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Edna and the Red Hats

Yesterday my Red Hat group, the DARling Dames, lunched at Willow Creek Farm in Broadlands, Virginia. What a spectacular site it is. Our hostess, Jayne, and her daughter Kim, baked the most creative “Red Hat” cookies, which we received as favors. You can see them at My Flickr Slideshow.”

The image, Willow Creek Farm, was originally uploaded by barneykin. It is posted here from Barneykin’s flickr account.

Visit Neddy’s Archives for more of Edna’s writings.

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From My Own Farm Bell

Edna’s Farm Bell at the Edge of the Wildwood

I’ve never lived on a farm, nor had any connection with farming, although, of course, many of my forebears did. However, I have always wanted to have a farm bell mounted in my garden as a remembrance of those bygone days of simpler times. What a surprise it was last Christmas when my son’s family gave us an old farm bell that they had found in Warrenton, Virginia.

Well, good Captain Cliff does not like to work outside when the weather is cold, so the old farm bell sat, packed and boxed, all winter long in the garage, where we bumped and crashed into it whenever we were entering or exiting our vehicles. It was in the early Spring, when we were visiting a home on the Eastern Shore, that I was captivated by another old farm bell. It was so charming and I took photographs of it and even blogged one of them: Old Farm Bell

After we returned home, and I posted my pictures, Captain Cliff became a bit eager to install my Farm Bell. He opened the box and unpacked it, and to our suprise, it was identical in every way, including the manufacturer’s name, to the one that we had see at the Maryland home. How delightful! So we tried to copy that one, including the new black paint.

My son suggested that we not paint it; that we leave it in its original patina, as it is in this photograph. I think now that we should have heeded him, but we didn’t. This photograph is how it appeared before the paint job. We have not yet been able to find proper cotton roping for the pull cord, but we are still looking. This synthetic rope is not quite right, but it is all we have.

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I finally got around to making this test of Picasa Web Albums with Cudleigh Cougar. I have ranted a number of times of my dismay at having my images made much smaller when I upload them from Picasa2 to Picasa Web Albums. Google wrote and told me that was caused by my editing of my images before uploading. Duh? Isn’t that what Picasa2 is for? Isn’t Picasa2 supposed to be a photo editing software program?

 IMAGE QUALITY

You mentioned that the files you downloaded from Picasa Web Albums were not the same size as the original files that you uploaded. The difference in photo file size can be attributed to any edits that you made within Picasa before you uploaded. After you make edits to your photo, Picasa needs to then re-sample the image to create a new version of the jpeg (apart from the original). This requires Picasa to apply an amount of jpeg compression to your photo. In order to incorporate your photo edits into your uploaded image, the actual size of the uploaded photo is therefore less than the full photo file.

If you made no edits to your photos and uploaded it at the ’slowest upload; largest size setting,’ you would find the full photo file uploaded.

You can control the jpeg compression level of your files by using the ‘Export’ option before you upload to Picasa Web Albums. For more information on exporting photos, please visit http://picasa.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=13821

If you’d like to go into more depth about the compression of unsaved edits upon upload, please read this informative post in our user group at http://groups.google.com/group/PicasaGuide/browse_thread/thread/a21c26049b83ebb0/d1ec931bf26518b4?

Whatever, … here I am performing a test. I am uploading these two “unedited” images of Cudleigh Cougar at the “slowest” upload, largest size, using the “Web Album” button in Picasa2. Image cudleigh001 is 3264×2448 pixels, 4.5 MB, and Image cudleigh002 is 3264×2448 pixels, 4.8 MB, in Picasa2, on my computer.

After uploading to Picasa Web Albums (which is incredibly easy with the Picasa2 software) I then downloaded one image back to my computer, and sure enough, the Google guy was correct. I was able to download the full size that I had uploaded. Now that was only because I had NOT “edited” the photo. Once a photo is edited in Picasa2 – everything changes, and much smaller images are sent to the Internet. It doesn’t make sense, but that is the way it is.

Then I did a second test, this time sending an entire batch of “edited” images to Picasa Web Albums. You can read about that here: http://picasaweb.google.com/barneykin/GrandBarneySFarmBell, and know why I am now using Flickr for most of my photo album storage, even though I continue to love using Picasa2 software.

Picasa

Picasa Web Albums – Changed

Picasa Web Albums – Discovery

Goodbye Picasa Web Albums

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A Picture from Edna

In July of this year, Captain Cliff and I found ourselves travelling along that “Highway 66” heading down to Aquia, Virginia as I wanted to try and find the Old Concord Cemetery. Now don’t anyone tell me that you cannot get there from Highway 66, as I did it. I found the old burying ground, however there were no visible names on the ancient markers. On the way home, I stopped at the Crucifix Monument to snap some pictures and learn a bit of local history about the area of Virginia that my forebears settled in the 1630s. They were cousins to the BRENTS.

