Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Things to See on a Visit to the Nation's Capitol Building

One of the most iconic buildings in Washington D. C. is the Capitol Building. Today, February 28, 2017 President Trump will give his Presidential Address in the Senate Chamber and the building will close to visitor's at noon. Coverage of the speech will begin at 8 p.m.

The first corner stone of the U.S. Capitol Building was laid September 18, the thirteenth year of  American Independence, in the first year of the second term of George Washington placed the metal plate. In 1991 an attempt was made to find the cornerstone after years of reconstruction and it was never found.  It is believed to be under the southeast corner of Statuary Hall.

The Plaster Model for the Statue of Freedom

The Crypt seen below, is located under and is the support of the rotunda. There are forty columns and there is said to be a star in the middle of the floor.  I missed it.

There is an interesting story about the crypt, Congress wanted to honor and include Washington in the Capitol building by having his remains kept there. One problem was Washington died before the building was finished. Another issue was Washington stated in his will he wanted to be buried in Virginia. Congress requested George Washington's twice and the family sued Congress which led to a law established in Virginia that Washington will forever remain in Virginia.

The Apotheosis of George Washington by Constantino Brumidi completed in 11 months in 1865 after the Civil War. George Washington is seated in the center flanked by Victory and Liberty/Fame. The thirteen figures encircling represent the thirteen original states.  The six groups around the perimeter represent War, Science, Marine, Commerce, Mechanics and Agriculture. Read more about this symbolic painting at the Architect of the Capitol website.

Liberty and the Eagle  by Enrico Causici located in Statuary Hall looks out over the Hall from a niche above the colonnade behind what was once the Speaker's rostrum

Car of History Clock located in Statuary Hall by Carlo Franzoni. This neoclassical marble sculpture depicts Clio, the Muse of History, riding in the chariot of Time and recording events in the chamber below. The wheel of the chariot contains the chamber clock; the works are by Simon Willard.

Rosa Parks statue authorized by Congress in 2005 sits appropriately in Statuary Hall. It is the first full-length statue of an African American in the U.S. Capitol. In 1999, Rosa Parks was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal for her work in the civil rights movement. After her death in 2005, her remains were allowed to lie in honor at the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol.

The majority of the state statues can be found in Statuary Hall including the Pennsylvania statue of Robert Fulton see below to the right.  It has been in the National Statuary Hall Collection since 1889. The other Pennsylvania representative statue, Mulhenberg is in the Crypt of the Capitol, more than a somewhat distinguished location. Thirteen of the original states are represented there and Pennsylvania is one of them.

Series of pictures from the Old Senate Hall 

Rembrandt Peale portrait of George Washington hangs above. Rembrandt was 17 years old when he painted this. No painting in the U.S. Capitol has greater historical or symbolic resonance. Read more about it at the U.S.senate.gov website.

It's true the Republicans sit on the right and the Democrats to the left.  It is just a personal opinion but I think they should mix them up a little, let them mingle and get a different perspective or perhaps a different viewpoint.  For the record, I was standing in the aisle, it doesn't take too much to reach across. I also recognize it is no easy task to sit in that chamber, it is a lot of responsibility and pressure. Note the book on the desk in the back row and read further about "The Caning of Senator Charles Sumner". The book designates Senator Sumner's desk.

Now the office of Senator Robert Casey Jr. from Pennsylvania.

I am going to give a shout out to a senator from the State of Pennsylvania. In obtaining a pass to visit the current U.S. Senate Chamber, I learned something new about Senator Robert P. Casey Jr., his office is the former office of Senator John F. Kennedy in the Russell Building. Imagine how that atmosphere emulates "Profiles in Courage".

Series of pictures from the Old Supreme Court

Front of the Old Supreme Court (above) the two seats to the right are original

Back of the Old Supreme Court. Of note on the back wall "Justice" one of the oldest works of art in the Capitol (read more about the symbolism at the link). The Clock below was ordered by Chief Justice Roger B. Taney in 1837. It was set 5 minutes ahead by Taney to insure the other justices arrived in a timely manner. read more about how time traveled and fixing the broken hand.

 What would Washington be without "rumors"? Shedding a little light "factor fiction"?

President Trump speaks tonight, one thing is a fact, this president has made America sit and listen stand up and speak.  That in itself is not a bad thing. Touring the Capitol Building allows you to see there is a lot of things that go on in Washington and we have to trust the representatives we send there on our behalf to make wise choices for the good of all people. E pluribus unum "Out of many, one".

