Friday, October 31, 2008

SkyWatch Friday

SkyWatch Friday was Dot's idea originally. Thanks Dot and my thanks also to The SkyWatch team which is now managed by Tom, Sandy, IMAC, Klaus, Ivar, Wren and Fishing Guy.

Please click on their icon above to join in and post your own photos or have fun visiting other participants from all over the world. I love nothing better than visiting other countries through their spectacular photographs.

I wasn't sure whether I would be able to participate in this week's SkyWatch, but thanks to the gentleman who worked on my computer, and also to my darling husband who picked it up on his way home from work, here I am.

My photos this week were taken on our journey back from Virginia Beach a little while ago. This factory makes cardboard boxes. The photo at the bottom is the view from our hotel balcony the morning we left.

The close-up of the moon above the steam stacks.

Happy Halloween

Hey, guess what? I'm back! Tonight my sweet husband went to the computer shop and picked up my laptop. I haven't stopped thanking him yet.

And thanks again for leaving me all the lovely messages. I think it is going to take me a little while to catch up and get back to you all but I promise I will as soon as I can. In the meantime I hope you're all having a lovely Halloween. We have had a few little goblins at the door but not many tonight and the doorbell has been quiet for about an hour now. We have LOADS of candy left and I have had a few of those mini chocolate bars already.

I'm going to have to take a couple of headache pills before I go to bed to prevent the impending headaches of all headaches tomorrow and try to ignore the rest until we can pass it all on. There will be plenty of takers when I go to work on Monday, I know they're going to fall on their swords to help me out here.

So very happy to be back on line!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Back for a little bit!

Hello Family and Friends, thank you for the encouraging words while I have been off line, and so sweet of you to leave your sympathetic comments. My computer is still in the shop but Gregg is letting me borrow his so that I can send a short message. He brought home a lot of work this evening, so I promised I wouldn't be on long. The gentleman who is working on my laptop was able to get it going, but has to do a few other things before I get to pick it up, hopefully within the next couple of days. I am hoping that he was able to save all my files and keeping my fingers and toes crossed here.

When I told my friends at work that my computer was 'down', they wanted to know if I had resorted to biting my nails and was I going through withdrawal. I told them that my house had never been this tidy since before 'computer' days but I was holding up; that probaby before the end of the week they could eat off my kitchen floor, so I was going to invited them all over to dinner to prove it!

It has been a cold blustery day here in Northern Virginia. The leaves have been swirlying like you wouldn't believe, and apparently it is going to be a similar day tomorrow. At this rate the trees are going to be bare. Well, at least it has been sunny and the rain seems to have left the area.

Oh well, gotta get off here. Talk to you later all.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Computer Problems!

Hi Everyone, I am having the dreaded computer problems. My laptop basically crashed last night. I am typing this on Gregg's laptop but only for a few minutes as he uses it for work and he has a lot to do today. I need to get off here right after I post this message. Tomorrow I will be taking mine into a small computer store I know in Manassas. The gentleman saved most of what I had on there when this happened before some time ago, and so I am hoping he will be able to do the same again. Fortunately I backed up most things (especially after the last fiasco) and was going to do the rest today. Of course, Murphy's Law, it crashed before I could. Oh well, lesson learned. Back up straight away!!! I usually do but there you go, these things are sent to try us arent they?

Have a great week and I will be back as soon as I can.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

My father-in-law and a favorite photo of ours.

This is one of our favorite photos with my father-in-law (center). Also seated on the left of the photo is good friend Moe and Orin. The gentleman on the right is another veteran they met that day and I am sorry I don't have his name. As I mentioned earlier this past weekend we joined Gregg's Dad and several other shipmates for an annual reunion for the ship they were on which sank off the coast of Normandy on D-Day. In June 2004 he and several others went over to France for the D-Day Rememberance. While walking around they were approached by a group of young soldiers - men and women - who thanked them for their service. It was a very touching moment as the two groups sat down together, and these young people listened to Gully and his friends talk about their experiences. They were very special young people and they would probably be surprised to learn that I have a great love for them to this day, the same kind of love that I have for Gully, Moe and Orin, and all these wonderful veterans we owe so much to.

Rain? I laugh at the rain!

There is little chance that meteorologists
can solve the mysteries of weather
until they gain an understanding of the
mutual attraction of rain and weekends.
~Arnot Sheppard~
I like that quote! Here is the weekend and here comes the rain.
I found myself enjoying it. Last year I bought a foul-weather gear jacket for our trip to the Grand Teton and Yellowstone. It's the first time I have used it since our trip, and when I looked out the window this morning I knew what I would be throwing on today. It brought back memories of majestic mountains and roaring waterfalls, flowing rivers, chipmunks, elk and moose, and hearing wolves howling in the distance in the early morning light just as dawn the broke. Wow, what a great memory this rainy day brought me.
My jacket has a hood that you can pull way down over your eyes, with a bill that bounces the water away from your face. Big pockets you can stick your hands in and even though it isn't thickly lined, it keeps you toasty-toasty-toasty. You don't feel the need to hurry from car to store because even though it's pouring down a torrent, I'm as snug as a bug in a rug. I am having a great time. You dear people out there who already own one might think me pretty silly being this excited about such a coat, but it's the first one I have ever had and I'm enjoying it. I may not be keeping up with the latest fashion, but I am as proud of my foul-weather jacket as if it were from one of those famous fashion houses in Paris. Rain? I laugh at the rain! Now, that's not to say that if it's still raining three months from now I might be changing my tune but in the meantime......

