Wednesday, April 30, 2008
It made me think about my grandmother who passed away when I was 14 years old. She was the first person close to me to die. My mom was the youngest of 10 children so I was one of the youngest grandchildren. My grandma had lived into her 80s and had seen many changes in her lifetime.
Grandma lost her wedding ring when she was in her 60s. My mom bought her a replacement. I was an infant at the time but Grandma said that when she passed on she wanted me to have that wedding band.
Today, I wear her thin gold wedding ring along with my own as a reminder of the hardy mountain people I came from ... the Appalachian Scots-Irish blood that made up my heritage ... a reminder of the hard-working woman who had a hard life but always persevered, did not complain, and did not look to others to bail her family out of the povery of the depression. She and my grandfather took it upon themselves to do something about it.
My grandmother was born in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Her father was a wealthy man for that area, a store owner who provided well for his family, and was well known and respected in the community.
My grandmother married a Virginia man from across the state line. He, too, was born and raised in the Blue Ridge mountains in a log cabin on a "knob" in Grayson County. "The Knob," as we have known it all our lives, still has the remains of that cabin which is in remarkably good shape after standing for 150 years.
After marrying, my grandparents moved to a mountainside farm, plowing the rocky mountain soil and raising some livestock. It was a rough life especially with a growing brood of children, living in a rough-hewn cabin. The country was in the depths of the depression. My grandfather, who had been beyond the mountains while serving in World War I, loaded his family on a train bound for Richmond where they settled down and he went to work at one of the large factories. He never gave up farming ... even into his 80s he had a huge garden and some cows and horses.
My grandparents were examples of the pull-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps fortitude. Their youngest child, my mother, went into business in a man's world, set goals, and achieved much recognition. She passed that work ethic down to my two sisters and me.
And that is why I wear my grandmother's wedding ring. It's a reminder of the hard work and perseverence of my grandparents.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Watch to the end of the four-minute YouTube video to see how Dr. Michael pleaded for the 6th District and State Convention delegates to be certified.
H/T to KD
Monday, April 28, 2008
Sunday, April 27, 2008
I never tire of traveling the back roads and taking in the scenery of the mountains and valleys of Virginia. With spring in full progress, fields are a deep green while blooming flowers are brilliant reds, purples, yellows, and whites. Traveling in the western part of Augusta County through the Pastures District was soothing during these politically turbulent times.
The cold mountain streams are clear and running fairly full-bank with rains and thunderstorms that have moved through the area the past week. There is something soothing about the sound of a babbling creek.
National forest (left) makes up much of Pastures District.
Buffalo Gap with red buds blooming on the mountainside.
I love my District and was pleasantly surprised to be reelected as Pastures District Chairman at the recent mass meeting that occurred with the "other side" in charge. This district, which turned out the second most people for the meeting (behind Emmett Hanger's North River District), is made up of many friends, people I have come to know throughout my years of working political campaigns. I am thankful to them for voting for me.
Photos by SWAC Girl
The event took place Saturday at GCS's gym located on Middlebrook Avenue. Always a hit every year, hundreds gathered for the silent auction, live auction, entertainment, and BBQ supper ... and to fellowship with friends.
At dinner I enjoyed sitting and talking with Frank and Nancy Summers, Kurt and Pam Michael, as well as my family and others who stopped by to say hello. When Mr. Summers heard I had grown up in Chesterfield County, he mentioned the name of a family in Bon Air, and I told him I had graduated from high school with a girl with that last name. He looked at me and said she was his niece. It's a small world, indeed.
The red bandanas identify volunteers who helped throughout the day and into the night. The final item was auctioned around 9 pm.
The activities building was open early to view the numerous tables of silent auction items. Grace Christian families and local businesses had donated a wide variety of articles. Bidding on the tables closed at 4, 4:30, and 5 followed by dinner and entertainment, and then the always-exciting live auction.
We have attended this event for years and look forward to it each spring because we always see many friends and enjoy catching up with those we haven't seen since last year's auction. This year the "kids" went with us and they joined in the fun and purchased some items. Great time, great event for a good cause. We'll be back next year....
