Life Through My iPhone

iphone94It’s time for another Life Through My iPhone post though I have to warn you – it’s not been that exciting around here. Makes you really want to read now doesn’t it?

These are my kids – we were out to dinner to celebrate the boy’s birthday. He turned 20 years old, no longer a lost and confused teenage boy that I used to always call him and his friends. He’s now a young man, very confident and focused on his studies.

And he’s a goof ball – that will never change.

iphone91Do you Snap Chat? Or have Snap Chat? I don’t know how to even address today’s social media applications – is it a noun? But if you use it, is it a verb?

Anyway, the boy went back to his school the day after the girl left our home for college. He had this photo on his Snap Chat (or he Snap Chatted it?) I can’t figure it out -

iphone92The girl’s move in day at college was really overwhelming for her and for us. It wasn’t because we didn’t have any help. When we pulled up, about ten really cheerful people swarmed the cars and grabbed all of her things to bring up to her dorm room. It frankly made her very nervous, she whispered to me that she felt rushed. And that people were touching her stuff.

I didn’t have to carry a thing so I was totally alright with it – but I understood. It’s a big adjustment. She refused at first to pose for a photo in her room so the boy posed for her. Like I said, he’s a goof.

iphone9I was not going to leave without a photo and she finally relented.

iphone7She then decided to pose with her things because it’s strange that the only photo we have is of the boy. The bedding and all of the accessories are very much “her.”

iphone6The husband was on vacation this week and his choice was to spend it fishing every day. I felt he deserved this time – he’s been so busy working and then dealing with all of our vacation plans and then moving the girl – well, he needed time by himself, and I understood.

iphone1He hasn’t caught many fish but he did catch this one – with teeth. Ugh.

iphone4We haven’t cycled in about three weeks and were invited to go with a group of people – but decided that our time was better spent drinking wine at our favorite winery and listening to our friends sing. Everyone has to make choices -

iphone5I’m going to do some cooking this weekend and this plant is one reason by. It’s a Honduran pepper plant recently given to me by a friend. She knows me – I’m waiting for the peppers to turn red before I pick them. And I hope I don’t kill it before the peppers are ready.

iphone3Speaking of peppers – take a look at this. My friend Kathy-girl offered me some peppers from her garden. And wow, did she have some peppers! It was beautiful! There are all kinds; jalapenos, rellenos, bell, and of course . . . .

iphone2. . . Habaneros! Fantastic right?

Kathy-girl made some habaneros pepper jelly from these that is just out of this world. I have a party to attend the weekend and you bet I’ll be whipping up some spicy Thai food with these. I’m very excited.

iphone8Speaking of Thai food, I’m also going to making some for the girl. Yes, she’s coming home this weekend after only a week away. It’s such a strange thing – the boy could not come home for the weekend. The girl can visit! Really? That can happen?

I was worried about her after we left her school. We texted every day and she assures me that she’s fine. Everyone is “super nice.” She likes her roommate and said they were out shopping which was a really good sign. She is riding at school and she said she was busy. Both she and Roommate Danielle are biology majors and it helps to have a study buddy.

iphone93She’s a strong girl. The husband was the one who suggested she come home this weekend. I told her I would make her Thai food this weekend and she was happy about that. She can eat really, really, I mean really, spicy food. A girl after my own heart. She also claims the cafeteria food makes her tummy hurt. I said it was probably stress to which she replied, “No, it’s the food.”

We also spoke yesterday about trying out for the equestrian team. She said she didn’t know if she’ll have time – and I told her it was up to her but that I supported her decision. She has an academic scholarship – not a riding scholarship, and I’m glad she’s putting things in proper perspective.

That being said, she’s still riding at the school’s beautiful stables and joining the equestrian club which will keep her around horses and plenty busy. Horses have been her life for so many years, it’s in her blood.

So – here’s to a wonderful weekend of celebration, Thai food, and hugs from the girl.

Love from me to you!

