To each his own. To me my own.

Posts tagged “Nature

The early bird got the worm

A budding tree’s silhouette in 7am light

I’ve had my eye on the big tree right outside my work for almost a month now, since history has taught me it’s the first to bloom. It wasn’t until yesterday morning that I noticed it was now nearing blossom stage… the buds are no more.

Silly me. I blinked and missed it.


A View from Mount Mitchell

Those who know me are well aware of my continuing quest to kick acrophobia out the window once and for all. Thought I’d share a few pictures of our road-trip yesterday up to Mt. Mitchell, the highest peak of the Appalachian Mountains and the highest point in the eastern United States. This is the highest up I’ve ever been. For those of you who’ve been much higher and think this is a simply a walk in the park – humor me. I’m terrified this high up (mainly during the drive up and down), but for some reason the mountains keep calling me back. It’s so beautiful and peaceful here, even if it does scare me to death.


Old Man Winter’s here

It was a balmy 62° outside this morning, which didn’t seem right. I climbed into my trusty sidekick to go to work and marveled at the fact that it was so light outside. Normally having to be in at 7am, and with very few streetlights on the country roads, I appreciate driving in something other than pitch black. The horses and cows were already out in their fields, grazing on the lush green pastures from all the rain. Even my favorite handsome bull looked happy.

After the blue day I had yesterday, all of the above was a welcome sight. I went into work as a biscuit fairy this morning, which made me and everyone else happy. While I was in McDonald’s waiting, I talked with this nice lady who was also bringing biscuits to her coworkers – we both agreed a nice biscuit always makes people happy. I’ve got about 24 hours to propel myself back into the Christmas spirit, and since our girls are both coming it should be easier for that to happen.

My guy just texted me that there are some cows running around loose in the neighborhood. I so wish I was at home to see this. He only managed to get one picture:

Last night, I dreamed was in this huge mansion where a fire had started. Slowly it grew to one little fire in every room and everyone was running from room to room trying to extinguish it. When the fire trucks came, from the sunroom to the front door was completely blocked with huge obstacles – heavy rugs, big bags, and the like. I was the only one trying to move the stuff as the firemen were climbing over them to get through the front door. I remember yelling “someone help me move all this stuff so the firemen can get through!” and everyone’s response was “oh, they can get through – don’t worry about it!”

Dreaming of fire could suggest a transformation in life. The flames could signify the burning of any barriers that might be in the way. Not being able to let something go and letting it build within can be the reason for a dream of fire. Holding a grudge against something, or someone, could be the result of the dream.

Makes sense to me.


Roadtrip

I love spontaneous roadtrips. With us they usually end up in the mountains, and I’ve grown to love the area a lot. Yesterday we set out early to Maggie Valley/Cherokee, NC. This is the location of mine and Keith’s very first trip together over two years ago, and I was surprised to see how much I remembered about it! Maybe my old memory isn’t as bad as I thought it was. Keith has Cherokee roots from his mother’s side of the family, and even looks the part. He could probably put on a headdress and pass very well.

We mostly walked both towns and perused the shops,, and ended up in Waynesville to eat dinner. Thought I’d share some photos of my favorite findings of the day – I hope everyone has a enjoyable and safe Labor Day Weekend!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Name That Place

Since the ole’ anniversary’s over with now, guess I can spill the beans about what I got Keith. Pack up the kids – we’re goin’ to Biltmore! (just kidding about the kid part.)

Yep, I said we.

This was my present to him, two tickets to The Biltmore House. I suppose it might sound a little self-serving (or a lot, depending on who you are)… but just what do you get a guy who’s got everything (including me)? 😀

I pondered what to get him for months. Here’s the lowdown on said conversation(s) with myself.

Me: Electronics? Guys always like electronics…

Inner Self: He’s already got everything. Besides, I’d need at least two grand or more to impress him in that area.

Me: Clothing? Maybe some fall wear?

Inner Self: I’ve gotten him apparel as a filler for every occasion for two years. He’s gotta be so sick of it by now.

Me: Jewelry?

