Wolfe at Louisbourg

I found a new interesting website today called A library for time travelers, or those who love to travel through history learning from the past. One chapter is on Canadian history and the siege of Louisbourg by Wolfe. We visited Louisbourg Fortress and one could spend hours there on tour and learning the history of the Fortress and people who lived there. Here is the article and a photo of its colorful main quarters.

Nicolas Is Six

Nicolas has his sixth birthday today. It sounds like he had lunch with his Mom and baby brother and know that this is HIS day or birthday. The celebrations will happen with the family on Sunday. Nicolas enjoys playing in our water fountain, especially with sticks and other objects………

Kipling's Indian Families

One area of history that I have marginal knowledge of is that of India. There has been much intertwining of peoples between those of India and England through the East India Company. As previously mentioned, Rudyard Kipling has written so lyrically about India. Here is another example of his work and some of the families and history that have made up parts of India. It is definitely another world from Oregon.

Reading Room

The past few days have been very rainy and blustery. The type of days one just wants to go into hibernation and not venture out. When I hibernate I like to grab a good book, curl up and read it for several hours. I came across this picture earlier of a book room that was so appealing. We have our library here though I could certainly entertain spending time at Casa de Muse.

Memorial Day

The family all met down at the Lebanon IOOF cemetery yesterday to place flowers on the graves there. I have photos of the site that I will probably save to show in later years’ posts. Nicolas was curious about the headstones and who were the people associated with them. First Scott, then Grandpa Bob, and then I told him of his new found great and great-great grandparents he had acquired. The cemetery is always so beautiful yet solemn at this time of year.

Here are more photos from Washington D.C. and remembrances of honoring the dead and remembering the fallen.
From an Ace of Spades blog post………..

I have seen this ceremony more times than I can count. I never cease to be humbled by it, by the sentinels of the 3rd Infantry Regiment, US Army at Ft. Meyer. The Old Guard. 21 steps. Hurricanes. Snowstorms. Or the brutal summer heat in Virginia.
This tomb will always have a guard.

Vietnam War Memorial, 2007
“When I was a kid (1984 or so), we visited the Vietnam Memorial. I remember my dad searching for his fallen comrades. He looked in the book, found the panel, then I remember him tracing the names with his fingers, tears in his eyes.”
Read the full story here.

Memorial Weekend Memories

If one cannot stay home and enjoy Memorial Day weekend with family, I believe one of the best and most special places to visit is Washington D.C. on Memorial Weekend. Watching Rolling Thunder ride into town. Well over 60,000 people on motorcycles roar onto D.C. streets. I will never forget watching these big men in leather jackets, looking tough and serious while shedding a tear at a ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington Cemetery. Everyone should experience Memorial Day at this hallowed area at least once. It is unforgettable. Another spot that caught my heart was then going to the World War II Memorial and reading the testimonials left behind by sons or daughters written to their beloved fathers who served in that war. In memory of what military service people mean to us, please read this story here and also watch the video here. Please consider thanking a military person for their service at the next opportunity. They deserve our respect.


Arlington National Cemetery

The Grant House

We took a recon trip up to Vancouver WA to visit the Hilton Hotel and restaurants in the area for next month’s Winn Symposium. One restaurant should be a great location due to its beautiful and historic structure and location on Officer’s Row at the Ft. Vancouver Historical site. The setting is very Pacific Northwest and striking. What a spot to be billeted in the military in its day!


This came over the wire. I think we may have a hitting streak going of Ryan Scrunch Face. Or his he chillin’ like Mom suggested? Hmmmmm……………

Grumpy Cat Child?

After a long, stressful day of volunteer involvement, we went to the Lewis’ home in the evening to celebrate Grandma Sandee’s birthday. Barbeque burgers and hotdogs with lots of salads was on the menu. It was fun watching Nicolas play the Wii and being able to hold the Ryan child too. Here is his scrunchy face look………….or is this Ryan imitating Grumpy Cat?



