Friday, May 31, 2013

Friday Fences - From the Shady Side

Parking lot @ Harris Grill, Pittsburgh

Went to Harris Grill one afternoon while in the burgh for a couple of drinks and appetizers. We all split their FAMOUS mac n cheese, hot wings (we got the hottest that had a little ambulance next to them on the menu but they really weren't hot at all. I mean, NOT AT ALL, but they were good anyway so don't be scared about the heat factor if you get them, unless they messed ours up lol), a red pepper hummus with feta (I'm the big feta fan), a side of bacon (which they are also famous for on Tuesday nights, which is Bacon Tuesday or something like that) and perogies, which were super, duper yummy. Actually, all the food was good, as was the service and the ambiance was F.U.N.! We sat outside on the patio.

Nick and I went inside to use the restrooms before we left and the bartender had us try some bacon rum and bacon vodka! Wow, those were weird and bacon-y!

Isn't this fence awesome?

Linking with Friday Fences

Oh, and you HAVE to read the menu. Really fun menu with funny names and descriptions of food and drinks. I supplied the link for you above or if you are too lazy to scroll up you can CLICK HERE!

And...wait...there's more! I know I normally post ONE photo a day but today, free of charge, for your viewing pleasure, I shall give you 3 more! (what can I say, I took like a thousand pics and you don't want me to drag Pittsburgh on for the next 3 years do you?!)

Extra photo number 1:

Here are our boys with our superb waitress Michelle...from left to right are: Dalton, Braden and Christian. Long time readers will wonder "hey, where's that beautiful daughter of yours, Ashlyn?"...well unfortunately Ash had to work so she stayed home and puppy sat Ozzy.

Extra photo number 2:

Our Bacon-ator bartender! (sorry for the blur but I did have a couple of their drinks remember?

Extra photo number 3:

Your hostess with the mostess, yes me, and the hubs, Nick, the foodie!

Y'all have a great weekend!!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Signs, Signs - Deluca's Pittsburgh

Front of DeLuca's, Pittsburgh

After taking in the strip for a couple/few hours, we were plenty ready for breakfast. Nick had heard about this place from Man vs. Food (not my favorite show but anyway....)and wanted to go here. In fact, our trip to Pittsburgh was actually based on food Nick wanted to try because he's a big ol foodie and watches tons, and TONS of Diners, Drive-In's and Dives, no matter how much we tell him that Guy Fieri annoys us. Nick should have a show like really, he should.

We were lucky to walk in and be seated right away. The place was buzzing with business. That's my little family heading in the door without me while I stand in traffic, risking life and limb, to get this great photo of our dining experience ;)

Our waitress was super! I had the Greek Eggs Benedict which had steak instead of ham with feta and tomatoes! Oh my! I don't know really what anyone else ordered as I didn't care about anything except for my heavenly breakfast...although I do know Nick got some Pecan Pancakes (they say PEE-can haha) because he kept going on about how good they were.

There's been a bit of confusion about our trip. Some of you think we are still there and I am blogging from Pittsburgh. Nope, we're back and I'm blogging from my home in Botetourt! We went for the holiday weekend and returned Monday night! Quick little get-a-way but we crammed a lot in that weekend!

Linking with Signs, Signs because I am in love with that rooster!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Pittsburgh - The Strip District

We left for Pittsburgh Friday afternoon. It's about a 6 hour drive from our house. We arrived before 10:00 pm. Checked into the hotel and unloaded our stuff then went out to get a quick bite to eat. Ended up at Vincent's of Greentree as it was close to our hotel. Oh man, that place is yummy! I got a combo platter which had fried mushrooms, fried zucchini and fried cheese. I know, but I didn't eat it all ;) Nick got a sub, or hoagie as they call them there and Braden and Dalton got chicken strips. Christian stayed back at the hotel room because he had a terrible headache so he just went to bed. We did bring him back all our scrumptious leftovers though, and there were lots! (not that it was bad, there were lots because they give you A LOT of food!)

We woke up pretty early and headed downtown to the "Strip District" where we got a cup of coffee and some biscotti. We then walked around and looked inside many of the neat shops and there were tons of vendors set up along the sidewalk. Braden and Dalton bought Pirates hats after a long thought out decision on which to get, Steelers or Pirates.

