About Ballytrehy

Ballytrehy is where I go to create: hand-crafted crochet, from-scratch cooking, etc. Here I share my creations and my journey of creativity.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Photo Challenge Day 31

The last day of my challenge, and it is a one-week catch up!  But I think the photos for this week will follow a theme.

Day 31:  The Holocaust Memorial Museum

To be honest, though I have lived in the DC area for almost 4 years, I have never before been to the Holocaust Museum.  I tend to feel things very deeply, and I knew I would be greatly affected by the museum, having visited a Holocaust museum in Michigan many years ago.  Today lived up to my expectations.

While I can follow the Nazi reasoning, I find it incomprehensible.  Further, I found the apathy of the rest of the world, well, revolting.  I believe that each and every single human being has God-given dignity and the right to live, and humanity has a responsibility to care for our brothers and sisters who may be endangered by their closest neighbors and/or governments.

Day 30:  World War 2 Memorial

After visiting the museum, I walked to the Tidal Basin to see some of the memorials.  Here are a couple of shots from the World War 2 Memorial.  

It is a pool and fountains surrounded by pillars with the names of all the US states and territories.  I took a close-up shot of the Missouri pillar in honor of my grandfather, who served with the Marines in World War 2, though he never saw action.  

Day 29:  Jefferson Memorial

Along with the theme of human dignity and human rights, I submit another memorial from the Tidal Basin, the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, whose vision of our country included the term - All Men Created Equal.  If we truly believe this, then events like the Holocaust must be prevented in the future, even if the event is only on a small scale.

Day 28:  Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial

In honor of the 50th anniversary of Dr. King's historic speech, I present to you the man himself, as visualized in his memorial, also at the Tidal Basin.

Dr. King was fighting an ideological battle similar to that fought by the Jews in Nazi German and of the Abolitionist of the pre-Civil War era.  The same concept that different = bad was so prevalent in his day.  Things have changed in this country since then, but there are still many, both here and abroad, who still feel this way.  I find this intolerant attitude heartbreaking, especially when it is taken to extremes.    

Day 27:  Martin Luther King, Jr., Quotations

A couple of the quotes engraved in the Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial really hit home in light of my visit to the Holocaust Museum.  Now keep in mind, Dr. King was active about 20 years after World War 2.  We had already fought and defeated the Nazis, but that same attitude of superior vs. inferior race, and of different = bad, was something he fought against.  

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.  We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny.  Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly."

With this quote, I am mindful of the situations in Syria and Egypt, where religious and political persecution is running unchecked while the world sits and does nothing.  Is history destined to repeat itself?

"Every nation must now develop an overriding loyalty to mankind as a whole in order to preserve the best in their individual societies."

There is strength in diversity.  So many people fear being ideologically "contaminated" if they spend any time with those who do not think or believe as they do, but in truth God created diversity, and when we embrace our differences, we as a whole become stronger.  As we emphasize our differences and the things that divide us, we are weakened as a people.

Day 26:  EHLS 2013 Graduation Day

At the end of World War 2, the world said, "Never again."  With genocides and ethnic cleansings that have happened in various parts of the world since then, humanity has not lived up to this vow.  So the Holocaust Museum asks us, "What are you doing?"

My small contribution - I teach in a program where many of the students come from these lands of conflict, who have seen the extremes of intolerance and lived to tell about it.  I train them in professional communication skills so that they can help our government make better foreign policy decisions.  
I find meaning in what I do, but today I ask myself, "Is it enough?"

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Photo Challenge Day 25

An illustrated poem:

The Road Not Taken
by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Photo Challenge Day 24

Mason Neck State Park is an out-of-the-way natural paradise on the Potomac River, about 30 minutes from my home.  I spent the morning there today, walking along one of the nature trails.  I came across a man who was "geo-caching," which he explained as kind of a hide-and-seek in state parks; a person goes and hides an object in the woods (geo-tagging it, I assume) and another person goes out and finds it.  When I met the man, he said he was 300 feet from an object.  This actually sounds like geeky fun to me, and I'll have to learn more about it!

