Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Right Through March to the End of April

March 18 – April 24 2021                               Most Recent Posts:
Charlottesville Virginia                    Poinsett State Park NOT Big Rig Friendly
                                                               Many Trails at Silver Springs       

I know it is May now and I’m going to Zoom right through the rest of March and most of April in this blog.  If you’d like to see how I got here, links to my previous posts are above under Most Recent Posts:

So here goes.  Hang on to your hat.  More than a month in one post.

Now that I’m back in Virginia the biggest thing to report in March is

I had registered with this local health department the first day I left Florida.  I also had been checking on line with CVS every single day looking for a slot that didn’t require I drive more than an hour.  I finally snagged one at CVS in Harrisonburg about an hour away.

And then don’t you know, the very next day, I got a call from the local health department telling me my number had come up, my ship had come in and I could come on down to the clinic they had created in an empty former Big Lots store at 3:30 on Saturday.  This was much closer so I canceled CVS.

What a way to celebrate the Spring Equinox.  Although fairly apropos for new beginnings.  It was a not very springy 29 degrees overnight but it struggled all the way up to 54 by mid afternoon.


The whole thing took less than an hour and by the end, I was impressed with how organized everything was. 

When I first walked in it looked like a big empty room with lots of people standing around and sitting chairs.  I only had my crumby Motorola phone with me so the pictures are terrible but you get the gist.

First thing of course was to stand in line on the little floor stickers 6 feet apart.



The line moves reasonably quickly and when I reached the front,  they sent me to a registration table where they made sure I was on the list for this time slot.


I was then told to vacate the chair and was sent  to another numbered dot on the floor where I was next in line for the vaccine.  I walked up to the table said hello to the nurse and she informed me that she’d just given out her last shot and was now waiting for more.  Of course she was.

So we sat and chatted for a bit.  Actually at least 15 minutes.  I was glad I was sitting down.  When the vaccine came,  She put it in my arm while someone took my picture so I could prove that after all my efforts I had finally gotten it.  I’m not a big fan of shots so I didn’t watch and didn’t feel a thing.  Obviously this nurse has quite a bit of experience giving shots.   Very well done!

IMG_20210320_162121446_HDRMy nurse posed for a picture with my vaccine card.

And thus I now have my official vaccine card with instructions to come back for second dose of Pfizer in two weeks.   FINALLY!!   15 minutes waiting to make sure there were no side effects and I was out of there even with the wait in less than an hour.  Well done Blue Ridge Health District.

I had no side effects at all with the first shot and had to look closely at these pictures to make sure I had gotten it.  The second shot was the same experience although when I rolled over that night in bed, I had a sore area on my arm but it was gone by mid next day.  I learned later that older folks often don’t have any side effects because their immune systems aren’t as good any more as younger people.   Hmmm, not so great me thinks.

How did your vaccine experience go?

As usual, when I’m back in Virginia I try to see my friends, get cars and Winnona serviced, get medical appointments done and other “chores”.

I do try to get out walking or hiking every day.  I do that in a variety of places.

IMG_20210321_122957322_HDROne is the the Downtown Walking Mall in Charlottesville and sometimes that walk takes me to the Paramount Theater where they show older movies for $6.50 rather than more than twice that for new shows.  Virginia has opened up enough that theaters are allowed to have 1/3 capacity so Paramount does. 

Although I didn’t see Citizen Kane, advertised here on the marquee, one Wednesday afternoon I did see The Great Debaters with Denzel Washington.  What a terrific movie.  If you haven’t seen it, do.  Very timely actually even though it takes place in the 30’s.

It was great being back in a theater even if every other row was empty as well as 6 seats on either side of a pair of occupied seats.  Not sure how they can afford to run shows with such low capacity.  That’s probably why the first run theaters are not open yet.


On a Sunday while walking from Mason Lane to the end of the Mall and back, I ran into a parade with music.  Accordion music I thought.  I only had my phone with me but here are poor pictures of what I saw.

The robed fellow must be the priest.  I interrupted my walk to follow them down the mall and over two blocks to the Holy Comforter Catholic Church.

In this rather wobbly video as they approach the church,  you hear the music that attracted my notice.



They gathered in front of the church for some sort of service and at that point I could see the statue they were carrying and figured out this must be St. Joseph’s Feast Day. 

I headed back to the mall to resume my walk but didn’t get far before I had to stop and window shop.



