Monthly Archives: June 2019

Guest Speaker, Miss Sibyl

Hi, efurryone! This is Sibyl (a.k.a. Sibby/Sibs). I am Marshall’s kitty, and you may have read about me here in the past.  His Mom, the real author of this blog, has written about me several times.

But, today….today, yours truly has commandeered the blog, and for a very special reason.  I have an announcement:  Sunday is…..Marshall’s birthday!

So I am writing to not only wish him a great birthday, but also to thank him for taking such good care of me.

He lets me sleep on his bed…and shares his a.c. with me.  Aaahhh….

He trusts me to be near his 3-D shadowbox designs.  (Well, as long as he’s there to keep an eye on me.)

And when I hide my face just because I need a little privacy, he…..takes my picture.

So, Happy Birthday, Marshall!

Oh, and “ditto” from Motor Mommy and Motor Man.

We’re all looking forward to celebrating with you.

~These Days Of Mine~



The Birthday Finale

Oh, I heard that collective sigh of relief.

Motor Man, Marshall and I had dinner at Texas Roadhouse the evening of my birthday.

You know how some restaurants make a big deal of your birthday?  How they gather all the servers together and clap and yell and sing to you?  Well, Motor Man was intent on that happening and let our server know right away that it was my birthday.

We eat at this restaurant quite often, and our server that night (A.B.) was more than ready to help us celebrate.

And Motor Man made sure there was a video of it so I could share  with my readers.


So there you have it. By the way, there were three other folks celebrating their birthday there that evening.

My birthday was really a fun time this year, not only the concert, Black Bear Festival, hot air balloon ride, but also several meals with friends and relatives, nice gifts and many cards.

It’s wonderful to be so loved.


~These Days Of Mine~

Flying High On My Birthday

Tiring of my birthday adventures yet? If so, you may just want to return to the blog, oh, maybe Friday of this week.  It was a busy birthday week.

You may recall that Motor Man and I are friends with Mark, who owns a hot air balloon. We’ve been to several launches, taken many photos, and, prior to last week,  had ridden with Mark on two occasions. If you’re interested in reading the previous posts, you can find them here and here.

A few days prior to my birthday, Mark called Motor Man and said that he was planning to fly EARLY Tuesday morning, alongside Reed, a long-time friend of his, who’s also a balloonist. Mark wondered if we could fly with Reed and take photos of Mark’s balloon.  He had no idea when he called that the day he planned to fly was my birthday. Surprise!

Hot air ballooning is VERY dependent on the weather.. and not just rain. The winds play a huge part in whether or not a flight can happen. So I was excited, but knew that there was a chance we’d have to cancel at the last minute.

Tuesday morning, the conditions could not have been more perfect.  Before sunrise, we met Mark, Reed, their ground crew, Rich and Luke, as well as the reporter and photographer from our local paper that were to be Mark’s passengers.

Our launch site was just a few miles outside of town.  Mark’s balloon is “Spectrum” on the left, and Reed was piloting the Remax balloon.

Motor Man and I signed up as crew members for the Remax balloon.  Our pre-flight job was holding the envelope (the balloon) while Reed first filled it with cold air, using a powerful fan. Notice Motor Man’s billowing jacket.

Once the balloon was filled with cold air, and while the basket was still tethered to the chase vehicle, Reed began filling the balloon with hot air from the propane burner. (This photo was actually taken during our flight.)

Soon the balloon was vertical, Rich released the rope tethering us, and off we went.

My friends have had varied responses when I mentioned that we went up in a hot air balloon. Some say it’s on their bucket list, and others say there’s no way they’d ever fly in one. I must admit that I had a few seconds of “angst” when our flight first started, but it was so peaceful and beautiful, I was soon enjoying the scenery.

Here’s a slideshow of photos from our flight:

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At the end of our flight, we enjoyed a very smooth landing.

Motor Man and I helped Reed and Rich gather up the envelope to be packed in its tote. Once that was done, the balloon and basket were loaded into the van.

We then treated our two pilots to breakfast at a nearby restaurant. I contacted Marshall, and was delighted that, even with such short notice, he was able to join us.

Mark, knowing it was my birthday, managed to “sneak” a cake into the restaurant without my knowledge. The servers brought it to our table after our meal and sang a cute little song to me: “If you’re good, you get your wishes. If you’re bad, you do our dishes!”. (Evidently, I was good.)

Nice…. the cake icing surprisingly coordinated with my jacket!

Sneaky Mark.

I had planned for this to be the final post regarding my this year’s birthday fun, but Motor Man asked that I write one more. So that will publish Wednesday. And after that, we’ll return to “regular programming”.

How about you?  Would you fly/have you flown in a hot air balloon?

~These Days Of Mine~








Birthday, Part 2

A couple of weeks ago, Motor Man and I learned of the Black Bear Festival (June 1 and 2 this year) in Plymouth, NC. Plymouth is a little over an hour and a half from Roanoke Rapids, where we had gone to the Sawyer Brown concert Friday evening.

Saturday morning, we motored on to Plymouth, where we found a HUGE gathering of folks for that festival. This is the fifth year, and it is obviously a very popular event. We drove around for a while until we happened upon a fairly close parking space.

