Sunday, February 27, 2011

Because zebras are mean!

So as a follow-up post from my last post, I found this "Ask Marilyn," by Marilyn vos Savant, in today's Parade Magazine in the Sunday paper.

Why haven't zebras been domesticated for use as pack or draft animals, or for riding?

Because zebras are mean! They're almost impossible to tame, which means they would be even harder to domesticate -- a genetic modification that takes place over many generations. So, as zebras offer no advantages over horses, there's little reason to even try.

Readers may be surprised to learn that zebras are among the most dangerous animals in our zoos and wildlife parks. Their bite is vicious, and they aim to kill.


Saturday, November 6, 2010

An animal encounter

For a city that doesn't have a zoo or aquarium, Charlotte does not disappoint when it comes to animal encounters. Today we discovered the Lazy 5 Ranch in Mooresville, NC. We weren't quite sure what it was all about. We had heard that you drive through and the animals will walk right up to your car and that you can feed them. In a world of "animals may bite" and "don't feed the animals", I was half expecting a few goats and maybe some far off sightings of some more exotic animals. We (well, everyone but Gage) were pleasantly surprised by the amount of animals and just how "friendly" they all really are. Aside from the giraffes and rhinos, every animal you will see here had free reign to go where ever he or she wanted to go, including inside your car if your window (or sunroof) was open. This closeness pretty much freaked Gage out! Stephen ended up riding in the back with Gage in his lap consoling him for the first 15 minutes of our safari (and every time an emu decided to peck at the window). By then end, however, Gage was happily singing Old MacDonald and saying "bye, alpaca."

There are not any photos of the kids here (unless you include the baby goats..ha ha ha). Each of these pictures were taken from inside the car. There was an option of riding in the wagon...thank goodness we didn't get there in time to catch the last wagon ride of the day. Gage might have clawed me to death and I would not have been able to take any pictures.

While I love Disney's Animal Kingdom Safari, the Lazy 5 Ranch blows it out of the water in terms of animal encounter. Thankfully there were no lions!!!

This guy was our first encounter. I was literally driving, holding the feed bucket, and taking this picture. The emus and ostriches pretty much freaked me out! The ostriches could have put their heads into the car through the sunroof of the Odessey!!!

Not sure what this goat said about the ostrich's mama, but he was about to pay for it.

Here's the wagon we could have taken. The local schools do field trips to the Lazy 5 Ranch. I'm pretty sure this is how my children will eventually experience this place. I can't wait to chaperone that trip!!! The wagons are pulled by 3 of the biggest and most beautiful horses I've seen (aside from the KY horse farm horses).

It's very hard to explain this place in words. They told us it would take about an hour to drive through. While the route was long and there is a boatload of land here, the real slow down is that the animals are not at all afraid of the cars. They see the car coming and think "FOOD!!!" and don't hesitate to walk in the middle of the road straight up to your car. Then they look for the sucker with an open window and invite themselves into your car. They also just hang out in the middle of the road eating the buckets of food previous drivers have tossed out the window in an effort to get their windows up as fast as possible. Yeah, we know from experience.

Possibly our scariest experience was with the zebras. We had one who sniffed us out and then came to my side for some food. I obliged opening the window and letting him have some of the food. This only invited a second zebra to come over for a taste. Well, zebra #1 was not down with that. The two of them exchanged words and then the hooves came out. There was some bucking and kicking. Thankfully we got out without a hoof going through the side of the mini. Not sure how you explain that one to the insurance company!

The alpacas were very friendly and not at all scary...especially when you don't have any food left, and therefore, the windows remain up! Stephen and I concluded that Eddie Murphy should play the voice of an alpaca in his next movie.

Right before the rhinos and giraffes, the cars started to back plenty of time for some photos. I'm not sure I'd want this guy sticking his head in my car window. This is a watusi.

But the car in front of us allowed it.

Much to my chagrin, I did allow this guy to scratch his face on the inside of the car. Buffalo aren't so bad.

Scotch Highland Cattle

This cow was HUGE!!! He was pretty far away from us, but was certainly taller than the minivan. I really wish I had something to show the scale of this guy!

If I were standing next to him, I'd come up to the bottom of his ear. It was unreal.

Our drive ended with the giraffes.

After the drive through, there was still plenty to do at the ranch. They had peacocks, camels, hares, rams, etc. A walk around the rest of the ranch tired out the kiddos. A great time was ultimately had by all (even Gage).

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween 2010

There's tons to post, but, as always, all the family cares about are the pictures of the kiddos. Here you go! Enjoy!

Savannah and Ella (a.k.a. Fancy Nancy)

Fancy Nancy walks the cat.

Thanks to Ella's mommy for this picture...this is what the girls looked like at every house.

Miss L.

Mr. A

Saturday, October 2, 2010


Atlanta, GA...34 years, 5 weeks, 3 days
Charlotte, NC...5 weeks, 1 day

We are getting used to our new town. There are a lot of things we love about Charlotte...the people are friendly, traffic is somewhat of a joke, pace of life is a little slower. And while we are not loving this apartment, it definitely has it's pluses. For example, if anything is lost, you don't have to look too long before finding it. No need for baby gates or baby monitors really since there are no stairs and the kids are never out of ear's reach. We can literally walk across the street (a 2-lane road) to a (very nice) Wal-Mart super center...this ain't your Austell Wal-Mart! But probably the best thing about apartment living is that we are somewhat forced to get out and explore all that this city has to offer every Saturday and Sunday. The less time we spend cooped up inside, the better for all of us.

