Thursday, September 29, 2016


Once again I haven't taken any bird photos this week and am relying on my archives.  The first two were taken on road trips.

Both taken in Florida a couple of years ago, an Egret and a Cormorant.

And another little thing with wings, a Skipper taken closer to home.

For the following as they become available, with my thanks to all our hosts Eileen, Misty, Anni and Stewart.  You can on the memes below to visit other participants.  

Misty at Camera Critters
Anni at Bird D'Pot


The following photos were taken on our last trip to Virginia Beach.

A beautiful sunrise.

Thank you to all the team of 
 SkyWatch Friday

If you would like to see other skies around the world, please click on the red lettering above to visit other participants.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016


For Theresa's Good Fences on Thursday.

There are still a lot of fences I wanted to share from our trip to Clifton a few weeks ago.  

Here is our friendly cow that I have posted about before.

The rest were found while walking around town.

For Tanya's Willy Nilly Friday Five
on Friday.

(Click on the links in red to visit other participants.)

What did we do this week?

1)  I had friends visiting last weekend, who have to travel some distance to get here.  They stayed for a long weekend.  I took them to Meadowlark on one of the days, and they enjoyed it as much as I do.  We also took them to Petersens Ice-Cream shop in Clifton.  

2) Two days later Gregg and I took a trip down south but only for an over-nighter, as we headed back the next day.  We were there for a baby shower, which I attended while Gregg had a good time walking around town and along the beach.  The day we arrived we also met up with family at an Italian Restaurant.

3) The next day we went to the Home Expo Center not too far away from home.  It's an annual exhibition but this is the first one we have attended in a very long time.   I had bought tickets weeks ago and almost forgot all about them, until Gregg mentioned it early that morning.  It was fun looking at what people were selling and just for the heck of it we picked up a whole pile of brochures which filled my bag. Our home is 30 years old and the most major project we had done was the roof and aluminum siding replaced, when several years ago Mother Nature sent us the biggest hailstones we have ever had.  It ruined our roof and broke the siding, even smashing through a slat vent in the side of the house where I knew - imagination running rampant - bats were going to take a liking to our attic and set up residence, along with every other critter in the neighborhood. It took a long time between waiting for the insurance and choosing a company. Many of them were knocking on our door as the whole area had had major damage.  Fortunately our car was in the garage but driving around we saw that many vehicles in the area looked like every square inch had had a hammer taken to them.

4)  We went to our largest shopping mall today.  It's one we rarely visit as it isn't that close, but there was a particular shop I needed to go into.  After we had done our shopping and were on our way to the exit, a lady fell right in front of us.  I had worn a pair of shoes with different soles and noticed they were catching on the floor, telling myself I had to be careful because you know, I've kissed the floor a few times.  No sooner had the thought run through my head, this poor lady took a nose dive.  She landed with such an awful thud and I was scared because she was bleeding from a nasty cut on her lip.  Gregg went into his problem solving mode and is always a good arm to lean on in these situations.  As she was well into her 80s, I worried that she may have broken something. Fortunately she had not.  We realized listening to their conversation, that the younger lady next to her was her daughter.  She and Gregg gently eased her Mom to her feet after making sure no bones had been broken.  She was obviously badly shaken.  The poor lady, her lip had taken the brunt of her fall, and it was already starting to puff up.  I smiled at her when she made a few jokes, but couldn't really focus on anything other than checking whether she was okay.  She wasn't 'okay' but had no serious injuries, in that way she was blessed.

Someone had picked up a chair from a seating area for her to sit in, someone else bought tissues for her cut lip, I went into a shop and asked for a bag of ice, security had been called and this dear lady looked like she really did not want all the fuss around her, and definitely no security.  I don't blame her.  After we were sure she was in good hands we eventually left.  

We talked about it on the way out of the underground parking area, how several people jumped in immediately to help her, of all different nationalities.  We are a very ethnically diverse area, and I can't help but think that with all that we read in the newspapers and then I see something like this, where everyone came together to help one dear lady in her 80s, there's hope for the world yet.  There are a lot of good people around.

5) After that serious No. 4, I thought you would enjoy this.  Click on the link here for some smile bringers.

My thanks to Theresa and Tanya for all the hard work in keeping up these memes.  Their websites can be reached if you would like to see other participants, by clicking on the lettering in red.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016


The Space Mural - A Cosmic View (1976).  You will find it on a south lobby wall at the museum.

It was crowded when we visited a few weeks ago, so I couldn't get this amazing mural in one frame. It was painted by Robert T. McCall (1919-2010).  You can see the whole mural and read more here.