We then went to breakfast and I'll show you that tomorrow because I am using it for "Signs, Signs" and you'll know why when I do. I love their sign!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Barn Charm Tuesday - West Virginia

Somewhere in West Virginia

On Friday, we headed to Pittsburgh, via West Virginia. More on our trip during the week!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Friday Fences - Waiting on Alyssa


The other day I drove out to Christian's girlfriend's house to pick her up after school so she could come to Christian's baseball game. We got there a little early. Here I am, sitting in her driveway, waiting...of course I have a camera! I noticed this house across the street while parked in her drive-way. I'm thinking...some sweet little old couple live here. This was their first house they ever bought. You know, grandparents are that way. More stable than we are today. They worked hard, saved to buy a house and start a family and never left. That's what people used to do.

My generation, we get transferred to different areas for work. That's what happened with us. Well, let me give you a little back-story for those that don't know. My husband and I were born and raised in San Diego, Ca. He enlisted in the Marine Corps right out of high school. We never got far. Wanting to see new things after he got out, we moved to the area of Springfield, Mo, after having 2 children (Ashlyn and Christian) and wanting to raise them in a smaller community. Nick has family in Missouri so we wound up there. Job transfers moved us to Georgia and now here, Botetourt County, VA! I wouldn't change a single thing. But then there is something to be said about the way things used to be. A husband and wife marrying, saving their money, buying their "dream home" and raising a family in the same home, retiring in the same home and having grand-kids come visit in that same home. That's what I think of when I see little houses like this.

A couple of minutes later, Christian's girlfriend arrived and we headed home. Oh, and he won his game :)

Linking with Friday Fences

It's Memorial Day weekend here in the USofA. Some say this is the official start of summer. Memorial Day (Monday) is actually a holiday to remember those who gave their lives for our freedoms. I get annoyed with people who confuse this with Veteran's Day in Sept or link the 2 together.

Have a great weekend! I'll have a surprise for you on Tuesday! Sneaky, I know ;)

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Signs, Signs - Union 76


I wish I could show you the cute little old grocery story that this sits next to but there are ugly work cones around it, port-a-potties in front of it and a construction trailer/office blocking most of the view of it. I hope they are not planning on tearing it down. I have driven past it so many times, meaning to pull over and get a picture but was always in "too much of a hurry" and now it may not be there any longer, depending on what's going on there. So the moral of the story: If you see something you want a picture of, STOP and take the picture NOW! It may not be there tomorrow. can't stop it. Meanwhile, there are plenty of newer buildings that just sit empty.

A little history about the orange ball:
Union Oil (for many years based in El Segundo, California, near Los Angeles) first introduced "76" gasoline in 1932. The name referred to the 1776 United States Declaration of Independence, and was also the octane rating of the gasoline in 1932.[2]
76 signs are orange balls with '76' written in blue on them. Many stations had the 76 ball rotate when the signs were lit up. The first such sign was designed in 1962 by advertising creative director Ray Pedersen for the Seattle World's Fair.
In 2005, new corporate owners ConocoPhillips began a rebranding campaign to unify the design elements of each of the merged brands (76, Phillips, and Conoco). As a part of this re-branding, there was an initial decision to pull down all the Orange Ball signs and replace them with monument-style signs in the red orange and blue color scheme. In response to overwhelming negative publicity generated by a grassroots Save The 76 Ball campaign, ConocoPhillips backtracked on this decision in January 2007, agreeing to donate several of the classic orange 76 balls to museums and to erect approximately 100 balls in the new red orange and blue color scheme.

Linking with Signs, Signs

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Rurality Wednesday Blog Hop #15 - Exit 162

Exit 162, Buchanan

Sad old abandoned farmhouse, right off the exit.

13 more school days. Almost summer!
Rurality Blog Hop #12

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Barn Charm Tuesday - M Barn on Springwood

Springwood Road, Buchanan

Prayers to the victims of the least 20 children :(

Monday, May 20, 2013


Breckinridge Elem. School, Fincastle

Last week during Christian's baseball practice, the boys and I took a walk around the school. Found a bunch of Honeysuckle growing. A long time ago, my grandpa taught me to remove the green part on the bottom of the flower and suck the nectar out. Now my own kids can't pass up Honeysuckle without doing the same!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Friday Fences - Fairy Stone Park

On Mother's Day we went out to Fairy Stone State Park and did some hiking. While up by the waterfall, I saw this little fence/railing poking out of all the greenery up on the hill.

Linking with Friday Fences :)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Signs, Signs - Riverside Grocery

Springwood, Buchanan

Our weather has gotten super, duper awesome! Was 90 on Wednesday and today will be low 80's...chance of thunderstorms but it will be WARM, all the way out through the weekend...could it be that spring is here to stay? Please!

