Thursday, September 29, 2011

Just a Quick 'Howdy!' From Tennessee!

I spent some time yesterday on a self-guided tour of the Tennessee State Capitol Building which is here in Nashville and I must say that the building was absolutely beautiful and the history was fascinating. Did you know that three of our Presidents have come from Tennessee? Yep! Andrew Jackson, Andrew Johnson, and James Polk!

One of them is buried on the grounds of the Capitol and another has the very first equestrian statue ever built in the United States which is pictured here with the Capitol Building as a backdrop. Want to take a guess on the answers? I'll check back later to see how you did!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Greetings from Nashville!

I'm spending the week in Nashville, Tennessee with my cousin Amy as she attends the Annual International Bluegrass Music Association Conference and was more than happy to get out of Connecticut yesterday as the weather we've been having is just downright awful and nothing like fall should be. I'm hoping by the time I get back Mother Nature will have gotten her act together! In the meantime, I plan on having a good time exploring a place I've never been to but heard a lot about.

We flew out of Hartford yesterday afternoon so I thought I'd post just a few pictures of our flight and a few of the things I've seen in Nashville so far.  In a little bit I'm going to go out and do some real exploring as it's just a short walk to the Tennessee State Capitol Building, Bicentennial Park, and the historic Hermitage Hotel where I plan on having a nice lunch at the Capitol Grille.  The hotel is a member of the Historic Hotels of America and has played host to quite a few famous people over the years such as past presidents and famed cowboy Gene Autry along with his horse Champion.  I figure just because I'm not staying there (and don't have a horse) that sure doesn't mean I can't go over and wish that I was, right? Anyhow, enough of future plans - here's a short recap of yesterday via photos.

Waiting to leave Hartford where it was hot, humid, and downright nasty for October.
Puffy and fluffy clouds on the way to Tennessee
Descending on our approach to Nashville - there's LOTS of water around here! 
The famed Ryman Auditorium which I will be touring later today
Lookee thar at all them boots!  This place is buy one get two free and it smells fantastic!  I saw the cutest pair of red boots there, too!  Tempting, very tempting! 
LP Stadium, where the Tennessee Titans play, across the Cumberland River from a view at Riverfront Park
This might explain why our accommodations while we're here don't provide free WiFi in the rooms!  Oh wait, that's not our hotel - that's Fort Nashborough
My cousin Amy's favorite store in all of Nashville!  
We had dinner at Jack's last night and the BBQ Beef Brisket was delicious! 
A night view of the "Batman Building" from our hotel. 
A view of Broadway from our room - the Ernest Tubb Record Shop is down there somewhere! 

Even though I am not exactly a "fan" of bluegrass I do enjoy some of it and even popped into one of the showcases last night to listen in on a couple of bands and quite enjoyed my time there. All in all, I think this is going to be a great trip and so far I'm having quite the good time. Now ... enough of being on the computer in the lobby - I've got some explorin' to do and some good southern cookin' to eat!

Monday, September 26, 2011

The First Senior Moment

The First Senior Moment

Renee, a friend and co-worker, sent me this one via email the other day; I thought it was too darned funny - and probably accurate - not to share!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Five on Friday - The Day Late +1 Version!

I totally missed doing a post for Travis' Five on Friday yesterday even though the intentions were there to play along with his musical meme this week.  Ah, the best laid plans of mice, men, and music!  Anyhow, to make up for missing Five on Friday, I'm going to post Six on Saturday with six songs starting from the year that I graduated from high school - 1976.  Turns out that not only did I miss Travis' meme yesterday but I also missed my 35th high school class reunion last Saturday as the folks organizing the event had my old address and being that the forwarding order had expired, the good ol' US Post Office didn't bother to forward the invite or apparently even return it to sender.

From the looks of the Facebook page that the reunion group set up (another thing I didn't know about until too late), they had a pretty good turnout with 80 people attending and they all had a wonderful time.  I've been looking at some of the pictures and trying to place names to faces but I'm having a horrible time of it ... must be that early onset dementia I keep moaning about! I should be in great shape by the 40th reunion, huh?  High school?  I went to high school?  In Connecticut?  With other people??

