Monday, September 29, 2014


This weekend's weather could not have been more perfect.

The skies were sunny and the humidity was low.

Fall is definitely here.

The signs are everywhere.  

The soybean fields have turned from lush green to yellowish brown. 

Sunday around noon I parked the car at Aaron's Beach and jogged four and a half miles along the road and fields pictured above.  The weather was crisp, clear and beautiful; the local nuisances of horseflies, mayflies, fiddler crabs and gnats were nowhere to be found.

Unbeknownst to me, however, the praying mantises and winged monkeys grasshoppers are in full swing these days.  They blended in very well with the pavement I was pounding (and also the soybean fields I was staring at).  The grasshoppers wait until you're just about to step on them and then leap/fly up, up and away.  There were so many of them leaping/flying forth unexpectedly that at one point I started to wonder if I ought not run with my mouth closed and breathe through my nose.

Because, as it was, if even one over-sized, blending-in-to-the-road grasshopper decided at just the right time and at just the right trajectory to fly forth as I was passing by gasping for breath on my otherwise blissful run, chances were pretty good I'd choke to death on that gigantic, winged grasshopper.

I thought long and hard about the obituary and the stories that might be told to anyone inquiring about my death.  "She was running.  It wasn't her heart.  No, it wasn't that cardiac event she often worried about while practicing for that half marathon.  No, it was a grasshopper.  She choked to death on a winged-grasshopper that flew into her mouth while she was running.  They found her in the middle of Aaron's Beach Road."

Then I thought, well, as long as I'm going to die--and odds are pretty good I'm going to at some point--it might as well be a grasshopper, because at least that would be a  humorous way to go.  No?

These thoughts on changing seasons and mortality are brought to you by the number 50, which looms over my head and is about as welcome as a winged grasshopper ready to jump down my throat.

Happy Monday.

Friday, September 26, 2014


Times are tough when Chesapeake Bay Woman tosses up some photos taken earlier in the year of a typical Mathews shoreline sprinkled with seaweed--and then dares to call it a blog post.

 But Chesapeake Bay Woman hasn't had time to take any new pictures.  On top of that, a monsoon has hit Mathews.  There's been nothing but heavy rains, high winds and dreary skies the past week few days.

By the way, when Chesapeake Bay Woman wishes to distance herself from her worse-than-usual work, she tends to lapse into the third person.  This way, it's as if someone else is doing shoddy work.  She can pretend she has nothing to do with it, whatsoever.  On the other hand, when was the last time you saw a close-up shot of seaweed?  Doesn't it look like green linguine? Where else can you go for such riveting reading, such tantalizing topics? When was the last time you thought about seaweed?  Have you ever really thought about it for any length of time?  I have.  Or rather, Chesapeake Bay Woman has.  CBW is also tired.  Let' return to our blog post, already devolving before our very eyes.  

CBW hopes to get out on Sunday and take some new pictures.  She would do so on Saturday, but she'll be 75 miles away in Richmond at her daughter's cross country meet.  All day.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014


Last evening, after a long day at work and a meeting at the high school regarding winter sports, Daughter and I arrived home just as the sun was setting.

(By the way, we're only a few meets into the fall cross country season, and all of a sudden we're talking about basketball, and why are we talking about winter and winter sports when it's only the first day of fall-- and why does summer ever even have to end? Ever?)

Since I had absolutely no new pictures and no reason to live now that I've just been told that December and the first basketball game will be here before we know what's hit us the sunset was glowing even in the eastward sky, I dashed into the house and managed to get these just as the light was dimming for the day.

The next two below were taken facing west--the house, which belongs to my parents, 
is known as Waverly.

This is looking north from their yard.

This is facing east towards Queens Creek and Gwynns Island.

The temperatures this first full day of fall were a little on the chilly side. It was 57 when I pulled in to work this morning.  

I'm not vehemently opposed to this particular time of year; in fact, it's rather nice sleeping with the sliding doors open and not having to run the air conditioner.

But all of this buildup of cool temperatures, brisk nights, leaves starting to drop--plus tonight's winter  basketball meeting--reminds me that hibernation season is just around the corner.  

Only I'm not allowed to hibernate.

If I ever live long enough to retire from my job--I think I have ten years. three and a half months, two hours, sixteen minutes and seven seconds until I'm eligible but who's counting--I might seriously contemplate leaving the state of Virginia from November through March.  I think I'd do just fine living in a tent in a campground on Key Largo during that time. And if for whatever reason I can't temporarily move to Florida, I do intend to close all the drapes, turn off the phone and sleep until spring.

Since neither one of those options is available this year, however, it looks like I need to continue to focus on running and eating right.  And napping, whenever possible.

This protracted discussion of the winter blahs has been brought to you by one full day of crisp, cool temperatures and one mere mention of winter at a meeting this evening. And also the Farmers' Almanac, which predicts "more shivery and shovelry" this winter.

The End.

