Porch Talk

Hey y’all! It feels like forever since we had a good chat.
So sit down here and let me yak at you for a while.


This little guy was yakking up a storm to us in Ocean City, MD. this summer. We gave them a few fries and that did it. I loved it though. The grandkids have come and gone. We had a great time with them. Ocean City was our last week together and Ian loved the pool. He was afraid of the water and each summer in Maine he got a little more brave and a little more brave, but he wouldn’t swim without the life vest on or jump in the water. This summer he was swimming like a fish, underwater! By the time his folks got there for the last two days with us he was cannon-balling into the pool and diving to the bottom in the 8 ft. end to retrieve toys we threw in! His dad couldn’t get over it. He is nine now, you know 😉 they grow up so fast. I love having them to spoil and enjoy for a whole month each summer.


I was so lucky to get into  poison ivy at the back of the yard a week before we went to the beach and I had it all down my neck and on my arms! It was so embarrassing!

While my friends were here for the eclipse we went up to Elizabethton and Johnson City shopping and sitting at a red light in Johnson City a Ford Expedition rear ended us! Thank goodness she swerved a little at the last minute and hit to one side of my car instead of square in the rear! I’m surprised it didn’t have more damage. She hit us really hard and pushed me out into the intersection. My car is a 2005 Taurus wagon. They couldn’t total it, but there are a couple parts no longer available too! It’s not too bad of damage so we can live with it. We are going to get a new car next year probably anyway. Its a great car though, this is our third one. We love it. 2005 is the last year they made them and its getting harder to find one that isn’t high mileage now so we have to come up with something else! I’m just glad she had insurance, not everyone in Tennessee does! Your suppose to but you don’t have to show proof of it to get your license or tags. It’s crazy.


We’re excited about our church’s new building. It’s almost done and we should be able to move in soon! It’s not real big, I’m afraid we will outgrow it too soon. But that would be a good thing! We are holding a City Worship event in Greeneville in October at a place called The Shed. It’s kind of a public building and grounds that different groups use for lots of different things. There’s Bluegrass bands there every Thursday through the summer for free and there are food trucks etc.

Friday for Agatha Christie’s birthday I went to a play at the Capitol Theater, ‘And Then There Were None‘. It was excellent! Last year they did Mousetrap. Their going to show The Creature From the Black Lagoon and Whatever Happened to Baby Jane for halloween! I LOVE my Capitol Theater!

We are off this week back home to Pennsylvania for nine days. Bossman is golfing with his league. We are taking the new camper and camping instead of staying with someone. It will be nice to have so much time to visit. It’s always hard to fit everyone in. My friend and I are planning on taking a day trip to Shanksville to see the Flight 93 memorial. Did you see Vice President Pence’s speech there on the 11th? It was so good. He said he was in the Capitol at the time the plane would have hit and he would have been killed so they saved his life.

Have you ever read Sarah Ward’s DC Childs books? There are three in the series. I have not. I’ve been following her blog, Crimepieces, though and would like to. Well, I just won all three in a contest she had! Stop over to her blog and check it out!

I’ve hosted the Read Scotland challenge for four years now and really enjoyed doing it over at Goodreads. I’ve read so many wonderful books by Scottish authors. But I’ve decided to not do it next year. One of the gals in the group is going to take over for me though so it will continue. I’m glad for that. I’m going to sign up for a challenge but I won’t have to be ‘large and in charge’!

We’ve always played acey-deucy with our backgammon board so I’ve never learned to play that. Recently I was helping Ian collect gems for a dragon game he plays on his kindle. I installed and played different game apps to certain levels to win the gems. Backgammon was one of them. I had to watch videos on Youtube to figure it out. I kept trying to play the wrong pieces! Its confusing after playing acey-deucy, but I really like it and I’v taught Bossman how to play. We play occasionally, but he prefers acey-deucy. Do you play many games and which ones are your favorite? I love playing games!

I picked up a couple new old books recently, Agatha Christie’s Funerals are Fatal/ After the Funeral in the UK, The Silver Leopard by Helen Reilly. It’s an old Dell paperback with the crime map on the back cover! And Michael Gilbert’s Blood and Judgment. Everyone says they like him so I’ve been picking his books up when I see them. One day I’ll get one read!

Well sweeties, my Green Bay Packers are playing and Bossman is waiting for me to get in there and watch with him so I better sign off for now. Hope your doing well and life is treating you grand! I’ve got a few post scheduled for while I’m gone so you won’t forget me!




Spring is in the Air?

