Saturday, September 28, 2019

September 28 2019 William Byrd Competition

Saturday, September 28, 2019
Glenvar High School in Salem, Va hosted the Celtic Classic band competition.
The all day event included 22 high school bands.
"Tonight the Marching Terriers had a successful first competition! Took third over all but our Drum Major took first place and our Colorguard took first place. Super proud of them all as they had a long day and still managed to blow us all out of the water tonight".... quote from Byrd Band Fan Page on Twitter.

None of the following photos were taken by me. 😀😀😀
All of the photos and videos that are posted in this blog,  were posted from friends, family members, William Byrd High School facebook page, the William Byrd High School Band facebook group, and Byrd Band Fan Page on Twitter.
Now...... on with the show!
The Marching Terriers......... What can I say.
Director, Mr. Dan Plybon.
Assistant Director, Denise Aspell;
Director of Percussion, Rob Curtin;
Colorguard Director, Jessica Curtin
William Byrd has 4 ensembles:
Marching Terriers,
Concert Band,
Jazz Stage Band, and
Symphonic Band
The Marching Terriers are the most visible, 83 members strong including the Color Guard.
Saturday night, these high school participants were led by senior,  ETHAN WOOD.
OH YES........... grandson, ETHAN WOOD took 1st place DRUM MAJOR.😀😀😀
Thanks Cherie Underwood for the following photos!

And thank you Robin Owens Deathereage for the following 2 photos:

"Congrats to the flags for 1st place and the overall band for 2nd in music, 2nd in general effect and 3rd over all in 5A competition".
YAY ETHAN!!! ♥♥♥

Thursday, September 26, 2019

September 26, 2019 Milky Way at Mabry Mill

Goodbye Milky Way 2019..... until next year. The photo below was one 20 second exposure, using a wide angle lens.
ISO 3200,
 Focal length 19mm;
fstop 4.5;
Canon EOS 5D Mark III;
taken Thursday night, 9/26, on the BRP, milepost 176. (more widely known as Mabry Mill)
The clouds were beginning to roll in to hide the Milky Way. From August until October, the Milky Way was visible.
It will now begin setting earlier and earlier each night, unitil in October there will only be a very brief window of visibility before the Milky Way sets.
In November, December, and January, the Milky Way core will not be very visible at all. The outer band of the galaxy can still be seen, and on clear nights, it is a spectacular sight.
Check the phase of the moon before photographing, as the MW is best captured with a new, or waxing/waning crescent moon.
Remember clear skies are your friend.
Enjoy the video below. Outings on the parkway are one of our favorite things to do!

Sunday, September 22, 2019

September 22, 2019 Help Save The Next Girl Softball Tournament

Today is day 2.
All proceeds for this softball tournament will be donated to HELP SAVE THE NEXT GIRL.
For those unfamiliar with this national non-profit organization, here is the site. Read and heed!: HELP SAVE THE NEXT GIRL.

The first game today was a WIN for the Starz!!!
What a game!

These girls are serious, talented, fast, committed, determined, and know all about team work!
Her biggest fans endured the scorching sun! ↓↓↓

Way to go 3wood!

Thursday, September 19, 2019

September 19, 2019 ButtonsBluff, ArnoldVallley, ThunderRidge

Thursday evening.
The skies were clear.
A hint of fall cooler weather was in the air.
The parkway was calling our names.
Plans were made, snacks were packed, and cameras were loaded in the car.
We both were in dire need of fresh air, mountain views, and a dose of NATURE!
Before we reached the Blue Ridge Parkway, we traveled to Buchanan. The road to Buttons Bluff was a curvy one....... and narrowed to a gravel road which led to large rocks/boulders on the left. Yes, we had been there before. The short climb to the top was well worth the views. The sun was still high in the sky. We had the place to ourselves.

Our second stop was milepost 76 Arnold Valley Overlook. The Alleghenies are seen in the distance, with Arnold's Valley at the foot of the mountains. Elevation:3700' ↓↓↓ WOW... JUST WOW! Research shows that watching sunsets have been proven to relieve stress. So the next time you're having a rough day, drive to your favorite spot and watch your worries fade away. It gives you a reason to go outside.

We are fortunate to have exquisite beauty surround us, in easy to reach destinations.
The views here are OUT-OF-THIS-WORLD......... especially at sunset.
Our third and final stop on the Blue Ridge Parkway was THUNDER RIDGE OVERLOOK. The stone perch allows for the perfect photo op!

