Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving, but first "For Kristi Part 2"

I promised Kristi last night that I would post this photo taken on the last day of our recent trip. We stayed the last night in Ramsey, NJ with longtime friends of LM and Kristi. Chris, on the left, and Mara on the right next to Kristi. Chris drives the bus, was home for her morning break, and to see us off on the last leg of our drive back to Cape Cod. You are awesome Kristi! Oh what a wonderful 4 days off and celebration of Thanksgiving! I'd been wondering if the approach and celebrations of the holidays would trigger the grief which has been dancing around in my soul for the past 9 months, but with the exception of a brief private tearful moment with my nephew, Danny, the day was delightful. Having baby Teddy and little Samantha present added such lightness and laughter. LM by my side, attentive and loving, as always, was my dessert!
Brother, Sam and SIL, Trish, welcomed us warmly to their lovely home, as the scent of Thanksgiving promised a delicious repast and celebration of all we have.
The table, set beautifully by Trish.

Dinner time nears as Trish and Sam apply the finishing touches.
Daughter, Sara and son, Jason, help the cousins, Samantha and Teddy to greet each other, and, below, DIL, Alison and Samantha share a hug. Baby Teddy gets a lesson in how to climb stairs from his cousin, Danny!! Wish I could share the sounds of GLEE coming from BT as he was allowed to negotiate those stairs. It was hilarious.
Children bring so much joy and comic relief. It was such a lovely day.

I am still completely friustrated by Blogger. For the last month or so, I am unable to put photos in sequence or to move them within a post. ANNOYING, to say the least.
Hoping everyone else had a lovely Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Three Years Today!

Giving thanks this week, must also include the tremendous gratitude and love I have for all the lovely friendships I have made by writing Ms Graysea......we are three years old today!!
This is not always the happiest place to be, especially in the last year, but it is a place where I have received such wonderful encouragement and inspiration.

May you all enjoy a very Happy Thanksgiving!! I am off to finish the preparation for a lot of baking tomorrow night!

Monday, November 23, 2009

For Kristi! Part I

Our first day driving the Skyline Drive in Virginia. One of the many dramatic overlooks where we stopped to admire the view. A little walk along the Otter River with Daddy
On our third night out we had a lovely stopover with David and Ron in Fairview, NC near Asheville and you met your funny and sweet new friend, Sophie!

We finally reached FL and on the 2nd day there you learned how to make pumpkin pie with Anne. It was delicious!

At long last we arrived at Discovery Cove on the day you waited for so long. In a few short hours we all swam with the dolphins and your dream came true! More pictures soon.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Pix from the Road....Day 1

I've been trying to post photos for days but Blogger has been most uncooperative.
We drove in the moonlight for a number of hours as we set out on the road. Beautiful!
Crossing the Hudson River at Newburgh, NY
Kristi got a kick out of all these pigeons lined up on a light pole.
Our first rest stop, just over the PA border.

LM and Kristi having a walk

Not so interesting, really, but Ms K will be reading this and I promised!
I feel like I am finally catching up with myself, and have just come home after spending a lovely evening last night and day today with LM and Ms G....she sends her regards but says she likes where she is very much, that opinion is definitely swayed by the fact that she is having constant attention and loving, not to mention all the treats she wants. I don't stand a chance!
I have so much to catch up on here and will do it as I can. Lots to do before the holiday. We will be having dinner with my brother, Sam and family and my daughter, Sara and family, and son, Jason and family will join us as well.
What will you be cooking?? You know me, I am always curious about what other people are cooking and eating.
Last butnot least....the wonderful car which took us almost 3700 miles!! VW Routan.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Home Again

Yesterday afternoon just after 3 pm......the Bourne Bridge provided us a lovely welcome back to Cape Cod. We'd spent Monday night in Ramsey, NJ with friends and got on the road at 11 am. By 4:30 pm we had the car completely unpacked, Kristi home to Centerville and we were in awe of all we experienced and ready to sit down over dinner and unwind, we both found ourselves hurrying, though, as we could not wait to get back to LM's house to reconnect with Ms. G. In the past when I have left her, she has given me the royal snub upon my return, but it was not 10 minutes after we sat in the living room last night that she appeared with a flourish of chirps and purrs and displays of profuse love.....we were both in tears. Sitting down also made me realize that I was REALLY tired and better hit the road to my house. Saying good-bye to LM after two weeks of being next to each other every minute, was pretty painful. This trip with Kristi, brought us to a new level in our love, and it made parting full of sweet sorrow. The need for sleep superceded it all and I was home in a flash and never so happy to be in the comfort of my own bed. With a heart and mind full of gratitude and beautiful images, I drifted off to sleep, missing LM's presence, but happy knowing he was home in his comfy bed cuddled with Ms G.
There are so many wonderful pictures to share and promise to get them up as soon as possible. Right now, it is so nice to have a day off to put everything away, take a walk, and get some groceries. Road food has caught up with me and I cannot wait to acquire some beautiful greens, veggies and fruit to get back on a healthier eating path.
The new header photo was taken on a dock at Chincoteague, VA on the last evening of our stay there, Nov 15. It is a beautiful magical place which was recently devastated by the tropical storm, Ida. As we toured there, we saw humanity at its best, recovering and resilient, going on with life after losing so much. We were very inspired, and happy we didn't cancel that part of our trip due to the storm.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Beauty Beauty Everywhere....Hello from Chincoteague VA

