Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year!

It's hard to believe 2016 is over already.

2016 was pretty good to me.

Compared to 2015, this was an absolutely wonderful year. So many good things happened, I'm really going to miss 2016. One of the things I'm not especially proud of, however, is that this blog languished in 2016. Much of 2015 too.

One of the many great parts of 2016 was receiving a brand spanking new fancy camera for Christmas. Opening that present brought me to tears, really. Although I'm still fumbling my way through the user manual, I'll be out and about snapping new photos with it soon.

So one of my goals for 2017 is to learn to use my beautiful new camera and blog at least once a week. I have a few other minor goals that I may or may not get to, but more frequent blogging is definitely high on the priority totem pole.

Although I loved 2016, I'm already looking forward to 2017. In February, I will travel to California for a mini-reunion with a few of the friends I've made through this blog. In March, Baby Sister and I are going on a trip-of-a-lifetime cruise! I cannot wait!

For the few people who still visit this rusty old blog, thank you for your patience as I try to polish it back up and get it back on track. It may take a while, but she'll be good as new here soon with a little TLC.

May 2017 be your best year yet!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Mathews Christmas Parade

Saturday afternoon, the state of Alaska Mathews County hosted a Christmas parade.

(It was a bitterly cold--but otherwise beautiful--sunny day.)

My friend Alda wasn't in the parade, but, no matter where she goes, 
Alda pretty much is her own parade.  

Lisa's daughter Malia marched with the MHS cheerleaders. 

It was great to see so many friendly faces. 

Laura Lane 

As usual, there were some creative floats.

Our county supervisors were definitely on board.

This isn't your run-of-the-mill Christmas parade.

No siree.

The Abominable Snowman made an appearance.

So did Charlie Brown.  
And his tree! 

The Grinch was sporting some mighty fine shoes. Mighty fine, I tell you.

There were tractors young and old.

Big and bigger.

Lots of smiling, happy faces.

And plenty of children.

This isn't something you see every day...

The equestrian entries were elegant.

Glenda, Betsy and Alda.  And Alda's hat.
(Note to Self:  Self? Get one of those hats!)

Mathews County Visitor & Information Center's Director Jonathan Putt sips something warm while watching the parade. I recently had the honor of being asked to serve on MCVIC's board and look forward to helping the county's tourism efforts in any way possible.  

A good time was had by all!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Aarons Beach

The past few days have been unseasonably warm around here, 
so today on my day off from work I decided to visit Aarons Beach.

Truth be told, I had a list of a million tasks to accomplish and didn't want to do any of the things listed except for two.

Those two things were jogging and blogging.

(They even rhyme.)

The jogging part was over and done with first thing in the morning.  That left the entire day--along with those 999,998 other undesirable items on the To Do list--in front of me, mocking me, taunting me. Picking on me, really.

I decided to ignore the taunts and focus on what I wanted to could accomplish. Although blogging was on the I Want To Do This part of the list, I had absolutely no new pictures.

Hence, the trip to the beach.

This beach has changed so much over the time I've been photographing it--over 8 years.

But some things remain constant.

It's hard to believe that December is here already.  Although I survived Thanksgiving and barely survived the annual Chesapeake Bay Woman vs. Artificial Christmas Tree fight, there is still a lot left to do before I'd consider myself anywhere close to ready for Christmas.  I'm not in the mood--at all--to do any sort of Christmas shopping.  But I am looking forward to the Mathews Christmas Parade on Saturday, December 10. It's always a great time. Perhaps that will put me in a more festive mood.

As for this weekend, I'm looking forward to it.  Friday I'm taking my parents to dinner at my favorite local restaurant, Mi Casa Azteca.  Saturday I travel to visit Baby Sister in Richmond.  I ought to take advantage of being in the Big City and start some Christmas shopping, but that's just not on my radar at the moment.  The older I get, the more I can't stand shopping, especially when it's semi-forced and overly crowded.  That just equates to stress as far as I'm concerned.

And I'm all about avoiding unnecessary stress.

