September 26, 2022

Garden Mural, Berkeley Springs

This garden is painted on the wall of a natural foods store.
I took a panoramic shot to get it all in and that distorted the shape of the building.  Let’s take a closer look at some of the segments of the painting.
Mosaic Monday / Murals / Blue Monday

At the time, I did not really notice that the fence to the left of the mural had some paintings on it and quite a few signatures. It looks like this might’ve been a school project. 

“ To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.”

Note: Like some other bloggers, I am having difficulty formatting. Usually I can click Save and then go into HTML editing, but that’s not working right now. I’m going to post this and then come back to see if it will let me fix the formatting.

Postscript: That worked! 

September 25, 2022

Charlie Visits Orkney Springs

Puppy reeducation seems to have become my full-time job. Charlie has a lot to learn, but first he needs to get past some of the trauma of spending a year in captivity at Envigo, while catching up on experiences he missed like enjoying the outdoors.

Frank volunteered to help me with Charlie, but Charlie is afraid of tall men so that’s another thing I need to work on. At least Charlie has calmed down in the car, so I take him for rides. We took him up to Orkney Springs today and walked around a little bit.

I wanted Charlie to pose for a picture but he was not interested. He is very photogenic if you can catch him looking at you. Some dogs can be bribed with treats or toys but so far he is not very motivated by those things. 

On the way home I followed signs to Morning Star Lutheran Church to take a photo. It is far off the main road. We saw wild turkeys and deer near there but I was driving and did not get their pictures.

September 24, 2022

Charlie and the Scary Beasts

Charlie here. Let's talk about animals because something scary happened.

Normally I like animals. I like dogs and it's fun seeing animals from the car window. Also, small critters are interesting. I don’t know what any of them are called unless they’re dogs.

One day Mom was going to take me to the dog park, but when we got there she saw four dogs going in and she said that was too many. So we didn't get out of the car. She said she would take me somewhere else for a nice walk.

We drove a little way and got out of the car and walked across a little bridge. We went through a gate and then we stopped because there were some beasts in the distance and they looked at us. Then they started walking towards us and they were really, really big! And they looked hungry!

it was scary. I could hear their big feet thundering across the earth and they were headed for me. I was so glad when we got back through the gate and closed it, but they came up and looked over the fence. I ran back across the little bridge and got back in the car as fast as I could. Mom closed the door and we escaped.


September 23, 2022

Last Year at This Time

A year ago today, we had a home inspection on the house that I am now in. At the time, I was not planning to move here. I was planning to move into my townhouse which was vacant, and I was not that impressed with this house. Frank was buying it as an investment but he thought that it was better for me than the townhouse, which had a flight of stairs. And with my weak ankles and backaches, stairs were a problem.

Ultimately I decided to make this house my home. There were details to settle and changes to make, and I did not move in until the end of November. But on home inspection day, there were flowers blooming in the front yard and I took these pictures. The gentleman who previously owned the house was quite a gardener.

Moving is hard, and making a major life change is wrenching. Frank was supportive considering the circumstances. We agreed that we would help each other, which is important considering that we are aging.

Lynn and her friends helped me move. I rented a U-Haul. I didn't write much about it at the time, because it was painful and hard to explain. The funny thing is that I have made major life changes in September before, several times. It almost seems like September is the start of a new year, and not just for school children. 

The last picture shows the current state of the front yard. Flowers are still blooming. I pay a guy to mow the grass. There's still a lot to be done to this house, and I am constantly trying to decide whether the changes I desire are worth the price.

September 22, 2022

Yesterday with Allison and Charlie

Allison came by yesterday for a chat and to meet Charlie. She had just dropped her dad off after taking him to the beach for a few days. Later I took Charlie for a ride to the recycling center and also to the cheap car wash, the kind where are you use their pressure hose and wash the car yourself. He did fine with that so maybe in the future he will be okay with the automatic  car wash.

We are working on good behavior in the car. So far Charlie has chewed through three doggy seatbelts. Yesterday he did not choose to chew the belt but got it unhooked. A new “indestructible“ dog seatbelt has arrived and I hope that will work. Charlie is good-natured but he does not like riding in the back seat. It would not be safe for him to ride in the front seat because he would distract the driver. 

Here we see him in his dog booster seat/canvas box. He does not stay in it very long. Sometimes he gets the zippers undone and other times he just climbs over the wall.

Dusk comes earlier now as summer ends.


September 21, 2022

The Screech Owl Does Not Screech

This is not a "real" screech owl. It is a specimen in a nature center, specifically at Shenandoah River State Park. I took this picture to go along with the video below, which has no picture except a window screen.

One night I heard a bird outside making an unfamiliar sound.I recorded it as a video so that I could upload it into the Merlin Bird app. Merlin told me it was an eastern screech owl. 

Please excuse the chirping of crickets and the distant sound of traffic.

This owl is pretty small. It doesn’t screech so I don’t know why it is called a screech owl. 

September 20, 2022

September 19, 2022

Farms and Town, Strasburg

Views from Locust Grove Road near Strasburg

Mosaic Monday / Barns

Strasburg’s New Mural
The ram is the town high school's mascot.

Strasburg is a nice town. Busy US-11 runs through it, but traffic is usually not too bad because nearby I-81 carries most of the truck traffic.

Murals / Blue Monday

September 18, 2022


 “Imagination is the only key to the future.” - Ida M. Tarbell

September 17, 2022

Saturday’s Criitters, by Charlie

Charlie: I have been in this new place for over a week and it looks like I may live here for a while. I’ve learned some new things and changes are being made in the house and in the car. I really like riding in the car but mom won’t let me ride in the front seat. I chewed through the doggie seatbelt so she fastened me on another one and it was pretty long. Then she put something between the seats, and today she put a booster seat with zip-up sides in the backseat and it’s pretty comfortable. I like going to places where we get hamburgers to eat in the car.

One day she went into a pet store and brought out a green toy. She said there was a cat in the store but I didn’t get to see it, whatever it is.

One day I scratched my Mom and she took me for a nail trim. Then we went to the dog park. There were no other dogs there except for one in the parking lot.

Mom seems like an okay person but she is not consistent. She did not look pleased when I scratched up the door while she was gone somewhere. I was just trying to get her to come back in. And sometimes when I chew on things, she gets loud.

There's a garden in our front yard and sometimes a creature comes and hides there. I saw it today and I went over to take a closer look. Just as I got close to it, it jumped up and ran off. I wasn't going to hurt it. I like animals.

The outdoors is an interesting place. There is so much to sniff and to see, it is almost overwhelming. But I am learning about a lot of things that I did not get to see when I lived in a cage.

September 16, 2022

Our Sister Park, Shenandoah River

Our state park in Woodstock shares administrators with Shenandoah River State Park in Bentonville. The two parks are on different branches of the Shenandoah River; Seven Bends is on the North Fork and SRSP is on the South Fork.

This post shows pictures of Shenandoah River State Park. There are signs that summer is ending.

Whenever I go there, I always turn into Cullers Overlook to see the view. I also drive down to the river to see it up close. Sometimes I stop at the visitor center. On my most recent visit, I took a short trail from the campground to the river.