Monday, November 4, 2013

Stolen Equipment!

 Sometime between the morning of Thursday, October 31st and the morning of Friday, November 1st, an Hitachi excavator was stolen from the RVA I-95 Battle Flag Memorial Site in Chester, Virginia.  On September 28, the Va Flaggers raised a 15x15 Battle Flag on the site, to honor the memory of Confederate Soldiers who died defending Virginia in the War Between the States.  

The equipment, valued at $20,000 was an orange Hitachi EX 100, and had a few strips of red tape on the dented engine compartment door.  "Excellent Excavator" is also printed on the side of the cab.  

Evidence has been collected on the site, and the thieves apparently used a truck and trailer to steal the machinery.  

As Chesterfield police officers investigated this afternoon, nearby residents who support the project came out and volunteered to clean up the brush that was to be removed today.  They rolled up their sleeves and quickly completed the work.  The Virginia Flaggers are very thankful for their support and help, as well as the quick response from the Chesterfield County Police.  

This is a minor setback and will cause a brief delay in the scheduled completion of the project, which includes tree removal, lighting, and a security fence.  

Anyone with information on this crime is asked to call Chesterfield Police at (804) 748-1251.

Grayson Jennings
Va Flaggers

UPDATE: The equipment has been recovered!

Friday, October 18, 2013

A Few Hypothetical Questions

Since all men are now require to purchase health insurance that also includes OB/GYN coverage, can they now utilize the services of the OB/GYN as their primary care physician? And since the OB/GYN coverage, as understood by the general population, is FREE because it is preventative in nature could not any individual visit the OB/GYN if they were in need of a physician's care for any illness? And would this not still fall under FREE if it was billed from the OB/GYN's office as a consultation visit, which is what it would be.

A few other lingering questions:
  1. How many men visiting the OB/GYNs office would it take to have the mandate that everyone purchase OB/GYN and contraceptive coverage as part of their health insurance plans repealed? 
  2. How quickly would an OB/GYN discover his new 'niche market' of patients that required none of his services yet provided a steady income stream?
  3. Would it not be discriminatory to refuse such services to males who are paying for them?
  4. Would the lawmaker be accused of waging a war on women, if they attempted to close this loop-hole?
  5. If I as a male, do have FREE abortion coverage, and if so can I go into the place and just take up space?

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Raising of the I-95 Battle Flag Published

A commemorative book of the weekend surrounding the raising and dedication of the I-95 RVA Battle Flag, flagging of the VMFA,and the 2nd Annual Virginia Flagger’s picnic. Those interested in purchasing a printed version, they will be available for $23.00 (plus shipping) for a limited time. Please contact me via email to place an order.

Saturday, September 28, 2013


I-95 Battle Flag Unveiling - Judy Parsons Smith Photography

The I-95 Battle Flag that will rise along side I-95 this morning at 10:00 a.m., 
In Memory and Honor the Confederate Dead and 
In Recognition of the Sesquicentennial of the War Between the States.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Support the I-95 Battle Flag

The Virginia Flaggers have announced that they will be erecting a 50' flag pole along I-95 South of Richmond on which the Battle Flag will be flown.

The flag will serve to welcome visitors and commuters to Richmond, and remind them of our honorable Confederate history and heritage. The location is also historically significant, as Confederate troops are believed to have camped in and around the area during the Bermuda Hundred Campaign.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

For the Birthday Boy!!

Here's Wishing You Lots of Fun and Happy Times!!
Happy Birthday Alec!!
Love - Grandma

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Virginia Flaggers I-95 Battle Flag Project

The Va Flaggers are THRILLED to announce that we have finalized a lease to acquire property adjacent to Interstate 95, just South of Richmond, and will be erecting a 50' pole, on which a 10 x15 Confederate Battle Flag will fly 24/7, 365 days of the year.

