Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Heritage Farm Museum of Loudoun County

One of the most enjoyable experiences of our visit to the park was looking around the Heritage Farm Museum. It had a lot of extremely interesting exhibits covering 300 years of farming life in Loudon County.
The following two photos are of an Alfalfa and Grass Seed Drill, circa 1865. It was made by the American Seeding Machine Company in Springfield, Ohio. The development of the reaper in the mid 19th Century made it possible for farmers to increase their acreage. However, hand planting seeds was not productive enough to increase the acreage demanded by the reapers productivity. In 1865 the grain drill, an automated planter, was invented, which allowed farmers to plant more acreage and produce better yields without increasing the man-power. In 1929 the American Seeding Company merged with Oliver Farm Equipment Co. I wish I could say I knew all this but I copied it verbatim from the information sheet.

Most definitely a great place to take children. There are plenty of interactive areas, one which includes this mechanical cow where they can master the art of milking.
This was one of my favorites, the 1926 Wigginton Apple Grader.

The Waxpool General Store can be seen in the background, the front of the building is a replica of the actual store.

A lovely old wagon.
Farming tools and what looks like a replica of an old bee-hive. On the top of the ladder is a hand-held axe, dated 1750-1800. Below that is a Froe, date unknown. The Froe was used to split wood into shingles and clapboards. A mallet was used to drive the Froe into the wood. Next on the ladder is the Mallet, date unknown. Lastly is a Broadhoe also dated 1750-1800. The hoe was used to weed and cultivate the fields.

Cloth-weaving machine.
These items of clothing are replicas of an Infant's Dress, 12-18 months; soaker, booties, bonnet and a Christening gown with slip. I didn't get the date on this one unfortunately.

Turn your wheat into flour.

Waxpool General Store

Waxpool General Store is located inside the museum. Walking inside is like stepping back in time.

Monday, September 29, 2008

I stayed off the coffee today.....

Yes I truly am joking. Yes, my face is now plastered on my son's Facebook so that 60 friends and relatives can see what a maniacal looking mother he has, but I don't mind. He and Lisa had just presented me with a lovely congratulatory card for passing my citizenship test and he treated us to our meal and I was goofing off a little but I was going to give him a normal looking expression, except that I forget his reflexes are faster than my face muscles. I love the kid, wanted poster or no wanted poster look-a-like and frankly, if I saw this one up on the wall in the post office next time I go in, I wouldn't really be surprised.

Anyhow, getting back to why I should stay off coffee....instant that is. I have felt a bit cranky all day. Saturday I ran out of my regular coffee and so not that I 'needed' it but I do love my cup of coffee first thing in the morning with a couple of cookies. I suppose you could call me a creature of habit. When I reached for the bag, there was enough coffee for a thimbleful, so I reached into the cupboard as I remembered someone had recommended a certain brand of instant granules which I had purchased a couple of months before. It has been waiting for just such an event, me running out of my favorite brew.

It has been so long since I made instant that when I put one of the little sachets into the cup I looked at it for a moment and told myself that that certainly wasn't enough, so I added another and another and another and another. By the time I poured the hot water on top it looked like a black hole. Hubs came by and said, "Boy, that looks pretty strong stuff, are you sure that's wise?" I said, "It looks okay to me." Well, at four thirty a.m. in the morning my eyes were still wide open and as I had had that cup of coffee in the early part of the morning , I couldn't understand why it should be having this effect on me. I did wonder why I was hearing the buzzing of bees in my head for most of the day, and I was a bit of a motor-mouth. Last night I was still buzzed but I wound down enough to go to sleep around one a.m.

Today I was feeling a bit cranky and I'm a very patient person normally but as I analyzed how I was feeling, yes I was feeling downright cranky. Hopefully by tomorrow I will be smiling inside. I was smiling on the outside today but not really smiling on the inside. I do so love my cup of coffee in the morning. I just won't be using a shovel to fill my cup with instant next time I run out of my regular brew. No I refuse to drink decaf, I still get a buzz with decaf so what's the point?

