Catching Up—It’s Been a Long Time

WIN_20180112_12_56_40_Pro I haven’t written on my blog for almost 5 years.  Lately, though, I have been thinking a lot about writing and have been figuring out if I wanted to journal or blog.  I still haven’t decided definitively but will start with this blog since I already had it set up.  So, here we go ….

I asked Santa Claus (i.e. my husband) for a new tablet that had a keyboard so that I could start writing again.  I could have used the desktop, I guess, but that just seemed like a lot of trouble and for this to work for me, it has to be easy.  I have a wonderful husband and all I had to do was ask and he got me a great Surface Pro that is so perfect for this task that the only excuse left to NOT do it is I have to figure out how to “work” this workhorse and remember how to find my way through WordPress. And, when I say workhorse, I mean  the computer not ME because, since retiring last February, I am definitely NOT a workhorse-type person any longer.  Yay! for me….

Another reason I wanted to start writing again is because I have a huge bucket list item coming to fruition in the near future.  I am going back to Europe for a 5 week adventure as a follow-up to my earlier trip there when I was much younger (see earlier blog.)  That same friend and I are “deserting” our still–working husbands and going off on a trip of a lifetime (at least for me.)  My friend is a seasoned world traveler and knows all the ropes so I will be in good hands.  I can hardly wait and I hope to post some blogs and pictures of our trip while I am there…hence the blog/journal decision.

Finally, just to let you know what I have been doing the past few years,  I will say that I have started studying and trying to become an amateur artist.  I did the picture that I posted at the beginning of this blog.  It is a barely recognizable rendition of the picture that I included on my European Adventure blog.  I drew this one.  It isn’t very good–the shadows are wrong.  Even so, it IS the same picture so I thought it was  a good choice to go along with this post.   I still am in the beginning stages of learning this new “passion,” but   with time and lots and lots of practice, I have read that anyone can learn to draw.  I am determined to prove that person correct.  Besides,  I have to say that it is very rewarding.  I will post other drawings as I go along.

We have moved since my last go round with blogging.  We are in our forever home and feel very lucky to live in a wonderful community with lake access, great neighbors and a location that is closer to my family.

Life is good…..that’s one of my “Likes in Life”

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A European Adventure–Another Time and Place

I took this picture a long time ago in Belgium.

I took this picture a long time ago in Belgium.

Take a trip with me to another world and another time.  Not another world in the sense of aliens (although the gobbledygook of foreign languages and the lifestyles of the locals made it seem like it could be!)   Not even another century unless you define the twentieth century as another “time.”  It was, however, alien to me though not in a bad way.  I was a young woman.  I had recently completed my education and was embarking on a new career and life.  But, first, my friend and I were going on an European adventure.

We flew to England where we stayed with my sister and her husband, who was stationed at an air force base in Ipswich, England.  We did the usual sightseeing in London, but the real adventure began when my friend and I bravely rented a Ford with the steering wheel on the wrong side and headed out to “see” Europe in 4 days!

We took a ferry to Belgium and drove to Bruges.  Bruges was breathtakingly beautiful.  It was a foggy morning and the canals were encased in saturated colors and a white mist wafted around the bridges and centuries-old buildings.  Bruges is where my lifelong passion to return to Europe began.  We didn’t call it a Bucket List then, but, nevertheless, that was the beginning of mine.

After Bruges came Amsterdam.  We did a whirlwind tour of the Rijksmuseum.  We took a photo of the Heineken Brewery, saw a dike (the water kind,) and took a boat tour through canals lined with lovely old homes.

From Amsterdam, we went briefly to Koln, Germany.  Then, on to Paris.

Ahhhh, Paris, the City of Lights.  What a wonderfully historic, romantic place!   We saw the Eiffel Tower, the Arc De Triomphe, the outside of Notre Dame and the factory where they make Shalimar perfume (very important site!)   Oh, and  we met a cute French guy who took us to a discotheque.  It was all fun and lovely.

But, we didn’t see  Montmartre, or the inside of Notre Dame where my husband’s uncle was the first American priest to celebrate Mass during World War II  after the liberation of Paris from the Nazis.  We didn’t visit the Louvre.  Or, countless other wonderful places I would  love to visit.

But, I was young then and although we had a great adventure, I will definitely do it differently the next time.  I would see with better eyes—eyes that have experienced life and know what is important to me, know what I want and need to see, know what I missed then and don’t want to miss now before my time is up.  That’s what my bucket list is all about—to see before I can’t see, write while I remember how to write and experience the world now that I’m old enough to appreciate all of its splendor, excesses and opportunities. I want to tell everyone about it and know that, if they want to, they can see, hear and feel my adventures through my words and pictures.  What could be better than that?

