Sunday, December 26, 2010

And so this was Christmas...

and in the end.....

and in the beginning of the unwrap...

This is Tessa standing then Trisha, her Mom, and Michele's hubby, John being entertained by 'Oreo', Michele and John's dog with his new squeeky bone from Belle and Penny.

Michele, Bob in his chair and Caines head...Wayne, Michele's X is to the right..

True was trying to be patient while Caine worked with his train from his Gi-Gi...True is Trisha's youngest daughter...Confused yet?

The dogs all got squeek toys...Belle and Penny de-squeeked theirs in seconds, and they got chew bones, which they went out with. They go out the magic hole. Oreo isn't savvy to it yet and gets awfully confused when the girls "walk right through the door an disappear".

This is Trisha on the right and Tessa, her oldest daughter in the middle with Michele on the right. Beleive it or not , Trisha and Michele are not related. Michele was married to Wayne, they divorced and Wayne hooked up with Trisha when she was alone and pregnant with True..The girls call Wayne Daddy..Now Michele is married to John and their son is Caine...
Got that straight now??.....neither do I.

Caine and True are playing the piano...Wayne is conducting in background..

Michele is winding down...

The kids should be back soon from Bedford. They went visiting friends and family and are picking Caine up from his other Grandma's house.They were headed home tongiht but the weather is so bad, they will wait until

I am full, but somehow I seem to keep eating more when the appropriate hour comes around !

This has got to cease...New Year's is a 4 letter word...


...another year over...


Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas in Virginia with Love

The decorations are scattered about the house. The fireplace has the traditional angels, on top and at the base on either side. The large corn husk and paper angel was given to me by a friend, Janine, and I set it over a light. I like angels about me.

Above the piano is the picture of my guardian angel, my Dad. The piano is so old, but itstill sounds good to me when my grandson and I sit at it and he 'plays'. It was in John and Michele's house when they bought it, and they nor anyone else wanted it...but me. My husband and 2 neighbors moved it from Bedford to here with much effort.

Even the outside of the house is festive. Besides the wreathes and the white candles in the windows, there are birds that decorate the shrubs, the ground and the feeders. The cardinals look so pretty in the snow.

The tree is a Frasier fir we cut the week after Thanksgiving. Naturally it has an angel on top. Red bows have long been the final touch on our trees. The blue stars in the window were given to me by a friend, Karen, and they go up every year.

This year my grandson Caine and his Mom and Dad will be here for Christmas. Christmas Eve will be the traditional dinner with turkey and all the trimmings and a ham with mac and cheese. Wayne and Trisha and their two girls will be with us for dinner and the gift exchange. Having the kids here will make Christmas more like when I was a child with all my relatives gathering at a different familie's house each year. My Dad always played 'Santa' and handed out gifts. What a magical time it was, and I didn't even know how lucky we were. For me it was tradition, something I expected and took for granted. What great memories I have of my family and all the cousins; the women all sharing the kitchen work and then the big games of penny-anti poker played by the adults after desserts.We were blessed.
Today my brothers are in three different states in New England, and I am here in Virginia. Most all of the adult relatives are long since passed, as is my Dad. I have one Aunt left from my Dads five siblings, Aunt Ruth in Florida and none from my Mom's side. My Mom is still very much alive at eighty-seven, and she is in N.H. with my youngest brother. The cousins are scattered, as are most families today, not like when I was a kid and everyone stayed close by.
This Christmas I send my love to all my family and friends wherever you may be, no matter how far away, you are always right here in my heart.
Merry Christmas with love from Virginia.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Move over Iris...

Iris has only one eye. She rests it quite often.
Here she is tucked into the blankies on 'Daddies' side of the bed.
Tell me she isn't spoiled rotten.

Moochie is disgusted with the tucking and coddling of her sister, Iris. Quarrie is melted down into the comforter. He almost looks flat.

Here are the other two that make up our Quintet of fuzzy felines'. On the left is Mac and posing oh so handsomely is Beau. They are nestled atop their cat tower which is at the end of our bed against the window... so they can watch the birds in the feeders placed strategically for their best amusement . But they're not spoiled.

