Windows – Weekly Photo Challenge – 09/20/17


One of the ornate windows from the Biltmore House in Asheville, NC.



The Vanderbilt family’s ostentatious taste seems extravagant today, but must have been mind-blowing in the early days of the 1900s.







Weekly Photo Challenge – Windows








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Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Topic is Fun or Flowers – 09/26/17

This week the topic is Fun or Flowers.



In mid-August we visited the farm of some acquaintances that have taken what is usually a burdensome task, keeping the weeds down and made a beautiful flower display in its place.


One of the Dahlia cuttings from this season.


This is a hiking trip to a locale named the Devil’s Bathtub, in Scott County, Virginia near Fort Blackmore.


After celebrating several anniversaries at either Friday night football game or Saturday band competitions we took our first trip to Natural Bridge for our 24th.





Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge 09/26/17

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Layered – Weekly Photo Challenge – 09/20/17




It is the time of year in Virginia where the layers of color abound in the maple trees.



The ocean, mountains and glacier fragments in the Tracy Arm Fjord in Alaska taken September 6th, 2017.



The Mendenhall Glacier from Juneau Alaska taken on September 6th of 2017.


Hanging glaciers near Juneau, Alaska captured ruing our Whale Watching Excursion on September 6ht, 2017.

Weekly Photo Challenge – Layered








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Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Letter E – Needs to have two E’s in the topic word – 09/19/17

This week the topic must have two E’s in the topic word.


This is art work from the Baptist training Camp in Belize we use for lodging during our December mission trips. Heaven is the Double ‘E’ word that caught my eye.


Meredith, my daughter on the far left after enjoying an hour on the paddle board, resting with some friends before returning to shore.


Eyes on the camera instead of the puppet show at Heart House, which is in Maya Mopan, a village near the capital of Belmopan. Belize in 2015.


Cement mixer, Belize style, in December of 2015.




Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge 09/19/17

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Vol – Stream of Consciousness Saturday – 04/22/17

I can remember growing up and being too young to know exactly what it meant when I heard about the Vols. My parents always got the newspaper and I would see Vol this and Vol that, but it really made no sense to me. Until I got a little older and read the paper for myself. Then I picked up on the fact that the Vol I was hearing about was short for the local College football team, the Tennessee Volunteers.

There is no affection from me, a Virginian for this team. I just got so much of it spoon fed by well-meaning fans that I resolved to never pull for them to win a game. In fact when asked what team I support I will say any SEC team but U.T. In fact my favorite hails from Louisiana, Namely the L.S.U. Tigers.

#SOCS -09/16/17




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Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Candid Shots – 09/14/17

This week the topic is Candid Shots (human or animal). We want to see photographs of unposed people, family, friends, pets, animals in the wild.


Once we left Skagway on Thursday at 4:30 P.M. it was nearly 50 hours later that we docked in Victoria, British Columbia for our last shore excursion, a brief one of barely 5 hours. The rush of people leaving the ship for this quick jot into Canada was a steady stream.


Our excursion in Victoria was a horse drawn buggy ride with a young lady that was so hyper she nearly drove us nuts with her giggles and corny tourist jokes.


When trying to navigate a steep and rocky hiking trail looking your best for the photographer falls further down the priority list.


All good things must end and everyone walking down from the ship at the end of the cruise looked as though they had fought the valiant fight trying to empty the buffet lines.

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge – 09/14/17



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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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