Monday, December 29, 2008

Dawn: A Beautiful New Day in the Woods.

We had a beautiful sunrise the other morning. I took this picture of it from my kitchen window. And soon, we will be having the dawn of a new year.

I am not making any new year's resolutions this year. But I do have a motto that I have and will continue to follow in the new year. It is summed up beautifully in this little poem:

A happy New Year! Grant that I
May bring no tear to any eye
When this New Year in time shall end
Let it be said I've played the friend,
Have lived and loved and labored here,
And made of it a happy year.~Edgar Guest

A New Day, A New Year, and a MEMEME!

The Dawn of a New Day! The Dawn of a New Year!

I took this shot of a beautiful sunrise in the woods the other morning. The dawn of a beautiful new day, as the old year is winding down, and the dawn of a new year is upon us.

I am not making any new year's resolutions this year. But I do have a motto that I have always followed and will continue to follow in the new year:

A happy New Year! Grant that I
May bring no tear to any eye
When this New Year in time shall end
Let it be said I've played the friend,
Have lived and loved and labored here,
And made of it a happy year.
~Edgar Guest

New Year's Eve will find me celebrating early with lunch at a Chinese Buffet. And much to my family and friends dismay, I do not plan on staying up until midnight, to watch the ball drop and to receive Happy New Year phone calls. That will have to come on New Year's Day, which will also find me dining out and wishing friends and acquaintances a happy new year. What can I say? I'm an early bird!

My family, friends, animals, and Nature have been a big blessing in the old year, and I pray that, that will continue into the new year. I don't ask for any more than that.

Thank you for reading. I wish you all a healthy, happy and prosperous new year, friends.

New Year's blessings from the woods!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Angel Deer-A Christmas Story.

(This story is fiction!)

It was going to be and especially wonderful Christmas this year, Patty
Hudson though, eyeing her watch anxiously. Two o’clock in the afternoon.
They should be arriving any minute. Just then, the gravel on her driveway
began popping, followed by a "honk, honk," of her daughter’s car. Patty
hurried out to greet them.

"Hi, Mom," Anne said, getting out the car and giving her a hug, while the pint sized girl in the back seat struggled to free herself from her seat belt.

"Hi, Nana," a sweet voice shouted, jumping into her arms. "We’re finally

"Yes, you are, and I couldn't be happier," Patty replied, covering her face with kisses. "Let’s go inside where it’s nice and warm."

"Do you have your Christmas tree up yet?" the little girl asked as they
walked through the door.

"Not yet, Nicole. I thought that tomorrow you and I’ll go to the cedar woods and cut down our own tree. Then we can spend the evening decorating it. What do you think of that idea?"

Nicole’s dark blue eyes grew wide with wonder as she snuggled in her
grandmother’s lap. "Oh that will be wonderful, Nana!"

"That does sound wonderful. Too bad I can’t be here to go to the woods with you two," Anne said in a disappointed tone.

"Well, why don’t you call your boss and tell him you decided to take the
entire week off. Then you won’t have to make the four hour drive back to the city until after Christmas," Patty suggested.

"I can’t, Mom. But you and Nicole can enjoy some time together, and Jeff and I’ll be here on Christmas Eve."

After Anne drove off the following morning, Patty and Nicole fed the
chickens and ducks and filled the wild bird feeders to the brim. Then Nicole watched the droves of finches, cardinals, chickadees, nuthatches and woodpeckers feed, while Patty began preparing lunch.

"Are we going to get the Christmas tree right after lunch?"

"Yes, we are," Patty smiled at the tiny imp with the long brown pony tail.
"The sun is shining and it will be warmer outside by then. I would not want you to get too cold. "

It was one o’clock in the afternoon when they were finally walking up the
old lane that led to the cedar grove.

"This looks so different from the way it looked in the summer,"Nicole
remarked, walking just ahead of Patty, who was carrying her bow saw.

"Yes, it does. And all the biting insects are gone now, so you won’t be
going back to the city with your usual summer souvenirs. "

"That’s funny, Nana. Are we almost by the cedar grove?"

"Just a little ways up from here, sweetie. Are you getting tired?"

"Oh, no, I was just wondering. Oh, there they are. I see them." Nicole ran
ahead, eager to reach them. "They look so beautiful!"