Top 10 Must See On Your Visit (recommended in United States Capitol Visitor Guide)

🖒Specialty Tours, talks and Family Programs

🖒Table from Abraham Lincoln's Second Inauguration (Exhibition Hall)

✔View of the Dome through Skylights (Look Up)

✔The Plaster Model for the Statue of Freedom (Emancipation Hall)

✔Statue Collection (100 statues representing 50 States of the United States throughout the building including Statuary Hall).

✔House and Senate Galleries (no photography recording allowed)(get passes from your Senator or Representative) Information available on where to find those offices within walking distance of the Capitol.

🖒Slave Labor Commemorative Marker (Emancipation Hall)

🖒Capitol Dome Model (Exhibition Hall)

🖒Gavel used by George Washington during the ceremony to lay the cornerstone of the Capitol; in 1793 (Exhibition Hall)

🖒Catafalque support for the casket of the President and other eminent citizens during lying in state ceremonies (Exhibition Hall)

In my opinion:
🖒Thumbs up indicates reasons I have to go back
✔Check mark indicates been there, seen that, worth seeing again and don't miss it.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Upcoming Feb. 27 on

Congratulations to "Moonlight" the 2017 Academy Award Winner for Best Picture. 

Business is booming in Brookhaven. LA Fitness had their Grand Opening in Saturday. Making America Strong.   

Feb. 27 Middletown Township Historical Society Middletown Mondays presents a lecture Nancy Webster, Chester at Mid-Century  7 p.m. at Lima Estates 411 North Middletown Rd in Media.

Feb. 28 State of the Union 8 p.m. 

Feb. 28 Mardi Gras

Feb. 28 Fat Tuesday 

Feb. 28 Pancake Dinner sponsored by Wallingford Presbyterian Church and Boy Scout Troop 227 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. Donations to Boy Scout Troup 227 will be accepted.

Feb. 28 Paoli Massacre Jim Christ Historian at Marple Christain Church 7:30 p.m. sponsored by Marple Township Historical Society.

Mar. 1 Ash Wednesday and the first day of lent for Catholics.

Mar. 1 Genealogy atMiddletown Free Library 10:15 a.m. 

Mar. 1 Mindfulness for Families at Middletown Free Library 6:30 p.m. 

Mar. 2 Beginner Watercolor Painting Workshop at Middletown Free Library 10:30 a.m. Contact the library to register.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Upcoming Weekend Feb. 24 Eventa

Feb. 25 Pancake Breakfast and Maple Sugaring Celebration at Tyler Arboretum 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Feb. 25 - 26 Boatbuilding 101 at Independence Seaport Museum 9:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. $300 for members and $340 for non-members.

Feb. 25 Aston Library will accept gently used books published in the last 10 years for an upcoming book sale. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

Feb. 25 Bethel Preservation Societ presents Mushroom ManisyBethel Township Complex, Myers Building, 1092 Bethel Road, Garnet Valley, PA. 1 - 4 p.m. OPen House andthe Opening of "The History of Mushrooms in Bethel" display supplied by Silvestri Mushroom Farm. By attending you get a free chance to win a "Mushroom Lovers Basket" and a privaye tour of Silvestri Mushroom Farm.

Feb. 25 Kennett Winterfest 12:30 - 4 p.m. winter beer tastings in Kennett Square with food trucks this year.  Food trucks will be in addition to fest tickets pay as you go.

Feb. 25 Northern Liberties Bierfest at the German Society of Pennsylvania. Taste beer from local breweries. Tickets available online. 1 - 5:30 p.m. 

Feb. 25 Dr. Daisy Nelson Century will portray Harriet Tubman at the Media Fellowship House 2 p.m. 

Feb. 26 Maple Sugaring Festival in Ambler. Learn how maple syrup is made 12:00 p.m. to 3 p.m. Register online.

Feb 26 The Oscars on ABC beginning at 7 p.m.

Upcoming keep in mind:

Feb. 27 Middletown Township Historical Society Middletown Mondays presents a lecture Nancy Webster, Chester at Mid-Century  7 p.m. at Lima Estates 411 North Middletown Rd in Media.

Media Recreation Board is selling discount Flower Show Tickets for $20. First come, first serve. call 610.566.5210 x 255. The Philadelphoa Flower Show is Mar. 11 - 19.

March 12 Delco New Network Craft Show at Penn State Brandywine  9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Vendors spaces still available.

March 25 British Invasion Years coming to St. Joseph's Parish in Aston at Degnan Hall, Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets $20. Contact Joe Zack jaz1030@aol.com or 610.888.4767.

Registration is open until March 10 - 8 p.m. for Leprechaun Run 5 K/ Run Mar. 11 sponsored by Tancredi Auto and Truck Repair and Notre Dame de Lourdes Alumni Register at https://www.runtheday.com/registration/race_info/leprechaun-leap-run-2017.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Sights Strolling Ridley Creek State Park

You can easily take a casual walk in the park on the trail at Ridley Creek State Park 
but why not take it all in.

