Friday, February 27, 2009

PhotoHunt - I am thankful . . .

. . . that this lady invited me to a cookout on July 4, 1981.

We both had worked at COMSAT for over 10 years, though not directly with each other, and were both busy with our own families. We occasionally discussed the trials and tribulations of raising a pre-teenager and other world conditions. I was then transferred to another office 12 miles away. A couple of years later Marianne became the office manager for our operation there. She was divorced and I was recently separated and we began having lunch. The July 4 cookout was a first date. Delicious food, some fireworks, and we had a delightful day. Her son, just our of high school, and his buddy wired my car with a smoke/noise maker causing some consternation - but no damage - as I was leaving. Needless to say, there were many more dates and then marriage. She accepted my 5 kids as part of the family and she taught me a lot about dealing with the issues of raising kids in a split family. My kids accepted her - some took longer than others - and now have good relationships with her. I am also thankful for the seven (soon to be eight) grandkids that our kids have brought into this world.

We have been to the mountains -

and to the islands -

and I have enjoyed our journey from 1981 to now. We took lots of pictures along this journey. Marianne did a scrapbook (9 volumes) for her son and in the 90's. The Internet also became a part of this journey. She discovered message boards through scrap booking. Then she started talking about a web site, so for her 60-th birthday I gave her a domain and FrontPage. Marianne's corner was published. In 2005 she joined blogspot and in 2007 and 2008 also did a Project 365 to take a picture every day. When I retired at the end of 2007, I joined her in Project 365 for 2008, a thoroughly enjoyable journey in search of photogenic subjects. Some of Marianne's best photos are her close-ups and she works hard to get them.

See the result of this 2007 photo here.

Thanks Marianne, for sharing your life with me these past 27 years. And I am looking to many more years together (with plenty of photos, too)!

Love, Lew

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Sky Watch Friday - Sunrise, February 20

7:10 - out in the corn field as the sun appears

7:11 - a change in composition changes the colors

7:12 - a few early birds appear as specks

7:18 - from inside our backyard

7:20 - the view from the inside the house

Monday, February 23, 2009

My World Tuesday - Francis Scott Key

Francis Scott Key is probably the best-known person from Frederick County. He was born 1 Aug 1779 at the Key home "Terra Rubra". Some sources list his date of birth as 1780. This section of Frederick County became a part of Carroll County when that county was formed in 1837. Francis studied law at St John's College in Annapolis and practiced law in Georgetown, MD (now part of Washington, DC). He died in Baltimore 11 Jan 1843 and was buried at Old Saint Paul's Cemetery in Baltimore. In 1866 his remains were moved to the Key family plot in Mount Olivet Cemetery in Frederick. The monument pictured above was erected in 1898 and both his and his wife's remains were placed in a crypt in the base of the monument.

He is known for a poem he wrote in September 1814 during the War of 1812. The British Army had captured and burned Washington and the fleet was sailing to Baltimore. The British had captured a well know physician, Dr. William Beanes. Francis Scott Key went with Col. John Skinner to meet with British officers aboard the HMS Tonnant to negotiate the release of Beanes. They gained his released, but were prevented from returning to Baltimore until after the British attack on Fort McHenry. The next morning, after 25 hours of shelling, Key saw the large stars and stripes flag still flying and drafted a poem on "The Defence of Ft McHenry". After returning to Baltimore, he finished the poem and it was printed and circulated in Baltimore. It then appeared in newspapers and was sung to the tune "Anacreon in Heaven". The song became popular as "The Star spangled Banner" though it was not until 1931 that Congress officially declared it to be the National Anthem. The flag from Ft. McHenry is now in the Smithsonian.

Francis Scott Key's birthplace "Terra Rubra" is near Keymar, Maryland. The present house is not the original one built in the 1770's for his father. After Key died, the house was sold and deteriorated. It was demolished after further damage by a storm and the present brick house was built. Terra Rubra was listed in the Maryland Historic Trust in 1978.

