Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Snowberry Clearwing Moth - Harmless, Yeah Right.

What was that thing that just buzzed my head...a small plane....a giant bee...some kind of hummingbird...it just scared the crap out of me. I know look it up on the net...I had a mission...find out what that thing was. And could it sting me, or bite me? Should I start packing up the wife and dogs and head out...time to sell before they take over.So I started to try and find out about that giant bee like creature..or was it even a bee. I searched until I found a message board that told the same story...outside in yard when a giant bee buzzed their head too...but it's not a bee..it's a moth...a giant moth at least. A Snowberry Clearwing, or Hummingbird Moth, part of the Sphinx Moth family. And no friend of mine.
They begin their life as another foe of mine and many other gardeners...the tomato hornworm. Not only did I find out about that giant bee like creature flying over my head, but found out where those damn hornworms come from...my tomato's and me both hate them. For years I have tried alot of stuff to keep those pests from eating my plants. I now know the rest of the story...
You'll find cut holes in your leaves and if you stare hard enough..the hornworm himself...eating and ruining your hard earn work. You spend hours planting and watering tomato plants only to find blossoms eaten and stems limp and fallen over. Damn those hornworms, they have struck again. And now I know their story...

Snowberry Clearwing Moths resemble a bumblebee more than a hummingbird, but are often mistaken for a hummingbird. They hover while feeding, but will land more often than hummingbirds will. You'll notice that they have antennae, birds don't...but at 30 mph..who can see those things out of their heads. They also have a long straw like tongue, but there again, who can see it at buzz speed. I saw a 2-3 bee like creature coming at me...I didn't have time to check for parts.

They don't sting or bite, but who knew that. Once you realize you aren't going to be stung, they become unique creatures of nature. Coming out in March and staying until September, I have months to watch as they lay eggs and eat my tomato's..lovely. But wait, they are to also do good...they help pollinate plants and flowers by carrying pollen on their fuzzy bodies. Seems when they eat...they buzz the pollen onto their bodies and carrry it from plant to plant...so they help my garden as they eat my garden...great.

So what appears to be a bee is a moth. And unlike most moths, flies around during the day. Well, buzzes around I should say. Zipping back and forth, like a hummingbird, eating nectar from plants and scaring the crap out of people. When you hear a loud buzz in your ear...bee comes to mind first...not a moth.

So now I know...what it is and how not to run like a wildman around my yard...yeah right..next time I will still run like a crazyman...buzzing still equals bee...at least in my mind.

They still look evil, even as moths...black bodies, yellow stripes...looks more like a bee, but flies like a hummingbird...mother nature playing games with me...but now I know..and hopefully I will do some good by telling this story...Pawpaw's Wisdom for today...if you hear a buzzing sound in your ear..run like heck...it's a bee...ain't no moth sound like that...see...even Pawpaw will take a while to learn from his own wisdom...stop, look and learn about whatever you see in life. Stop rushing around, slow down and enjoy life, we only get one. Look around you and appreciate what you have and who you have, life is very enjoyable if you see what you really have. And learn from what God has given us, let his lessons of life be in our life. With God in your heart and a little wisdom, we can accomplish his lessons he has laid out for us.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Pawpaw..look at me...I'm doing something cute again

Hey Pawpaw..how do you get this thing going...I don't see a ignition key...what..I have to walk around...come on Pawpaw, have you not heard of Powerwheels. Oh well, let me see what I can do with this anyway.
Hey...look at that Nana...how did that baby get that part for the E-trade commercials..I know I'm cuter than he is. What kinda pay do you think he gets...I need a agent I think.

Pawpaw is that you behind that camera...stop taking my picture and play with me will ya. Mom and Dad will be calling soon and I'll have to leave. Do something funny and make me laugh. Come on Pawpaw I know you love to dance...act silly and dance for me. We had Ryder for a little while Saturday evening...his parents had some errands to run...so we met them at a nearby shopping center and took him for a nice walk around the shopping area, then on to home to play. We ran into some people we knew and they all said what we already knew...Ryder is a cutie...but we told them thank you and just smiled...we didn't want to be too full of ourselves...we know he's cute...look at him...lookout girls...here he comes.

