Thursday, February 27, 2014

Pirates Coves, Gold, Floki, a Nanny

Dutchman's Cove, in Castletownsend, County Cork, Ireland had stairs leading down to the waterline, as well as carved niches to hold lanterns or torches for night lading

Steps cut into the rock at Gokane headland, Crookhaven, West Cork, Ireland lead to an underground cavern where ships could hide

One of multiple cans containing gold coins from the Gold Rush years in California.  A couple's dog found them buried in tree roots on their property.

Gustav Skarsgard (Floki) makes a face at breakfast during the second season of filming Vikings in Ireland.

A donkey serves as a nanny for young lambs in Lombardy, Italy

Pirates and Vikings

I just started the second book of a trilogy by Robin Hobb.  The Liveship Traders is the name of the trilogy, and it's made up of Ship of Magic, The Mad Ship, and Ship of Destiny.  If you enjoy well-written fantasy, multiple characters, pirates, sailing, ships, dragons, sea serpents, and romance and adventure, then this series was written for you.  I admit the Prologue intrigued me, but the first chapter seemed dreary; then the entire story line came into view, and I was hooked.  This is a super group of books, and Robin Hobb is an excellent, and prolific, writer.
  With Mom growing up on Chincoteague Island, and Dad serving in the US Navy, and with me spending my summers on the island while growing up, I've always been drawn to pirates and pirate stories.  There have been stories of pirate treasure being buried on Assateague Island since the mid-1600s.  It was rumored that Blackbeard, Edward Teach, left treasure on or near Assateague (which is the island next to Chincoteague) - and treasure hunters have dug all over both islands and any long-lived "tumps" nearby.  It was also rumored that a few families along the Eastern Shore made their spending money by pirating, but also had the family farm along the creek to keep up appearances they were honest, hard-working citizens.
  In any event, it was due to this that a new news article caught my eye this morning - "new" evidence of 17th-century Irish pirating, near the southwest coast of Munster.  The evidence has been there, in plain sight, all along, but it took an archeologist's eye and experience to prove it.  Almost invisible stairs cut into sheer cliffs in two coves show where both smuggling and pirating activities took place.  Dutchman's Cove at Castletownsend, County Cork, and the Gokane headland at Crookhaven, West Cork, have been examined, and the archeologists agree that both places were in use before and after the Dutch shattered the Irish pirates in 1614 (with the blessing of King James the First and Sixth).  Shades of  "The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh!"  I dearly loved Patrick McGoohan as the Vicar/Scarecrow in that Disney movie - his Scarecrow persona scared the daylights out of me, as a child.
  And, yesterday afternoon and evening, I had a magnificent time watching the 9-hour marathon of the first season of Vikings on the History Channel.  I fell in love with Floki in the first episode of the first season - Gustav Skarsgard brought a lot of the characteristics of Floki with him, and has really honed this character. Floki has a biting wit,  a love of women, enjoys good food, has an extensive knowledge of healing, and is an expert boat builder.  Floki "communes" with trees, and knows which ones will make an excellent keel, which to use as the figurehead, and which to use as the strakes.  Since he usually carries an axe, he seems to tilt to one side instead of standing upright.  He is loyal, honest, and giving to his friends.  He has "odd thoughts" that cause him to giggle at unusual times, and most people believe he has been "touched by the Gods."  In the preview for the new season that begins tonight, we see a battle, with Ragnar leading his men (including Floki) against warriors led by his brother Rollo.  One sees, for a moment, what appears to be Rollo striking a heavy blow, with an axe, onto Floki, and Floki falls.  I really hope that Floki does not die in this season - I look forward to his sly wit, giggles, and open honesty in dealing with his own feelings.  Gustav Skarsgard deserves year-round employment!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Vikings - Season Two

 The History Channel will run a 9-hour Marathon of the first season of Vikings this afternoon.  This is to let us refresh our memories of last spring's shows, and to get us fans primed and ready to see the second season, which begins tomorrow night.  I'm looking forward to seeing each and every episode!
Lagertha, Ragnar's first wife, is not happy when a second one appears

The season opens with a battle - does Floki survive?

Ragnar Lodbrok - how will two wives work?

