July 31, 2012

Drawings for the House on Strudel Court

The house we moved out of this spring is now occupied by a tenant! I'm happy because he appreciates the house and its mountain view. I loved that house, although the one we have now is nice too and also has a great view.

One of the things that came with our former home was a set of the original plans. Here we see the elevations. The architectural firm was Vosbeck Vosbeck Kendrick & Redinger, which I am familiar with because I used to walk past their office every day in Alexandria. A note identifies the house as "Ski Cabin for Mr. & Mrs. R. R. Vosbeck." (It is located in Bryce Resort which offers downhill skiing.)

July 30, 2012

A Glimpse of the Daylily Festival

We went to the Daylily Festival last weekend. It was at Viette Nurseries which is between Staunton and Waynesboro, VA. This festival features wine tastings but we did not take advantage of them; rather we went in as "Designated Drivers" which saved us a lot on the tickets. I had intended to go to Viette's at some point anyway to see the daylilies so this was a good excuse to go.

The video I made of the festival is only 39 seconds long, so take a look!

July 28, 2012

July 27, 2012

Look Who's Retiring!

Frank is retiring for the second time. The first time was in 2004 when we moved to Bryce Resort from Prince William County. After a few years he decided he wanted to work again, just part-time. He joined Creekside Realty and stayed there until recently. But now that we have moved to Warren County, it's impractical to work an hour away, so he is giving up his license.

If he ever gets the lawn-mowing finished, I have a list of things for him to do.

July 26, 2012

Spectrum in the Sky


We've had more storms than usual this summer.  Sometimes you can spot a rainbow if you know where to look! With the sun at your back, look into the sky after the rain has passed (or nearly passed, at least). If there are still raindrops in the air, they just might break up and reflect enough light to form a rainbow.

We saw this one in Harrisonburg last week and took pictures from the car windows.

July 25, 2012

We Toured the Cromer Trumbo House

On a recent Saturday we visited the Cromer Trumbo House in Dayton, Virginia. My favorite room was the kitchen which has log walls; it's the oldest part of the house from when it was just a cabin.

The house is filled with Victorian furnishings and objets d'art.

Rosemarie Joswick Palmer was our tour guide. When she showed us a book she had edited called Civil War Stories, I just had to buy it from the Heritage Museum's store. It consists of articles and brief reports on the war years in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County.

July 24, 2012

A New Ladder for the Pool

Frank ordered a sturdy ladder to replace the rickety one in the pool. We had to assemble it but it's done.

I've been enjoying the pool, thanks to chlorine-free sanitizer.

July 23, 2012

Anser Anser

The grey goose has a scientific name: Anser anser. To me that sounds more amusing than technical but I got that from a reputable source on geese.

This goose didn't answer when I approached, he just turned his back and stepped away.
According to the Cornell page on Confusing Domestic Geese, "their bodies are very bulky with extreme bellies on land and a big butt on the water."

Our lake has domestic geese, Canada geese, and hybrids of the two.

July 22, 2012

Variegated Pink and White Rose

I don't know what variety this is. It's growing in our yard.

July 21, 2012

Joel, Me, Lynn

Both of my children do a good job of staying in touch with their childhood friends. Here I am standing between Lynn and her friend Joel. They've been friends since high school.

July 20, 2012

Woody Guthrie, Songwriter

This month I've heard several tributes to Woody Guthrie on the radio because it's the centennial of his birth. Tonight's broadcast of Sidetracks just reminded me of how inspiring Woody was to many, many people. And I thought about the influence of songwriters.

How many writers of prose have the influence of someone like Woody Guthrie? Only a handful. Woody's audience over the years probably numbers in the billions. Most of us know the lyrics to This Land is Your Land, and it's been recorded by numerous artists all over the world.  And Woody helped bring the social commentary type of song into the mainstream of music plus his influence on other songwriters is still significant 45 years after his death.

I think songwriting in general is under-appreciated. A good song (and sometimes even a not-so-good song) can cheer, inspire, educate, and invigorate many people. A listener can draw comfort from a song, and even find healing from lyrics, especially since they are easily repeated over and over. What could be more therapeutic? 

So let's hear it for songwriters! And hooray for Woody Guthrie, one of my heroes.



July 18, 2012

Twilight Time at the Lake

I'm getting used to having a view of a lake! Even so, there are times when I'm struck by the prettiness of it, like in the early morning or at dusk, or even when a light rain is falling on the water.

