Friday, May 30, 2014

Random 5 & SkyWatch Friday - Beach Houses

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More beach houses at the Salt Ponds in Hampton. I'll take the yellow one :)


1) 9 days of school left, counting today. These last couple of weeks of school just drag.

2) Last Saturday, while we were in Hampton, Ashlyn called. She hit a deer with my little mini van. She was ok but called me in hysterics because she felt awful for the damage on the van. Her car was still in the shop getting its a/c fixed so I let her use mine while we were gone. She had me terrified till I could figure out that she was fine. My van ended up with $2200 in damage. I get to pick it back up today. Betsy should be happy with her new bumper/grill and headlight!

3) The boys have a baseball tournament tonight. Yay. Haven't had any baseball in a week. This has been a weird season as far as getting games in.

4) When we were headed home from Hampton last Sunday, Ashlyn was on her way to Myrtle Beach with her friend. Haven't seen her in a week. Much too long. I miss her! She'll be home on Sunday.

5) The last couple of days my hands have been itching. I don't know what I got into but they are driving me crazy.

Have a super weekend!

Linking with SkyWatch Friday

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Signs, Signs - Hip-Hop Cigarette Receptacle

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Somewhere in downtown Hampton.

Everytime I look at this I just gotta sing....I like big butts and I cannot lie ;)

For some info on downtown Hampton, which is a cool little city, CLICK HERE

Linking with Signs, Signs

P.S. I hope I din't upset anyone with yesterday's post about the turtle that died. I wasn't sure if I should post it, but it's real life and I wanted to give a shout out to the Stranding Response team. So I'm sorry if it was was to me as well :(

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

ABC Wednesday - T is for: A Turtle Tragedy

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While on the beach Monday we found this sad sight. A poor young sea turtle that had washed up on shore. The ranger had told us about him while we were walking and to make sure nobody was messing with him that he had a team on the way to pick the turtle up.

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These 2 from the Virginia Aquarium Stranding Response Team showed up and were taking notes then loaded the turtle into the wagon to take back to the lab and study. They told us they thought the turtle was young by looking at his size. Maybe 5 - 10 years old.

For more info on the Virginia Aquarium Stranding Response Team CLICK HERE...You can also make a donation from their website if you would like.

Linking with ABC Wednesday

P.S. The beach house I posted yesterday is not our beach house! It's just one of my favorites along the beach. Sad to see it all boarded up!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

I'm Ba-ack

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Hampton, Va

From a whirlwind weekend at the beach. I'll catch up later!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Random 5 Friday - Memorial Day

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Taken from Botetourt Sports Complex

On my way home recently I noticed this super awesome sky event and had to pull into the sports complex to get a photo! I'm going to take the weekend off from bloggy land to do some family schtuff! Hope all you in the USofA have a super Memorial Day weekend and those from other lands have a wonderful weekend!

And now I leave you with my random-ness:

1) Memorial Day is a US federal holiday wherein the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces are remembered. The holiday, which is celebrated every year on the final Monday of May, was formerly known as Decoration Day and originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the Civil War. By the 20th century, Memorial Day had been extended to honor all Americans who have died while in the military service. It typically marks the start of the summer vacation season, while Labor Day marks its end.

2) I really, REALLY dislike when people confuse Memorial Day and Veteran's Day. I called out a local newscaster on Facebook last year who posted a status something like "I would like to thank all the veterans who have served our country" on Memorial Day. I explained that this was Memorial Day and for our fallen and there is an actual holiday for ALL veterans called Veteran's Day. She replied, quite snottily that she prefers to thank everyone. I don't think she knew. I still hold that against her. Her initials are JJ from WDBJ7...just sayin....I'm married to a vet and the daughter of a vet...I never confuse the 2 holidays and I think it is disrespectful to do so.

3) Wow, reading number 2, I am quite judgmental...I am...I know it. Sorry...

4) The practice of decorating soldiers' graves with flowers is an ancient custom. Soldiers' graves were decorated in the U.S. before and during the American Civil War. A claim was made in 1906 that the first Civil War soldier's grave ever decorated was in Warrenton, Virginia, on June 3, 1861, implying the first Memorial Day occurred there. Though not for Union soldiers, there is authentic documentation that women in Savannah, Georgia, decorated Confederate soldiers' graves in 1862. In 1863, the cemetery dedication at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, was a ceremony of commemoration at the graves of dead soldiers. Local historians in Boalsburg, Pennsylvania, claim that ladies there decorated soldiers' graves on July 4, 1864. As a result, Boalsburg promotes itself as the birthplace of Memorial Day.

