Friday, July 29, 2011

A Lame Story About a Lame Nap

 I envy those that have the ability to take a nap, every so often. 

Just lie down on the couch, head propped up on a pillow,
     and within seconds . . . . . .
                                                  checked out from the world. 
Some people fall asleep every time they sit down.
I have watched people like that, and it amazes me.

Today, I was doing very little good to myself or anyone around me,
     so I thought I would "give it a go".
Like a young child who has had it, and his parents ( or those witnessing the behavior ) say,

     "Time for a NAP!",

I was telling mySELF,

     "TIME FOR A NAP!"

The air conditioning inside was uncomfortably cool, so I sat outside on the warm deck.
Though the sun was hot, and the humidity - thick, it felt quite pleasant in the shade of the umbrella. 
My dog, Charlie, accompanied me, as he is always happy to be outside,
     and more so when one of his "people" is nearby.
I sat in one chair, and propped my feet up on the other,
     put my head back against the cushion and . . . . . . there.
I think I could be comfortable enough to fall asleep.

I thought about a story on Nightline last night, about meditation.
Just pay attention to your breathing, I told myself.
So, I did.

Breathe in through my nose, breathe out.
Breathe in through my nose . . .
     there's a bug on my leg - smack!      
Breathe in through my nose, breathe out.
Breathe in through my nose . . .
     itchy nose - rub, rub, scratch!

And, then . . . . . .

Look at those dead branches up there in the tree.  Some of them will have to go.
Maybe I will work on trimming some more trees on Sunday.  Yes, Sunday should be a good day.  That one tree should be taken down.  But, I will wait until winter, when the rates are lower.  I really don't like to take trees down, though.  But, this one looks unhealthy.  And, what am I going to do about the hot water?  It's not working.  I hope it is something simple. My daughter comes home from a long summer of camp tonight, and will be looking forward to a long, hot shower.  Speaking of hot, I think it is going to be quite hot at the baseball game tonight. I need to pay my mortgage.  Look at Charlie.  He found a cool stick.
Let's try this again. . . . . .

Breathe in through my nose, breathe out.
Breathe in through my nose, breathe out.
Breathe in through my nose . . .
     damn bug, again!

And . . . . . .

I wonder how long I have been sitting out here?  The bathroom needs cleaning.
Charlie, stop licking me. I need to remember to open the vent in my daughter's room so that it is not stuffy.
Why hasn't that agent responded to me?  Really frustrating.  I need to come up with a plan for the Fall.  It is almost August, already.  I wonder if there was hot water when I ran the dishwasher last night.

Ok, that's enough!  It's NOT happening.   

I GIVE UP.    

I envy those that have the ability to take a nap, every so often . . . . . .  

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

12 Pound Charlie

Recently, I went to pick up my dog, Charlie, from the boarding kennel,
     where he had spent the last four days. 

     "Oh, how we have LOVED Charlie, during his stay!" remarked the young girl at the counter.

     "Great!  Well, I LOVE that you LOVED him!" I responded.

      "Every time someone walked by him, he would pick up his toy and wag his tail," she said. 

     "Really?" I asked. 

Charlie is normally much more interested in people, than his toys,
     but I sent a toy and a blanket with him, because I would have felt like a bad parent
sending him with nothing  at all.  

The young girl preceded to look up his bill on the computer.

     "Let's see . . . . " she said. "Charlie is around 45 pounds, right?"

     "Um . . . . no.  He is approximately 12 pounds.  I think you have the wrong Charlie," I chuckled.   

The look of embarrassment showed on her face.    

     "Did you love MY Charlie, too?" I asked, laughing. 

     "Of course!  I am so sorry for the mix-up!" she said. 

     "As long as I go home with the RIGHT Charlie, I won't hold it against you," I commented.  

And, I took my 12 pound Charlie home.  


Friday, July 15, 2011

The Farmers Market of Bath County

I love going to farmers markets.

Not just for the beautiful produce, fresh cut flowers, freshly baked bread, 
     but, for the interesting people . . . . . .  their faces, and their stories.

I recently spent some time in Bath County, in the Allegheny Mountains of Virginia.

We arrived Friday evening - me, my friend, Gert, and my dog, Charlie,
     and I was thrilled to find out there would be a farmers market the following morning.

Coffee Pot Cabin
We awoke to a beautiful day . . . . . .  just waiting for us to live.

Strapped the leash on Charlie, strapped the camera to my shoulder,
     and stepped outside of Coffee Pot Cabin - our home away from home, for the next two days.

The farmers market was in the middle of the small, one-street town,
     inhabiting the gravel-covered parking lot, with a good amount of vendors,
but not so many that one could not take it all in.

I like to stroll around, casually, and look at everything once,  before making a second loop.
During this time, I am in my element, taking photos at my leisure, when the opportunities arise.

One gentleman asked if he should pose for me.

