Slowing down

Slowing down

We took some time to slow down amid a busy September last weekend.

Busy is just that, busy. It doesn’t necessarily mean that we are achieving, accomplishing. It doesn’t automatically mean that we are being productive or growing or stretching. It just means busy.

We’re still figuring out the balance. The rhythm. Of this new life, new home, new phase.

We walked down to the neighbor’s the other night and sat in their living room as the rain pounded down and just talked and talked for hours. Husband and I walked home in the dark, dodging the last of the rain drops. It was late, but it felt good to be making connections, making time, being, talking.

In an effort to make some of that time for ourselves, we took off for the mountains last weekend. It doesn’t happen nearly as often as we would like, but our little mountain excursions help bring us a bit of sanity, of slowing, of breathing, of being. It’s good for us.

A few photos and a few thoughts from our trip…

Sunset on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Our campsite at Sherando Lake State Recreation Area

So green at the lakes


Hiking Humpback Rocks Trail

The view from Humpback Rocks Trail

The pup made it to the top too

Enjoying the view, Blue Ridge Mountains

The days we love

The days we love

One thing has become so very evident to me in the past year — we must embrace every moment of the days we love.

Losing a loved one puts so many things into perspective. And sure, there’s nothing earth shattering or life-changing about canoeing. But, there will only be so many warm November days in my lifetime and I intend to embrace every one that I can.

So Husband and I invited my MIL and SIL to an afternoon of canoeing/kayaking/beach walking. I can’t think of a better way to embrace 73* in November.


The pup canoeing

Sunday afternoon

Back Bay

And even better, as we were loading up the boats to head out, a nice fog rolled in. We headed straight for the beach and watched it get thicker and thicker until we could hardly see the waves. There is nothing more magical than fog on the beach.

Fog rolling in on the beach

I hope I never begin to take these days for granted again. I hope that with all the tears of grief, there also remains the hope of life today. Carpe diem!

The pup in the fog

The way we celebrate

The way we celebrate

Husband and I celebrated three years of marriage last week. Certainly, it’s not long compared to my parents’ 36 years or my grandparents’ 60 years, but each and every year is something to celebrate.

I love that we are still new to this. It’s an adventure unlike any other and we are navigating it and enjoying it to the best of our abilities.

So to mark the completion of our third year, we chose to do one of the things we love best: camping.

We packed up the truck, the pup and a weekend’s worth of food and took off for the Blue Ridge Mountains. This is one of our favorite places in the whole world. Given the choice, we would move to the mountains in a heartbeat. (But there are little things to consider that keep us where we are, like employment.)

It was three days and two nights of bliss, just Husband, the pup and me. We hiked, we photographed, we made campfires and cooked delicious meals. The things I love to do, like reading and knitting are oh-so-much better done by lamplight in the great outdoors.

We even saw a black bear (I’m sorry to say I didn’t get a photo because it was only for a moment…then again, I’m glad he didn’t stick around).

Happy Anniversary, Husband. I hope and pray each year is even better than the last.

Sherando Lake


Collecting firewood


Trickling waterfall

River rocks


Tree bark

Cooking Thai curry


A weekend project

A weekend project

It was a beautiful weekend here in Va Beach, bright and sunny but not yet hot–perfect for getting a few things done out-of-doors.

First up on my list was our picnic table. We purchased it at a steal two years ago and let it age a bit. Last summer I purchased the supplies I would need to stain it a beautiful red color, but, alas, it never happened. I moved around that can of stain until I got sick of seeing it and eventually it disappeared.

So this weekend I hunted it down (in the back corner of the garage) and set to work. To my surprise, it didn’t take nearly as long as I anticipated.

First, I sanded the surfaces to smooth out the wood and get rid of dirt and other junk that had collected there. Then I wiped it down to remove the dust and pollen and it was ready to go.

It took two coats of stain/protector pretty easily, I just followed the instructions on the can. The first coast took a little longer as it soaked up a lot of the stain, the second went on in a matter of minutes.

Right now, it’s curing and I can’t wait to get a final shot of how it turns out. For now…

Picnic table before

Picnic table after

P.S. A tip that worked really well for us last year–place a few flattened carboard boxes on the ground beneath your picnic table and then mulch over them. They do a great job of keeping the weeds from growing and they will naturally decompose into your soil!

And to top off the day, we also picked up a few hundred feet of fencing from a neighbor replacing their pasture fences. I think this will come in handy some day…

Truck load of fencing