Ryder found himself a bucket of fun, or should I say..just a bucket...it has a rattle attached...and he loved it. At one point he almost put it on like a Shriner's hat...he really enjoyed playing with it. And as he dad likes to say ..."he'll sleep good tonight". Nana and I had a great time keeping Ryder while they ran errands. We later went and met them to return Ryder. It was a win, win situation for all of us. We love that little guy...and his parents too. It was a great evening for all...maybe they'll have more errands and need us again real soon....how's tomorrow...ok...I'll be patient...no I won't.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Why Did I Choose The Name PawPaw?

I could be Grandpa, Granddad, Pappy...whatever, but I decided that I wanted to be called Pawpaw. Why Pawpaw...it's a memory I have of days gone by. You see a good friend of mine had some property in the family, along a beautiful river called the Cacapon River, in West Virginia. It is located just west of Berkley Springs, which is highlighted by the red dot below. Home of America's first spa, dating back to 1747. Paw Paw, West Virginia had a population of only 524 people in 2000, yet stands out in my mind as if it was a major city.
In the eastern part of West Virginia, and just out of my homestate of Virginia, was this beautiful country riverfront campsite. My friend's property was off the beaten path, no paved roads to this place. But it was worth every pothole and bump off Route 9.
But once you got to the "hu", a hut that was falling down, you got to see some of Gods best work. Rolling riverfront, animals running around and as quiet as if you were sitting on a star and looking down at earth.You could go fishing, swimming or take a hike along trails made by generations of backpackers, maybe even historians. And once you reach the top of a mountain you could see for miles, and miles. The Cacapon River, Potomac River...it that Russia across the water...no that was someone else who say that..anyway beautiful landscape, still undeveloped.

Fresh spring water would run out of the mountains. It was the coldest water I ever tasted, I can almost feel the coldness thinking about it. And after hiking or swiming, nice cold water hit the spot.

Speaking of swimming, this looked like the same diving spot we use to jump off into the river..I remember the time that I dove head first and hit bottom...might be why I am the way I am...but I enjoyed it. We would bring tubes to the "hu", hut, and raft down the river. No one around, camping under the stars or in a tent...peaceful times and great memories.
I won't say it wasn't scary...the first couple of times we went I hardly slept...never saw darkness so black..made ya think of the boogieman in the woods you always heard about.
We would cook over a fire, drink a few brews, and enjoy the time we had in Gods country. Well, except the time I fell in the river with my waders on...boy did I shoot down those rapids fast...but the Lord was watching over me. Great times, and with a great friend. Luckily I have found that friend again recently...he and I have known each other for 47 years...I lost him for awhile but have remade contact and look forward to catching up.
The "hu", hut, never looked like this castle that is in nearby Berkley Springs, West Virginia, but to us they both were impossible to knock down. The hut was flooded many times and mother nature wasn't kind to it, yet it never was distroyed. I wonder if it still is standing...it's been a long time since I have been up there...I'll have to ask my friend.
So Pawpaw is a reminder for me to be the grandfather I never had..I always said I was my own Grandpa...sadly I had to learn lifes twist and turns on my own. It would have been nice to have had a Pawpaw who could take me places, do things with me...I will do that for my grandkids...I have a mission in life. I will think back to my time I spent in the hills of West Virginia...maybe someday I'll take a grandchild up that way and go exploring.
So Pawpaw's Wisdom is this...look up that old friend who you lost...the one that really help make you who you are...find them and keep in touch...we let people go so easily. And remember the best time in your childhood and redo it with your child or children...pass on the memories of a lifttime that you cherish today. Stop and enjoy life, love your kids or grandkids, and make memories with them that someday they will remember long, long from now.
I hope my grandkids will say someday "Remember when Pawpaw did.......", it's up to me. I have a mission in life...and with God's help and a little time I will fulfill that mission.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

2 Years of Love, Family and A Blessing

Has it really been 2 years since I walked Laura down the aisle. It seems like it was only a few months ago, until I look back at all the wonderful things that has happened in my daughter's life. I was a very proud Dad that day. She looked beautiful, and the Lord had blessed us with a great day. A great day to begin the marriage of two people who were meant for each other.
When I first met Scot I knew, as Laura did, that he was the perfect man for my daughter. He has everything a Dad would want for his daughter. I am proud to call him my Son-In-Law.
Their love grew each moment they were together. Scot even took on the responsibility of Tucker, their "fur" baby. The early makings of a beautiful family had begun.

