Search This Blog

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Casting for Recovery (Blog Ninety-six)

We live to support Casting for Recovery, a national organization helping women recover from breast cancer, every chance that we have.  Recently we received this e-mail from Mollie Simpkins, a volunteer for CFR and decided to use Mollie's comments in this week's blog.

Dear Friend of CFR,

It has taken over a year, but an article that has been in the works has finally been published in Virginia Wildlife Magazine....HOORAY!

For the participants, River Helpers, and staff who were part of the 2011 Virginia Retreat will remember Bruce and his wife Elaine lurking quietly..and not so much at times.. asking you to take off your hat or to hold the fish just so.  I remember the day vividly for various reasons. 

One thing that Bruce does allude to was his wife's diagnosis with breast cancer and how CFR 'revitalized' her.  With that Bruce did an absolutely spectacular job in capturing the essence and spirit of Casting for Recovery and the purpose of the retreats.
You have been included in this email because you are one of our many wonderful supporters and/or volunteers or one of the over 300 amazing women who have attended a Casting for Recovery Retreat in the Mid-Atlantic.  As the program continues to grow in many ways, we recognize that we would not be successful if not for the selflessness of our volunteers and the many women, who after attending a retreat, return to be part of the program.  With that, we all thank you so very much for your continued support.

I urge you to share this article with anyone and everyone who might just need a feel good story.  Virginia Wildlife Magazine - Casting for Recovery

Also..if you know of a women who has or has had breast cancer and lives in Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, or Washington, DC. and you feel as though she could benefit from attending a no cost Casting for Recovery retreat, we are taking applications for the Maryland retreat through August 3rd. The retreat itself will be held in Flintstone and Hagerstown, Maryland October 12-14.  She can apply

Again..thank you for your part in CFR..large or small..we truly could not continue the work without your support.


Saturday, July 21, 2012

Chicken Pecking Order (Blog Ninety-Five)

The picture I have posted on this blog entry shows four of our five hens waiting for me to drop a piece of bread among them.  Bread is our chickens' second favorite treat, following only an ear of corn.  On the perimeter of the picture frame, you can barely see Violet, last on the pecking order in our chicken run.

Elaine and I have been raising chickens since May of 2011, and one of the most fascinating aspects is the strict pecking order that exists.  The alpha female is clearly Ruby with Tallulah a distant second.  Tallulah, clearly our smartest chicken, more on that in a later blog, is not as aggressive or as athletic as Ruby, which thinks she can fly (periodically she takes off on low to the ground semi-flights) and definitely can run faster than any of our other hens.

Next on the pecking order, and far behind Tallulah, come Dot and Little Spotty Hen, both of which seem quite content with her station in life.  Then far behind those two (even Dot and Little Spotty will occasionally torment the hen last in the pecking order) poor little Violet.  I use the word little because Violet is just a tad smaller in size than our other hens.  The proverbial statement "size matters" does seem relevant in our run.

In the picture, there is no point in Violet crowding in among the others because if she did her four superiors would thrash her.  I guess she will just have to be content with her station in life.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Shenandoah Riverkeeper (Blog Ninety-four)

It is late Saturday evening as I write this, as I just returned home from the annual Shenandoah Riverkeeper Rodeo.  The event is held to raise money to support the Shenandoah Riverkeeper Jeff Kelble and the hard work he and the Potomac Riverkeeper's staff to protect and improve the streams that make up the watershed.

This year's event was typical - good natured jousting between Jeff and the audience about the day's tournament where participants were penalized mightily if they caught a largemouth, a blue grass band played throughout the evening, and lots of good food was served.

My favorite part of the function this year and every year is talking to fellow fishermen about what patterns are working on the various rivers and what concerns they have about the health of our Mid- Atlantic rivers.

As always, I held a book signing with part of the proceeds going to benefit the Riverkeeper program.  The point of this post is that although the rodeo is over for this year, it is good for river enthusiasts to keep in mind the hard work that the these folks do the entire year.  There is no question that the fishing and water quality have improved the past few years - and the Riverkeeper program has more than a little to do with that.

For more information and/or to donate:

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Great Power Outage and Blackberry Jam (Blog Ninety-three)

Last Friday night, winds of over 80 mph whipped through our Botetourt Land, knocking out our power for 46 hours until around 7:30 Sunday evening.  When the power was restored, Elaine and I were playing scrabble in the fading light that reached our den.  We both spontaneously emitted squeals of delight.

We were fortunate to have our power restored so soon, as even as I write this on Thursday, many folks in Southwest Virginia are without electricity.  We were also fortunate that a neighbor loaned us his generator for about four hours a day so that we did not lose any of our venison and wild turkey.  We had the meat from 7 1/2 deer in our freezer, and it would have been a disaster if the venison had been lost.

This whole affair has caused us to do some planning for the possibility of future outages.  We have long had a wood stove which serves as a backup heat source in the wintertime.  But we realized that we need to have more bottled water on the premises and a charcoal grill to cook with.  Elaine has already purchased a grill and obtained water.

We also have decided to buy a generator and Elaine, who is in charge of researching things in our family, is doing the groundwork for a generator.  If readers of our blog have some recommendations in this area, we would appreciate them.

Finally, we have decided to do more canning.  Tuesday, I picked two gallons of blackberries and Elaine made jam from them.  She also has decided that canning the meat from one deer was not sufficient last year and hopes to can the meat from two whitetails this fall. 

Hopefully we will be better prepared next time.