Everyday is an Adventure. Embrace it

Posts tagged ‘best friend’

Let’s Pin each other – Update for 9/30/2015

Hello all you wonderful pinning peeps! I have sadly been absent from Pinterest for too long. I logged in today and realized there are over 2000+ request to be added to the 2 Let’s Pin Each Other boards.  So here is what I will ask for TODAY ONLY (9/24/2015):

If you have asked to be added to either board and have not been added yet, send another request today. I will add you when I get the notification.

My problem adding people has been that Pinterest only shows me 2 names and then says “and 79 others” have asked to be added…so let’s try this again folks (because the 79 others are being left out!

Update for 9/30/2015: I am still only receiving notifications lumped together on Pinterest so help me out. Let’s do this:

Follow me and the board(s) Let’s Pin Each Other and/or Let’s Pin Each Other 2 and also leave me a comment below with your user name and I will do my best to add everyone as swiftly as possible!

I’m in an adding mood, so let’s do this.    And….go!













Love y’all,


Thank you Jesus

The Lord woke me up today 🙂

Butterfly on Mint

Butterfly on Mint

He allowed me to get out of bed on my own 🙂 There’s coffee & rich delicious creamer all morning. The children God gave me are healthy (one with healing swimmers ear) and Old Man Puddy is still kicking.

Our faithfully dedicated pup protected me from a vicious looking pool float on our morning stroll. (Ha!) And my sweet husband was right beside me when I got up early to taxi my boys to & from work.

Our land is healing & our home is cool in this summer heat. My vision is blurring but the Lord provides glasses so I can still see.

Life is short…shorter than we think. God’s love is powerful…stronger than anything. Grace is a gift…one not deserved. Faith is a must…not occasional as needed. Salvation is sweet…enduring and promised. Blessings are gifts…not to be forgotten.



Adventure in the Chincoteague Bay

While on the Island, a popular question asked by tourists is “what is there to do on this small island?”  The answer to this question literally cracked me up: Catch crabs! What? The good news is antibiotics or other medications are not needed if you catch crabs here. 🙂

On the bay side of the Island there are docks available for public use & a fishing license is not needed. Many forms of life thrive in the bay. There are crabs, birds, frogs, turtles, fish, billions of variations of snails, and much more.

A couple of mornings/evenings Nick & I watched the fiddler crabs perform their mating dance rituals. These dances are composed of the male, with his one oversized claw, waving it wildly in the air. He pranced back & forth waving this club claw to show his manhood for the females delight. Once he’s caught the eye of that special female, he hopes she’ll pick him over the hundreds of other males dancing. Childish delight swallowed me & I asked playfully, “Could I take one home?”

In Memorial Park on Chincoteague Island, fishing is bountiful and no license is required also. We bought a net, some raw chicken, a crab line and off to the park we went 🙂 This is where we went crabbing. While there, a boy came to us and asked us if we were trying to catch crabs just before the sun began to set. Nick answered him that we were & this young man wished us luck. He said he’d been trying to crab there for years & had not done well. He took his fishing pole and walked away from us along the small dock.

Within 30 minutes, the dock began to clear out. The other fishers began to leave and take their catches with them. Some people were drinking beer, some people were sharing a moment with each other, and other people were teaching their kids how to crab or fish. Steadily, they all left the dock except the boy we met and his 2 friends.

After dangling our chicken leg in the bay for a few minutes, the crabs started to swim by us. Even though daylight was leaving us, we could still see the crabs skimming the water nearby. We caught a few small crabs here and there.  It was peaceful and quiet. (Our boys did not go with us. They had other agendas for the evening. I think they were looking the island for girls.) There was one blue crab that we caught over and over again. We would admire him, take pictures, then send him back home to the ocean water in the bay. This little booger kept coming back to us. He was like an attention needy child wanting to be admired. Perhaps we flattered him? 🙂

After all daylight had disappeared, the moonlight brought out the more unique and larger sea life. We saw a beautiful blue/green light in the water.  several times when bringing our net in, we had caught cute little jellyfish. They had no color when out of the water, but when the net was submerged again, the jellyfish began to light up. They were small and graceful. I was thankful I had not seen any of them while in the ocean. I knew they were out there, but not seeing them made the ocean water more enjoyable. I decided Jellyfish are show-offs. They wanted to be admired. The way they lit up for us, danced, and would not leave our area said it all…either that or they like chicken 🙂 image