Scot and Laura set a date and a wedding soon began to be planned. Laura found the perfect dress, she looked so beautiful. When she asked me if I would walk her down the aisle I felt honored, and proud of the way Nana's and Pawpaw's girl had turned into a woman.
At rehearsal I walked Laura down the aisle. I think my heart was beating as fast as hers. I was a proud Dad that moment, and still am to this day. When I married Laura's mom, I got 2 bonuses. Another son, Eric and my daughter Laura. I don't call them steps, I claim them as if they were Elsie's and mine, the only steps in my house lead to upstairs. Along with my son from the first marriage, Matt, we became a family of 5.
Rehearsal went well, now if only the weather held up. Your never know what Mother Nature has instored for you when you plan a outdoor wedding.
But it was a great day that the Lord had given us, and the wedding was beautiful. Tears filled our eyes, as two people began a life together.
Since then, we have all gotten to know each other better and have many great times together. We aren't perfect, but we are family. Who else but Scot would go surfing with the dogs with me. He is a team player, who can play on my team anytime.

Last November they were blessed with a addition to their family. Ryder came into their lives, all of our lives, and has not stopped filling it with joy since the second he appeared. He has two great parents who adore and love him. And my wife and I became Nana and Pawpaw to the most handsome little man around.

It's been 5 months already, time does go by quickly. Nothing can symbolize Scot and Laura's anniversary, and their life together better then Ryder's smile...perfect. The Lord has always been part of Scot and Laura's life and he has blessed them many times.

Together they will make a difference in the world, in Ryder and in Pawpaw's life. I get tearful when I see how much they love each other and have the foundation for a strong, loving family. Happy Anniversary Kids...I Love You Both. And when Nana and I watch Ryder as you go out to eat tonight..remember all that the Lord has given you...2 years of love and friendship, lots of family that love you both, and many blessings, with Ryder leading the list. When you look into his eyes..see the love you and Scot have and the result that it has given you.
Happy Anniversary Kids...Pawpaw's Wisdom to you is keep doing what your doing...I can't recommend any changes...your actions make Pawpaw a very proud man, a very proud Dad.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sping is in the Air..time to plant some 'maters..

Well, Spring has finally arrived, yet Mother Nature stills keeps us on edge with cool days and frost at night. It's time when pansies start to disappear, and new flowers begin to pop up.
Bulbs have started to pop out of the ground and show us their lovely colors. It's a time to try and remember what you planted, and where you planted it. And when you see something strange coming out of the ground, try and figure out how that got in to your garden...squirrels ...Mother Nature's way of messing with our minds...I never planted that bulb...did you. Clematis vines have begun to errupt with blossums and greenery. A light shower waters them as I take their photo....say "cheese"..got ya.

Gerber Daisies are one of Nana's and Pawpaw's favorites. Every year we have to buy a few to add to our garden.
Lilac has begun to fill the air...it's a pleasure to walk the dogs when lilac's in the air...well, until the dogs do what they do best...if you know what I mean. Maybe more lilac would help that situation out...note to Pawpaw..plant more lilac around the yard.
Saturday we went for more plants..and now it's time to get digging in the dirt. We love to plant our gardens..one for the many flowers we love to have around us, and two, the vegetable garden we plant for it's 'mater timer...wasn't there a song about that...no that's "hammer time".
Slowly, little 'maters have begun to push their way up to the sky. With a little love, a little water, and a lot of time, we will have 6-7 types of tomatoes this year....nothing better. And what we can't eat, or give away..Nana will freeze for her many recipes. Nana loves to cook with "fresh" veggies. So "Pawpaw's Wisdom" is this...buy some seeds and get a container. Purchase some good planting soil, not top soil, and plant a little garden...whether it's flowers or veggies...you will appreciate what great things can come from alittle time and alittle effort..the same affect can be applied in your daily life. Take time and smell the roses, so to speak. Great things take time to develope, that time while waiting is God's way to humble us. For if we were given everything, we wouldn't appreciate what we do have. And if you plant some 'maters, you can have a really good sandwich on white bread and alittle mayo...Nana is it dinner time yet..Pawpaw's hungry..again.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easter at Holden Follow-Up