Friday, October 24, 2008

SkyWatch Friday

SkyWatch Friday was originally created by Dot. My thanks to Dot and now to Tom, Sandy, IMAC, Klaus, Ivar, Wren and Fishing Guy who manage the site.

If you would like to join in and post your own photos or only want to look at incredible sky photographs from every part of the world, please visit their site by clicking on the icon above.

These two photos were taken at the same spot overlooking The Blue Ridge Mountains along Skyline Drive.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center

We have been to the Aquarium before but it's been years since the last time and it is nothing like we remember it. Near the entrance there was this lovely sculpture of sea otters.We had to go under a big old Blue Crab which was hanging from the ceiling as we walked in. It was a very impressive sight.

This was a painting on the wall in one of the exhibits we entered.
Not sure what kind this snake is but he was safely tucked behind glass. There were a few other reptiles on display. For those of you who are interested in investigating further, you can find out all about the snakes of Virginia right here.

An exhibit dedicated to duck hunting and the carving of decoys, and later there was a man actually carving a decoy.

Homemade Snapper Soup?
I had to smile at this one. My money is on the duck!

Gregg and I took a walk along a wonderful nature trail that meanders through salt marsh and woodland preserve between the Aquarium's buildings. We didn't go up there this time but there is a 30-foot observation tower where you can get a great view of Owls Creek from tree-top level.
One of the photos Gregg took of me when we were hunting for those wild mushrooms. We met a couple of ladies who must have been concerned we were going to take them home to eat, but we assured them we were only interesting in photographing them.
Gregg and I had a great time along this walk. The skies were overcast and it had been raining before we arrived, but for as long as we were outside the weather was kind and we didn't get as much as a sprinkle.
This is a great place for parents to bring their children. Gregg took this photo.
There were a few squirrels around gathering nuts. This one was running off with his lunch.
This was one of my favorite trees, it's leaves were turning a brilliant red, eye candy for the soul.
Owl Creek.

Gregg and I both agreed that this was one of the most enjoyable experiences and we can highly recommend it to anyone who is visiting the area. We definitely want to go again but probably will wait until the Springtime. Fall is a beautiful time to visit but we look forward to revisiting when the spring flowers are blooming.

Nature is beautiful!

Delicious autumn!
My very soul is wedded to it,
and if I were a bird
I would fly about the earth
seeking the successive autumns.
~George Eliot~

In autumn when the trees are brown

The little leaves come tumbling down

They do not make the slightest sound

But lie so quietly on the ground

Until the wind comes puffing by

And blows them off towards the sky.

"Just before the death of flowers,

And before they are buried in snow,

There comes a festival season

When nature is all aglow."

~ Author Unknown~

"October gave a party;
The leaves by hundreds came
The Chestnuts, Oaks, and Maples,
And leaves of every name.
The Sunshine spread a carpet,
And everything was grand,
Miss Weather led the dancing,
Professor Wind the band."
~George Cooper~
October's Party

Everyone must take time to sit and watch the leaves turn.
~Elizabeth Lawrence~

A fallen leaf is nothing more than a summers wave good bye

Pumpkins in the cornfields
Gold among the brown
Leaves of rust and scarlet
Trembling slowly down
Birds that travel southward
Lovely time to play
Nothing is as pleasant
As an autumn day!

"Listen! the wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves,
We have had our summer evenings, now for October eves!"
~Humbert Wolfe~

The sweet calm sunshine of October,
Now warms the low spot upon its grassy mold.
The purple oakleaf falls;
The birchen bough drops its bright
Spoil like arrow heads of gold.
~William Cullen Bryant~

Leaves in the Fall come tumbling down,
Scarlet and yellow, russet and brown,
Leaves in the garden are swept in a heap,
The trees are ready for sleep.

A Song of the Woods
by Winifred Sackville Stoner, Jr.

"My leaves are turning crimson," the giant oak tree said,
"It's almost time these children should seek their winter's bed,
But how they still cling to me and gleam with crimson hue,
They truly are more lovely than cirrus clouds of blue.
And now throughout the forest - list! Hear their voices ring,
But 'tis in tones of sadness and sighing they now sing
'Alas! 'tis gone, fair summer, and winter's reign is near,
He cruelly strips the forest of all her summer cheer
By killing all her lovely leaves and likewise flowers gay
And driving all her fairy folk to homes of far away."

King Kong at Motorworld?

This big fella draws you near and stands at the other end of the parking lot from the museum. He stands proud in front of Motorworld and Ocean Breeze Waterpark. That's me in front of his foot on the right. Have a great day, I am off to work.

Native American History in Virginia

Good Morning, one more post from our trip to the Virginia Science and Nature Museum this past weekend. Along our walk we came across a small encampment of how the first people of America lived in days long gone. There were very interesting information markers here and there. As you can see it rained but I hope they are clear enough for you to make out.

For those of you who don't know, you can click on the photos to enlarge them. Then you click on your back arrow to go back to the original page.

Gregg kindly posed so that you can have an idea of size.

The photos are not at all sharp in the following but I wanted to give you an idea of their structure.