5) "As America celebrates Memorial Day, we pay tribute to those who have given their lives in our nation's wars."
John M. McHugh

Be safe and I'll see ya on Tuesday!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Signs, Signs - Burgers, Shakes & Cream

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10 Oak Dr, Blue Ridge, VA 24064
Phone:(540) 977-8648

We stop here occasionally for a burger and fries on our way back home or out on a road trip. Although tonight, weighing heavy on my heart is Ashlyn. She's mad at me. We've had a fight, exchanged some not-so-nice words and I'm feeling horrible. She's almost 20. I thought we were over this kind of tension. Guess not. Times seem different than when I was a teen. My mom and I didn't have a close relationship. Ash and I do. My mom was my "mom". The one who made the rules. The one I sassed and lied to. With Ash and I it has been different. I'm her mom. But I'm also her bud. We share things. I read and hear that you aren't your kids' friend/buddy. But I am. I genuinely like my kids. We laugh and have fun. I guess that makes it hard to draw a line when you are serious. I don't know.'re always learning how to do it, right?

Linking with Signs, Signs

****Update****It's all good. We kissed and made up before bed. I was feeling all sad and emotional after a few glasses of wine lol...dang, I love that girl!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

ABC Wednesday - S is for Stunning Sidekicks

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My oldest SON Christian and his SERIOUS girlfriend Alyssa. One of my favorite pictures from the Prom Photo SHOOT last SATURDAY! We met at Hollins University for pictures. Apparently it is a photo hot SPOT for prom pictures! After pictures, we SAID our goodbyes and wished them well as they drove off into the SUNSET headed for the Hotel Roanoke to make many prom memories!

Visit ABC Wednesday for more S's! ;)

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Norfolk and Western

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The old Norfolk and Western railway bridge which is now along the Percival's Island Trail System in Lynchburg. We walked this back in March or so but will need to make another trip now that everything is green!

For more info on Norfolk and Western, CLICK HERE....Linking with Rubbish Tuesday, Our World Tuesday, and Ruby Tuesday Too :)

Want to see some fab shots of Lynchburg? Click Here!

Monday, May 19, 2014

The Secret Garden

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Another from the Community House in Buchanan (see Friday's post)....not wordy today....17 days of school left....boy are we ready!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Random 5 Friday - Community House

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"One of Buchanan’s best known pre Civil War Era structures is the Wilson Warehouse (Community House). Completed in 1839 for John S. Wilson as a combined store, warehouse and private residence the structure is still in use today. The John S. Wilson Company was the chief shipper and receiver of goods during “Canal Days” when Buchanan acted as the western terminus of the James River & Kanawha Canal." Continue Reading

Random time:

1) Last Friday I was preparing for Ashlyn's graduation, here's a couple of photos of that:
me and my girl

our family, with enormous Chris, Ash's boyfriend

2) Now I'm preparing for Christian's prom. Have to meet him and his date at Hollins University tomorrow afternoon for pictures and then I am working After Prom. It's going to be a LOOOOONNNGGG night tomorrow.

3) So sad about the fires out in San Diego. That's where I'm from. Nick's sister had to evacuate her home. I have friends that their children's schools are closed. I've heard it's arson. That is just disgusting.

4) Tonight I am making this for dinner....sounds yummy!

5) Last week I made this for dinner and it was a hit. Will definitely do again!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Signs, Signs - Sgt. Bob Morgan and a Wrap-Up of the Battle of Buchanan

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The boys are getting a lesson about Sgt. Bob Morgan.

"Mary and Molly Bell were two young women from Pulaski County, Virginia who disguised themselves as men in order to fight with the Confederate Army during the Civil War. It seems their uncle had decided to join the Union Army in 1862, so Mary and her cousin Molly decided to make up for his defection by enlisting on the opposing side under the names of Tom Parker (Mary) and Bob Morgan (Molly). They started out in the cavalry, but were captured after just one month. They were soon rescued, and then joined the 36th Virginia Infantry, with whom they served for the next 2 years.