The short walk from the parking lot to this designated area was easy to maneuver.(Especially with the flashlight 👨👩
The sunset was overwhelming.

Yes, Virginia, there really is a STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN!
and oh..... those stars 💑

Saturday, September 14, 2019

September 14, 2019 Women's Self-Defense Clinic

September 14, 2019
I'm a weeeeeeeeee bit sore from kicking, punching, jumping, fighting, screaming, bending........but feeling somewhat empowered.
Saturday morning, BONSACK BAPTIST CHURCH offered  a Women's Self Protection and Awareness Class from 10:00AM - 1:00PM. It was facilitated by, not only a member, but a 1st Degree BLACK BELT in TaeKwonDo. 😧, Rita  Perini. Rita is the owner of KICKIN' FITNESS. Rita has 2 loves: Martial Arts and Fitness.
The intent of the class was to make us more aware of our surroundings, and teach a few self-defense moves.
I have to admit that 1/2 way through the class I was somewhat intimidated, and frightened to ever be alone again.......but by the end of the class, I was ready to sling some hammers, and split some boards 💪💪💪. I was also looking over my shoulder when I walked out of class.
"Becoming competent in self-protection and self-defense is not about being aggressive and planning for disaster. It is about being optimistic and free....yet prepared. Self-protection is about living FEARLESSLY. "
Here is the book that was recommended. "A must-read for any woman who wants to walk through the world with confidence and serenity." Well-worth the $$$$.

For now, this is what I carry with me at all times........

Part of the class discussion included excerpts from HELP SAVE THE NEXT GIRL website.
Listed below are 50 safety tips. Consider adding them to your own list of safety precautions:

  • Always use the buddy system when going out, especially at night.
  • If you are walking alone and suddenly notice you are being followed, call the police. That sends your geo-location.
  • If it is safe to do so, make eye contact with the person that you feel is suspicious. Even say something to them. Now that you have seen their face and could identify them you lose appeal as a target.
  • Learn to make mental notes about identifying features of a person, as if the police sketch artist is going to need those details.
  • If you think someone might be following you, walk to the other side of the road; if they follow call for help.
  • When you are walking alone make sure you aren't looking down at your phone, texting or scrolling through social media. Be alert and aware of your surroundings.
  • Do not have ear buds in when walking at night by yourself.
  • Stand between the control panel and the door when in an elevator. That way if someone enters and you feel uneasy you can easily press a button to get off at the next available floor.
  • Have keys in hand when walking to your car so you don't have to be fishing through your bag or coat to find them once you get there.
  • Try not to sit in your car and mess around on your phone after you have parked at your destination.
  • Lock your car doors while you pump gas so that no one can enter the car while you aren't looking.
  • Always tell someone you trust where you are going. If it's to someone's house provide an address.
  • Change your routine. Don't drive or walk the same routes every day.
  • Use a verified safety app to find and report information about your area. If you are using a trusted app, create a network of friends that can make sure you get home when traveling alone.
  • If you are getting pulled over by an unmarked car, you can dial 911 to verify that the person pulling you over is a police officer. If you are unsure, do not pull over until it is verified.
  • Also wait to pull over at a populated place like a gas station.
  • Choose parking spaces that are well lit.
  • Choose parking spaces that are not boxed in by vans or trucks.
  • Crack, never roll down, your car window.
  • If someone bullies you while you are in your locked car at a gas station, lay on your car horn until people come over.
  • Be loud and speak up. Don't not be afraid to make a scene.
  • If you think you are being followed, trust your instincts and take action. Never drive towards your house or destination. Drive to the police department.
  • At a party, don't leave your drink unattended. And if someone offers to buy you a drink, watch the bartender make it.
  • If you have to meet with someone you don't know well, meet at a public place instead of their house.
  • Keep the doors of your home locked at all times, even when you are inside.
  • If you have to walk your dog at night, attach a pepper spray key chain to the leash and stay on well lit roads.
  • Teach your dog to growl on command. It can make the dog pretty intimidating when you need him or her to be.
  • After getting into your car lock the doors right away.
  • Don't post on social media where you are going. Wait until you have left to post it. For example don't say heading for a run on the local trail.  Wait until after the run to post either the picture or status.
  • Make your social media private and don't post your address, telephone number, or email on there.
  • Take a self-defense course. Many universities and police departments offer them free.
  • Invest in pepper spray or, if you can find it, pepper gel--it's better because the wind doesn't blow the spray towards you or away from your attacker.
  • Put the pepper gel spray and a flat flashlight on your keychain.
  • Put a strong whistle on your keychain.
  • Always, always let someone know where you are at all times, when you should be expected to be home or arrive at your destination. Also tell them the route that you are taking if you know this ahead of time.
  • Always keep your cell phone fully charged.
  • Inspect your apartment window and door locks, and if they are faulty, insist that the apartment managers pay for their repair.
  • Don't be home alone for any workman appointment.
  • Don't study late in isolated places on campus alone.
  • Inspect your windows' blinds. Use them.
  • Make strong understandings with your roommates. No one leaves the apartment open, and extra keys aren't available to just anyone.
  • If you hear hate talk, or violent talk, or objectifying talk, even if it is couched in humor, call it to everyone's attention publicly, and report it assertively.
  • Be careful in public places who overhears your plans.
  • If you see a young woman in trouble, if she is hurt, impaired, or seems vulnerable to you, alert her friends or the police.
  • Have conversations with restaurant, night club, concert security, or bar owners when you are there. Ask them how they protect their clients. Ask them how they Help Save the Next Girl.
  • Report inappropriate comments to business owners, trusted teachers, your friends and family, and police.
  • Do not be afraid to call the police. They are there for us.
  • Relationship violence doesn't have to be between strangers of a couple. It can be friend on friend.
  • Know what relationship red flags are, and look for them.
  • Say no when you are unsure.