New Dominion Bookshop is my favorite store and the oldest independent bookstore in Virginia.  It’s now owned by a former high school classmate of Carrie’s and it is the quintessential old world bookstore.  Tiny with shelves floor to ceiling. Want to see inside?  Click the link above.  If you are ever in Charlottesville it is a must see.  And until then you can be part of their Virtual Book Club.

Their window displays always make me want to run right in and buy at least a half dozen books but of course I cannot do that since I’m in an RV and books are HEAVY. 

I can always find space for books but weight really  counts in an RV



Other fun things on the mall that day were this canine topiary and a busy artist.



A favorite hiking spot is Ivy Creek Natural Area which I’ve shown in many spring blogs but this time in late March – when I should not even be here – it is still winter though being among the trees and along the water on any of the 7 miles of trails here is wonderful at all times of year.  But still winter is dark and drearyish.  There’s not much green.

But there is the creek which gets bigger as it flows.

It’s the log line up.  They are pretty much the only other folks I see on this chilly morning.

I am just a terrible selfie taker.  I try to blame it on the camera but I think it’s me.  This was supposed to show me by a very large tree.  Somehow I could not get this right.  But I do look like I’m trying very hard don’t I?

Lovely place to sit high up over the water which sometimes has waterfowl but not today.

Cold looking.


Ivy Creek Natural Area is an official site on the Virginia African American Heritage Trail in recognition of its rich social and agricultural history dating back to 1870 when former slave Hugh Carr purchased the land as a family farm. Known as River View Farm, the land was in the Carr and Greer family for a century before becoming the Ivy Creek Natural Area.  These rock walls were created on the farm long before it became a natural area.

Finally the Final 4 NCAA college basketball games were shown on CBS, a station I can get here,  so I celebrated with popcorn one night and home made corn chips with Cherry Salsa from the Cherry Republic in the UP of Michigan.  Do not miss it if you go to Michigan or the Traverse City Pie Company either. (Another pitiful selfie, crooked and only half the popcorn bowl.  No wonder I”m laughing)


On my walks through the neighborhoods around Rugby Avenue with my friend Mary of the loose change collection, there are several really sweet looking homes with the ideal picket fence and spring flowers just beginning.


On the end of this hike we can slip down to the edge of the Rivanna River where one day I found a Great Blue Heron.  Quite a surprise in this weather.


Not sure you can see him on the rock slab, look closely.


I was surprised he didn’t fly away.  They are quite common where I usually am during the winter but it seems a bit chilly for him here.


Time and Again

I’ve mentioned my Wednesday book club in previous blogs.  No matter where I am, on Wednesday evenings I have a zoom meeting with my friend Laurie to discuss whatever book we are reading.  I thought I had a picture of the zoom screen with us both but if I do, I can’t find it.  So here’s the book we were reading in March.  If you like the Victorian Period, you like fiction and time travel, I recommend it. 

Late Migrations

We finished it in and in April moved on to Margaret Renkl’s Late Migrations which won the Southern Environment Law Center’s Reed award.  The organization’s headquarters is here in Charlottesville.  It’s a wonderful series of essays subtitled “A Natural History of Love and Loss”.  We literally savored this book. The writing is beautiful and very moving.  It’s one we think everyone should read.  The stunning illustration on the cover is by her brother as are the others in the book. We’ll start something new in May.


My friend Pam likes to walk along the Rivanna Trail in Riverview Park so that is another place I pick up my 10,000 steps.  My selfie skills are evident here as well since I cut off half of my face.  HA!   But I did get a decent shot of the lip smacking good Holy Shitake mushroom pizza we picked up from Mellow Mushroom as our just reward.


In April the redbuds and dogwoods started to bloom and things seemed cheerier even when driving down the highway between Charlottesville and the farm.


Dogwoods and redbuds are in bloom at the farm too.  I just love spring but clearly I could easily have waited to come back until Mid April and not missed any of this.


I did have some unusual visitors at the farm.  I’ve seen Turkey Vultures flying in the sky over the fields but never until now have they come down to the trees in the yard or the fence.  Wonder what they are looking for?



Found this beautiful Luna moth in the grass late in the afternoon and was amazed he didn’t move when I took his picture.  I feared he was dead but he didn’t look damaged.  He was gone in the morning so I’m not sure if he was someone’s dinner or he flew away after dark.

I don’t always go somewhere to hike.  Often I hike right here on the farm and one of those places is to what we call the “lower field” which is actually the end of the farm road, nearly a mile from the county road where the mailbox is.  The field is becoming covered with ragwort.  No wonder my allergies are acting up.  It’s lovely though



IMG_20210422_155451563_HDRThe good news is Carrie and Colin are coming for a visit next weekend.  The bad news is that I came home on Thursday and found that the furnace was blowing but there was no heat.  I go outside to check the propane tank and find that I’ve run out of propane.  Totally O-U-T.   That has never ever happened in all the years we’ve been on the road.  We are on an automatic fill plan so that the pipes don’t freeze in the winter.  I am not a happy camper.