In the early seventeenth century, the Catholic BRENT family had left Gloucestershire, England for the New World, where they settled in Maryland.  When the BRENTS were colonizing Maryland, Colonel Giles BRENT had done as did John ROLFE of Virginia who had married an Indian princess at Jamestown. BRENT’s bride was a 12-year-old student or ward of his spinster sister Margaret BRENT, who was operating a school for the Piscataway children. When Giles BRENT claimed almost all the land of the Maryland Colony due to his marriage to the Piscataway chief’s daughter, he got himself, and his BRENT sisters, into a dangerous situation with the Lord Baltimore government. The BRENTS were forced to cross the river and live in Virginia.

Colonel Giles BRENT and his spinster sisters, Mary and Margaret BRENT, Catholics all, were allowed safety in Protestant English Virginia, whereas in Catholic Maryland, Colonel BRENT was in grave danger of losing his life. They settled at the Colony of BRENTON, at Aquia, Virginia, in the mid 1600s.  This was the first Catholic settlement in English Virginia.

Margaret BRENT was America’s first suffragette, but few have ever heard of her. She was an outstanding, accomplished women. She acted as Lord Baltimore’s attorney, and in fact was probably running the government of the colony. She was able to own property, because she never married, and she even demanded the right to vote. It was denied of course, but the Marylanders did bestow upon her the title of “Gentleman” Margaret BRENT. After the move to Virginia, she seemed never quite so powerful, probably because of her “out of favor” Catholic religion.

The bronze plaque pictured is at the Crucifix Monument on the east side of Jefferson Davis Highway, at Telegraph Road, in Aquia, Virginia.

The image, First Catholics in Virginia, was originally uploaded by barneykin. It is posted here from Barneykin’s flickr account.

Visit Neddy’s Archives for more of Edna’s writings.

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An Aquia Creek Welcome

Only A Paper Dog
Captain Cliff and I took a leisurely drive along the back roads of Stafford County. One thing I will not soon forget were the dogs. Dogs, Dogs Everywhere! Big Dogs. Barking Dogs. Car chasing dogs. This was the least scary dog of all, as he was only a “Paper Dog.”

The image, An Aquia Creek Welcome, was originally uploaded by barneykin. It is posted here from Barneykin’s flickr account.

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A Picture from Edna

Although I was only six years old, I remember when my father became a citizen of the United States of America. I don’t remember the exact day or year, however I don’t need to anymore. I have discovered that the index to his naturalization papers have been published onto the Internet and he was naturalized on June 9th, 1947. The papers were filed under two names as he was christened as “Edward Arthur James Richardson.”

My father was named for his grandfathers, Edward Richardson and James Smith, and for his father Arthur. He was also named Edward, so he claimed, in honor of King Edward VII who came to the throne in the year of my father’s birth. When he became an American he dropped one of his three Christian names, Arthur. Even with all of those names, he was not known by any of them. To all of his friends and relatives he was always “Ted.”

The image, My Father’s Natualization File, was originally uploaded by barneykin. It is posted here from Barneykin’s flickr account.

Visit Neddy’s Archives for more of Edna’s writings.

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I planted my Thornbury Castle rose early last spring. It was a mere sprig of a twig and I had doubts that it would survive my rugged garden. However, thrive it did once I transplanted it to a sunnier location, and by September it  had grown in height to a couple feet tall and had produced a few lovely blooms. It went through the northern Virginia winter without a bother.

~*~The Slide Show ~*~

This Spring, each morning and evening, I have been watching my one-year-old Thornbury Castle rose continue its growth, as I relax on my front porch rocker. Although there was a slight bout with aphids early on, which I sprayed with “House & Garden”, the plant has been doing well. Today there are eight buds sprouted upon it, with color showing, and I snapped a portrait.

A Picture from Edna

I have been so pleased with the progress of the little rose, that I ordered four more this spring from the same nursery. They seem quite expensive, especially with the hefty shipping charges, but I am having fun enough, so far, to justify the steep cost.

For my sunny front garden, a few yards away from the Thornbury Castle, I planted Margaret Merrill. Then on the side of my house we (me and my helper – Captain Cliff) dug up a climbing Queen Elizabeth that had never bloomed in the ten years since I planted it, and replaced it with Zéphirine Drouhin, a rose-pink large flowered thornless climber. Here’s hoping that Ms. Douhin lives up to her name. She is now less than a foot tall – so has a long way to go to climb that trellis that is now being encroached by honeysuckle. Then at the border with the woodland I planted Lyda Rose; it has apple-blossom-like flowers and will bloom profusely in the shade, or so it is promised. We will see how Miss Lyda likes it there at the gateway to the Wild Wood.

Yesterday, I lost control, once again, of my plans to stop creating work for myself, and ordered another rose. This one is said to do well in a container, so I thought that I might give it a try in front of my garage. I usually plant a Mandeville there each Spring, but then in the Fall it is a bit of a chore to remove it and all of its woody vines. I decided to go for a rose that I can leave in the pot year after year. So now I am awaiting “Cream Abundance.”

The image, Rosebuds, was originally uploaded by barneykin. It is posted here from Barneykin’s flickr account.

Visit Neddy’s Archives for more of Edna’s writings.

