Thursday, October 31, 2013

Three Things

Kelly N., Ellie G., Kate van E., Kaitlyn T., and Maria S.
(Teammate Kristen F. is not seen in this particular shot. Emily B. was sick.)

Thursday is here, so that means it's time to share three things.  These three things are usually just fleeting thoughts, whatever happens to be on your mind at the moment.

I'll begin.

1. Daughter Maria, who was an alternate for the post-season cross country meets (i.e. district, regional and state meets), found herself in the starting lineup of yesterday's district meet due to her good friend Logan's injury. Another teammate was absent due to illness. Daughter beat her personal record and even had a sprint at the finish.  The girls and boys teams are conference champions and advance to next week's regional meet. I can't wait!

2.  What I can wait for is the half marathon in a little over a week.  Yesterday I ran 6.6 miles with an aching back, and it was no picnic.  Let me tell you.

3.  The Urbanna Oyster Festival is this weekend. So is another gathering of teenagers in my basement.

4.  (Because three is only a suggestion.)  On second thought, I can't wait for the half marathon in a little over a week.  It will take me to the Outer Banks of North Carolina far, far away from teenagers and whatever festivals they may or may not be throwing in my basement.

5.  I just realized tomorrow's Halloween, and I have no candy for the two (2) trick or treaters who will stop by. So I'll dash out and purchase chocolate that we'll be eating up until Christmas, when a new stash of candy arrives.  Believe it or not, candy seems to last a long time in this household.  Strange.

6.  Referring back to #3 above:  serenity now. And pass the chocolate.

Now it's your turn to share three or more things.  Whatever you want.  Anything at all.

Kelly N., Logan H. and Daughter Maria

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Eagle

The other day I drove down to Aarons Beach.

On my way out I glanced up and noticed 
this eagle perched in the attic of a dead pine tree.

Most of the time he wanted to face the other direction.

Like this:

So I had to make noises loud enough to
get his attention without frightening him away.

I am reasonably sure if my antics had been captured,
America's Funniest Home Videos would come a callin'.

It's hard work trying to make subtle yet noticeable noises 
for a bald eagle dead set on keeping his back to you.

Try it some time.

After a while he got fed up and decided it would be way easier to perch
on a neighboring tree out of reach of my mouth camera's zoom.

In related news, I recently received a text from my Across the Creek Neighbor indicating there were not just a pair but three bald eagles holding a meeting of some sort on my parents' dock.  Unfortunately I wasn't anywhere near home so was unable to take their portrait.

Or learn the purpose of their not-so-secret meeting.

In unrelated news, Daughter is gearing up for Wednesday's district cross country meet over on the grounds of  Eastern State Hospital  an institution where they house people caught making strange noises and gestures to attract the attention of eagles in Williamsburg.  I'm looking forward to it and the upcoming regional and state meets.

That's it from here for now.

Anything exciting in your world?

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Oyster Roast

Saturday my friends Glenda and Billy had an oyster roast.

Mr. Burroughs is in charge of the delectable oysters.

This is their barn, which some people call the tabernacle
 since it resembles the Mathews County landmark (click here)

There was food.  Lots and lots of food.

And beverages.

Some of the beverages were homemade.

These homemade beverages caused blindness quite the reaction.

Nancy decides that less is more, or more is too much.  
Or something.

Neil studies the label.

(Reading the fine print requires long arms.)

Ladies and gentlemen? This is a look of fear, plain and simple.
He was wearing the appropriate hat
for the activity, may I add.
You know what they say, if you can't take the heat, get out the tabernacle.
Neil proved he could, in fact, take the heat. Just barely.

Chip decides he's going to take a taste no matter what the previous reactions have been.

And there you have it.    

Chip's father pretends like nothing is going on.

Alda, after sizing it all up, just says no.

Along with the overabundance
abundance of food and beverages, there were good friends.
This is a great group of people.  

I love that they love to laugh.



Carol Ann

Chip and Lisa



The Millers
Janice (my twin), Ann and John

My twin Janice, me and Ann.

