Thursday, April 30, 2009

Guess Who Is Having a Birthday Today?

Guess who is having a birthday today? It's this sweet girl in the picture. Her name is Mckenzie, and she is my youngest granddaughter. Just two weeks ago, when she was here visiting me, she was a little girl of nine, and today she is a big girl of ten! My, how time trots on by, and before I'll know it, she'll be off to college, like her older cousin Nichole. But I'm getting a bit ahead of myself.

We had a wonderful visit while she and her Mama and Dad (who is my older son) were here. And I am sharing a couple of pictures from our visit.

Here she is, showing me a ladybug she found crawling on that stick she is holding up. If you look very closely, you might even see that ladybug!

And here is Mckenzie with her favorite cat, Orio, sitting next to the porch doll she brought me from Branson. Isn't the doll cute? But not as cute as Mckenzie!

Of course, whenever she is here visiting, she loves to go riding on the 4-wheeler. Here she is with her Mama and Dad, in the field. They went on many longer rides, too, up the hilly country roads, where they saw horses and cows, and goats and were chased by dogs!

Of course, she helped with me with some chores, too, read some of my stories in the Chicken Soup books without even being asked to read them, and enjoyed seeing some deer, turkeys, and lots of birds. Her favorite birds were the woodpeckers.

Now, they are all back at home, and I know today they are celebrating big time.

Happy Birthday, Mckenzie. I love you, miss you, and will see you again soon. xoxoxoxo

And Uncle Greg said to tell you, "You're still "IT," Kiddo!"


Thank you for visiting my little birthday tribute to Mckenzie. Have a great weekend, everyone!

Blessings from the woods!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day-Things I Want My Granddaughters to Know

I live in a beautiful rural area, and when my three city girl granddaughters come for a visit, I want them to learn more and develop a sense of wonder about the natural world.

I tell my granddaughters about the wild creatures that inhabit my woods, fields and pond.

We look up the names of the birds that frequent the feeders in the summer, or winter. I show them the great blue heron that visits the pond in hopes of catching a frog or fish dinner. They think he is "cool" looking. And so he is!

Later, we watch a red-tailed hawk soar gracefully above the field and land on a limb of the dead oak, eyeing some lunch possibilities in my yard.

"Shoo!" I yell at the hawk, making my granddaughters giggle.

I show my granddaughters the beautiful raccoons and homely opossums that visit my yard at night. Sometimes we see an armadillo, too, digging for grubs in the field.

"He is strange looking," says Hannah.

I want my granddaughters to see the deer grazing in the field, or drinking at the pond. And early mornings, I want them to hear the wild turkeys gobbling. If we're lucky, we can catch a glimpse of them, too.

I tell my granddaughters about some of the scarier creatures that live around here. Like the huge blacksnake that sometimes finds his way into the chicken coop. I want them to know that although I may threaten the blacksnake with my broom, to discourage him from getting the eggs, I would never harm him. I tell them that the blacksnake, like all the other wild creatures, has a right to his existence, too.

In the woods, I teach them the names of the trees, so they know the difference between an oak and a hickory; an elm and a maple. We look up the names of wildflower’s as well, and when we see butterflies alighting on them, we look them up, too.

I want my granddaughters to go outside with me on a clear, starry-night, and learn the names of the constellations. If we are lucky enough to see a shooting star, they can make a secret wish on it. Summer nights, I open the windows so they can hear the chorus of a country night, while fireflies flash their perfect lights.

I want my granddaughters to hear the eerie howl of the coyotes, and be glad there is still enough wilderness left, where coyotes and other wild creatures can live their lives. I remind them often that the Creator of all this beauty, would be pleased if they worked toward preserving His beautiful creations, so their own grandchildren can someday enjoy it as well

Thank you for visiting. Happy Earth Day, everyone!

PS. I had a wonderful visit with my older son and family and I will post a few pictures soon. I know Mckenzie is looking forward to seeing them. I did want to add my own small tribute to Earth Day, first.

Blessings from the woods!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A Downer, an Upper, and a Little Blogging Break

"Money will buy a fine dog, but only kindness will make him wag his tail." (Or his little stump!) I love this quote!

