Taking A Walk In January

I got off work early enough on Saturday to take a walk at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens.

Not too surprisingly, the gardens were fairly empty.  The temperatures have dropped considerably and the wind had a bite to it.

I hadn’t intended to wear my winter coat to walk, but did so as I’d left my lighter fleece coat at the office from my lunchtime walks.

I was glad for the coat; shortly after I started walking, the clouds rolled in and the temperature dropped more as the wind got stronger.

The leaves have been gone for a while; the pitcher plants have died back.

But there was still beauty to be found.

It was rather bleak though and I found my mood matching it.

Which made no sense.  Work had gone well.  We’re over the worst of it.  My co-workers continue to be a strong team.  We care for each other and encourage each other to hang in there.

But I was tired and needing a nap.

I couldn’t resist looking at everything though, even if I didn’t know what it was.

It was nice being in the fresh air.

It was nice paying attention to look for beauty, even in winter.

I saw things I hadn’t seen before.

There was still a lot of green, from the pines to the ivy to the red berries.

As tired as I was, I went into the greenhouse to see what was there.  It was warm and there was no wind.

The Christmas tree was still up, but the flowers made me think of Valentine’s Day.

Then I came home, kissed my husband, cuddled some dogs, and took a nap.

Other walks are posted for March, April, October, and November.

For other ideas on taking a walk, visit A Daily Life to see examples of how others do this type of a post.

Riot of Color

Apparently I didn’t get enough of the fall colors from earlier this week.  Yesterday I went both to our local park and the botanical gardens.  The trees are a riot of colors in central Virginia and although the air was cool, I had a great time walking all morning and taking pictures.

© 2011 dogear6 llc

Word for tomorrow – LESS.  If you prefer to work ahead, see the list for the week under “A Word A Day”.

Chasing Fall Colors – Day 3

My favorite boy toy and I were out all day yesterday to take pictures.  We hiked up and down hills and stairs, visited battlefields, and did some driving around the countryside.

After a late supper, we went straight to bed, which is why there were no photos this morning for you. Today was a drive back the long way home via Skyline Drive.  This goes through the Blue Ridge Mountains of the Shenandoah National Park on the western side of Virginia.  We pulled off at nearly every overlook, even if it wasn’t picturesque enough to take photos.

So here are photos from yesterday, then I’m off to unpack and get ready for bed.  Tomorrow is back to regularly scheduled programming (i.e., back to work).

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Word for tomorrow – CONDUCTOR.  If you prefer to work ahead, see the list for the week under “A Word A Day”.

Quotes Are So Much Fun

I love using quotes and sharing quotes.  So many people have such good comments, from Mark Twain whose sarcasm said truthful things such as:

Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.

to the thoughtfulness of Henry David Thoreau, who said things such as:

Live each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each.

I think my favorite though is from J.R.R. Tolkien (the rest of the poem is here and worth reading):

Not all those who wander are lost. . .

My favorite boy toy and myself enjoy wandering and exploring new places.  We’ve lived around the country and have many wonderful memories of all kinds of things.  We’ve explored art museums, parks, attended festivals, shopped locally, and immersed ourselves into the history of the various regions.  We’ve had exposure to so many things, cultural events, and people.  It’s hard work to move so much, but there’s also been a lot of fun too.

And in the bigger sense, we’ve done a fair amount of wandering with our lives as well.  My boy toy had his orchids, I tried miniature violets.  He did his oil painting, I did needlepoint.  We’ve eaten vegetarian, eaten meat, made our own bread, and bought it at the store.  It wasn’t wandering, it was experimenting.

Even as we get older, we continue to explore and to wander.  It never loses its allure to us.  I’d invite you to come with, but I have no idea what we’re doing next.  This picture was taken at the Newstead Manor in Cartersville, Virginia.

Word for tomorrow – APPOINT.  If you prefer to work ahead, see the list for the week under “A Word A Day”.

To see how others might interpret today’s randomly selected word, check out other challenge participants in the box at the right.  For more information on participating in the challenge, click the tab above.

Early Up For The Sunrise

I love the quiet of early morning.  It’s a new day, everything is peaceful, my mind is relaxed, and it’s just nice.  I enjoy it.

Taking a nice sunrise picture is an extra plus.  Of course, that’s easier to do in the winter when the sunrise is so late!

Word for tomorrow – QUOTE.  If you prefer to work ahead, see the list for the week under “A Word A Day”.

To see how others might interpret today’s randomly selected word, check out other challenge participants in the box at the right.  For more information on participating in the challenge, click the tab above.

Hint of a Trail

One funny thing about our yard is that we have two beagle trails through it.  The other two dogs run wherever, but the beagle generally always follows the same path back and forth to the back door.

I’ve shown one of them here, with a black line to show the trail.  I’ve tried to photograph it several ways, but you really have to be standing in the grass looking down at just the right angle to see this hint of a trail through our yard.  It’s definitely there, but it’s not too terribly obvious.

Word for tomorrow – POINTLESS.  If you prefer to work ahead, see the list for the week under “A Word A Day”.