August 29, Four Legged Fall

aug29Fall is coming – I feel it in the air. It’s my favorite season so I’m looking forward to it. However, this year, more than any other year, felt like it flew by. I think permanent change, like becoming empty nesters, makes one feel more introspective. I mean, are we really ready for this?

We better beĀ  . . .

aug30This little one was watching me walked around the garden snapping photos of flowers. She’s a great critic of my work and when one misses our two legged children, our four legged ones steps in to attempt to fill the gap.

Have a wonderful weekend -

August 28, The Great Outdoors

aug28So I was visiting a friend and his family last weekend and he took me to his temporary living quarters. It turns out to be a very luxurious and very comfortable – camper.

He and his family have been there four years. They set up their camper outside of his mother’s home in order to stay close to her and care for her after she had a traumatic health event. Four years later, they are still there, camping under the stars.

They are renting out their home in the meantime and I thought to myself, “We should do that.”

I really dislike camping – primary because of the no shower and no toilet situation – but camping now a days doesn’t necessarily mean roughing it. I can actually have coffee under a leafy tree canopy while watching The Bachelor on a satellite dish. Who would have thought it. We’re empty nesters now – this can actually happen.

I’m itching already -

The Hauntings Of The Forts

ghost92For the most part I believe in the supernatural world, but when it’s convenient, like when I’m in a scary place where ghosts abound, I tell myself they’re not real. I convince myself – I talk to myself – I sing to myself.

Or like in the case of the forts in San Juan, I just didn’t even entertain the thought even though it’s patently obvious that if ghosts were to live anywhere, they would live there.

The tunnels and hallways deep in the fort are stifling and claustrophobic causing your mind to play tricks on you and the hair in the back of your neck stands up – maybe it’s just me. There were times, like when we were in the dungeon that I literally felt a presence of something – and I resisted the urge to run screaming from the room.

That’s not an exaggeration.

I chalked it up to the creepiness of the fort. After all, hundreds of men probably suffered and died within its walls. It’s easy to imagine -

After we got home, the boy looked up hauntings in the fort – thank goodness he waited until after we left the island. He informed me that the forts were some of the most haunted places in the world – in the world? So glad I didn’t know that when I was there.

As I went through our vacation photos, he stood over my shoulder and found orbs in some of them. An orb is a light that has no apparent source and which represents a ghost presence. Ah me – so scary. When I was in Newport News with Neighbors Beth & Susan, we took a ghost tour and tried to capture these elusive orbs with our camera, but were unable. Now as I look through my photos, I realize that I caught something, and I wasn’t even trying. I was in denial remember?

Repeat after me, there are no such things as ghost, there are no such things as ghost . . .

ghost1But then I began to see . . . something. Do you see that light source by Sydney-girl? Yeah, that’s an orb. It has no apparent light source but yet, it’s very shiny. It’s a dark room so nothing is reflecting it – that I could see anyway.

Weird huh?

ghost2In this photo, Sydney-girl is looking at the sea through the long, skinny window. Do you see the light source to the left? It’s pretty innocuous, but look clooooosserrr…

It looks like a figure with a head – well doesn’t it?

I was standing at the entry way and I thought it was me – but then it would have been a shadow, rather than a lighted figure . . . really unusual – or maybe it’s in my mind. But there’s definitely a light source shaped like a head and shoulders don’t you think?

ghost3I think this one is the creepiest. Do you see the bluish light source on the tunnel floor? It’s very inconsistent with the light source from the tunnel. According to the boy, it’s a classic orb.

I believe – I believe!

ghost4I had to look a little closer at this one. There’s a light below the benches/cots on the lower left of the photo. At first, it’s really not noticeable at all and I couldn’t see what the boy was seeing.

You have to squint a little . . . ok, maybe a lot.

ghost9

I’ve blown it up for you. Do you see it? It’s underneath the bench, lower left . . .

ghost91Here it is, I’ve blown up the photo even more.

It’s not exactly conclusive evidence Mr Holmes but it’s close enough.

ghost5Look at the above photo. There’s a light source, an orb, on the wall on the lower right.

I should have put an arrow there -

ghost6I took two consecutive snaps of my camera and you can see that the light source has moved slightly from the photo above. It looks like a little firefly but there were no bugs in the hallway. And no possible way it could have been illuminated by another light source.

The only possible conclusion? Ghosts! It’s not that far-fetched!

The boy’s theory on ghosts is this. There are two kinds, the benign ghosts, and the kind that mess with you. The benign ghosts do things over and over, like a sentry standing guard. According to the boy, they may not even know they are dead. The second kind of ghosts do things like pull your hair and can actually hurt you. They can be signs of demonic activity or at the same time, they can be angels who protect you. It’s a part of the supernatural world where there is a struggle of good and evil.

When I was a little girl, I loved ghosts stories around the campfire but as an adult, I want to leave the supernatural world alone. I’ve seen too much, felt too much, experienced too much.

Do you believe?

August 26, Popsicles

aug26The girl has been at school since Friday and so far, we’re hanging in there. I do have a feeling of loss, there’s no denying it. The change is really palpable and just hangs in the air. She’s only three hours away but that’s literally a hop, skip and jump away when compared where the boy is going to school.

These corn flower popsicles remind me of you, something so vibrant and young. I admit it, I’m not so young anymore and I miss having youth around.

Happy Tuesday. Hug your little munchkins today!

The Awesome Power Of Social Media

socialmedia1We ask the kids to be polite and put their phones away at dinner. But then again, the husband and I are just as guilty at times. Here I’m asking the girl for a photo on our first night of vacation in San Juan last week.

Wait, she says with her finger. She’s busy -

socialmedia2When her conversation – or whatever she was doing – is finished, she then poses for me.

I admit it can get annoying but I appreciate this new era of constant information flow – after all, I have a blog.

socialmedia3Here my friends at our 30th high school reunion are on their phones – but I think they were exchanging contact information.

One of the gentlemen approached me at the reunion and if you’ve ever been to one, you know how difficult it can be to remember names and faces. After all, it was 30 years ago. In this case, this classmate, his name is Classmate Tim, said to me, “It looks like you’re doing well, your kids are doing well.”

I looked at him and tried to remember him from all those years ago and I drew a blank. He said, “I’m (Classmate Tim).” And I remembered the name, but I still couldn’t remember him. But what was really bemusing was how he knew so much about me and I couldn’t remember him from Adam (of the Garden of Eden).

Then it dawned on me, I said, “Are you my friend on facebook?” He said yes. Aha. Slightly creepy, but aha.

It’s not the fact that he knew so much about me that I found disturbing, after all, I accepted a friend request from a total stranger. It’s the fact that I put so much of myself out there.

Oh well, too late now.

socialmedia4That brings me to this – is social media in this age of information overload a good thing or a bad thing? It’s a question I struggle with sometimes, particularly when there is drama among the teenage crowd or texting at the dinner table.

But then there’s the ice bucket challenge. It’s purely a social media phenomena and at first, I wasn’t sure how I felt about it. Then as I watched more and more videos and how it was bringing attention ALS, I began to appreciate the heart of people, many of whom would never make a spectacle of themselves on the internet except that they really felt it would make a difference. I thought of my sister and her long battle with ALS. The above photo was taken in June of last year and she would pass away three months later. She and her family suffered the debilitating effects of the disease for eight years and I know at times they felt that no one understood and no one cared. Now people know – and all it took was a baseball player and his family to start a campaign that touched off a social media storm.

socialmediafI also thought of our friend Tom, who passed away from ALS last June. This disease knows no demographic, no ethic background, no age difference. It does not discriminate.

As a result the ALS Association has raised 700 times more money this year than at the same time last year. It’s a miracle and it’s a blessing.

Check it out here.

So are you doing the ice bucket challenge and posting it for all your family and friends to see? I hope so. And it hope that simple act moves the hearts of other to donate to help combat this disease that has tragically taken so many lives.

Bless you!