Monthly Archives: October 2016

To The Hills

Last Friday, Motor Man and I  “headed for the hills”(as my friend says) . We took our annual ride to the Blue Ridge mountains to see the fall foliage.  Since it was to be a one day trip, we left very early in the morning.  There was just the right amount of fog over some of the fields along the way.

Sometimes I’m amazed at the photos you can take while riding down the highway at 60 miles per hour.

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Mountain roads and scenery just intrigue me. This was one of the pretty scenes we passed.

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As I’ve said before, perhaps growing up across the highway from a dairy farm  was the beginning of my fascination with barns…and cows.

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Later in the day, we drove up on the Skyline Drive. We don’t really think we were there for the peak foliage time, but it was an absolutely gorgeous day, so we couldn’t complain.

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 Not surprisingly, I also found a horse, who was hanging out with his sheep buddies.

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And this was taken from the other side of that sweet little red barn.

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We remembered the tripod so we could get pictures of us without having to ask strangers to take them.

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Perfect weather, gorgeous scenery and time with my Motor Man:

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It was a wonderful day.

~These Days Of Mine~

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Random Five Friday

Five random thoughts for October’s final Friday:

1.) An unknown (to me) waterfowl during a recent trip to the Outer Banks. What a life: hanging out at the beach all day.

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2.) This month’s Harvest Moon a couple of weeks ago rising through the clouds:

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And just three minutes later:

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3.)  We discovered a couple of weeks ago that Miss Gypsy, unfortunately, had a bad case of fleas. How that happened, we aren’t sure, since she never goes out of the office.  Perhaps someone inadvertently brought them in to her?  We hadn’t seen her scratching, but she began acting strangely. So we took her to the vet, where she was given a flea treatment.  We sprayed the office that evening, so she had to “camp out” in another part of our shop, Motor Man’s “dyno” room. She was a little trouper through it all, though, and is all better now.

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Gypsy, looking through the window of her new (temporary) room

4.) Tomorrow, my friend, Donna, and I are planning to go to our local Farmers Market.  It should be fun to see all the little ones dressed in their costumes. Will Donna and I dress up?  Tune in next week to find out.

5.)  The deadline to enter the Corolla Wild Horse Fund calendar is Monday.  So I will, once again, be submitting photos.  And I’ll have a contest here on These Days, so my readers can select which photos they think might be featured in the calendar.  Three photos are allowed, and I’ve narrowed my choices down to….oh, about twenty.  Will this be one I choose to enter?  I’ll let you know next week.

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Happy weekend!

~These Days Of Mine~

Connecticut Meets Cotton

Several weeks ago, I received an email from Sue, an art/photography teacher from Connecticut who was interested in photographing cotton fields.  It seems that Sue had traveled through the south a few years ago after the cotton crop had been harvested for the season. She was intrigued by the bare fields with all the leftover white “fluff”. In her online research, she had discovered a blog post I had written years ago and contacted me to ask for suggestions in finding cotton fields, when the cotton would be best for photos, etc.

Sue made the trip to our area last weekend, and Motor Man and I (with some help from a friend) showed her “all things cotton”.

After my initial correspondence with Sue, our area experienced some nasty weather courtesy of Hurricane Matthew, and I worried that the cotton crop would be severely damaged.  Although the winds and rain may have had some negative effect, we did manage to find some pretty cotton.

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Sue was so excited to photograph her first cotton field

Cotton bolls are so interesting: look at that tiny star in the center.

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It just so happens that a friend of ours and his family own two nearby cotton gins, and he graciously took time out of his very busy day to give us a mini tour.

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He then had his dispatcher locate a farmer who was picking cotton that day and arrange for us to visit the field.

Soon after we arrived, the huge machine was heading toward us, and the driver offered us rides. Sue was a bit hesitant initially, so I went first.  This picker actually forms the cotton module during the picking process.  When the basket is full, the driver pulls over, and the module travels by conveyer from the picker onto the field.

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Sue, heading to the picker for her ride.

You go, girl!

You go, girl!

During our country road travels, Sue spotted this abandoned old house in the midst of a cotton field and asked Motor Man if we could stop for photos.  But of course.

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All too soon, Sue’s weekend in Virginia came to an end.  But, before she left, she gifted Motor Man and me with one of her paintings: a pastel that was inspired by a trip to the Outer Banks. A beautiful (and perfect) gift.

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Once again, because of this blog, we met someone we probably would never have otherwise met. I just love it when that happens.

~These Days Of Mine~

Carova Recovers

In the past month, Hurricane Julia and Hurricane Matthew collectively dumped nearly 30 inches of rain on the Outer Banks.

In those 4 weeks,  travel in the 4-wheel drive area of Carova has been very limited due to flooded “streets”. Motor Man and I have visited a couple of times, but since we were only able to drive on the beach, we hadn’t seen many horses.  We tried again over the weekend, and were able to drive on some of the streets on the back side of the dunes.

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A couple of weeks ago, FEMA began pumping water from some of the streets, and sand is being brought in to fill low-lying areas.

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Most of the roads are still quite a mess.

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We spoke with a deputy who told us that, just this week, they’d rescued folks who had been stranded in some of the homes since the storm. Although they were safe, they were running low on essentials, and the water was still preventing them from leaving their homes.

