Friday, July 20, 2007

Damoff Family Reunion

Hello. I'm Jeanne, and I'll be your tour guide. If you'll follow me across this sun-dappled bridge we'll reach the Mohican Resort Lodge, where the Damoff family gathered for some Macedonian monkeyshines.
This lovely establishment even offers five-star accommodations for furry friends.
The centerpiece for this year's Damoff Family Shenanigans was a big birthday bash for two of the patriarchs: John, who turned 80, and George who turned 75. To celebrate in style, the Damoffs descended on Malabar Farm, a lovely spot famous for its builder, Pulitzer prize winning author Louis Bromfield, and also because Bromfield hosted Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall's wedding and honeymoon there. In the future I'm sure the Damoff birthday bash will be listed among Malabar's stellar events.
Can't go wrong with balloons at a birthday bash.
Barns are a feast of light and line. This particular "feast" sheltered a gathering of black cows that generously lent their scent to the festivities.
One end of Bromfield's picturesque house.

Views outside the barn.

Sausages and brats! Mmmm.
Every party needs a cute baby . . .
and a cute puppy.
Fresh flowers for each table. Those Damoffs are classy, let me tell you.
More balloons. And light. And lines.
Two cakes plus 155 candles equals a flaming prairie of frosted birthday goodness.
They huff and they puff and they . . .
give it their best shot. (Note the sympathetic blowing amongst the bystanders.)
Several oxygen-deprived minutes and seventy-five holes later the cake still tasted yummy.
On the last day of the reunion the Damoffs gather on the Mohican Lodge deck for a group photo. Um, where's Waldo?
Sunset as seen from the deck. Beautiful ending to the day and to our tour. (Don't you wish you were a Damoff?)

Thursday, July 19, 2007

July Fourth Parade and Fireworks

Brandon's eagle belt buckle and the red, white, and blue.
Dexter got tired of waiting for the parade. Or maybe he was just disappointed in the sale prices at Safeway.
Pretty horses.
Riding shotgun in the fire engine.
The Artful Dodger and Oliver dance a jig to advertise children's summer theater.
Ponies in tall, grande, and venti.
Scottish bagpipe band.
Celtic cuties.
Would you like that ski boot grilled or fried?
Parade princess.
This guy wasn't in the parade, but I think he wanted to be.
Waiting for fireworks. Brandon, George, Luke, and Grace. And the bright dot in the corner is Saturn or Jupiter.
I took lots of firework photos. Here are a few. I recommend clicking the pictures for a larger view.

These look like underwater sea creatures to me.

Happy Birthday, U.S. of A.!

The First Annual All-Star Earthworm Races

Welcome to the worm races! Here's our fancy track. (It's actually a framed poster of a clay pot taken off the wall of the upstairs bedroom in my parents' condo, but they gave their blessing.)
The contestants are dumped out of their cozy soil bags for warm up.
Next they take a pre-race bath to remove excess soil. All of the worms racing in the first heat are Lumbricus terrestris.
Sponsors select their athletes based on liveliness and . . . um, yeah.
The official photographer and ready-set-go person (me) gives the signal, and all contestants are dropped into the center ring. The first one to reach the outer edge of the track will win!
And they're off! Watch those worms go. Go, worms, go!
Jacob's worm is smearing the competition.
And he wins! What a photo finish.
Josh consoles his worm. There will be other races, little guy.
Nothing like a thrilling athletic display to bring out the competitive spirit in our sponsors. Or maybe Grace has been getting too much sun.
Jimmy's worm poses for the camera.
This reminds me of some sort of Celtic symbol. Worms of Life.
To avoid accusations of discrimination against amateurs, we offered a second heat. Here we have a hodgepodge of cast-off competitors: Lumbricus terrestris, Aporrectodea caliginosa, Eiseniella tetraedra, Lumbricus rubellus and a slug.

The slug eventually found his way out of the starting block and onto the course.
A couple of weeks later he crossed the finish line. Yawn. I mean, Yay!
We hope you enjoyed the First Annual All-Star Earthworm Races and will purchase your tickets early for next year's event. Thanks for tuning in!