Category Archives: Family

Eight And Counting

Eight years ago tomorrow, I published my very first blog post. If you’d like to read it, click here. From my first thoughts of having a blog, I knew my initial post would be about Bacon’s Castle.

So to celebrate my “blogaversary”, I thought I would post eight thoughts about blogging:

1.) In the beginning, I blogged seven days a week. Looking back, I don’t know how I came up with that many topics. Some weeks now, I struggle to write three posts.

2.) At one time in my blogging career, I had an average of 30-40 comments per post. But I think many of those comments were left by fellow bloggers, many of whom are no longer blogging. (And apparently, no longer reading my blog.)

3.) On average, on days that I publish a post, around one hundred people read visit my blog. On days that there is no published post, that number is around fifty. But apparently, these are VERY shy folks, because comments usually range around ten per post.

4.) Blogging about Bacon’s Castle has reconnected me with at least one long-lost relative. Those posts have also brought me in contact with some distant relatives whom I would never have known if not for blogging.

5.) I’ve met several bloggers in person: a few who are fellow Virginia residents, but also blogging friends from Michigan, Alaska and Texas. Those out of state gals were visiting Virginia at various times and for various reasons, and we were able to meet.  There are still a few more bloggers on that to-meet list.

6.) Although my comments are few in number now, I do have faithful readers who comment on every post.  And I look forward to their input on my posts. And it’s always fun to run into friends and acquaintances in town and hear them say: “I love reading your blog!”.

7.) There have been times that I kept a close eye on my “stats” showing how many times each post has been viewed, but I really don’t give that much thought these days. In fact, I had to research to find the info for item # 3 above. Although sometimes writing the blog feels like homework, I’m planning to continue posting.

8.) Through these eight years, there have been many posts that have special meaning to me. But, I think, this one is my very favorite.

And just for the record, today’s is post #1897.

Thanks for joining me here at “These Days”. Here’s to at least another 1897!

~These Days Of Mine~






First Day Of School Memories

Seeing pictures on Facebook yesterday of my friends’ children heading back to school brought back memories of those days for me with Marshall.  Of course, back then, we didn’t have Facebook to document those milestones.

I published this blog post back in September of 2011, and since I have some new followers, I thought it would be a good time to share it once again.

This was back when I was participating in Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop.

For Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop this week, I chose the prompt:
3.) First day of school pictures…let’s have’em!

As I seem to do from time to time, I’m taking liberties with the prompt. Mama Kat may have intended that we post current school year photos, but I’ve decided to write about Marshall’s first day of kindergarten.

Thankfully, starting school was not as traumatic for Marshall as it had been for me. Maybe that was because he had attended pre-school a couple mornings each week the year before. In these photos, he seems quite ready, with his book bag and Super Powers lunch box in hand, to begin his journey through school.

In days to come, the book bag would contain school announcements,  permission slips for field trips and workbook pages as Marshall learned the three “r’s”. The lunch box would return home in the afternoons with sandwich leftovers, zip-lock baggies of potato chip crumbs and many times, mystery food from a lunchtime swap with a buddy.

Next photo….on to the front porch. Marshall’s still smiling, but I’m not sure why his dad was holding the lunchbox.  I wish I could recall what Marshall took for lunch that first day…. a peanut butter sandwich, perhaps? And I’m sure there was Kool-aid in that thermos.

Next photo: we’ve made it to the school bus, and “all systems are still go”.  I have no idea what I was attempting to do here, other than have Marshall turn around for yet another picture.  The little girl behind him is his childhood friend, Maggie, the daughter of a neighbor.

Although Marshall didn’t cry on his first day of school, I certainly did. But I made sure to hold back the tears until the school bus was well on its way. No, I wasn’t one of those parents that followed the bus to school, but doing so probably crossed my mind.

And even though Marshall’s first day of school went smoothly, he and I agree that we’re glad our school days are a thing of the past.

Mama’s Losin’ It

And as my blogging friend, MJ, wrote on her Facebook post about first-day-of-school pictures this week: to all you parents sending your little ones off to school, “don’t blink”.

~These Days Of Mine~

Easy Way Out

No lengthy blog post today: I’m taking the easy way out and just sharing a couple of pictures from yesterday.

At dinner with my two guys on the Eastern Shore of Virginia:

And an unusual sky at sunset on the way home, taken from the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel.

Happy Labor Day Monday! How are you spending yours?