"Tom" and "Bob" were both good soldiers, described by their fellow infantrymen as "gallant, first-class fighting men." During the course of their service, Tom was promoted to corporal, while Bob, who managed to kill 3 Yankee soldiers one night while on picket duty, made sergeant. Bob also showed "his" mettle when severely wounded in the arm. "He" refused to see a doctor, fearing that "his" secret would be discovered, so he laughed the wound off as "just a scratch." Tom tended the wound, and Bob was able to recover and keep on fighting.

The secret came out after the battle of Cedar Creek on October 19, 1864 when Tom's and Bob's commanding officer was taken captive. They had confided the truth of their gender to this captain, so he could help them avoid physical exams or anything else that might expose them as women. In his absence, they decided they had best confide in their new commander, a recently promoted lieutenant. This proved to be a bad move, as this liuetenant promptly turned them over to General Early, who denounced them as "camp followers" and sent them to the notorious Confederate prison Castle Thunder where they were imprisoned for three weeks. Upon their release they were sent back to the family farm in Pulaski County, and were reported by the Richmond Daily Examiner as being "perfectly disconsolate" at being forced to leave their comrades in the 36th." Found HERE

Linking with Signs, Signs

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

ABC Wednesday - R is for Retro Photographer - Battle of Buchanan VII

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Meet Jeff. He's the proprietor of Black Paw Collodion and specializes in Ferrotype and Ambrotype photography.

A Civil War photobomb?

Jeff was so kind to make our photo and show us step by step how it's done. Interesting and quite impressive! Thanks Jeff, it was nice meeting you!

For more info on Jeff's photography visit his website: Black Paw he has some super images he made from the Battle of Buchanan visible on his site. Awesome work!

Linking with ABC Wednesday

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Battle of Buchanan VI

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And...even more old/new. Ok, this is kind of funny and I didn't realize it till I was posting this photo. See the young girl, second from the back? Well Braden and Dalton had a little crush on her. This is how small Botetourt is... The next weekend they had a baseball game in Fincastle. Saw this same girl there... A boy from their team knows her and was supposedly going to get her number for them lol...kind of forgot about that till now...I'll have to find out how that all went down! Love living in a small town!

Linking with Our World Tuesday, Rubbish Tuesday, and Ruby Tuesday Too!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Battle of Buchanan V

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More old/new. Bringing the cannons in.

It's Monday, and it really feels like it too...blah...more espresso is needed...

Hope all you mamas had a good Mother's Day :)

Friday, May 9, 2014

Random 5 Friday - Battle of Buchanan IV

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Another blending of old and new.

Now randoms:

1) Tonight my oldest, Ashlyn, graduates from Virginia Western, our little community college with her Associate Degree. Those 2 years flew by. Click Here to see my post about her graduation from high school. After the ceremony we're taking her to Ichiban. Her favorite. An identical night as her high school grad night. Then she'll be heading to JMU in the fall. Sigh....

2) We bought Christian (well went halfsies with him) a new car yesterday. It's a white Buick Regal. Used of course, but new to him. He loves it. I hope he gets a lot of safe, happy driving in it!

3) The boys have a doubleheader in the morning then I think we're going to the grand opening of Explore Park. You can read about it HERE. I love that place and happy to see them get it going again. I've done a few posts there over the years HERE

4) 23 days of school left!

5) And a little video of the dance at the reenactment (sorry for the poor quality, I suck!)

Have a super weekend!!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Signs, Signs - Civil War Laundress - Battle of Buchanan III

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Sorry if it's hard to read the "laundry list" ha...I really had to play with the contrast because it was written so lightly but I found it interesting so I wanted to share. Maybe you knew this already but I didn't. Many women followed the troops as a laundress. In a lot of cases there was nothing left for the women back home so they followed their husbands to do their laundry, and it was quite the coveted position. I am going to copy/paste the following info from rather than give you the link because it's hard to follow with all those pesky here ya go:

"Laundry During the Civil War - The Civil War Laundress
The Invisible Women Behind the Troops

Unlike the highly organized and efficient Quartermaster Corp of today's Army which handles laundry for our troops, America's Civil War men in blue and grey relied upon the camp laundress. She often became one of the most respected and highest paid members of the camp for her basic, but important, work.

According to the Union Army's 1861 Military Handbook, only women of good character were allowed to be a laundress. Each woman had to obtain a "Certificate of Good Character" from Army headquarters before she was allowed to begin working. The laundress was usually married to or mother of one of the soldiers in the company with which she served. According to records, each Union company was allowed up to four laundresses while Confederate companies had up to seven laundresses. When broken down, this meant each Union laundress was responsible for mending and cleaning the clothes of around 20 men.