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A Picture from Edna

The Baltimore Market of My Memories

This Mother’s Day weekend I visited Baltimore’s Lexington Market, in remembrance of the times I went there with my mother as a toddler. I remember that I always found it to be a most frightening place, as I only saw the legs and feet of other shoppers. I remember tightly grasping onto my mother’s skirt as my younger brother and I stayed with her as she shopped.

I don’t remember exactly what groceries she usually purchased, however seeing the market displays this weekend told me that I would have been even more frightened as a toddler if I could have seen above the legs and feet of the shoppers to the iced shelves of the fishmongers’ and butchers’ products. The food items displayed this weekend brought back long forgotten memories of the dishes my mother prepared – fried scrapple, oxtail soup, crab soup, crab cakes and shad roe. Lexington Market Displays (Slide Show)

I wonder how my mother managed to get all of her purchases back home, as she did not drive? Perhaps my father picked us all up after work. Or, perhaps she travelled by street car, which was a very usual way of getting about the city in those long ago days. Then I wondered how she would have managed the street car ride with two toddlers in tow and bags of groceries. As my memories of those days are almost vanished, I can only wonder at how she accomplished all of those things in those bygone days.

I found one provender who claimed to be an old-timer at the Lexington Market. He was the man at the Muskrat-Raccoon-Alligator counter in my pictures. He began describing the way it was in the 1970s when he first arrived on the scene. I told him that my remembrances were from much earlier – like just after World War II in the 1940s. His eyes glazed over as he told me that there was no one alive today at the market who could remember back that far. It was almost as though I was speaking of the eighteenth century days, like 1782, when the Lexington Market first opened. (The Slide Show)

The image, Lexington Market, was originally uploaded by barneykin. It is posted here from Barneykin’s flickr account.

Visit Neddy’s Memories for more of Edna’s writings.

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Top of the Rock


A Picture from Edna

Here I am at the Top of the Rock – New York City. Amazingly, this is where my travels along Route 66 took me in late April. My most DARling friend Candace snapped this picture of me and, as I am wont to do, I had fun with some creativity of sorts.

There were seven of us Darling Dames who “Vamoosed” to New York City from Virginia. After crossing the river, we stopped in Bethesda to fetch a Marylander Darling Dame and her friend Joyce. Then it was northward for all nine of us, non-stop to New York City.

Oh what a time we had! Once we got settled into our rooms at the Hilton Garden Inn at Times Square, it was off to the Square to see the happenings. Our very first encounter there was, none other than “The Naked Cowboy.” What more could a gaggle of mature ladies ask for?

We supped at all of the famous eateries that we could possibly manage – Becco’s, Patsy’s, Sardis and the Dean & Deluca Rockefeller Center Café. We saw two Broadway plays, “Young Frankenstein” and “Legally Blond.” I loved “Legally Blond.” It was innocent, carefree and overflowing with delightful dance. My travelling companions were not as enamored of that musical as was I. They liked the more sophisticated “Young Frankenstein.” Of course, that is why I am Edna and they are NOT.

So here I was, on top of the world, – almost -, for a few short moments. How it was we managed to cram so much excitement and sisterly camaraderie into just two days, I could never explain. We passed one entire day travelling the Streets of New York on the top of a red double-decker tour bus. We debarked near to Ground Zero and strolled about. Finally, after two nights on Broadway, we “Vamoosed,” homeward bound, driven by the “Meanest Bus Driver in the World.” However, we did arrive back to Maryland and Virginia safely, and that is the most important thing that any bus driver can accomplish, miserably cantankerous though he be.

Continuing in the superlative vein, our trip was capably planned and coordinated by the World’s Greatest Tavel Consultant, Queen Bee Judith, and led by New York City’s Finest Tour Guide, Dame Mary of Maryland. Think of this – it was “some” of our own husbands who joyfully drove us to the bus stop. How thoughtful of them to see us all off, she wrote, tongue in cheek. 🙂

The image, Top of the Rock, was originally uploaded by barneykin. It is posted here from Barneykin’s flickr account.

Visit Neddy’s Archives for more of Edna’s writings.

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Old Farm Bell


A Picture from Edna

We had the pleasure of visiting a lovely home on the Eastern Shore of Maryland last weekend. A classmate from Captain Cliff’s Naval Academy days had built a home on a peninsula on Harris Creek of the Choptank River. The location, previously a corn farm, was beautiful, with osprey and bald eagles soaring above. The owners are continuing the farming tradition, albeit, with much more variety for the use of themselves and friends. At the corner of his home I spotted this old farm bell and I photographed it with an ulterior motive in mind.

Our eldest son’s family had given us an antique farm bell last Christmas and it has been in a box in the garage since. I was hoping that this picture would inspire Cliff to buy a post for our bell and install it in our garden. So far, it has inspired him to make a trip to Home Depot. Perhaps not too distantly in the future I will be able to show a picture here of my own farm bell.

The image, Farm Bell Poster, was originally uploaded by barneykin. It is posted here from Barneykin’s flickr account.

Visit Neddy’s Archives for more of Edna’s writings.

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