Sunday, December 15, 2019

Earth Warrior

While scrolling through Facebook, I came across this picture that my friend, Nanette, shared.

We had a little discussion about doing a challenge, I said I was in...she said: "I love you best because you are an Earth Warrior." This made me smile...and then it got me to can we all be earth warriors? What difference can we make on this planet we call home?

When driving the roads of Virginia, I'm always amazed at the trash along the way. Watching people throw trash out the window, don't even get me started on cigarettes being thrown out the window. So this challenge discussion with Nanette got me to thinking where I could begin to on helping mother earth.  This is what I've come up with

  • Get a trash picker upper and start keeping the road in front of our house clean of trash, and maybe even adopt a road area to clean up
  • Carry gloves in my car, so I can pick up trash in parks as I go for a walk, you can't believe the garbage I see at the WARF in town or along the Greenway.
  • Stop using plastic straws, carry my personal straw with them when I need one, or, better yet, stop using straws altogether.
  • Do away with single-use plastic wrap.
  • Use my own water bottle, which I do 95% of the time, need to get that other 5% under control.
So...any other suggestions?
are you going to join the challenge and become an Earth Warrior
Can you spread this to your friends, make this challenge go viral?

As I said to Nanette - it takes a village, to make a town, to make a city, to make a state, to make a country to protect our planet.

Are you in?

Until Next Time
Be Kind

Thursday, December 12, 2019

12 Days of Kindness with Elf

I was browsing twitter and came across this article from CNN on 12 Days of Holiday Kindness
At the end of the article, you can print off the above picture and check off your kindness list.

If you follow me on social media, you know that Kindness has been my "word of the year," and I try and embrace it daily, but sometimes it's hard to remember because people can be such Cottonheaded Ninnymuggins. I really try and not let these people bring me down, but it happens to all of us, and sometimes, you want to crawl back into a quilt fort and ignore the world. On Monday, I decided that I don't want to be part of the Cottonheaded Ninnymuggins group I wanted to be part of "Best Way to Spread Christmas Cheer is to Sing it Loud and Sing it Clear" group.

So I'm gonna add to the list above

  • When pushing your grocery cart to the corral, instead of pushing it in and walking away, straighten up the carts, it takes a minute, and it's all organized and neat.
  • Grab a few $20 Visa gift cards and hand them out to your favorite service people, cashiers, grocery cart guy, waitress, a small act of kindness.
  • Let someone go ahead of in your while waiting in line to checkout
  • SMILE - A LOT!
  • ^^that one again
  • Don't just walk away, wish them a good day, Happy Holiday, Merry Christmas...whatever salutation use it and use it with a smile.
  • Don't grump at the people closest to you. Holidays are stressful for everyone.
I'm sure there are more, but that should get us to the new year, and maybe if we all start adding a few random kindness acts, more people will smile, and maybe, just maybe, there will be less Cottonheaded Ninnymuggins in the world.

Until Next Time
Be Kind

Monday, December 9, 2019

I did it...

I did it...

I finally sat down at my sewing machine and finished a quilt top, took it to the quilter, got it back, and put the binding on.
Baby Quilt 
The pattern is from the book, Baby Quilts by Susan Emory, and you can find it on my website. I saw the sheep fabric on the Mountain Creek Quilt Shops website and had to have it. The arrows are from my stash, it's jumbled letters which I thought were perfect for a baby quilt, this is the black with white letters, and then I used the white with black letters for the back. The quilter, Hilda at Phantom Quilters, did a cute sheep design, and I had it back in just a few days. Now all that is left is to get a cute bag and deliver to the new mama.

So there ya have it... the first quilt that I've made since closing the shop that does have anything to do with work. I gotta say, it felt good sitting down at the sewing machine again, so good that I might try my hand at doing one for me.

Until Next Time
Be Kind

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Cup of Joe

Have you ever wondered where "cup of joe" came from in referring to a cup of coffee? Well, I did so I went to trusty Google and asked...omg...there are a few different definitions, but the one I like is this...

You can read more from Wonderopolis

I stopped drinking coffee a few years ago, I know what is running through your minds right now...WHAT...but between the acid in coffee not agreeing with me and taste buds changing I wasn't enjoying it. I would have the occasional Starbucks, but I would have to order something with lots of sugar and cream, or I couldn't stomach the bitterness of the coffee. 


All of that changed when we went to Miami before our cruise in October, I was introduced to Cafe' Con leche, WOW, tasty, rich coffee with scaled milk, and I would add sugar. Low and behold, we got on the cruise ship, and there was a little coffee window buried on the ship that served a few specialty coffees. They made Cafe' Con leche using Cafe Bustelo, you can find it in your local grocery store or order directly from the company.

