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I have never been able to take a credible photo of the moon.  This little cell phone camera doesn’t have the capacity (or maybe I don’t know what I’m doing?).

But one silvery night when the fog lay in low Virginia hollows and there was a shimmer on surfaces left wet from a creeping mist, I had to try again.

Deck in Moonlight 3

Deck in Moonlight 4

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New Foot

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Faraway Doctoring

I connected this week with my Long Distance Doctor about the last MRI test for BigFoot.  That makes 5 MRI’s in about 3 years!

I am in rural Virginia and the doc is in Big City Baltimore so it is an adventure story of sorts.  She recommended “Serial MRI’s” for comparison purposes.

Anyway, Dr. C called to review the last MRI which showed positive changes.  And there will be no more MRI’s unless BigFoot decides to act up again.  Hurrah!

Now I keep looking at my beautiful ultra-thin foot.  And guess what?  It matches the other one.

ankles (1)On Foot Preening

Feet are definitely not the most glamorous parts of the human body.  In fact, I think they are generally pretty ugly.  But they do a major job in carrying us around and I do admire a foot that maintains its shape and shows a prominent ankle bone.

Is it no wonder that visible feet beneath ladies’ long skirts in the olden days was considered ultra sexy and risque?

Some folks preen before a mirror.  I suppose they admire their faces.

But a mirror is not necessary for foot preening.   I can simply recline in my recliner to scrutinize lovely skinny toes and the spaces between them, a slim ankle and visible ankle bone, and rare puffiness even after a full day of activity.  I would be an enormous hit in the olden days right?

So yes, at any given moment you may see me in a reclining stupor admiring my own sockless feet.

P.T.

PT is short for Physical Therapy.  Don’t you just hate all this “Initial” talking?

To celebrate SkinnyFoot’s new possibilities I attended a PT session with a therapist here in Virginia (not Baltimore thank goodness) who worked “hands on” for a full hour!

This meant manipulated muscles and things that have never been manipulated before.  !

I told Anne-Marie, the fantastic therapist, “My ultimate goal is to wear matching shoes and be able to traverse (on foot) the local Walmart with no electric cart!”

And she said, “That is absolutely do-able.” 

Really?!  I am so happy and hopeful but realize there is weakness due to nearly three years of immobility.   Good results will take time.

Then Came The-Day-After P.T.

  • UhOh!
  • Stabbing pains in SkinnyFoot.
  • Aching thighs.
  • Back twinges.
  • Fear
  • Worry.
  • And a mad grab for an Ibuprofen.
  • Arrrrgh!

Was this a case of after-therapy muscle aches and pains or something worse?

Should I quit after only one session?

Or should I soldier on?

The Day After the Day After P.T.

Only one stabbing pain all day.

Walmart, here I come!

Wish me luck my blogger friends –  I am off and running – well, not exactly running really.  But I have two appointments for P.T. next week.

Now don’t laugh.  You never know where this will go.

Even elderly ladies like me can bounce back to teenage agility levels.  I don’t expect to run marathons or jitterbug but like I said, “You never know.”

Meanwhile, it’s back to preening and personal foot admiration.

And I trust you will join me and gaze mesmerized at the Before and After foot photos above.

 

 

 

 

 

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BigFoot (now magically transformed into LittleFoot) went for a 300 step walk today.  We know because we were wearing a pedometer in-pocket.

And how amazing it was to capture 3 great photos in 300 steps!  But I suppose, not so remarkable since I live on the edge of a forest primeval.

Do butterflies mate?

Butterflies on Zinnia

I wonder because there atop a happily blooming Zinnia stood Miss Butterfly joined by a very happy friend (who was actively fluttering as near as he could get). Are they just pals saying, “Hi”, or is there more going on here?

I made a hasty exit in order to give them some privacy.

Then walking along the edge of the forest, there stood an elegant doe.

Deer Stare

I am sure she was wondering about the 2-legged critter looking back into those big beautiful eyes.  She allowed me time to retrieve camera and click before she turned and leisurely loped back into her wooded glen.

Finally, there was a mountain view I would wish some day to paint.

Mountain Vignette

And although I have taken this shot many times before, each season it becomes more appealing.  I always see it as a frame of tree limbs forming a natural vignette for a splendid view of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.

I suppose my 300 step, 3 photo walk to exercise the healing BigFoot could be considered mundane.  But, I think of it as a magical journey through a little corner of rural Virginia’s wild side.

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Bear VA Black Bear Cub

Virginia Black Bear Cub – Photo Source Unknown

“If I expect the worst will happen and then it is the best, I am happily surprised. On the other hand, if I expect the best and the worst happens, I am sorry I didn’t think the worst to begin with.”    Quote by ~Dor

I have a blogger friend, Kate, who freely admits she magnifies simple human maladies into end-of-the-world death-approaching, devastating ailments. She makes me laugh because I see “me” in there too.

Once the question was asked at a book club meeting, “What kinds of books do you prefer?”

