Waiting – Weekly Photo Challenge – 09/13/17



During our mission trips to Belize we usually enjoy a “free day” where we become tourists and take in the local sights. On this day we were riding the river ferry back and saw a bus load of others waiting for their chance to visit the Mayan Ruins of Xunantonich.

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Anyone familiar with airports know there is so much waiting that comes with this mode of travel. I hear folks opine many times they hate flying, but I thin it is the only way to travel if you are trying to cover any distance.


I included a photo from this hiking adventure the last time I answered a Weekly Photo Challenge, showing a cliff. For this challenge I am considering the fact that due to the narrowness of the trail you have to wait your turn to ascend or descend.


Weekly Photo Challenge – Waiting








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Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Letter D – 4 letters words that start with D – 09/12/17

This week the topic is four letter words starting with D.

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I am barely 50 hours removed from our seven day cruise to Alaska where we enjoyed a Duck Tour around the streets of Ketchikan, Alaska before motoring through the waters nearby.

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This is a photo of the docks at Seattle on Sunday when our cruise ship returned to Seattle.

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Amazingly there were a few dogs on our cruise and this is the place they got to take care of their business.

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This is the best photo I have from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada of dusk.

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My Sheltie, named Sydney, of course.

I have so many more photos that I will search for the upcoming themes, so if you haven’t been to Alaska or Canada, stay tuned!








Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge 09/12/17

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Cee’s Oddball Photo Challenge – 09/03/17

The oddball challenge is one of my favorites because I have an eye for the unusual and try to snap photos when I see it.


Guess who came out looking like a genius when it came time to design a volcano? This dad!


Yes, we did have a lot of snow on this occasion, plenty enough to sled, but the warm up started early and our wet weather spring was active.


Why do I consider this oddball? Because instead of riding my prized Kubota while removing snow I was reduced to watching from the window due to blood clots.


Although they are not frightening or threatening in any way and pretty common inside building in Belize, where I go for my international mission trips it is an odd occurrence.





Cee’s Oddball Photo Challenge – 09/03/17




















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Questions I Think My Dog Would Ask – Chapter 5 – Why Won’t They Let Nanny Feed Me?


Welcome back for the next 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 two year old miniature Sheltie to speak her canine mind. If you were around Sydney 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:

Why won’t they let Nanny feed me? Dogs like to eat, you know? We eat anything and everything, but dad and mom had me on a strict diet of the dry food. I guess I can understand a little because the good stuff can make my tummy hurt and make me a little messt if you know what I mean. That doesn’t mean I won’t still patrol the floor for the pieces and parts that miss a mouth or a plate. That is some good nuggets to come across, let me tell you!




Now it is a different story if nanny comes to our house or I get to go to hers. She is my friend and slips me food when no one is looking. Well, she did, until the “Marshmallow Incident.” I thought they tasted so good and she kept feeding me so I kept eating. Then later all I ate came back for another visit. It was not good and dad was really mad. I don’t think he was too mad at me, since I am a dog, but now Nanny is not to feed me at all.

I didn’t think she would get in trouble and hate that she did, but she was just trying to feed me. I hear that is what a Nanny is made to do.


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Structure Weekly Photo Challenge – 08/30/17



A Hosta with really heavy dew which changed the look of its structure.


I can call this structure part of a trail because I carefully made my way around it, but you may refer to it as a cliff!

Weekly Photo Challenge – Structure








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Cee’s Oddball Photo Challenge – 08/27/17

The oddball challenge is one of my favorites because I have an eye for the unusual and try to snap photos when I see it.





Before you can think it, no, I did not go cheap on a cat house. This is Sophie, a short term visitor to our home who chose her own play place.


This little paddle wheel doesn’t really power anything.


I am not sure why Bear Town since it is not the name of the town.


Seems like a clunky kind of slogan to me.



Cee’s Oddball Photo Challenge – 8-27-17




















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#ThreeThingsThursday – What made me smile this week…

Here is another 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!



ONE – This past week was filled with ministry opportunities, including the delivery of items intended for our Belize mission trip in December. I got to work with a young man who will make his first international mission trip a full thirty years younger than when I took mine. I cannot wait to see how God uses him!


TWO – This same young man joined me as well as several others who worked to share faith in Christ at the NASCAR event held this past weekend at Bristol Tennessee’s famed “world’s Fastest Half-Mile”. We were able to share and pray with many about the concerns of this mortal life.


THREE – Between the two regularly scheduled Sunday services we were blessed to witness a six person river baptism. Five of the six who entered the water were teens, which is certainly a great statement about how they are being reached in our church. I was also encouraged that so many came out to support them.



What things are you thankful for in your life this week? Why not take a moment to be thankful for the blessings God has sprinkled into your life?


#ThreeThingsThursday –08/24/17



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Corners – Weekly Photo Challenge – 08/23/17


In the lingo of NASCAR the corners are where you transition from the straight stretch to a turn and the four corners of the “World’s Fastest Half Mile” are infamous for stripping the sheet metal from anyone unlucky enough to misjudge.






