Category Archives: Family

Our Destination

Motor Man and I celebrated our anniversary in…… Snowshoe, West Virginia.  Most folks go there to ski or snowboard; we went there for a sleigh ride. That’s the way we’ve celebrated our anniversary several times in the past.

When we arrived at the stables, this was one of the first sights to greet us. Just look at that snowy muzzle.

You just know I was enjoying this scenery.

You may remember that I’m a fan of April, the giraffe. One of her little quirks is throwing hay over her back. We call it “April showers” or “hay showers”. Some of that hay usually ends up on her head.  I was immediately reminded of that when I spotted this sweetie.

And this is Flash, the gorgeous guy who pulled our vintage (1878) sleigh.

Flash is a 12-year old Friesian/Morgan mix.

And our driver was Skip, who, along with his wife, Peggy, owns Autumn Breeze Stables at Snowshoe.

The weather was probably the nicest we’ve had for any of our sleigh rides so far: 30 degrees and beautiful sunshine.

Such a fun experience. It’s obvious that Flash loves his job.

If you are on Facebook and would like to see Flash “kicking up his heels”, visit the Autumn Breeze Stables at Snowshoe’s page and check their video. It’s really fun to watch.

Oh, and here’s a short video from our sleigh ride. (There is sound. Skip is referring to a man-made lake on the left, the water from which is used to make snow for one of the ski areas.)


Thanks, Motor Man (and Autumn Breeze Stables) for a fun anniversary celebration.

~These Days Of Mine~





Celebrating Seventeen

Tomorrow, Motor Man and I celebrate our seventeenth wedding anniversary. Today, I’m sharing a post from a couple of years ago. Those of you new to the blog may enjoy reading about our special day. (And for my long-time readers, I hope you’ll oblige me the rerun.)

Our wedding took place on 02/02/02.  Motor Man had proposed in November, 2001, and we immediately began looking at possible wedding dates after the first of the new year. When I told him that the date of the first Saturday in February would be 02/02/02, that clinched it. He knew he’d never forget his anniversary.

We were thrilled to be given permission to marry at historic Bacon’s Castle, a local landmark to which my family has strong ties. (If you’re new to the blog and would like to read more, type Bacon’s Castle in the search to read previous posts.)

The officiant at our wedding was a pastor who was (and is) the chaplain at our local race track. On the afternoon of our wedding, everything was in place for our 2:00 ceremony, but as of about 1:45, the pastor still had not arrived. Motor Man was pacing that well-worn floor,  and the ladies who were helping me were getting very antsy. One even commented: “It only takes three people to have a wedding, and one of them is not here!”.  The pastor arrived a few minutes to two with just enough time to have his boutonniere pinned on by some very perturbed anxious ladies. Then he and Motor Man went to wait for me at the front of the room where we were to take our vows. We decided to start the ceremony at 2:02…..02/02/02 at 2:02.

Marshall escorted me “down the aisle” to Martina McBride’s rendition of “My Valentine”.

Motor Man and I chose not to have attendants. My late sister, June, was seated on the front row and held my bouquet while Motor Man and I exchanged rings.

Prior to the ceremony, Motor Man placed my wedding ring on his pinkie for safe- keeping. His brother-in-law, Mike, took this picture as our wedding began.

Although we had a professional photographer, we were somewhat disappointed in our photos. We particularly wanted a picture of us taken outside in front of the Castle. But, as you can see, this wasn’t exactly what we had in mind.

Our friends and family took many pictures following the ceremony and at our reception. This one, taken by our friend, Linda, is one of our favorites.

Happy Seventeenth, Motor Man. I look forward to celebrating with you this weekend.

~These Days Of Mine~



Opposite, Spouse’s And Chocolate Cake

By now, I’m guessing that you’re all depending on me to let you know what today’s “celebration” is. (See my posts from Monday and Wednesday of this week.)

Today is National Opposite Day. I’m not sure what that means or how we are to celebrate. Perhaps we could try writing with our non-dominate hand? That should prove interesting.

BUT, tomorrow is……National Spouse’s Day. And that is definitely worth celebrating.

So, here’s to MY spouse, my hubby, my Motor Man, who makes me smile every day.

Oh, and Sunday is Chocolate Cake Day.  We just may be celebrating that one, too.

Enjoy your weekend: celebrate!

~These Days Of Mine~


(Hand)writing On The Wall

One of my Christmas gifts (to myself) was a small desk calendar featuring each day’s celebration, as in: “National Day Of…” And I think it may provide me with some blog post topics throughout the year.

(You may recall that I posted Monday about Squirrel Appreciation Day. I’m hoping you all celebrated the day in a proper fashion.)

Today is National Handwriting Day.

As I thought about today’s post, it occurred to me how unimportant handwriting is now as opposed to just a few years ago. We used to write notes, cards and letters to friends, family and acquaintances; now most of us correspond by e-mail. For many of us, gone are the days that we make grocery lists or reminders to ourselves; now we just put a note in our phone.

Some school systems have even stopped teaching cursive.  I remember being so anxious to learn cursive in….second grade, I think?

