Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Part One

Judy and I finished packing and left Glenville Friday morning, July 20,  around 10:00 A.M..  We had a few errands to complete before we met the kids at their house in Bridgeport.  It was around 4:00 P.M.when we left with Shirley and followed Jeff, Sarah, and the boys to Pittsburgh. On the way, we had a terrific rain storm around Washington, PA.  By the time we got into Pittsburgh, the torrents of rain had subsided.

At 6:00 P.M. we ate at the Quaker Steak and Lube that is located near the airport.

The boys enjoyed the gas station theme and were impressed with the rotating motorcycles suspended from the ceiling

After supper, Sam and Nate tried their hand at games.

Grandpa, however, was more interested in the vintage truck that was parked outside.

I had Nate kick the tires to see if it was OK to purchase.  He assured me that the vehicle was sound.

We arrived at the Hyatt Regency Hotel at the Pittsburgh Airport.  After getting the plethora of luggage into our rooms, Jeff and Sarah took the cars to the long-term parking area.  We settled in for the night.  The flight out of Pittsburgh was at 7:30 A.M, which means be there at 5:30 A.M.

Tomorrow .....  off to Turks and Caicos

Monday, July 30, 2012

We Are Back!

We have been absent from the blog for over a week due to a most exciting tropical adventure.  We went with Sarah, Jeff, Sam, Nate, and Shirley (Jeff's Mom) to the Island of Providenciales in the Turks and Caicos. 

The Turks and Caicos Islands are a British Overseas Territory consisting of two groups of tropical islands in the West Indies, the larger Caicos Islands and the smaller Turks Islands, known for tourism.

We left Glenville on Friday, July 20th and returned on Sunday, July 29.  I shall spend the next days in relating our adventure in a most beautiful part of the world.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

 A Picnic!

On Tuesday, July 17, the Gilmer County Retired Teachers Association had their annual summer picnic.  The picnic was held at the Town Park in Glenville.  It was a hot evening, but certainly a good one.

President Frances Fitzwater conducted a short business meeting before the gourmet meal started.

The meal was a covered dish with the hot dogs provided by the organization.

 Below are neighbors Marilyn and Don Phillips.

 Here are our other two neighbors - Raymond and Ruth.

Annette Bame is helping Mrs. Campbell.  These are special folks.


It was a great evening of friendship and sharing.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Another Old Friend Bites The Dust

This majestic old hickory had to be removed due to the storm damage that it incurred.  This tree was the source of many memories.  The late Grandpa Meads fixed a tire swing to it's massive limbs.  Our girls would spend hours in that swing.

As with our first hickory removal, the work was done by our friends at WV Tree, Inc in Gassaway, WV.  This tree was much harder and more time consuming than the first.  The huge limbs were endangering the house, so rope work was especially important on this job.

Leroy is THE MAN with the chain saw.  His skills are amazing.

Alas, the tree is safely down!

Now life begins without our old friend!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Swim Meet

In the past Sam has been uncomfortable in the water.  This spring Jeff and Sarah took the boys for swimming lessons at the YMCA.  Man,  what a transformation in this kid.  He now is comfortable in the water and is dog paddling like crazy!

Before Jeff and Sarah left for the Greenbrier PGA tournament last Thursday, we all went to the Bridgeport Country Club for a swim meet in which Sam participated.  It is amazing that this kid now enjoys and feels comfortable in his water environment.


I loved the high tech swim caps and messages for the competitors!

Sam entered the relay race and the 25 meter free style.

This week Sam raced the 25 meter free style once again and won the race!  He was extremely proud of his blue ribbon.  This lad is very competitive and I think that is a big motivational factor for his accelerated progress in his wanting to swim.

Friday, July 13, 2012

 Tooth Lost

While Mom and Dad were away at the PGA tournament, Sam lost another front tooth.  The Tooth Fairy is working overtime with this lad.  He lost it eating a peanut butter sandwich.  This method is so much better than attaching a string to the tooth and then to a door knob!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

To Arizona  (Flora and Lucy!

What a busy week!  Last Thursday we traveled to Bridgeport and stayed with the grand sons until Sunday evening.  Sarah and Jeff attended the PGA events at the Greenbrier Resort during this period. 

On Monday I had a followup PET scan (No cancer), and Tuesday we had an ice cream social at the Presbyterian church to welcome Charlie Ringe, our new interim pastor.  I also traveled to Spencer on Tuesday so Mom Meads could stay with us for the week. 

Yesterday we were busy watching the folks cut down our second huge hickory tree.  It was damaged in the storm that downed trees and interrupted service to a multitude of West Virginians.