I think I am a poster child for why a person shouldn't be drinking caffeine but I just love that one-and-only-cup of coffee in the morning and that is really why I have only one cup. Of course hubs keeps telling me I shouldn't be using the cup someone gave me years ago as a joke that says, "My 20 minute cup of coffee." It is a rather large one. All my coffee cups have been broken over the years but that one must be laced with cast iron. I've bounced that thing off the floor a few times and it hasn't even so much as chipped in ten years of using it.

Lanesville House

This was the home of Dr. Claude Moore. He purchased it in 1941 and lived in it for 50 years. There is a history of all the families who lived here in an historical marker below entitled Lanesville Families.
It is a lovely old house built in the 1700s.

The history of the families who lived here.

Here it tells of its architecture.

Inside was where the wildlife photography exhibit was taking place. I didn't take any photos of the photos for obvious reasons but they were very beautiful, of wildlife but also flowers, scenery, the kind of photo that I have seen in my blog traveling, all done by members of the Loudon Photography Club. Some fine examples of their work can can be found on Flickr. I did take a few photos around the house.

I fell in love with this old trunk, it triggered a memory of the one my Dad had years ago, full of old newspapers, one a two-paged article on Lawrence of Arabia. I don't know why that one sticks in my mind, perhaps because when I discovered it I had not long before seen the movie with Peter O'Toole in the title role. Dad didn't collect every newspaper that came along, but only ones of important events that went back to WWII. I also can see all the old sheet music in that trunk of my Dad's. He was an excellent piano player and there were many times we would sing together from those old sheets of music. He collected them from his boyhood, probably from the time he first learned how to play the piano. And so I love this old trunk I found in Lanesville House, not only because it was a beautiful piece but because the older I get the more I seem to drift back to my childhood after things trigger my memory, as in this case my Dad's beloved old trunk. When I need them these old memories cover me like a comforting old blanket.

A curio cabinet with three photos of Dr. Moore, one as a young man, one in middle age and one in his twilight years. On the top shelf of the cabinet is his medical kit that he carried with him during World War I. On the bottom shelf are his saddle bags.
A close up of the last photo. He has a kind face with warm eyes. It looks like a face that laughed often.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Old Log Cabin at Claude Moore Park in Sterling

This is Frogshackle Cottage. Gregg enjoys looking at rooves and brickwork. He took the top two photos.
I have a friend who lives less than two blocks away from Claude Moore Park. She walks here with another friend regularly. I had never heard of it so I thought it would be a nice place to visit. Her daughter had mentioned that there was a photographic exhibition on wildlife this weekend and I was hooked. Gregg and I always enjoy exploring new places and when I told him about this place he was all for it. We arrived around noon. It had been raining and everywhere was a bit damp but it didn't rain for the rest of the day and we enjoyed a nice leisurely walk.

The Park was named after Dr. Claude Moore who was born in Danville, Virginia, in 1892. He was a very interesting man, and a short biography can be found here.

The cabin is now used as a nature center. It wasn't open when we were there.

This was out in front of the cabin.

Praying Mantis

Today when we were looking at the wildlife photography exhibit the gentleman running it saw our cameras and wondered if we would be interested in a praying mantis he had just noticed on a bush outside. They aren't too sharp and the video isn't the greatest, but I'm very glad I got them. Did you know that the insect order of Mantodea or mantises consists of approximately 2,000 species world-wide? It says so here on Wikipedia. There are also some excellent photos on this page. Do you think that their front claws look a bit like crab legs?

Today's Flowers

Most of these flower photos I took when out and about visiting local gardens. I am not sure of most of their names. The top photo is from a bouquet I was given for my birthday a few months ago.

Today's Flowers was created by Luiz Santilli Jr. but is now managed by Santilli and Denise BC. Thank you all very much, this is a lovely idea to share beautiful blooms. If you click on the icon above, the link will take you to beautiful flowers from everywhere in the world. You can also join in the fun by following the instructions given.