Thursday, June 17, 2021

Catch up

This days I am not sure what to do first. I have not blogged in quite a while. But I have good news. Our church has hired the new office administrator and my time as volunteer secretary is over at the end of the month. The good thing: I did have to figure out and learn how to do a few things on that PC and learning something new is always a good thing. 

Most of our friends are fully vaccinated. Life for us is almost back to normal. So, on Saturday June 5 we decided to invite some friends from the neighborhood for dinner on our back patio. Look who showed up when we got the patio ready with tables and chairs. Freddie is back. We had such a good time with our friends chatting and laughing that I forgot to take photos.

News later that day was not so good. Sarah and family had been invited to a friends' lake cabin for one night. They had to return early though because while fishing at the lake Caleb ended up with a hook in his thumb and his parents could not get it out. He had to be taken to the emergency room. 

Monday (June 7) James decided to treat ourselves with an outing. For once there didn't seem anything pressing on our calendars. We decided to drive to the York River State Park. It is fully open again. A passing ranger stopped to tell us all about the osprey nest on the (state park provided) pole. It was very interesting.

We had a nice walk along the river but mainly in the fores because it was very hot). 

Mmhh, yes, a very fast "good" snake crossing our path right in front of us.

I had had a hankering for a lunch at the Yorktown Pub. It sure has changed since we where there last time quite some time ago. There were many people and a tent had been put up. Outdoor seating suits us and we did not have to wait too long since it was almost 1:30 by now.
We splurged to have an appetizer ... fried oysters. Oh, they were good!

Ha-ha, my crab cake was not bad either. Good thing we had done a walk beforehand. 

On Wednesday we were lucky to enjoy our 4th (?) rhubarb dessert from our own garden. Unfortunately probably also the last.

Trying to please the birds. Have I mentioned that we are enjoying a true Virginia summer? It is hot. Twice we saw a bird drink out of the ant trap above the hummingbird feeder. So we decided to get a bird bath. We even got a little solar powered fountain. With good sun it is so strong that it could empty the bowl in no time. It came with several tops for several different fountain features but we ended up to leave it without any of it and there is only a little two inch high bubble. We are wondering though whether the birds are afraid of it so we took that fountain out today to see what will happen.

Yes, and that is it for this blog at the moment. Apropos blogs. I am always a bit self-concience about writing them but the other day I woke up at 2 am and (very unusual) could not get back to sleep. I decided not to fight it, went into the living room and read some of the Camino blogs. I was so happy reading and after an hour and a half went back to sleep. 

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Energy is back

James and I declare: we are blessed. He is 'over the moon' because after exactly 6 month to the day after his 'Mohs surgery' he can finally leave the dressing away. The wound took all this time to heal but it looks really good now. ...... And I feel really good about my back but still are very careful (mainly when gardening) because I don't want to experience what happened on December 19 again. But I have no problem going on walks with James again and yes, I do gardening too. Thanks to the Lord!

Worship service on Sunday May 23 was the last with about 1/3 of the places roped off. At the end we were told we could take the tapes off in preparation for next Sunday. This little boy who normally sits in the pew in front of us could not wait for the time to come. He had his hand on it to be ready at the time of the last hymn.

That weekend we were also grand-dog-sitting. 

After church we went home to get Stella to drive her back to her home. How lucky it happened to be lunch time and we happened to drive right past the nice restaurant 'Toast' and they happened to have a table for us outside in the shade. Just lovely.
James had a breakfast pizza.

I had a salmon reuben with sweet potato tater tots which was a bit unusual but nice.

Have I mentioned that the position of secretary (or office administrator) is vacant? I am already the monthly newsletter editor so picking me as volunteer might have been logical. As good as I can I produce the weekly announcements and the Sunday bulletin insert. The problem: The church has a PC and I have a Mac. What might take me 10 minutes on my computer takes me hours in the office. Well, every week I get better but a lot I just like to do at home. So far I have not managed to get fired. 

Tuesday May 25 I felt like a couch potato (after too much computer time) but then James suggested to go for a walk. What a splendid idea. We felt like being on a Caribbean vacation. A warm night with a lovely warm breeze. To top it off we had a full moon, a blood moon to be exact. So nice. 

And there are always surprises! The stretch of garden past our front door (which is actually on the side) has never received much attention. There were bushes which we could not identify. They had never done anything except last year there were 2 or 3 (not kidding) flowers which looked like azaleas. Low and behold ... look what a little fertilizer can do. And we had almost ripped them out last fall.

Weather is an interesting topic right now. We had a very, very dry time lately. James had to water our flowers a lot. People had already started to complain about the heat. We had lovely lunches in the shade under the awning on the back patio.

