A new Season

A new season is upon us.  Though here in the DC Metro area we have been experiencing summer weather – and it’s not officially summertime.  When I begin to feel the surge of excitement for this new season I try to keep calendars organized and flowing in order not to miss out on anything with anyone at anytime.   Yet this organization makes summer pass by much too quickly.   For me.

Apple’s last day of school is June 9th.   From that date on we have exciting plans with friends and family.   Of course there will be some downtime, plenty of that for us to enjoy the local pools and community activities.   Visiting the zoo during the week is a great time for Apple to enjoy with her friends.   Apple is officially a Jr. Naturalist volunteering her time at our HOA community Nature Center.   Our youngest loves animals and I’ve been learning more about birds than I ever imagined.  (remember I’m not a bird fan)          But she is having a great time and enjoys giving mini-tours to visitors or the local kiddo’s who visit the center.   I’m still shivering knowing she feeds [non-venomous] snakes and talks softly to rescued white doves.

College Daughter will be staying at VT this summer working her previous job.  After making decisions on which direction to follow, she decided to stay in Blacksburg and take advantage of the time to move into a different apartment (again) and help her new roommate get settled in.    It’s refreshing for me knowing her roommate was a high school classmate – and I know her mother very well!    I’m preparing my home for more bins to come back home next month as well as shopping trips for her new apartment living.    And a trip to her favorite Asian grocery store- Lotte.   I’ll try not to slip on the wet floor in the fish market aisle.       Oh, yes.  It has happened.

During all this summer organization-calendar marking – excitement, Football Superstar and I sat down to discuss the options for vacation destinations.    My husband has this way of asking “where to this year” with a tone that twist “I’d like to go here again….”.     If you read my post “Unplugged”  (4/18), you already know my bear phobia.  My fear of nature’s Teddy Bear.   I can jump over a snake ….. but I can’t hurdle over a five foot bears head.      I fell head over heels for lake life living.  Everything about it.   Everything!   There’s even a beach!    I won’t find any sea glass or conche shells….but Apple started a pretty collection of river rock and smooth lake stones which look just as shiny and decorative in her glass vessel.   The pup can’t get enough lake life either.   And eventually there will be a partner-in-crime for Murphy to swim with, besides her humans.

This doesn’t mean we won’t take a visit to the Atlantic Ocean.    There’s nothing like salty air to breath in and sand between your toes.    But our hearts are following the fresh air to the lake.   I can not wait to hit the paddle board!  Um, well…I’m working on it.    Who knows….maybe my “realtor” will find us a nice get-away of our own!   Seeing he loves lake life so much.

PS….Yes, they sell Old Bay at the lake.   😉


Summertime.   To be continued.



It seems like whenever we take a vacation, my husband puts a plan in place and for the most part sticks to it.  That plan is to “unplug” from the rat race of work, commuter traffic and all that comes with living in a fast paced area.   As we planned our spring break/Easter vacation at Deep Creek Lake, we both made an agreement to unplug in order to get plugged in.   Plugged in.

Deep Creek Lake is filled with family fun yet peaceful tranquility.   I’ve never been a mountain girl – but I do love being by a body of water.   Preferably, the beach.   After our first trip to DCL -I was hooked like a fish! Several visits later – I’m still hooked.   Swim off your own private dock or enjoy alfresco dining from your deck – with a great view!


My mind, body and soul was rejuvenated.  Football Superstar and I have already decided this lake, this hidden gem of a lakefront home, this perfect fit for our family including the pup, will be our mountain lake getaway.   Looking forward to our next visit.




Football Superstar is known for his awesome roaring bonfires.  This happened every evening.   Warm sunny days.   Crisp cool evenings.


A man and his dog.   I’m not sure who enjoyed the dock diving more….my hubby or Murphy!   This pup spent hours swimming, dock diving and running along the shore with Apple.


Apple Cheeks agreed that lake life is fantastic!


