October 31, 2006

Pirate and Fairy Princess

Elias and Meadow in costume, some years ago. Contributed by my sister - thanks, Peggy!

October 30, 2006

Up on the Roof

man on roofToday Frank went up on the roof to wash the clerestory windows. I took the camera up to him so he could show me what the view looked liked from up there. I don't try to step off the ladder onto the roof because I start to shake when I get up there.

By the way, our roof is brand new, installed just a week ago.


washing window

And here is the view from the roof. From there Frank could see more of the mountain than you can see from the deck.

October 29, 2006

More North Mountain Views

view from mountain

geologyHigh on the top of Great North Mountain is a utility cut that provides great views. The picture of the rocks is for the geologists out there.

bouldersVisitors have left some interesting symbols on the mountain top. The hearts are nicer than most graffiti. I don't know who left the blue cross.

cross and view

October 28, 2006

Another Halloween Costume Photo

girls in costumes

Lynn and Marie Javins, Oct. 1975

If you have been following my posts this month, you may have seen earlier pictures of my daughters in costumes. Here Lynn is on the left, and Marie is showing signs of her interest in superheroes.

Emma L. Carpenter's tiny books

mini biblesAmong the items that I found while unpacking from our move are two tiny books. One is a copy of the New Testament from 1868, and the other is The Book of Common Prayer from 1869. That one has a personalized cover, saying "Emma L. Carpenter 1872" in gold letters. Both books look their age, with well-worn covers.

Emma Carpenter was my great-grandmother's name when she was married to Captain Russell Carpenter. After his death she moved to Chicago where she wrote for a newspaper and eventually married my great-grandfather, Judge D. H. Hammer. Her maiden name was Bower.

October 27, 2006

Oct. 25 View

mountain view

From our deck, 5:35 PM Yesterday

October 26, 2006

Working on the MCS R&R Site

I've been working on revisions to the MCS Resources and Referral website. It includes a section on Multi-Sensory Sensitivity which results from carbon monoxide poisoning. It includes the symptoms of chemical sensitivity plus high sensitivity to light, sound, touch, hot or cold weather, and in some cases, electrical fields.

October 24, 2006

Forbidden Fruit

I've mentioned my food allergies before. Sometimes people ask why don't you cheat on your diet. Well, because I will suffer, that's why. But the week before last I took a chance and had just a little bit of fruit in some soy yogurt, figuring maybe the processing and enzymes would have made the fruit safer. It didn't.

My gums swelled and got very sore. This was 11 days ago and they still have not recovered completely. Last week I went to Frank's dentist (he had to go anyway so I went with him). Dr. Zale said my teeth were fine but my gums looked angry. He recommended salt water rinses. That was a week ago and there's been a definite improvement. Only the back left gums are inflamed and sore now. But even that is enough to make chewing and biting painful, so I've been eating soft foods. And I'm getting tired of them. My diet was already limited, and now I'm feeling hungry.

Why did I even buy that yogurt? Well, there are three stores in Harrisonburg that carry soy yogurt, none that carry goat yogurt, and nothing closer. (Harrisonburg is an hour from home.) When we were there two weeks ago, I went to Kate's Natural Foods and Kroger and neither one had any flavors that I can eat safely. We didn't have time to go to Sue's Nutrition before they closed so I decided to try some raspberry yogurt. Never again.

Funny thing, I don't tolerate soy except in yogurt. I use it as a salad dressing because vinegar does not agree with me.

My gums have reacted this way to fruit before and the awful thing is that when they swell a lot, particles of food get stuck between the gum and teeth. Last time I wound up having the dentist fix this and maybe I'll have to do it again. I hope not.

Photos Oct. 23, 2006

man in windowThrough the window is the supervisor from the crew that put on our roof. He was up there measuring some windows that need to be replaced.

And below is Monday's view from our deck, illustrating that we don't have to go far to see fall foliage. The red leaves belong to a dogwood tree.

view with dogwood tree

October 23, 2006

New roof

We're getting our roof re-shingled. A team from Tidewater Exteriors of Front Royal came Saturday and removed the old shingles, but there was a problem with the supplier and the shingles did not come. Monday all this should be straightened out and the roof finished.

Our dogs were concerned when they heard men on the roof, but they only barked for a little while.

October 22, 2006

Sculpted Squirrel

squirrel model

On the rail of our deck

I have not bribed the squirrels at our new home enough to get them to pose, but this little fellow left his job as a doorstop long enough to model for my camera.

October 21, 2006

Autumn at Shrine Mont

sign on treeYesterday we drove to Orkney Springs for the unglamorous mission of taking trash and recycling to their respective dumpsters. Since it was a beautiful fall day, we visited Shrine Mont, always a charming spot.

It did not disappoint. The trees were colorful and the open-air cathedral was peaceful yet intriguing.
Shrine Mont is only a couple of miles from Basye at the end of Orkney Grade Road.

leaves and bell tower

October 20, 2006

Should I switch to AOL's free plan?

