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Saturday, May 21, 2016

My 2016 Birthday

I got a major gift for my birth week.  I have been waiting for this and it was finally delivered. Never mind the ant...





I fell asleep Thursday night thinking about waking up to my 65th birthday. The decade birthdays are big, but the 65th is a real life marker. For months leading up to this birthday, your are bombarded with mail reminding you of all you have to do before that 65th.  There is Medicare A & B, supplemental, dental, prescription. The paperwork so you get your pension. It takes months to get ready for this birthday.  You start thinking about how you are going to spend the rest of your life because life gets real at this point. You are either retired, semi-retired, about to be retired or realizing you may never retire. Whether you like your job or not, work structures your life. What will you do when you wake up with nothing to do? I don't even want to talk about the physical changes.  I am eating clean and working out, but my body is different. No denying it. In spite of all these thoughts dancing through my head, I did wake up happy on Friday, May 20.

Dolly woke me up about 6:15 AM when she jumped up on the bed and laid down next to me.  Now that is a happy wake up call.  She rarely does that and I milk it when she does. So on this morning of my 65th year, I woke up and milked some love from my dog. Eventually I got up, drank part of a bottle of water, did a 30 minute lower body workout and then a 10 minute ab workout. A healthy breakfast awaited me: scrambled egg (1 egg and some egg whites) with cottage cheese in them, one turkey bacon strip, black grapes and a slice of cucumber.  More water.  A protein shake for lunch.

A look at my phone...I was amazed to see so many birthday wishes.  Thank you Face Book.

Music: K D Lang's Hymns Of The 49th Parallel. What could be better than this? A friend reminded me how much I would love to be sitting in a pub in Ireland listening to Van Morrison play live.  That would top this, but I am happy with KD.

The day continued on its normal path. I worked in my office from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM with an hour break. Had a wonderful birthday dinner at CafĂ© Michel's in Clifton Forge, VA. Yum.  Ravioli stuffed with lobster and crabmeat in a champagne sauce. Culinary Heaven. Even a clean eater has to get down and dirty every now and then.



Saturday I got up early for a Pilates workout before driving to Penny's Diner in Lowmoor for breakfast with an old friend. She was visiting Lexington for the weekend and wanted to say Happy Birthday in person.  We cannot remember when we last saw each other, but agreed it has been a few years. Two hours flew by.  We were not finished with our visit, but she had to get on the road.


It was quite foggy and cool.  A little misty.  Ya know, it kind of feels like I am in Ireland.

I visited my mom's grave; had a nice chat with her. Continuing down the road, I stopped in to check out Artsy Ladies and Friends on Valley Ridge Road.  Sorry you weren't there Janet.

Next stop, Main Street in Covington to check out The Anything and Everything Store, a new business which Tommy Snyder had let us know about on Face Book.

Back home I had a healthy lunch before secluding myself in my office to go through some photographs in search of a painting project.  The combination of Mary Chapin Carpenter and some of the old photos I went through left me in tears.  You name the emotion, I moved my way through it. I think I may have found an art project.  We'll see.  I don't have a clue what I am doing when I paint, I just dig in and hope something decent evolves. I'll let you know.

A dear friend messaged me that this is going to be a great year for me. So far so good. I trust everything she says so I have no problem inviting you to participate in my joyful year. Perhaps I will celebrate your birthday with you. Have your people call my people. Cheers.



Sunday, May 15, 2016

EAGLE ROCK, VA FROM DOLLY'S POINT OF VIEW

From the back seat I could hear the conversation...something about Eagle Rock. I am sure that must be where we are headed. Does that mean I can get out of the car?  Am I going for a walk...a run...???  I will try to remain calm. Sit. Lay down. Look pretty until the car stops.  She likes it when I do that and I honestly believe it softens her heart toward me, which betters my chances of doing something really cool.  Am I rambling?



Yep. There's the sign. We have arrived.  I have my eye on her for any sign the car will stop and we will get out. Arrrgh! I should have known she would have to drive around checking out the all the side streets. Honey turn the car around!







My reading skills are not great, but I am pretty sure that plaque says how old the church is. There she goes; I knew she would read it out loud.










Does she know we are headed out of town?  Sorry. My mistake. She is doing some kind of loop.  This is real pretty. And I am hanging out of the window, so take your time.







Whew! 30 minutes of driving around.  I knew she would eventually get back to what brought her to Eagle Rock.  Tommy Snyder had posted some photos on Face Book of the chimneys and she has been promising every since to make this a destination. Thanks Tommy! 















I am beginning to understand what she said about this being a historic place where limestone was brought in by trains, loaded into the top of the kiln and fired to reduce the limestone to powdered lime. 










My imagination is going wild.  I can almost see the limestone being brought in on the cables and rails.






















Cool.  Look at all this old stuff.  This place has quite a history and some of the evidence is laying around just waiting for someone to imagine what it all means. Normally I like to mark things as I go, but not today!




And speaking of old.  If I look way up, I can see vegetation growing out of the old chimneys.



This tree stump is HUGE.  The bark looks like the scales on an alligator.  I know stuff from watching Animal Kingdom. Man, that tree must have been older than God!







Oh look at that old bridge. That must be the one that was built in 1880 and replaced the cable system for transporting the limestone.  It reminds me of the one she takes me to down by the trail close to the house.  I wonder if I get to explore that.  Hmmm. I can get there from here, but I don't think she can.



What? In the car?  I know what to do when she says that.  I am a little tired.
She likes to try out places to eat.  Diners. Nothing that rings of a chain.  Did I say that?  No pun intended.  She saw this on the way into town and commented she had spotted where she wants to eat lunch.  Wait till she finds out it is the only place to eat in town.  Bless her heart.






That's ok.  I am tired and need to rest. I sure hope she got some good pictures today and that I have given her something to write about..  I wonder what Tommy will come up with next. 




Friday, May 13, 2016

LOOK WHO COMES TO DINNER

Eating outside is never lonely or without entertainment in this neighborhood.