Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

The Market and the Farm

Sunday September 30, 2012
Charlottesville, Virginia


Carrie comes for the week-end.

Carrie arrives Friday early evening with her boyfriend Matthew.  They left Baltimore about 2:00 and what is usually a 3 hour drive door to door turns into a 4 hour drive since apparently everyone else in Baltimore and DC was also leaving town early.  They are tired.  But it’s always great to see her smiling face.



Carrie, Matthew and I head out for breakfast at a favorite place in Charlottesville, The Blue Grass Grille.  As usual, it is packed and we have to wait for a table.  Carrie and I are both surprised that the food this time is not as great as in the past.  The “special” red velvet pancakes that Matthew orders are not all that special and the biscuits are far too heavy and dry.  Clearly David’s farm breakfast is back in a solid first place as breakfast of choice.  Maybe Blue Grass got a new chef while we were gone.  That’s too bad.  But it probably accounts for why no one thought to take any pictures here.

The Grille is a block from the Charlottesville Farmer’s Market which is a bustling place on Saturday morning.

Cville Farmers Market


Cville Farmers Market (3)



There is an amazing array of things for sale from fall fruits & veggies, to clothing, to paintings, photography,  plants, pottery and lots of freshly made food. Today is a UVA home football game and lots of folks are sporting their colors of Orange and Blue. 

Cville Farmers Market (4)


Cville Farmers Market (5)



We could have easily eaten breakfast here with all the yummy looking baked goods.  Especially given all these chefs in their hats.  Is it a UVA chef in orange and blue?  But we are stuffed so we pass them by.


Cville Farmers Market (6)


Cville Farmers Market (1)


We stop by my friend Maggie’s pottery display.  I haven’t seen her in quite a while and she has the cheeriest pottery I know of.  She’s a wonderful artist.

Cville Farmers Market (11)



Cville Farmers Market (8)


Cville Farmers Market (10)



Cville Farmers Market (9)


We then head over to Blue Wheel for the main town errand which is to pick up my bike from its tune-up.  Hope I can try it out before I leave in case there are minor adjustments needed.

Bike Tune Up (1)


After that it’s out to the farm where we all inspect the progress on repairs and painting.  Work is clearly underway, but things are looking good……..

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At the Farm 004



David takes a nap and we all quietly pursue our interests for an hour.

At the Farm 007


After that it’s delicious wraps for dinner.  Boy I’m doing terribly at remembering photos of food.  Too busy scarfing it up apparently.


After dinner Carrie makes a cherry pie under the watchful eyes of the men.  Unfortunately her mother forgot to get the pie making essentials out of Winnona in town.  So she has no cinnamon, no rolling pin and no pastry cutter.  Real hardships all.  I’m sorry Carrie!  But she does a good job anyway. 


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And the pie as always is delicious.  But again…….too busy eating.  Got no pictures.   I’m getting very slack here in the picture department for everyday life.


Although you can see it if you look in front of David in these pictures of the Trivial Pursuit game we played after dinner.  Old Farts vs Young Farts and the OF’s BARELY pulled it out at the last minute.  Did you know Adolf Hitler was Time’s Man of the Year in 1938?  I didn’t, but Matthew did.


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Sadly they had to leave today but not until after a BIG farm breakfast, helping to take a load of trash to the recycling center and playing several games of Clue and Scattergories.  Not one soul took one picture.  Too busy having a good time I guess.  J


And last but not least, on Friday I got another postcard.  This one from our friends Gin & Syl of Wandering Sylville.  It was hilarious but I don’t want to offend anyone without our sense of humor.  I tried taking it out of focus and all other types of ways to “protect the innocent” and this was the best I could come up with.  SO use your imagination (or not) and if you want to see the real thing, it will be on the mirror.  Just drop by in Florida this winter (we hope) and we’ll be happy to show you.

Thanks Gin and Syl – we got a HUGE laugh out of this!! And laughs are ALWAYS welcome however they come.

Gin & Syl

Numbers down, Costs up, Fraud & POSTCARDS!

Friday September 28, 2012
Charlottesville, Virginia



The numbers are still down.

blood numbers 004


As expected, David’s numbers have dropped back down from the boost given by the miracle drug.  Everything but his platelets is low.  He’s tired and doing the best he can.  We have no idea how long it will take his white and red cell counts to come back into the normal range.  He says maybe never.  The doctors at Moffitt say they look good and will continue to improve.  I’m trusting them and taking the platelets as a good sign.



Greenfield Mountain Farm is getting a face lift.



We had planned to paint another two sides of the farm house while we were back here this fall on our way home from New England.  With an old farmhouse that usually means some repairs before you can scrape, prime and paint.  Obviously none of that can or did happen so we have had to hire someone to do the carpentry and painting on the house.  This is an unplanned for an expensive hit to our budget.





The work is going on now and we’re crossing our fingers it will be completed before we have to leave for Florida and David’s 3 month Stem Cell Transplant Evaluation.

As you can imagine, it is a lot of work to handle two carpenters and 3 painters and their questions.  David has to be available but in the house with a mask on for a lot of this.

We’ve never paid anyone really to do much of anything in the original renovation and subsequent up keep of this farm so it’s a really new situation for us.  This is the sort of thing David likes to do and it is sad for him that he cannot.

David’s brother Roger came for a couple of days this week on his way to Alabama and was a real help with lots of not so fun clean up of brush, tree limbs, dead trees and heaven knows what else.  He was so busy that somehow there are no pictures of all the many things he did.  Now that’s a bummer.  He’s quite a worker.   THANKS ROGER!!

Winnona is hanging out in Charlottesville rather than in the barnyard so that the workers have plenty of room for their vans and trucks.


It’s a good thing I check my account every couple of days.


On Wednesday I did a routine check of our credit card statement on line and found $1300 worth of on line charges we did not make.  I called our bank immediately and cancelled the card.  I will have to fill out fraud papers in order to get the charges removed.  They will issue new cards.  We will have to change all of our on line automatic payments.  For people who were full timing that’s quite a pain! 


I have no idea how our number was lifted but it must have been through an on line company from whom we purchased something since we both have our cards.  Be careful out there and if possible get a Virtual Account number from your credit card company to use for on line purchases. 

Does it seem to you that life sure is a lot more complicated these days?  What I don’t need is some more “business” to attend to.


But what I am happy to have MORE of is postcards.


postcards 006


While we were in Pennsylvania a postcard arrived from Pam and Vic of the Big EZ Travels.  It’s of the purple Iris growing along the Metolius River in Oregon.  Beautiful and a place we had hoped to go in the summer of 2013.  At this point we have no idea where we’ll be next summer.  But I’m still dreaming.   Thanks Pam! 




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Al and Karen of Wish Upon an RV Star sent a beautiful card from the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park in Colorado.  It’s a place she knew I really was looking forward to visiting.  How thoughtful of you to remember Karen.  Thank you so much!





Late last week TWO postcards came from out of the county.  Can you believe that?


postcards 005

  One from Victoria British Columbia with a wonderful note written in the most beautiful script I’ve seen in a long time.  Penmanship including my own is a lost art.  Yours is beautiful G, I can’t decide which side to put on the mirror, the picture or the penmanship.  REALLY!






postcards 002


And my friend and neighbor Diane sent me a postcard from her current travels in Ireland a place I have visited and absolutely loved.  I know she is hoping I can return there.  Me too but Winnona doesn’t swim.  I guess I’ll have to get Erin & Mui to give me some lessons on how to do both kinds of travel.  Although the latest medical and farm facelift expenses make that less than likely.



Thank goodness for the postcard bright spots.  It’s been some week, that’s for sure.  I’m trying to visualize life returning to the free and easy that it was last year.  When it rains, it sure does pour.

Delicious Breakfast; Lovely Hike

Sunday September 16, 2012
Gifford Pinchot State Park, Lewisberry, Pennsylvania


This is the last of the blogs written out of order about what else I was doing while David was in the hospital 10 days ago.


On Sunday I call David in the morning to see when he expects to be released. 

He’s had to spend a totally unnecessary night in the hospital and is feeling well enough now to be quite irritated that today the hospitalist conveniently does not come early in the morning.

He tells me not to come in to get him until she does.  He will call me. So after taking the “after” picture of the park sites to compare with the “before”

Friday Morning-“before”GiffordPinchotSiteB311_thumb1

Sunday morning - “after”

Sunset and DGB 021


I take myself out to breakfast at the ‘Chow Down’


It’s the only breakfast spot close to the park and obviously used to have a different name.  David would love this.  Really down home.


Last day in Hospital 001

Last day in Hospital 007


Last day in Hospital 006


They do breakfast all day and every way you could possibly want it.
Excellent eats for about $6.00.  Who could ask for more??


Wish I’d brought my kayak with me.


I return to the park and go down by the lake.  There are several folks on the water.  This looks like a great day for it.


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Last day in Hospital 014


Last day in Hospital 016



It will be good to be out in the woods again after these past stressful days.

At this point, I surmise it will be in the afternoon before they release him so I take my cell phone and set out to do a section of the trail that goes along the lake.  It is one of more than 18 miles of marked trails available in the park.


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The hike through the woods is right on the lakeside and there are many little cut overs all along the way.

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Last day in Hospital 023


Stone benches are placed at various intervals along the trail.  I think these would be good for David to rest and then I realize that the threat of ticks will keep him out of the woods for I don’t know how long.


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After while the trail comes into the day use area where there are

Last day in Hospital 036



more lovely lake views,







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a pond








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a small waterfall







and many educational signs.