After many many phone calls, one with someone in Indonesia whom I could hardly understand that took an hour,  I call back again and manage to talk to some who promises to solve my problem.   They send a driver out at 9:30 at night with a “temporary tank” which will get me through Carrie’s visit and the delivery driver tells me I’d better keep calling or no one will come to fill up the main tank.

It seems they have a new company president at Amerigas and he has decided to “consolidate”.  Thus there is now no live person actually in charge in my area and the drivers are being dispatched from North Carolina which has no idea how close the places they are asked to go to are.  This of course, as is the way with big business, is in order to save money but I don’t see how driving your big trucks with no concern for the route won’t use up way more gasoline.

In total I make 7 phone calls and send 3 emails to the “manager” who is now 90 miles from me.  She does manage to get my regular driver to come and fill my tank.  He understands that the farm lane is gated and he has to call ahead to get it unlocked and also how narrow the road is and that you must back your truck up into the barnyard or you will never get out.  Thank goodness they sent him. 

Can’t imagine what will happen this winter when I’m not here to constantly check the tank.  Another worry for me.   I’m now making more calls to negotiate the ridiculous bill they sent me much faster than they got me the oil of course.  I expect to be compensated not only for running out but also for 5 days of phone calls.  Sorry for the rant but it was terrible service and took a ridiculous amount of my time.  I’ll let you know how it turns out.

I’ll close with my newest neighbor.  I’ve seen him a couple of times in the barnyard running under the shed and wondered what to do about him.

Today as I sat in the office overlooking the back yard writing this, I saw him scurry in and try to run up this tree.  He got about this far up, gave up backed down and headed out toward the front of the house where I saw him slink under the porch.  Hope you can see him in the shadows in this picture.

We have had many G’hogs over the years.  They were terrors to the garden and had to be eliminated.  I guess I’m going to have to find the trap again if he insists on going under the house.  His diggings and holes there could invite skunks and others that I surely don’t want.  He’s very well fed obviously.

See you next time for a post on my visit with Carrie and Colin.


  1. We got our rounds of vaccine in Florida before we left for Wyoming which made me so happy! So glad you got yours also. I will note your book recommendations and add them to my list. Thanks! Enjoy your visit with Carrie and Colin.

    1. Great to hear from you Karen. Wyoming sounds wonderful for summer. Please share any books you particularly like.

  2. Vaccines here open up for my age group this week. And we're still in a lockdown.

    1. As of today, our CDC has said fully vaccinated persons can come and go as they please and no masks. I think that has some problems associated with it.

  3. Yay! So glad you were able to get both vaccinations. I had Pfizer, no side effects whatsoever. George had Moderna. His second Vax made him a bit under the weather the next day, but that was all.
    Is there a local propane company you can switch to? What a pain!

    1. I've heard a lot of people had side effects with the second Moderna but remember, the more side effects the better the immune system supposedly. Thanks for your comment Laurie.

  4. Our vaccines were easy peasy, and I got the single dose so even more so for me. We're still masked in public, but getting the shot was a huge relief. So glad yours are done as well. Hope the RV fixes are coming along as well. The best local bookstores are the ones with great windows :-). Still my very fav stores to visit. Soulless corporations are the dirge of this country - utility companies usually topping the list. Hope you get satisfaction from yours.

    1. Love your comment Jodee. You and I are so on the same page....huge relief, great windows, soulless corporations. Always great to hear from you.

  5. Our vaccines were easy, but they didn't allow any pictures at all except for in front of a selfie stand on your way out. Maybe it was to get so many people through in a day without delay. As you know, I had a sore arm both times. Love seeing where you walk and those you walk with - hello Pam! Those books are on my list!

    1. You are sweet to take the time to comment given your busy life. You and Colin are up next for the blog.

  6. After my first shot my arm would barely move the next day and I'll go back in about 1 1/2 weeks. I love the old town look and marquee, the brick streets/walking areas, and the topiary dog is precious. Know what you mean about books and already carry way too many. Seems you see turtles everywhere you go, even in this winter landscape. Sucks that your fuel company would change their policies with no notification. Cute neighbor but destructive. So happy to hear about your family visit.

    1. Wish I could show you the town in person. It is cute but unfortunately growing into a city I may not like as well. Congrats on having a strong immune system.