This cedar grove, in the middle of an oak and hickory forest, has always
enchanted Patty. The cedars came in many different sizes, and their green, cylindrical shapes among the leafless hardwood forest in the winter, was a visual delight.

"How about this tree, Nana? Or this one?" Nicole asked, running from tree to tree.

"Now remember, it can’t be a real tall one. We have to get it back to the
house, and it’s a half a mile walk," Patty reminded Nicole. "Let’s
go that way. I see several smaller trees over there. "

They walked on among the cedars, turning left, then right, excited about all the beautiful trees the grove offered. Finally, Patty stopped in front of a six foot tree, and after looking it over, announced, "I think this one here
is perfect. Not too tall, not too small, with beautifully shaped branches.
It will look perfect in the bay window. What do you think, Nicole?"

"Oh, you are right, Nana. This tree is perfect. Will it be hard to cut

"No, the trunk is not very thick. Let me see now," Patty crouched down and examined the trunk of the cedar. "Good thing I’m wearing gloves. Cedar branches are prickly," she added.

Once the tree was down, Patty held on to the trunk and pulled it along as
they headed back towards the lane. Nicole, just ahead of her, kept on
chatting and walking, commenting on everything in sight. After some time, Patty stopped for a moment and glanced at her watch. It was almost three o’clock! Had they been in the woods that long? And they should have reached the lane already, she thought, an uneasy feeling creeping into the pit of her stomach.

"Are you getting tired, Nana?" Nicole asked, glancing back at her.

"No, I’m just shifting hands," she replied, walking on.

After a while, Patty glanced at her watch again. It was fifteen minutes past three. She knew in her heart that they should have reached the old lane by now."Let’s turn here, sweetie, and walk towards those oak trees," she said, trying not to sound anxious. She did not want to frighten the little girl.

But as they reached the oak woods, there was still no sign of the old lane,
and it would be getting dark in another hour!

"Nicole, let’s sit down and rest a minute on this fallen log," she finally

"You look worried, Nana. Is anything wrong?" Nicole asked, sitting down next to her.

"Well, I am a bit worried. I think we might be lost. I believe we have been
walking in circles. That’s not hard to do in the woods. I should have been
more careful. I am so sorry I wasn’t."

The little girl moved closer to her and put her arm around Patty's shoulder. "It isn’t your fault, Nana."

"Oh, but it is my fault. It wouldn’t be so bad if I was out here by myself,
but..." She stopped herself. There was no sense in frightening the child
even more.

"I tell you what. Let’s you and I say a little prayer before we continue on
our way. I think that might help."

"Okay, Nana, and I know just the prayer we need to say," Nicole responded enthusiastically, her sweet voice enunciating the words of the prayer clearly and without a single mistake:

"Angel of God, my guardian dear,
To whom His love commits me here,
Ever this day, be at my side,
To light and guard,
To rule and guide. Amen."

"Amen. That was beautiful, Nicole," Patty said, pulling the little girl into her arms and holding her close. Tears welled in her eyes as thoughts of spending a chilly night in the woods, with a trusting four year old, plagued her.

"Nana, look! A deer!" Nicole, wriggling out of her arms, suddenly whispered, jolting Patty out of her dour thoughts. She turned towards Nicole’s pointing hand and saw it, too. It was a sleek doe, standing no more than ten feet from them.

"Nana, she says we should follow her," Nicole announced, standing up. "She will lead us to the lane."

The little girl is hallucinating, Patty thought, as she stood up, too. "But Nicole, the doe will probably run off, if we try to approach her," she said out loud.

"No, Nana. She is telling me that we should follow her," Nicole insisted.

Patty looked at the serious expression on her granddaughter’s face, and then glanced towards the doe, still standing there looking at them.

"Well, why not, we’re already lost," she said, taking Nicole’s hand with one hand, and holding on to the cedar tree with the other, as they began walking towards the animal.

The doe turned and walked through the woods slowly, glancing back often, as if to make sure they were still following her. And of course, they were...a small girl with faith in her heart, and an elderly woman with hope in hers. A few minutes later, they found themselves back on the familiar old lane! There, the doe stopped and gave them one last look, then she turned and gracefully bounded back into the woods.

