Wednesday, July 23

Thursday, July 17

Have Kayaks? Use 'em

This morning three friends and I set out on an unnamed reservoir in our kayaks.  One person had quite a bit of experience--the rest of us, not so much.

Before putting our toe-sies in the water we made a pact--if someone fell out of their kayak we would paddle over to them and extend an oar; they would then grab the oar, hold onto the rescuing kayak, and we would take them over to the shore. We would not jump into the water to save them--understood?  Okay, we're off.

Such high tech times; one of us had to respond to an e-mail during the paddle--crazy?  No, just modern life.

Hardly any other boats on the water during our two-hour paddle.  It was lovely.


Sunday, July 13

Maybe this will save my flat summer hair

A good work buddy passes along her perused magazines and I usually squirrel away several months' worth for my summer reading.  Well...Better Homes and Gardens compiled a list of "Blogger Award Winners" in the June issue and I think I've found the answer to my most-pressing hair quandary--the dreaded part.

Taming the dreaded part

If this stylist is right, all my hair worries will be over.  I will save so much time getting ready in the morning.  It will be lovely.  Stay tuned.

Saturday, July 12

Petersburg, Virginia--Great, As Usual

Becky and I hit Petersburg today and learned a big lesson--the Farmer's Market is held under the bridge in hot weather!  I didn't do my research and totally missed a great opp.  PetersburgFarmersMarket
However, we did cruise Petersburg Pickers Pickers  and nabbed a glimpse of Kimberly Ann, the owner. Alas, no success in the quest for finding the perfect-fitting desk chair.
The Oak TheOakAntiqueMall was full of fun, vintage items, including three Camp Snoopy glasses from Mickey D's and Vera Neumann scarves Vera Neumann that I almost took home.
We queried shoppers at Bling and decided to try lunch at The Brickhouse Run Brickhouse Run --it was delicious.  Fine service, too.
To keep me alert on the ride home up 95 I asked Becky to stop by Demolition Coffee Coffee before we hit the road.  One of the most interesting coffee houses I've been to--great artwork.

Blueberry heaven

This may be difficult to see, but it is a delicious single-crust blueberry pie.
The baker, my friend Judy, said that she didn't add cinnamon or nutmeg to the recipe since she wanted the blueberries to do the talking.  Well, the blueberries, handpicked in Dinwiddie, VA, told me to keep on eating.
Adam's Acres
I was afraid to even ask about the recipe; if I ever once made this pie at home I'd never stop making it.  The rim of the crust, mixed with vanilla ice cream, remained crisp and lingered in your mouth like a sliver of homemade toffee.
My SIL, Beth, makes a crumble crust b-berry pie for our holiday gatherings, so I relish delicious blueberries mixed with sugar, flour and spices several times a year--although I have to be rude and push ahead in line for a little piece before it's all gone.  If I can continue with my holiday treats and maybe sample Judy's pie once more before I breathe my last that'll be enough for me.

Wednesday, July 9

Feline-Assisted Gardening

The human digs and prunes, Stewey inspects.

If I work too long without taking a break, he wanders over for some personal attention.
 How can you say no to a cat?  

Saturday, July 5

New Baby Boy on the Farm

Uncle Grumpy had a nice surprise this morning when he went out to feed the pregnant mamas:

Not a 4th of July baby; born early this morning.  What to name him?

Sunday, June 29

Rockwood Park in Chesterfield and Powhatan State Park in Central Virginia

Two parks in one weekend!  First, a 1.5 mile hike in nearby Rockwood Park in Chesterfield County last Friday:

Our canine companion needed to keep his eyes on the trail; we had to quickly divert him from Mr. Black Snake just a few yards ahead!
Thankful for the water spigots along the trail to cool off his puppy nose.

Powhatan State Park, along the James River in Central Virginia:
Not completed yet, more trails to come.  But there are lots of trails through meadows and woods as well as a canoe/kayak launch (kinda steep...) and open air picnic areas, shelters, bathrooms already available.

The James was a little higher than usual, with a more-than-slight current.  Still, we saw stand-up paddle boarders leaving with no complaint about the river.
Looking for the second canoe launch area we came across this more rustic campground area.  Turns out it's for folks paddling down the river who need a place to stay the night.
 Very vine-y.
Entangling vine-y?  Camp at your own risk???

Tuesday, June 24

Real Life in Public Schools--a Teacher's Viewpoint

This isn't a "gripe" article.  I see the things the writer describes in the schools I serve; hard-working teachers overwhelmed by the work required in addition to teaching students.


Dragon and Chicken Take a Bath

Adventures in dog-sitting.  Tucker's favorite stuffed toys were smelling a little "ripe" from accumulated doggy drool, so they took a dunking this morning.  Hand washed, spun out in the washer to remove the water then left in a sunny window to air dry for a few hours.  Ahhhh, that smells much better.

Sunday, June 22

Kingdom Come VBS

Vacation Bible School starts tonight and runs through this Friday at WEPC Kingdom Come VBS
This morning I gawked in complete wonder at the ingenuity of the volunteer artists and beauty of the signs, sets and props all around the building:
 The artist even applied pseudo pearls to mylady's gown.

Yep, duct tape gate.
 Love the flames

 Where the serfs live?
 Look for a Royal Barbie above the flames.

Totally amazing.  God-given creativity and tons of hard work.

Friday, June 20

Successful Week at the Boomer Gym

During the last week of school I only went to my boomer gym one time, which was pitiful.  This week was much better, getting there the minimum three times--yippee! 
Very interesting to do the strength training and cardio in the morning instead of late afternoon.  Lots of hard-working, sweating buddies lifting very heavy weights and racing through the cardio sessions.  Motivating!
My Boomer Gym

Thursday, June 19

Ellen Foster is an Interesting Read

Well, it's been a little hot and muggy to be working outside most of this week, so I've puttered around the house all day and in the late evenings I've been reading one of my "almost new" books from the thrift shop. The author sure has a great scheme for avoiding the use of quotation marks...

"Ellen Foster" by Kaye Gibbons

Sad in parts, of course.  My favorite line, spoken by the main character about a teacher who helped her along the way: "She lived in the sixties.  She used to be a flower child but now she is low key so she can hold a job."

I'd love to put that in the signature line of all my e-mails.

Monday, June 16

Lovely Father's Day Post

My work buddy, Fiona, wrote her Father's Day essay from a unique perspective:

Looking Forward to Summer

Photo by J.G. Collier 2014
This photo of Tucker says it all--summer is full of opportunity.  Exercising, cooking healthier meals, getting together with friends; all great goals for humans and canines.  Started off this morning with lifting weights and whittling down the soles of my shoes at my boomer gym, sweating along with new and familiar friends. Worked on two goals in one!