Wednesday, July 31, 2019

A Parks & Recreation Medley

Hello and happy Wednesday!

Another week has come and gone in a matter of no time it seems.
When you see Halloween candy in the Dollar General, you know the year is quickly waning.
Who wants to buy Halloween candy in July anyway??
But just in case you do, you can find some in our local DG!
So it's Wednesday and also time for another...

...with our friend from Florida, Terri.

Today it's all about...


World Ranger Day - July 31

On July 31st, World Ranger Day honors the dedication, and crucial work rangers do every day around the globe.  The day offers an opportunity to show support to rangers for the services they provide. Every day, their unwavering commitment protects our national parks, wildlife, and forested heritage.

Click on the link and head on over to the Medley to find out more about these special folks.
They certainly deserve a day of their own to be celebrated.
Just copy and paste her questions to your blog and plug in your answers.

1.  Is there a National Park near where you live?

Well, that depends on how you define "near". We live smack dab in the middle of North Carolina...the mountains, including the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Great Smoky Mountains, are only a few hours to the west of us...

One of the cool tunnels in the Smokies near Pigeon Forge, TN.
A scene from a Smoky Mountain overlook near Gatlinburg, TN.
...and the National Seashore, including the Wright Brothers Memorial and Cape Hatteras are a few hours to the east.

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, NC
2.  How many National Parks and which ones have you visited?  Is there one you would really like to visit?

Over the years I've visited several National Parks that are included in the states of NC, TN, KY, VA...that's all I can remember at least. When we had our cabin in Virginia, we were only about three miles off the Blue Ridge Parkway and traveled it of my favorite places. Visiting some of the national parks out west are definitely on my bucket list, specifically, Yellowstone.

Somewhere along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
A view of the Blue Ridge Mountains from Fancy Gap, VA.

3.  The Park Rangers are protectors of the environment, of the wildlife, and visitors in the parks.  Is there someone (human) in your life who you count on as a protector or are you someone's protector?

When I think of someone who is my protector, my first thought would be Jim, my hubby. But what could he really protect me from? A burglar or a thief? A hurricane or a tornado? Although he would try to do everything he could possibly do as a human, he may or may not succeed. As a mother, I went through most of my life playing the role of protector...I mean don't we all? There is that natural instinct that kicks in when we have our children...we become like that lioness protecting her cubs don't we? Even when our kids are grown, it's hard to let that go! That's why my answer would ultimately be, I have to rely on my Lord to be my protector in all of His supernatural power.

4.  Have you ever had an up-close-and-personal experience with a wild animal that you can tell us about?

So this just happened a couple of days ago. I was about to close the front door around dusk (thus the bad photo quality) and out the corner of my eye, I noticed something and at first just thought it was one of the feral cats we feed regularly. Well, this "kitty" was wearing a mask, and it was stealing...therefor, I shall call him or her Bandit...or Banditina. He/she was very nonchalant about the whole experience. 🐾🐾🐾  Here are some examples of my other close encounters with wildlife...

Sometimes they call me "The Bird Whisperer"...

...other times, "The Butterfly Whisper"...

...sneaking up on an armadillo in Adam's back yard
and turkeys in his front yard, on Thanksgiving Day no less...


...Momma and Poppa Goose and unborn goslings...

...and these two........oh'd this picture get in here???

Well Terri, you did say "wild" and you also said "animals"... they do fit the description. πŸ˜‰

5.  It is certainly an honor to show value to this profession by giving them a day of remembrance.  What is another profession that you like to see honored by a "day" of their own?

Well, there probably already is a day to honor them since there seems to be a day to honor just about everyone or everything, but I think the Human Society and/or Animal Rescue organizations deserve a day of honor for doing all they can to save the lives of unwanted animals. Like I said, there is surely a day set aside for them least I hope so.

6.  On this last day of July, please tell us something about your week so far.

Sunday was this guy's birthday and he had to work. This picture of him is from several years ago and he hasn't changed at all (well, not much).