Rollo, Ragnar's brother - he becomes the first "Nor'man" in France

Athelstan, the English monk, becomes a Viking warrior

Snow, a Retirement, & a New Name

Yesterday the weather folks said we'd get 2 to 5 inches of snow during the evening.  I passed this on to my usual early morning bus driver, and she pooh-poohed it.  "Boulder?  Snow? Not here and not now."  I watched the clouds thicken yesterday, and the sky lower, and watched the temperature drop, and I shook my head.  (Speaking of temperature drops, Monday afternoon the temperature fell 20 degrees in 30 minutes, and the wind picked up.  In 30 minutes we went from 63 degrees with sunny calm to 42 degrees with a wind chill of 30 degrees... It made a lot of people scurry for cover and sweats!) Anyway, it started to snow here about 5 in the afternoon - because of the warmth from the day before, at first, the snow melted on the grass,sidewalks and roads; then it froze, as the temperature dropped to 8 degrees; then the snow started to add up.  We have an accumulation of about 3 inches in my back yard, and about 4 inches in the front of the building.  I have put out nuts for the squirrels and seed for the birds, just because it's been a shock to their (and my) systems.
   I was greatly surprised today to read that Johnny Murtagh, the fabulously winning Irish jockey, is retiring from the race saddle, and will now concentrate on training thoroughbreds for racing.  Murtagh has won most of the world-famous races - the Breeders Cup Marathon, the Breeders Cup Mile, the Breeders Cup Turf, the Hong Kong Vase, the UAE Derby, the UAE Two Thousand Guineas, the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, five Ascot Gold Cups, two English Two Thousand Guineas, the Epsom Oaks, three Epsom Derbies, the Irish St. Leger, three Irish  Two Thousand Guineas, four Irish Derbies, and six Irish Oaks.  Johnny Murtagh was granted his trainer's license last year, and will be training out of Fox Covert Stables in County Kildare, Ireland.
 Johnny Murtagh - below, riding Henrythenavigator at Ascot (saddle cloth 4)

  You know by now that I do family genealogy.  I also gather names that I think are interesting, whether we're related or not.  Relatives with different, distinguishing names include Hatevil Hall, Eliphalet Pease, Marmaduke de Thwing, Eight One Mobley, and Hepzibah Starbuck Hussey.  Yesterday, while seeking information on George S Hunt, the editor of the Smith County, Tennessee newspaper, I found a marriage entry that made me laugh out loud - and add a name to my collection.  This lady married a man named Hunt - so be certain to add that surname after the rest of her name, which was Artelia Azaminda Duck.
  Have a great day!!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Alexander "Sasha" Dalton

Most of my recent views have been folks looking at Timothy Dalton's son, Alexander, aka Sasha.  Here's a new photo - he certainly has his father's mouth and chin!


World Spay & Neuter Day

I love animals.  All kinds of animals. And, like most people, I seem to feel more for the young, the old, and the injured.  I want to take every single one of them home with me, to have, love and care for, their entire life.  Wide eyed, innocent kittens and puppies; grey-muzzled, sunken eyed, older cats and dogs; those who are ill and/or injured - they all tug at my heart strings.  "Take me home.  Love me.  Protect me.  Keep me warm and well fed.  Keep pain, cold, hunger, and heart-break away."  That is what I see in every animal's eyes - be they feline, canine, rodent, avian, equine, bovine, or porcine.  I feel a loving and protective bond.
   I was horrified when I realized, as a child, that animals taken to the "animal shelter" were routinely killed if they were not adopted within a certain number of days.  I am still appalled by that fact - especially after looking at the numbers.  Four million cats, dogs, kittens and puppies are killed each each because they are not wanted. That is almost eleven thousand per day!  And these numbers are only in the United States - not around the world.  Unfortunately, I remember hearing people tell my parents (and others) that their dog or cat had produced puppies or kittens, and that the babies were placed in a sack and drowned in a pond or creek, river or the sea.  Some were just placed in a bag or box and taken to a trash dump to starve to death.
   Spaying or neutering your pet is the best option under the sun.  Your female cat, or dog, spends half of it's energy toward reproducing from the age of six months onward. Males of both species fight and injure one another, battling over the right to mate with a female in heat.  The female is a baby factory, having multiple infants two to three times each year.  Stopping this cycle before it starts is the best way.
  If you have stray cats - ferals - living in your area, and don't wish to see them die horribly; and, especially if you are providing food for them, please look on the internet, or call your veterinarian, and find out about Trap, Neuter & Release programs.  These programs have volunteers who provide cages for trapping, they take the animal to the vet and the vet will neuter or spay the feral critter, and then the cat is released back into it's usual territory.  This keeps more kittens from being produced by the wild clowder.
  Unless you are looking for a canine or feline to show and breed - do NOT purchase a dog or cat from a "breeder."  If you have your heart set on owning a particular breed, purchase a pet quality animal, and immediately have it spayed or neutered.
  Please use any extra money you may have to support "no kill" shelters, and, to assist Trap, Neuter, and Release programs.  Believe me, if the dogs and cats could verbally thank you, they would.  Instead, all you have to do is look into the loving eyes of a companion....
   Spread the word about spaying and neutering your pet!  Help with Trap, Neuter and Return  (TNR) Programs!  Please help in lowering the numbers of animals killed each day at "shelters."  You can make a difference!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Chincoteague Island and Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge Views

