February 28, 2009

Flash Pictures

Here are two more photos of our guest dog Flash. From the side he reminds me of Guppy, the best dog ever. (See posts about Guppy.)
dog in crate

They Have Me in Stitches

When I went to the orthopedist this week, they removed the large bandages but not the stitches or the tape covering them. They'll come off on Tuesday.

I took two versions of this using Photo Booth and my webcam. The other one was in color but I figured it might gross you out.

I'm going to physical therapy almost every weekday for now. It is painful but I have to put up with it in order to avoid a frozen shoulder.

Gettysburg Tours

A woman emailed me after viewing my Gettysburg Field Trip pages. She wanted to find a tour guide for a group of educators for whom she is planning a trip to Gettysburg.

I was able to answer her fairly quickly because I recalled that Gettysburg Battlefield has a policy that tour guides must be licensed there. A quick search took me to the Association of the Gettysburg Tour Guides.field If you are going in a small group you can join one of the tours at the Visitors Center; a large group should make a reservation in advance.

Since her group is coming from far away, I commented that a trip to Gettysburg can easily be combined with a trip to Harper's Ferry, Frederick, or Antietam. These all offer fascinating historical sites. Frederick (Maryland) has the Museum of Civil War Medicine, the Barbara Fritchie House, and nearby Monocacy Battlefield.

February 27, 2009

A Thoughtful Blog for Bloggers

I came across a blog called "What Makes them Click" and I'm finding it very interesting. It's written by psychologist Susan Weinschenk, author of Neuro Web Design. If you are seeking ways to use your website more persuasively, consider her posts such as 5 Ways to Engage the unconscious mind at a website. Also I enjoyed reading about Why boomers go kicking and screaming into blogging.

Beagle in the Bath

Lynn's dog Flash is staying with us while her home airs out. The fumes from her recent fire (sheetrock near the chimney) made both her and the little dog ill so he is staying with us and she is staying with friends.

Here Frank is giving Flash a bath. He's a really good dog, very cute. Frank calls him Jack or Jumping Jack Flash.
dog in tub
Meanwhile, Lynn has been treated for bronchitis and a knee injury. She has discontinued her Comcast cable and email service, so those who write her should use her old Yahoo address.

February 26, 2009

A View from the Old Squirrel Ridge

When we lived on Joyce Court, we were on top of a nameless ridge (as far as I know), so I called it Squirrel Ridge. We could only see the mountains through the trees in wintertime. The view here is from the house next door to our chalet.

February 25, 2009

Frank is Selling Resort Homes

Frank has been busy. He found a lady a great deal over on Longstreet Drive and it looks like it will go to settlement. His listing on Aspen is also heading toward settlement soon. And now he has a new listing, the house that was next door to ours when we lived on the other side of Bryce Resort.

MLS #SH69885664 Bedrooms, 3 baths
Price: $342,500More info at BryceHome.com

February 24, 2009

Tulips As Shot with Photo Booth

woman with flowersWe had strong sunlight this afternoon so I took some pictures in the dining room using my MacBook's built-in camera and Photo Booth.

I've never really had a webcam before and right now I don't need to use it for chat or teleconferencing. So I'm using it as a toy.

I've mentioned Photo Booth's special effects before... toy or art medium? Is there a difference?

February 23, 2009


My sister sent me some flowers to wish me a speedy recovery from my rotator cuff surgery. When strong sunlight coming through the clerestory windows lit them up, I went for the camera. I couldn't hold it well with my arm in a sling, so I rested it on a canister.

With flowers, I like to try some back-lit shots. See the one below.


Self-Portrait Using MacBook's Camera

February 22, 2009

Blue Cabin

Rohn Engh wrote that we should not be timid with photography. With that in mind, I decided to share this odd blue picture, a result of playing in Photoshop.

The image started out as a shot of Mauck Meeting House in Page County, which I mentioned before. Several sites on the internet deal with the interesting history of the church. Many of the members were Baptists who had once been Mennonites. Eventually there was a split in the congregation because some held to "the old ways of the Mennonites and thought it an article of faith that the church should not hold with slavery, the bearing of arms or the taking of legal oaths." Eventually many members of this group moved to Ohio.

Researchers can find versions of the story online. The mention of Ohio reminds me that in Bound Away: Virginia and the Westward Movement, historians Fischer and Kelly document that large numbers of anti-slavery citizens of Virginia and North Carolina moved to Ohio and other westward states to get away from the unjust institution. Their absence made it difficult for a series of anti-slavery proposals to pass in the Virginia legislature. Imagine how different American history might have been if Virginia had eliminated slavery decades before the Civil War! The state might not voted to secede; and Lee might have fought for the Union. I imagine the war would have been much shorter.

February 21, 2009

All dressed up...

They dressed my shoulder in these bandages. If you look closely, you can see a kitty that Nurse Kline drew on my arm before surgery. That's her way of marking the limb that is the subject of the procedure.

I cannot take a shower for fear of ruining the bandages. My hair felt dirty yesterday so Frank drove us to Walmart and I had it shampooed at their salon. First time I ever used the salon there but a young lady named Crystal treated me well.

While we were there I bought some goat milk and a few other groceries. It's the only store nearby that carries goat milk other than the canned version.

February 20, 2009


I'm calling this picture a "sling shot."
Wednesday evening and yesterday were rough for me, but today the pain from surgery lessened. I still have some discomfort but it's bearable.

I'll probably wear the sling until the doctor removes the bandages on Tuesday. I have to keep the elbow bent and supported. I can't use my right hand much; am typing with my left.

I've been thinking of my first husband's uncle "Popcorn" who only had one arm, the result of an accident involving a power saw. Somehow he got along and lived pretty much normally with just one hand. Now I wonder how he managed so well. It's incredibly difficult for me.

The Mauck Meeting House

We came across this historic building on Sunday. It's on Hamburg Road near Luray.

Mauck Meeting House
Built for religious purposes by the "Neighbors," mainly Mennonites from Switzerland and southern Germany. The outside of the pine log walls were covered in 1851 with white weatherboards and the structure was roofed with chestnut shingles. A central heating chimney and tin roof were installed later. Heat was provided by a large six-plate stove made at the local iron furnace and inscribed "D. Pennebacker - 1799." Early Mennonite ministers were John Roads; Martin, David and Michael Kauffman; Jacob Strickler and Abraham Heiston. Early Baptist ministers were James Ireland and John Koontz. Mauck Meeting House was used by the Baptists from 1790 until 1899.

February 19, 2009

Cedar Creek Battlefield and Limestone Mine

Seen from the Valley Pike near Middletown, VA
Behind the battlefield on the right you can see a mining operation - note the big white hill of limestone. Plans to expand the mining have preservationists concerned. See the Civil War Preservation Trust's pages on Cedar Creek.

Since Cedar Creek is barely outside our county, I have visited the area many times. See my 2007 reenactment photos: Noble Steeds, Civil War Infantry, and Dressed Up for 1864.

Wishing Lynn a Speedy Recovery

Lynn has bronchitis. She's been to the doctor and sounds a little better.

This school photo goes back a way.

February 18, 2009

Wishing Marie a Safe Trip

Marie flies out of the country tonight to London, then on to Kuwait for work. She has some media interviews lined up.

She her blog for the details. I hope she has a great trip!

Back on the Ridge, Post surgery

Today I had surgery on my right shoulder. It went well. Everyone at Shenandoah Memorial Hospital was helpful and friendly.

Big surprise was that tendon was not torn through after all. The ultrasound had been misleading. My big problem had been adhesions. These are now fixed so recovery will follow. I'll be beating Frank at Wii sports in no time.

The South Fork, Late Afternoon

South Fork of the Shenandoah River

An Hour Before Sunset

February 17, 2009

In the Seventies

Lynn and Marie, Long time ago

Monacacy tour pages

I'm finally working on my Monocacy to Kernstown tour photographs. I've got a rough draft of the web pages posted. I still need to refine the titles and add explanatory text.

February 16, 2009

Abstract Peony

This is another image from my defunct AOL website. I don't recall whether I used Adobe PhotoDeluxe or Photoshop to create it.

was the predecessor of Photoshop Elements. It was easier to use than Elements, which is still is not as complex or as versatile as the full version of Photoshop. All of these are fine programs.
See Photoshop Elements on Amazon.com

February 15, 2009

Ben's Toy Squirrel

I got this squirrel for Benny but he doesn't play with it so I used it to pose for a "squirrel ridge" photo. Benny doesn't play with any of his toys. He won't chew on chew toys either, although he will happily scarf down newspaper and inedible objects. The only toy he really likes is weeble-wobbles, and I have to supervise him closely so he doesn't swallow parts of them. He has even lost interest in chasing balls, although he still chases leaves in the wind.

