A Glimpse of Autumn

Autumn officially began on September 22 (my niece’s birthday – Moni).  There are slow signs that the season is really here.  A tree across the parking lot has some gold leaves on it.  The temperature is milder during the day and chilly in the evenings.  The one thing that I don’t love about the season changing is its getting dark earlier {sigh}.

It’s my favorite season of the year!  I love the colors and textures of leaves and clothing.  I love that little nip in the air that means I need to put on my knee-high socks.  I love curling up on the couch with my leopard-print Snuggie (thanks Cheryl).  The kitchen appeals to me much more after the heat of summer has gone away.  I want to simmer chili and soups, make a big batch of spaghetti and meatballs…and macaroni and cheese…my mouth is watering.  I haven’t even gotten started obsessing over pumpkins yet.  I want to make some pumpkin muffins with cinnamon and nutmeg, I want to try pumpkin cookies for the first time…pumpkins…yum!

While we were in Crewe and Jetersville on Saturday, I captured some hints of Autumn.  I hope you enjoy this season as much as I do.

Just a branch of this tree has turned

Just a branch of this tree has turned

Black leaf?!?

Black leaf?!?

A carpet of color

A carpet of color

I love this one

I love this one

And this on too...

And this on too…

My new desktop background!

My new desktop background!

Here’s what 82 looks like…

Yesterday we celebrated my father-in-law’s 82nd birthday!  His birthday was actually on Friday but since Ray and I had to work we drove up yesterday to spend the day with his parents.  Cliff, the birthday “boy,” requested that we attend a picnic with them in Crewe.  So that’s where we met them.

The picnic event is an annual celebration the local electric co-op hosts for their customers.  There was live music, a tent for health screenings, demonstrations on how the electric crew fixes transformers and their safety steps they perform to stay safe up there next to so much power and door prizes to win.  I was excited to see a hot air balloon being set up when we got there although I expressed some concern over the winds.  Turns out they were dismantling it instead of setting it up because of the winds {sigh}.  Ray and I thought we would have gone up in it but who knows – he has a fear of heights and I have had vertigo a few years ago – but we were going to try it!

We were only at the picnic for a few hours and it was COLD CHILLY!  The sun had a lot of big clouds to contend with and the wind just made it feel chillier.

We ate and then drove to Ray’s parent’s house in Jetersville.  The trees are just starting to turn to beautiful gold and red.  I have a few photos to share this week of leaves but today is all about Cliff.

I recently read a great post from photographer Darlene Hildebrandt that you can read here.  I was inspired to capture more than the traditional birthday photos (although he didn’t have a cake to blow out candles).  We were just celebrating the time we were spending together.

Cliff stays in shape by always finding something to do around the hacienda, loves to watch sports on TV especially basketball and reads westerns.  He and Jeanette scaled back on the raised-bed garden this year and have only canned green beans and pears this summer.  But they have beautiful green and red peppers that they’ve shared with us!

It was a good day!

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The slightly out of focus look is entirely my fault because I try not to shoot in “auto” that’s why Ray looks so tickled in the last shot above.  That was take 3!  Sorry bout that Cliff and Jeanette!

 

Feline Friday

TGIF!  I’m getting ready to start getting ready for work, lol.  I have been spoiled with my former temp job by having Friday’s off for a long time but not anymore!  Today will complete my 40 hour week.  Instead of working 11:30 to 8 like I do Mon – Thursday, I am going in at 10 to 6:30.  Ray and I will have dinner together!  I told him last night that I miss his sweet face.  Today’s blog isn’t really about me so without further ado…

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My phone camera is a tad slow.  Spooky and Bud were both looking in the same direction – out at the balcony – but a bird or insect flew into the corner area of the balcony and Bud looked at it instead.  Notice my violet plant is still nanging on…one out of three plants has survived the summer!

My First Day

After the stress last week of worrying over little details and scrambling to find my birth certificate, getting finger-printed for my criminal background check at the police department and running around town to find a store to break $20 bills…yesterday was calm for a MONDAY.  Calm for my first day – never thought that would happen.

I walked around with a huge smile on my face for most of the day.  The gluten-free bread that I brought for my open-faced sandwich was delicious without being toasted (thank you UDI’S).  I kept to my schedule in the morning and got to work on time.  It was a good Monday.  A good first day at work.

I thought I would share some photos that made me happy.  When we drove to Chesapeake to see The Memphis Belle, I spotted this really cool tree and rusty tin roofed building…two things that I love…call me crazy.

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This last photo is very similar to the first – but I noticed a plane shaped cloud over the building so I added the fence to the shot.  The plane seemed appropriate after our B-17 visit:)

I’m afraid – and it’s ok

I have an announcement.  I got the job! 

Why the title of my post, you wonder?  This is the best of times and it’s the worst of times…This powder keg of emotions has been building ever since I knew this job was a possibility.  I obviously have commitment issues.  I won’t even mention the big H {hormones} that seems to cover every problem that exists for womankind.