And there were answers like, “Mysteries, Romance, Biographies, Historical Fiction, etc.”

My answer was, “Doomsday  books.”

And everybody laughed!

Yes, it is true I love doomsday stories (fiction or non) about living through the plague, the great influenza, the civil war, the world wars, floods, hunger, and pestilence.

The first book I loved, cried over, sped through and read again and again was the American Classic,  Ethan Frome, by Edith Wharton.  And I still wish I could change the ending.  Surely the doomed lovers could have positively altered the course of their lives and survived unscathed. Couldn’t they?

Progressing from that frustration I began reading powerful historic treatises on The Great Influenza, Isaac’s Storm, and yes, those stories about the plague, war, starvation, pestilence, the plight of women, etc.  I still love them all and always looking for more.

And as a result, over time, I saved life-saving tips into a collection I now call Dor’s Doomsday Survival Manual.

But  when my real-life friends look at the manual they laugh and seem to consider it a comedy.

And now you have it – the deep dark underside I have struggled so long to keep hidden, and the reason I aim to publish funny blog posts.

But I wonder if you would laugh as you browse through Dor’s manual chapters.

  • What to do if there is a bear on your deck!  Hide – plus other good ideas.
  • How to save a cat from drowning in a flood.  Float out in a sealed bucket (I just saw that on t.v.
  • How to purify water.  Clorox?  Yes, really.
  • Hidden water sources in your home.  Toilets?  Yes, really.
  • Non-perishables that will last 25 years of even hundreds of years.  Fruit cake and honey – really!
  • What to pack in a survival suitcase.  Chocolate?  Wishful thinking but there is a longer list.
  • How to prepare for the Avian Flu (or did it already come and go?)  I think the Bird Flu passed on by…. or has it?
  • What to do when food sources are low. You can live many days without food. Who knew?
  • Beware of summer storms.
  • Evacuation tips
  • Assembling a first aid kit.
  •  Tools and supplies to have at the ready.
  • A Family Disaster plan.
  • And more.

Do you think I should publish my Survival Manual as a comedy or what?

Your input is entirely welcome, but I am thinking the worst.

 

 

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Smashed Bird Feeder Courtesy of Bruno the Bear

We lived to tell the tale of Bruno the Bear.

Last night, if you may recall, I was cowering in the back room watching Bill try to defend our home from a very BIG bear!

Really.

I estimate Bruno was over 300 pounds!

I considered that our lives were in danger but in some ways the scene at the living room bay windows was hilarious.

Bruno was pacing back and forth and looking in at Bill.

Bill was growling very loudly and swearing at the bear.  He (Bill) was also waving his arms around and snarling and making monster faces. 

My HERO!

We had the lights on at the deck so I was able to see Bruno’s reaction.

He looked a bit irked.

I should have snapped a picture but was afraid it would irk him more.  It wouldn’t take much for him to lean on a window and enter the house!

Finally Bruno decided to leave (but momentarily forgot the way he had arrived).

I think the HUGE BIG BEAR stayed visiting us for about an hour.  Maybe it was less but it felt like an hour.

Actually, it felt like a few several hours and I got dressed while Bill was playing his monster roll (just in case we had to flee and stay at a motel for a few days).

Then it got quiet and stayed quiet, and we gave up and went to bed.   Bruno must have gone on to other things.

Let us hope it will remain quiet again tonight.

Bruno also left his mark by attacking a towel rack on our deck (now hanging askew).
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Do you suppose Bruno hates horses?  Why knock things awry like that anyway?

And a neighbor reported that he tore down a birdhouse with baby chicks in it but they are still alive!

Well, our trip to Washington, DC was fraught with tension due to the monstrous traffic.  But then we returned to the peace and quiet of the Virginia countryside only to find a monster in our midst.

I have to admit Bruno was kind of cute though.  Those little round bear ears and inquisitive face.

I hope, however, that he doesn’t mistake me for Goldilocks!

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sunshine-blogger-award

“Keep your face to the sun and you will never see the shadows.”
– Helen Keller

There are times when I forget I am dragging around a foot with an injured bone – moments when I despair of lurking dark places.

But not today.

Today BigFoot-Dor is smiling.

Cindy of Mama’s Empty Nest nominated me for the Sunshine Blogger Award!

This special award is as inspirational as a warm sun-shiny day.

Thank You Cindy for the reminder to keep my face in the sun to avoid seeing shadows.

And the Sunshine Blogger rules include:

  • Thank the blogger(s) that nominated you in the post and link back to their blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.
  • Nominate 8-11 bloggers to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award Logo on your post and/or in your blog.