Cafe Bustelo

I came home, and because I don't have a way to steam my milk for my Cafe Con leche, the Cafe Bustelo is a little too strong, so I turned to Seattle's Best Henry's Blend. It's a beautiful smooth Dark Roast, not too bitter and not too strong, and so far, the acid isn't killing me. The only problem with me and Henry's Blend is that I have to travel from grocery to grocery store in search of it locally but find it I do and enjoy a cup every morning.

Henry's Blend

I do have a favorite mug...

I toss it in the microwave with water to heat the mug before I pour myself a cup; this helps keep my coffee hotter longer because while I'll drink iced coffee, I don't want a cup of cold coffee.

So this post that started off with me wanting to share my cute little mug that I've had for 20+ years turned into telling you my coffee saga...o'well now ya bottoms up!

Until Next Time
Be Kind

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Bird Watching

We moved into this house in 1998, and one of the first things we did was put up bird feeders. I think it's in my blood because my parents have always feed the birds...and the squirrels.

Our feeder stand is a 4x4 buried in the ground with four hooks for four feeders. We have two squirrel baffles...yes two...we have brilliant squirrels. But, we also have bears, and when you have bears, you either bring in your feeders nightly or don't put any out. Not having feeders wasn't an option, but I read that if you use platform feeders, bears will dump the seed but not destroy the feeder. So off to Tractor Supply Company to pick up a feeder.

3 in 1 Platform Feeder
It's been up a week, and I'm sitting here watching the birds have a daily buffet. In the last hour, I've seen both the male and female cardinals, tufted titmouse, juncos, wrens, mocking bird, bluejay, carolina chickadee, and a few different finches. I also pick up the birdseed at TSC, great selection, and affordable.

So...if you have bears in your neck of the woods and want to feed the birds, grab a platform feeder or two and enjoy the show!

Until Next Time
Be Kind

Saturday, November 30, 2019

November Musings

After an afternoon out with Andrew at Tin Cannon Brewery, I had the rootbeer, we noticed Christmas lights up on the drive home. It is so hard to wrap our heads around that tomorrow is December 1st. We chatted about where the month of November went...because it flew by.

  • We got home from our cruise on November 2nd, my birthday was the 5th, and I celebrated all week. 
  • Andrew left the weekend of November 8th to visit his sister and her family along with his mom. He returned home on November 12th.
  • I drove to New Bern, NC, on November 13th, to spend time with my friend Colleen and see my mom. I came home on the 18th.
  • Thanksgiving on the 28th 
and that leaves us here

November 30th with 25 days left till Christmas. I'm hoping that December doesn't fly by as fast. I hope to get the tree up and fluffed tomorrow and decorate the rest of the house till we know for sure that the kitties won't climb and knock ornaments off. 

And no blog post would be complete with at least one picture...I'll leave you with this one on of Symon Sez aka Symafuz aka Sy aka Symie.

Until Next Time
Be Kind

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Sunday Musings

On November 10, 1775, the Second Continental Congress meeting in Philadelphia passed a resolution stating that "two Battalions of Marines be raised" for service as landing forces with the fleet. This resolution established the Continental Marines and marked the birth date of the U.S. Marine Corps.

There is no doubt that if you've been following my blog from the beginning, you know that I was raised by a Marine, not just any Marine but this guy...

I always tell people that I was raised in khaki diapers, being a child of a Marine meant you were part of that culture.

You stopped and stood when reveille was played at the flag was raised. Driving to work at the bank, I would pass the headquarters building, and at least once a week was going by when the flag was being raised for the day, yep, stop your car and get out. When retreat was played at the end of the day, even as a kid if you heard it, you stopped and faced the direction of the flag.

You said, "yes ma'am and no sir" ... never ever did you say "yep" to an adult, it just didn't happen.

You knew when you walked out the door, you represented your family, your name was theirs, and your decisions were based on how it would reflect on them.

We watched our mothers run a house and raise the kids while the fathers were off fighting for our country, 1 year or longer at a time, but always with the "wait till your father got home" and that still could put the fear of God in you to not do what you were doing that you weren't supposed to be doing.

The sound of my father's voice could bring tears to my eyes when he was mad or disappointed in me, and it could bring a smile to my face when he called me. I'm not sure if he actually ever said, "stop crying, or I'll give you something to cry about," but I'm sure he could have, yelling at me was enough to bring on the waterworks. You see, I never wanted to disappoint my father, I'm sure most of my friends raised by Marine fathers would say the same thing.

