Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A kind of hush....

It is the time of night when a hush begin to fall over the house and things become quiet. The time of the night when I might sigh and take a deep breath. When I smile over my sleeping household and think about our blessings.

My children finished the school year today. My fifth grader had her graduation ceremony. Father's Day is fast approaching. The outings and events that go along with the end of school are complete. We have begun working on our "bucket list" for the summer. For now, I can just enjoy a few minutes of the hush that falls over my sleeping family. 

Friday, June 8, 2012

Eeek! Mouse in the House!

Tia and her sense of humor
 Each time they cut the grass in the field behind my house field mice move their residences over into my yard. It is part of the price we pay for having a nice large open field behind our house. Tia, pictured above, has tasked herself with hunting and monitoring this mouse population to the point of obsession. Out in the yard she is constantly showing me where they are and flushing them out from their hiding spots. Often she is hampered by the fact that she is fenced inside our dog yard and they are right outside her reach. She signals me by wagging her tail furiously while she keeps nose pointed at the exact spot. From experience I know that walking in that area or moving anything lying there will produce a number of mice running in all directions. She will be delighted and I will be shivering and stepping away quite quickly. Yes, I can not stand the little buggers.

Mouse hunt in the yard

Ready for a track
 On rare occasions they get into the house. The other day was one such time. Tia indicated that a mouse had somehow gotten into the heater in the living room. That happens to be about five feet or less from where I am sitting right now. She was determined and focused and so was I. She has tracked and hunted for a day and a half. This morning I observed her hunting success! Out ran the mouse from another heater across the room. Tia dispatched him quickly. That quick it was over. No muss and no fuss. I rather like her method. Much as I already love her I do believe she has endeared herself to me even more. Thank you, Tia.
Doing tricks with the kids

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


I feel it only fair to warn you that I have developed a phobia over the past several months. I have not only developed the phobia but am embracing it and even encouraging it in myself and my family. I have developed a fear of meat. I would not go so far as to say that I have gone vegetarian. Let us not get crazy!

Even though I stumbled upon the information concerning factory farming and the health implications some fifteen years ago, I consider that I lived in denial over all those years. It has only been in facing the consequences of my own health decisions and in teaching my children about health that I have begun to realize that we do not have the luxury of sticking our heads in the sand and pretending that all will be well. I do not need hundreds of pages of scientific study laid out before me to be able to determine that injecting animals intended for food full of antibiotics, hormones, and vaccines is not good for the product that ends up on our tables. Nor do I need someone to tell me that animals kept in confinement areas so small that they begin to kill and eat one another cannot possibly be at optimum health. Frankly, I do not care what acceptable agriculture practice is in place. If that practice does not meet the sniff test when it comes to good animal husbandry then it is, in my humble opinion, not a sound agricultural practice. For the record, in addition to not having become a vegetarian I have also not become a member of PETA or any crazy animal rights activist group.

I digress. Lost weight. That is what we have gained from the phobia. My husband has lost twenty five pounds. I have lost twelve.......without trying. At forty-seven any weight I can lose without trying is sheer perfection!

Appomattox Manor

This is Appomattox Manor located at City Point in Hopewell. The history is quite interesting to me but more than the official story on any of the locations we visit is an interest in the people. Perhaps I have seen too many Hollywood movies but each time I walk on the grounds of such a place I step back in time as if I had entered a time machine.

I can imagine approaching the house at night. Of course, back then, the trees would not have been so big so that you could have seen the gleaming lights from the house. Lantern beaming bright and welcoming and gate open wide. Somehow that seems like home to me.

On the right side of the house is a wide porch. Perhaps this is the entrance family used. From this porch there is a beautiful view of the river.

The front of the house is beautiful with an air of dignity and welcome.

Lately I've added digital photography to my ever growing list of hobbies. It keeps me off the streets and, at my age, that is a very good thing. Seriously, it all began because I absolutely detested the awful pictures I took of my kids and dogs. Social media has made it necessary to take at least a decent picture every now and again without causing oneself undue embarrassment.

I've set out to various locations around the area that I live in to take pictures but this is one that is particularly special to me. The homes are the High Street row houses set in the historic district of Petersburg. Although it has been many years ago, four generations of my family lived in number 217.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

I am consistently inconsistent. As Julia Roberts said in Pretty Woman: "I am a fly by the seat of my pants kinda gal." Sorta.

Gardening has been on the brain. I obsess until I get the plants and seeds into the ground and then cannot wait until I began to see the fruits (or veggies in this case) of my efforts. I have been taking pictures on piling on the straw mulch. The pictures remind me of how far we have already come and the straw mulch makes sure that I don't kill myself weeding this year. I like to garden. I do not like to weed. There is no rule that says you have to like every part about any hobby that you have so don't judge me.