The last 1/2 of the class were demonstrations of 8-10 self-defense techniques. Our class of 6 participated in each of these. Yes, I would take this class again. In fact, I am going to take some classes soon to further my own safety! Being prepared mentally is as important as being prepared physically.
FEAR is a 4-letter word.
Facing what we most fear builds our character and gives us strength.
Facing our fears gives us energy. "In moving beyond fear, we move outside our comfort zones and expand our drive, enabling us to persist under adverse conditions."
I love this quote:
It's important to recognize that fear does not only manifest itself as heart-pounding, sweat-producing anxiety. There is a quiet fear that can equally dominate our lives. That quiet fear manifests itself as procrastination. Behind every procrastination is an excuse and behind every excuse is a fear we're not facing. Indeed, it's no exaggeration to say that procrastination is our defense against fear, our way of keeping discomfort at bay. When we procrastinate, we remain rooted to our comfort zones. We avoid failure and frustration, but we also lose the energy that comes from expanding our boundaries 
Oh yes, we faced our fears.
We wrote them on a board.
Our hearts were pounding!

Break that board, girl!

Monday, September 2, 2019

September 2, 2019 Monday, Labor Day Sunflower Festival

I love that beautiful early morning light....... my favorite time of day. The sunflowers turn their faces toward the sun as they track it across the sky.
EARLY....... as in 6:45AM 😀😀😀
Buchanan, Virginia  is approximately a 30 minute drive from my house.
You do the math.
But I made it, and got to watch the sun come up over the mountains.
Soothing to my soul.

The Beaver Dam Farm Sunflower Festival officially begins September 7th.

Local photographers were given special permission to capture the farm's beauty before the large crowds arrive this weekend. 21 acres of black oil sunflowers, live music on Saturdays, 20 food vendors and over 45 hand made crafters will be at the festival, as well as hay rides, farm animal petting area, photo booths.
If you have never attended the sunflower festival, it is difficult to comprehend the mass of sunflowers......

It was a treat to meet new photographers, and enjoy the company of long time friend-photographers.

Click here on this link →→→BEAVERDAM SUNFLOWERS for details pertaining to the upcoming show of gorgeous sunflowers. Attend, if you are in the area...... a highlight for September, 2019~

Sunday, September 1, 2019

September 1, 2019 Loch Haven Potluck, Luau, Duathion, Campout

Sunday, September 1, 2019
This is the final weekend before everyone is back to school.
I can't think of a better way to end the weekend than by splashing around in the waters of Loch Haven.

...and participating in a luau.......

.... and swimming
The water was PERFECT.

The camaraderie and food were the best!

Roasting hotdogs, playing sand games, catching salamanders......

Does summer have to end???????????? 😢😢😢😢😢