Before the Rain Comes Again

This afternoon when I came outside, I noticed this little fellow *hanging around* in a blue barrel I left outside! Isn’t it pretty? I just loved the stripes on the shell.

When we first built the house, I went down to a local market store that sells vegetables, flowers, and local goodies. As I looked around, I spotted some miniature roses that were so beautiful. I asked the woman how much care they required, as I had no good results with roses in the past. She assured me that the bushes were quite hardy, so I bought three of them for $10. One was a yellow color, one red, and the third a beautiful yellow center, with a salmon orange halo surrounding the centers. Well, within a couple of years, the yellow rose died. The red produced every year; but, the most beautiful of all was the most prolific of all! After 13 years, this little bush still is faithful to give me so much joy as well as color!

The “only” special care my little rose gets is a fresh blanket of cedar chips every spring and I do trim back the dead canes in the spring. Before winter comes with its icy cold winds and snow, I also build up the chips to kind of “insulate” my special little bush.
While we were gone, the back hill decided to put on its spectacular little splash of color! I had forgotten about this, as Mark usually insists that we weed whack the hill before it grows up too big. This year, he just never got around to the hill, so the “weeds” took over! As I was admiring the new Aster plant I had bought, I realized that the “purple weed” growing with the Goldenrod sure looks a good deal like the Aster, albeit MUCH taller!

So, are these actually wild Asters?

As I was happily snapping pictures, I noticed the BIGGEST, juiciest Bumblebee! This one was a real prize….but, as I came close, off it went….I caught up with it once again, but this Bumble obviously did NOT want to be photographed. Ah well…..It sure would have been stunning sitting on these plants.

Back in the Saddle Again!

Well, figuratively speaking, anyway!

We decided to finish up with our work a little early last Friday afternoon and head out for another camping adventure. No, the photo above is NOT our camper, but rather our VERY “close” neighbors. Shortly after we set up, these folks arrived with their cute little Aliner. We especially enjoy this (state) campground, as the gravel pads for setting up are spaced about 20′ apart. This creates a feeling of having some “lawn” around one.

Well, these folks decided that the gravel pad would be much better for setting their EZ-up on, since it had rained and rained for a few days, after all. The EZ-up would then become the “beer tent”, providing protection from any stray showers that might pass by. The problem with this is that the Aliner needed to be biased much more towards our camper, leaving about 10′ between the two. (the tree in the picture was about 8″ from their camper)

On Friday night, we decided to call it a night about 11. Little did we know that with our windows cracked a bit, we would find it hard to sleep, as we were awakened several times until about 1:30 am, by the sound of bottles being jostled around. To add a bit of insult to injury, these folks also hung one of those bright and shiny work lights, along with a halogen lamp from the metal supports on the EZ-up. Even with our mini blinds tightly shut, there was an “aura” which spread out about 100′ around our rather unique neighbors. In fact, the lamps provided safe passage for many neighbors to the restrooms, located about 100′ behind our illuminated neighbors!

On Saturday morning, we were up and out bright and early for our important date at the HSBC Arena in Buffalo. Here are pictures of the kids with Sabretooth, the Buffalo Sabres’ mascot.

After the practice, we headed back to the camper. Along the way, we stopped at a Blockbuster and picked up the movie RV with Robin Williams. We haven’t giggled and tee-heed so much in a long time! This movie is sure to become a “classic” amongst the RV’ing crowd!

One of the deciding factors for our camping expedition was that the campground was close not only to Buffalo, but also Darien Lake Theme Park. We called Carly last week and asked if she and her kids would want to come along and have a little nearly-end-of-the-season fun on Sunday. She was happy to join us, as last weekend was a sad one….it was her husband’s grandmother’s funeral. So, she met us at the park and the kids had a ball!
We walked around that park for hours and finally decided to leave for a bite to eat, then we would come back for the LaserBlast Show at closing.
As Mark was about to wheel away in the wheelchair, he called out to me…seems this tiny little turtle had lost his way and was wandering about on the sidewalk. Carly was concerned he might need to be near the water (there was a lake right nearby), so she placed him in a drainage ditch and he boogied off on his way! (he measured about 1 1/2″ long)

Carly had been scheming a little surprise for me! When we left to go to dinner, she made plans for a friend to meet us! I had not seen our friend Jo since Carly’s wedding in late 1993. Jo had lived near us 20 years ago. She had grown up with horses all of her life, and now, she and her husband are living their dream! They both work for the rodeo circuit. It was so cool seeing Jo…we chatted and talked about old times and new, as though we had never even missed a beat. It is always such a treat to see old friends and feel comfortable and not not at all ill at ease. It is so good just to be yourselves. This was such a great treat! And, the best part of all is that Jo only lives a few minutes from the park.

We went back to the park after dinner for the LaserBlast show. The kids rode the rides a while longer, then we enjoyed the show. The kids love it, as it is filled with (loud) music, lasers, computer graphics, and fireworks! The best part of all is at the end when they do a tribute to Canada, and then one to the USA. This is one of those presentations that causes your heart to swell and even perhaps a tear to fall as they play the song Proud to be An American. The fireworks just make the whole program so fabulous and intense….

After the show, we headed out and homeward, arriving back in the Bristolwood very late. You see, our neighbors, (the “illuminatas”) caused us to miss another night’s restful sleep on Saturday night when their youngster awakened at 3:30 am, screaming and crying for about 45 minutes. I insisted we head home….I just knew I needed my own bed!

As our neighbors who recently traveled to Alaska confided last week, “there is NO place like home!”