The salary of the laundress was paid by the Army by deducting the fees from the soldiers' pay. Each enlisted man had 50 cents withheld monthly, unmarried officers $1.00 to $2.00 monthly and married officers paid $4.00 monthly. If the officer's had family traveling or visiting with the company, additional fees were negotiated. For the men who could not afford to pay the fees, they washed their own clothes or simply wore them unwashed until the clothes fell apart.

The laundress was provided a tent, rations, a hatchet and services of the company surgeon. They were allowed to bring along their children, dogs and household items like beds, cribs and linens. In her "free time" she often assisted the doctor with wounded and sick men. "Suds Row" where the laundresses worked and lived was off-limits to the rest of the camp. The women did not move with the troops during sieges and battles but did move as a new camp was set.

The laundress was required to supply her own equipment and supplies. The basic supplies for each woman were two 25-gallon oak tubs (each weighed about 35 pounds when empty), buckets, iron cauldrons for heating water, fire grates, scrub boards, homemade soap, bluing, ropes for clothes lines, irons and sewing supplies.

These tools were crucial to her livelihood and had to be kept in good shape. The wooden tubs and buckets leaked if they were left to dry for too long, so they had to be soaked to keep them watertight. However, the water had to be changed often because if left too long, the wood became slimy and rotted. Irons had to be stored standing up to keep the bottoms smooth, clean, and free of rust. Wax was placed on the irons to keep them from rusting.

And, the laundress had to make her own soap by rendering animal fat and adding lye. Soap making was a day long process of stirring the soap while it "cooked" over an open fire. A few women did have access to soap from a company called Procter and Gamble. During the Civil War, the Cincinnati company won contracts to supply the Union Army with soap and candles. The military contracts introduced Procter and Gamble products to soldiers from all over the country. Once the war was over and the men returned home, they told their families about the company's products and launched their national, and then global, growth.

Doing laundry for the troops was, at best, a three to four day process for each load of clothes involving ten steps.

Mending by hand
Presoaking and stain removal
Washing in hot water
Scrubbing on the wash board
Boiling in hot water to kill insects
Rinsing three times in cool water
Bluing of white items
Ironing was not included in the usual price. Each ironed shirt costs and extra three cents. Most of the troops saved their money for other things, but officers did pay for ironed shirts.

The job of laundress was hard labor under the conditions of weather and war. But the incentives that drew draw women to it were the pay and the opportunity to stay with her husband or son rather than endure a long or probable permanent separation."

Copied from HERE

Linking with Signs, Signs

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

ABC Wednesday - Q is for Quartet - Battle of Buchanan II

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These pretty little antebellum ladies got tired of all the warring going on across the street and made their way over to the Copper Top for an adult libation, or 2! I thought it was kind of neat seeing them all dressed up like that and drinking a beer!

Linking with ABC Wednesday

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Battle of Buchanan I

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The cannon is fired at Union Troops as General Lee watches. Here's how it went down:

"Confederate General McCausland and his confederate troops fighting to delay Union General Hunters fiery Raid of the Valley. As Hunter’s troops ford the river upstream, McCausland troops hold their ground. As the Buchanan Turnpike Bridge burns destroying approximately thirty homes and businesses, troops blast the mountainside blocking passage along the ridge road leading from Buchanan to Liberty."

For more info on the battle, Click Here

Linking with Rubbish Tuesday and Our World Tuesday

Monday, May 5, 2014

Monday Murals - Interlocking Tower

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Old interlocking tower in Lynchburg, built in 1924:

"In 1924, C&O Ry built a two story, brick interlocking tower in Lynchburg, Virginia beside the diamond of the N&W Ry crossing. The N&W double tracked "Old Mainline" tracks were from Island yard and points east, and to Union Station and points west in the opposite direction. The C&O tracks were from Richmond to the east and Clifton Forge to the west. The 1924 brick structure replaced an old wood building, also constructed by the C&O. To both railroads, it was known as ND cabin/tower. The Southern Railway also passed nearby but it crossed the N&W a few hundred yards to the west at "X" tower and for several decades all three railroads had passenger trains using Union Station, as well as streetcars of the Lynchburg Traction & Light Company. Both ND and NC towers were replaced about 1950 by the one story "NC" tower which was located across the N&W tracks, in front of Union Station. NC controlled movements on the nearby tracks of N&W, C&O and Southern Railways.