Inner Self: C’mon Bon, really? What, a nice necklace (already has)… a bracelet (won’t wear one)… a watch (has five or more)… hey how ’bout a ring?? (Smacks self in forehead) Now what kind of an impression would that lead to? Talk about self-serving…

Enter ‘trip’ thoughts.

Me: Beach?

Inner Self: We were planning that anyway. 

Que the Biltmore House. We’d talked about going there but had never made any final plans. Not only is it expensive – but devoting one lone day to seeing everything just isn’t going to cut it. At least eight full hours are needed there, maybe more for the winery and gardens – and it’s about a 2 1/2-hour trip one way. So an overnight stay would definitely be in order.

Neither of us have ever been before – I’d never have considered it if he had. Two native Carolinians who’ve never been to Biltmore usually make for interesting conversations with some of the older locals. Whenever we feel like pushing it a step further so as to to appear sheltered, we’ll throw in the fact that neither of us have ever been to Charleston, either.

The poor babes, they really do need to get out more. These places have been around since the arc.

It’s probably the closest we’ll ever come to being in a castle. I’m ready to be mesmerized and enchanted…

http://biltmore.com/


My Favorite Cow is a Bull

For the past few months, I’ve admired a certain cow during my drive in to work. There she stood each day, huddled with her comrades in a misty morning field. I’d often see her in groups ‘kissing’ with some of the others. Now I didn’t know if they were actually kissing or not – but the Bon in me just wanted to believe this was a cow’s way of being cute and sweet.

I’ve always been a sucker for odd markings (take my cat for example) and this cow’s markings definitely fell into the unusual category. Dark legs complimented her cream-colored base, and thick black rings accentuated her huge eyes. She really stood out from all the others, and I found myself searching her out each time I came up on that field.

On the way home from work last Friday, ‘my’ cow was standing all by herself roadside at the fence. I did a three-point road turn and positioned myself right smack in front of her…

…errrrr… HIM.

In retrospect I guess I should’ve known it was a he, but this city girl hasn’t been around many bulls and cows in her life. I’ll also stand by my defense of having not seen him up close until Friday. Thirdly, I didn’t think bulls were allowed to mingle freely with the cows… I mean, do these girls get any rest? I don’t mean to be crude, but this has to coincide with at least some of the more intense mooing I hear coming from that field around dusk each night.

As soon as I reached him and stopped, I immediately noted the large horns upon his head. This majestic creature stood there and subliminally yelled out to me “I am MAN, hear me roar” then snorted a mild “hummfff”. As I sat in my car with him and I separated by a mere fifteen feet and five pieces of wire – it suddenly struck me that I might need to grow a brain and moooove along…

Well… after I squeeze in a small photo opp, of course. Isn’t he beautiful handsome??


Sunflower Fields Forever

This field is located about a mile down from the house. Being that I took the picture about 3 weeks ago, unfortunately the poor flowers have now either passed their prime or are severely drought-stricken. The picture was inspiration for my ever-amateurish little poem, which I write very few of.

Sunflower Fields Forever

Tucked away from all the hype
and bustle of the town
there lies a field where there are only
sunflowers allowed.

Long necks stretch up ever-taught
Their heads gaze oh so high
In their attempt to say ‘hello there’
way up to the sky.

Simple, timeless is their beauty
of vibrancy and hue
Unknowingly an artists’ vision
Of canvas dreams come true.

They have one wish – to kiss the sun
This kiss shall set them free
It is, dear flower, after all
Where you’re supposed to be.

It’s not the first time we have met
In dreams I’ve seen you here
Soon in this field you’ll rest your heads
‘Til next you reappear.

~Life of Bon, 2011


A Little Town Called Urbanna

Ever have a place you’ve visited just stick with you – certain sights and events bringing the place fresh back into focus? As I crossed the sunrise-laden bridge this morning, I was reminded again of a visit a couple of years ago to a little portside town in Virginia – to a little town called Urbanna.

I think about this place every time I see a sunrise. I think about it every time I pass over the river on the way to work. I think about it most every time I lay my eyes on a boat. Sometimes I consider this a burden and wish it to be lifted from me; to regain the ability of forming my own thoughts and memories from such sights. It doesn’t seem meant to be, though – and this morning was no exception.