My To Do List Not Checked Off

I have a mental checklist of things I wanted to do to prepare for the rotator cuff surgery. Some are going better than others.
  1. Get an opinion from someone who knows the surgeon. Done. Turns out my chiropractor knows her, and his wife had her perform carpal tunnel surgery. He said positive things about her, like "She does quality work" and "You will be pleased."
  2. Get my digestive problems solved so I am only dealing with one health challenge. Not done. I tried, did everything the gastroenterologist said, but I'm still suffering discomforts, although not as badly as two months ago. I'm back on an anti-yeast program in case antibiotic-caused candida is contributing.
  3. Make adjustments in the kitchen so that I don't have to strain my arm reaching at the kitchen sink. Not done. I looked at a catalog of sinks and faucets but saw nothing that would make enough difference to be worth the expense. We did put a wire rack in the bottom of the sink which helps a little, but reaching the faucet is still a stretch. Putting a large sink in a corner location was just a mistake. Well, Frank can do the dishes but I'd like to be able to get a glass of water on my own. By the way, I purchased a Reaching Tool which helps with some tasks, since I can't stretch my right arm, and my left arm is so clumsy.
  4. Buy more clothing that is easy to put on using just one arm. Done. This includes shirts that button in the front and cardigan-style sweatshirts. I gave up on pullover styles early this winter because they are painful to pull on over my sore arm (which won't lift all the way up anyway). So gradually I've been finding items that will be wearable while my shoulder is healing.
  5. Teach Benny to stop pulling on the leash. Not totally done but progress was made. I was instructed to turn in another direction when he pulls and he will follow, which helps but is not completely effective. Also we practice key movements like walking calmly in the door. Frank read in a cocker spaniel book to practice slowly walking "step - stop - step - stop" and this seems to be helping.
  6. Get small pillows for propping up my arm. Done. A baby pillow turns out to be the right size. I've already bought some so that I can sleep without too much pain. (If the shoulder falls forward or backward too far, it hurts.) Also, I bought a Knee Pillow which I cut to be thinner, and I strap it around my arm to support it every night .
  7. Change medicine over to easy-open bottles. Not done yet. I will be ordering a refill on Thyrolar soon and I must remember to tell the pharmacy "no child-proof lid." Those things are not really child-proof, yet some of us adults have trouble with them. And when one arm is in a sling, forget it!
  8. Get some things that are convenient to eat while I'm recuperating. Not done. Not really practical. Convenience foods are not made for people with multiple food allergies. Hopefully I won't be very hungry. Frank will help but cooking from scratch is not his forté.
I'll bet there are things I haven't even thought of. This could be rough.

February 14, 2009

Mount Mitchell, NC

These are photos I took in 1997 and posted on my AOL webpages. Those pages have since been deleted but these pictures received some interest so I am reposting them here.
mt. mitchellRoad to Mount Mitchell,
Seen from the Blue Ridge Parkway.

mountain sunsetSunset Viewed from Mount Mitchell State Park
view from mountain
Mt. Mitchell is often in the clouds. On the left you can see the parking lot, starting point for a fairly steep but not too long hike to the top.

Mt. Mitchell can be easily reached from Asheville, NC. The summit is the highest point east of the Mississippi River.

February 13, 2009

Gastro Update

Yesterday I went back to the gastroenterologist. I arrived about two minutes early and the receptionist told me the doctor was running late. It turned out to be very late: two and a half hours late!

When I finally saw him, he didn't have much to offer me. He feels the bacteria is gone from the three courses of antibiotics but he doesn't know why my digestion still isn't working properly. He started to suggest an endoscopy, but as he explained that they might find celiac disease, I chimed in and said I avoid gluten because it doesn't agree with me. Then he reconsidered, deciding that the endoscopy probably would not find anything. (Celiac does not show up in the tests unless you have been consuming gluten as part of your diet.)

We conversed for a while and he railed against factory farms and corporate medicine. Finally he got back to my case. He suggested that I finish my current supply of Flagyl and then see how I was doing after my rotator cuff repair surgery, which will be next week.

I won't bore you with any more details about what else I've tried (going low-carb and other experiments). Nothing has helped much anyway.

Our Neighborhood the Resort

I've been working on a graphic for Frank's listings on Craigslist. The idea is to give readers an overview of the resort in a single photo, so I combined four images into one using Photoshop.The idea is to show different activities and different seasons. I'll probably change one or two of the photos later, but this is a start.

February 12, 2009

Experimenting in Photoshop is Fun

Yesterday I took this picture using Photobooth and my Macbook's tiny camera. Then today I edited it today in Photoshop, adding filters and layer effects until I got something I liked.


Unusual weather for February... very high winds. And last night we had thunder and lightning! Right now we (and much of Virginia, WV, and Maryland) are under a "RED FLAG WARNING" until 9 PM.



Wow! Considering the disastrous fires in Australia, this is reason to think about preventing wildfires. We live in a wooded area. One thing that's better about where we live now versus where we lived three years ago is that there are several routes we can take to drive out of here if there were a forest fire.

February 11, 2009

More from Photobooth

I took these pictures today, or perhaps I should say my new laptop did. It has a built-in camera and an ap called Photobooth.

Even Ben had a chance to try it, although he seemed a bit shy.

February 10, 2009

The Lincolns of Virginia

With Abe Lincoln's 200th birthday approaching, it is fitting to mention that his grandfather was born on the family farm in Virginia. If you travel south on Route 42 from Broadway going toward Harrisonburg, you may glimpse this historical marker on the left. (Then again, you may miss it... it's a bit off the highway, and traffic moves swiftly at that point.) Historical Marker Database gives the coordinates as 38° 33.538′ N, 78° 50.08′ W.

The marker reads:

Lincoln's Virginia Ancestors

In 1768, John Lincoln moved here with his family from Pennsylvania. His eldest son, Abraham, grandfather of the president, might have remained a Virginian had his friend and distant relative, Daniel Boone not encouraged him to migrate to Kentucky by 1782. Abraham’s son, Thomas Lincoln, born in Virginia (ca. in 1778), met and married Nancy Hanks in Kentucky, where the future president was born on 12 February 1809. Nearby stands the Lincoln house built about 1800 by Captain Jacob Lincoln, the President’s great-uncle, near the original Lincoln homestead. Five generations of Lincolns and two family slaves are buried on the hill.
On February 12 at 2 PM, Lincoln's birthday will be remembered at the family cemetery. According to the Mountain Courier, the president of Bridgewater College will speak. This is a rare opportunity for the public to visit the property.

If you don't have access to the February edition of the Courier, there's a book with two pages on the old Lincoln homestead. It's Old Houses in Rockingham County Revisited, 1750-1850 by Isaac Long Terrell and Ann Terrell Baker. The descriptions show us that the Lincolns were not poor farmers but had the means to purchase some nice furnishings.

There is another marker not too far away on U.S. 11 called Abraham Lincoln's Father - see HMDB.org for that one.

February 9, 2009

A Rose

This image goes back about six years. I posted it on one of my pages that AOL hosted for free. When AOL got out of the hosting business in October, I saved my pages on my hard drive. This is the only picture from that particular page that seemed worth reposting.

February 8, 2009

Local Diner

The diner in Basye sits above a satellite TV dealer. It's on Orkney Grade (SR 263) next to the car wash.

Hot Plates Café

February 7, 2009

Jedediah Hotchkiss Exhibit

I went to the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley today to see the Jed Hotchkiss exhibit. Lucky me -- it was free admission day!

If you are interested in historical maps of Virginia or Civil War battles, it is worth paying the regular admission to see this exhibit. The rest of the museum is nice but I'd seen it before so I spent all my time in the Hotchkiss exhibit, which is temporary.

The print on the maps in generally small. If you don't bring reading glasses, you can use the computer station in the exhibit hall to bring up maps and then zoom in to read the details.

If you go in March or April, plan to spend the day because the gardens next door at Glen Burnie will be open. We like to walk back to the water gardens and sit on a bench, soaking in the peaceful beauty of the pool.
Earlier posts on Glen Burnie:
Visit to Glen Burnie | Oriental Garden | More Garden Views
For more on Hotchkiss Maps:

Shadow of a Fence

Seen today in Winchester, VA

February 6, 2009

Blue Ridge Civil War Tours

Blue Ridge Community College has announced a series of Civil War Battlefield Tours on Saturdays in April. Instructor is Rudy Tucker and the tours start at the campus of BRCC just off I-81 south of Harrisburg.

I went on one of the tours last year. See my post on the Port Republic Battlefield Tour.