November 30, 2007

Against the November Sky

tree silhouette
Above: A Tree at Orkney Springs

Left: Crane at bridge construction site, Mt. Clifton, VA

Below: A Fence at Sunset along Graveltown Road
sunset at farm

November 29, 2007

Emarel Freshel is in Wikipedia

There is now a Wikipedia page on Emarel Freshel, who was my grandfather's half-sister.

The page appears to be authored by Kurt Forstner of Vienna, Austria, a frequent writer for Wikipedia, and then corrected by Mike McMahon, a reviewer of cookbooks. (Emarel wrote a vegetarian cookbook.)

Here's a tidbit I received on Emarel's second husband, Curt Freshel. A woman named Judith who is researching her family tree just wrote me that Curt Freshel's grandmother was Wilhelmina Koesch (married name) and his mother was Louise Koesch, born between 1859 and 1862. Judith is working on a genealogy of her FRESCHL ancestors and discovered my blog. Uncle Curt was her cousin 2X removed but Americanized his name. Curt's father was Alfred Freschl. She traced their ancestors back to about 1740 to a little Bohemian village. They were Jewish. All of this is new to me!

Isn't it marvelous that I can post a few entries online about someone in our family tree and get information from strangers via email?

November 28, 2007

Civil War Ancestors

I got an email from a woman who is looking for information for her great-grandfather who was wounded at the Battle of Cedar Creek. He was with the 116th Ohio Regiment, so I suggested she look at their online reports. Also, there's a book you can buy on Amazon which is A Narrative of the 116th Ohio Volunteer Infantry. They also have books on reseaching your Civil War ancestor (such as the one pictured on the left). If you are curious about your soldier-ancestor, a book like that is a good place to start.

Of course, you can try searching for the person's name, but that may not pan out. If you know his (or her!) military unit, look for sites or publications about it. A general starting point for this sort of research is Cyndi's List, in particular her list of Civil War Resources.

November 26, 2007

One Month Left for Energy Tax Credit

There's still time to purchase Energy-Star windows and heating equipment before the end of 2007. That's the deadline for the tax credit on energy-saving home improvements. See for details and save money while staying warmer this winter.

The Gang at Lunch Saturday

Lynn, Linda, Peggy, Michele, Elias, Marie

November 25, 2007

Yesterday, Northern Virginia

Yesterday Lynn and I drove several hours to Northern Virginia to have lunch with Marie, Peggy, Elias and Michelle. Marie came down on the bus for the afternoon and then went back to Jersey City. Elias and Michelle were visiting for Thanksgiving but had to drive back to Pittsburgh after lunch. Peggy lives in Loudoun County so she didn't have far to travel.

Peggy had made reservations at the Sweet Water Tavern and had mentioned that several of us had food allergies. The restaurant not only provided a gluten-free menu but also assigned us a waitress with knowledge of food allergies. So we had a delicious meal while enjoying our visit.

Lynn, Marie, & Peggy

November 23, 2007

Post Number 1000

Happy Birthday to Lynn

For my thousandth blog post, it is a fortunate coincidence that today is the birthday of my oldest daughter. I still think she was one of the prettiest babies ever!

On the right you can see how she looked as a teenager - still pretty, as always.

Lynn grew up in Alexandria, Virginia and eventually moved out to the Shenandoah Valley. We took her to lunch yesterday to celebrate both her birthday and Thanksgiving.

November 22, 2007

Post Number 999

Blogger shows that I've been blogging since June 2005 and have almost reached 1000 posts. If my math is correct, I have averaged slightly over one post per day. This has been a good discipline for me, motivating me to work on my digital photos regularly and write a bit.

I hope you are enjoying this blog.
Click on a Photo to See an Album of My Blog Pictures

November 21, 2007

Pasture Scene

horse in pasture

Red leaves, Yellow leaves

...and a light yellow dog.

Snow? Not Much

The resort has started making snow. I suppose they want to be ready for skiers next month.

November 19, 2007

Become a Pack Leader

I finished reading Cesar Millan's latest book and enjoyed it. Be the Pack Leader: Use Cesar's Way to Transform Your Dog . . . and Your Life is the second one (I believe) by National Geographic Channel's "Dog Whisperer."

In this book, Millan continues to stress how human behavior influences dog behavior. I enjoyed his remarks on some of the episodes from his TV show, which I saw. Some of the people who he helped were intriguing and it was interesting to learn more about them. Millan has remarkable insights into human behavior as well as canine behavior. It is apparent from sources that he quotes that he has read a lot about psychology and developing confidence.

