I have been blogging for awhile, since New Years 2014! It's December already - Winter is here in VA! Thanks for the visit!
By: WeatherWise, 5:23 AM GMT on May 26, 2014
Family Gatherings, Traveling, Sunset Over Lake Gaston, Boating, Pains, Skype, and
Wonderful Fun, Mostly!.
Lots of Love!
Family gatherings are always so much fun! .
Makes you wonder why you don't do it more often
I guess one reason is so many of us live so far apart. The traveling down to the Lake Gaston was a great drive. I had worried that with it being Memorial Day weekend, the traffic would be heavy. Actually, it was not at all. .
It was about 107 miles for me which was a breeze after my long drive out to TN.
Friday's Sunset Over Lake Gaston
I arrived Friday afternoon for a pre-evening before the Saturday reunion. My nephew took us for an evening sunset boat ride after dinner. .
I was lucky enough to get a beautiful sunset shot.
The boating fun continued on Saturday. The first group to go out included all of the little children and their mother or dad. .
Some happy little ones.
Do you have any unexplained pains that you only feel occasionally? I have a sharp pain occasionally in my upper arm that just kills me when I put my arm backwards a certain way. Otherwise I forget it is there. Getting on the boat, my brother-in-law had me by that arm and I am not sure why exactly it was pulled that way. .
But it just about killed me in pain just from the position it was in plus it was pretty much jerked really hard. I am sure it is really hurt now. However a few minutes later, I don't feel it at all until it is in that reaching backwards position again. So how can you describe a pain to a doctor that only appears selectively? Guess that is why I have not.
Does anyone use Skype? My great nieces decided they should set up Skype on my laptop so we could Skype with each other from a distance. .
I have never Skyped before but would think it might be a bit similar to teleconferencing through the school system but perhaps a lot simpler even.
Ooooh! This was one of my most favorite mornings ever! First let me preface with: Yesterday, I was telling my great nieces about the red-headed woodpecker that my granddaughters and I had seen at Pickwick Landing State Park in TN. I pointed up to some really tall pines to show how tall the tree was. YOu won't believe it but at that same moment what looked like a red-headed woodpecker flew right up in that tree. We were none sure as it flew before I could get a photo. This morning, on my early walk, I really did see it and got three photos to prove it. I was so super excited! .
Hope everyone had a great Memorial Day holiday.
Last Five Photos
Updated: 1:37 PM GMT on May 29, 2014
By: WeatherWise, 4:23 AM GMT on May 18, 2014
Nature, Birthday Celebrations, Farmers Market, Riverwalk, Neglect
My Pretty Little Baby Swan Goose from the Riverwalk this am - I found two great big Swan Geese with one little fuzzy baby. I found another pair with just one little baby. The baby stayed right in its mom's shadow most of the time.
Good friends and Celebrations! Tonight was a good night of celebrating with a fun group of old friends. You know the type - the ones that have been there with you through thick and then and the ones that there is nothing that would not do for you! That was tonight's gathering! We were celebrating two birthdays! Can you imagine having two Tauruses in a group? Actually, both of us were away out of state when our birthdays rolled around. The other one just got back in town yesterday. So it ws deemed tonight was celebration night. We always have lots of laughs and fun together.
Earlier today, I had great fun at the local Farmers Market. It was my first time going this year. It opened while I was at my daughter's and then last weekend, I rushed off to my son's for the day. So today was a special day at the market. I got to see some of the old venders and meet the new venders. I was a bit later getting there which means the prime stuff like berries and items that go fast were already snapped up but still plenty there for me.
I had a plan as I already have my fresh greens and strawberries from my farm CSA. I wanted to see the beef man as I wanted to get some tenerloin or fillets. He had one pack left which was just perfect for me. I also wanted to see the chicken guy. I did but he had sold out of his smaller chickens. I wanted about a 3 pounder, but all he had left was almost a 6 pounder. But he promised he would have some 3 pounders next week. He had eggs but I already had plenty of fresh free range eggs.
And I know I already have all of those beautiful greens but I just could not turned down spinach from a special vender friend that always has prime everything. I love spinach in a salad better than the gourmet lettuce mixes even. I already have it washed - it was amazing how much she had stuffed in that bag. That is all of the greens that I bought though.
I spoke with one vender about her herbs but did not buy any from her. By this time, I had already walked all the way to the end wall as that is where the spinach lady was and the chicken man. So now I had started back up the aisle again checking out both sides that I taken in with glances on my way up. It is interesting these new venders of younger farmers that really take their goal of growing without chemicals seriously. I met a new meat man. I bought fresh sausage meat from him. He immediately gave me his card. I was impressed. He wants me to buy a slab of bacon next week and process my own bacon. He had already sold out this week. He was telling me how easy it was and how to do it and the ingredients I would need to add. Of course, it was going in one ear and out the other as I was thinking as soon as he finished his spill I was going to ask if he wasn't going to do it for. And I did, and he said no - that if he did it would be considered a process that would require certain stipulations etc. So I am thinking upon it - should I try making my own bacon? He had other meats for sale also. Think he may have said he had chickens too.
