February 27, 2006

More old mill photos

mill wheel I forgot to mention that I have a page of old mill pictures posted on AOL. Those images have all been altered a bit like this one which has a colored pencil filter added in Photoshop.

I also have some pictures of the mill at Aldie posted at www.civilwarfieldtrips.com/raiders/loudoun.html plus a rear view of the mill here.

Squirrel running along a branch

running squirrel

Waterford, Virginia

mill wheel This is the mill wheel at historic Waterford mill. I took it a few years back and just got around to working on the scan. Waterford is a charming town full of history.

I have other photos of Waterford posted at Civil War Field Trips. I am fond of one of the mill with a young boy who happened to be there.

February 24, 2006

Getting a Human on the phone

Here's a site with tips for getting past those annoying automated phone systems: GetHuman.com. They even have secret shortcuts for specific companies in the US.

I thank PhotoSource for that URL.

I'll have a soda with benzene...

I just read that the FDA has reopened their investigation into benzene in soft drinks. This happens when sodium benzoate combines with vitamin C under certain conditions. Apparently this is inhibited by sugar and cold temperatures though. You can read about it at Beverage Daily, a European site. Strangely, the American Beverage Association doesn't even admit that soft drinks contain benzoates, even though they are on the labels.

Sodium benzoate is also in many liquid supplements. So the stuff we take to stay healthy could give us cancer. Oh, great!

February 23, 2006

Photos from our door

Feeding the birds brings little visitors to our deck. I took these photographs today.

The first one reminds me of why some folks call squirrels "tree rats." I enjoy watching them though.

I brightened the second and third pictures a bit in Photoshop.

squirel on rail
squirrel on barrel
bird at feeder

One more snow picture

The snow is melted now but I want to post this picture which I took from the deck.
woodpile in snow

February 22, 2006

Another snowfall

crocus in snow
We had a pretty snowfall last night here in the mountains. By mid-afternoon it was pretty much melted away.

The crocuses are up and blooming. They are small but cheerful.

Big Nest

large nest in tree

Tree beside the Rappahannock River

February 20, 2006

More Pics from Glebe Harbor - Cabin Point

coles point

View of Coles Point from Glebe Harbor

bird in treeBefore I leave the subject of Glebe Harbor, allow me to share a few more photos. The creeks are scenic and constantly changing as the light changes. They attract a wonderful variety of birds. My favorites are the great blue herons.
dog on beach
All these pictures except for the last one (of the tree in the river at Cabin Point) were taken in winter. In the warmer months we have seen deer, numerous frogs, lizards, and wild turkeys.

ducks in water

man walks dogs


view at cabin point

February 18, 2006

More Glebe Harbor Photos

beachfront homes
cove with ducks
According to Sitemeter, I get a fair number of visitors who searched for "Glebe Harbor." For those people I am posting some more photos and a little information (boldly assuming that they want to know about Glebe Harbor in Virginia).

Glebe Harbor is a waterfront subdivision near Mt. Holly in Virginia's Northern Neck, which is the peninsula between the Rappahannock and Potomac Rivers. The closest "large" town is Montross, county seat of historic Westmoreland County. Glebe Harbor is next to it's sister community, Cabin Point, and they share a Property Owner's Association and recreational facilities. Both communities are on the shores of the Lower Machodoc Creek and its tributaries.

We own a home in Glebe Harbor which we rented out for a while. We visited it over the last few days. One of nice things about the area in the winter is the number of evergreen trees. Combined with the warm weather, they gave the illusion of springtime.

The best thing about the location is that it has plenty of lovely water frontage. We enjoy watching the water birds and walking along the beach. You have to be a member to use the community boat launch, pool, or tennis cours.

boatHere's a view of a dock belonging to a neighbor. Their house is still for sale - Search the Northern Neck Realtors site for MLS #14586.

We have found the residents of Glebe Harbor to be very friendly.

Glebe Harbor is over an hour's drive from Fredericksburg. As of this writing, It is still not served by cell phone service or DSL. (Verizon needs to get on the ball!)