Before we settled into our beds for the evening, we made a cozy fire in one – of the two large stone fireplaces.   Apple and Murphy share a secret.   ❤

The talk of Maryland Black Bear roaming around put a shadow of doubt in my mind -perhaps this isn’t the place for us.  I mean, after all….we are not mountaineers….we’ve never owned a bear or bear-like critter.   Large dogs don’t actually count.   But the shadow quickly disappeared after realizing the people of Garret County, and many other connecting counties of Maryland live with the black bear residents most of their lives.   We spoke with some of the locals (just to pick their brain) while shopping for groceries or souvenirs to get their input.   All but one told us not to worry.   They won’t bother you if you don’t bother them. Sows (a not so sweet way of saying “momma bear”) may get defensive over her cubs, so give them space.  Absolutely!  Space…she can have the whole dang mountain!   And if you’re out hiking with the dog….they will run up a tree to avoid you.   Wait, I’ll run up the tree, or the bear?

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And then this happened while hiking.            Don’t panic…this is the only bear we found!


And as requested….don’t wake me unless there’s a bear.  Ahh, the simple pleasure of taking a mid afternoon  nap lakeside.  And I NEVER nap!


I don’t even have the words to describe Easter morning and the gorgeous sunrise that greeted us on the deck while having coffee.   It was exactly 6:10am.   The lake was quiet.  The lake was always quiet early mornings, but on this particular morning the lake was silenced.   No geese honking their morning songs.  No fish jumping out of the water.   No fishermen trolling past our dock.   Only the still quietness of Easter morning.


As we officially welcomed and celebrated Spring at the lake, Apple found a new passion for the outdoors.  Photography.   I don’t think she put the camera down – maybe to eat – but honestly I think she was photographing as her daddy grilled, or chopped wood for the bonfire and maybe capturing the picture of her momma napping.

Apple captured beautiful photos of Swallow Falls…which I almost lost my cookies after reading the sign:  Hazzard: violent rapids, slippery rocks, underwater hydraulics have caused injuries and death.  Apple was glued to her daddy’s side.  I however enjoyed the rapid hazzard-like swift moving water from a distance with the pup.


Hiking around Swallow Falls and Tolliver Falls made me feel intimidated yet in awe.  The beauty that surrounded us (and many other hikers) was breathtaking.                                    And of course…we worked up an appetite!     As we drove back to our lakehouse from Swallow Falls State Park, we spotted so many deer.   We watched as they moved through the open fields or along a stream of water.   Among them were two fawns.   Watching the babes move swiftly beside their momma’s made my heart skip a beat.

I can’t think of a better vacation where we unplugged to plug in.  It was overdue for my husband.   And I can’t think of a better way to spend my vacation than to watch him plug into his family through plugging into nature.





the art of balance


Over these last six months [or more] I’ve found my life has lost it’s balance.

As we drove home from our weekend “get-away” my mind went through a “rewind”.  Our trip to the beach was not the usual family vacation where Football Superstar puts all calls through his call box.    No laptop, no text messages and certainly no skyped meetings.  This weekend was primarily to attend an event organized for dogs.   We made the decision months ago to take our new addition to Dewey Golden Jubilee and catch up with other members of our own GG group.    Football Superstar knew he wouldn’t be placing everything on hold, this was a normal work week/weekend.  His reason for going was to watch our youngest enjoy her time on the beach with her pup.  Also, to eat breakfast,lunch and dinner with his family.  Or at least one of the three meals.  Just like any other work week, except we’re in a hotel room walking distance from the ocean.  I love that my husband knows I can handle just about anything – on my own.   I’ve traveled with more than one child and more than one dog plenty of times to know who’s going to get sick, who’s going to cry out “are we there yet” and who needs to go to the bathroom- again.

But this time I watched his phone light up more than I wanted.   During lunch with a friend, I could see his phone vibrating across the table.  He no sooner took a bite of his sandwich it would happen.   Before you ask….why didn’t he just turn it off?   Remember, he was still working this weekend.  I appreciate and respect the fact my husband is loyal to his clients.   But geez, eat man would you!

As we waited for the pounding rain to pass in Piney Point, it really hit me I must find my balance once again.   I can’t change my husbands career, though Lord knows I’ve tried!   There will be more weekend’s we are away and Football Superstar will need to work.   However, my personal balance will help in creating balance in my family.  I just need to learn to say no too.      No, we can’t make it.   No, we have another commitment.  No.

Plan, empower and prepare for any hiccup that comes my way.    That comes our way.

