The Drive to Wanaka

After organizing 7 people and packing up 2 cars, we were off to Wanaka (sounds like Monica or Hanukkah).  As is typical for New Zealand roads, the route was curvy and the scenery beautiful.

A brief stop along the way allowed Siddy to get a(nother) treat.

By 2pm, we were ready for a late lunch, and Monteith’s Brewery Bar in Alexandra was the perfect stop.  We enjoyed puppy friendly al fresco dining accompanied by Murphy’s Irish Stout (for me) and followed by a yummy flat white.

Soon enough, we were back on the road but another brief stop, this time at the Clyde Dam, offered some nice photo ops. The Clyde Dam, New Zealand’s third largest hydroelectric dam, is built on the Clutha River near the town of Clyde

With 45 minutes to go, we let Siddy enjoy the breeze.

And THEN we arrived at our temporary home.

What an incredible gift this week in Wanaka will be!

Where in the World is LB and Where is She Going?

Forgive me, WordPress Friends, but it has been 5 Weeks since my last confession … er, I mean, post!

In the almost 6 years that I have been blogging, that may just be a record.  So! Where have I been?

Inauguration

In early January, we traveled to Richmond, Virginia’s Capital City, to see the Inauguration of our new Governor.

It was a cold, but beautiful winter day and we were all so excited to be there!

As you might guess, I took a ton of photos.  Sadly, I just haven’t had time to work through them yet.  This image, though, shows the impressive sight of all 1600 Virginia Military Institute Cadets march by in the Inaugural Parade.  Our new Govenor, Ralph Northam, is a VMI Grad.

The Women’s March in Roanoke

One week later, I hit the streets of Roanoke for the Women’s March.

From the Women’s March to the Swearing-in of Delegate Hurst

We left the Women’s March a bit early and drove straight to the swearing-in of our new Delegate, Chris Hurst.

I loved catching this image of the Delegate in concentration,

and of course, enjoyed a quick visit in his office.

It was a long, exciting day and I’m so glad to have had this man to share it with.

Puzzle Time with Family

 I enjoyed a quick run to Williamsburg to spend time with some of my family,

followed by a brief stop in Richmond on the way back home.

8 weekends in a row of travel, with work in between, and suddenly blog posts take a back seat.  As much as I have loved all the road trips, some of which I didn’t include here, I was grateful to be home this past weekend.  Why?  So I might be able to plan the BIG TRIP:

New Zealand and Australia!!

I am the luckiest gal to be leaving in just 12 days for the Southern Hemisphere!  Even better, I’ll be spending time with dear blogging friends: Pauline from The Contented Crafter, (and her awesome daughters), Alys from Gardening Nirvana, and Boomdee from Boodeeadda.

I anticipate lots of laughter and love, good food and drink, gorgeous scenery and many, many photo ops.  I’ll be traveling on foot, and by car, plane, train and hopefully motorcycle, and I simply cannot wait to share it with all of you!

 Choices

It’s been 5 years since I started my WordPress journey, and what an incredible 5 yrs it has been.

Somehow, through all that has happened, a motorcycle wreck, running for political office, opening a business / closing a business / opening another business, and many other things, both positive and challenging, I have managed to post, to respond to comments, and to visit and comment on your posts.

Lately though, I have just not been able to keep up.  Perhaps it’s the new job.  Maybe it’s the hours spent in civic engagement, and the resistance.  Whatever the reason, I’ve just not been able to respond to your comments on my posts.  I have, however, made a commitment to visiting and commenting on  your posts.

Know that I love and read each and every comment, but if I don’t respond in kind it is because for the time being, I’ll be spending my WordPress time visiting and commenting on your posts.  I’ll still be posting though, and hope to have a lighter schedule sometime down the road.

You have become dear friends, and my life is better for it.

♥️

Fresh

_mg_7302-2

It is hard to tell, but the snow was still falling when I took this image, allowing us, as my friend Jim over at Poetry in Motion said, to walk on virgin earth.

As I write this post, quickly before leaving for work, I am pondering if after 4 1/2 years it is time to freshen up my blog. I’ve not changed a thing since I first stepped onto the virgin earth of this blog space. Perhaps it is time.

Pondering.

Bloggers: The Most Incredible Gathering of Friends!

We’ve all said it, and many of you have as well.

WordPress Blogging has become so much more than we ever thought it would be.  What started out as travel diary, forum for writing, sharing of photography, enlightenment about art, gardening, or crafting, or keeping up with family has become a community of international friends.

Over the last several days, 8 WP bloggers from 3 countries and 2 states, have met in various locations to continue in person, the relationships that have been forged through the world of blogging.

IMG_2142-2

Laurie, Boomdee,  PaulineAlys, and Julia in Old Town Alexandria.

We marveled that while most of us had never met each other, we talked and laughed as if we’d known each other for years.

Which, of course, we had.