Sochi, Standardbreds and Chincoteague Island

The Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia are now officially over.  The warmer than normal (sub-tropical) weather conditions caused a few problems, but, overall, the Games were a success.  The host country of Russia earned the most medals - 33 in total, with 13 of them Gold.  Then - well, it depends on how you want to count the medals - if you count the total amount as the "right" way, then The United States came in second, with 28; but if you count the number of Gold medals, then the next country in line is Norway,  with 11 Golds, and 26 medals total.  Canada garnered 25 medals total, with 10 Gold.  The USA had 9 Gold medals, with a total of 28.  The Netherlands tied Germany with 8 Gold medals, but the Dutch had more medals (24) than the German total.  All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed the televised Winter Games.
  In horse news, I'll change strides, and report that in harness racing, the US Champion Trotter is a 3-year-old filly named Bee a Magician.  She won 17 of her 17 races, including the Hambletonian Oaks.  The Champion Pacer is Captaintreacherous.
  And the website has made a list of the best islands to visit.  The first place winner was Marco Island in Florida.  In second place was Chincoteague Island in Virginia.  Third was Anna Maria Island in Florida; fourth was San Juan Island in Washington; and fifth was Maui, of Hawaii.  SInce my Mother and her maternal ancestors were all Chincoteaguers, I am very happy with Chincoteague placing second in a list of "Best Islands to Visit."
  TripAdvisor's Traveler's Choice of Best Beaches in the United States ranked the Assateague National Seashore Beach at the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, Chincoteague Island, Virginia as number seven in the Top Ten.  The others were:  first, Ka'anapali Beach at Lahaina, Hawaii; second, Siesta Key Public Beach on Siesta Key, Florida; third, The Gulf Islands National Seashore at Pensacola, Florida; fourth, Fort De Soto Park at Tierra Verde, Florida; fifth, Lanikai Beach at Kaliua, Hawaii; sixth is Wailea Beach at Wailea, Hawaii; seventh is Assateague Beach, Virginia; eighth is La Jolla Cove in La Jolla, California; ninth is Laguna Beach, California; and the tenth place is Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve in Honolulu, Hawaii.
  And Coastal Living magazine is having a contest in which you can vote for the "Happiest Seaside Town" - and guess, what?  Chincoteague Island is on the voting list.  Voting ends on March 31.  You can vote for your "Happiest Seaside Town" at:
  (And I just learned that the privacy fence that blew down is the property of the Millennium Harvest House Hotel.  I guess I'll need to give them a phone call....)

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Snow Views,Trees Behaving Badly, A Lake in New Zealand