"Come on, sweetheart, let’s hurry on home to the warm house. The sun is
going down and it’s getting chilly," Patty said, sighing with relief and
saying a silent "thank you, Lord."

"Thank you, angel deer!" Nicole cried out after the vanishing animal. Then taking her grandmothers hand, she said, "Okay, Nana, let’s hurry home. I am getting a little cold now." .....

Christmas turned out especially meaningful this year, Patty was thinking as she said good bye to her departing family settling into their car for the drive back to the city.

"I’ll miss you," she said to the little imp, giving her one last hug.

"I’ll miss you, too," Nicole responded. Then getting close to Patty's ear,
she whispered, "I think you should say the guardian angel prayer each time you go to the woods, Nana. It will keep you safe."

"Thank you for your wonderful advice, sweetheart," Patty Hudson whispered back, tears welling in her eyes. "I promise to follow it faithfully."

(c) copyright 2002, by Renie Burghardt

I hope you enjoyed the little story, friends, and I thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to read it. Somehow, I can't seem to get the formatting right on
it. This will be my only post until next week, as I will be happily busy as well. Have a wonderful holiday with your family and friends.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy Hannukah, evryone!

Blessings from the woods!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Oh, The Weather Outside is Frightful!

After a warm, sixty degree Sunday, our weather turned frightful. Yesterday we had freezing rain and sleet all day, and peeking out the glass door this morning, I see it is raining. Since it is 19 F out there, that is freezing rain again!

It's only the second day of this frightful mess and I'm already getting cabin fever! But as you can see, Fred the cat is enjoying the warmth of the Christmas tree lights, while he dreams of his favorite past time-chasing squirrels outdoors!

What is really even worse about all that sleet that looks like snow out there, is that I can't spend any time outdoors. It's just too slippery. It was in December of 2005 when I went out to feed the birds while there was snow on the ground, and fell and broke my hip. I recovered well from that terrible ordeal, thank the Good Lord, and thanks to my wonderful sons and daughter, who took turns spending six weeks staying with me so I could recover at home, instead of in a nursing home.

So, I have been listening to my Christmas Cd's, especially the new German one, " Weinachten mit Hansi," (Christmas with Hansi) sent to me by my old and dear friend Maria, who lives in Cleveland, Ohio. Thank you, Maria! It is a beautiful CD!

Of course, this weather means we will have to miss our Chinese Buffet day on Wednesday, but Eileen and I are both hoping we will be able to attend our annual Christmas Bingo and Luncheon, at our church, on Thursday. It is always great fun, and we go home with some nice Christmas prizes. Keep your fingers crossed that our weather will warm up by Thursday, as the forecast is promising.

I hope the weather is better where you are, friends, while you're out and about, getting ready for Christmas.

Thank you for reading. Have a wonderful week, everyone.

Blessings from the woods!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Chasing Away the Winter Doldrums!

Well, besides still battling the last of this bug that has been plaguing me, I have been down with a major case of the winter doldrums. The Bah Humbugs! So I decided to post some of the pictures of Thanksgiving and birthday week, to remind me of the wonderful time my daughter and granddaughters, son Greg, and dear friend Eileen and I had together. Since I have several pictures here, I hope you won't be too bored with them.

My daughter took this picture of Eileen and me at the lovely restaurant where we all had lunch. And the waitresses even came and sang the Happy Birthday Song, to me! :-)

Here are my granddaughters Nichole and Hannah with Uncle Greg, in the woods. The girls think Uncle Greg is a cool and fun guy to hang out with!

City girls enjoy hiking around in Nana's woods!

And they also enjoy riding around on the 4-wheeler.

Since the weather was mild and beautiful the entire week they were here, we decided to go to the river, too. And as you can see, The Current River is beautiful even in November!

And here are the girls by our cabin on the river.

Alas, our visits are never long enough, and I always miss them when they leave for home. :(

I also had some good news in the mail this past week.
I received my copy of the Winter 2009 issue of "Pure Inspiration Magazine," with one of my stories in it. As a writer, I'm always happy to see my work in print.

I also received the new "Chicken Soup for the Soul, Loving Our Cats," book with my story in it.

And I have a story in "The Big Book of Christmas Joy: An Inspirational Treasury to Celebrate the Season," published by Howard Books.

I also have three awards I will acknowledge very soon, friends.

Thank you for visiting. I hope you are all doing well and ready for the holiday, unlike me.

Ah, and today is Chinese Buffet day. That should also help chase the winter doldrums. :-)

Blessings from the woods!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Blowing My Horn, and Other Sound Effects, Oi Veh!

Hi everyone,

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday week. I certainly did with my daughter and the girls, above. When they left on Friday evening to fly back to Ohio, a bug decided to come and stay with me!

I woke up Saturday morning with a miserable cold, and went to see the doctor and got medicine. It turned out I had a nasty sinus infection. Since then I have been blowing my trumpet, (well, okay, nose,) sneezing and coughing and generally feeling out of sorts. Of course, I did not go to church Sunday, deciding to spare the congregation of my sound effects and germs, and have been pretty well in bed these last few days.

This morning, I feel much better, and will attempt to go to town and pick up some groceries, and stop for coffee with friends.

I hope everyone is well and getting ready for Christmas or Hanukkah, or whatever you are celebrating. My granddaughters put up my Christmas tree, as they do every year when they are here for Thanksgiving. So, except for a bit more shopping, I am ready for the holiday.

Thank you for visiting. Have a wonderful week.

Blessings from the woods!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

My Mother's Cat--A Story on my Birthday.

When my nineteen-year-old mother died, a few weeks after giving birth to me, I inherited her cat, Paprika. He was a gentle giant, with deep orange stripes and yellow eyes that gazed at me tolerantly as I dragged him around wherever I went. Paprika was ten years old when I came into this world. He had been held and loved by my mother for all ten years of his life, while I had never known her. So I considered him my link to her. Each time I hugged him tightly to my chest, I was warmed by the knowledge that she had done so, too.

"Did you love her a lot?" I would often ask Paprika, as we snuggled on my bed.

"Meow!" He would answer, rubbing my chin with his pink nose.

"Do you miss her?"

"Meow!" His large, yellow eyes gazed at me with a sad expression.

"I miss her too, even though I didn’t know her. But Grandma says she is in heaven, and she is watching over us from there. Since we are both her orphans, I know it makes her happy that we have each other," I would always say, for it was a most comforting thought to me.

"Meow!" Paprika would respond, climbing on my chest and purring.

I held him close, tears welling in my eyes. "And it makes me so very happy that we have each other." Paprika’s orange paw reached up and touched my face gently. I was convinced he understood me, and I knew I understood him.

At that time we lived in the country of my birth, Hungary, and I was being raised by my maternal grandparents because World War II had taken my young father away, too. As I grew, the war intensified, and soon we were forced to become wanderers in search of safer surroundings.

In the spring of 1944, when I was eight, Paprika and I snuggled in the back of the wooden wagon as we traveled around our country. During the numerous air raids of those terrible times, when we had to scramble to find safety in a cellar, closet or ditch, he was always in my arms, for I refused to go without him. How could I, when one of the first stories I was ever told as a child was that of my dying mother begging her parents to take care of her cat as well as her baby?

After the Christmas of 1944, when we were almost killed in a bombing of the city we were in, Grandfather decided that we would be safer in a rural area. Soon, we settled in a small house that had a cemetery as its neighbor. Here Grandfather, with the help of some neighbors, built a bunker away from the house, and on an early spring day in 1945, we spent the entire night in the bunker. Paprika was with me, of course, because once again, I refused to go without him.

Warplanes buzzed, tanks rumbled, and bombs whistled and exploded over our heads all night while I held on to Paprika, and my grandmother held on to the both of us, praying the entire time. Paprika never panicked in that bunker. He just stayed in my arms, comforting me with his presence.

Finally everything grew still, and Grandfather decided it was safe to go back to the house. Cautiously, we crept out into the light of early dawn and headed towards the house. The brush crackled under our feet as we walked. I shivered, holding on to Paprika tightly. Suddenly, there was a rustle in the bushes just ahead. Two men jumped out and pointed machine guns directly at us.

"Stoi!" one of the men shouted. We knew the word meant, "Stop!"

"Russians!" Grandfather whispered. "Stand very still, and keep quiet."