Weekly Photo Challenge – 8/23/17





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The Great American Eclipse – 2017

If you live within the borders of the continental United States there is a little thing (BIG, BIG THING, THINK HUGE!) coming on Monday August 21st, something that a majority of the three hundred plus million residents have never seen. On this day for a whopping two and a half minutes the moon will cover the sun to create a solar eclipse. All over our country people are scrambling to put themselves in place to get the best view. With that comes all manner of logistical challenges for the lucky inhabitants and municipalities poised to make the most of this “once in a lifetime event”.

I didn’t want to patrol the sidelines in such a time as this since I have a great affection for anything to do with nature and the stars. That’s why I am doing something for the first time with my collection of blogs in this year of numerous firsts, I am in effect going to simulcast across three of my blogs and do a humor piece on the Fiction Playground about the eclipse. Many of you may be regular visitors to all of the blogs, so for your benefit I will say this post will be the same on Chasing the Blooms and Living the J.O.Y. Principle.


I will freely admit of all the cosmic players I find the moon to be the most exciting. While it is truly a solid spherical object the interaction with the sun gives it such a dynamic lifecycle as over the 28 days it goes from total nothing through every possible fraction to a fully illuminated glory.


Source: Google


While I wish I could have supplied my own photo of a full moon I don’t possess the right photography equipment to totally provide the justice tot he beauty of our moon. While I have always loved to watch the moon as it works through its cycle I truly began to appreciate it when I began daily routine of walking my Miniature Sheltie after dark a couple of years ago. Most nights there is a great view of my favored celestial object and I still thrill every time the moon is at its peak.

We have been blessed to make numerous trips tot he ocean where we get to experience even more of the moons grandeur, both through the waves it creates and by seeing the moon in a different light. I have been closely monitoring the moon cycle this summer because we are soon to embark on a seven day Alaskan cruise and we will be able to enjoy a full moon on three of the nights. I know it will be a glorious sight.

So back to my original point of this section, which is the moon being the star. In a solar eclipse the moon gets to turn the tables, if even so briefly on its bigger brother, the sun. Every so many years the moon lines up perfectly between the sun and earth to blot out the sun for the briefest of periods. We are blessed to bear witness in the U.S.A. to this fabulous event on Monday.


The folks at the Weather Channel are about to burst with excitement and rightly so!  I have watched them come from their infancy into the undisputed authority on weather, storms and events like this. I can remember watching them document Hurricane   as it ravages New Orleans and the Gulf Coast and Superstorm Sandy when it made big news as the latest and greatest storm to hit the Northeast. This team really knows how to cover all the angles of such a huge event.

On Monday they will have folks far and wide, from a plane of the west coast of America, in cities from coast to coast in the “zone of totality” (which simply is the narrow band where the sun will be totally covered) to a cruise ship in the Eastern Atlantic. While I intend to venture outside when the time is right I imagine I will have my television tuned to this coverage like many others.


I can remember a partial solar eclipse when I was in a community college in our town about thirty years ago. I cannot recall all the hub-bub over the special glasses that are available this time around. I do remember there were special devices to allow us to witness this occurrence.

Thanks to my “sister” I have a prized pair of these glasses. As I watched some of the Weather Channel coverage they documented the plight of many trying to get their own pair and waiting for hours in all kinds of conditions to do so. As with all things some people were trying to make a buck, with some glasses listen on eBay for $999!


It is a shame there is only 1 pair left because I have four people in my house that would love to have these!

Also yesterday I heard from the weather channel that there are some “unapproved” glasses in circulation. By unapproved they mean they will not protect your eyes properly when you look at the sun. While the entities who sold these glasses promise a refund at this late date the hope of getting replacements is slim. I am assured of safe viewing as a field tested mine last night by looking at the full sun and what I saw more resembled the moon at night.

I also know that school systems around the country are altering their schedules to take advantage of this event. There are numerous concerns, from children exiting buses in the darkened conditions to the possibility of curious young eyes forever damaged from viewing the eclipse without the benefit of the protective lenses.

Perhaps one of the biggest concerns is for those schools in the “path of totality” that have to deal with the massive influx of “Lookie-Loos” eager to see the sight. With gasoline, food and other necessities stretched you can imagine how the regular operations of a school system could get crazy.



As I prepare to enjoy this day I cannot forget to stop and thank God for a number of things: the gift of sight, to be able to enjoy this, the gift of knowledge to be able to understand how and why it occurs, the love of nature and science, the blessing of location, as this particular eclipse is only going to be witnessed by those in America, and the opportunity to use this as an evangelistic tool.

God gives us so many reminders that he is in charge of this world and everything that surrounds it. He made an intelligent design in which everything blends together in such a beautiful way to allow us to inhabit this planet and enjoy its wonders. In return God asks that we consider how we can honor Him and the sacrifice of his son by confessing our sins and accepting Jesus as our personal Savior.

I have learned just this week from my nineteen year old daughter that there will be another eclipse in seven years that will form an X in relation to the path of this one. But truly none of us is promised another day, much less seven years. This could very well be the last eclipse any of us sees if the time is complete for the return of Jesus Christ. This is the best time in the history of the world to learn how Christ can make your life better in every way. I would love to be able to share that with you and can point you toward my Faith based blog Living the J.O.Y. Principle for more information.


