Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.


WordPress photo challenge: Endurance the power to withstand something challenging… according to  For this week’s photo challenge I could have gone in a dozen directions.  But I decided to honor family farms; my mom grew up on one and it’s an honorable, though difficult lifestyle.    So for this week’s challenge I give you — a soybean farm:

Soybean barn

Because it’s beautiful.  And because it endures.

You can see other interpretations of endurance here, here, here and here.

Or go to this link and see many more.



We now return to our regularly scheduled blog

Katie here.

Things have been kinda strange at our house.  For one dad’s been missing in action.  I guess he was just down South enjoying himself at the lake, but I wasn’t sure and it was a bit worrisome.  Then my mama has been having my best, most favorite teacher in the whole world come and take me out at lunch time.  I really like that but usually when that happens it’s cause my dad is missing, so it’s a mixed bag.  When my dad comes home my teacher lady goes missing!  It’s all just so hard for me to figure out.

And then, did I tell you, the most horrible thing of all happened right in the middle of all the crazy comings and going!  I had to go to doggie camp!  For 6 whole days!  Rumor has it that my mama went down South too to hang out with my dad at the lake.  I ask you, don’t you think I’d like to go to the lake once in awhile?  OK, so I don’t like to get my feet wet.  Whatever.

So when my mama picked me up from jail…um…camp…I was real excited to see her and then I made her feel really bad by sleeping up next to her all the time making sure part of me was touching part of her.  All. The. Time.  So when it finally got to be the weekend she took me to a different park and we did some exploring.  I even pulled her way down this big hill.

I'm a mountain climbing doggy!

I’m a mountain climbing doggy!

I didn’t make her go back up it though, we walked back to the car along the creek.  We had fun, but it was only one adventure in a really really long time.  And right after that we had a big storm, and all my barking didn’t make it go away fast enough and there was a big lightening bang and guess what?  It fried the modem thingy, whatever that is, and the big TV!  So mama didn’t have a computer or TV for more than a week!  All she had was her phone and she wouldn’t let me write a blog on that!

I just knew all my peeps would be worried, so when dad fixed the computer tonight I got right on line.  I wanted all of you  to be able to sleep tonight.  I know it’s a big weight off of my shoulders, so I think I’ll just go to bed now myself.

Happy almost Monday to you all!  Mama doesn’t seem happy that it’s Monday tomorrow.  But I am, cause I’ll have my dad all to myself!

Night night!




Money doesn’t buy

I was mowing the lawn yesterday evening, thinking about Joan Rivers and her daughter Melissa, and how Melissa would have gotten the news out of the blue, a phone call or a text that change her life forever and how she would have stopped whatever she was doing and her plans would change as she rushed back to New York to make decisions no child wants to make for their parents and how probably she isn’t even sure about her feelings.  And how some people will say it’s easier for her, she has money, she has people to handle things.  But how no one will acknowledge that Melissa is now an orphan.

Because becoming an orphan as an adult doesn’t get the attention a younger child receives when both parents are gone.  Rightfully so I suppose.  Adult orphans are left to figure out the future on their own.  No matter how much money or people they have they don’t have their parents any longer.  And that fact will be pounded into Melissa each time she reaches for the phone to call her mother, each time she sees news reports, sees clips replayed, listens to people talk.

Money is good.  But it doesn’t buy confidence or self worth or love.  Parents instill that.

I wish Melissa the best as she heads down this new path that is her life.


Dreaming….dream dream dream…..dreaming….

I had a dream this morning just before Katie the dog woke me up at 5.

I had to give a talk to a group of people.  I didn’t know what the topic was but I was walking there carrying a cement planter filled with soil.  On top of the soil were some roses, some with short stems, some with longer stems.  I was going to put the roses in some sort of vases I hoped I could find when I got to my destination.  I was wearing black pants and a red shirt with a black sweater over it, and carrying a brown cardigan.  I thought I’d just put the brown cardigan on when I got there.  I was thinking about how to talk about family and garden no matter what the topic was that I was supposed to be speaking on.

Turns out the topic was supposed to be serenity.

So I’m at the venue and carrying this stupid cement planter and the roses are wilting so I set it down on one of the crowded long tables where there were little name plates assigning seats.  But all the tables are strewn with other people’s stuff and I can’t find my name.  I finally find the name of someone else at work, and I know she’s not coming so I decide to sit in her spot.  But my cement planter is now far off on another table and the roses look horrible so I leave it there, and go put on my brown cardigan over my black sweater and red shirt and black pants and I look in the mirror and the combination looks terrible so I’m taking off the sweaters and trying to get organized and think about what I can say about serenity when it’s my turn.

I walk back into the room tucking in my red shirt and say:

“How many of you have a stressful job?  Raise your hands.  Yep, me too.  I work in the mortgage industry.  If you looked up serenity in a dictionary on my desk the word wouldn’t even be in there.  So I ask you – what do you do to relax once you leave that stressful job?  Me?  I go work in the garden.  Well, it’s not really a garden per se, it’s pretty full of weeds, but if you go out and pull weeds for an hour and let your mind go blank you’ll relax and at the end you’ll have something concrete to show for it too.  I also travel.   Last week I went swimming.  Well, not really swimming exactly, we went to New Hampshire and the ocean was so cold I could only run in and out.  We went to visit my Aunt on my Dad’s side of the family.  She wasn’t home.  We knew she wasn’t going to be home but we went to visit anyway just to relax.  New Hampshire is serene.  I think my Uncle was serene before he died.  He was over ninety.  Husband’s aunt is going to be 99 this month and she seems serene too.  Maybe you learn to be that way the older you get.  Maybe as you age you really do learn not to let stuff get to you.  Maybe as the years go by the serenity piles up.   Maybe it’s not that I’m stressed, maybe it’s just that I’m too young to recognize serenity.  Maybe it’s an acquired skill.”


Lesson learned from this dream?  Find some serenity today no matter how old or young you are.

And smell a rose along the way.

Katie says HI to everybody!

Wanna play?

Wanna play?


WordPress photo challenge – dialogue

Two photos that relate to each other is called a photo dialogue.    We didn’t get to Smith Mountain tower this trip, but here’s my photo dialogue from last February when we climbed the mountain.

Imported Photos 00192




You can see other interpretations of  photo dialogues at this WordPress blog.  Or you can find a few of my favorites here, here and here.   And this one too.


Letter to Mom

Hey Mom,

Sunset at the lake

Sunset at the lake

We’ve been thinking about you as all your kids gather in the house you and Dad built on the lake.  I’m sure you two were here too, laughing over the silly stuff, bobbing out at the end of the dock, your toes pointed to the sky, maybe even jumping from the dock for the traditional family photo, though I know you didn’t like to get water in your eyes.

Hey Mom

Hey Mom

Last night we went out to the big water to watch the sun set.  I know you and Dad liked to do that and the neighbors say he went out alone just about every evening that summer after you died.

Heading home

Heading home

It sure was great out on the warm water with the crescent moon hanging overhead.  The sunset didn’t pan out all that well; we only had one pink cloud, but we had a really nice time anyway.

Of course I’m sure you already know that.

Wish you and Dad were here.




Spend a relaxing weekend

On the lake.

On the lake.

Doesn’t it seem like people are stressed more than ever lately?  Frightening sights from all over the world flow into our nightly news every evening.  The economy continues to wallow and we all work harder than ever trying to get by, trying to make a difference, trying our best.

So I appreciate a lovely long weekend filled with nothing but good food and good company.  Here in the United States it’s Labor Day Weekend, when we  celebrate the labor of so many generations before and appreciate those people that worked so hard to build the country we are lucky enough to inhabit today.  It’s a time for family barbecue, camping in the woods, bonfires, boat rides, long walks, and naps.

I’m spending this holiday weekend on a lovely lake in the South where the weather has cooperated and the waters are warm, where the skies fill each afternoon with towering clouds but only a little bit of rain falls.

When I head back to work next week I’ll keep the memories of boat rides and deck sitting and bobbing in warm waters tucked safely away in the back of my mind.  And when that customer demands immediate attention or the coworker calls in sick I’ll pull those memories out and smile again.

We hope all of you are having a lovely weekend as well.  May we all relax and then start again next week with high spirits and wonderful memories.

Imported Photos 00038


Another weekend, another park

Isn't this a cool place?

Isn’t this a cool place?

Katie here.  You know how I got my Mama to promise to take me on an adventure every weekend?  Well this past weekend it was getting to be Sunday afternoon and still no adventure!  I stomped my perfect little feet and tossed my beautiful curly locks but all she did was put me outside in my pen.


I was having none of that!  An afternoon in my pen is not an adventure!  I made myself a general pest and eventually Mama said “OK little one, let’s go walk in the woods.”  It was about time!  But she picked one of my favorite activities so I forgave her for being so tardy.

Which way should we go?

Which way should we go?

We went to the Holly Recreation Area and walked on a path through the woods that we’ve never explored before.  It was awesome.  We need to take Peep exploring on that path sometime soon!  We did have to go up a big hill.

You sure you want to go way up there Mama?

You sure you want to go way up there Mama?


But I didn’t have any problem with that.

Well let's get going then!

Well let’s get going then!


Mama was very patient and waited for me to check stuff out.

What's in here?

What’s in here?


Some of the path was through the woods with big trees.  The mosquitoes weren’t too bad and Mama was wishing she’d come earlier in the day, because we had to turn around before I wanted to since it was getting dark.

Fun times!

Fun times!


We’re definitely going back.  And I hope it’s soon!

But I'm still not getting my feet wet.

But I’m still not getting my feet wet.



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