Monthly Archives: July 2015

My Sister, June

After a two week illness, my sister, June passed away Saturday evening.  Today, I’m sharing some of my memories of her.

She was 16 when I was born.

dianne and june 10-15-2010 2-43-39 PM

She married at a young age, and was a mom herself by the time I was two-and-a-half.  Because of our age difference, in my childhood memories, she was my mom’s “generation”, and her children seemed more like my siblings.

My niece, Barb, and me

My youngest niece, Barb, and me

She encouraged me to read and helped me with school projects. She knitted sweaters for me, and, with the leftover yarn, knitted matching coats for my Barbies.

Summers meant days spent at her house, us children playing outside while she and my mom visited.  Thanksgivings and Christmases were celebrated there, too.

When I was a teenager, she made a pantsuit with a Nehru jacket for me. (Is that telling my age?) And later, at my request, a red velvet cape (don’t judge).

As the years passed, our age difference mattered less and less, and our sisterly relationship developed. Although our views on everything weren’t always the same, I always knew she “had my back”, and would be there for me if I needed her.

I’ll miss our daily emails, and her sweet comments on my Facebook and blog posts.

db june-2

Since news of her passing, I have been overwhelmed with all the heartfelt comments from my friends, my blogging friends on Facebook, as well as June’s online friends in her knitting forums.

She obviously touched many lives, including mine….right from the beginning.

The next few days will be busy ones, so this will be my only blog post this week.

~These Days Of Mine~

Random Five Friday

Perhaps it’s the lazy days of summer, but blogging seems to have become increasingly difficult recently.  I know I’m not alone, since fellow bloggers have posted the same sentiments.  Here are five completely somewhat random thoughts:

1.) Our frequent rain showers that we were enjoying earlier in the summer have come to an end, and keeping plants alive is now requiring daily watering. Adding to my chores is this beautiful planter I discovered at Lowe’s this week. I think it’s worth it.

deck plant 7-23-2015 6-20-37 AM

2.)  Sure wish I could grow zinnias as pretty as these.

zinnias 6-17-2015 10-06-20 AM

3.) We’ve had some amazing skies recently, including this sunrise from yesterday morning.  There are some advantages in being an early riser.

sunrise2 7-23-2015 6-10-16 AM

4.)  The biggest race of the year is tomorrow night at our local track.  The weather forecast for tomorrow evening: clear and in the upper 70’s. Sounds just about perfect.


5.) Our family reunion is scheduled to be at our house on August 1. We’re hoping for nice weather, as opposed to this, the day of the reunion two years ago. (See Random Thought #1 above….)

rain 8-3-2013 2-59-05 PM

Happy weekend! Wishing you nice weather…unless you need a rain shower.

~These Days Of Mine~

Last Evening’s Company

Motor Man and I went to a customer’s race shop yesterday afternoon, so we had dinner while we were out.

Since we’ve been having typical southeast Virginia summertime weather recently (hot, humid and only spotty rain in selected areas), I needed to water a few plants when we got home.  I was so engrossed in deadheading and pruning a bedraggled hanging petunia, that I didn’t notice I had company until I heard an odd “smacking” sound.

swan 7-21-2015 8-25-29 PM

“My” swan had come to visit, and I suppose the smacking sound was his way of letting me know that he was there and ready for dinner.

I glanced toward the western sky at the sunset…

sunset 7-21-2015 8-23-30 PM

…and saw that I had even more company. This mom actually has twins, but they wouldn’t cooperate to be in the same picture.

mom babe 7-21-2015 8-24-28 PM

We just never know who will come to visit around here…

~These Days Of Mine~

Chessie Revealed!

Friday, I shared this photo and challenged you to find Marshall’s kitty, Chessie.

 hidden chessie

So, how did you do?  Did you find Chessie?

hidden chessie disclosed

She was quite well hidden, wasn’t she? Here’s a close-up.

hidden chessie disclosed

 Marshall also shared this photo that he took recently of Chessie, taking time to ” “stop and smell the roses flowers”.


And just hangin’ out with her brother, Snugg.


Marshall seems to have a knack for catching great photos of his kitties.  I’m glad he likes to share.

~These Days Of Mine~

Random Five Friday

This week’s random thoughts:

1.) Recently I’ve been upset that so many of my plants have been severely damaged by deer. Allow me to introduce the next generation of plant destroyers.