But Paprika had leapt out of my arms when the soldier shouted, so instead of listening to Grandfather, I darted between the soldiers and scooped her up again.

The tall, dark-haired young soldier approached me. I cringed, holding Paprika against my chest. The soldier reached out and petted him gently.

"I have a little girl about your age back in Russia, and she has a cat just like this one," he said, smiling at us. I looked up into a pair of kind brown eyes and my fear vanished. My grandparents sighed with relief! We found out that morning that the Soviet occupation of our country was in progress.

Many atrocities occurred in our country in the following months, but because the young soldier took a liking to my cat and me, we were spared. He visited often, bringing treats for Paprika and me. Then one day, a few months later, he had some sad news.

"I’ve been transferred to another area, malka (little one), so I won’t be able to come and visit anymore. But I have a gift for you," he said, reaching into his pocket and pulling out a necklace. It was beautiful, and had a turquoise Russian Orthodox cross on it. He placed it around my neck.

"You wear this at all times, malka. God will protect you from harm. And you take good care of your kitty."

I hugged him tight, and then watched him leave, tears welling in my eyes.
In the trying weeks and months that followed, Paprika’s love made things easier for me to bear, for he rarely left my side. He was my comfort, my best friend.

By the fall of 1945, Grandfather, who had spoken up about the atrocities taking place in our country, had gone into hiding, to avoid being imprisoned as a dissident by the new communist government.

Grandmother and I prepared for a solemn Christmas that turned into my worst nightmare when I awoke on Christmas morning to find Paprika, curled up next to me, lifeless and cold. I picked up his lifeless body and holding it close to me, sobbed uncontrollably. He was nineteen years old, and I was nine.

"I will always love you, Paprika. I will never give my heart to another cat," I vowed through my tears. "Never, ever!"

"Paprika’s spirit is in heaven now, with your Mama, sweetheart," my grandmother said, trying to comfort me. But my heart was broken on that terrible Christmas Day in 1945.

Grandfather stayed hidden until the fall of 1947, when we were finally able to escape our communist country by hiding among some ethnic Germans, who were being deported into Austria. In Austria, we landed in a refugee camp where we lived for four years.

These were difficult times for me and I longed for Paprika often. I saw other people’s cats and knew it would be so comforting to feel a warm furry creature purring in my arms. But my loyalty to Paprika—mixed up in my mind with loyalty to my mother—never wavered. I had made a vow and I would keep it.

A ray of hope pierced this darkness when eventually we were accepted for immigration to the United States. In September 1951, we boarded an old Navy ship, on our way to America.

That year, we spent our first Christmas in the United States. The horrors of war, the four years of hardship in a refugee camp, were behind us now, and a life filled with fresh possibilities, lay ahead.

On that Christmas morning, I awoke to a tantalizing aroma wafting throughout the house. Grandmother was cooking her first American turkey. Grandfather, meanwhile, pointed to one of the presents under the Christmas tree that seemed alive, for it was hopping around to the tune of "Jingle Bells" playing on the radio. I rushed over, pulled off the orange bow, and took the lid off the box.

"Meow," cried the present, jumping straight into my lap and purring. It was a tiny, orange tabby kitten, and when I looked into its yellow eyes, the vow I had made in 1945 crumbled like dust and fell away. I was a new person in a new country. Holding the cat close, I let the sweetness of love fill my heart once again.

That Christmas Day, I do believe my mother smiled down at us from heaven approvingly, while Paprika’s spirit purred joyfully at her side.

This story has been published in "Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover's Soul," ("Angel Cats," "A Dickens of a Cat." ) Copyright (c) 2004 by Renie Burghardt.

Unfortunately, the only picture we have of that era is the one above. All others were lost during the war.

I hope you enjoyed the story. My family is here to help me celebrate my birthday, and of course, Thanksgiving. I woke up to streamers and Happy Birthday signs and balloons decorating my bedroom. I feel like a kid of 72! :-)

Friends, I will be somewhat absent from the world of blogging this week, but will be back the weekend.

To all celebrating the holiday, Happy Thanksgiving. And to everyone, have a wonderful week!

I also want to thank my Russian cousin Elena, in Ballarat, Victoria, Australia, for the lovely birthday gift and card. It arrived yesterday, and was such a surprise. Thank you Elena and Vlad!

