The Beauty Around Us

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

Posts from the ‘Family’ category

Ohio Vacation Day 6 – Retirement! (6/30/2021)

Today is Bob’s first day of retirement from Betts Industries Inc., after 35 1/2 years service.

Bob started work at Betts Industries on November 26, 1984 (first day of buck season). Since June 2020, when he was laid off work because of COVID, Bob has been in practice for retirement. This week-long stay in Ohio is our first vacation in retirement.

I am using the words of a friend (thank you Debby) who wrote about retirement a few weeks ago. Debby’s words struck home with me. Debby wrote that the most luxurious part of retirement is that we can go as long as we want. There is no job to return to. There are no vacation days trickling through our fingers. The only thing determining the length of a vacation trip is us.

We are excited about this new chapter in our lives!

We ate lunch at The Brew Kettle in Hudson OH. I ordered Fish and Chips; Bob ordered a pulled pork sandwich with sweet potato fries. Bob had a couple beers too. One beer was a celebratory drink.

Congratulations on your retirement, Bob!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day to all of my blog followers!

The top photograph was taken in November 2020, during our Thanksgiving week vacation in Chincoteague VA.  The photograph on the left along the bottom row was taken, while on our first date, in Annapolis MD in May 1998.   The bottom right photograph was taken in February, this year. Bob and I will celebrate our 23rd wedding anniversary in September, this year.

Couple Minutes of Crazy (Fun)

We took our granddaughters sled riding at Pool Hill in Youngsville, PA.

Earlier today I published a blog post about taking our granddaughters sled riding. In that blog post I shared a video that I had taken.

Bob also captured video, using our GoPro camera.

Bob compiled several video clips into one video. I especially love two edits that Bob did with the video. He zoomed in on the girls walking hand in hand up the sledding hill. He added slow motion to two wipeouts, and zoomed in as well.

Sled Riding Fun

We took our granddaughters sled riding this afternoon.

Harper and Juniper Pulling Sleds Up Hill

We went sled riding on Pool Hill in Youngsville, PA.  Our friends, Marge and Neil, who live near Pool Hill, joined us and enjoyed watching the girls sled ride too.

I think the girls had been sledding for about 40 minutes, when they wanted to take a break.  We took a break from sled riding to have hot cocoa and snacks.  Marge and Neil left us at that time to go for a walk.

We had one close call.  The sled that Harper was on got away from her before she was ready.  She rode backwards into the woods.  Bob was closest to Harper.  He ran to her,but wasn’t fast enough.  Harper ended up riding through brush, narrowly missing a couple tree trunks.  It was scary moment for Harper, Bob, Juniper and me.  Thankfully Harper didn’t get one scratch, sprain or broken bone!  She did want to go home right then and there, though.  We talked Harper into taking one more ride.  There is a quote that says “if you fall off a horse, you get back up”.  If you wipe out on a sled, you get back up.  Harper was a brave girl today. 

We had such a good time today.  It was wonderful to spend time with the girls.  The last time we saw the girls was 2 months ago. I had not been seeing anyone, except Bob, since late November.  COVID-19 was rampant in our small community.  It was my decision to self isolate, as I have underlying health issues.  Given my health issues, I feel that I would not do well if I contracted COVID.  The numbers of positive COVID cases have decreased significantly, and I felt safe once again to be with my granddaughters.

Year in Review 2020

Bob, Wickett and me at our house on New Years Eve

Amazon Photos made this Year in Review slideshow for me.  Please click on “slideshow” to view the video.  Keep clicking until the slideshow begins.

The slideshow features Bob and me, Stacey and our two granddaughters, my brother and his wife, three great nieces, a few of our local motorcycle riding friends, and some of our friends with whom we were fortunate to spend a week with in the Outer Banks, and lunch with friends in Salisbury MD on our way to Chincoteague VA.

What great memories to remind me that 2020, with all that was bad about it, still had good things!

 

Nature Play Area

I have had this blog post in mind for almost two weeks, ever since my granddaughters and I visited our local Audubon Center.  I wanted to share a few photographs of my granddaughters, as it has been a while since I did so in this blog.  Also, I wanted to showcase the Nature Play Area at the Audubon Center.

According to its website the Audubon Community Nature Center “is a 600-acre wetland preserve that includes over five miles of trails, a native tree arboretum, picnic areas, a natural play space, and educational gardens for you to explore daily from dawn until dusk. … The Nature Center itself is home to the Blue Heron Gift Shop and three floors of interactive exhibits, including live animals, which inform and engage visitors of all ages. …  You can visit Liberty, a non-releasable Bald Eagle, in her enclosure near the [Nature Center] building.”

