Friday, August 16, 2013


It is past time to replace my computer. I can no longer do simple tasks on it. It is old, very old and I have lovingly had her cleaned and maintained by computer hero but it is time. Posting to this blog for example has been a challenge. I must write my posts in Word and cut and paste. Enough of that…

I’m back at work. I earned a sticker every day this week. I give myself a cheesy sticker every day I do not breech the partition and choke someone. It is amazing how one person can grate on everyone’s nerves so much that the atmosphere changes. I breathe deep and plug in my headphones. And the visual of the stickers actually helps calm me and feel compassion.

We received a new letter from son yesterday. He is on light duty at boot camp because of cellulitis on his ankle. What is it with my kids and ankles? He says the meds are working quickly and he will be back to full duty by the week end. And then in a few short sentences he breaks my heart and brings out the full rage of mama bear. He asked again if we would pass his address on to his mom and sister. He has not received a letter from them and thinks he may have sent his wrong address. He wants them to know when he graduates because he really wants bio to be there. The moment we received his address I sent a mass e-mail to family (including his sister) and a few friends with his address. I also sent a facebook message. His sister responded and said she had written and would mail it out the next day. This was weeks ago now. How, how for the love of all that is holy do you not write to your son? Even if sister did not pass the address on (because you know damn well I’m not giving bio any information) he wrote to her with his address. And I know it was the correct address because he has received letters from us, my in-laws and my parents. He even received letters from his friend that is a girl that I tracked down and messaged on facebook.

If you are new to my blog you may ask how I could not pass on info to bio. Well, she moved away almost five years ago and still has yet to give us a change of address. My children have not seen her since she left. My youngest has not talked to her since Christmas. Son only talked to her because he would call her. And frankly I hope she is not at graduation because we plan to bring youngest and I would like the visit to be drama free. And yet, my heart breaks for him. He so wants to believe that bio loves him and cares about him. He so wants that connection with his mom just like oldest wanted that connection. Oldest even moved to be with bio seeking that connection. What she found is a different story. Let’s just say she doesn’t live with bio.

Saturday, August 10, 2013


We did not have Wi-Fi on vacation and from my phone I could only view my blog – I could not post to it. So much for a blog a day. We did have an awesome vacation. This year it was just three of us. Oldest son is off making a life and family of his own. Oldest daughter is living, working and going to school across the country. Son is at boot camp. From his letters so far he likes the long hours and scheduled time. He’s not impressed with the food. But, as MIL says, “he is used to your cooking.” So youngest had us and vacation to herself.

We were in the high country of North Carolina. We spent time wandering the mountains. A arts and craft fair on top of Beech Mountain the highest populated town in the East, a spectacular time at the museum and swinging bridge on Grandfather Mountain. The bridge hums in the wind and let me tell you with 40 MPH winds it was humming as we crossed it. It is a mile above sea level and the views are awesome. We drove the Blue Ridge Parkway and stopped at a local craft store located in an historic home, hiked around the lake and picnicked among the trees.

We browsed the shops in Boone, Banner Elk and Blowing Rock. The art co-operatives were wonderful to see. We missed the art walk but loved the concept. All the artist galleries are open one evening a month and you stroll from art gallery to art gallery where refreshments are served. Sounds way better than a pub crawl to me.

We visited Linville Caverns. After seeing the Luray caverns it was a let down but brought about a whole new respect for those first discovering and exploring the caverns. And instead of a t-shirt to remember my vacation I found a beautiful mortal & pestle to use in my kitchen.

We spent a day in Asheville at the Biltmore Estate. Wow! We were able to tour the gardens before the rain started. A good two hours was spent in the many gardens and I could have spent longer if the weather and family would have allowed. We were so happy we opted for the audio tour. The attention to detail in this 250 room house was mind boggling. That a young bachelor built this blows my mind. The colors, carvings, artwork, antiques and thought awe inspiring. The fact that he deeply respected and honored those that created, designed and worked on the house elicited a deep respect. Youngest favorite room was the pool room. An indoor 70,000 gallon heated, lighted pool. Keep in mind this house opened Christmas Eve 1895. Hubby loved the billiards room. And it was quite impressive. The dining hall had three fire places and a pipe organ. Our house could be set in the center of the room and you could walk completely around it or sit on top of it. My favorite room of course was the library with over 10,000 books. And with all of that it wasn’t gaudy. After the house tour we headed to the winery and farm. The blacksmith was fantastic. And after his demonstration he played the anvil. What a beautiful musical instrument. We never knew.

Daddy and daughter went to the movies to see the Wolverine. I went to Art History Museum instead. They had an exhibit of American Impressionists. Lovely.

We ate breakfast in the cottage and packed a picnic for lunch. At night we tried different restaurants. We avoided the chains and sought out the mom and pop operations. There seemed no one food the high country was known for except maybe trout. One of the few foods I am not a fan of but, that is another story. We did have plenty of sweet tea. I did get my fried catfish and hush puppies one night. We had steaks, BBQ, Mexican and Cajun. We went to the Black Cat one night. They have a wide variety of burritos. I had a chicken satay that was delicious. One night we ate at the Bayou and I had the Louisiana sampler plate that included rice, sausage & beans, crawfish etoufee and gumbo. The gumbo was out of this world. I’m not a spice loving fan but gave it a try. You could taste all the wonderful flavors and then the heat hit the back of your throat. Your lips didn’t burn, you could taste it and it was really good.

And now I’m home and settling back in.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Blog a Day

I wish I had the discipline, time and energy to blog every day. It might force me to be more inspired. I write beautiful posts in my head on the way to work. They disappear into the mist of my mind never to appear again. Try as I may I can never recreate that wit later in the day. For the next few weeks I’m going to try.

Well, that is if I can figure out how to post from my smart phone while on vacation. Smart phones by definition are something that takes way more of my time and energy to figure out than I care to spend.

We received a real letter from son this week. Short, sweet and to the point. Once I suppressed my urge to correct the grammar and spelling I was OK. He likes Parris Island. He likes working 16 hour days starting at 0400 and ending at 2000. He listed those I should contact with his graduation information. He asked for us to send stamps.

I am trying really hard to post weekly to my Raven’s Edge Blog. It has forced me to look at the plants I see, harvest and use with a new lens. I like that. I have expanded my material medica in the process. I am inspiring myself with the journey and enjoying every moment.

I was supposed to be “working” today. I completed everything on my desk and worked myself into a spot where I have nothing to do at the place that pays me to live my life. So, I took a PTO day. Who can say they can do that before taking vacation? I have the next 12 days off. We leave in the wee hour’s tomorrow morning for the mountains of NC. I can’t wait.

Laundry is almost done. Hubby detailed my car (reason 1,652 why I love him). Spicy chex mix is made. Traveling muffins baked (coconut blueberry). Clothes are stacked and waiting for the suitcase. The paper and mail have been stopped. Someone has been found to tend to the kitties. A last dump run was made. House cleaned. I’m ready to go.