Friday, August 29, 2008

Photo Hunt 125: Beautiful

I'll be out of town all weekend, so I'll add tomorrow's photo now. This is my beautiful daughter on her first day of 10th grade!

Want to join in the fun? Stop over at the Photo Hunt home page.

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Skywatch Friday

Want to take part in the fun, stop over at Skywatch Friday headquarters and sign in.

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Thursday, August 28, 2008

First day of school

So today was the big day, summer is officially over and my kids are back into the institutional grind called public education. Good thing? I wouldn't say that. I prefer to homeschool, but my health hit low and I can't keep up. We have a very authoritarian administration in rule at the schools and are pretty anti-parent involvement. Can you guess we don't get along very well?

It's a rainy, cold, miserable day, just perfect for sending them back and away from me all day.

A is in 10th grade and T is in his final year at junior high in 8th grade. Where did all those years go?

Aphrodite is miserable without her kids. :( She won't perk up until the General Hospital theme starts at 3 p.m., when they come home. Her ears will go up and she'll go stand by the door, just waiting to see "her" kids.

The evil Darth Mittens already went back to bed before they even left.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Worldless Wednesday

OK, a few words. I took these when we were at the Pittsburgh Zoo last week after T's ear specialist appointment. His hearing isn't any better, but it isn't any worse either. It's a miracle he can even hear.

If you want to take part in this meme, pop over to the Wordless Wednesday home and sign up. :)

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Aphrodite the mighty squirrel huntress!

I'll add my weekend snapshots now. Been a long couple days.

Anyway, these were taken while we were out backpacking. A squirrel ran across our path and Aphrodite went after it. The squirrel was lucky she was leashed!

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Been spending too much time in hospitals lately. Randy got a horrid case of poison ivy while we were in Gettysburg. The rash is spreading and had to take him to med express on Sunday afternoon for a shot and cream to try and stop it. Poor guy is miserable!

We go for a short 2 1/2 mile hike and when we get home, his mother is calling that his 93 1/2 year old aunt was rushed to the ER and could we drive them since it's getting dark and she can't see to drive and his dad can't drive anymore. Of course, we jump in the car and go. We get there (45 minutes later) and they want to release her. Now, I'm not known as being the quiet mousey type, so I let them know they need to admit her. She's confused, didn't know where she was, what day it was or even who I was. Randy and I have been married 20 years and I was around over two years before that, so for almost 25 years, she's known me. That scared me. The doc gave in and admitted her. We finally get home at 12:30 a.m. Randy had to be to work at 7, so he was exhausted that day.

Then yesterday, the in-laws and I went to the hospital in the morning. We were there all day and Randy met us there after work. First they were going to do back surgery to help her compress fracture vertebra, but decided she might not survive, so they just sent her home on pain meds and will re-evaluate her again in 6 months.

While we were waiting for the docs to go over the x-rays, I stayed with her and had her tell me her life story. It's amazing what she went through since she was born in 1914. Her brothers went to work in the coal mines in the third grade. I can't even imagine that sort of torture! I had my tape recorder with, so I have it all and can make copies for her brother and sister that are left. I only wish I had done the same for my older relatives before they were gone. She seemed to enjoy talking about it. She still didn't quite know who I was. She kept insisting I was my daughter. We do look an awful lot a like and wear the same clothes.

Today, I have two court cases to cover. Two wastewater treatment plant workers falsified reports to the DEP about cleaning the brown water and never even bought half the chemicals they needed to do the job. Better then the last two murder cases, but not fun since that water runs through my town, too!

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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Camera Critters

After T's ear specialist appointment on Wednesday, we stopped by the Pittsburgh Zoo. This is the first time the baby elephants have been out, so I spent a lot of time there just watching the "little" cuties!

The baby takes a step out on his own, but quickly runs back to his mother's side.

If you want to take part in this fun weekly meme, stop over at Camera Critters and get all the details.

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Saturday, August 23, 2008

Win $25 cash and other contests

Pretty easy contest to win to win $25 pay pay and also Entrecard credits. Just stop over at Jeflin's Investment Blog for all the details.

Any blogger can enter to win this $25 via paypal and 2000 Entrecard credits.

Who couldn't use a little extra money?

Another neat contest is at An Island Review. You can win one of Scrubbing Bubbles 3 Toilet Cleaning Gel sets for 3 of you to try out.


Photo Hunt 124: Wrinkled

This week's theme is wrinkled, it's been a hard one! I don't have a wrinkle puppy, so I decided to go with how the bed looked in the morning when we were leaving the Farnsworth Inn. :)

Want to take part in the fun? Stop over at the Photo Hunter blog and get all the details.

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Friday, August 22, 2008

Skywatch Friday

It's not as dramatic as last week's entry, but it's from one of my favorite places, Gettysburg, PA. This is a witness tree. What does that mean? It was there when the Civil War took place and witnessed all the horror of the War that happened during those three days in July, 1863.