He hasn't gotten his birthday pie yet because we only have one more bag of black raspberries left in the freezer....and we can't get them around here. Looks like we will be making a trip to VA and to the Amish store which usually sells them (frozen). He said to hold off on the pie, which has never happened in the 43 years we've been married! He said he'd settle for one of Aaron's homemade cherry cheesecakes. I guess I better break the news to Aaron!

Other than that, it's been pretty much business as usual this week...well, except for that raccoon incident. I do have appointments on Friday for a follow-up CT, labs (haven't they gotten enough blood yet??) and with the "Big Dog" doctor to discuss surgery plans. At this point I just want to get it over with and move forward with my life! Being in a holding pattern is not much fun...BUT I do know that the Lord's timing is perfect!

Enjoy the rest of your week, my friends!
Until next time....

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

A Makeover and a Medley

Hello my friends.....yes, I'm still kickin'!

I can't believe it's been since before July 4th that I have posted anything.
I don't really know why...I mean nothing earth shattering has happened to speak of.
Do you ever just get that way... and blogging almost becomes sort of a burden?
And steroid withdrawal didn't help matters either... the struggle is real, folks!

My excuse last week was that I took a week of "staycation".
All week long I was busy working on projects that I had been putting off for months and months needed done around the house...from early in the day until late in the afternoon.
Needless to say, the old gray blonde mare, she ain't what she used to be... least until I am able to get my mojo back!
I actually surprised myself by not falling off the step-stool as many times as I was up and down it!
There's still lots to do, mind you, but getting that tiny master bathroom redo accomplished
was a big check mark off my list.

So before I get to the Medley questions,
I'll give you a little peek at my teenie-weenie bathroom makeover.
There are no before pictures but believe me when I tell you it was quite a transformation.

I used the same wallpaper (yes, I said wallpaper) that I papered our bedroom with
a couple of years ago....and you do realize that wallpaper is making a comeback, right?

It never really went out of style in my world, at least.
Anyway, unless I wanted to put up all new sheetrock, wallpaper was pretty much a necessity.
Whoever built and decorated this house back in 1985,
chose to put wallpaper in nearly every room...right on top of raw sheetrock... sizing, no primer, nothing but raw sheetrock...and it and the wallpaper became one...
...impossible to remove without ripping layers of the that white chalky stuff.
So I have basically been re-papering the walls as long as we have lived here,
adhering any new paper to the original, irremovable paper!

The paper I replaced was a dark-ish, marble-ish, textured-ish looking paper.
WOW...what a difference this made in brightening up that tiny bathroom!
And I do mean tiny...another question mark as to why a master bathroom would be this small!
But if the room had been any larger, I may have actually died redecorating it! 😩

So now let's get on over to the Medley...

This week it's all about family...cousins, aunt & uncles to be precise.
So just copy and paste the questions from Terri's blog to yours...
...and well, you know what to do after that

1.  What can you tell us about your cousins, please, or someone who is close like a cousin?

Coming from a family the size of mine (8 kids) and since both of my parents also came from large families, I had so many cousins I couldn't keep track of all of them. Also, many of them lived quite a distance away from us, therefore we didn't see each other very often growing up and many of were not close. Oh yes, there were family reunions on both sides but it was really hard to keep track of that many people when you're a little girl.

Some of my older siblings among some of the cousins. I can't identify some of the!
My older siblings have a much better recollection of who everyone was and closer relationships as well. Since I was one of the younger ones, most my cousins were quite a bit older than me and I wasn't really super close to any of them. Of course I have many people in my life that are not actually "blood" family that I love dearly but comparing them to a cousin would be doing them an injustice since I didn't really have that experience.