The fountain in the lake is not there for looks. It's actually an aeration system, adding a bit of oxygen to the water which tends to get high in algae, thanks to the natural fertilizer contributed by our friends the geese.

North End of Massanutten Range Seen at Dusk

July 17, 2012

Torch the Bridges!

One day we came across this marker in Front Royal near a park maintained by the VFW. It tells the Civil War story of an attempt by Federal forces to burn the bridges across the Shenandoah in order to slow down Confederate troops who were pursuing them.

“Torch the Bridges!”

— Battle of Front Royal - May 23, 1862 —
Flanked out of his position on Richardson's Hill, Union Col. John R. Kenly hurried his command north to the bridges spanning the forks of the Shenandoah River. At this spot on the South Fork stood the Front Royal Turnpike Bridge, and the Manassas Gap Railroad bridge was located just east.

The Bridges

Another bridge led over the North Fork.
As the Federals crossed the bridges, the 1st Maryland Infantry (CSA) pressed the Union rear and the Louisianans attacked the flanks.

...The Federal attempt to burn the bridges failed when the Louisianans, led by Gen. Richard Taylor, charged into the flames to beat them out.
The North Fork Bridge was damaged enough, however, that it and the cannon and musket fire from Guard Hill slowed the Confederate crossing. The Federal advantage evaporated when Lt. Col. Thomas S. Flournoy's 6th Virginia Cavalry swam the rain-swollen river and formed for the pursuit.
Present-Day Bridge
You can read the rest of the marker on HMDB.org.

July 16, 2012

Rented is Good

It looks like we've found a good tenant for our house in Bryce Resort. He is excited about living in the mountains and having a great view.

I love that house and I'm happy that someone will appreciate it.

July 15, 2012

Parade Pictures, Stephens City




I snapped these pictures at the Heritage Day Parade in late May. Stephens City is located on the Valley Pike (US 11) south of Winchester, Virginia. It's right off I-81 and has expanded in recent years to the point where it has seemingly endless suburbs. But the historic core of the town is pleasant and interesting. The town dates back to 1758.

We were fortunate to discover that the local bargain outlet was providing free seating and even free water to those of us who turned out to view the parade.



Parade in Stephens City (Encore)


We went to the Newtown Heritage Parade in 2008 and decided to go again this year. Below is a brief video of some parade highlights.

  video
Before I built the video, I looked up "fair use" information to figure out if I'm violating any copyrights. Since the band music is heard in excerpts as part of a report on the parade and does not compete with any commercial uses, I'm sure this falls under "fair use." (Posting an entire music video would not fall into that category.)

If you'd like to see more about Stephens City's celebrations of history, see all my Newtown posts. (Newtown was once the name of Stephens City.) You might also want to view pictures of this parade in May 2008 and a short video of the Sherando High School Band in that parade.

July 13, 2012

Remembering Elmer Meyer

I finally received a copy of the obituary of our friend Elmer Meyer, husband of Nancy Meyer who I have mentioned several times on this blog. Frank handled the sale of their house in Bryce Resort. We first knew Elmer as a library volunteer. He was a gentle and intelligent man. Here's the notice as sent by Nancy.
Elmer E. Meyer, Jr. passed away on Monday, June 18, 2012 in Washington, DC. He had a 30-year career in higher education administration. He was an Assistant Dean of Students at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Dean of Students at Cornell University and finally Vice-Chancellor for Student Life at East Carolina University until retiring in 1989. He loved working as an advocate for students as they made their way through their college careers. He contributed to his community wherever he lived. Elmer and his wife Nancy spent the last 20 years between Basye, Virginia and Washington DC. He worked as treasurer of the Basye Community Library midweek and as a dedicated volunteer for the Smithsonian Institution on weekends. Elmer was a life-long Big Band Jazz fan and a supporter of the ECU jazz program. After two years of declining health, Elmer E. Meyer passed away late Sunday evening at the Georgetown Retirement Center in DC. He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Nancy Ramsay Meyer and his three children Marc Meyer, Megan Hartley, and Rene Meyer-Grimberg, as well as seven grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Community Hospice of Washington DC: https://hospicenet.org/html/donate.html
or to the ECU Foundation/Jazz music program: Check memo “Jazz Studies” (a/c 0197).
Mail to: Nancy Ball - ECU Development Office 2200 South Charles Boulevard Greenville, NC 27858
Online giving: https://onestop.ecu.edu/onlinegiving/ Please select box 1: College of Fine Arts and Communication, box 2: choose Jazz Studies.

