Swap-bot: ESG: My favorite picture of the month July


Hi folks! Today’s post is for a Swap-bot swap. This one is for the group Electronic Swaps, which, as you can imagine, a group dedicated to electronic (e-mail, pintrest, etc.) swaps. This lovely swap has the directions to, as the title suggests, is my favorite picture for the month of July.


I don’t usually like selfies. but this month was different. From the top left:

  1. I am LDS, going to the temple is a privilege for those of us able to go inside. I don’t usually go, I have to borrow the specific clothes, but I needed to go, a very strong feeling, and towards the end of the month I was able to make it to the closest temple (it’s about three hours away). This is the picture I took while there, I do so love the peaceful feeling that I get there.
  2. 4th of July fireworks. When I was a kid I lived in an area where personal fireworks were illegal. When I moved somewhere where you could buy fountains and other types of fireworks, I have loved them all.
  3. My daughter and I went on a hike along the Blue Ridge Parkway and came across this picnic table that looks like it was used by fairies. I love it.
  4. Virginia has these “Love” monuments all over the state. My graduate university had one installed the year I left. This was my first opportunity to go back and see it. i had to take a picture with it, which I think turned out pretty nice.
  5. This picture of me and my daughter was taken on the same hike that we saw the fairy table. It was a lovely day.

Swap-bot: ESG: Something that made me happy this month July


Hello! Back again with another Swap-bot swap. This one is for the group Electronic Swaps, which, as you can imagine, a group dedicated to electronic (e-mail, pintrest, etc.) swaps. This lovely swap has the directions to, as the title suggests, tell about something that made me happy during the month of July.

4th of July

The 4th of July is always a fun holiday for me. This year was the first in a while that we didn’t watch a big fireworks show. I decided that I just couldn’t deal with the traffic coming from the event. Not enough exit space. But, my kids and I were able to set off a bunch of fountains and other smaller fireworks in front of our apartment. I think that has always been my favorite part. It was a lovely evening, and the breeze was in our favor, blowing the smoke away from us.


My second happy moment came on a short hike with my daughter. We were up on the Blue Ridge Parkway and stopped at Rocky Knobb to do a short hike. Well, we ended up missing the trail head and just doing the picnic area loop. But I’m glad that we did. If we hadn’t, I never would have seen this adorable set up. Being as humid as it is, there is a lot of moss around, but this was the only table that we saw completely covered in moss, and with the stumps as chairs, it almost looks like a fairy table.

Swap-bot: ESG: My country fun facts 2.0


Hi folks! Today’s post is for a Swap-bot swap. This one is for the group Electronic Swaps, which, as you can imagine, a group dedicated to electronic (e-mail, pintrest, etc.) swaps. Today, I will be sharing five (at least) fun facts about my country. I happen to live in The United States of America (aka USA, US, or America, we suffer from an identity crises).

  1. We consider July 4th, 1776 to be Independence Day…however, the Deceleration of Independence was written on the first, and not actually signed by all the colonies until much later. The 4th of July was when it was accepted by the delegates (and the day we set off fireworks).
  2. The last state to join the Union was Hawaii in August of 1959, Alaska runs a close second in January of the same year (Puerto Rico occasionally votes on joining the Union, but it hasn’t happened yet)
  3. Delaware was the first state to sign the constitution (it’s on their license plates)
  4. The US is home to the first and second largest air forces in the world. The US Air force (of course) and the air force of the US Navy and Marines (the Navy’s Blue Angels are amazing and used to do flyovers at my school when I was growing up)
  5. Longest River in the US is the Mississippi, it pretty much cuts the country in half (almost, it doesn’t come from the Canadian boarder).
  6. It is entirely possible that 1 in 10 American’s are blood relatives to the original pilgrims who landed at Plymouth Rock (that’s just over 100 people…and I am related to at least one of them, I think actually 2).

I hope you enjoyed my fun facts!

Swap-bot: ESG: 100 questions 2.0


Hi folks! Today’s post is for a Swap-bot swap. This one is for the group Electronic Swaps, which, as you can imagine, a group dedicated to electronic (e-mail, pintrest, etc.) swaps. This swap is a bit different, this one is a list of questions. 100 to be exact. I hope you all enjoy them.