Nick called to me, “Chrissy!  You have to come see this!!” He was standing over near teenage boys. They had caught something very large. Through teamwork, they managed to bring the large thing across the water line of the dock and they were coming straight at me. I looked over. It was a gorgeous sting ray! Her underside was white and her top was a deep brown color. Her tail whipped and swung from side to side. The boy’s rod was bent under the weight of such a large creature. They handed the pole from one boy to another as they made their way across the dock to the boat landing. She was too heavy to pull straight up out of the water.  Once she was docked, one boy stood on her tail/barb while the other boy gently removed the fishing hook from her back. They turned her over, checking to make sure she was okay and poured water from the bay into her breathing holes. We snapped some pictures and touched her. Then the sweet boy petted her and encouraged her back into the water safely.  I asked the boy his name: Jess.

“Jess, you did a great job with  that beautiful sting ray!!”, I bragged.

Shortly after the stingray had been released, the boys were all calling out to me. “Hey, Hey lady. Wanna see?” They brought me an eel to admire that they caught on their line. It looked like a huge slimy earthworm snake thingy.  I took pictures and gave them another pat on the back. We ended our crabbing adventure not long after that. image

It was a wonderful bay adventure!

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Memories of Nikki Lea

My Nikki Lea

My Nikki Lea cute & pregnant in 2010

Even though I whacked my head hard enough to remove several thousand brain cells back in July (see previous posts about PCS), I have regained most of my memories of Nikki Lea. I think these memories came back to me vividly because she and I have stayed in contact with each other and she was such a cute little kid!

When she was just a baby, not more than 15 months, my parents began keeping her regularly on the weekends at first. Then they progressed to keeping her through the week. My parents had raised Nikki Lea’s mother also. (Just to give a bit of back ground info: my parents adopted the brother I grew up with when he was 6 months old, then adopted me when I was 2 1/2 months old. They could not have children of their own, so they adopted us and were always raising someone’s children from time to time.)

Back to little miss priss…Nikki Lea was the cutest baby in the world. She had the deepest and most beautiful dimples in her cheeks and a smile that would make a person’s heart melt. She spoke well and properly (speaking proper was all my mother would tolerate), and she was a little princess. She didn’t watch TV, instead she always wanted to play…in MY room :-\

Sometimes I would get aggravated with her always following me around, but most of the time I loved her to pieces. I dressed her up in odd outfits and punked out her hair in the proper 80’s fashion (she was like 2 yrs old at that point). I applied make-up to her cute little doll face and pretty much treated her like a doll. I never had a Barbie, but I had a Nikki Lea 🙂

One day, I had been outside playing with the neighborhood boys and came in for a drink and a rest. Mom was supposed to be watching Nikki Lea, but I found her in my room…eating my Estee Lauder lipstick!! I didn’t wear make-up myself, but my mom gave that lipstick to me because I begged her for it. It was the only thing I could have from her cosmetics, so I cherished it as a child. It  must have tasted as good as it looked on a pair of lips, cause she ate the entire tube! I was devastated 😐  My poor-pitiful-me devastation lasted about 5 minutes…then I didn’t care any more. Afterall I was anxious to go back outside and play, I had M80s to use on some hot wheel cars with the guys.

This little girl stole so many hearts as a child. My dad was her “Poppy” and she called my mom “Mummy”. I was Chissy and my brother was Cot when she spoke.

Every Saturday evening, Nikki Lea slept in my room with me. When we woke up on Sunday morning, I got to dress her for church. I picked frilly little dresses with crinoline underneath, ruffled undies, and tights. By the time that poor child was dressed, I’m surprised she could walk!!! I put her in high heels once. That didn’t work out so well. She fell and bumped her elbow.

When she was older, maybe 6 yrs old, I gave her a helium balloon and told her to suck the air out of it. She sounded like her baby voice all over again. Of course, my parents were not very happy about that, so I was grounded for a week 😦  Come on! Who hasn’t sucked helium out of a balloon as a child?

Nikki Lea went back to stay with her mom around 5-6 yrs old. Her mom finished nursing school and had a great job. She was a strong woman! She raised 3 girls alone, worked full-time, and put herself through nursing school. So, it would be a while before I connected with little miss dimples again.

Then, on Jan 20th, 1996 when Nick and I took our wedding vows and became husband and wife…Nikki Lea was my little ring bearer. She was so precious! Her hair was curled in Shirley Temple like curls and she had on one of those frilly little dresses again 🙂 She would come and stay with Nick and I, on and off, from time to time after we were married…and then she grew up. She didn’t come stay with us again until 2002. She was a full-blown teenager at that point…15 or so and ruled the world. Okay, not really. She actually always had a very level head on her shoulders and was much wiser than other kids her age. She matured fast because of her environment.

After 2003, it would be a while before I saw Nikki Lea again. But I think that time we spent together and apart was good for us. I know it certainly made me appreciate her much more when I did see her! We connected when she was working at a local university and had a few discussions when she was deciding on going into the military. I was stoked!!  I tried to encourage her as much as possible to do the bravest thing – serve our country. I would have if 3 branches of the military hadn’t turned me away when I was much younger. She did it!! She made it through Cadet school (or what ever it’s called) and she has been in the service several years now.

I got to travel to Virginia to see her in September 2010 when she gave birth to her baby boy. And now, she is ready to pop open once more. This time she’ll be delivering a girl though. Nikki Lea is a wonderful mother, wife, sister, woman, and friend.

Nikki Lea… I am so proud of you little mechanic Naval momma!!

Guest Poetry – Bigger than No

Bigger Than No

Because…You Know

Written 11-3-2011 by Jim R Hensley

Photography by Christina Bruner


Halls Swamp

Have you ever prayed so hard, long, and positive that you just knew YES came from the Answered Prayer Store packaged in a YES bag, delivered by the AngelYes”?

Remember how you felt to know the answer was No, or at least the answer for now from heaven is NO. At this point, this will not change No Not Now.

This No is more of a life change than you think.

Have you grown past or above No? 

Of Course, we understand No especially if it’s a divine definite No. 

Are we obedient enough to humble ourselves even more and say to the Lord,

Yes, Lord Yes. Thank you for your No to me. I love you Lord and respect your decision. I know you see far enough ahead to protect me from myself now and in the future. Whether it be my mouth, my denial, or even if I am innocent…you have and do keep the evils of Yes from overtaking me, mine, and most of all Yours.  I am bigger than No because I know YouI know You are looking out for me. Your finality finalizes with No argument. You are My Answer and My Answerer.  If you always told me No, I would accept No.  If  Yes wasn’t in my understanding, I would settle into You… as I did in the beginning when I knew nothing of No or Yes.  Lord, thank you also for being the Yes of my Life. You are my balancer, weighing in on my substance. “?

Even the Yes, as positive as it is, is hard for me to believe.

I’ll say it:

I can’t believe You say No.

But when you say Yes, I’m in awe.  Thanks for your In-put.

Dec 2011 Decision Bridge at Halls Swamp

Decision Bridge at Halls Swamp

A Beautiful Hike & A bit of a Scare

Wednesday Friendsday was spent
hiking through Frozen Head State Park located in beautiful Morgan county, Tennessee with A Beautiful Hike & A bit of a Scare.

On the drive, my friend and I detoured a few times slightly to see a couple of notable sites. Brushy Mountain State Prison being one of those places. The drive through Morgan County was lovely & peaceful. We had ample opportunity to talk, share time, & stories together. Many of the tree’s had lost their beautiful leaves already, but the scenery was breathe taking regardless.

As we turned down the 2 lane curvey road toward Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary, I noticed that the pressure in the air changed. It wasn’t uncomfortable, but it was enough for me to notice. We passed by several small homes situated to the left of the road. Every house looked empty, unoccupied, and lonely. Each of the houses were identical in color and architecture. “Guard homes?”, I asked my friend. He didn’t know. We drove onward toward the still gated prison.

Once we reached the sign, my friend stopped the car. “Pictures?”, he asked. “Sure”, I responded after a bit of hesitation. I photographed the presentation sign and then started taking pictures of the mountains all around us. The colors of the leaves were magnificent and the tall mountains rose around 3 sides of the prison.

It resembled a horseshoe. Without refreshing my memory of Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary’s history, I was able to see in my mind how and why this maximum security prison was placed here. It was a perfect location to detain criminals and dissway them from attempting an escape. The emensly tall mountains that wrapped around the castle shaped prison were and still are teaming with wildlife.