Friday, September 19, 2014


I'm woefully behind on taking new pictures but was glad to find these forgotten photos from earlier this summer on one of the Winter Harbor boat trips.

Another thing I'm woefully behind on is laundry yard work bill paying and paperwork rest and sleep, both of which I hope to get plenty of this weekend.

Have a great one.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Scenes from Bethel Beach

Last Sunday morning, I went for a six-mile run that began and ended at Bethel Beach.

The weather was just about as perfect as it could be for running.

Although the sun was out, the temperatures were cool. 

There was a slight--but not overpowering--breeze.

Baby Sis and I are signed up for the Outer Banks half-marathon again in November. This year I'm struggling with some issues I will attribute to being Almost 50.  These issues amount to minor aches and pains which bother me the first few miles of a run but which ease up afterwards--only to haunt and taunt me again the next day as I get out of bed.  Aggravations, basically.  Nuisances.

At work recently, someone informed me that issues weren't really issues but opportunities for greatness.

I rather like that switch and will make a concerted effort to train my thoughts in that direction whenever I feel like complaining about my age-related issues aches pains plantar fasciitis probably also arthritis opportunities for greatness.


Monday, September 15, 2014

Catherine's 50th

Once upon a time, a friend named Catherine turned 50 and decided she wanted to take a two-hour cruise from Tappahannock up the Rappahannock River to Ingleside Vineyards  in we still don't know which county we were in the Northern Neck.

So she did.

She invited a group of friends, one of whom bestowed her with this hat which declared not only that she was an "old coot" (on the back) but also over the hill.  Another of her friends called her Edith Bunker, but that's not really what we're focusing on here today, pearls and actual resemblances notwithstanding.

Catherine spent much of the boat ride there and back regaling her friends with stories.  I'm here to tell you right now, if there is one person on this planet who needs her own reality TV show, it's Catherine Miller Owens.  She can spin a tale complete with hand gestures, facial expressions, perfect pauses, and just the right words to keep everyone in stitches.

To tell the truth, Catherine's story-telling motions were so lively they drew the attention of the older passengers sitting inside the boat.  I peered through the window more than a few times and caught a whole row of people spellbound--and they couldn't even hear what she was saying.

It just doesn't matter with Catherine.  She's hilarious.

Catherine, Alda and Christine

Alda and Lawrence

Catherine's husband Willie B. (making sure she didn't flail herself overboard with her hand gestures),
Catherine and Lisa

When we arrived at the winery, the disembarkation process was smooth.
Here Laura Lane, Catherine and Teresa make the trip down the dock.

The birthday girl, who is also a nurse, received what she called a "laceration" on her upper thigh in a recent boating incident. I wish I could say she was showing the crowd her laceration here,
but alas I cannot.  She was just posing for a picture.

Merlot grapes had just been harvested when we arrived at the winery.
Here, Catherine samples a few.

After a very educational talk about how the wine is made, we sampled some of the wines.
Although I'm more of a merlot fan, I liked their Chesapeake Chardonnay
best of all those sampled.

We enjoyed lunch in their lovely courtyard. There's also a very interesting museum on site.

On the boat ride back to Tappahannock, a feather boa suddenly appeared from nowhere.

And glasses.

It was a great day.

Catherine took the time on the cruise over to say what she appreciated most about each of her friends in attendance.  I'd like to say to Catherine that I appreciate her unconditional friendship.

But most of all, I think she has a true gift.  When nothing or nobody else can, she can make me laugh. She is the queen of telling stories and the queen of physical comedy.  When she mentioned going in to the winery how much she wished she could get barefoot in a barrel of grapes and stomp the heck out of them, I realized then and there that she takes after one of the greats:  Lucille Ball.

She's a one-of-a-kind mess, a comedienne extraordinaire--whether she knows it or not--and we love her.

Just as she is.

Happy 50th birthday, Catherine!

The End.

Friday, September 12, 2014


"What is the good of your stars and trees, your sunrise and the wind, 
if they do not enter into our daily lives?"

-E.M. Forster

"Welcome to another beautiful sunrise on Queens Creek, courtesy of Mother Nature."


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Mad Calf Lane

Over the weekend, after one of several trips to Market Days, Middle Sis and I rode over to Gwynn's Island, where I fell in love with this sign.

Am I the only one who wishes her mailing address was Mad Calf Lane?


With a view like this, what's not to love.

Middle Sister

Mad Calves Sisters

After such a beautiful weekend, this week has been nothing but steady rain.  Thanks to a leak in my antiquated automobile, the water evidently messed with the electrical system and caused the interior lights to spontaneously turn on, which is particularly embarrassing, not to mention challenging, when driving in the dark on a long, early-morning commute.  The weird thing about that--not that that isn't weird enough--is that one of the lights spontaneously turning on ordinarily doesn't work.

Anyway, although we needed the rain, I'm all done with it.  Enough.

Dear Miss Sunshine, 

Please come back here where you belong.