Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Baseball Theme

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Deep, dark pain

I was hoping that I had turned the corner. I was able to get out backpacking on Saturday and felt decent. The week before, I had the hideous pain and after a midnight run chasing State police to a man barracaded in his home with a gun (after a domestic incident), I got home and was in bad shape. Wasn't even able to write the follow up on it. I was out in pitch black, on dirt roads trying to get around a police barracade. No go. I ended up just leaving after an hour of trying.

Saturday was good. I probably hiked about 4 or 5 miles. Woke up Sunday and didn't want to move. The pain is even worse today. Don't know what to do to make it stop. All I want to do is crawl into a deep hole and pull it shut behind me. Besides the pain, there is the non-stop nausea. Last time it was like this, I lost 10 pounds in a week and ended up in the hospital with an IV stuck in the back of my hand. Can't do that again.

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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Weekend Reflections #6

Another of my favorite photos memes is Weekend Reflections. This is my daughter in her kayak. This is one of our family activities. We are fortunate enough to have a river running right through town, so we are able to enjoy a wide variety of activites around the water.

If you'd like to see more photos, the link is on the badge.

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Camera Critters #129

Sunday is here again, so it must be time for my favorite photo meme - Camera Critters!

I think mascots count as critters, so my offering for this week is Ike the Spike (State College Spikes' mascot) with me at the last Thursday game of the season. The Spikes are a minor league baseball team. It was a good game, what I saw of it. I was on deadline and had to write up the coverage of an arson court case. I had my laptop and sat there for the first 4 innings writing.

If you want to see other examples of critters around the globe, just click on the following badge.

Camera Critters

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Backpacking to Scripture Rocks

My brother came home for the weekend to visit and for something different to do, we decided to try out hands at geocaching. Well, that sucked, but the backpacking gave us lots of beautiful scenery.

We headed off to Brookville to try and find Scripture Rocks. Scripture Rocks are the result of years of religious zeal and a chisel. Well, probably many, many, chisels. Rock outcrops in this area are covered with literally thousands of lines of biblical scripture that have been carved into them nearly a century ago.

We never did find the cache. It's in an area that is party central. There were tons of beer bottles and several dog skulls (or at least I think they were dogs). Not far from that site, is an illegal dump with computers, TVs and other trash. So sad to see the beauty of the forest destroyed by unthinking mutants.

UPDATE: Thanks to an observant reader (Coy at Country Captures) who knows more about such things than I do, the skull is not a dog, but a white tailed deer - no doubt a doe.

We never did find the cache. No biggie. We found one of the trees covered with scripture and Randy, Todd & Arielle found a couple of the carved rocks. By the time we got to the area where the rocks were, I wasn't able to make the six plus-mile round trip. Mom & I ordered pizza and ran and picked it up while the others kept hiking. Besides the rocks, the trail had 17 severed heads for people to find. I saw two before we turned around.

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I miss you, Michael

Today should be a day of celebration. A day for our extended family to get together and celebrate our Michael's 22nd birthday. If only we could. Four years ago on March 3, he left this world after a car accident on his way to school that morning. Now all we can do is visit a grave.

Even though it's been over 4 years, I can still see the entire day and hear the screams. I would give anything to have just five more minutes with him. Just one more hug or to hear his voice again. I still expect to wake up from the nightmare. It can't be real! He was so young and full of life. Seventeen years just isn't enough time. He deserved so much more.

As if I could forget the day, Sweet Child of Mine woke me up today. That was played at his funeral. Our family was always close, but I think we're even closer now. We know how fast we can lose that vital link. I never let my children leave the house without a kiss, hug and an "I love you."

While I was out blasting Green Day and Rammstein on a power walk, I saw this gorgeous sky. It always reminds me that there is something more waiting. Not all believe, I'm not out to change anyone's belief system, just speak on mine. It's almost enough to allow us to see into the Summerland. So beautiful. So needed today when all I can see is the blackness.

Until we meet again, Michael, I'll love you forever and a day.

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Sunday, September 19, 2010

Weekend Reflections #5

I took this photo at Sachs Bridge in Gettysburg. It's one of my favorite spots and I visit it at least once a summer.