2.  Do you still see your cousins and will you contact them on National Cousins Day?

I can't remember when I last saw one of my cousins...isn't that sad? Of course many of them still live up in Ohio and the family reunions of yesteryear just don't happen much if at all anymore...but when they do, I am rarely able to attend. When the aunts and uncles who were their parents passed on (which they just about all have), many of the cousins didn't keep the reunions as a priority. I have reconnected with a couple of my cousins on Facebook and even found an older cousin who I never knew until she stumbled upon my blog a few years ago. You can read about it here.

My long lost cousin, Sharon.

3.  Terri had a favorite aunt and uncle she will tell us about.  How about you?

Out of all my aunts and uncles, I did have had a few favorites. Among them was my Aunt Clara, one my mom's sisters and I have written about her on my other blog. She and Uncle Bud lived out in the country but pretty close to us. Their children were probably the closest in age to me and my siblings and we visited each other often. I loved visiting them at their old farm house with the wrap-around porch and the cow pasture across the road.
My sweet Aunt Clara who lived to be 103 years old!
4.  Did/does your family have reunions and can you tell us about them?

All throughout my childhood and beyond, family reunions were something I always looked forward to year after year. They were held every summer, always on a Sunday, at the same park in Troy, Ohio. This particular reunion was started by my mother's parents and was always known as the Davis Reunion. I don't remember any of my grandparents on either side but I do know they had LOTS of kids! The Davises had seven, each of the seven went on to have that many and more of their own. That gives you just a hint of how large these reunions were at one point.

My mom and five of my siblings at one of the Billheimer reunions.
My dad's family (the Billheimers) also had an annual reunion that I remember attending a few times but we were closer with Mom's side of the family. All of the Davis children are gone now and so are some of their children. Things change. For the past several years, my siblings have tried to keep up with our own reunion. We were unable to meet last year and of course we lost our dear oldest brother in 2017. We had a different kind of reunion that year...bittersweet as it was. Nothing has been planned for this year due to one reason or another but hopefully we can all get together in 2020!

5.  If you have children, are they enjoying relationships with their cousins, aunts, uncles?

Oh, they absolutely are! Our grandchildren range in age from 20 down to 10 and I can't remember a time when they weren't absolutely thrilled to be in each other's company, no matter what age they were. The older boys have always loved visiting the Tennessee Bunch...they LOVE their Uncle Adam...and Adam's two are always thrilled to see what "toys" their Uncle Aaron is tinkering with at any given time. The older ones even especially enjoy visiting the great aunts and uncles in Ohio and have frequently made those trips with us as well. And thanks to Facebook, my own two boys are probably closer to many of their aunts, uncles and cousins in Ohio and other states that they would not have had otherwise! So now, I shall bore you with some photos of my favorite group of cousins...

Cousins...when it was just the boys.

Cousins...and then there were four...finally, a girl!
Cousins just wanna have fun.
Cousins chowing down on some good grub and Parker's trademark silly!
Cousins chillin' in the pool.
Cousins with a moose.
Cousins/Uncle Adam group hunt.
The gang's all here!
6. Tell us something random about your week.
So I am back to work this week after my aforementioned staycation and it has been good to get back into my regular routine once again. To make things even better, the blood test results from last week's visit to my hematologist are coming back (there are a few still out) and so far, everything looks good. I think she took a dozen vials from me kidding. Since the first of the year when everything started to go haywire, my blood platelets had been dropping like flies... BUT...these tests revealed that they are on their way back up! It's comforting to know that I won't bleed to death when I have my upcoming surgery! Also, we are currently experiencing a nice break from the heat after a dozen days of 90+ temps...a few days were nearly 100 degrees! It was in the 70s earlier today and is in the 60s as I am writing this. I am savoring every moment, as short-lived as it will be. Fall, I am ready for you!


So that's it for me this week.
May your days be blessed until we "meet" again!

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

A Red, White & Blue Medley

I love celebrating the Fourth of July!
I love our beautiful flag, everything it stands for and I especially love taking photos of it.

Over the years, I have taken quite a few and have shared them here on my blog.

So until I get some new shots, I will re-share some of the ones you've already seen.

Hopefully by next year at this time, I'll have some new ones!