~These Days Of Mine~

Grandaddy’s Love; Little Girl’s Treasure

There’s a wonderful little vintage shop, creatively named “Vintage Potential”, in our town. The owner frequently posts, on the shop’s Facebook page, pictures of items for sale.  Followers can comment ‘sold’ to claim the item, then arrange payment and pick-up.

Yesterday, I happened to see an item on Facebook just a few minutes after it was posted. I didn’t comment ‘sold’, because I wanted to actually see it in person first.  I did, however, hurry on down town to have a look.

And….I bought it. Later, Motor Man, Marshall and I went to bring it home.

This tiny child’s dresser, made of pine, is only 39 inches tall.

The inside of the top left drawer is made from the wood of an old raisin box.

And, although this little dresser is adorable, I think what may have “sold” me on it is the note attached to the back.
Made by Robert Reynolds for his granddaughter, Angela Reynolds, Georgetown, D.C. 1925.
Refinished by Warren (?) for his wife, the same Angela, Paris, Va. 1989

One of my first thoughts when I saw the date it was made was that my Mom’s youngest sister, Sarah, was born in 1925, while the family lived in Bacon’s Castle.

Then I happened to think: was Angela the first grandchild of Robert Reynolds? His first granddaughter? Just imagine the love he put into crafting this tiny piece of furniture for her.

As I often do when I purchase (or even see) an item in an antique shop, I wonder if Angela had no descendants to fall heir to this family treasure.

Rest easy, Angela, Robert and Warren. This beautiful little dresser, made with love by Grandaddy, loved by his granddaughter and, then, years later, refinished with love by her husband, now has a home. And, once again, it is loved.

~These Days Of Mine~

It’s Off To “Work” I Go

Yesterday, as I do nearly every day, I went to our shop and took lunch to Motor Man.

After lunch, I did some office work, and Motor Man went out in the shop to his assembly room. A short time later, I went out to talk with him, just as he was starting to put the push rods in an engine.

Those long black things are push rods.

As he was putting one in place, it fell down into the “valley” of the engine block. In the picture below, the yellow arrow points to the hole that it fell through (where the guide plate is). But, when it fell, instead of being “vertical”, it was in a horizontal position. We used a magnetic wand to reach it, but there was no way it was going to come back out the same way it fell in.

So, the two of us worked to get it down to the end where the green arrow is pointing (that’s the opening for the distributor).  But, Motor Man had to use a huge screwdriver and pliers and bend the rod to get it out, damaging it in the process.

Since I rarely work out in the shop, he had to document this monumental event with a photo.

He texted the picture to Marshall as well as a couple of our racing friends/customers.  Their replies were interesting:

Racer #1: “Motor Woman in training?”

Racer #2 “Ha-ha, a good woman right there, Bud.”

And my son, Marshall, (the comedian): “The boss is finally doing some work?”

Yeah, I think, in the future, I’ll just stick with office “work” and leave the shop work to Motor Man. After all, he laughed when I asked if he had a shop apron I could wear.

~These Days Of Mine~





Sunday Supper

During my childhood (and beyond), the mid-day meal was known as “dinner”, and the evening meal was “supper”. Through the years, they’ve become “lunch” and “dinner” respectively. And I suppose those terms do sound a bit more sophisticated, but the word “supper” brings back many fond memories for me.

Last night, Motor Man alerted me to the fact that we had “supper” guests. You may have to study this picture closely: there’s a lot going on here. (I apologize for the reflections. I snapped this through our bedroom window.)  In it, Mama deer has been caught dining on my liriope. And did you see baby deer in the lower right corner of the picture, learning from her example?

Earlier in the day, I noticed the liriope and wondered how it had survived this long. Foolishly, I assumed it was safe tucked away in that forest of celosia.

Yes, you’re busted, Missy. But you’re also beautiful.

And as for your little one, who one day will “grow into” those ears….

Well, what can I say?

Thanks for stopping by for Sunday supper.

~These Days Of Mine~





More Sybil

You may recall previous posts about Marshall’s newest kitty, Sybil.  He has reason to believe that Sybil is daughter to his cat, Screamer, and that her dad brought her there to live with them.

Today, I’m sharing some recent pictures Marshall sent of that cutie.

To use a modern expression: “presh”.

Testing Dad’s patience?

You have to wonder what’s going on in this picture. Maybe Sybil wanted to pounce on Dad’s paw, but was thinking twice about it.

Sweet Sybil, purrhaps we need to learn a more ladylike resting position:

But whatever you find comfy.

Hope your weekend finds you as relaxed as Sybil.

~These Days Of Mine~