Thursday, July 30, 2015

New Finds and Trips to Take

It's time for two of my favorite memes. Willy Nilly and Five On Friday. Tanya at Willy Nilly is not available this week but she should be back next Friday so look for her then. Also I'd like to join in this week at Orange You Glad It's Friday

1. Late this afternoon I went out on the balcony to water my pepper plant. And, there were the geese. I had not seen them since early spring. I counted them.... 11 in all. I was so excited to see them but they swam a few minutes, came on land to nibble in the grass and were gone. They'll be back, I just don't know when.

2. After 2 weeks of having some pain under my shoulder blade in back, the pain moved around to my front. Okay, what was going on? So, I made a trip to see my doctor. It was shingles. And, I had the shingles shot, too. This is not fun.

3. I am counting the days until I go to New York to see my youngest daughter and her family. We had so much planned. Wonder how much the shingles will hamper my sightseeing and visiting. She said we could go to Whole Foods. I don't live near one in Va. This is a picture of oranges I took when I was up there before. Don't they look like healthy eating? 

4. And these are some of her beautiful roses.

5. I was very interested to hear that there has been a new discovery at Jamestown. Seems that the Catholics weren't welcome in that English settlement but they found a grave with a tiny silver box which had been sitting on top of a casket. Inside was some fragments of human bones and some holy water. If you want to read more about this important historical find click HERE.
                                                                                                                   

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

A STRANGE HOTEL

photo from internet

Thank you Linda Kay for having the WIT AND WISDOM meme so we can express our creative writing urges once a week. I love reading everyone's stories that are inspired by a photograph. 

So here's mine!!

A STRANGE HOTEL

The ride from the airport was over. We were finally at our destination. The French cabby opened up the trunk of his cab and dumped our luggage out onto the sidewalk and drove off. As a gentle rain began to fall we stood staring at the entryway of a little hotel that we had chosen from a travel book. Hey, the book said the staff spoke English!! That was enough for us. 

After checking in we climbed a very narrow iron staircase to the second floor. As we entered our room we just looked at each other in disbelief. It looked like camp quarters, three single beds lined up against one wall, the beds draped with stiff line-dried cotton blankets. A large wardrobe sat against another wall, a phone hung from it's position near the door. A stack of hard raggedy towels sat on a shelf. After the all night flight from New York we were too tired to protest. We slipped into our nightclothes and crawled between the scratchy blankets. 
my daughter in our awful hotel room. 

It was January, a strange time for visiting Paris, but my daughter had come over to work as a model. I would stay one week and then leave her in this place. Right now, all we needed was sleep. Sometime during the night I awoke, an urge for the bathroom, and discovered that we were freezing cold. I piled our heavy winter coats over the blankets then I edged out the door. The 'community' bathroom was down the hall. 

The room was very dark. I found the switch and turned the knob. Light, glorious light!! I walked over and sat down, intent on the business at hand. I had this sudden fear. Suppose someone else had a midnight bathroom call. Did I bolt the door? I don't think I did. Why was it so cold in here?  I glanced up to see a window near the ceiling. It was open! Suddenly I am plunged back into scary darkness. The knob on the light switch evidently was a timer. The French don't want you wasting electricity! 

So, now it's pitch black and my fingers are numb from the cold. I search for my paraphernalia that was around my feet. I stumble across the room, find the door knob and rush out into the dimly lit hallway. Well, I never had that happen to me before!! Darkness, single sheet hard slick brown toliet paper stacked in a corner, cold air blowing down my bare b.... (you can put in back or butt here according to your own thought). 

I crawl back into bed, snuggling deeper underneath that awful, insufficient blanket, my coat warming my feet and legs and fall into a deep sleep. 

It's ten o'clock when we awake. Our bodies are so screwed up from jet lag. We do know that we are starving but we have no sense of time. We need a shower. Oh, that was an experience in itself. Another large, community shower room, strange looking faucets protruding out of the wall while you stood on a bare floor with no barriers to protect your privacy, a bar of weird, strong smelling soap in a tiny dish. We'd brought with us the provided towels that I would have discarded long ago if they were mine. We quickly wet and soaped down, rinsed off and ran out of there. Who might wander in? Was the water timed like the lights were? We had no idea. Dressed, we head downstairs for those yummy French pastries they said would be available. What!! We slept through breakfast. Oh dear. Things are not working out as we had planned.

my obvious glee when we decide to move out of this weird hotel. Travel book in hand!!


To make a long story short... After breakfast in a cute little cafe, we set out in search of a more 'Americanized' hotel, a room with it's own bathroom and fluffy towels and sweet smelling soap. We found one on Rue de Seine and moved right in. We had left behind the little French hotel from hell. Lesson learned, never chose a hotel in a foreign country from a travel book. It was scary!!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Pink Flowers In My Yard

I recently sold my home to a somewhat younger couple (mid fifties I guess). That old house needed a bunch of work. We all (humans, houses etc) do tend to deteriorate with age, don't we? It worried me a bit that perhaps after they moved in they would be dis-enchanted with it's charm as they faced one repair after another.  

I was so happy to learn yesterday that they LOVE the house, faults and all. I know I am in a good place for me at this time in my life. And, it's such a blessing to know that my home will be loved and cared for since I couldn't anymore. 

I want to share some pretty flowers from days gone by....
They once graced my yard at that house.


This huge plumeria (potted so I could bring it in for the winter) reminded me of our stay in Hawaii.

I had two of these beautiful planters that mark the corners of my patio. 

The heavenly scent of these stargazer lilies greeted me every time I went out the kitchen door.

Sweet little dianthus grew under the kitchen window.

My azalea garden

Beautiful pink petunias hung from the kitchen window box.

and sedum bloomed along the fence.

Today I am linking with TODAY'S FLOWERS and PINK SATURDAY. Just posting this little tribute to the pink flowers I used to grow at my 'other' home. 

                                                                                                         

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

A Train Ride to Switzerland

I love the new meme, WIT AND WISDOM. It gives you a chance to tell the story behind the photo you have chosen. It could be a true story or a fictional one. Today I am going to tell a true story.


It was an adventure of a lifetime, the three of us traveling about Europe with no itinerary, no schedule to keep, just enjoying the discovery of the old and new of a world Elbert and I had never seen. We'd checked out of our hotel on Rue de Seine that morning and walked out into a street filled with people shopping at an open air market. The scent of flowers, fish and pastries filled our nostrils with pungent scents.The sound of the french language rang in our ears as buyers bartered with the seller for their purchases.Susan and her Dad meandered across the street to a small grocer to stock up on bread, cheese and drinks for us. We would be spending the lunch hour on our way to Switzerland. 

The TGV was very fast scooting along the rails, the lovely French countryside zipping by us. Elbert loved to watch for familiar things, cows in a pasture, trees like we had back home, a farmer hard at work. Susan and I were more interested in the vineyards clinging to the sides of tall hills in the south of France or the ancient steeples on churches as we traveled through first one small town then another. The terrain was changing from the more flat land around Paris to hills, then mountains as we approached the border.

Soon our bellies began to rumble. We had let the noon hour slip by. So, Susan opened up the bags of goodies and pulled out the bread, still fragrant and warm from the oven. She slowly peeled the outer rind off each slice of cheese and placed it between slices of bread and then we began to eat. 

Suddenly it seemed so amazingly surreal to us riding along at such  speed through a country far from home, munching on cheese sandwiches as we went. We began to laugh and laugh and laugh. The thrill of the journey was a joy to behold. The three of us sharing such an adventure was a memory we would always cherish. With a smile on our face, our tummies full, we settled back to continue on to our next destination.