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Old 08-24-2018, 10:51 AM   #7761
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We got YDS moved into college yesterday. Bittersweet. This emotional sap managed not to get too teary-eyed.

But holy cow, did my son ever hit the jackpot on his room assignment. It's literally a suite. YDS and his roommate have their beds on opposite walls, and there's enough space between the beds that they could have a dance party. Their bathroom is within their room, and they're the only two students using it. They have a kitchenette that came with a mini fridge, a small sink with disposal, and a full-size microwave oven. The kitchenette and bathroom floors are 12-inch square ceramic tiles, and the bedroom area floor is covered with carpet tiles. The room has 9-foot ceilings except for the bulkhead over YDS's bed, which is 8-foot there. They have their own thermostat in their room. The only thing about the suite that I found disappointing was that there is zero storage space in the bathroom.

Compared to my freshman and sophomore dorm room experiences, my mind was pretty well blown. LOL
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Old 08-24-2018, 03:36 PM   #7762
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PH, you are officially empty nesters! (And yes, the dorm room sounds amazing!!)
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Old 08-24-2018, 05:05 PM   #7763
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Marge, no, not yet. Because we live only about 15-20 minutes from ODS's college, he commuted all four years, and he hasn't yet flown the coop.
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Old 09-01-2018, 10:00 PM   #7764
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PH I hope you had a good birthday!!! Funny about your sister's husband, I tend to send cards and then forget to say something on FB. But I think heck, I made and mailed a card!!! lol
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Old 09-01-2018, 10:00 PM   #7765
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We got solar panels put up this week. Yeah!!!!
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Old 09-02-2018, 07:24 PM   #7766
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Carp. Meant to say it the other day but--you know--old woman's brain.


HAPPY BIRTHDAY, PH!

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Old 09-02-2018, 09:27 PM   #7767
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We had a 3.4 earthquake this evening. It was only about five miles from here, so we felt it. It felt strong, but brief. The whole house gave one big shake. I was standing in my stamping room and knew immediately what it was.
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Old 09-11-2018, 08:18 PM   #7768
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Wrose and Rainsong, thank you for the birthday wishes. And Wrose, thank you also for the card.

Since my birthday was at the start of Labor Day weekend, DH and I went for a short getaway. We drove down the Blue Ridge Parkway to Peaks of Otter and spent the weekend there. Gorgeous, gorgeous scenery. LOVED it. We took our time driving down and stopped at more overlooks than usual.

The Peaks of Otter are three mountains - Flat Top (the tallest), Sharp Top (the one with the most popular trail), and Harkening Hill (the one most people don't realize is part of the Peaks). I'd seen photos taken from the top of Sharp Top and read different accounts of the hike up there, so I had a goal to get up there and see it for myself one way or another even though I knew going up the mountain would be difficult. Since I am not as physically fit as I'd like to be, we rode a bus most of the way up Sharp Top and then climbed the remaining 1500 feet to the main overlook there and enjoyed fabulous views plus a few lower-lying clouds. Then we went down to a different overlook. That one was more treacherous and I didn't trust myself on the rocks there, but DH snapped a few photos from it. We then had the option of going back to the bus shelter (which included a *very* steep, somewhat scary climb up rock "stairs") or hiking down the mountain. We knew the bus schedule and figured by the time we got back to the shelter, we'd miss the bus and have to sit and wait nearly an hour before its next run. So we headed down the mountain... the longest 1.5 miles of my life, LOL, and my knees did not enjoy it, but we took it slowly and finally got down to the bottom. Goal accomplished!

The next day we took it easier. After a relatively level walk around the lake that's at the base of the Peaks, we took a lengthy drive scouting out LOVE signs. Click the link for more info. I've been "collecting" these for the last few months by taking pictures of them when I'm traveling near them, and was able to add about 7 more to my collection. Eventually I plan to make a Shutterfly photo album of them.

Monday - Labor Day - we headed east for a while and discovered some more "LOVE" before heading back home.

Here are a few favorite photos from the weekend...


We learned that below the Parkway's bridge over the James River, there's a pedestrian bridge! This photo was taken from the pedestrian bridge, looking west.



