It's hot, hot, hot. The kind of hot that sizzles the brain and creates headaches that go on for hours pounding the skull and weakening the vision. We will be craving this hot weather next winter, but at the moment a big glass of water is attempting a miracle.
Church was good this morning, the preacher spoke on the Lord's Prayer. He pointed out the 3 R's - no, not reading, writing, 'rithmetic. These were pray Relationally, pray Reverently, and pray Rationally.
Some friends from church want to go camping with us a few days next week - conflicts have interfered in the past but maybe we can make it work this time.
After a delicious shared pizza, Sweetz and I attended a moving Memorial Day service dedicated to honor our fallen soldiers. It was hot but was only a taste of what our military have suffered for our freedom.
What started out as a rainy day, morphed into a sunny day, and then ended as a cloudy day. Guess that made a happy day for everyone.
As I was trying to take some rainy morning pictures, this robin flew smack dab in the middle of my picture and I got his picture among the wet leaves.
Here's the topsy turvy pot stand we bought in the Amish country of PA last year. Last week I filled the four pots with compost and planted some sun lovers. They're growing so I think they like their new home.
It's a weed, Virginia Creeper, but I thought it was beautiful in its own way.
We watched a mama turtle dig a hole, lay her eggs, and refill her turtle nesting hole. She wasn't happy with us being so close at first, but we were real still so she finally relaxed and completed her slow dirt nest project. It was fascinating watching her ever so slowly dig a hole with her back feet, lay her eggs, and then slowly cover them with the loose dirt. Nature is fascinating in its true form. We didn't bother her but went out later after dark and she had nearly completed replacing the dirt in the hole and packing it down. She was in no hurry.
I did a bit of research to learn after she spends time doing these steps, she just walks away, and doesn't raise them. The newborn turtles who emerge successfully are totally on their own. We generally have at least one turtle in our garden each year. And most years we have a turtle nest among the veggies for the eggs to incubate in the warm Carolina sun. This was the first time I actually was able to watch the process.
11am There's lots of dirty laundry on my to do list today. Two loads are in the works, a couple more waiting.
Looks like we might get some sprinkles today. I cut a few flowers to put on my table and have some beautiful blue hydrangeas blooming profusely next to the door. I don't have much luck with those as cut flowers - surely there must be a secret to keep them perky. With these being so gorgeous, it would be worth replacing them as soon as they begin to wilt. But first things first - I must attack the laundry.
A bluebird couple is checking out the bluebird house. Not sure if they are the previous occupants, but there is plenty of fluttering and checking and peeking and chats on the roof. Sure would be nice to see another family in there since it's been vacant and a bit sad since the previous little family of birdlings left.
10:30 pm Our electricity went off today when a bad storm hit the area while I was at mom's house. This storm arrived so quickly, I barely had time to look at her and say, "I think we need to go down to your basement!" It wasn't funny and also she doesn't have a basement - and knew this storm not one to laugh at, but that's the way I am.
It blew through as quickly as it arrived and I heard a tree fall just at the time the power went out. When I went to the door to check on the damage, I saw a huge tree had fallen across the road near her driveway but hadn't hit any electric line. It missed my car by a few feet and completely blocked the road. We began moving broken limbs and then tried to move the tree. Right. But we tried. At that point, some neighborhood men drove up and we all tried to move the tree. Right. No luck with that weight. No one had a chain saw, so one guy hooked a big rope on the end of it and drug it with his truck until it was parallel to the side of the road. The testosterone was really flowing at this point. I didn't have my camera but saw so many awesome shots in my head.
After I helped move limbs and debris from mom's yard, I came home and picked up the litter from ours. Sweetz was not home but I enjoy a challenge - occasionally - as long as I can work on the project a bite at a time. The power stayed off until 9:30. Sweetz and I were settling in with a battery-operated radio and candles when the power returned.
Missed my computer the most. We have a generator but felt the power would be restored fairly quickly so never even started it.
We managed fine, but there is a neighbor with a tree resting on his roof, two other neighbors with trees smashed on their outdoor utility buildings, trees in yards, trees across the road all up and down the road. I'm not sure the storm would be categorized as a tornado, but some of the people said they watched the storm and it was whizzing around in a circle and the trees and limbs were twisted. I am thankful everyone is ok. Life goes on...around another curve.