As I planned this post, I began looking for some handwritten notes from years ago and found these to share. The first is my dear sweet mother’s attempt at poetry. I don’t really know when she wrote this, but I think it was when I was a young girl. Notice my mom said that they went to school “some time”. Mom grew up in a different era, when your schooling was complete around ninth grade. She also mentions her sisters and brothers and that she had quite a few (eleven, to be exact.)

I also found this note from my Mom’s sister, Lucille. The eldest sibling was Mattie, then Lucille, then Mom.  Although they lived locally, Mattie and Lucille enjoyed keeping in touch with family members through notes and letters.

This was a note to Marshall’s dad and me from Aunt Lucille. It was written soon after Marshall had minor surgery. I’m not sure about her segue into what she may have been able to do at age 4 1/2. (* see below)  That was Marshall’s age at the time, so I’m guessing that caused her to think about her life when she was a little girl. But I find it so interesting to read.

As I shared above, Aunt Lucille was the second eldest of the twelve. I think it’s sweet, and also a little sad, to read that she remembered wishing she could sit on her Mom’s lap and be rocked. And I love that Grandma sang to all the little ones.

** I stumbled upon another note from Aunt Lucille; this one written just a few days prior to the one I shared above. This part explains why she mentioned what she could do at age 4 1/2. I believe this came about because Marshall had written his name on a note to her.

All this thinking about handwriting has given me an idea: I think I’ll challenge myself to write one letter each week.  (And Motor Man, I know what you’re thinking: “when is she going to find time to do that?”)

Could I interest anyone else in joining me in this challenge? Hmmmm…is stationery still sold in stores? Perhaps we can find some vintage writing paper on E-bay.  Remember scented stationery?  Seems that was always a popular gift amongst the older ladies at church.

Who’s in?

~These Days Of Mine~





Appreciating The “Troublemakers”

I have a public service announcement:

Today is… (drum roll)  Squirrel Appreciation Day.  Who knew?

I can’t say that I have ever actually “appreciated” squirrels.  Mostly, they annoy me by clearing out our bird feeders in record time. But, I must admit, there have been times that squirrels have been rather entertaining.

So in honor of this special day, I thought I’d share a few of the amusing photos I’ve taken over the years of “our” squirrels.

Must be a mommy-to-be squirrel, gathering material (from my flower planter) for her nest.

I have yet to find a feeder that’s any match for a hungry squirrel. And, seriously: aren’t they ALWAYS hungry?

Do you think that bird bath is large enough to satisfy your thirst?

Obtaining food is apparently good squirrel exercise.  S-t-r-e-t-c-h.

And, how can you not just laugh at this? It’s free entertainment from our kitchen window.

Aw, how sweet; all curled up for a nap.  Must have finally gotten a tummy full at the bird feeders.

So, even though I can’t say that I appreciate them, the bird squirrel feeders are full and waiting.

Are you celebrating??

~These Days Of Mine~






Sibyl To The Rescue

Marshall’s kitty, Sibyl, heard that I was in a blogging slump.

So she came to my rescue by having Marshall send these adorable pictures.

Playing peek-a-boo, hiding one eye with a paw.

Ah….what a life.

Marshall’s bed is her favorite place to relax.

“I’m ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille, Marshall.

But, even a diva has an occasional less-than-flattering shot.

Keep on being cute, Sibbie.  And thanks, Marshall, for the blog material.


~These Days Of Mine~

Christmas Surprises Finale

Although this will be the last post regarding Christmas gifts (I think), the season brought so many thoughtful surprises from family and friends, this series could have continued for quite a while.

As I mentioned earlier, my niece, Donna, and her son, Ray, spent Christmas with us this year for the first time. Last summer, the two of them had traveled to England and Scotland, and they brought back some special gifts for me.

Our genealogy has been traced back to England on my maternal side (Warren) and Scotland on my paternal side (McGuriman). Donna and I are both very interested in our family history, so she was, understandably, excited about her trip.

One of my gifts from them was a cashmere scarf in our family’s tartan from Scotland.

Also, a pin, officially known as a clan crest badge.

During her visit to England, Donna learned that two of our Warren descendants from the early 1500’s and 1600’s, are buried beneath St. Mary the Virgin church in Ripple, County Kent, England. The church isn’t open every day, and an appointment is needed for admittance. Because Donna didn’t know this in advance, they weren’t able to see the interior. But she brought this stone to me from the foundation of the original church.

Here’s more info she shared in an email to me:

Inside 2 Warrens are buried “Monuments: 1663 2 reset wooden plaques on nave south wall bear brass inscriptions and shields to Thomas Warren, d.1591 and William Warren d.1612, both ‘chief customers’ of various Cinque Ports.”
The current church (1800’s) was rebuilt on the foundations of the older church. You have a piece of the foundation. The Warrens lived in Dover until late into Elizabeth 1st reign, in the late 1500’s, early 1600’s, they moved to Ripple, which is where Ripple Court or Ripple Manor was located.

The day after Christmas, Donna, Ray and I visited Colonial Williamsburg. Thankfully, the weather was cool that day, because I was determined to wear my tartan scarf.

Thanks, again, Donna and Ray; you know how much your gifts mean to me. (Especially since I don’t know that I’ll ever be brave enough to fly across “the big pond”.)

~These Days Of Mine~