Posted by: Debra LaValley | September 16, 2018

September 16, 2018


Pepper Jack

Yes – my cat has taught me to play with my food. Hahahaha! Not that I need much help being silly. Today for lunch – I decided that I better eat the orange pepper that I bought last week. They don’t “give” the orange and yellow peppers away – and I didn’t want it to go bad! When I had it on the shelf, I noticed how much it looked like a little pumpkin- sooooooo … I just had to carve it into a jack o’lantern.

Of course – you can’t have a carved pumpkin without lighting it. Luckily – I had a little candle readily available and lit my little Pepper Jack. I took quick photos – because the oil was hot in the pan and waiting to saute my pepper with some nice sweet onions. Maybe, I should have had a glass of Chianti and some fava beans? Poor Pepper Jack! 🙂 He was delicious with my veggie burger.


Last night, I had watched the original HALLOWEEN movie for the very first time. Believe it or not – I had never seen the entire movie – only clips. It was a bit slow and predictable, but I am glad that I watched it. I will most likely go see the sequel that will be coming out soon. Jamie Lee Curtis is starting in the movie again.


Halloween is Coming . . .

Posted by: Debra LaValley | August 19, 2018

August 19, 2018


Newfound Lake – Paradise

I was on vacation 7/29 to 8/12. My mom, Aunt Mary Jane and I rented the cabin again at Newfound Lake. It is such a gorgeous spot! It is also next to the deepest part of the lake (around 160 feet – I believe). I grew up going to Newfound Lake – especially Wellington State Park (unfortunately – I haven’t been there for a couple years).

For as long as I can remember – I have loved The Ledges area of the lake – the tall granite ledges and narrow winding road. I have have always wanted to snap photos at road level – however, there are no pull overs. This summer – I made it a goal to get the photos. On Friday, August 10th – I achieved my goal. My friend, Pat Vaillancourt came to visit us, and I asked if she would do me a favor and drive me to the ledges and drop me off so I could take photos along the road and then pick me up. She was more than happy to oblige. Aunt MaryJane road “shotgun.”

It was the most perfect day of the vacation as well – no humidity or haze – crystal blue skies and only about 83 degrees. I walked along the road and snapped many photos. Pat and Aunt MaryJane drove on and turned around at the Hebron Country Store – so I had plenty of time to walk along the road for about a 1/2 mile. Luckily, it was also a Friday afternoon and not the weekend so traffic was light.

Below are some of my favorite shots of the walk along The Ledges.




I hope everyone has a great rest of the summer!

Debbie 🙂

Posted by: Debra LaValley | July 4, 2018

July 4, 2018


The River Lady

Happy Independence Day!

Uncle Ralph recently asked me if we had any relatives who fought in the Revolutionary War. I know of one off hand – Lemuel Ross – and there could be others. Lemuel was my 5th Great Grandfather (maternal side of my family).

Lemuel was the son of Jesse Ross and Ruth Rugg. He was born January 5, 1760 in Lancaster, MA.

Lemuel – fought in the Revolutionary War in Capt. Joshua Bayley’s Company under Col. Thomas Stickney’s Regiment and Gen. John Stark’s Brigade of NH Militia. He was one of the soldiers who fought under Gen. Stark in the Battle of Bennington, VT (08/16/1777). Lemuel served for 2 or 3 months. According to the NEW HAMPSHIRE REVOLUTIONARY WAR ROLES, Lemuel served for two months but another record I found noted that he enlisted for three months. He would have been 17 years old. I would imagine it was both an exciting time and frightening time for a 17 year old. I will have to see if I can find out more information on his service.

On August 21, 1783, Lemuel married Kesiah Kemp.  (Kezia is the spelling on marriage license.)  Their marriage license states they were married by William Kelly, clergyman, who resided in Warner, NH. The clerk of Warner signed the marriage record. Warner and Henniker are side-by-side. Hard to tell if were married in Warner or Henniker. I will keep Warner as the place of marriage, unless I find proof that states otherwise.  Lemuel and Kesiah lived in Henniker, NH. There is much genealogy on he Kemp family – but that will be for another day. One teaser: It is via Kesiah’s branch of the family tree that we are related to Ann Foster who died in jail on December 3, 1692 in Salem, MA. She was condemned as a witch. There is much about her – you just have to Google her name and the Salem Witch Trials.