  1. Put your iTunes/media player on shuffle. Give me the first 6 songs that pop up.
    1. “Shamey, Shamey, Shame” Billy Gilman
    2. “The First Noel” Brian McKnight
    3. “Why’d You Come in Here Looking Like That” Dolly Parton
    4. “Thank Heaven For Little Girls” Michael Ballam
    5. “A Never Ending Dream” CASCADA
    6. “The Shoes You’re Wearing” Clint Black
  2. If you could meet anyone on this earth, who would it be?
    1. Living, or dead? Because, Jesus would be awesome, but he’s dead. Maybe the Pope, and I’m not even Catholic, it’s just very unattainable to me.
  3. Grab the book nearest to you, turn to page 23, give me line 17.
    1. “an individual who appears to have major depressive disorder is unable to give an ade-” (from the DSM-5)
  4. What do you think about most?
    1. my kids
  5. What does your latest text message from someone else say?
    1. “well, goodnight”
  6. Do you sleep with or without clothes on?
    1. Depends on what you mean by clothes. I don’t sleep stark naked, but I rarely wear pajamas unless I’m somewhere or there are people over.
  7. What’s your strangest talent?
    1. The ability to make penis jokes at 3:00 AM when stone cold sober
  8. What is the most romantic thing you have ever done?
    1. I I’ve not a drop of romance in me, I just like watching romantic movies.
  9. Ever had a poem or song written about you?
    1. My ex wrote a song about me for our wedding, but he never preformed it
  10. When is the last time you played the air guitar?
    1. In the car on the way to Walmart tonight
  11. Do you have any strange phobias?
    1. No, all my phobias are “normal”
  12. Ever stuck a foreign object up your nose?
    1. Only my finger, when I was younger
  13. What’s your religion?
    1. I’m a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, aka LDS or Mormon
  14. If you are outside, what are you most likely doing?
    1. Going for a walk and cursing the humidity
  15. Do you prefer to be behind the camera or in front of it?
    1. Depends on the day
  16. Simple but extremely complex. Favorite band/singer?
    1. Can’t just pick one…um…Going to go with…Lets say, today, Willy Nelson
  17. What was the last lie you told?
    1. “Oh, that’s interesting”
  18. Do you believe in karma?
    1. Yes and no
  19. What does your user name mean?
    1. That I wasn’t thinking and just used my real name
  20. What is your greatest weakness, and your greatest strength?
    1. I’m a push over, I will keep doing things for you even when I shouldn’t. But I am also loving and caring
  21. Who is your celebrity crush?
    1. Depends on the day/show I’ve been watching. Right now, David Tennant (I’m watching Broadchurch)
  22. Have you ever gone skinny dipping?
    1. no
  23. How do you vent your anger?
    1. Go for a walk, yell, drive aggressively, cry.
  24. Do you have a collection of anything?
    1. Mostly no, but I do have a small collection of Funco Pop Vinyl figures
  25. Do you prefer talking on the phone or video chatting on-line?
    1. Depends on the day/situation. I’ll video chat at holidays, but phones usually
  26. Are you happy with the person you’ve become?
    1. Generally
  27. What’s a sound you hate and a sound you love?
    1. Ice, rubbing together greats on my ears. Babies laughing, on the other hand, cheers my soul
  28. What’s your biggest “what if”?
    1. What if the Zombie apocalypses actually happens?
  29. Do you believe in ghosts? How about aliens?
    1. Yes, I believe in ghosts, though I don’t think that most of them are inherently evil. I also believe in aliens, always have.
  30. Stick your right arm out; what do you touch first? Do the same with your left arm.
    1. The book case next to my bed. My box of stickers (I’m working on a stuffed envelope swap)
  31. Smell the air. What do you smell?
    1. Popcorn, guacamole, and rain
  32. What’s the worst place you have ever been to?
    1. That’s tough, I like most places I’ve been…but I never was a fan of Boise, ID.
  33. Choose: East Coast or West Coast?
    1. West
  34. Most attractive singer of your opposite gender?
    1. I don’t look at singers very often, I really couldn’t say.
  35. To you, what is the meaning of life?
    1. 42 (sorry, Douglas Adams Joke)
  36. Define: Art.
    1. Oooo, that’s a tough one. Art is a myriad of styles and forms created to please the eye.
  37. Do you believe in luck?
    1. Not really.
  38. What’s the weather like right now?
    1. Humid. Just had a storm pass through, so that’s helped the ambient temperature, but not the humidity.
  39. What time is it?
    1. 9:25 pm
  40. Do you drive? If so, have you ever crashed?
    1. Daily. My commute is a good hour plus one way,so I drive a lot. Have I ever crashed? Not really? Had a fender bender in the paring lot at the mall and had a deer jump onto my car from a corn field ($5000 in damage to my new to me car that I hadn’t even made the first payment on).
  41. What was the last book you read?
    1. Bible
  42. Do you like the smell of gasoline?
    1. No
  43. Do you have any nicknames?
    1. Not since I was a kid, and non that I would answer to.
  44. What was the last movie you saw?
    1. Sing!
  45. What’s the worst injury you’ve ever had?
    1. Put my foot through a glass aquarium (not one of my finer moments) ended up needing five stitches.
  46. Have you ever caught a butterfly?
    1. No, I’ve never needed to, I’ve always been able to observe them at rest.
  47. Do you have any obsessions right now?
    1. Just caught up on Broadchurch, I can’t wait to see the last season.
  48. What’s your sexual orientation?
    1. Heterosexual
  49. Ever had a rumor spread about you?
    1. Not to my knowledge
  50. Do you believe in magic?
    1. Like Harry Potter magic? No.
  51. Do you tend to hold grudges against people who have done you wrong?
    1. No, I don’t have the energy for that.