I have plenty of material for the blog, so stay tuned.  Yesterday Flora and Lucy did a solo flight to Arizona to visit their other grandparents (Jim and Jane Meeker).  They will stay for 11 days.  Grandma and Grandpa Meeker have many adventures planned for the gals including a camping trip to the Grand Canyon.

The girls arrived safe and sound.

Monday, July 09, 2012

Ya Gotta Love Mother Nature!

A new fly discovered in Thailand is the world's smallest. It is five times smaller than a fruit fly and tinier than a grain of salt (0.4 millimeters) in length — half the size of the smallest "no see-ums." It probably also feeds on tiny ants, likely decapitating them and using their head casings as its home. 
"It's so small you can barely see it with the naked eye on a microscope slide. It's smaller than a flake of pepper," said Brian Brown, of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, who identified the fly as a new species. "The housefly looks like a Godzilla fly beside it." 

The tiny finding is detailed in the July 2012 issue of the journal Annals of the Entomological Society of America. 

Thailand's tiny fly
 The type specimen, a female, was picked up by the Thailand Inventory Group for Entomological Research in Kaeng Krachan National Park. The fly is the first of its kind discovered in Asia.

It has smoky gray wings and the female they discovered has an egg-depositing organ that is pointed to make it easy to lay eggs inside another insect, as a parasitic fly would. While it's not the smallest insect (that title belongs a species of fairy wasp, coming in at 0.14 millimeters in length, about the size of a human egg cell), it is the world's smallest fly. 

"When you get really small like that, the environment changes," Brown said. "The viscosity of air starts to become a problem and wind currents are major events. It's amazing how small something can be and still have all of its organs. This is a new frontier, and publishing this tiny fly is basically a challenge to other people to find something smaller," he said. 

Feeding on ants  

The researchers named the new fly Euryplatea nanaknihali. It comes from a group of 4,000 hump-backed flies called phorid flies. One genus of the fly, Pseudacteon, is known for its anti-ant behaviors, which include decapitation.  They usually range from 0.04 inches to 0.12 inches (1 millimeter to 3 millimeters) in length, so they can only prey on larger ants.
The flies lay their eggs in the body of the ant; the eggs develop and migrate to the ant's head where they feed on the huge muscles used to open and close the ant's mouth parts. They eventually devour the ant's brain as well, causing it to wander aimlessly for two weeks. The head then falls off after the fly larva dissolve the membrane that keeps it attached. 

The fly then takes up residence in the decapitated ant head for another two weeks, before hatching out as a full-grown adult. In this case, researchers think the fly parasitizes tiny acrobat ants, whose heads are about as large as the fly itself and grow to about 0.16 inches (4 millimeters) long. 

They haven't been able to see this in action, but think it's likely in the new found fly since the fly's closest relative decapitates ants in Equatorial Guinea.

Saturday, July 07, 2012


Yard Cleaned

As you remember from our previous blog entry, the back yard looked as you see above.  Shawn Steel worked for two days sawing, stacking, and cleaning.  Thanks so much to our friend.

The yard now has a chance to recover from the shock.

We had to stack the debris in the back of the yard.

It will be some time until we can get this pile reduced to cinders.

Friday, July 06, 2012

The Derecho Storm 

Yes, on Friday evening a huge derecho storm system moved into West Virginia.  A derecho storm is a widespread and long-lived straight-line windstorm that is associated with a fast-moving band of severe thunderstorms. Derechos are generally convection-induced and take on bow echo form of squall line as seen on the radar above. Glenville is where the red pin is located.  Trees were down everywhere and 85 per cent of West Virginia was without power.

A big problem in restoring power was that over 65 huge transmission lines were destroyed as you can see from this one near Ellenboro.

After the storm had moved through leaving destruction, the sky was an amazing vivid red.

We assessed the damage and found that our damage was minimal compared to others. 


We had two huge limbs that broke from a large hickory on the hill.  (Remember, last week in the blog that we related the removal of a dead hickory by our house. Good move on our part!)  One of the limbs was very close to the pond and to the house.  Shawn Steele is a good friend and came by to help us.  To keep the tree from rolling on the house, he climbed the downed branch and tied it to a large tulip poplar.

After working for about 4 hours the stubborn tree finally came down.  Even though it landed upright in the pond, we found that the liner was not damaged.  Another of many blessings during this period.

Since the power was out for an extended period, the koi had no aeration.  The temperature reached nearly 100 degrees.  That was too much stress for the larger koi.  We lost 5 fish that measured around 28 inches.

Shawn was successful in conquering the stubborn hickory limbs.  This man has impressive strength and skills.

Now the cleanup begins.