How in the world could we know what will come out of this experience? Hopefully people will develop more of an appreciation for the intricacies of God’s creation.  Also, perhaps many young ones who really never gave science a chance will have their imaginations piqued by this moment in time. I know I am beyond excited and have been since I first learned of the eclipse in a newspaper article in March of this year.

I can’t wait to enjoy the millions of images that will bombard the internet, television and magazines starting Monday evening. While I won’t be able to capture my own I am sure there will be plenty to enjoy.

Tell me your thoughts about this event. Do you live in a region where you will enjoy “totality”? Does your town have an event planned? Do you have the right equipment to capture the beauty of this event?

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Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge – 08/18/17

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



Never fear, this is no ‘Near Death’ experience with the bright light at the end of a tunnel, it is just the poor quality of low light photography with a DROID MAXX smartphone.




If you have never had the pleasure of enjoying the Blue Ridge Parkway it is a wonderful experience that stretches about 400 miles through Virginia and North Carolina. Just make sure you are in no hurry to get to the end, because when fog such as this lays in they close the route.


There are several tunnels along this scenic parkway of  old construction styles.


There is also numerous gorgeous walking trails to enjoy. Some are easy while others give you a workout.


Cee's WW

Cee’s Which Way – 08/18/17





Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge – 07/14/17

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Cee’s Oddball Photo Challenge – 08/13/17

The oddball challenge is one of my favorites because I have an eye for the unusual and try to snap photos when I see it.


We got this photo sitting beside a small café near the Lincoln Memorial on July 4th. Always the storyteller I can just imagine the birds discussing the reason for so many humans milling around the National Mall on this day.


On the front of this small set of cars is the remains of a locomotive.


When we first saw this monument about seven years ago it was after dark with a much different ambiance. But I find it no less impressive in the light of day. Dedicated to those who served during the Korean War it is definitely different than most of the other monuments in America’s Capital City.


On the first half of our trip to PA and DC, we stopped at an attraction called the Choo Choo Barn to satisfy my appetite for model trains. In their large layout they have a small body of water with live goldfish. I definitely have not encountered any live animals in my train adventures before this.

Cee’s Oddball Photo Challenge – 8-13-17




















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The Dogs of My Life: Are you Sydney?

Now that I am up to date with all the Dogs of My Life posts I can get down to sharing with you my current dog’s story. Sydney is a miniature Shetland Sheepdog we got in October of 2015. This is the first dog we have ever had that is 100% inside. Well, what I mean is she sleeps inside. If I am outside she wants to go too.

In this post I want to share with you the process of finding Sydney. After the experiences we have had where we predominantly chose a canine with Labrador Retriever background we chose to change breeds with hopes of finding one that would be around longer. That is another reason to allow her to sleep indoors all the time.

When I began to research breeds I found that Shetland Sheepdogs, or Shelties have a long life expectancy. But they also can carry a hefty price tag. On the order of several hundred dollars. You know how the internet it, you can find anything you desire if price is no object. Well, in my house, price is always an object. It may be a larger or smaller one depending on the need at the time, but it is always a consideration.

Thankfully we found a local breeder less than five miles from our home. To top that I already knew the breeders from other interactions. Our first visit to see Sydney and her siblings was in August of 2015. It is not easy to pick out the puppy you want at this age, but I think we made the best choice.

Then about a week before we got to bring her home for good the breeder brought her by for what my 17 year old daughter called a “puppy play date. Even then at six weeks old she was tiny.




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Elemental – Weekly Photo Challenge – 08/09/17



WPC – 08/09/2017WP-Elemental

What is your favorite element? I cannot choose between them as each has its own unique characteristics to enjoy. But I probably would choose water to highlight here.




The last photo is the Great Graduation Party Monsoon of 2016.


WPC – 08/02/2017



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Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Take a New Photo – Any Topic- 08/10/2017

The Black & White topic for this week is wide open.


My second crop of green beans are making me excited.

A couple of floral “ladies” at a restaurant in our town.


I captured this on the 4th of July on the national Mall, but forgot to share it until now.





Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge 08/10/17



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Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Cemeteries & Tombstones – 08/08/17

This week the topic is Cemeteries and Tombstones.


During our second visit to Arlington National Cemetery this past Independence Day we made the arduous climb across the massive cemetery to witness the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Solider. On this particular day there was families placing wreaths in memory of those resting forever here.


While I am just a touch too young to have witnessed the splendor of the Camelot presidency I do still find all the mystique surrounding the Kennedy’s to be intriguing. We swung by the Eternal Flame on our way up to the Tomb of the Unknown.


If the neat rows of tombstones doesn’t affect you while at this solemn place you have no heart. Often there is heard the sentiment that freedom is not free and everyone that occupies a piece of space here knew that very well.


You know I had to include some kind of model railroad shot and I remembered this little scene from a train show in North Carolina. The quality is not so great because I think I was in a hurry that day and did not think to retry the picture this year.






Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge 08/08/17

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