I moved on down the line and met a new lady...not a young farmer - was an older lady with an interesting display - a bit unusual even. She had little snack bag size of black walnuts already shelled which are pretty unusual to find as well as pecans which you can usually find. I wanted one of those bags of black walnuts. Then I saw she had old timey CHOW-CHOW! I had bought some last year at Whole Foods to give my brother but did not buy myself any. So, today, I bought both jars, one for me and one for my brother. This lady was grinning and said you are going to come back to see me, aren't you? I looked a bit more at her products. She had some frozen berries. I asked her what kind were they. She said blackberries. I did not get them as was hoping for blueberries. She had a large bag of frozen black-eyed peas which were really tempting but I did not get them. As I was paying for all of this which was a bit pricey, she handed me the container of blackberries and told me to take those. As I said I was really having a great time visiting with all of the venders.
Some of the regular venders from years past were in new places. I talked to one organic lady farmer that had been moved. However she was pleased as she said now that would be their permanent spot from now on.
I am unsure who I bought the granola from now. Just a small bag as there was a small one and a large size that had a high price tag on it. The granola is definitely prime. One place as soon as I bought something gave me a card and punched it with a star punch. Said for every 5 purchases I will get a complimentary gift. I bought a 3 pound fresh free range chicken from him and a thyme plant. Oh, and I bought link sausage from him, too.
There was a new Amish or perhaps Mennonite family there today with nice baked goods as well as some really neat soft handmade bags. I was thinking might be perfect for lightweight bag for Disney. I did not purchase though - willl think on that. I did get a small pack of six rolls - whole wheat potato rolls.
I had forgotten to check on my little lady that brings in sausage biscuits and country ham on soft little rolls early on. So of course she had sold out - that was to be my breakfast before heading out on the Riverwalk Trail. She also sells wonderful pies which I was not needing pies this am.
So for my breakfast on the run before Riverwalk, I took a small munch off of a new cookie that O'Kelley's was selling. It is a small restaurant not too far from me that comes to the market every Saturday. Small but doing well. I know they have at least 4 spots in town. This cookie was a coconut, chocolate chip, pecan cookie. It was YUM!
I had packed a cooler before leaving home to put my meats in. When I came out of the house, I had so many things - the cooler, my market bags, water, purse, camera, etc. I thought would just put the things in the car and then lock up the house. Wasn't until I had walked the trail a long ways with camera snapping all along the way and was headed back, my cell phone rang. I got excited as both sons are out of the country. However it was my neighbor asking if I had left my door open. I had to say yes I had and explained I had my hands full and meant to come back and lock up. However, I was so excited to be going to the market, it never crossed my mind to go back to the house and close the door. I asked her to just turn the button and lock it for me and that I would be home in a few minutes.
Have you ever done that before? That was a first for me and I have really been hard on myself about it. Hey, but you know it happens to young folks too so I just need to get over it but take heed and do everything immediately while on my mind.
Updated: 8:19 PM GMT on May 22, 2014
By: WeatherWise, 3:59 PM GMT on May 14, 2014
Graduates of Distinction, More Fresh Veggies, Spring Walks, Family Reunions, Our Children and Such
Last night, I had the honor of attending the Graduates of Distinction Reception and Recognition Ceremony. An honor for me to attend because one of my former students chose me as one of the teachers that most influenced him during his school years. I think that is one of the highest honors a teacher or now retired teacher could ever receive. Each student that earned Graduate of Distinction was to choose three teachers that influenced them most in their years of school - one at elementary, one at middle, and one at high school to attend this event. An honor for the students that attended as they have worked to earn Graduate Of Distinction: 5 Pillars of Success
Pillar One: Academic Achievement
Pillar Two: Attendance
Pillar Three: Citizenship
Pillar Four: Community Service
Pillar Five: Extra-Curricular/Cocurricular Activities
Such a wonderful evening, each time that I have been chosen for this honor this year and in years past. It was also great as I saw so many of my teacher and administrator friends as well as students from past and their parents. My student's mother had to get a photo of her son and me. If I can get a copy, I will share.
Well, yesterday, was new delivery from the farm. I just put them in the fridge until after my walk this am.
As always, there is one I am unsure of - the one on front right with the great big huge white stems. I am leaning toward lettuce as it seems so tender but could be bok choy but if so not like last week's bok choy. I know the rest, I think. Swiss Chard, Strawberries, Broccoli, A Salad Mix of Different Types of Lettuce, and Kale. Just beautiful fresh produce straight from the farm!
Now, I am in the middle of washing them and as well as still dealing with that hot water heater repair. The so called fixed hot water heater was not fixed. It was not pouring this time but was wet all around it. So, today, repair is installing a brand new hot water heater - so hopefully this will be the one time fix!
I am loving this spring weather in early am and my extra two or three hours as I am getting up at 6 am and walking before the 90 degree temps plus we are having each day this week. My walk is over with by the time I am usually just thinking of getting in the walking mode. That gives me lots of time to get much accomplished.