And thank you so much for reading.

Blessings from the woods!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Hi Friends!

It has been a busy week, with fluctuating temperatures. Mild one day, freezing cold the next day. This morning it's 20 degrees, and I wish I knew what that is in Celsius. Suffice to say that it's pretty cold! BRRRRR!

My daughter tells me that it's snowing in Ohio, and they don't even mind! Go figure. LOL. I told her that our weather forecast for all next week is sunny and mild, so I hope they won't be too disappointed that we won't have snow for their visit. :-)

Before I head out, I thought I'd post a couple of quick pictures from last night.

Sunset in the woods is serene and lovely. No beautiful vista's, just a coppery glow over the woods.

And a little later, when I looked out my kitchen window, this is what I saw. Some hungry visitors, hoping for a little handout. Of course, I didn't disappoint them.

So far deer season has been relatively quiet around here, for which I am thankful!

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

Blessings from the woods.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Nonna's Christmas CD Giveaway!

My dear blogging friend Patti over at Nonna's News is having a great Christmas CD giveaway.

All you have to do to enter is:

(1) leave a comment on her post and(2) add the above graphic to your sidebar and(3) give her a little shout out on your blog!

She will draw, not 1, not 2, but 3 lucky winners on Dec.1st. Hurry and enter! And good luck everyone.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Falling Leaves and Other Friday Things

Well, it has been a busy week, and time has sped by at rocket speed! Tuesday, my son Greg took me shopping in a bigger town at a Super Walmart. Going to a Super Walmart is a hide and seek kind of experience with Greg. I try and hide, while he tries to find me!

Usually, I like to browse the various departments, while Greg heads to where the guys things are. But he finds what he needs quickly and comes looking for me. Fifteen minutes later, he finds me hiding in cosmetics, checking out the wrinkle creams, and asks if I'm almost done?

"Not yet," I say, and he disappears for another fifteen minutes. We go through this for over an hour, when he finally tells me he'll be waiting in the car and I should ring his cell phone when I'm ready. LOL. I guess guys just don't enjoy shopping as much as gals do.

The weather has been mostly nice all week, except for a couple of good showers, which are bringing down the leaves.

Here is a picture of my front yard a week ago, with still a lot of color.

And here is my front yard now, with a carpet of leaves covering most of my driveway, except the top part near the gravel road. But there are still a lot of leaves left on the trees. Just think how much fun my family will be having at the end of the month, helping me mulch and rake!

Deer Season begins tomorrow, the 15th, and will end the 25th, right on my birthday. This guy better find a good hiding place soon!

Deer Season is not my favorite season of fall, and although my woods are posted as "off limits" to hunters, we stay out of there during the next ten days, just in case some hunter doesn't care about the rules of the game.

My daughter and family arrive the 23rd, and will be here until the 28th. I am so looking forward to having them with me.

A nice, mild day is in the forecast for today, and I will be heading to town in a couple of hours. Have a wonderful weekend, everyone.

Blessings from the woods!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Weekend Wishes.

Our weather has turned cooler, but there is still lots of sunshine, although the leaves are drifting down, as you can see out the window, where my little dove is sitting. Of course, she can do this only when the cats are outside, and she does enjoy window sitting. I have had her since 1987, and am always thankful she is still doing so well. Isn't she sweet?

I did also receive a very nice award from Gramma Ann, which for some reason refuses to open, so I will have to work on that early next week. But I did want to thank Ann for thinking of me.

I am getting ready for company later this month, and am really looking forward to it. My daughter and granddaughters will be here Thanksgiving week, not only to celebrate Thanksgiving, but my birthday as well. I can hardly wait until they get here!!

I hope all is well with everyone. Thank you for reading. Have a wonderful weekend!

Blessings from the woods!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Beebopping In The Woods.

Election Day was gorgeous around here, with lots of sunshine and warm temperatures, so when I came home from casting my vote, I decided it was a great day for some beebopping in the woods. With camera in one pocket, cell phone in the other, and a sturdy walking stick to help me navigate the woodsy terrain, off we went to enjoy the last of this years autumn's colors.

Of course, some of the animals towed along. Like Felix on the left, and Oreo, on the right. Oh, boy, the woods are fun, Mom!

