Monthly Archives: June 2011

Learning From Motor Man

Thursday is Mama Kat’s Writing Workshop day. My prompt today is:

5.) Something I could stand to learn from my significant other.

Motor Man has taught me many things in our years together. He taught me confidence to drive on the interstate. (Country girls don’t learn to drive on the interstate.)

He taught me to not be so easily intimidated.

He has taught me to find something to laugh at everyday. And no, it isn’t ALWAYS him.

But the one thing that I still could learn from him is patience.  He has to be one of the most patient men on earth. He takes me shopping, and never complains -regardless of how long I’m gone.

He’s patient with restaurant servers, and when we have to wait at doctors’ appointments.  He’s patient with store clerks. He’s patient in slow-moving traffic. He’s patient when I work on my blog or make cards late into the night.

I guess at times I try his patience. But you’d never know it.

Mama’s Losin’ It

High Geraniums

To my mother, this was a “high geranium”.

And when I was a child, they were “high geraniums” to me too. I wonder how old I was when I learned that the actual name was hydrangea?   I wonder if I ever told Mom the real name? Evidently not, because I don’t remember her ever calling them anything but high geraniums. The photo above was taken a couple of days ago at Motor Man’s parents’ house. They have several beautiful blue hydrangeas.

This next photo was taken at Bacon’s Castle.  If you look carefully, you’ll see that there are actually pink and blue blooms on the same shrub. We’ve been told that the reason for two colors on the same plant has something to do with the lime in the old bricks of the nearby house.    

One memory I have of blue hydrangeas, back when they were still “high geraniums”, was of the one growing beside our front porch steps of my childhood home. Those brilliant blue flowers meant summertime: playing on the porch in the early morning sun, going barefoot in the front yard grass, swinging on the porch swing, and best of all, no school. My sister told me that one very dry summer when she was a teenager, she hauled water by the pail to that hydrangea to keep it alive.

Another blue hydrangea memory happened one summer night in a country church in a neighboring county. Our junior choir, of which I was a member, was there for a revival service.  This was before churches, especially small country ones, had air conditioning. Most likely, it was sometime in August and it was unbearably hot.  I seem to recall the Baptist preacher being especially long-winded this particular night. The flowers at the front of the church were blue hydrangeas. I thought they were the coolest, most refreshing shade of blue I’d ever seen. Looking at them may have helped me survive that church service.

Marshall knows that blue hydrangeas are special to me, so a few years ago, he gave me one for Easter. But, because of our soil, each year when it blooms, it’s pink. Maybe one day, I’ll do some research to determine what nutrients I can add to the soil to change the blooms back to their original blue.

But even though blue is my favorite,  I have to admit this is one pretty little pink hydrangea high geranium.

Today’s Post…..

…was accidentally published last night.  So, click here to find out what’s going on in this picture:

(And just a note to the WordPress folks: it would be SO nice to have a “safety switch” on that Publish option.  I thought for sure I clicked Preview. Thanks so much.)

The Birds

This is the view from our bedroom window. That’s a fairly large piece of driftwood in the flower bed. And for some reason, on one particular evening last week, the sparrows were congregating on that driftwood.

They were actually fighting for a spot to land.

I couldn’t help but wonder what the blackbird’s role was in all of this. Was he wondering what in the world they were doing? Trying to figure out how to secure a spot for himself? Laughing at them?

I love this next photo. Check out the two birds on the right. What’s going on there?  A little kiss? A little close conversation?

Finally, they decided that they should all just get along.

There’s a lesson to be learned here.

Sail Away With Me

Last week, to celebrate Marshall’s birthday, he, Motor Man and I sailed on a tall ship. It was the Kalmar Nyckel, “the tall ship of Delaware”.

If you’d like to visit the web-site, here’s the link, where you’ll find this breath-taking photo.

photo courtesy of

The Kalmar Nyckel was in Yorktown, Virginia for the weekend, and since they offered a sail on Marshall’s birthday, it was perfect.

When we arrived at the Yorktown riverfront, she was waiting at the dock. What a beautiful ship.

There was a huge American flag on the stern. It seemed the perfect spot for a photo op.

Passengers were offered the opportunity to help with the ropes and sails. Marshall jumped at the chance.

And, although he was as careful as he could be, those ropes get moving pretty quickly, resulting in this:

I don’t think he really minded too much though. His “injuries” were a temporary souvenir of the trip.

The captain told us, after we returned to the dock, that the sailing conditions on this particular day were the kind that usually only occur about a half dozen days out of the year. It was great training for the crew, many of whom are volunteer. As passengers, we didn’t complain: our 2 1/2 hour sail lasted well over 3 hours.

And you know me: I’m gonna find a sunset.  This is the Coleman Bridge, which connects Yorktown and the Gloucester area.

The Kalmar Nyckel has a ship’s cat named Toolbox, so named because she was born in a toolbox during construction of the ship.  We didn’t see her until we docked at the end of our sail. I guess I not only find sunsets, but kitties, too.

In honor of his birthday, Marshall had his picture taken with Captain Lauren – yes, she’s the captain of the ship. And she knows her ship.

If you’re anywhere on the East Coast from New England to Virginia, and have the opportunity to sail on the Kalmar Nyckel, you won’t be disappointed.

Just be careful of those rope burns.

(Step) Father’s Day

Although Motor Man has only been Marshall’s step-dad for nine years, he was a friend of the family for several years before Marshall was born. So Marshall doesn’t remember a time that he didn’t know Motor Man.

Motor Man and Marshall -1987

The two of them have changed a little since this photo. Motor Man hasn’t given Marshall a piggy-back ride in years. Marshall’s baby teeth were replaced by his permanent ones, and facial hair has replaced his Kool-aid mustache.

Happy Fathers’ Day, Motor Man, from Marshall and me. And thanks.  For everything.

Sunrise Kayaker

It’s been awhile since I posted a sunrise or sunset picture. I really don’t want you to become bored with them.

But I wanted to share this sunrise from May 28.  Normally I just go out on our deck in my pj’s to take sunrise pictures. On this particular morning, (thankfully, before I stepped out),  I noticed a kayaker in the water between our yard and the marina.


 I decided it might be best if I dressed before going out to take my sunrise photos. And that worked out well, because it enabled me to actually walk out into our yard to get pictures from a little different angle than usual.

Sunrise is such a peaceful, beautiful time of day.

I’m always disappointed if I sleep through it.

I’m guessing that kayaker must be of the same opinion.