The girls had a recital this past weekend and did a great job. It’s really amazing to see the complexity of some of the pieces that Maddie is working on. She needs a kick in the pants now and then to practice, but what kid doesn’t?? She really has progressed a lot in the few years that she has played. It was nice to see her play and she did a great job.
Brooke is a rocker and provides a nice contrast to Maddie’s more tame piano. The crowd at the guitar/drum recital was much more riled up which made the 2 hour recital duration go by quicker. Brooke asked to go last and her teacher granted her wish. It would have kept the anxiety down with the folks I was sitting with if we were informed of her volunteering since the general thought was that she just kept getting passed over when they were selecting who would go next. She did an awesome job and smiled almost the whole time she was up on stage. I wish I would have gotten a shot of her in her Christmas dress (what she wanted to wear) next to all the other drummers because that was entertaining as well.
Maddie, The Gondola
Maddie, In The Hall of the Mountain King
Brooke, Tripple B’s Blues
Brooke, Let’s Get This Party Started
Now if I can just get Julie to sing, get myself to pickup the guitar (again) and get a mac so I can record it all on Garage Band, we might just have something. It’s nice to know that despite my obvious lacking in the musical talent department, the rest of my family makes up for it.
While in Florida for the annual Dobson family reunion, we were able to experience the impact of the Deep Horizon oil spill on the Florida pan handle as well as efforts to cleanup/contain the spill. We stayed at Grayton beach which is sandwiched in-between Destin to the west and Panama City Beach to the east. I had been checking the Grayton beach blog for a few weeks prior to our visit so I knew what the beach conditions were and about the local efforts to minimize the impact of the spill. The day before we left, the beaches were all open and clean (according to the site at least).
There was some obvious anxiety in our group what we would see when we finally got down there. This was supposed to be a vacation at the BEACH so if we ended up spending it at the POOL, it would be a bit of a let down.
So what did we see? Nothing for the first couple of days. The water had some algae in it but there was an algae bloom when we were down there last year, so it wasn’t a big deal. The first tarball we saw was found by Julie on a beach in a little town east of Grayton named Seaside a couple of days into our stay. The only other time we them was the last day we were there. We found tarballs on the beach right in front of the houses we were renting.
The Grayton blog seems to report ‘no tar balls’ everyday so I am getting the feeling that they don’t want people to know that there are tar balls showing up there. It wasn’t like the entire gulf was washing up hundreds of these with every wave, but you could easily find them by standing on the shore and watching the waves bring them in.
There were A LOT of cleanup workers at the beach. 100s of people walking the beaches in the area. They had a lot of logistics at work here with getting workers to and from the various white tents setup, bathrooms for the workers, etc. There were a couple of days where it felt like they outnumbered the actual beach-goers. Here are some shots of the cleanup effort to show you the scale of the operation.
Garden update, July edition.
Today we got to eat the first edible item from the backyard garden. Mini cucumbers accompanied tonight’s dinner. Odd little things. I picture them always being compared to their bigger, juicier, older brother and never quite measuring up. It was interesting to think about the life of this little cucumber while I was eating it and all the things we did to make it happen. Julie had a huge smile on her face and from the looks of the yard, we will have a couple hundred of these little suckers coming in over the next couple of weeks so she better like them.
Just saw this shot posted on reddit.com of Moraine Lake in Banff and compared it to the view we had. A little lack luster, heh?? Next time we go, and there will be a next time, it will be in August.