Sidney came along as well, although at 12, she is a bit arthritic. But she seemed to enjoy beebopping, as much as I; two oldies reveling in nature!

This is the southern exposed side of the woods, where things are dryer, and the ecosystem is a bit different from the northern side, where the huge white oaks grow, and the ginseng thrives! I'll take pictures of that side sometime as well.

But there is much beauty in these woods, where the young hickory trees intermingle with numerous dogwoods.

Sun shining through the tree tops created a magical effect; a feeling of being in a cathedral. Thank you God, for all this beauty!

A crow's nest up high adds some interest as well.

Standing under a dogwood umbrella is magical experience. Color and light make for a gorgeous palette.

We were in the woods for almost two hours. Time flies when you're having fun, and fun we did have! I hope you enjoyed the pictures.

According to the forecast today is our last mild day, for a cold front bringing thunder showers is on the way by tomorrow, followed by somewhat cooler temperatures on Friday. But today I won't be beebopping in the woods. Today is Chinese Buffet day!

Thank you for reading. Have a happy week.

Blessings from the woods!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween Cat? Nope! Bad Cat? Yup!

Well, I thought I would show you Fred today. He is no Halloween cat.

But he is kind of cute, don't you think? Here he is shredding some ribbons to get his jollies.

And here he is being a bad cat!

Our weather has turned beautiful once again, with lots of sunshine and pleasant 70s, which is to continue well into next week. We don't get any trick or treaters around here. It is just too rural, and would require a lot of walking. Kids go to town to get their goodies. I miss seeing the little ghosts and goblins, but all I have to do to get some Halloween athmosphere is to go out on the deck! Lots of rustling and creeping noises from my woodland neighbors. And a whoooooooooo-whoooooo to you, Mr. Owl!

Have a Happy Halloween, and a great weekend, everyone.

Blessings from the woods.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Ruby Tuesday!

It has been a GRRRRR morning! The HTML got messed up and I had to redo this post. Greg, of course, thinks it's amusing. But I'm going back to bed! GRRRR!

My last hibiscus flower of the season is lovely. I took the photo yesterday as a heavy frost was in the forecast for overnight. And it's chilly this morning! It's always a bit sad to see a beautiful thing come to an end. Oh, well, there is always next summer to look forward to!

We spent some time in beautiful Mammoth Spring last week. You see some reds showing up around the river there.

The hills around here are slowly getting colorful as well, but still have a way to go.

To see other participants visit

Happy Ruby Tuesday!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

An Awesome Surprise!

Left this comment for me on Saturday: --

"Just wanted to let you know that we (AOL's Lemondrop) featured your blog in this week's "Life Spy" -- "Awesome Grandmas who Blog."

Keep on writing!

October 25, 2008 2:41 PM "

Isn't that an awesome surprise? Thank you everyone over at AOL's Lemondrop for featuring my blog in their Awesome-Grandmas-who-Blog. I am very honored for being featured, and two other blogging friends are featured as well: Mary and Winifred. Congratulations friends! And I know of a whole bunch of other awesome grandma's who blog, right here on blogger!

We've had a wonderful time together this week. To prove it, here is a picture. Hope you enjoy it.

Mckenzie and Nana 4-wheeling in the field! Wheeee!

See you all soon!

Blessings from the woods!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Taking a Break.

Hi Friends,

I took this photo of the north-east corner of my woods yesterday afternoon, and as you can see, the colors are moseying on in, but there is still a lot of green. It will be another week or two before nature has perfected her pallet in these woods.

I did not have time to do Ruby Tuesday this week. I am getting company Wednesday, so have been busy getting ready. My granddaughter McKenzie has a short school week, and her Dad is bringing her down for a visit. They will be here until Saturday. So I will be taking a break from blogging for a few days. I hope you all have a wonderful week. See you Monday or Tuesday.

Blessings from the woods!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

My Prize Arrived, Hunters Moon, Weekend Wishes!

I hope everyone has had a nice week. Our weather has been beautiful, with some light rain Wednesday night and Thursday. Then it cooled off a bit, but with still lots of sunshine and upper-60s temperatures, which make outdoor life very pleasant. And the lovely, sunny weather will continue well into next week. A nice drive to Deer Leap on the Current River to see how the colors are progressing, is in order for this weekend, although my woods still have a lot of green, so I'm guessing it will be the same there. But it's a beautiful drive nevertheless, so we will go for it.

