Monthly Archives: January 2016

Random Five Friday Returns

For the final Friday in January, I thought five random thoughts might be appropriate:

1.) Last week, we took Gypsy for her annual check-up.  She is just the best behaved kitty at the vet’s office. She doesn’t cry (or howl), squirm or fight with us or the staff. Once, when the vet briefly left the examining room, she seemed to be looking for a place to hide. So I took her in my arms, and she buried her head in the crook of my arm. That little piglet rascal weighs 10 1/2 pounds!


2.) Yesterday, lunch and a catch-up visit with a dear friend.  Afterward, we went for a ride in the country and spotted this little cutie. Yes, it really is as short and “broad” as it looks in this photo.

mini pony 1-28-2016 2-46-45 PM

3.) Recently I purchased my very first MP3 player, so I could enjoy some favorite tunes while on my daily walks. I was proud that I seemingly successfully transferred the songs from my computer to the player, but then I was lost. I couldn’t see anything but a dim light behind the picture of an orange flower on the screen. So I texted my I.T. guy (Marshall) and asked if he’d have a look. He immediately removed the orange flower DECAL from the screen, and there was a simple menu that even I could navigate. And, although he would never do this, I quickly reminded him:

taught you how to use a spoon

4.) Speaking of my favorite songs, I’ve shared before that I much prefer oldies: the fifties, sixties and maybe the first couple of years in the 1970’s.  To compile my list for the MP3 player, I Googled “Top hits from….” and searched various years.  THAT will take you back. And I guarantee you’ll find songs that you had long ago forgotten.

5.) There’s nothing quite like seeing an old family photo for the first time.  Motor Man’s mom discovered this one, tucked away in a desk drawer, last week and shared it with us.  It’s obvious by Motor Man’s coat that it was taken in the winter. I’m guessing he was only a year or two old, so this was most likely taken while his dad was overseas during World War II.

 jr and mom-001

 Care to share a little January randomness?

~These Days Of Mine~

Wordless Wednesday: It’s A Zoo Around Here

swan ducks deer 1-26-2016 3-43-40 PM

(Just a typical day in our yard.)

~These Days Of Mine~

Scenes From Jonas’ Visit

Winter storm, Jonas, paid us a visit over the weekend. Thankfully, we were on the outskirts of the storm, so we were spared snowfall measurable in feet rather than inches.

Friday, we had a little snow.  And we had a visitor, looking for handout meal. My niece, Donna, commented that, with feet like that, he definitely doesn’t need snowshoes.


Later that afternoon, the snow turned to sleet/freezing rain. I’m not really sure how to tell the difference. But with the wind and that frozen precipitation, we were just relieved not to lose electricity.

frozen rain 1-22-2016 4-40-22 PM

Before the second round of snow came, we had some mild tidal flooding.  This was taken Saturday morning just a couple of miles from us.

flooding at mr spadys 1-23-2016 11-28-13 AM

There have only been a few times that I can recall our area experiencing anything remotely like a blizzard. And, although we didn’t really have enough snow accumulation to define this storm as a blizzard, Saturday afternoon’s conditions came close.

blizzard 1-23-2016 2-53-53 PM

We were hunkered down inside.

Yesterday morning, Motor Man happened to glance out the window and called for me to come look.  Then came coat, boots and a trudge through the snow to get these pictures.

moonset 1-24-2016 7-10-10 AM

Marshall and I are always interested in the names of the full moons.  The January moon is the “Old Moon”, the “Moon After Yule”, or, appropriately this month, the “Full Snow Moon”.  (The Moon After Jonas just doesn’t have the same ring.)

sunday morning moon 1-24-2016 7-10-13 AM

After seeing news coverage of Jonas, we’re thankful that his visit was brief.  I suppose you could say that he didn’t stay long enough to unpack his bags.

~These Days Of Mine~

You’re Not Gonna Believe It

If you missed Monday’s post, I Should’ve Listened, you might want to read that before continuing with today’s post.

Ever since the minute Motor Man learned that my cell phone had gone overboard, he had been entertaining the notion of retrieving it from the bottom of the river.

I really didn’t think there would ever be a possibility of that happening. Plus within 48 hours of the “incident”,  my replacement phone was in hand and activated, my contacts transferred, and all my pictures were safe in my “cloud”.

But Wednesday afternoon, when I returned home from running errands, I noticed that the tide was exceptionally low.

low tide 1-20-2016 2-24-31 PM

I called Motor Man, who happened to also be on his way home.  We walked out on the marina walkway…..and he spotted my phone….. on its end….. in the mud.

We came home and grabbed a telescoping tree lopper tool, the duct tape, then borrowed a fish net with a handle from a friend, and back to the marina we went.