I just discovered this meme and thought it would be fun to give a try. If you want to check out other photos, stop over at Weekend Reflections central (

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Camera Critters #128

Another week has flown by and it's time for my favorite mem, Camera Critters!

These photos were taken at Busch Gardens VA. They do lots of shows where visitors can interact with animals. This little owl was one of my favorites. The eagle was one they showed, but wouldn't allow the public a chance to hold it. Pity.

If you want to see animals from around the globe, stop by Camera Critters' main page and find nearly a hundred links.

Camera Critters

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Camera Critters #127

Another week has passed and it's time for the ever-popular Camera Critters meme. This week, I'll share another photo from our trip to Busch Gardens, VA. With yesterday being such an important day for America in a very bad way, I want to show our symbol that brings us together.

For more animals from around the globe, pop over to Camera Critters headquarters. Just click on the badge below and you'll be automatically directed to the page.

Camera Critters

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Saturday, September 11, 2010

My 9-11 Story

Where were you when the towers came down? How about when the Pentagon was hit? When the plane came down in Shenksville, Penna.? Did you watch it live on TV or were you in NYC, Washington D.C. or Penna.?

I'll never forget my day for so many reasons. I had just put the kids on the school bus and my dad stopped in after walking the dogs. I didn't even have the TV on that morning for whatever reason.

We were just walking out the door when the phone rang. It was my cousin screaming about attacks. What? Whose attacking what? Turn on the TV. OK. Dad and I just sat there in silence, watching, stunned as the second tower was hit and then as they both fell. Who would do that? This is America! Nobody can touch us here. I think more than a few people had their eyes opened that day when true evil entered our collective psyche.

I drove Dad home and came back and started trying to reach my in-laws who were on a bus trip to Atlantic City, NJ. Couldn't reach them all day and I was more than a bit worried.

My MIL finally called us that afternoon to say that FIL had been rushed to the hospital with heart problems. She was in tears, all alone. Don't come, I'll be ok. Wrong answer! Hubby had just started a new job and couldn't go, so I ran to my parents' house and asked Mom if she wanted to take a road trip. She thought I was out of my mind until I told her why. She called her boss and said we had to go. We threw a few things in a bag and off we went. I had just been hired as a staff reporter, my dream job, but family is more important. If worse came to worse and I was fired over that, I can say, "Do you want fries with this?"

It was so quiet on the Interstate that night, very few cars or trucks. It was obvious that something was wrong. There were signs up all over warning that NYC was closed because an "incident." We had no idea what to expect as we got closer and closer to NJ. Would there be more attacks? Was it even safe to be that close to NYC? We stopped around midnight at a roadside hotel to get a few hours of sleep, then took off for Widwood, NJ (right outside of Atlantic City).

When we get there, we thought we'd be bringing FIL home the next morning. We were there three or four days. They wanted him to have heart surgery there, but MIL decided to bring him home to have it.

As I was standing on the beach on 9/12, just watching the ocean, it hit me. My 9-year old daughter had said we would be on the beach that day. A few days before, she had said that and I just laughed. There was no way we could be on the beach. School had just started and Hubby's new job certainly wouldn't let us take a fun trip for sand and surf, but she was right, there I stood. How did she know? She's done things like that before, but this time was unmistakeable.


Friday, September 10, 2010

Skywatch Friday, Season 4, Episode #9

Here's my entry for this week's Skywatch Friday. This is a beautiful sky over little Round Top in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Little Round Top is the smaller of two rocky hills south of Gettysburg. It was the site of an unsuccessful assault by Confederate troops against the Union left flank on July 2, 1863, the second day of the Battle of Gettysburg.

Considered by some historians to be the key point in the Union Army's defensive line that day, Little Round Top was defended successfully by the brigade of Col. Strong Vincent. The 20th Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment, commanded by Col. Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, fought the most famous engagement there, culminating in a dramatic downhill bayonet charge that is one of the most well-known actions at Gettysburg and in the American Civil War.

If you want to see more gorgeous sky scenes, stop over at: for all the links.