Today is the last day of the Sochi Winter Olympics

Snow on Assateague Beach, Virginia

Trees behaving badly

Looking down at Lake Ada, New Zealand

The Flatirons this morning - Boulder


I had planned on blogging yesterday, but didn't get around to it.  The kits and I had breakfast early, and then I headed over to Rosie's for the weekend.  We said good-bye to her owners, and after they had been gone 15 minutes, we took a short walk.  We took a longer walk close to noon, but stayed pretty much in the neighborhood.  Then I had lunch with Carol and Beatrice at Mimi's Cafe - the food was excellent, as usual, but the service was not up to the restaurant's normal standard.  Afterward, Bea went home with me to Rosie's house, and we watched Cars  and Cars II - and I laughed like an idiot.  I hadn't seen the movies before and found them delightful.
   The surprising thing that happened last night was that it started snowing around 8 p.m., and was still snowing at 10, when I crawled into bed with Rosie.  We ended up with about an inch on the ground - and most road surfaces were clear this morning, except a few, where there was a layer of ice.  I've returned home to visit with, and care for, my kits, and I see, without surprise, that our fence is still down.
  It's strange how secure that privacy fence made me feel.  I know that some of the boards are rotten; I know it would be very easy to remove a couple of boards from the fence and make a large gap; I know that the chain link fence is either end of the back yard is easily scalable; and I know that I can easily wiggle under the locked gate at the north end of the yard.  I guess that now, since anyone can just walk across the fallen fence and into the back yard, that it's normal to feel a little less safe.  That's why I find this so interesting... The fences that are there are easy to get around, under, or over.  So why does having these two fence panels down make me feel so vulnerable?  Because the parking lot on the other side of the fence sees a lot of traffic?  Because the sidewalk that the fence hides connects with the Boulder Creek Pathway, and sees a lot of foot and bicycle traffic? Or is it because we have a lot more transient people and the homeless in our neighborhood because of the new liquor store that has opened less than a half-block away?  With the fence up, and separating me from the world, I had no problems leaving my curtains open, to get sunshine and warmth inside.  Now, I worry about who might look inside, so the curtains are closed the entire time I'm not at home, or not awake.  Of course, it doesn't help that my "wall" between the patio and inside the apartment is nothing but plate glass and screening, with a few aluminum struts....
   So why does having the fence down make me feel so insecure? -  And since the fence went down, one of the cats stays on guard, looking out into the back yard, while the other one sleeps.  It's almost as if they've set up a guard duty station - so I guess I'm not the only one who doesn't feel 100% secure any longer....

Friday, February 21, 2014

Assorted Photos

Ezekiel Boone

At the moment, I can say that Ezekiel Boone existed, that he married and divorced a many-times great Aunt, and that he is dead and buried in the Oddfellows' Cemetery in Denton, Texas.  I cannot say who his parents or grandparents were.  But I'm pretty sure that he isn't, or wasn't, related to the famous explorer and settler Daniel Boone.  In the 1850, 1860, 1870, and 1880 US Census, he gives his age pretty much in 10 year increments - and his age gave a calculated birth date of between 1820 and 1822, in Tennessee.  He died on 22 November 1894 in his house on Oak Street in Denton, Denton County, Texas.  His death record, obituary, and grave stone state his date of birth as (only) 1816.
  All I know is that in February 1842, he married my great-great-grandmother's sister, Elizabeth Eleanor Washburn, in Smith County, Tennessee.  Aunt Elizabeth was born and raised in Brush Creek, and was a member of the Brush Creek Primitive Baptist Church (he brother became a Deacon there).  Elizabeth and Ezekiel had two children that are documented - Sarah Frances was born in late February 1847, and James LaFayette was born in Aug 1849.  In the 1850 US Census, Ezekiel was living in Denton County, Texas, and his employment is listed as "land purchaser."  Elizabeth and the two children were living with her parents in Brush Creek, Tennessee.  A divorce between Ezekiel and Elizabeth was finalized, in Smith County, TN, on 24 July 1855.  (Elizabeth then married Archibald Allen in January 1858,and they had four children.  Arch Allen was also a Deacon in the Brush Creek Primitive Baptist Church.)
  I don't know if Ezekiel was present for the divorce proceedings, or not.  In 1857, Ezekiel married Ann Elizabeth Street, who was 22; they had four daughters. Ezekiel served at Fort Richardson with the Texas militia, as a Private, during the Civil War.  He was the surveyor of Jack County, Texas during the 1870s. Then he and his family returned to Denton.
  I have searched throughout the Boone family histories, and no one mentions a son named Ezekiel.  And I found that there were quite a few Dutch immigrants named Boone who settled in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Missouri.  In the 1820 US Census, there were ten families with the surname of Boone (or Boon) in Tennessee - several had sons under the age of 10 (but there are no direct linkings).  Some researchers believe that Ezekiel is the son of John Boone and Cloe Garrison, who were married in Wilson County, TN in 1815 - but, again, there is no written proof available at this time.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Various Photos

Gators are learning new things in Florida, these days...