Some Chincoteague ponies who just happen to live at the Lovely Refuge Inn on Chincoteague Island, where we have been staying the past two days. Fortunately for us, these ponies live at our inn, because the main focus of our trip out here was to see ponies in the wild, but, their habitat, Assateague Island, was so devastated by "Ida" an extra-tropical storm which struck the mid-Atlantic states last week, that the refuge is closed. There has been a lot of damage here....flooding, and trees down, as well as beaches washed away. Nonetheless, we have enjoyed every minute of our two days here and had some wonderful meals of local seafood. Kristi and I had some fun time shopping today, and she found a few more gifts for family and friends. The trip out here to the island was fascinating. Crossing the Chespeake bay via the Bridge/Tunnel, as the aftereffects of the storm were kicking up huge waves and spume. There were many huge tankers and container ships in the bay and we saw fishermen braving the weather to fish off a separate bridge. This evening we were mesmerized and enchanted by this spectacular sunset. Just as beautiful as one I saw here more than 25 years ago in another life. As many of you know, the main focus of this long trip was to take Kristi to swim with the dolphins in Orlando, so when I got back to our inn this evening and downloaded the photos, I was totally amazed to see that the pier silhouetted by the sunset, was embellished with dolphins. A magic moment. I was so focued on photographing the sunset, that I never saw the leaping dolphins!
Tomorrow morning, very early, we are off to catch the car ferry (looking forward to the 80 minute ride across Delaware Bay) to Cape May, NJ, have a look round there at some world famous architecture, and then head to Woodbury, NJ to visit the Gloucester County Historical Society to discuss a painting which LM recently inherited. Should be interesting. After that, we head to Ramsey, NJ to stay with friends over night before the final leg of this magical journey.
There are so many other facets of the trip to tell you about and illustrate with photos, but that must wait until I am home. We've done so much and seen so much in two short weeks.
Thanks for all the nice comments wishing us well! Home to Ms G on Tuesday.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Observing Veterans' Day Florida Style

Our incredible vacation continues here at Anne's house in FL. Two more days before we hit the road again. Yesterday's venture to Orlando and our swim with dolphins was just amazing. Kristi's dream came true, and then some. We all swam with the largest dolphin at Discovery Cove, Capricorn. Effects from hurricane Ida were supposed to cause t-storms and rain all day, but by some wonderful happenstance, we had sunshine and perfect temperatures. The heavy rain and wind did come, but not until we were safely back at Anne's and could sleep to the sound of the rain. Heaven!

It's Veteran's Day today and surprisingly, Florida students do not have the day off, they go to school and participate in a special day-long program of education about the service all veterans have given to our country through the years. There are commemorations in local parks, all attended by students. Really a wonderful program. Given the day off, students would most likely be at the mall or playing computer games. This way, Veterans' Day is what it is all about.

Today is a day of rest and maybe visiting Anne's office to meet her co-workers, with a little shopping thrown in, and tonight we will take Anne and David out to dinner to thank them for their incredibly generosity during our visit.
Tomorrow is the day we take Kristi to Busch Gardens in Tampa. She can hardly contain her excitement. Us, too! White tigers, alligators, fun rides, etc await.

Friday we will be on the road again until Tues, Nov 17. Along the way back we will stay in North Carolina, see the Outer Banks, and spend several days in Chincoteague, VA, and see the wild ponies.

A lovely sojourn so far!

Monday, November 9, 2009

From Florida, Day 6

Hello everyone....we arrived at daughter, Anne's on Saturday evening and are really enjoying the warmth. We swim with the dolphins tomorrow, although there may be some delays due to the effects of hurricane Ida.
Here are a few teasers until I have time to write more. Everything has been perfect so far and Kristi is having the time of her life meeting new friends, 4-legged and otherwise, and we are making the most of every minute.
Theo has been entertaining us since we arrived here! More fun to come from him. Bella asking for treats...caught mid-squeak....yes, she squeaks, does not meow!
LM being mauled with pug love in North Carolina!

