Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Parrots!

Well folks, tomorrow is the first day of October. Time goes so rapidly especially during the retirement years. The parrot prints above have a story. These pictures are now hangng on our living room wall. If you see the wife, ask her about them during your conversation.

Judy found these example of avian art at a yard sale while were in the Pacific Northwest. She was so excited since they were ONLY five dollars each. The frames were included in the price. I brought up a logical question. "How are we going to get these priceless treasures home?" Judy said, "Don't worry - I will ship them so we will not have to bother with them on the airplane!" The rest of the story is that she shipped them from Seattle to Glenville at a cost of around $60 bucks! Ya gotta love a women who can find such great bargains!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

The Deck

Here is Sarah, Jeff, and Sammy's house that I took yesterday. Sarah and Jeff have now completed their renovations on the back deck. Below is a picture of the back deck in the spring of 2005 as we were looking at the house for the first time.

The kids have remodeled the deck area so that it would be an extension of their house. Notice the addition of a roof and ceiling fans.

Sarah and Jeff have done an amazing job in converting the typical outdoor deck into a super area for dining and relaxation. The photos below are the results of their work.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Shirley the Quilter
I thought before we left the adventures of last weekend that I had best show a few examples of Shirley's quilting projects. Judy was inspired by Shirley's wonderful quilts. I am in the hope that the good wife starts soon on devoting some time each day to sewing. Judy loves it and, as many quilters, she has many UFOs. (UNFINISHED OBJECTS!)

Here is another quilt that has a great variety of techniques involved in it's construction. Shirley (and Judy) has the ability to match colors that makes the quilt very attractive.

Shirley and Frank have two kids still at home. These two golden retrievers are certainly part of their family. Kuala is the female on the left and Sammy is the male on the right in the photo. Is it hard to believe but Sarah and Jeff's two Goldens have the same behaviors as these two. Rudy, Sarah and Jeff's male, is like Sammy and Georgia is a carbon copy of Kuala. It was really uncanny to see the similarities.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana)

My, it is getting into fall. One of my indicators is our American Beautyberry shrub. The berries have now developed these wonderful purple-blue berries with a very shiny luster. The Beautyberry is a native of the southeastern United States.

The berries last well into the winter or dry season and are an important survival food for birds and other animals, though they will not eat them until other sources are depleted. The berries are highly astringent, and considered unfit for human use. (Although at the North Bend State Park's Natural Wild Food Weekend, I noticed recipes for Beautyberry jelly.)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Judy's 45th High School Reunion

My good wife graduated in 1962 from Parkersburg High School, Home of The Big Reds. Her graduation class had a total of 752 graduates!

Frank, Shirley, Judy, and I went to the 45th high school anniverary reception at J.P. Henry's on Friday evening. Saturday night was the main reunion activity and meal. We arrived at the Country Club in Vienna around 6:30. The men and then the ladies posed for a picture.

Judy helped announce the names of the classmates who were no longer living. There were over 70 folks who had died.

Frank and Shirley were our hosts for the weekend.

Here is something that we never had at our high school and that was a class song. Carol is leading the song for the Class of 1962.

Judy and John Bango started first grade together. John is the one who takes charge of organizing reunions.

Judy and Carl Godfrey was also another first grade friend.

We leave you with a shot of Judy and one of her best high school friends, Sue Conger.

Her husband, Paul, is on the left of the picture.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Thomas Jefferson Bean

As I was walking on the side of the Woolen Willow Quilt Shop, I noticed this great plant blooming on the arbor in front of Frank and Shirley's van. I recognized it immediately. This wonderful vine was a favorite of none other than Thomas Jefferson's in his garden at Monticello. This vine is appropriately named the hyacinth bean vine for the large purple seed pods formed in the late summer. This is an annual vine that is very fast growing so it is used to cover a trellis or arbor in a hurry.

When looking at old plant references you may see it listed as Indian bean, Egyptian bean, pharaoh bean or even Jefferson's vine. It came to the United States from Africa where it grew in the tropical regions and arrived around 1800. The scientific name is Dolichos lablab but you may see it listed as Lablab purpureus, and it is a member of the Fabaceae or bean family.

The owner of the Woolen Willow shared some bean pods with us. Next year we will hopefully have this plant as part of our garden. Below is a photo of the beans that are hidden within the purple pods.

Monday, September 24, 2007

The Woolen Willow

This weekend was a great one! Judy (and Moi!) attended her 45th high school reunion in Parkersburg. We stayed Friday and Saturday night with our friends Shirley and Frank Davis. Shirley was Judy's roommate at Glenville State. Shirley is a wonderful quilter and the wife was excited to see all of her beautiful sewed items.

On Saturday morning, we went to the Woolen Willow which is a quilt shop in Williamstown. If you are familiar with a magazine called the Quilt Sampler, then check out the Fall/Winter 2007 edition. The Woolen Willow is listed as one of the Top Ten Ultimate Shop Hop businesses in the nation.

Check out the website at

This shop's entry offered up the day's complementary flavored coffee along with salsas, barbeque sauces, soaps, pottery, and candles.

Shirley and Judy had to have their photo taken with one of the owners. Jenifer Gaston was certainly proud of her shop. She owns The Woolen Willow along with her sister, Gretchen Streeter.

After our quilting adventure, we had lunch at DaVinci's. Our lunch selection was their famous German Pizza.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Look Out! Here come "da devil!"

After I returned from Spencer yesterday, I noticed a jar on the counter containing one of my favorite caterpillars. Seems as our friends Maxine, Carolyn, Susan, and Paula found this specimen while walking around their pond. Most folks who see this dramatic insect larvae are impressed with its dangerous looking appearance. There is nothing dangerous about this critter. The spines are not poisonous.

This larval stage, known as the Hickory Horned Devil, changes into a lovely large moth, the Regal Moth. The regal moth lays eggs on vegetation and they hatch in a few days. Once the little caterpillars hatch, they curl up in a "j" shaped pattern during the day and resemble two-toned bird droppings. As the caterpillars age, they feed during the day. They molt 5 times. Each instar is different, but their sixth is what we are seeing here.

Once the Hickory Horned Devil transforms into a Regal Moth (seen below) it is sexually mature. It's mouthparts are not formed in order for it to feed. The adult only lives to mate. The life span of the adult Regal Moth is about a week

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Treasures at Eye Level

It is really interesting to take the time while visiting the Folk Festival Country Store and Museum to look carefully on the shelves around the store.

These ironware and tinware items are on the shelves by the window.

Old products bring back memories - their packaging from an age that was not so slick on technology or polished labeling.

Does anyone remember when spices came in large tin boxes?

Country stores carried a plethora of items including clothing. Do these shoes look comfortable? Think I may like to slip on my Crocs instead!

Music is such a large part of the festival. Below are two antique music makers. This old harp and the old Edison Cylinder Phonograph help us appreciate the evolution of these critters. Hope you guys have enjoyed these past three days of looking more closely at a few of the treasures to be found at the Country Store and Museum in Glenville. Many more items are on display. Come visit.