Monday, July 30, 2007

Blabbering from Blacksburg

Flower Children Jigsaw PuzzleFlower Children Jigsaw Puzzle
Meet Corey and Jakob, this week's guests at Camp McPherson, and two of my very most favorite people in the whole wide world. We discoverd this hibiscus growing in a yard in Blacksburg today. Isn't it just amazing!

Now for the Chicos story: (Click here to read the beginning of the Chicos story.)

I had the opportunity on Sunday morning to take a stroll through downtown Blacksburg in search of a cup of coffee. While standing outside the coffee shop, reading a poster deploring the proposed "Big Box" Walmart shopping complex in the Burg, I noticed that one of the retail spaces was designated for a Chicos store. Now, I'm feeling uber-stylish standing there in my Chicos gauchos when I overhear this conversation taking place between two young ladies:

"What's a Chicos store?"
"Oh, that's a store where old women like my mother shop. I don't see how they will ever have enough business in this town to survive!"

Well, that's the report from this now humbled gal, who is teetering on the brink of senior citizenship.

Disconnected in the Most Wired Town in the Country

Blacksburg, VA! Home of the the Hokies. Home of the I didn't even warn you that I was going out of town because I KNEW I would still be connected in this town. Alas, I'm still waiting for permission to be a "guest-user" GRRRRR . . . .
So, we have spent this weekend at a Special Olympics volunteer training workshop held on the campus of Virginia Tech. It's been a wonderful, exhausting 3 days. Friday, we made an attempt to hike to the Cascades, but were turned back by a thunderstorm, but, oh what a magic spell it cast on the trail. I only had time for a few quick shots, sans tripod, before the bottom dropped out of the sky and the camera had to go under wraps.

There are more stories to tell when I can hold my eyes open.
In the mean time, here's a puzzle for you, shot in the gardens of the Getty Museum in Los Angeles.
Ode to Orange Jigsaw PuzzleOde to Orange Jigsaw Puzzle

Friday, July 27, 2007

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Rain, Rain, Go Away . . .

Mountain Mist Jigsaw PuzzleMountain Mist Jigsaw Puzzle


The first official day of Camp McPherson has been a wash-out. The dreary, misty day has, however, given me the perfect opportunity to share this video of the JoyBell Ringers playing the second movement of Dobrinski's "Virginia Highlands Suite." It's hauntingly beautiful, evocative, and rich in imagery. It reminds me of sitting by the river at sundown. The sudden drop in temperature causes the mist to mysteriously hover over the swirling waters. I can hear the ebb and flow of the current as the waters slide over the tinkling pebbles. So, just click on the play button, close your eyes, and let the melancholy notes sooth your soul.

Math is Not my Strong Suit

I had to drive the party wagon all last week. I did NOT want to drive it on the trip to Greenville this week. Then Carrie asked if she could go with me. A hasty calculation: Corey, Jakob, Agape, and me plus Carrie = 5. Yes! I can drive my comfy car!!! It wasn't until about bedime last night that it dawned on me: I forgot to add into the calculation the young man that we were picking up in Kernersville on the way home. EEEKS! Thankfully, the kids were good-natured about the sardine experiment (how many people can you cram into a VW bug is WAAAAAAAY before their time!) and we arrived safely at "Camp McPherson" ready for all the good times that lie ahead.
The results of bored kids and a snappy camera:

Thanks go out to the Bennetts for providing clues to a letterbox that led us to the discovery of a lovely park in Raleigh, Durant Nature Park.

Not to be forgotten, a (completely random) puzzle for today:
Little Sunshines Jigsaw PuzzleLittle Sunshines Jigsaw Puzzle

Monday, July 23, 2007

Hot Fun in the Summertime

Wild Riders Jigsaw PuzzleWild Riders Jigsaw Puzzle
I'm on the road again, this time to pick up my sweet friends, Corey and Jakob. We expect to be having fun times like this the next couple of weeks.

Spread Your Wings

Spread Your Wings Jigsaw PuzzleSpread Your Wings Jigsaw Puzzle
I found this striking moth on the kitchen counter tonight.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Kudos to Amy

WHAAAAA . . . .I want to go to Wyoming!!
Amy, Thank you for sharing your inspiring images and majestic memories of your vacation in Wonderful Wyoming. Bravo!!!
You have a standing invitation to hijack my blog anytime! She took all those lovely images with a digicam, too. Amy, I can't wait to see your growth now that you have some serious tools to work with.

It turns out that one of my favorite wedding images was actually Amy's shot: This sweet moment of Matt and April was caught by Amy.

Sorry for the mix-up, sweetie!

Out of Africa

Out of Africa Jigsaw PuzzleOut of Africa Jigsaw Puzzle
One of the most popular classes at music camp is the African Drumming class. These are just a few of the instruments used in that class.

And now for a song that is (sorta) out of Africa, too: Katelyn singing "Down in the River to Pray" at the music camp talent show.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Amy's trip to Wyoming, Part IV

Mom is back, as you can see, but I have more pictures from my trip that I still want to share. First of all, thank you so much to Paula in Fredericksburg for your nice comments. I'm so glad that you have enjoyed my posts.

Okay, hang on, because I have a bunch of pictures and I'm going to get through them all. To start off, how about some animals?

I have never seen a fox like this, and certainly not one walking around in people's yards with her babies, but Wyoming is apparently the kind of place where this isn't so uncommon. The first time I saw her I thought she looked kind of mangy and scary, but when I got a closer look at her I came to see her more as beautiful in a very wild sort of way.

Yes, this is a house that she is in front of.