  52. What is your astrological sign?
    1. Libra
  53. Do you save money or spend it?
    1. Spend it. I’m trying to change that, but it hasn’t happened yet.
  54. What’s the last thing you purchased?
    1. Washi tape and stationary paper
  55. Love or lust?
    1. Love
  56. In a relationship?
    1. Engaged
  57. How many relationships have you had?
    1. Lots, but only two serious ones (including the one I’m in right now)
  58. Can you touch your nose with your tongue?
    1. Yes
  59. Where were you yesterday?
    1. Home, went to Wal-Mart at one point, Church in the evening.
  60. Is there anything pink within 10 feet of you?
    1. The fabric ATC I’m working for for another swap
  61. Are you wearing socks right now?
    1. No
  62. What’s your favorite animal?
    1. Cats (the domestic type)
  63. What is your secret weapon to get someone to like you?
    1. Kindness and listening
  64. Where is your best friend?
    1. Other side of the country from me.
  65. Do you have children? If yes, would you like any more? If no, do you eventually want any?
    1. Yes, I have 2 (ages 14 and 10). I’m not sure if I want more or not. At this point it would be starting all over and I just don’t know if I have the energy for it.
  66. What is your heritage?
    1. Mostly German and British. I’m essentially little white girl
  67. What were you doing last night at 12 AM?
    1. Just finished season 2 of Broadchurch and was contemplating sleeping
  68. What is your favorite book?
    1. Don’t really have one, but I love Harry Potter
  69. Be honest, what do you think of Justin Bieber?
    1. His attitude is atrocious, don’t care for his early music, but some of his recent stuff isn’t bad.
  70. Are you the kind of friend you would want to have as a friend?
    1. Yes, though I do tend to complain
  71. You are walking down the street on your way to work. There is a dog drowning in the canal on the side of the street. Your boss has told you if you are late one more time you get fired. What do you do?
    1. Save the dog. There will always be another job, but I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t do anything
  72. You are at the doctor’s office and she has just informed you that you have approximately one month to live. a) Do you tell anyone/everyone you are going to die? b) What do you do with your remaining days? c) Would you be afraid?
    1. I would tell my family and my job (I work with kids who have mental health issues, work would need to find someone to cover for me). I would want to spend as much time with my friends and family as possible. I am not afraid of death, but I would be sad.
  73. You can only have one of these things: trust or love.
    1. Love
  74. What’s a song that always makes you happy when you hear it?
    1. Anything by The Beach Boys
  75. What are the last four digits in your cell phone number?
    1. Nope
  76. In your opinion, what makes a great relationship?
    1. Love and trust and communication
  77. How can I win your heart?
    1. Right now? Chocolate
  78. Can insanity bring on more creativity?
    1. I think that those whose minds are not “typical” can lead to may different aspects, including insanity and creativity, but one does not necessarily lead to the other.
  79. What is the single best decision you have made in your life so far?
    1. Leaving my ex-husband
  80. What size shoes do you wear?
    1. Womans 9.5
  81. What would you want to be written on your tombstone?
    1. My name, when I was born, where I died.
  82. What is your favorite word?
    1. Awesome
  83. Give me the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word: heart.
    1. beating
  84. What is a saying you say a lot?
    1. Too Bad
  85. What’s the last song you listened to?
    1. Fight song from Final Fantasy 10
  86. Basic question: what’s your favorite color/colors?
    1. Green
  87. What is your current desktop picture?
    1. Mid century abstract design.
  88. If you could press a button and make anyone in the world instantaneously explode, who would it be?
    1. I really don’t hate anyone enough to do that.
  89. What would be a question you’d be afraid to tell the truth on?
    1. How much money I spend
  90. Where is the one place in the world you would love to visit?
    1. British Isles
  91. You accidentally eat some radioactive vegetables. They were good, and what’s even cooler is that they endow you with the super-power of your choice! What is that power?
    1. Hum…ability to read minds at will (not all the time, that would get overwhelming)
  92. You can re-live any point of time in your life. The time-span can only be a half-hour, though. What half-hour of your past would you like to experience again?
    1. Don’t like to live in the past
  93. You can erase any horrible experience from your past. What will it be?
    1. I’ve got to be bumbing people out with these questions, but I honestly don’t have any experiences so horrible I would want to make them go away forever.
  94. Do you enjoy watching television? If yes, what are your favorite shows to watch?
    1. Oh, yes, I do. I enjoy all sorts of shows, dramas (crime dramas mostly) and comedies. Anything good really.
  95. You just got a free plane ticket to anywhere. You have to depart right now. Where are you going to go?
    1. To visit my family on the other side of the country.
  96. Do you have any relatives in jail?
    1. Not that I know of
  97. Have you ever thrown up in the car?
    1. No, I’ve always managed to make it to the side of the road first.
  98. Ever been on a plane?
    1. Several times
  99. If the whole world were listening to you right now, what would you say?
    1. Stop hating everyone
  100. Give me your top 5 favorite blogs that you visit often.
    1. I don’t have 5, but I do have a few: Cake Wrecks and Mid-Century Menu