If you are interesting in contributing to the project, contributions can be made through PayPal here I-95 Flag Donation. Or by check made payable to "Virginia Flaggers"(Note: I-95 Flag Project in memo) and mailed to:

Va Flaggers
P.O. Box 547
Sandston, VA 23150

Other links about this story:

Saturday, July 27, 2013

A Day At The River

Pipeline Walkway
Big day today on the river. I went down to the Pipeline Walkway to capture some shots of the rafters as they passed by in the rapids near the pipeline.

Finding my way down to the Pipeline Walkway wasn't all that difficult, but the access is a little tricky. There is a metal ladder that must be navigated to gain access to the walkway, which runs under the train trellis along the river. The walkway itself is sturdy and affords a spectacular view of the river, rapids and wildlife. It was noted that this area of the river is a rookery for herons and they nest here in April and May. A trip during the Spring will definitely offer a different view of the river with less foliage.

While waiting for the rafters to arrive I took a stroll down nearly the length of the walkway, that is until I reached the end that did not have railings. Although it was wide enough to traverse safely, I thought better of getting too far away from the location I'd selected as my shooting point.

Pipeline Walkway

Juvenile Heron with a Fish
I did discover a juvenile heron fishing for its meal near the edge of the river. I was tucked in the shadows watching for the next unlucky fish to swim by. 

He was so patient and moved quite stealthy. It was a treat to watch as he snapped up multiple fish all the while totally ignoring his audience.

Juvenile Heron

First Kayaker of the Day
Along the journey today I met up with another photographer who was there to take rafting photos as well. It was nice having someone else around. He was definitely more prepared to get a different shot, as he waded on into the river for that new angle. As a warm up for the photos that were to come, I was able to get some practice shots of some kayakers and of a different rafting group as they came past the location where I was set up near the rapids.

Way to Go Michelle!!
The rafters came in next in a big group. You could tell from the laughter and cheers that they were having an excellent time. This was the group that I had come to shoot picture for.

They really did some cutting up for the camera. There was posing prior to going over the rapids and then even more after they had passed through them. It was great fun for me as well.

Rafting On the James

After a successful shoot on the river, off to the Confederate Memorial Chapel to stand with the VA Flaggers. It was a great group out today taking a stand for the return of the flags to the Confederate Memorial Chapel.

Flagger Gathering

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Monday, July 8, 2013

Happy Birthday, Walter!!

Walter, Happiest Birthday Wishes!! May your birthday and the whole year long be spectacular! - Mom

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Return to Sender

While out on my grand adventure of a vacation/reunion/photo shoots I had a "grandma moment" and sent a couple of ball for the backyard/pool to my grandchildren. Thought these balls would be some great Summer fun!

I had a grand time at the post office in Durham NC getting these things sent out. A couple of postal patrons thought that they would make me go out and find boxes for them, but I'd seen this one done before. It is amazing exactly what you can send through the mail without any boxes. Just stamps and address labels! For this special delivery, I went the extra mile, just to make sure that they were received and had them delivered certified mail.

It seems that they were unwanted as they arrived back at the house - RETURNED to SENDER - REFUSED. So much for giving the grandkids a little summer fun.


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Meandering Journey

It has been a tremendous week of travels, criss-crossing three states and traveling over 1,300 miles.

Day 1 - Richmond to Princeton, WV

Billed as the first day of a leisurely drive to ultimately end in Norton, VA. I headed in a general westerly direction to Waynesboro. My whole purpose was to photograph the "Love" sign in Constitution Park. That goal accomplished I was off to Warm Spring and a long soak at the Jefferson Pools. What a terrific way to spend a relaxing hour away from the rest of the world.

As I departing for Humpback Covered Bridge, a local resident directed me to one of the few remaining suspension bridges located off 640. I braved a short trip out on it, but it is a VERY unique feeling to have the bridge move under your feet. Onward to Humpback Bridge and the Love sign there. Very cool, a couple of trees there formed the letter 'V'. I met a couple there who were out seeing the sights as well and directed them over to the suspension bridge.

Heading into West Virginia I took 219 to Princeton to spend the night. It was a long day, but full of adventure.

Day 2 - Princeton, WV to Norton, VA (with a little back tracking).