Linking with Signs, Signs

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Rurality Wednesday Blog Hop # 14 - got mud?

Lord Botetourt High School parking lot

Someone's been out playing in the mud!

Linking with
Rurality Blog Hop #14

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Barn Charm Tuesday - Springwood Road

Friday afternoon I had to drive out to James River High School in Buchanan to pick up Christian's girlfriend from school. I really don't mind the drive along Springwood since it's so scenic.

In other news...parenting is so hard. Ashlyn is going through some stuff. I hate to see her heart breaking. If you are the praying type, please pray that she finds peace.

Linking with Barn Charm

Friday, May 10, 2013

Friday Fences - Lynchburg


Thursday the sun started to shine. It warmed up. Christian mowed the grass. It felt like SPRING!

Linking with Friday Fences

A good site on Lynchburg is HERE

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Signs, Signs - Buzzards Roost

The Buzzards Roost is an antique shop located at 718 Commerce Street in Lynchburg....BUT....back in the day, Commerce Street had quite the reputation:

During the 1800s, the red-light district of Lynchburg was commonly referred to as the Buzzards Roost. Houses with madams were located on Commerce Street (then Lynch Street; Lynch Street became Commerce Street in 1894), Jefferson Street, and 7th, 8th, and 10th Streets. In a nod to our city’s history, we decided to name our store after the historic neighborhood. The building dates to the 1890s and originally housed a wholesale grocery store called Gibbs, Hancock, & Tinkle. Subsequent occupants of the building include Jackson Bros. & Watts Co. (1899; notions; photo at left), United States Automatic Loom Attachment Co. (1910), and Fields, Watkins, Co., Inc. (1920; wholesale hats).

Prior to the construction of the building (as well as neighboring buildings), the 700 block of present-day Commerce Street was mostly residential. The late 1800s saw houses with madams located at 715, 719, 720, 721, 722-724, and 726 Commerce Street. Even before the Civil War, Buzzards Roost gained notoriety for its bordellos, bars, and gambling houses. Buzzards Roost had the reputation as one of the worst slums any police department ever had to contend with and was in the zenith of its notoriety during the canal’s packet boat days.

The Lynchburg Virginian of Novemeber 18, 1859, quoted a correspondent of the Fredericksburg News as writing,”‘Buzzard Roost,’ aka ‘Red Row,’ was pointed out to me by my ‘guide,’ and a wretched looking place it was.”

John Cabell Early (1848-1909) wrote a sketch entitled “Lynchburg in the Fifties,” in which he remembered:

Buzzard’s Roost on Jefferson Street was thronged with the most rowdy and disreputable class of fallen women and tough men, the latter mostly the crews of freight boats. Several murders took place in that locality, and the police had much trouble in keeping the inhabitants in order. On more than one occasion, even in the broad open daylight, there were so many engaged in a free fight that the police could not cope with them by the usual means, but had to get the hose and firemen and drench the belligerents, who, with their ardor thus cooled, might be seen lying about on the street like a lot of drowned bees.

After the Civil War, during reconstruction, in July of 1867, Yankee Col. George P. Buell issued General Order #61 which read in part:

“For the better preservation of the public peace and for the purpose of preventing any disorderly conduct on the part of enlisted men… All houses of ill-fame in the three disreputable localities known as “Buzzard Roost,” “Tin Shingles,” and “Curl’s Row,” will be vacated by the present occupants, and they are hereby ordered to leave the premises within ten days. If found still occupying the premises. Officers will at once remove them, lock up the houses and hold the keys subject to the call of the owner of the property… keys will not be delivered except upon satisfactory assurances of owner that the premises shall be painted or whitewashed and not rented or used except for lawful or reputable purposes.”

Lynchburg’s first red-light district by the river continued to flourish until the early 1900s. As the area became more commercial, the ladies moved to the area near the City Cemetery where a number of the madams, inmates and their families are buried.

Source: Nancy Jamerson Weiland

(While we embrace the history of our city and this area, we are in no way condoning or promoting prostitution or any of the language or content that follows!)

Learn more about the history of the Buzzards Roost by reading the following articles:

Interesting facts about “Buzzards Roost”

The Daily Dispatch: July 23, 1861.

Desperate affray in Lynchburg.

