Monday, May 17, 2010


So, my husband and I lived in sunny San Diego for more than 14 years. Living there for that long, you become very used to the weather: 72 degrees and sunny nearly every day. Now that we have moved to Southwest Virginia, we have had to make some adjustments concerning the weather. For example, in the dead of winter, we would occasionally just walk outside without our coat/hat/scarf etc. expecting it to be 72 degrees and sunny and it was 17 degrees and snowing. Ooops...we are not in San Diego! Back inside for the coat. We did this more than once.

Another example would be today. I was expecting to work outside in the yard and paid no attention to the weather and I woke up this morning and it is raining. I checked and it said there was 100% chance of rain today and rain the rest of the week. My lawn is going to look like a hay field soon.

But, I love experiencing weather again. I love how it transforms the world around us. I love how you are forced to adapt your schedule and the opportunity it gives you to become flexible. I love the sound of weather. I love how it makes you slow down. I love how it can make you want to be outside. I love sitting on the porch listening to the rain. I love snow cream.

And I often think that although we did leave near perfect weather in San Diego, I am enjoying my life with weather ~ it is so exciting and challenging and different and I really like that.

Monday, May 10, 2010

My Garden

One of the things I have been interested in doing for awhile is having my own garden. I think it sounds so fantastic to be able to go outside to your little garden and pick all of the fruit and vegetables you will need for the day. So, my garden began as an idea in the winter. I bought a book and started reading. I bought the seeds and planted the ones I could plant in cold weather. So far, I have planted strawberries, peas, carrots, onions and lettuce. About a week ago I saw my first little sprouts; it was so cool!
Today I am going to plant the rest of my seeds as this is the day all gardeners around my area have been waiting for-the date when it is forecasted to be the last frost of the season. We did have a frost last night but the weather is supposed to be nice and warm this next week with some rain. Perfect!
So I am off to play in my garden. I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Monday, May 3, 2010

What I have been up to....

When my husband and I moved last year to Narrows, one of the main reasons was to help his Mama. We were not quite prepared for the amount of help that she requires and we have been very busy getting things organized and hiring people to help us. So, now that we do have some help, it has given me specific days that I will be able to work on and promote my jewelry. I would ultimately like to write a bi-weekly blog-hopefully on Monday and Thursday. We'll see how that works out.
This past weekend I went to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival with my good friend, Kristen. We had a blast looking at all the cute sheep and alpacas. We also bought drop spindles so that we can learn how to make our own yarn from roving. I bought wool and alpaca roving to experiment. I will post pictures so you can see how it turns out.
I am going to be selling my jewelry this Thursday at Mountain Lake. I am pretty excited about this because that is where the film Dirty Dancing was made and it is one my favorite movies. Years ago, Jon and I have ate brunch there with his parents. The day after that, we hiked around, swam in and canoed on Mountain Lake. It was fun!
So be sure to check back to see what I am up to.
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I hope you all have a wonderful week!!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Narrows, Virginia

A partial list of the reasons I love living in Narrows~
The small town we moved to in Virginia is named Narrows. The town was named when Civil War soldiers crossed the New River here because this is where it narrows. Now, I am glad that I do not have to cross the New River because even though it is narrower here than many places around, it is still pretty wide and the current runs fast! The New River is thought to be one of the oldest rivers in the world and it also special because it runs south to north. And the beauty of the mountains that surround Narrows is breathtaking. The Blue Ridge Mountains really appear to be blue, sometimes almost purple and last night, at dusk,it was like driving through a black and white photo; the light was just perfect for that effect. That was something I have never experienced.
In our backyard runs the Wolf Creek. We have a porch on the back of the house that overlooks this beautiful scene of large oak and other deciduous trees running along both sides of the crystal clear creek. And the sound of the creek is so relaxing.
I am not a football fan but, a big part of living in this small town is rooting for the high school football team. It does not matter whether they win or not ~ the Friday night football game is not to be missed! The first football game of the season was talked about weeks before it was really fun.
Another great thing about Narrows is that people wave all the time. You're driving in your car or walking around town you get a nice friendly wave from almost every car and person that passes you. Now when I drive or walk around town I can't help but wave-it is so much fun!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Crater Lake, Yellowstone, Minneapolis (and more) Oh my!

After we left Lake Tahoe we were on our way to Crater Lake, Oregon. I learned about Crater Lake while I was in school at SDSU and ever since then I had wanted to see this amazing place. Crater Lake was once a volcano that erupted and then became a caldera (basically, a very large hole where a volcano once stood). After many, many years Crater Lake filled with water runoff from the snow and rain. There is no inlet or outlet to Crater Lake~amazing! It is the deepest lake in the United States at 1949 feet and just breathtaking! (not to mention it was cold up there at 8,000 feet!)

Here we are at Crater Lake...

That evening, we drove to Idaho Falls, Idaho and it was a wonderful city. We took a nice walk down by the river and then saw the falls for which the city is named for. Idaho Falls has harnessed all the energy of the falls and that supplies about 50% of their energy needs yearly! Talk about a green cool!

The next day we drove to Grand Tetons National Park and marveled at the beautiful scenery.

Right next to the Grand Tetons is Yellowstone National Park. What a beautiful place! My parents took me and my sisters there when we were kids and I was really excited to get to experience the park as an adult and with Jon.

The Continental Divide runs right through Yellowstone adding to its complexity and beauty.

There's Old Faithful!

After Yellowstone, we drove as far as we could and stayed in Miles City, Montana. The next day we were due to arrive in Minneapolis, Minnesota at one of Jon's friends home whom he knows from the Navy. His name is Jarrod and he has a lovely wife whose name is Jeanna and they have two sweet children, Ryan and Sara.

Pookie and Rascal were huge hits! Pookie did her famous show 3 times while we were there; she was the talk of the cul-de-sac! Below is a picture of everyone enjoying one of her performances. Jon was also able to see another friend from the Navy as he also lives in Minneapolis and is a friend of Jarrod's. Toby and his girlfriend Brandy also enjoyed the show.

While in Minneapolis we also went to the Walker Center which houses lots of art from the 21st and 20th centuries. We had a great time there and in the picture below, Jon is in front of one the sculptures in the sculpture garden.

From Minneapolis we traveled to the upper peninsula of Michigan to Pictured Rocks. We took a boat ride out on Lake Superior (the largest lake in the U.S.) to tour the Pictured Rocks Shoreline. They were amazing and as you can see in the pictures below, we think the U.P. of Michigan forgot to turn on the heat for summer; it was cold up there.
We are now in Harrison, Michigan visiting with my parents. We are enjoying the peace and quiet of their comfy home and catching up on laundry, sleep, blogs and other stuff like that. My sister Becky and her son Dayton will be coming up on Thursday and we are looking forward to that.
I hope this finds all of you safe and having a wonderful summer.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Travels with the Brenners & Lake Tahoe

On Wednesday, July 1 we were in Novato, California to celebrate my cousin's advancement in the Coast Guard. (See the previous post for more details about that.) Below is a picture of Mindy after the ceremony. We are all so proud of her!

Here is Mindy's proud mom, my aunt Mary (mom's sister) with Pookie. It seems Pookie is spoiled not only by us but also by everyone in our family.

Here's the whole gang when we went to dinner to celebrate Mindy's promotion. The whole gang included Jon, Uncle Fred, Uncle John, Aunt Susan, Cousin Courtney, Cousin Stephanie, Mindy's friend Brandon, Mindy, Aunt Mary and me.

Here's me and Mindy.....

We went to the San Fransisco Museum of Modern Art the next day and had a wonderful time learning about all sorts of art. While walking around the city we saw all sorts of art including this funny piece that Jon really liked.

While in Novato we also went exploring wine country. We went through Sonoma County one day and Napa Valley the next. Here we are showing off our wine purchase.
We stayed with our family through the 4th and had a lovely time visiting with all of them.

Today we spent the day at Lake Tahoe. We lounged on the beach and then had a lovely dinner with a beautiful view of the lake. The lake is just the most beautiful blue!
Here we are enjoying the sunset.

Lake Tahoe sunset with the rising moon

Tomorrow we are on our way to Crater Lake. We think at this rate we should be in Virginia by next year! (Just kidding....maybe.)

Friday, July 3, 2009

Morro Bay, Salinas and Highway 1

Well, our last night in San Diego we watched a beautiful San Diego sunset at Sunset Cliffs; It was bittersweet. We then treated ourselves to a Pizza Nova pizza and some Red Trolley beers.

The next day, Sunday, we went to church to say "bye for now" to our church family. We left from there and headed up to Morro Bay where we spent a relaxing evening eating mexican food and sipping margaritas. It was VERY foggy at Morro Bay but we took a picture in front of the famous Morro Rock anyway.

From Morro Bay we drove up north on highway 1 and had a day filled with beautiful scenery~ the mighty Pacific on one side and green forests on the other.
In Salinas, we visited the Steinbeck Center and learned a ton about John Steinbeck; he led a varied and interesting life. But the best part about Salinas was visiting with Kathy. I met her when we were stationed in Connecticut and she is one of those friends that when you see them you pick up right where you left off. She is very funny and a blast to be around. We met some of her friends and had a lovely dinner with some of them.
We are now in Navato, California with the Brenner side of my family. My cousin Mindy graduated at the top of her Coast Guard health specialist training class. She went through 4 months of intense medical training and did a fantastic job! We are all very proud of her. Jon and I will be spending 4th of July with all of them and then we are on our way to Lake Tahoe. I will post some pictures and more details about San Fransisco and wine country soon.