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Monday, September 06, 2010

HorrorFind 12 in Gettysburg the Wrap Up

Well, the convention is over and I'm almost home. At least I'm half way there. I should be home by tonight and can't wait to see my hubby and kids. They are driving to pick me up since I can't drive. Do you realize how inconvenient it is to not be able to drive? I have to rely on my 18-year old daughter to take me places or catch rides with others going. Makes me feel even worse.

The headaches are now constant and I'm on new medicine to try and combat it. Usually, I can at least tolerate things, but today, it feels like a knife has been wedged into my neck and another red hot poker is being slammed repeatedly into my left temple. Such are the joys of my day.

So, the final day of HorrorFind was less hectic. We had met all the celebs we were interested in the first two days, so we were able to just walk around and watch the other fans and take photos. That's my favorite part. I did buy a new series of zombie books from their author Kim Paffenroth. He kindly autographed the two books as well as a mousepad he gave me and posed for a photo. I started reading the first book as we were walking around, but had to stop when I just wanted to stand in one spot and finish the book. I'll have it done in a day or two, depending on the level of pain. Sadly, reading makes things worse.

One of my brother's friends had kidney surgery and wasn't able to go with us. One of her favorite actors was there and my brother asked him if he could possibly say a few words to the video camera for his friend. Instead, he offered to talk to her on the phone, if that were possible. Terrence Zdunich starred in Repo the Genetic Opera. When he handed my brother back the phone, his friend was still screaming and hyperventalating. She couldn't believe he would do that for her. I'll tell you, I haven't seen the movie, but that man has another fan for life in me. Any celeb who would take time out of his day to call a sick girl deserves my admiration.

Another very nice celeb was Doug Bradley who played Pinhead on Hellraiser. Any fans out there of the cube? He was happy to pose for photos, so I had one taken.

Again Gary Busey wasn't really available at his table and Jake was no where to be found while we were there. No loss, for even though I might enjoy their movies, I can't imagine paying $20 just to have a photo taken with them or of them. I noticed not many people did in the three days.

Diamond Dallas Paige, yes the pro wrestler, was there. He was in Rob Zombie's movie The Devil's Rejects. He was very animated that day and was signing postcards for free. They describe his workout plan and he showed me some of the people who had done it and the unreal changes in their lives. It's called YRG Fitness System. I have no idea what the cost is. He didn't require payment for that autograph or for a photo with him. Another really nice guy.

Has anyone seen the movie The Human Centepede? Well, three of the stars were there. I saw the trailer and it made me nautious, so I haven't gotten the nerve to watch the movie yet. Brother is laughing since I can watch most horror movies while eating a nice medium rare steak. In fact, when we got back to his place, I finished my steak from dinner while we watched the Italian classic Zombie. Back to the stars of this movie. They were very friendly to everyone and even gave a response to what Tosh.0 said about their movie. My brother is sending it to the show. He really slammed the movie, so we're thinking he'll use the promo.

The dealers' room had quite a variety of items to purchase and make up artists were avialble to turn people into the walking dead. I didn't have that done because we had a two hour drive ahead of us and I imagine I'd be talking to some nice men in blue if I walked into a convenience store to get a bottle of water with blood and bruises covering my fave and hands. :)

While there were some serious problems with the convention, it was mainly how some of the staff acted. I've already addressed that in another post and won't go into it again here. Most of the staff were great and helpful. We did enjoy the convention and found it incredibly convenient to be staying in the same hotel as the show. The cost of admission was nothing compared to other shows I've covered and written about. I can get over some of the rude staff because the celebs were good. I just hope they think about finding a decent place for their costume contest/auction where people aren't turned away and treated so poorly.