Ah well, enjoy the music and hopefully I'll do better at remembering to play along on the proper day next week!

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Friday, September 23, 2011

Fish Fingers and Custard

As I'm heading to Nashville with my cousin Amy for a few days next week, I asked Amanda to type a list of groceries into the notepad application of my iPhone so she wouldn't starve while I was away - or at least complain incessantly that there was nothing in the house to eat.  I figured the chances of me remembering to have my phone on me versus remembering to take a written list to the store were most definitely in the phone's favor.

Upon arriving at the local Big Y, acquiring a cart, and starting my way through the produce section I pulled out my iPhone and looked over Amanda's list:

  • Milk
  • Bread
  • Cereal
  • Hot dogs
  • Shredded cheese
  • Tomato soup
  • Frozen pizza
  • Mustard
  • Hot Pockets
  • Ravioli
  • Fish Fingers and Custard
"Fish fingers and custard??" That one made me smile as I'm sure Amanda knew that it would being that it's a Doctor Who reference that, unless you're a Whovian, you just aren't going to understand. If you'd like to understand (more or less) watch the video clip below:

Even though I looked high and low I couldn't find any custard (or even custard mix) in the store so I'm afraid she's stuck with fish sticks and vanilla pudding but hopefully that'll be close enough!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Another Look at Canterbury's 2011 Old Home Day

Now that I'm done working those triple double shifts, I've got some time to post a few more pictures from last Saturday's Old Home Day in my hometown of Canterbury. Just in case you're still wondering what on earth Old Home Day is, it's not a day when people who live in old houses throw open their doors and allow people to tour their homes, it's a day when a community steps back in time a little bit and celebrates their roots.  That most venerable of New England periodicals, Yankee Magazine, describes it this way:
"The tradition of Old Home Days began in 1897 in New Hampshire and still goes on every summer across New England. Parades, ball games, and band concerts are the order of the day, while new folks get acquainted and returning folks reconnect with their communities."
Granted, Canterbury's Old Home Day is certainly not as elaborate as some in New England as there are no parades or ball games but there is music and "old time" craftsmen and good eats during which time the old one-room schoolhouse that has been renovated is open for tours giving a chance for old classmates to reconnect while they reminisce over the pictures and other items that have been collected over the years. In other words, it's rather like a Fall Festival served up with a dose of history!

As my cousin Amy, who is one of the co-chairs of the event, and her family are quite heavily involved in the Canterbury Historical Society (go figure, there are other folks in my family who like history!), it has somehow come to pass that I have become the "official" photographer for Old Home Day.  It's kind of a win-win situation in that I get to practice my photography and the CHS gets a few pictures of Old Home Day - plus there's the added bonus of when I get photo credit on their website, they always spell my last name right!

So, anyway, here's a bit of a look at Canterbury's 2011 Old Home Day held on the lawn of the First Congregational Church on the Green:

Everett St. Louis and Jack Kerouack were the first performers of the day
Visitors take a look around the Green School>
Visitors take a look around inside the one-room Green School
A young Civil War re-enactor from the Roseland Cottage Education Department
Fred Brehant, a traditional blacksmith, explains his craft to two interested on-lookers
Bob Noiseux offered free rides in his 1918 Buick
Rick Spencer entertains at Old Home Day
Rick Spencer, a historical music entertainer, took to the stage 
Beekeeper Christopher Swift shows off his wares
Erich Steinhagen of Steinhagen Pottery works the pottery wheel.
"Chili Bob" Whatley, an Early American candlemaker, and his wife strike a traditional pose.
James Easton, to the left, does amazing woodcarvins while my Uncle Alton, to the right, talks to visitors about his display of antique tools and furs.
Blacksmith Alexander Kostuk tends to his fire.
The World's smallest Quartert took their turn on the stage and really had visitors' toes tapping -  mine were for sure!
A young trio enjoyed a fall treat of candied apples from the Canterbury Lions booth.
Bear Minimum + 1 performs bluegrass music
My cousin Dave on guitar and Dave Shaw on the mandolin of Bear Minimum, a bluegrass duo, welcomed Ken Belanger, guest bassist, to the group for their performance. 
Bill Kivic fired up a tasty treat over an open flame with his antique waffle irons.
Emily Noiseux caught a cat nap with her baby goat
Toby, one of my cousin Rachel's pygmy goats, welcomed a small visitor to his pen - he was probably wondering how she tasted being that he's happy to eat pretty much anything in sight!  
Doug O'Connor works on a handcrafted Windsor chair.
Tony Denning of Maple Leaf Farm had some delicious looking maple products for sale
One of the Peruvian alpacas from Burgis Brook Alpacas
Paul Rulli Reproductions displayed beautiful museum-quality 17th and 18th century reproductions
The old Green School provided the backdrop for the stage.
The McV Farm offered very tasty corn on a stick! 
Overall, the day was nice enough to even make a goat smile!
There was a lot more to see than what I have posted here and by the end of the day, I think that the Canterbury Historical Society could declare the 8th Annual Old Home Day a success as the weather couldn't have been nicer and everyone who attended seemed to be having a fine time. Hopefully next year the local media will help to get the word out a little better that the fun family event is going on before the event happens rather than after so that more people can come out and enjoy a glimpse into the past while enjoying some of the treats of fall at the same time.

If you'd like to see more of Old Home Day, please visit the gallery on my SmugMug page where you'll find over 300 pictures that hopefully captured the spirit of the day.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Greetings from Shelburne Falls!

Deerfield River Mosiac Art

Have you ever heard of a bridge of flowers? 
 There's one in Massachusetts over the Deerfield River 
and you can read about it at The Distracted Wanderer 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Greetings from Old Home Day!

Early Learning, originally uploaded by Linda Orlomoski.

I spent most of yesterday in my hometown of Canterbury taking pictures for the annual Old Home Day celebration which is put on by the Canterbury Historical Society. It was my third year playing the role of "official" photographer (heck, I even got mistaken for a photographer from the local paper this year - how cool is that?) and I went home with over 450 pictures having put the Nikon through a good work-out.

This picture is one of my favorites from the 308 that I eventually decided I really liked after going through the batch. It was taken in the restored Green School, the only remaining one-room schoolhouse in Canterbury that has been lovingly restored and serves as the centerpiece for Old Home Day. For me this picture just seemed to sum up the spirit of the day.

I'll try to post a handful more of my favorites tomorrow but for today it's off to work for my usual Sunday double followed by a double again tomorrow and another double on Tuesday. Yes, I am crazy but the siren song that overtime warbles is sometimes hard to ignore!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Five on Friday - The Bocelli Version

I'm dedicating Travis' Five on Friday set this week to my friend and former Carnival Glory cabin-mate Barb who I happen to know is a major league, big-time Andrea Bocelli fan which means I'm guaranteed at least one listener today!

Had Barb been in New England this week instead of arriving next week, she would have had the chance to go see Mr. Bocelli in New York City last night when he performed a free concert on the Great Lawn in New York City's Central Park.  Her sister Lynda had tickets and when she couldn't use them she gave them to me.  I was really looking forward to going right up until I turned another year older last Friday and immediately came down with one of the nastiest colds I've had in a long time - so bad that I called out of work for the first time in I can't remember when.

Knowing there was no way I was going to get down to Manhattan feeling like ten miles of bad road and not wanting the tickets to go to waste, I passed them on to a friend that I've made at Historic Hotels of America knowing that she worked in New York City and hoping that either she or someone she knew could use them.  Gina was flying out to California today and couldn't go herself but it just so happened she has a co-worker who is probably almost as big of a Bocelli fan as Barb is and she was beyond happy to get the tickets.  So ... neither Barb nor I got to see Andrea perform at Central Park but that doesn't mean we can't enjoy his music today in the comfort of our own homes.

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