After all….College Daughter will be returning home from school next weekend.   And I’ll need all that balance back in my life!    Balance, or just  lease the Outer Banks home all summer!



Life can be a balancing act.  It’s the art of balancing.

Never get so busy making a living – that you forget to make a life.  ~ unknown






I absolutely love the ocean.  The smell of salty air and the feel of sand just puts me in a trance.


As for swimming in that great big body of water with creatures that lurk beneath, that’s another story.  Well, it has become a different story for [me] this summer.   Every summer season there is Shark Week.   Confession; I have been known to tune in and watch Discovery Channels Shark Week.  I don’t recall the exact year when Discovery began the now famous and competitive Shark Week, but I can remember my older two watching with excitement and a little horror.   And then there is Jaws.  I’ll never forget watching Jaws in a crowded movie theater with my father.  He too appreciates the ocean.  In 1975, Jaws put my own father into a state of “movie goer panic” during that New Jersey beach season.   It eventually wore off, and he continued to enjoy swimming laps against the waves.    My husband loved the movie Jaws, and his favorite line  is “you’re gonna need a bigger boat“.     Football Superstar never looked over his shoulder for the dorsal fin of the almighty sea creature that  could pull you down in one…..well….gulp.   He said he never heard the music, that’s why.  [shaking my head]

Now it seems as if sharks have been in the news more than politics.  The TV is limited in our home, but as I fire up my lap top, I see news briefs and advertisements.   Sharknado, Shark attack, Shark this, Shark that!   My heart goes out to the families that have lost loved ones in these attacks.  As well as the survivors of the latest shark attacks just within hours and days of each other.  The area where we plan to retire is among the top 5 states where sharks return and feed each season.  This I learned while watching one episode of Shark Week.   Apple asked if she could watch the week-long program, stating she can’t understand why people dislike sharks so much.  She continued telling me what she knows about these large and misunderstood sea creatures.   Without choking on my iced tea, I told her maybe we can watch a few episodes, but I wanted to make sure it was appropriate, and wouldn’t create a fear of the ocean.  As Apple continued with her facts, I got caught up in the moment when she said….”they are kind of cute“.   What!?    Oh, you mean cute as in Finding Nemo, and  Sharks Tale?

That was the longest discussion on sharks that I ever had with any pint size person.  And honestly, I enjoyed listening to her fascinating facts and theory on why sharks are misunderstood.   So, we made Shark Week a family adventure.

After watching Discovery Channels Shark Week, I’ve come to appreciate [I think] sharks.  Maybe I don’t really appreciate them, but I respect them.  [how’s that?]   I learned for the most part, they are loners.  So they don’t make friends easily.   [that was a joke]

I already knew their diet, so I had NO interest watching while the shark decided to snack.  There are over 400 species of sharks.  I was amazed [I think] on the sharks ability to leap out of the water.  As the narrator informed viewers – 10 feet is recorded for a great white leaping out of the water near seal island.   I silently sneered….oh, yippy.

I respect and appreciate biologist and oceanographers who film and study sharks.   But I still don’t get why there are those who load up the boat with the family dog, refreshments and fishing gear to only find themselves in a messy situation.  Let us appreciate and view these creatures from a safe distance.  Why chase down something with a mouth the size of Delaware, and has a higher vertical jump than any NBA player.   Lets just watch them on Discovery Channel.   [that’s a plug for a Piranha parent who works for DC]                   And then there are Piranhas!

Are we safe swimming in any body of water?   A lake has bacteria.  What’s in a river?   Saltwater lakes?  Alligators and crocodiles.    Swimming pools?  Was that really a Baby Ruth?!

My family will continue to vacation by the ocean.  But now, this Momma is not as eager to have my children, my husband, our future pup or myself jump into crashing waves.   Maybe this beach home will need a pool after all.

For those who enjoy your ocean swim…… be safe and enjoy!

I'm trying to see the smile...and the cuteness Apple speaks of.  Just...can't....see it.
I’m trying to see the smile…and the cuteness Apple speaks of. Just…can’t….see it.
Now this is cute!  They are puppy dogs of the ocean!
Now this is cute! They are puppy dogs of the ocean!
A Piranha worth swimming with.
A Piranha worth swimming with!