Not even out of the car yet and I spotted a Great Blue Heron listed as a "spring" visitor at the dcnr.statepa Common Birds of Ridley Creek State Park. He will pose for pictures but doesn't stick around too long if you invade his turf.

Fishing Year Round, perhaps this is why the heron hangs out.
Do you think he obeys the catch and release rules? 
There is always one.

National Register of Historic Places

This is a 20th Century improvement, a fishing platform for the handicapped. After breaking my foot recently and suffering a temporary setback I have become more aware of things we are all capable of and things some of us are not. It is my humble opinion that we all suffer some sort of handicap whether it be physical or mental. Just look at one of our senses, the sense of sight. You can be near sighted, far sighted, blind sighted, an oversight, under-sighted, clear-sighted, foggy all could be a physical or mental handicapped.  If only more "platforms" around the world had this enhancement for human nature.

If you would like to investigate the historical value more, You can reference a thesis online Preservation in Ridley Creek State Park: Documentation of the Historic Farmsteads by Jeffrey Bar in which a detailed description is given on the buildings in the park.

Rock balancing

Can you find my contribution?

Busy Beaver

Workings of the Woodpecker

Remain on your best behavior, nature is watching you!

There is a reason to preserve the environment and to have places in the world like this to enjoy.
It's peaceful. We need peace.

Link to map of Ridley Creek State Park

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Things you can do at the library

Rent a book

Rent a movie

Use the computer

Research your ancestry

Search old newspapers

Buy used books, dvds, jigsaw puzzles

Listen to a Lecture

Take a class

Learn a new skill

Discover the artist inside

Watch a Movie
Join a Book Discussion

Watch and discuss a TedTalk

Check out Free museum passes

When is the last time you visited your public library? 
It is a pillar of knowledge.
It rivals Google!
Libraries have endless resources and the list is growing all the time with a constant flow of people.

February is Love  💖 Your Library Month

Not all libraries offer all these programs, see what your library has to offer.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

National Hot Breakfast Month

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day or is it?
You decide.
Here is what WEDMD says about eating breakfast and weight loss.

A few selections





Cream of Wheat 


French Toast


Biscuits and Cream

Side Meats: Bacon, Ham, Sausage, Scrapple, Black and White Pudding

Quick and easy and low in calories

Apple and Cinnamon
slice the apple add cinnamon 
mix in yogurt ( I use vanilla or coconut) 
walnuts work too.
heat in microwave

Monday, February 20, 2017

Week of Feb, 20, 2017 Things to Do

Feb. 20 President's Day or Presidents Day
Feb. 20 Entrance Fee Free Day in National Parks.

Feb. 20 George Washington Birthday Celebration at Valley Forge National Historical Park 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

Feb. 21 Greater Philadelphia Film Office and Ekiah Productions present "28 Days and Beyond" History, Heritage and Authentic Voices of the African American Community documentary at the Prince Theater 6:30 p.m. Tickets are free but you must rsvp at gpfo.ticketleap.com/28days.

Feb. 22 DIY No Sew Fleece Blankets at Middletown Free Library call or register online to attend 10:30 a.m. 

Feb. 22 Author Andy Miller will speak and have a book signing at Williamson, Clara Schrenk Memorial Chapel on the history of Williamson College of Trades. 1 p.m. His book is titled Williamson College of the Trades.

Feb. 23 The Circuit: The History and Future of America's Best Regional Trail System lecture with Bob Thomas at the Schuylkill Center 7:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Free 

Feb. 23 A Makery 3D Altered Books Workshop 6:30 p.m. with Rockdale Arts Center at at Middletown Free Library call or register online to attend.

Feb. 24 - 26 Lancaster Roots Blues in Lancaster, PA.

Feb. 24 Our American President George Washington Part 2 at the Middletown Free Library 2 p.m. register online or call the library.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Weekend Events Feb 17

Feb. 17 Crochet-A Hat Workshop at Upper Chichester Library  1 -3 p.m. Call the library to register.

Feb. 17 - 20 Great Backyard Bird Count 2017 participate in the count or enter the photo contest. 

Feb. 18-19 Boatbuilding 101 at Independence Seaport Museum.

Feb. 18 Mummers Mardi Gras Parade in Manayunk 11  - 1 p.m. down Main St. a. Rain date Fe. 19

Feb. 18 Cupid's Undie Run at XFinity LIVE in Philadelphia #I'm With Cupid.

