Ship’s Log–July 5th


Another early day for another early adventure. I rose at 5 again, and this time the family headed south and hour and half to the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge. In the parking area we met a volunteer researcher who appeared to know the area, and when I asked him for a suggestion on what to do there with the kids, he showed us how to help him band the purple martins nesting in the houses overhead. After that, we snuck our way into a bird tour just in time to see a clapper rail walking around in the marsh grass and feeding her chicks, which the guide said was a once in a lifetime sort of thing, since the clapper rails are so very, very shy. The morning finished with an 8 mile drive through the marsh filled with gulls, terns, osprey, willets, ibises, skimmers, and green head flies so aggressive that they tried to get through the car windows to bite us.

Near the refuge was a small tourist trap called Historic Smithville, which is filled with Shoppes, rather than just plain old shops. Thing 1 appeared to be very overheated from the morning, complaining of headache and felling hot, so I agreed to stop off there for one of our rare dairy cheats…we got real ice cream. Ido this about four times a year, usually when we’re up on Cape Cod where the ice cream is worth the dairy cheat. Alas, this was just okay-dokey ice cream. And double alas, it did not help Thing 1.

When we arrived back at home, Thing 1 crawled under a blanket and went to sleep. She woke a few hours later with a fever of 103.4, a crushing headache, and abdominal pain, which caused a bit of a panic and a few calls to the doctor. We finally brought it down to a more reasonable level with a combo of Tylenol and Advil, avoiding a trip to the ER. At the moment I suspect she was bitten by one of the green heads, either today or yesterday at Sandy Hook. She does have a big bite and welt on her hand. My sister was bitten by one of these terrors a few years ago, and she then developed a high fever and flu-like symptoms.

In the mild panic, dinner fell to The Hub, who ran out of pizza. So my food day involved absolutely no fruit, real ice cream, and take out for dinner. Yeah, I’m gonna be bloated in the morning.


  • Whole wheat everything bagel with peanut butter
  • Coffee with stevia

Morning Snack:

  • Kind Bar
  • Vitacoco Pineapple Coconut Water


  • Whole wheat bread with Daiya cheddar, tofurky, lettuce, and tomato
  • Sea salt and vinegar Kettle Chips
  • Orange Vanilla Polar seltzer

Afternoon Snack:

  • Ice cream cone
  • Cold brew New Orleans style coffee with unsweetened soy milk and vanilla stevia


  • Whole wheat crust cheeseless pizza with peppers, broccoli, and pineapple, topped with Fauxmesan and sriracha
  • Leinenkugel Summer Shandy
  • Two marshmallows and a square of dark chocolate

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