Motor Man had read that they were offering airboat rides, and since that’s one “mode of transportation” we’ve never experienced, we set out to buy tickets for a ride.

Along the way, we came across this “long, lanky cowboy”:

We bought our tickets for the airboat and waited our turn. It was a rather long wait, but we found seats in the shade and enjoyed a nearby band playing beach music. We’ve never encountered nicer people anywhere in our travels.

Then it was time to don our life jackets and ear protectors and get ready to ride.

The first thing Motor Man looked at was the engine: a GM, but he wasn’t able to determine what size. The wife of the airboat owner/driver was in charge of the rides, and had the cutest look on her face when Motor Man asked her about the engine. (It’s the same look I have when folks ask me about engines.) The airboat ride was very popular, so her husband and Motor Man didn’t have time to “talk engines”.

This video wasn’t from our ride, but it gives you an idea of what we experienced. It was a perfect day for the festival AND boat rides.


We had fun!

As we were making our way back to our vehicle, we were just in time for the motor bike stunt show.  These  guys were amazing. They started off doing some wheelies.  See that ramp in the background?

This was the reason for that ramp:

Although I’d seen similar events on tv, seeing it in person was unbelievable.

I do believe this rider was looking directly at me.  Hey, buddy, thanks for being part of my birthday celebration!

And….the birthday posts continue next week. (Bored yet?)  Have a great weekend everyone!

~These Days Of Mine~





Birthday, Part One

Beginning several years ago, I decided that birthdays should be celebrated longer than just one day. I mean, really, if we have to grow older, there should be some advantages other than Medicare and senior discounts.

So my birthday celebration for this year began last Friday. Motor Man and I headed to Roanoke Rapids, NC for a Sawyer Brown concert. Since that’s about an hour and a half from home, we booked a hotel room, so we wouldn’t be driving home so late.

We checked into our hotel, relaxed for a while, then Motor Man suggested that we get to the venue early in order to get as close a parking spot as possible. There was a threat for bad weather later in the evening.

After finding a parking place, we sat and chatted, and Motor Man casually asked if I had our tickets. “Yep, right here in my wallet”,  I replied. Well, no….they were NOT in my wallet. And nowhere in my purse.  At Motor Man’s suggestion, I headed into the arena, knowing there was nothing that could be done.

Up to the box office window, I carried my trembling self, and, almost in tears, told the lady that I didn’t have my tickets. In her sweet Carolina drawl, she said: “Well, honey, I can just reprint them for you!”. She asked my name and address, and in less than a minute, I was holding our tickets. …our 2nd row tickets, mind you.  Yes, relieved was the word.

We also had passes for the Meet and Greet prior to the show.  And, let’s just say that we missed the call for THAT. (Long story, but there were so many people in the lobby, we just didn’t hear the man when he called for those with passes to assemble.) Are you seeing a pattern here?  So, once again, I took my trembling self over to the merchandise table to ask if we had indeed missed Meet and Greet. And was told that yes,  we had. But, the band’s staff member pulled some strings and told us to come with him.  (Keep in mind, this is about 30 minutes before showtime.)

Two of the band members, “Hobie” Hubbard and Mark Miller, came out of the tour bus and had pictures taken with Motor Man and me.

Now, THAT’S customer service.

We had a wonderful time at the show. The policy is no flash photos, so I didn’t get great pics. But this shows just how close we were to the stage.

The band was performing their final song of the night, when, suddenly and without any warning, everything went dark.  That “possible” severe weather had arrived.

The emergency power came on in a few minutes, and Mark asked everyone to sing along on the chorus of “Some Girls Do”. It was a great way to end the show.

And I still haven’t found those original tickets…

~These Days Of Mine~


Sadly, Our Turn

Friday afternoon, Motor Man and I left town for an overnight trip.

I checked my Facebook a little before 5 and saw that my friend in Virginia Beach had posted about an active shooter in Virginia Beach. That was the first I heard of the tragedy.

That friend retired from City Hall a few years ago, and first reports were that that’s where the shooting took place. We later learned that it was another building within that complex.  But when all this began, my friend was concerned for relatives of hers that worked there. I’m relieved for her that her family members weren’t among the victims.

My son, Marshall, was also texting me as he learned more about the number of fatalities and injuries. In the end, 12 people had died, and four now remain in critical condition. The suspect was also killed.

It was our area’s turn. Our turn for worldwide news footage of law enforcement personnel running into a building, and innocent civilians being rushed out with their hands on their heads. Our turn to see ambulances en-route to medical facilities. Our turn for solemn-faced city officials holding press conferences. Our turn for prayer vigils and memorials.

The city of Virginia Beach is about a 45 minute drive from us. “As the crow flies”, it’s perhaps 30 miles.  We have several friends who call Virginia Beach home.

But, when something like this happens in your home state, it’s almost as though it happens in your home TOWN.


We can’t begin to imagine the feelings of all those affected by this: the families, friends and co-workers of the victims,  the law enforcement officers involved, the paramedics, the city officials, the suspect’s family…..

After every horrible event like this,  we hear: “What can we do to stop things like this from happening?”.

Personally, I really don’t know that there’s anything that can be done to stop it.

I believe that task will take much ‘larger’ hands than ours.

~These Days Of Mine~