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Archive for the ‘Friends’ Category

BigBruno

If you are weary of hearing about my bear visitors here in rural Virginia, I do understand.  I hope you are able to “grin and bear it.”

But I must recount the latest episode.  This time I was away from home with a friend.

We were out for lunch at a general store (and diner) in Natural Bridge Station, Virginia.  That is only a few miles from the actual Natural Bridge (an awesome sight indeed).

The Natural Bridge  is also now a Virginia State Park.

Anyway, we pulled into the driveway of the little general store and there he was – Bruno’s father! BIGBruno!

He was crossing the parking lot right in front of us.  And he went loping down an embankment to a little stream, and up the other side to cross the road into the woods.

Could I get out of othe car without fear of bodily harm?  No.

I was on the bear’s side!

Could I outrun the bear?  No.

Still having trouble hobbling around on a bad foot, but even if it was normal……. well, you get the picture.

Was I stupid enough to get out of the car (on BigBruno’s side) and slowly make my way to the diner entrance?

Yes.

And so it was.  Lunch was a breathless affair recounting the story to the hostess.  She said they had been frying bacon all morning.  Well, no wonder BigBruno was enamoured of the place!

And on the wall was this frightening image!

It looked just like him.

I still don’t know if it was a photograph or a painting, but BigBruno loomed out of the canvas as big and wild and beautiful as I could ever conjure up in a dream/nightmare.

Lunch was delicious by the way.  A very informal setting with all natural all fresh salads and sans – everything to a bear’s liking!

Another adventure in Virginia country living.

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Some friends are fun,

and some are funny.

Meet our friend Pete,

a combination of both.

We had dinner with our friends, Pete and Phebe last week.  We see them often and look forward each time to hilarious conversations that leave us literally doubled over with laughter.

I am always concerned there will be nothing to say

since we have probably said it all by now.

But no story gets left untold and nothing escapes our howling laughter.  

Pete is wearing Phebe’s hat in this photo and you an see he is cracking himself up and the silliness is oddly catchy.

We are supposed to be among the distinguished elderly now, behaving with quiet maturity and an air of pride and elegance to make our families proud.

It may be fortunate that our families are not around to witness actual behavior!

We even make political arguments insanely funny (maybe because things are so insane in that realm anyway).

And what young folks would want to listen to those zany memories of  our younger selves?  We relive ridiculous moments with humongous chuckles.

Teasing the young wait staff at our local restaurants is part of the unplanned plan too. They may be secretly snickering at those old folks who are having such a great time, but I think they know we love them.

On this last visit to The Sheridan Livery Inn, in Lexington, Virginia, an old favorite restaurant, a familiar waitress greeted us with, “Oh No!  It’s those crazy people again!”  

I took that as a fabulous compliment and so did the others.  Besides, it started us off laughing and we laughed right through the meal.  Surely all that laughing is beneficial for digestion.

How lucky we are to have such people in our lives who are fun, funny and always funnier – they are the catalysts for life’s comic relief.  And just think of all the new memories we are creating to laugh about later.

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Bruno Returns

We have had four visits in a week from Bruno the Bear.  He is beginning to resemble an old friend who drops in now and then.

On his last foray Bruno discovered the lower branches of our little pear tree were plundered by marauding deer.  We watched him standing on his back legs craning his neck looking up, up, up into that tree.

Then Bill and I watched the bear’s agile ascent.   Bruno literally “went out on a limb” and we could see the tree waving around a bit, and then he dropped to the ground to begin the harvest of shaken down pears.

I am always stunned into inactivity at the sight of a bear in my back yard.  It’s like watching a live National Geographic film only we are right here in rural Virginia!

Can you see Bruno in this photo as he was heading home to his forest?

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Making Human Friends

Have I told you I am “aquasizing?”  It’s a whole lot of jumping around in a pool and supposed to be easy on the joints.

Most of my fellow attendees quietly and even grimly follow the instructor.  There is one lady who cracks jokes at just the right moments to make us all laugh.  It’s Pauline!  She is alert, animated, beautiful, active, kind, and most of all – funny!  I have decided I have found a new friend and mentor.

Pauline even led me up a secret grassy hillside to get to the class faster from the parking lot.   A shortcut you know.  And she looked back to inquire, “Are you all right?”, as I followed her up.

And was I amazed when I learned that Pauline is 90 years old!

I love it that I have a 90 year old human friend I admire so.

Donkeys or Mules?

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There are two new additions to the neighborhood.  I think they are donkeys.  Maybe they are mules.

One is splotched colors like some horses they call “Paint” and the other is almost universally black.  Both have very big pointed ears.  They almost look like horses but you know right away they aren’t horses.  I wonder if they are mules.  Never did know the difference really.

These two are always together in the cow pasture and I believe they are there to guard the cows against coyotes (and maybe bears?).

At any rate, they look lonely even though they have each other.  I stopped to get a picture but did not capture the full effect of those big sad eyes and only got the rump of the black one.

O.K., I know I am stretching it to seek friendship from two mules.

Times like this I am grateful for those of you who stick with me in cyberspace. 

“Good friends are hard to find”.

 

 

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Books, Diapers and Vitamin D

We seem to be going backward in time.  Hurrah!   Well, at least Hurrah for some things.

REAL VERSUS FAKE?  BOOKS THAT IS.

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There is a pending sense of relief that “real books” (the kind where you physically turn a physically real page) are back in style.

