Category Archives: Travels

Traveling South Part II

So, on we drove deeper into the south.  To places that had seen the ravages of the Civil War which was not civil at all.   Thankfully, many of the little towns were bypassed and were not destroyed by the Union soldiers.

DSCN6949 (1)

One little town was welcoming Spring. It seems Spring was late almost everywhere this year.

DSCN6952

Over tall bridges over rivers running throughout our country.

DSCN6955

Until off in the distance we saw another bridge we were going to cross onto an island.

DSCN6958

We are getting closer.

DSCN6957 (1)

Ocean on either side of us.

DSCN6960 (1)

Up and over and we landed safely on the other side!

DSCN6963 (1)

Here we were in Dauphin Island, Alabama.  I had never heard of this island until a few weeks ago when David and I were discussing where we were going on our road trip.   He asked me if I wanted to go to dolphin island. “Dolphin Island!”   “No, it’s spelled D-a-u-p-h-I-n Island.  We can drive to it.”  “Okay,” I said and now here we were.  I did not get a picture of the motel in which we stayed. It was called Gulf Breeze Motel and was your quintessential island home away from home. Painted an ocean blue and white on the outside.   The bed was covered with a comforter with shells and fish on it. The dresser had shell carvings on its front.  Island birds and animals pictures were on the walls.  The windows were open with the ocean breezes blowing in. It was indeed magical.  Right across the road was the beach, but would you believe, we never got to that beach.  Not once.  But we did get to a beach. One less traveled.  One you had to walk a two mile round trip to get to.

The first day I made new friends.

DSCN6965

Just a few feet from our motel’s front door was a little pier and these guys were gathered there.  I just happened to have some crackers in the car and they loved them. And they called their friends.

DSCN6969 (1)

Soon we had several seagulls flying around us.

DSCN6966 (1)

DSCN6964 (1)

They posed for us.  Seagulls are one of my top five favorite birds. They are really what I miss the most about the beach.

DSCN7001 (1)

On an island? There has to be a flamingo somewhere.

We wanted to go to the beach and we were told if we parked at a bird sanctuary on the island we could walk to the beach.  We weren’t told it was a two mile round trip, but it was worth it.  Although we heard not one bird while walking through the bird sanctuary we did enjoy the peacefulness of it and we seemed to be the only people there.  When we finally got to the beach, it was almost empty.  David played in the water and I laid on the sand and listened to the ocean.  We walked a way down the beach and saw a dead crab, a child’s shovel and a few shells.  Away out in the distance we could see oil rigs.  Oil rigs surround the island.   It was so wonderful. Not the oil rigs, just being at the beach with the sun and the sound of the waves.  I have always been in awe of the ocean.  But we are northerners with very white skin and soon we were both showing a little redness and remembering horrible burns we got years ago on a South Carolina beach, we decided to head back.

The second day on the island we left the island and drove a few miles north of it to a wonderful place called Bellingrath Gardens.

Heading there we got on this road.

DSCN7018

Surely these gardens were not on this road.  Miss Garmin!!!!

DSCN7021

All we saw on this road was this fancy rooster who acted like he very seldom saw other humans except his own.  The music from Deliverance was running in my head at this point.

DSCN7019

And David would NEVER admit he was lost. Until we came to a dead end and had to turn around.   But we did find the garden so all was well.

DSCN7092

Land purchased by a Coca Cola CEO in the 1930’s held only an old fishing shack, but he and his wife built a magnificent house and planted wonderful gardens on 65 acres and opened the gardens to the public.  The gardens were opened to the public off and on until Mr. Bellingrath died in the 1950’s and has been open to the public ever since. What a gift they have given to all of us. For a fee you can tour their house(we didn’t because we knew it would take us all day to see the gardens even though we were told it all could be seen in a couple of hours) and tour the gardens spread out along the Fowl River.  Here are some of the flowers we saw….

DSCN7094

DSCN7095

DSCN7037

DSCN7036

DSCN7028

 

DSCN7033

DSCN7032

These look like cyclamen, but I am not sure. I was entranced by them because I have never seen flowers like this.  So sweet.

DSCN7030

Orchids in the green house.

DSCN7031

Even pineapples were growing.

DSCN7034

Fountains all around.

DSCN7056

DSCN7022

DSCN7023

The smell of roses filled the air.

DSCN7047

A little mermaid.

DSCN7046

More live oaks dripping with Spanish moss.  That always says the south to me.  Always.

Mrs. Bellingrath was a woman of faith and had a chapel built on the property.  Weddings are sometimes held there.  The windows were exquisite.

DSCN7064

DSCN7062

DSCN7065

DSCN7060

Everywhere you looked there was eye candy.

DSCN7055

The house was indeed grand and overlooked the river.  But it took us hours to go through the gardens.  I’m not done yet.

There was a wooden walkway you could walk around an estuary.  Of course it took us a while to walk it as we had to look at everything.

DSCN7072

We were surrounded by scenes like this.

DSCN7076

A lookout built above the estuary.

DSCN7084

DSCN7081

Lots of fish. This guy looks about right for frying up in a skillet!

