Hanging Out with the Animals

This summer I took the grand girls and my great-nephews to the zoo.  It’s not a big zoo, but it’s a neat zoo, our local zoo.  Since I didn’t bring my camera, I tried out my new iphone camera.

How cool are giraffes?

checking out the otter

watching the otter

the mighty cats lazing around

the kids looked like tasty morsels… or just bothersome

at the monkey cage… wait! what kind of monkeys are those?

two cuties

the peacocks owned the place!

just too pretty not to get a picture of royalty

The following picture is Z rated for “Zombies in pic”

a photo shot with my phone… that didn’t turn out all that great

there were some batty creatures encountered

now these are a couple of batty kids!

just a little monkeying around

my little monkeys

it’s been a long, fun-filled day

When we got back from the zoo, Jack had the backyard all portioned out as the ape jungle.  The deck was the little apes house (all the kids) and the yard between the deck and the hammock (Momma Ape’s house, me) was where the lions lived.  Let me tell you, I came close to getting devoured by those vicious lions as I ran back and forth to care for my baby apes!

















Some days I don’t even think about it

Some days I am free from remembering… now, after so many years.  The whole day passes and visualizing the events, rehearing the words, feeling the terror, aching with the pain just isn’t there.

But not today.  Not since Aurora, Colorado.  The old kick to the gut was back, the sadness a fog.  I know how those families feel; I know how the shooter’s mom feels.  And they both hurt so much they can barely breathe.

victims of Aurora, Colorado

The victims were all great people, some heroes; one not even into her little life yet, just beginning it, six.  My heart hurts.

Is James Holmes a monster or is he mentally ill?  The age-old question in courts of law.  Either way, he will be out of the picture for the rest of his life.  As he should be.

Pool, Popcorn, and Pop

I just have to photograph my sunflowers… every year!

Today was beautiful!!  I’m talking clear, blue skies with sun shining, warming up things to a mere 90 degrees.  A lovely breeze blowing, causing my wind chimes to break into their soprano and baritone tunes.  The water from the pool reflected by the sun into the tree, fairies flitting in and out of the leaves.  The pool water wasn’t too cold or too hot, Goldilocks-just-right.

The black soprano wind chime was given to me when my mom died, and the silver baritone is the one I bought when James died.

A day all to myself.  Working in the yard; jumping in the pool; picking up the camera to shoot some pics of my oasis; eating popcorn and drinking pop.  Thanking God for His blessings to me; asking Him to bless others; listening to His peace.

Droplets in my little waterfall

The flowers were popping with color as were some of my little visitors.  There are three hummingbird feeders in the yard, but the main attraction is the small pond and waterfall.

I love to listen to the trickle of the water.  The birds love to come and get a drink, so sometimes I try to snap their picture.

out on a date?

A pair of doves came by and visited a spell.  They stayed quite a while and were joined by the little goldfinch.  I’ve been noticing it because of its bright coloring.  Just a tiny little thing that loves to sit on the sunflowers for a tasty meal.  This year has been a great year for birds:  barn swallows, of course; blackbirds, of course; lots of lovely cardinals, beautiful robins; hummingbirds, doves, and all these little finches.  All colors of finches.  I have so enjoyed watching them flit around the yard.

One day when the grandgirls were here, Kate said, “Look at that huge dragonfly!”  It was a hummingbird.  So funny.

The one dove has spotted my little finch and giving it the eye!

Aren’t they lovely?

I just couldn’t decide which pics to put on here, so you get them all.

Stopping by the Sunflower Restaurant

Yum Yum

I can’t help myself. They’re like my children!! I’m going to put this in my wallet.

Nobody lives here. A bird ghost town.

Home for the HHH (Hilton Head Hogbottoms)

We are packed into the vehicle, along with all our STUFF, and headed home.

Brenda in the Hole

Well, we are probably home by the time this gets posted, but at the moment I am sitting in “the hole” with my computer on my lap.  Since I can’t hook up to anybody’s Wifi, I will just cut and paste later.   And even though I already miss the ocean and its roar, I miss my girls more.

The HHH have had a great time!  We lived up to our Hogbottoms name by… well, let me explain Hogbottoms.  All five of us are in a book club called Matilda and the Hogbottoms.  Matilda Hogbottom is the alter ego of my friend, Lisa Gulley, who performs at various venues in her Matilda get-ups with her hilarious skits.

Matilda Hogbottom

She really should go on the road.  She’s that good and that funny!  At one of our book club meetings, Matilda Hogbottom showed up with little tidbits to say about all the members.  We laughed our buhineys off and were from thereon out called the Matilda and the Hogbottoms Book Club.

putting the kindle in a big quart-size baggie kept it free from sand and salt water!