Our hotel room had a balcony. This was the view looking straight out from the balcony when we got there around 6:30 p.m. that first evening...



... and when we looked to the left, we could see Sharp Top.



The view from Sharp Top. On the far side of the lake, toward 2:00, is the lodge where we stayed. Toward the left is Harkening Hill.



Some of the less scary rock stairs we climbed down (looking back up at where we'd been)



an early morning view of Flat Top



Finally, a couple of the LOVE signs:


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Old 09-12-2018, 08:21 AM   #7769
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The trip sounds really nice, PH. Photos are lovely.
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Old 09-12-2018, 06:37 PM   #7770
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Even though my guys aren't in high school any more, I still like to keep up with the local high school football teams and see how "our" school is doing.

Our school has had an extremely rough time over the last few years. During the 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017 seasons, they won a total of three games. Ferreals. It's been pretty sad.

This week, because of the impending hurricane, all of the games have been rescheduled. Our school played tonight at one of our county rivals. The other school's team usually has a good enough season to make it to the district playoffs.

Our school won.

I honestly don't know when the last time our school beat theirs in football was.

What's even more amazing than our school winning tonight is that it was their third win this season. Their season record is 3-1.

It's been 9 years since ODS started marching band and I can't remember any season since 2009 where our team had a 3-1 record after the first four games.

After all the awful years, it's so flippin' awesome to see how well the team is doing so far this season.
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Old 09-13-2018, 04:28 PM   #7771
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Ph, your trip looks fantastic and the photos are outstanding!


Are you okay in the Florence department? And has anyone heard from MO?


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Old 09-13-2018, 06:09 PM   #7772
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Ph, your trip looks fantastic and the photos are outstanding!


Are you okay in the Florence department? And has anyone heard from MO?


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Jane is staying in place in Charlotte, it is a couple hundred miles inland. She has prepped with the necessary supplies.
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Old 09-13-2018, 06:42 PM   #7773
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I'm a couple hundred miles inland too, but our county declared itself a disaster area yesterday just because we've already had so much rain this summer. The ground is so saturated it feels like marshland when I walk on it. If Florence passes near us, even in a weakened state, and dumps more water, well, as my YDD's boyfriend reminded me, I do have a canoe!


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Old 09-13-2018, 06:44 PM   #7774
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Seriously though, I really don't think we'll get a whole lot. Forecast is saying 2-3" but one never knows.


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Old 09-13-2018, 07:02 PM   #7775
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Jane has lots of kayaks, LOL!!
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Old 09-13-2018, 07:15 PM   #7776
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Count me in with the far-inland-and-theoretically-safe crowd. Like Rainsong, we've had a lot of rain over the last few months, so flash flooding if Florence dumped a bunch of rain in our area was the biggest concern here. Since the storm started on the more southerly track the other day, it's looking like it won't be so bad here as originally feared.

DH and I had to do some grocery shopping Monday evening and oh golly, the crazies were out already. The water aisle at Walmart looked like it had been looted. We saw one woman buying three dozen eggs, which boggled our minds - we wondered if she was going to be baking angel food cakes, or making deviled eggs, or what!

In other "People of Walmart" news, LOL, we saw one 20ish year old guy wearing a backpack with the handle of a toy sword sticking out of it (it was obvious it was a toy). And while we were looking for a parking space, we saw a man walking into the store wearing a black sleeveless tank-style undershirt...
...
...
... with a red and black tartan kilt.

He was owning it, but he most definitely stood out among the other shoppers.
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Old 09-13-2018, 07:41 PM   #7777
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Jeeze, Ph, you have very colorful people at your Walmart. Our Walmart shoppers look like they come from the homeless hordes.


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Old 09-14-2018, 01:54 PM   #7778
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Ph that was quite a trip, absolutely gorgeous. I covered all of Skyline Drive more than once, and most of Blue Ridge Parkway, one time with an old friend, and we hit every overlook and gift shop!!!