My bluebirds appear to be moving into my bluebird box and I am SO super happy about that! When you really come right down to it - it is the little things in life that get you excited and make you feel so happy! My true belief is that HAPPINESS COMES FROM WITHIN. I am happy and contented just going about my daily life. Little things make me smile and keep me happy.
I have a couple of Family Reunions coming up soon. One is my family - brother and sister and their families and children of my deceased brothers and sister will all get together - those that can - at my nephews lakehouse. Later, my mother's family or the children of my mother and her brothers and sisters will all gather together at one of my cousin's church community building. I am excited for both events. Family is love and love is family. I could always go home and just get a bath in love just by making a trip home and it is still that way no matter how long it has been.
A lot of you have heard me carry on and on about my children and grandchildren - There is nothing more special!
Oh, and I think I mentioned in the blog at some point about opening up my little play patio area.
This is a photo of my play patio - play as it is just using what I have - set my carport up as my little play area. I eat many of my meals out here - I write, sketch, or whatever and of course bird watching all the while. It makes me happy. When my mother passed away, a few years back, I spent some time at my brother's and he has such a nice screened in back porch. On the way back home, I just kept wishing for a back porch just like his. Then the thought came to me, Shirley, just use what you have. So I got me an area rug and pulled the little green table out there. I bought a Patio Umbrella and pretended it was my patio. When the fall came, I ordered the little wooden table set as did not want my nice table out in harsh winter weather. Somewhere along the way one snowy winter, I fell in love with this little yellow table and chairs perhaps from Stonewall or Pottery Barn. I forget which. Another teacher friend who was also snowed in, in email, GO AHEAD, SHIRLEY AND GET IT - YOU DESERVE IT. Well, that is all it took - I got it and a another little soft pale pink tray table that is not for outside but inside. I fell in love with that too and once again same friend said same thing and I got it. Such is the influence of wonderful family and friends and those that have gone on.
Updated: 8:48 PM GMT on May 14, 2014
By: WeatherWise, 1:47 PM GMT on May 06, 2014
Quick Change from Cold Spring to Hot Summer, Midyear Renewal Resolutions, Nature
As I packed for a 18 day trip in mid April, I did not know whether to pack winter or
summer as it was so cold. I double packed - 1/2 winter with coats and all and 1/2 or
less for summer type weather. While I was away the weather went from cold spring to
hot summer temps. I went right on and packed those winter clothes up and put them
back in the trunk of car out of the way.
Returning home is always interesting - you hope everything is okay and everything
seemed okay, BUT! But it wasn't - I was busy in and out unpacking the car when I
heard a roaring sound - was pouring like a water hose. I am glad that hot water heater
is in utility room under carport. I am unsure as to whether it had happened any before
I returned or not. I heard some strange noise and walked to another part of house and
did not hear it. I said perhaps even outloud that I had never heard the hot water heater
before. I was getting my stuff out of car and heard like pouring water. Called and
seems the some kind of pressure release valve had popped out and repair service
put it back in and said it would be find. It is like something happens everytime I go
away. Last year it was the furnace and air unit which had to be replaced in the hottest
weather and took over a week or more without air. So at least it was just a temporary
thing and hopefully all is well.
Long road trips makes for good thinking and reflecting time. As I was driving back, I
was mulling over the to-do list I had made the night before and mentally adding
new things. I was thinking and reflecting on my New Years Resolutions and how
changing from winter to summer was a great time for self-renewal and resolve to
update my resolutions. My to-do list was quite long and in random order - type the
mission prayer list for today, open up my play patio, clean my car up or perhaps that
was to shop for a new car in the future or perhaps both, renew my passport, planting,
late spring cleaning of specific areas of house, artwork daily, writing daily, rethink my
daily schedule maybe, prayer time, etc. As I said quite long and in no logical order -
just as things popped into my head. My main resolution is always to be the best I can
be and I will always continue that. My motto is Good, Better, Best, Never Let It Rest
Until Your Good Is Better and Your Better is Best!
This weeks farm share was quite a prize:
Two beautiful types of lettuce:
Bok Choy and Swiss Chard
Beautiful Kale and Luscious Strawberries
Plus I purchased extra a dozen eggs - free range chickens.
Nature Photos from My Trip
Today's Cardin... Last Day with ... Chipmunk Swallow Chippy Wings Swallow Breakfast Buff... The Lady - Red... Red-Bellied Wo... Mr. & Mrs. Penny For Your... Bluebird Little Bluebir... What is THIS ? Tuesday Swallo... Little Swallow Sunday Swallow Dance in Fligh... Swallow SwallowBrown ThrasherYum!Song of the Sw...Red-Headed Woo...Thoughts - Red...Bread Snitcher...Red-Headed Woo...IdentifyNesting in Pro...Nest Building ...My Friend Visi...New DuckNew Duck TodayDogwood Christ...Strange Shape
Updated: 10:51 PM GMT on May 07, 2014