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Archive for the ‘Daily Prompt’ Category

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “All About Me.”

Explain why you chose your blog’s title and what it means to you.

There was another blog first.  It was a memoir for family and close friends and became the beginning of my growing love for the blogging process.  Technicolor Daydreams has now been converted to a self published hard copy book created as a gift for the special people in my life.

I thought I was through blogging, but there was more to come.

Since the old self seemed to be adequately recorded in that first blog, I began to stretch and strike different poses (much like clicking around for the perfect selfie).

And a new blog was born!

Shenandoah Sunrise 1

Virginia Views is the second-story canvas now used to portray a city girl’s transference to country living.  High heels on a gravel driveway, a horse in the pool, and finding puff balls  and paw paws  in the wild, are the types of stories that still make me chuckle and I hope will bring smiles to anyone interested in the vagaries of country living.

Being mostly mixed up, I originally planned this new blog enterprise to be named Country Living for Beginners.  But I misread the form and a great title became the URL address instead – https://countryliving4beginners.wordpress.com .

VIRGINIA VIEWS turned out to be the all encompassing title of the new blog and I still love it.

My friend Cindy of Photos from the Loony Bin, helped with that title, and the “views” part allows me to wander from poetry to photography to worded essays and stories, however the mood shall strike.

Of course there are always lurking recollections of  hilarious adjustments to the surprises of living “out in the county” but like an emerging butterfly, Virginia Views morphed into an eclectic introspective interpretation of life in general.

The birth and growth of a blog is a terrifically exciting process with grandiose dreams of endless material to share.

Virginia Views now features over 600 posts and even when I think there is no more to say and “nothing new under the sun”, a new story emerges. Just telling you about it is the inspiration to begin again.

Uh oh!  Watch out WordPress!  There may be more to come.

~ Dor

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On the Way Again Weekly Photo Challenge

Old New Truck

Did this old truck look so bright

when Grandpa bought it new?

If only gears could spin her tales

of journeys long and true.

Did she make a great grand-stand

in years gone long ago,

sold and sold from hand to hand

for work and not for show?

And where’s she off to next I ask?

Another place to make folks smile,

a beautiful relic of the past

that keeps on truckin’ mile to mile.

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Daily Prompt: Connect the Dots

Open your nearest book to page 82.  Take the third full sentence on the page, and work it into a post somehow.

“It wasn’t long before another idea came to mind: maybe I could sell some at the Women’s Institute meetings where housewives baked cakes, made jams, pastries, pickles and many other food items to sell.” 

I am not good at much.  I mean I’m not particularly talented.  So, when I was invited to join the Women’s Institute I was shocked.  Why me?  Were they desperate or what?

You see, the Women’s Institute is a club where the women actually compete by baking cakes, making jams, pastries, pickles and lots of other food items with an eye to selling them. 

I don’t enjoy competition.  Some garden clubs are like that too.  They compete to see who has the best flower arrangements.  I would wind up with one flower in a stem vase and that would leave me shaking in the composition phase.  That is why I have never joined a garden club.

What to do?  Should I accept the invitation to join the Women’s Institute?  It wasn’t long before another idea came to mind: maybe I could make some of my coconut macaroons.  They usually come out o.k. and even though my husband hates them I think they have a certain character.

So I accepted and now any time the ladies have a “cook-in” competition, I make my Macaroons.  They have nicknamed me “The Macaroon Lady.”

Like I say,” I’m not good at much,” but with twenty years of practice, the macaroons have made me famous!

Note:  The third sentence on Page 82 of my nearest book was from  Rita Roberts, my blogger friend’s published book,

 Toffee Apples & Togas, available on Amazon.com.   It makes for delightful reading.

Note #2:  I am not really famous, but the macaroons are pretty good.

 

 

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The Daily Post:  Ready, Set, Done!

Set a timer for ten minutes. 

Write without pause (and no edits) until you’re out of time. 

Then publish what you have

(it’s your call whether or not to give the post a once-over).

Note:  Being a perfectionist, I did give this post a once-over

and made some minor corrections to  

achieve perfection.

I am really NOT supposed to be writing this morning since we have company coming for dinner.  The menu is prime rib, mashed potatoes, green beans (pre-cooked and just need to be heated) and Waldorf Salad (already made up in advance).  It’s a sunny day in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.  Sunshine is so welcome now because we have had days and days of chilly overcast weather. We even had an ice storm one night that melted the next day.

Almost everything is done except I’m not dressed and the house needs a once over to make it more than perfect.  Perfect is the key word here.

Our tree is up and gleaming.  The tiny-light wreaths are in the windows so everything looks festive as you drive up.   I am ready.  I must admit I am a perfectionist so vacuuming, dusting, setting out candles and hors d’oeuvres, and  preparing a beautiful table is next.

