The Beauty Around Us

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

Posts tagged ‘Our Granddaughters Harper and Juniper’

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.

Play Date

Our granddaughters enjoying playtime at our house

This is an “on this day” memory from 2017.  Bob and I had a three-hour play date with our granddaughters.  The girls helped Grandpa build a log cabin with Lincoln Logs.  Harper filled the interior of the cabin with Red Rose figurines.  Juniper dressed dolly in a new outfit.  Both girls played games on their Kindle Fire tablets and played with the Fisher Price house and Little People Klip Klop castle.   I read a few books to the girls, at their request.  The girls ate lunch here enjoying ham sandwiches, cheese cubes, and clementines.  We had an enjoyable 3-hour play date with the girls.

I am missing our granddaughters,  We last spent time with the girls in November.  It has been about 2 months since we last saw them.  COVID-19 continues to rage in my community in Northwestern Pennsylvania.  I saw a case comparison today.  Between Nov 7 and Dec 7 there were 415 cases.  Between Dec 7 and today’s date there have been 1,779 cases. More than 4 percent of the county’s population in which I live have been infected.  One month ago the Pennsylvania Department of Health listed two deaths for my county.  The number of deaths showing today are 46.

I am not seeing anyone, except Bob, as COVID-19 continues to rage.  This self-imposed isolation is my decision, as I have underlying health issues.  Given my health issues, I don’t feel that I would do well if I contracted COVID.

I do want to see my granddaughters badly.  I miss the girls so much.  I plan to receive the COVID vaccine as soon as it is available to me.  Meanwhile I will keep an eye on COVID case numbers.  Hopefully the numbers will decrease significantly, and I will feel safe again to be with my granddaughters (even before receiving the vaccine).

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!





Black Friday

We spent several hours with our granddaughters Harper and June on Friday, November 23.

We picked up the girls at their house around 10:30 am. 

We drove to Friendly’s Restaurant in Jamestown NY, where we had an enjoyable lunch. 

Friendly’s Restaurant provides kid’s activity placemats to entertain children, while waiting for food.


Our granddaughters, Bob and I at Friendly’s Restaurant

The girls ordered their usual meal–hot dogs and macaroni and cheese with an ice cream sundae.  Both girls chose Rudy the Reindeer sundaes. 

Rudy the Reindeer Sundae (photo obtained from Friendly’s Restaurant website)

Bob had a fish dinner; I had a BBQ chicken sandwich with fries.  Both of our meals included a small sundae.  Harper didn’t eat her macaroni and cheese, but she ate most of my fries.  Juniper didn’t eat any of her hot dogs.  I asked for a box, and we took home the macaroni and cheese and hot dogs for the girls to share later.  By the way, when we returned home and I had a good look at our restaurant bill, I noticed that Bob and my entrees were reduced by 50%.  Happy Black Friday to us!

After lunch we drove to our house, where the girls played for several hours with toys and on their tablets.  We also watched TV.   I had to chuckle, when June asked me what was in the gray plastic tote.  The tote is the girls’ toy box.  For a while now I have brought out only a few select items for the girls to play with, when they visit.  On this visit, though, I brought out all their toys.  June asked if she could open the tote, when I told her their toys were inside.  I said sure.  When she opened the tote and saw the toys, June’s eyes got big and she said “Wow!”.  There was not one new toy in that tote!

The girls talked with Judy (my brother’s wife), too, via Facebook video chat.  That was a fun call for the girls, as they put on silly faces and hats and played some quick games with Aunt Judy.  

When I finished putting away the girls’ toys, after their Friday visit, I was missing one toy–the baby doll that Harper had been playing with.  I found Harper’s baby on Wednesday morning.

Lost baby found

I found Harper’s baby in one of my kitchen drawers.





Fourth of July Festivities

Our hometown of Warren, PA throws a big party for the 4th of July holiday. Festivities began this year on Saturday, July 2.   We didn’t participate in all of the 4th of July festivities.  I will share with you the events in which we did participate.