As a prelude to issues occurring in the European Union in modern times, there was war and turmoil in similar parts of Europe in the early 1600’s. The Treaty of Westphalia helped to bring a close to the Thirty Years’ War. A description of the war and treaty are found here.

In an early version of the EU is described in this manner:

Principles of Westphalia

The Treaty of Westphalia of 1648, bringing an end to the Thirty Years' War, which had drowned Europe in blood in battles over religion, defined the principles of sovereignty and equality in numerous sub-contracts, and in this way became the constitution of the new system of states in Europe.

Brothers to the Core


Nicola and Ryan sleeping

Grant Is No Butcher

A Civil War scholar named Gordon C. Rhea has determined through research that Grant’s Overland Campaign of 1864 in Virginia has a different set of facts. He believes his research shows that Grant only lost closer to 20% of the men at Cold Harbor than previous understanding claimed. Rhea has written a collection of books on this part of the Civil War and is considered a voice to be heard. To learn more about his work, please go here.

For additional historical information about the battle near Spotsylvania Courthouse, you can read about it from the Civil War Trust site here.

Nat Geo Photos

I enjoy learning about and using different photography skills to take photos. I won’t win contests most likely though I like to challenge myself to do better and be creative.
Nat Geo has recently sent out their early favorites for their annual photography contest. This list includes 42 photos and they are cool. You can find their list here at the Atlantic website. I will include a photo from around 2003, taken in eastern Nevada at Great Basin National Park with the snow capped mountain nicely framed by the trees.


The Wilderness

Another interesting battle that occurred in Northern Virginia in early May, 1864 was the battle of The Wilderness. It is a tangled web of trees and undergrowth in Spotsylvania County of Virginia. Close to the area where Jackson lost his life at Chancellorsville. More can be read here.

The Battle of the Wilderness, fought May 5–6, 1864, was the opening engagement of the Overland Campaign during the American Civil War (1861–1865). The newly appointed general-in-chief of the Union armies, Ulysses S. Grant, personally led the Army of the Potomac south across the Rapidan River in what he hoped would be a quick maneuver around the right flank of Confederate general Robert E. Lee and his Army of Northern Virginia.

The battle ended up as a number of tactical setbacks for Grant and his army. Yet, he did not accept defeat. Grant’s ultimate success was that he kept moving forward, determined to reach his goals. He reminds a person that it is best to less focus on what the other guy is doing than what you are going to do to achieve success.

Although disappointed by the tactical setbacks, Grant refused to accept defeat, and in doing so transformed the battle into a strategic victory for the Union. When a general worried about Lee's next move, Grant tersely replied, "I am heartily tired of hearing what Lee is going to do. Some of you always seem to think he is suddenly going to turn a double somersault, and land on our rear and on both our flanks at the same time. Go back to your command, and try to think what we are going to do ourselves, instead of what Lee is going to do."

Antietam's Bloody Lane

Back in 2001, Bob and I made a tour of the countryside and Civil War battlefields of Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, and Virginia. In those days, I had my Olympus OM-2 film 35mm camera. It was not the digital age. I have slowly been scanning my photos of the trip onto my computer in digital format. One of my favorites from the trip was a view of the Sunken Road or Bloody Lane at the Antietam (Sharpsburg) Battlefield in Maryland. We have visited the area twice and it always impresses and haunts us. Antietam was the one battle and day even including September 11, 2001 where the largest loss of American lives occurred. More than 3500 souls perished on that day. The Bloody Lane was an area piled high with bodies at that time, 5600 dead and wounded. Hard to envision in such a peaceful, beautiful setting that it is now. A description of this part of the battle is found here in video.
Antietam (Sharpsburg MD)

Gilda Radner

Back in those long ago college days, it was the early hey-day of “Saturday Night Live” on television. One of the best characters and one I will never forgot when troubles get to piling on was Gilda Radner’s portrayal of Roseanne Roseannadanna. Roseanne was often a network anchor reading the day’s news. She would say with her scrunchy little voice a profound thought…………..”If it’s not one thing, it’s another!” Ain’t that the truth. Gilda died way too young of ovarian cancer. I came across this remembrance from Bill Murray of one of the last times he spoke with his friend, Gilda Radner.

