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Yesterday was a magical day.

I went on a 45 minute trip to a magical outer world.

Of course, Virginia scenery this time of year is spectacular, and even stay-at-homes can rejoice in the colors of Autumn, but the windows are getting fogged up at my house and even though the mountains and the sky offer endless transitions, seeing the outer world becomes an urgent need.

You see, I am still coping with the BigFoot and am up to about 8 doctors, 20 tests, and 11 different diagnoses in a search that has gone on for just over two years.

So on most days I am a more effective person “at home” where aches and pains can be addressed in familiar surroundings.

But yesterday…. well, yesterday was different.

Old girlfriends met at a little box store in Staunton, Virginia for shopping!

Hurrah!

Shopping!

Ever feel like Alice in Wonderland?

There were bright shiny things to find and sparkly things to buy.

If I had a dog I would have loaded up on all those cute dog toys, dog beds, and doggie treats.

“Maybe I should get all that anyway.  You never know, we might find the perfect dog. And what about all that glittering jewlery for those of us who crave elegant adornment and hardly ever leave the house?  I could use a roasting pan too… a copper roasting pan.  And what about that just-the-right-size pasta bowl?

But No – Let reason prevail.”

In other words, I went slightly mad!

I did wind up with quality holiday wrap and bows, a laundry bag for travel (wishful thinking?) and great potholders (just in case I have to cook at home).  Not the most glamorous purchases I know, but Hey… a step up from online searches.  I could actually touch and feel the merchandise.

And I found a forest green sweater for me!

I have been looking for something that color since I was eight years old and there it was jumping off the rack…. perfect fit too.  Irrestible!

There is joy in finding elusive things.

Then, to top off the magical day we old girlfriends all went out for a magical lunch.

The entree I splurged on would normally have been a disappointment since it was too dry and maybe even too spicey.  But I never really noticed.  We talked and talked and even after the bill was paid, we kept on talking.

Noone rushed us off and there was time to plan our next magical meeting in that magical outer world I have been missing so much.

Have you ever had a magical day of your own?

 

 

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I have a friend.

She has been my friend forever.

I can hardly believe that myself, but it is true.

We grew up playing paperdolls, hopscotch, riding bikes, trying on her big sister’s clothes.

We grew up “spending the night”, talking until 2AM about boys and dreams.

We grew up writing letters with real pens on paper and sent with stamps by snail mail.

We grew up, got married and had children.

And we grew up sharing – always sharing – all the joys and problems of life, love, and parenthood.

And the greatest thing is, we grew up always laughing.

And we are still growing up!  And sharing – always sharing – all the joys and problems of life, love and aging.

She is my Oldest Best Friend Forever and her name is Kit.

She just sent me this card and I will cherish it –  forever.

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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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