  7. We got our shots early on without an appointment. Got tired of wasting hours trying to schedule an appointment online. Just went about an hour before they were closing and waited. At the end of the day, they gave whatever shots were left over from missed appointments or just extra's to those waiting in line until they ran out. Miss the Northeast but will have to agree it looks kind of dreary. But then, when everything starts reviving, it's just so beautiful... One year we had a couple of turkey buzzards that took a fancy to the rubber weather stripping around our sliding glass door in Maryland. At first, Carol thought they were trying to break into the house - presumably to get the dog or cat - which was pretty scary. But after they completely destroyed the weather stripping, they moved on.. Strange birds.

    1. Clever idea to go right at closing Roger. Oh dear about the turkey buzzards. I'm trying to keep my eye on them and really don't know why in the world they are hanging around in a way they never have before. Thanks for your comment. Love your picture!

  8. I got my shots too and I had no side effects, I had no side effects, I had no side effects, I had no side effects, I had no... :cD

    1. Paul you are soooooooooooo funny! I can always count on you to make me smile!

  9. Just love it when you are on the farm, such a beautiful, wonderful place..

  10. Your nurse gave me my second shot! Love the C'ville pictures... especially the farm. It's such a beautiful place and reminds me so much of David. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Some memory you have. I don't know who gave me my second one. Why not come out for a visit Pam? I'd love to have you.

  11. Love the turkey vulture- you know that I like them BUT the LUNA MOTH is fantastic!!! They are my favorites! Lur pizzas after the walk were good, weren't they? I didn't know that groundhogs tried to climb trees- xxxooo

    1. Yes Luna Moths are unique and beautiful creatures. I too had no idea groundhogs tried to climb trees but both he and the vultures could both spell trouble.

  12. I am glad you are safe at home, except for the ground hog. Those guys are BIG! I didn't have a clue what it was till you said it. Geez. It is surprising how having the vaccine creates a sense of inner safety. I know anything can get us, but at least now I am not worried that it will be COVID. Congrats on your shot. It is a win either way. No side effects is nice, side effects mean your immune system is working strongly. I got a temp and was kinda sick for about 24 hours after my second shot, Mo had nothing except I did notice her falling asleep on the sofa as we watched the tub. LOL

    1. Love your comments Sue. It is a sense of inner safety. At least one thing to be able to relax about. Hi to Mo.

  13. Oh, those redbuds and the luna moth! So beautiful! Spring looks gorgeous at your farm. I'm so glad you're vaccinated. No one really seems to know why some people have reactions and others don't....I was sick with what felt like the flu for two days. It was not fun, but much better than getting covid.
    I'm putting the book of essays you recommended on my 'must read' list.

  14. I think you will like Late Migrations. It's well written and pertinent particularly to those of us who have lost loved ones. Everywhere I've checked they've said folks like you have stronger immune systems and thus they react to the vaccine. Never thought I'd kind of wish I'd had side effects. :-)

  15. Living in Charlottesville and out on the farm is not so bad. Beauty and nature everywhere.

  16. Yes indeed Lynne. And then I get to drive off into the sunset and see the rest of the country.

  17. Hi Sherry,

    We had propane from the same company for 25 years - and then Amerigas bought them. We live in NH and they let us run out in the winter and we were on autofill. In addition, they are $1.00 per gallon more. We switched this spring - I had the autofill stopped and watched it so that I could get the new compnay installed. Amerigas also charged to suck out the existing propane, so that was another expense. It took several months and multiple phone calls to get them to remove the tanks. I finally had to call the Attorney General. What a mess.
    The new propane (locally owned) is terrific. They come to fill up before we run out!

    1. Katy thank you so much for your comment and sharing your experience. How horrible to have to call the Attorney General. I had never had any trouble with Amerigas and had I known your experience when I ran out, I'd have tried to change right then. Your comment motivated me to look for another company and I've found one but at this point I have a full tank. Did they charge you to remove the old tank? Pretty sure they do. Thanks again. Great to see you here. Don't be a stranger.

  18. Seems like you are staying very busy.
    Will try to read "Late Migrations"
    Yourbpropane picked is very frustrating. May have to get a thermostat synched to your smart phone to monitor the temp in the house from afar. Tethered to technology. Another company dehumanizing service . Just the way things are now.
    Where are you off to next?

    1. If you have to use unknown rather than your name to comment please sign your comment since I have no idea who you are. But I hope you enjoy late migrations and my next venture from Virginia to Vermont starting in June.


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