The always photogenic Miss Betsy Barnett

Hostess Glenda

A huge thanks to Glenda and Billy for a wonderful afternoon of fun, food and laughter at Tabernacle II.

A grand time was had by all.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Whites Creek Landing

This is the public landing at the end of Route 682, Whites Creek Lane. I stopped here after a failed attempt at running turned into a lengthy walk thanks to my back and its proclivity to give out now and then. It was so cold I had to wear gloves, and even so there were times my fingers were so cold I couldn't press the shutter button on the camera.

(Although most days I feel much younger than the calendar insists--not quite 49--when it's cold, I tend to feel much older--not quite 79.)

Have a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Three Things

Another Thursday is here, and that means it's time to share three things or thoughts, however random.  Also, three is merely a suggestion based on the fact that it goes with Thursday.  If this were Wednesday, I'd call this One Word Wednesday.  Four Fears Friday.  Seven Secrets Saturday.  It's all about alliteration, although I am really liking the thought of sharing seven secrets no matter what day it is.  Maybe another  time.

Anyway, I'll go first. Here are my three things.

1.  I made homemade bread last night.  It wasn't awful; in fact Son and Daughter ate one whole loaf. (No bread machine, all by hand.)

2.  As a rule I avoid bread. It makes me feel awful, lethargic, unwell. I do not need any outside assistance feeling lethargic.  I was born ready for a two-hour nap.

2b. Lethargy is why I drink tons of coffee and iced tea, but never after, say, 10:00 a.m.  I load up early in the day and then coast on the caffeine until the after-lunch desire to sleep for three hours, which comes no matter how much caffeine has been consumed.

2c. Speaking of coffee, I bought a French press, which makes outstanding coffee in limited quantities, albeit with some degree of labor and patience not required of regular coffee makers. I'll use it mostly on the weekends when there's more patience time and less pressure to get out the door in a hurry.

3.  This weekend I will attend an oyster roast at my friend Glenda's house.  I'm bringing my camera and my throat lozenges, because if this is like any other similar gathering I'll be laughing until my throat is raw.  Several high school friends and their families will be in attendance.  I can't wait.

That's it from here.  If you have three or more or fewer thoughts--or even secrets--to share, please feel free.

Happy Friday Eve.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


Here are a few more shots from last week's outing to Bavon and New Point.

Last night the Mathews High School cross country teams won their last regular meet of the season, with many runners setting new records.  Justin Adams, in Daughter's class, set a new course record.  Emma Hudgins, my neighbor's granddaughter who is a JV runner, also ran a tremendous race. The girls won in spite of many serious injuries.  Daughter shaved some more time off her personal best. It was a very exciting evening to be a cross country parent.

In other excitement that is not so welcome, Son's car has been in the shop since last week.  My car needs new tires.  Work is busier than usual, and I'm juggling incoming requests and Major Life Deadlines with my teenagers that cause exchanges like this:

Son:  "Have you ordered my cap and gown?"
Me:  (crickets) "Have I seen the paperwork?"
Son:  (crickets) (He doesn't understand the word "paperwork" because his world is paperless.)
Me:  "What do I need to do?"
Son: (crickets)
Me:  "I can't do anything if I don't know what to do."
Son:  (Debates using my last remark in his nomination for Most Profound Mother of the Year award, but then realizes there may be paperwork involved, plus deadlines for nominations, etc.)

Or then there's this:

Son:  "Hey, you know the week after graduation?"
Me:  (crickets) (Too far in advance and I'm in denial graduation exists.  Perhaps explains no cap and gown ordering, whether there was paperwork or not.)
Son:  "Well, a bunch of us want to get a beach house down in Nags Head."
Me:  (Heart pounding out of my chest, blood vessels getting ready to explode all over the place but I remain outwardly nonchalant) "Oh. Hmm. Who all would be going?"
Son:  "This one and that one.  And the other one.  And more."
Me, picturing House Party to end all house parties:  "You know teens cannot rent houses."
Son:  "There would be an adult chaperone."
Me, stifling laughter and hysterics. Also blinking back tears: "Does this adult chaperone have a name?"
Son:  "Yeah, I think it's between a couple of people right now."
Me, wondering how quickly I can obtain a passport and flee the country:  "OK, well, we'll talk about this some more. Later. Much."