Savannah and Gage have adjusted quite well. Both kids started the first 4 weeks at a day-care very close to my office. While the teachers and staff are super nice and love the kids, my mommy gut told me to look for an alternative. Thankfully, we were able to get Savannah enrolled in a Primrose School. She started last Monday and she is a completely different child after just 5 days at her new school. We feel like we finally have our Savannah back! Unfortunately, there is not a spot for Gage until December when he turns 2. No worries though, he's doing great at his school...and I really do love all his teachers. His teachers are pretty smitten with him too, and that makes a mommy feel good.

Within Savannah's first week at KRK, we heard a LOT about "Bailey". Around day 4, we realized that Bailey was a boy and Savannah's best friend. By the second Monday, I learned that Savannah and Bailey were married on the playground the previous Friday...a title she won through eeny meany miney moe. Her teacher informed me that Bailey was crazy about Savannah. So naturally we had no other choice than to move her out of that school...JK :) She was invited to his 5th birthday party the next Saturday. And so it begins...birthday parties!!! Savannah was so excited to wear her party dress.

Dan Nicholas Park in Salisbury, NC was such a treat. For $7 you get a ride on the carousel, a train ride, a bucket of sand to pan for gems, access to the zoo (hey, they have black bears, bald eagles, and Gage came face to face with a rooster who cock-a-doodle-doo'd for him), and a HUGE playground. We got to the park an hour before it opened and walked around the lake which had a beach, paddle boats, and 2 bridges which were fantastic for viewing the turtles and ducks.

Panning for gems...

The loot. I found this unbreakable container to keep Savannah's gem collection. It serves as a center-piece to our breakfast table.

The thing that has been causing me the most pain...knowing that Burt's Pumpkin Patch is out of reach this year. Before we moved here, I was certain that Charlotte would have it's own Burt's-like pumpkin farm. I've been on the internet for weeks looking for the sea of pumpkins that Burt's provided this mom with a camera. Nothing that I've seen has led me to believe that Charlotte has anything similar, but I'm on a mission this October.

A group of us from work (all new to Charlotte) met up in Mooresville, NC this morning at a place called Carrigan Farms.

While it wasn't Burt's, it was a great way to spend a fall morning. It actually reminded me of Berry Patch Farms...the tractor-pulled hayride down to the pumpkin patch, pick your own pumpkin, farm animals you weren't discouraged from reaching your hands in to pet, fresh-baked pies (the apple is definitely blog-worthy), and apple cider (yum!).

They had a lot of pumpkins!!!

Savannah found a keeper pretty quickly...

Gage just wasn't into being photographed today (or ever for that matter)...

This little piggy gave me a big smile.

I had to recreate my little pumpkin pictures from last year with Savannah.

We hope the Wood ladies are feeling better after a day of rest. We missed you all!

It's been a while since we've had any update on the house...that's because there have not been any changes worth mentioning. It's that lull after framing when they do all the electrical, plumbing, insulation, and other boring inside stuff...nothing exciting. But this past week we started to see things pick up again. We have brick (about 75%). And we have drywall. Here are a few pictures from yesterday.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Alright, already!

Since there hasn't been a blog since February, I've been hearing it from everyone, "Where are pictures of those babies???" For you, here you
Zoo Atlanta in early March

Gage started walking in late he doesn't sit still for a minute.

Cousins, Brooke and Laura, hosted an Easter Egg and Scavenger Hunt for Savannah, Skylar, and Gage at The Werners'. Thank, ladies!

Sorry, Brooke, I didn't have any pictures with you in them...I'll get you next time!

Easter Sunday at Zoo Atlanta

Gage in the giant bird's nest.

Easter Egg Hunt #3 at The Bergstroms'...thanks for hosting! This was not a sourpuss face...this is the face of a mouth full of jellybeans!

Annual Mother's Day at Amelia Island.

Fun with Daddy in the waves.

Jacksonville Zoo...feeding the giraffes.

Savannah's first ballet recital...Candyland!

Had to include Gage at some point...boy do these two love each other! As you can see, this boy needs a haircut!

And so, Gage's first haircut. Most of the rest of these pictures were taken with the iPhone...

Georgia Aquarium

June 24-27 Martin Family Reunion, Lexington, KY
Savannah meeting a horse at Taylor Made Farms.

More love at lunch...forget where we were.

Savannah and her Great Aunt Joyce at Spendthrift Farm.

Spendthrift Farm

Jean Farris Winery and Bistro

Papa Jim with all his grandbabies...Savannah, Aiden, Emily, and Gage

Gage not loving it so much. At ??? Distillery.

Emily and Savannah

This is for the Martins. I'll refrain my "Go Dawgs, Sic 'em!" comment. Oh, wait, no, I can't do that :-)

Gage is such a goofball. He keeps us laughing.

Fourth of July!

Gage, meet Jonathan. Jonathan, Gage.

Gage caught Jonathan by surprise when he laid one on him!

The fam...

And finally...our biggest news of the year...we're moving from Atlanta to Charlotte at the end of the month!!! We decided to build (again). We hope to be in before Thanksgiving (especially since we're getting kicked out of our apartment the day before Thanksgiving!).

Thanks to Eugene for taking these pictures!!!

We're SO EXCITED to have a really big, flat backyard!!!