Heirloom wisteria passed down by plantings and seeds ... another of the many flowers and plants in my "memory" yard that have been given to me by family members and friends.
These beautiful purple blooms popped out the past few days with the rain and warm temps.
Saturday, April 26, 2008
Tucker won! Congratulations from the SWAC area Republicans.
American flag and Win the War sign along the drive to Fulton farm.
Heidi, 16, a member of the Augusta 4-H Honors Club led by Jennifer Mercer, who happens to be John's stepmom, decided the welcome home flags would be a perfect way to honor Jennifer and John and all Marine and soldiers serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.
Cpl. Fulton was on his second deployment to Iraq, serving as the lead scout gunner on convoys supplying FOBs in and around Falluja.
Welcome home, John! Thank you for your service to our country.
Waynesboro - Riverfest: Annual event that centers around the South River that flows through downtown Waynesboro. 10 am-4 pm. Activities include 5K run, two-mile river paddle, 11.5 mile bike ride, Stream Safari, Wildlife Center exhibits, music, plant sale, Fish 'n Fun Rodeo, and the always fun "duck race." Adopt" a yellow rubber duckie and then watch as hundreds of rubber duckies are dumped into the river and followed to the finish line. Prizes for 1st through 5th place and last place.
Churchville - Chester Farm Wool Fair: 10-6 pm. Hands-on activities at a Valley sheep farm as well as wool products, kiddie rides, wagon rides, food, crafts. Farm is located on Rt. 250 at Churchville.
Staunton - Grace Christian School's annual Boots and Bandana Auction: Grace Christian School, 1218 Middlebrook Ave. Preview; silent auction begins at 2 pm. Live entertainment, live auction beginning at 6 pm. $10 per person includes BBQ dinner.
Friday, April 25, 2008
Every year I drive to Milmont Nursery in Stuarts Draft to purchase annuals for window boxes, hanging baskets, and terra cotta pots. The plants from Milmont, a Mennonite-owned and operated business, are in excellent shape and I have never had any problems with anything even though they guarantee everything.
Our last frost date in the Valley is around May 15th so anything planted now has to be carefully watched and brought indoors in the event of frost. Today it was warm and sunny and a good day to head down to that part of the county.
Milmont offers a huge selection of annuals in the greenhouses in a neat display that is asthetically pleasing as well as practical. Grab a wagon and start filling it with a variety of plants and vegetables.
Outdoors there are perennials, annuals, plants, bushes, and trees as well as potting soil, mulch, and other tools to help with gardening. An extra treat is the sight of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the background.
I always buy the tried-and-true petunias, impatiens, alyssum, snapdragons, and lantana ... as well as new varieties that I may have read about or that may be suggested by the gardeners at the nursery. I am anxious to see how they turn out this year.
Milmont is also where I buy our tomato and pepper plants for the garden, sticking with favorites while also trying new selections.
Tomatoes: Big Boy is always a winner. I also decided to try Siberia Tomato, a short-season hearty variety that ripens in 50-60 days and is safe in temps down to 36 degrees; Brandywine, a hearty Amish Heirloom tomato from 1885; Sweet Million cherry tomatoes; and Red Grape tomatoes. Our neighbors' grandsons love cherry tomatoes so they have carte blanche to pick them from our garden each summer.
Peppers: Besides the always trusty Sweet Green, Jalapeno, and Banana peppers, I picked up some Red Knights, a sweet red pepper.
Those will go in the garden with the already-planted Yukon Gold potatoes and onions. SWAC Husband has his own plans for whatever else will be planted.
Thankfully, we have not had a late killer frost this year so we should have fruit from the peach and apple trees. There is something satisfying about growing fruits and vegetables and reaping the rewards of your hard work.
As I drove toward Milmont there were thunderheads forming over the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Sure enough ... thunderstorms moved into the Valley Friday evening.
Photos by SWAC Girl
The candidates who filed for School Board will be present and will take questions from the audience.
Baldwin Park Retirement Community is located at 21 Woodlee Road in Staunton.
The position vacated by Mr. Ludwig will be filled by Laura Dascher of Bath County.
of the Army National Guard based out of Charlottesville, Virginia. All returned safely.