Now here are Cindy’s questions for me with my answers in italics:

  1. Honestly now, could you live without your cell phone?  Why or why not?  I could live without it but must admit it would be sorely missed.  A few times I have driven away, forgetting the little darling and as soon as I think about it, I panic.  What if something happened?  Where would I go to call for help?
  2. If someone were to name your greatest achievement in life, what would you want to be remembered for? My kindness and contagious laughter.
  3. When you smell your favorite aroma, what does it make you think of? Hearty bread like the kind you get in Europe (or Whole Foods).
  4. What is the most vivid dream you can remember? It was a nightmare of my whole family drowning.
  5. Have you made a bucket list and if so, what is the #1 item you want to cross off? I have not made a list but I know I would include a month at a beautiful beach.
  6. What is your best personality trait and your worst? My best personality trait is my eagerness to help when anyone is in distress.  My worst trait is a tendency to worry too much.
  7. What would be your ultimate dream career? I already had that dream career travelling overseas as a kind of tour guide.
  8. You just won $10 million, what will you do with the money? I would begin to give it away to family and friends to help them fulfill their wishes and I would fulfill a few of my own
  9. Where is your favorite vacation spot and why?   I love it here for the mountain views, the wildlife and forests. It is where I am the happiest and most relaxed.
  10. Which do you prefer, reading on an e-reader or reading a book with paper pages?   A book with paper pages, but I am getting used to the e-reader too now.  I am an ambidextrous reader.
  11. Country life or urban dweller? What’s your preference and why? Country life!  I love it.  I love the quiet, the simplicity, the friendly people, the lack of traffic, the creatures, and more.

Now – Nominating cyberspace friends to be Sunshine Bloggers is the challenge of this award.

Over the years I have come to know and love more and more of you and to appreciate your wisdom, humor and talent. Also, I know many of you hate these award things and if you are one of those, consider this simply a nod of admiration and recognition from an awed and avid reader.

If you are not on the list and would like to be, please feel free to join the “team.”

But here are the fellow bloggers I think might respond – those who never fail to shed  sunlight on my days.  There are more of course – lots more.

Age Before Beauty

Andrew’s View of the Week

Dianna

Emjay and Them’s Blog

I choose how I will spend the rest of my life

Living and Lovin

Mehrling Muse

Musings of a Horse Mom

The Mountain Kitchen

Views and Mews by Coffee Kat

And here are your questions:

  1. Are you an introvert or an extrovert?  Do you wish you were the other and why?
  2. Are you an animal lover?  What pets do you have and love?
  3. Who was your favorite teacher and why?
  4. Have you ever had a bad habit you  broke?  What was it and how did you change it?
  5. What is your favorite place to relax?  Explain where it is and why it helps.
  6. What is your favorite movie of all time?
  7. Do you love to travel or do you hate it?  Why?
  8. Are you an organized or a disorganized person?
  9. Are you always late, early, or right on time?  Are there any advantages or disadvantages to your timing?
  10. Do you create lots of blog posts in advance of publishing or do you do one at a time?
  11. What inspires you to create a blog post?

If you did participate in this rather insightful exercise, I thank you.  If not, I thank you anyway for shedding sunlight on my days!

 

 

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The relationship between peanuts and baseball goes all the way back to when a peanut company bought ad space on the back of scorecards in 1898.  The snack was a big hit in stadiums, and only a few years later, in 1908, the song, “Take Me Out to the Ball game” featured the line, “buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jacks”, which has forever united the two American traditions in the public mind.”   From WRAL.com

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I can still hear the peanut man calling!

When I was a young girl my family went to evening baseball games at a local park.  There was always a man climbing the bleachers and calling out in a singsong voice.  He had a carrier full of warm delicious peanuts. The aroma alone was to swoon for.  And twenty-five cents would buy a little brown bag.

Years later I discovered I could roast my own peanuts and duplicate the flavor.

If you are a new guest at our house, you might mistake the peanuts for garden variety supermarket Ho- Hums, but if you politely taste one, guaranteed you will be asking questions.

Apologies if you are allergic though!

The recipe is simple but start with shelled, blanched, raw peanuts.  I get mine at a place called “The Cheese Shop” in Stuarts Draft, Virginia.  You have probably guessed they carry a lot more than cheese.   xslider-1140x460.jpg.pagespeed.ic.ADbx5syzP8Cheese Shop_0

And Bill and I are going there tomorrow to stock up!

Recipe for Dor’s Home Roasted Peanuts  Ingredients:  1-2 lbs shelled, raw, blanched peanuts; 1 tsp butter (or I use coconut oil); Salt to taste.

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. Spread all the peanuts in a rimmed pan (I use the bottom of my oven broiler pan).
  3. Bake on middle rack for about 6 minutes and then stir everything around. 
  4. Bake 6 minutes more and stir again. 
  5. Repeat #4 two more times. 
  6. Peanuts are done when they are a deep golden brown color. 
  7. While still hot add the butter (don’t be tempted to add more than a teaspoon or they will be too greasy).  The purpose of the butter is to provide a coating the salt can stick to. 
  8. Salt to taste. 
  9. I freeze mine and bring them out in small quantities as needed. 

 

 

 

 

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