I am sick...again, or still, I can't decide. Since going to work for the school system I have been ill in such a continuing manner that I really don't know if I ever am 'well' in between bouts of sinus infections and colds. This time I can't stop coughing and I'm concerned its walking pneumonia...I have had it 3 or 4 times throughout my adult life and this sure feels like it again.
Bob has taken over for me and is doing laundry that is piled really high, and bringing me food when I can eat. He actually has a bad cold, but he won't let it stop him. I try not to, and didn't miss work, nor last's night faculty Christmas Party, but I should have stayed home. Damn Scott's blood..!! I had already paid for the tickets and was going to get my money's worth !
Two weeks 'til Christmas now and no time to get things done..
like shopping and decorating..and Christmas card writing...things I always looked forward to when I had the time to do them. Now, alas, it seems a chore.
Maybe its just cause I feel so crappy...maybe if I get through this sick time, I'll get the spirit. We are in for more bitterly cold weather this week, and that isn't helping. This time its warming enough to rain, then turn to sleet and drop into the 2o's again.
Move over Iris, I'm getting in.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Sun.The Moon.Cats don't care.

Is the sun the first thing we see in a day, or the moon ?

Like a beginning to an end, here is our old cat door being cut away to make room for the new 'dog' door. In the beginning there were cats. Dogs ,once they came, had to ask to go out or in, and cats being what they are, could do whatever they or out at whim. Then Belle, one of our Australian Shepherds, decided not to be out, and fit her 45 lb. body through the cat door...(after tearing out the plastic flap closure.) We couldn't beleive she did it, so Bob fixed the flap and we left her out the next day. When I came home, Belle was in and Penny was out...the flap was gone again.
So now the cats have a HUGE cat door that the dogs can fit through, and won't unless we are there to tell them to go through the hole....Hence the difference between cats and dogs.

Days end today showed a great sunset with a big orange sun and pink sky over our neighbors new 'shed'. Note the dogs running ahead. We jumped 5 deer so I turned right and went towards the old wooden barn...
...and took another sunset shot of Turkeycock Mountain in the background of what I call the 'flying nun' shed on my neighbors land..come on pine trees...grow back quickly!

Looking in the other direction at our house, was the moon through the branches of the old oaks.

So I went to the 3 acre field for a clearer shot...And I realized the sky was pink around the edges and the moon was rising up full...Looks like it could be a sunrise, with the moon going down. But it's not, and therein lies my origional question...

Do we see the sun or the moon first in a day?
Quarrie, one of our 5 cats, could care less. If it's daylight he catches birds..
if it's moonlight he catches mice and other small furry rodent-type critters..with luck he won't bring them in the dog...I mean , cat door.

And the garden is at its end...
Or is this the beginning of the spring garden ?

The circle has no beginning and no end...

and cats still don't care.


Sunday, November 7, 2010

November Promise

Can they get any fatter ? My minis look like furry kegs with legs ! They are eagerly awaiting the re-fencing of the greener pasture, the last of the fields.

November is a funny month here in Southern Virginia. Some things are still in bloom, and some are just starting to bloom, like this winter camelia. The flowers remind me of wild roses.

This giant sunflower made it through last nights frost, it was 25 on the porch this morning, but the sun warmed quickly and the sky was a brilliant shade of blue.

This is a picture of the new power lines that are running near our property. This view is from West Vaco looking toward Penhook. It is amazing how quickly the cut went through. No lines are visible yet.

The creek is low now, and some spots looks like a stream of leaves. This big Beech is hanging on to the ever decreasing bank. Each spring the creek swells up and debrie tears down the bank and washes away the soil that the trees hold to. Every year another big tree lays down its fight for footing. I'm afraid this guy isn't too long for the upright world.