I think I caught him off guard when I pointed my camera in his direction,
     and said,

"Washington Post Guy"

Slightly flattered and slightly embarrassed,
     he commented that I must be a photographer for The Washington Post.

I just smiled and said,

     "You think so?"  . .  . . . not letting on, either way.

Let him wonder, I thought.

Besides, I liked the sound of that. 

Moving on, I had an interesting conversation with Catherine, who makes
     jewelry and hair accessories out of recycled cans and bottle caps.

"TrashionFashion", she calls it.

LOVE the name! 

Catherine stumbled onto the idea of making fashion out of trash, when she was writing her
      thesis for her doctorate degree.

She now travels all over, collecting unique "trash", meeting a lot of fascinating people, along the way.

Recycling seemed to be a popular theme amongst the vendors,
     as one of the local farmers, Bruce, and his daughter, Bryanna,
was selling beautiful, fresh cut flowers
     arranged in recycled Mountain Dew bottles.

I will keep this idea in mind, the next time I need a vase.  

Past the flowers, the vegetables, and the recycled trash, were some alpacas,
     which Charlie had just taken notice of, so we made our way over to meet them.     

The alpacas - two of them (one white, one brown), were very curious about Charlie.

Magnificent looking animals - extremely alert and intelligent,
     and there is a certain peace that you feel when you are in their presence.

Vanessa is the manager of the alpaca ranch, and she had on display
     some of the most luxurious and soft teddy bears and hand puppets
that I have ever laid my eyes on, as well as various clothing items
     - all made from the Alpaca fur, which, by the way,  is


After spending time with Vanessa and the alpacas, I now want to have my own alpaca farm.

If I ever do own an alpaca farm, however,
     Vanessa told me that I'd better have a llama on my property, as well.

The biggest predator of farm animals, in that area, is the coyote.

Apparently, llamas are extremely protective, and will stomp to death anything that comes into its path.

After saying good-bye to Vanessa and her alpacas,
     hunger was beginning to set in,
so we paid a visit to the only food vendor of the day -

Puff's BBQ.

I had a country ham sandwich and Gert had beef brisket. 

Smoked meat on a bun - simple and GOOD.

As we ate, we listened to live country and blue grass music,
     provided by a guitar strumm'n, banjo pick'n, fiddle fiddl'n couple,
who go by the name of 

" Bettr'n Nothn' ". 

Again . . . . . . LOVE the name. 

They would tell small stories, in between their songs,
     and I don't know if they were meant to be funny,
but they were reminiscent of Garrison Keillor. 

As a kid, I remember listening to "Prairie Home Companion" on many a road trip,
     from the back seat of the car.

Speaking of which, after several hours and several purchases at the market,
     it was time for us to hit the road. 

As we drove away, the one-street town grew smaller in the rear view mirror,
     and the sounds of " Bettr'n Nothn' " grew more faint,
but we carried with us some fond new memories.

And, sitting on the back seat of the car,
     was a brown paper bag full of farm fresh veggies
that would make a delicious meal, later that night,
     to be enjoyed on the small porch
of . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Coffee Pot Cabin.  

                            A day worth living, indeed.  





Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Douthat, Not Dalfat

I recently spent some time in Virginia's Allegheny Mountains.  

Driving along one of the tree-lined, country roads, I noticed a sign that read,

"Douthat State Park".

     "Douthat," I said aloud, as if it sounded familiar.

     "Douthat?  Like . . . . . . Dalfat?" I questioned.   

When I was a kid, my family and I went camping every summer,
     and one summer we went camping at "Dalfat" State Park.


That is how I saw it in my head, because that is how it always sounded when people spoke it.

I never saw it in writing.      

Over the years, my family would tell stories about when we camped at


When you say that, by the way, make sure you add a "southern hick" twang.

My family does not speak that way, but for some reason, whenever the name was brought up,
     it was spoken with a "southern hick" twang.   

And, even though the two spellings do pretty much sound identical ( Dalfat.  Douthat.),
     somehow, this new discovery changes the way that I remember things.       

For instance: 

It means that when we saw the "nice lady" who was lying on the bathroom stall floor
    (probably strung out on drugs),

. . . . . . that was at Douthat, not DALFAT. 

And, those noisy camping neighbors -  the ones who talked all night,

. . . . . .that was at DOUTHAT, not Dalfat. 

And, when the campfire exploded, and burned holes in the chairs,
     my Winnie-the-Pooh blanket, and my FINGER ( yes, it hurt),

. . . . . . that was at Douthat, not Dalfat.

If you are thinking of visiting, please do not let my memory of these events deter you.
The park is beautiful.
There is a nice lake with boats for rent, a beach area, quaint little cabins nestled into the hillsides, 
     and ample places for camping.   

None of which I remembered from being there, as a child.
Maybe there IS a  D-a-l-f-a-t  Park . . . . . . somewhere ? ? ?

Hmmmm . . . . . .
I "doubt-that".