Thursday, May 26, 2016

5-26-16 ~ North Mountain during a Break from the Rain

For a few hours on Monday, the skies opened up, and Buddy raced to take me up on North Mountain to see the rhododendron and mountain laurel. We did not climb on the mountain...only drove to the first overlook before it started to sprinkle again. 

I took the first two pictures through the windshield as Bud was driving up the mountain. It is amazing to me that the glass can be so yucky but still allow a clear shot. The variation in the lighting as we drove around the curves is so interesting.

 These three pictures were shot from the overlook.  We were looking into what Bud calls  " The Great Valley of Virginia" towards the Blue Ridge Mountains. The last shot is of Lake Robertson, a favorite place for fishing, camping, birders, hiking, family reunions, and they even have a swimming pool.

Mountain Laurel


Unknown with Lots of Spikes on Stems

Purple, Pretty, Unknown

Before we got back into the car, I could not resist taking a picture of the rain coming down on the bubble at the door. What I wasn't expecting was to discover my bizarre reflection. My derrière leaves a lot to be desired. When I enlarged this several times my little camera became apparent so I knew it was moi.

Monday, May 23, 2016

5-23-16 ~ Our World Tuesday ~ Hartbarger Fire

A week ago after I got home from town, it wasn't long before I heard one siren after the other. At first I just thought it was another truck wreck up on the Interstate, but there were way too many trucks zooming by the house with their noise makers going like crazy. I walked out our driveway, and the first thing I saw was lots of fire trucks and vehicles all up and down the highway. Our house is on the left behind and just past the 2 vehicles and the truck. As I walked across the street, I saw all of these other trucks and knew it was the Hartbarger homeplace. For years, I used to walk up and down the road with them, but they are all gone now, and a grandson of one of the sisters lives in the house. All of these shots are SOC...both my iPhone and my hiker Canon. Let me tell you that no one was hurt. I did not go across the road to gawk, but rather to be of any help I could be to the family. The very elderly remaining sister with Alzheimer's got out as well as the others, and she has been taken to family in MD, while the rest are living in the old green Stonewall Service Station off to the right that I have posted in the past...remember this:

 The grandson says he is going to fix the burnt out house, but I do not see how that is even possible. The fire department called it a total loss.


 There were three tankers and they were pumping from the creek in front of our house in 3 different places. They also put up what looked like a BIG square red swimming pool in the road where the hose is. I think maybe that is what you are seeing on the blacktop  before it was inflated.
I took the following pictures as the fellows were fighting the huge fire. They were so young, and it was so frightening to me seeing them put their lives on the line like that. So many of the volunteer firefighters in this area I taught which makes it very personal. The smoke was so severe at one point I started gagging. Never have I seen anything like this.

There were a lot of flames forming from this first floor read window.

 Even a volunteer firefighter needs a bit of water at times like these.

 Here the discussion begins about going into the house.

 Here they are gearing up to go in. 
The fire appeared to be out in the front but was still raging in the back.

The Goshen,VA, volunteer chief is giving them their final instructions.

 Here is the first one gong in. I became so upset I had to turn and walk to the other side of the house. I overheard one of them say his foot had gone through the floor but was OK. I could not look so I do not know if the others went in or not. I kept wondering about the oxygen. I thought it was inflammable, but the tanks were on their backs, black face covers pulled down, then their breathing gear on their faces, and their helmets. This one man had what I thought to be some sort of a long axe. 

When I got to this side, I saw the fire blazning on both floors.
It was like it was never going to end. 


These last two pictures Buddy took when he went out to run the next morning.

Before I close out this post, I just want to say how professional and committed these young men were under such frightening circumstances.  Our volunteer fire departments can mean life or death to us  who live way out in the country where there are no fire hydrants. We the homeowners  MUST be on our toes about protecting our homes from fires like this. Ours is 100+ years old, and I feel sure it would be gone before the trucks ever got here. The Hartbatger home was not as old. All we have is the creek that runs in front of the house - and most of the time it carries little water - and to compound things you have to cross our "Bridge to Somewhere" to get to the house. It would not hold tankers, and I question if it would support the firetrucks. I have always been afraid of fire. My daddy was a safety engineer with the Corps. of Engineers, so I grew up in a house that had SAFTY FIRST written all over it. I never leave the place without double checking that all lights, fans, window AC's, the dryer, the coffee pot, my heating name it and I double check to be sure it is turned off. Still, we could be hit with an electrical fire in a split second. We sit almost flat on the ground with no basement so have all kinds of varmints under there chewing away on whatever they can find to put against their teeth. We just have to be careful, review our our escape plans, and pray our guardian angel is looking after us. We also continually put out our No Kill traps trying to catch the pesky and noisy visitors. When Buddy gets one, he drives it up on the mountain and drops off his little friend to start a new life far away from us. We all need to give thanks for the blessings we have received. It is called Gratitude.I cannot begin to imagine what it would be like to be in this situation.

This post is linked with Our World Tuesday.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

5-22-16 ~ Remains of Huffman Barn and Buildings

Some weeks ago I stopped by this spot where what was left of the big old 1800's barn stood. Now, it is all gone. These photos are from last week.It is nice to know that all of that wonderful wood is going to be repurposed.

As you can see, all of the remaining frame has been hauled off and only scrap is left. I stumbled around in it trying to pick up small pieces without nails for my artwork...wet and slippery...but I did manage to bring home a number of pieces that are STILL trying to dry out.

This old white barn is still standing and in good condition. I did not walk into it to see what I might find, but I certainly was curious.

A really funky structure still standing. I need to go back and ask the Huffman boys what this is and if the white barn is still in use.

 This old structure looks like it might be a boarded up chicken house, 
but once again I do not know.

Last but not least....the burial ground for old farm equipment.

If you are interested in seeing my art posts for this Sunday, you can go to:

Be sure to go by and check out all of the other barns on Tom's Barn Collective...
I am linking up with it today.

Monday, May 9, 2016

5-9-16 ~ Bubbling Springs

Buddy and I went out to Bubbling Springs last Sunday. It is one of our spots in the county to visit.. You can walk in the water, cook on the grills, and  pick the watercress to bring home for sandwiches. I have included a 22 second video showing the springs bubbling if you would like to look at it. You can see the movement of the water and the sounds that it makes. 

We passed this old barn that we have been watching for years now. Don’t know how much longer it is going to last. It is full of junk.  If it falls down, I would love to have some of the old wood.

 In this area where Bud is, the underground springs really bubble.

The water is SO cool. I remembered my creek shoes :-=)

 My feet  at 77 still have a lot of little girl left in them.

 This area is gorgeous with all the little pebbles and the bubbles.

Eating Area

Video of the Springs

This post is linked with:
Tom’s Barn Collective
Our World Tuesday

Saturday, May 7, 2016

5-7-16 ~ A Morning at Explorer Park and a Mother’s Day Memory

This morning Bud ran a grim 6 mile mountain race in Roanoke, VA, and it was one of the worst 6 miles of his life. Our Buick has been mysteriously stalling suddenly when stopped at stop lights, but today it decided to quit on this narrow congested dirt road while frustrated runners were honking their cars. We had already put in a new battery, but obviously that was not the problem. Maybe it has to be something with the computer...who knows. We finally got it started, but we were already running a bit late to pick up his stuff before the race started. The whole mess did a job on Buddy mentally and physically, and to add fuel to the fire it was a soaked trail from all the rain. His poor stomach was a mess the entire run which took him a horrible 2 hours to complete while I waited in the car with my sketchbook and the motor running. We were going to go to the big Strawberry Festival in Roanoke afterwards but bagged that for fear we could stall out in downtown traffic.  I did manage to get out and walk about with the Bud's trusty hiker Canon.