Swap-bot: Share Some Photos!


Hello everyone! Today’s post is for a Swap-bot swap. This swap wants me to share five of my favorite photos that I have taken. Man, that’s a lot of pictures to look through. postcard 1This picture I like so much that it’s going to be the one I send out for a “your own photo” postcard swap later this summer. This was taken recently (June 1, 2017) up on the Blue Ridge Parkway near the Virginia/North Carolina boarder. If I recall correctly, this cabin belonged to a woman who was a midwife and helped deliver an outrageously high number of babies in her time.


A few posts ago I shared about my daughter’s girl scout troop putting up bird houses near Pilot Mountain. I took this picture at the same time. I just loved the way that the stream was going through trees and the light and the green.


This shot was taken on the Blue Ridge Parkway (I like the views) on April 21, 2017. The tree was the wall paper on my phone for a while. I love the gnarled branches, and how everything else is blooming, but this one tree. Just the way it’s like off on its own.

20170119_070706This is the moon shining through the leafless trees on a cold January night of this year. I person it was much more impressive, but I still love the way that it looks. I really like the way things look through tree branches I suppose.


I love Main Street. This was the big snow storm of the year (January 7, 2017) and my kids and I took a walk up through the snow around and about to Main Street, where I took this picture. An hour earlier and there would have been more snow on the roads, but at this point there were a lot of cars that had been driving down melting the snow, and even a few responsible store owners out clearing the snow from the sidewalks. Still, I love the way Main Street looks and the snow.

Swap-bot: Let me recommend a book #23


Hi folks! Today’s post is for a Swap-bot swap. This one is for the group Electronic Swaps, which, as you can imagine, a group dedicated to electronic (e-mail, pintrest, etc.) swaps. Today’s swap is about a book I would recommend.

I have recently read (or listened to in the car on my way to work) that I really enjoyed. The first is “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” by Rebecca Skloot. This book is a real life story about Henrietta Lacks, the woman who “provided” the first cells to grow in culture, and her daughters search for the truth, along with the assistance of the author. One of the reasons I enjoy this book so much is that Skloot manages to take what could be a dry topic (a woman’s medical history, and her family drama) and makes them come alive, as though you are watching them play out live and in person. I was drawn in by the narrative, by the mystery, and by the family dynamic that comes across so well. It has recently been adapted by HBO for a miniseries, which I have not watched yet, but stars Oprah as the titular characters daughter, the one who goes on the journey of discovery.

The second book I would recommend is a memoir titled “The Glass Castle” by Jeannette Walls. The story is her memories of growing up with free spirited parents in the deserts of the western United States, of the challenges of living with an alcoholic father and a mother with undiagnosed mental illness. The journey follows her family throughout the west, before the return to her father’s home town in West Virginia. I think one of the reasons I enjoyed this book, aside from Walls amazing story telling abilities, is that I knew this is a true story. I was compelled to see what happened to her, to her siblings, to her parents. I found myself wanting to google her, and her family, before the story was over to see how it came out. And, there will be a film adaptation of the book coming out this summer.