It was so beautiful, glad to see it looks the same. It's obviously been well maintained, as I haven't been up there in over 30 years. I've been up and down 81 a couple times, though! lol

I still watch the Weather Channel during hurricanes. This one is so slow that in between updates, there are a lot of infomercials. Fortunately, there's an NCIS marathon on USA. One of my favorites was on earlier, Dead Man Walking. Where Ziva falls in love.
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Old 09-14-2018, 01:54 PM   #7779
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PH your photos were so lovely, I found some great street view pictures of the lodge area. So so beautiful.
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Old 09-15-2018, 06:24 PM   #7780
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I don't think I've been on Skyline Drive since DH and I moved out here. DH prefers the Blue Ridge Parkway because it's free; you have to pay the park fee for Shenandoah National Park to drive on Skyline Drive.

The trees at some of the overlooks on the BRP (and one just off of it on US Rt. 250) have grown tall enough so you can't see too much any more, which is a little disappointing. But the roadway itself is well maintained. We could tell that they'd cut the grass along the shoulders just before we were there. Some day I'd like to check out more of the shorter hikes off of the BRP.
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Old 09-15-2018, 06:30 PM   #7781
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Dang. It looks like most of I-95 between Rocky Mount and Fayetteville is closed, and I-40 from I-95 to Wilmington.
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Old 09-15-2018, 06:50 PM   #7782
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Hello everyone!

Charlotte area's mostly doing ok--lots of tall trees in town coming down in town and taking the power lines with them. No serious flooding yet, but the worst is still inbound--wind picked up tonight and we're about 3 inches of rain in with estimate of another 5 inches expected by Monday.

What we're dealing with is nothing compared to the Eastern part of the state. I have some rescue friends who evacuated, and in Fayetteville and Jacksonville they're asking people within a mile of the Cape Fear River to evacuate due to flooding. Lumber River, which is one of my favorite rivers to paddle, is about to breach its banks. Flooding around Wilmington, New Bern and the coast has been horrific and there have been some injuries and deaths, mostly from falling trees. This storm is huge and it's moving at 2mph, which is to say it will be windy and rainy here through Monday. It's starting to wind down a bit now that more of it is over land, but it's still sucking lots of moisture out of the Atlantic and dumping it inland. It's a monster. There are about a million people without power across the state.

I got all the patio furniture, small planters, Mini and 3 kayaks into the garage Friday and the boat I usually paddle is in the living room (where I usually keep it). So long as the boat in the living room doesn't start floating indoors, I should be ok here. I spent a good part of the day at the neighbors--we had a round of board games going, then movies.

Rainsong and PH, I hope things stay ok up your way.

And hello everyone! It's been a while!
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Old 09-15-2018, 07:05 PM   #7783
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Jane, thanks for the update! It's good to hear from you!
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Old 09-16-2018, 04:49 AM   #7784
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Hello everyone!

Charlotte area's mostly doing ok--lots of tall trees in town coming down in town and taking the power lines with them. No serious flooding yet, but the worst is still inbound--wind picked up tonight and we're about 3 inches of rain in with estimate of another 5 inches expected by Monday.

What we're dealing with is nothing compared to the Eastern part of the state. I have some rescue friends who evacuated, and in Fayetteville and Jacksonville they're asking people within a mile of the Cape Fear River to evacuate due to flooding. Lumber River, which is one of my favorite rivers to paddle, is about to breach its banks. Flooding around Wilmington, New Bern and the coast has been horrific and there have been some injuries and deaths, mostly from falling trees. This storm is huge and it's moving at 2mph, which is to say it will be windy and rainy here through Monday. It's starting to wind down a bit now that more of it is over land, but it's still sucking lots of moisture out of the Atlantic and dumping it inland. It's a monster. There are about a million people without power across the state.

I got all the patio furniture, small planters, Mini and 3 kayaks into the garage Friday and the boat I usually paddle is in the living room (where I usually keep it). So long as the boat in the living room doesn't start floating indoors, I should be ok here. I spent a good part of the day at the neighbors--we had a round of board games going, then movies.

Rainsong and PH, I hope things stay ok up your way.

And hello everyone! It's been a while!

