Monthly Archives: May 2013

Two, Two, Two Contests In One

Well, sort of.

If you’re a regular reader, you know how fond I am of the wild horses of Corolla on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  The Corolla Wild Horse Foundation Facebook page is one of my “liked” pages. That’s how I learned of a current contest where amateur photographers can send in up to three pictures. Thirteen photos will be chosen for the 2015 Corolla Wild Horse calendar. (2014 is already printed.)

So…. I have selected three from my many hundreds thousands of OBX photos. All three of these have been feautured previously here on These Days. But I’m sharing them again today for a reason.

  This first one I’ve titled “In The Wind”.

in the wind

This next one is “Show Off”.

show off2

And the last one is “Running Girl”:

running girl

Now, here’s where YOUR part of the contest comes in: leave a comment, choosing one of these that you think might possibly, maybe, perhaps be selected by one of the Corolla contest judges. If by some remote chance miracle, one of my photos is selected, I will draw a name from those of you who selected that photo. And I’ll send you a prize package.

If none of my photos are chosen, I’ll just pick a name from all the comments and that person will receive the prize.

What’s the prize?  Good question. I haven’t decided yet. But it will definitely be worth a comment, I promise.

(P.S. The judges’ names are listed on the entry blank.  I don’t know any of them and am 99.9% positive none of them read my blog. )

As Seen On TV

Looking back through my photos, the last picture I took of “Bride and Groom Swans” was last November.  You may think they took a winter trip to a warmer locale, but I’ve heard reports that they were just upriver a few miles nearer the town of Smithfield.

(If you’re new to These Days and aren’t familiar with the swans, you can read my first post about them here. And I’ve added a new category, The Swans, if you’d care to read all previous swan posts.)

Sunday afternoon, when Motor Man and I returned from an outing, I stepped outside to check on my flowers, the ducks, etc.  And I saw Groom Swan. It was like seeing a long lost friend. My first impulse was to hug him, but I thought better of it.  He had come up on land (looking for me, I’m sure). I yelled for Motor Man, who came with the camera.

db walking with groom swan

Motor Man spotted Bride Swan in the water before I did.

db groom swan and bride swan

This is a little walkway Motor Man built for me last summer. When the tide is low, it helps that I can walk out on it to throw bread to the swans. (We aren’t allowed to have docks…. but no worries, this rests on a drainage pipe and is completely moveable.)

Motor Man and I have a special little “sound” that we whistle to call the swans. That’s what I was doing when Motor Man took this picture. And the fish net is on there to deter the Canada geese from walking (and doing other things…) on the walkway. It seems to help.

db whistling at groom swan

A few hours later, I had a text from Marshall saying: “gnarly clouds over to the west”.  He was right.

clouds and trees

The swans seemed oblivious to the approaching bad weather, but I didn’t linger outside too long, since I could hear thunder in the distance.

bride swan and storm clouds

I sent this next picture to our local tv station, and it was featured on the weather segments of the 10 and 11:00 news broadcasts that night.

swans in the storm

The swans’ first day back, and they’re tv personalities.

Farewell, Sweet Friend

You may recall that Motor Man and I have dinner every week with two other couples that we met through racing. We’ve done this for well over ten years with very few interruptions.

We’ve shared the ups and downs of life.  Celebrated good things that have happened, supported each other through the not-so-good. We’ve shared jokes, laughed and cried, eaten pizza, spaghetti, subs, and our so-called “Mark salads” and “Colonel’s Pizzas”.

We celebrate birthdays and all the holidays. We’ve become our own little Wednesday night family.


Our “friend family” is included in our “real family” events. This was taken at Motor Man’s parents’ 72nd wedding anniversary party summer. (Motor Man wasn’t really mad: that’s sometimes his camera face….)

a gang

But, last week, that evil, heartless monster that is cancer took a member of our friend family.


Phyllis was a career Army wife. She raised four children while her husband served our country.

She loved cats.

She loved racing. Turn three at our race track won’t be the same on Saturday nights without her.

And when it was cold, she drank hot tea. Or sometimes just hot water, the first person I’d ever met who did so.

She taught me to play Spider Solitaire. And I will always think of her every time I play.

Phyllis loved gardening and birdwatching, and those passions were never more apparent than in the gifts she gave… plants, planters, bird feeders, bird houses and subscriptions to Birds And Blooms magazine.