Krisit and I fording a stream...the Otter River. Along the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina.

Along the Blue Ridge Parkway in NC...

Lot's more to come.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Day II Skyline Drive & Blue Ridge Parkway

All I can say is that today was filled with more exclamations of beauty than I've ever heard in my life. Our hotel was minutes from Skyline Drive and we were up and out early to begin the day. After a lovely greeting and welcome at the Ranger Station we were on our way....within a very short distance we began seeing deer everywhere. The foliage is still lovely in many spots and especially an unknown tree specie which is glowing gold late into the Fall. The red bud trees are still lighting the forests with their almost blue-red leaves. The vistas were amazing and we stopped at almost every one, taking many come later for your viewing pleasure. Again we had a nice picnic while looking down over a pretty valley.

We did some walking, Kristi found some "treasures" at a park gift shop and we reveled in the fact that there were VERY FEW cars on the road, no traffic lights and the peaceful beauty enveloped us in healing peace. After the 105 miles on the Skyline Drive, we began 200 miles on the Blue ridge Parkway which brought us thrills a minute. We got up to more than 3600 ft and with no guardrails, walls or fences, it was thrilling to look straight down. These mountains are aptly named Blue Ridge. They are as blue as the sky! I am sure it helped that we had a perfect day....warm and sunny. Tonight we are at Hillsville, VA, very tired and sort of in shock to have to leave the total peace of the National park area, and return to the world of traffic lights, noise and glitz. Oh well, tomorrow we will be back on the Parkway to Asheville, NC and have a nice overnight visit with my "other brother" David. I am sure it will be a delightful visit.
I think we can sum up this day without any exaggeration by saying it was awe inspiring, beautiful, spectacular, unforgettable, and profound.
To be continued.....

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


After departing home exactly on time at 3 am this morning, we had a great day's drive to Front Royal, VA, where we are now resting at a Hampton Inn and preparing to go to bed early. For the first 2 hours of our trip we were in the most beautiful moonlight and as morning began to arrive we had a brilliant sunrise and the moon lighting the late Fall foliage along our way.
I slept a lot during the day as I was too excited to get any sleep last night.
Kristi is thoroughly enjoying all the sights along the way. It was interesting to hear her response to various places she saw for the first time. We saw lots of cows, horses and deer, as well as turkey vultures. Driving through West central PA we saw lots of coal operations and power plants. As we got lower in the state the countryside became a quilt of spectacular farms, many of which looked Amish. Golden trees everywhere, bringing a glow to every glance.

We had a lovely stop in Falling Water, West VA and we had a picnic lunch in the car while being entertained by many dog walkers. Fun!

LM and I are missing MS G but I am sure she slept the day away in a spot of sun.

Time to sit a bit and knit and get ready for tomorrow when we will begin our tour of the Skyline Dr and Blue Ridge Parkway.

The blues were still hugging my brain a bit today but I really felt healed by being on the road with LM and seeing such breathtaking beauty along the way.

To be continued......

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


13 hours from now we will be on the road! I must sound like a little kid about all this but I LOVE road trips.
No problem with me asking, "are we there yet." I never want trips to end, although it is always nice to come home and see Ms G again.

Thanks for all the well wishes and you'll hear from me on the road.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Bat Bites

Prepping for the Halloween luncheon at of the many cat people at work, Cat in the hat "Nancy" in the kitchen.
Bat bites made by friend Debra!
Two more days til the trip.....the countdown is on. Madness has subsided and tonight will find me packing, and maybe finding time to post several pix from the party I attended yesterday, it was a perfectly timed event, as I had a very painful grief meltdown beginning Friday night and lasting through yesterday morning. Unable to stop sobbing, my head so painful I could hardly see, I sat on the sofa at LM's and he calmly let me get it all out. Ms G was very unnerved by my crying and she used all sorts of antics to cheer me. Blowing leaves outside the door, had her skittering across the kitchen and hopping around, in true Halloween cat style, her back arched and tail blown up. There were smiles through the tears. The most profound grief in this process to date. I would not have thought it could get worse. I was so shaky yesterday that I feared I could not go through with the plan to attend the dinner party at friend, Sue's, but I forced myself and by the time it was over, I was energized, renewed with strength and feeling the joy rise up again. My spirit is strong and much good came out of the darkness.
On to work......wishing everyone a happy day and sunny skies!