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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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There Goes Time

 

Suzanne Wedding

October 1989

Bill and I are going to a wedding this Merry Month of May 2018.

It’s the little girl in the photo!

Her name is Suzanne.

We were there to greet her a few days after she was born.

Then she and her family came to visit us often in Rural Virginia.

There goes Time.

She created imaginary pizzas with Bill and went on hikes and swimming

with her Dad.

And of course, small town exploring in Lexington, Virginia with her Mom and me.

There goes Time again.

We shared happy days and stories through all her growing up years.

And we were there to celebrate her graduation from a college in Vermont.

And still she came to visit and loved our dogs and the country livin’.

She loved Carrie the Golden Retriever best and walks in the woods

and all the giggles.

And now we will be there for Suzanne’s wedding.

There goes Time.

There goes Time.

 

 

 

The Crying Camper

Camping

The problem with blogging is people begin to know all your weaknesses and character flaws.

Most cyberspace friends already know this country girl’slady’s flaws:

  • A devout shopper,
  • a worrier,
  • guilt ridden
  • a planner,
  • and a neat freak.

My hope is that all in all, you all (y’all in Virginia-ese) find these combined traits to be endearing.

But did you know that the BigFoot whiner was once an outdoorsy camping enthusiast?

Here are some FAQS you may have missed:

  • Once, at 3 AM, I threw an air mattress across the pup tent at my devoted spouse.

Why?

Because I kept sliding off and onto the cold lumpy ground.

  • And another time, I ran with a coat around my ankles to get back to the tent.

Why?

Because it was deer hunting season and it occurred to me that a beige suede coat whilst relieving oneself in the woods would conjure up images of a white-tailed deer!

  • And how about the time I had to wear a black patch over my eye to a party.  And it wasn’t Halloween and it wasn’t a costume to make me look like a Pirate either.

Why?

Because a giant gnat bit me near the eye and it swelled up to a frightening countenance.

  • And then there was the time we were six minutes into the Appalachian Trail.  Bravely carrying a 30 pound back pack I was moaning and lagging in line behind husband, our 8 year old son, and Tinker, the dog.  That’s when I sat down in the middle of the trail and cried.  

Why?

Because Y’All,

I hate camping!

More FAQs?

  • How about the tent that blew away?
  • Or having to sit under a tarp until a deluge of rain lets up?
  • Or trying to sleep listening to something or things crashing through the forest?
  • And wondering if we will be attacked by wolves or bears or angry deer.
  • Or being “Nose Cold” (and I don’t mean a head cold).  I mean a nose that’s almost frozen along with toes.

And now you have another character flaw to add to the list!

And Thank you Andrew for inspiring this post!

 

cathy_bathingsuit

cathy-bathingsuit

It’s Tuesday!

I  LOVE Tuesdays in my part of Virginia because it’s “Swim Day” (even though I have missed doing the local YMCA Aquasizing sessions now for several months.

I do manage to get there on Thursdays though and whilst the class is doing jumping jacks in the water, I am dog paddling at the deep end.  It makes BigFoot happy to participate even in that small way.

It’s Thursday!

Thursdays are also delightful because Thursdays are Swim Days too.  And the dog paddling brings on an after-the-beach drowsiness as well as soft skin and a feeling of immense accomplishment.

Other days present odd challenges.

It’s Monday!

On Monday, after agonizing trying-on-and-on-and on, I found a bathing suit (to wear on on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  It’s a lovely floral thing (dooming outdoor swimmers to be attacked by bees who think the flowers are real).  It might work for Tuesdays and Thursdays but makes me look pregnant on any day of the week.

Now I realize a woman my age should not be pregnant (and if so, might qualify as a carnival attraction).  Nevertheless, it is a lingering image locked in my mind’s eye. 

It’s Friday!

Therefore on Friday, after swimming on Thursday in an old suit which outgrew my newly acquired non-exercise shrinking figure (saggy suit blues), I returned the new (pregnancy type) suit to the store down the street who said they would take it back with the original tags.

That leaves Wednesday and the weekend.

It’s Wednesday!

Wednesday was spent on line ordering other things.  BigFoot resists on-foot- buying in real stores (except for swim suits) resulting in shopping withdrawal symptoms.  You would be surprised at how painful that can be.  But, modern progress allows one to alleviate pain by enabling purchasing things without actually standing on your feet.

As for the weekend,

  • Sunning in old clothes (not sure of bathing suit yet).
  • Waiting for results of the 5th MRI for BigFoot.
  • Trying on new socks (ordered on line).
  • Taking pictures of BigFoot (which is nominally shrinking now).
  • And wishing it was Thursday!
  • How did your week go?

Sunshine en Route

Eastern_BluebirdFor the Daily Prompt: Song

The jonquils have bloomed, the tulips showed their happy faces, the grass is greener and greener and the bees are busy welcoming Spring to Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley!

And though I cannot carry a tune, I carry around a song.

“Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah”

Music by Allie Wrubel
Lyrics by Ray Gilbert
Performed by James Baskett
© 1945 Walt Disney Music Company

Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay
My, oh my, what a wonderful day
Plenty of sunshine headin’ my way
Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay

Mister Bluebird’s on my shoulder
It’s the truth, it’s actual
Ev’rything is satisfactual
Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay
Wonderful feeling, wonderful day, yes sir!

Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay
My, oh my, what a wonderful day
Plenty of sunshine headin’ my way
Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay

Mister Bluebird’s on my shoulder
It’s the truth, it’s actual
Ev’rything is satisfactual
Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay
Wonderful feeling, feeling this way

Mister Bluebird’s on my shoulder
It is the truth, it’s actual… huh?
Where is that bluebird? Mm-hm!
Ev’rything is satisfactual
Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay
Wonderful feeling, wonderful day!

From Wikipedia:  For many years the song was part of an opening theme medley for the Wonderful World of Disney television program and it has often been used in other TV and video productions by the studio.  It is one of many popular songs that feature a bluebird.  Today, this song is used as the main song in Splash Mountain, a log flume ride based on “Song of the South” at Disneyland in Anaheim, California and Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

Original Version:

 

 

 

mr-trash-wheel-waterfront-partnership-of-baltimore-3 (1)

We were in Baltimore, Maryland and enjoying breakfast.

Discussing sightseeing adventures might have been a good topic of conversation.

Instead we were concentrating on Naming An Unidentified Floating Object we could see out the window!

The “thing” was a giant water wheel with no familiar or observable purpose.

Being rather shy and reserved people (from the Virginia countryside) we are usually hesitant to ask questions.  But the temptation was too great, so Bill finally asked the restaurant manager, “What is that thing?”

Not being shy or reserved, the manager gave us a mini-history lesson.

l_baltimore-water-wheel29

Inner Harbor Water Wheel, Baltimore, Maryland

“That is a water cleaner, said the Manager.”  It has been here for four years.  People would dump things in the water and it was 80% polluted.  Now it is 40% polluted.  The goal is to make the water in the Inner Harbor swimmable by 2020.  Very young engineers maintain the project and it costs almost nothing to run.”

“Does it have a name?” I asked.

“What is that shell you hold to your ear?….you know – a Conch!” he said.

I decided to look up the conch shell water cleaner when we got home, but couldn’t find a thing until I began looking up Cleaning Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.    If it is called a CONCH, I find no reference to it, but here is what I did find:

The Mystery Barge is called the Water Wheel or Mr. Trash Wheel or officially – The Inner Harbor Water Wheel.  It is a hydro and solar-powered barge parked in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor since 2014, slurping up all garbage that makes its way downriver.  And it uses nothing but the current and the sun!

Historic ship manager, John Kellett, was getting sick of watching garbage in the rivers on his way to work, so he invented this giant floating wheel that turns with the current.  It places trash from the harbor onto an on-board conveyor belt which then routes it into dumpsters on board.

The “Wheel” is part of a Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore’s Healthy Harbor Plan which has a goal to clean up the harbor enough to make it safe for swimming by 2020!

Baltimore Polluted Harbor

Before Mr. Trash Wheel

On April 20, 2015, Mr. Trash Wheel removed 19 tons of garbage in that one day.  And at the end of the first quarter in 2016 it was noted that the Wheel had collected over 1,000,000 pounds of trash since its inception.

The ingenuity of man seems boundless and The Thing in Baltimore Harbor restores my faith in our ability to clean up our own messes and make life pure again.

Now if only we could figure out how to control traffic!

20180403_150544.jpg

Baltimore, MD -The View from our room.

I am home from a Big City-BigFoot adventure and happy to be alive and well.

Baltimore is a beautiful old Maryland city, with more than enough to do if you are young, agile, and don’t mind horrific traffic in the inner city.

Strike “young.”

Strike “agile.”

As for the traffic?

A nightmare!

But we somehow got where we were going in spite of white knuckle rides and hysterical screaming at our GPS lady and maybe one or two jabs at each other (to say nothing of unacceptable language).

For solace, we turned to food.

Have you ever had Maryland crab cakes?  They are the best and of course I had to have crab at Phillips’ famous seafood restaurant.  It was just around the block from the hotel, but may as well have been on Mars.

445 Crab Cake Plattercrp1

I am back to driving challenges again!  Sigh.

 

But of course, the original purpose of our visit to Baltimore was for an appointment with an expert orthopedic doctor at The Institute for Foot and Ankle Reconstruction at Mercy.

And a wonderful doctor did spend a whole hour with us, discussing, analyzing, offering advice and answering many questions.

In a nutshell, this Gimpy Gal (me, Big Foot) simply (or maybe not) has an injured “talus” bone that may take a long time to heal.

So it was back to frolicking in Baltimore!

We frolicked over to the Whole Foods place and actually started to get lost in the garage.  But we somehow frolickedstumbled into the place and found the six loaves of decadent bread I wanted so badly!

We would surely not starve with all that in the car right?

At breakfast next morning we managed some exciting sight seeing by looking out the window next to our table (no driving required).

There was a mysterious tent-covered barge-like THING with a giant water wheel and it was parked and floating in the harbor basin, and the big water wheel seemed to turn of its own accord when and if it wanted to.

We took turns guessing what the mysterious barge might be.

And I wondered why technology wouldn’t let me take a picture and ask Google to please identify the unidentified object.  Why couldn’t I just say, “Hey Google, What is this?”

Whatever it was though,  it made for great conversation over pancakes!

Can YOU guess what it really is?

This is the unidentified floating object.

20180403_173023.jpg

To be continued….

 

 

 

 

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