Company A was part of the "surge" of American forces in Iraq, protecting military convoys in the Anbar province area. Their safe return Thursday is a blessing ... and we thank them for their service and welcome them home. God bless those soldiers and their families.
Thank you Kurt Michael for having the class to be such a wonderful gentleman. You are a man of integrity and the county is losing a great leader. I know that you are stepping aside from chairing the County Republican Committee because of your dedication to that group. I was appalled to see in the newspaper that all the candidates for the chairmanship except Roller had a "sudden" change of heart the night of the election and decided not to run for office.
Obviously, they did not really want to serve Augusta County and this was a well planned maneuver. Shame on you, Emmett Hanger, for your poor attitude and behavior. When you are faced with competition, you sure show your true colors.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Aspen tree leaves are filling in....
The swing is ready for action....
White lilacs also are sweet-smelling on these warm spring days.
The measure passed 7-0 as the supervisors voted to:
1. Amend the provisions of Chapter 25, Title Zoning, of the Augusta County Code, to permit adult businesses which may be operated in a General Business district when the business shall be located at least 500 feet away from any residential zoning district, and at least 500 feet from the property line of any land used for any of the following:
- a dwellingThe ordinance also controls signage and hours of operation; prohibits viewing by specified means of sexual activities or specified anatomical areas; requires a separate, conspicuously marked room for adult merchandise, inaccessible to persons under eighteen years of age; requires security cameras and videotaping, monitoring and recording; prescribes adequate lighting; and requires all owners, operators, managers, employees, associates and entertainers to be over eighteen years of age.
- a residential care facility
- a day care center
- a public or private school
- a public park
- a community center
- a public or private library, museum, or cultural center
- a place of worship or religious institution
- a hotel, motel, bed and breakfast, boarding house, or tourist home
- and any other adult business.
The Planning Commission recommends approval of the Ordinance with the following language to be included under Section 25-310 of the Ordinance: "Adult businesses will be allowed in General Business Districts only."
2. Amend the Provisions of Chapters 6 & 7 of the Augusta County Code to Regulate Adult Busineses and to Prohibit Public Nudity. This Ordinance establishes definitions relating to adult businesses; requires obtaining a permit from the Sheriff's Department; regulates grounds for the Sheriff's Department to revoke or deny a permit and an appeal process for the applicant; permits representatives of county departments to inspect adult businesses; establishes requirements to regulate adult businesses that prohibit adult entertainment; regulates adult motels; and prohibits the transfer of adult business permits and public nudity.
A number of citizens were present to support passage of the ordinances, and some addressed the issue before the board.
Bill Shirley said he endorsed the ordinances and the restrictions they placed on adult businesses, and reminded that President Ronald Reagan, in 1985, ordered a study of the effect of pornography in the U.S. The study found links to organized crime, sexual violence, civil injustice, sexual abuse of women and children, and concluded that it sears and scars the conscience of those it touches.
Kurt Michael thanked the board for taking action on this issue and especially thanked Larry Howdyshell for taking the lead with the supervisors. He also pointed out in the audience and thanked Dean Welty of the Valley Forum and Andrea Oakes of the Citizens Task Force Against Pornography, saying he applauded them for taking their time to do the right thing.
Sidney Gorby of Fishersville also thanked the board.
Andrea Oakes asked permission to speak, as a Staunton resident, and thanked the board for all the effort they had put into studying and following through with the issue. She said it would maintain the integrity of Augusta County.
Supervisor Larry Howdyshell said it had been six months of diligence in researching the ordinances.
Supervisor Tracy Pyles said a lack of discussion did not mean a lack of action on the supervisors' behalf.
Supervisor Wendell Coleman assured those interested in adult businesses that they would still be permitted to locate in the county and that their rights were protected under the First Amendment.
Photos by SWAC Girl
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Augusta Agricultural & Industrial Exposition, Inc
A nonprofit Tax Exempt Corporation
Fishersville, Va 22939
540/337-2552 Fax 540/337-2557
Jerry Pence - President
Walt Winkler - Vice President
Joyce Balsley - Secretary
Larry Cohron - Treasurer
John Mader Jr. - Director
Corp Name: Augusta Agricultural-Industrial Exposition, INC.
