Friday, April 29, 2016

...of EPIC proportions

This coming Monday, it's all going to change.
By it's all, I mean everything that I have done at my job for the past 23 years will be obsolete.
Every. Single. Thing.

I am getting old not as young as I used to be (ouch... that was painful)
and for me having to learn something this big, this huge...this EPIC... making me feel like a first-grader going to college.

Any of you who work in the healthcare field possibly know what I'm talking about.
Epic Systems is like the "big brother" of electronic healthcare management...
and it's pretty much taking over the world of medicine.
It's a big deal.

I just want to know what happens when the whole system goes down...
...and you know it will...or it gets hacked...what then??
Oh well...that's not my responsibility, now it is?

If I could, I would retire tomorrow...and I'm hardly kidding.
That beautiful little meadow in Haywood Hollow is looking really good about now.
But for the next couple of years, I guess I gotta do what I gotta do.
So I'm writing this post to explain my absence from blogland,
in the event that I should become MIA for a little while.
I may be back sooner than later.
Or maybe not.


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Don't Count Your Bluebirds Before They Hatch

Do you ever get so excited about something and then it doesn't happen?
I did...remember this post?

So...I waited a few days...and then a few weeks.
It didn't look very promising so I started this post a few weeks ago...
 Well, it seems I have jumped the gun.
Yes, the wind has been taken out of my sails... bubble has been burst by my own premature predictions, it seems.
The house is empty.
 Not a bluebird in sight for several days.
After noticing that there hadn't been even a speck of blue on it or around it,
we realized that something must have driven them away.
I have been doing a little googling about bluebird nesting habits
and how to monitor the nesting boxes once a bluebird chooses it.

So it seemed a little chickadee was the culprit.
My dear hubby happened to notice one building a nest right there in the bluebird box...
...the nerve of that little guy...or girl!
Well let me tell you I marched right out there and nipped it in the bud!

So I'm still waiting...and see blue.

So that was then and this is now...

I had pretty much given up on the bluebirds to return,
especially after strong winds ripped the bluebird box right off the tree, leaving it broken :(

But guess what...they're baaaaack!

We first saw the male off and on and then one day I blinked and there she was!
Evidently, the smell of Gorilla Glue doesn't bother them :)

...if it has an odor (can birdies even smell??)

So, although I will try not to get too excited,
it looks like there still might be a chance of us having a bluebird family...

Until I know for sure, I'll try to contain my excitement...
and I will only count the bluebird eggs WHEN and IF they hatch.
You know I'll keep you posted :)

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

A Blessing in a Box

Well, hello everyone!
It's finally that time to share our teacup goodies!
This was my second time participating in Stephanie's Teacup and Mug Exchange
and it was a joy to gift a new friend and be gifted by another!
Stephanie puts so much love, joy and encouragement into everything she does
and her teacup and mug exchange just goes beyond anyone's expectations I do believe.
Not to mention the time and energy it takes to pull it all together each time!

Stephanie, you are a precious jewel...
and I personally want to thank you for all you do!
I was chosen to send my package to Cindy who has a beautiful blog, Consider it All Joy.
I was not familiar with this lovely lady but quickly clicked on her blog to get a peek at her!
I learned that she has been through some difficult times over the past several years
and it was quite evident that the title of her blog describes her precious heart.
Although Cindy isn't a tea drinker, she does love collecting beautiful teacups in soft colors.
She also loves, loves, LOVES the sea shore, something we definitely have in common!

I had so much fun getting these gifts together for Cindy...
this pretty teacup, a coloring book beautifully illustrated with beachy things, colored pencils,
a lovely note pad, a starfish and of course...chocolate!
Cindy really is so very sweet and she sent me the nicest thank you card.

Now, on to my lovely package...

My box of goodies came from my new friend, Karen...
a sweet and lovely lady who is from right here in North cool is that?
She's living in Atlanta now but from what I understand, NC will always have her heart!

Here's the coolest part...
Karen grew up not far from here, went to college literally right down the highway,
and even used to hang out right here in the same county that I live in!
She is a devotional writer for Dr. Charles Stanley's In Touch Ministries and blogs at Switchbacks.
 We have become facebook buddies as well :)
Karen gifted me with this delicate rose patterned teacup edged in gold...

...along with a lovely vintage doily...

...and a stacked tin of yummy teas.

Somewhere, I have some dessert plates that match the teacup, or come very close to it.
I need to find them now!

Y'all know how much I love to have these little photo shoots with inanimate objects, right?

It's so much easier than trying to photograph birds or dogs :)

Of course, a photograph (at least mine) doesn't do it one bit of justice.

It has been a blessing to have been able to participate in the last two exchanges
and I'm looking forward to the next one!
So come on over to Stephanie's and let's see everyone else's goodies!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

A Forever Home

Every now and then, things happen in such a way that you almost don't even believe it.
One of those things happened this weekend.
After we lost our Hunter just a little over a year ago, 
Jim and I have tossed the idea back and forth of getting another dog.
Would it be best to get a puppy or one already grown?
Should it be a male or female?
And even more so, how would Oscar, our it's-all-about-me Dachshund,
react to having a brother or sister after all this time?
Questions, questions, we decided to let it rest for a while.
So this passed Friday evening as we sat in the living room after eating dinner,
Jim watching his sports and I, browsing my facebook page,
a friend who volunteers with local animal rescue organizations shared this on her page:
Tasha, surrendered 04/15/16.