  • I still get caught up trying to tap-turn a page in my E-reader with a too heavy hand that flips three pages at a time.
  • Besides, E-book editions are now oftentimes higher priced than good old paperbacks.
  • E-readers are sending me odd messages too. “We are unable to download the book you just ordered.  Please return to your Library and try again.”  Huh?

What are your gripes about e-readers?  We could write a whole post about just those irritations..

Is there anything good about them?  Maybe we could write a whole post about that.

SUNSHINE VERSUS VITAMIN SUPPLEMENTS

sunshineThe trend is toward natural sunlight which they say encourages your own body to manufacture its own Vitamin D! The benefits of supplements are now listed on the “iffy side.”

I now aim for  20 minutes in natural sunlight with unprotected skin to help Old Sol along.

Falling asleep out there however, is not a good idea.  Just ask my grandgirl, Jess.

CLOTH DIAPERS VERSUS DISPOSABLES 

 

cloth-diaper-on-baby

They say disposable diapers are now clogging up the environment with all that in-disposable content.  But cloth can be washed and rewashed.

I didn’t really know it but I used to save the planet like that but almost traumatized my infant son with extreme diaper rash. Are you ready for a Dor-story?  That’s D-O-R – not, D-O-G.

In those ancient days of yore (before Pampers), I was hysterical about poor Corky’s terrible suffering with a constant diaper rash.  Eventually I conferred with an expert.   “What are you washing them in?” asked a helpful friend (mother of 6).  “He has perfectly clean white diapers,” said I, “They are washed in soapy water and bleach!”   And that saved our boy from further agony because my friend said, “There’s your problem!  Urine and bleach don’t work.  Better to have slightly stained diapers.”

Assuming most new mothers today are savvy, the trend toward cloth diapers makes perfect sense doesn’t it?

Meanwhile, I am hoping our son (now a fine man) was not emotionally marred by those early days of a young mother’s ignorance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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We met a true beauty yesterday.

When she was carried from the car, everyone stopped talking and whatever else they were doing just to look at her.

She knew she was beautiful but she never expected this unanimous reaction.

And everyone was smiling at her too and that made her so happy.

She came all the way from California – a star.

One look and we knew she could be a huge presence in the world.

She is always surrounded by a support staff at her beck and call, but she remains humble in her gorgeous-ness and always yearning for love.

Her name is Joeleen.Joleen 1

She is a 9 week old Saint Bernard show stopper puppy who was surely born to generate smiles.Is that waterJoleen Back

And she is a love, with a disposition to go with her big fluffy huggable panda-like puppyhood.

Yesterday Joeleen’s new supporting cast of human characters brought her to our house for introductions.

She is not going to be mine, but thank you to her new pawrents (our friends Pam and Billy ) for the introductions.

We love Joleen, and she can add Bill and me to her supporting cast of characters any time.

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There is a dance that is new to me and maybe to you too.  It is a dance that is “as old as the hills.”

My good friend, Amy, who is always trying new things, filled me in on this enchanting activity that is good clean fun, great exercise, and a place to meet friends and smile.

 Have you ever heard of Contra Dancing?

Well, one site describes it like this: “If Swing Dancing and Square Dancing met in a bar, you’d get Contra.”

  • It is similar to square dancing but not the same.
  • It is considered a social dance that you can attend without a partner, but is danced in pairs.
  • It is danced in long lines and couples progress up and down the lines dancing with each other and other couples in the line.
  • There is a caller who teaches the sequence of figures before the music starts.
  • The music can be Irish, Scottish, old-time, or French Canadian folk tunes.
  • It is impossible not to smile at the music.
  • The fiddle is the core instrument, but can also feature the guitar, banjo, bass and mandolin.

 Contra is a folk dance with mixed origins from English country, Scottish,  and French dance styles in the 17th century and African influence from Appalachia.  Sometimes described as New England folk dance or Appalachian folk dance, Contra Dances can be found around the world as well as in most US states.

Check out Contra Dancing in your state or community.  Guaranteed to make you smile!

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Viola was a local  Virginia “character” who took pride in having an independent streak.  She was forthright and fiercely opinionated, and loved beautiful things.  And she was a beloved friend whose gifts over the years are things I still cherish.  They were old gifts she found in antique stores and one-of-a-kinds for the young me.

Sadly, we lost Viola, but there are wonderful reminders of her all over my home.  She was a friend who put extra thought into gift giving.

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  • A beautiful scalloped edged platter I still use to serve cookies.

  • An art deco bowl that makes bananas seem  brighter and yellower (is yellower a word?).

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  • A lacy edged vase for short stemmed flowers to make into elegant arrangements.

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I just read an article about how young people don’t like old stuff anymore. They don’t want Grandma’s china or sterling silver that has to be polished.

Who needs gold edged dinner plates for fast food or pizza delivery?  And who wants cutlery you can’t put into a dishwasher?

I concede there is some logic in this thinking albeit the younger generation seems to be forfeiting an atmosphere of beauty, charm and grace.

But do they know about the feelings you can get from holding or using something with a history?

A beautiful old serving dish is never really old.

And an elegant old vase will always complement a spray of  seasonal flowers.

And much like people, some old things age gracefully with the help of a little extra care.

And other things grow more beautiful with little to assist them but age and patina.

I was a young woman when Viola gave me some exquisite old things.  They never required too much care and they are cherished now, almost thirty years later, along with some very sweet memories.

I keep reminding myself that finding the one-of-a-kind perfect gift for someone special may be as easy as a stop at the local antique store.

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