Thanks for the update, I've been thinking of you!
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Old 09-17-2018, 07:46 PM   #7785
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Well, here at my house we've gotten about 1.75" of rain from what remains of Florence. But it's been so rainy here all summer that the three main local (within a 25 mile radius) rivers were all flooding today.

The neighbors behind and across the road from us, their property extends to one of the three rivers. They have their main back yard area, then there's a 10 or so foot high slope, and then their property extends out about another 200 feet to the river. My neighbor shared photos on Facebook showing that the river had come up to the bottom of the slope. I saw other photos showing that the road on the other side of the river had flooded (which is not a surprise).

Another friend who lives maybe 5 miles downstream from us shared some photos of the flooding by her house. Not high enough to damage her family's property, but high.

I've seen additional photos of land near the other two rivers.

These three rivers all flow into the Shenandoah River and then eventually into the Potomac.

Like one of my high school teachers used to say, "It's gonna get worse before it gets better."


Rainsong, how are things up your way?
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Old 09-17-2018, 08:29 PM   #7786
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Rained last night, rained the night before, gonna rain again tonight like it's never rained before... (Sung to the tune of Drunk last night, drunk the night before)


Seriously, it did rain last night and the night before and all day today. It's supposed to rain tomorrow too.


I went to the store today so I was able to note our little run wasn't flooding and neither was the Potomac. Last week I had to ford our run to go to the store and it was worse on the way home.


Lawn Guy and his wife were leaving town last week for a three week hunting trip out west. I wanted to make them some Spicy Glazed Walnuts to take with them which is the only reason I went shopping last week. But at least I got to tell him I had to fo "climb every mountain, ford every stream...

Wednesday the sun is supposed to appear and stay for a few days. Bu Monday, rain again.


All this rain has me wondering about winter. Can you imagine how much snow we'd have if all this precipitation were to occur in December or January? Right now, I'm glad I didn't put the snow shovel away.


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Old 09-19-2018, 08:40 PM   #7787
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I've been keeping up some on Facebook, watching the storm a lot.

DD is in New Zealand, again. She went to Queenstown first. She loves that town. Then up to Hobbiton for International Hobbit Day.

International Hobbit? Day
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Old 09-19-2018, 08:51 PM   #7788
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I've been making a lot of cards. In mid-August, I realized that I needed more BRAKs to send, as I like to send 20 a month and only had enough for Sept.

So I got 46 cards made for Oct. and Nov., and then I made a bunch more, but they aren't all done. I just kept pulling DP and matching things.

So I have 28 more cards almost done, all they need is an inside greeting.

Then there are 40 that need a greeting on the front and inside.

Then there are 18 that aren't completely put together and no greetings yet.

But I put them all in old stamp cases, in a nice pile, and went back to Halloween cards, and then I have to finish Christmas cards. Then I can finish the BRAKs!

Funny how some months I make NO cards, and others, I turn out well over 100 another month.
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Old 09-22-2018, 10:55 AM   #7789
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I've been keeping up some on Facebook, watching the storm a lot.

DD is in New Zealand, again. She went to Queenstown first. She loves that town. Then up to Hobbiton for International Hobbit Day.

International Hobbit? Day

At least with your DD on the other side of the planet, she can't call you at 11:30 PM and ask you to come rescue her because she's locked the keys to her car inside--and she's in the next state on a long and windy steep and unfamiliar road.


Finally got home around 1 AM but couldn't get to sleep until after 3, then woke up at 7. It's taken me two days to catch up on my sleep.


Your DD is so lucky to visit NZ! Tolkien holds a special place in my heart and to see Hobbiton would be fantastic!


Rainsong
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Old 09-22-2018, 10:57 AM   #7790
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Glad you're okay, MO. At least, I assume you're okay since I know flooding is still occurring.


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Old 09-22-2018, 11:01 AM   #7791
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Ph, Skyline Drive is worth the fee. Dh and I went there on our first married vacation. Actually, we had gone to Hatteras with our black Lab but it was too hot for all three of us so we ended up back in the mountains. Our campsite was visited by a skunk--which the dog loved! Oh, and also deer that the dog ignored. We also got to see black bears on the road. Some stupid people actually got out of their cars to take pictures.


