Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Virginia’

Hogweed 1

Hogweed in Northern Michigan

“Shall I not have intelligence with the earth? Am I not partly leaves and vegetable mould myself?”

– Henry David Thoreau

 

Oh how we rejoice in the beauty of nature!  And summertime in rural Virginia couldn’t be more invitingly lush and green.

Then my brother called from California to warn us about an invasive weed recently found in Virginia.

Beware HOGWEED!

It grows exceedingly tall and some might say, “pretty”,  but you don’t want to cut Hog Weed for indoor  arrangements.  Even if you just brush against as you pass by, your skin may suddenly become sunlight sensitive to the point of third degree burns!

And if you get some of the sap in your eyes, you could literally go permanently blind.

Read about Hogweed  here!  It is in a number of states now and Virginia is the latest.

Now if Hogweed wasn’t enough (and forgeddabout Stink Bug infestations) but have you ever heard of SLIME MOLD?

Slime Mold

Slime Mold – Nickname “Dog Vomit.” Ewwwwww!

This weekend I looked around the mulched beds in our front yard and saw a giant spread of a horrifyingly ugly mold.

It was a sickly white globby thing!

I expected it to ooze out bigger and bigger and to eventually smother every living thing in its path.  Yes, you would definitely see SLIME MOLD in a very scary horror movie.

I was terrified.  I didn’t want to touch it.  I didn’t want to move it.  “Well, maybe I will water it,” I thought.  A hard spray to the monolithic gooey mass created a copper colored cloud of deadly dust.

  • Am I inhaling this?
  • Will I die of an alien fungus and who would know?

My fearless friend Amy was here but even she was intimidated by the ugly slime.  She agreed to turn a pot over on it so we wouldn’t have to see it.  I had nightmares that night though.

  • What if it seeped out the sides of the upside-down pot?
  • What if it could figure out how to get inside the house?
  • There was a hole in the bottom of the pot for drainage but the hole was now “up” and was I feeding The THING with oxygen and enabling it to grow?
  • Would it crawl out the drainage hole?

Thank Goodness for “Hey Google!”

Turns out that SLIME MOLD (affectionately nicknamed “DOG VOMIT”due to the similarity in appearance) is not dangerous to humans or pets or even plants if it doesn’t smother them with love.

Slime Mold is only horrifyingly ugly, which demonstrates that sometimes Mother Nature is indeed, benevolent and even compassionate.

Watering will cause Slime Mold to float around in the air (in that big copper cloud I unleashed) and spread (the result of my watering efforts).

And so my friends, my own personal ugly Slime Mold took up new residence on top of an Impatiens flower in the same bed.

According to my panicked research, the way to remove it (the Slime Thing) is to dig it up with a shovel, put it in a plastic bag (like you would dog doo) and discard the whole thing in the trash.

Bill grinned and bore it and just pitched the one celled organism into the woods where it will surely find some new decaying vegetation on which to build a life.  We are not killers after all.

Such are the gifts of nature to be found in the Virginia countryside!

I did see a mama turkey and her six young-uns running for the woods yesterday.  Maybe they heard about the Slime Mold Invasion.

So, what’s new in your neck-o-the-woods?

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

D n B Wedding Day 6-12-59

Dor and Bill Wed – Father not happy in background

Always on a search for the perfect blog subject, it sometimes occurs to me that little life experiences can also be exciting.

Like how about the excruciating tension on June 7th at our house here in rural Virginia?  It was the Washington Capitals playoff ice hockey game for the Stanley Cup! And they won! Our family have been avid ice hockey fans for 44 years; ever since they began.  And they never won until now!  You can’t imagine the excitement.  Bill actually went to Washington, DC for the parade and met our son there!  And they are still talking about it!

B n C at Caps Parade

I did not go to the parade but almost as an afterthought, I noticed BigFoot is not so big anymore and I am walking a little more gracefully!

It has been close to three years now with a knee-high boot, a lot of staggering, a cane, crutches, and a scooter, but the real bad time began in November 2017 with frightening swelling and pain.  There is light ahead!  Yeah!

A sojourn to Roanoke, Virginia was great fun!  A friend had to  visit the Social Security Office (not so much fun).  But idle chatter made the time go by.  Then lunch at the Wildflower Cafe, and exploring a discount store called Tuesday Morning (even though it was a Monday).

Happy Days!

And to top things off, Bill came home with a beautiful bouquet of flowers for our 59th Anniversary!  Even I find this difficult to believe…. I mean not the flowers but the length of time.

Well, it does seem like we are a good match even though my Dad predicted we would be divorced in a year.  Next year will be 60!  Maybe we should throw a party?

 

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

Homeward Bound

The road is long to my old Virginia home

but sunlight shines the way

and I recognize clear skies and

empty roads, and I can

watch the tall trees sway.

It looks like home just there

where the road rises and dips

with its artistic flare, and

where honeysuckle scents the air.

I am homeward bound  

and I am almost home.

Read Full Post »

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!

 

Read Full 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?

Read Full Post »

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

bigstock-Baseball-Food-156694937-DMID1-5c47gbdvo-640x360

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. 

 

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

 

The “kids” were here last week and they washed my car!  It’s a pleasure now to see more than the wiper outline of the back window.  They Armor-alled the inside too.  Wow!

Bill and I went to a memorial event for a good friend who died Christmas morning.  This was no ordinary wake because it was a poker party for the men and a talk fest for the ladies.  Bud (our deceased friend) started the poker group 25 years ago and he absolutely loved the game. What better way to honor him?  And while the guys were playing poker downstairs, the ladies were having lunch upstairs.  We were all served lobster rolls in typical Maine tradition (also a favorite thing of Bud’s and served many times over the years).  And finally, it was Bud’s birthday!

If you love the color pink and if you loved Elvis, you will love the Pink Cadillac restaurant on the outskirts of Lexington, Virginia. That’s where we had dinner with friends on Sunday.   The food there is good hearty stuff, the staff are fun and friendly, and the place is “clean as a whistle.”

20180304_184344.jpg

Bill at the Pink Cadillac

I ignored BigFoot today  and made an exciting solo trip to Walmart.  To some this may seem boring but…..

  • Even though I parked in a handicapped spot and staggered in, there were no electric carts on that side of the store.
  • I met a fella with a Walmart nametag and he fetched me a cart from the far side. My hero!
  • The little cart’s battery lasted through all my wanderings. Yahoo!
  • My friend Nikky, works there now and called out over the crowd, “HI DOROTHY!” and left me with warm feelings and great love for friends.
  • Checking out the checker actually came around and helped to unload the groceries onto the conveyor belt. Imagine?  It has nothing to do with the fact that I may look ancient and helpless of course.
  • On the way out I got a haircut in order to look young and independent again and Nikki hollered, “BYE DOROTHY!”
  • After unloading the last of the groceries into the car I was wondering if the electric cart battery would last long enough to get the apparatus back into the store and plugged in.  I turned to get back on it but the cart was gone!  I am still puzzling over that one.

Now how exciting can you get?

More excitement.  I have fallen for a television ad and ordered a foot machine that promises to heal everything within seconds.

I am also ordering a constant stream of vitamins and supplements that guarantee eternal youth and flexibility in all joints.

Are you selling any snake oil?  Lemme know.

 

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: