My 5th Blogging Anniversary !

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WordPress reminded me yesterday that I created my blog site five years ago. My first post was the following day (on August 1, 2012) and was an account, illustrated with photos, of why I live in the woods. Coincidentally, I received notice from Twitter today that someone just retweeted that post!

I blog because I love to and never thought I would have any blog followers outside of a small circle of friends and family members. Today I have over 700 WordPress followers and several hundred more followers by email and on social media. I have had over 25,000 different visitors and over 50,000 views.  I know many bloggers whose stats are much, much higher, but I am thrilled with what I have.

During the past five years, I have been visited by readers from many, many countries around the world, 144 countries total as of today.   My top post is Appalachian Sayings: The “hind catcher”, which finally surpassed the previous top post, Now Blooming in My Corner of North Georgia: Mimosa and Magnolia.

In April 2014,  I added another blog, Believing for Ben, chronicling my little grandson’s journey through pediatric neurosurgery.  Ben was only three years old at the time and now is seven and getting ready to begin second grade. Believing for Ben posts also have appeared on this blog, and members of my blogging community have followed Ben’s progress from diagnosis to the announcement that he is cured.  Much encouragement and many prayers and healing thoughts have been sent our way from my blogging community.

I added a third blog, Captured for a Moment, in October, 2015.  I refer to it as my “photos only” blog with no commentary, just photos.

Additionally, I follow 294 other WordPress bloggers from around the world and have developed lovely blogging friendships with many of them.  Some bloggers who I once followed now no longer are posting, and I miss them.

I am so grateful to everyone who has read my posts and/or followed this blog and my other blogs. Some of you have been with me since I began this journey.  Even though we never have met, you comment on my posts and continually send me words of encouragement.  Blogging has been a much more rewarding experience than I imagined it could be!  Happy anniversary to me!!

What I Saw On My Walk Down the Road: A Homemade Ladder


Children's ladder

What a reminder of my own childhood when we made homemade ladders, Tarzan swings, and even homemade skateboards and used trash can lids for sleds!  Most of these things didn’t work as intended, of course, but such fun we had!

This ladder was made by the boy who lives next door and actually has been propped up against the tree for quite a while now.   His sister had one of her own, but it broke and is gone now. Yesterday, when I was talking to the children, the neighbor boy put his foot on the lower rung of this ladder, and it broke.  Just like what used to happen to us when we were kids!

“Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder. Help someone’s soul heal. Walk out of your house like a shepherd.”

― Jalaluddin Rumi

And this is why you don’t feed the birds in North Georgia in the summer

Bear at bird feeder 1

I know better.  I really do. But I do like to watch the birds at the bird feeders, and we hadn’t seen a bear here in several years.  So this year I bought a feeding station and put out 3 feeders. The birds have loved it, and this morning so did this little bear.

I watched the bear out of my kitchen window for half an hour and photographed it through the window.  When the neighbor, who did not know the bear was out there,  let their dog out the bear took off through the woods.

Bear at bird feeder 2

Bear at bird feeder 3

Bear at bird feeder 4

Bear at bird feeder 5

“The mountains have always been here, and in them, the bears.”
– Rick Bass


A bird in the woodstove

It took a while for us to realize that the sounds we were hearing were not coming from the ice maker in the refrigerator.  They were coming from inside the woodstove in the kitchen. Then it took a little longer to figure out it was a bird that had fallen down the stove pipe.

We have a sweet little wood-burning stove in the kitchen that we thought was only decorative when we first bought this house.


However, it is fully functional,  and because we do sometimes use it in the winter, it still has some wood ash in it.  As the poor little bird that was caught in there tried desperately to get out, wood ash sifted through the openings in the stove and made a mess in the kitchen. I could just imagine the bird being covered with wood ash and frightened nearly to death.  I had to rescue it.

How to get the bird out?  I watched several short videos online of people using pet carriers, plastic grocery bags, or plastic garbage bags placed over the open doors of wood stoves to catch birds trapped inside.  A pet carrier seemed the best idea, and the one we have fits exactly over the opening to the stove. But first, I wanted to actually see the bird for myself.  My husband suggested opening one of the woodstove burner plates and insisted that the bird would not fly out through the opening and into the house.


So I opened the front burner plate and out flew the bird, through the kitchen and into the living room.  It perched on top of one of the sofa pillows right where the cat was sleeping.

Smokey on sofa

Bless his heart, our cat is 20 years old and completely deaf.  He had no clue a bird had just flown over his head and was sitting on the pillow.  Of course, I was unable to photograph any of this.  As soon as the bird flew out of the woodstove, I had run to open the front door, hoping the bird would fly on out. My poor husband, who has had a stroke, was just watching all of the proceedings.

While I was holding the door open and trying to figure out how to get the bird off the sofa pillow, it flew on out and settled on a tree limb outside.

In all the commotion I was not even able to identify the bird, but I’m sure it was a sparrow of some sort.  It looked similar to this one that I photographed some time ago on our porch railing. (A wren.  It was a wren.)


“A forest bird never wants a cage.”  (Henrik Ibsen)

Appalachian Sayings: “Eat up with”

“Eat up with,” short for “eaten up with,” can mean either consumed by or covered up with.

Here in Appalachia, a person can be “eat up with” or consumed by a negative emotion but not a positive one.  No one is ever eat up with love or kindness or compassion, but a person can be eat up with jealousy or rage or sadness.

Jealousy quote


A person also can be “eat up with” or covered with bug bites.  Grandson Ben and his parents came to visit this past weekend, and Ben and his dad did some outside work for us.  When they came in, we saw that Ben’s little arm was just eat up with bug bites!

Do you use the phrase “eat up with” or have you ever heard it used?

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Fire Trucks, Fire Houses, Fire Hydrant

This challenge is an easy one for me, as grandson Ben loves fire fighters and has spent time at the fire house near his home and the fire house near the Ronald McDonald House in New York when he was there for medical treatment.

Engine Company 44 in New York City


Whitfield County, GA Fire Department


See more firetrucks and fire houses or join Cee’s challenge here.

Agapanthus Blue

From my “photos only” blog…

captured for a moment

Agapanthus with border

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Lily of the Nile

Last fall my husband took the pot of Agapanthus off the back deck and put it in the garage.  There it sat all fall and winter, getting plenty of light but otherwise ignored.  This spring it was brought back out, and it is thriving and blooming gorgeously.

And who knew that Agapanthus also is known as Lily of the Nile?

Agapanthus 3

Agapanthus 2

Agapanthus 1

Linked to Cee’s Flower of the Day

Yay! Ben is okay!

Grandson Ben is okay!

Believing for Ben

Great news!  The results of MRI and the MRA scans on grandson Ben’s brain were excellent!  There’s no problem with the original fistula repair, and no new fistula has formed. Dr. Berenstein in New York reviewed over 50,000 images and found no problem. Yay!

Thank you, thank you to everyone who has kept Ben and his parents in your thoughts and prayers.

Originally, when Ben was 3 years old, it was a problem with his eye that led his parents to seek out medical care.  Ben was diagnosed with a dural AV fistula (a vascular malformation in the brain) which was causing pressure behind the eye.  His little life was in danger, and he underwent a visit to the children’s hospital in Chattanooga, TN, stays in two children’s hospitals in Atlanta, GA, and three surgeries in New York City by a world-renowned physician before the problem was corrected.  We are…

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Gifts from the Spirit world


I love this Native American saying and think of it every time I find a feather outside.