So Totally Random

I found a few photos that I took during the past couple of weeks.  They don’t individually create the need to produce a post on our blog.  Together, they barely culminate the need, but I figured, “What the heck, it’s Friday”.

Here’s a picture I took early one morning just before work.  I grabbed my company’s Canon point-and-shoot to get a photo of a pair of geese walking along the boardwalk next to the William A. Irvin in Canal Park.  Unfortunately, the geese didn’t make the cut as I liked this photo better.



A month ago my brother was at our house inspecting our garden and trees in the backyard, offering some tips and advice.  We heard a number of different birds singing.  He said, “Did you hear that?  That was a cardinal”.  First off, I’m not sure why he knows what a cardinal sounds like and secondly, we don’t have nesting cardinals in Duluth.  Well, at least I didn’t think we did…until Sebastian and I saw this guy last week.

Mr. Cardinal
Mr. Cardinal II

I have to admit, it was pretty cool to see him in the sea of green grass on my lawn.  We have spotted him four times now and we also saw his lady friend.  We are fairly certain he and the Mrs. have a little family somewhere in our trees (or our neighbor’s).   I would love to see the kids, but so far we haven’t located the nest.

Guess who was back in the garden?  Seriously?

The Return Of Peter Rabbit

Too bad we spoiled his fun by planting the garden and putting up a fence around it last Saturday.  I’m hopeful that he’s too lazy to dig underneath.  There are plenty of other delicious things growing in the yard and in my flower bed to go through all that work.

I baked bread last Sunday.  Not like my Mom’s awesome bread that you want to slather with butter and homemade jam, but a more European loaf that is good with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and fresh cracked pepper.  I made it to pair up with homemade broccoli cheese soup.  Too bad my timing was off and the bread came out of the oven an hour after we finished eating the soup.

Crusty Homemade Bread


I am looking forward to the long Memorial weekend.  I’m not so much looking forward to all of the rain in the forecast.  We already received 4 1/2 inches this week.  Baseball was canceled…twice.  Our backyard is like a big soggy sponge.  Keep your fingers crossed that the weatherman is wrong like he often is.  🙂

Angry Birds

I could do a post about the amount of time Mike, Sebastian and even Sophia have spent playing Angry Birds on their Apple gadgets.  When I think Mike is busy replying to email, checking the weather or looking up something on his iPhone, instead he is playing this game.

Angry Birds, The Game

But I’m not actually referring to the Angry Birds game in this post.  I’m talking about the family of robins that have taken over a tree in our backyard, including the surrounding perimeter.  We noticed the nest a couple of weeks ago.  The mom and dad robin would chirp whenever we went near the tree.  We saw them flying in and out.  Eventually they were flying to the nest with earthworms and other delicacies in their beaks.  I took a peek into their inner sanctum on July 7 and saw this.

Four Baby Birds

They didn’t exactly look like cute, fuzzy baby chicks like Sophia was anticipating.  We lovingly referred to them as the four “Ugly Birds”.  The days went by and the robin parents continued to take turns at the nest and brought food to the babies.  We tried not to disturb them, but unfortunately their nest is right next to my rain barrel and compost container.  Each time I made my way over to fill a watering can or deposit compost materials, the robins would start to freak out.  This past weekend they not only freaked out, they started to dive bomb whenever we went near the area ~ thus their new name “Angry Birds”.

Mama Robin

She seems cute and cuddly doesn’t she?  Nope, she’s an Angry Bird.

Dad Bringing Home Dinner

He seems like a good dad, providing food for the family, right?  Nope, he’s and Angry Bird.

I think Sophia was actually worried that they would land on her head and start pecking at her.  Good thing she never saw the movie “The Birds” by Alfred Hitchcock.

We knew the mom and dad robin wouldn’t like it, but they were already mad at us so we grabbed a step stool and peeked into the nest.

All Grown Up
Nest Built For Four

The baby birds that had been pink-skinned with eyes that were sealed shut had grown feathers and turned into baby Angry Birds.  I was able to snap a couple of photos before their mom and dad started making a huge fuss.  By the time I moved the step stool away, one of the babies had flown to the ledge of  the garage window.  The whole family was chirping, swooping and generally freaking out.  I guess I was a bad example to the kids who I’ve always told to leave a nest alone if they find it.

Taking Flight

I did check back later in the day and found that all four baby birds were safely tucked back into their nest.

*No birds were harmed in the photography for this post.


Tuesday was my birthday.  It wasn’t a big milestone birthday, but in some ways it seems like maybe it was.  As my Mom said in my birthday card, “…your last year of your thirties”.  Wow, when did I get so old?  Despite the number, I had a fabulous day.  Mike and I took the day off from work.  He got the kids off to school in the morning and brought back flowers, a fancy coffee and bagels with cream cheese.  We enjoyed our breakfast while watching the Today Show.  After getting our fill of the news and bagels, we decided to take Daphne for a long walk around the neighborhood.  The weather was in the 70’s and it was sunny – no rain, tornado warnings or 39 degree temperatures like I’ve had some years on my birthday. 

We checked out our yard and gardens when we got back.  I also looked in on our nesting birds.  Three babies had hatched!    

Bald Baby Birds

Backyard blooms…     

Purple Columbine
Sophia's Marigolds
Bush Cherry

After our stroll around the yard, we headed to Valentini’s restaurant for lunch.  We had a great table outside overlooking the lake.  We were planning to go to a movie in the afternoon, but the weather was too nice.  We opted for a walk along the Lakewalk instead.  We ended up having ice cream at the Bridgeman’s at Fitger’s and walked down to the lake to dip our toes in to cool off a bit.     

Lake View
American Mariner

We picked up the kids from school and opened presents before Sebastian’s baseball game.   

Birthday Card

Sebastian had two hits in his game – a single and a double – and also pitched an inning.      


We finished off the evening with a quick dinner and some birthday cake.  


I can’t think of a better way to spend my last birthday in my thirties. 🙂