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Thursday, August 16, 2018

31 Years!

Yesterday was our anniversary. Thirty-one years! Yikes! Where does the time go?

This wasn't a major anniversary; and, after all, there had already been 30 of them. So we hadn't planned anything special. I had volunteered to work in the church office from 9 AM to 2 PM, covering for another volunteer who needed the day off. After that, we had just planned to enjoy a nap, have a quick supper, and go to church for our mid-week Bible study.

But then...good friends, Terry and Diane, contacted us the night before. They live about 50 miles south of us, but Terry had to come to Fort Wayne for a medical appointment Wednesday afternoon. They wondered if we could meet for a meal so they could celebrate our anniversary with us.

Suddenly, we had plans for celebrating the occasion.

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Anniversary Flowers

When I came home from working at the church office, I found a bouquet of flowers on the kitchen table, accompanied by the photo book that I had made for Doug for our 20th anniversary. He has loved that book since I gave it to him on our trip to Alaska back in 2007, and bringing it out again on our 31st gave us both the opportunity to look back over those photos from our first 20 years together.  

The rest of the photos in this post were taken by Diane at the restaurant...well, except for the one of the four of us, which was taken by our waitress.

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These final two pictures are of the outside of the restaurant. One wall of the building consists of windows, overlooking the water and the swans and ducks that call it home.

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Many thanks to special friends, Terry and Diane, for making our 31st anniversary special.


Friday, August 10, 2018

Summer Fun

It's been, for the most part, a hot and humid summer in our area; and it seems as if it's flying by. Kids will be returning to school next week! It's been rather an uneventful season for us, which can be a good thing at our ages. :)

Here are a few photos from local events that just seem to scream "summer fun." The first was an outdoor concert with Christian music artist, Guy Penrod, who was a member of the Gaither Vocal Band for many years. There was no charge to attend the concert, but a love offering was collected for the benefit of area food banks.

The outdoor venue gave an intimate feel to the concert. Guy even came down off the stage and walked through the audience at one point.


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This second set of images is from Harlan Days, an annual summer festival in the small town where Doug and I live.

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I hope summer has been kind to you.


Thursday, July 26, 2018

Still More Dragonflies

These dragonfly photos were taken almost three weeks ago and are just now finding their way to the blog.

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Collage of Halloween Pennant Dragonflies

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Collage of Twelve Spotted Skimmer Dragonflies


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Widow Skimmer Dragonfly


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Calico Pennant Dragonfly

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Female Eastern Pondhawk Dragonfly

Each summer, it gets harder to maintain the house and yard. We're aging, you know, as difficult as it is to accept that fact. So, this summer, we're getting some much-needed maintenance taken care of...things that would need to be done if we stayed here but that would also help sell the house if we decide to go that direction.

Among other things, we're getting a new front door. The house is nearly 45 years old, and the entry door has never been replaced. The wood in the side panels has cracked enough that we can see daylight through the cracks. So it's time. We've ordered the door and have hired an installer. So it's not in yet, but here's a picture of it from the online catalog:

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When it arrives and is installed, I'll post before and after pictures.

We're also having a new roof put on the house and adding an improved venting system for the attic, along with a few other improvements and maintenance items. It's been time consuming and sometimes stressful as we line up professionals to take care of these things, but we're seeing the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. 

As a friend likes to say, we just hope the light at the end of the tunnel isn't an oncoming train.


Thursday, July 05, 2018

More Dragonflies and a Kingfisher

Another visit to Ouabache State Park provided a few more dragonfly photos and a couple of shots of a belted kingfisher. Enjoy.

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Widow Skimmer

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Eastern Pondhawk

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Twelve Spotted Skimmer

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Twelve Spotted Skimmer

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Belted Kingfisher

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Belted Kingfisher In Flight

Thursday, June 14, 2018

The Dragonflies Are Back!

The small lake at Ouabache State Park had been drained all summer last year as work was underway to build a swimming beach. That reduced the number of dragonflies for me to photograph to...well...zero. And that resulted in a dearth of dragonfly photos on the blog last year.