I don’t know if you can understand my fear but I’m putting it out here.  Keeping it real.  Sherri isn’t perfect.  Sherri makes mistakes.  Sherri is afraid of a “real job,” a “grown up job.”  Gulp.  I’ve spent countless hours on the phone getting much needed therapy from Bren, Cheryl and Ray. My two soul sisters give me the emotional support and Ray cuts thru the crap and gets to the heart of the matter and gives me his managerial insight to soothe the scared little girl inside of me.  Even Mom has lamented over our family’s self esteem issues.  Thank God for these people that lift me up when I’m so low, so afraid.

It’s also about the silly things like how to plan my schedule since I will need to leave earlier in the morning.  I will also have to pack a meal for dinner.  You are probably rolling your eyes now but since I’ve been looking at gluten-free packed meal suggestions I’m happy to know that others get stressed about this too.  Gluten free breads tend to be dry so I will have to think up different alternatives to a “usual” brown bag lunch of sandwich, bag of chips and fruit.  Not terrifying just more stress.  Thank God for Google!

I went online to pull the definition of fear and found this:

Fear is a powerful and complex emotion. So complex, in fact, that you may not even realize when you are expressing it. Oprah says “I think people don’t understand that anxiety is fear. Jealousy is fear. Greed is fear. All of those are elements of a fear-based culture.”

Dr. Brown agrees. “Eating is fear. Drinking is fear. Drugs are fear. Rage is fear,”

“Yeah,” Dr. Brown says. “We’re all afraid. We just have to get to the point where we understand it doesn’t mean that we can’t also be brave.”

I’ve become friends with one of the cosmetology students who is in the last stretch of her 15 month class.  She’s been missing school thanks to ANXIETY.  I was so glad to see her the other day.  I whispered my news to her and said “I know how you feel – I’ve been so afraid!”

We have so many labels in our society.  I know that I’m an introvert, super-sensitive, artistic woman.  I am also a strong woman that has survived a heap of trouble – taking care of a child with leukemia and fear that it would not be enough, worry for his brother while I was apart from him, dark battles with depression, a bitter divorce, financial chaos and family strife.  But I have survived.

I will survive now.  Face the fear.  Make the fear go away or become less scary! 

One of my favorite songs that got me through a difficult time is this:  U2’s Stuck in a Moment – they could have dedicated it to me, I am such a fool.  I always cry at this part:  

And if your way should falter
Along the stony pass
It’s just a moment
This time will pass

I {heart} Passion Flower

While visiting Bren on Friday, she pointed out her trellis that I always though was just a crawling vine.  But no, this incredibly beautiful bloom was hidden on the side!  I’m so thankful that she brought it to my attention and that she let me borrow her kit lens (18-55mm) so that I could capture up close shots.  Can you believe the colors or the textures?  They just pop right at you.

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A creative twist for the first photo.  This last photo shows how “normal” the bud looks before it unfurls it’s majesty upon us {smile}.  Love those twisty vines too!

Have a great Sunday!

 

It was a really good day yesterday!

I went back home to visit my loved ones that are nearby.  I asked Brenda if she would pose in some photos WITH me and her husband Richard willingly agreed to take them with my camera.  Brenda and I are self-conscience about our body image so I tried to come up with flattering poses.  Then I had to get Richard to stand exactly where I stood to line up the shot.  It was hilarious.

There are 3 photos of us with the tree face.  The first image Bren closed her eyes. Take two:  Richard cut Twinkie out of the shot. Take three: the humans and poodle look great but the tree lost his eyes.  I didn’t notice that at the time so I had to do a photo merge at home later.

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I then took a tour of Bren’s side and back yard for another photo op.  She mentioned a bench at the back of the house.  Problem it was facing into the sun!  I dragged the bench over to a different area for a better angle and background.  But that was still too bright for Bren who is sensitive to the light.  Solution Richard and I moved the bench to a shady area with taller hedges in the background.  Yay.

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Mom dropped by Bren’s not knowing I was leaving soon.  I always take Mom with Twinkie in that chair…sigh.  But I promised her I would visit her after lunch!

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But I had to meet my friend Nancy for our traditional Mexican lunch, Pollo Jalisco is grilled thin chicken breasts served with a hot sauce that will light you up.  But it’s pretty tasty when dipped in sour cream and I scoop up some rice with it.  Yum!

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I went to Mom’s and Judy’s for a few hours to visit with them before Jeremy and I met for dinner.  Sagebrush was Jeremy’s suggestion after I nagged him about K & L barbecue {sigh}.  He’s trying to eat healthier foods so I can’t complain.  After dinner, I suggested we sit in his car for a bit.  Then I had the mad impulse for him to drive me around and show off his “new” Camaro.  He took the t-tops off and away we went.  It was a crazy ride!  I snapped a few of him with my phone.

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Then I came home to the love of my life and the 2 kits.

It was a very, very good day!