Another thing that struck me about this particular trail was the amount of fungus - there were some enormous mushrooms along the trail!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Photo Challenge Day 23

This evening was so nice, I walked across the Key Bridge instead of taking a bus.  The view from the bridge is very nice, especially around sunset.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Photo Challenge Day 22

At the end of July I was able to experience an event I had long looked forward to - National Dance Day!  Ok, so this hasn't been going on too many years yet, but it is a celebration of everything dance can accomplish in all its various forms.  I had great fun watching performances and learning a few new steps.  Can't wait for next year!

Nomad dancers, from Pakistan I think

Line dancing!


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Photo Challenge Day 21

Today is Wednesday, and that means rollerskating for certain members of my family.  They've started to take it pretty seriously, competing in regional and national competitions and even winning medals.

Photo Challenge Day 20

Today I present a few pictures from the National Arboretum, an island of nature in the midst of DC!

These columns used to be part of the Capitol; now they stand in an empty field.  It is quite a striking view!
I went in the spring when the
azaleas were in bloom
Another perspective of the columns

Monday, August 19, 2013

Photo Challenge Days 18 and 19

Last night I fell asleep before I could post a picture for the day, so you get a double feature today.

Yesterday I had seafood with some friends for lunch, so in their honor I am posting a new picture from the aquarium in Phoenix that I visited last week.

For today, it was my first day back on campus getting ready for the fall semester, so I present a view of our most famous building.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Photo Challenge Day 17

Today I present the second of my cats.  Normally both cats show no interest at all in the TV, but this morning I was watching a show on Animal Planet, and I caught Kaito watching with me.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Photo Challenge Day 16

In 2004 a new form of graffiti appeared - yarn bombing!  This is the use of knitted or crocheted materials to brighten up the sterile urban landscape.  Recently, the region of Rosslyn was the recipient of such a yarn bombing in order to promote the Artisphere, a small museum and performing arts gallery.

The pieces ranged from simple tree coverings ...

... to more elaborate murals, ...

... and larger stuffed items.

My only disappointment is that I didn't know of it in time to participate myself!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Photo Challenge Day 15

Another one of my favorite places in northern Virginia is Mount Vernon.  I am entering my third year having an annual membership so that I can go and sit in the gardens anytime I like.  There are also nice walking paths through woods that I find very peaceful, even during tourist season.  Above all, I enjoy the "living history" that is to be found.  Any day, you can meet people re-enacting those who lived and worked on the grounds.  On special occasions, you can also see Revolutionary era military reenactments and hear The General talk about his life.

Me with Mrs. Washington


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Photo Challenge Day 14

Today I spent most of the day traveling, and you know what that means?  Crochet!  (and napping on the plane)

Here is a picture of the project I was working on today.  It is a shawl, and it is almost finished, but not quite.  It is made with a lace-weight alpaca yarn, but it is a finer yarn than even most lace-weight yarns, so I have been working on this since the beginning of June.  Its fate, once completed, is either to be a gift or an item for sale.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Photo Challenge Day 13

Yesterday we took a drive from Phoenix to Payson, Arizona.  We had been told that it is as much as 20 degrees cooler in the mountains and that the scenery is amazing.  We were not disappointed, though 20 degrees cooler than 110 is still pretty hot!  The highlight of the day-trip for me was the Tonto Natural Bridge State Park.

Waterfall at Tonto Natural Bridge State Park
 Ok, so the waterfall was not very impressive, but the natural formations were amazing.

Tonto Natural Bridge

We passed through a saguaro forest on our way up and back, something I don't think I've seen before.  

Saguaro Forest

Monday, August 12, 2013

Photo Challenge Day 12

The city of Phoenix is surrounded by mountains.  Here is the view from our hotel.


A famous landmark - Camelback Mountain

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Photo Challenge Day 11

My family visited the Sea Life Phoenix Aquarium today in Phoenix, Arizona.  I really enjoy aquariums, especially when they have 360 degree tunnels where you are surrounded by the fish.  This aquarium was small but had good exhibits with many opportunities to see the fish up close.

I went through the aquarium with my 4-year-old niece, who seemed to thoroughly enjoy it.