November 18, 2007

A Young Squirrel

This little squirrel visited our deck this morning. There was still a bit of fog covering our mountain view.

November 17, 2007

More Photos Taken near the Airport

Ben at Sky Bryce Airport

dog and plane
Here's Ben yesterday at the Sky Bryce Airport here in Basye. The term airport may be misleading - it's a landing strip. The airport building is rarely open except for the part of it that is used for our library.

November 16, 2007

A View from Orkney Grade

As you head down Supinlick Ridge on Orkney Grade (VA 263), you pass this view where a small subdivision is being built.

Orkney Grade was once named Howard's Lick Turnpike, a lick being a mineral spring (same derivation as "salt lick"). Howard's Lick was across the mountain and the road went all the way there via what is now Crooked Run Road. Today Howard's Lick is the site of Lost River State Park, WV.

Tomorrow's Library Talk

Terry Kester will discuss "The Other Patriots in the Revolutionary War," the experience of everyday citizens during the war and little known aspects of the struggle.
Nov. 17, 2007 at 10 AM

Orkney Basye Rescue Squad Building, Basye, VA

November 15, 2007

Down by the Dam

maple branches
These are a few more pictures from our walk below the Lake Laura Dam on October 28.

Today we had chilly winds and tonight the winds have gotten strong and loud. I imagine most of our pretty leaves will be blown off the trees by morning.

Ben likes to chase the leaves but when he catches one he looks disappointed.

A Pair of Red Trees

Maples at New Market, VA

November 14, 2007

A Walk at New Market

We've had mild weather this week except for a little rain. On Monday, Frank had to work so I took Ben out to New Market Battlefield. Unfortunately, a sign said that pets are not allowed on the battlefield trails, so we parked and took a walk along the access road.

The Civil War Trails sign is titled The Battle of New Market - May 15 1864 - 1864 Valley Campaign.

See my New Market Field Trip page.

bushong farm

November 13, 2007

A Stop at Hupp's Hill

We had doctor appointments in Winchester early this morning and Frank made a dental appointment for 3:10 PM in Mt. Jackson. We ate lunch and did a little shopping but still had an hour to kill before the dentist so we stopped in Strasburg to visit the Stonewall Jackson Museum at Hupps Hill.

The picture on the right shows earthworks across from the museum.

The museum interprets Jackson's Valley Campaign plus it has exhibits on Black and Native American participants in the Civil War. It also has children's exhibits, a research library, and a trail.

P.S. I wrote additional text on my Romney to Delaplane page. I struggled with this because I didn't take many notes on the tour because the rain could ruin my notebook.

November 12, 2007

Over the Mountain to Wardensville

We took a ride yesterday into West Virginia. We crossed Great North Mountain on Wolf Gap Road, which goes through the national forest. We've taken it to the top of the mountain before but this was the first time we continued down the other side. It turned out to be an easy drive on the other side, not as twisty or steep as the Virginia portion.

tractorOnce in West Virginia, we made a big circle via 55 west, 29 north, 50 east, and 259 south to 55 east which took us back to Virginia. I've noticed that most of the north-south roads in West Virginia look pretty much alike. They run along valleys between the mountain ridges so they are fairly straight and level. The east-west roads, however, cross the ridges so they curve a lot as they climb and descend.

November 11, 2007

A Nuthatch Visits

red foliageThis little bird was looking for seed this morning. He found some in one of our feeders.

As you can see in that photograph, we still have colorful leaves. We have had a delightfully long fall foliage season here in western Virginia. I took the above picture today, and the picture to the right a couple of weeks ago, which was already at least ten days into the autumn color season.

I feel very lucky to live in a beautiful area.

White Fences, Country Scenes

Seen from a country road south of Broadway, VA

November 10, 2007

The View from Jerome

Motorists on Route 42 may pass the sign to Jerome and have no idea that they should check it out. It's a tiny town nestled in the foothills of Great North Mountain, but it has a church on a hill with lovely views!

So if you find yourself on Jerome Road or Alum Springs Road, be sure to drive up to the church to admire the panorama.

From Basye: Take Alum Springs Road until it ends at Jerome Road. Turn left and watch for the church on your left.

New Board Member

walcroftCongratulations to Frank on being elected to the Sky Bryce Board of Directors. Sky Bryce is our homeowners association here in Basye.

Pond, Late Afternoon

pond at dusk

Spring-Fed Pond, Orkney Springs

November 9, 2007