It had been my intention to head off first thing for Norton, but as I was exploring online I found that I had passed by two covered bridges on my way into Princeton. AND since I didn't need to be anywhere until later in the day I backtracked up 219.

This was going to be an easy trip, straight up 219 and a slight side trip from there, no worries. That was until I actually was almost at my destination. The first sign of 'trouble' was the emergency vehicles blocking the road. Turns out there had been an accident near Union, WV and the road was blocked at that point. They were diverting traffic around using alternate routes. The good news turned out to be, since the accident point was beyond where I was trying to get to, I was allowed to proceed on my way. It was awesome having the road to myself. I found my first bridge, Indian Creek Covered Bridge, easily and for the life of me I can't see how I missed it on my way through the first time.

The second, Laurel Creek Covered Bridge was a little trickier, since I didn't have a good handle on it's location I was relying on the directions printed out at the hotel. I proceeded cautiously to the designated turn, hoping to be able to make it that far. With no sign of an accident in sight, I made my left hand turn and then immediately thought to myself, "This might not have been a good idea."

I was on a narrow roadway, with just enough room for one car. There were post in the side of the mountain with a rope between them (heaven help if the car ventured off the roadway). There were plenty of blind curves and curves that where you could have shaken hands with someone in the backseat as you went through them. Luckily I met no other vehicles...come to think of it there just weren't any at all.

I kept on  my course and beginning to feel a bit lost came upon a restaurant!! Out there on a back road, within nothing else around. It was nice to find someone around - the wonderful couple there graciously directed me back to the turn I had missed. I loved the directions - go back to the barn by the road, with the trailer behind it, and the church on the hill above it. Then make a left. The directions were perfect! and I made it to the next covered bridge, which was even functional. It was a neat experience driving across the bridge. Turns out that the road I was 'lost' actually came out just a road down from the second bridge. Too funny.

Back to Princeton and on to Bluefield. As I came through Tazewell I discovered the Historic Crab Orchard Museum and Pioneer Park. Wonderful little pioneer museum and park, with reconstructed homes and buildings of the early 1800's. I had a real treat of seeing early surveying equipment.  I had fun strolling through the buildings and taking pictures.

I caught up with Mom & Dad in Norton, VA. After getting settled in to the hotel it was down to the lobby to meet up with other reunion attendees that had arrived as well.

Day 3 - Visiting with Family

We had a very delightful time visiting with family members during the early part of the day. Then it was reunion time!!  Even though it was Mom's 50th class reunion, there were quite a number of cousins and other family members in attendance as well.

Day 4 - Lee County

Off we headed back to Lee County this morning for a big country breakfast with Lynn & Rick. Mom & I left Dad to visit while we headed over to St. Charles and the festivities at the old High School (now an elementary school). Some of the class members were even out on the basketball court. Class members busy visiting with one another and strolling down memory lane.

Mom & I rode up into Virginia Lee (where she had lived when she was in school). Things had changed so much. It was a ride down memory lane trying to remember who had lived where, but the forest has really taken over everything. You can't even see the foundations of the houses any more.

Day 5 - Norton, VA to Home

The trip home was not off the beaten path, much. The traffic was questionable and looking at the clouds the prospect of rain was looking very good.

I stopped several times along 460 on the way home to get some landscapes and a few oddities that were on the roadside.

Day 6/7 - Richmond to Durham, NC & Home Again

I started out my day getting ready to depart for Durham and a photo shoot at Durham Smiles Center, but was delayed a few hours due to server issues here at the office. Once underway it wasn't the leisurely drive that I had envisioned. It was a real push to get there and be on time to accomplish the goal for the afternoon.

It was delightful meeting the staff of the Durham Smiles Center and photographing the office, staff and doctors. Wish I had been able to get a photo of the office chipmunk, but he was just a bit too swift for me. He was darling sitting on the rocks outside the office. Maybe next time. I returned the next day to complete the photo shoot with a couple of additional staff members.

The trip home was quite leisurely. The few of places that I did stop were along the back roads of North Carolina and just over the Virginia state line. I ran across an abandon railroad track - it is truly strange to see trees growing up between the rails.