This was a simple basket that Phyllis planted geraniums and ivy in and gave it to me for my birthday three years ago.  It thrived all summer.

geraniums and ivy 2009 9-14-2009 9-54-37 AM

Last year, this was my birthday gift: a terra cotta watering can with ivy, some type of lily and a succulent. This was also one of Phyllis’s creations.

watering can planter

We’ll miss her. But the gifts she gave, and the memories she left us with, will always keep her close in thought.

Friday’s Fences: Fun Day With A Friend

You may recall a post I shared a few months ago about a wedding keepsake shadow box I made for my former classmate, Donna. If you missed it, you can read about it here.

Last Saturday, Donna and I met in the little town of Surry for a farmers’ market/yard sale. This just happened to be directly across the street from the floppy-eared horse that I wrote about a few weeks ago.

So, our first order of business was visiting “Ears”, as we’ve dubbed him, and giving him a few treats.

donna and ears

Then we went over to the park, where we both bought homemade pound cake loaves. And had a mutual friend take our picture.

db and donna

I have to tell you: when I saw her hair in pigtails, I immediately felt like a little girl again.

When we left there, we went to an antique/junk shop, where I bought this “ice cream parlor” chair (for $10). Later, Motor Man helped me make it into a planter.

planter chair

Donna also bought a couple of vintage chairs. Since I was driving Motor Man’s truck and we weren’t that far from her house, we headed down some back roads to deliver her treasures.

On the way, we passed this scene, which of course, required a u-turn for a Friday’s Fences photo.

horses and barns

Treasures safely delivered to her house, we returned to Surry where we had lunch at an Italian Restaurant and bought plants at Farmer Joe’s Nursery and Greenhouse.

It really was a fun day with a friend; we’re already planning our next adventure.

Linking up to Friday’s Fences.

fridays fences

Thoughts On This Thursday

Things have been fairly quiet ’round these parts recently. Translated: I have no specific blog material for today.

So, I’ll share some random thoughts, as well as a few recent sunrise/sunset shots.

This was very early (as in 5:17 a.m.)  on the morning of May 9.  We were up before the sun that day for the road trip we took to see the Gypsy horses.

early morning may 9

I’ve been busy planting ….geraniums, verbena, purslane, petunias, fairy gardens… I just can’t seem to stop.  If we suffer from a lack of rain this summer, I’ll have my work cut out for me to keep everything watered. I’ll share photos soon.

This picture was taken last Saturday, May 11. Obviously, the sun had been up for awhile when I took this, but I thought the reflection on the water was nice. I met a friend that day for antiquing, lunch and (more) flower shopping. I’ll share details of our trip tomorrow.

sunrise 5-11

You may recall that I mentioned one of the horses we saw last week was expecting a foal any day? She gave birth to a filly Tuesday night. If I’m able to get a picture from Tabatha, I’ll share.

The sunrise on Monday, May 13.


A dear, dear friend of ours lost her fight against cancer last week. I’m working on a post in her memory, and will share that next week. But, in the meantime, here’s the sunset from Tuesday night.


What are your thoughts this Thursday?

Mothers And Sons

This began as a Wordless Wednesday post, before I realized I had so much to say about the photos.

These first two are of Motor Man and his mother. She was 18 when he was born.  I’m not sure of the date of the first photo, but it was taken during the time that Motor Man’s dad was overseas during World War II. We celebrated Mother’s Day Sunday by having dinner with her and Motor Man’s dad.

jr and mom combined photos

The next pictures are, of course, of Marshall and me. The one on the left was taken on my first Mother’s Day; Marshall was not quite a year old. And the photo on the right was taken Sunday.

marshall mom flag combined

Just in case anyone needed a reminder of how quickly time passes.

Barn Charm: Old And New

As promised, today I’m sharing photos of our new friends’, Travis and Tabatha’s barn.

The folk art square is a work in progress. It’s made from the original barn door, and Tabatha is deciding what image to paint in the center.


They believe the original side of the barn, which is used for hay storage, is over two hundred years old.

barn interior

There are four horse stalls in the newer section.

travis girls and mater

Did you happen to notice in the first picture that the barn is built on a hill? This is the “upper side”,  where you can actually drive into the barn.

back of barn

Charlie showed us the way.

charlie and barn

Linking up to Barn Charm.