Since this is not the "How to Survive Parenthood" blog, I'll cut this post off here. Even though I could go on and on.

And on.

Don't get me started on the college application due next week.

Serenity now.

Click here for the sound of crickets,  which I choose to focus on in all of these conversations. For the sake of sanity.

Monday, October 21, 2013


One day last week, as I was leaving the New Point Light observation deck, I happened to glance off into the marsh and noticed this egret, who was sunning himself.

Or herself.

I'm not an astute enough heron or egret watcher to know whether there are discernible differences in color or other markings.  I can distinguish between a male and female cardinal, no problem.  But egrets? Just not that up to speed.

Anyway, this one was basking in the glow of the sun that particular afternoon, not at all perturbed by my intrusive camera.


This will be the first full/normal work week I've had since the week of September 23.  The last home meet of Daughter's cross country season is Tuesday evening. District, regional and the state meets happen over the next month, however, so we'll be busy with those.  I must focus on preparing for November's half marathon, which is breathing down my neck like a fiery dragon.  I've not run more than six and a half miles since April, and my knee shin foot back has been threatening to give out on me for about a week now.

Otherwise, things are good here in the Chesapeake Bay Family household.

Hope all is well in your neck of the woods.

Friday, October 18, 2013


From my back yard Thursday morning, I took these shots of a pink and purple sky admiring its reflection in the mirror of Queens Creek.

The work week has been short, but I'm back to work at long last. The past several weeks of uncertainty with my government job (usually synonymous with employment security and stability) has caused me to ponder how I would earn an income if I should lose my current job.  It's a difficult question to answer given where I live and my age, which is fast approaching 49.

Even though I do still have my job, I really need to reflect on this more.  Short of winning the lottery, I'm really not at all sure what a 48 3/4-year-old female who lives an hour away from anything resembling civilization would do to support a family by herself.

But, as Miss Scarlett once said, if I think about this now I'll go crazy.  I'll think about it tomorrow.

Since tomorrow is Saturday, I'll postpone all this thinking until Monday.

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


Remember yesterday when I said the clouds had parted and the sun came out?  Well, that was short lived, because Tuesday was back to Drearyville--do not pass Go, do not collect $100.  (Or is it $200? I never had much patience for Monopoly.) In case you didn't know, Drearyville is a suburb of Unemployment City, where Chesapeake Bay Woman has lived for the past several weeks.

Monday's spectacular sunshine reverted immediately to Tuesday's overcast skies and continued unemployment due to the government shutdown.

Waaaaaay off in the distance is New Point Light. 

Luckily I still have photos from the one day the sun came out.  
These were taken from Bavon, at the end of Old Bayside Drive.

You can't see the lighthouse here, but this is the point of land shown above, zoomed in.

This is a grainy shot of the lighthouse, zoomed way in.
My camera has a decent zoom, but the quality of the images
isn't always great, mostly due to the person using it
and her general lack of technical skills.

This was taken from a closer vantage point,
the lighthouse observation deck.
A little better, but still not great.

Unless the Government Fairy Godmother sprinkled angel dust pixie dust over Congress last night, I won't have work today either.  That's OK.  I have an eye appointment at Gloucester Point, which will eat up several hours of my life day, and Daughter has a cross country meet at the West Point Country Club this evening.  Since I've never been to the West Point Country Club (or any other country club, for that matter) before, I'm actually looking forward to it.

Wait.  I went to some country club before.  A wedding.  Decades ago. Golf carts were stolen and there was lots of driving in places where golf carts weren't supposed to be involved.  I want to say it was somewhere in Northern Virginia but can't swear to it.  

Whatever.  So I've been to at least one country club before, but never the West Point Country Club.

This blog post, which has flitted from sunshine to vague Monopoly references to Drearyville and its suburbs to country clubs and pixie dust, is now mercifully coming to a close.

Click here and here for more information on our lighthouse.