Feb. 18 - 20 Family Fun: Presidential Quizzo at Independence National Historical Park. Check the link for times.

Now through Feb. 28 The Annual Aston Library Bookmark Design Contest.

Now through Mar. 4 The Spirit of Women Quilt Exhibition, the works of Penny Sisto, amazing work on display Thursday through Sunday 4 - 7 p.m. at the MAC (Media Arts Council) Gallery located at 609-B W. State Street in Media.

Thinking Spring?  Volunteer at the Philadelphia Flower Show.

Also check out the upcoming WWI lectures and World War I Exhibition at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA) through April 9.

The door is open get outside and enjoy the spring like weather. The last time I checked 57 degrees on Saturday and 63 on Sunday. I like, no I love. 💓💓

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Taylor Arboretum Trail in the Snow

Within the last year, Widener University has taken over the Taylor Arboretum in Nether Providence Township and changes are starting to show. Today I will give you a glimpse of what it looks like covered in snow.

The entrance to the park posts a map of the 30 acres and the trails.  You can also print out a map online at the Taylor Arboretum website.  I should do this because every time, I think to myself, is  this the way?

It could just be me and my love of the outdoors, but I felt as if the snow covered branches were reaching out to greet me, as I walked along the trail towards the Ridley Creek.

This is an area bountiful with butterflies in the spring and early fall season.

If as a kid you grew up playing in Chester Park across the creek you will see that giant rock we all sat on and threw stones into the water.

If you were one of the more adventurous kids you crossed at the waterfall to the Garden City side, I never made it all the way across, too cautious in my youth.  The waterfall is no longer there, you are looking at the location it used to be.  It was taken down because waterfalls aren't good for the environment or something like that. It probably wasn't good for daredevil kids either but many enjoyed the challenge. To clarify, the waterfall known as Sharpless Dam was taken down for the natural flow of fish, specifically shad and others known to the area.

My favorite part about the snow is how it decorates the trees and makes everything look so clean yet leaves a clear passage to help you navigate through the woods.

The arboretum is home to many species of plants, tree and critters and I would image this to be a winter home for one of them. I did not peep my head too far into this hollowed out log to see who may be in residence. I am likewise glad they did not poke their head out to see who was peering into their window. At a certain point, we all have to accept ones privacy.  I did see two white tailed deer prancing up the hill across the creek on another walk in the woods.

There is a bridge down near Rhododendron Walk and I am starting to notice upgraded signage.  The bridge crosses over what I used to call a gully but now know it to be the mill race. By printing out the arboretum map you can learn all sorts of things about the sections of the natural open space. There is also a bench in Meditation Grove to sit and contemplate.

I did find one tree that was labeled, there could be more.  This one is a Norway Maple var. Crimson King. I do know there are more maples and they show their true colors in the fall. They look magnificent.

I think this is the area they are calling the Colonial Quarry.  It is a big massive rock.

My favorite area and the only area that the snow detracts from its beauty is the vernal pond area. For so many reasons, I am always fascinated by the growths jutting out of the ground under the cypress trees. These projections are known as "knees" and there has been no known scientific breakthrough as to what they are there for.  It was once thought for oxidation since the tree is typically grown near or in a swampy watery area and the other theory is stabilization. They are fascinating looking and it makes me feel like I am in Hobbit land. The second photograph shows one up close.

Knees of the Cypress

This gnarly looking tree also attracted my attention.  Look at all the twists and turns of the branches.  It must be a popular hangout for wildlife, squirrels chasing each other around and birds climbing higher and higher to avoid the photographer, because they can. I am looking forward to discovering just what kind of tree this is but until then, I will call it "Gnarly".

Even the icicles were attached to it.

The Taylor Arboretum property was purchased by Joshua Taylor in 1914 to provide an escape from the hectic city life in Chester. He dedicated the arboretum to his wife Anne Rulon Gray.  When Mr. Taylor passed away in 1946, he set up a trust to maintain the property.  Widener University now has that trust.  I trust they will do a great job maintaining another Delaware County treasure.

One of the trees has met his demise, perhaps it had an issue and needed to be cut. It will now go on to a higher calling, the logs were cut for firewood.  Counting the rings, this tree was 28 years old and if you study the rings you can tell the rain filled past 28 years and the dry ones.

According to the website, most of the plantings are from 1951 and 1959.  There are state champion trees on the property, a Korean Juniper and Lacebark Elm are the largest in the state. I don't know if they are marked yet but I am looking forward to finding them. 

On February 18, the Delaware County Master Gardeners will be planting seeds to begin their growth in the greenhouse and will later be sold to the public.

Taylor Arboretum at Widener University is the new name.