Monday, September 26, 2016


(Not mine, I found it on Pixabay here)

Do you ever use an expression you wonder how it originated?   Recently I used "God Bless his cotton socks."  Gregg asked where did that come from and I answered that I wasn't sure but I had used it my whole life, and had heard it from my family.  These questions usually arise when a certain expression hasn't been used in years, and it suddenly pops in my head.  I went on a search and this is what I came up with.  I found the following information here.

"George Edward Lynch Cotton became Bishop of Calcutta in 1858, and while there established schools for Eurasian children.  A man of great sensitivity, he ordered crates full of sock for the children, to be worn during lessons.  It was the rule of the Bishop to bless all goods which arrived at the schools.  A zealous member of staff one day distributed socks before the blessing, so thereafter every time a shipment arrived, a note was placed on them to the effect: 'Cotton's socks for blessing'.  Cotton's socks soon became corrupted to cotton socks.  When the Bishop was drowned in the Ganges on October 6th, 1866, a dispatch was sent to the Archbishop to ask: 'Who will bless his cotton socks?'

(Mrs.) Jane M. Glossop, Pwllheli, Gwynedd."

And now I know!

With many thanks to our hosts of the following memes, which I am joining in with today.


Cauliflower Mash - Paleo - serves 2
by Gus

I found this recipe here.

This is a healthier alternative to Mashed Potatoes, even though we are not on a paleo diet. We love mashed potatoes in our family but on the ever hunt for cooking healthier, we fit things into our menu quite often.  Of course, they have to taste great.  We are kind of picky that way.

Preparation time:  5 minutes
Cooking time:     10 minutes
Total time:           15 minutes  

1 cauliflower, cut into florets
1-4 tablespoons organic coconut oil (can be substituted using butter/ghee)
1 to 2 teaspoons crushed garlic
Salt and Pepper

Steam or boil the cauliflower so that it is tender.  Drain in a colander and place into a food processor with the oil and garlic.  Blend until smooth.

Serve and enjoy!

Guy added the following cooking tips.

"If you want this paleo mashed cauliflower to be super smooth with no lumps at all, then simply push it through a sieve using a spoon.  This may take some time but the end result is a lovely silky smooth cauliflower mash.  If it does end up taking you too long, then be sure to reheat it by placing it back into a pot over low to medium heat.

If you don't have a food blender, then you are still able to mash the cauliflower by hand.  This will take a bit longer and will also be harder to get it nice and smooth.  You can use the tip I mentioned above once you have mashed it to get it to a similar silkiness to the food processor method.

If you are not a fan of garlic make sure you remove it!  The recipe will still taste pretty good without it.  

If you are finding the mash a little too thick for your liking, you can add some almond milk to help thin it out a bit.  I would recommend adding roughly 1/4 cup of almond milk but make sure you slowly add it until you get the consistency you prefer.

If you're interested in other cauliflower dishes, then be sure to check out the super cauliflower rice (found here).  Like this dish the rice is fantastic as either a side dish or to go alongside a protein or similar in a meal."

What did we think?  This turned out a truly delicious side dish.  Tell you the truth we were both surprised how much we enjoyed it.  We like cauliflower a lot but normally have had it steamed in florets, or with cheese sauce as in cauliflower cheese.   It is a keeper and we will be making it again.

Mine came out thinner than I expected and that's probably the way it should be as it is a lot lighter in every way than potatoes.  I actually used two heads of cauliflower as I wanted leftovers to heat up the next day and only used four tablespoons of butter, but I may try cutting down on the amount, which was what I used instead of the coconut oil (I didn't have in my pantry supplies. It will go on the shopping list).  Gregg just said he enjoyed it very much and not to mess around with the ingredients.  He loved it as is.  And there are leftovers for tomorrow.

The photos show it sprinkled liberally with freshly ground black pepper. 

If you are following a Paleo diet here is what I read online.

"Still others say that specifically butter can be part of the Paleo diet, because it differs from other milk products, specifically low fat or skim milk products, in that its higher fat content could potentially lower the glycemic load.   They recommend using only grass fed butter which has then been clarified."

Thursday, September 22, 2016


I haven't taken any bird photos this week and am relying on my archives.  All were taken on road trips, sometimes short ones and sometimes a little longer.

For the following as they become available, with my thanks to all our hosts.


Waiting for the train to go by...

And on the way home.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016


Everything in red are links to other places.

For Good Fences 

I chose more of the fences found in Clifton, Virginia.  These are along the pathway leading up to Peterson's Ice-Cream Depot.  We don't go that often because it is not exactly round the corner, but it is a great place to take our visitors. Nothing fancy but fun and really cute.  This little one wasn't sure where she was heading, maybe she thought she was going to the vet, and it was also very hot.  She seemed happier when she came back.  Hopefully she had a wee taste of her human's ice-cream to calm her nerves and cool her down.