November and all the Fall months are the best for me. Some say its morbid, everything is dying. I say its a preparation for life. The leaves come down and supply the soil with cover and food. The flowers die off leaving seeds for the animals and beginnings for new growth in the Spring. The snow will blanket and provide for a rich new start.
I love fall, it's colorful and it smells earthy and rich, and it has promise for a new beginning.
How can promise be morbid ?

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Bright and Sunny

Tomorrow is November 1st, which makes this Halloween...the folliage here is hanging on, although the colors are nowhere near what New England has. Below is a picture of Merry Meeting lake in New Durham N.H. , framed in sugar maples.

Below is a picture I took on the Parkway last weekend, pretty and the sky was that azure blue I remember from the North.There is still quite a bit of green, but today that color is draining away fast. Bob and I just ran the dogs, and it is 70 degrees, sunny and very bright, but that winter sun is starting to thicken, and look more like butterscotch than the summer dazzling white heat. The woods were soft and fragrant with all the downed leaves, and the visibility in the woods is better daily. Today there were several nuthatches playing in the trees. Bob had just come back from getting the tank filled with gas that serves the fireplace, and I have moved my computer to my desk in the fireplce room anticipating a nice warm fire while I play on my computer. The room it was in gets quite cold, which suits Bob well while he watches tv. Now he can turn up the sound, and I won't have to use ear-phones trying not to hear the terrible noises that come from the movies he likes to watch. You know, the ones filled with sounds of moans and beatings and sirens and screams. I hate those movies, but he eats 'em up, so my love....have at it ! Iris will be stretched on the rug near the fire and I will be near enough to feel its warmth.

Here is a picture of the darlings in our classroom, that take up my life now.

They are holding up a picture of my friend, Brian Duffy, who is an astronaut. So nice of him to send these for the kids, they were tickled..
Life is very different now that I am back to work full time. The weekends are packed with all I can stuff into and laundry and shopping and such. Saturday Bob and I went to breakfast, then shopped around in Martinsville...Goodwill, the JC Penney outlet, Walmart and a shoe store to get Bob some much needed sneaks.
Saturday night I tackled my closet, getting out the summer and putting in the winter, started laundry and we made a trash run. Today I vacumned and moved the computer, washed some throw rugs and got all my plants in and cut back and hung around various spots. Bob has been busy mowing and fixing things for me..( the honey-do list).
Now its dinner and then clean-up, getting clothes and lunches ready for tomorrow.
A fresh start for a new month..
We are invited to friends Ruth and Bob Eaken at the lake for Thanksgiving, and I think Bob's Mom will come for the week as she usually does. Bob's brother is at loose ends again, and may show up as well.
The kids are due here for a long weekend of the 12th, but they may be moving back in this area, so thats not a given...
The weeks fly by when you work a schedule all week long, and it is getting a rythmn worked out so the machine runs smoothly. As soon as you think that is accomplished, something happens to throw it all off!
There's one bright spot coming up...elections will be done and the ads and phone calls will stop !!!
Now that's a sunny thought !!

Sunday, October 17, 2010


I haven't blogged in an age...but I have been busy !

Started back to work in August as a Para-professional working with a 4 year old who's physically challenged...he has CP.

Bob and I went to Baltimore the end of September for his Moms 75th surprise birthday on this paddle boat. Good time...and yes she was really surprised!

We also went to Bobs 24th annual surfishing tournament in Ocean City M.D., and this year we took the dogs with us.They were awesome ! Behaved really well ! Surprised me, for country dogs to adapt well to hotels and elevators !
The weather was beautiful and they caught a ton of fish, ended up 7th in the tournament!
I wouldn't hesitate to brings the dogs on any trip now.
I think they still like the creek better for drinking and swimming!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Thankful for...

Belle should be a rat dog, or rather a 'mole' dog. She sneaks up into a pile of leaves where nothing is visible to me, and starts digging, tearing at roots and burying her whole snout into the ground.Sometimes you cannot see her head at all !