We rode to Betts Park on the afternoon of July 3.  We arrived there close to 2:00 pm and stayed for about an hour. We saw the Budweiser Clydesdales and the Birds of Prey exhibit.

Budweiser Clydesdales

The Clydesdale horses pulled the Budweiser wagon through the parking lot a few times.

The Tamarack Wildlife Center Birds of Prey exhibit included three owls and two hawks.

This is Jasper, an Eastern Screech-Owl.  Jasper was found injured in the middle of a country road near Albion, PA and brought to the Center for medical care. With damage to one eye and ear, he was not able to be released and required surgical removal of an eye.

This is Willow, an Eastern Screech-Owl.  Willow and her family of three owlets were rescued from a city park in Erie, PA when the tree limb holding their nest was cut down. Her story received coverage in local newspapers and television. The owlets survived with no permanent damage and were released on Presque Isle once grown; their mother, however, suffered a wing fracture that would prevent her return to the wild.

This is “Spirit” the white Red-tailed Hawk.
Spirit is not releasable due to injuries he suffered when caught in a leg hold trap.

This is Sophia, a Barred Owl.  After being hit by a car, Sophia was brought to Tamarack to be treated for a broken wing. She healed well enough to have limited flight.  However, because the break occurred near Sophia’s elbow, she is now unable to fully extend her wing, and cannot fly well enough to survive in the wild.

This is Alice, a Cooper’s Hawk.
Alice was found on a farm in Cochranton,
unable to fly because her wrist bones had been severely damaged.

We saw the Betts Park fireworks display from the grounds of the Warren Manor Nursing Home, with friends visiting a family member who is a patient there.  The nursing home provided hot dogs, chips and pop for patients and their guests at a reasonable cost of $2.00 for all.  Three types of cookies were passed around to everyone as well.  I thought it quite nice that the nursing home does this for its patients.


On Independence Day we watched a parade and attended a picnic.

The parade was in downtown Warren and marked its 69th year.  We watched the parade on Pennsylvania Avenue, at the southwest corner of Hickory Street Bridge, across from Kwik Fill.  We watched the parade with our friends Paul, Debbie, Scott and Donna.  Our daughter and granddaughters were IN the parade. Harper and June rode their tricycles in the parade. The girls rode behind the Lather Salon van, until they couldn’t ride any longer.

Harper and June tuckered out just before reaching the Hickory Street Bridge.  They rode their tricycles a long, long way.

Harper and June rode rest of the way in the parade in the back of the Lather Salon van.

The parade began at 11:00 am and ended around 1:45 pm.  The following slideshow contains about half of the photographs that I took, while watching the parade.  The slideshow is about 8 1/2 minutes long.  I hope that you find it enjoyable!

At 3:30 pm we went to our friends’ house for a picnic, which was attended by ten additional friends as well as family and other friends of our hosts. We sat around a campfire, enjoying each others’ company, as well as hot dogs and a variety of dishes brought to share. It was a comfortable and relaxing couple of hours and a great end to a wonderful 4th of July holiday.


A safari to (re)discover Strasbourg

Enjoying Life In New Ways

The Frog and PenguINN

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

Bicycling the beauty around us

This is a bicycling journal.

The World according to Dina

Notes on Seeing, Reading & Writing, Living & Loving in The North

Skid and Sandy On The Road

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


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

Brown About

The Motorhome Adventures of Joan and Stephen

My Mommy's Place

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

Viewing nature with Eileen

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

Deep Thoughts

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

Rambling On

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

Talk and Chatter

Reviews, talk, and fun

Senior Moments

The random musings of a fairly active Tennessee retiree

Pics & Pieces

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



Pennsylvania Wildlife Photographer

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


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

Linda's Peaceful Place

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

Life's Funny Like That

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


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

I'll give you a piece of my mind

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

Hospitality Lane

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

Gretchen's Traveling

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

An English Girl Rambles from 2016 to ....

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