2014: It’s been a great year!

January…began with me having my grandson, Christopher, visit with me before I sent him on to be with his mother 1,000 miles away. It was a little challenging having him here but I hated to say goodbye.
Look Up at Shenandoah River State Park(w)

February began as January ended, very cold. I was still recovering financially from many challenges that had happened to me and was happy to drink a little wine with my BFF and her daughter on a cold February Day.

Girl Friend Time

Girl Friend Time

March was my big month. I was asked to be the Artist in Residence during the run of Jesus Christ Superstar at a community theater in the county. I was very honored to participate and my friends were so happy for me we went to see a performance together one Sunday afternoon.
Week 10 My posse

I finished up March when my friends and I visited the winery of rock and roller Dave Matthews. We packed a lunch and it was warm enough to eat it (with our wine, of course) on the closed in deck. We also made a stop at the Trump tasting room, which left me unimpressed.

My awesome friends and I

My awesome friends and I

In April I continued on my photographer’s high when fellow blogger and author, Sandra Conner asked to use one of my pictures in her book; Imagine.

For Easter I made my way across the Bay Bridge to celebrate with my family. So far this is a yearly tradition. I can only hope we will continue.

The following week my friend Carole and I went to Covington Virginia to take pictures of the hump back bridge.

In May my now 22-year-old left home for the first time to go to trade school for 4 months. Looking back on that time I am amazed at his growth.


I hit the road as soon as he was gone taking my first overnight trip of the year with my friend Rick to Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania.

My trip to Longwood Gardens, Pennsylvania

My trip to Longwood Gardens, Pennsylvania

As much as I love to go sometimes the best part about May is staying home. Every year our town has a Mayfest Celebration that I truly enjoy.

Downtown Strasburg just before the annual Mayfest parade.

Downtown Strasburg just before the annual Mayfest parade.

The following week Carole and I were back in Charlottesville Virginia visiting The Barboursville Ruins, which just happens to set on the same property as the winery.

My grandson, Nathan, and I visited a local attraction, Shenandoah Caverns the third week in May.

My best friend and I spent a day together touring the local town of Luray, Virginia and discovered a wonderfully unique art gallery. The Warehouse Art Gallery. It’s worth the visit if you are in the area.

The Warehouse Art Gallery(w)# (5)

I closed the month out with a trip to Culpeper Virginia; looking for LOVE and finding a zebra.

June is my birthday month and I celebrated each week with a different friend. I made another trek to Culpeper, visited a Lavender Farm, and a couple of wineries, had some nice surprises, and even saw a bear. It was a great month!

The nearby winery where I celebrated my birthday with my friend Linda.

The nearby winery where I celebrated my birthday with my friend Linda.

July was a bit of a let down after the busy months of May and June. I still managed to hit the road although this month I was alone more. Sometimes it is good to be alone. It gives you time to reflect and to hear your thoughts out loud.

I found the best cherry pie in July at a general store in a tiny town on a back road that I was lost on.

I met my sister in Frederick Maryland one evening for dinner, just the two of us. Frederick is a halfway point between our homes and we made plans to do it again but life keeps getting in the way.

I spent what would turn out to be the last day trip I would take with my ex. If it was meant to be it would have been but it didn’t so its not.

I’m okay with that.

The Sky from Afton Mountain(w)

I beat my grandson at bowling and learned a valuable lesson.

Nathan Bowling(w)

A couple I work with asked me to shoot their sex of the baby announcement pictures in July. I was honored.

I wrote one of my most popular posts ever in the month of July. It continues to get hits. I’m proud of it for its public service aspect.
Check it out: Facebook: Paying For What You Get

In August I headed out by myself once again. I went to The Sunflower Farm, drove through the back of Leesburg stopping at a dairy farm for ice cream and a thrift market for pictures. Sometimes I just really enjoy my own company.

I spent the next weekend celebrating with a dear friend at her baby shower.
4 Prego's(w)

I spent time with my grandson, Nathan in August, at the fair
Nathan waiting for the Sizzler to start(w)
and chasing rainbows
Chasing a Rainbow(w)

And then I was off to the beach. It was a good time to connect with old friends but an even better time to reflect on my life. (I do that a lot, don’t I?)

