Friday, July 25, 2014

Norma's Abnormal Environment

My special friend, Norma Pennie, from Savanna Club in Florida (the 55+ community where I go in the winter)  came to Virginia to visit me.  She is a real city girl from Boston where they pahk the cah (park the car).  This was her first experience on a farm!

She was here a whole week and we did not take a single photo with both of us - for whatever reason!  I even had my camera and my phone with me.  Ah, what photo opportunities we missed!!  This pic was in 2012.

We went to a caverns, out to eat at the Bluestone Inn, toured various farms, toured Singers Glen, and just hung out with family.  In spite of being a city girl, she fit in wherever we went.  What an easy houseguest she is!

The Shenandoah Valley of Virginia is a little piece of Paradise with beautiful views in every direction.  
 Norma with neighbors, Lorena and Cheri, in front of their vegetable garden with a glimpse of Valley loveliness in the background.

Watching the milking and being close to her first cow with Lorena and Cheri.
Norma with horses.
Norma looking at 42,000 chickens.  There were 42,000 more in the house next door.

Maybe there were not many photos because we were caught up in living the moment!  I hope Norma will not find this to be such an abnormal environment when she visits again!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Norwegians Come to Visit

My nephew, Levi, met a lovely gal named Jenny (pronounced "Yenny") during her one semester at the University of Mississippi, where he was in graduate school.  Jenny, her brother, Tommy, and his girlfriend, Britt Randi, came to Virginia to visit.  This was the first trip to the USA for Tommy and Britt.

Levi spent days planning so as to make the best of their two weeks here.  They went to Busch Gardens, Williamsburg, Virginia Beach, Monticello, and wineries in Charlottesville.  Then they came back to the "farm" near Singers Glen, Virginia.

We took them out for a "typical American/Mexican" dinner at the Jalisco restaurant.  Tommy, Britt, MaryMay, Jenny, and Levi.
 Maribeth and Philip May (my sis-in-law and bro)
It was Levi's idea to have an "America Party" in their honor.We counted 26 people there, a real house-full since we had an unexpected rain storm annd had to move inside, including the garage, for a while.  Sorry, we were all so busy socializing that we forgot to take pictures.  Jenny and Britt had never heard of a Potluck and fully intend to start this custom back in Norway.
Britt and Tommy

Levi and Jenny on the deck of Phil and Maribeth's new log home.
Jenny and Levi as seen from the loft.
Levi and Jenny
It was a pleasure to share our life in the USA with Levi's friends!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Free Shows

Wow, I get free shows for my ears and eyes every morning and evening here in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.

I wake up to the sound of MANY birds singing outside my house.  The weather is nice enough that I can sleep with the windows open.  There are trees on all sides, which means birds of all types serve as my gentle alarm clock.  I kept thinking I heard a bell like a child would have on their tricycle and finally figured out it was a bird.  The blue jays screech noisily but are overcome by the variety of songs from the mockingbirds and others.  

I am thrilled that "my" beautiful gold finches are back.  They are so tiny that they can sit right on top of my most flimsy flowers that have gone to seed. I'm not sure how they sound but they are neon yellow and fascinating to watch with their incredible sense of balance.

My visual show comes in the form of my flowers that I've spent over ten years cultivating.  My goal was to look out every window and see flowers and that goal has been reached!  The interesting thing with flowers is that they are different each day as some varieties finish and others start blooming.
Below my bathroom window
These yellow lilies came up as volunteers near my front porch.
Grandmother May always planted Indian Blanket so these reminds me of her.
One of my favorites is Purple Balloon flowers because they bloom all summer.
 My very favorite is hydrangeas as they, too, bloom most of the summer.  This photo is from last year.  Last winter was a harsh one so they haven't started blooming yet.

Last week just at dusk a doe was eating grass in the field (not a lawn because it only gets mowed every month, unlike a lawn that gets mowed every week) in front of my house.  She was closer than the width of a football field.  I was on the deck the first evening and stood very still.  She would eat, look at me, move closer and eat some more.  Then, without warning, she bounded effortlessly across the fence into my neighbor's trees.  Sorry, there are no photos because it was too dark.

As it starts to get dark, the light show begins.  I have never seen so many fireflies in my life!  During my first week here I got up during the night and thought there were laser lights outside.  It took me several minutes to realize they were fireflies because, not only are they skimming across the top of the grass, they were also as high as the tallest dark trees in the background.

I will never cease to appreciate the wonderful free shows that Mother Nature furnishes each day and night!

p.s.  I got a surprise visual show last evening.  I looked out my window to see four small skunks huddling together as they walked down my driveway.  Needless to say, I stayed quietly inside!