Ah, but the beach is finished now; the lake is full; and the dragonflies are back! 

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Kunkel Lake, Ouabache State Park

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Red Saddlebags Dragonfly

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Calico Penant Dragonfly

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Common Whitetail Dragonfly

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Twelve-Spotted Skimmer Dragonfly

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Blue Dasher Dragonfly

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Widow Skimmer Dragonfly

Saturday, June 09, 2018

A Weekend Getaway

On May 19th, Doug and I headed to Michigan for an afternoon visit with family, followed by an enjoyable evening at the home of a couple with whom we had become acquainted through Bonnie, a dear friend from our church. 

Bonnie's sister, Kak, and Kak's husband, Dale, own a beautiful property near Jackson, Michigan. They invited us to join them and Bonnie, along with another friend from church, Vicki, and Vicki's cousin, Greg, and Greg's wife, Sue, for a cookout and an evening of fellowship and singing.

Kak and Dale's lovely home sits on several acres of wooded land. A long driveway passes through a stand of evergreens, past a flagpole, between two ponds, and past a small guest cabin before leading to the house itself.

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Bonnie (left) and Vicki relaxing in the house

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Doug (left) and Dale chatting while waiting for the fire to reach the right temperature for cooking the barbecued ribs

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Relaxing around the tables after the wonderful meal

After eating and visiting for awhile, we all moved into the cabin for a sing-along. Vicki and her cousin, Greg, come from a musical family. Both play instruments and sing. On this occasion, Vicki played a ukelele; and Greg played a bass violin.

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Vicki and Greg (top left); Greg and his wife, Sue (top right); trying for a shot of the whole room (bottom left); Bonnie, Dale, and Kak (bottom right) 


After singing for awhile, we took a break for some banana split dessert, Bonnie's special recipe, after which Greg and Sue left to go to their own home, which was nearby. Bonnie, Vicki, Kak, and Dale all headed up to the main house for the night. And Doug and I prepared to spend the night in the cabin.

The cabin is one room, plus a small alcove used as a closet/dressing room combination. There is a sleeping space in a loft, plus double bunk beds. And the couch also makes into a bed.

Doug and I opted to sleep in the bunk beds, with him on the bottom bunk and me on the top. Getting me up that ladder and into the top bunk proved to be more challenging than we had anticipated and resulted in much laughter in the process. Part of me would have liked to see a video of that; but the other part of me was praying that Kak hadn't set up a hidden camera somewhere in the cabin. I'm sure it would have become a YouTube sensation.

The weekend was topped off with a visit to Kak and Dale's church the next day. It was a wonderful time of worship with friends and the perfect ending to this weekend getaway. 


Monday, May 21, 2018

A Few Spring Photos

Spring, when it came, was short lived. Still, it didn't fail to bring its beauty.

On April 30, we spent a few hours at Ouabache State Park. The trees hadn't leafed out yet, but that made it easier to spot and photograph these little yellow birds.

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Duck in Flight

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Sycamore Tree

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Purple Violets

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We loved the red of these buds against the blue sky.

Ten days later, our crabapple tree was in full bloom. Several days after that, our azalea bush was putting on a show for us. The following collage provides a look at spring at our home.

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Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Smokies in April, 2018

Doug and I spent a few days in the Smokies the first week of April. Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a favorite getaway for us, only a day's drive away, very scenic, and most relaxing. 

There was virtually no sign of spring in the trees and shrubs except that the redbuds were out in their glory, and the dogwoods were just beginning to bloom. The lack of any green elsewhere, really made the redbuds stand out.

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Redbud Trees at Oconaluftee

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River Walk at Oconaluftee


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Golden Hour Back Roads Tour

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On Thunderhead Prong Trail

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Bridge on Thunderhead Prong Trail

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Thunderhead Prong Trail

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Douglas Dam

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On Noland Creek Trail

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Noland Creek Trail Plus View of Fontana Lake from Road to Nowhere

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Mama Bear (upper right) and Two Cubs (center and lower left)

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Another Bear, Same Day, Different Location

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