Since we have had a little rain the pond is back up. Belle is sticking her tongue out at me. The pond lily that Jan gave me has bloomed at the side, but I can't get a picture of it because of the high weeds surrounding it. As the lily's spread out, they will be more visible. Meanwhile, the girls are enjoying their little swim hole again.

This is Bob's "dog", Quarrie. He waits at the back porch for Bob to come home every day. The routine carry in to the food dish can happen each time Bob re-enters the sliding door, no matter how often it is, Quarrie expects to be carried in. He just lays in Bobs hand, so trusting.Funny critters.

Here's my guy when he's not 'working'. He is putting in a new faucet for me...actually the one that was at my brothers house. Jan got a new sink and faucet to match, so this one was hardly used. Finally a faucet I can get a pot under ! And, the sprayer works ! Yippee ! He also fixed my vacumn today and is up Clay and Jans painting. That's what he does when he's not 'working'. You just gotta love a guy that can do things...

And here's my new old sink ! The plus is I had to clear out the under cabinet so he could work on it...( get into it). So newish sink and clean and organized under-sink!

...everyday theres something to be thankful for...Thanks, honey!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Where has summer gone?

It's been a month since I last blogged.
Seems any extra time at the end of my long summer day has been spent job searching and all that it entails. It used to be really easy to apply for work. Now that all is done online, it seems much more difficult to me! Meanwhile, the garden keeps spewing forth its bounty...
These are the last of the peaches, and I had to fight the deer for them!

Tomatos are coming fast,but I've found a new way to deal with so many at once. Wash them,core them and freeze them whole with skin on by placing on a cookie sheet in the freezer ! When frozen, put them in freezer bags...when ready to use, you can run them under warm water and the skin will come off easily...of course then you must cook them, but it saves work up front !

Bob loves the yellow tomatos and eats them up before I need to can or freeze them..

To date..( I just did 4 more quarts and a pint today)...I have pickled 27 quarts and 6 pints of pickles, mostly sweet, but some polish dills, and the cucumbers are still going strong! I think it may be due to the new fertilizer I have found...Epsom Salts ! yes, thats what I said.try it!

Bob hasn't had to cut the grass very often due to the incredible heat and drought we have had for this whole month, so he has been getting to the creek and bringing back large stones for stepping. He also has had work (thank you lord!), but naturally it is porches! Figures with the sun and heat he'd be working outdoors! But, its work!
Tomorrow I continue on my journey to find a job, and that alone has taken up a considerable amount of time doing resumes and putting in applications. I had to have a TB test, be fingerprinted and a background check done, just to have my application for substitute teaching put in for Franklin County schools...
I do have an interview tomorrow at Head Start. I will let you all know the outcome.
Somehow the days are flying by me and August is at hand. I'm praying for some rain and cooler temperatures. Hard to believe the kids go back to school August 18th...
Where has summer gone?

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Summer dirt brings bounty and baths


I am missing Caine, now that I have recovered from chasing after him. He's such a love, so happy. He would sit with me on the porch for coffee in the morning. Okay, he didn't stay long and I had to chase after him before he got in his pool , or the dirt.. or both in that order! I would at least get him dressed before he started the dirt thing...

Playing in the dirt with his toys and cars... his favorite..such a boy !
I saw this pay phone on our road/fishing trip to Floyd today. I took a picture of it, because I haven't seen one in ages! They are still out there !

Penny had a side swim in the pond...side swim because she can 'touch' bottom on the sides..

Belle prefers the full immersion.

The lily pads are multiplying, but no flowers yet! I think last count was ten pads.. in the picture , middle-ish to the left side near the fluffy green reeds...

The summer is in full swing,its so hot and humid, although it really isn't summer officially..and the veggies are really starting to come fast!

I know what I will be doing in a few short weeks....Canning !!!! Tomatos galore!
We really need to get a freezer soon! Can't wait for the first tomato sandwich! The cucumbers are great, so crisp and fresh....
love the garden bounty!


About Me

My photo
union hall, S.W.Virginia, United States
Newly retired from Franklin County Public Schools.Prior to that I was a cosmetologist for several years.