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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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Bananas for Safari Park MonkeysIn the checkout line at the supermarket there was a fellow ahead of me who was buying a big pile of bananas.  The strange thing is I noticed the bananas before I did the guy. (Is this just another sign of aging?)

Anyway, I was thinking, “He must love bananas.

  • Maybe he has a big family.
  • Maybe he is a camp counselor buying snacks for the kiddies.
  • Maybe he wants to make banana bread?”

I was still lost in imagining what he would possibly do with all those bananas when he turned back toward me and smiled.

Safari Park Guy

Cute Safari Park Guy

And there was an emblem on his shirt that said, “Safari Park.”

Aha!  Mystery solved.  This was a representative of the Virginia Safari Park, a magical place near me and just a few miles north of Virginia’s Natural Bridge.  Safari Park is where my  grandgirls (all grown up now) still demand to go every time they visit.

“Are the bananas for the monkeys?” I boldly asked the Safari Park man.

“Yes, and the giraffes love them too.”

“Do you mind if I take a picture of all those bananas?  Oh, and a picture of you too? I want to write a blog post about the park.”

“Of course, he said, “And thank you.”

If you are interested in going to the Virginia Safari Park, my young friend told me they will be open until Thanksgiving.

Virginia Safari Park is a 180-acre drive-thru adventure featuring 1,000 free roaming animals. Drive along 3 miles of road in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley.  With the Blue Ridge Mountains as your backdrop, animals of all sizes, shapes and colors approach your vehicle in search of a tasty bucket of feed. Their website is http://www.virginiasafaripark.com .

Safari Park 07

My youngest grandgirl, Mackenzie, all grown up now but still loves the Virginia Safari Park.

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Twin White Steeds

 

Equine News in the Neighborhood!  

On the bright side, rumor has it our neighbor will be renting his pasture to a horse (the owner will pay the rent of course)!  I had been missing daily stop-by visits with Rosa-the-mare (who sadly was lost due to some equine malady).  A new horsey neighbor will be a grand treat.

Two other horses at different homes developed abscessed feet.  I mean, each horse has one lame foot. They are both on antibiotics, have wrapped hooves, and both have cast off their wrappings and are healing nicely.

I can empathize….  me-of-the-gimpy-foot too.  It’s a neighborhood epidemic!

Bagging a Chicken!

Today I roasted a chicken that came bagged and fully seasoned.  Instructions were to cut a slit to allow for expansion and bake for 2 hours.

Talk about SIMPLE!  And the results were delicious.  I hate to admit that because the bag-less version is to rinse, pat dry, oil, season, and baste.  Maybe this bag thing is positive progress!

Tree Surgeon Mending

Our tree surgeon is also nicely recovering from having a tree fall on him some weeks ago.  Country living is fraught with unexpected danger.

He is the fellow our community hires to trim trees along our road and sometimes to remove trees entirely (those threatening to fall on homes, etc.).  He is always a wonder to watch traversing limbs at dizzying heights.  We are just happy he is on the mend.

New Life in Town

‘Tis a university town (Lexington, Virginia) and school is back!  Our downtown is alive and writhing again (I mean “thriving”).  The kids are back at Virginia Military Institute and Washington and Lee University.  Why is it they look younger every year? And now the local restaurants are packed as families come in to help all the young’uns get settled.

Horrible Harvey

Sending thoughts to my Texas blogger friends who so eloquently describe their own experiences with the monster storm, Harvey.  I am so glad you are high and dry and thank you so much for your perspectives.

It has been an unendurable week for many in Texas but to see how millions are dealing with the aftermath is to understand the value of good neighbors, the ones who become heroes when they themselves least expect it.

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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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Friend Lunch

Dining in a Virginia Orchard

The bear came back today.  I was preparing lunch when there was Bruno having his own lunch in the “orchard.”  The orchard consists of two fruit trees that didn’t make it and one pear tree that may still be offering something edible.

Bruno is a teenager or young fella who is out on his own I think because we never see the Mama Bear.  Anyway, as I sat down for lunch I was imagining joining the kid and sharing a pear or two.

Fortunately, reason and abject fear stopped me from being mauled to death.

Shopping Delusions

I thought I finally purchased the perfect pair of jeans yesterday!

Some stores have mirrors that make things look great.  The illusion is usually fleeting. This store was like that.  Wow! I looked young and glamorous in that mirror.

And the jeans even felt good – the stretchy kind you know and high wasted like in the old days so they wouldn’t slip down below my belly button.  A bit long but I began hemming them as soon as I got home.

Well yes, they are comfy all right and I wore them all day today.  But some people (like me) don’t have the right body image for jeans.  Mine always seem rumpled and a bit too baggy (my body as well as the jeans).  Obviously, jeans should emphasize curves shouldn’t they?

Having a flat butt doesn’t help I guess.  I mean you have to have curves to emphasize them.

Yesterday’s Outing

Yesterday was a big shopping day and lunch out with my friend, Norma.  We do something exciting like that once a month.   A lot of talking goes on (stored up for four weeks).

As for shopping, I am almost overwhelmed in those big malls with so many choices. Living in small town rural Virginia you get used to limited buying opportunities.  This time my friend and I added “The Cheese Shop” in Stuart’s Draft, Virginia, for spices and nuts, dried fruits and homemade jams and jellies, and cheese of course.

We had lunch at a Thai restaurant but I missed Bruno. 

And on the way home we stopped for a frozen yogurt dessert.  It was a cool ending to a lovely day.

 

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Jess Stops By May 2017Kendall Reclining Mack here May 2017 It doesn’t seem so long ago our three grandgirls were little girls – Jess gurgling in her stroller, Mack wanting hugs and more hugs, Kendall the dancing nymph.

And suddenly they are women driving!  And they are beginning to drop-in to see us on their own.

The same sofa in our living room is where they all wind up – sometimes one at a time, sometimes in twos or threes.

Their smiles are huge.

And so are ours.

Two are coming again tomorrow!  And that is our excitement.

We will miss the oldest but she is in Nepal for the adventure of a lifetime.

 

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