July 12, 2012

Riding the Rails

Romney Railroad Days

I shot some video on the excursion train in West Virginia. It's low definition but it gives you the general idea, and you get to hear the whistle. (Click to start.)

Obviously, this is an old train! That made it easy to imagine what it was like to ride the rails 150 years ago.

The railroad station is just north of Romney, WV. It's pretty basic, but it's also the starting point for the popular "Potomac Eagle" trains, which are more modern and comfortable.

July 11, 2012

More Candid Portraits at the Old Train


I don't know the mom and child in the first picture but I thought they looked sweet. This was aboard the old train which is used for special events. There's a newer, more modern train for the Potomac Eagle excursion rides.

Frank took the pictures of me. I did not know in advance that my pink shirt would clash with the red train!






In Romney, West Virginia

July 10, 2012

Tenth Anniversary Snapshots



We talked about taking a trip for our tenth anniversary but could not think of any destination worth the trouble of traveling. We wound up driving to West Virginia for Romney Railroad Days where we took advantage of the "shuttle" train trip.

2002 Wedding Snapshots

July 9, 2012

Marie is Touring Canyons

Marie had to travel out west for work so she went early in order to do some camping and touring. See Marie's blog for some great pictures!

The photo you see here is an old one, dating back to a trip about 20 years ago when Marie was on a cross-country trip via bus. I flew to Arizona and we went to the Grand Canyon together.

We Got a Dumpster


Frank has been doing so much yard work that he created large piles of branches, and he also wanted to clear out a truck-load of material that was under the deck. I suggested he look into renting a dumpster. Here is is!

Within two weeks he had it filled up so D&M is going to pick it up early, even though you normally get to keep it for a month.

July 8, 2012

For Sale OR Rent in Basye/Bryce Resort

We made up a flier to provide information on our house in Bryce Resort. We are offering it for sale OR for rent, whichever comes first. We put some fliers in a box by the road so passers-by can get basic information.

Click on the image to see a larger version.

Also, I just created a blog label called "Strudel Ct." This a temporary tag added to organize information on the house for would-be buyers or renters.
We've had some inquiries about renting the house but nothing has worked out yet. We require good credit, and that can be elusive considering the recent job market.

July 7, 2012

Fan in Window with Roses

I purchased this fan from a booth at a reenactment because I wanted to put it in this oval window.

July 6, 2012

Grandfather's Master of Arts

This is the diploma from the University of Michigan Graduate School that was awarded to Charles Leslie Suiter in 1924. I received it some years ago from my Aunt Clarice, packaged in the blue mailing tube (on the left) which also held his B.A. and Certificate of Matrimony.  It seems like a shame to just store that stuff so I'm sharing it here.

July 5, 2012

Suiter Matrimony, 1908

One of the things I unpacked from our recent move was this marriage certificate from my father's parents, Charles Leslie Suiter and Leora Morton. They married in April 1908 in Hadley, Michigan.

The close-up shows you some details. Pastor C. W. Barnum of the Methodist Church married them, and witnesses were Cassius and Jennie Hodgson.

All Rights Reserved, L. Walcroft

Enhanced in Photoshop® (Layer blending=Overlay to increase Contrast)

July 4, 2012

Ahh! The Pool is Ready!

Our backyard pool is finally swim-ready! After days of cleaning, a replacement liner, seven new truckloads of water, and treatment with Baquacil, we finally have a pool.

It's quite pleasant, and nice to have on these hot July days!

Links for Future Reference:

July 3, 2012

Reenactment, Battle of Port Republic

150th Anniversary of Jackson's Valley Campaign


The reenactment took place at Cedar Creek Battlefield, far from the original location but still in the Shenandoah Valley. The topography seemed different enough to me that something was lost, although both locations have a farm field and a hill. The actual battle took place near the headwaters of the South Fork of the Shenandoah and the rivers there are impressive; in fact, the water was at flood stage at the time of the battle. A turning point in the battle was the charge against a high hill called The Coaling, which looks like a mountain compared to the gentle hills on this reenactment site (not including the mountains far away in the distance). 

Not that I have anything against Cedar Creek Battlefield; it's a nice place to visit. (Don't miss Belle Grove!) Port Republic is a great place to visit too. Not as much of the battlefield is open to visitors but the town is quaint, the rivers are scenic, and there interpretative signs to help you track the Civil War battle.
See also: