Archive for the ‘February Perspectives’ Category

The Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia Emerging from a Winter Snow


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Frog Family from Fascinating Pics

Now this photograph made me laugh.  I wish I knew who took it.  It was on Twitter and listed as  “Frog Family” from @fantasticpics.  I like to think of this froggy family as spying on my struggle with Velcro fasteners.

I always thought Velcro was permanent, but did you know if it has nothing to stick to it doesn’t work?

It was getting harder and harder to fasten up my Big Boot for the BigFoot.  Yesterday I walked 4,000 steps without any help from the Boot and then had a stabbing pain.  So it’s back to thumping around town in BigFoot disguise.

It’s o.k. though. The sympathy is lovely.

Anyway, I couldn’t fasten the darned liner this morning and upon examination found that  the fabric it once stuck to had worn away.  A call to the podiatrist helped and now I have a brand new boot to follow me through to whatever final conclusion there is.

Meanwhile, I hope the froggy family spies had a good croak over this human’s progress into the world of modern inventions.

Do you suppose they live in that drainpipe?

Do you follow Twitter?  You can find me there too –  @virginiashopperdor


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cropped-home-fires-burning-2.jpgIt’s Valentine’s Day!


Bill told me when we married he did not believe in Valentine’s Day.

Still, after so many years, I wake up hoping.

And on this day, once again, there is no card, no candy and no flowers.

Bill claims it is  a “Hallmark Holiday”, and also a Catholic holiday (Saint Valentine you know).

And he is not Catholic.

Please – no pity – I find other diversions when my friends tell me about their tokens of love on this special day.

I am very good at convincing myself that when Bill builds a warm cozy fire in our wood stove, it is a testament to his love and commitment.

Or when he puts all the dishes away before I can get to them, it is  better than flowers.

Or when he keeps asking how my BigFoot is doing and gently touches to see if it is still swollen, that is sweeter than candy.

And when he invites me out to dinner to a special place – even on this Catholic holiday – it is a finer tribute than a Hallmark card.

We are dining tonight with friends at Virginia’s  Natural Bridge Hotel Dining Room  where there is – guess what –

A Valentine’s Day Special!

I can’t wait to dress up tonight and wear my heart on my sleeve for my non-Catholic boy who doesn’t believe in Valentines Day.  A diamond would be nice though. Hmmmm!  I wonder if he thought of that.


Natural Bridge Hotel Dining Room. Image from tripadvisor.com

Natural Bridge Hotel

A Storied Place. The Natural Bridge Park Historic Hotel

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The Road OutSometimes I drive down my country road and simply have to stop and take a picture.

It’s not that there is anything magnificent to snap.

And it’s not the glorious foliage or even the way the light hits a leaf.

It boils down to a “feeling” and a need to listen to the world.

Fields n Cloud Cover


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Guilt was the final feeling after I posted a blog about my new very short haircut.

I have  since decided to “bite the bullet” and grin and  share my dark haired beauteous transformation..

I realize today’s photo does not comport with the blog profile photo which has been up for several years.  I kinda liked the grey but with righteous living, my hair turned dark again.

And the shorter it gets, the darker!

Didn’t I tell you short hair would make you look and feel 20 years younger?


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The Hairy Tale:  

My sister-in-law,  Millie, was a beautician for 40 years!  One of her clients was a young girl whose hair was so long it was down to her waist.  She was always sickly and her parents worried.  Millie begged them to let her cut the girl’s hair and they finally agreed. Maybe you can guess what happened.  The young lady grew strong and healthy and Millie was even more convinced that long hair drains strength and energy from the body.

My hair has never been longer than my collar but I got a haircut this week!  It is very very short.  I wanted to look like a “mature” Joan Baez!  I brought a picture in to my beautician and asked her to perform a minor miracle.  She did the best she could.

All of a sudden I felt strong!

I walked 5,000 steps yesterday!   The Big Foot Boot is always nearby “just in case” but I like to think it is drooping and maybe even rusty for lack of use.

I am invincible!  I am woman!

And then I remembered Millie’s Hairy Tale.

I think I will keep my hair cut short.

Joan Baez Haircut

Photo of Joan Baez from The Week magazine, February 12, 2016 Vol. 16 Issue 757



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Happy Valentine’s Day from Virginia!

Love Birds

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The Morning After A1

It’s cold here and snowing, and our county officials are urging us to stay home until Winter Storm Pandora passes us by.

  • Our birds are really hungry and show up en mass to attack the feeder on the deck.  I wind up scattering seeds on the railings too, and bread crumbs.  All manner of seemingly desperate avian visitors arrive and Bill and I consider them friends.  They add life and even joy to a wintry world where nothing else seems to move but the wind.
  • This is the only time since we lost our dog, Rozie, that I am grateful we have no pets.  It has been so cold and the snow pack lingers, so a walk with a dog would be painful for both of us.  On the other hand if a dog (or cat) wandered to my door right now, well, yes, we would have a newly adopted pet.  And wouldn’t adding another warm sweet friend to the family be a wonderful thing?
  • Our neighbor lost her old horse this week.  We think he died of a heart attack right in his stall.  There was no evidence of thrashing or pain.  He just went.  And our neighbor lost a friend.
  • The gravel road to our house has been plowed, thanks to a very devoted, dedicated friend/neighbor who has a large tractor.  He began his work at 11 PM the first night the snow fell and then was up again at 5 AM for another round, and again later in the afternoon.  Thank you Pete!
  • This week there was one travel-right day between storms and warnings when friends in town invited us to dinner.  There is something bright and beautiful about meeting to share a meal and trade lovely stories and lots of laughter – especially on a frosty, shivery cold evening.

Writing away about random ramblings this week, it dawned on me there emerged an obvious theme – the importance of friends.

I have featured it before but there is a plaque on my kitchen wall that says it clearly and says it all:

“Lots of things in life are junk

Troubles never end,

But there’s something never palls,

A really truly friend.”

~Author Unknown

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Arrived 2


Morning After Sunshine

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It started snowing yesterday.  Our birdie visitors were incredulous.

Do You Believe This - It is SNOWING!

Is this what I think it is? The Blue Jay on my deck is skeptical. Photo by Dor



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