I guess I knew this about snakes at one time but had forgotten.  Good thing to know if you see one although wouldn’t you have to be awfully close to notice this??


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There was an informative kiosk about monarch butterflies.  They are just amazing to me.  Most of them live only 6 to 8 weeks but those born in late summer are different.  Once they become adult butterflies they don’t lay eggs, instead they migrate to their wintering grounds in Mexico, hibernate and then return the thousands of miles.  These monarchs live 6 to 8 months.   I would love to see their wintering grounds but I fear too many people are going there now and disturbing them.  I wouldn’t want to add to their stress.


Would you recognize the larva so you don’t kill it thinking it might be some dangerous villain? 


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I thought this was pretty clever.

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I’d better turn back so I’m not too far from the car when David calls. 


I’d love to hike this trail all the way around this large lake but that’s for another time and another day when I have from sun up until sundown.



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On my way back I stop at this bench at the end of a short spur off the main trail.





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I sit for a while and watch the boats on the water.  It’s a lovely quiet spot.

This is my kind of lake where there are no jet skis or boats zooming around making lots of noise.  Just a couple of sailboats and a little houseboat.



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I’m actually contemplating the beauty in the tree roots when David finally calls about 3:00 in the afternoon.  Harrisburg seems to be milking this for all they can get. 

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But banish those irritated thoughts as I finish my walk in this lovely place.  I can bring him home and that’s what matters.


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When I get to the hospital he is very happy to be getting out of there.

We go out for pizza to celebrate.   That’s all part of this previous post if you haven’t read it.


This blog is definitely a blast from the near past but I want to make sure I have a record of Gifford Pinchot for those who might want to come here when in Pennsylvania and even have breakfast at the Chow Down.  I know I’ll need it when I’m again in Pennsylvania.  Maybe we can have breakfast together.

Next post I’ll be back to what’s happening back here in Virginia now.

Carrie Leaves & Early Morning at Gifford Pinchot State Park

Thursday September 13, and Friday September 14, 2012
Gifford Pinchot State Park Site B311
Lewisberry, PA


Hope I don’t confuse you after yesterday’s Fall Equinox post. This is another post of what else was going on while David was in the hospital in Pennsylvania, One more from the past and then I’ll be back to the present again.  Sorry for the confusion.


Each day I try to do at least one thing in addition to standing  stand guard at the hospital.



Carrie cancels an appointment for Wednesday evening and stays over to be able to see her dad a few more times.  But she has to get back today.  We drive together over to the hospital and on the way stop at BRUSTERS!!   Amazingly, Brusters is right off I 83 on our way to and from the hospital.  I am thankful for the Serendipity!  They have no Jamaica Me Crazy but promise to make me some for tomorrow.  GOTTA LOVE BRUSTERS!!  We get pumpkin cheesecake a nice choice for fall and it tasted just like pumpkin pie.




We stay at the hospital until nearly dinner time and monitor what is happening.  He will eat and then sleep.  Carrie drives home and I go back to Winnona until tomorrow.

I have some dinner and watch the sun set over the lake just across from our campsite.  It is beautiful here.

Sunset and DGB 011

Sunset and DGB 023


I call him around 9pm to see how everything is and find that his fever has spiked again.  At 8:00 it is 101.6 so they start the administration of the antibiotic doxycycline.  I trust this will take care of the fever but I won’t know until Friday.





Early mornings at Gifford Pinchot are wonderful. I love being up early.

It is so quiet here and the week-end warriors haven’t descended yet.
I am up very early to go running and enjoy the solitude.  Notice the empty sites all around us.


Gifford Pinchot Site B311


Gifford Pinchot Site B311 (3)A


Each morning at sunrise and often at sunset if I am around, I hear the geese calling as they fly down the the waterway.  It is a beautiful sound. 





Gifford Pinchot Site B311 (2)


I hope you can see the geese off in the distance winging their way toward me.

They are the gray dots in the sky and  reflected in the water.



The temperatures have dropped into the low 50’s at night.  Great sleeping weather and wonderful for early morning running.  They bring the mist on the lake which is lovely.  It adds to the solitude and beauty.


Gifford Pinchot Site B311 (28)A


As I walk to and from the bathhouse, here is what I see.


Gifford Pinchot Site B311 (26)


Gifford Pinchot Site B311 (27)


And the views as I walk back to Winnona.

Gifford Pinchot Site B311 (4)


Gifford Pinchot Site B311 (8) 


Gifford Pinchot Site B311 (9)


It is wonderful to have this spot of calm before returning the hospital where I spend the day in consternation over Harrisburg Hospital and sending emails to David’s doctors at Moffitt finally resulting in the wonder drug shots mentioned at the time in an earlier post.  Click here to read it if you have not already.

I return home late and exhausted but pleased as I expect him to rally now.