Just Another Day On The Beach

Correction: Just Another GORGEOUS Day On The Beach.

It’s been a while few days since I’ve shared wild horse photos, so here are some of my recent favorites.

Although it’s always a treat to see horses by the ocean, sometimes you get the best reflections on one of the “back roads”.

I was excited to, once again, see baby Castano (first discovered on Mother’s Day) with his mom on one of the dunes. Those little legs are really getting long.

You would never guess what had the attention of this harem.  A nearby beach-goer had a radio-controlled vehicle, and although he wasn’t running it near the horses, they were definitely curious.

It couldn’t have been a more beautiful day for photos.

A penny for your thoughts.

And my favorite picture of the day, capturing a playful encounter by the water.

We had the windows down, and our oldies station on the radio. It was amazing to me how many songs we heard related to our surroundings:

“I Can’t Help Falling In Love With You” (‘Like a river flows, surely to the sea’)
“Montego Bay”
“Sitting On The Dock Of The Bay”
“The Swim”
“Brandy” (‘My life, my love and my lady is the sea’)
“Summer Rain” (‘all summer long, we spent dancing in the sand…we sailed into the sunset’)

Just another perfect day on the beach.

~These Days Of Mine~

 

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Celebrating

Tomorrow is cause for celebration: it’s Marshall’s birthday. He, Motor Man and I plan to have breakfast at Old Chickahominy House near Williamsburg, as we’ve done every June 16 since 2006.

These photos were taken two years ago at our breakfast (last year, we just had one picture taken of the three of us, and it was a bit  blurry):

We love the ambiance of Chickahominy House. We always get there early, and soon after this picture was taken, the dining area was filled with hungry folks.

The business has a kitty named Melinda, who lives in the gift shop area of the building.  As you can see, there are items available in her likeness.

And it’s tradition that we have someone take a picture of Marshall, Motor Man and me during our visit.

Happy Birthday tomorrow, Marshall!

We’re looking forward to celebrating with you.

~These Days Of Mine~

 

 

 

I Will Laugh With You

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about Motor Man in the 40+ years I’ve known him and the 16+ years we’ve been married, it’s that he has an amazing sense of humor.

Last week, I celebrated my birthday in various ways. It was a really fun week, and today, I’m scheduled to have lunch with yet another friend to celebrate.

Saturday, my friend, Donna, gave me a sweet little “Amish wagon”, which required assembly, so it had been at our shop. Monday afternoon, when Motor Man got home, he asked me to come outside: he said he’d had to tow something home.

Wait for it.

 

I must say that there’s rarely a day that he doesn’t make me smile. At least once.

For our wedding, we chose a reading to recite after the pastor. One line was: “I will laugh with you. I will cry with you“.  There have been very few tears through the years, but there has been (and continues to be) much laughter.

My Motor Man makes sure of that.

~These Days Of Mine~

Just Kitties

It’s been a while since any of the kitties have been featured here on These Days. And apparently, their little feelings have been hurt. So today, it’s all about the kitties:

One day last week, Motor Man had gotten home before I did. When I walked in, this was the cozy scene:

And Gypsy, enjoying a bag …

…as only a kitty can.

Marshall often shares pictures with me of his three kitties. He said he caught Chessie right in the middle of a good “scratching session”:

This is his kitty, Snugg, who obviously knows when his picture is being taken:

And Screamer, who is also a bit of a “ham”:

Hopefully, the kitties will be happy now with a little time in the spotlight. And I must say that I enjoy posting about them much more than…..(eek) snakes.

~These Days Of Mine~

 

Warning: May Not Be Suitable For All Viewers

Now, that I have your attention, I will specify: if you are squeamish about snakes, just exit this blog post now.

You may recall that I have done everything in my power to have blooms this year on my garden phlox. The deer usually mow them down once the foliage is a few inches tall.

This procedure has involved netting, fencing, zip ties and every garden stake I could round up.

And it has worked perfectly to keep the deer away.

But….

Monday evening, Motor Man and I were standing on the deck beside the railing in the above picture. I leaned over to point at the foliage, and he suddenly said: “Get back!”.

Between that old wash tub and the phlox was a huge black snake.  Now, I. Do. Not. Do. Snakes.  I know that (supposedly) black snakes are harmless and good for the yard because they keep other snakes away, yada, yada, yada.  I. Do. Not. Do. Snakes.

This one was entangled in the netting. Badly entangled.

And even though, he was a “good” snake, there was no way that Motor Man and I were going to even attempt to free him from that netting.  We just went right back in the house knowing that the next morning, he’d be gone….one way or the other.

But the next day, he was: still there, still entangled, and still alive.

Ed, a tree expert that Motor Man has known forever, had been in our yard earlier that day taking care of some tree work. So Motor Man called him, and Ed said he’d come take a look at the snake situation.  As it turns out, there was no saving the snake at that point, so Ed put him out of his misery and…..discarded him.

About 30 minutes later, I was in the kitchen and glanced out the window to see how much damage the snake had done to my deer barricade… and I could not believe what I saw.

Another black snake. Just as big. In the very same location. Entangled in the netting. Sheesh.

Another call to Ed, who thankfully was nearby.  He and his buddy, Mike, came right away. This snake hadn’t gotten as entangled as the first, so Mike went right to work to save him. He asked for a garbage bag so he could take him and release him FAR, FAR away. (To which Ed said: “You are NOT putting that snake in the cab of my truck….”)