This week we spent many, many hours reading and finishing our book for our next book club meeting (we also cried, rejoiced, held our breath, made theories of what could be the ending, and just flat out enjoyed that book)  Oh, yeah, the book is called The Mountain Between Us by Charles Martin.  After we finished that one, we started on new ones.

Our Kindles connected and made friends.

We each had a different color! Mine is intellectual black.

We also gave homage each evening, late, to our proclaimed name by chowing down at different restaurants.  Darla said we were like “hogs at the trough.”  And true to her analogy, we would clean our plates, practically licking them clean.  But, boy, they have some goooood food down there!  AND good desserts!

As is my routine on my last day at Hilton Head, I walked down the beach watching the families at vacation.  It is great!  I can’t decide which is my favorite:  the older couple holding hands walking along the beach; the grandmas and grandpas playing with their little grandchildren in the water, jumping the waves; the little girl with her two Barbie dolls and pink Barbie car; the dad with his little girl riding the waves on her boogie board; the little tyke in the water getting bashed by waves and hollering “Daddy” while his daddy had already started toward him from the beach, hearing that tiny little voice above the din of the ocean waves and hundreds of people; the cute little teens playing frisbee or sitting on the edge of the ocean waves; the families playing games or building awesome sand castles; the little bitty ones on their first trip to the beach, overjoyed with the waves.  Everybody watches out for everybody else.  A big family of families.

We were all mesmerized by the catamaran that overturned.

overturned catamaran — not ours, but it looked exactly like this

Actually, it sunk.  I had noticed it being rather sluggish out in the water; usually the wind will pick the sail right up and take the little boat flying off across the water.  But this particular boat was just not moving and even looked like it was sinking.  Odd.  The next time I glanced over it was on its side!  The whole beach was watching.  Finally, we saw a lifeguard swimming out to the little family, then another lifeguard.  They eventually got the boat back to the beach, and I was there waiting to see the end result.  Two young girls, maybe 11 and 12 or so, were taking their picture in front of the beached, warped-sail boat, so I asked them if they were the ones that had been on it.  Yes, they were.  Then the Mom and Dad came up, and we all chatted about their exciting adventure.  Apparently, the young man renting out the boat had failed to put the plug in, and it had started taking on water in the pontoons.  So it really did sink!  According to the girls, that was the best thing that had happened all week!

Vacation.  I even like the way the word feels in my mouth and across my lips.  Yum.

The Feet

Getting Back in the Saddle…

This year has kicked my butt!  I can’t quite put my finger on what exactly kicked it:  the birthday, the son, the falling.  Who knows?

getting ready to ride

The important thing is that I am finally, after half the year has come and gone, oiling the saddle and readying it for another ride.  Life may have kicked me off once again, but now it’s time to put on my stirrups and do a little kicking in life’s sides to get it back into at least  a trot.


So I am thinking about my little blog and what to write about until I start cooking.  (Stop laughing!)  I have a few topics in mind.  And would really like to get some feedback on them.

1)  My experience as well as the experiences of others with angels and other supernatural God moments

2)  My son’s struggles with and final diagnosis of schizophrenia

3) Digging out old pics and posting them with stories

4)  courtroom stories  (names changed to protect the innocent… or not so innocent)

5)  my personal favorite… Kate and Ava

6)  Just whatever strikes my fancy – including good recipes

Which by the way I have.  A good recipe.  It came from my friend Lisa’s Pampered Chef newsletter.  It is called Red, White, and Blueberry Trifle.   And is soooo good!  I made it for 4th of July.

Try it!

4th of July

The flag of my country

Today is the 4th of July.  The day we here in the United States celebrate our freedom, our independence.

The flag represents so much to me:  the history of our country, the beauty of our land, the hope that still lives in our people.  Just to name a few.

It brings to mind the masses that came through Ellis Island, wars, presidents, founding men and women of the first colonies, union struggles, women’s fight to vote and become equal, those oppressed who continue to wage the battle for equality… so much more.

Did you know the flag should never touch the ground?  And it should be illuminated if flown at night?  Flag etiquette and history can be found here at this site:  Flag of the United States.

We have a great country although not a perfect country.

I only know of one perfect country.

The Megastar Lolong

Lolong in his new digs

How would you like to come eyeball to eyeball with this big thug?  After a man and a girl went missing in the Philippines, the townspeople captured this huge croc, who they dubbed Lolong.

I wrote about him a while back in Taking Advantage of Great Opportunities.  And just today here he is again… in the news as a superstar.  With his own digs.  And a great following.

Probably licking his chops at all the tasty-looking morsels lined up to get his picture.

Let’s hope he doesn’t escape as the two chimpanzees did in South Africa, mauling a Texas grad student.  After all, Lolong already knows how fresh humans taste.