Monthly Archives: January 2014

Early Morning From The Bridge

Many times, I’ve written about the James River Bridge (or JRB, for short), that we travel across whenever we go to the “big city”.

The bridge is a little over four miles long, and when it opened to traffic in 1928, it was the longest bridge in the world. As the name suggests, it crosses the James River. In the 1970’s, a new bridge replaced the original one.

Motor Man and I ran an errand in the big city, Newport News, yesterday morning, and I took a series of photos from the bridge. The trees you see to the far right are in our county, Isle of Wight.

sunrise1 1-20-2014 7-28-01 PM

In the background of the next picture are cranes at the Virginia Port Authority in Norfolk. To the left is Newport News Shipbuilding, and in the foreground is one of the many workboats out in the river that morning.

sunrise3 1-20-2014 7-29-09 PM

This picture was taken just before we reached the other side of the bridge, and that’s just a small portion of the shipyard.

sunrise 6 1-20-2014 7-30-39 PM

It was a pretty morning for errands.

~These Days Of  Mine~

Winter Guests

Motor Man and I returned home a couple of days ago to find a few guests in our yard.

deer and marina 1-19-2014 5-17-50 AM

So beautiful. I know hunting is “necessary”; it just isn’t something I could ever do.

deer  1-19-2014 5-18-35 AM

This is “Mama Deer”. She’s been a regular visitor for several years, and we’ve seen her with little ones at least twice. She has a lame leg, and it hurts me to watch her walk.

mama deer 1-19-2014 5-21-25 AM

Here, deer, have a little something to drink.

deer and birdbath 1-19-2014 5-22-12 AM

No need to look over your shoulder: you’re safe in our yard.

deer birdbath2 1-19-2014 5-22-19 AM

We’re expecting 2-4 inches of snow in our area later today, with night-time temps dropping into the teens in the next couple of days. I’m sure our guests will be bedding down in the marsh to weather out the storm.

~These Days Of Mine~

A Treasure And A Mystery

(For those of you with e-mail subscriptions to this blog, yes, I accidentally prematurely published this post yesterday. Sorry for the notification and the deleted post. Still wish WordPress had an “are you sure you’re ready to publish this post” step!)

Last week, during my visit with my cousin, Betty, she showed me this old family photo, and later e-mailed a scanned copy to me.


I had never seen this picture before. Unfortunately, there’s no information on the back as to who the subjects are. Betty and I stared at this for a long time during my visit and discussed many possibilities.

So I began an investigation. Many years ago, I was given a copy of our family history, which includes birth dates for my mom and her siblings. Based on that, here are my thoughts about the photo:

I really believe the girl on the left is my mom’s oldest sister, Mattie, the girl on the right is my mom, Donnie, and they’re holding their little brother, Thomas. If Thomas is three in this picture, it would have been taken in 1923. Mattie would have been 16, and my mom would have been 13.

Another possibility is that the little boy is my uncle Bennie. If he’s three in this picture, it would have been taken in 1924. Mattie would have been 17, and my mom would have been 14.

Or… it could be my uncle Stanley. If he were three, it would have been taken in 1925; Mattie would have been 18, and my mom, 15.

(Yes, my poor grandmother gave birth to fourteen children {two were stillborn} in just under 20 years.)

Of all these scenarios, I’m leaning toward the first one. I could be completely wrong though: the two girls look about the same size, not really like there’s three years’ difference in their ages. Sadly, my mom and all her siblings have passed on, as well as several of our older first cousins.  I’m not sure we’ll find anyone in the family who knows about this picture. But I’ve forwarded it to some cousins to get their opinions.

If I find that someone knows for sure, I’ll gladly pass that info along to my readers.

Meanwhile, this photo is haunting me. Not only to learn who’s in it, but just thinking about what they were doing moments before and after the picture was taken. Looking at their clothes, (the dog-eared socks) and knowing that the girl’s dresses were most certainly handmade, probably from feed sacks. For my mom and the little brother, they were most likely wearing hand-me-downs. Thinking of how rare it was (for our family) to have a photo taken at that time. Wondering if there were other photos taken then of the other children.The only question we can ever hope to have answered is who’s in the picture. So many questions!

If I’m correct about the date, our family would have been living at Bacon’s Castle (the homeplace in my header) at that time.

So, stay tuned; I hope I’ll soon have an answer.  And, in the meantime, please write info on the back of all your photos. If you have old family pictures, please ask your elders for information about them…before it’s too late.

And, thanks, Betty, for sharing this treasure with me.

~These Days Of Mine~

Random Five Friday

Friday again! Random Five again!