Signs of the Beach(w)# (9)

I was excited to see September get here. Although it is still summer in September the promise of autumn is just over the horizon. I was a little materialistic in September. I treated myself to a new bag and a Kindle (which I was a bit intimidated by at first but now love), and the best gift, a pass to Skyline Drive.

In September I took my second overnight trip of the year to Roanoke Virginia. Roanoke is only a few hours from me but I have never been. I loved it and hope to go back in 2015.

Mabry Mill(w)

And then, the best month of all; October! This is my favorite time of the year.

I had two different weeks of vacation in October. The first one was rather quiet and rained the whole time. Although I found the weather annoying I knew the rain would make the autumn colors more vibrant for my second week of vacation. That was the important week because that is the week I went to Gettysburg.

That first week I visited a new winery which I really enjoyed. The hospitality at Zephaniah is enough reason to re-visit but the wine affirms it. I hope to get back in 2015.

Desert Rose is a more local winery, just about 35 minutes away. I visit a few times a year. One rainy Sunday my friend Carole lured me out of my pajamas and out of the house with the promise of wine and the music of one of our favorite local artists, Robbie Limon.

Robbie Limon at Desert Rose in October

Robbie Limon at Desert Rose in October

The next week we were in Annapolis Maryland “enjoying” The Renaissance Festival. The best part was the children (of all ages).

Ren Fes for facebook(w)# (29)

I continued to make use of my Skyline Drive pass in October, trying to catch the glorious sunsets.
Autumn Sunset on Dickey Ridge(w)

My nephew got married the third week of October
. Family time is always fun.
TJ and Dominique

And then I was off to Gettysburg. I had a room for three nights and got to visit with my cousins and my siblings plus go out on my own trying to get the most awesome shots of the battlefield in October, shopping (mostly browsing), and just enjoying my adult self.

Autumn in Gettysburg(w)

It was too beautiful and too enjoyable not to want to repeat. I hope I go again in 2015.
Gettysburg National Cemetery(w)

The highlight of November was definitely taking my grandson Nathan to the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center of the Smithsonian. I booked us a room and we stayed over night; eating at a local restaurant, then swimming in the hotel pool. The next day we visited the museum before heading home that evening.

Jet Stream(w)

For Veteran’s Day I took a trip to Culpeper to pay my respects.

The next week I helped my BFF celebrate her birthday. Four of us went to Woodlawn and the Frank Lloyd Wright home in Arlington Virginia before topping off the evening at Barrel Oak Winery. Great fun on a rainy Monday in November.

Woodlawn plantation with my BFF in the far corner waving.

Woodlawn plantation with my BFF in the far corner waving.

And then there was December December can be difficult when the kids are grown (and 1000 miles away), you are older (like I almost am), and single. It takes effort not to let yourself simply lay on the couch weeping over Hallmark Christmas movies. You gotta plan.

The first week of December, in an effort to infuse the Christmas spirit into my soul, my friend and I visited Oatlands Plantation, all done up for the holidays. There were supposed to be four of us that day but two were sick, it is also the season for that. Still we enjoyed ourselves, I found some JoY, and we left humming a few Christmas Carols.

Oatlands Bathtub(w)
On Christmas eve eve we went to a lovely restaurant in West Virginia decorated beautifully for the holiday and then on to an outdoor park where we could walk around and ooo and aahh over the Christmas lights.

John's Family Restaurant at Christmas

John’s Family Restaurant at Christmas

On Christmas Eve I had every intention of staying home all day and working on this post (and another I still have not gotten to). But my best friend sent me a text and said “Come over for snacks, wine, and fun conversation at 5:00”. I was fashionably late at 5:05.

Christmas Day I woke up early and so did the 22-year-old. “Let’s open presents!” he said in a voice I never hear that time of morning. We did, we hugged and then we went on our Merry way. He went to the girlfriends and I to my sister’s house.

Me and my sis, Christmas Day

Me and my sis, Christmas Day

December turned out rather well after all. In fact I had a pretty good year.



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