Tag Archives: Bacon’s Castle

Halloween Haunts, Once Again

It’s a Halloween tradition here on These Days to share the link to a PBS video in which my son, Marshall, played a part several years ago.

If you’re a long time reader, you aren’t required to read further nor re-watch the video. You may be excused. For those of you new to the blog within the past year, this excerpt from a previous post will give you a little background information:

The video I’m sharing today was one segment in the series, Halloween Haunts, produced by WHRO, our local PBS station, in 2007. The series aired during the last two weeks of October.

Most of you are familiar by now with my family’s connections to historic Bacon’s Castle. My maternal grandparents and their twelve children (including my mom) lived in the house from 1921 to 1940. Although they moved from there many years before I was born, I remember them sharing stories of seeing “The Castle Light”. Their descriptions of it, however, were quite different from its depiction in Halloween Haunts.

My son, Marshall, became an interpreter (guide) at Bacon’s Castle in 2000. He was employed there several years, and gained a wealth of knowledge about the history of the house, its architecture and the families who made it their home. My mom and most of her siblings had passed on by this time. But two of those who remained (then in their 80’s) re-visited the Castle, and shared first-hand with him their childhood memories of the house and property.

I believe they would think it fitting that Marshall had the opportunity to participate in this video filmed at their homeplace.

And for all of you, thanks for your patience as this proud Mom boasts on her son…once again.

~These Days Of Mine~


Lovin’ On Virginia

Last summer, I posted a few photos on the Exploring Virginia Facebook page.  Soon, I received a private message from someone by the name of Tina Pecht, asking permission to use two of those photos in a video she was in the process of making. I, of course, said yes, since I consider it an honor whenever anyone finds my photos worthy of sharing.

This week, Tina messaged me to let me know the video is ready, and she gave me permission to share it here on These Days:

(The photos of mine that Tina used in the video are of Bacon’s Castle in the snow  and Smithfield Station Marina at sunrise.)

Tina is originally from Illinois, but moved to Virginia eighteen years ago.  She’s been making videos for quite some time, at first for friends for special occasions and fundraisers.  Her hobby grew into a business venture, Savvy Slideshows, over five years ago.  She says that it combines her love of photography with her “curiousity about people, places and things”.

She was inspired to create this video after hearing John Tracy’s song, “Virginia Is For Lovers” at a wine festival.

Even though Tina isn’t a native Virginian, it’s obvious that she shares our love of The Old Dominion.  Thanks, Tina, for including my photos in this wonderful video showcasing the beauty of the Commonwealth.

~These Days Of Mine~



Random Five/Willy Nilly Friday

Another Friday, another dose of randomness.

1.) Can you stand another sunrise photo?  The water was as calm yesterday morning as you ever see it.  Today’s view is much different: rainy and gloomy.

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2.) Tomorrow,  a couple of my friends are coming to join me at the Vintage Market on Main Street. The weather forecast is for sunny and temps around 60. Vintage shopping followed by lunch: sounds like a fun day.


3.) When we visited Bacon’s Castle last weekend and walked across the mill stone at the entrance of the house, I mentioned to my friends that I had an old photo of my aunt standing on that stone. Here is Aunt Lucille, my mom’s sister, in 1940. (The front of the house looks nothing like this now; the porch has since been removed, but the stone is still there.)

aunt lucille on mill stone  19403-19-2015 2-05-29 PM 3-19-2015 2-05-29 PM

4.) Silly Sundae.  She had been lying on my stomach under her blanket, then decided to emerge. She definitely has the attitude going…


5.) And speaking of attitude, I’ll get the full benefit of that today, when I take her for her regular check-up.  Your thoughts would be appreciated around 10:45, as I’m attempting to persuade coax coerce drop her unceremoniously (but gently) bottom-first into the carrier.

And what fun randomness is happening in your world today?

Around Roanoke

~These Days Of Mine~

Thank You, Early American Life

A couple of months ago, I received an email from Winn Rosch, a contributing editor for Early American Life magazine, asking permission to use one of my photos of Bacon’s Castle in an upcoming article about whitewash.

Of course, I said yes, and learned that the article would appear in the April 2015 issue, which is “on newstands now”.

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The text about Bacon’s Castle:

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The photo:

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And…. the photo “credit”:

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This was one in a series of photos I took on April 18, 2011.  Marshall and I had driven to Bacon’s Castle that morning and found the pink dogwoods to be in full bloom. I shared the photos in this blog post a few days later.

This is the cover of the April issue of Early American Life. (There may be a few copies still available….just kidding.)

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Thanks to the staff at Early American Life for deeming my photo worthy to be included in this article. Although it’s always thrilling to have one of my photos chosen for any project, it’s particularly special when that project involves Bacon’s Castle.

~These Days Of Mine~

Random Five Friday

Another week has flown by;  let’s see what randomness we can find this Friday.

