Sunday, July 16, 2017

Week 8: Our very first week at a beach in the U.S. in 21 Years!

In all these 21 years living here we had only been to the beach to spend a few hours or the day. Some of the beaches we'd gone to were: Block Island (RI), Brigantine Beach and Island Beach State Park in NJ (this last one is the one we went to the most, 3-4 times, to spend the day when we lived in Philly -- we even had a wedding there once!), Flagler and Matanzas beaches in FL.

So of course our very first time spending a whole week at the beach had to be in one of the most amazing stretches of coast in the whole country (close to Destin, FL)!! So now we won't want to go to any "blah" places after this. I only took my Nikon DSLR camera to the beach on the next to last afternoon and morning, and took over 4GB of photo then. We also took lots of photos on different cell phones (the best of which was my MIL's iPhone 7 plus), but I don't have those photos in my external hard drive yet.

Here is a selection of some of the beach photos of the last evening and day!

 Evening of 7/6:
 My birthday, 7/7! 
(all these were taken with a 70-300mm zoom lens)
 All 7 kids 3-13:
(15 year old missing, he arrived very late at the beach)
This is what the 15 year old did when he got to the beach:
It was wonderful!

Busy Weeks 5-6 (Before & After Photos!)

I've almost forgotten weeks 5-6 already, but I'd like to write about them before I write about weeks 8 & 9 and before grueling weeks 10 & 11 begin tomorrow.

I guess I could sum up weeks 5-6 in a few words: working out, helping refugee family, swim meets, house guests, French horn lessons, yard work and house cleaning. I guess having that followed by week 7 was perfect, no?

On week 5 we didn't have the house guests yet (my brother-in-law and his family and my mother-in-law), they arrived on Monday of week 6, but we had a swim meet (only my oldest son competed this year) and a French horn lesson and I worked out every day with my friends in the morning in addition to spending some time helping the refugees. We started cleaning the yard -- my husband began to use our brand new pressure washer and he loved it! I took tons of before and after photos and will share some below.

On week 6, the family arrived on Monday and I continued exercising in the morning (my sister-in-law joined us for two days and was really sore) and even did double workouts on Thursday going to yoga and feeling the strongest ever. SIL and I went to the Farmer's market and I helped the refugee again for several hours on Thursday and Friday. We had a swim meet in our town and Grandma got to see her oldest grandson swimming, but K was late with my younger son and our nephews and they missed Kelvin's races.

Before, WIP (work in progress), and After photos, I tried to select as few as possible, but I take too many photos!
The most satisfying before & after set: 
power washing:
 Cleaning back brick patio:
weeding, power washing, spreading new sand:
 Weeding back flower bed:
April,then June, WIP, mulched
 Last, but not least, weeding.
Raised bed, and some of the back (WIP) --
the part with the most poison-ivy.
  It was because of this weeding (and also hugging my cats) that I got some poison ivy right before we traveled. :-(

P.S. I also changed the knobs of the vanities in our three bathrooms, but I only have before and WIP photos so maybe I'll share those another time, together with the 2011 photos of the before & after of kitchen cabinet knobs! ;-P