Category Archives: Traveling Days

…Like A Horse And Carriage

As I mentioned in Wednesday’s post, Motor Man and I took a trip to Indianapolis last week for a racing industry show. We broke up the trip there by staying overnight in Louisville.

And guess what?  We found a horse and carriage ride.  Meet Jacques:

Jacques was probably the most spirited horse we’ve ever had on a carriage ride. When we stopped at a red light, he would bring both feet up (slightly) off the ground, because he was so anxious to GO. And he whinnied several times. Our driver, Jim, said that Jacques’ brother also “works” for that carriage company, and when Jacques whinnied, he was calling his brother.

Because of Jacques’ enthusiasm, Jim was hesitant to step down from the carriage to take our picture at the end of our ride. So Motor Man and I just took pictures of each other with Jacques. (Not really Motor Man’s kind of horsepower, but….)

I think Jacques liked me.

In the Monument Circle area of Indianapolis, horses and carriages are lined up every evening, waiting on folks like us who’d like to ride. Our horse in Indy was Doc, who has a perfect heart on his forehead.

Our driver was Mikki, and since Doc was a bit more laid back than Jacques, she was able to take pictures of us.

I have yet another new friend.

Motor Man has his horsepower, and I have mine.  I love going to races with him, and he……goes horse and carriage riding with me.

(Actually, it was his idea to go carriage riding, because he knows how much I like it. What a guy.)

~These Days Of Mine~





A Very Special Meeting

Many of you will remember my previous mentions here of a young man named Matthew. A quick refresher: my late sister, June, was a member of an online knitting forum and became fond of many of the others in the group, one of those being a sweet lady named Mary.  Matthew is Mary’s son.  He is an amazing artist and a few years ago, asked permission to sketch from my photos that June shared through my blog and my Facebook page.  Oh, and Matthew is autistic.

Mary and I became Facebook friends through June, and Mary learned that Motor Man and I usually attend a yearly racing industry trade show in Indianapolis. She asked that I let her know the next time we planned to be in that area, and she would drive there so we could meet.

That happened last Thursday on a cold, windy, snowy morning.  We met at Connor Prairie, a settlement museum just outside of Indy.  My first thought was of June and how pleased she would be that we actually met in person. In fact, silly me was a little teary-eyed.

Matthew brought a couple of his framed sketches to show me, because snapshots just don’t do them justice. This is a sketch based on one of my wild horse photos.

Mary had previously given me a few pointers on interacting with Matthew, since I don’t know anyone affected by autism. She asked me to convey to you that Matthew’s lack of a smile doesn’t mean that he isn’t happy.

We exchanged gifts. I took Matthew a painted rock (a horse), some treasures that I found while beach combing and some cotton from a field, since I knew that wasn’t a crop grown in his home state of Michigan. (Not a flattering pic of me, but I love the candidness of us talking about the cotton.)

Matthew gave me my choice of a beautiful ceramic shark or a pottery bowl, both of which he had made. I liked them both, and chose the bowl.  Mary brought me several things. One is a sweet handpainted (by a friend of hers) magnet with a scene of the sunrise by the ocean. It was in that beautiful origami box that Mary made. There was also a cute little mouse ornament, an assortment of dish towels and a hand knitted (by Mary) hanger to attach them to a cabinet or oven door.  The light blue square object under the towel is a hand-knitted “scrubby” for dishes. I didn’t realize that there’s now a special yarn to make scrubbies.

The three of us enjoyed walking through the museum, although the outdoor activities were closed for the season.

And we had a little fun in the gift shop. No, I didn’t buy the hat, but those warm cranberry-colored mittens were impossible to resist, and I added that Connor Prairie mug to my collection.

We posed for pictures in the beautifully decorated lobby before enjoying lunch at a nearby restaurant.   Then Mary graciously offered to drive me back to the hotel in downtown Indy, saving me cab fare.

Oh, and by the way, Mary drove over three hours each way from their home just to make this meeting happen. I am so humbled that she and Matthew went to that extreme.  And I know June was smiling the entire time.

And, just a little coincidence: tomorrow would be June’s birthday.

~These Days Of Mine~



Busy Weekend

‘Tis the season….for busy weekends.

Saturday, we met friends for lunch at the Jefferson Hotel in Richmond.  The Jefferson, built in 1895, is beautifully decorated for the holidays.  The folks you see in this picture were attending a private gathering to meet Santa and Mrs. Claus.

The five of us posed on the balcony overlooking the tree. (Motor Man jokes about him being in the company of four women…)

And, of course, Motor Man and I had a picture taken of the two of us.

Each year, the Jefferson pastry chefs and their elves create a gingerbread masterpiece. This year it was a “Flying Santa” in his airplane, made from over 200 pounds of gingerbread and various icings and candies. (I wonder how many hours of work? The posted sign didn’t say.)

Also this weekend, our little town celebrated Christmas in Smithfield.  The weekend included an antique show and carriage rides, featuring Roxanne the horse. Motor Man knows how I am about horses, so if there’s a carriage ride available, we’re  usually there.

And so begins the busy month of December. It’s off to a good start!

~These Days Of Mine~



Random Five Friday

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a RFF, so I thought I’d start off the month of December with some random thoughts.