To see how others might interpret today’s randomly selected word, check out other challenge participants in the box at the right.  For more information on participating in the challenge, click  the tab marked “challenge invitation”.

Secretly, I’d Rather Be Outside

The weather unexpectedly turned cooler this week.  It was so nice!  Days were in the upper 70’s, evenings in the mid-50’s.  It made for better sleeping and much nicer walks for my lunch.

I was up early yesterday and spent a few minutes on the deck to pray and do my devotions.  Secretly, I’d rather be outside all day.  I feel better with having light and the fresh air.  I try to walk all year except when it’s icy or lethally hot.  Cold doesn’t bother me as long as I bundle up.

Here’s how the backyard looked early yesterday morning.  As much as I enjoy my job (most days!), I could have stayed outside all day.

Word for tomorrow – PRAY.  If you prefer to work ahead, see the list for the week under “A Word A Day”.

To see how others might interpret today’s randomly selected word, check out other challenge participants in the box at the right.  For more information on participating in the challenge, click the tab above.

Week of Vacation – So Much Fun!

I was on vacation last week and did I ever have fun!  I felt like I did it all – read a lot books, stayed home, went away, relaxed, and worked hard.  I went back to work this week feeling refreshed and like I’d had a good break from it all.

Here are some of my daily photos and what I did for my week off:

Saturday – I was so tired from work and it was pretty nice outside.  My favorite boy toy was out of town, so I had the house to myself.  I read all day and all night and did very little of anything else except let the dogs entertain me.

Sunday – I did a lot of errands, including a supply ship run to Target.  I hadn’t been there for quite some time and did all kinds of stocking up.  As a treat, I went out for lunch to the mall, then did a little more shopping there too.  After that, I went home, cleaned the house, and then took a good nap.

Monday – I went to the botanical gardens for a walk and to take pictures.  The irises were in full bloom and were so pretty, but as I finished up the sun was too hot and harsh.  A few pictures washed out in the last batch, but overall I was pleased.

Tuesday – The first bloom opened up on the trumpet vine today.  My favorite boy toy and I spent the early part of the day doing some chores and debating whether we wanted to go away for a few days.  We had to be careful not to go too far though – he was on call for jury duty, so each night he had to check in whether he had to show up the next day or not (he never did get called in).  We finally decided to go and took off.

Wednesday – Spent the day in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania touring the museum, house and studio of N.C., Andrew & Jamie Wyeth.   We also drove around back roads just sightseeing.  This is the studio that N.C. worked in.  From the inside looking out, you see a view of green – trees, lawn, shrubs – as far as you can see.

Thursday – Said goodbye to our hosts at the Pennsbury Inn, Cheryl & Chip Grono.  Our room was clean and quiet, the inn decorated to the teeth with all kinds of knick-knacks and antiques, and the grounds were just gorgeous!  We were so happy that we splurged to stay there instead of a chain hotel.  It truly made our trip memorable.  And Chip made us a great breakfast both days.  I didn’t actually try out the hammock as I was having too much fun taking pictures in their huge backyard.

Friday – More reading outside as my favorite boy toy tried to get a few things done before going to help the child move.  Watched the crocodile watching me.

Saturday – The favorite boy toy left for Atlanta.  I had such high energy – worked on the garden & yard, read for a while, then went to the botanical garden.  The irises are already nearly done.  I’d not been there before for the late afternoon sun and enjoyed seeing things with the warm yellow afternoon glow.

Sunday – Weather turned cool, rainy and very humid.  Spent the day doing errands – Target, Home Depot, Kroger, Barnes & Noble and so on.  Put it all away, did a lot of cooking, and admired how big the garden was getting.  I went to bed so very happy at a good week.

And that was my week of vacation!

Word for tomorrow – HELP.  If you prefer to work ahead, see the list for the week under “A Word A Day”.

To see how others might interpret today’s randomly selected word, check out other challenge participants in the box at the right.  For more information on participating in the challenge, click the tab above.

Add A Trumpet Vine for Privacy

When we moved to Richmond four years ago, I really had trouble adjusting to being here.  The reasons were many, but my favorite boy toy felt that if we fixed up the backyard to make a place to sit and relax that I might be happier.

He was right.  One of the things we did was to add this trumpet vine along our fence.  This picture is actually from our neighbors side.  You can see how their driveway is right on our fence line, leaving no privacy.   Our neighbors are very nice people, but they also wanted a little more privacy when in their driveway.

The trumpet vine was pretty small when we put it in. . . but look at it after four years.  As the trumpet vine shot up new little shoots, I dug them up to add to the fence line.  It worked!  We’re happy, our neighbors are pleased, and the wall of green is very pretty.   Add to that another maple tree plus watering and feeding another tree in the back corner and voila!  We had a wall of green.

The flowers are just starting to open, so the hummingbirds will be back soon.  Last summer they buzzed me several times when I sat on the deck.  They’re fast little zippy things but so very pretty.

Word for tomorrow – WEEK.  If you prefer to work ahead, see the list for the week under “A Word A Day”.

To see how others might interpret today’s randomly selected word, check out other challenge participants in the box at the right.  For more information on participating in the challenge, click the tab above.