Category Archives: Family

Random Five Friday

How about a little randomness?

1.) Last weekend, Marshall attended a “Monster Mania” movie convention.  I’ve mentioned before that he likes to go to those and meet some of the stars he sees in movies. You may recall that I posted a couple of years ago about him meeting Robert England,  who played Freddy Kruger in the Nightmare On Elm Street movies. Last weekend, he met Christini Ricci, “Wednesday” in some of the Addams Family movies. (Just between us, he had a crush on her in the 90’s.)

He’s also a big fan of the Soska twins. Sylvia and Jen. Last weekend, he participated in a “bloody photo op” with them. The Soskas began the bloody photo ops to bring emphasis to their work involving blood donation, definitely a worthy cause. I told him later that he was the happiest looking bloody man I’d ever seen. (Not sure if you can enlarge the picture, but he has “blood” all over his face.)

2.) Yesterday morning’s sunrise, taken with my cell phone.  When I posted this on Facebook, my friend, Donna’s comment was: “Tangerine delight!”.

3.) Yesterday was Sundae’s “gotcha day”. She adopted us 8 years ago.  She’s feeling better, but still is not making it easy for us to give her the meds. At least she isn’t holding a grudge.

4.) You’ve probably heard that April, the giraffe, is expecting another calf any day now. Yes, I’m a fan, and have been watching the live cam quite a bit, hoping to see the birth as it happens. We’ve been to visit April twice at her home at Animal Adventure Park in New York and are planning another trip this summer.

5.) Some of my former classmates from school are meeting tomorrow for lunch to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.  We’ve dubbed our group “The Surry Girls”, and we have our greenery all ready. Will you be wearing green this weekend?

~These Days Of Mine~

 

 

 

 

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Forgiving

My Facebook friends know that our kitty, Sundae, paid a visit to the vet last week. Sundae had been experiencing some tummy issues, so last Friday, it was off to the doc.

Motor Man offered to go with us, but he’s up to his eyeballs in race engines (first race is a little over two weeks away), so I assured him that we would be fine.

Our previous kitty, Beezy, was such a gentle soul, when it came time to put her in the carrier, a tiny, encouraging shove was all that was needed.  Not so with Miss Sundae.  I have to put the carrier on its end and attempt to “drop” her in – feet first. It’s at that time that she seems to quickly grow ten extra hind legs, all going in different directions.

After about a half dozen tries, she was safely in the carrier and began to sing the song of her people.

When we arrived at the vet’s office, there were two huge dogs in the waiting area singing the song of THEIR people. At that point, Sundae decided to remain silent.  And, as upset as she was with me earlier, she nuzzled my hand through the door of the carrier while we waited. That’s forgiveness.

In the examining room, Sundae was as good as could be. We were left alone for a few minutes to await test results. So, we did what most folks do in those situations: we took selfies.

I stood close to the examining table and cradled her in my arms. And she never whimpered.

The vet’s diagnosis was a bacterial infection, and we were given a prescription for liquid meds.

Now, if we only had a video of Motor Man and me actually trying to get those meds IN Sundae:  that would be interesting indeed. Two words: tag team.

And, as upset as she is when that takes place, a few minutes later, she comes back to us to be loved.

That’s forgiveness.

~These Days Of Mine~

 

 

 

Just Because

My niece, Barb, and I are friends on Facebook, so we usually message each other at least a couple of times a week. We also meet every other week for lunch and to catch up in person with what’s going on in each other’s lives.

We exchange gifts for Christmas and our birthdays. And, every once in a while, there’s a little “for no reason” gift, just because.

You may recall my interest in April, the giraffe, beginning two years ago. April lives at Animal Adventure Park in New York, and became known worldwide when she was about to give birth. I was among the 1.2 MILLION watching when her calf was born on April 15, 2017. When Barb and I met for lunch a couple of weeks later, she gave me this tiny stuffed giraffe, which she ordered from Animal Adventure Park .

Last week, when we met, Barb gave me another one of those “little” gifts: a photo book she’d had printed of some of her favorite pictures that I’ve shared on Facebook. On the cover: the title “All You Need Is Love” and a picture of my Motor Man.

Among the pages in the book: celebrating Motor Man’s birthday.

My two favorite guys in the whole world and one very spoiled cat.

Our other very spoiled cat…and Motor Man and me sharing a silly moment .

And, to close out the book, one of my favorite pics of us, taken by our friend, Donna.

Thanks, Barb; I treasure this “little” gift from you and look forward to our lunch and visit next week.

“A gift consists not in what is done or given, but in the intention of the giver….”    ~Seneca

~These Days Of Mine~

 

 

How Our Kitties Are “Surviving” Winter

You may have been wondering just how the Motor Kitties are doing.

Well, Gypsy continues to adore “her” Motor Man. I just wish she could relax a little. And, no, he wasn’t asleep, just taking a short break from making horsepower.

Sundae is very thankful to be an indoor kitty with a nice soft, cushy bed, which just happens to be placed directly over a heat vent.

And, as for Sibs, Marshall’s kitty, could she possibly BE any cuter if she tried? Speaking of warm, cushy spots: her favorite is on a sherpa throw.