1.) For Mother’s Day, 2011, Marshall gave me this pretty potted mum.

It has definitely “gone forth and multiplied”.

2.) For the past couple of years, my friend, Donna, self-proclaimed “bird nerd”, has inspired me to feed our feathered friends. It IS fun to glance out the window and see them fluttering around the feeders.  Oh, and the snowman feeders was  a Christmas gift from Donna a few years go.

3.) We aren’t sure what the commercial fishermen were “harvesting” in our nearby James River, but Motor Man nor I had ever seen so many work boats as we did earlier this week.

It was difficult to get a good picture (we need a helicopter). This doesn’t really show the extent of the boats, they were upriver as far as we could see.

4.) Early morning is such a pretty time of day. I had to make a u-turn to go back for this fog-on-the-water shot.

5.) I’m sure if you were following my blog earlier this year, you know that I’m a fan of April, the giraffe.  Now, I’m not usually one to wear novelty clothing, but I saw this top recently and just couldn’t resist. Sweet April putting the star on top of her tree.

Enjoy your weekend!

~These Days Of Mine~

Best Escape

Although Motor Man and I have been to the Carova 4-wheel drive area of the Outer Banks when the weather wasn’t perfect, we usually try to plan our trips for pretty days.

Our most recent visit certainly qualified.

I’ve mentioned before that the ideal place to see the horses is by the ocean. Second best is on the dunes.

Horses, dunes and sand fences make for an interesting photo.

This beauty was strolling down one of the “streets”.   The horses have really started growing their woolly winter coats.

Lunch time.  I think I’ll have a side of shrubbery.

This next picture was my favorite of the day. It was taken from inside our vehicle (Motor Man lowered his window) with my zoom lens.

Folks visit the beach for various reason: to swim, fish, sunbathe, look for seashells.  Obviously, Motor Man and I have an entirely different reason for our trips, but my favorite acronym certainly applies to us:

BEACH: Best Escape Anyone Could Have.

~These Days Of Mine~


Things Aren’t Always What They Seem

Today, I’m sharing something that I think is pretty amazing.

Last week, my friend, Sindee, posted this photo on her Facebook page with the caption: “Saw this beautiful watercolor on Friday. Notice the stairs and the sun shining.”

When I shared the picture with Marshall, he texted in return: “I see a meadow, with an old stone stair climbing up the left, flowers in the foreground, with a very clear sky above.  Very, very odd.  Perhaps even a little pond at the base of the stairs.”

A few minutes after the first post, Sindee shared THIS picture, with the caption: “OK, maybe it was just my imagination. Nature’s watercolor!  A piling at the JRB (James River Bridge)”. Sindee and her husband had been out in their boat enjoying an unseasonably warm November day.

I find it fascinating that, first of all, there is such beauty to be found on pilings….simply markings created by the endless rising and falling of the tide.  And secondly, I’m thankful that Sindee realized that beauty and captured it in pictures. (And allowed me to share with you.)

Marshall noticed a similar landscape on the piling in the background and thought it would be fun to create a little book with the photos.  At the end of the book, the source of the pictures would be revealed. Sindee said her husband had the same thought.

Sindee’s photo is a wonderful reminder to look for magic in even the most unsuspecting places.

~These Days Of Mine~



Purrfect Furiends

Seven years ago in September, I began blogging. Shortly after that, I “met” (online) another blogger, Pam, who co-wrote her blog, One Spoiled Cat, with her ginger kitty, Sammy.

Pam and I became fast friends and began emailing each other every day. She and her husband, Dave, live about three hours from us.  Motor Man and I have met them several times for lunch and antiquing, they visited and stayed overnight in our little town several years ago, and last summer, we gave them a quick tour of the Outer Banks, including a visit to “my” wild horses.

Sadly, Sammy passed over Rainbow Bridge last December. Pam continued to write her blog, keeping Sammy’s memory alive.  When she and Dave were ready, Angel Sammy “arranged” for them to be adopted by a new ginger kitty, whom they named Teddy. And now, the title of her blog is Two Spoiled Cats: Sammy and Teddy are co-authors.

Although emailing is a wonderful means of keeping in touch, sometimes you just need to see each other in person….and share a hug. So yesterday, my Motor Man drove three hours each way so that we could visit Pam and Dave. AND…..I could meet their new kitty, Teddy.

And what a love bug he is.

Sammy was always very shy, so we never had a chance to meet him.  But Teddy certainly isn’t shy and  greeted us soon after we arrived.

I LOVE this picture of Pam, but I hate that Teddy’s eyes reflected in the camera’s flash.

We forced ourselves to leave Teddy long enough to go have a yummy lunch with Dave and Pam in downtown Warrenton.

Afterward, we toured the Fauquier County museum at the old jail, portions of which were built in 1808. It’s reportedly haunted, and although I can’t attest to that, it is….spooky.

We then returned to Pam and Dave’s for more Teddy time. (Note the red laser dot between his paws.)

I am so thankful for the friendship Pam and I share, and that our husbands enjoy each other’s company.

We’re already looking forward to our next get-together.  Hopefully SOON.

~These Days Of Mine~