The next day we had to find our cardigans and the water came down like from buckets. Just didn't manage to capture it in this photo. Unfortunately the Friday and Saturday were really bad. I felt for all those who had planned BBQ parties on this Memorial Day weekend. 

Sunday afternoon it was getting better. James and I did a nice neighborhood walk. The gazebo and the little park around it were appropriately decorated. 

Memorial Day Monday (May 31) a volunteer band (neighbors) were playing from 3 to 6 in the afternoon there. They were actually very good. We brought our folding chairs and refreshments. Fun!

Today Helen sent me two photos. William was cooking. Who had made the better meatballs. My guess was that William had made 'A'. 

Helen reported that he had also made "engineering salad' (?) which was really good. And she was very thankful that he cleaned up afterwards too.

A picture for William from our Garden. My salad from seeds in a planter. Already have harvested twice. The next harvest is overdue. 

And this is a begonia which was gifted to us by Mary and Cal. Happy to report it does really great.

A single lily rescued from the bed which is no more because we now have the walkway and extra gate. I stuck it into this bed not really knowing what it was. It is gorgeous but probably should be moved to a better place because it does not showits beauty properly in front of the clematis.

May just ended. Another church newsletter produced in time. Yeah! Last week was quite intense. I also learned how to upload the newsletters into the church website. I was quite nervous about it but managed and now I am in the process to post a few of the older ones too. 

My first issue was July 2015 until December 2019 when I decided that a younger person should have a go at it. Unfortunately nobody came forward. When the pandemic evolved I realized that the newsletter was really needed and started again with the November 2020 issue. I must say that I quite enjoyed doing it again. I could do with the headaches though.

Here are the links of the last issues if you are interested how our church dealt with issues during the pandemic.

November 2020     December 2020     January 2021     February 2021     March 2021   

April 2021     May 2021     June 2021

Hope you enjoy it. And that is it for now. Time to tackle the next task.

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Slowly getting back to normal

The pandemic is not over yet but so many in our circles are fully vaccinated (including us) that life slowly feels a bit more normal.

Before we went on our little trip our friend July invited us for dinner. She also invited another couple she wanted us to meet for quite a while but it never worked out that we all where free. Patti and Don are very nice and it was a fun evening. Julie is a great hostess as you can see in the photos.

Since the beginning of May we can more and more enjoy our own outdoors too ... until it will get too hot.

When we sit under the awning we quite often see chipmunks and skinks. The chipmunks are too quick for me to photograph (as are the hummingbirds). But I was lucky to take the following photos. Fun. I googled on them and it says that they are friendly and don't mind being handled but they seem to be shy to me. Can't get very close. Ha-ha, google even had a video how to catch them. I think it is just nice to watch them.

The rhubarb made another flower. Sigh. Probably didn't cut it off early enough. But we had a second spoonful of dessert by now (each!).

Oh yes, with hot weather comes watering. Not a problem since "boys" like to play with water.

Our two rhododendrons were the best ever this year.

And the sweet william too.

And the our new addition, the fuchsia, is not disappointing.

I am trying hard not to neglect the few indoor plants I have right now. The porcelain flower must have been jealous about all the praise the outdoor flowers got.

Yes, busy, busy. Had to try something like pasties. Not bad but I wished I could just buy them in Cornwall.

Yeah, when you bake and eat you also have to exercise. At the moment I am not doing too badly. But somehow my pandemic pounds don't seem to want to come down.

I mentioned trying to get back to normal. I organized my quilt group (West End Quilters) to have a parking lot meeting in April. Our church Saint Martin's is now 'hosting' us.

And in May we actually could meet inside. You should have heard all the happy comments the ladies made. 

And I was asked to give a program about the lone star I had made. Sorry, the big one is laying flat on the table behind. I do write about lace and quilting on my other blog though. See tab above.

The next day I had been invited to a luncheon in our neighborhood. Patti was hosting a birthday luncheon for Emily and Julie. We were 5 and laughed pretty much the whole time.

As dessert we had this assortment. Oh my. Such goodies. 

I had kept thinking about gifts for the birthday ladies and the hostess but had a tough time coming up with a good idea. But luckily the previous day had been the WE Quilt meeting. One lady always brings free ranch eggs. Ducks, chicken and other fowl, unwashed sometimes with the occasional feather in the box.
I thought for ladies who really don't want gifts which need to be stored til eternity to share them would be a good idea. And yes, they loved them and talked about them at length what they might do with them ... including blowing them out and painting them.

And Patti brought this to the table. A glass dome displaying a huge empty painted egg, and a nest with little ones. 

Wow, it seems I have caught up with blogging now. Hope I didn't bore you. 

Blogger and Microsoft seem to make a lot of changes. I have to change my three blogs because I was notified that Feedburner will not automatically email the new blog to those who had signed up to receive it. I am not always good at making changes but I have to look into it. Uugh.