He taped the fish net to the handle of the lopper –

fish net 1-20-2016 3-04-55 PM

And, on the second attempt, “netted” my phone.

cell phone in net 1-20-2016 3-05-37 PM

Just think of the story it could tell, five days underwater before being “saved”.

muddy phone 1-20-2016 3-06-44 PM

Please note that these pictures were NOT taken with my new cell phone. It was secure in the safety of our vehicle. These were taken with our camera, safely strapped around my neck.

Whether or not the phone is still functional, we haven’t determined yet.  But it’s nice to know that it’s no longer at the bottom of the river.

My Motor Man, he does love a challenge.

~These Days Of Mine~

Sadness In Surry

Yesterday afternoon, as Motor Man and I started home across the James River Bridge from Newport News, he spotted a huge plume of black smoke in the distance. Immediately, he said that it appeared to be in the area of Surry, the adjacent county to where we live – and my “home” county.

A few minutes later, I received a text from a close friend, a former co-worker of mine at a small processing plant, famous for its cured hams, bacon and sausage.   Her text was brief:
Have you u heard the plant is on fire

As usual, Motor Man’s sense of direction was correct: the fire was in Surry.

Later in the day, as soon as time permitted, Motor Man and I traveled the twenty miles to Surry. We just needed to be with our friend. She, like some of the other employees, had been sitting in their vehicles across the street from the plant since it had been evacuated around lunchtime.

In spite of nearly a dozen fire departments on the scene, the building was still burning three hours after the fire began. At times, the smoke nearly obscured the late afternoon sun.

Particularly emotional for me was seeing the office area in flames.

flames 1-19-2016 4-26-44 PM

Although mine was an office job, one of my duties was conducting tours of the plant for visitors. I explained to them the curing process and showed them the various rooms where the steps involved in that process took place.

black smoke 1-19-2016 4-01-43 PM

I also shared with them the history of the company, how it began in 1926 and still remained a family business. During the time I worked there, it was operated by the third generation. Currently, the fourth generation also plays a major role.  The company is well known, not only for its local wholesale and retail business, but also for its far-reaching mail order (internet) sales.

My heart is broken for the family, whom I’ve known since my childhood, my friends who work there, and all the employees who are without jobs right now. Everyone is just so thankful there were no injuries.

Hopefully, the business is able to be rebuilt soon and be greater than ever.

~These Days Of Mine~


I Should’ve Listened

Although I didn’t really make any New Year’s resolutions, I did make a decision on January 1 to begin eating healthier and moving more.  A large part of the moving more is walking at least 30 minutes each day and attempting to log 10,000 steps daily.

So far, I’ve made the 10,000 steps every day. And my friend, Bev, and I have been accomplishing the 30 minute walk most days. Last Friday morning, we walked 45 minutes. That afternoon, the weather was so nice, I decided to walk down to the marina to add more steps to my goal of 10,000.  Although we have a good view of the marina, it isn’t accessible from our yard: you have to walk up our street, then down the next street.

As I was leaving our yard, I called Motor Man (at our shop) to let him know where I was going.

While I was out on the walkway/pier, I happened to wonder just how long this little walk would take. I thought about taking my phone from my pocket to see what time I had made the call to Motor Man. Then this little voice said: “If you take your phone out of your pocket, and drop it, it will hit the pier and fall in the river”. 

So what happened?  I took my phone out of my pocket. I dropped it. It hit the pier. And it fell in the river.

Not a recent photo, but the only one I have of the entire walkway. The arrow is where I was when my phone drowned.

Not a recent photo, but the only one I have of the entire walkway. The arrow shows where I was when my phone went overboard

Motor Man was at home when I got back. My first words were: “You won’t believe what I just did”.  But he had a great idea: take my old phone when we went to Verizon and have them activate it until a replacement phone could be shipped to me.  Once there, we filed an insurance claim, they re-activated my old phone, and my new phone is scheduled for delivery today.

Hopefully next time, that little voice will speak a bit louder (or YELL) when giving me such good advice.

~These Days Of Mine~

Dinnertime At Animal Kingdom

Motor Man, as well as my son, Marshall, often compare our yard to an animal kingdom.

Yesterday, there was more evidence that they’re on to something.

First, this squirrel was feasting on the seed in this solar snowman bird feeder, a Christmas gift to us from our friend, Donna. (Apparently, if you are a squirrel, bird seed tastes better when you’re hanging upside down.)

squirrel 1-14-2016 4-39-51 PM

And, while that little critter was having dinner at the Solar Snowman Cafe, there were no less than six deer grazing out in the yard.

wild kingdom 1-14-2016 4-40-02 PM

Obviously, Motor Man and Marshall  know of what they speak.

deer 1-14-2016 4-45-06 PM

At least I’m not trying to grow any flowers this time of year. I’m just trying to feed the birds.

~These Days Of Mine~