Maybe that explains why my favorite mug says, "I see dumb people."

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Old 09-22-2018, 11:04 AM   #7792
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Hey Wrose, did you know the actress who played Sister Mary Robert (the shy nun) in Sister Act is the same actress who plays Dr. Rachel Cranston (Kate Todd's sister) on NCIS?


I didn't until I saw a news clip about the 25th reunion for Sister Act and she (Wendy Makkena) mentioned it. I never would have recognized her.


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Old 09-22-2018, 11:21 AM   #7793
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On the yippee!!! news front (for me) after searching for eons, I finally found a long lost story I wrote years ago. I had gone through all my files, looked in folders, inside books, searched my database and even tried to find it in the Wayback Machine archives, but nada. I've done this not just once, but multiple times and now that I've found it, I don't understand how I missed it all those other times. Veddy, veddy weird.


Anyway, the story is an integral part of a larger story I hope to finish one day. If I ever get my head screwed on right again, I'm going to try to get back to writing--and possibly even stamping. I have a multitude of ideas for cards but never seem to have the energy to go upstairs and make them.


Not that anyone is interested, but the story title is The Lost Tales of the Tuatha de Danann, a brief tale in a larger work I titled Where the Wild Thyme Blows. I fell in love with my characters and they've been calling my name for the last ten years.


Dat's all, time to feed the critters.


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Old 09-23-2018, 09:10 AM   #7794
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Love seeing all these updates!! Would love to read it when you are ready to share your writings, Rainsong.
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Old 09-23-2018, 09:12 AM   #7795
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I spent all day yesterday boiling eco prints. Loving the results.
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Old 09-23-2018, 09:13 AM   #7796
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Wrose, how does DD afford the travel to NZ? Those airfares are killers.
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Old 09-23-2018, 06:01 PM   #7797
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainsong View Post
Ph, Skyline Drive is worth the fee. Dh and I went there on our first married vacation. Actually, we had gone to Hatteras with our black Lab but it was too hot for all three of us so we ended up back in the mountains. Our campsite was visited by a skunk--which the dog loved! Oh, and also deer that the dog ignored. We also got to see black bears on the road. Some stupid people actually got out of their cars to take pictures.

Maybe that explains why my favorite mug says, "I see dumb people."

Rainsong

The idea of the admission fee for Skyline Drive/Shenandoah National Park doesn't bother me, but DH says if we can see mountain and valley scenery in either direction, why not just stay on the Parkway since it's free. He thinks the National Park fees are high enough that we wouldn't get our money's worth out of it.

[takes a break to browse online]

Crap! Yesterday was a fee-free day. We should have taken advantage of that! There's another free day on Veterans Day but he's already made plans to visit his parents that weekend.
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Old 09-23-2018, 06:07 PM   #7798
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainsong View Post
Hey Wrose, did you know the actress who played Sister Mary Robert (the shy nun) in Sister Act is the same actress who plays Dr. Rachel Cranston (Kate Todd's sister) on NCIS?

I didn't until I saw a news clip about the 25th reunion for Sister Act and she (Wendy Makkena) mentioned it. I never would have recognized her.

Rainsong

I haven't seen either of the Sister Act movies since they showed in the theatres. I just realized a few days ago that Professor McGonagall played the Mother Superior.


(Yes, I know Maggie Smith has starred in a lot of other things too, but this just clicked for me the other day.)
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Old 09-23-2018, 06:36 PM   #7799
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Wrose, good for you on your cardmaking spree!


I've had a hard time staying focused on cardmaking for a while now. It's kind of like when Operation Write Home shut down, it took the wind out of my sails. I do still donate cards to Send a Smile 4 Kids but it's not the same. It isn't really a feeling of being burned out, and it definitely isn't a lack of supplies but I just don't get the same enjoyment from making cards that I used to.
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Old 09-23-2018, 07:00 PM   #7800
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We still haven't had much reprieve from the wet weather. We got about 2.25" of rain overnight, and there is some rain in the forecast each day for the next three days.
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