4pm: We arrived home safe and sound. The drive was uneventful with few people on the road which resulted in a nice relaxing drive. We stopped in Greensboro for lunch - which was delicious and the waitress was attentive. I unpacked the fridge/freezer and left it open to dry. I'll go back and wipe it down when the temp drops a bit outside. Sweetz brought in the rest of the things and we have returned them to their proper places. Most things stay in the camper so we don't have to load/unload many items which sure makes life easier on us when we want to take a trip. Of course, there is laundry to do, but we'll even put most of that back in the camper so we can roam again as soon as our schedule/weather permits.
As much fun as we had, my heart goes out to the people in the Midwest who have been pounded with recurring tornadoes with many people losing their homes, cars, family members, and personal belongings.
We walked on a trail this morning before we headed home. Sure was pretty.
We stopped at an herb farm and purchased some herbs while we were camping. I bought 2 basil, 1 tarragon, and 2 flat leafed parsley. They will provide some snippits for meals now and if they do as well as I expect, there will be plenty to preserve for meals all through the coming winter months. And they made it home and are waiting outside for a permanent spot in my herb garden.
The campground was decorated for Memorial Day as we pulled out.
It was a great trip and I can't wait to go again. Lots of memories and, of course, lots of pictures.
10AM: It's sunny and warm, birds chirping. Oh but wait, what is that noise? A motor? It's a lawn mower. The campground owner is mowing the grass to get ready for the onslaught of campers this weekend. The flowers are perky, the bath houses are tidy, the outlets have been double-checked, the trash bins sport clean liners, the pool is sparkling. The owners will be exhausted by next week when most everyone leaves. I understand 3 older couples bought this place and have really improved the facilities. They are quite energetic as they check and fix and fluff everything here.
9:30pm: We drove to see a covered bridge this morning. I didn't know there was one in the area, but one of the campers was telling us about it. It was pretty neat. The pictures look like it's leaning, but it wasn't. We walked all around it and then walked the trail around the area.
There's also an aeronautical museum in this area too, but Sweetz hasn't seemed excited to see it. He was a Navy guy so airplanes must not interest him as much as ships. I suggested we stop at the museum tomorrow, but got a rather glassy stare. Ummm, guess that was a not interested look.
We met a fellow camper today and visited with him awhile. He's been a widow for 5 years and said he was hoping to find a wife that wanted to travel. He has a 31' camper and a toad, a darling little perky gray dog, and had lots of interesting stories of his experiences in the military. Another camper asked for my email address and said she was going to send me some pictures of G that they took last night as he was catching the big fish, but so far I haven't gotten them. This has turned out to be one of the few campgrounds where the people have been this friendly. Then there are the 3 campers parked together near us who barely wave as you go by. Oh well, we'll just enjoy the friendlier ones. We'll be pulling out tomorrow - our respite days will be over and it's back to the house and the weeds and the garden and the mowing and the dust bunnies... Well, one must take the lumps to make the smooth seem sweeter.
It finally got too hot for me so I flipped on the AC. Ahhhhh, now THAT feels better. After lunch clean-up, I finished the book I was reading and then before I knew it my eyes were drooping. Yep, a nap was just the thing I needed. I fixed a ham, rice, and tossed salad supper. Hit the spot. There's nothing on TV we want to see so we tried watching a movie, but that wasn't good either. I'll put a few pictures on the blog and then start a new book until the sleepies attack my eyelids. Doubt it will be long.
And I did remember to take a picture of the new pottery "glasses". It's amazing a man can take a lump of clay and mold a beautiful piece like this! Reminds me of the scripture where God compared us to a lump of clay and He molds us into a beautiful creation.
We're here in the Seagrove area and today was spent touring some local potters and their shops. Very interesting. We toured two public centers where some of the potters have samples of their line, but I never could find DirtWorks. So, I checked the map we were given and found where his studio is located. Wasn't hard to find and was only about a mile from where we were. He even came out from behind his wheel to talk to us. Nice man. I've been in his shop several years ago, but he never came out front to talk. He said his business has been slow so he likes to stop and talk to customers. I found two drinking ummm cups/glasses...shaped like a glass, but now wondering what is the proper name of a drinking vessel when it's made of clay? Drinking clay? Drinking pottery? Naahhh, nothing sounds proper.