2.) The deer may have damaged a fair amount of my glads, but because of our plentiful rainfall this summer, I’ve had an abundance of blooms. I’ve managed to salvage some for our enjoyment too.

glads bathroom 7-15-2015 2-06-15 PM

3.) I’m pleased to share some HAPPY news: William/Guillermo, the Corolla foal that was sick and had to be removed from the herd, has been released from the NC State vet school hospital, and is now at the Corolla rescue facility. They’re planning an open house in October, and we’re planning to be there. He’ll be adopted by a veterinarian who’s on the board of directors at Corolla Wild Horse Fund. That’s his surrogate mom, Pebbles, in the video with him.

4.) We arrived home yesterday after dinner and errands just in time to catch the sunset with a friend.

swan in grass 7-16-2015 8-05-47 PM

 5.)  Here’s a teaser for you.  Can you spot Marshall’s gray kitty, Chessie, in this photo?  She’s in there, and I’ll provide her exact location in Monday’s post.

hidden chessie

Enjoy the weekend!

~These Days Of Mine~

Busy Weekend, Part 2

Our busy weekend continued Friday evening when our friend, Larry,  invited us to Norfolk’s waterfront for a dock party.  He was participating in a poker run the following day to benefit the Susan G. Komen foundation.

Since parking in that area can be a challenge, Larry offered to meet us across the Elizabeth River on the Portsmouth waterfront, and give us a ride back to Norfolk.

Larry’s boat isn’t just an ordinary pleasure boat: it’s a 36-foot Fountain with (in Motor Man “speak”):  twin 502 cubic inch, 600 horsepower engines. Also known as a go-fast boat. Larry contacted Motor Man last winter to do some machine work on the engines, then Larry rebuilt them, and Motor Man dyno-tested them before they were installed back in the boat.

our ride 7-10-2015 6-43-59 PM

The area between Portsmouth and Norfolk is a no wake zone, which means, of course, that boats can’t get up to speed. Since it was my first time on a boat of that type, Motor Man asked Larry if he had time to take us further out into the river. And get up to speed. (Well, almost.)

We kept a close eye on the sky….and the radar on our smart phones.

storm clouds 7-10-2015 6-51-56 PM

 Motor Man took a neat little Go-Pro video of the ride.

And I took a picture of him, taking a video.

jr 7-10-2015 7-04-51 PM

Our top speed was 82 mph, although the boat is capable of going a bit faster.  This was her “maiden” trip after the freshen-up of the engines.  But Larry has promised us on a longer (faster?) ride in the near future.

We made it back to the dock before it rained.

dock 7-10-2015 7-15-17 PM

There were nearly 70 boats planning to take part in the poker run the next day. We recognized many of them as ones taking part in the Jammin On The James run.  Fountains, Donzis, Formulas, Cigarettes. Lotsa horsepower.

boats 7-10-2015 7-39-28 PM

Thanks, Larry, for adding another adventure to our busy weekend.

jrdb 7-10-2015 7-38-26 PM

~These Days Of Mine~

Busy Weekend, Part I

Some weekends are just more action-packed than others. And this past weekend was definitely one of those for us.

Thursday morning, Motor Man, my friend, Donna, and I went to the Outer Banks. We did a little shopping, had lunch, more shopping, had dinner and stayed the night.

Early Friday morning, we were up and on our way to Corolla in search of wild horses.  But first, we stopped to catch the sunrise, and Donna took this photo.  (Sorry for the rerun, Facebook friends.)  When she looked at the preview on her camera, she was so excited.  And I think it’s special, too.

db sunrise

We think we saw 60 horses, give or take a couple… or five.  We were too excited taking pictures to keep an accurate count.  These three were walking down one of the “back roads”.  We thought the one in the middle was especially beautiful.*

three 7-10-2015 9-27-21 AM

We could tell by the horses’ body language that things were a bit tense.

three2 7-10-2015 9-27-45 AM

We soon realized that these were two stallions, and we had our cameras ready for a serious “discussion”.

three4 7-10-2015 9-28-10 AM

But, discussion was apparently all there was to be this particular time, and the guys walked away rather peacefully.

discussion 7-10-2015 9-29-41 AM

It’s always a treat to see horses on the beach near the ocean, preferably walking IN the water,  and these five obliged us.

6 horses 7-10-2015 10-25-09 AM

It was a perfect day on the beach: comfortable temps, a nice breeze, sunshine, wild horses. During one of our stops, Motor Man shared a joke with Donna by the seaside.

donna and mm 7-10-2015 9-45-33 AM

Thanks, Motor Man for putting up with all our girly silliness, giggles, shopping, etc.

jrdb kiss 7-10-2015 9-43-32 AM

On Wednesday,  I’ll share part two of our busy weekend.

* As always, we were always more than the required 50 feet distance from the horses.  My photos were taken with a zoom lens, and most of them have been cropped to bring the images in closer than the distance they actually were.

~These Days Of Mine~