I got back in plenty of time to get prepared for my return to work.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The 'Middle Wife'

By an Anonymous 2nd grade teacher 

I've been teaching now for about fifteen years. I have two kids myself, but the best birth story I know is the one I saw in my own second grade classroom a few years back.

When I was a kid, I loved show-and-tell. So I always have a few sessions with my students. It helps them get over shyness and usually, show-and-tell is pretty tame. Kids bring in pet turtles, model airplanes, pictures of fish they catch, stuff like that. And I never, ever place any boundaries or limitations on them. If they want to lug it in to school and talk about it, they're welcome.

Well, one day this little girl, Erica, a very bright, very outgoing kid, takes her turn and waddles up to the front of the class with a pillow stuffed under her sweater.

She holds up a snapshot of an infant. 'This is Luke, my baby brother, and I'm going to tell you about his birthday.'

'First, Mom and Dad made him as a symbol of their love, and then Dad put a seed in my Mom's stomach, and Luke grew in there. He ate for nine months through an umbrella cord.'

She's standing there with her hands on the pillow, and I'm trying not to laugh and wishing I had my camcorder with me. The kids are watching her in amazement.

'Then, about two Saturdays ago, my Mom starts saying and going, 'Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh!' Erica puts a hand behind her back and groans. 'She walked around the house for, like an hour, 'Oh, oh, oh!' (Now this kid is doing a hysterical duck walk and groaning.)

‘My Dad called the middle wife. She delivers babies, but she doesn't have a sign on the car like the Domino's man. They got my Mom to lie down in bed like this.' (Then Erica lies down with her back against the wall.)

'And then, pop! My Mom had this bag of water she kept in there in case he got thirsty, and it just blew up and spilled all over the bed, like psshhheew!' (This kid has her legs spread with her little hands mimicking water flowing away. It was too much!)

'Then the middle wife starts saying 'push, push,' and 'breathe, breathe. 
They started counting, but never even got past ten. Then, all of a sudden, out comes my brother. He was covered in yucky stuff that they all said it was from Mom’s play-center, (placenta) so there must be a lot of toys inside there. When he got out, the middle wife spanked him for crawling up in there.'

Then Erica stood up, took a big theatrical bow and returned to her seat. 
I'm sure I applauded the loudest. Ever since then, when it's show-and-tell day, I bring my camcorder, just in case another ' Middle Wife' comes along. 
This was passed along from my email. - Judy

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day Services

I attended two Memorial Day Services today.

The first at the Confederate Memorial Chapel. The event was well attended with hardly a vacant seat left in the chapel.

The Latane Camp Color Guard posed after the ceremony for a few photographs.

The Virginia Flaggers were on hand to mark the occasion and show support for the return of the flags to the chapel.

Chapel event photos

This afternoon I headed down to Blandford Cemetery for the Memorial Day Service there honoring two soldiers from NC, Sgt. D.A. McIntosh and Pvt. W.A. Vickers.

The weather was lovely for the outdoor service. A gentle breeze kept any thought of discomfort at bay.

Memorial Day

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day 2013

Happy Mother's Day to all the wonderful Mom's that I know.
May you have a joyous day filled happiness.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Thank You!

Thanks to all of the Administrative Professionals out there.
You keep things moving!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Saturday In Richmond

I started off my weekend, cleaning out the totaled Camry in preparation for its departure. It was amazing the 'stuff' that had accumulated in the trunk and elsewhere. I'm sure I'm not the only one, but I did manage to 'FIND' all the missing umbrellas, travel mugs (and others), and assorted other items. Most of it made its way back into the house, where it belonged.
What didn't need to go into the new car made it straight into the trashcan. Now just to complete all the paperwork and get it back to the insurance company on Monday and I can call that a done item.

I even managed to slip out to my parents house for an hour or so in the morning to show off the new Camry. PLUS spend some time chatting over coffee, with the occasional bird photo thrown in before we all got the day off and running.

