Run for the Hills

Photo courtesy of Wendy Irizarry

At first glance I thought this snake was so cute until I realized what his business in the birdhouse was.

The birdhouse itself has a story. It was given to my husband many years ago by a coworker who knew we loved to garden. Seems the birdhouse was built and painted by a little boy named Charlie. Charlie had Autism. And cancer. Building the birdhouse was a tremendous feat for Charlie, and I can imagine how proud he was of it. Sadly Charlie lost his battle with cancer, and the birdhouse sat in the closet until it came to us. We chose not to paint it, or alter it in any way, and hung Charlie’s masterpiece in a prominent place in our garden. A tribute to a little boy, and a reminder to us that life is precious.

What a great, but horrifying picture.  Thanks, Wendy.



   image Dirty Dog


We just got back from camping on the Gulf Coast.  We had fun and I learned a couple of things. First of all, if you think you might fall and bust your fanny, carry your extra glasses.  I was standing behind the trailer trying to wave Bud in as he backed the trailer up and Buzzy wrapped me in his leash, plopping me flat on my keester. I fell flat, banging right on my glasses.   I hadn’t gotten in Bud’s line of vision yet, so he thought I’d wandered off, as I am prone to do.  He continued backing up, but fortunately I was able to get out of the way before he flattened me.

Although the fall did kill my glasses, I escaped.  I was worried whether I would have a black eye, but luckily I didn’t.  If I had, I would have to have blacked both Bud’s eyes or I would have been ashamed to be seen when we met friends later.  I was able to get the frames replaced, using the same lenses.  What a relief.  I had dreaded trying to get by with just reading glasses till I could get new ones made.  I will never go off without a spare again.

Buzzy had a fine time camping as always.  We patrolled the camp several times a day.  He got to meet new dogs, see an alligator, smell the Gulf, roll in some different flavors of mud, walk on the beach, and sleep in the camper.  His favorite part of camping is sitting on the bench seat between us at meals.  He doesn’t get a place at the table at home.

Palmetto and Mistletoe Growing in Tree


I got this shot of Palmetto and Mistletoe competing for a prime growing site in Ocean Springs, Mississippi.  How’s that for a foothold?  In a tree about thirty feet over, there was a spider web about six feet by six feet stretching between the gaps in the branches of a huge oak about twenty-five feet off the ground.  It appeared to be well-used since it had multiple mends.  I would have loved to have gotten a picture.

Don’t Mess with My Caterpiller

imageI was happy to find a nice, healthy looking caterpiller gobbling this yarrow in the gardening center today,  I picked it up for my butterfly garden along with a few other plants.  The young lady in check out must have been brand new.  She picked up my yarrow bumping the caterpiller to the counter.  Before I could stop her, she brushed into her little trash can. Continue reading

Reel Recovery

Reel Recovery provides an incredible opportunity for men with cancer of any stage to enjoy a weekend fly-fishing, spend time with companions who understand the struggles they face, and the joy of being in nature, while learning a new skill, or perfecting an old one.  All equipment, meals, and accommodations are provided at no cost to participants. They are free to choose the location of their choice, but must provide their own transportation to site.

Retreats are lead by professional facilitators and expert fly-fishing instructors.  A maximum of twelve to fourteen men are in cited to ensure the quality of instruction and create a powerful small-group dynamic.

Goals: Provides a safe,reflective environment for the participants to discuss their disease and recovery with other men with shared experiences, providing support to help in their recovery.

Provide expert fly-fishing instruction instruction enabling participants to learn a new skill, form a connection with nature, and participate in a sport they can continue throughout their recovery and lifetime.

imageProvide participants about cancer-related resources in the local community and nationally to facilitate networking and enhanced management of their recovery.

each participant is paired with a fishing biddy to assist them during their workshop.  If you would like to be a participant,volunteer or make a donation please contact us: National: toll Free 800-699-4490

Texas: Mike Emerson: 817-894-7832

Oklahoma:  Martin Weaver 405-808-7116.

If you want to donate to a designated retreat, please designate that on your donation form.

Response to “Nature Chills Challenge”

lilydragonfly on lilypadsun hatPosting this response to A Momma’s View Challenge “Nature Chills”


My whole life, I have hungered for the outdoors. It has always calmed and fulfilled me.  My earliest memories were of Mother telling me I couldn’t go out till the dew dried.  Many, many times, she caught me outdoors barefoot with a muddy-tailed nightgown before breakfast.  Inclement weather was no impediment.  We simply played in the barn, slipping out the instant the downpour was over.  More likely than not, we’d end up wet anyway then stay out till our clothes dried enough it wasn’t immediately obvious.  So much of the time I worked as a nurse, I’d go to work before daylight and come home long after dark, working on a windowless unit that shut out all hope of a glimmer of sunshine.  One of life’s greatest blessings is that after retirement, I am free again.  My husband and I camp a great deal, seeing a lot of the beach and the mountains.  While he fly fishes, I spend my time walking with Buzzy, dabbling in the water, or just being.  I can’t claim to be a fly fisher person, but I never met a fly fisherman I didn’t like.  I usually cook outdoors in my Dutch Ovens over an open fire.  My posts have come to you from the hills and riversides of Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma and from the beaches along the Gulf of Mexico.  Next summer we plan to spend time with friends in Canada and the Northwest.  I am grateful to be “Chilling” at this time in my life.

This picture was from one of life’s finest moments.  Someone called to see if I could come in and work a shift for them a few days after I retired.  Sent the picture with the explanation,  “Sorry.  I’m busy!”