For the second time in as many weeks, an Iraq War Veteran and his family held a Support the Troops rally across the street from the weekly “peace” protest in this college town. This week the true nature of the ‘peace’ activists was revealed for all to see. When the veteran’s 14 year old son crossed the street to videotape the protesters and their signs, the protesters became agitated and began harassing the boy. The right to record video in any public venue is long established in law and any attempt to interfere with that right is a violation of civil rights.
Read the rest of the story here.
The two-story farmhouse at Scotchtown Farm, a picturesque area west of Craigsville and Deerfield in Augusta County, burned to the ground, possibly from a fire started by Rice who was bipolar and had threatened suicide in the past.
Details of the event and photos are in the Waynesboro News Virginian.
Another Reason to Drop CNNDon't dare let CNN become fair and balanced like Fox News by offering both sides of an issue. You may be exposed to an open and two-sided discussion....
Just when I thought it could not get any worse than Glenn Beck... Tony "Snake Charmer" Snow joins CNN as a "conservative commentor."
Lineup of workshops and seminars are:
- Opening Registration
- Welcome to VCLC with EMCEE Sen. Steve Martin (R-Chesterfield)
- Pledge led by Chris Woodfin, PR Solutions
- Invocation by Mike Smith, Thomas More Institute
- Session I: Illegal immigration
Chris Yakaboski, Former Chairman, Spotsylvania, Board of Supervisors9:55 am
Corey Stewart, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, Prince William County
Greg Letiecq, Save the Old Dominion (Black Velvet Bruce Li blog)
- Session II: Grassroots activism
Philip Van Cleave, President, Virginia Citizen Defense League10:20 am
Steve Waters, Former Family Foundation Grassroots Organizer
- Session III: Government Regulation/Taxing the American Family
Gary Marx, American Environmental Coalition10:45 am
George Landrith, Frontiers of Freedom
Delegate Bob Marshall
Session IV: 2nd Amendment
Chuck Cunningham, National Rifle Association11:20 am
John R. Lott, Jr. Senior Research Scholar at the University of Maryland
Speaker TBD, Gun Owners of America
- Session V: Government Spending and Taxes
Rick Neel, Attorney11:55 pm
- Speaker TBD
- Session Break/Lunch
- Al Regnery - Upstream, The Ascendance of American Conservatism
- EMCEE Chris Yakabouski, Former Chairman, Spotsylvania, Board of Supervisors
- Session VI: Family issues
Olivia Gans, President, Virginia Society for Human Life1:45 pm
Chris Freund, The Family Foundation
- Session VII: Legislative Update
Senator Steve Martin2:25 pm
Chris Freund, The Family Foundation
- Session VIII: Keynote - Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling
- Session IX: State of the Conservative Movement
David Johnson, Office of the Attorney General of Virginia3:30 pm
Al Regnery, publisher, The American Spectator
- Session X: Transportation
Senator Ken Cuccinelli4:00 pm
- Session XI: Homeland Security
Thomas Kilgannon, Freedom Alliance4:45 pm
Tony Kimery, Homeland Security Today
Jim Gilmore, former Governor of Virginia
- Closing Remarks from Jack Rohrer, Chairman, Virginia Conservative Leadership Conference
6:00 pm - Doors Open
- Keynote Speaker: Attorney General Bob McDonnell
- Presentation Reagan Leadership Award: Recipient Donald H. Huffman
Greater Richmond Convention Center
403 North 3rd Street
Richmond, VA 23219
Cross-posted at SixtyFour81.com
Proposed ordinances would prevent adult businesses from locating within 500' of schools, churches, neighborhoods, playgrounds, and other family-oriented locations. Similar ordinances were passed in November by the Staunton City Council.
Cross-posted at SixtyFour81.com
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
April 21, 2008
I have been associated with the Augusta County Republican Committee since the early ’90s. I can remember when only a handful of people would come for the monthly meetings, there would usually be no agenda, no activity and little money. Of course with an organization being so passive with inactivity, and having small active membership, we were not voicing opinions that could be heard or recognized. This was definitely a committee that was “safe” since we were basically “invisible” and did not raise questions or hold accountability.
