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Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Fairy Lights

It's that time of the year again, when the lake looks absolutely lovely and the weather starts to tempt us outside more often. The spring and fall are particularly breathtaking because the huge temperature difference between the air and the lake create what I call "mirages".

Technically, they aren't mirages, but the effect is similar. City lights from the Canadian shore, which is about 60 miles away, can be seen twinkling on the horizon. Normally, this is impossible due to the curve of the earth. But the temperature differential warps the light's travel, bending it just enough to give us a spectacular show. It's like a carnival, lighting up the lake with a magical twinkle, like a hundred shooting stars that never fade. Andrew calls them fairy lights. He says we only see them when the fairies are out playing tricks!

Although we're looking forward to the lake warming up enough for swimming, I'll be sad to see the fairy lights go . . . until fall.

The other high point of our week was a trip to Braddock Bay to celebrate Birds of Prey week. Arianna saw a kestrel up close, heard some loony bird stories, and enjoyed the playground. There's an owl watch tonight, but we had to get our own little chickadee to bed.

Kestrels are the smallest raptor, only the size of a robin, but preying on mice and large insects. We have a book called Fledgling about a family of kestrels who live in an old New York city building. We were surprised to find the illustrations in our book were very true representations of the bird.

We also heard about a family of peregrine falcons who nest in the Kodak building in Rochester. They set up a webcam so you can see them raising their babies. The URL is:

That's all from our little nest!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

National Linda Brown Day!

In honor of her outstanding service to the mentally ill and homeless in Deland, Florida, Linda has been awarded the prestigious Points of Light award and President Bush has declared today, April 11, 2006, as National Linda Brown Day!

In addition to being a missionary who devotes so much of her time and energy to these forgotten souls in our own country, Linda is also Arianna's Mema (or, grandma). We are blessed to have such an example of selfless caring and compassion in our family. I hope that Arianna grows up with the same big heart, wise ways, and spirit of activism as her Mema.

Congratulations Linda, on creating such an excellent and sorely needed program!

Rebecca, Andrew and Arianna

Friday, April 07, 2006

Zooglobble Music Review

Two things today. First off, Arianna had her first dental cleaning and check-up this week. We went to a pediatric dentist at Lakeside Hospital. Arianna was comforted by her daddy's presence. He sat in the dentist's chair and Arianna sat on his lap. She did very well and everyone was impressed that she listened and did whatever they asked. The boy in the next room was screaming his head off.

It was a bit annoying that the dentist only gave negative feedback, "She has a lot of plaque." Andrew also had to beg the hygienist for information such as, how can I brush her teeth better and what seem to be the problem areas? And they wonder why some people develop an aversion to seeing them?

Just FYI: the dental hygienist said don't be afraid of brushing the tops of the molars hard, ask her to close her mouth (rather than open wide) when brushing the sides of the teeth, and don't forget to brush the back of the front teeth well. When you brush your top teeth, you should angle the toothbrush up a bit (so it's touching the whole tooth and only a little bit of the gum) and use small, circular strokes at the gumline.

Despite the minor annoyances, Arianna now has shiny white teeth that she is very proud of and interested in helping them stay that way. Mission Accomplished!

Second thing: a friend just sent me a link to a review site that focuses on music for children that adults can enjoy too. What a concept. It's written by a parent and he has a great sense of humor, a clever writing style, and some great suggestions for music the whole family can appreciate.

That's all for now!
Rebecca and Andrew