This and That

I’ve gotten really bad about posting regularly. Even worse keeping up with friends’ blogs. I blame it all on the smart phone and how it’s changed my routine. Back before I had a smart phone, I’d have my computer on my lap in the mornings. Now, I use my phone for morning entertainment as my brain slowly warms. I can read blogs with it, of course, but I can’t always comment successfully. That frustrates me. So I wait until I’m in front of the computer to read blogs. But time gets away from me and, before I know it, a week or two may pass. Time just goes by WAY too fast. Sigh…

It’s mid-April and gardening season is upon us. Riding season, too. Sort of. Our strange weather continues. Although Hubby and I did get out for a ride last Sunday (April 13), temps dropped back into Winter range. It’s warming up slowly, but yesterday, a holiday for my employer, it was still in the mid- to upper-40s in the morning, so I didn’t ride. Instead I ran errands.

I did multi-task a little bit.

Visited a National Park

You know that smart phone I mentioned? I have a cool app — Passport to Your National Parks phone App — that let’s me make a checklist of national parks I have visited.

For those not familiar with the parks passport, it’s actually a passport-like booklet that…

…makes it easy to learn about and explore all of our national park sites. The Passport® to Your National Parks includes maps that are color-coded for specific regions in the country, pre-visit information, illustrations and photographs. It also includes a free map and guide to the national park system.

Spaces in each region are designated for you to collect rubber stamp cancellations at each national park site you visit. The cancellations, similar to those received in an international passport, record the name of the park and the date you visited.

It may sound a bit geeky, but it’s a great way to keep track of not just the parks you’ve visited, but when you have visited them.

MNB1_IMG_1512 Anyway… the other day, after creating my list of parks, I realized I’d only visited three of the 16 parks listed in Virginia.

And the closest national park — the Manassas National Battlefield Park — is one I had NOT been to. It’s 16.24 miles from where I sit. How bad is that? I’ve driven through it many times, since one of the major routes to DC and points north cuts through the park, but had never stopped.

I had to go to Manassas yesterday anyway, so I decided to stop at the park. I didn’t want to spend much time there, I just wanted to, 1, be able to say I’d been there and, 2, grab some info to plan a future visit.

Redbud in Bloom at Manassas NBP
Redbud in Bloom at Manassas NBP

I did walk around a bit after my stop at the Visitor’s Center. It was a bit cloudy and cool, and I had things to do, so I didn’t linger.

Stonewall Jackson Memorial


View from lawn at Visitor’s Center

The view is nice and, I thought, impressive. Looks like it’s out in the middle of nowhere, right? It isn’t. It’s right on the edge of Northern Virginia, one of the most densely populated regions in the US.

The Stone House

If you click on that image of The Stone House, you’ll get a bit of history.

Passports are typically sold at park bookstores. You can buy them on-line, too.

Now that I’ve been to Manassas NBP, I can say I have visited 66 US National Parks. But there are many more to see…

Shopped at Costco

I’d been meaning to visit Coscto for weeks. It’s not close (about 20 miles away) and is usually very crowded. I try to time my visits for off-peak hours, but never seem to succeed. I didn’t take any pictures, though.

Visited a Garden Center

No pics there, either. I must be losing my edge. LOL. I did buy a few perennials, though. Most importantly, I got the info I needed to schedule a delivery of mulch. I even ran into a friend who might be willing to install it for me. Oh, happy day!

Now I just have to get everything planted so it’s in the ground before the mulch arrives.

Miscellaneous Stuff

I’m glad Spring is here. It’s so nice seeing colors again. Here are a few pics I captured this past week.

Warrenton’s Old Courthouse bathed in golden evening light.


Red Truck in front of The Red Truck Bakery.


One of my favorite old buildings on Ashby Street in OTW.


Cool flowers on unidentified tree.


Photoshopped image featuring my frog planter.

While we’re on the subject of pictures, this shot from a friend’s blog post made me chuckle aloud with delight…

Bobskoot of Riding the Wet Coast

Bob lives in British Columbia, outside of Vancouver. This shot is from a camping weekend of his last September.

That’s it for today. I have GOT to get busy. I need to visit the Farmers’ Market and a nursery center or three. And then I have to start digging. And weeding. Sigh…


5 Replies to “This and That”

  1. You, like everyone else, is migrating from laptops to smartphones. I’ll never do that because my eyesight isn’t good enough for so small a screen. I also refuse to give up on a real camera and a watch just because a phone can sorta do those functions.

  2. Kathy:

    Gosh, golly gee, making you smile is my pleasure 🙂

    I am like you. I can read the blogs with my iPhone but I can’t leave a comment easily. Also I try to keep away from the computer between Friday and Sunday evenings. I also wait until I can get to a real computer.

    Isn’t that the way ? Never get around to seeing those places so close to home. You can visit anytime, so you don’t

    A weekend photographer or Riding the Wet Coast

  3. Before I forget – your unidentified tree is a Star Magnolia. Always so pretty. There are white and pale pink ones.

    That stone house has quite the history. I enjoyed reading the link.

    It sounds as though you’ve been busy. I always try and read blogs from the big computer (iMac) in the morning as it is so hard to comment from the iPad in the evening.

    Hope your weather becomes more consistent, yeah right, it is Spring, I know.

  4. Thanks for the tree ID. I’d love to see a pink one.

    I have been busy, but that’s good. Getting the yard ready now so when riding weather finally hits, I’ll have all kinds if free time. Fingers crossed.

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