Urbanna is located on Virginia’s middle peninsula on the Rappahannock River, which eventually spills into the beautiful and majestic Chesapeake Bay. This historic town was originally established as a port for the shipment of tobacco to England. The old tobacco warehouse built in 1766 is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and serves today as the Visitors Center. This warehouse is located on Virginia Street, which ironically enough is one of my favorite streets there.

The town itself is as friendly as the day is long, and the locals seem to go out of their way to please you. They are proud of their towns history and the fact that aside from the annual Oyster Festival which attracts 70,000 each November, Urbanna is still able to maintain that hometown feel. As you walk through town, it’s almost as though nothing at all has changed since the fifties. The in-town drugstore still has a fully-operational diner inside, complete with swivel-seat barstools. Even the streets seem to want to tell you their story as you stroll down them.

X marks my approximate anchor location on Urbanna Creek. ©Google Images

I learned being rocked to sleep by the waves is one of my most favorite things, as well as waking up the next morning to the sunrise over the water. I ended up adapting to that little sailboat so quickly it about made my own head spin. Within a day I’d perfected my way around atop and below the boat – finding out exactly what I could hang onto and what I couldn’t, and what I could swing from and what I couldn’t. 🙂

I was sad to learn of the vineyard I visited closing down in 2010, White Fences Winery and Vineyards. What a nice drive over the bridge where you can see the Rappahannock River merging with the Chesapeake Bay. Unlike some local wineries, White Fences had acres and acres of vineyards to walk. The massive greenery would hold your imagination captive for as long as you would allow it.

The town slogan, as it appears on main page of their very well-put-together website:
“Turn off the main road. Or cruise up the Rappahannock River from the Chesapeake Bay. To the slightly off the beaten track tidewater town of Urbanna,Virginia. Home of Virginia’s official oyster festival, more boats than folks and laid back innkeepers, shopkeepers, chefs and townspeople who’ll help you shuck your stress and slip into an island state of mind.”

Yep… in this case, I’d say the city slogan fits quite well.

In the distance where the sun is hitting, Rappahannock River dances with Chesapeake Bay

Official website of Urbanna, VA


My Cure for Acrophobia… NOT

As much as I’ve been up and around the area, I’ve never been to the very top of Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina. Positioned 5,946 feet up in the clouds, it’s height is impressive even when compared to that of Mt. Mitchell which stands at 6,684 feet – the highest peak in the eastern United States. Grandfather Mountain is definitely the highest point I’ve ever been in my life, and likely ever will be again. It’s surely high enough for me.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

As we drove on past our favorite little town of Blowing Rock, NC we decided to visit the top of this infamous mountain. I learned a good bit about it, including the fact that Grandfather has more plant diversity contained in it’s area than in all of Europe. It’s landscaping and inhabitants are largely protected, which is always great to see. The admission fee included entrance to everything except the highland games. Nature museum, gift shop and restaurant, animal habitats, many impressive cliff points, walking trails, and never to be last –  the mile-high swinging bridge.

Ohhhh, Mama.

I’ve worked feverishly for years to try and rid myself of this dreaded fear of heights, also known as Acrophobia. Countless trips to mountains, numerous rides on the Intimidator coaster (tallest and fastest in the Southeast), a couple of paragliding adventures over the Atlantic… but nothing could have prepared me for the entirely helpless panicked feeling of being out on that bridge.

I wanted to be able to snap a pic or two out on there, but I had to keep walking moving. My legs felt like jelly, I was shaking uncontrollably, and my chest felt as though I had entered into cardiac arrest. I couldn’t disappoint Keith, I knew how badly he wanted to walk it – but I simply cannot explain how terrified I was.

To say the drive up to the highest point/swinging bridge was treacherous was an understatement. Several complete u-turn points paved the way up the last several hundred feet, with nothing but sheer drop-off below. Each car literally had to stop and think first about what they were doing. Except for the pavement quality, it seriously reminded me of that tv show ‘Most Dangerous Roads’ usually found in third-world countries. And I thought the trip up was bad until I realized we had to come back down.