Buildings, bridges, schools, shopping malls, roads and a US submarine have been named for him. One of his namesake bridges spans the Baltimore harbor near where the British anchored to shell Ft. McHenry in 1814.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

PhotoHunt - Warm hat

This hat was given to me by my oldest granddaughter a few years back. I haven't used it much this winter, but nice and warm when when it's below 20 F and snowing.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Sky Watch Friday - Skies this week

Sunset and clouds Monday

Snowing at lunch time Thursday

Steeple over the hill mid afternoon

White clouds to the northwest

And late afternoon view from my rear window

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

My World Tuesday - Air and Space Museum

Some World War I vintage planes
The National Air Museum was established as part of the Smithsonian in 1946 with artifacts displayed in the Arts and Sciences Building on the Mall. In the 1960's rockets were put on display outsde the Building and "and space" was added to the museum's name. In 1976 a new Air and Space Building was opened on the Mall near the Capitol, greatly expanding the space. My kids were small when we first visited it in the late 70's. The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, located adjacent to the Dulles International Airport, opened in December 2003. A year later the Space Hanager opened with the Space Shuttle Enterprise as its main attraction. The museum also has a preservation, restoration and storage facility in Suitland, Maryland. With the opening of the Udvar-Hazy center, 80% of the museums artifacts are now on display. The museum is planning an addition to handle the preservation and restoration that will allow the public to watch this work. Both this museum and the one in Washington have IMAX theaters and gift shops.

Both museums have been a favorite place to visit with our grandsons. The pictures shown here are from our visits in 2005 and 2006 to the new facility. This is just a small sample of all there is to see.

World War II fighters

The bomber Enola gay

Commercial and private aircraft, including the Concorde

Space Shuttle Enterprise

Space Shuttle Enterprise (grandsons standing below the tail)

Space Shuttle Enterprise from the rear

NASA Tracking and Data Relay Satellite

Friday, February 13, 2009

PhotoHunt - Old Navy

This is the sloop of war USS Constellation, the last all sail warship built by the US Navy in 1854. It is berthed in Baltimore's Inner Harbor and is the only Civil War era vessel still afloat. She carried out a variety of missions before, during and after the Civil War; served as a training vessel; and was finally decommissioned in 1955. The ship was moved to Baltimore for restoration and in 1968 became a floating museum. In the late 1990's she required a major restoration. She was the second ship of that name in the US Navy. The first was a frigate that served from 1797-1853. The third is the Kitty Hawk class aircraft carrier CV- 64 (1960-2003). For another view see my Sky Watch post of last year. (pictures were taken in June 2005)


Gun deck
View of the harbor from the deck.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Sky Watch Friday - Glowing sunset

As I left the store Wednesday afternoon, the sun was setting and I took the above shot before heading home. At a stop sign, I took another shot through the windshield.

Then I pulled over and took a few more from the side of the road. In the last image you can see the outline of Catoctin Mountain below the clouds. It was only 5 minutes between the first and last image.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

My World Tuesday - Snow February 2007

Around here you never know what winter will bring, sometimes mild, sometimes cold, sometimes not much snow and other times a lot. On Valentine's day 2007, we got snow. The squirrels really had to dig to find an acorn.

And two days later, the sun was out and the snow still covered this farm near the Potomac River.

Four days later, the snow was piled high in parking lots.

And only a corner of the lake was thawed for the ducks and geese,

while the rest of the lake was snow covered ice.

And then a week later, more snow came from the sky. leaving us a white, winter wonderland.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

PhotoHunt - Bridge

A covered foot bridge over Carroll Creek in Baker Park. For another view see the header in Marianne's photo blog.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Sky Watch Friday - February skies

Tuesday afternoon brought wind, clouds and a sprinkle of snow. Above looking southeast, below looking south west.

Wednesday more clouds, with a contrail and a few crows in the sky.

And Thursday at sunrise it was clear and cold. Another image of the sunrise is on Lew's Pics.