The Grand Tetons in Wyoming

A Cedar waxwing goes for a berry

Randy Rhoades photo of the wild Chincoteague ponies on Assateague Island

Some of the roofs in Edinburgh, Scotland

Big Winds, Little Wildfire

Well, the high winds blew one of 12-foot-long panels of our 6-foot-high privacy fence down yesterday evening.  And there was a small wildfire on Flagstaff Mountain (on private property) yesterday afternoon, which the winds made difficult to douse.  For only a half-acre fire, it certainly put out enough smoke...  This is the view from the second story of my apartment building:
In the foreground one can see Folsom Field, our CU football stadium, as well as patches of snow on Flagstaff.  I am so happy that the ground was wet and muddy from the snow melt!
  My kits are a little apprehensive about the fallen fence panel - they can now see the tennis courts at the Millennium, as well as the sidewalk that runs on the other side of the fence.  There are lots of runners with their dogs these days, so the kits should be wary.  Not to mention that the sounds now carry much clearer on the air - and, from that direction, it's usually fire and/or police sirens.
  Had a great time with Rosie and Boo this morning - then went and visited with Lynn, getting paid, and checking up on her critters.  We've agreed to get together at 2 on 9 March to begin work on her family tree, which should be very interesting.  And, while typing this, I'm eating Cheerios and blueberries, and getting ready to go meet with a couple that might be new clients.  The new folks have cats and chickens, and were given my contact information by a current client - and they're only a block from the nearest bus stop! (Hooray!)
  Much more tomorrow....

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Assorted Photos


Still snowy deep inside Rocky Mountain National Park

Who's that?

In Mongolia, a fish-shaped cloud

Aurora borealis over a smokehouse on the Porcupine River in the Yukon Territory of Canada

This And That

It's very windy out, again.  Yesterday, the building next to mine measured the wind speed at 71.3 miles per hour...  It isn't a constant wind - it dies down, and one can hear birds and traffic; then it blasts through the trees again, and one hears the branches waving, sighing, moving, in the wind.  At my sister's house, this morning, Rosie and I were listening to the limbs of three cottonwood trees and one weeping willow rub against one another.  The differences in sound were amazing.  The wind began Sunday evening, and seems to die down in the mid-afternoon hours, but then picks up again once the sun sets.  And we're expecting the wind to continue through Friday...   *sigh*
  Otherwise, it's sunny and bright outside, after being cloudy yesterday.  It's been interesting watching things blow around, through, and over the back yard....  Multiple plastic bags, styrofoam packing pieces, light-weight trash, even boxes fly through the air (and over the 6-foot-high privacy fence) in this type of weather.
The kits enjoy running in and out with weather like this, so I allow them to do so until the sound of the wind whining through the door starts to bother me.  Then the kits come inside and the door is firmly closed.
   My recurrent shingles hit Sunday - this time inside my left nostril...  It feels like the left side of my head is the size of a huge beach ball, even though it looks normal.  It feels totally weird.  Lovey can't understand why I don't want her to wash the left side of my face right now - but she still goes to town cleaning the right side, once we get in bed.   --  And I admit to wasting $4 today - I purchased two lottery tickets with the extremely faint hope of winning the $400 million jackpot....
   I have been digging into the Lancaster and Mobley families for the past week - Dad's maternal side - and have found more Judges, Reverends, Medical Doctors, and Sheriffs in the family tree.  Have found, also, how the families split over the Civil War - it's very interesting.  Right now I'm trying to trace Ezekiel Boone, to see how, exactly, he was related to Daniel Boone - a Great Aunt married Ezekiel...   I've been finding a treasure trove of old family photos that have been shared on-line, too.
   And Boulder is celebrating because the Boulder International Film Festival was once again a success, with Shirley MacLaine here; and because one of "Boulder's own" won the bronze medal in the Olympic Snowboard Cross...  I put "Boulder's own" in quotation marks, because the guy actually grew up in Vermont, but is now living in Boulder....  So, congratulations, Alex Diebold!

Monday, February 17, 2014