In July of 1863, General Robert E. Lee's Army Of Northern Virginia of 75,000 men and the 97,000 man Union Army Of The Potomac under General George G. Meade met, by chance, when a Confederate brigade sent forward for supplies observed a forward column of Meade's cavalry.

Of the more than 2,000 land engagements of the Civil War, Gettysburg ranks supreme. Although the Battle of Gettysburg did not end the war, nor did it attain any major war aim for the North or the South, it remains the great battle of the war.

Here at Gettysburg on July 1, 2, and 3, 1863, more men actually fought and more men died than in any other battle before or since on North American soil.

Want to take part in the fun? Stop by Skywatch and get more details.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Alzheimer's Walk Team Captains Needed

Alzheimer's is a horrid disease that needs more funding for research to help find a cure. Every 71 seconds someone is diagnosed with this disease that robs a person of their memories and is the sixth leading cause of death in America.

My great aunt Faye suffered from it the last couple years of her life. It was so sad to see a women who traveled the world, taught children and wrote books suddenly not remember my name. The last time I saw her was at her birthday party. She and her husband lived in Texas most of the year and drove up North to spend a couple months with the rest of her family. She didn't recognize any of us at that last party. We had given her a book of old photos and she just looked at them and cried.

I have a cousin who also has this and has to be in a special home for people with Alzheimers. She had to move in there after she was found wandering around in her nightgown, looking for her old house.

The Alzheimer's Association Memory Walk® is the nation's largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer care, support and research – and it calls on volunteers of all ages to become champions in the fight against Alzheimer's. There are walks in more than 600 communities. A typical Memory Walk is a 2-3 mile walk held on a weekend morning in the fall.

By teaming up with the Alzheimer's Association, you can walk with a purpose – and move us closer to a world without Alzheimer's. Together, we can MOVE a nation.This is something we can all do. Even if you can't do the walk, there are other ways to support the cause. You can help raise money, get sponsors for walks or even organize the walk.

Alzheimer's Memory Walk

Sponsored by Alzheimer's Walk


Worldless Wednesday

Monday, August 18, 2008


Just got home and found a package waiting from Elizabeth of Six Golden Coins. In it was the custom made photo bracelet I won on her bloggy contest!! I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT! She even added an extra special surprise with a CD of mom songs. I'll be listening to it on my way to work tonight.

If you're looking for a special gift for anyone who loves jewelry, stop over at Elizabeth's page and work with her. You won't be sorry!!!

Thank you so much, Elizabeth! I'll wear it everywhere. :)

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Out for a hike

Randy, T and I went out for a hike yesterday since it was so beautiful. I couldn't stand to be cooped up in the house. At first T didn't want to go, so we offered him the choice of going and mowing his grandparents' lawns and suddenly, he was all for a hike. A was off with my parents for the day, so she missed out on the hike.

Randy bought a new hydration backpack for our trip to Gettysburg and it works great! Now T wants us to get him one. I thought about getting one for myself, but I can't carry that much weight, so it's easier to just use Randy's. He'll carry an extra couple bottles of water to refill the pack, plus all our food. I have a small floral backpack that I put my snacks and cellphone in, plus all the meds I can't live without. The only thing I didn't have yesterday was a sting stick. The bugs were awful! We fixed that as soon as we got back in town and now the stick is in my backpack for our next trip.

There were lots of blackberry and red raspberry bushes growing along the trail, so T began filling his hands. By the time we got home, his fingers and tongue were all stained purple. The smile on his face was priceless! Nothing like the taste of fresh berries.

There were a few grass snakes slithering around. Not my favorite of creatures, but T loves to play with them. They're non-venomous, so he picked them up and held them for a few photos. When they went by me on the ground, I'm jumping on a rock, but as soon as I'm behind the camera, I'm right on top of them. I think I've talked about that before. For me, when I'm behind the camera, what I'm seeing isn't as real. I think a lot of photographers can understand that.

We did a six-mile round trip. It was rough on me the last two miles, but I did it. When I got home, I did go to bed with the heating pad and watched the Olympics. The women's gymnastics was great! The floor exercise has always been my favorite to watch and beam my favorite to photograph. That will be on tonight with bars. The USA got robbed on bars, I think. Yeah, I had to peek and get the results already. It'll be shown tonight.

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Sunday, August 17, 2008

Camera Critters

During our visit to Busch Gardens in Virginia, we took in the wolf show. Those animals are so gorgeous! I've always loved wolves and to hear their howls, just sends shivers down your spine. I heard some people around us saying how they look just like dogs. Ah, NO! There's no way you can mistake a wolf for a dog. The size of their paws alone give them away.

To take part in this fun meme, stop by Camera Critters .

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Saturday, August 16, 2008

Photo Hunt 123: Colorful

My entry for this week is our beach umbrella. We forgot to pack our regular blue one when we left, so we bought a new one as we were passing by one of the dozens and dozens of little beach shops. I think it's pretty colorful.

If you want to join in the fun, check out Photo Hunter for all the information.

