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Autumn in the Blue Ridge Mountains

Autumn in the Shenandoah Valley

I have been away.  No, not really travelling but far away and seemingly for a very long time.

Noche ThinkingMy friend Noche, the German Shepherd, was here for over a week and then she traded us for her own loving family.  The day after she went home, our son arrived and we spent days talking – and talking – and talking.  There was so much to catch up on that missing a minute was out of the question.

And then our oldest grandgirl arrived and guess what?  More talking!

The blog got put on a back burner.

And while we talked, the leaves flew and covered the deck.   The weather came and went and changed from very cool to  cold. And finally, surprisingly today was almost balmy.

The deer have returned now that Noche is no longer barking.

And the house is oddly quiet minus the sounds of all those human voices

talking and talking and talking.

The Week that Was

Random Five Friday

Autumn and Noche 011

This week we had Noche, the German Shepherd.  Bill and I have been dog sitting.

Noche loves it here because she is never on leash and has wide open spaces to run.  Nevertheless, I wanted to add some excitement to her visit.

A Grassy BackrubLittle herds of deer arrive every afternoon and one day I opened the deck door verrrry quietly so Noche would remain undetected.   Unaware of the big wild world of creatures, the pup’s ears suddenly went straight up on high alert and her whole body poised for action!  It only took one loud bark and six deer took off in a flurry.  I thought Noche was going to leap over the deck railing!

Do you think dogs keep their memories of vacation thrills?  Maybe she will have great running-dog dreams.

Let's Party!I did get to the gym one day and left feeling delightfully noble.   I like to rest there too (watching the hampster-humans pedaling nowhere).  I sit across from the exercise balls which create a celebratory mood.  They look like party balloons don’t they?  The colors are brilliant – perhaps not quite brilliant enough to encourage sit ups or other balancing acts though.

I decided some time ago to strive/stride for 10,000 steps a day – usually accomplished at the gym. This week has been slow but the pedometer keeps recording anyway and I managed to average 6,000 steps!  Accolades please!  I now call the pedometer Big Brother because it’s always watching.

Time got away mid week with two days devoted to gathering a packet of information for our community.  As Secretary, there is usually nothing much for me to do as we only meet once a year.  But sometimes issues arise that require research and attention.  Ours is a horsey community where there is a Hunt – like the old English hunts where people dress up in “pinques,” ride to the hounds, and have “dinners” that are really breakfasts.  Or are they breakfasts that are really dinners?  But  sometimes there are questions about who can ride where.

en.wikipedia.com

en.wikipedia.com

Then my friend, Pam, called for a shopping trip to Roanoke.  Occasional escapes from Paradise are just the ticket for raising spirits so Pam and I went to a real big-city shopping mall.  That was a 7,000-step-day!  Lunch out and “catching up” made for a perfect outing.  Even the sunshine cooperated as if to apologize for a long stretch of overcast skies, rain and drizzle.

The colors of autumn continue to dazzle.  Just look at our Pyracantha!

Pyracantha Glowing

The berries are brighter than a pumpkin.  And have you ever heard of an annual Dahlia?  This is what Bill planted in the spring and it is still budding!

Annual Dahlia 2

 

I am cooking today.  Our son will be coming from California for a four day visit next week.  He loves Mom’s homemade spaghetti sauce (simmering now).  I will freeze it for when he arrives and must also make Hungarian Paprikash (a favorite family dish handed down through the generations).  Ahhh, it’s so nice to be appreciated even though I truly hate to cook.

Hope your week was equally pleasant and your weekend is even more fabulous!

 

 

Misty Morning Mountain View

If you are tired of looking at my mountains, I understand.  But I am addicted to gazing.

Let there be Light 1Then I race for the camera, addicted to sharing magnificent views.

And since my wide eyed vistas of the same mountain range change and change again, you blogger friends are force fed  eternal photographs.

Ah Well.

The Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia as I see them through my kitchen window or deck, are eternally addictive.  Mountains Clearing Best

Perhaps I need an “intervention.”

Show Off!

Show Off!

Photo From Herman's Produce Web Site

Herman’s Produce in Lexington, Virginia, is my favorite place for anything fresh and beautiful or freshly preserved and delicious.  I harvested their fabulous tomatoes all summer (from the shelves)  and now there are crispy apples guaranteed the best of the best.

Even their plants scream quality.  I bought a basil plant that grew into a beautiful round mound with constant leaves to harvest all season, and a giant mum of enormous beauty for only $12.

Herman’s is also a wonderful center for meeting, greeting, laughing, and putting aside the worries of the world.  There is an old rusty tractor “out front” and they have made good use of it to wish their friends the best of Fall and a Happy Halloween.

I do love Herman’s because it’s humble but top-of-the-line, habit forming because you always want more, and because the folks at Herman’s really and truly care.

Note:  This is not an advertisement!  Really.

And I am not actually having a love affair with Herman either.

I know it  sounds that way but some places simply require accolades.

Congratulations Herman!  You have won my heart.

Autumn Joy

Happy Fall and Happy Halloween from Herman’s

 

 

 

Noche and Judy

Noche and My Beautiful Niece

Noche the Beautiful

Noche doesn’t sleep in the bed, but stays on top of the bed to watch everything I do at my combo corner “office-nightstand.”

She is as clever and as smart as she looks too.

Noche viewed the pictures I took but as you can see, she is relatively unimpressed.

I will have to try harder and strive for more candid-camera shots to meet her expectations.

Bill and I are dog sitting but there is some question as to who is really in charge.

We almost forgot how much laughter comes with a pup in the house.

Like when Noche claims the doggy toy box is hers and brings each squeaky critter to the middle of the living room.

Or when she rolls over on her back to let us know she’s happy.

Or I love the “Lets play!” stance – tail up, paws down.  

So THAT’S where the Downward Dog yoga pose came from!   

Anyway, I am happy to announce there is a dog on my bed, and a lot of smiles in the house.

 

The Artist’s Brush

Rainbow 1The Artist's Brush

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