In Yellowstone Park, buffaloes have the right of way:

On the way home from Yellowstone, in Grand Teton National Park, a bunch of cars were pulled over on the side of the road and a ranger was there. My first thought was that there had been a car accident, but when I got closer, this is what I saw on the other side of the street:

And just to show you how close these bears were:

Here are a few more shots from my walks around the neighborhood:

These horses were way across the field, but when they saw me taking pictures they headed over to say hello. It was the sweetest thing, although I was pretty sure they were hoping I had some carrots stuck up my sleeve - they kept trying to nibble my sweater!

I wanted a picture of myself with the horses, so I held the camera behind my head and took this shot. I think it's kind of funny how much my hair looks like the horse's mane.

Here's some sweater nibbling:

I guess my sweater didn't taste very good:

Some more pretty closeups of plants and flowers:

On one of our last days, we headed up to the hills for a hike. Have you ever seen those signs that say "WATCH FOR FALLEN ROCKS"? This is why those signs say that:

This is the "fallen rock" that got stuck under Dave's car (I'm sticking my foot on it to show its scale):

We had to jack up the car and then rush in between cars coming up the hill to get the rock out from under the car. What happened was: we were in a long line of cars behind a slow moving truck and we didn't have much following distance. The car in front of us swerved and missed this rock, but we weren't able to do the same, so the rock got wedged under the car. Thankfully, it doesn't seem to have caused any major damage, and Dave has driven from Wyoming to Tennessee without problems.

This trip was in June, but we had fresh snow - totally crazy!

This is Johnny, my forever-young husband, throwing snow balls:

Bob, our wonderful, gracious host, is an avid fly fisherman. While we were staying with him, we went to see a documentary film that featured the Cutthroat Trout. I've recently gotten into doing watercolor with espresso, so I painted a picture of a Cutthroat Trout on a thank you note for Bob to express our appreciation to him.

And one closing photo. This was my last sunset in Wyoming:

You all have my best. I now return the hijacked blog to the very competent hands of the Deputy Minister of Fun. She is sure to show you a good time!

Great News, At Last!!!

My friends, The Murrells, just found out this afternoon that Steven was accepted into the family practice residency program in Sherry and Jamie's hometown,Tulsa, OK!!! This is certainly the best thing that has happened to them since starting on this medical school saga 4 years ago, and what a cliff-hanger it has been! So a huge thank you from the bottom of my heart to all of you have have taken the time to say a prayer on their behalf!

Friday, July 20, 2007

I'm Back!

. . . But too tired to tell all tonight! The music camp was fantastic, as usual; the kids wore themselves out and down until they were dropping like flies by Thursday. They didn't want to whine too much about being sick because they still didn't want to miss anything.
Here is a puzzle from the items on display in the "Travelocity" class:
Travelocity Jigsaw PuzzleTravelocity Jigsaw Puzzle

I'll post up a few pictures soon, but if you want to see them all, I have 2 slideshows online already!! (One unexpected benefit of not having internet access all week; I actually get more work done!)
Eagle Eyrie 2007 Summer Music Camp
JoyBell Ringers Live at Eagle Eyrie
We had a bonus day to do something fun on our own on Monday since classes don't begin until the evening. We took a hike on the Blue Ridge Parkway to find a letter box, and then picnicked at Peaks of Otter, which is a significant place in my memory: it was there that I experienced morning sickness for the first time ever. This was the best letterbox that I have found so far. The last clue said to turn around and look for the one-eyed toad rock. See if you can find it in the pictures! One of the log entries was "Timothy proposed to Lyndsey on this day at this spot." So sweet! I had some help documenting the hike.

And now for some news from Agape: She was attending Camp Virginia Jaycees while we were at Eagle Eyrie. She was given recognition there for being the "Best Photographer!! hmmmm . . . . I wonder where she got that from?!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Amy's trip to Wyoming, Part III

One of the highlights of our trip to Wyoming was visiting Yellowstone National Park for a day. It was a 3 hour drive to get there from where we were staying, but the scenery was beautiful along the way. We went hiking in the canyon surrounding the Yellowstone River. Here is Johnny looking down at the river - notice that the stone actually IS yellow:

I didn't know that we would be seeing any waterfalls, so imagine how amazed and surprised I was to come around the corner and see THIS:

Wow! We walked down to a viewing station (well, we thought we were continuing on the trail and then the trail ended at this wooden platform and we realized that we had to walk all the way back up from where we had come). This is looking back up the stairs from down in the Canyon:

Another nice shot of the river:

We finally made it to the falls overlook area, and right after we arrived the sun literally broke through the clouds and formed a rainbow in the falls - it was totally amazing! Here's Johnny "hanging out":

And here's me:

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Amy's trip to Wyoming, Part II

A few days later, we went for a hike around Jenny Lake in Grand Teton National park. I had gotten some sleep and was feeling considerably better than I did on the drive up to Wyoming:

This sign explains that Jenny Lake is named after the Shoshone wife of Beaver Dick Leigh, a trapper who served as a guide for the U.S. Territorial Survey expedition which explored and mapped the area in 1872. It also explains that the lake was created by a glacier. I think it's sweet that this fur trapper got a lake named after his wife.

Here is Johnny with his buddies Jason and Dave. Johnny is on the far right:

Wyoming has such amazing, sweeping panoramas, but it also has so many beautiful little details. It feels like it is literally bursting with life - so many plants and animals! Here are some details of plants that I took while walking around in the neighborhood where we were staying. This first picture has sprinklers spraying through the flowers.

Here is one of those great, sweeping panoramas:

This is Johnny, off on an exploration wading through the Snake River.