Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Because I Am Smart Like That

Over the weekend I counted 5 barn swallow nests in the barn plus 2 in the makings. One of the nests is old. It has been above the light for 2 years. So at 6:30 am this morning after noticing which nests had "parents" in them, I decided that the one nest over the light, the one that has been there for 2 years, was not occupied. Why at 6:30 am I was possessed to remove it, but I did. And of course, one might ask, why did I not at least check to see if there were occupants in it? Well, that thought crossed my mind AFTER I took the nest down and discovered 3 eggs plus one very newly born baby bird in there. Yes, I am smart like that. I was mortified. I felt like the biggest heel. A baby bird killer. I had to act fast before the mom came back to the nest. Trying to concrete it up with mud like the barn swallows do was not in the time card or patience level. THINK?! What would work quick and fast in a pinch?

Yes!! That was it!! Electrical tape!!!! And lots of it!!! Now I may have to do some repair work during the next few weeks to insure the babies safety due to my novice nest repair work, but I am happy to report that there was a barn swallow was in the nest tonight when I checked so she must approve of my handy work:) However, I am taking the nest down AFTER the babies leave the nest......I can't have my barn looking all ghetto like that! LOL

Why can't the barn swallows just build a simple little nest like the Robin's do? This nest is in one of my maple trees.......away from my cats line of vision!

This year I was excited to find a nest with a morning dove in it! They are pretty birds
and I love watching them in the yard.

And in case I haven't mentioned in the last few posts, the Romneys are coming to Harvest Thyme! I stole this picture from Kim Goodlings Facebook page:) This is the little Romney ewe I bought from her. I truly am in love! Okay, I promise not to brag too much but I am so excited!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Paying Respect

Occasionally there comes a time in one's life when words are just not needed.

Arlington Cemetery in Washington D.C. is one such place. It is an emotional place, filled with history, broken dreams, sacrifices, what ifs, and many tears. My first visit to Arlington was with my students about 8 years ago and on each trip I learn and experience something new. It is a place were one's heart swells with love, pride, and respect. Arlington is a place that every American should visit least once in their life time.

The views just command attention and respect. Words just don't do it justice.

As our group made its way around the cemetery, moving up to the Lee Mansion, our tour guide provide a wealth of information.

This is the view at the top of the hill in front of Robert Lee's Mansion. The stone monument here is of Pierre L'Enfant, the French man who designed the layout for Washington D.C. That is the Washington Monument in the far distance.

This is the walk that leads up to the Lee mansion following the restored garden area.

This would be me, bundled in 2 sweatshirts because it was freezing cold up there. The marble pillars at the front entrance of the mansion are just spectacular. The inside of the house is under renovations as they are adding fire and climate control devices and cleaning/restoring the furniture and pictures.

When Robert E. Lee left his mansion to command Southern troops during the Civil War, Northern troops went in and occupied the mansion. As the story goes, Northern troops and officiers wanted to ensure that Lee would not return to his home so they started burying the Northern soldiers who died in the war around the grounds of the house. These headstones exactually create a border around the gardens of the mansion. These 2 date back to 1865.

We had the opportunity to see these officiers do a military cannon saluate commenorating, I believe, the President of El Salvador. The men let the students get pictures with them once the ceremony was completed. It was quite awesome!

There are over 340,000 people buried at Arlington. It is just so interesting and touching to walk along the paths and read the inscriptions on the headstones. One could spend all day there just reading. One of the the last things the students see is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the Changing of the Guard. On this day the students were able to see a wreath laying ceremony also.

At the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier there is absolutely no talking. There is complete silence. It is one of the most emotional experiences a person can witness. It is here that all the sacrifices men and women have made for America come full circle. There is no need to ask for respect. They earned it. Plan and simple. And for their sacrifices I am truly grateful.