I recorded the last part of the event (while Motor Man and I watched safely from the deck):

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(The dog Motor Man was referring to in the video is Ed’s little pooch, who did keep his distance from the area.) I sent the video to Ed, and he called Motor Man, laughing.  And Motor Man and I laugh every time we watch it. So thanks to Ed and Mike for the snake removal. And you can bet that I’m watching every step I take in the yard ‘these days’. Because I. Do. Not. Do. Snakes.

~These Days Of Mine~

Heartbreak And Happiness

About ten days ago, Motor Man and I learned of a scary situation that had happened in the Corolla area, home to the wild horses.

A stallion had stolen a mare and her foal from their harem.  Then, apparently, the stallion perceived the foal (a male) as a threat. Thankfully, someone witnessed the attack, and the Corolla Wild Horse Fund folks were called right away.  Chris, a deputy who lives nearby, responded and stayed with the foal until the CWHF staff members arrived.

The foal, named Chris in honor of the deputy, was removed from the herd and taken to the CWHF rescue facility. Last Tuesday, Motor Man and I planned to be in the area, so we were given permission to stop by to meet baby Chris.

What a sweet, precious baby.

Early last Sunday morning, as Motor Man and I drove onto the 4-wheel-drive area of the beach, we stopped to chat with a deputy who was stationed there at the entrance. He shared the sad news with us that baby Chris’s injuries were too severe, the infection was not responding to treatment, and that he’d had to be euthanized that morning.

Needless to say, I was immediately in tears. A few minutes later, Deputy Chris drove up, and I was able to meet him and shake his hand for all he did for baby Chris. And, as soon as I began talking with him, I cried.

But, although I was heartbroken, we continued on our drive along the beach.

It was a beautiful day to be there…sunny and low 70’s. We saw horses by the ocean, which made me smile.

Two horses were performing synchronized rolling in the sand, which made me chuckle. (Video is jumpy at first because I began filming before we came to a complete stop.)

 

And a third one, just out of camera view, had also just completed a solo “rollover”. ‘Scuse me, bud…you have some sand there on your back…’

We saw a stallion on the dune… I thought of baby Chris and so wish he could have stayed here and grown to be a wild stallion. And I cried again.

But, after several attempts on previous trips,  we were finally able to spot baby Castano, the first foal of the season. Appropriately enough, he was first seen on Mother’s Day. (Baby Chris was the second foal this year.) The name of the beach house beside Castano and family is “Little Bit of Heaven”. So that made me cry. Again.

But I also oohed and aahed and smiled as I watched this baby with his mom. Mixed in with the smiles,  I may have cried a little.  Again.

And my Motor Man held my hand when I cried. As always, he was so patient and waited while I took picture after picture after picture.

Be safe and grow strong, little one….

…while baby Chris runs wild and free in a place even more beautiful than this.

~These Days Of Mine~

 

 

 

 

Birthdays Through The Years

As happens around this time each year, today is my birthday.

And while thinking of what to post about today, I’ve been remembering special birthdays of mine through the years.

During my childhood, there weren’t elaborate parties…usually just a cake (made by Mom) and ice cream with family.

One year, a school friend was invited to join us, and she gave me a bottle of lilac scented bubble bath.  Now, the bubble bath was nice, but what was really special was that bottle.  It was just a plastic bottle, roundish on the bottom, but the neck was really long.  This was around the time that my niece and I loved watching “I Dream Of Jeannie” on tv. And through our world of make believe, that empty bubble bath bottle became our “Jeannie bottle”.

The next special birthday was the year I turned eighteen. That year, I received the best present EVER: I graduated from high school ON my eighteenth birthday.  As someone who hated school, I was one happy girl that day.

Junior year pic; I didn’t care for the senior one

My twenty-first birthday was spent at the beach at the Outer Banks.  And I thought my mom would probably like to talk to me on my birthday. Those were the days before cell phones, so I went to a nearby phone booth and called to talk to her.

Not a picture from that trip, but the same era

A few years later, on my birthday just twelve days before Marshall was born, I was having complications with the pregnancy, so I celebrated that one in the hospital. No problem at all: my sole purpose in life at that point was doing whatever was necessary to get him here safely.

Eleven days after that birthday spent in the hospital, and just hours before Marshall arrived

The birthdays since have been spent in various ways…. low-key and celebrating with family and friends.  Motor Man usually treats me to a special outing around the time of my birthday.

A few years ago, when he asked what I’d like to do, I suggested taking a wild horse tour.  At that time, we didn’t have a four-wheel drive vehicle, so we booked a private tour with the Corolla Wild Horse Fund. It was so educational and fun: we were hooked. This little one soon joined his mom who had strolled down that path to the left.

Three years ago, we went parasailing in the Outer Banks (wait, that was on HIS list, not mine).

Two years ago, we went for a steam engine ride with special friends Bev and Bill and Pam and Dave.

And, last year, Motor Man took me to meet April, the giraffe.

This year, we don’t have any trips planned.  Yesterday we went to the Outer Banks to see “my” horses , and I’ll share more about that on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, today, I’m celebrating with my two guys, and the coming days will be more gatherings with friends. I am so blessed to have a loving family and special friends in my life.

As I’ve said before, I believe the older you get, the longer birthdays should last.

~These Days Of Mine~