I've used AOL for a long time. It's enabled me to connect to the internet from anywhere in the US because they offer an 800 number for dialup. This is not free but is helpful when you are traveling and long-distance calls are restricted. We once stayed in a condo in Chincoteague where you could not make long-distance calls although 800 numbers were allowed. Relatives who had MSN were out of luck, but AOL came through.

Now AOL is offering free internet to broadband users. Should I switch? I'm not sure because there are still times when I need the dial-up option. I was also concerned about the free webspace that AOL provides members. Their customer service rep assures me that "you may continue to create web pages if you choose to switch to the AOL free service."

I was also assured that "You may have up to 7 Screen Names with the AOL free service. There is no charge for having more than one Screen Name." Also, "AOL Journals are available with the AOL free service." (Journals are similar to blogs.)

Some folks sneer at AOL, but AOL has been good to me. I remember calling their customer service well after midnight and getting help.

October 19, 2006

Hinkletown, Iowa

I came across the Hinkletown website because of a connection to my family tree. In 1846, Mordecai Suiter took his family to Iowa and settled in Hinkletown. Mordecai was a brother of my direct ancestor who lived in eastern Ohio. Two of Mordecai's sons wrote memoirs which were published in the Oskaloosa Globe in 1905, and part one and two of these narratives have been posted on the Hinkletown website.
From the introduction:
In the spring of 1846, the family of Mordecai Y. Suiter, a 43 year old miller, left Ohio to move to Iowa. They made part of their trip by canoe to the Ohio River, and took a series of steamboats to the Mississippi River, where they landed at Le Claire, Iowa, and spent the winter. In the spring of 1847, they traveled by covered wagon to their claim on the Iowa - Keokuk county line.
The first year was marked by a house raising, bad weather and the struggles of preparing the prairie sod for its first planting.
The father died in the spring of 1852, in an unfortunate accident while trying to build a dam across the English River. One son, Jeremiah, became the blacksmith at Hinkletown through the 1880s.

If this doesn't interest you, check out the Hinkletown photo essay: the llama-riding goat

Autumn comes to our house

house and treeHere in Shenandoah County, the trees are ablaze with color. The dry months of summer did not prevent a glorious autumn, although the oak leaves are going straight from green to brown. The maples seem brilliantly unaffected, and several other species are adorned in shades of yellow.

wall and treesI took these photos in our driveway yesterday.

More: See some autumn photos from 2005.

frog statuary

October 18, 2006

Ladybug ladybug...

Today our garage was covered in ladybugs! Turns out they are Asian Ladybugs, sometimes called Trick or Treat Lady Beetles, and they were looking for a winter home.
asian ladybugs

We hadn't seen ladybugs swarm like this before, and from an article, I see that this variety is fairly new to the US, having entered around 1988. They are considered beneficial insects but if you have a door on the sunny side of the house, they will slip inside when they get a chance.

A Step toward Selling the Chalet

windowFrank has joined Creekside Realty here in Basye. This should help him to market our chalet if needed. Not sure if it will be necessary since someone is interested in buying it and may submit a contract tomorrow.

This window view is from the loft bedroom.

October 17, 2006

The View from Great North Mountain

If you follow Crooked Run Road west from Basye, you will labor up a twisty-turny road, back and forth up Great North Mountain. You leave the farms and rural homes and pass through the George Washington National Forest as you climb upward.

We drove up there Sunday, as far as the West Virginia line at the crest of the mountain. There we found a couple of communication towers and a rough side road that is blocked to vehicle traffic. And nearby is a gas line/utility line cut through the forest, offering views both eastward and westward. The road we were traveling continues on to the Mathias/Lost River area, but we did not venture that far.

The photo below looks east-southeast toward Supinlick Ridge, which is where we live. I believe our home (and Basye) is out of the frame to the right, although it's not visible from that point. From our deck we can see the radio tower ahead and to the right.
Next is the view in the other direction, looking towards West Virginia.
According to Wikipedia, Great North Mountain is a 50-mile long ridge.

October 15, 2006

Who-o-o is this?

Today was sunny and the leaves are changing. This afternoon we took a little drive in the National Forest. Around 5:30 we saw this owl. He let me take his picture. I felt honored to get so close to an owl.

October 14, 2006

Orange sunset, Valley Pike

sunsetWe did some shopping in Winchester on Thursday and were going to have dinner at the new Outback on Route 11. It was too crowded though - a 50-minute wait. So we went to Popeye's and as we turned into the parking lot, we saw this brilliant sunset.

orange sky

October 13, 2006

My kids as kids

This blog got dozens of hits from a link in Marie's blog to my recent post showing her and her sister as children in halloween costumes. trick or treatersSo, here is another picture of them as kids dressed up in costumes. Lynn dressed as a giant bunny and Marie was completely disguised as Casper the Friendly Ghost.

childSince Marie is unrecognizable there, here she is without a mask. She was holding a rabbit in front of her school.

I have some funny pictures of the girls somewhere but I haven't unpacked them yet.

Same sky, Different blues

dark blue skyMy camera has a menu with settings for various scenes, such as landscape, portrait, snow, close-up, and dawn/dusk. I'm still getting familiar with these. I tried out the dawn/dusk mode the other evening but it made the sky unnaturally dark blue. Like many digital cameras, this Nikon lets you view your results so I was able to retake the picture at a different setting.

Below is the same sunset taken in Landscape mode. These colors are pretty much the same as those that I saw. The view is from our deck and the camera is a Nikon Coolpix 8400.

Dog at 8 A.M.

An early morning in October

October 11, 2006

Historic Court Square, Harrisonburg

signA few weeks ago we were at a bank in Harrisonburg and I checked out a Civil War Trails sign. I took a picture of the sign and the spring house in front of the courthouse. Here's the text of the sign:

Court Square & Springhouse
Temporary Prison Camp

During the Civil War, a road (Market Street) ran east and west through the courthouse square, dividing it roughly in half. The courthouse occupied the northern position while the jail, clerk's office, and springhouse were in the southern section. Plank fences surrounded both yards. These enclosures occasionally were used as holding pens for prisoners during the conflict. After the First Battle of Winchester on May 25, 1862, Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson confined about 2000 Union prisoners of war in the yards briefly before they were marched to Richmond. Civilians and soldiers alike quenched their thirsts at the springhouse (later reconstructed) in the southwesern corner of the square. Artist J. E. Taylor sketched the original springhouse while traveling with Gen. Philip H. Sheridan's Federal army in the fall of 1864.

Fighting occurred on Harrisonburg's doorstep several times during the war, especially in 1862. On June 6, just before the nearby battles of Cross Keys and Port Republic, a rear-guard engagement southeast of town resulted in the death of Gen. Turner Ashby, Jackson's cavalry chief.

courthouse and spring house

October 10, 2006

Kids like costumes

My daughter Marie has recently discussed Halloween costumes in her blog. Well, here's Lynn and Marie many years back... not sure what costume Marie was wearing in 1969... bag lady maybe?

In the 1970 photo below, Lynn was dressed in a Flintstone outfit and Marie was pretending to be an angel. Lynn was a month short of being six years old and Marie was four and a half.
little girls in costumes

October 9, 2006

A few notes about this blog

  • There are links to my previous posts and an archive for each month -- scroll down the page and you'll see Previous Posts and Archives for each month. Last month's posts are here at http://webcroft.blogspot.com/2006_09_01_webcroft_archive.html. Note the date format, indicating September 2006.

  • Occasionally a photo stops showing up. Try clicking on the little question mark - the link to the full-size image is usually working.

Clouds on North Mountain

We had several days of rain and fog here in Basye. But even those days have their pretty moments in the mountains.

The red leaves belong to a dogwood tree. There are a number of dogwood trees in our yard.

October 7, 2006

Clearing out the chalet

houseWe spent much of yesterday and today clearing out the chalet. It's only about 15 minutes from our new home. We left some furniture there and basic kitchen ware. Potential buyers may want to purchase it furnished.

We'll need to make another trip over to clean the carpet and get more stuff out of the shed.

October 6, 2006

Becoming a cloudwatcher

sky with contrailsI think I will become a cloudwatcher. Our deck has a west-north-west view of the sky and the North Mountain Range. It is relaxing to sit and watch the clouds in the sky, and on a clear day the sky can look spectacular as sunset approaches.

golden sky
View on October 3rd

Our sunset spectacular was brief on that day. The sky was so cloudy that we only saw these golden tones for about ten minutes. Then the clouds closed back together and the sky became gray.

October 3, 2006

I enjoy our view!

view through glass doors
We've only been in this house for a few days and we are really enjoying the view! Here is part of the view from the living room. There are three large glass doors in the living room and two in the dining area.

Below is last night's sunset over North Mountain as seen from our deck.
mountain sunset

Oct. 2, 2006, Basye, VA,

Getting organized

Here's Frank in the room we are going to use as an office. We have made much progress since I took this photo on Sunday. I still have some books and files to unpack but the furniture is in place and his desk is totally functional. We even have DSL working.

In the other rooms, we are still unpacking and trying to find a place for everything.

October 2, 2006


I was offline for a couple of days because we were moving. We moved from one ridge in Bryce Resort to another one. We got the bulk of our stuff moved yesterday but there is more. At least the heavy stuff is moved, thanks to Little Birdie Movers. Yes, that's an unusual name for a moving company... and I was a little surprised when our crew turned out to be a man and a woman. But they were both strong and vigorous.

I am using dialup right now because I have not been able to get the DSL to work. I'm glad I still have a full-featured AOL account because it allows me to switch to dial-up service when necessary.

We are in chaos with boxes everywhere but we are functional.
And I love the mountain view!