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Skywatch Friday

Since I'll be stuck in court all day tomorrow for a murder prelim, I'll post my skywatch photo today.

This was taken as the sun was rising over the ocean at Virginia Beach last week.

To join in the fun, pop over to SkyWatch Friday blog.

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Thanks, Sandy!!!

I received a prize I won today from Sandy in Ohio. I won it during the Blogger carnival.

It's a book on the Olympics called The Night Olympic Team by Caroline Hatton. It's perfect timing and I can't wait to start reading it!

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Back to real life

All good things have to end and our vacation time is over. I have to get back to work today. My editor has sent numerous emails and phone messages wondering if I'm still alive and going to get my assignments done. SIGH!

I've already started returning calls and setting up interviews for next week.

Tonight I have to cover the annual Republican summer meeting. It's a picnic gathering, so it should be pretty informal. Just the usual speeches from the candidates hoping to get re-elected. I can handle that. I know all of them and they are petty decent people.

Tomorrow will be the bad day. I have to spend the entire day in court. It's a preliminary for a murder trial. The murder/rape happened eight years ago and they finally caught the one who did it or at least that's what the DA says. He and I generally butt heads on everything, so I'll wait til I hear the evidence before I make up my mind. The case all hinges on a former druggie girlfriend who claims that guy confessed to her that he did it. He was 20-something at the time and the victim was in her late 50's. Sad and sick. :( I feel horrible for her family that has to relive all that.

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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Ghost hunting with Gretchen

As everyone who knows me or regularly reads these posts knows, I LOVE ghosts and the paranormal. Halloween or Samhain, depending on your beliefs, is my absolute favorite holiday. I read all the books, watch the TV shows and go on all the tours and hunts I can drag Randy on. Every year for Halloween, my family adds another witch or some sort of themed item to my collection.

Today, we celebrate our 20th anniversary and decided to do something special for it. We stayed at a reputed haunted bed and breakfast called The Farnsworth Inn. We checked in around 3 p.m., set up the video camera to scan the room while we're out and went off the see the sights. I had set up two stuffed animals on the bed because there are reports of a little ghost boy named Jeremy who plays with things in the room. I haven't watched the discs yet, but will do that tonight after hubby leaves for work.

We also went on a tour with Mark Nesbitt's Ghost of Gettysburg Tour. We had taken one before and loved it, so we wanted to try another of his tours. It was great, as usual. I'd never go on any of the other tours in the town. We've tried several and were always disappointed. One was downright fake to the hidden speakers Randy managed to capture on film by sticking his hand way back the hall. Anyway, I did capture a face at one of the stops. There was nobody in the store at the time because it was 10 p.m. It could have been something else, but we can't figure out what it might be.

We set up the camera to record over night in the room again, so I hope to have something to show for it. I was kept up all night by loud bangs from upstairs. That's the attic where the Louisiana Tiger sharpshooters were stationed during the Civil War. There was nobody up there. It's locked and padlocked. Randy never heard a thing. I asked everyone else when we were on our way to breakfast. Only the people right next door heard it. The mother said she hadn't heard a thing, but her teenage son heard one loud bang. Guess I just got lucky?

After we checked out, we did a double decked tour of the battlefields. We were on the top in the front seats. We had take the tour before and loved it, so had to do it again. :) After that, we drove around to see Sachs Bridge and an old paupers cemetery that is still in use today. It was so horribly sad to walk there among the stones. Many were broken off, uncared for and many had Unknown man.

By then, it was getting late and we wanted to spend a couple hours at Devil's Den. The park allow visitors on the battlefields until 10 p.m., so we sat on the rocks taking photos and EVPs until then. I haven't listened to those yet either, but will get them all done tonight. One really strange thing that happened while we were sitting there, we smelled very strong pipe tobacco beside us. There wasn't anyone else near enough to have caused that. One other person a few rocks down said the same thing.

It was eerie to be in a place where so many hundreds of young men and boys died in such agony. If any place is haunted, it would be there. These boys hadn't even begun to live and were suddenly gone.

The only time I had any, fear isn't the right word, but the only time I paused was when Randy asked me to step inside the den for a photo. I did it, but quickly jumped out as soon as the photo was taken.

It was truly a wonderful trip and I can't wait to go back again. Something about Gettysburg just calls to me and it feels like "home." Does that make sense?

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Worldless Wednesday

Monday, August 11, 2008

Off Ghost Hunting

Randy and I will be leaving for Gettysburg in just a bit to celebrate our 20th anniversary at the historic and reportedly VERY haunted Farnsworth Inn.

We'll see the sights, then hopefully catch a few ghosts on film. We have enough electronics packed to make TAPS proud. :)

Talk to everyone on Wednesday and hopefully, I'll have a real killer ghost photo to share!

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Sunday, August 10, 2008

Photo Hunt 122 :: Dark

Camera Critters

I think my contribution to the meme for this week will be for the birds. :)

These were all taken on our week-long trip in Virginia.

To join in the fun, check out Camera Critters over at Misty Dawn's place.

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