The Audubon Center is located approximately 12 miles from our house at 1600 Riverside Road in Jamestown, NY.  We walk the trails and visit Liberty frequently.  We have visited the Nature Center building, as well, but just a few times.  This blog post, though, is about the nature play area only.

The nature play area is located near the Nature Center building.

In Mar 2016 the nature play area had a tunnel made out of a tree and stepping “stones” made out of trees.

Mar 2016
Our granddaughters climbed through and on the tree tunnel.

Mar 2016
Bob and our granddaughters check out the stepping “stones” made out of trees.

I can’t recall if there was anything else to play on in the nature play area during our visit in March 2016.

During our visit to the Audubon Center on October 7th the girls found three new additions to the nature play area.

The girls had fun pretending they were stuck in this shelter.

The girls are sitting on Tank, a 12-foot and 1,500 pound concrete turtle.

Last fall, Tank the Turtle was created and donated to the Audubon Nature Center by Mike Whitmire of Whitmire Block and Outdoor Living, Starbrick, PA.

Spotted Salamander

The most recent addition to the Nature Play Area is this spotted salamander, which was also created and donated to the Audubon Center by Mike Whitmire of Whitmire Block and Outdoor Living.  The spotted salamander measures roughly 14 feet from its nose to the tip of its tail.  The spotted salamander had not yet been named.

 

 

Christmas 2018

We celebrated Christmas three times.

Christmas celebration #1 was held on Sunday at my brother and sister-in-law’s home.  We left our home in Warren PA at 10:30 am en route Jim and Judy’s house. Jim and Judy live about an hour’s drive north of Pittsburgh. We arrived at Jim and Judy’s house at 1:00 pm.  We thought we were the last to arrive.  But that was not the case.  While we were filling our plates, Judy’s brother Donald and his wife Gina arrived.  Others who came to Christmas dinner, in addition to Jim and Judy, Donald and Gina and Bob and I, were our nephew Michael, his wife Kailey and their three children; our nephew Jared, his wife Sara and their two children; Sara’s parents; and Judy’s mother.  Our niece Emily and her husband Dan and their daughter, who live in Minnesota, were not able to join us this year.  Christmas dinner included turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, noodles, sweet potatoes, pickled eggs, and corn.  Dessert included pumpkin pie, chocolate dream pie, cookies and a gingerbread cake.  We departed Jim and Judy’s house at 3:30 pm, as gifts were being opened.  Bob and I did not participate in the gift exchange; however, Judy made sure I didn’t leave empty handed. 

Judy made this wooden sign for me. Great job, Judy, and THANK YOU!

We returned home at 6:00 pm.  It was good to see my brother and his family and the others.  We had a very good visit with everyone.

Christmas celebration #2 was held on Monday at Stacey’s house.  We left home at 1:30 pm and arrived at Stacey’s house about 15 minutes later.  Chris (Stacey’s mother) and Jay arrived a short time later.  Our dinner included roasted turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing and, for dessert, apple pie, ambrosia, and brownies.  Harper and Juniper received a surprise visit from Santa Claus.

Santa Claus is showing our granddaughters that their names are on his nice list.

Santa Claus brought the girls early Christmas presents.

Harper and Juniper with Santa Claus

Stacey, Chris, Jay and I knew Santa Claus would be stopping by.  Nevertheless Santa Claus took Stacey and me by surprise.  We expected Santa to come to the front door.  Instead he came to the back door.  We heard bells and “ho-ho-ho” a short while before he made an appearance.  At first we didn’t know what we were hearing.  To me the noise sounded like it was coming from a radio.  Stacey and I got up from the table (we were finishing up dinner) and walked into the kitchen.  We were looking out the kitchen window, when Santa’s face appeared.  He startled us!

After dinner we opened gifts.  Everyone was happy with their gifts.

I took a few pictures, after we opened our gifts.

“Big Grandma” Chris and her granddaughters

“Big Grandma” Chris, Grandma Linda, and our granddaughters

Stacey and her daughters

While we were at Stacey’s house, it snowed. 

Snow fell on Christmas Eve!

It stayed cold through Christmas Day, so we had a white Christmas.

Christmas celebration #3 was at our home on Christmas Day, with only Bob and I in attendance.  Bob and I opened our Christmas gifts to each other in the morning.  We are happy with our respective gifts.  I prepared Christmas dinner, which we ate around 2:00 pm.  Christmas dinner included baked ham, baked potato, whole berry cranberry sauce, cauliflower and broccoli medley and, for dessert, pumpkin pie.  The ham was a spiral ham.  We have lots of ham leftovers!

’Twas a very merry Christmas for Bob and me. We spent the Christmas holiday with the people who mean the most to us.  We are so blessed!

 

 

 

 

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