Saturday, January 29, 2011

Secretariat Revisited

I was SO excited this afternoon.  I got my copy of Secretariat in the mail.  I loved this movie when I saw it at the theater, and now I can watch it any time I want.  Of course, I had to pop it in the DVD player and watch it again.  It made me cry, again.  Of course, we already knew what the outcome was.  He was probably the greatest racehorse of all time.  No horse has matched his speed at the Belmont -- ever.  The bonus of having the DVD is watching the interviews of the people who actually watched him win the Belmont.  They said his conformation was perfection, and that his intelligence was only outmatched by his speed and his love of running. He loved attention and actually puffed up his body and posed for the cameras.  What a horse!

At the very beginning of the movie and again as Secretariat finishes the last of the triple crown races at the Belmont, Diane Lane who plays Penny Tweedy, his owner, recites several lines from the Book of Job, Job 39: 19-24.  I didn't hear these words when I saw the movie at the theater because the movie was so emotional.  I don't know how I missed the quote because it is so absolutely beautiful.  I wanted to share it with all of you:

            Do you give the horse his strength
or clothe his neck with a flowing mane?
Do you make him leap like a locust,
striking terror with his proud snorting?
He paws fiercely, rejoicing in his strength,
and charges into the fray.
He laughs at fear, afraid of nothing;
he does not shy away from the sword.
The quiver rattles against his side,
along with the flashing spear and lance.
In frenzied excitement he eats up the ground;
he cannot stand still when the trumpet sounds.

If you get a chance to see Secretariat, take the time.  You will love it.

Original photo taken by Ken Mist at Kentucky Horse Park

Snow Days

The snow started Tuesday evening.  The ground was lightly covered when I woke up at 4 a.m. on Wednesday but then the freezing rain began.  As the day went on, the temps went up and it rained, sometimes adding little bits of sleet.  About 3 in the afternoon, it started to sleet, small pellets of ice building up on the ground.  

An hour later, it had begun to snow, large soft flakes spilling from the clouds.  It was beautiful!

By 6 p.m., there was a surprising amount of snow on the ground and covering the trees.  It had built up on the crepe myrtle outside my window like frosting dripping on the top of a cake.  

The next morning, the snow had stopped.  What was left behind was a foot of shining winter wonderland white.  I LOVE snow.  Of course I had to go out and shovel out my driveway.  I worked up a sweat and had to take a shower.  Now I'm a little sore and stiff, but I don't mind shoveling.  My theory is that if I had to do it more often, I'd be in much better shape.  This is what it looked like the next morning.

Have I said yet how much I LOVE winter?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


"Anticipation.   Anticipation is making me late.  Is keeping me waiting. . ."  We're due for a snowstorm!  I'm so excited.  They're saying we're due to get 4-6 inches of the white stuff.  This will be the first significant snow we've had this winter, and I'm so anticipatin' it.  I've got my camera charged, the Weather Channel tuned in, my snow shovel fired up (haha), and chicken soup stocked on my shelves.  I know this is premature, but I just had to post some snow photos that I took last year to start the process.  

Can you tell I'm excited?!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Willing Subjects

It was SO cold today -- okay, not as cold as it was in, say, Vermont where it was only -6.  Brrrr, that's cold!  But it was colder here than it has been in the past few weeks.  I stayed indoors and took a few photos.  I'm still learning to use my new camera.  Poor Mimi and Binks.  I'm afraid they're going to be the subject of my photos for a while.  Here a couple of I took of Mi while she was sunbathing.

Can you touch your nose with your tongue?

Good grief, woman.  How about some privacy?

Here is Binks being sweet and asking to be fed.  She's very affectionate when she wants fresh food.  I love her sweet little bird sounds.  She sings too!  

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Playing Around

I know it's been weeks since I've posted.  I got really sick shortly after Christmas and had to take three days off from work just to rest.  I'm finally better and starting to feel human again.  My new job is going great.  I love the people I work with, and my boss is wonderful.  I'm so blessed to be able to start the new year off that way.  Of course, it's always stressful going to something new from something you know everything about.  I would never have thought of changing jobs, let alone moving to a whole, new, different state when I was younger!  I moved to Virginia from North Carolina about 3.5 years ago and have tried not to look back.  I used to feel ill if I had to drive somewhere I had never been before and was afraid to venture anywhere out of my comfortable little niche.  I was kind of forced to do that after my marriage ended.  And although I still prefer the comfort of familiarity, I'm not terrified of gong on to something new anymore.  

I have to get up an hour earlier for work, 4 a.m. instead of 5, which has been kind of kicking my butt.  Who would have thought that one extra hour would make you feel so tired.  But I guess being sick on top of that contributed to the fatigue.  I've learned to be an early-to-bed, early-to-rise kind of gal.  But that actually goes against my natural time clock, which is to stay up late and sleep in later.  

I've finally had a chance to play around with my new camera too.  I took these photos of Mimi without flash because I was trying to prevent the inevitable red eye from those beautiful blue orbs of hers when I take photos of her at night.  She's gorgeous, isn't she.  I love this cat so much.

I don't see the camera.  I don't.

Oh, okay, mommy.  I'll play along. 

Done yet?  Hmm?

I also took these photos of the crepe myrtle outside my living room after we had freezing rain.  I wish I had gotten closer and had gotten better shots of the ice encasing the branches and seed heads.  I should get another chance soon.  All the snow we had is now melted, but we're due for another snow storm on Tuesday!  I'm kind of excited about it.  

Monday, January 17, 2011

The King's Speech

I went to see The King's Speech on Sunday with my sister.  It's a movie about King George VI and the problems he faced because of his stuttering speech impediment.  He's thrust into the public eye after his father dies and his brother abdicates the throne.  The movie is beautifully done.  Colin Firth is amazing as Prince Albert.  I don't want to spoil the movie for anyone, but if you get a chance to see this excellent move, please see it.  You won't be disappointed.  There is one scene when they play Beethoven's 7th Symphony, and the music is so powerful that it brought me to tears.  

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Christmas in NC

I drove down to North Carolina on Christmas eve to spend Christmas with my son and his wife, and it snowed while I was there!  The snow started Christmas night and snowed big, gorgeous flakes.  I made a great pot roast for our Christmas eve dinner and then put together a french toast-blueberry casserole for our Christmas breakfast.  It was wonderful.  And then eating the leftovers as roast beef hash was just as good!  We left Cary and went to New Bern to spend the next three days with my daughter and her family and the holidays just continued.  

I decided to make some gifts this year and spent time putting together these cork Christmas ornaments.  The corks are from the wines that we bought when we all went to Charlottesville to visit the wineries the first weekend in November.  I think they turned out really lovely.

I added little charms on the bottoms to personalize the ornaments.  My sister and her husband love Las Vegas, so their ornaments had a tiny pair of dice, an Ace of Spades, and a Las Vegas charm.  My son and his wife love music and he plays the French horn, so their charms were a French horn, a harp, and a G-clef.  You can see I made some plain holiday ornaments two.  The two in the photo above have little peace charms.  I loved making them.  

I also made two little angel cork ornaments and a grandparents scrapbook for my sister and her husband.  They have two adorable little grandbabies now, and I wanted to give them something really special.  

Here's the little angel ornament.  

My kids got together and gave me a wonderful Christmas gift too.  I'm now the proud owner of a Canon Rebel XS with a terrific 28-185 mm IS lens.  I can't wait to take lots of photos with it.   It's a great camera.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, my friends.  I got home on Thursday and have been  doing laundry and getting ready to start my new job on Monday.  Lots of changes coming up for the new year.