(Never have I gotten shots like these on cars. To me, they are magical.)



In Memory of My Mother on Mother’s Day 2016
(from my art journal)

This post is linked with:

Thursday, May 5, 2016

5-5-16 ~ Dream and You Can Be Your Own Hero

Today during the all day rainstorm I  put together a bit of stripes and checks...and some solids on the saddle shoes. All the years I was in Catholic school, we wore uniforms and saddle shoes. Those shoes had to be polished each and every night and placed outside the doors to our rooms for Sister to check. If they were not clean enough, we were admonished and had to spend time in the chapel the next day. That's Ok...we learned the importance of rules and the following of them. These definitely would have passed inspection with flying colors. Mine were NEVER this spiffy clean :-) This picture is a collage of different parts taken from the Mischief Circus Cool Kids Set and layered on top of one another. Have you ever dreamt that you were a Queen, a Hero or a Dream Day? I certainly have had lots of Dream/Wish Days. Right now I am dreaming and wishing for NO rain and LOTS of SUN!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

5-4-16 ~ Where There Is Tea There Is Hope

For ages I have been buying the Mischief Circus digital sets, but I have never tried using them. Today I decided to figure out how to do it, ad it was so simple. Why didn't I try sooner??? This picture is created using a series of layers and work with those layers in PSE. I think what made me experiment was my inner child yelling she wanted me to put these adorable children into some pictures. Now, I cannot wait to play with the other sets that are just sitting here on my computer. This particular one is World`s Greatest Tea Entire kit and it is full of individual items, people, and papers. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

5-3-16 ~ Our Home from Years Ago

I have been looking for ages for this beautiful picture of our house back after it was first built, and I finally found it today. Sadly, the spring house is now gone. The people who owned the property before us knocked it down, left a mess, and stuck a grill out there. HEARTBREAKING. The water trough and is still out there where the spring water ran thru it. Everything else is the same other than that precious wooden fencing being long gone, the roof is tim, the horse and buggy has been replaced by our cars, we added a new bathroom to the left side of the house, and the addition of the deck on the back. I just LOVE looking at this...the buggy, the blanket over the gentleman's feet, the children in their little outfits on the front porch flanked by their mother (I assume), and the wonderful pain job on the structure. It is hard to believe that this 100+ year old homeplace still basically looks the same.

Please go over and visit Tom the Backroads Traveller's Tuesday's Treasures to see some more beautiful pieces from old.

5-3-16 ~ Genie and Her Flash Card Art

A while ago I saw some cards on You Tube that had been turned into mixed media artwork. Well, I didn't have any playing cards, but I did have some old flash cards left over from my teaching days so decided to use So far I have done 10, and here are some of them. They are really fun to make. I am starting to post all of my artwork to my blog and only photography to this site, but I moved over all of the links of yours that I follow. I am finding I am forced to stay in the house more and more because of my back so my artwork is my happy entertainment. Not much quilting and NO knitting. I do get out with Buddy for short walks and some visits to my girlfriend with whom I eat lunch with on Mondays, but basically I am here. Fortunately, I am learning to make the best of it. How does the saying go.....I'm making lemonade out of lemons. Hopefully in  time I will be able to get out and about a wee bit more. Bud is still running his races, but I am not going with him....I really miss that. Anyway, life is good,  and I am SO happy to be up and about once again.

 Dream ~ Laugh ~ Believe

 Bluebirds, Sunshine, and Flowers

 Always Believe in You

 Follow Your Dreams
I Am Queen

 My Crazy Quilt

Walking in the Land of the Fowers
(If you look closely, I am walking down at the bottom in the midddle.)

 A Woman's Work Is Never Done ~ Just Persevere

I used a little bit of everything but the kitchen sink on these:
torn and cut paper 
Tim Holtz stenciling
Ranger texture paste
TIm Holtz distress inks
pen and ink
Mode Podge