Category Archives: Family

And….She Now Has A Name

I recently posted about Marshall’s new baby kitten. And I’m please to announce that she now officially has a name.

Those of you who are fans of the British comedy “Fawlty Towers” will be familiar with the character named Sybil.  From the time she arrived,  Marshall’s new kitty has reminded him of that character.

So, allow me to introduce…. Sybil….

As all of you feline-owned folks know, a cat doesn’t just have one name. That name evolves into several nicknames. So I’m sure she’ll be called “Sibbs”, “Sibby”, and probably several other adaptations.

Marshall also shared this picture with me.  That’s Snugg putting on a show on the dresser, while Sibby is just looking tiny on the sofa.

I’m sure you’ll be seeing more of Sibbs; I’ve asked Marshall to keep the photos coming. The only problem, so far, is that she scurries around so quickly, it’s difficult to get a good picture.

But that’s what baby kitties (and Sybil) do best.

~These Days Of Mine~

 

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Remembering….With No Memories

My dad was born on July 9, 1899.  Seeing that date, most folks would probably expect me to be a good bit older than I am. But, my dad was in his 50’s when I was born. Sadly, he became ill and died when I was only eight months old.

So I never knew him. But Mom made sure I knew the important dates: his birthday, their anniversary, the day he died.  I think about him especially on those days and wish he could have been a part of my life.

This is an old snapshot of the little house where my dad was born. It was destroyed by fire many years ago, but during my childhood, it was still standing less than a quarter mile from where Mom and I lived. I stopped in the driveway one day, opened my car door and snapped a picture. You can see my radio antenna in the picture.

I’m guessing Daddy was about three years old when this picture was taken. I have one of the chairs from that set…(perhaps this very one?), and had this picture enlarged and printed on canvas. That’s now hanging over the chair. My late cousin, Lona, gave me the original of this picture many years ago; my dad and her maternal grandmother were siblings.  Her gift brought me to tears.

One of the few pictures of my Mom and Dad together.  Date unknown, but probably long before I came along. She never told me one negative thing about him.

I love this picture of my dad mowing grass. In it are things that bring back so many memories: the old shed in the background, the driveway, that tree… but no memory of my dad….

And finally, Mom had this photo colorized after Dad died and told me she did that so I could have a nice picture of him.

So Happy Birthday, Daddy. Sure wish I could made some memories with you.

~These Days Of Mine~

 

The “Shearing” Of Snugg

Marshall now has four kitties, and he texts photos of them to me quite often (which I love).

Recently, he sent this one.

This photo definitely needs a little explanation.  The orange kitty is Snugg.  And, let’s just say that Snugg had some extra fur. So this was the result of an extensive combing, not really “shearing” as my title states. But “The Combing Of Snugg” just didn’t have the same ring.

What Marshall and I think is so funny is, not only is Snugg looking over his shoulder as if to say: “ALL that came off of me?! No wonder I was hot!”, but his sister, Chessie, also seems to be looking at that pile of fur in disbelief.

Needless to say, Snugg is now enjoying these hot summer days much more than before.

~These Days Of Mine~

Newest Foal, Breakdown and A Donation

How’s that for a blog post title? I promise: they’re all connected.

Yesterday, Motor Man and I made a trip to the Outer Banks. Normally, our drives to that area include riding along the beach, windows down, listening to oldies, looking for horses. Well, there was that time the alternator on our Tahoe stopped working. And the time we got stuck in the sand.  But those troublesome times are, thankfully, few and far between.

On our trip yesterday, we saw 23 horses, including the third foal born this season (that we know of, so far).  Meet Valor, first seen around Memorial Day.

When Valor was first discovered by the Corolla Wild Horse Folks, they thought SHE was a HE. But a couple of weeks later, on closer inspection, they learned that Valor is a sweet little filly.

I’m happy to have seen (and have photos of) all the foals born this season. It’s so exciting to see the little ones.

After spotting Valor, Motor Man and I continued along with our windows down, listening to our oldies, when suddenly, an alarm on the dash sounded.  And not just a simple “ding”….this was a constant “DING, DING, DING, DING”.  Motor Man looked to see the hand on the temperature gauge “pegged” (as far as it would go).

Houston, we have a problem…. and we’re in an off-road area, nearly five miles from a hard surface road.

Checking under the hood, we discovered that the fitting for the heater hose had broken off. That’s the hole in the picture below. And we had water coming out EVERYWHERE.

In our world, there’s a saying: “If it moves, and it shouldn’t, use duct tape. If it doesn’t move, and it should, use WD-40”.   Thankfully, we had a roll of duct tape among our supplies. And plenty of water to refill the reservoirs.

The tape held until we could get to the nearest hardware store to buy zip ties. (How did we ever live without ’em?)

Everything seemed fine until we were probably about 3/4 of the way home. When we were stopped at a red light, we noticed steam coming from under the hood. Again.

Then it was a quick stop at an auto parts store for a piece of hose, two hose clamps and a freezer plug.

And my McGyver Motor Man once again saved the day by bypassing where the heater hose was supposed to be.

All in all, it wasn’t a bad experience. We weren’t stranded for very long, we had a nice breeze while Motor Man worked under the hood, and we had water and the right tools in our vehicle to do the job.