, The other day I found this old picture of my sweet, good boy Rottie, Oscar/Ozzie, on an old CD. He was my faithful guardian, protector and loyal friend for almost ten years. When he went to doggie heaven in the summer of 2007, it broke my heart. He is buried at the edge of the woods here, and to this day, whenever I pass his resting place, I tell him how much I miss him, because, oh, I do! That is the "downer" part of this post.

Now, to the "upper" part. This afternoon, my older son, daughter in law, and sweet, nine year old granddaughter Mckenzie arrived, to spend a few days with me. Yay!!

So I am now on a little blogging break for a few days, and will see you all again soon.

Have a wonderful rest of the week, friends.

Blessings from the woods!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

A Little Beebopping and an Award

After a chilly start to the week, our Wednesday was sunny and in the mid-70s. So, after my Wednesday Chinese Buffet day, I came home and changed into my bee-bopping clothes, grabbed my cellphone and my sturdy walking stick, and off the dogs and I went to visit the little creek that lives in my woods.

Since these woods are quite hilly, I figured the workout of walking them would help get rid off any excess calories from my meal. Besides, I hadn't been there since last Fall; it was time to find out if Spring had sprung yet along the little creek where little wildflowers like to grow.

It is just a tiny, meandering creek, but I love it and was glad to see that there were a few wildflowers already growing along the bank.
There were some white beauties there.

And some lovely blue ones.
And sparkling yellows, too.

And there was a turtle enjoying the sunshine on his bed of rocks.

Of course, Sid enjoyed a dip in the creek, before we headed back to the house, refreshed by the visit to the little creek, and thankful that there is still much beauty to enjoy in these woods, after our destructive ice storm. I'll be visiting the little creek again, very soon!

And blogging friend Linda of This and That Diary gave me this beautiful award recently. Thank you so much Linda. It is perfect for the Easter Season. And I would love to pass it on to all my dear blogging friends.

Happy Easter! Happy Passover ! Happy Spring, everyone!

Blessings from the woods!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Our Visit to Tunica, Mississippi

Hi Friends,

Our visit to Tunica, Mississippi was a lot of fun. Just picture two old country gals, used to a larger population of trees and wildlife then humans, suddenly transported to the glitz, glamour, and excitement of Casino life, teeming with people from all over the country. Huge rooms filled with wall to wall slot machines, (where cameras are not allowed!) and other gaming paraphernalia, scrumptious food, drinks, and cigarette smoke. Cough! Cough! (Our choice of drinks were coffee and diet Coke!) A strange wonderland for the likes of Eileen and myself. Greg, of course, had been there before, so he wasn't walking around in an amazed state of mind, like we were. LOL.

But before I show you a few of the pictures, most of which didn't turn out as well as I had hoped for, let me give you a bit more background about this place called Tunica.

Tunica, Mississippi is 35 miles across the Mississippi River from Memphis, Tennessee, and just about 180 miles from where I live. Tunica is in northwest Mississippi near the Arkansas and Tennessee borders.

The county was established in 1836, but its history goes much further back than that. The early residents were Native Americans who cleared the heavily forested land and built Indian Mounds. In 1885, the county seat was moved to Tunica where it remains today.

Today, Tunica, Mississippi has ten world-class casinos, over 6,000 all-new hotel rooms and 40 great new restaurants.There is golfing, swimming in luxurious pools, Tunica Lake, and Riverfront Park, where one can indulge in Riverboat Rides, on the great Mississippi! And, Nancy, no, I did not win the jackpot! But then again, I didn't really try to win it. I played one short game on a penny slot machine and won $20, and that was the extent of my gambling.

This picture is of the Gold Strike Casino, where we had brunch. Here were are in the lobby of the Gold Strike, posing for Greg's cell phone camera. No deer or wild turkeys around here, just some high rollers and us. :-)

The ceiling of the Gold Strike was adorned by dozens of beautiful chandeliers, and I just had to take a picture of one of them.

This is the Hotel Entrance to the Hollywood Casino, where we spent most of our time. Eileen and I enjoyed all the movie memorabilia that lined all the elegant hallways, while Greg was off in the slot machine area pushing buttons. He did hit a couple of jackpots!

The landscaping around the Hollywood Casino was beautiful and I especially loved the blooming Magnolia's, although the picture could be better. And everything was Spring green already in Tunica.

Tunica was a nice place to get away to, and if we ever go there again, I might just try to hit the jackpot!

Thank you for visiting. Happy April!

Blessings from the woods, my most favorite place in the world to be!