1.) Remember last week I mentioned that I was missing Bride and Groom Swans? They must have gotten word, because they were here to visit on Tuesday.

bride and groom 1-14-2014 5-12-34 AM

2.) And the swans weren’t the only wildlife to visit at sunset this week.

boat flag and deer 1-15-2014 4-58-006

3.) It’s been a friend-filled week. Wednesday, I had lunch with two friends, then yesterday, I spent the afternoon with my cousin/friend, Betty, looking over old family letters and newspaper clippings and sharing our memories of loved ones.

clippings 1-16-2014 8-21-27 AM

4.) Folks in our area certainly can’t complain about being bored with the weather. Recently, we’ve had thunderstorms, a tornado, foggy mornings, five snowflakes, cool temps, warm temps and crystal clear days.

sailboat 12-16-2013 4-10-32 AM

5.) Marshall stopped by earlier this week and backed up my photos to an external hard drive. The last time he had done so was about three months ago. Anyone care to guess how many pictures I’d taken in that length of time? I may or may not divulge that information in an upcoming post. It’s embarrassing. (Sorry, Marshall, you aren’t eligible to guess, and no hinting.)

More randomness over at Nancy’s “A Rural Journal“.

~These Days Of Mine~

This Week’s Gypsy Gallery

Our shop kitty, Gypsy, continues to entertain us on a daily basis. Here are a few pictures from this week:

Earlier in the week, I placed Gypsy in her new bed (that Santa brought). It’s twice the size of her old one, and we placed the two side-by-side. She’s been ignoring the new one, but she did lie in it for a few minutes once I placed her in it. Maybe there’s hope…?

gypsy in new bed 1-14-2014 5-35-23 PM 1-14-2014 5-35-23 PM

No, Motor Man isn’t really asleep here. I know that because he sent this picture to me in a text. He’s gotten really good at taking “selfies” of him and Gypsy.

jr and gypsy 1-15-2014 8-11-04 PM

“I wanna hold your paw hand”.  (This is MY selfie.)

hold your hand 1-11-2014 1-16-58 PM

And my favorite photo of the week was taken yesterday. Gypsy had been perched up on the back of my chair.  Motor Man was laughing at how she was just holding on and riding as I rolled around.  Right as he took the picture, Gypsy suddently rappeled down the back of the chair.  All I could hear were her claws on the fabric of the chair.


Thanks, Gypsy, for another week of fun.

~These Days Of Mine~

Scary Stormy Saturday

Tornadoes in our area are not unheard of, but they’re rare. I recall a handful of them occuring within a few miles of us over the past several years.

Saturday had been a rainy day, but our weather took a quick turn for the worse around mid-afternoon. I had been watching radar and saw the yellows and reds, indicating heavy rain was heading our way from the west. Motor Man was working at our shop just a few miles away, so I called to warn him about the severe weather.

He came home a short time later. By then, I had turned the tv on to the Weather Channel, and saw tornado warnings for our area. It’s unsettling to hear the names of your county and little town mentioned in that respect on national tv.

One thing made this storm different for us:  shortly after Motor Man came home, we actually heard the rumbling “train” sound associated with a tornado.  Later, when we discovered where the storms hit, we realized that one was only about two (air) miles from us.

And when everything calmed down, we took a ride out to see what damage the storms had done. Most of what we saw was downed trees, but there was also some property damage, including this truck, some knocked down privacy fences, and some trimwork ripped from houses.

tree on truck. 1-11-2014 8-45-08 PM

The weather service determined that two EF-0 tornadoes touched down in our county.

We didn’t want to drive too far down the driveway of this old home. But obviously, it suffered some damage. I’m not sure if anyone lives here.

tornado damage house  1-13-2014 12-38-59 AM

Thankfully, these were fairly small tornadoes, and there were no injuries or fatalities.  But I can’t imagine how scary it must have been for those in the paths of these storms.

And I really don’t care to ever hear that “train” again.

~These Days Of Mine~

Sundae’s Time Warp

Today’s weather-related post has been pre-empted at Sundae’s request.

Hello, effuryone: Sundae here, pawticipating in my very first ever blog hop! This one is “sponsored” by Mollie and Alfie as well as Easy.  This is a “throwback” type blog hop with photos of ourselves and/or our humans from years past as well as recent pictures.

Since Motor Man was here first, here’s a photo of him as a teenager.


And one taken this past Christmas.

jr 12-24-2013 10-59-45 PM

Here’s one of Motor  Mommy as a little girl (with her sister, Rose). Her recent photo is further along in the post.


One of my step-brofur, Marshall in elementary school:

marshall school pic

And a recent one of him with Motor Mommy and ME:

marshall db sundae 12-25-2013 8-56-32 AM

So that will be my recent photo, too, and here’s one of me as a younger kitty.

sundae in the window 3-24-2011 10-37-31 AM

Yes, I have put on a few pounds: why do you ask?

Sorry if we overloaded you with too many photos today.  Click here to see other entries in the Time Warp Tuesday.

Thanks, Mollie and Alfie and Easy for hosting!

~These Days Of Mine~