I have a page devoted to our house there at SunnyHarbor.com.

homes near river

Yesterday at the beach

woman and dog at beachToday was cold with snow flurries but yesterday was warm here in Virginia. Temperatures rose into the sixties and we were at Glebe Harbor so we took the dogs to the beach.

Last year Guppy discovered that it's fun to play in the river. So he jumped right in and splashed around. I imagine it was cold in the water - after all, it is February. he came out pretty quickly but went right back in, over and over.

dog plays in river

spaniel with pink tongueHis buddy Ben likes the beach too but avoids getting wet. He loves all the smells, the salty sand, the birds, the pebbles and shells.

I'm glad we had a nice walk yesterday. Today was much colder, with temperatures below freezing by nightfall.

Eleanor Hammer in her youth

young woman

I believe this portrait was taken in the latter part of the 1930's.

February 14, 2006

Hammer to Neukommet Genealogy

Earlier I posted the Hammer Family History notes that my grandfather left. A very distant cousin posted a detailed genealogy that mentions his father, David Harry Hammer (the first). You can see it at http://www.newcomer-genealogy.com/ - click on Peter (1719) Newcomer, Senior (1684-1732) to view his descendants. His descendants are numbered so that you can keep track and it's a good thing - there are thousands of them. The folks who assembled this data did an incredible amount of work.

My great-great-grandfather was John Hammer (#18), born in Hagerstown, MD in 1806. He married Elizabeth Witmer (also spelled Whitmer) in 1832. They moved to Illinois.

John was the son of George Hammer and Catherine Hall, who married in Lancaster, PA. His wife was the daughter of John Witmer and Barbara Newcomer of Maryland.

I won't go into all the other data because you can read all about it on the Newcomer's fine site. Other surnames of my ancestors mentioned there are Gerber, Weber, Coffman, Hall, Rowland, Miller, and Kendig. Newcomer was once spelled Neukommet, Weber was sometimes spelled Weaver and even Weller, Coffman was also spelled Kaufman.

My gggggg-grandfather Wolfgang Newcomer is said to have been born in Bern, Switzerland around 1715. He came to America with his parents in 1717. (Father was Peter Neukommet.) They were Mennonites who left Europe to escape religious persecution. Wolfgang moved to Leola, PA in 1749 (Lancaster County). His farm is said to still exist there.

leaf on windshield Postscript: I updated the link to Newcomer genealogy in 2013: http://www.newcomer-genealogy.com/. Also there is an interesting history in PDF form that mentions Newcomers and Witmers: http://www.doubsmill.com/Doubs_Mill_History_4.pdf

February 13, 2006

Healthcare problems in USA

I've know people who went overseas for medical procedures to save money. Here's an article about it:
Rising popularity of medical tourism reveals deterioration of U.S. healthcare system

Someone sent me a quote from Preventive Psychiatry which explains why the claim that U.S. healthcare is the "best" is a myth. Here it is: "The health of U.S. citizens is actually the worst of any industrialized nation. We pay double, triple, and even quadruple the price for prescription drugs as any other country. We also have the highest rates of obesity, Alzheimer's, cancer and diabetes, plus the highest health insurance costs in the world. The U.S. health care system ("sick care system") is so bad that people are fleeing the country to seek medical services in Asia. It's a trend called "medical tourism," and it's flourishing. "


forest in snowWe only had about 8 inches of snow over the weekend, and many places got more. Marie has posted some photos of Jersey City in the snow on her blog. Marie is in a warm climate far away but her neighbors sent her pictures to show what she is missing.

cocker spaniel
Meanwhile, here's a few more photos from Virginia. The days have been warm enough to melt the snow from the roads except in the shade. You still have to drive cautiously here in the mountains.

dog, fence, snow

February 12, 2006

Ben on his walk

cocker spaniel in snow
Little Benny enjoys the snow. Unfortunately his feet are like little mops and they hold the snow for a long time, so it eventually melts all over the floor.

