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Archive for the ‘Friends’ Category

It has been over 30 years since first we came to this bit of Camelot in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. There was nothing here but we camped out on the land and dreamed of the perfect house to shelter us right into old age.

A Home for Living

All on one level with an attached two car garage we have given thanks many times for the cover during rain or sleet or snow. It is a modest house designed by Bill, that has bent with the years to accommodate many changes. In the beginning my mother came to live with us for several years, then Bill’s sister moved to the area and spent every weekend here. My brother and Sister-in-law and kids came too, and long time friends returned and returned. Our son came early on, married, and then grandchildren arrived, and we had dogs and horses and a garden and we grew along with the landscape and we changed too along with the house that accommodated and sheltered us all.

There are rooms with a view, mostly of the Blue Ridge Mountains which really do look blue sometimes. Other rooms look out upon our green green world and what I call the Forest Primeval.

Bedrooms have their own thermostats for individual heat control in case we lose power. But there is a big wood stove which heats the house so efficiently that I sometimes have to open windows in the middle of a blizzard.

Even though I always see this home as almost perfect, we began some upgrades in 2018. A big change was the addition of a “Whole House Generator.” It is still hard to imagine we no longer need candles. Oddly enough I still have a major stash of jarred candles “just in case.” But the generator keeps working its magic and we haven’t had to use a candle yet (except to add romance of course).

In addition to the magical generator, we upgraded the kitchen with a quartz countertop that feels cool and looks so cool that I think I am working in a brand new place. I love the view of the mountains from the kitchen too.

Kitchen Before – Outdated Cabinets and Formica Countertop
Kitchen After – Counter is actually a Dove Grey

Nope, we do not wish to sell the house! And this is not a pre-prepared advertisement. I have simply run out of adventurous things to blog about, and my self imposed isolation means you get a little tour of Camelot. Also, between you and me, I am practising using the new WordPress block editor format. What do you think?

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The whole world has been shut down to deal with an unknown virus that has seemingly taken over entire lives.

And even though it is happening slowly, the world is trying to regress back to the good times when people could hug and talk and sing and shout from less than six feet away

We yearn for those Good Old Days too, but being among the Vulnerables, our world still stays shut.

And some days are tougher than others.  Today was such a day.

  • Bill came in from a trip to Lowes and announced he is convinced the virus will never go away because so many people refuse to wear masks. His conviction and disillusion made me feel sad.
  • Then a big rain storm came to add to the gloom.
  • And of course Elsa was convinced the sky was falling again.
  • I spent some of the gloomy day catching up on news, and of course there was nothing very uplifting to report.

As always, in midday Bill went for our mail.  But this time he came home with a package from Janet, our dear old friend in Arizona.

The box contained a greeting card that reminded us to celebrate Christmas in July!

And under the card was one of Janet’s homemade famous English fruitcakes complete with a marzipan icing and a red ribbon to celebrate the holiday.  20200711_094229

In addition there were two boxes of Terry’s Chocolate Oranges, an English favorite and mine too.  You may have guessed that Janet is originally from England.

But talk about smiling!

Imagine our delight at receiving such a happy thoughtful gift. And the timing was perfect!

Some people are simply wonderful!

Merry Christmas Janet to you, Pam, Deb and Scott!

And THANKYOU for making a gloomy day bright.

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photo of lightning

Photo by Philippe Donn on Pexels.com

An old friend called.  It has been years since we talked and odd that we were both complaining about the aches and pains that have beseiged us.  And that led my friend to share some of her remedies for success.

She started by recommending a book called “Quench,” a treatise on the value of staying hydrated for optimum health.  I never heard of it of course and I was intensely interested so immediately purchased that book.  It all made perfect sense and I began to implement the suggestions.

Quench, by Dana Cohen:

“Based on breakthrough new science in the field of hydration, Quench debunks many popular myths about “getting enough water” and offers a revolutionary five-day jump start plan that shows how better hydration can reduce or eliminate ailments like chronic headaches, weight gain, gut pain, and even autoimmune conditions.”

Another area my friend spoke of was a concept called “earthing” or “grounding”, both of which advocate so many minutes of the day going barefoot outside in the grass or on the ground such as at the beach.  That also made perfect sense.  I grew up going barefoot in Florida.

However, being older now and living in a mountain paradise instead of seaside:

  1. Earthing would expose one to tick bites and onward to Lyme Disease, which is a prevalent problem now in Virginia.
  2. We sometimes get serious snow and ice here too and going barefoot might result in frozen toes, gangrene, and possible amputation.
  3. Of course there is always an alternative and they do sell mats and things that can be plugged in to electrical outlets that would give you the grounding benefits and allow you to stay inside.
  4. On the other hand, being a worrier, I would fear electrocution!
  5. Or in the worst case, the only thing I would have to fear is fear itself, which would ground me so that I would be afraid to even leave the house (shades of Elsa-the-Dog).

As for Quenching:

  1. I think the hydration idea is good.  I actually tried it, but it did not work since I was i up all night with runs to the bathroom.  In the end I suppose the need for sleep became more important than the need for hydration.
  2. In reality, I still believe hydration is terribly important for good health, so I would not discount quenching as a positive therapy.  You can find the book, “Quench” on Amazon.

In my case, however, it became choices between Lyme Disease, amputation, and sleepless nights.

To be sure, I do not wish to make fun of my friend’s remedies.  They are really working for her and she is so excited about her discoveries, she wished to share.  And I love her for that.

Earthing is a concept that is still floating (forgive the pun) around in my head anyway and if I could get by the electrocution part, I might invest in one of those mats.

“… Throughout history, human beings have walked barefoot on the ground, releasing electrical tension naturally and preventing its accumulation. When the human being is in contact with the earth, either because he is barefoot or through any conductive object, whether it is a metal bar, a wire, a tree or a plant, this silent energy from the earth is transferred naturally…”   Author unknown.

 

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assemble challenge combine creativity

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

You can only watch so much television when sheltering in place, right?  And how many jigsaw puzzles can you do without getting a headache?  I even find myself reading two books at a time!

But, even though our world started to open up again to allow for haircuts and dining in restaurants, the Corona Virus is angrily re-emerging and forcing us aging vulnerables into continued self isolation.

When I started blogging I had no idea the end result would be the addition of people I not only enjoy learning about, but that many have actually become  friends.

And through all the challenges of self isolation, and through the long months of solitude, as if to prove the value of our relationships, my blogger friends continued to create incredible connections.  You offer your experiences, your humor, your photographs, your ways of coping, your thoughts, and mostly your love.

But for quite a while I was reading your experiences and not sharing mine.  I was absent from the blogging world in a writing dry spell I thought would never end, when suddenly I realized that reading your posts was helping me get through the Covid-19 Pandemic lock-down.

The inspiration was there “in plain sight.”  Writing and sharing were the blessed remedies for coping with odd downturns like lockdowns and forced isolation.

Many of your posts made me think of what I would do in similar circumstances.  And my own responses could certainly have been crafted into blog posts.  But, instead of following the urge to write, I sent comments instead.  It was writing in a way, but mostly done to thank you, my blogging friends, for your words, your time  and your continued contributions.  You kept me sane in the insane world of Covid-19!

I am posting things again but the dry spell threatens to return.

I recognize it looming overhead.

Then, as if it was meant to be, a Virginia Black Bear wandered into our yard today and has inspired me to create another post.

Stay tuned.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Kit the Wit

My oldest best friend’s birthday is coming up tomorrow.

She is an old lady now.

But, I suppose I am too.

Still, every year about this time she is older than I am and that lasts until November.

Kit and I were little children when we first met.  She was older than me then too.

She was 12 years old and I was 11.

She wanted to ride my brand new bike and I said, “NO.”  Then I changed my mind and we have been best friends forever ever since!  That means we went through all the joys of childhood, then all the hopes, dreams and traumas of the teen years, first jobs, dating and marriage, parenthood, and now, finally, the ups, downs and mysteries of aging.