Noche With BabiesTomorrow we are also expecting my niece, Judy and her wonderful German Shepherd, Noche.  I am sooooo excited about this and have already bought squeaky toys for the pup and those special chew bones she loves.  We can’t wait to see sweet Judy of course, but Noche is like a favorite child coming for Christmas and she makes things all the more festive.

I am wondering if I should hide things or remove them all together from tables and corners – the decorations you know.  Will have to ask Judy when she arrives if the dog attacks things.  We will all be here so she should feel secure, but she is known to move things around if left alone.

After Judy leaves Sunday, we will wait for Christmas.  Son and grandgirls will not be here until after the actual “day” as I have just learned they will be coming  in early January instead.  That will be fun!  All the pressure for perfection will be off and we can all just let our hair down.

Barbie & Suzanne on Deck Dec. 27,2013 This Christmas Day we are expecting good friends, Barbie and Suzanne.  They were here last year too and we have such a good time playing scrabble, shopping the day after, and of course giggling and reminiscing Xmas Day with all the goodies we can manage to ingest.

Pete n Phebe Spring 2012

Our Fun Friends for New Year’s Eve

New Year’s Eve will be fun too as we share it with another favorite set of friends and try to stay awake to midnight.

The sun is shining and I must get dressed and wander through the house and kitchen to make sure everything is perfect for our guests.  I have a feeling we will all be laughing at once and no one will notice all the perfection anyway.  The old adage, “with age comes wisdom” is actually true in some cases.  I know if I were wise-er, I would relax, but I still strive to be beyond perfect in preparing for a holiday party.

I will try to remember to take pictures of the festivities.

In the meantime, HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Love,

Dor

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Dor and Bill  The Wanderers at Big Bear Lake, California

Dor and Bill
The Wanderers at
Big Bear Lake, California

 Daily Prompt: Salad Days

Is there a period in your own personal life that you think of as the good old days?

Tell us a story about those innocent and/or exciting times (or lack thereof).

They did not seem like the good old days but they were.

Right after we were married, Bill and I drove from Florida to California in a car without air conditioning or heat.  We crossed the desert at night with water bags tied to the front of the car and hanging out the windows (refills for a potential overheated radiator).  You might say it was an adventure but I cried all the way across country for leaving my home, my parents and everything I knew and understood.

And it did not get much better.

Bill had just graduated.  He was a real Civil Engineer and we were off to his first job building roads in remote areas of California.  There were no guarantees of furnished housing in strange places like Big Oak Flat, Hayfork, or Portola.  But we were young, eager, and flexible.

Well, semi-flexible.  One of our posts was in beautiful Hayfork, a mountain community where the only available rental was a one room shack with a tin roof and no bathroom. If I had known about blogging then I would have taken photos. However, since the view of our own personal shack was somewhat less than scenic, there are no such records available.

I painted and decorated the shack though and hung plastic curtains for shades.  And there was a shiny new refrigerator (the only mirror in the place).

There was a community bathroom and a shower for the ring of six shacks.  The tin roof made living conditions a bit warm sweltering hot, so we drove “down the hill” to Redding for an air conditioned motel room almost every weekend.

“I need to go home,” I would finally cry and Bill would send me back to Florida to visit my parents and friends.

But we made friends in Hayfork.

Ernie, the owner of the general store, had a small trailer/mobile home in his back yard.  One day Ernie asked if we would like to rent his trailer.  WOULD we!  It had an inside bathroom and tiny shower.  It had a tiny kitchen too, where I could cook, wash up, and put dishes away standing in one place (by simply pivoting around).

HayforkTrailer1

The trailer had a gas stove.

I never used a gas stove before so I decided to turn on the burners and let them go awhile before lighting a match.  BRRRROOOOOOOOM!  Everything exploded.  The doors and windows of the trailer blew open.  Our dog, Tinker, ran out and away (far away) into the snow.  My llama slippers were scorched.  I think my eyebrows were scorched too.  But there was no real damage and we all lived.  Bill had to go out and find Tinker though.

Those were the good old days all right.

But things got worse.

I was pregnant when we moved to Big Oak Flat near Yosemite Park. There was a gas station and a post office.  That was it.  The nearest town/drugstore/cleaners/hospital was over two hours away.  No diaper service and nobody ever heard of pampers in those good old days.

It wasn’t a shack we lived in but a house that had been moved from somewhere else and stood on cement blocks.  There were cracks in the floor wide enough to see flash floods rushing along underneath.   The cracks let in cold drafts too.

Bill at Big Oak Flat House on Cement Blocks

Bill at Big Oak Flat House on Cement Blocks

The water in the shower started off orange.  There was a frog in the shower once. Imagine my naked reaction to THAT!

And the doctor in Sonora told me he would not drive the 2 hours “up the hill” to deliver the baby.