On December 17, 1785 in Henniker – Lemuel’s dad, Jesse, burned to death when the house caught on fire. According to a letter dated 1960 that I came across at the Henniker Historical Society, the cellar hole could still be found on the land that the Rosses owned. Also noted was after Jesse died,  his brother Timothy divided the lot and gave most of the lot to his brother Jonathan.  Jesse and Timothy were part of the original thirty one families living in Henniker at the time of incorporation  in 1768.  The Henniker Historical Society has a file on our Ross ancestors, and they are mentioned in the town’s history.  It is likely that the Rosses lived a hardworking and simple farming life there.  Most of the settlers lived in log cabins with straw roofs, and travel was limited since there were few roads.  Travel was mostly over paths cut through the woods and fields.  Families grew crops, fished, and hunted for their food.  Records note that some of the Rosses signed by making a mark … which would reflect a lack of education.  The community held square dances and corn  huskings for entertainment.  Both Jesse and Timothy signed the petition to incorporate the town of Henniker on 3/17/1768.

In 1776, Jesse and Timothy signed the Association Test for Independence which read:

“We the subscribers do hereby solemnly engage and promise that we will, to the utmost of our power, at the risk of our lives and fortunes, with arms oppose the hostile proceedings of the British fleets and armies against the United American Colonies.”

February 1, 1786 – part of the lot was deeded to Lemuel. Lemuel farmed the land until May 5, 1788 when he sold the land to Abel Gordon. Lemuel and family then moved to Tunbridge, VT.

Lemuel and Kesiah had ten children:
Sarah born 3/2/1784
Reuben born 9/8/1786
Levi born 10/6/1787
Daniel born 8/23/1789
Sewall born 5/8/1791 * My direct line
Lydia born 9/28/1792
Rebecca born 2/17/1793
Mary born 6/27/1795
Olive born 11/23/1799
Ira born 4/4/1801

Tunbridge is a very old New England town. It has many farms and covered bridges. It is also where the Tunbridge World’s Fair is held. My mother and her family spent much time in Tunbridge when they were young. My grandfather, Ken Ross, was raised in Tunbridge.

I am sure that Lemuel continued a farming life. Lemuel died on November 30, 1825 and Kesiah on March 7, 1826. They are both buried in the Button Cemetery in Tunbridge. Many of their family members are also buried there. Some years ago – I found Lemuel’s and Kesiah’s gravestones. They were slate and are very old and worn.  I took the photos below in 2004 and the lighting was terrible.  I need to go back and try and get better photos of their gravestones.




Posted by: Debra LaValley | June 30, 2018

June 30, 2018

Happy 10th Birthday – Molly!


I adopted Molly at the Concord SPCA on 10/8/08! She was 14 weeks old – and her birthday was not really known so I picked June 30th for her birthday.

She was just a wee little thing when I adopted her. She grew very quickly and has been on a perpetual diet for 9 years. She really does not eat a lot. She has the metabolism as a slug – as do I 🙂



She is a Diva – and very photogenic. I love the little wench 🙂


Posted by: Debra LaValley | June 9, 2018

June 9, 2018


Casper – I Fear Has Crossed Over

I have been looking for Casper the Albino Squirrel all spring and have not seen him. Above – is one of my last photos of him taken in October of 2017.

I have been watching and photographing him for approximately 6 years.


Return of the Albino

Rumor has it that “a neighbor” shot and killed him. Why would anyone shoot and kill and old albino squirrel? I keep hoping that this is just a rumor, and that Casper will be seen again. I miss seeing him so much. About a decade before – one of his ancestors frequented my parents’ yard. I am hoping if Casper has crossed over that his genes are still out there, and we may see another albino squirrel in the near future.


Posted by: Debra LaValley | June 4, 2018

June 4, 2018


It Has Been a Busy Couple Weeks!

Congratulations to Joe and Rebeca who were married on May 27th! The weather just barely cooperated (it was a bit chilly – but the rain held off) – but it was a beautiful wedding! It was great spending time with family who we do not get to see very often and meeting new family and friends! Welcome to the family, Rebeca!



Michael, Rachel, and Clara were here from Oklahoma. Little Clara has grown a lot since her last trip to NH!

I was forced to eat a great deal of delicious food over the past couple weeks. 🙂 I will not be standing on a scale for a week or so. We had to go to Richardson’s for homemade ice cream and Chief’s – of course!  There were also cookouts, campfires, and a birthday party for Clara.  We certainly packed in a lot of special moments in the two weeks.