We have lots of baby or immature birds in the yard this last couple of weeks! I thought that happened in spring?! Seems to be two different ages of young cardinals. Thought I’d share some of them with you.

Lots of cardinals and doves…

Baby birds

two young male cardinals and dad. one young dove to the left

Baby birds

Father and son cardinal and young dove in the middle with two adults

Baby birds

young male cardinal and dove

Baby birds

young dove

Baby birds

Father and son cardinal and young dove to the left

Baby birds

feeding buddies, dove and cardinal kiddies

Baby birds

two young cardinals, thinking a male and a female


August 28 male


September 6 male


September 6 male

Baby birds

two young cardinals. notice the difference in the color of their beaks

Baby birds

Dad has a seed in his beak for junior

Baby birds

Baby birds

aw! Daddy’s feeding him

Baby birds

Young female, no red on her chest

Baby birds

looks like a youngster feeding a baby!



Not sure what kind of baby this is but think it is a house sparrow with the mom sitting there with it.

We’ve had a nice size flock of house sparrows hanging around the house for the last month. They’ve pretty much chased off the finches. They love the shrubs in the front of the house and mob the feeders several times a day. Sometimes when I’m sitting at the computer I look up and one is sitting on the outside window sill looking in at me.

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He’s not a baby, but he has a boo-boo 😦

We’ve had a bumper crop of rabbits this year too!

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There was a young Red bellied woodpecker at the suet too but I wasn’t able to get a picture of him. I was sitting outside reading last week and a huge red shouldered hawk (pretty sure that’s what it was) swooped low over top of me and I thought he was going to hit me in the head! He was hot on the trail of a bunny in the neighbors yard, but the rabbit run under a car sitting in the yard and the hawk missed! That was quite an experience!

Solar Eclipse 2017

What a day! We experienced the total solar eclipse! We were expected to have 96-98% obsuration at home in Greeneville so we decided to drive the hour and a half to Maryville to experience the 100%.  SO glad we did! It last only a minute, but it was worth it. I got a video of it happening and some great shots to share with you!

We found a nice city park (Bicentennial Greenbelt Park) and set up right by an icy cold creek we could put our toes in to cool off. It was up in the nineties today!

As it got darker and darker the locust that come out at dusk here started up. They were deafening! As soon as the moon moved off the sun they stopped! Coolest experience ever!!

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You can see the difference in the light between these two pictures as we got closer to the total eclipse…




This was taken through the lens of the glasses 20953924_1956999004581426_2489137262083820503_n

Getting dark now, street lights came on…

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Total eclipse!



starting to peek out again

moving off now…




Maryville is a great town with a rich history. Sam Houston moved there as a teen. Click the link to read more about the town.

Road Trip

We are off to Ocean City MD. with the grandkids tomorrow (Saturday) for a week. My son and his wife are coming over for a couple of days at the end of the week and taking the kids home with them. Then I’ll come home and be so lonesome 😦  But I’ll have you guys to cheer me up! I have lots of places to share with you then.

Friends from back home in Pennsylvania are coming down the same day we get back to watch the solar eclipse with us on the 21st. We are very near the 100% obscuration line here in Greeneville! We will get 98% obscuration! We are all so excited. If I can I’ll get some pics but not sure how well that will work. We have to find those filter glasses! Do you live in the path of the eclipse? This is a great website for info and to see how much of the eclipse you’ll see in your area.

I broke out in poison ivy all down my neck a couple of days ago! I look cruddy! I was cutting back a creeping vine that wraps around our trees and I don’t want them to kill the trees so every now and then I have to cut them back. I must have got into some then. I was very careful not to touch my face, but I must have touched my neck.

Ian is patiently waiting for me to come play Ruckus with him so I guess I better go. See you later!

Baby Robin

While sitting outside with our morning coffee I got these shots of a momma and baby robin! She was pulling bugs out of the ground and feeding it. I wasn’t able to get a shot of that. Once she was aware of me she was too busy keeping her eye on me. The little one stayed a few steps just behind her at all times. 

We’ve had tons of house sparrows this last week too. Their new to the backyard. My Merlin bird app says they are uncommon to my area. They seem to stay in small flocks and the feeder has been mobbed with them this morning! The poor finches have had to vie for space at the feeder. Of course when I went in to get the camera I disturbed them and by the time they started coming back my battery was blinking low. Only got a couple shots and they aren’t very good. I’ll try later to get a shot of the mob feeding.  Female on top, male on bottom…

Here’s what the Merlin app said about this bird…

Widespread and abundant in cities, neighborhoods and farms. Avoids dense woods. Flocks cluster in dense bushes, bustling around and chattering to one another. Males have smart black bibs, bright rufous napes, and stunningly patterned wings with brilliant buffs and browns. Underparts are pale pearly-gray. Females are plain brown with cute face and lighter eyebrow. Native to Eurasia; introduced to North America and not closely related to other sparrows there.

