Fall 2017

Friday, December 15, 2017

Orianna and Chloe at the Railyard in Memphis....Jackie and I ran the Cooper Young 4 miler for our 5th time in September.
It's one of our favorite races in Memphis, we had dinner across the way at the new Railyard, it was a great place with
this cool graffiti art. 


Bike to Church in September.  Our church has had church at Harmon and Jeanie's now for 30 years+.  Here we are all riding the 5 miles to the farm from Birdeye.  Martin and Kara aren't pictured but they rode along too (they had mechanical issues:))

Church at the farm.  We had communion intinction style :)

Beth and Reece (she's in kindergarten) made it the whole way...Chloe in the background
In October, we went to the Vanderbilt vs Georgia football game and toured Belmont College.  These two are at the
Ocktoberfest celebration that we went to after the game.  We love Nashville, it is a fun place!


We had dinner at Catherine and Mary's in Memphis in September.
 Chloe and Ori babysat the Bradshaw's and Kara's crew.  Reece and
the cat named Dublin are passed out on Chloe's lap.  Apparently, they made movies all night!!
Ori's precious aunt Sandra lives in Chicago, not far from Wendy, so I took Chloe and Ori
to Chi Town fro Thanksgiving....Wendy got Chloe, Ori and I tickets to see the CSO play the score
to Harry Potter at Symphony Hall in Chicago during Thanksgiving.  Here they are before the
performance.  It was a good time in Chicago both for Chloe and I and Ori with her aunt,
uncle and two cousins...

After the performance....

Wendy's there to the left



A Christmas tradition is to make peanut butter balls...here's Ori helping Chloe and I knock out 250 candies
Thanksgiving morning, Wendy gave Chloe a violin lesson, CoCo loved it!  After lunch, Wendy and I took the
girls to see CoCo the movie.  It was a really good movie and the place was PACKED!
I have no idea why Blogger uploads photos backwards, but here is Ori and her aunt Sandra, Ori's cousins, Chloe and I
at their home in Chicago.  The made a wonderful, Peruvian inspired meal (beef with potatoes, lentils, a wonderful salad
and custard for dessert).  And they introduced me to a Swedish appetizer called "Pepparkaka med Adelost" and I loved it!
I am going to share it soon at the Smith family Christmas.  It's wonderful.

Jackie got us tickets to see the Memphis Grizzlies play in October
The Wynne Intermediate School changed the kids marathon to Read and Run this year, their librarian Kaley
Boeckmann had a record 250 kids sign up!  This is the 4th grade...if you look closely you'll see Katie Bradshaw
and Julia Shepherd in there....I was in charge of the aid station and medals this year!

OMG Eran made our entire Thanksgiving lunch...Prime Rib, Farro/herb salad, roasted carrots with spicy yogurt sauce, Wendy's grandmother's Saffron rolls with currants and golden raisins...SO GOOD!

Chloe, Ayelet, Wendy and Maytal...Eran cooking and my taking the photo....so much fun being in Chicago for Thanksgiving
Chicago Symphony Center

Jackie took Chloe and Ori over to Downtown Memphis in September for a movie making day....this is
a photo from the new Harahan Bridge which is a pedestrian bike bridge over the Mississippi
River on the I-55 side of the river.  You can see the Pyramid and downtown behind them

Maytal, Ayelet and Chloe...such a fun photo 
Ori, Chloe and Wendy before the show
Wynne High School Golf Team in September at the state tournament...Chloe did great finishing 2nd out of these 4.
Maggie Miller, Mika McCommon, Libby Claire Casbeer and CoCo
And on the way home from the tournament with Ori and Chloe, I got pulled over....Ori said "this is like the movies!", when she saw the blue lights then said, "no one in my country gets pulled over for speeding unless they're a criminal" LOL

Chloe's photography in Birdeye

Volunteering at the youth spaghetti supper at our church.
December 15, 2017

Oh my gosh (OMG), I cannot believe I'm such a blog slacker.  Here's our fall in photos.  It's been a real treat having Ori with us this fall.  These two are like old friends or sisters, it's really been nice having her.  She's the sister Chloe's always wanted.

Peru also made it to the WORLD CUP SOCCER TOURNAMENT while Ori was with us, unbelievable. They haven't been in 25 years.  I wish we could watch more games with her but it doesn't start until June and she'll be back in Peru then.  Anyway, Jackie's such a soccer fan and so is Ori.

