Sunday, August 20, 2017

Hiding Painted Rocks in Shelby, NC

Lately painted rocks have been turning up in Shelby and other places in Cleveland County, NC.   When found these painted rocks can be kept or rehidden around town to provide joy for others to find.  Families and folks of all ages are enjoying this.

The beach at our summer place in Marble Mountain, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia has beautiful flat rocks.  Knowing that I would be visiting in Shelby upon my return from Marble Mountain, I collected six nicely shaped rocks and had my friend Iris paint them.

Now I have hidden these in Shelby on or in the block around the Court Square. I have included my email address and if the person who finds one will send me a photo along with their address, or you can post a photo of it on Cleveland Strong Rocks facebook page, I will mail them a Loonie (a Canadian $1) or maybe a Toonie (a Canadian $2.). * The one dollar is called a Loonie because it has a loon on it. And of course Toonie rhymes with Loonie.

I hope you have as much finding them as I had hiding them.  Post your pics on Cleveland Strong Rocks on Facebook.

*The Loonie and the Toonie have no monetary value in the US.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Jen and My First Airbnb: Beach Glass Retreat ~ Seaside

Airbnb looks out over Lunenburg Bay. (Photo from the Airbnb Website.)

On our recent trip to Nova Scotia, Jen and I booked our first Airbnb.  We stayed with a lovely family in Lunenburg Bay on Feltzen South Road.  Check out the website here.
Welcoming front door with nautical accoutrements. (Photo from the Airbnb website.)
View from our bedroom window on a foggy morning. 
Jen looking out over the bay. 

One of the baths. 

One of the bedrooms. 

We were greeted with a happy red door and nautical collections on the stoop. Our room was lovely with a spectacular view over Lunenburg Bay.  The nautical theme was apparent throughout the house.  Barb was a gracious host and served the most delicious breakfast.  The mango was served so that it looked like a flower with petals opened up.  There were other guests there, and it was nice to meet other travelers.
A wonderful breakfast and so beautifully presented. 

Living room looking down from the upstairs. 

Our bedside table was an old sea chest. 
Nautical artwork. 
Linens are line dryed when weather permits.  Fragrance is wonderful. 

Lovely backyard. 

Jen and I on back deck. 

If all Airbnbs are this special, then I will be booking more in my travels.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Granddaughter Grace Turns Sixteen

Grace turns sixteen.
How time doth fly.  It seems like yesterday that I was meeting my only granddaughter for the first time, and now she's turning sixteen.  I have so many beautiful memories of the last sixteen years though.  Her birthday is not for another week, but I will be away on her birthday so I invited her to dinner the other night to celebrate.  It was fun having just the two of us to chat and laugh. She is still as loquacious as ever.

We tried a restaurant, Taste, that was new to both of us, but I had read good reviews.  The menu consisted of "small" plates reminiscent of tapas.  Grace has become vegetarian this last year, something I had forgotten, but there were choices on the menu that met her requirements.

My first course was bruschetta on garlic bread and Grace enjoyed a comprese salad.  Grace opted for a vegetarian flatbread as her second course, and I for two sliders.
Vegetarian flatbread with cheese. 
My sliders. 

For dessert, we shared two very good brownies topped with cream and blueberries.

Happy Birthday sweet Grace.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Gadding About at The Neuse River Sunflower Fields in Raleigh, NC

The Sunflower Fields at sunrise. 
The other morning my friend Ava and I went over to the Neuse River Trails to see the Sunflower Fields before sunrise.
A panorama showing just a portion of the Fields. 
One would need a drone to capture the expanse of these Fields.

My friend Ava is a professional photographer, and she captured some terrific photos at ground level.  Enjoy.
Ava's sunrise photo. (Photo by Ava Barlow.)

Pollinator.  (Photo by Ava Barlow.)

Check out this to get more information about the sunflower fields.

Why do sunflowers face east when they are mature?  Check out this video.

You should hurry over to see these, because soon they will be harvested to create thousands of gallons of biodiesel fuel to use in some of Wake County's tractors and other farm vehicles.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Gadding About with the Glassblower

Glass blown butterflies. 
On our recent Viking River Cruise there was always a program after dinner.  This particular night a local German glassblower was featured.  He demonstrated making a few pieces of glass, and he had a number of items he had made available for purchase.
The Glass Blower. 
I couldn't resist this pretty necklace in my favorite color.

Christmas ornaments.

Beautiful birds.

An elephant for Debbie.

He was an expert craftsman, and I thoroughly enjoyed his performance and the lovely blown glass pieces he had made.

Below is a video of him demonstrating his craft.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Gadding About at the World's Most Famous Cemetery

Jim Morrison's grave at the Pere Lachaise cemetery in Paris. 
On our last day in Paris, passengers on the Viking Tour were visiting either the Palace of Versailles or Montmartre both of which Virginia and I had seen on previous trips to Paris, so we decided to spent Sunday afternoon on our own and do something we had not done.  My son Patrick had suggested that I try to visit the grave of Jim Morrison and neither of us had been to the Pere Lachaise cemetery.  Pere Lachaise is the most famous cemetery in the world and there are a lot of famous people buried there.  So we headed out.

I called up Uber for a ride out to the cemetery which is on the east side of Paris, quite a way from our hotel.  We were let out at the main gate and the guards there told us it would be a 20 minute walk in and 20 minute walk out if we wanted to see Jim Morrison's grave.  We set out, Virginia pushing her walker over cobblestone paths.  We had no map, but as we would meet people we would ask "Where's Jim Morrison's grave?" and they would point in a northerly direction toward the other end of the cemetery.
Because of all the trees, there were beautiful shadows and light interspersed among the graves. 
After about two hours of walking (we were going at a pretty slow pace and actually stopped periodically to rest on benches) we found the grave site.  There were a number of folks visiting it.  I believe it is the most visited grave in the cemetery where there are many famous people buried including Proust, Chopin, Oscar Wilde, Edith Piaf and others.  
Chopin's grave. 
Fortunately we did not have to walk back the way we entered.  After finding the grave we were very near the back entrance to the cemetery and it was a short walk out where we hailed another Uber and made our way back to our hotel.  Our trek was quite strenuous, especially for my friend Virginia who is 86 and who was pushing her walker over the cobblestones the whole way.  If we had only known we could have asked to be taken to the back entrance to the Pere Lachaise cemetery.  Oh well, we made it.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Lobster Dinner for Mother's Day

I was in Cape Breton for Mother's Day and my friends Frances and Norman invited me and Michealette, Frances' mother over for dinner.  I knew we would be in for a treat, because Frances is a great cook, but when I heard that we were having lobsters that was beyond my expectations.

The weather had been pretty lousy most of the week that I had been in CB, but on Sunday the sun came out and it was a lovely day as we drove over to Hay Cove, near St. Peters, for dinner.
She got the lobster precooked from a place near her house.  Delish. 
The potato salad was exceptional and beautifully presented.
Lobster was served to me in a Celtic designed dish that Frances made. 
Bread was served on cute little personally sized bread boards.  
The pretty table.  
Michealette and I ready for Frances and Norman to join us at the table.
Frances and Norman are the most wonderful hosts, and it meant a lot for me to have Mother's Day Dinner with them this year. Thank you Frances and Norman.