Category Archives: Photos

Survival: 390 Year Old Bonsai is an Ambassador of History

When I think of a plant that has lived for hundreds of years, I think of the Giant Sequoias in California – towering high overhead. This bonsai was potted 390 years ago and it currently resides at the U.S. National Arboretum.

It was a gift for our 200 year bicentennial – given by a family who had tended it for five generations. It was designed to be a symbol of peace and friendship – given a mere 30 years after the bombing of Hiroshima. This tree is a survivor – it was growing only two miles away from where the atomic bomb was dropped. The love and care of the Yamaki family and the protection of the nursery walls ensured its survival.The history this tree has seen…if only it could talk!

Photo courtesy of National Geographic.

390 year old Bonsai





The Huddleston Snow of 2012

Well, it finally came…snow. When there was a freak snowstorm that hit the northeast on Halloween, we were certain that we were looking ahead to another busy winter season like last year. Months passed and we saw a couple of flurries, but that was it…where was the snow?
Well February 19th, the snow came – the 18th the temperatures were in the 50s. On the 19th, they began in the 40s at midnight and continued to drop from there. By Sunday evening, they had fallen below freezing. And 7 inches of snow quickly piled up after a day long snowfall that had only brought us maybe 1/2″. I shan’t regale you here with my death defying ride home (thanks God for the guardian angels!), but I thought I would share some pictures from Monday the 20th (before the temperature once again soared into the 50s.
Plato Gallops
Katrina's back snow
Snow Dinos
Sun on snow
Plato says snow is yummy!
Plato snow pillow
Ginger is Serious
Snowboarding--Jack style!
Katrina falling
Katrina comes up smiling
Katrina rescued by Canines
Jack sledding
Katrina gets it!
I hope you’ve enjoyed our fun in the snow!

Campbell County Art Show May 2010

Katrina and I enjoy taking photos. We think some of them are good. So, when we heard about the Campbell County Art Show, we both wanted to give it a whirl. There were over 180 pieces of art entered in the show. There were student divisions (ages 5-10 and 11-17), and these were further broken down based on medium. Then there were categories for Novice (never entered an art show), Amateur and Professional. And these were also sorted by medium.
Pictures were to be dropped off between 8 and 9, then the judging would begin. Then at 1:30, winners would be announced. Katrina and I were going to go home between drop off time and announcement time, but there were so many beautiful pieces of art work to see and we were having fun hanging out with some friends of ours that were there, so we just stayed. We left for a bit to get some water and hit a couple of yard sales, then we came back.

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Happy 90th Birthday, Grandma

Tomorrow my Grandma, Irene Orndorff, will turn 90 years old. Yesterday, our family celebrated her birthday in Strasburg, VA. Over 200 invitations were sent out. I didn’t count how many people where there, but as you can see in this photo (which doesn’t include everyone), there was a very good turn-out.

Of course, what else would you expect when you are celebrating the birthday of a woman who has spent 90 years in the same community, living, loving, and helping those around her. My grandmother has 7 children, 5 boys and 2 girls, all of who are still alive and kicking. She has 16 grandchildren if my count is right. And I couldn’t begin to tell you how many great-grandchildren, and I think there may be one or two great, great-grandchildren.

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Introducing Sock Monkey

My husband has a thing for monkeys…a few years ago, one mysteriously appeared on his desk at work and ever since then we have added to his interesting monkey collection. He has office monkeys, a monkey in a banana that I won at a carnival, and a set of office monkeys.
This year for Christmas, Katrina and I were wandering around Target and we saw it…the perfect gift for Daniel: Sock Monkey!

Sock Monkey was an instant hit with the family. He is always into some kind of mischief. Sometimes he helps Daniel with his work.
Stay tuned for the Adventures of Sock Monkey… As you can see…he’s very photogenic!

Kat’s Kandies

Yesterday was a Red Letter day for Katrina. But first let me back up a bit.
For years, my daughter has been hounding me with ideas for her own business. She wanted to build a lemonade stand here in the neighborhood (understand, we have only a few neighbors, not really enough to make that endeavor worthwhile.)
She gives concerts and sells us tickets to come see them. She offers to do extra chores for cash. She will make handmade items and then try to sell them to us. She has talked about setting up a website and selling stuff through it. The problem with her selling us stuff is that…well, we aren’t repeat customers. We each buy one of her items, but then we don’t want to buy anymore and then she is left with unsold stock.
Last spring we suggested she try a bubblegum machine. I owned 8 vending machines back in the mid 90s. I made some money off of them, but once I had children, the time and money spent seemed less worth it. Places went out of business and I was looking to make way more money than what I was making. But what I was making would be more than enough for a 9 year old girl.
So, Katrina asked our hairdresser if she could put a bubblegum machine in her shop. Mandy gave her permission, but then the whole idea was put on hold. For those of you who are here with any regularity, you know we have been traveling a lot this year. We didn’t want to be gone and abandon her machine for weeks on end. So we waited.
She didn’t say anymore about it, but when I was thinking about what to get her for Christmas, I thought the bubblegum machine would be a perfect gift. It would get her started on her first real business adventure and it was a way better gift than the same amount of money spent on Littlest Pet Shop. I was thrilled with The Gumball Machine Factory. Their prices were good, their product (once it arrived) is well made and I was able to have them put a decal on the front of her bubblegum machine. She was so excited to get this gift. And for the few days it was in our house, she did a good business from visitors!
So, back to yesterday. We took the vending machine to Lakestyles and she watched with pride as Mandy was her first non-family customer. Here is a photo of Katrina and Mandy with the bubblegum machine in place.

October 18, 2009 – Te Anau to Invercargill and Bluff

Today was an awesome day! We checked out of our hotel around 9. Then we headed to the Te Anau Wildlife Center. We took a walk through the woods. We also learned about and photographed some of the local birds. Some pictures are below. For more, you can go to this Flickr link.

Kea – a Mountain Parrot

Kakariki – Red-crowned parrot

South Island Kaka named Charlie Brown. I wanted to take this beautiful bird home with me.

Antipodes Island Parakeet

Kereru – New Zealand Wood Pigeon

Unfortunately it was to cloudy to fully appreciate the beauty of Lake Te Anau, which is the largest lake on the South Island, but what we did see was beautiful and serene.

We grabbed brekky and lunch from the local supermarket and then drove to Invercargill. It was only a 2 hour drive and we saw sheep, cows, deer and a little rain. The land grew flatter and flatter.
We checked into our hotel and it was a welcome place to visit. We each had our own room. The way the hotel was set up was there was a main door, then off of that two doors each leading to a bedroom. Each bedroom had a bathroom, tv, tons of space, and some kitchen facilities. After all of our togetherness, you could practically hear the rejoicing as we each went into our own rooms…

As you can see Daniel was thrilled with the accomodations!

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