Monday, December 29, 2014

Frantic Life

So, I failed my photo challenge. 
There was just no way I could keep up with the frantic rush of the Christmas season, 
the multiple illnesses the Brat Child had, 
my own health issues, 
the dog's ongoing mystery illness, 
the cat's UTI, 
normal life and all its demands,
 taking specific photos 
and blogging. 

So, here are the photos I did take:
 Ok, so I didn't take this, my sister did 
(that's her front and center with me to the left, 
my mom to the right and my daughter in the back), 
and it was taken on Thanksgiving, 
 but it was going to be my photo for "Family".
 This is Bailey getting one of her regular baths with medicated shampoo.
Since August, Bailey has had a mysterious skin issue where she looses her hair
and scratches until she has open sores which then develop into skin infections.
We are on possible diagnosis #3: food allergy. 
I now get her meds at the Pharmacy-
the name reads "Bailey J. dog of Jamie"
 This is Gibbs the cat.
Here he is shown playing dead 
waiting for an unsuspecting Vet Tech to enter the room
so he can attack them.
He went from love bug to rabid jaguar in 6 seconds.
After attacking the tech and me, 
he prowled the room continuously
hissing and growling and swiping at whatever got in his way.
He had a UTI, easy enough to fix with pills.
Ever try to give a rabid jaguar pills?
 This is Gibbs hiding from getting his pills.
He learned to keep the pills in the side of his mouth
so I thought they had been swallowed,
then he's spit them out in the hallway.
Now I crush them up and mix them with canned food.
So far he doesn't suspect.
 A photo from Valley View Farms in Baltimore.
It has every ornament imaginable
even some you can't imagine.
 Christmas Day and the Brat Child with one of his favorite gifts.
 A shot of one of my favorite gifts- the game Quelf.
If you want a night full of hysterical laughing,
play this game.

So those are the photos I managed to snap this month.
Will I manage to do the January Challenge?
Who knows.
I'll make an effort, but I'm not going to make it seem like a chore
or worry about getting it done.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Photo Challenge

#6 Shopping- 
not that I got much accomplished 
since I had both Big E and the Brat child with me.
Neither one is keen on shopping.

#7 Bright. 
No explanation needed

#8 Ornament-
This is my flying pig ornament.
The pig is actually an example of Scherenschnitte
which in German literally translates to "scissors cut".
It's the art of cutting paper into decorative designs.

#9 Something You're Reading-
Picked this up at REI (my new favorite store)
in order to learn some things for the big hike in October.

#10 Wrapping Paper

#11 Green

#12 A Beautiful Sight
Our church Christmas tree-
not only is it beautiful, but so are the handstitched Chrismons
and the fact that the Brat Child was so thrilled to help in the decorating.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Photo Phriday (on Monday)

I'm a slacker, I know, but things get hectic and time disappears and suddenly 
it's Sunday night and you're laying in bed and you realize 
that you never blogged the photos on Friday like you intended.  
You also realize you forgot to do something with the Elf on the Shelf- 
who is really the Elf on the Top of the Refrigerator 
because that's where you toss him after each day's shenanigans.  
But despite this, you stay in bed and channel Scarlett O'Hara 
and decide to worry about it tomorrow.
So, here are the first 5 photos, 
and I promise I'll get back on my designated schedule
(like there's anyone out there reading this and disappointed I didn't blog on Friday)
Day 1: My View
(outside my office)
Day 2: Favorite Holiday Movie
(Miracle on 34th Street- actually Big E's favorite)
Day 3: Red
(Our family ornament at church)
Day 4: Joyous
(The first married couple Christmas tree)
Day 5: Today's Temperature
(It's really just rain and extreme fog but looks as cold as it was)