You see, I was raised by a Marine, discipline was key, respect of others, knock on doors before entering, never go into other people's personal space. You didn't go into your mother's purse or father's wallet, didn't snoop in drawers or medicine cabinets, that was rude, and we were raised to not be rude. Manners mattered, all the time!

You see...I was raised by a Marine...and by a mother that was married to a Marine...and the saying is true...Once a Marine - Always a Marine.

So Happy Birthday to all the Marine's out there! SEMPER FI

Until Next Time
Be Kind

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Saturday Morning

Fall finally arrived this morning with a crisp, chilly morning and bright sunshine. Here in Virginia we never thought it would come, I was pretty sure we were going from summer directly into winter.

The leaves are still green on the trees or brown from our lack of rain...nothing like this tree from 2014

October 2014
This tree is across the street from our driveway, and in the early mornings when the sun is hitting it just right it appears as if it's on fire, today it's just green, we shall see how long it takes to show it's true colors.

We have a pup guest for the next week...Belle is visiting while her parents are road-tripping. Belle is the leader of our pack right now, the cats give her no mind, but both Bodhi and Symon listen to what she says, and she doesn't put up with any of their foolishness, it's fun to watch them all sort it out.

We're waiting for a bit of a warm-up so we can hit Lowes for stacking stones for my new flower bed that I need to spend the fall/winter prepping for next spring. 

Until Next Time
Be Kind

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Sunday Morning on the Back Porch

I was enjoying my first cup of coffee this morning on the back porch, the pups were playing tug on a chew, the kitties exploring, birds chirping when suddenly it sounded like a small car was in my backyard. I was thinking what the heck, even Bodhi was thinking, what the heck.

After figuring out where the noise was coming from, the sky, Bodhi and I looked upward, and it was a low flying moped with a canopy...okay maybe it was an ultra-light plane, but it sounded like a moped in the sky.
Ultralight image courtesy Pixabay
I really shattered the morning quietness. My friend, Janet, formally of the Empty Nest in Old Town Warrenton and now Janet Metzger, Artist often talked about them flying around her property and pretty much said the same thing, they are loud and obnoxious. 

I can still hear him in the distance, but I can now also hear the crows cawing, the bluejays squawking, the chirp of the cardinals and the swish/buzzing of the hummingbirds...and yes the crickets and cicadas are still having a loud party. 

I think it's almost time for about some fresh bacon and tomatoes on a bagel?

Until Next Time
Be Kind

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Happy Gotcha Day Symon

Someone is very sleepy today...and here is the reason why.
Symon Sez
We welcomed Symon into our home yesterday, and sleep is a little challenged for a few of us. We are kennel training, so that is one adjustment, he doesn't have his pack around him, another adjustment, and now he is the little guy in a house with a big boy, aka Bodhi Good Boy, and two kitties.

His early morning adventures included meeting Jack the Cat with a hiss and run, finding the spring door stop, learning where the a/c vents in the house are. This little boy does not like the heat, his Aunt Leslee and Uncle Scott brought him a fan for his welcome home gift, this will come in handy on the porch. 

I see a nap in my future and remember what I wrote early this week...Naps are healthy and good for you.

Until Next Time
Be Kind

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Sleepy Musings

Let me get this out of the way and say that I LOVE sleep...there is nothing better than waking up without an alarm clock so you can imagine how excited I was when I closed the shop and knew that I didn't have to get up and get going early in the morning.

Well...after welcoming Jack the Cat and Harper Lee into the house my sleeping in was not to be had. Jack really is the culprit here, he starts pawing me between 4 and 5 am...and by pawing I mean with this claws out. I've tried gently taking him off the bed, telling him, NO, moving him away from my face, nothing works till I get frustrated and give him a shove off the bed...this works for about 45 minutes till he comes back. I'm still working on training the kitties with the word NO, everyone says squirting them with water but when one of you kitties likes to lay in a sink and doesn't mind if you turn on the water, not sure that will work. So if you have any ideas, bring them on.

Anyway, back to me and my love of sleep. We'll be welcoming Symon Sez home in a few days, so I know that will throw off my sleeping in, and I'll be okay with that because yesterday a news story was released that said: "napping was good for your health" and then I found this on WebMD.

Napping isn’t just for babies. Studies show that an afternoon nap is great for adults, too. There’s no need to feel lazy for indulging in daytime sleep. A short nap in the mid-afternoon can boost memory, improve job performance, lift your mood, make you more alert, and ease stress. Cozy up to these nap benefits.

Maybe I just need to change my mindset and get up early and take naps in the afternoon, what do ya think?

