Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween and Flora's Birthday!

Today is Halloween and our Flora is 6 years old!


The photo below was taken last year in Shepherdstown during Flora's Trick or Treat adventure.

Last evening, we had only a few kids in costume show up at the house. We were visited by this Ninja and her troll!

I am in love, as you know, with amphibians. This frog costume below is special. It was handmade for this lad's Mom when she was about the same age.

Even the Storm Troopers arrived - lacking the mask.

This is a fun holiday. Once again we need to wish Flora a special birthday wish from Grandma and Grandpa!
Click below for Flora's Birthday Song.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Tonight Is Trick Or Treat!

The gobblins will be visiting our house this evening and the goodies are ready. I am not certain what costume I will decide on for the evening greeting. There are a multitude of choices besides the Obama and McCain masks. Let's think of the possibilities - Power Rangers, Teletubbies, The Joker, Batman, Iron Man, Indiana Jones, Spiderman - the list goes on. You will notice that I am not listing those slash and kill personalities such as Hannibal Lecter and Freddie Gruger. There is something wrong about promoting ax murders and blood and gore.

What happened to the ole standards - cowboy, doctor, devil, fairies, and witch? Guess they are still around. I may be taking the advice of the fellows below.

I have decided! Harry Potter will be answering the door. I have a lot of work to do before I can transform Jim into Harry -lose 100 pounds, dye hair, tattoo a lightning bolt on my forehead, speak in a British accent, and walk on my knees. On second thought, I may be the carrot!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Kiss the Pig and Reunion

Sorry for the posting delay, but this has been a busy weekend. The latter part of this past week, our Sarah was involved at Fairmont University in a fund raiser. Yes, it was a contest to see which faculty member got to kiss the pig. Money was collected for the charity. Whoever gathered the most money had to smooch the swine! Guess there was a tie and two lucky people got the opportunity.

I was really amused at Sarah. She could not find a pig suitable for the ceremony and it was getting near the deadline. All she could locate were pigs that were 100's of pounds. Finally the Agricultural College at West Virginia University came to her rescue. They had a twenty pounder that could be used. Sarah was off with her students to pick up the piglett. Armed with a change of clothes, pampers for the beast, Chlorox wipes, towels, and a crate in which to place the critter in order to transport it in her Honda Pilot, she arrived on campus in the nick of time. The pig had indeed lived up to her expectations. It urinated, deficated, and (THIS SHE DID NOT SHARE WITH THE PIG KISSERS!) vomited on its travels. The following photo is not from the Fairmont event. I thought perhaps you would appreciate seeing the technique!

Saturday was the Musgrave-Benton Reunion held at Jackson Park Community Building in Vienna, WV. As with most reunions, the food was wonderful and plentiful.

It was so good to see those folks that we do not see often. Joe and Ruth flew in from the Bahamas where Joe is heading the planning of a resort development on one of the Bahamian islands. Joe lives in Riverside, CA and Ruth lives in Ventura, CA.

The kids were having a ball tranversing the large community room with their speed buggies. Sam's vehicle for some reason does not look as sporty as Merry's!

Aunt Vera, Cifrigedo, and Grandma Meads were taking charge of the sign-in log.

Here are the Hillyard crew and families. From the left to the right, Helen and Roy Hillyard live in Willamstown, WV; Joe Hale and Ruth Wright live in California, Cifrigedo Orosco lives in Parkersburg with wife Nell, and Brian and Janice Hillyard who live in Idaho.

Sarah is cuddling with Marshall Daniels. Marshall is such a great guy! (Well, Sarah is pretty cool herself.)

Ina and Jack Benton were the oldest members of the Benton clan present and ......

Uncle Gene and Aunt Ethel were the eldest members of the Musgrave clan.

As they say in the mountains, "A GOOD TIME WAS HAD BY ALL!"

Friday, October 24, 2008


Tuesday morning at 10:15 we joined Sam and Sarah at Kindermusik. I am always amazed at the instructor, Carla. She is so enthusiastic and so organized in her direction of the kid's activities.

In this morning session the kids were exposed to new activities which developed their balance skills.

The exercise below involves the parent spending time rocking their kid to music. Sarah is actually rocking two critters.

It's Miss Carla at story book reading time! Each kid left this session with copies of this book.

Carla has been selected by Kindermusik International as a member of the Maestro Program – an exclusive membership that annually recognizes licensed educators who have demonstrated superlative performance and masterful teaching. Her program is in the top 5% in the nation! Carla is also on the faculty of Kindermusik International where she is one of 12 educators who oversee and mentor the training of all new educators worldwide.

The activity below stresses the understanding of UP and DOWN!

Tis always a joy to be in attendence at these special sessions.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

To Clarksburg

On Monday we traveled to Clarksburg to complete some chores. In the afternoon Judy and I did see the movie "W". We thought the movie was very good. The cast members did a great job. You have to check out Richard Dreyfuss as Dick Cheney. Josh Brolin did a super job playing President Bush.

Grandma and grandpa stayed Monday night with Jeff and Sarah. When we arrived Sam was traveling in his racecar!