I snapped a few photos of the guard shack. *Before I go on, let me explain that I am near-sighted, was not wearing my glasses, and dizzy from hunger.* We were about 25-30 feet away from the guard shack as I snapped a picture. Just as I brought my camera down and took a step toward the car, I saw something move. I took that same step backwards and it moved with me. Odd? I did this stepping forward and backwards a few times more. It was on the upper level of the gaurd shack & it moved with me. I moved slow, it moved slow. I moved quickly, it moved quickly.

My friend said, “Come on. Let’s drive up to the gate”, as he got in the car. I hesitated, then relented. He parked the car at the gate and we got out. We were no more than maybe 10 feet from the guard shack. We snapped pictures of the surrounding beautiful mountains and of the front gate entrance. I saw a guard in the bottom of the shack on a phone. Again, something shadow-like was in the top of that shack moving as I moved. I understand light refraction, shadows, and how it possibly could be explained. It wasn’t from this plane of existence though. I was convinced of that. I felt electricity running through me and those accompanying gitters. That place was ALIVE. Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary closed it’s doors of operation in 2009.

We hopped into the car & left. Sheeew! That place was creepy. Next, we were back on track to travel to Frozen Head State Park. Within about 20 minutes we reached our destination. From the moment we entered the park, the air smelled & tasted different. Peacefully, we entered the mountainous terrain.

After a short bathroom break at the visitor center, we picked a trail and were driving once more. I was starved to death at this point, so once we reached the trail area, we parked the car & grabbed lunch.

There was a small stream of water moderately flowing under one of the first bridges. My friend started throwing tiny smooshed tightly pieces of bread in the water to attract the fish. It worked! First we saw minos fighting for pieces of bread, then some larger fish came. Crawldads made an appearance and scared all the fish away. Look really close & maybe you can see the crawldads in the picture below. Several hikers coming down off the mountain were curious and came to watch. We were live entertainment for a few minutes! Yippee, another adventure 🙂

We began our hike and the weather held out pretty well. We did get a bit wet, but I’ve never melted with water on me. I brought along 2 ponchos incase we may need them though. The trees, moss, lichen, and waterfalls were beautiful! I can honestly say with all conviction that this was the best hike of my life, the cleanest park I’ve ever visited, and the best maintained.

I will go back to Frozen Head State Park again for A Beautiful Hike & A bit of a Scare!


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Tumbling Thursday

Tumbling Thursday was another everyday adventure.

I met a young lady through Facebook that was in need of heaters for her home. She had 2 small children & needed better heat in her home. Volunteering 2, I tested them, and verified they were in good working order and agreed to bring them to her place of employment on Thursday.

What I didn’t realize was that she lived 2 counties north of my town.

No worries, I thought… I’ll just enjoy the ride.

I asked my Best Friend to come along with me so I could take him to a few places he’d never been before.

We loaded up the heaters in my car & struck out on our 125 mile round trip. First, we stopped by Target for some Angry Bird time & a Hazelnut Latte for me. I saw one of my lovely girls there, filling out an application for employment. We spoke for about a half hour, I gave her the name & # of a lady hiring, hugged, then left off on our trip.

My best friend & love was amazingly patient on the long drive. I pulled off the road a several times so he could take a few pictures with his fancy camera. He collected some great shots!

We passed through Yuck town (name omitted to protect citizens) successfully with no negativity. And before we knew it, we were approaching the old rickety condemned 33 bridge.

This bridge has a great deal of history & is currently suspended over the Clinch River with rubber bands, duct tape, twist ties, glue, bubble gum, and a large amount of prayer! For 20 years I would hold my breathe until we successfully make it across the bridge to the other side. Here’s a bit of history: bridgehunter

“State Highway 33 Continuous Warren Through truss Bridge over Clinch River (Norris Lake) in Union County #87-SR0033-15.83 One of East Tennessee’s longest continuous Warren through truss bridges. View is from south approach, headed northbound. Note curve in approach to bridge superstructure.

1st Photo seen bellow was taken by Calvin Sneed in August 2008

More unusually scary facts about this bridge:


Part of what makes this bridge creepy are the rumors of the current bridge’s stability. Here is an exert from a local paper’s write up on the bridge:

“It’s a small community, so

people talk. But we’re fully funded from start to finish. There are no major hiccups thus far.”

“The new bridge is slated to be carrying traffic and the old structure dismantled by June 30, 2012. Although 19 months have passed on the 32-month project, Manning said the contractor has completed less than 30 percent of the job.

