Getting Ready For Hurricane Florence…

Two years ago, my husband and I relocated to North Carolina. I am absolutely loving the warmer, sunnier climate compared to decades of brutal winters in my home state of Pennsylvania.


Hurricane Florence

This is the first hurricane to truly impact us (about 2-3 hrs from the coast).

We bought batteries, water, food and cat supplies…

We put away our outdoor furniture, took down my wind chimes and flags…

And I have plenty of books to read if we lose power…

So, if I’m offline for a few days you will know what is going on.

Please pray for everyone along the coastline who will be impacted directly. Be safe – evacuate.



We’ve Discovered Eno River State Park!

After spending the first two days of Labor Day weekend working around in the yard of our new house, I wanted to have a picnic on Labor Day. Being new to the area, I browsed around on the Internet for parks and lakes nearby. There were a handful to choose from but I was surprised that the main one (and probably the biggest one) I wanted to visit was closed for the holiday.

Closed sign

What? A park and lake closed on one of the biggest holidays of the summer?

This is the first I’ve encountered this set back. I don’t know if they’ve always done this or if it is something new due to budget restraints.

Oh well, it all turned out great because we went to my next choice and had a great time.

Eno River State Park is just outside of Durham, North Carolina.

Eno River State Park

Sorry this is a little blurry. I took it on the drive by.

Eno River State Park has thirty miles of hiking trails, picnic facilities, canoeing, kayaking, fishing and back country camping.

It was a gorgeous day, sunny and warm. We ate our picnic of pasta salad and chips & dip while people watching. I love to people watch. Occupational hazard I guess, being a writer 🙂 Then we hiked down to the Eno River.

Eno River

There were a lot of kids and dogs enjoying the water, but I try not to take photos with people who might not want to be photographed. This photo was taken a little farther down the river.

swinging bridge

There was a great swinging bridge that crossed the river. I love these types of bridges. They’re like an amusement park ride when you’re trying to walk on a surface that is moving. This bridge received a lot of traffic and it was funny watching people’s reactions.

swinging bridge

Here’s my husband posing for the camera.

hurricane sign

This sign is posted on one of the supports for the swinging bridge. If you can’t read it, it says that the river had risen to the bottom of the sign during Hurricane Fran on Sept 6, 1996. Now, look at how high the sign is…

Hurricane sign

You can see these guys walking under the bridge and the sign is at least another 6 or 7 feet higher! Whew!

All in all, a wonderful Labor Day in the woods.

Do you like swinging bridges or not? Let me know…

Here’s a few more of my North Carolina posts:

The Thrill of a New House

Bonsai Expo at Duke Gardens

Relax At The Zoo To Help Conquer Stress

What Do The Mountains Say To You?

Weekly Photo Challenge: Anticipation

This week’s photo challenge from the Daily Post is anticipation. Since 2016 saw us moving from Pennsylvania to North Carolina, I am definitely anticipating a few things for 2017.

A new rescue kitty (or two):


A new house with a sun room/screened-in porch and 2 car garage for my husband to tinker on his cars.

screened in porch

And finally, a book contract for my second novel: 2 Cats, a Bodyguard & an Heiress


Hope everyone gets what they are anticipating!

Click  to read Photo Challenge: How Do You Relax? 


What Do The Mountains Say To You?

Recently, we shot down to Durham, North Carolina to find a home to rent until we buy one.

Leaving our little hometown of North East, PA at 9:00 am we made good time straight down I79, through Pittsburgh and right into West Virginia. The sun was out and the temperature climbed, the farther south we went.

Welcome to WV


I love the mountains of West Virginia and Virginia. These mountains give scenic views, recreational fun (hiking, kayaking, rafting, camping, etc.) and valuable resources.

traveling through mountains


In Virginia, we went through two tunnels. I love tunnels! For me, they are scary and at the same time exciting. I imagine racing through the tunnel before the massive weight of the mountain above crushes us…


Eight hours from departing, we finally reached North Carolina! Our new state in a matter of weeks.

Welcome to NC

The first rest stop after crossing the Virginia/North Carolina border on I77 is a sight to behold. It is very shaded and beautifully landscaped with picnic tables inviting you to linger and stretch your legs.

NC rest stop

You also may see a variety of vehicles. Check this one out!


The mountains in North Carolina are pretty spectacular, too. My favorite has to be Stone Mountain with its dome of exposed granite.

Stone Mountain NC

Faraway view from highway

Stone Mountain State Park NC

Up close and personal from state park — *Correction* This is actually Pilot Mountain. Couldn’t get an up close photo of Stone Mountain.

On our way back, we had to drive through early morning fog.


The tunnel came up before we knew it because of the dense fog.

tunnel in the fog

And the rain in Pennsylvania gave us an awesome rainbow!



What a beautiful trip!

Has anyone else driven through Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia or North Carolina? I’d love to hear about it.




Clutter – Where Did It All Come From?

I am currently decluttering a house we’ve lived in for the past 30 years. Why, you might ask?

Because it’s official:

We are moving to North Carolina!

Our sons and I have lived our whole lives in Pennsylvania, but now is the right time for us to pull up stakes and move south. The state of Pennsylvania is a beautiful place with so many things to see and do but for those of us who live here permanently, the summer is too short and the winter too long 🙂 My husband and I have wanted to move south for some years now, but our jobs and our sons still in school put that desire on hold. Now, one son being finished with college and the other in his second year of college, along with a recent loss of a good-paying job makes it the perfect time to move.

This decision was not easy to make, but I feel it is the right one for us.

If you have a big decision to make, read Big Decisions Can Be Scary!


My office/library has become the donation pile, packing pile and haven’t-decided-yet pile room.

So now we come to the subject of this post: clutter – where does it all come from?

Before putting the house on the market, we need to downsize from 30 years of accumulating stuff. I’ve been decluttering for about a month and have sent 5 trips to the local thrift store. But there’s still more! How could 4 people accumulate so much stuff?

I never realized that all these closets, drawers and cabinets can hold a lot of clutter. Now, I’m not talking about hoarding old junk mail, used take-out food containers and plastic silverware. The clutter I am going through is 16 sweaters when 4 would do, doubles of photographs from the boys’ childhood, old brides’ maid dresses and that plastic, Tupperware melon-baller that I won during a 1990 party that I never used.

melon baller

And why do we hang onto these ‘extra but still useful’ items?

  • Sentimental value
  • “I may wear/use it someday
  • Being a pack rat
  • The old boy scouts motto, always be prepared

What’s the solution? Recycle, reuse!

Bag up clean, useful items and drop them off at your local thrift store or drop off location. You will be freeing up your house of too many possessions and at the same time providing help to those who could really use the item.

Here are some sites that can help you declutter and organize:

How about you? Do you have clutter? What ways do you use to eliminate clutter?