Monday, December 1, 2014

Something New

I posted this today over on my other blog.
I thought it couldn't hurt to do the same here on this blog
and see what happens.
With the holidays breathing down my neck and snapping at my ankles nearly upon us, 
free time is nonexistent and stress in over abundance 
both of which make blogging 
or having any kind of coherent thought nearly impossible.  
So I'm going to attempt this photo a day challenge:
Every Friday will be "Photo Friday" and I'll post the photos from the week.  
I'm hoping I can get Big E and the Brat Child to take photos too, 
and if anyone wants to join along and share, email me your pics and I'll post them on Fridays. 
Let's try to make this month about fun things and enjoying the season
instead of screaming and ripping our hair out

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Throwback Thursday

This one isn't from too long ago, 
just about a year and a half
when my mom, Big E and I participated in the Deltaville 5K.
My mom ran the whole thing,
Big E and I walked most of it and ran the last little bit.
The next adventure is hiking 40 miles of the Appalachian Trail for our 40th birthdays
Fall of 2015. 
Better get to getting in shape!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

One Hundred Fifty Years

New York 1862- The Chih Kiang was being built as a lighthouse tender for the Chinese Navy.  But because of the ongoing Civil War, it was purchased by the Union Navy June 22, 1863.  They renamed her the USS Tulip and she was refitted as a gunboat.  The Tulip became part of the Potomac River Flotilla in August of 1863 and served in operations against Confederate forces in the Rappahannock, Piankatank and Potomac Rivers.  She also carried Union troops and supported naval landing parties that went ashore for operations against the Confederates.
The USS Fuschia sister ship to the USS Tulip no images of the Tulip remain

Fast forward to November 1864.  The USS Tulip developed a defective starboard boiler.  She was ordered home to the Washington Navy Yard for repairs by Flotilla Commander Foxhall A. Parker.  The Tulip's Captain Smith was ordered not to fire up the damaged boiler.  Capt. Smith argued that without both boilers, his ship would be too slow thus making it a target for enemy canons and snipers.  Commander Parker was was firm- do not fire up the starboard boiler.

The USS Tulip left Saint Inigoes Creek at 3:00pm.  Once the ship was out of signal distance, Captain Smith fired up the starboard boiler against orders.  At roughly 6:00pm, steam began to fill the hatchways.

Twenty minutes later, the USS Tulip exploded.

James Jackson Pilot of the USS Tulip
At the time of the explosion, Captain Smith, the pilot James Jackson, Master's Mate Hammond and the Quartermaster were standing on the bridge directly over the boilers.  All that remained of them was Captain Smith's hat.  The boiler exploded with such force that the upper portion of the ship was "blown to atoms".  Men were scalded and thrown in all directions.  Those who escaped injury made their way to the lower gig or rowboat, but before they could launch it, the USS Tulip sank taking with her most of the men on board.

Some men managed to hang on to various pieces of flotsam to stay afloat until the tugboat Hudson came along and picked up ten men.  Though they searched, the Hudson's crew found no other survivors.  Of the 10 men they saved, only 8 of them survived.

The USS Juniper was sent the next day to search for bodies.  They found a trunk, a valise, some clothing, a lot of letters marked U.S.steam Tulip, large sections of the deck, the pilot house and the first cutter which was lying on the beach.

There were no bodies.

Eventually there were 8 bodies that washed ashore, all of them burned and broken beyond recognition.  They were buried at Cross Manor on Saint Inigoes Creek.  It is believed that the area of the graves has since eroded into the water, but a monument stands at the site commemorating those men who lost their lives.
General area where the graves were located

So on Veteran's Day, whether it's been 150 years or 150 days since they saw battle,  please remember those men and women who have served.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Oyster Festival

This weekend I had the opportunity to attend the annual 
Oyster Festival in Urbanna, VA.
It's been many many years since I've been to an Oyster Festival.
These dogs were probably one of the coolest things I saw.
We toured some boats including the Godspeed
(pictured above)
from Jamestown.
The Brat Child built a boat and sailed it in the "pond"
There were unique recycling opportunities
to help Save the Bay
(and oysters)
And of course a parade with Shriners driving smaller than normal vehicles

And marching bands.

Overall it was a nice afternoon
spent in a quaint town
on what was probably one of the last warmish days of the fall.
(And I intend to head back to Urbanna next year when it isn't packed with people)

Friday, October 31, 2014

shots from the water

So during my last trip to Aaron's Beach,
I spent most of the time floating around in the water.  
I enjoy having my feet firmly on the ground, 
or at least knowing I can put my feet firmly on the ground.
Big E tends to go out as far as he can, 
even if he can't touch the bottom.
(that's him in the above photo where the arrow is)
So he tries to take me out in the deep
with all those sharks and things in the water.
I broke free from his grip on my floaty screaming and running for shore
resisted at first
then I realized
1. I have a waterproof camera and
2. I could get some shots from the water
Can't say the cormorants were pleased with the invasion,
and I was extremely worried about the waves
bashing me against the pilings.
But I'm glad I ventured out in the deep.
Next time hopefully the waves won't be so big
and I won't have trouble taking shots while bobbing up and down.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Afternoon at the Beach

During my last visit, 
my mom and Big E and I all went to Aaron's Beach for the afternoon.
There was a strong gale brisk wind blowing in off the water,
and it had the waves so high it sounded like the ocean.
Despite that, we ventured in with our various floaties and chilled out.
My mom chillin with her noodles
Here you can see the top of Big E's head.
This demonstrates the height of the waves-
I was in the trough between two waves 
and Big E was on the downside of the next wave.

Having a waterproof digital camera is awesome.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Throwback Thursday

l-r: Kim (or Christie I don't remember which) me, my cousin Ty, his dad Uncle Ray and cousin Jeff

This photo is circa 1980-something.
Based on my look here, I'm thinking early 80's.
This is the sort of thing we did back in the day for fun-
rode in the dump cart of Pepop's lawn tractor
with my cousin Jeff driving.
Nowadays kids drive in their own golf carts
like it's Florida or something
Seeing this photo reminds me of another fun past time
that involved the shell of a push mower. 
That is to say, it had the motor and blades removed
but still had the wheels and handle.
We'd take turns sitting on it while the others pushed us around as fast as they could.
I once took a tumble and ended up with a nice slice.
Seriously, I'm surprised we didn't get serious head injuries ended up keeping all our limps
didn't kill ourselves
didn't get tetanus.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Throwback Thursday

Since I haven't had much time for doing anything that resembles fun or not work blogging, 
I figured if I stick with the quick and easy typical daily prompts 
(the throwback Thursdays, the Wordless Wednesdays, etc) 
I'll at least be able to have something quick to share.

This photo is circa July 1985.
That's me on the left in the Bazooka T-shirt, 
my sister in the middle and my brother on the right.
I was nearly 10 in this photo.
That's Pepop's shed/trailer and house in the background
and our old green shed
that was a breeding ground for Black Widow spiders
(or so my grandmother would have me think).
The couch we're sitting on is actually sporting a lovely floral slip cover
to make the ugly couch prettier
or protect the beautiful fabric
depending on who you ask I guess.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Two for Tuesday

I know this looks a lot like teamwork.
But really it's Bailey (the chocolate lab)
being a dock diving dog and a fast swimmer
getting the stick first
and Bindi (the yellow lab) sitting in wait
and going to steal the stick. 
Sometimes Bindi even pushes Bailey under because Bailey
won't give up the stick.
Dogs are goofy.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Virginia's Best Ice Cream

There's a little ice cream place we like to go called Short Lane.
They make homemade ice cream
and it is to die for.
It was recently voted best ice cream place in Eastern VA.
The place is awesome.
I love the decor and color scheme.
There's plenty of seating either at the booths near the counter, 
the spots outside
or the upstairs seating area inside.
The building used to be a Post Office and General Store.
They also have some old fashioned candies and drinks.
And you can even take a gallon home with you.
My favorite flavor is Cookies & Cream,
Big E likes to try new stuff 
(he's more adventurous than I)
but his favorite so far is the Spumoni 
(but they haven't had that recently).
None of the flavors are bad.
It's definitely worth the drive to Gloucester!
Check them out!
or on Facebook