Thursday, my mail carrier drove to the house to deliver a package.
"Looks like someone has sent you a present," he said.
And someone had indeed. These are my prizes from blogging friend Linda's recent giveaway, that I was lucky enough to win. Aren't they beautiful? I love the tote, from the West Virginia Pumpkin Festival, and the book looks like a most interesting read, and Linda even included a lovely Diary. Thank you so much, Linda, for the beautiful prizes, I really love them.

Did anyone else see the Hunters Moon, this week? I took this shot of it Wednesday night, before the clouds rolled in. Of course, I took the picture from my kitchen window, because I'm too chicken to go out and stand in the middle of the field, in the dark, so I was somewhat hampered by some trees, but I thought it turned out rather well. Greg says it's not bad, except for that "flashlight " glare with it. I don't know where that came from, or what caused it, but I still think it's a pretty darn good picture!

I hope you all have a beautiful weekend, friends, and enjoy these lovely clear, bright October days, that seem to be trotting by much too quickly.

Blessings from the woods!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Ruby Tuesday

It's another Ruby Tuesday, and this weeks post has been fun for me! Just yesterday morning, as I was getting ready to go to town and meet Eileen for coffee and a snack and some shopping, I only had two pictures in mind for todays post. But as I walked into Mc'D's, there was Eileen, in all her red glory! LOL.

"Oh, you're wearing red this morning! Woo Hoo! Let me go and get my camera from the car," I said, jumping up and running out to get it.

"But I don't want my picture taken," Eileen protested.

"Don't you want to be famous on the Internet?"

"Oh, alright," she said, "But you will owe me for this!"

Just then, in walked our friend Pat. She was wearing red as well! This was my lucky morning.

"Oh, can I take your picture?" I asked her.

"She'll make you famous on the Internet," Eileen told her. And Pat, being a good sport, agreed, and I was all set for another Ruby Tuesday. Aren't my friends nice to put up with me?

Here are the pictures. I hope you enjoy them.

This is my 11 year old granddaughter Hannah, posing with all the ribbons she won at a recent horse show. Isn't she cute? And please note that one of those ribbons is blue!

Here is Eileen, in her red shirt, toasting the picture taker! (Or maybe contemplating throwing the cup of coffee at her!)

And this is Pat. Her red shirt isn't quite as a showy red as Eileen's, but it is still nice for a ruby picture, don't you agree?

And Cody, the dog, wanted to get into the action as well. Here he is showing off his red sweater, smiling for the camera. Woof!

If you'd like to participate in Ruby Tuesday, visit the teach to find out more.

Happy Ruby Tuesday!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Weekend Wishes!

Our weather this week has been gorgeous, and me being such a gad about, have been out enjoying it. Our peak colors are still about two weeks away, but nature has been giving us spurts of delight as hillsides and roadsides gleam in the bright sunshine.

While I was watching these geese swim around at Mammoth Spring State Park, in Arkansas, a sense of peace and calm enveloped me. And peace and calm is a nice feeling to have, especially these days!

So, dear friends-
Don't worry,
Be happy,
And enjoy the weekend!

And if you're a praying kind of person, a little prayer for our country just now, wouldn't hurt either.

Blessings from the woods!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Ruby Tuesday!

Autumn blessings become more and more evident as this beautiful season of color progresses, delighting the human spirit. So, I was out with my camera early Monday morning, capturing some of the red colors of Autumn for this weeks Ruby Tuesday post. I hope you enjoy them.

The early bird catches the worm? Well, maybe not, but something even better. This early bird caught the red glow behind the woods, while the morning was still dark.

Nature brightened a thicket at the edge of the woods, with some beautiful red vines!

The lowly scrub sumac becomes a beauty in the Fall!

And the gravel road I live on still has a lot of green, and a beautiful red adding a special touch of beauty to my travels on it. In another two weeks, there will be a riot of color to enjoy.

If you would like to participate in Ruby Tuesday visit the teach to find out more.

Happy Ruby Tuesday!

Blessings from the woods.