Posted by: Debra LaValley | April 3, 2018

April 3, 2018


My New Toy 🙂

I have been thinking about getting a SUV for quite sometime. After over 30 years of driving a standard – I was ready to go with an automatic and buy a larger car with more clearance from the ground too. My Toyota Corolla S was a good little car – but it was time for a change. This past Saturday (3/31) – I did it! I went to Grappone Toyota and bought this lovely 2018 Toyota RAV4!

I love it. I can see so much better! I feel like a “tall” person … LOL!
Today, I dropped it off to have the remote starter, door guards, side guards, and window guards installed. It has all kinds of gadgets inside that I have to figure out. I love that new car aroma too!

And yes, I got the same Magnetic Gray color that my Corolla was. I like the color and have never been one for flashy color cars.

Happy Spring, Everyone!

Posted by: Debra LaValley | February 25, 2018

February 25, 2018

No Bats in the Belfry

Excitement at church today(the Immaculate Conception Church in Penacook, NH).

First, a little background. At the stations of the cross on Wednesday. my mom said a bat was zooming all around the inside of the church. My mom is afraid of bats (she thinks they are going to get in her hair). She said she had all she could do to stay at church that evening. She couldn’t believe how calm everyone else was. She told father today – she hardly paid attention to the stations since she was more interested in the location of the bat.

So – when we went to the 8:00 AM mass this morning, my mom wondered if we would be seeing the bat zooming around during the service. She was NOT looking forward to that prospect.

I actually like bats and think they are cute. I wouldn’t want one flying around my apartment – but I like them. We sat in one of the first few rows in the right section. We both scanned the ceiling etc. when we first arrived – No signs of any bat.

When it was time for the collection, three men walked to the front of the church with the collection baskets. I noticed that the basket held by the man heading down our aisle had something on it. At first – I thought it was a leaf. When he was beside me passing the basket to the other side of the aisle, I noticed a “sleeping” bat dangling from the basket near the handle. I quickly tapped the guy on the arm and told him he had a bat on his basket, and I pointed to it. (My mom had not noticed – she said she would have screamed.) He actually reached down and cupped the bat in his hand – but did not remove it. I wouldn’t have touched the bat. Can you say – rabies?

I told my mom that the bat was swinging off the basket. I had all I could do not to laugh hysterically. Our shoulders were quivering as we tried to keep from laughing. I could see others holding in the laughter too.

When the man came back up the aisle to pass the collection basket to us – I gazed around to where the bat had been dangling, and the man jiggled the basket in jest. He had a big smile. I bat was gone. I almost laughed out loud but controlled myself.

After mass, I found out that the bat had been killed. I was a bit sad to hear that – but if they tossed him out into the cold and snow – he would have probably died a slow death. (I also hope that the man who touched the bat – washed his hands and kept the dead bat to have it tested for rabies.)

RIP Mr. Squeaks.

PS – I really really wanted to stop the man with the basket and snap a quick photo with my cell phone – but being in church in the middle of mass, I thought it would not be the appropriate thing to do. So – at breakfast at my mom’s – I grabbed a piece of paper and a pen and did a quick sketch. Below is a cropped version of my sketch of the bat hanging from the collection basket.


Posted by: Debra LaValley | February 3, 2018

February 3, 2018


Love is In the Air

I saw the local eagle couple sitting very cozy together today. They were in one of their favorite winter spots on Commercial Street in Penacook. The male is the eagle on the left. He is always so cooperative and loves to flash me his band.

020318 A4

The female – loves to be a wench and I rarely see her band. She was very sassy today – she would look like she was going to show her band for me – but she just wouldn’t. When she finally flew off – she tucked herself as long as possible so I could not get a clear shot. (I am guessing the female sitting with Orange A/4 is Orange C/K.)


I am still trying to be the first to get a clear band shot of Orange C/K this year! I am very patient 🙂

Here are links to a couple short videos that I took today as well of them sitting there.

Local Bald Eagle Pair Sitting in a Tree

Bald Eagle Pair and Nuthatch


Posted by: Debra LaValley | January 8, 2018

January 8, 2018


Two Eagles in The Tree Yesterday (1/7/18)

I saw two eagles in the same tree that I saw the one eagle yesterday. I definitely saw Orange A/4 yesterday (see above). I got a great shot of his bands. He is not the eagle that I saw yesterday. I cannot prove what eagle I saw yesterday or the other eagle in the same tree with Orange A/4 today. It could be Orange C/K – but that is only a guess – no proof since I did not get a band shot. Hopefully, I will get one soon. Below is the eagle that is not A/4. This eagle was sitting on the same branch as the eagle seen 1/6/18. It does appear to be the same eagle.


Another shot of the handsome Orange A/4 below:


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