This one (below) is my favorite.

So it's that time again...Terri is asking the questions on her blog and we answer them on ours.
This week the Medley is all about...


Well, of course it is!

Terri shares a lot of interesting history about how and why we celebrate the way we do.
Head on over to the Wednesday Medley and read all about may learn something new!

1.  Please share a favorite July 4th memory with us.

It's hard to come up with just one favorite memory...there are many. It seemed like the July 4th holiday many times fell on or near the same time as our annual family reunions...always at the same park in Troy, Ohio for as long as I can remember. It was always such a special time of seeing aunts, uncles and cousins that we hadn't seen for a while. Of course the food was out of this world too. Later on, we would head home and it was time to let off some dad and brothers were notorious for sneaking around scaring the pants off of us. Mom would make her famous homemade ice cream which always turned out to be a family affair. These were the days before we had an electric ice cream churn and I remember Dad and my brothers all taking turns cranking that handle until it was done! We lived in a neighborhood that included a lake where we all swam as kids and on the 4th, a fireworks display was put on by the local fire department right on the shore of the lake. Oohing and aahing over the reflections of the fireworks on the water was like getting a double dose of excitement...especially when you're a kid!

2.  How do you plan to spend tomorrow?  If you are working, will you celebrate later?

Neither one of us has to work on the's great when a holiday is attached to a 3-day weekend making it a 4-day weekend! We plan to leave for Tennessee tonight (sometime after midnight so technically it will be Thursday) so Jim can get a few hours of sleep before the trip. We should get there mid-morning on the 4th and I imagine that we'll be doing some porch sitting and just chilling out once we arrive. It always seems to be cooler up there on top of the mountain with a lovely breeze. We will also be celebrating a couple of birthdays. Carrie's dad has been staying with them since he was diagnosed with cancer and is having treatments at Vanderbilt...the 4th is also his birthday and Adam's is the following week so we will be celebrating both of them. I'm sure there will some good food involved as well...there always is...and Adam is already scoping out the area for the best place to take in a great fireworks show...the perfect way to top off the day. 

3. Is there a favorite foods always reserved for your 4th of July

Watermelon...ya gotta have a good, sweet watermelon! I don't really know what all will be on our menu but I always love a good hotdog on the 4th of July too...there's just something so "American" about a great hotdog!

And lemonade is always good...but for some reason it tastes a little better on the Fourth of July!

4.  In Florida, you can buy all kinds of fireworks, including some that fly high and burst into pretty cascades.  Are fireworks legal in your state/community and does anyone you know put on a display for your neighborhood?

Fireworks that are illegal in North Carolina include firecrackers, ones that spin on the ground, roman candles, bottle rockets, or any aerial fireworks. Essentially, any firework that explodes or leaves the ground is not legal in North Carolina. Basically they are NOT the ones that you will find in Walmart or the grocery stores. Now Tennessee is a different story and there is a great place that sells all kinds of them right off the highway on our way. We have stopped there many times with the grandsons and...what is it that they say about a kid in a candy store??

5.  Do you have a favorite movie that you always watch sometime during the 4th of July?

Watching a movie is actually the furthest thing from my mind on the Fourth of July.

6.  Share something from your week, please.

A short work week always makes me happy but when I'm getting ready to travel, there is always so much extra to do. I baked banana-nut breads on Saturday to if I can just remember to get them out of the freezer along with the black raspberries to make the pie. Also on my list of things to do was to bathe the dogs and wash all of their bedding...done! I am finally beginning to feel more like my old self (is that a good thing or a bad thing??) after all of that brain fog and craziness when I was taking those high doses of steroids. I have been tapering off of them for the past several weeks and I take my last 5mg dose on Friday! YEEHAW! I am concentrating now on getting myself as fit as possible (for me) before my surgery...mostly working on my core, hoping for a quicker recovery period. And last but not least, I want to wish you all a HAPPY and SAFE Independence Day!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...