Having an original diagram book for railroad signs published by the C&O, I was able to make an accurate replica of the ND sign which was attached to the side of the brick building. Originally, there were two signs on either side of the southwest corner, at second floor level. On the eastern side, hung a sign, "N&W Crossing" which lasted into the 21st century!
The replica sign was finished and hung March 19, 2009. The picture of ND Cabin was made in February 2009."

Found that interesting history and a photo of the building before it was "tagged" HERE. Lots of great railroad histories on that blog!

Linking with Monday Murals

Friday, May 2, 2014

Random 5 Friday - The Calloway Store

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This is the old Calloway Store, on Pierce Street in Lynchburg. Just down from Anne Spencer's house. Let me give you a little history about Pierce Street:

"Pierce Street was first settled in the 1850s. During the Civil War, the area was the site of the Confederate Camp Davis which served as a military hospital as well as a gathering point for recruits from the state of Virginia.

During Reconstruction, the abandoned barracks were converted to housing for Federal soldiers, a freedmen’s school, and a black Methodist church. The area was annexed into Lynchburg in 1870." (Taken from the Anne Spencer website)

The Calloway Store was one of the first African-American owned grocery stores, built in 1877.

Some historical info on the store:
"William J. Calloway purchased Camp Davis land in 1877 from William and Fannie Ford and built a neighborhood general store with living quarters upstairs for his wife, Rebecca Pride Calloway, and himself. The owners of the store and occupants of the upstairs apartments have evolved through the ensuing 150 years.
The store was one of the first minority owned and operated stores in Lynchburg.

The sequence of names of the store has been:

1877 Calloway Store
1900 Calloway and Spencer, “Dealers in Plain and Fancy Groceries, Country Produce, Tobacco and Cigars”
1912 Spencer’s Grocery
1940 Hamilton’s Cash Store
1968 Pierce Street Grocery Store" (Taken from the Anne Spencer website)

The Spencer family is currently restoring the store and the upstairs apartment. Read more about this historical neighborhood HERE

Now my randoms:

1) I switched out my morning coffee for espresso this week. I needed an extra kick.

2) Flipping through the tv channels last night, I stopped on My Big Fat American-Gypsy wedding. I noticed that part of it is filmed in Lynchburg and they say there is a small population of Roma Gypsies in Lynchburg. Who knew? I really don't understand what the gypsies are though yet. Then that show was followed by "Gypsy Sisters". It's like a Jersey Shore but with Gypsies. The 2 shows are somehow related to each other. I kind of liked them though. I'll probably watch again.

3) Speaking of Gypsies, when I was a kid I dressed as a Gypsie for Halloween twice. My mom had a huge collection of square dance dresses. One was "gypsy-ish" and I loved that I could wear tons of make-up and big hoop earrings! I didn't really know what a Gypsy was back then either, but seems to me I had the look down!

4) Is the word "Gypsy" supposed to be capitolized?

5) Baseball doubleheader tomorrow. Finally some baseball! We haven't had a chance to play since they don't schedule anything over spring break, then our first game back got rained out. Looking forward to it! Sunny and 70, perfect baseball weather!

Have a great weekend :)

Thursday, May 1, 2014

May Theme Day - Squares - Anne Spencer House - IV

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This is the front porch of Anne Spencer's house. I love the checkerboard tile! And of course it fits right in for City Daily Photo's theme this month, so yeah...and here's more squares:

Isn't this gate precious and I just adore the color of's such a magical garden!

And now meet our gracious hostess:
This is Shaun Spencer-Hester. She is Anne Spencer's granddaughter and takes care of things. We were so fortunate to get the chance to talk to her and she is just one of those people that you can talk to for hours! If you have any questions about the house/garden/community you can click "contact us" on the website and she is the one that will answer all your questions. If you haven't checked out the website yet I encourage you to do so because not only is there interesting info on Anne Spencer and her history, but also histories of the neighborhood as well. Very fascinating stuff!

To visit the website, Click Here and to see more squares, visit City Daily Photo

Anne Spencer House and Museum
1313 Pierce Street • Lynchburg, Virginia 24501 • 434-845-1313