Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A Sunday afternoon

We really do live here! Pinch me, please!

Last week we took a walk to see Clover. Clover is the pig that we found down at the old English plantation ruins. Someone keeps a bunch of pigs there and some are penned and some are roaming freely (who decides that?)She is tied up to a tree and wags her tail every time we see her. Adorable! Can you say Babe? Oh, so cute. Smelly, but oh so cute. We took her some delicious food like banana peels, rinds, sour almond milk, stale bread, and even an avocado pit, which she crunched on like an Atomic Fireball.

Sophia is holding her second-grade class mascot, Spunky the monkey, whom we keep forgetting to include in the photos. Spunky really liked the pigs.

Clover has neighbors, a couple of pens of little piglets. They are not the usual variety either. They have long furry ears, and I discovered months ago when I chanced upon them while taking a run in the countyside, that if you scare them, they will all squeal unanimously and jump up, all fours in the air, at the same time. It is one of the funniest things ever and I hope to capture it on video! This pig won't be wooed.

After our noses could take the foul smell no longer, we headed down the hill to the coast.

Everyone, meet Frances! This our our adorable niece who came to stay with us for about 6 months for the island experience (ya, mon). We waited until she settled into take her to see smelly pigs. She first had to get used to chickens everywhere and goats standing on walls and buildings and donkeys braying first thing in the morning. AND she had to slap a cow at least twice before we would take her to this place. I would say she has adjusted heartily and is now part of the familia. She even smells like us now.

This was meant to be the family picture. Charles ruined it with his usual antics.

And this is Charles' favorite photo. He made me take it. It captured his attention as he was running down the trail and he spent at least 15 minutes analyzing and admiring it. Can you tell what it is?

Overlooking the beautiful Carribean coastline

OK, anyone remember the most recent Pride and Prejudice film? You didn't have to have seen it 148 times like I did to remember Keira Knightly standing on a cliff just like this. I made Frances do this. Let me emphasize, for her sake, that this was entirely MY idea. I think it captures her lovely British-romantic-countryside self. Besides, I may need to use it someday, like when I need a favor from her, or maybe at her wedding.

Another try at a family photo, and Sophia decides to wear her batman mask, Ethan tries unsuccessfully to hide the stick he used to prod cows and his siblings along the path, and Charles whistles on a blade of grass (or perhaps he is trying to hide a finger in the nose). Mission aborted.

By the time you are in junior high school, posing for a photo is absolutely ridiculous. But I got a little smile out of him anyway

This is most of the tiny island!

Spunky meets the pigs

Finally, a winner! The only reason it worked is because I promised to take Charles back to his favorite site of the day if he would keep his tongue inside Mr. Mouth.

Anyone guess what it was that so captured his attention? It was....(drumroll , please) a cow patty with mushrooms growing in it! Fascinating!

Charles heading down the path to the glorious shroom-patty

Are they gone yet? (snort snort)

Friday, January 1, 2010

A really bad fall and a really great aunt

Poor Charles, always in a predicament. After a terrible fall face-down onto a jagged rock from the huge tree in our backyard, his little face looked something like this:

Cheerful little guy trying to smile:

We are glad that our dutch neighbor is a doctor and that he was working in the yard when it happened. It was frankly a miracle that he did no more damage than he did. His gums got the most damage, but the nose didn't even break and he lost no teeth!

It is amazing how quicky children's cells recover. Within one week he looked like this:

I am taking advantage of this to post a photo of my new, adorable sister-in-law, Annie. Annie married my brother Jon recently and they came for a visit. Annie is a kindergarten teacher and clearly a serious kid magnet. Charles couldn't stay away from her the whole week. The funny thing is, Annie didn't even have to try! He followed her around, did what she did, ate what she ate, and rode in her car wherever she went. He tried to be subtle about his affection, but his efforts to hide it made it even more charming. When she had to leave, he refused to go to the airport because he said he didn't want to cry. But he went, and he did sob. It was oh-so-sweet. For a boy who is ordinarily only drawn to men, Annie was a real exception. Thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou Jon!

Annie is fab-u-LOSA!