He has a bunch of new designs and colors, but the reason I went was to get something to match what I already have but quickly noticed it is obviously part of an "older" line. I understand that since I'm now in that category myself. I thought it would be nice to buy something to actually use in the camper. At the prices I paid, Sweetz promised me he'll try not to chip them!!! When we travel perhaps I need to poke them in one of the drawers for safety. Nope, I'll treat them gently but not with kid gloves. Life is for the living.
Here's a shot of one corner of the DirtWorks studio. One of those large vases, maybe 3 feet high/18" in diameter was listed at $2800. And yes, the decimal is in the correct position! Needless to say, I walked gingerly through his shop.
And this is a shot of some unfired pottery items which are white at this stage. Forgot the proper name of items at this stage. But they are waiting a coat of glaze. After firing, the colors may be red, white, black, blue, brown or possibly with a design in several colors.
We have a neighbor! He came in this morning and was set up in record time. Obviously he is super adept at picking spots and hooking up in record time. He came over and said he was going into "town" and asked if he could bring us anything back. Nooooow, wasn't that neighborly of him!
9am We had quite a storm last night: rain, thunder, and lightning. Woke me several times but I went on back to sleep. There were two tent campers in our section and I worried about them, but talking to them both today, they said they did fine. They both packed up this morning and drove away.
Yep, that's a VW bug with 4 people and all their camping essentials! Didn't get a picture of the other couple. They were friendlier and said they stayed dry all night during the storm. In fact the Mrs. said he didn't even wake during the thunder and lightning. Wow, that's amazing. I wore my sleep mask which sure helped me have a good night's sleep. We awoke to a foggy morning but it's now sunny and warm.
We walked around the campground this morning, checked out about half the buildings, took a trail by the fishing pond which came out next to the activity room. This was one corner. There were table games, 2 pianos, books, movies, fireplace, tables with checkers, puzzles, etc. There's another building way far away for the teens with jukeboxes, pool tables, ping pong tables, arcade games, etc. That's one place I don't want to be, for sure, this weekend.
We're going to the zoo now - might see some of our ancestors! hehe Yep, I'll take my camera and snap a few animals. Hope they are awake and moving around.
9:30pm I survived the zoo. Sweetz does fine - exceptionally, in fact. The place involves a long walk with alot of walking between exhibits. After 3 hrs, my legs hurt from the toes up to my hips. SweetSteps, on the other hand, could have gone another 8 hours. Maybe I'm out of shape. Yipes, could that be true? Me??? Out of shape. When did that happen??
The animals cooperated in about half of the viewing areas. Would have expected all of them to be napping in the shade. Maybe that's why they are in shape and I'm not. The brown bear was resting his head on the rock in his pond. And the colorful bird in the aviary sat still until I got my picture. The flamingos were either napping on one or two legs or else were checking out the area for food morsels. There were snakes, fish, gorillas, turtles, alligators, bison, antelope, zebra, monkeys, birds, fox, bears, cougars, giraffes, and a zillion more. Too bad my legs gave out before I finished seeing everything.
We're camping at a fairly quiet (for now) campground. The relief check-in lady said it would be BUSY this weekend though. Fine, we'll leave Fri and enjoy the week. Ahhhhhh, we're love having the option of when we come and go. We arrived this afternoon and the checkin people were very nice.
There are several trails and I'm anxious to walk them and also get the trusty bikes out for a leg workout checking out the rest of the campground. Sweetz took a nap this afternoon so I took the opportunity to walk around a bit. There is a swimming pool, fishing lake, game room, outdoor activities, etc. Here's a few shots of our section.
Little Boy Blue has been checking the world outside his comfy nest. Must be getting crowded & boring with just his siblings to chirp with. He now patiently waits while mom and dad busily catch bugs for the brood. Doubt it will be long til Lil Boy Blue is outside catching his own bugs.
This peach rose is one of our beautiful roses. The blush is perfect and the fragrance is unbelievable. I'm really feeling impatient to purchase a better lens to capture all the beauty.