I got up to take a couple shots of the mountains out front and the whole flock took off and flew through the carport and almost hit me in the head!  It’s very cloudy and dreary today. We’ve had rain since Sunday night. I love the way the clouds wisp around the mountains.

This is my pecan tree where all the bird action happens, the suet feeders are hidden by branches…

Porch Talk…

My kids have been in for a visit so I haven’t had much time to do any posts. The youngest son and his family came in a couple of weeks ago and they left the grandkids here for their annual summer visit. I made the comment the other day that I needed to do a blog post and my grandson, Ian, said ‘but you only have limited time with us. Can you say the same thing about that post?’. Put me in my place didn’t he 🙂  It is time consuming when I do a post with lots of pictures. Take so much time to sort through and load the pics to Flicker first. So I think the Juneau post will probably wait until they go home. We are taking them to Ocean City, MD. August 12-19. Paul and Steph will meet us there and stay a few days with us on the beach and then take the kiddos home with them.


We went to Tuckaleechee Caverns while Paul and Stephanie were here.
They are in Townsend TN. near Gatlinburg. Nice caverns, large and has a small waterfall in them and a stream that runs throughout. Then we stopped off at Gatlinburg for pizza at Big Daddy’s, a must visit place on their trips here! We walked around town and took the new skylift ride so they could see where all the fire had burned last November. The Skylift was burned and had to be completely replaced. The buildings at the top, gift shop, overlook and refreshments was burned out completely and hasn’t been rebuilt yet but they are going to. There were 200 homes burned on that mountain top.


Here are a few pics from the cavern…

We also did a couple of hikes while Paul and Steph were here. They love to get out in the mountain woods! I’ll do a post with those pictures later.

We’ve had a pretty laid back couple of weeks with the grandkids. They’re homebodies and never really want to go anywhere so we hang out at home. We’ve played a lot of  games, Flinch, Acey Deucy, Mystery Rummy, 500 Rummy, but especially the card game Ruckus. It’s the new favorite! It’s a mad, crazy, steal your opponents sets type of game. We played a few games of Clue, (haven’t played that in years!) and then watched the movie Clue. They draw and read and watch videos. We made kites from a kit and Ian and I made a sock monster. Isa and I are going to make PJ’s out of an old sheet for her this coming week. We went to the city pool once. Isa made brownies. Next week we might go to Bays Mountain, (they have an animal park, hiking trails, wolf preserve and planetarium) and to the movies to see the new Spiderman. Then Saturday we leave for Ocean City.  I so enjoy having them here! I’ll be very lonesome when we get back from the beach without them.

We had a couple of hummingbirds zipping by and stopping off at the butterfly bush so I put the hummingbird feeder out on the carport and they frequent it often. There are two males that fight over it. The female will feed and then go land in the pecan tree and sit for quite awhile. I was surprised at that as I thought they always stayed in motion. Here’s a male at the feeder and the female in the tree. They zoom past us and sometimes you think they are going to hit you right in the head!

IMG_2664IMG_2668Female Humminbird

I’m zipping along in the 15 Books of Summer challenge, only two more to go when I finish The Captain and The Enemy by Graham Greene. It’s a pretty decent read.

I made Million Dollar Spaghetti recently. It’s so rich and full of cheese! Mozzarella, parmesan and Philadelphia Cream Cheese! Check out the recipe HERE.  tried out two new pie recipes that were both hits, Cherry and Blueberry Cream Pie and Sugar Cream Pie. This Chicken Bog is something I’m dying to try out! Have you ever heard of it or made it?

The solar eclipse is coming right by our house on August 21st! We will get 96.48% obscuration in Greeneville. If we go to just southwest of Knoxville about an hour away we would see 100%! Pretty excited about seeing this thing! Do you live in its path?


Red circle around Greeneville

Well, I’ve got to go order the pizza and get this crew fed so I better go. Talk to you later in August! Hope your well and enjoying your summer!

** I forgot I wanted to show you these pics of the birds a few weeks ago when we had high 90’s for temps. The birds lined up and stayed close to the pan of water I keep along the tree-line…