It was a great day with the VA Flaggers on Saturday at the Confederate Memorial Chapel and the VMFA. The city was celebrating "Civil War and Emancipation Day" and providing bus service to over 25 Civil War sites around the city. Needless to say that traffic was heavy from that, but it was also a gorgeous day in the capital and people were everywhere.

One couple, Civil War/Living History Reenators, came down from Pennsylvania in period attire to visit the various Civil War locations. They made a stop at the Confederate Memorial Chapel and together with the Lester's from Gordonsville, also dressed in period attire, were quite the hit with a photography class that was out learning about lighting. Photos of the day found here.

Mr. Lester, became quite popular as he posed in uniform on the steps of the chapel. He was the absolute center of attention. I'm sure the
photography students left with some delightful photographs.

Not to be left out the ladies in their beautiful dresses, if captured just right, looked like they stepped out of photos of the time (must make sure that modern era items are not in the frame). The photo came out quite well with the Confederate Memorial Chapel and the garden in the background. The sepia tone gave it just a hint of that it could have been from the 1860's. More photos of the ladies.

I had opportunity to tour the United Daughters of the Confederacy Headquarters building (open to the public for tours).

The Confederate flags flanked the massive doorway entrance. That was spectacular site, one I'm sure we won't see again for some time. (I don't think I've ever seen a Confederate flag outside the doors - with the exception of the First National that is flying on a flagpole hidden behind a huge evergreen tree).

Of course a Saturday would have been complete without loads and loads of photograph of the VA Flaggers in action.

Shame On You VMFA. Return the Flags. Restore the Honor.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Bounce in Reflection

Bounce taking in the sights from the backseat.
I took Bounce out yesterday evening for a short ride. He had so much fun poking his head out the backseat window. While we were stopped at a light, conditions were just perfect for this shot through the side view mirror.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Spring Sunset

Spring Sunset, by Judy Parsons Smith

I was out by the Swift Creek Dam this evening and captured the sunset. In the lower right corner you can see the reservoir. Give it a couple of weeks and the reservoir won't be visible for all the leaf cover.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Another Fine Saturday

It was beautiful Saturday afternoon on the Boulevard. It was a great day to get the word out to passers-by about the need to restore the flags to the Confederate Memorial Chapel. I really liked the photo of the glasses with the chapel in the reflection.

I ventured around the property and city before the afternoon's event began and snapped a few Spring photos. The trees in the city were beginning to bloom. 

The birds were singing, pansies had been planted and a number of Spring bulbs had already popped up and were beginning to bloom.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Bounce's Adventure

This afternoon, Walter took Bounce out for a jaunt around Rockwood Park. The ensuing story made me chuckle all afternoon.

It seems that while walking along the nature trail, Bounce discovered the pond. Now, I know that he really likes to play at the edge of the water, splashing and smacking at it, but her got a bit more than he expected this time. Walt say he we right up to the water and started to play around, sticking his nose in the water and blowing bubbles. Fun stuff, right up to when he stepped a bit too far away from the edge of the pond and ended up shoulder deep in the pond. 

After recovering from that shock, he came upon a couple of trees that had fallen and were suspended over the pond. Curiosity got the best of Bounce and he took a stroll along the tree trunk. That is until he slipped and ended up back in the pond with his front paws on the tree trunk and I sure an extremely put out look on his face. I can only imagine what would have been going through his mind. Walter says he had that "how am I going to get out of this" look. He finally made it back to shore. 

They went from there on to the dog park, where Bounce, literally bounced about for an hour or so. The comments from some of the other patrons were about his ability to bounce. Having bounced out at the dog park he was off for a treat from Hardees. 

Followed by a surprise visit to the Pet Smart for a 'BATH'. This was his very first time at the groomers, who remarked when he was picked up about his bouncing abilities. Hmmmm, wonder how we ever came up with his name.

Once home he has retreated to his crate to snooze for the rest of the day.

A True Random Act of Kindness

I witnessed a real life event, that mimicked the Liberty Mutual commercial about watching out for one another.