Grandpa Referee

Bob is the official kid’s play person in the family. I thought it would be good to buy this T-shirt that announces he is the Official Referee for Grandkids. Especially when he has a bubble maker in his hand………..that Troublemaker!

Ryan or Bear?

Since he isn’t much bigger than the bear he is sharing his bedding with, Ryan seems pretty buddy-buddy with his blue bear. A good photo of him since he is often snuggled in blankets because he likes the warmth.

Bubble Making

A further demonstration of big bubble-making, Michael Lewis is creating a big bubble with Nicolas waiting in anticipation to grab and pop it.
Then a big highlight for a Mom times Two to the second degree (Grandma) and Ryan


Mother's Day

It was supposed to rain today and put a “wet kiss” on Mother’s Day. Other than some mist at the start of the morning, it actually was warm, a bit muggy, and the sun did come out for awhile. Enough to enjoy the outdoors in the afternoon. The Thayer and Lewis family gathered to celebrate Ryan’s arrival and Mother’s Day with a quickly gathered potluck.
To entertain the kids, a large bubble maker was brought out. Most popped pretty quickly though a “double bubble” did float over the house and was caught “on film”.

Like Father, Like Son?

After looking at David’s photo from yesteryear, here is Ryan showing his displeasure of nurses who unwrap a nice, warm blanket and try to take your temperature with a stupid thermometer. Who would do that to a little baby! Sad

Father and Son

Maybe it is the “all babies look alike” syndrome, though I think Ryan looks much like David did as a baby. I will lay out some evidence. Now to stroll down memory lane………..
vicki-and-david- -top-5-10-13
Vicki and David at hospital

David, shortly after coming home. A close resemblance to Ryan?
Note the strategically placed arm to make this photo acceptable for all audiences.

David, the proud and happy father!

Big Brother

Grandpas helped to introduce Nicolas to his new brother, Ryan. Since Ryan goes home from the hospital today, Nicolas is learning from the start how to be a big brother in caring, protecting, sharing, and loving Ryan. He vacillated between “Yes, I think I like him” to “No, I am not sure if I do”.
grandpas002c-nic-and-ryan- 5-10-13
Two Bobs, a Nicolas and Ryan

”Let me show you”

Ryan Dale Thayer

Ryan Dale Thayer made his slow but sure entrance into this world today at 3:41 pm. Mother and Father were tired and happy. Grandparents all around were pleased. He weighted 8 lb. 8 oz and was a bit of a sleepy fellow unless poked and prodded by the nurse. Bob said to Renee she did good today. David could finally relax after being stressed a bit. Ryan was doing a bit of snorting (fluid in his upper air passages) so he may need to be nicknamed “Snort”.

Ryan and Renee
A beaming Grandpa and Ryan

The Hanging Gardens

A British academic has recently produced evidence supporting her theory that The Hanging Gardens of Assyria were not in Babylon but in Nineveh. The Hanging Gardens are considered one of the seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Where the gardens were located specifically has been a mystery and now some answers may be forthcoming. Time and further study should prove this theory. For now, the information at hand is found here.


Technology Headaches

Today has been a day for development of big technology headaches and maybe some hoped for resolution. Our DSL internet has been a major sore point lately with slow speeds, in and out service (it could rival In-And-Out Burgers), and downright internet stoppages. The past week has been very bad for this. I was unable to access an online classroom Monday night due to internet access issues. Today, the phone went out while on hold to talk to CenturyLink about their service. With a phone service repair (a local equipment station card was bad and needed to be replaced) and modem switch out, everything is working more consistently. Time will tell. Our ISP needs to really spend money to upgrade equipment in our area and it probably won’t happen soon or at all. Plus, my battery back up/surge protector is beeping and may need a batter replacement. Sigh!!

