Tag Archives: family

Vacation 2010 – I’m back!

Hello out there in blog land!  It has been some time since I visited with you and I have traveler’s tales from a vacation the end of October.  Sis and I do enjoy traveling together and have similar views and likes so it goes well.   Stage one was getting out of the house, no mean feat as neither one of us has learned to travel lightly.  Watching travel shows where the host dangles a little pack from his hand containing all the necessities of life for 4 weeks strikes me as odd.

Yes, we can stop and purchase whatever we need at a handy neighborhood Walmart, but why should we have to buy a replacement item when we already have another one right here that can be tucked into the suitcase?  I am also an…ahem…unusual size and have to buy clothing in a couple of stores that aren’t quite as ubiquitous as WM.  So if I need another blouse or pair of slacks, I can’t just run into a nearby chain store and get something off the rack.

Sis has a cute smallish car that is amazingly roomy on the inside so there is always room for one more thing.  Almost always.  No wonder we prefer car vacations.

This was the first year we traveled primarily by GPS.  Sis has an iPhone with the AT&T Navigator app.  It works well, but you have to double check it because if you choose shortest route you may be driving through someone’s back yard on the way to the neighbor’s field to cut off a mile or so from the distance. This happened to us returning home from a visit to our brother.  We wanted off the interstate because I-75 Southbound on the Sunday following a major holiday weekend is not for the faint of heart, or those unwilling to spend a few hours in 3 lanes of a parking lot.  We followed the iPhone and it lead us to a state highway to a county road to a gravel road to a dirt road.  You can imagine our relief when the dirt road ended at a state highway.  We had no idea what might be coming next – a deer path, perhaps?

Fastest means you will be driving interstate.  Even if you have to drive 10 miles in the other direction to get to the interstate and 10 miles to get from the interstate to your destination.   I did learn to use the different features of the GPS to prove that yes, we were following reasonable and logical directions.  Is this sense of victory I felt a bit odd?

The first day of marathon driving finally ended in the northern part of SC and found a motel for a much-needed night of rest.  At breakfast the next morning Sis spotted a baby.  Sis is a Baby Whisperer.  Babies love her and she loves babies.  They are simply enamored with her, and this little boy was no different.  He was with his Dad and we all had a nice visit while the adults finished their breakfast.  Time for getting on the road again!

It wasn’t long and we noticed a roadside sign directing us to the last remaining covered bridge in South Carolina, Campbell’s Covered Bridge.  It was only 11 miles off the highway so we detoured, and so glad we did!  What a lovely little park and covered bridge a short walk from the parking area.

Campbell's Covered Bridge in South Carolina

The goal for the day was Ceasars Head State Park in South Carolina.  It is on a very wind-y road with switchbacks and beautiful views.  Not too many guard rails and the drop off is a bit close to the road for those with altitude issues.  Sis likes to drive in the mountains simply because it DOES bother her and driving helps keep the motion sickness under control.  She also thinks I spend too much time looking at the scenery and not the road.  No problem.  As passenger I get to look at the scenery all the time and take pictures.

Apples were in season and we stopped and bought a small bagful from a man on the side of the road.  Cameo apples were a new variety for us, and they were so good we bought more before heading back to Florida.  YUM.

Since we arrived on a beautiful, clear Sunday and the leaves were changing, there were LOTS of people in the park and finding a parking place was a challenge.  You must get out and walk out on the overlook.  It was a stunning view.

The Overlook at Ceasars Head State Park in South Carolina

Some cousins have a vacation home just over the border into North Carolina and we stopped by to see if they were home- nope.  We missed them by a few hours.  The dam our grandfather and great-grandfather helped build was a few miles farther along the road so that was our next destination.  Here is a picture of the falls over the top of the dam.


Waterfall over the top of the Dam

The end of the first day of sightseeing!  More vacation pictures and stories coming.

My New Vision

I’m sorry things have been a bit quiet around here, but with Ravelry and Face Book there isn’t much computer time left for my blog.

Thought I would let all you in blog land know about my “New Eye.”  As with many of us baby boomers as time passes genetics and sunlight  take their toll.  I have the sun damage to my skin (thanks to working in the environmental field) and a newer event, cataracts.  The doc said “early onset” so I don’t feel totally ancient but cataracts none the less.

As a small child I watched my grandfather and great uncles go through the traditional surgery – days in the hospital with the head propped up in a specific position and no bending over for quite some time.  Not any more – the Interocular Lens they use require the tiniest incision on the eye, a laser to demolish the old lens then replaced that with a tiny scrolled-up corrective lens.  Day surgery and you go home with drops and instructions.  Mine was on Wed morning.  At least not at the break of dawn.

The idea is most people won’t need glasses for general vision.  Except for me. The dratted astigmatism ruined the no glasses plan as I will still need correction.  Return to regular activities as long as comfortable, except for swimming and high velocity racquet sports.   Not A Problem.  Haven’t played racketball or tennis for over 20 years.  And my knees would whine if I even picked up a racquet.

Everything went well and I was assured that I wouldn’t be aware of the procedure.  They were right but I did drift towards awareness at one time and advised them, “I believe I am a little more aware than I choose to be” and then went right out again.  When I mentioned it to the doc the next day he tried to hide his grin…

So I call my improved eye my “new” or “bionic” eye.  The difference in vision is amazing.  The ads on TV showing vision with cataracts is like looking at a fogged bathroom mirror are correct.  My research prepared me for the return of clarity to my vision but not the degree that colors simply GLOW.  Wowza.  I can SEE in the shower (been nearsighted with glasses since 8 years old and seeing ANYTHING without glasses or contacts is …amazing…). Colored soap was my first choice so I would be able to find it a bit easier when dropped against the white tub.  No more searching by feel!

The rest of the story – My Niece (DN1 for Dear Niece #1 – there is a niece-in-law and she is DN2, truly a dear and a niece) was married in a lovely garden ceremony in north Fla over Labor Day weekend.  More about that another day.  We had returned on Monday and I walked into the House of Dustbunnys on Tues to find the bedroom carpet going squish.  Ick.  Never a good thing.  Plumbers out on Wed, not the plumbing.  AC problem!  AC people out on Thurs  and the portable unit I was using instead of the central decided over the weekend to malfunction and pee all over the floor.  The nerve.  The cat has more manners.

New central AC unit going in on Monday.  There is still coolness because I had purchased a tiny window unit but hated the thought of drilling holes in the window and the portable WAS working.

SO…House of Dustbunnys is on the upward spiral now.

Sock progress

Yep, still working on my first pair of socks.

You can see the finished first sock in the upper left, and I’m up to the heel wrap and turn stitches on my second.  I got a lot done last night at knitting group.  We went to a new restaurant, and they have LIGHT.  I could SEE what I was doing!

I like the way the second sock is “pooling,” the pattern that develops with the color changes of the yarn.  It changed abruptly when I had to start increasing for the instep, but that is part of the fun – watching the colors change you make each stitch.

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter from A&K

I received a lovely email from my Bro and SIL with pictures of the beautiful azaleas and blooming tree in their yard. I thought I would share them with you! I did resize them to load a little more quickly. My SIL is so talented with putting together an image like this and the photographer could have been either one. Aren’t they beautiful?

Easter was always a big event in our family. New Sunday Clothes, coloring and hiding eggs, and Easter Baskets! I love Easter Baskets and sis and I still exchange little surprises each year. We both enjoy the little wind-up or mechanical toys and I can count on finding at least one in my basket! I found a black and white snapshot of “us three kids” all dressed up in our Easter best:

Easter best

Our Granddaddy always wore a hat – and my brother liked it so much Granddaddy bought one for him – and he wore it every chance he got. Isn’t the little sport coat and tie adorable? You rarely see little boys really dressed up anymore, even for church or weddings.

Sis and I (I am in the middle) were so cute in our petti-coat floofy dresses, white socks, gloves, hat, and small purses. I remember that dress – I loved the embroidery on the bottom and the three-colored ribbon sash. Special occasions were not the only times we were dressed alike…

and here is a picture of my First Easter:

Have a lovely day – as meaningful as the cultural aspect of the holiday is with remembering loved ones and spending the day with family and friends, the true meaning of Easter is the bedrock of my faith as a Christian.

Dustbunny