Stone Mountain Park so the girls could play in the water at the Grist Mill:

Friday, August 5, 2016

Feeding the Crows

The crows I feed in our backyard are very cautious.

I threw out half a bag of old Tostitos for them about ten minutes ago. One of the crows has been perched on top of a pine tree just on the other side of our fence, gazing down at the Tostitos and scanning the area, for about five minutes now, but hasn't yet descended into the yard to eat. I haven't even heard him caw out to his family that he's found food.

I think the problem might be that it's rainy and sort of dark outside, and since we have our kitchen light on, he can see through the sliding glass doors to the table and watch me and Jessica and Elyse as we drink our chocolate milk (and coffee, in my case) and eat our muffins and plan (I'm sure he believes) his capture.

Or maybe he thinks if he waits long enough, I'll throw out some salsa or queso to go with the Tostitos.

Post 400: Ten Years

This is the four-hundredth post I've created for the Planet Burdett blog. It has actually be a little over ten years since I started blogging, but it was ten years ago today--August 5, 2006--that Anna and I revealed to the world that we were going to have a baby!

We didn't know yet whether it would be a boy or a girl--in fact, quite a few people were convinced it would be a boy--or anything about the challenges to come (the placenta previa condition, the trips to the ER, the early delivery via C-section and Jessica's first six days of life spent in the NICU), but we were so excited to become parents. (Scared, too--but mostly excited).

All the cliches about how fast it goes by are true. But I am so grateful I get to go through it with my beautiful wife and wonderful kids. I am truly blessed.

Friday, July 29, 2016


All this week Elyse has been in MADcamp (music, art, and drama) at Granny and Pa's church, Ingleside (which I still kind of think as my church, since I was baptized there in 1972). Tonight was the culmination of the week's work, their performance of "Get On Board; or What do you do on a Rainy Day in an Ark?" Elyse played the dove; she didn't have any lines, but she did have to fly out and retrieve an olive branch to show that the flood was over, and she did get to sing some of the songs with the other kids and dance.

(This is obviously Jessica and Anna, waiting for the performance to begin.)

Friday, July 22, 2016


Today we made some (more or less) formal portraits. None of them include me, but they do include some of the girls' favorite dolls, both cats (though not in the same pictures), and the girls' mother:

Friday, July 15, 2016

Elyse's First Play

Elyse has been going to a theater camp at Lawrenceville's Aurora Theater all week, and today was her class's end-of-camp performance. Their play was Dr. Seuss's Daisy-Head Mayzie, and Elyse was Finch, the gardener who says she can just cut the daisy off the top of Daisy's head.

Here are some pictures of the production; Elyse is in the pink shirt, wearing the gardener's hat:

(In this cast picture, you can barely see her right in the middle, looking a little uncomfortable.)