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Sunday, September 05, 2010

Camera Critters #126

Welcome to another edition of Camera Critters. My entry for today is our kitten Athena who will soon be allowed to add the Darth to her name and her prey ... er ... friends Rube and Yuri. One of her favorite activities is to sit on top of Yuri's cage and bat the glass. When she gets bored with that, she goes to Rube. He has the traditional cage with bars and she can touch him when he's in the mood to play. Yuri and Athena are friends, they do play together often. Yuri will stand on the top of his house and touch the roof, which has holes in it for air to get in. I've seen him poking at Athena, so she'll start licking at the cage. When he's on the floor of his cage, he'll put his wee teeny hands on the side of the cage and Athena will put her paws there, too. It's obvious it's deliberate because I've caught them doing it a lot. Too funny to see a cat and hamster playing. :)

If you want to see more animals from around the globe, stop by Camera Critters Central at

If you're here to see and read more about HorrorFind's convention, I'll be adding more photos and a wrap up article later today.

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Saturday, September 04, 2010

Second day of HorrorFind

Today was the second day of three at the HorrorLinkFind Weekend 12 convention in Gettysburg. It was a lot different from yesterday. The celeb room was packed. It was hard to even move around. Dee Wallace was again so sweet and friendly, I think I now have new favorite actress! She remembered us and was happy to let me give my hubby a special gift. Can't tell what since he reads this.

Today was the costume contest and auction. The people in charge didn't think it through. The place it was held was a small room in the movie theater. There were probably 400-500 people turned away. It's things like that that people won't return because of. The "STAFF" weren't very nice. They were pretty arrogant about it. When the convention was so huge to begin with, they should have known better and moved the contest. Everyone wanted to see Bruce Campbell. The fans were so disappointed and the staff couldn't have cared less. Nothing was offered to the fans who were turned away. When a few were at the back of the building to take photos while the costume contest was going on, the untrained staff again showed their true colors.

We will be leaving tomorrow afternoon. We have to go visit Devil's Den and the witness tree while we're here. I can't be this close and not go. I'm sure others have been in the same boat. Brother doesn't mind and he's driving. He hasn't been here in about a decade. He was here one time with Randy, Dad, the kids and me. I'd like to start this as an annual event.

Better get back to working on photos!

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Back to Gettysburg

I’m in Gettysburg, PA for the weekend and already it’s made me want to just stay for the rest of my life. I was just here in August for our 22nd anniversary. Randy couldn’t make it this weekend, so I caught a ride with my brother. There are quite a few people dressed up in costume.

We’re at the HorrorFind convention. It’s a horror get-together. There are so many celebs to sign autographs and post for photos. Todd got his photo taken with quite a few stars today. I only got one – Dee Wallace. Yes, the mom on ET. She had quite a few nice 8x10 photos, either color or black and white. I chose a photo of her and Jake Busey from the Frightners. Busey is also at this convention. Everyone is
charging between $15 and $30 per item signed. If you buy a photo or whatever, they will usually agree to take a photo. She is selling a few DVDs and other things on that line, but my absolute favorite is a booty panty and a thong. They have either Cujo or The Howling. I got one of each. Even though she autographed them to me, I think that Randy will be enjoying them just as much.

We had gone downtown for a bit, just to look around since he hasn’t been here in about 10 years. Of course, we got tickets to go on a ghost hunt. I was a little leery about that after the awful experience we had with a ghost hunt last month. We did go and it was one of the best tours in any State I’ve travelled in. They didn’t fake a thing or try and trick people. They gave us the full 2 hours after passing out the ghost hunting tools. We were right next to Culp’s Hill and I got a few nice photos.

Tomorrow, we’re starting bright and early for a Q&A with George Romero. Yes, the father of zombies!! Then there’s a movie being screened for the first time. Then we’ll go back to the dealers’ room to pick up a few things and to the celeb room and get autographs of ones who we missed today. Must get Adriene Barbeau & Kristy Swanson for sure. Kristy brought along steaks to sign. Too funny. Of course, I’ll have to get one.

I had to lie down and take a nap because the day took too much out of me. The food in the hotel restaurant is out of this world. Todd and I both agreed we’d be eating there again on Saturday.

Gary Busey is at the show, but doesn't spend much time at his table, he's usually walking around with a drink of some sort or another in his hand. He and his son charge $30 for an autograph while most everyone else is at $20, plus Gary demands payment to even have a photo taken of him. Well, being a reporter, I find that repulsive, so here's my freebie!

Until tomorrow …

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Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Wordless Wednesday