Outside of the one of the entrances to Chesterfield Towne Center on Thursday afternoon, I watched as a man stopped his car, got out and called to a woman that was on the sidewalk. She walked over to his car where he handed her money that she had dropped on the pavement. As she was walking away he, got back into his car an pulled away.

It was awesome to see someone doing the right thing. There a could have been so many other outcomes, but I am sure that this event will be one that she won't forget for a long time.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

24 Years Ago

24-years ago this morning, my darling daughter, Danielle Leigh came into the world.

She showed her feisty side right from the very start by sticking her tongue out at the doctor as he delivered her.

To my darling daughter, may you have a wonderful birthday!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

No Debit Cards!!

Here we are almost 350 miles from home only to discover that most of the businesses DON'T take DEBIT CARD or CREDIT CARD!!!!

How do restaurants and especially the courthouse function without accepting at least a Debit Card?!

Thank goodness that Mom & Dad brought some cash. Looks like I'lll be waiting to make any purchases whatsoever until we begin our journey back home, and then only once we leave the area.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Passing of Family

 It has been a sorrowful time for the family, over the past several weeks we have lost two of our older family members. They will be greatly missed.

Aunt Jo, was the one responsible for me becoming involved in genealogy. There are days that I curse those trips - the genealogy just kind of 'sucks you in'. Yet in the end it is always great to know where your family came from and what they endured.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Happy 7th Birthday!!

To a Wonderful Granddaughter!! May you have a very special day!
Love, Grandma

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Touring Richmond

Great friends came into Richmond for the weekend and I had the opportunity to be tour guide for the day on Saturday.

We began our morning at the Great Shiplock Park near Tobacco Row. Having only passed by myself it was interesting to see the level difference between the canal and the river. On Saturday it was approximately 15 1/2 feet. It is impressive to reflect on how much a part of the Richmond economy the canal was in 1800's and amazing how they were to able to accomplish this type of engineering feat.

A quick Google search for the best place to go for breakfast in Richmond, had us stopping by Millie's Diner on Main Street. Best breakfast may have been an understatement. Definitely not your 'usual' place. I would have never picked it, but looks are definitely deceiving. The line to get in for Saturday brunch began lining up shortly before they opened and it was a full house the whole time we were there.

We headed over to the State Capital for a tour, while waiting for it to begin, we had the opportunity to explore the grounds. The fog being quite heavy hid many of the skyscrapers surrounding the Capital Square making for a very peaceful morning.  We began our tour of the Capital with a security check (I did find out something interesting here though - citizens are allowed to bring firearms into the Capital building as long as they are holstered and the carrier has the proper concealed carry permit).

The new underground extension was beautiful. You would NEVER know you were underground. They did a fantastic job of mimicking natural lighting. The statue of Thomas Jefferson is positioned under a rotunda just like the one of Washington on the second floor of the Capital.

The renovations that were done look fantastic! The tour guide was very informative and I even learned a few things during the tour. For instance I didn't know that during the War of Northern Aggression that the Capital building had served as the home to the legislature for both the state and the Confederate Government.

Next stop - the White House of the Confederacy - now tucked almost inside of VCU/MCV. The parking deck at the hospital was completely full, but we were blessed to find a spot on 12th Street within easy walking distance. Our guide, of the house, was very informative. I found it very interesting that one of the Davis sons had a fully functional miniature cannon with which to play. I'm certain that he must have rattled the nerves of his nanny, mother and neighbors.

The gardens behind the White House are lovely and a breath of fresh air in an area completely surrounded by the hospital and college.  I bet the gardens are delightful in the Spring and Summer. I wonder if they looked anything like they do now during the time that the Davis' resided here - perhaps not with their son waging war in the backyard with his miniature cannon!

Westward we went out Monument Avenue to have a look at the Confederate Monuments that line the avenue.

Our last stop for the morning was the Confederate Memorial Chapel. I miss timed our arrival and we missed the chapel being open to the public. We did have opportunity to visit with the Virginia Flaggers who were there working to have the flags returned to the chapel.