My name is TASHA.<br ><br>I am a spayed female, red and black Dachshund.

Well, let me just say that immediately my heart started beating a little faster...
 and I turned my laptop around and showed Jim.
I'm not sure, but I think I could tell his heart was beating faster too.
I joined in on the comments, expressing some interest in her. 
The next post that popped up was my friend sharing this with me...
We thought it was probably useless to try...
...we were heading out of town the next morning, Saturday the 16th and would miss out,
thinking that someone would undoubtedly snap her up in a heartbeat.
Jim said to call the number anyway, even though they had already closed for the day.
I did...and left a message about our interest in Tasha.
I didn't think much more about it since I figured it wasn't going to happen.
So Saturday morning about 9 AM, as we had just gotten on the road, my phone rang.
It was the animal's the conversation in a nut shell:

"Mrs. Ray, hi, this is ---- from the shelter and I normally don't return any calls before we open at 10:00 but I see you have expressed interest in adopting Tasha. She will not be allowed to leave until Monday since she was just surrendered on Friday...but I will just tell you that today is the first day of our week long Earth Day Adoption Campaign and after today, I'm sure this sweet girl will be adopted. I am calling you because of the message you left and giving you the first opportunity."

Of course, I again explained that we were on the road and couldn't get there.
She again reminded me that there was a 3-day holding time for newly surrendered animals
and she could not be taken until Monday anyway...
...BUT if we really wanted her, we could adopt her over the phone!
What?? Adopt a pet sight-unseen...over the phone??
I was just about to say "I don't think so" but then it happened...
Jim had of course heard my end of the conversation and evidently figure out her end too.
The next thing I know is he is motioning and repeating "Tell her YES! Tell her YES!"
So I did what any good wife would do...I obeyed my husband!
After getting a little more information about Tasha and a $22.00 credit card transaction,
we adopted our new little girl!
We don't know all of her history, and the vet has estimated her to be about six years old,
She has been spayed, has a clean bill of health...and has even been micro-chipped!

When we made it to our destination, we hit up the local Walmart there to prepare for her.

I mean, our new little girl doxie just has to have the latest doggy accessories in PINK, right?
So Monday afternoon finally came.
This was our first meeting and she was even more adorable than her profile picture.

She looks a tad forlorn, probably wondering, "Where am I going now?"

Right out of the car, she began checking out her new territory.

Oscar was showing her where the best spots were :)

It also looks like I will be making a trip back to Wally World... can see she's had a little wardrobe I hope they have pink in size small.

Once inside, she seemed to make herself right at home.
(smile,'s gonna be okay)

So what does Oscar think about his new sister?
Oh, I do believe he's going to LOVE her...maybe even a bit too much.

The better question might be what does Tasha think of her new brother.
The verdict is still out on that one...another post for another day.

But I will say, it seems to be looking quite promising.
Isn't she just the cutest thing?

I still can't believe it all happened like this...what got into us anyway??
Sometimes I guess you just have to act on your instincts :)

Monday, April 11, 2016

A Sight to Behold

Hello, peeps!
As I write, it's a chilly, blustery day and tonight temps are supposed to dip below freezing...
...into the mid-20's....WHAT???
I thought this was supposed to be April in the south!

So this past Friday, although somewhat cool, was a beautiful day with bright blue skies...

...a perfect day to enjoy an afternoon stroll at Riverwalk,
about ten miles down the road in Hillsborough.

Riverwalk is a two mile segment of the Mountains to the Sea Trail along the Eno River
 and features paved pathways for walking, biking and wheelchairs.
It crosses the river on some pretty amazing bridges and connects the Historic District
with the West Hillsborough Gold Park and businesses.

Not far over the bridge, this came into my view.

At first I couldn't believe what I was seeing and then my brain kicked in...yes!

A few months ago I had seen a program on our PBS channel about a local artist, Patrick Dougherty, who has created these awesome sculptures in different places over all over the world.

I had temporarily forgotten that there was one practically right under my nose!
Ironically, I found out that he named this one A Sight to Behold...

...exactly my thought the moment I laid eyes on it.

What truly amazing artistry, to say the least...

...and from what I understand, he builds them, depending on their size,
 in as little as a couple of weeks!
Local folks are also welcome to volunteer their assistance by gathering the sticks and such.
If you are interested in checking out some of his other sculptures,
you can find him at his website, Stickwork.

Inside, it was quite cozy...

...although I was glad it wasn't raining...

...and I wondered if this is what it might feel like to be a raccoon or a possum,
or some other critter living inside of a dead tree :)

I was beyond intrigued by this unique and whimsical piece of art.

We just never know what we might discover when we set out for an afternoon stroll, do we?

And I can assure you...

...I obeyed the rules :)

So I'm thinking spring is finally back this can only hope!
Enjoy your week, my friends!
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