One of our hydrangea plants is now absolutely COVERED in buds and blooms. The color isn't at their peak yet, but it won't be long. I have noticed the blooms don't survive my snipping this early so I must be patient.
And the calendulas are so pretty with their free flowing stems. Now, THEY let me be impatient and enjoy them inside.
9:15am I have a friend who does lots of great things for other people. And every now and then I get help too...she reads my blogs and politely tells me when I flub my spelling or grammar. It's nice to have friends like that!
She invited me to lunch today back at the old stomping grounds. You know...sitting in the cafeteria at our "regular" table with some of our friends who still work there and some who come back occasionally to socialize. Oh, there are tooooooo many memories that don't allow me to relax and go there. Anyhow, the sheriff still works there! Haven't set my eyes on her or felt her bite in a bit over a year and don't want to ruin my awesome life meeting up with that one. Brrrrrr, just felt a huge shiver just thinking about that... Sometimes the gang will suggest we go to a local restaurant and I will gladly join them when they choose that option.
Benjamin Netanyahu is to meet with Mr. Obama today. I'd love to be a fly in that room. I hope the Israeli PM stands firm and doesn't relinquish to any negotiation that would require them to release even a square inch of their present land.
8:00pm Mom and I ran a few errands today and decided to eat lunch in town while we were out. We went to an interesting eatery. They decorate in the 50's theme and had statues, pictures, signs, paraphernalia from that era. There was even a local singer who entertained us with 50's music. She was excellent too!!
These two guys were hanging out near our table.
There was a interesting item hanging next to the back door:
I'm suffering from a serious addiction to sudoku. At least I know that I can count from 1-9!
This morning, Sweetz and I took his van to the shop because there was something wrong with the steering mechanism. Tim said his business has really dropped off and there's now no waiting line. That's gotta be a sign of our sagging economy. We took the opportunity to have a 2-egg breakfast at a local restaurant which offers home-style cooking. Pretty nice and I didn't have to cook that meal. Not long after we finished breakfast and started a bit of shopping for some flowers for a few planters on the front porch, Tim called to say the van was ready. Wow! That didn't take as long as I expected! Cost $106 and was ready in two hours. So, we drove back to get the van and met again to continue shopping for the remaining things on our list.
There was an Arby's nearby so Sweetz suggested we eat lunch there. Now at this point, I'm not hungry but he says his breakfast is gone. OK, fine, so we head through the line. There's no way I could eat all my sandwich and fries so I wrapped the remaining half and brought it home. Couldn't see throwing out all that roast beef. After all, a steer gave his all for me to have that sandwich. It will be delicious warmed up for supper. As we were eating, I noticed the menu on the wall above the order counter and I found what I need to get next time: The Jr. sandwich, Jr. fries, and Jr. drink. Thinking small, like the size I'd like to see me in again.
Yesterday, I wanted biscuits after my friend Bobbie said she was going to Hardees for a biscuit. I could just TASTE a steaming hot biscuit - so I made a batch. Sure were good with a bit of butter and some local honey. Yummmmmm, that's some FINE EATING. Mom stopped by here this evening before dark asking if I would give her some more biscuits - so I gave her half of what was left. She said they were the best she's ever eaten. Well, I doubt it was THAT good, but she knows how to schmooze a daughter to get what she wants.
Our garden is beginning to produce for us now and here's a section of our little backyard garden. In the foreground are bean plants just beginning to form flowers and in the background are cabbage plants forming some decent sized heads. Now, that's some good garden produce. With our plentiful rains this spring, the garden has really gotten off to a great start. Hope it continues since we sure do love to eat everything it produces. Plus it keeps down the $$ the grocery store sucks out of my wallet. But eating out is nice too for a change, not as good as homecooking, but rather good at times, and a garden makes you appreciate the word fresh.
The other day while I was out trimming some out-of-bounds plants around the yard, I saw this abandoned nest and pulled it out. It held only this one tiny broken egg with some dried yolk still there. I'm thinking it was a cardinal since I noticed Mr. and Mrs. Cardinal were spending a lot of time going in and out of this bush a few weeks ago. Tis a mystery. Originally were there more eggs to produce little Cardies or was this the odd one that didn't get fertilized, or did an animal/snake do this? Yep, tis a mystery...
Sweetz left today to run some errands and was gone for several hours. I took the time to clean the fridge and throw out some stuff. There was the jar of jelly with maaaaybe 1 tsp of jelly in the bottom. ????Why does he keep that??? Yes, him...since I don't eat jelly except maybe once a year. Then some containers with "stuff" in them, sometimes even I don't know what's in them. Old apples, soggy carrot, slicky gummy lettuce. The list continues and you get the picture. I took out all the shelves, drawers, holders and washed it top to bottom and then returned all the clean shelves/drawers and put the goodies back in. Not a bad job if I say so myself. The hardest part? - figuring out how to get the shelves/drawers back in since this is a fairly new fridge and I had never dismantled it before. The reassembling had me twisting and kneeling and turning and flipping to figure out how the lower drawer/shelf was inserted. Once I solved the first one, the rest went in fairly quickly. The fridge is a tight fit to the cabinets on the right side so never could open the door completely so even then some prime-time maneuvering was required, but I prevailed. Looks so good, I want to keep the door open and admire my work - but that's not smart and I'm smarter than I look. :)
When Sweetz returned, he admired my clean fridge.
Of course, he commented
that there was alot more room now.
I didn't tell him I had thrown stuff away.
Like I said, I'm smarter than I look!
Look what Sweetz found in the garden. This little guy showed his annoyance at being picked up by peeing all over his hand. I had to laugh. Really...it was hilarious! The little guy was returned to the garden to help rid the area of some pesky bugs and he'll be rewarded with a few cukes and tomatoes as the summer progresses.
After supper I went outside and pruned things in the backyard that were getting out of hand. Doesn't take long with all these spring showers to have overgrown shrubbery, flowers, trees, and plants. It was a nice evening and I enjoyed listening to the birds chirping - guess they were enjoying the last moments of the day and I noticed they made the same sounds they make first thing in the morning. Why is it I never noticed that before?
My pruning project started near the door and then swung around to inch around the beds, to the side yard, and eventually into the front yard. Then it started sprinkling but I kept on pruning. Then it got harder and I kept pruning. Then it POURED and being that I am smarter than I look....I stopped. Stood under the eave of the house and waited patiently (after awhile it was impatiently) for the rain to stop. After all, I had an agenda to complete the job TODAY before it got dark. It won, I lost.
But I did go back outside
and stood under that same eave
and took a picture of the rain pouring cats and dogs
What a day! Beautiful weather here on this side of Somewhere. Then I got sleepy. Slowed me down but didn't knock me out except for MAYBE 10 minutes. Guess that qualifies as a catnap.
Cleaned the house today. Whew, days like this make me want to be younger with more energy or have a Merry Maid do the work for me. Actually, to be honest, it's a pleasure most times to do the cleaning myself, not to mention the added benefit of bending and stooping. There's the pleasure of clean sheets, folded towels, clean floors, and dust-free surfaces. Only thing missing was a fresh bouquet of flowers. I think I'll cut a bouquet tomorrow to grace the center of our dining table.
Fixed a neat lunch of Salisbury steaks, noodles, gravy, and peas. Sweetz and I washed it down with a glass of iced tea with a wedge of lemon. We ate on trays outside in the yard so we could enjoy the spring weather. So, where do Salisbury steaks get their name? I just might have to do a bit of research to satisfy my curiosity.
Salisbury steak was invented by an American physician, Dr. J. H. Salisbury (1823–1905), and the term "Salisbury steak" was in use in the USA from 1897. He was the first modern proponent of a "high protein - low carbohydrate" diet for weight loss, and he promoted his diet for that purpose.
OK, I satisfied my curiosity - not sure I'd call it a high protein food though. But it was good and went down easily and quickly and happily. I smiled. I was satisfied. I cleaned up the kitchen and relished my moment of food pleasure. Maybe tomorrow I will weigh less...
Our morning began with beautiful sunny rays drifting in the kitchen window. We enjoyed sunny skies most of the day, but then experienced a short sprinkle in the late afternoon. Now, the skies are trying to be sunny a few more minutes before the sun sets on our day. All in all, it was a pretty day, one can gladly accommodate a sprinkle a day.