He still loves to play golf. This lad is really good at hitting the golf ball. Watch out Tiger Woods!

After supper. Jeff and Sam performed their musical drum dance. Sam gets so excited when he dances to the music of his Dad's drums.

I do not know where two year olds get all their energy.

Sam did his drum dance around the dog's rubber toy. It must be some type of canine spirit dance.

Tuesday morning we continued our musical adventure when Sam went to Kindermusik! Tomorrow I will post some photos of Kindermusik .

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Priceless Photo

Our niece, Ruth, emailed this item and I wanted to share it with you all. If you were around in 1919 (just before prohibition started) and came upon the following poster...

I mean, seriously, would you quit drinking?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Gilmer Farmer's Market Revisited

I have placed on our blog several postings of the newly established Farmer's Market in Glenville. Click on and scroll down to September 22nd and September 23rd to review previous postings.

This Saturday was active with Larry Helk cooking his famous Italian sausage sandwiches with grilled peppers and onions.

Judy and I had Larry's sandwiches for lunch and they were yummy. Larry is so enthusiastic about his gourmet offerings.

Larry and his wife,Randi , live at Auburn and call their farm - Last Resort. They offer a variety of products. We purchased 5 jars of their local honey. You will note that they also make their own maple syrup plus an array of specialized syrups.

The tents are gone and the vendors are now using the new shelters. Judy and Mary Lee McPherson pose under one of the new shelters. Plans are already in the process for expanding the shelters for next season.

The Cole family still had a wide selection of produce including tomatoes, watermelons, corn, apples, pumpkins, beans, and other vegetables.

Our friend Mary Lee always welcomes visitors to the market and thanks the folks for stopping by. She is a jewel and she is so proud of this endeavor. The sad thing is that there is only one more Saturday that the market will be open. The produce season has ended.

I leave you with Judy coming to the car with her bag of goodies. We should all be proud of the Farmer's Market.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Copper's Rock Mountain Lion Sanctuary

These beautiful pyracantha berries were growing in front of the ole 18oo's fireplace that was attached to the Jenkin's family original farm house. We really enjoyed watching the cougars, but enjoyed more the joy of sharing with Mark and Shelia Jenkins and Mark's Mom and Dad, Jean and Ed.

There ia an electric gate that opens to allow vehicular travel into the sanctuary and the road also leads to Mark's Mom and Dad's home. This sign assures that one is aware of the mountain lions on the property. The habitats are spacious and constructed so they blend into the natural environment . Security is doubled by having the enclosures double fenced in case a critter would escape then it would still be contained.

Here is Mark with Judy. Mark is so proud of his work with the cougars. He is so knowledgable about the animal's needs and behaviors.

If you go to the sanctuary's web site, it will give you not only photos of the specific animals, but will show you each habitat.

In the first pen was the seclusive Jackson (seen below). He is a bobcat that was taken in when a zoological rehab facility called to see if they could place him at the Preston County site. Mark assured them that he had only large cats, but the folks were persistent and Mark weakened. Two bobcat cubs were found by hikers and they took them from the forest. Too bad - Mom was probably nearby. Now Jackson (one of the two kittens found) is residing here.

Here is a mountain lion with personality. The critter below is Tecumseh, named for the great Shawnee chief. He came to the sanctuary in 1998 when he was only 3 weeks old. As soon as we walked near his cage, ole Tecumseh purred loudly. Mountain lions are the largest cats that can actually "purr".

There are two large habitats across the creek. Judy and I wanted to meet the hillside inhabitants so we crossed the nicely arched bridge.

Judy is in front of Burton's habitat. Burton was the first cougar to move to the Cooper's Rock Mountain Lion Sanctuary. He arrived in 1998, at 14 months old.

Burton was a pet and is the only cougar there that had been declawed.

Before moving here, Burton lived behind the scenes at a private zoo in the southeast United States. Zoos of all types, whether publicly or privately funded, routinely have more animals than they can display. Those who live behind the scenes do not have quarters as comfortable as the animals in public view. Some zoos are better than others, but unfortunate Burton lived in a ten-foot-square dog kennel on a concrete slab.

Happily, the zoo donated Burton to the sanctuary.

Beside Burton, lives Montana. Montana arrived at the Sanctuary in 2003, just a few weeks old. His mother had been killed by a hunter, making him the first "wild" cougar to be placed here -- if he can be considered wild after only six weeks of life. Here is Montana when he arrived with his very distant cousin.

Montana is now a very large mountain lion and a beautiful specimen.

What an exciting, yet relaxing, weekend on the Jenkin's farm in Preston County! It was a wonderful experience. We also left with some treasures that were not just memories. Mark's Mom makes wonderful pies and jellies. We brought home 2 jars of elderberry jelly and 2 jars of crab apple. Also, we purchased the last available jug of maple syrup that was made last spring from trees tapped behind the Black Bear Cabin. This is a project started by Mark and his Dad. Now the whole family is involved with maple syrup production.

We hope to be back here soon!