IMG_2185-2

Laurie, Stacy, Boomdee, Alys, Lisa, Pauline, and Patty in Georgetown

What might have seemed unusual to friends and family (“you’re letting someone you’ve never met stay in your home?”), to us seemed natural.  No doubts.

Our days have been full of laughter, many hugs, lots of delicious food and the sharing of stories.

IMG_2247-2

Pauline, Shelley, Boomdee, Alys

We’re still in the middle of this amazing gathering of friends, but I wanted to share the joy, because of course, there are so many of you out there that I would love to meet!

Let’s get to planning.  I promise it is worth the effort!

We’ve got another couple days here in Radford before I put Boomdee, Kelly, and Pauline on the train back to DC.  Until the, we’ll fill every single moment with the joy of being together.

And now, while the others get a bit more rest, I’m off to work on the campaign for a couple hours.

A Gift!

When I first began to blog 9 months ago, I would see and read about a variety of awards that bloggers would give to one another.  I was curious but didn’t know much about them.  At that point (and truly, still to this day), I was just thrilled if someone other than a family member or friend liked or made a comment about something I posted!

Then I was nominated for my first award and I felt so validated!  Even if it was just one person, at least that one person liked what I was doing.  How cool!

https://lifeonthebikeandotherfabthings.wordpress.com/2013/01/28/validation-and-gratitude-a-blogging-award/.

I know that there are those who do NOT want to be nominated for awards, but I was pretty tickled.

And then came Meg (http://athomeworkplaydotcom.wordpress.com/ ).  Like me, Meg was cherishing the new friendships she had found since joining the blogging world and she decided to let those friends know how much she appreciated them.  This wasn’t an “official” award … just an incredibly lovely message that made my day.   And the funny thing?  I had just been telling someone about Meg the day before.

Then came another nomination, this time the Beautiful Blogger award and it was just as exciting as the first nomination.  I mean really …  it is so rewarding to have someone tell you that they like what you are doing.

THE RULES:

Copy the Beautiful Blogger Award logo and place it in in your post – CHECK!

beautiful-blogger-award

Thank the person who nominated you and create a link back to their blog – CHECK!

Thanks so much to Susan at Gasm Travels for nominating me for the Beautiful Blogger award http://maedetera.wordpress.com/.

A traveler, photographer, writer and water color painter, Susan describes her love for traveling this way: “I was searching for the right word that would best describe my travel experience and my feelings whenever i am planning a trip or visiting a new place….that ‘ahhhh’ feeling when something excites me every time i see new things….that ‘oohh’ feeling whenever i have satisfied my curiosity….that ‘wooow’ feeling whenever i am awestruck with a beautiful scenery in front of me….that kind of exhilarating feeling that i always get every time i am on the road or upon arrival to my destination”.  Be sure to visit her blog and by doing so, vicariously visit many fun and interesting places!

List 7 Things About Yourself – CHECK!

1.  I love the Gonzaga Bulldogs Basketball team (Ranked #1 in the NCAA – first time in the history of the University!)

2.  I have an amazing family!

3.  I’ve been a nurse in one setting or another for over 27 years and for the last 17, I’ve worked as a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner

4.   I’m passionate about reading.  I NEED to have books all around me in my home (I am not an e-reader – yet)

5.   I’m a community activist, especially when it comes to green initiatives.

6.  I served on Radford City Council, an elected position for 8 years; this helped me to learn that I am an ACTIVIST, not a POLITICIAN

7.  I did not find out until the age of 40 (yep, 13 years ago) that I am absolutely restored by water – river, lake, ocean, pool, bathtub …

Nominate 7 other bloggers for their own Beautiful Blogger Award – CHECK!

NOW comes the hard part? How do I choose only 7 out of the many, many wonderful blogs out there?

And what qualities make a beautiful blogger anyway?

In my opinion, a Beautiful Blogger is someone who not only has a talent for writing or photography but who also has the ability to interact and connect across the blogging world … they have made me feel welcome in that world, and I look forward to hearing their comments and reading their posts.  All these bloggers go beyond the likes … they engage, they comment, they share … and I love that!

http://ionicphotography.co.uk/ – Beautiful photography and conversations about our efforts to improve at the craft

http://beachbums1.com/ – a wonderful blog about one family’s travels and currently, their lives in London

http://badsphotoblog.wordpress.com/ – I love viewing Bryan’s photography and chatting about techniques / what works / what doesn’t

http://athomeworkplaydotcom.wordpress.com/ – – be sure to check out Meg’s blog … you’ll see why I like it!

http://unistudentsoutlook.wordpress.com/- I love the honest writing of this young woman and her efforts to move beyond the end of a relationship

http://boomdeeadda.wordpress.com/- While I’m not the crafter / artist that she is, I enjoy reading her blog and sending comments back and forth.  Enthusiasm personified!

http://retiredruth.wordpress.com/ – a diverse blog, full of information, recipes, stories and opinions!

and just one more!

http://greenhornphotos.com/–  Scott is endeavoring to post a picture a day, yet he still finds time to make and respond to comments.