Until Next Time
Be Kind

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Saturday Morning on the Back Porch

The leaves are tinged with a little orange, and the sun is streaming through the trees...
there is a nip in the early morning air
the deer nibble as they walk through the yard
the birds are chirping
a breeze rustles the leaves on the trees
fall is coming

Until Next Time
Be Kind

Friday, September 6, 2019

Friday Night Musings

It's Friday Night on the Back Porch...

It's how we do Friday's around here... Washington Nationals baseball and puppy dog snuggles...fingers crossed next Friday we'll be adding another puppy dog to the snuggle time.

Until Next Time
Be Kind

Weekend Adventure Part 2

Day 2 of my travel adventure with Kathy started in Charlottesville, Virginia, before breakfast, we made a side trip to see the big butt...
Charlottesville Big Butt
This Big Butt is in a parking lot that is by a crazy art park and brewery, Andrew and I are gonna go back to see more funky art and have a brew or two.

We grabbed a quick bite at Hardee's, can't beat a steak biscuit and hash rounds. 

Heading south on Rt 15 we traveled along some beautiful country roads and found some more love.

And then we found some trolls.

We found our way to Raleigh and right in the middle of college football traffic, NC State was playing ECU and traffic was crazy nuts, but Kathy managed to get us to our hotel, we did some decompressing, had a glass of wine and figured out where to go to linner. 

OMGeeee...Kathy found, The Oak - Kitchen and Bourbon Bar. Kathy got us a Uber, and we headed out for a bite before the restaurant got too crowded. I won't write a whole review here, I did that on yelp, but the food was farppen amazing, service matched the food, this makes me wish I lived closer so I could eat my way through the menu.

If you have a chance to stop won't regret it.

We enjoyed our dinner and glass of wine, and it was time to head to the NC Museum of Art. The concert was held in their outdoor pavilion, we had lawn seats, with no chairs or blanket, but you know what we were having a great time, making fun memories and did not give one hoot...bonus, the ground was dry. I didn't take any pictures but let me tell you that Mipso rocked and had me singing and swaying and Kathy and I left the concert hoarse from singing and screaming.

We decided to take a scenic route home, so up early after a late night. After breakfast at Bojangles, we headed towards the Blue Ridge Parkway via Lynchburg VA.

As we were heading towards Lynchburg, Kathy made a quick u-turn...

Kathy spotted Maters from Cars and a weird metal bird, check out our ride!

We made it to Lynchburg and found more love #VAISFORLOVERS

We made it to the Parkway...

One of our favorite songs, Carolina Calling,

We stopped along the way to enjoy the flowers, and this field was alive

Monarch Butterfly on Goldenrod
We left the Parkway and drove a few more backroads of Virginia, traveling through Crozet VA (best pizza place ever), we didn't stop for pizza but instead stopped to gas up the car and grab a cold drink before finding some LOVE.

Crozet Love
We made our way back home...tired but fully re-charged after a weekend of friendship and fun. If you haven't take a girls road-trip, do it, if you haven't take one in forever, do it...heck...just do it! This trip was exactly what my soul and mind needed.

Thanks for traveling along...

Until Next Time
Be Kind

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Weekend Adventure Part 1

This past weekend I took off for a girls weekend with my friend Kathy to see one of our favorite groups perform.

Mipso is a quartet from North Carolina, their music is hard to describe, it's kind of like bluegrass meets blues meets southern church revival meets rock. They are the kind of group that seeps into your heart and soul.

We took off Friday morning heading up to Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway.

First Selfie of the trip
We took Kathy's husband, Mikes, convertible, and it just made the experience that much more fun. With Mipso playing and us singing along the time breezed by as we drove west before heading towards Charlottesville VA for our first concert.

Kathy pointing to her Mipso t-shirt

Selfie at Crabtree Falls
We stopped for linner (aka lunch/dinner) at Devil's Backbone Brewery before heading into town.
Devil's Backbone
We checked into our hotel, opened a bottle of wine, had a few snacks, and got ready to leave for the Jefferson Theater
3rd Selfie - Heading into the concert

This was my second time attending one of their concerts, the first was amazing at The Birchmere with plenty of seating and an intimate setting. This concert was in a college town with minimal seating, lots of standing room and the crowd was younger, and louder...they talked through the whole performance...I'm gonna sound old here but DAMN so disrespectful. We still enjoyed the concert, and a bonus was ↓
4th Selfie - Jacob, me, Joseph and Kathy
We walked back to our hotel, talking about the music and how excited we were for the next days' adventure.

Until Part 2
Be Kind

A Dream

Warning...this blog post may cause some tears, but believe me, that are happy ones. I had a dream last night, and my father was in it. No...