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Saturday, January 7, 2017

First Snow in the 'Noke' for 2017

Hello January.
YAAAAAAY... It snowed in the 'Noke'. That's Roanoke, Va
This is the first thing I saw when I woke this morning:

.....And briefly I became a child.

The first snowfall seemed peaceful and quiet.
It was magical.
...powdery, pure white, rosy cheeks, glistening, isolated...
It was a light snowfall, and enough to blanket the ground.
...A snow day, but not snowed in...
The first snowfall called for everyone to stand still, sit, ponder, watch.
Again, it was magical.
Not everyone, however, likes snow.
While some people look out their window in the morning at the new-fallen snow, and see a winter wonderland, others see freezing temperatures, travel problems and misery.
I love it.
But I also loooooove having the choice to be indoors when the temperatures tonight will plummet into the low teens.
Today I enjoyed seeing all/most/some of the photos on Instagram and Facebook,
I'm not sure Wyatt's fascination was with the snow, or if it was being able to climb like a monkey onto the ledge of the window sill.
Either of these options made this photo priceless!

Wyatt's first snowday! 

Landon and Katelyn were equally fascinated this morning, and couldn't wait to get dressed before having their breakfast/lunch served on their tongues!

They didn't stay in their pjs long. Snow angels for sure!

The 2 older "grands" weren't quite as uninhibited as the younger 3... or at least with the photos that they agreed to share! Thanks Ethan for sending these to me! And thanks Carson for your beautiful smile! These 2 cuties are always ON.THE.GO.

At day's end, fireside, flannel, fleecy, and frappuccino became my preferred choices!
Baby it's cold outside. Y'all stay warm.....and safe!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

The Christmas Cactus that's Not...

Photo taken with  macro lens

Don't ask me how, but we managed to preserve our Christmas Cactus for ONE MORE YEAR.
It was blooming on Christmas Day.
We have 2 plants.
One plant has already bloomed, and was quite luscious!

The remaining plant sits on the kitchen counter in front of the window.
Some of the blooms are fading fast, but there are 4-5 more little buds that are popping out.
Pointed Lobes on Stem Segment

Honestly, lack of care, made this plant become "only-the-strong-cactus-survive".
Maybe this year, I'll pay more attention to how these beauties actually survive!.
Here is a site for caring for a Christmas Cactus ---> CARE FOR A CHRISTMAS CACTUS.
The miniature buds develop quickly into this:

One of the frustrating things that happened after the flower buds developed was 'BUD DROP'.
HAHAHAHA.... like this!
Bud drop is usually caused by over-watering.

Here is another close up of the flowering cactus!

One more minor FACT...
This is not a Christmas Cactus!
It is a Thanksgiving Cactus.
The flattened stem segments of a Thanksgiving cactus have pointed lobes on the margins while the true Christmas cactus has rounded lobes.
The anthers, the pollen bearing structures in the flowers, are yellow in a Thanksgiving cactus and a PURPLE color in the Christmas cactus.
After reading the care instructions in the link above, I'll do my best to make these  Christmas Thanksgiving Cactus bloom at the correct time in 2017!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Welcome 2017... Use it, love it, or get rid of it.

If the last several days are any indication of one of my goals for this year, then I'm off and running and no one can stop me!

2017 items in 2017..... as in GET RID OF 2017 items in the year 2017.

Nourishing Minimalism is the link that was suggested by a social media friend.Thank you Lisa! It's one of the few sites that sparked an interest. I've already made a 2017 chart as suggested, and am flitting from room to room, as my mind races to fill my chart. If you join the challenge, there is a free decluttering chart! Each time you get rid of an item, you put an "x" on a square (or black it out)
A bit overwhelming? Not if you break the challenge down into 39 items a week, or 5-6 items each day. The rules are your own. If you have a stack of magazines to get rid of, you may count it as one item, or you can count each magazine as an item.

Ready for this?
GONE---->An old computer, a very large stack of papers in a cabinet, 10 magazines, a broken shredder, floral arrangement, metal floral container, 12 art magazines, 2 pot holder, 2 cookbooks, 5 magazines from the kitchen, 5 articles of clothing, 200 Facebook acquaintances, 2 pair shoes, 2 pair socks.
It's just STUFF.......... and STUFF that I DO NOT NEED.
This week I'm in my sewing/craft/laundry room.
Can I say how excited I am to have EMPTY cabinets?
I'm excited to have EMPTY CABINETS.

***The point here is not to FILL UP these empty cabinets with more junk.***
***The purpose of my decluttering extravaganza is to live with less STUFF.
***Specifically, this translates----> DON'T BUY MORE STUFF.

There are an abundance of decluttering guides and sites available
Four of my favorites are:
Courtney Carver BE MORE WITH LESS
Kim Carruthers LESS IS MORE and
Francine Jay THE JOY OF LESS
I stumbled across HIP DIGGS the other day. Wow! Dan Erickson, who is a moderate minimalist, posted 9 reasons to stop collecting stuff (check out his link!). His post made a impression on me!
If that didn't do it for you...........this one surely will!(it's a fabulous SNOW DAY Project!
EASY, FUN, QUICK...and no order! Cross them off as you toss them out!
200 Things to Throw Away
Still another important part of my declutter plan is to clear up and clean out  my mind. Do you ever feel like you need to reboot your mind? Yep, sometimes I feel like my mind is crammed full like this:

"The world of stresses and worries and errands and projects and noise that we must all endure inflicts upon us a mind full of clutter and chaos."
Happy 2017 to you.
Here's to decluttering your world and your mind.
Use it, love it, or get rid of it!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The Curvy Road Less Traveled

It was one of those days.
The sun was out.
The skies were blue.
And adventure was calling our names.
I had directions.... but, thank you very much...., google maps failed me..
Persistence, determination, several turn-arounds, and a patient driver (King Ron)...we made it!.
Perched on a finger ridge of Cahas Mountain is John Gabel's tower.

This is not Ireland, my friends, this is Wades Gap Road, in Boones Mill, Va.(Franklin County)
John and Ron viewing Roanoke's Wells Fargo in the far distance.

John, greeted us, and took us on a tour of his land, his "man cave", and the tower.
The views were magnificent.....a 360 degree view of the nearby mountains and valleys.
John is now a retired school teacher, and doodles daily on his property!
His "man cave" is uniquely built into the hillside!
Man cave... sure does take on a new meaning here!

Oh you should see the inside of this man-cave!

John was one gracious Franklin County guy!
He and Ron talked, and talked, and talked, and talked.

His eagerness to inform us about the process of building his tower was a joy to hear!
(Isn't it nice to hear about someone who gets excited about something! He has a passion, and he is passionate about his hobby!)
The tower is made of local creek rock.
SEVENTY-ONE STEPS.... the number of steps to the top of the tower (I counted them huff, huff).
A spiral staircase winds up to the top!

John is obviously an excellent woodcraft kinda guy. Check out the pegs in these steps!

John Gabel broke ground for the tower in 1993. 
The diameter of the tower is 18 feet and over 50 feet tall.
Did I say magnificent views?? OH MY!

looking at Cahas Mountain

Yep, this curvy road less traveled today, led to a day of being outdoors, walking in the woods,  seeing new things, and meeting new people! The road less traveled often takes us places that we wanted to go to in the first place.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

15 years ago today.

Reminiscing sweet memories of  Dad. You are missed

For those of you who knew him, Carl C. Hamilton,
please enjoy this tribute that
I wrote several years ago:
(click on highlight below to read)

Wednesday, November 23, 2016



Following are 3 gentle reminders:
Love comes when we are kind to each other, when we don't judge or categorize someone else, when we simply give each other the benefit of the doubt or remain quiet.
Love is accepting someone's differences, weaknesses, and shortcomings' having patience with someone who has let us down; or resisting the impulse to become offended when someone doesn't handle something the way we might have hoped.
Love is refusing to take advantage of another's weakness and being willing to forgive someone who has hurt us.

And as for ME
Now is the time for ME to be the one who nurtures and builds.
Now is the time for ME to be the one who has an understanding and forgiving heart.
Now is the time for ME to look for the best in people.
Now is the time for ME to leave people better than I found them.

Let us not forget the reason for the season, when the first turkeys arrived in the new world and founded this great land. 

Monday, November 14, 2016

A Super-Duper Sunday

Thanks Michael Kline for capturing the GROUP!. 

Today is the day.
November 14, 2016
The moon is 100% illuminated.
The moon is 363,313.18 km away.
It is 14 days old.
The moon will rise at 17:44 and set at 07:55 (Nov 15)
That's the facts. Here is what you should see:

For those that know me, you know I love looking at the moon.... and the stars.
It takes me away to a happy place. (and between me and you, we all need to find a happy place).
Yesterday (Sunday) was clear.
Our 'photog' group knew that today would be we seized the opportunity to capture the moon as close to 100% as possible! (and between me and you, we all need to seize more opportunities)
We met at the Roanoke Mountain Overlook.

Can I say how much I love this diverse group?
I LOVE YOU! (and between me and you, it would do us all some good to be a part of a happy group similar to this!)
We were given hand-outs.
I was familiar with the SUNNY 16 RULE.
The LOONEY 11 RULE was new to me. (and that is much different than LUNATIC, which still has to do with the moon----->NOT ME).
Here is comes.
Click! Boy, it got silent among-st this verbal group, when we saw that moon coming up over the mountain! (and yep, between me and you, it would do a world of good, if every now and then..... we became silent.)
The sun was shining behind us, thus the shadows near the mountains.

Oh what a breathtakingly beautiful site! Peace be still!

Thanks Tom Cerul, our leader for the evening! Fabulous photo 

And then my friend Stephen Humpleby from western Australia posted this.... oh my!

Twenty-three+ members of the EXPOSURE ROANOKE CAMERA CLUB attended this event.
Each of us submitted photos to share with the group.
Every photographer sees something different.... totally different.
King Ron and I can be standing next to each other, same camera, same lens, same tripod, focusing on the same thing, and end up with 2 different photos.... (ready for this one? Between me and you, no 2 people perceive the same thing, My way of seeing things is not the only way. And sometimes there is a better way. 

Some of us had never done composites before.

To add a little humor, I found this today on fb. hahahahaha.
Now this is worth trying, so beware of my future composite photos!
Steven Shires of Lexington, Va 

Yes, it was a Super-Duper Sunday, but today is Monday, and the clouds came rolling in for the super moon tonight.
(And between me and you WE GET WHAT WE GET SO DONT THROW A FIT....lessons from preschool)
Oh wait......There's more!!!!!
Here is an 'add-on'.... It is now Tuesday morning.
Ahhhh..... delighted to wake up and be able to take the Super-Duper Super Moon as she was saying good bye. The sun was coming up and the moon was setting.
100% illuminated

(100%........hummmmm...... between me and you, we should always give 100%)