We were able to spot 16 horses while in the area, including these two who were nose-to-nose.

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And this one, who seems to have had enough of the flood-waters and was looking for a room.

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Although the horses really haven’t been bothered by the flooding, we’re happy for the residents that the area is slowly returning to normal.

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As for us being able to visit again, well, that’s just a bonus.

~These Days Of Mine~

Little Things Come In….BIG Boxes

Motor Man thought my recent Amazon experience might make an interesting blog post.  Actually, it wasn’t really the experience that made us laugh, but rather the packaging of the items I purchased.

Since my eyelashes are naturally stick-straight, I began using an eyelash curler when I was a teenager.  Maybelline was always the brand I used, and although I never saw that it helped much, I kept trying. Then, in the late 1990’s, I met someone who suggested I try a Sheseido brand curler.  Since then, that’s the only curler I’ve used.  Since no stores in our area sell that brand, I must order it online.  That’s where Amazon enters the picture.

When I added the curler to my cart last week, Amazon thoughtfully suggested that other customers who had bought that item also purchased the curler refills, so I added those to my cart as well.

A few days later, a box, which contained the curler, arrived. The size of the box was in proportion to the curler, not that we really noticed at the time.   (I removed the packing material before taking the picture.)

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The refills arrived the following day, sent from a different company.

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I ‘m guessing the company that sold the refills had no smaller boxes available the day my product was shipped.  At least that tiny little package of refills was securely buried in packing material… in that huge box.

~These Days Of Mine~

A Weekend “Out West”

Not the “wild west”, but the western part of Virginia.

Motor Man and I got a very early start on Saturday: a beautiful morning with just the right amount of fog at sunrise.

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There’s just something about a sunrise with fog over a cotton field. Since, as I mentioned, we were traveling west, Motor Man made a u-turn so I could get these pictures.

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We dipped below the state line for a quick visit to Reidsville, North Carolina for their annual classic car show and street festival.

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Then we crossed back over the state line and went to Martinsville, VA to get our credentials for The Valley Star 300, the “Super Bowl of Late Model racing”, which took place Sunday.  Two of Motor Man’s engine customers were entered in the race as well as several other drivers that we know.

We stayed overnight in the area, and returned to the track Sunday morning.  Our seats for the race were high in the grandstands with a great view of the track.

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We sat with friends of ours who live not far from Martinsville (one of Motor Man’s engine building buddies and his family). Their son-in-law took a picture for us.

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Noise-muffling headset: check.  Pit pass wrist band: check.  Sunglasses: check. Motor Man’s hat….huh?

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It was a beautiful weekend: sunny and temps in the 70’s.  One of Motor Man’s customers finished 25th after having some difficulties. The other ran in the top ten all day, and was about to take third place on the last lap…..and ran out of fuel. So disappointing for his team, but we were proud of the great job they did to have a good run in such a competitive field .

After the race, we drove home, arriving just before midnight.  We had the Full Harvest Moon as our view all the way. And although this isn’t a great picture (moon pictures are tricky for me even when taken with a tripod, much especially from a car window at 60 mph), I liked the softness of it.

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It was a fast-paced weekend, but nice to enjoy such pretty scenery, “root on” our engine customers and spend time with friends.

~These Days Of Mine~

Random Five Friday

It’s been awhile since I’ve done a Random Five Friday, so today’s the day, and my thoughts are REALLY random.

1.)  This is what caught-in-the-act looks like.  Guilty of eating what’s left of my poor hydrangea. (That’s a trellis in the background.)

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2.) A couple of weeks ago, Marshall attended his first ever “horror movie convention” (Monster Mania). That’s one interest he certainly didn’t get from his mom. He had a great time, met several celebrities, got their autographs and had photos taken with them.  But, this picture tops them all.  This is Robert Englund, best known for his role as Freddy Krueger in the Nightmare On Elm Street movies.  He had just autographed a “Freddy” razor glove for Marshall’s buddy. When Marshall stepped up for a photo, Robert donned the glove, placed it up against Marshall’s beard and said (in his Freddy voice): “Just a little trim…..!”

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3.) Motor Man and I took a drive out in the country last week and passed an alpaca farm.  I spotted this tiny little one and just had to get a picture, albeit not a very good one. They remind me so much of stuffed animals.

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4.)  Our town held its annual Bacon, Bourbon and Beach Music festival the weekend before Hurricane Matthew. The portable “Virginia is for Lovers LOVE sign” was on location.  That’s historic Windsor Castle in the background.

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Motor Man and I didn’t have an opportunity to have our picture taken the day of the festival, but since the sign was still there a few days later, we had our chance.

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5.)  The Outer Banks sustained major damage during Hurricane Matthew.  We took a trip earlier this week to check on our place (thankfully, it was unscathed), but a section of the roadway nearby known as the “beach road” washed away once again. I’ve shared photos of previous storms’ damage (a nor’easter and Hurricane Joaquin) to this area.  The Carova area, several miles north and home to “my” wild horses, had extreme flooding.  Although driving on the beach is possible now, we don’t know when we’ll be able to access the areas on the other side of the dunes where we most often see the horses.

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Note:  next week, I’ll be blogging on Tuesday and Thursday.

Happy weekend!

~These Days Of Mine~