Auctioning Ken Roberts videos

videos and charts
Frank has finished viewing some commodity trading videos so we are listing them on ebay. They are Ken Roberts' Roundtables and Ken Roberts' Workshops. Both sets show trading guru Roberts conducting training sessions for wanna-be investors.

Wagon Wheel, Snow

wagon wheel

February 11, 2006

EMU Library

As I delve into family history, I learn that many of my ancestors were Mennonites. I may find it worth a trip to Harrisonburg to visit Eastern Mennonite University's Historical Library. You can search their catalog online.

Orkney Springs in the Snow

town in snow

This is the little town of Orkney Springs in western Virginia. The town is very quiet in the winter. In the summertime it's full of visitors.

water coming from rock
In the 19th century, Orkney Springs was a resort known for its mineral springs. Here we see one of the springs coming out of rock. A pipe was added at some time so that you can collect the water in a container.

The picture below is my favorite of the three. I used an artistic filter in Photoshop to bring out the pattern in the stones and add a painterly look.

rocks and snow

Birdfeeder in Snow

junco at feeder

We enjoy watching the juncos visit our birdfeeders

For details about this bird see Backyard Birds.

Snowy Saturday

junco birds in snowIt started snowing before dawn today and continued all day. We had heard the forecast of 1 to 3 inches by this afternoon but I was hoping it would hold off because there was a memorial service in Alexandria that I planned to attend. But the snow was heavy and our mountain roads were slippery so we didn't want to be gone so long. It would have been difficult driving back up here this afternoon.

We did drive to the post office this morning - there is no home delivery here. We picked up the mail and drove the short distance to Orkney Springs to enjoy the winter scenery. On the way up the ridge to get home our Montero slipped a little bit but fortunately we did not slide near edge of the road, which has a steep drop-off.

We spent the rest of the day at home except for walking the dogs.

moving dog and man

California Sunset

I made some minor changes to javins.com. I eliminated the link of California pictures because a company stopped hosting the photo pages. One of these days I need to post those pictures on one of my own sites.

February 10, 2006

Virginia Info on the Web

511Virginia.org gives traffic reports, weather, and event information for the great Commonwealth of Virginia. Here in the Shenandoah Valley we regularly dial 511 from our cell phone to get traffic conditions on I-81.

Snow is forecast for tomorrow. Well, it's about time. We had snow in December but then had an unusually warm spell.

February 9, 2006

Marie's company in the news

The Washington Post published a story on the Islamic Superhero Comics project that Marie Javins is working on in Kuwait.

And for those who didn't see the story debunking the supposed benefits of a low-fat diet, read it and join all those who are wondering "Who are these experts anyway and why are they jerking us around?"

Well, some of us have known for quite a while that the low-fat myth was an unhealthy one. About thirty years ago I followed a very low-fat diet for four months and wound up tired and malnourished. I think this foolishness brought on many of the food allergies that I developed shortly after that. To add insult to injury, I did not lose significant weight on that diet.

February 4, 2006

Captain Carpenter of the 18th Ohio

This is a follow-up to my post of January 31 on Russell Carpenter, the first husband of my great-grandmother. I shared the photo of Carpenter and a fellow soldier with the webmaster of a site on the 18th Ohio Volunteer Infantry and he created a page about Captain Carpenter and his Civil War service. Carpenter fought at Chickagmauga.

The picture here is an improved version of my second photo of Carpenter. The portrait got badly soiled over the years so I cleaned it up somewhat in Photoshop. The photo is faded too and there's not much I can do about lost detail.

Updated Spiritual Singles Calendar

I posted the February calendar for Spiritual Singles. Regular singles events include movie night, "The Power of Now," and a monthly dinner.

dark design in red and blue

February 3, 2006

Well-fed squirrels

gray squirrel
I enjoy feeding birds and naturally the squirrels come to scarf up the sunflower seeds. I don't mind as long as they stay outside.

By the way, you can find a nice selection of nature-themed items at National Wildlife.