Which is why I thoroughly enjoyed today's trip to the local beach and the intentional avoidance of that pesky To Do list.


To read about previous Christmas quandaries,  click here .

Wednesday, November 23, 2016


This magnificent tree lives in my front yard.

Each fall it puts on a spectacular show.

This year's Leaf Extravaganza is taking place 

just as everyone is converging here for Thanksgiving.

For the first time in history a long time, the entire Chesapeake Bay Family, including parents, sisters, boyfriends, Son and Daughter, will be under my roof at the same time.  Son and Daughter will arrive home from Charlottesville today, and based on Daughter's request to have some of her friends spend the night tonight, I am sure there will be a house full of young people starting this evening.

Last year at this time, I was still recovering from my car accident and simultaneously bracing for a major surgery.  The difference between how I feel this year as compared to last year is night and day.

I am eternally grateful to have survived 2015 and am even more grateful for all the good that has happened in 2016.  I'm so thankful to have my entire family--and some special additions--sitting around the table tomorrow.

I'm just thankful for it all.

Happy, happy Thanksgiving!


p.s.  Although I've not put my intentions into practice, I do still plan to revive this blog and return to more regular postings and writing.  Stay tuned, there is plenty to tell.

Sunday, November 6, 2016


This heron was loitering hanging out at the end of my dock one day recently.

Naturally, as soon as he saw me approach--especially with a camera--he became disgruntled.

It's a well-known fact that herons not only despise people, they also hate having their picture taken.

True introverted hermits they are, these herons.

It wasn't too long before he'd had enough.

Isn't it amazing how his coloring blends right in to that old, weathered wood (also known as the dock with missing boards)?

In other news relating to more of those I photograph even when they don't want their pictures taken, I visited Chesapeake Bay Son and Daughter at UVA this weekend.  In addition to eating at some great Charlottesville restaurants, we took a hike straight up the side of a mountain off the Blue Ridge Parkway.  No mothers, sons or daughters were injured in the mile of torture otherwise known as the Humpback Rock hike.  It's straight up in the air, practically a ninety-degree angle from the parking lot, at least that's what it felt like to me.  Regardless of how steep it was, the end reward for all that torture work was a spectacular view and a most memorable experience with my two favorite humans.

(I took pictures on my new iPhone, but I'm too lazy to post them here today.)

And now I'm back home staring out at a beautiful, sunny, fall Sunday afternoon.  Trying to figure out what I can get into next before Monday and the workweek arrive.

Have a fantastic week.

Sunday, October 30, 2016


This pine tree and sailboat live at the mouth of Callis Creek, which is off Stutts Creek.

The stuff in the foreground is part of an oyster farming operation. 

(I'll talk about the oyster farming operation later on.)

I am delinquent in talking about many topics of interest around here these days.  In spite of the fact that I am now a professional Empty Nester, I don't seem to have all the spare time I thought I'd have.  However, I'm not sure I could articulate exactly what I've been doing when I'm not working.

Truth be told, work does eat up the majority of my days.  The commute is brutal, and the days are long.  But I still have weekends off.  So what am I doing?

Well, I've been to Charlottesville a couple of times--and I'm going back again this weekend for Parents' Weekend at UVA.  Next weekend, Baby Sis and I will be in the Outer Banks for three or four days running another half marathon.  (She's far more prepared than I.)  A couple of weeks back, I spent a Saturday night in Virginia Beach.  I've been having dinner here and there with my parents and Middle Sister.  I have had frequent dinners with my friend Warren--who runs the oyster operation referenced here.  My sisters and I went to a few really great wine festivals.  I went to my first Mathews County Visitor and Information Center meeting and am excited about the possibility of being involved with tourism for the county.

And now it's Halloween.  Which means one blink and it's Thanksgiving Christmas.

Time just continues to fly by.

One sad news item I have to share is the passing of Captain A.J. Hurst.  He allowed me to tag along on a crabbing adventure back in 2012, Click here and here and here for those pictures and that story.