So now that you know about the newest foal and the breakdown, here’s the news about the donation. You may recall that my blogging friend, Beth Ann, author of “It’s Just Life“, selects a cause each month, and for each comment left on her blog, donates 50-cents to that cause. Last month, she chose the Corolla Wild Horse Fund as her cause. She’s tallied up the numbers, and she and her husband, Chris, will be donating $250 to the CWHF! You may also recall that my sweet Motor Man suggested that he and I match Beth Ann and Chris’s donation, so we will also be mailing a check for $250 to the Corolla Wild Horse Fund. And we’re happy to do so.

Thanks again, Beth Ann, and to all of you who visited her blog to help support “my” horses.

(And this concludes today’s very busy post.)

~These Days Of Mine~

 

Random Five Friday

This and that thoughts and photos for this last Friday of June.

1.) Pinterest comes through once again. I saw this simple-to-make bird bath, decided to try it, and in less than an hour of putting it in place, there was a gorgeous “golden” visitor. (The black stakes are actually garden hose “guides” that I used to, hopefully, keep the deer from knocking over the bird bath. So far, they’ve worked .)

2.) Speaking of gold finches, for my birthday, my friend, Janet, gave me this adorable feeder on a stake. Again, the birds took to it immediately.  I think his little legs, hanging on, are so cute.

3.) My “gypsy garden” continues. You may recall my ongoing efforts to save certain plants from the deer, and how creative I have to be with barriers. So far, I’ve managed to save a couple of volunteer sunflowers, but you can tell the deer enjoyed dining on most of the leaves before I put the netting in place.

4) And my ONE garden phlox that has survived, thanks to the cage Motor Man made for it and some cross piece deterrents across the top. I have hopes for the buds on the others.

5.) Sundae girl, on her window seat at sunrise, waiting on a hummie.

Bonus: this weekend is our small-town festival known as Olden Days. Main Street is closed off for a car show, live music and craft booths, and a raft race takes place on the Pagan River. This popular festival was started back in 1991, and I always look forward to it.

Enjoy your weekend!

~These Days Of Mine~

 

 

 

Proud Papa; Sweet Baby Girl

You most likely recall my mentions of Marshall’s gray striped kitty, Screamer. Marshall suspects that he may have a trace of Bengal. In addition to his stripes, he also has huge paws and spots on his belly, two Bengal characteristics.

Screamer is an intact male, and it’s possible that he may “officially” belong to someone else.  He shows up, stays a few days, then disappears for a day or two.

On one of his recent returns, he wasn’t alone.

Yes, apparently Screamer has become a Papa, and for whatever the reason, decided to bring his baby girl to Marshall’s.

I’ve been owned by many kitties through the years, but I must say, I’ve never heard of a daddy cat having much to do with his offspring.

Marshall says that, in addition to the same coloring, he can just tell that they’re “pals”.

photo taken, appropriately enough, on Father’s Day

Perhaps, somehow, Screamer knew that she needed to be in a safer place? That’s Marshall’s opinion, and I tend to agree.

She’s been given a clean bill of health at the vet’s, who says she’s approximately two months old.  She likes to play with Marshall’s feet.

And a golf ball.

And, although she has access to the outside world, this little girl actually prefers to be inside.

“how much is that kitty in the window?”

So for the time being, all she needs is…… a name. Marshall’s waiting until just the right one comes to mind.

*All photos by Marshall.

~These Days Of Mine~

 

Descendants’ Day

On Saturday, Preservation Virginia, the organization that owns Bacon’s Castle, hosted “Descendants’ Day” there at the property. 58 of us whose ancestors had either owned the Castle, lived there or worked there attended.

Descendants of the Allen family were there (Arthur Allen built Bacon’s Castle, known then as Allen’s Brick House, in 1665. It was passed down through several generations of Allens).

I also saw name tags of Bacon family members (Nathaniel Bacon was most likely never at Bacon’s Castle, but his followers briefly took over the property and used it as a fortress during Bacon’s Rebellion in 1676. Following that, the house was known as Bacon’s Castle.)

I met members of the Hankins family (who owned the house during the Civil War era).

Although I didn’t meet them,  I’m sure other families were represented.  But, to my knowledge, I was the only Warren family descendant that attended. (William Allen Warren, an ancestor of my maternal grandmother, bought Bacon’s Castle in 1880, and was the first of three generations of Warrens to own the property.)

Staff members from Preservation Virginia were there to greet us, give tours, answer questions and help with genealogical research.

We were asked to bring old family photos, so, with Motor Man’s help, I put together this collage.

My display was set up in one of the upstairs rooms. There, I met Mr. Johnson, who was very interested in my photos and actually remembered my grandparents. He is a quiet, humble man who told me that, as a young child, he lived in a house there on the property.  We were looking out of one of the windows in the direction of that house when he softly said: “I sure would like to have a picture of that.” So I went to Will, one of the staff members that I’d been speaking with earlier, and mentioned it to him. He immediately asked Mr. Johnson for his address and promised to send him a photo.

A short time later, Motor Man and I caught up with Mr. Johnson on the porch of the house he lived in many years ago. This house was originally used as slave quarters, and funding is now in place for it to be renovated.

Before the event ended, we gathered for a group photo. I’m third from the right in the picture, standing behind the railing. And yes, that’s my buddy, Mr. Johnson, standing beside me.

Of course, since Motor Man and I were married at Bacon’s Castle, we never pass up the opportunity to have our picture taken there.

It was a very nice event, one that I was honored to attend.  As I mentioned to someone, I’m always ready to talk about the Castle.

I’m sure our ancestors would have been pleased that we gathered to remember them at this very special place that connects us all.

~These Days Of Mine~