Well it seems I found time to update Pawpaw's and Nana's Easter weekend...it was a lovely time with Nana's momma, our daughter and husband, and our grandson...who had his first Easter and his first visit to Holden Beach. We ate lunch one day at Paradise Cafe...good food and great company made it a special afternoon. It's one of our favorite places to eat and drink.
Scot and Laura went to the Provision Company one afternoon, while Nana and Pawpaw watched Ryder. It was fun for all of us. This place is ideal for people watching, a sport Nana and Pawpaw love.

Holden Beach is a very quiet, family beach that doesn't have all the hustle and bustle of Myrtle Beach. Not great waves for surfing, but big enough to have fun in.

Old and new cottages line the beach front, while the sun rises over their tops. A beautiful reminder of how lovely this place can be. It was too cool to swim, but Scot and Laura took Ryder for a walk along the beach.

I guess top honors are still for the smallest member of our family. Little Tinkerbell Cupcake of Waterside won "smallest dog" at Bark At The Beach". A Easter Seal fund raiser that attracted about 65 dogs and raised about $5000. Sir Shiloh of Waterside, her uncle, was also entered, but didn't win like his niece. We missed the first two years of the contest somehow.
Holden Beach has always been a wonderful place to see family, visit neighbor's we haven't seen in a while, and eat at some of the best places around.
No deep thoughts for this blog...only good memories.

Monday, April 13, 2009

I Fought the SD Card, And The Card Lost

Well I fought the SD card and the card lost. You almost didn't get to see the following pictures because Nana's camera ate them. It seems if you change batteries with the card in ...presto-chango...their gone. But with a little technology and some cash I got most of them back. Please enjoy Tori and Eric's rehearsal pictures, where on the following evening they had a beautiful wedding.
Tori and Eric run throught their lines, getting ready for the real thing the next night. The South Carolina Yacht Club was a beautiful backdrop for the ceremony. Large luxury boats and beautiful homes surrounded the patio area where the wedding took place. We had a great time seeing our relatives, and meeting Tori's new ones. I am glad I was able to get these pictures back for Nana...she loves her pictures and it almost killed her that they were gone. Who knows when all of us will ever get together again...Tori's family and friends, Eric's family and friends...what a lovely group of people indeed....well I was in a tux...and Nana looked beautiful...as always.
Little Ryder was a trooper the whole time...Pawpaw, Nana, Uncle Steve and Aunt Paula took turns watching the little guy. The rehearsal was a great opportunity to introduce Ryder to all his new relatives, old relatives and everyone else who wanted to meet him.

Tori and Eric are blessed with two families that love and adore them to death. I am really proud of them myself and wish them all the happinest in the world. And with God in their hearts they will succeed in all that they attempt. They will have many more happy times in their lives.

Nana and Pawpaw looked like two proud parents at the rehearsal and the next day. Nana looked beautiful in her tropical dress at the rehearsal and in her pink layers for the wedding. She was a very happy mother of the groom, as she watched her little boy grow up to be a man. Eric and Tori will hopefully be as happy as Pawpaw and Nana are. To share life's up's and downs and be supportive of each other.

Here's Pawpaw outfront of the South Carolina Yacht Club where our son got married, and began his life with Tori. She is as beautiful inside as she is outside and was welcomed with open arms to our family. I am really glad I was able to recover some of the pictures. As I regroup them I will post more and continue my story.
Pawpaw's wisdom for today is....never give up on things that matter, even if you only succeed alittle, it is better than giving up completely. Trying something and failing only teaches you what to do the next time. We learn from everything we do, good or bad. Ask for help if you need it, give help if they seek it, and find love, for with love you can rely on each other for help.
I love you Eric and Tori and hope that your life together is as beautiful as Tori was on her wedding day. And as strong as Eric was handsome, as he gave his love to his bride.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Yorkie Wins Contest...Uncle is runner up.

Well the week has come and gone and I am back home again. Nana and I went to Holden Beach, North Carolina for a few days with our daughter, her husband and of course Ryder, celebrating his first Easter.
I still need to work on pictures for the wedding, but our camera went crazy and seems to have lost all our photos...Pawpaw's wisdom No. 1...empty the disk card often before the stupid thing empties and ruins your memories...it still hurts.
So I will try and find some with friends and family and post a few. Or visit my daughters blog and see hers. Laura's blog is linked to mine.
Holden Beach was really nice...the cottage had it's front and back porches redone and new shutters on the windows. Ryder went to the beach with mommy and daddy and he came back with sand in his toes. Nana and Pawpaw gave him a Hallmark bunny rabbit that sings and dances...he loved it.
Nana and I went to "Bark at the Beach" with Shiloh and Tinkerbell, two of our yorkies. Nana entered them and guess what? Little Tinkerbell won first prize for "Smallest Dog". We came home with a champion...well sort of..her dog line has a list of true AKC Champions...she took a smaller trophy I know, but it's still counts in the eyes of all those people who came out to support Easter Seals and compete.
Shiloh was nominated for Best Overall Dog, along with Tinkerbell but lost to a beautiful mixed white dog, a half Shih Tzu/half Bichon Frise male named Teddy. Not bad for their first competion, and the number of dogs at the contest. We were proud of our Waterside Herd, well half a herd. Since our camera went crazy we have no pictures...sadly...we will either get a new card or a new camera..Nana loves her pics...and I do to.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Weekend's over...A new chapter has begun.

Well, Pawpaw and Nana made it back from Hilton Head Island in South Carolina. About a 4 hour drive from Charlotte. We had left our herd of Yorkies with a dog sitter and headed south. But it was worth it, with the fine dining, lovely wide beaches and wide life everywhere you looked. We found a pond with a ton of turtles...really we weighted them...well maybe half a ton...and it was also home to a alligator...which we didn't see, but talked to a couple who had seen it many times...note to self...don't buy in that development.
We traveled to Hilton Head to be part of our son Eric, and Tori's wedding. It was held at Tori's dads yacht club, near where her parents have a home. A beautiful location with a backdrop of boats and homes.

On our first night we went to dinner with Tori's family and friends to Charley's Crab. Pictured with the large crab at it's entrance. We both enjoyed the food and really enjoyed the opportunity to meet and get to know Tori's family. Her grandpa, Dude and I spent the evening talking and laughing. Hot topics like Politics, familiy and bloody mary's...told ya it was heavy...watch those olives Dude...they might be cheating you.
The night was rehearsal night and we got to see the yacht club for the first time. Beautiful setting for a wedding. After we went through our moves we traveled to a local japanese steak house for dinner and fun.

Saturday night was the wedding. Tori looked beautiful in her gown and Eric was handsome in his tux. And yes, I too wore a tux. But my breathe was really taken away by Nana's dress, and her lovely appearance by my side. Our daughter was also beautiful as one of the bride's maids and her husband was a groomsman. Seeing those two all dressed up reminded us of their wedding only a short time ago(it's been almost two years). Since then, they have been blessed with Ryder. He also was at the wedding, and was watched over by me, Nana, his Uncle Steve and his Aunt Paula...he was a very good baby for the wedding, but he's always a good boy in my eyes.

We got to meet alot of new people and see old friends and family. Nana and I, both want to thank all who came and shared this lovely moment in our lives, and the lives of our children. We hope that Eric and Tori have a blessed life, and are proud that they have started by finding the Lord Jesus Christ, and have let him guide their lives. We love you Eric and Tori, and wish you all the best.

So Pawpaw's wisdom is this...remember that with each new day a new beginning starts and an old one ends...it's what you do in that time that is important. Make the time in life's journey special each moment, each day. Find true love and enjoy life to the fullest...deep thoughts from Pawpaw.

And if you want to go a beautiful island for a vacation, a reunion or a wedding...try Hilton Head...it has some of the best food I have had...Old Fort Pub...the view, the food...Charley's Crab...good times and food...and beaches that are wide and clean...a family friendly island located just hours away. I'm not AAA, but here's my trip map...have fun and enjoy the place where our son and daughter-in-law began their lives together.