When Marshall sent me the next picture, his text read: “Gonna email Kellogg’s…somethn rotten in this most recent box…”.

So that’s how our kitties are staying occupied during this cold, rainy weather.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all kitties (and pups) could be safe and warm in loving homes?

~These Days Of Mine~

 

 

Old News

A couple of years ago, I became aware of the fact that old (1928-2013) issues of our local weekly newspaper, The Smithfield Times, are now available on the Library of Virginia’s ‘Virginia Chronicle’ digital newspaper site.

It is easy to become so caught up in that site that you lose track of time.  Last week, I was preparing my upcoming “talk” for the Valentine event at Bacon’s Castle, so many of my thoughts were about my Mom and her family. I decided that it would be fun to search for articles about them, so I typed in her maiden name, “Ellis”.

There is an option to define the dates for your search, so I selected the 1920’s through the 1940’s.

I was not disappointed in my findings. The earliest result referenced an injury to my Mom’s youngest brother, Stanley. I don’t ever recall hearing of this accident, which occurred while the family was living at Bacon’s Castle.

The date on this news item was March 30, 1933. Family records show that he would have been ten years old. Sadly, there are now no family members to ask for the “rest of the story”.

It was fun to find this mention of my Uncle Andrew and Aunt Virginia’s wedding. Andrew was the eldest of my mom’s brothers. The date on this was January 1, 1935. Remember when the wedding announcement always included what the bride wore?  I’ll have to research what a “swagger suit” is.

This next entry made me smile. The date was September 5, 1935, and this was my granddad, Ben. Again, this occurred at Bacon’s Castle farm.

This next article also made me smile.  The date on this one is September 12, 1935. Bennie was also my mom’s brother, Sarah was her youngest sister, and Allie was my dad’s brother. The church they became members of is in my hometown and the one I attended for many years.

Mom’s brother, Bob, had a bit of bad luck in 1936 with his “Lizzie”.

This article almost brought me to tears, although I knew that he had been a prisoner of war. The date was December 13, 1944.

When I discovered that article, I immediately remembered this old family photo of my grandmother with Bennie (on the right) and Stanley.  I was always told that this was taken the day before Bennie reported for duty for World War II. The worry and sadness that she must have been feeling is so evident on her face.

But, imagine the family’s joy at getting THIS news. The date of the article is January 17, 1945.

I, for one, am thankful that so many newspaper articles are available for searching at no charge. Click here to visit the Virginia Chronicle site.  If you’re a Virginian, perhaps old issues of your local paper are available online. But, beware: searching old news is very habit-forming.

~These Days Of Mine~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Romance At The Castle 2019

You may recall that, a couple of years ago, I was asked to participate in a Valentine event at Bacon’s Castle. It was, appropriately enough, called Romance At The Castle. I shared a video here on the blog that Motor Man made that day of the little “talk” I gave regarding my family’s connection to the house.

The event wasn’t held in 2018, but returned this year (last Sunday), and once again, I was asked to share my story.

Although I had done this two years ago (and had given tours at the Castle many years ago), I had a bit of stage fright leading up to Sunday’s event. My friend, Donna, was aware of this and, earlier that afternoon, sent this sweet, encouraging text:

“Thinking about you.  Know you are going to be beautiful (always are), well spoken (check), interesting (well, you pretty much know it forward and backwards and have the inside story!) and have the perfect wing man for support. Sounds like a fun day in one of your favorite places on earth! Have a great day sharing the joy that is Bacon’s Castle.”

Whenever Motor Man my wing man and I are at Bacon’s Castle, we always have our photo taken in front of the fireplace where we said our vows in 2002.

Yes, I suppose we’ve changed just a little through the years….

Once again this year, Motor Man filmed my part of Romance At The Castle.  Afterwards, guests enjoyed a wine/food pairing and a tour of the house. There were three tours for the event, and many of those who attended had never before visited the “Castle”.

For those of you who saw my Romance At The Castle video two years ago, you have my permission to skip this one: it’s nearly identical to the first one. (After all: same person, same location, and the material doesn’t really change.) You should be able to enlarge the video to see it better should you decide to watch.

 

As I said in the video, it was an honor to add this Romance At The Castle event to my list of Bacon’s Castle experiences. Oh, and the stage fright was, thankfully, short-lived.

~These Days Of Mine~

Random Five Friday

How about five randoms to close out this first week of February?

1.) I captured this picture of a recent sunset….through Motor Man’s car window, at probably 55 miles per hour. It’s surprising that I was able to get a photo with no utility poles.

2.) Marshall sent me this picture yesterday of his sweet little Sibs, eyeing a cardinal through the window.

3.) And our Sundae, perched on the steps. I don’t recall what had her attention at the moment.

4.) A few weeks ago, I visited my cousin, Betty, who lives within a couple of miles of us.  As I was leaving, her beautiful horses were enjoying a run in the pasture.  I love how the afternoon sun lit up their manes and tails.

 

5.)  I’ve been asked to take part in an event this weekend at my beloved Bacon’s Castle.  Perhaps I’ll have a post about it next week. I always look forward to visiting that old house.

What are your random thoughts today?

~These Days Of Mine~