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Biggest Baddest Bucket List Contest–Talk About Dreaming BIG!

Unbelievably, I recently posted an entry to the Biggest Baddest Bucket List Contest.  This is absolutely, beyond a doubt, far beyond anything I have ever even thought about considering to do!  I love blogging and photography and have been spending lots of time doing these things lately, and, when I saw the blog about this competition, I thought, “Why not?”  I know how to do the things they expect of the winner and I was pretty sure I could come up with a presentable video which they required, so I spent a couple of weeks doing a video and writing a blog and going through photos and came up with an entry.  I will post all of these endeavors after the contest is over–I certainly don’t expect to win….but, once again, I spent a lot of time with my father doing my blog on Cades Cove, so the whole thing was worth all of the work.  And, it is something that I can eventually post here so what’s to lose?  I enjoyed the whole thing and, if by some complete miracle, I have some success with this, well, WOW, what a treat!  I would be happy with the preliminary choices which require a trip to London.  Wouldn’t that be a treat?  Anyway, I wanted to post this to encourage other bloggers to get out there and get involved with the activities that make you happy.  It is unlikely that I will win this, but, despite that, it is fun to dream, isn’t it?

It’s a lot like buying a lottery ticket.  Somebody has got to win and anticipation is good for your soul…. Life is good.

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Cades Cove Photo Shoot–Team-Building at Work (couples counseling at its best)

Deer in Cades Cove

Deer in Cades Cove

Never in the past did I ever consider that I would enjoy blogging. I enjoy writing lots, but, in all honesty, my passion leans more toward digital imaging and photography. And, face it, most of the people in my age group don’t even know what blogging is. And,  younger people I know don’t believe that someone as old as I am could have all that much to say that would interest them. It’s all true. Regardless, I jumped into this with a surprising eagerness and am enjoying how it makes me feel. That being said, I don’t have the time available for writing and reading my blog every day. So, I have decided to go off in a different direction. For a while at least, I am going to write and post a blog every weekend (probably on Sunday.) I will concentrate on my chosen topic and come up with something to post that I hope will be interesting or entertaining or instructional or whatever… Continue reading

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Old Timer Bill—Amazing Grace

My stepfather and I made this video for my mom’s 80th birthday.  It sounds lovely except for my humming in the background–I didn’t think about the mike picking up my out-of-tune warble.  Anyway, the rest of it is wonderful!   I have more to come!

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Winter Storm—Last One of the Year? Let’s Play!

It snowed last night while we were sleeping and ITS MARCH!   Thinking it will probably be the last one of the year, I bundled up, covered my camera with a baggy (there has to be a better way…..) and went outdoors to play.  It was beautiful.  Here are some of the pictures of our yard that I took.  I hope you enjoy them!





march snow front bird house





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An Old Door and Flowers with Advice from a Wise Woman


When one door closes, another opens. But we often look so regretfully upon the closed door that we don’t see the one that has opened for us.”     

   Helen Keller

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Trip to the Aquarium….Weird Fish Photos!

I took these pictures at the same time that I took “The Seahorse and the Boy’s Shiny Teeth” which I posted in a previous blog.  That was my favorite picture of the bunch, but all of the fish pictures were fun for me to process.  So, I thought I would post the rest of them for you to see.  What do you think?

sword-fish-webThe face is priceless!

shark-for-webLooks ominous to me….



octopus-for-webThis octopus wants out!


Had to put the boy and seahorse back in….I LOVE the seahorse’s fascination with the little boy’s teeth!

crabs-at-aquariumIs this a crab?  lots of legs here….


Look at its expression in his eyes.  This fish looks like it has peed on the floor and KNOWS it.

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I have been telling this joke for 35 years! Don’t know any others…..


A couple of really dumb guys from another country who had just moved to the US of A went, for the first time, to a baseball game.  They were running late and had not had anything to eat so they were HUNGRY!  They noticed there were guys going around, shouting, “GET YOUR DOGS HERE…..HOT DOGS!!!!”  They looked at each other,  shrugged  and said, “In America, they eat dogs…man’s best friend….”   But, in time, they became so hungry that they decided to be brave and eat a dog.  So, one of them leaned forward, held up two fingers and shouted, “Two Dogs, please!”  The dogs were passed down the row until the hungry guys each got one and gingerly opened them up.  The first one looked at the second guy and in a scandalized tone, whispered…….”What part did you get?”

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Liebster Blog Nomination! Thanks LOTS and here is my response!

liebstar blog award

I recently received a Liebster Blog Award nomination from and I am going to try to fulfill my responsibilities in accepting this award.  I am not sure that I know how to do all these things but I can certainly try.  I WANT to do it–I just don’t know that much about links and stuff like that.   But , anyway, here goes. AND, I hope this all works. Continue reading

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