Another tidbit of info I learned: Remember when Forrest Gump ran across America? A portion of his trek was filmed while running up Grandfather Mountain (a curve now appropriately named “Forrest Gump Curve”. Ironically, I came home and the movie was on tv last night… one of these snapshots is of Forrest running around that particular curve on my tv. 🙂

I guess the height thing is one phobia I’m just going to have to live with. As far as ever conquering it, I can’t say I haven’t tried!

http://www.grandfather.com/


Summer Solstice (via Life of Bon)

A year ago today, I posted this entry and was so happy to hear it had been Freshly Pressed.
I thought today it might be worthy of a repost. For all you Summer-lovers, enjoy your day –
and all the seasons!

Summer Solstice A solstice is an astronomical event that happens twice each year, when the tilt of the Earth’s axis is most inclined toward or away from the sun, causing the Sun’s apparent position in the sky to reach its northernmost or southernmost extreme. The name is derived from the Latin sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still), because at the solstices, the Sun stands still in declination; that is, the apparent movement of the Sun’s path north or south come … Read More

via Life of Bon


Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

Have you ever felt like running somewhere, anywhere – only to be reminded there’s really nowhere for you to run?

Full moon ahead.

Kinda like being caught between the devil and the deep blue sea.

Even as a child, this phrase intrigued me. It seems most logical for me to believe it may have derived from Greek mythology – when Homer’s Odyssey refers to Odysseus being caught between Scylla (a six-headed monster) and Charybdis (a whirlpool).

Full moon alert.

However, I’ve run upon another possible origin that may hold water – pardon the pun – which is the nautical theory. In sailing terminology, the word “Devil” (devill) refers to the seam between the deck planking and the topmost plank of a vessel’s side. This seam had to be watertight, so it required continuous caulking. When a ship was at sea, it sometimes became necessary for a sailor to be suspended over the side or edge to perform this maneuver. Makes perfect sense to me how this might have translated into ‘between the devil and the deep sea’.

Move along, quickly now… full moon out.

All the talk of deep blue seas and moons brings to mind their lovely counterparts – the tides and currents. Thanks to the gravity force between Earth and the Moon, the Moon is ultimately responsible for many of the tides in our Earth’s oceans. During the full and new Moons, the Earth, Moon and Sun are lined up – which produces higher high tides (Spring Tides) and lower low tides. Sorry to bore, but I’ve always found the tides and their reasoning fascinating.

As a child, I remember walking along the beach in my nightgown under the light of a full moon, which I used to call ‘whole’ moon. I’ve written about this night before.  I had this clear plastic blue ring which I used to filter the moon to a beautiful bright blue hue. Since then, I’ve never witnessed any setting that matched the beauty of the moonlit beach on that particular night. Even as a child I appreciated it – I stood there mesmerized taking it all in, wishing I never had to leave. Since our vacation house was directly behind me on the beach, my mother allowed me to linger there under her watchful eye. It’s still a strong, magical and precious memory – one I hope I never lose.

I’d still like to run somewhere. Preferably to a desolate beach at low tide, underneath a full moon…

Photobucket.com

Aim for the Moon. If you miss, you may hit a star…
~W. Clement Stone


Don’t forget to name your posts, Part 2

I love my drive in to work. It’s nineteen miles one-way, but well over half of it is through pure country. God’s country. We google-earthed it just to get an aerial…

The land seems to be evenly split between farming and livestock, and the people who live out here have been here many years. There are plenty of sweet-faced little cows and horses to gaze at along the way.

 Sprawling fields of fresh haystacks never cease to mesmerize me – all stacked so perfectly.

Immediately surrounding us is a good-enough sized mountain to climb if we wish, which we have on occasion. In the evenings, we’ll sit outside and listen to the cows call their babies home. When I first heard it I was very concerned, thinking the cows were in pain! Keith had that sly grin on his face when he told me what it really was.

Last night a neighbor had a get-together across the street. I got to meet a lot of Keith’s neighbors, which was nice! All are down-to-earth people who seem really genuine, hard-working and true.

I always wanted to live out ‘away’ from the city – in fact I used to yearn for it, especially during a country drive. It already seems as though I’ve lived here a long time!


Dreamland again

Last night I had some very strange dreams. I was walking on a road and I noticed there were kittens everywhere… one narrowly escaped being hit by a car. Freaking out, I gathered as many of them as I could, and they were all so precious. After gathering all the kittens up, here in the middle of the road also sits this iguana. It was a beautiful iguana, bright green and healthy looking – and it couldn’t take it’s eyes off me. I go pick it up and it instantly clings to me – of course this captured my heart.

People started arriving to help, and I knew the kittens were going to have to go to the pound. While I contemplated keeping one, I petted on the iguana who had happened upon a new mommy. At that moment I knew exactly who I was taking home. He was abnormally large, about the size of a full-grown dachschund. I carried him everywhere and we formed a strong bond… I can even say by the end of the dream that I loved him.

All in all, it was a good dream – except for being disappointed when I awoke and realized my little Iggy was just a figment of my imagination.

I honestly didn’t think I would find any interpretation on dreams of iguanas, but I should’ve known better. What I found floored me.

To see an iguana in your dream, represents harshness, cold-heartedness, fierceness, and inhuman poise.  It is an indication of both hostility and unstoppable determination. The iguana may remind you of someone or some situation in your waking life that you find frightening yet awe inspiring.

via http://www.dream-interpretation.co.uk

Well. This is about as clear as it gets to me. This references me back a couple of posts to one titled Les Miserables. I am reminded of the advice of a dear friend, that no matter what, the offending entity deserves to be lifted up in prayer (thanks, E). Just imagine if Jesus picked and chose who he wanted to love! So, it doesn’t matter if they want it or not. No matter what – it’s my responsibility to do this.

Thanks for another good one, dreamland.


The white-assed bee

Keith really entertains me with his love for nature. Early last spring, it was a little box turtle he rescued from a job site that came home to live with him for about 4 months. The little thing was such a carnivore! Keith would diligently go out and ‘fetch’ him worms, and the tiny little turtle would just ravish them. ‘Autobot’ was later released in a nice little pond-like area.

When the time comes, which is soon – there will be black snakes a’plenty. Let me say right up front that I am not a snake person, not even close. This said, upon hearing my screams, Keith will go pick up said snake and transport it to a nearby tree. I personally think these snakes adore him – I say that because one climbed up to his kitchen window to get another glimpse of him last spring. Of course I got a picture of it!

They call him… the snake whisperer.

As it happened, this past weekend was to be insect weekend. From the front porch K motioned for me to come look through the storm door. He was holding a dragonfly, it’s little legs wrapped tight around his finger. He told me it was still a young one (obviously my understanding of the dragonfly aging-process needs work). K’s eagle-eyes found Junior on the ground and said he would be in danger if he got caught there during the looming storm.

And what a storm it was to be. Never in my life have I seen anything larger than quarter-sized hail. Saturday though, we got Kansas hail – baseball-sized. We happened to make national news with this one! I shall call it… Carolina Hail.

I guess I should realize by now, my man doesn’t exaggerate… he just doesn’t have it in him. Chuckle if you want to on that – but I can guarantee if you call him on something he tells you, you’ll lose. I quite simply adore this wonderful trait he possesses.

When I arrived at his house Friday, he told me about this carpenter bee who was running around with a white ass because of him. Carpenter bees are territorial and like to ‘hover’ – add to that the fact that they’re huge. K had been painting some louvered doors outside, and apparently this one wanted to hover in his face. After several failed attempts at rerouting the bee, he inadvertently swiped at it with the paintbrush in his hand. He said it sped off down the street. About an hour later, the bee showed back up at his house, sporting a white ass! Doubting Thomas over here asked if he was sure it was that exact bee, and did it really have a white ass. He calmly said yes, it was that bee and yes, it did.

The next day, we were ready to leave and he pointed up in the air beside him, laughing. Sure enough, said bee turned 90º to look at him (like the snakes, even the bees seem to love him – even after being swiped by a loaded paintbrush) and sure enough it had a white ass! Not just a dot, either – a genuine big white bee-ass! Come yesterday, it’s still guarding that section of the house. My stomach is literally sore from laughing at that, umm-hmm, particular end of the bee.

Sorry for the language, but it’s Keith’s story and that’s what he’s called it from the beginning. It just gives more ooomph to the storyline. Seriously, would a bee with a white butt be funny? Not so much. But a bee with a white ass? Now that’s hilarious…

Are you kidding, of course we got a picture!

Footnote: for all you insect-lovers… no bashing, please. Mr. Carpenter is alive and well, and doing a marvelous job of guarding his assigned spot on the side of the house. In this picture taken Monday 11 Apr, he’s actually hovering above the bricks, as Keith followed him around to get a detailed picture. As of yesterday, the remaining paint looks as though it’s ready to flake off any minute – I only wish we could’ve gotten a shot when his whole, umm, rear, was white!


The Town of Blowing Rock

It’s one of my favorite places. Basically, I love everything associated with the majestic Blue Ridge mountains – the Parkway, the scenic overlooks, the endless trails to choose from, the attractions like Linville Falls and Taverns, Chimney and Blowing Rocks. And I adore all the little towns in between.

They apparently received some more of the white stuff up there on Saturday. We saw a few small piles of snow scattered on the sides of the road as well as leftover brime. It was a perfectly weathered day to walk the town of Blowing Rock, with the afternoon high reaching about 65º. We hit all our favorite shops like Poppy’s and The Last Straw, and even bought a couple of things. Keith bought a couple of the led wax candles, that actually have timers on them! I thought it was so neat that we’ll never have to touch them except to replace the batteries. I bought something I’ve had my eye on now for over a year… those little battery illuminated willow branches that compliment a large vase arrangement.

It’s nice to walk up and down the streets of a quaint little town while holding hands, never being in a hurry. I always find myself wishing we could stay longer. Of course, the trip wouldn’t have been complete without a trip to Kilwin’s for some homemade fudge. Like I really needed another couple pounds! Oh well, maybe I can spread it out a little so that it doesn’t accumulate all at once…

Visit the Town of Blowing Rock online


Inconcinnus

We’ve all been caught in an embarrassing position. A scene that, much to our chagrin, turns us red quicker than a freshly boiled lobster. Being caught in a sticky situation makes you wish you could just melt away from it… oh, if it were only that easy.

At this point, I find it very comical that the subject of my last post was about a wedding.

A week ago, my boyfriend’s dear aunt passed away. I never had the pleasure of meeting her, a real shame since I’ve heard many people speak so very highly of her. Realizing a funeral isn’t the optimal situation to meet your boyfriend’s family members, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t looking forward to meeting a few that were coming in from out of state.

In the last few moments before we left, we were saying our final goodbyes. From the beginning, there’s been nothing but positive input and vibes from his family – always making me feel so welcomed. Then, here it comes. (Folks, it took me such by surprise that I can’t remember the exact words used… so I’ll do my best to paraphrase.) Something was asked about how long K and I had been together, to which I replied going on two years now. The conversation ensued from there…

Family member: Oh, you ought to just go ahead and get married.

Me: *red*red* **oh, hail, miss brightass-red** I look over at said family member, shaking my head ever so slightly left-to-right in attempt to avert the subject (wondering which direction my dear K’s sight was aimed as well). I also mouth a NO. Unfortunately, I now realize that this mega-defensive act was likely perceived as a sign that old Bon never again wishes to wed… which of course isn’t the case.

Family member: Oh c’mon… you know you want to!

Me: *screaming to myself on the inside, ‘WHAT DO I DO??’* So I stammer: ohhh… well – we ARE moving in together this summer…  **another desperate attempt to thwart said subject matter** (Immediately I realize I could not have picked a more inappropriate time to mention our moving in together… a family funeral, of all things.)

Ugghh… another epic Bon FAIL.

The truth is, I have very strong feelings on the subject. A couple of my close friends feel the same as I do, for very valid reasons. In another lifetime many years ago, I was the first to ‘suggest’ marriage with my now ex-husband – I was two months with child at the time. As the years went along, many of our arguments would result in him ‘reminding’ me of this. Trust me when I say these instances never added any valuable building blocks to the relationship – instead it only allowed hurt and embarrassment to grow and fester within me. The backlash of a southern ‘shotgun wedding’ via the good old Justice of the Peace in York County, SC seemed to always be on the forefront of his mind.

Never again. This is something that can make you feel unworthy for a lifetime.

No, if it ever happens again, it won’t be coming from my mouth. I made a pact with myself a long time ago that I’d never utter words that even hint of it – no siree Bob. Besides, why would I need to when others do it for me?


Newness arrives again

Spring has sprung in the metro Carolinas. Ready or not – here it comes! Although admittedly wary, for weeks now I’ve been stoked with thoughts of an early Spring. Now that the trees are blooming, I’m in ecstatic-mode!

Pink blossoms outside Belk this weekend...

I’m not unrealistic about the frost getting the blooms, and have actually resolved myself to the fact they probably will. But I’ll enjoy it while they last and hey, at least there’s no forecast of frost for the next 10 days!! To boot, in my mind this late-February bloom-pop signals an extra-long Summer! Whoo-hoo!!

Bradford Pear outside my work entrance... already!!


Survivor 22 – Nicaragua

The new season of Survivor is premiering on CBS tonight – I can’t wait!! The show simply never gets old to me. This season is set in Nicaragua and promises to be the most grueling season of earth, wind and fire that we’ve ever had the pleasure of witnessing in any of the past eleven years.

Haters, be gone. Tonight I will have my undisturbed 60 minutes of unparalleled HD reality bliss… bring it!!

©CBS Survivor

Visit official site here


Hibachi Hearts

Oh how I’ve missed my little blog. Seems like there’s not been enough time lately to do anything. I’ve got some catching up to do on my reading as well! Today makes it official – the month is now half spent. In lieu of content, thought I’d bore you with some pictures today…

The sunrise this morning was beautiful – it cast a pinkish-purple hue on the buildings around me.

Pardon the office lights in the background!

This past weekend was perfect weather. We took full advantage of it Sunday by gathering our daughters together and climbing a mountain. Okay, it’s not the biggest mountain around, but a mountain nonetheless. It was a great time to be had – we took on the climb, had a beautiful scenic view for a prize, and partook in a nice picnic lunch afterwards that sweetened the deal.

Feel the vogue. Feel it.

The last stairway to the top...

Our prize for the climb - whatta view!

Our lovely ladies – mine on the left, K's on the right.

Last night my sweet man brought me roses for Valentines day, both stem as well as a plant for the yard. ♥ We went to dinner at our favorite Japanese steakhouse, Sasaki. My gosh how I love that place! It’s so nice to walk in there and be greeted by our first names – and we always seem to find another friendly neighboring couple to chat with.

St. Valentine's dish o' the day. Yessir & thank you.

Good times.


No Shadow… Spring is Near!!

It’s not gonna be difficult for me to find a subject for me to hop on today…

It’s Groundhog Day, and for the first time in a long awaited while Punxsutawney Phil is not afraid… that’s right folks, NO SHADOW!! Know what that means?

Spring is near!! Spring is near!! Oh gosh… Spring is near!!

The story of Groundhog Day begins with Candlemas, an early Christian holiday where candles were blessed and distributed. Celebrators of the holiday eventually declared clear skies on Candlemas meant a longer winter. The Roman legions, during the conquest of the northern country, brought this tradition to the Germans, who concluded that if the sun made an appearance on Candlemas Day, a hedgehog would cast a shadow, thus predicting six more weeks of bad weather or “Second Winter.” German immigrants brought the tradition to Pennsylvania, but how did Punxsutawney Phil emerge?

In 1887, a spirited group of groundhog hunters from Punxsutawney dubbed themselves “The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club.” One member was an editor of Punxsutawney’s newspaper. Using his ink, he proclaimed Punxsutawney Phil, the local groundhog, to be the one and only weather prognosticating groundhog. He issued this proclamation on Candlemas, and yes, Groundhog Day. Phil’s fame spread, and newspapers from around the globe began to report his Gobbler’s Knob prediction. Info from http://www.visitpa.com/groundhog-day

In related news, February 2nd is exactly the halfway point between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. It is the winter midpoint or ‘cross-quarter’ day. The coldest, bleakest part of our winter season is now officially half over!

Spring is near!! Spring is near!! Oh gosh… Spring is near!

Visit the official Groundhog Day site: http://www.groundhog.org/