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Oh, Virginia!

A Virginia sky over the Blue Ridge Mountains

offers a scenic route to Heaven,

and clouds to guide the way.

Sky Scape 1

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Butterfly on Wicker

Another country view of summer in Virginia.  Here’s a butterfly the color of the sun, in for a rest and willing to pose for a picture.  This fella makes photography easy.

Butterfly on Wicker

New Kitchen

New Kitchen

Old Kitchen

Old Kitchen

We did it.

We took the plunge.

After 30 years, we decided to update our out-of-date kitchen.

We started with the countertop which was a fake wood grained formica and slightly chipped.  We opted for a soft gray quartz which appealed because quartz is billed as non-porous, heat and scratch resistant, and “antimicrobial.”  And besides, one of my good friends has it and loves it.  I am also particularly drawn to antimicrobial.  In other words, I am a germ freak.

That kitchen counter update took weeks and weeks on order and then more weeks to installation.  And that was after they said my selection was not in stock after all and we had to choose another.  I am not a particularly patient person you know.

The kitchen counter was finally installed, was still a soft gray and antimicrobial – I am a happy germ free person now.  And Elsa-the-dog was delighted because the constant flow of workers in and out of the house had ceased.

But then we found a wonderful expert kitchen “restorer” who replaced all our fronts.  My own front could stand replacing about now too since it is even older than 30 years!  But the kitchen cabinet front overhaul looked like it would only take two days but wound up taking two weeks.  The problem was with the old lazy susans which would not balance.  I guess they did not like strangers handling them after 30 years!

Anyway, it has been an agonizing process but the new kitchen is installed and is operable and is actually a delight.  I sometimes just stand and admire it.

But am I inspired to cook more?

Ha!

Show me to the nearest restaurant!

 

Yesterday was the 50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing!

It was a beastly hot day here on earth in Virginia too.

And The Pink Cadillac Diner was so full of people it would be a 25 minute wait for lunch.

And that’s where fellow blogger Eunice of Nutsfortreasure landed for an in-person meeting with me, Dor!

She came way out of her way for this meeting too, making a side trip from Virginia Beach en route to her home in New Hampshire!

It is a beautiful thing to meet a fellow blogger.

Eunice

Eunice and I have been blogger pals for years and years.  She probably knows more about my ups, downs and happinesses and tragedies than even close in-person friends.

And now Eunice is my revered in-person friend too.  We wound up having lunch at my house where she met Bill and the little dog, Elsa.  And we took a short tour of the surrounding wilderness.

Eunice is a nature lover, a master gardener, and a retired truck driver. 

She actually drove a big semi truck for over 30 years!

She is also a fabulous artist!

  Snowpainting 2

We both agreed there will be a next time visit, and perhaps Eunice will bring her paints to give me a lesson in water coloring!  She is an awsome artist.  Above is a picture of the painting she sent to me.  I love the dog-walking couple on a snowy day, especially when it’s sweltering in Virginia!

Thank you Eunice for coming all this way to visit.  It feels like we have been friends for a very long time.

Elsa Desk 2.jpg

We are still trying to figure out how to make Elsa-the-Rescue-Dog happy.  Mostly she is tough, strong and independent.

Unless there is a mysterious noise.

Like thunder of course.

Or fire crackers.

A backfire from a distant Virginia highway.

Or just any unidentifiable noise that indicates the sky might fall.

Lately we are having regular afternoon thunder storms at the time she has her dinner and most especially when she needs to go out.  And of course Independence Day was yesterday so right after the storm there were far off cracks and pops in the neighborhood.  That was enough to start her shaking shivering and pacing in a mad search for safety almost all day yesterday.

Go out?  Wanna go out? Ha!

Eat her dinner?  Ha!

Well, she can afford to lose a few pounds.

Elsa has a “Thunder Shirt” which wraps snugly around the middle to combat anxiety. Trouble is, it doesn’t fit.  We feed her well and Elsa has outgrown her Thunder Shirt!  It will not wrap around her anymore.

Elsa has anxiety.  Me too.

We both worry about everything.

We both worry about the sky falling.

The Thunder Shirt will not fit me either.

Lately, Elsa’s safe place to hide out and shiver is in the foot well of my desk.  She is still worrying about the thunder storm from yesterday and is now under there.  What a sweet blogging companion, except when the shivers hit or when the thunder claps and we both want to run for our lives.

It is all quiet now, but the prediction is for thundder storms this afternoon.

Elsa has taught me one important thing.

There is no point in worrying about the weather.

But if I could get under my desk with her,

I would be there too.

 

person woman smartphone calling

Photo by Breakingpic on Pexels.com

I have a friend who talks non-stop on the phone.  She includes minute by minute details about what she is doing, has done or will do.

And all I have to say is, “Uh huh,” and off she goes again.

Then one day the oddest thing happened while we were on the phone.

Nature called me.

At first gently.

And then URGENTLY.

A bathroom run became a neccessity.!  And Argh!!!! 

My friend was on a roll winding up for a marathon one-sided talking session.

This quickly became a competition between her call and Nature’s.

Not wanting to interrupt or hurt her feelings, I made a rush for the Necessary Room and took my phone along too (with friend still chattering away).

I just-in-time managed to stifle a loud sigh of relief and said, “Uh Huh”.

And to my surprise she kept on talking!

Now every time this friend calls, my body reacts with the urgent need to evacuate and the same ritual is repeated.  I keep saying “Uh Huh” at crucial times and she keeps on talking.

She is like a built in laxative.

And I am actually enjoying the bathroom subtrefuge now too.  Feels like mini escapes.

At first I thought I might be missing something important but  this particular friend manages to repeat the same stories over and over when I see her in person.  If I get the beginning and the end of the story during our bathroom sessions I can fill in the middle when next we meet.

Uh Oh!  Have you called me recently?

Did you think I was listening?

Did I say,”Uh Huh” in the middle of our conversation?

Like-New Cars Here

Like New Cars

Was this a Precursor of Today’s Used Car Lots?

I was driving to Staunton, Virginia (pronounced “Standtin” by the locals) on what was once a major north-south highway now displaced by the Interstate.

This stretch of U.S. Route 11 (known as Lee Highway here) is a country road now that slows for thriving little towns and interesting stops along the way, with farms and barns and majestic mountain views.

But what I love most is to see the remnants of a bygone era – abandoned gas stations, diners, pre-chain motels, and other businesses I actually recall as they were in their “haydays” in the 1950’s.

There are crumbling buildings as timeworn as I sometimes feel.    

Surely they have stories to tell of lives and lifetimes.

Would that we could get close enough

and remain still long enough to hear the echoes of the past.

 

 

 

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