I'll blog Christmas and all the dogs and cats we've been fostering too coming up next.  I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and a very Merry Christmas.  I always thank God for the advent season remembering family, friends, health, the gift of forgiveness, a roof over our head and a place to work, freedom in America, and the family and friends that have made an impact on my life over the years.  Hug your family and be thankful!  I'll post Christmas asap.  :)

Arkansas Cinema Society, Little Rock

Monday, August 28, 2017

The red carpet outside the premiere...
The pedestrian bridge that crosses the Arkansas River
We took Orianna and Chloe to Heifer headquarters in Little Rock.....
We took a tour of their farm and garden....that baby Alpaca was born an hour before
we got there...they named her Nacho, she's in that pink vest, so cute!
Darn blogger with the photo insertion, this is Chloe and Orianna at the after party at
Lost Forty Brewery after the Arkansas Film Society's Premier of Star Wars: The Force
Awakens at the Robinson Theater in downtown Little Rock....that guy has a Storn Trooper
suit on...when we asked if Chloe and Ori could get a photo, his wife said, "Of course, he
loves it, he has 5 other Star Wars suits"  Lol, now that is a true Star Wars fan

Director Jeff Nichols, native of Little Rock and Central High School Alum, started the Arkansas Cinema Society.  This is
its first premiere over the weekend..He's hosting a Q&A with Adam Driver, who played Kylo Ren in Star Wars.
Orianna and Chloe during the Q&A thrilled to see Adam Driver

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Jackie got us tickets to the Arkansas Cinema Society's first premiere this weekend in Little Rock.  It was a great weekend and were thrilled it coincided with Ori's first full weekend with us.  We left after school Friday and went to the Friday night premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.  It was neat to listen to Jeff Nichols, native of Little Rock and director of films like Mud and Loving.  He interviewed Adam Driver, who was Kylo Ren in Star Wars and his dad lives in North Little Rock and said he's spent several weeks vacationing in Arkansas since he was little.  Chloe and Ori loved listening to the Q&A between those two.  Nichols' premiere also featured Paterson, Pete's Dragon, A Ghost Story and others.  We just had tickets to Star Wars and it was really cool.  

Saturday we toured the Clinton Library, Heifer International, the Game and Fish Museum and toured downtown.  We knocked out a few other errands and had dinner at Cache.  It was a fun weekend in Little Rock with Ori.  

First Day of 11th grade, Birdeye

Saturday, August 26, 2017

It was a dark, cloudy and wet morning.
First day of 11th grade and driving herself and Whit to school.  Where has the time gone?

Birdeye cousins....left to right and with grade: Stella (5th), Katie (4th), Linton (5th), Reece (K), Chloe (11th),
August (2nd) and Whit (7th)

We've had this tradition for 8 years! 
Tamra and Rebecca

Chloe and Orianna from Peru

High school students got out Monday for the eclipse...Chloe went to town and got
her buddies, Katelyn, Chloe, Tamra, our exchange student Orianna and Rebecca
Wednesday, August 23, 2017

It's hard to believe CoCo is in the 11 grade!!  Gosh, the Birdeye crew is growing up so fast too.  Chloe's got a big year ahead of her...She's on the golf team, Yearbook Editor, Interact Club, Youth Advisory Council and lots of other things... and we welcomed Orianna Soto, an 11th grader from Aerquipa, Peru.  She's an exhange student with Rotary International.  She's been with us a week and, thankfully, is very fluent in English.  We love that she can even understand humor.  We hope she stays with us and has a good time while in the states.  More updates to come on the Birdeye community!

Summer of Fosters, 2017

Thursday, August 10, 2017

And there's this....I've put up about 20 quarts of pickles this year.....
Jack Jack was returned to us right after our trip to the east coast.  But thankfully he went locally and I hope he doesn't come back....:)  He's a good dude, house and crate trained but big enough to knock me down

Matu, a 1-2 year old yellow lab, just arrived in Rhode Island via a transport.
Chloe and I picked him up on the way home around Mother's Day at Levesque.  You
all know I don't pick up dogs because they always find out where I live and work.

Anyway, Save a Lab Rescue, paid for his heartworm treatment and he stayed with us
all summer.  He is my 2nd most favorite foster we've had over the years (Paco was my
tops).  Anyway, he's going to a great family and I'm glad Dr. Boone suggested to email lab
rescues and she was right, they saw this handsome dude and grabbed him right up :)

Matu traveled from Memphis on this semi-truck trailer to Rhode Island
last Thursday night....he got there at noon on Saturday.
Chloe was very impressed with the set up on this transport
We had Pharoah for 2-1/2 years, we pulled this Afghan from the Nashville dog
pound at 11 years old.  He was sick and it was time to euthanize him last week.  It's always
so hard but it was time.  He had a great life in Birdeye
Puddin was a lab mix that showed up in my yard in June.  She's in New Hampshire now living the dream!
This is Dee Dee, yes I know, another pit mix. But this gal was a good, good girl.  She's up in Kennebunkport, Maine living the dream....



Banff and Skoki Lodge, Canada

Lake Moriane in Banff National Park, Alberta

Lake Louise, it's around the corner from Lake Moraine.  BEAUTIFUL!

