September 30, 2022

September Ends Too Soon

I like September. It was my mother’s birthday month. It has often been a time of new beginnings for me. This month I got a new car and a new dog.

I’m sad to see September end. Oh, October is a beautiful month, and early November is nice. But then the weather turns bitter and gray. If it were not for the holiday lights, I don’t know if I would make it through the short days of winter.

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may, 
Old Time is still a-flying; 
And this same flower that smiles today, 
Tomorrow will be dying. 
~  Robert Herrick


September 29, 2022

Hills, Valleys, and Limestone

An Environmental Tour of the Cedar Creek & Belle Grove area

These pictures are from a tour a month ago in the Middletown area. Ranger Rick Ashbacker took a group to "several key locations that highlight the Valley’s unique geologic background and the environmental factors that were crucial to the region’s development."

This was one in a series of History at Sunset Tours at Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park. I’ve done many of these tours over the years, probably all the ones that they have offered. 

Cedar Creek winds down from the mountains and joins the Shenandoah near Strasburg.

The tour started in late afternoon and ended at sunset. We were fortunate that it was lovely afternoon and a spectacular sunset.

September 27, 2022

Stump Cabin

Hardy County, WV

This log home is said to be oldest in West Virginia that is still lived in. It has been expanded and modernized but the original logs are still intact. The cabin dates to 1785, built by Leonard Stump. An earlier shelter was built by his father Michael Stumpf, in the 1740’s. In 1746 it was visited by a survey crew that included Peter Jefferson, father of Thomas Jefferson. Two years later, another survey crew visited on behalf of Lord Fairfax, and a member of that crew was the young George Washington, age 16.

In 1749, a land grant was issued to Michael Stump from Lord Fairfax, who administered a huge tract of land, much of which was wilderness. The property remained in the hands of the Stump family until 1973, when John Buhl purchased it.

You cannot view the cabin from South Fork Road, but it was open for Heritage Weekend. There is also a museum on the property that is open by appointment.

South Fork of South Branch of the Potomac

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.