Workers so far have erected two sets of support pillars for the new bridge. Each pillar is 10 feet in diameter. They have four more sets of supports to construct. Each of those pillars sits upon a 32-foot-square footing embedded in the bedrock below the river silt.

Workers on barges position a metal frame called a cofferdam on the floor of the river and install sheet pilings more than 70 feet high to drain as much water as possible from the area. Drills on the barges dig 15-20 feet into the bedrock to assure a solid foundation. Explosives inserted into the holes then loosen bedrock that is scooped out before concrete is poured.

Because the new bridge is within 40 feet of the old Veterans Memorial Bridge, workers can’t use explosives for the new pillars closest to the old structure. Underwater explosives could undermine footings for the old bridge.

Braden noted the existing bridge was built before Norris Dam created the lake…”

“The 1,915-foot-long Veterans Memorial Bridge replaced a single-lane, wood-deck, metal-truss structure that was built in 1916-17 called the Ousley Bridge/Miller’s Ferry Bridge, Manning said. When Veterans Memorial Bridge was built, workers moved the old Ousley Bridge to Grainger County.”

The preceding was borrowed from:knoxnews

Okay, history lesson over, we drove over this rickety bridge twice on Tumbling Thursday.

Then we stopped at the gas station where the lady worked to give her the heaters.

Now what do we do? Well, check out the Gap of course!! I’ve written about the Gap before and posted pictures, so I’ll omit that for now. The 3 states that argue over the Cumberland Gap township area have built a walkway to the Iron Furnace. It’s nice, but it cuts off access to the water.

To get to the waterfall, one must bend down low and go under the rail or jump over it. My friend snapped some awesome shots with his camera and then…the tumbling part comes. I went under the rail, he went over – kinda. He landed on his back atop 4 large rocks. Not good…

After getting up and shaking off the dirt on his back, he was laughing. I was almost crying. My mind rushed with thoughts of broken bones, ripped tendons and that we were miles away from any hospital!! In the end, we determined that he was okay, but was going to be seriously sore for the next few days!!!

He was ready to shoot some pics of the waterfall after that Thursday Tumbling, so we picked our adventure back up. We went to Bell County, KY to find the illustrious P38. We drove through old historic downtown Middlesboro only to learn that the owner of the P38 had sold the bird. A tad disappointed, we turned around and headed back home.

The only way to get home is to go through the mountain, literally. (That tunnel has some history also) We drove through the tunnel from KY to TN.

Maybe I’ll save that tunnel for another day’s post…this concludes the adventurous Tumbling Thursday!


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And now Ladies & Gentlemen…LIFE!

And now Ladies & Gentlemen…LIFE!  Ah, life has been an adjustment lately. On Monday, Oct 31st, I woke up & got the kids ready, dropped them off for school, and came back home. I wasn’t sure what to do with myself exactly, so I hung out with my best friend.

We went to the War Bird Air Museum in Sevierville, TN.  Oh the delight! Two things I love wrapped up in a day of no stress and grand fun. This was not our first trip to the museum. We’ve been there a few times already this year.

I looked for Russ, but he wasn’t there on that day. He shared a great deal of flight stories with me on my last trip. We got to see Leroy (whom we met on a previous trip), and met a few other people we had not seen before.

After a short conversation with Leroy, we headed into the hanger. There was a new addition to the collection on display. A beautiful black replica Airwolf helicopter!! The actual helicopter used during the Airwolf show’s run time was a Bell 222 though. There are a few differences between the two birds. The Bell 222 could hold a crew of 2 (pilot & co-pilot) and seat 5-6 passengers, but the Airwolf held a crew of 2-3 (pilot, co-pilot, & weaponry position) and could seat only 1-2 passengers. The Airwolf could break Mach1, but the Bell 222 could just reach 149 mph in flight.  This was a beautiful model!

Just like every trip, I asked if I could see any birds taking off or in the air. I was told I’d just missed flight by a day. We noticed one of the two P47 thunderbolts were missing from the hanger. Also we noticed the T28 Trojan has been flown recently. So, we started asking questions about the absent P47. We found out it was in the mechanic’s hanger. Through some sweet talk pleading, we were granted access to the garage. There we met two pilots & mechanics. What a pleasure it was to speak with them!!

I was also able to get some stellar shots of the cool fire trucks too!!

It was a great day, just another everyday adventure.

And now Ladies & Gentlemen…LIFE!


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