It calmed mine, and the ice-cream did indeed cool me down.

On one side there is a giant chalkboard, and on the floor a big basket of giant-sized chalk.  You can entertain your kids or even yourself if there is a long line.

For Willy Nilly Friday Five
(Click on the links in red to visit)

1)  So, what have we been doing this week?  Among other things we have been busy in the garage as we have had a major clearing out.  Things just accumulate over the years and it was long overdue.  Things we thought we might need are no longer needed.  It feels good to get a head start and when it is finally cleared out, as we still have a long way to go, we are looking forward to painting the ceiling and walls.  Also putting a couple of coats of sealant on the floor, using a product that can be easily wiped if any oil is dripped. Exciting stuff right?  Not really but necessary.  

After a few days - working for about an hour each day - it is still way too hot around here and feels like a steam-bath in the garage - we achieved a satisfactory pile.  Our trash collectors deserve a big plate of cookies when I can make them.  What we couldn't give away or take to the curb, we took to the dump, packed the van up to the gills and off we went. 

We both agreed that this was surprisingly fun. Our county gets high marks for having everything well organized.  There was a friendly lady at the kiosk entrance who sent us in the right direction.  In fact, people in all the places we had to visit (items we took could be recycled, but needed to be delivered to different areas) were to a person very helpful and friendly.  We also went to the supermarket for a few groceries on the way back.  

We always have fun conversations in the car, to us maybe not to you, says I smiling yet again.  We started talking about how we have noticed that people are treating us a little differently, now that we are getting older.  Gregg mentioned how impressed he was that the chaps at each station came over when they saw him lifting heavy items out of the van. He wondered if it was because they saw him as an older person.  Many of them were about half his age.  

Gregg also recounted a story of when he had opened up a door for a young woman a few years back, who actually got mad at him and told him off for opening up said door.  She proceeded to lecture him on why he shouldn't be doing that.  Being the nice person that he is, he apologized and filed that one away.  But he is still a door opener, he's just polite that way.  

This morning Gregg went to the bagel shop.  When he got home he told me that people are opening doors for him now.  A young woman opened the door he was heading for.  We had a good chuckle but at the same time thought it was very nice of her to open the door for the old geyser, Gregg's words, not mine, with his usual tongue in cheek humor. 

A little while ago a young man opened the door for me , accompanied by a reverent, "Hello Mama, you have a good day now."  He was such a charming young man, I smiled back and thanked him, and didn't take offence at all at being called "Mama".  He saw me as a mother figure I could tell, no problem.  I'm also still pretty old fashioned and like a door opened for me.  

We were shopping at the base a few weeks ago, I had lost my sunglasses and needed a new pair.  There I was, staring at all the selections.  A young soldier standing nearby stepped over and actually handed me a pair of glasses.  He was again very polite and smiled like I was his mother.  I'm sure a little homesick as he didn't look far out of his teens or out of boot camp, another mother figure before him.  He said, "Maybe these are what you are looking for Ma'am", as he must have overheard me saying I was having a hard time selecting, and also didn't want to pay an over-the-top price for something that I would probably lose again in a few weeks - sunglasses and I have a history.  He said, "They look really smart on you and they are polarized.  Not too expensive either."  They were just what I was looking for.  I thanked him, asked him where he was from and we chatted for a few minutes.  After a while his mother figure left him to pick out a pair of sunglasses for himself.  Sweet young man.  So, maybe Gregg and I are being treated differently, the tide is turning but in a good way.  

2)  Now for some fun photos.  This blog shares a few National Georgraphic pics.  Click here to see them.  

3)  More National Geographic photos here, a few repeats but more really great shots.  Click here for those.  

4) Thinking of a road trip up to New England to see the Fall folliage?  This place has some great information on places to see.

5)  We have actually thought of doing this route one day.  Route 66.  Sounds like another great road trip.

My thanks to Theresa and Tanya for all the hard work in keeping up these memes.  

As I mentioned in the beginning of my post, if you click on the links in red you can visit each meme to see other participants, and also see great wildlife and nature photos.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016


A tiled mural found on the side of a building. 

"He knows when you're happy,
He knows when you're comfortable,
He knows when you're confident,
And he always knows when you have carrots."
~Author Unknown~


Part of one of the archways in the front of the building that is Union Street Station, Washington D.C.

Monday, September 19, 2016


A few of the historic houses found in Clifton, Virginia, ending up with an old baptist church that is now closed, and possibly under renovation.

With many thanks to our hosts of the following memes, which I am joining in with today.