Wednesday, May 25, 2016

He Who Laughs Last ...

We are off on another trip tomorrow morning. We are going to visit The Writer's son and girlfriend and meet her family, who live in Key West, Florida. We think there might be a certain big announcement to be made while we are there - wink wink. I'll let you know if we're right when we get back!

Meanwhile, I thought I'd share a few smiles people have sent me.

Happy Wednesday!


Monday, May 23, 2016

Accidental Tourists

No sightseeing stops were planned on our way back to South Carolina as The Writer was anxious to get back to work. But when an indicator light began flashing and the tires were checked it was apparent that we needed help. The nearest town was Cedar Falls, Iowa.

Both of us went to college in Iowa (not the same college and not at the same time) and we both had some hazy memories of sports matches (tennis and volleyball) at the college in Cedar Falls.


While our tire was being fixed we decided to take a walk in the beautifully restored downtown.




The old Cotton Theatre, which opened in 1910 to bring traveling theater companies to town, was recently restored at a cost of $1.2 million and renamed the Oster Regent Theatre. It once seated 1,000 people which must have been a good share of the population of Cedar Falls at the time!

When movies became popular, the theater was purchased and turned into a movie theater.


I love the prairie style architecture, squat and solid, with subtle but beautiful details.

This was a 3-story department store with offices above, now housing several small shops and apartments.









Once a bank, now a fitness center.





Fun benches offered rest and conversation but it was too cold to stop.

The Black Hawk Hotel has continuously been a hotel since 1853.

It started out as a wood frame stage coach hotel, went through several name changes and grew larger, becoming the Black Hawk in 1918.







We enjoyed our walk and in an hour our tire was fixed and we were on our way south again.


Saturday, May 21, 2016


So much has happened in the past two weeks my head is still spinning, though the tires have finally stopped moving. Thirty two hundred miles of driving, one tire malfunction, one car sold, one house emptied and sold, Mother's Day celebrated, lots of hugs and kisses shared and more than a few tears.

We celebrated Mother's Day at a Japanese restaurant where the boys were highly entertained by the knife-juggling chef and lots of fireworks as well as squirted water and squirted saki for the adults.



A volcano made of onion rings, filled with cooking oil, and lit on fire ...





Pretty exciting stuff!









Anna and three of her boys







Daughter Sarah










Me and The Writer

(and one little blond head)






And one of the twins, Aiden, made this gift for his mom for Mother's Day.

His mom's favorite colors plus GLITTER on the roof.

It could not have been a better Mother's Day celebration!


Sunday, May 8, 2016

On the Road Again

We have arrived in Minnesota to visit family and put my house there up for sale.


It was a beautiful -- but chilly -- trip through the gorgeous Smoky Mountains where The Writer and I used to live.

43 degree!

Asheville, NC. Yarn bombs on Wall Street.



We were completely lost as Asheville has changed and grown so much, including this building. Many years ago this was a cafe on this funky little street, and I owned it with two friends. However, I walked straight up to this building as if in a dream and said to The Writer, this is it!

And it was!

It's a ceramics store now, but you can still see where the kitchen and dining room were.

Good memories of wonderful customers and great friends!








On through Kentucky and more beautiful mountain views, even though it rained Some. This is crossing the bridge in Louisville. Looking up the river to the left, I counted seven bridges in sight spanning the Ohio River.




Things changed dramatically once we entered the flat farmlands of southern Illinois. The state is one of the top producers of wind energy in the US and the turbines are stretched for hundreds of miles across the horizon. The largest wind farm I read about covers 22,000 acres. This clean energy makes my heart very happy!


We stopped to enjoy lunch at a picnic table along the Interstate where we also enjoyed the local entertainment -- two Canada geese taking their brood of 6 little fluff balls out for their first foray into the water. (Those are the dots in the water along the far bank.) The parents demonstrated diving and the babies dove, popping up out of the water like corks. The parent took off into the air, circled once around, and when the babies didn't follow, returned to the lake.

We spent the second night on the road at my sister and BIL's home in Wisconsin. The Writer and BIL spent some time touring the garden and the chicken palace (no chicks until June). Rhubarb, asparagus, and raspberries are doing well.








Last stop, lunch in Minnesota along the Mississippi River. Another beautiful spot but ...








...why is it a rest stop if visitors are so unwelcome???

So much to do to get the house ready in a week, sell my car, and all the other details of ending a life somewhere you have spent the last 30 years. But today is MOTHER'S DAY and I am blogging from my favorite Minnesota coffee shop, right next to the fireplace as it was 39 degrees this morning! In a while we will go to my daughter's to see all my favorite people in the world, especially four little boys I haven't see for months.

Meanwhile, Happy Mother's Day

to all the mums and grammas!

I won't be able to visit all my favorite bloggers regularly for awhile because I don't have wifi at the house, but I'll catch up when I can.



Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Monday Morning Bike Ride

It was just the start of an ordinary Monday.

We live on a small island, Knowles Island. There is one road on and off the island over a causeway between ours and the next island, DeLoss Island. There is one more causeway from Deloss to the mainland and a state hIghway. Although the island roads are narrow and curvy there are hardly any cars and we enjoy riding our bikes to look for birds and wildlife and soak up the views.


Right now the wildflowers along the causeways are spectacular.

The red flowers are red clover but I haven't been able to identify the others.



On our Monday bike ride, we left the pavement and rode along a logging road as far as we could, then got off and walked to the end of the trail.


Besides the downed logs, the road is made of sand under the leaves and it got very hard to pedal.


I'm still puzzling over the "litterbug" who dropped all these oyster shells in the woods. They are from a bird that perched high above in the tree to eat them.

It looks like he has been dining in this spot for quite some time.

Maybe an osprey? An eagle?











We pedaled back across the causeway at low tide,



...back past the site of one of the plantation homes of Roseland Plantation. All that is left there is a grove of live oaks hung with Spanish moss that shaded its big verandas 175 years ago.





The Writer returned to his desk, I began the laundry, a wonderful start to our day.

" I've made a promise to myself not to wait until a life-threatening or life-limiting disorder strikes to begin to treasure all of my days. Each day - regular, unremarkable days as well as the days marking memorable occasions -- is a gift. It is a chance to look around and see the world in a new way. It is a chance to accept what is and embrace whatever life brings with joy -- living with gratitude instead of self-pity, wonder instead of fear. Each day is, indeed, worth celebrating."

--From a blog I enjoy: