Friday, March 27, 2020

Walk with me

Hello friends! I thought I'd take you on a walk around the block with me since we all have to keep our distance these days. The city of Columbia announced this morning that starting Sunday we would be housebound. The state came back and said they didn't have the right to make that call, so we shall see what transpires. Either way, our neighborhood is not in the city limits, praise the Lord!

The other piece of news before we begin is that the SC state parks are officially closing tomorrow through the end of April. That means no camping trip for Spring Break for us :(

Now, as we depart the driveway, let me introduce you to my current nemesis. Oh, he may look nice enough, but the pollen he produces is wreaking havoc on the camper and tow vehicle, which are parked beneath him. Oh, and I know it is not nice to point this out, but he smells something awful!

Just around the corner, for we live on the corner of our street, is this lovely dogwood tree. They happen to be my favorite tree. Not only are they beautiful, they do not offend the olfactory senses.

I may be wrong, but I think this is wisteria. It covers lots of trees and shrubs in our neighborhood. The bees love it.

As we make the turn onto the back of the lake, there is another gorgeous dogwood. If I time it right, the sun is setting through the trees and gives a lovely glow to the lake and trees.

These shrubs line the fence along the back side of the lake.

I feel like it would be intruding to share the houses along my walk. Some are quite lovely, and landscaped well, with lots of mature old trees providing shade. Others, well..., let's just say that they aren't cared for and it shows.

The lake currently has a green hue thanks to the pollen.  The ducks and geese don't seem to mind. We also have cormorants, great blue herons, and egrets too. There are snapping turtles and supposedly fish. We have never been successful in catching a fish, so I assumed there weren't fish. I was proven wrong, six times, as our neighbor two doors down, managed to pull that many fish from the lake yesterday as Therese and I sat there dumbstruck, our fishing poles and attitudes drooping. Obviously, we don't know how to fish. My Papa would be disappointed.

Did I tell you I love dandelions? I do! And the golden hour for capturing great photos of dandelions.

There always seems to be a puddle or two for the kids to ride through, leaving a muddy spray up the back of their shirts. I prefer to take pictures of leaves in the puddles.

We made it back home! The following are scenes from the back porch while I sipped on some wine and started my new book.

Tony found this little guy or gal while raking the yard. Peter fell in love with her and named her Lily. He made a little house for her too. He has been heartbroken today because Lily escaped her home and cannot be found.

Now it is time to start dinner. Since it is Friday during Lent, we will have black beans and rice and maybe a nice cucumber salad.

I hope you enjoyed hanging out this afternoon!

Saturday, March 21, 2020

On a Saturday

I had pretty much decided that Saturday would be "organizational day". That is, go through all the accumulated messes throughout the house and get things back to a state of "somewhat tidy". Being the optimist that I am, I foolishly thought it would take a day. I am not even through the first room! Holy moly, are we an untidy people!

Then, I looked out the window and saw a truck in our yard. And then I remembered a brief conversation with the president of the lake association months ago about wanting to remove some trees from our property that are leaning toward the lake. I personally think they are the most beautiful trees and I often photograph them. Poor trees. The treemen set to work preparing to fell my beloved trees when they realized their truck had sunk into the mud and they were stuck. Hoping that divine providence was on my side, I waited to see what would transpire.

What transpired was the calling in of a tow truck. Now there were two trucks in our yard and no trees cut down. They managed to unstuck the truck from the muck, much to my chagrin, and were back on track to take down my trees.

I am sure you realize that this was quality entertainment for my children. Jack pulled up a seat and proceeded to watch the drama play out.

He soon had company.

Even Anna joined us outside, which is a rarity. She is definitely an indoor kind of gal.

A baseball game ensued while the gentleman in the background continued in their dastardly plan to uproot my trees. This pitch caught me in the back. Thank goodness it is a whiffle ball.

Drat. They actually have brought out the chainsaw. It looks as though the bad side is going to triumph.

Timber! There was much sadness and maybe a little anger as we watched the tree splash down in the water.

Doesn't it seem as if the tree is bleeding into the water? All the pollen floated on the surface, slowly spreading across the lake.

The instrument of destruction.

To distract myself as they cleared the trees out of the lake, I focused in on the trees they left standing.

These are my new favorites. I am sure they are considered weeds, but I love how they carpet the path at the edge of the lake.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

A few days later...

This week has brought so many changes for all of us. I was sadly right in thinking that Sunday was our last Mass for a while. Our home away from home, Columbia Children's Theatre has postponed their current production as well as cancelling classes. It all seems like a weird dream.

Thankfully, the days are slowly growing warmer and the sun stays out a bit later each evening. Afternoon walks for me, while the kids ride circles around me, has become the new thing. Sometimes I bring my camera, hoping to capture some loveliness. I always bring my podcast of the rosary, so I don't lose my place while the kids zoom around me, shouting "Look at this!" Mostly, it is their attempts to ride with no hands, so you will excuse me if I don't want to look. Sure, I did that as a kid too, but of course I knew I wouldn't get hurt! When we return, I start cooking dinner. We have not been able to enjoy leisurely meals in a while because our evenings are spent at the theatre. I am liking this one aspect of our newly imposed quarantine.

The birds are returning to the feeder. Flowers are budding, bringing color to our walks, and pollen is covering absolutely everything! See?

Monday, March 16, 2020

Its been a while

One of my goals for this new year was to document more and tell our story, lest I forget. That was the original intent of this blog, mind you.

Here it is March, and I have nothing to show for it, written out, that is. When life presents some of its more challenging days, I tend to not want to think about it, much less write it down for all eternity.

To sum up the big things:

- Olivia joined the Air Force and is currently in the middle of her schooling, before being assigned to her first duty station.

- Jack and I celebrated birthdays, a day apart, sharing a cake as usual.

- I made some wooden picture hangers to display my photography.

-We have been trudging along with school, but all of us have hit the inevitable mid-winter slump.

-I have been crocheting, rather than knitting, per the request of my sister and my niece.

-We continue to live our days at Columbia Children's Theatre. Anna and Jack were in the production of The Secret Garden. Therese was asked to join the mainstage actors in Goldilocks and the 3 Bears as Baby Bear. She is now officially a paid actor!

I continue to photograph our days more often than writing it out. Now that we are essentially quarantined for the next few weeks, I hope to use this time to catch up on school, and maybe even this blog. Our chapel on base has been closed down indefinitely. We went to Mass this weekend at the local Basilica, and I soaked in every moment, for I feel that may have been the last time to see the inside of a church for a while.