The Via Ferrata, Mount Norquay, Banff National Park

J.Harmon, Chloe and I were on the back of the line of the group of climbers since we'd done a via ferrata already...and for the record, it freaked Chloe out because all the climbers in front of us were so slow and we literally clung to the side of the mountains for minutes on end.  When the Spidell's and Martin took us on the Via Ferrata in Murren, we went along with out stopping and it was so much easier even though it had two tight ropes and an 80 meter free swinging bridge 300  meters up

Group shot at the top of Mount Norquay

Steep Via Ferrata

Riding down from Mount Norquay on the lifts...Jackie took this



Oh Blogger why can't I figure you out?  This was on the hike up to Skoki Lodge.. it was a 6 mile hike from the trail head to the lodge....we saw tons of hikers, marmots and the closer we got, bear poo


This was a cool family from Alberta that all met at Skoki....this is when they were headed out the day after we got there...
Chloe slept in at the lodge until 11 which was amazing because the lodge is so loud (every foot step creaks...)

When it got cloudy on a hike, Chloe used her scarf as a head warmer




On our way up to Skoki

The last day of the Skokie Lodge part of our trip...These three families hiked back with us to the shuttle.  It was nice hiking up and back with others because of the grizzly bear situation.  It was nice to be in a group!

Chloe and John from Warsaw, Poland.  His parents hiked up and back with us to Skoki.
Those two had a great time chatting...he is a tennis player and going into the 9th grade.  He and his family
speak fluent English, Spanish 

Selfie on a bike ride in Banff National Park

Chloe canoeing with Jackie...look at the ELK on the beach just watching them go by....



Vermillion Lake near Banff

Stan's lawn guy killed this rattle snake next door while we were gone...

This was on our mountain bike ride while we were in Banff

A look inside the lodge....The helpers are setting the table for dinner for 20 people...and those two are at the piano...they're from San Fransisco and were staying at Skoki for 8 days....

There were several couches around the lodge....



Jackie had to test my bike out again to fix the brakes...it's hilarious to see a 6 feet 4 inch man on a 5 foot girls bike...

Mountain biking to the trail....



One of the six bedrooms in the lodge....

Along the hike to Skoki near Lake Louise

We passed the horses going up with supplies to Skoki Lodge....

Banff Music Center had a Sunday afternoon concert while we were there.  We sat on the grass on Chloe's blanket she brought from Birdeye and enjoyed the music

We loved Amelie Patterson....She was wonderful and we couldn't figure out why she isn't in Nashville with a big record deal....She was great!  Chloe and I got her album autographed, she was so nice!
It was a beautiful mild afternoon...look at all the dancing down on the dance floor!!




July 19-27, 2017

Jackie's been earning gold stars since he planned our first international trip in 2011 to Amsterdam.  He's got at least two dozen trip planning gold stars at this point...and this trip to Alberta, Canada gets a triple gold star.

We stayed in Banff National Park at the Banff Park Lodge.  Banff is a neat, little, touristy town surrounded by the Canadian Rockies.  We spent our time mountain biking, touring the lakes, canoeing, hiking the Via Ferrata at Mount Norquay then we hiked into Skoki Lodge for two nights.   We had a treat of going to a concert at the Banff Music Center on a beautiful Sunday afternoon and saw the Banff Independent Movie Finalists at their cinema, it was a very cool way to see the movies made right there in Banff.  We also had a lot of great food and did some shopping while in Banff.

There were lots of highlights on this trip but the biggest would be Skoki Lodge.  It's about 6 miles from the trail head where you park to hike in.  The guide said there was a grizzly around but as long has he'd been there, 25 years, he'd never heard of any trouble with hikers and bears.  Jackie said grizzlies were known to attack mountain bikers when they're startled more than messing with hikers.  The guide just told us to be loud while walking together (it's always recommended to walk in 3's or more) and suggested we loudly say, "hey BEAR...", while we hiked the trail.  Luckily we didn't see any bears, just their poo along the trails.

Once at Skoki, the guide there said to watch out for a porcupine that had been hanging around the nearby campsite eating rubber off shoes at night.  So we kept our shoes inside while there.  Skoki Lodge is a vamped up Le Conte.  We had different meals for dinner and breakfast, all family style.  After breakfast each day, they set out lunch provisions so we could take a sack lunch for hiking during the day.  It was a pretty amazing spread knowing that there wasn't any running water or electricity.

Like I mentioned before, I can cross Skoki Lodge off my list.  Chloe said she's ready to go back, which I loved that.  Impressive.  I was sure glad to get to the Calgary hotel for a shower...Great job Jackie once again on the trip planning!

There are more photos to add on here via Chloe's phone, I'll get them on here soon!