Follow me on

Follow me on:

Twitter spacer Facebook spacer Instagram spacer Google+ spacer Pinterest spacer Blogger

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Retired, but not Expired....Another Hike!

February 17, 2017
Read Mountain Preserve
6101 Crumpacker Dr.
Roanoke, VA 24012
If ever there was a more peaceful place, so close to home, beautiful, with well maintained hiking trails, READ MOUNTAIN PRESERVE (Buzzards Rock) would be a hard act to follow!
(all photos in this blog were taken with my iphone)
(McAfee Knob is the peak on the right).

What we thought was going to be an "easy 3.9 mile hike", turned into a steep, fairly strenuous, 'moderate-hard' almost straight-up climb. We packed light, since we thought it would take a mere few hours. HA.
The skies were clear, blue, and the air was invigorating.

Mother nature was showing us some of her best ground work.

The trails were very well maintained, and included several areas with steps for us 'retired, but not expired' folks. The trail was marked with Carolina blue trail blazes on the trees.

We were in no hurry to race to the top, and took advantage of rocks that cried out to us; "STOP HERE AND SIT".

Sections of this hike were more narrow than what we expected. This caused us to concentrate on watching WHERE we were stepping, instead of looking at the view. Thanks goodness for the signs that said VIEW, or we would have missed one of the vistas!

Did I mention rocks, and boulders?
We crested the mountain's spine to Buzzards Rock.

The area is also known for its buzzards, thus the name BUZZARDS ROCK .
For at least 1/2 hour, we were sprawled out looking up in the sky as these buzzards zoomed by!
Oh to be able to fly like the birds!

So ends another adventurous day.
We are retired, but not expired!
But for today, it's Advil, coffee, and foot rubs.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Hiking Carvin's Cove/Hay Rock Trail

Saturday February 10, 2017
It would be difficult to find a more perfect day for a hike in February, than this past Saturday.
We parked our car in the designated commuter parking area (Park & Ride next to the Exxon station) in Daleville, Va. As soon as you cross over the guard rail in the parking lot, you are walking on an unmarked trail.
The path is well marked, as you cross a creek, and railroad tracks.

The hike seemed easier than what I expected for the Appalachian Trail..... so far!
Ron and I have been walking 4-5 times a week as one of our 2017 goals.
We were confident and ready ready to tackle this trail!
"Can't see the forest for the trees"

The trail became a bit steeper.

The boulders looked similar to one of our favorite places, McAfee Knob (This hike ended up being a little longer, but a lot less crowded than McAfee. The view at McAfee Knob, however, is hard to beat.)

Oh yea, baby....this is grand! Hear me roar!! HAHAHA 

Ron's walking stick! (I'll bring one next time)

There were 3 overlooks with MAGNIFICANT views of Carvin's Cove.
I never knew until Saturday, how BIG the cove really was!
We stopped at this rock for a backpack assortment of goodies and water.

All of the photos taken today were with my iphone. Traveling light was a smart decision.
The ridge is rocky, but the path is obvious!

Rocky ridge

Oh what a spectacular view!

Iphone panorama with Ron on the right

Carvin's Cove in the background

I was on top of the world!


The actual HAY ROCK was another .8 miles up a steep, rocky climb.
We had reached our potential, and then some.
Common sense won over our desire to go to the top..... this trip!
Click here for maps and directions-----> Carvin's Cove/Hay Rock Trail
It was a gorgeous hike, perfect weather, and took us 5 leisurely hours.
We were ready to call it a day.
Next hike? SOOOOOOON!!!

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Grandparent Survival 101

"Grandchildren are the only people who can get more out of you than the IRS."

"When grandparents enter the door, discipline flies out the window."

"Never have children, only grandchildren."

"Now I know why most grandparents flee to Florida."

In FIVE short days,
the rules,
the schedules,
the house,
the food,
the laundry....... turned to survival mode.
Not for them........US!
We managed to do the essentials. Period.
We discovered that eating vegetables became a game. Actually fish sticks and chicken nuggets, dipped in strawberry yogurt wasn't bad at all.

We discovered that participating in one activity for more than 20 minutes was a gift.

We discovered that the female girl child loves to change clothes a million times a day.

We discovered that it took every ounce of energy and strength that we both had.

We gratefully utilized the "list" of instructions, but quickly realized: Our usual old geezer schedule does not resemble a 3 yr old and 7 yr old schedule....IN ANY WAY, SHAPE, OR FORM.
How to survive when keeping grand babies?
1. Safety first
2. Get plenty of sleep, whenever the time allows
3. Keep your sense of humor. The hair and clothes are not important.

4. Hugs and kisses and hugs and kisses can never be enough.
5. Encourage unstructured time to play.

6. Fresh air, sunshine, and outdoor play is essential..... yes, even in the winter!

7. Laugh. Laugh. LAUGH A LOT!

8. Believe it or not, children love boundaries and structure.
If they know for a second that they can get by with yanking your chain..........
9. When occasions call for proper attire, these 2 clean up really nice!

*** Remember that while you may not have the energy you did when you were younger, you do have the wisdom that only comes with experience--an advantage that can make a huge difference in your granchild's life. Unlike first-time parents, you've done this before and learned from your mistakes. Don't underestimate what you have to offer!***

Friday, February 3, 2017

Lessons Learned from Kylo Ren

I've come a long, long way, baby!
The Lego figures shown above are 2 storm troopers, and KYLO REN .
Go ahead, click on that link and learn about Kylo Ren, the villain from the Star Wars saga.
Honestly, I had no clue who they were, so don't feel bad.
Much 'help' was received taking this photo.
Seven-yr old grandson knew precisely the scene he wanted to create!
Someone should have taken a photo of the 2 of US... 
looking at the screen on my camera...
on the ground...
in the dirt and leaves...
Precious Moments
I've learned a lot this week about Kylo Ren.
He can teach us all some valuable lessons:
1.  Care. A. Lot
2.  Work around obstacles
3.  Stay true to your values
4.  Don't get distracted by technology.
5.  Don't be afraid to ask for help.
(The complete article is found here: Leadership Lessons)
I've learned a lot this week about my grandson, as well.
(more on that later)

Enough learning for one day.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017


Meet Ken and Barbie

Ken and Barbie (not their real names, of course) are our son-in-law and our daughter.
They live here.

Ken and Barbie work full-time, and work very hard.
Ken and Barbie never (well, almost never) go anywhere without their children.
Today Ken and Barbie took a trip.....without their children(our grandchildren).
Zoom, zoom, zoom.
They had a flight layover here:

Did I say that they left...... WITHOUT THEIR CHILDREN?

Ken and Barbie left us (Papa and KK) alone.
We are in charge of these 2 energizer bunnies.
Remember? We did this last year! (AWAY WE GO)
And we survived.
Do you think we are ready?

We've memorized their schedules (HAHAHAHAHAHAHA),
received a few pages of instructions (HAHAHAHAHAHAHA),
and reported for duty yesterday!
So far, so good (HAHAHAHAHAHAHA).
Stay tuned.