Iberia and Muslims

Spain still has a lot of Muslim influence found in its daily life. Muslims invaded the country of Spain and were advancing into other parts of Europe when they were halted by Charles Martel in the famous battle of Poitiers in 732 A.D. A description of the changes found in the Spanish lifestyle are noted in this article here.

Besides the food crops, the Muslim brought to the Iberian Peninsula the cotton plant, which in Spanish is called algodon from the Arabic alqutn. They also developed the silk industry, to make Al-Andalus one of the major silk manufacturing countries of the medieval world. The fine fabrics of which Europe was to be proud in later centuries had their origin in this land of the Moors.

A further description of the history of Spain’s conquest by Muslims can be found in this article.

After a short foray in July of 710 AD, Muslim forces from North Africa invaded the Christian Iberian Peninsula (modern day Spain and Portugal) in the spring of 711, and within two years, with the exception of the extreme northwestern portion of the peninsula, had successfully overpowered and conquered the Visigothic Christian realms of Iberia.[1] Not only did it take the Frankish forces under Charles Martel to stop the Muslim horde at the battle of Poitiers in 732 from further intrusions into Western Europe, it would take nearly eight centuries for the Iberian Christians to re-take the peninsula from the Muslims. Why were the Muslims able to so quickly invade, conquer, and subdue nearly the entire Iberian Peninsula, whose Christian forces greatly outnumbered the Muslim forces, yet Charles Martel was able to route the Muslims from his land in just one battle?


On the trip Bob and I made around Virginia included visiting part of the Shenandoah Valley and driving the Shenandoah Parkway. We stayed overnight in Front Royal and drove down the Valley to Harrisonburg and Stanton. This area was a large focus in 1862 of the Shenandoah campaign of the Union and “Stonewall” Jackson’s campaign to deny the Union the use of the Valley and also divert attention from Richmond. He was very successful in doing so. A good yet succinct description of the battles and campaign are noted in this article.
Gen. T. J. “Stonewall” Jackson

Seven Years

It has been seven years since we lost my Mom so abruptly. As Bob said the other day, we still miss her. One could still see her outside with her baggy work shirt and straw hat on while she removed weeds from the flower beds. She did love working in the flower gardens. So here is a photo of better times while on a trip to New Orleans. She did love that town and the food you could get. Happy
Bob and Mom

Me and Mom

Top 12 Civil War Books

Another spot to get a good source of heavy reading, check out this site where the author lists his Top 12 Books on the Civil War. We should have some of these books. Bob just finished and enjoyed The Warrior Generals. He said the author liked General Thomas on the Union side as an exemplary general, above Grant and Lee. Interesting. All of the books in the list have been written since World War II so the list does not take into account other great works before that time.

Some of the list we have:

“The American Heritage Picture History of the Civil War”
“Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era”
“A Stillness at Appomattox”
“Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches From the Unfinished Civil War”


As a history buff, there are a number of interesting articles regarding the battle of Chancellorsville in Northern Virginia in May of 1863. Bob and I drove the battle site areas a number of years ago. It covers a large area and many miles of roads to the different viewing spots. The area is densely wooded as described from the history of the times. A number of articles about what happened then are found here and here. Maps of the area are located here.

Christian Closet

It has been disturbing to read about the bullying and free speech (and thought) suppression of Christians going on in this country. It feels as if the anti-religion crowd, especially ones opposed to Christians (Catholics, evangelicals, etc.) are trying to suppress, change, and even charge Christians for their beliefs. The Defense Dept. is using a atheist consultant to advise them on religious tolerance who believes anyone who speaks out on their Christian beliefs should be tried for treason and sedition. Charges as such could lead to prison or the death penalty. So, Christian are being pushed into the “closet” and others are being applauded for coming out. One such description is here. Says a lot for tolerance and diversity doesn’t it?
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