The county accepted the “Good Old Boys” for the leadership and in political arena. Little was happening in the county for growth and development, either.
Then change came to the county and our political arena. Our GOP needed to step up to meet the challenges. I feel we were very lucky to get Kurt Michael in as part of the GOP leadership. With Dr. Michael as chairman, he brought enthusiasm, accountability, and dependability. The active and inactive membership grew in leaps and bounds. The Augusta County Republican Committee achieved a voice that could be heard and recognized, with local community activities and in politics.
Kurt Michael brought education and support to the committee, which in return enriched our community.
I do not feel it bad that he did not support a long-term political player, Emmett Hanger. He supported the other candidate, Scott Sayre, with open honesty. When Sayre lost to Hanger, Kurt in open honesty turned his support to Hanger. I still believe it is OK to agree to disagree.
I will certainly miss Dr. Kurt Michael as chairman of the Augusta County Republican Committee. His new, young blood brought life to a dying committee. Things do change and move on.
Kurt, thank you for all the time and energy that you have given to our County and our GOP as chairman.
Joyce Sikes resides in Augusta County.
Sandy and Suzanne, reps of our Republican Women.
Trixie, Sandy, and Suzanne.
The ever-smiling and cheerful Mousekateer Trixie Averill, also with AFP. She sacrificed all to get up early, pick up breakfast, and get the bus rolling out of Roanoke heading to Staunton and Harrisonburg before turning east toward D.C. She even serenaded us on the bus! Thanks for everything, Trix.
Our destination ... the Capitol in D.C. ... to spread the message about proposed wasteful spending by our government to prevent "global warming." Thanks, AFP, for being on the frontline of this issue.
Washington's Union Train Station ... huge, magnificent, and a crossroads of activity.
Entrance to Union Station which was bustling. We ended our day with dinner at one of the eateries before boarding the bus to return to the Shenandoah Valley.
April 21, 2008
Brent Bozelle of the largest media watch dog group in America, "Media Research Center."
Tim Phillips, head of Americans For Prosperity.
Tim Phillips addresses the crowd as the rain let up a bit but not before the moisture affected my camera lens.
WASHINGTON – One day before Earth Day, hundreds of citizens joined the grassroots free-market group Americans for Prosperity (AFP) for a rally in the nation’s capital to launch a cross-country hot air balloon tour aimed at exposing the unaffordable costs of proposed climate change policies.
The nationwide Hot Air Tour will make its first stop on April 30 with AFP’s huge seventy-foot hot air balloon in Kansas City, Missouri, before stopping at locations in Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, and Louisiana, on its first leg. In all, the Tour will visit two-dozen key locations across the U.S.
"Elected officials at all levels of government are converting global warming alarmism into policies that will have devastating consequences for our economy,” said AFP President Tim Phillips. “We think American families need to know what these proposals will cost them – lost jobs, higher energy prices, and less freedom. We’re launching this Tour to educate citizens on unaffordable climate change schemes.”
Despite rainy weather, AFP’s Hot Air Tour kicked off on Capitol Hill, with hundreds of grassroots activists, including citizens from North Carolina, Virginia, and New Jersey, rallying against the proposed Warner-Lieberman cap-and-trade bill and other costly so-called “solutions” to global warming.
A recent Gallup poll indicated that the country’s economic situation is by far the greatest concern among likely voters, with high energy prices tying health care for third biggest concern. Despite the propaganda advanced by global warming alarmists, global warming did not even make the list. Yet proposals aimed at climate change would harm the economy and lead to drastic hikes in energy costs, for almost no environmental gain.
“We believe that people deserve to know how reactionary policies will affect their household budget,” Phillips concluded. “The one-sided greenwash on this issue is over; it is long past time that the economic impacts of these policies are made known.”
Americans for Prosperity (AFP) is a nationwide organization of citizen leaders committed to advancing every individual’s right to economic freedom and opportunity. AFP believes reducing the size and scope of government is the best safeguard to ensuring individual productivity and prosperity for all Americans. AFP educates and engages citizens in support of restraining state and federal government growth and returning government to its constitutional limits.
Photos by SWAC Girl