Share Your World – 05/22/17

Weekly Cee Neuner tosses some questions out for anyone to answer about what makes them tick. Many of my readers may not find some of this too interesting, but it is a social kind of thing which I am told is a necessary process of learning about yourself.

What one thing have you not done that you really want to do? 

I want to travel. There is plenty of places in the United States I would love to see.  There is also innumerable places around the world I dream of enjoying.

How often do you get a haircut?

My wife has a home hair salon, so my haircuts come when she sees the need and has the time. I hate asking her to fit me in because I feel like she is always so fatigued from the schedule she keeps.

In regards to puzzle what’s your choice: jigsaw, crossword, word search or numeric puzzles?

I never have been a lover of crosswords. I know there are so many people who keep that as a regular piece of their daily routine, but I am not in that number. If I tackle any type of puzzle it will be a jigsaw.

How many cities have you lived? You can share the number of physical residences and/or the number of cities. I have had seven different addresses so far in my life. Three have been in my hometown where I settled. It is a small town about 10,000 residents. For a brief time I lived in a 60,000 population city during college and an even larger 100,000 metro area while on a cooperative education tour in North Carolina.

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? 

I am grateful I got to join many other volunteers in the efforts to minister to the large gathering of hikers who collected in the nearby town of Damascus Virginia for the annual three day festival known as Appalachian Trail Days. The Appalachian trail is a 2,195 mile hiking trail stretching from Maine to Georgia. My part in this ministry was assisting with a shower and washing machine trailer that provided hot showers and laundry service.

I look forward to a short trip with my family in the coming long weekend. We plan to visit the Ark Encounter, a huge replica of Noah’s ark in Kentucky. My daughter and I will also enjoy some zip line adventures. Early Saturday I plan to visit a local festival where I can find more books to help fulfill a long term mission opportunity for out church.

 

syw

Share Your World – May 22,2017

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Weekly Photo Challenge – Heritage – 05/17/17

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This s a large stain glass window in the church where I began my spiritual journey as a child. I attended this small Methodist Church for twenty-five years, learning so much about God, Jesus and salvation. In 1997, after my brother died from a battle with cancer at age 29 the church used his memorial donations combined with others to install this stain glass window as a tribute.

Weekly Photo Challenge – Heritage

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Share Your World – 05/15/17

Weekly Cee Neuner tosses some questions out for anyone to answer about what makes them tick. Many of my readers may not find some of this too interesting, but it is a social kind of thing which I am told is a necessary process of learning about yourself.

How many languages do you you speak?

Sadly I can say over my life I only have developed the ability to speak one language. When I was in 8th grade our school had something called Exploratory which allowed us to dabble in classes we might want to take in later years of high school. I had six weeks of French then and found it interesting, but not nearly long enough to make an impact.

What are you reading, watching, listening to, eating?

At the moment I am only writing. The house is pretty silent. Out the windows behind me there are plenty of bird sounds to fill the air. I don’t read this time of year as I usually am outside until well after dark and then it is off to bed. My wife and I enjoy a couple of television shows that will wrap up their seasons this week so I imagine we will try to carve out the time to see those.


What was the last photo you took with your phone?

We put out our window boxes with geraniums and wave petunias about a week ago. The “blue” waves as they are called in the business are blooming and have such a deep rich color right now.

What is your favorite time of day?

During this time of year it is when my work shift is complete and I can break outside. The warm weather and sunshine draw me out for short walks with the dog during the day, but being able to be outside and enjoy our warm seasons is my favorite past time.

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? 

On Sunday we had a lunch with our son and daughter on our newly finished deck where we enjoyed a Mother’s Day lunch. Since our son has just completed his degree and is looking to start a new job we don’t know if this will be something we will get to depend on going forward. Later in the day we visited my wife’s mother for a short period.

This week I am already enjoying the great weather and temperatures in the mid-80s. Toward the end of the week I am looking forward to a mission opportunity with our church at something called Trail Days in Damascus, Virginia, where the Appalachian Trail intersects with a local trail called the Virginia Creeper Trail. 8-10,000 hikers and associated folks will converge on the small town to celebrate a week long hiking culture.

syw

Share Your World – May 15, 2017

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Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge: May 14, 2017

Do you ever roll back through your photos to see something you missed the first time? Or find something that when you look again you find a different form or flavor of humor? Then Cee Neuner’s Oddball Photo Challenge is just right for you to show off your wares.

 

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When my daughter and I went on a mission trip in 2015 we put together a puppet show using the puppets above. None of the children we entertained in Belize has ever seen or experienced snow. I took the puppets we used and strapped the to this sled and made a short video of them riding in the snow. I sent it to the kids so they could see what Sheriff Pedro and Miss Bacon were up to.

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We are used to the behemoth cement trucks in the United States that rumble about hauling loads to job sites. But also during the same mission trip we encountered this cement truck in use by a road construction crew.

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I have always lived in the U.S.A., so always have been used to eggs being sold in cartons and refrigerated. But in Belize on our mission trip we experienced what you see below. From what I understood from someone who lived as a missionary there for three years as long as they haven’t been refrigerated they don’t have to be.

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I managed to draw all the photos for this OBC out of the same trip. On our “free” day during the 2015 mission trip we journeyed over to a Maya ruins called Xunantonich. To get there we had to board this ferry. The ferry is powered by a manual crank.

 

 

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Cee’s Oddball Photo Challenge 05/14/17

 

 

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Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge – 05/12/17

 

Do we really pay attention to which way everything goes? I think we are so automatic in our routines we have no idea what we see. That is why I enjoy the Which Way challenge.

This challenge sets out a broad set of criteria:

  • Roads:  gravel, asphalt, cobbled, dirt, freeway, expressway, highway, bridges
  • Indoor walkways:  hallways, aisles, people movers
  • Outdoor walks:  sidewalks, paths, trails
  • Stairs, elevators, escalators, or steps:  indoors, outdoors
  • Railway  tracks, monorails, ski lifts
  • Runways and starmacs
  • Ferry’s, canals and lochs
  • Parking lots, private driveways
  • Tunnels
  • Signs of any kind:  directional, informational, store signs, wind vanes
  • Maps that are posted as signs

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This is a photo of the trail head of the Virginia Creeper Trail. It is the remnants of an old railroad line that has been developed into a major economic engine for Abingdon and the nearby town of Damascus which will welcome 10 times its normal number of inhabitants in two weeks for something called Trail Days.

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The next two photos are of the old Virginia Creeper steam locomotive.

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This collection of documents gives some history of the old Virginia Creeper Locomotive.

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Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge – 5/12/17

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Three Things Thursday

My second turn with Three Things Thursday where it is your goal to share three happy things you experienced in the seven days past. There is a new host for this weekly collection of happy, Natalie @ There She Goes just picked up the hosting duties from Nerd in the Brain. I met Natalie during the recent 2017 A to Z Challenge and I know she will do a fabulous job with this!

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Many of my posts over the last week have talked about the biggest event in our family’s life this spring, the graduation of our oldest from college. Most of the spring revolved around preparing for the celebration we enjoyed where we celebrated not only his graduation but 22nd birthday with our family as well as the family of his girlfriend who also graduated.

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Over the quarter century we have been married my wife and I have always enjoyed gardening. In particular we love growing green beans and tomatoes. Due to some rodent issues we have progressed to raised beds which we expect will not only help mitigate our issues but be easier on our backs. With favorable weather and extra free time we now can focus on moving forward with the planting.

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Another blogger I met during the 2017 A to Z was Niki from The Richness of a Simple Life. She introduced me to something called the Kindness Challenge, a seven week opportunity to practice your ability to focus on being kind. The focus this week is being kind to yourself and learning how to make yourself stronger.

Why would you not want to take a moment to be thankful for the blessings God has sprinkled into your life?

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Reflecting – Weekly Photo Challenge – 05/10/17

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Well I suppose you could say I sidestepped the sprit of this week’s photo challenge, but try as I may I could not ferret out a reflection photo. So, since I am still savoring the moment I watched my son grab his tangible representation of a college degree at my alma mater four days ago I am reflecting in a different way seeing a photo of him at about two years of age.

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Weekly Photo Challenge – Reflecting

 

 

 

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Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge: May 7, 2017

Do you ever roll back through your photos to see something you missed the first time? Or find something that when you look again you find a different form or flavor of humor? Then Cee Neuner’s Oddball Photo Challenge is just right for you to show off your wares.

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Now don’t go and call Child & Protective Services, I am not feeding children to the Abominable Snowman, we were just using this prop to advertise our Vacation Bible School at a local one day festival last spring.

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I found this mask along with several others in a museum while we were in Chicago with our daughter and her high school band for the 2015 Saint Patrick’s Day parade.

 

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Two bananas which grew together.

I photographed this banana on one of my mission trips to Belize.

 

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This is at my local landfill for collecting used motor oil that is purposed for recycling.

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Share Your World – May 8, 2017

Want to learn more about me? This Share Your World stuff is like peeling the onion. I promise I will try not to cause you to cry.

When you’re alone at home, do you wear shoes, socks, slippers, or go barefoot?

The majority of the time I wear shoes. I have a dog that goes outside often with me when I walk, so shoes are necessary. I do love to walk on the cool grass during summer however, so I am not always with my feet completely covered.