My heart aches for the people along the Mississippi River who are having so much trouble with flooding. I will be thankful today for what God has given me to handle - and always will be aware that additional difficulties could be just around the curve. I love rivers and streams and lakes and oceans but all this tragedy in the news reminds me of the power that water holds only inches beyond its beauty. We live on a hill so it would be difficult to be flooded here, but two small tornadoes have zipped through our neighborhood since we moved here. Both times we were away from home and fortunately only suffered minimal damage but that's close enough for me. While living in Mississippi in my younger days, we experienced three bad hurricanes. They are slow and frightening - different than tornadoes and flooding, but all such events are times that test our strength and serve as opportunities to thank God for His protection.
After church this morning we ate with our Gang of 6 at a pizza joint. Pretty good food, but the fun of being together was even better. One of the men had a birthday this past week so we gave him a wallet - it's hard to buy for a guy when I don't know what he has or really wants. When he opened the gift he smiled and then showed us his nearly delapidated wallet - sounds like I made a good choice for him this year!
While sitting on the front porch this afternoon, I noticed some gray birds having a ball flitting around in the mahonia bushes then I realized they were making a meal on the blue seeds.
On the table beside me I noticed my oxalis (shamrock plant) was blooming profusely. It certainly does enjoy being outside on the porch in the fresh air. Well, I do too for that matter. I'm also thankful for the animal crackers I had for my snack while watching the birds enjoy their snack.
It started sprinkling while I sat on the front porch this afternoon and it was peaceful watching the rain drops hit the flowers and shrubs. Tomorrow is Monday and the beginning of my favorite five days of the week.
A grandson is nearing another birthday - wow, don't the years go by fast!! I quit work a year ago this month - wow, and yes, the year did go by fast!!
This vibrant bluebird daddy spent his day flitting back and forth to the nest feeding the little ones with bugs and other tasty insect morsels. Momma BB was seen today with a HUGE grasshopper in her mouth. Bet the birdling chosen for that feeding was satisfied for a long time after that meal!
The Hubster decided to have strawberries over his waffles this morning for breakfast. Looks rather tasty. I chose to scatter mine over cereal.
And here's our healthier than usual lunch. Last night's leftovers from girlfriend dinner was divided (chicken parmesan over spaghetti) and shared our plate with salad, cooked cabbage, and some of our own potatoes (dug this morning). Fresh food is soooooo gooooood right now. I need to see a lower number on the scales so am thinking our garden will help me eat healthier. Of course, portion control is obviously important too. But how do I stop eating such delicious fresh food? The remainder of today's strawberries were mixed with some other fresh fruit for dessert. Everything was delicious. We should have fresh strawberries for another couple of weeks, so I plan to bake a cake tonight so I can spoon over some of these bright red beauties. Looks like my bike will be carting me around the neighborhood again for some needed exercise. Tomorrow...yes tomorrow I will get out again for a nice long ride.
Our peonies are so pretty this year. The Hubster decided to cut some (along with the flowers from a sage plant) to decorate the table. I'm so thrilled God has blessed us with such beautiful flowers to enjoy this spring.
Today was such a beautiful day - I really enjoyed the peace of being home. The skies were sunny and the temps just a perfect mid 70s.
This afternoon I drove to Danville to do a bit of shopping and then met some girlfriends for dinner at Olive Garden. The food was great and so was the company of old friends. It's so much fun to get together with friends. We used to work together so it was interesting to catch up with the news of family, jobs, and interests.
One of them gave me a belated birthday gift...
Isn't it neat when you keep receiving gifts even after the occasion? Makes special days just last on and on and on.
Well, it was a darling green gardener's apron. Sooooo cute. It boasts plenty of pockets to hold garden spades. trowels, seed packets, etc. It is trimmed with some bright colorful striped edging and has the same material for the ties. Now, wasn't that was a thoughtful gift!! Thanks Vivian.
The drive home from the restaurant was quiet most of the time until the lightning lit up the skies. Thunder is now rolling all around us but at least I'm home safe and sound.