“I need to go home,” I wailed.  I could not imagine birthing a child in such circumstances.  So Bill sent me home.  But once home I could not imagine having the baby without Bill there so I went back (Poor Bill).  Our son was born at the bottom of the hill in a small hospital and there were no mishaps. The only problem was it was going on winter.

I hung Corky’s cloth diapers on a line and they froze.  Then he got a recurring rash which I later learned was from me bleaching his diapers.

Or how about the time there was a blizzard and the heat went off!  This muttering mother trudged a mile (well, not really a mile) carrying a wrapped up infant through a blizzard to the landlady’s house.  Before you issue condolences, I may be slightly exaggerating.  It was a snow storm though and I did have to leave that freezing house to get help.

Bill and I roamed a few more months around the wilderness with our new son.  Everything we owned was packed into a Dodge station wagon, and again I cried.

“We need to have a home!  We need roots! We have a child now.  We have responsibilities!”

And so it was we returned to the city dwellers’ life.

Looking back in time, those Wilderness Days were our “Salad Days” of adventure, the good times, the young years, the experiences that left us with stories to tell.

Those years had so much impact  that I now think of them as a rehearsal for our eventual big move to country living in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia (where we are now) with other stories to tell.

But I often think that if only I had known then what I know now, I would never have needed to go home.

 

 

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Daily Prompt

Oil, Meet Water

Of the people who are close to you, who is the person most unlike you?  What makes it possible for you to get along?

Kit Vegas 04

Kit is my oldest, closest friend –  friends since we were eleven years old.

She named herself Kit the Wit when we first met.

And she named me Dort the Snort (not particularly flattering but I took the humiliation).

We still go by those insanely silly names and when we are shopping together she will holler out, “Hey Snort, look at this!”

And I will say, “That looks great on you Wit.”

And she signs her letters, “Love, Wit.”   And mine are, “Love, Snort.”

The names no longer sound funny to us but I’ll bet they do to the rest of the world.

Kit and I are total opposites in almost every way.

She is disorganized.  I am organized.

She is fun loving.  I am serious.

She is pinned together.  I am put together.

I never put things off ‘til later.  Kit procrastinates.

I am always early.  She is always late.

She sleeps past noon.  I am up with the birds.

I am careful.  Kit rushes headlong into the next adventure.

KIT GREAT SHOT 2004

What makes it possible for us to get along?

Laughter.

 We cannot talk long without doubling over laughing.

Trust.

I know I can trust Kit with anything and can share my most secret thoughts.  And I know she feels the same.  We share a mutual trust.

Silliness.

When we are together we are “girls” again, talking until 3:00 AM like when we used to “spend the night” together.

 Differences.

Maybe it is because we are opposites we so enjoy each other and that was what drew us together in the first place.

Value.

I value Kit for her free spirit and her abandoned uninhibited approach to life.  And I suspect she admires my careful analyses of life’s dangers before I jump into things.

There is only one catch.  After three days under the same roof, we weaken from lack of sleep and there is a rapid decline in communication.  You might say that after three days “we are at each others’ throats.”

Memories.

But we are like sisters who occasionally fight.   I have known Kit longer than I knew my own parents.  We played paper dolls, rode bikes, giggled over boys, traded clothes, dated, married, had kids and grandkids and have stayed friends all these many years.  We have so many memories ranging from childhood to old age and we share a rare and beautiful friendship that has endured over decades.

If you are reading this Wit, I love you.

Wits End

 

 

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Daily Prompt:  Mouths Wide Shut 

Are you a picky eater? 

Share some of your favorite food quirks with us

(the more exotic, the better!). 

I am an unbiased food lover because  if it’s edible, I will eat it.

However……

This Daily Prompt prompted me to analyze some odd habits:

  1.  I won’t eat mushy stuff  like mashed bananas. Wonder what to do when I’m old with no teeth
  2. I will not eat most of the white part of an egg because it’s sort of mushy and slimy unless the egg is scrambled or in an omelet. but even then, if there is any white stuff showing, I will leave that portion untouched.
  3.  I will not eat Okra at all because it is slimy, mushy, and dribbly.  It used to dribble down my father’s chin, so I never liked the looks of it.
  4.  I will not drink milk unless it is little sips of goat’s milk.  Even on cereal the whole effect is “mushy” right?  Mom used to trick me by adding chocolate to cow’s milk or offering chocolate pudding but that never really worked.  I still hate milk and now convinced I ‘m lactose intolerant.
  5.  I am against smoothies because they are sort of mushy you know, and you can’t pick out the different fruits.

Like I said, “I am an unbiased food lover and if it’s edible I will eat it.”

P.S.  My husband may have been attracted because of our unbiased love of  all food.  He will not eat cheese in any way except on pizza.

 

 

 

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