Friday, October 30, 2009

SkyWatch Friday

Todays SkyWatch photo was taken in Lexington, VA of the R. E. Lee Memorial Episcopal Church. It was established in the mid 19th century as Grace Church and renamed for Robert E. Lee at his death to honor him. Mr. Lee served as Senior Warden.

For more information on the church itself (again, lacking historical info out there)you can visit the church website by clicking HERE

And to see skies from all over the world, visit SKYLEY of course!

I also want to share a new link with you (well new to me that is!). Nick from Blue Ridge Country Magazine sent me a nice email this morning and I poked around the website and loved it. I know you will too! Give them a visit, I'm sure you'll be hooked! CLICK HERE to visit Blue Ridge Country!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Colonnade at Washington and Lee

While in Lexington, we toured the grounds at Washington and Lee University . What an amazing campus with such a rich history. I told Ashlyn that I want her to attend school there so I can visit!

I could barely find any information on the history of this building. This is one thing that has surprised me since starting this blog. When you find and photograph a historical building, come home and try to find some information on it, there isn't a lot out there. So frustrating. Even on the school's website, not much about the history of each building, or even a photo gallery. I think that a lot of times, counties or towns take for granted what they have in historical value, that would be interesting for others to know. I guess they just assume that if you live there, you already know all about it. Well what about new comers or passers-by? Anywho.....

This is the best information I found and you can CLICK HERE to read more but I am also going to paste a brief synopsis:

"The Colonnade" refers to a range of brick buildings with Tuscan porticos that, seen together, give the impression of a continuous colonnade. Comprised of Washington Hall, Payne Hall, Robinson Hall, Newcomb Hall, and Tucker Hall, the Colonnade was begun after an 1803 fire seriously damaged the college's main building (Liberty Hall, 1793); the campus made a completely fresh start in a new architectural style. Building on the Colonnade was completed in phases between 1824 and 1842.

Although Lexington was far from the centers of culture in the early nineteenth century, the Colonnade illustrates the process by which sophisticated architectural ideas were adopted and adapted by builders in more rural areas. The influence of Thomas Jefferson is particularly felt in the Roman temple fronts applied to the otherwise simple brick structures. What now appears to be a single, harmonious concept for the building group actually came about as a series of building efforts and corrections as the college attempted to achieve the image of a modern institution with striking new architecture. The result is a very beautiful and pleasing structure, monumental in appearance from afar, but intimate, informal, and comfortably scaled to the pedestrian passing through its arcades.

As can be seen in numerous early photographs, the exterior of the Colonnade has changed very little since its completion. The interiors of the buildings were fireproofed in the 1930's. Little work has occurred since that time, and the buildings lack modern features such as fire alarm systems or sprinklers, central air conditioning, elevators, and fire stairs; plumbing in the central building is confined to the first floor.

From the National Register report:

The historic core of Washington and Lee University is composed of a collection of architecturally harmonious and spatially related neo-classical buildings that together form one of the most dignified and beautiful college campuses in the nation. The central and most significant element of this complex, the "Colonnade," gives the impression of being the product of a single architectural concept, but in reality this splendid succession of columned and pilastered buildings is an evolutionary product of a building program extending over nearly one hundred and fifty years. As the school grew, its administrators and builders successfully used this growth as a means to enhance the visual unity of the institution without falling into monotony. The first buildings erected in 1803 by what was then Washington College, have long since disappeared. It is, however, the oldest of the existing buildings, Washington Hall, erected in 1824, which sets the architectural tone of the campus. Its builder-architect, John Jordan, was a self-taught designer of much ability. Jordan was able to transform the prevailing architectural fashion of the time into a sturdy, local idiom. The principal departures at Washington and Lee from Jordan's simple classicism- the Lee Chapel and the President's House- do not detract from the unity of the area, but serves as interesting foils to it.

In the center of the Colonnade is the oldest and largest building of the group, Washington Hall- a three-story temple-form structure fronted by a provincial hexastyle Roman Doric portico. Washington Hall was erected in 1824; its present roofline and two-story flanking wings were added in 1843. The octagonal Greek Revival cupola, topped with a wooden statue of George Washington, was added in 1844. The statue, carved from a single piece of white pine by a local cabinet maker, Matthew Kahle, is a fine example of American folk art. Washington Hall's flanking wings, fronted with coupled Doric pilasters, link the building to two matching rectangular structures.

Ok, that wasn't too brief, but it was just too interesting to leave anything out!

Also, if you like web cams, I found this "Colonnade Cam" and you can see the difference in the tree from when I took the photo above (last month) to now. To view CLICK HERE

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Grist Mill

This old mill is located in Rockbridge County, VA . It sits on the McCormick Family Homestead. Cyrus McCormick was born there in 1809 and later invented the Reaper. The old family home sits on the homestead as well as the mill, pictured, and a black smith shop.

The McCormick heirs deeded the 634-acre farm to Virginia Tech to use for agricultural research and education. You can read more about that HERE

This morning after dropping Ashlyn off at school, I got a speeding ticket. Not an ordinary speeding ticket but a speeding ticket in a school zone. I am such a stickler about not speeding in school zones, I mean that is the ONE spot that I never speed in and hate to see people disregarding the speed limit. Well, I dropped Ashlyn off, crossed my side of the road and pulled out waiting to make a left turn. I was thinking to myself how empty the road was, no traffic at all, when I pulled out, accelerated up to speed and then it hit me, I'm still in the school zone, proceeded to slow down but the damage was done, I was caught on radar. I was doing the speed limit for normal times of the day but was over the 25 school zone speed. Well, I knew I was wrong, was hugely embarrassed and pulled over. The Botetourt sherrif got out of his vehicle and walked towards mine. I rolled my window down, quickly apologizing for what I did. This man was so incredibly rude, I couldn't believe it. I continued apologizing and was extremely polite (not to get out of a ticket, but because I knew I was in the wrong, albeit accidentally, but still wrong). This did not matter to this Botetourt Barney Fife. He continued to talk in a rude manner towards me as if I was a common criminal and not a mom in a mini van.I graciously took my ticket and went on with my day.

The thing about this whole ordeal that makes me angry is that people in this position should use their "power" in a positive way, rather than to treat each person they run across as if they did some horrible deed. I admit, I was wrong, but I didn't intentionally speed, it was an accident. No complaints about the ticket, but come on Botetourt, don't you want your officers to be setting a good example in the community? When I mentioned this person's horrible attitude to a police officer that I know, his response was "yes, I've heard that quite a few times." Nice. Treat people with respect, and you will be respected.

Off my soap box now and very careful to not speed again!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Old Timey Scarecrow

While in Lexington, we stopped by the old Stonewall Jackson House . This old scarecrow is in his garden. I've never seen a scarecrow like this one and want to make one for our own garden!

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Maury River

Today I am taking you back to the Maury River which I briefly spoke about on Thursday's post. Some of those little pools are pretty deep with lots of big fish that the kids could see from the rocks. I can't remember what kind of fish they said they were. There were quite a few small groups of people parked up and down along the river swimming, even though summer was over and it was a little cold out! I bet it's crowded during the summer!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

SkyWatch Friday

The steeple of First Baptist Church in Lexington, VA amidst a sky of blue and puffy white clouds!

For more skies from all over the world, visit SKYLEY

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Love On The Maury River

A few weeks back we took a short road trip to Lexington. On the way home we stopped along the Maury River. The Maury River is in a beautifully scenic setting with lots of huge rocks to jump on (the kids really liked that part). While we were exploring, Ashlyn found this sweet little message :)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Lord Botetourt High School Homecoming Dance

Last weekend was Homecoming at Lord Botetourt. This is my baby Ashlyn and her boyfriend Austin before they headed out to the dance. Isn't she beautiful and doesn't he look dapper? :)

My camera broke. Evidentally hardwood floors and cameras don't mix. Braden and Dalton were making "movies" (yes, they are going to be the next Quentin Tarrantino's!) and my camera fell off its tripod. It is beyond repair, won't focus, just really messed up. I thought, no big deal, Ashlyn has one, same make/model as mine, that she NEVER uses, maybe has used a handful of times. I'll just use that in the meantime, wrong. Her's just beeps 3 times then shuts itself off. The batteries are charged, I don't know what's wrong with the thing. That being said, they are Samsung cameras and you know how much I dislike their customer service, or lack-there-of...I've never even been happy with the quality of pictures, so needless to say my next camera will not be a Samsung.

So, what point and shoot do you recommend? I had a Canon, I think it was a Sure Shot, that I loved (another one bites the dust due to Braden and Dalton a few years back) and this camera could not take a bad picture, and believe me, my photo abilities are not all that great and this Canon took awesome shots, always!

So I'm in the market for a new camera...oh and if any camera companies stumble upon this and have a camera you insist on letting me use and write up a gushy review with my photos, I'm open to that option too ;)

Luckily for me, I have a big stock pile of photos to use...back to blogging!

Hope everyone is well!