What was your favorite food when you were a child?

I ate enough peanut butter and jelly to ensure the manufacturing plants of Peter Pan peanut butter and Smucker’s jelly could forecast their future for decades. I will still eat it occasionally, but usually I am going for something else with longer staying power in my stomach.

Are you a listener or talker?

If you ask my wife she will say I am definitely a listener. I can talk, and do, but there are many times I would rather just listen to what is being said. I like to make sure I totally understand what is being said rather than speak out of turn and get it wrong.  Some good advice I heard is that we have tow ears and one mouth for a reason. Also, one of the Seven Habits of Highly Successful People says ‘Seek First to Understand, and Then to be Understood’. I am not perfect at this instruction, but try to make it a good, reliable habit.

Favorite thing to (pick one):  Photograph?  Write? Or Cook?

I like to photograph nature. Well, I like to photograph anything, but nature gives a free and unique show every day and sometimes many times each day. Sharing the photographs in challenges on WordPress gives me the opportunity to connect with others who also love to take pictures.

What is the easiest way for your to learn something new?  By reading, by seeing and doing, in a classroom?

I just completed a re-work of our back deck and I have to say I learned so much by just doing. There is innumerable how-to videos, books and magazine articles, but they all cover the best situations when everything works out just right. No matter how well I plan there is always situations where I have to be creative to overcome the obstacle.

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? 

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I was grateful to watch my son graduate from college. It was a very moving experience for me. I suppose I was more invested than some because I felt like my son needed the extra help in some ways. But embracing him moments after the ceremony ended I found myself overcome with the emotion of it all.

This week I am looking forward to resting some. We have pushed hard for the last few weeks trying to get everything ready for the graduation/birthday party we had this past Sunday. Yesterday we moved my son and his girlfriend home from school. Now I can turn to my gardening that has been on hold and enjoy some time in the great outdoors that isn’t tied to the celebration.

syw

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Inter – Stream of Consciousness Saturday

IMG_6984Today is a banner day for our family. The first college graduation of a child occurs today. Yes, today we will become intergenerational alumni of the same school, East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, Tennessee. I think most parents want their children to achieve just as much or more in their life than the parents have. My wife has built a career in the service industry, which is quite challenging, but I am a college graduate and really want both of our children to have that advantage in their lives.

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The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS May 6/17

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Questions I Think My Dog Would Ask – Chapter 3

QITMDWA

Welcome back for the second installment in this recurring series and if you are new we are glad to have you. For background to the newbies, this is a chance for my year and a half year old miniature Sheltie to speak her canine mind. If you were around Syudney for any amount of time you would realize her personality is so large that there has to be some questions she would like answered. I seek to be the best owner I can and attend to every need, so that is the reason we decided to bring her questions to this forum.

So this week’s QITMDWA is this, in Sydney’s words:

If I can go in Lowes, why can’t I go in Wal-Mart? I love to go anywhere with dad. Usually we go early in the morning and I know it is because he doesn’t want me to be alone at the house where I might wake up mom, Isaac or Meredith when they are home.

My favorite place to go is Lowes, because dad takes me in and everybody wants to pet me. They all tell me how pretty I am too. But there is this other place that dad goes and I have to stay in the car. What I want to know is if Wal-Mart hates dogs? Don’t they have what they need to clean up after me if I have an accident? I have finally learned how to let dad know when I need a walk, so why does Wal-Mart say no?

I knew this was a question on your mind because the look on your face when I get out makes me know you just don’t understand.

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Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge – 05/05/17

Do we really pay attention to which way everything goes? I think we are so automatic in our routines we have no idea what we see. That is why I enjoy the Which Way challenge.

This challenge sets out a broad set of criteria:

  • Roads:  gravel, asphalt, cobbled, dirt, freeway, expressway, highway, bridges
  • Indoor walkways:  hallways, aisles, people movers
  • Outdoor walks:  sidewalks, paths, trails
  • Stairs, elevators, escalators, or steps:  indoors, outdoors
  • Railway  tracks, monorails, ski lifts
  • Runways and starmacs
  • Ferry’s, canals and lochs
  • Parking lots, private driveways
  • Tunnels
  • Signs of any kind:  directional, informational, store signs, wind vanes
  • Maps that are posted as signs

 

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Highways 11 & 58 are two of the major ones in the eastern United States. I lived on Highway 11 for two and a half decades without realizing its importance.

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I live in a small town called Abingdon, in the state of Virginia. We are known for the Virginia Creeper Trail a hiking/biking trail and Barter Theater, where actors and actresses like Gregory Peck, Patricia Neal, Ned Beatty and others got their starts.

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I am also blessed to live within sight of Interstate 81 which runs from Maine down into Tennessee. There is such an advantage to having such ready access to a super highway like this.

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After nearly two years of multiple walks each day my miniature Sheltie certainly knows the way when we go out for a walk. I don’t always take her on the same circuit, but there is only a few possibilities, so she usually can figure it out quickly.

May 5th Which Way Challenge

 

 

 

 

Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge – April 28, 2017

Cee's WW

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Share Your World – May 1, 2017

Let’s get to know each other better shall we? I really enjoy getting to know bloggers better. Since we are unable to physically meet we have to learn about each other through our writing. Cee Neuner has created this weekly opportunity for us to figure out a little bit each week.  There is four questions plus the bonus.

Would you rather live where it is always hot or always cold? 

I suppose you could say I am blessed with a manageable mix of both hot and cold. I live in the mountains of Virginia where we see ranges from zero up to 95 degrees in the summer. I have been able to enjoy mission trips to the Central American country of Belize in three different Decembers where I wore shorts and Listened to Christmas music at an outdoor restaurant. I would prefer the warm over th cold because flowers can live and I enjoy the blooms.

Do you prefer long hair or short hair for yourself? 

Twenty-six years ago I met my wife who is a hair stylist. Before that time I had longer hair, at least for me. Nothing radical mind you, after all my dad was a former U.S. Navy seaman. Being a man of a certain age my hair is about as short as ever.

What is your favorite month of the year?

Being an optimistic person I can find a reason to love every moth. January is my birth month. March and April being flowers blooming. May and the summer months allow for all kinds of outside activities. October has colorful leaves, November has Thanksgiving and with December is Christmas. If I had to choose I would highlight April or May due to spring.

What is the easiest way for your to learn something new?  By reading, by seeing and doing, in a classroom?

At this very moment I am working on a re-building of our deck. I have never attempted such a complex project, but with the help of a knowledgeable friend, You Tube and previous experiences I am about to complete the project. I think I do well with a mix of every way of learning, but there is nothing like doing. Yes, you may have some mistakes, but the best thing about that is figuring out how to not repeat them.

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? 

I am grateful the rain from last weekend did not continue through this week such that I could not get further with my deck project. As far as what I look forward to my son is set to graduate from college with his Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice. On Sunday we will host a combination graduation/22nd birthday party and I look forward to seeing him receive the prize along with a thousand or so classmates.

syw

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Cee’s Oddball Photo Challenge – 05/01/17

 

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The plug that goes into this aerator that is used to loosen up the yard for moisture after the winter freeze.

Cruz Early last year when all of the various Republican presidential candidates were still vying for their chance to represent the G.O.P., I rolled up behind this Krispy Kreme truck and found a cheap form of mobile advertising.

 

 

 

 

hot rod So this may not be as oddball to some of you as me, but there is only specific times when classics like this emerge from their safe, dry hiding places to be seen in the public where the rare photograph is possible.

 

 

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Last year my daughter was a high school senior who enjoyed a last opportunity to go the her high school prom. My wife and some other mothers put on a formal dinner for four couples at our house and this was one of the floral decorations hanging from a ceiling fan.

This week’s Oddball Photo challenge link is here: Oddball

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Dogs of My Life – Angel

AUTHOR’S NOTE: This series is in honor of the latest addition to my canine history, Sydney, a Shetland Sheepdog or Sheltie pup that  joined our family on October 17th, 2015. As I approached this date I thought it would be neat for me and hopefully you to see and read about all the dogs in my life that proceeded Sydney.

After losing a dog the way we did with Callie, so near to delivering a litter of beautiful lab pups I swore and declare it would be a while before we had another. Little did I know another force was at work beyond my knowledge. When Callie had her pups we kept them confined out of the heat and elements in a carport. We were in the process of building in the carport when my wife came home from work on a Saturday to find a young black lab mix abandoned by the road.

My immediate reaction was a firm no. I am a dad, so if you are one you know how the story goes. Dad says no, mom wavers, kids win. My kids like dogs more no than they did at the time this dog came along, but they felt it was a sign from God. We are solid in our family about our faith and they knew how much I needed a dog, so they felt this was our Angel.

We estimated Angel was about six or seven months when she arrived at Alpine Acres, the spread where she lived for about six or seven years. I am not sure what caused her death, but it happened the same week my dad’s younger brother died and the two events struck me so hard I tail-spinned for the rest of the year.

Only the thought of adding a new dog later that year helped to suave the wounds. Thus you now are up to date on the history before my current fur baby Sydney.

To read the other posts in this series you can click on the names here: Snoopy, Puff, Master , Sparky, Jack, Louie and Callie.

 

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