1.) My friend, Janet, in an early morning email Wednesday, mentioned the full moon setting. So I grabbed my coat, slipped on a pair of Motor Man’s rubber boots and headed out to the side yard (6:44 a.m.).

moon setting1 2-4-2015 6-44-06 AM

2.) Sundae has a  new “spot”.  Recently,  Motor Man placed his lap top case over the heat vent on his side of the bed. And Sundae just thinks it’s a perfect heating blanket. Fortunately, Motor Man only uses the lap top at home, so he doesn’t really need the case.

sundae on laptop case 2-1-2015 10-37-37 AM

3.) On a ride around town earlier this week, I made a new friend.  Sadly, I had no horse treats, and he didn’t seem interested in the one peppermint I managed to find. I’ll visit him again soon, and next time, I’ll be more prepared. “Seriously, is that all you have to offer? That’s it?”

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4.) Monday, on our anniversary, Motor Man and I took a little drive up to Bacon’s Castle. We were there at the time of our wedding, 13 years prior. No one else was there, so we set the timer on the camera and placed it on the hood of the vehicle (instant tripod).

dbjr close up bc 2-2-2015 1-52-01 PM

5.) Wondering what Gypsy’s been up to recently?  She’s just been hangin’ around.

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What’s your randomness this week?

~These Days Of Mine~

There Is Love

Today, Motor Man and I celebrate our 13th anniversary. This will be our fifth anniversary since I began blogging, so I’ve shared quite a bit about our wedding in previous posts. But here are a few little details that may be new to some of you.

Motor Man proposed in November, 2001. We knew we’d have a small wedding that wouldn’t take a lot of planning, but we both agreed that we wanted to wait until after the holidays. When we began looking at dates and realized that the first Saturday in February would be 02-02-02, that clinched it;  Motor Man knew that, with that date, he could never forget his anniversary.

Weddings weren’t encouraged at that time at historic Bacon’s Castle (due to space limitations), but we were given special permission because of my family connection to the property. The ceremony took place in the room known as the “ladies chamber”. My aunt Martha was married in that same room on Christmas Day in 1935.


Ours was a very low-key wedding.  The music playing as guests arrived was a CD of piano instrumentals. That was followed by “The Wedding Song” by Paul Stookey while my sister and Motor Man’s mom were being seated.  Marshall escorted me down the aisle to Martina McBride’s “My Valentine”. (Do I look nervous in this picture? Unsure? I certainly wasn’t.  Oh, and remember the photo I shared Friday of Motor Man keeping my wedding ring on his pinkie until the ceremony? I had forgotten, until I scanned this photo, that I had his ring on my thumb.)

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This photo was taken by my dear friend, Linda, and has always been one of my favorites taken of us that day.  We were greeting our guests following the ceremony.

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Because of the limited space, our wedding guest list was rather short. But we had a reception at a local restaurant, where more of our friends could celebrate with us.


Happy Anniversary, Motor Man. Thank you for being such a wonderful hubby and making me so happy.

Tomorrow: our anniversary trip.

~These Days Of Mine~

Random Five Friday

End of the week, end of the month. A couple of my randoms this week have a Halloween feel, even though it’s never been one of my favorite holidays.

 1.) For those of you new to the blog, the following link is one that I share every Halloween. My son, Marshall, was an interpreter at Bacon’s Castle for ten years. During that time, in 2007, our local PBS station filmed a segment of their series “Halloween Haunts” at the Castle. Marshall was honored to be asked to play a role in the film.

2.) Speaking of Marshall, he texted me earlier this week to tell me that he’d pulled out the DVD of “Garfield’s Halloween Adventure” and had enjoyed watching it again. It first aired in 1985, which prompted his question: what was his costume that Halloween? “Old” family photos came to the rescue. (And old is in quotation marks, because the word old cannot possibly be used to describe anything pertaining to my child.) Marshall was a scarecrow that year, in a hat that most likely came from the thrift shop, probably one of my old shirts and brown yarn “straw”. Wish I knew what that was on his collar…

marshall scarecrow 10-30-2014 2-55-53 PM

3.) Daylight Savings Time comes to an end tomorrow evening: time to “fall back”. I’m always reminded of church members years ago who would forget to adjust their clocks. In the spring, they’d arrive in time for the worship service, thinking they were coming for Sunday School. And in the fall, there would be some who would be there when we arrived for Sunday School, having already been there for an hour.  (My mom and I may have experienced that a time or two when we were the ones who forgot to reset our clocks…)

4.) Three of my friends and I have a girls’ day planned for tomorrow: Farmer’s Market, shopping and lunch. The forecast calls for rain, but I’m betting we’ll still have fun.

5.)  Yesterday morning, as I was driving out of our neighborhood, I had to make a u-turn to go back for this shot.

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Happy Weekend!

~These Days Of Mine~