–A correspondent of the Petersburg Express gives the following account of an affray at a locality called Buzzard Roost, in Lynchburg, on Saturday last:

“A fight occurred between two Irishmen named John Spillman and Robert Searson, which resulted in Spillman’s ripping open the abdomen of his adversary with a bowie-knife, from the effects of which Searson died almost instantly. As soon as Spillman committed the deed, he ran into his house, when he was pursued by Col. Leftwich, accompanied by one of his negroes, whom he called to assist him in arresting Spillman. While in the domicile, Messrs. John Pick and David Lawson ran in to see what was the matter. When they entered they met Col. L.’s negro, who they supposed was the person who had killed Searson. In attempting to arrest him, the negro (being a large, athletic man) knocked them both down. As Mr. Pick attempted to arise, he seized the negro. At that moment, Col. L. came out of the room with the knife in his hand that he had taken from Spillman, and supposing that Pick was a comrade of Spillman’s about to kill the negro, he made at him with the knife, inflicting a serious wound upon the back of the hand.–The wound is not thought to be dangerous.–Spillman also had his head badly cut, and is thought to be dangerously hurt, the instrument with which the wound was inflicted having gone through the periosteum; but the skull is supposed by the examining physician not to be fractured. Spillman and the negro were taken before the Mayor, who continued the case until next week.”

1877 Map of lynchburg, Virginia

Lizzie Langley (1833–1891)

Proprietor of one of Lynchburg’s most successful “sporting houses,” located on Lynch Street now know as Commerce Street in the neighborhood known as “Buzzard Roost”

Agnes Langley (1789-1874) and her daughter, Lizzie (1833-1891)–both free blacks described as “mulatto”–ran a “sporting house” on Lynch Street now know as Commerce Street during the 19th-century. Prostitution was the single most lucrative occupation per capita for free blacks in antebellum Lynchburg, and in 1860 Lizzie Langley was the third wealthiest African American in the City.

In 1804, evangelist Lorenzo Dow wrote of Lynchburg ”… where I spoke in the open air in what I conceived to be the seat of Satan’s Kingdom. Lynchburg was a deadly place for the worship of God.” This was in reference to the lack of churches in Lynchburg. As the wealth ofLynchburg grew, prostitution and other “rowdy” activities became quite common and, in many cases, ignored, if not accepted, by the “powers that be” of the time. Much of this activity took place in an area of downtown referred to as the “Buzzard’s Roost.”

I found that info and more RIGHT HERE!

Linking with Signs, Signs

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Rurality Wednesday Blog Hop #13 - Dogwoods and Rain

I never got around to posting the obligatory spring blooms this year. Don't know why, just didn't. The Dogwood and Redbuds are my favorite, and they have almost completely disappeared, changing from pretty flowers, to their leaves of green.

We've had a couple of days of rain. A lot of rain. So much that the James River is flooding. Still more expected today. Braden and Dalton's elementary school lost power yesterday morning. They kept the kids in school but they all had to sit in the hallways and read. As of last night the power still hadn't been restored, so school is closed for them today.

The James River in Buchanan. I didn't take this photo. Snatched it off the news station's Facebook page. See those signs? Those are sitting in a big parking lot. You can't tell though since it's covered in water. We rent canoes to the right of this photo in the summer time and take a nice float down the James. This photo was taken this morning. It's supposed to crest by noon today.

Linking with
Rurality Blog Hop #13

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Barn Charm Tuesday - Blue Ridge Park

Blue Ridge Park

Yesterday the boys and I played hookie and we went and saw 42. Ashlyn came along as well since since she's already out of school for the summer. What a great movie that is...definitely recommend!

It's POURING here. Started while we were at the movies yesterday and I don't think it has stopped. The power must have gone out for a little bit over night, clocks are messed up. I can hear thunder.

Linking up with Barn Charm today :)

Friday, May 3, 2013

Friday Fences - Blue Ridge Park

Tuesday evening, Braden and Dalton had a baseball game at Blue Ridge Park. While they were warming up, I walked down the hill to photograph a barn (thinking ahead Barn Charmers!) and noticed this fence that runs right into the jungle!

The game tied. Dalton played catcher and Braden pitched. What a team they make!

Linking with Friday Fences ... have a great weekend! Stay out of trouble!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Signs, Signs - Death To All Insects

Amazement Square...Lynchburg

Remember last week's post about the discovery of the ghost sign? Well here is a picture of it along with the "Respect" fix. Look closely (you can look even closer if you click on the picture) and you can see it over the word "Death".

Linking with Signs, Signs

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

May Theme Day - The Creative Artisan

Dalton creating a sand shark @ Myrtle Beach, SC

Check out more perspectives on the theme by visiting City Daily Photo