Way back then Kit gave us nicknames.  She would be Kit the Wit from that point on and we shortened that to just “Wit.”

And I was Dort the Snort.  Not too glamorous but “Snort” stuck (I have a wonderful sense of humor you know!  In fact I have other friends who call me “Dork” – imagine?).

People do stare when Wit calls out in a store, “Hey Snort, come and look at this!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY WIT!  I am more grateful than ever to have you as my oldest best friend forever.  Let’s ignore old age and the pandemic and all the other things that might get in the way and plan to spend the night (just one more night) like we did so long ago.

 

 

 

 

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photo printer

I used to keep photograph albums.

But somewhere around 2006  the albums came to an abrupt halt.  It was about the time I received the gift of a cell phone that produced remarkable pictures.

The problem was that all photos from 2006 onward became buried somewhere in the phone or in my computer or in the nebulous ubiquitous CLOUD.

The “progress” in technology resulted in a twilight zone of lost time.

I stopped mounting my favorite shots lovingly in a photo album.

Time stopped.

This Christmas Bill gave me a SMART PHONE PHOTO PRINTER that actually works!

One brave step backward for mankind!

I have now reopened the last unfilled, ready-and-waiting-photo-album and began adding some pictures of a friend’s baby sent to us in a Christmas card.  Then there are smart phone photos; one of Bill on New Year’s Eve, a somewhat jarring selfie of me, a shot of Elsa-the-dog, and a picture of two good friends who came visiting over the holiday.

This little machine is a miracle!

Will it result in a rebirth of the age-old practice of saving photographs in albums?

If you ask me, no.  I am already sure the gadget will stop or the materials will no longer be available.

But it’s a start.   Time to take pictures!  And at least for the beginning of 2020 there will be memories in an album.

 

 

 

 

 

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Kit n D Canada

We met when we were children, both eleven years old with paper dolls, coloring books, and we played jacks on the kitchen floor.  We shared our dreams, spent whole nights giggling, traded clothes, and created lifelong memories of wild adventures.

Time slipped by almost accidentally and we grew up together – still best friends.

We are still growing up together – and still best friends.

Kit n D Redondo

Kit n D Bathing Beauties

Kit gave us nicknames way back when first we met.

She was Kit-the-Wit and I was Dort-the-Snort (Dort short for Dorothy).  When we are together we still use those names.  If we are shopping, Kit will call me to look at something.  “Hey Snort – look at this!”  Sometimes I wonder what people think.

To celebrate the arrival of 2020 I received a package from my Oldest Best Friend Forever.  And here was my reply:

Dear Wit,  I now have a collection of 3 Best Friend books from you.  Earlier you sent  “Kindred Spirits, Forever Wacky Friends”.  I have it behind glass in our breakfront.

But now I love the last one best – the one that came today called “I’m Lucky to Have a Friend Like You” and I love the pictures and comments you included in the front.  We both look so young and beautiful.  We didn’t even know how young and beautiful we really were did we?

Then there is the 3rd book…the birthday gift…the laughter when you’re at “Wit’s end.”  So clever and what a reminder about the role laughter played through all our years as friends.

There are only a few people who can unlock what I call my hysterical laughter.  You were first.  And now son Corky. It’s when I get this uncontrollable unstoppable laughter to the point of tears.
You have been a gift throughout my life Wit and more thoughtful than I can ever be.  
You are the friend I loved through childhood and through all the stages between then and now. 
And even now in our golden-olden years I am proud to call you my Best Friend Forever.  
Love, Snort

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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.

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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?

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Flowers 60th

Flowers from our friends of 56 years – Janet, Pam, Deb, and Scott – Thank you!

It was a very good year.

It was when I met Bill.

I told my Mom I had finally met a real “man” because Bill was all of 21.

My Dad didn’t like him.

We were married anyway, three years later.

Today is another anniversary.

Today we have been married 60 years!

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