DSCN7080

And look at the claws on this guy.

DSCN7070

Bamboo grew abundantly.

DSCN7069

Two old lions making friends.

DSCN7027

Trumpet flowers falling on my head!

DSCN7054

David called this the Medusa log.  Looks like Medusa’s head, doesn’t it?

DSCN7089

We saw this plaque on the way out.

DSCN7091

It’s Rebekah at the well giving water to a servant sent to find a wife for Isaac.    It’s a story in the book of Genesis.  Another of Mrs. Bellingrath’s homages to scriptures.

It was a totally wonderful day and it did take us hours to go through the gardens.  Everywhere there were people working on the gardens planting new flowers and mulching. It’s a never ending job.  The only part I found that seemed to not belong was an Asian garden. I don’t think it’s original to the gardens. It was poorly kept and had very few if any flowers. I don’t know if it was under construction or something or was not as popular as all the rest.  It just didn’t fit in.  But all in all, if you are ever in this part of the country, Bellingrath gardens is really worth seeing.

We went through the gift shop and David bought me the prettiest umbrella.  I had been complaining to him a while back when it was raining, that I could never seem to find an umbrella.  Now I have one of my own.

On our way back to the motel we passed this.

DSCN7098

DSCN7097

An old fashioned tent revival.  I would have liked to have gone, but David was tired so we passed on by.  Next, we visit a Civil War fort and head back north. Bye.

 

 

 

 

Seeking the Big Cedar

On up into the Olympic Peninsula we drove.  It is so beautiful there.  Forests and mountains and rivers and mossy trees.  You can imagine a Sasquatch walking in these forests.  I really would not want to spend the night in them!   The landscape reminded me a lot of Alaska.

We kept seeing signs for Big Cedar.  Now we have seen the Sequoias and I don’t think any tree could be as big as they are, but, hey, there was a big cedar waiting to be seen so we decided to see it.   Finally we saw the road off to the Big Cedar and we parked and walked about a half mile back into the forest.   We met a couple coming from the opposite direction and asked them if it was a Big Cedar?  “Pretty big tree,” one of them said, but I thought I saw a smirk on their faces. so we continued on the path until its end and this is what we found.

dscn4013

dscn4017

dscn4015

Yes, a big, DEAD, Cedar!   At one time it ruled these forests, but not anymore.  We laughed and went back to the car.  Well, it was a good walk, anyway.

So on we drove when, “What?!?  Another sign for a Big Cedar.  Could there be two or did we just get fooled?   So, of course, we followed the road back to this Big Cedar. Five miles.  We drove and drove. I wanted to turn around and go back, but David was determined to see the Big Cedar.  We passed one car coming from the opposite direction and I wondered if it was the same couple and if they were laughing at us for driving to see the Big Cedar.   Then we came to the end of the road.  There was an old wooden path and a bridge to the Big Cedar.  This is what we saw.

dscn4025

Another almost dead tree standing there in the forest with two crazy people looking at it.  Did I hear laughing somewhere?    Well, it was a good drive and a good time to stretch our legs.

dscn4026

At one time this tree was magnificent, but it’s seen better days.  I had bought a post card to send to one of my grandchildren that had a really big cedar with a man standing by it. I think it might have been this tree in the fifties.

So, on we drove.  With glimpses of the Pacific.dscn4011

Isn’t it beautiful?  We do have a grand and glorious country.dscn4008

David almost took a tumble at one of our stops when he stepped on some loose rocks at the edge of a cliff.  I was thinking I would appear on the ID channel as a wife who pushed her husband off a cliff to get her inheritance.  It really did scare me, though, because we had no cellphone reception and cars were few and far between.  I pictured me trying to get down the cliff and get David back up all by myself.   I really wish he would not get so near cliffs.

dscn4032

Since watching Treehouse Masters on tv, I have been wishing for a tree house.  Now this is a real tree house we found along the way.

dscn4031

Isn’t it cute?     We had more to see and a motel to find so onward we traveled. More my next post.  Bye.

 

The Northwest

David and I arrived in Seattle, rented a car and off we went on our adventure in the Northwest.   We couldn’t wait to get out of the city.  We are not city people.  We headed toward the Pacific Ocean where we had a motel for two nights at Ocean Shores, Washington. Being that is was off season it was not very busy in that area.

dscn3971

Our room faced the ocean side and this was the sunset we saw our first night.

dscn3978

There was a beach if you wanted to walk about a mile through bushes and beach growth and wonder if there were snakes around.   I don’t think this beach path has been used for years.

Instead we drove around the town and did some shopping and sight seeing.

dscn3954

dscn3953

You know you are in a beach town when there are sharks and seahorses around.

dscn3968

There were cute little shops and this was my favorite one.  They had so many things I would have loved to buy if we had our car and weren’t going back on the train.

dscn3969

It was cute on the outside and the inside.

dscn3970

I bought this  bottle of hand soap just because I liked how pretty it was.

dscn3957

Suddenly we started seeing deer.  Deer everywhere.  I had noticed a sign outside of town that said no hunting.  I guess the deer knew this.

dscn3959

Does and this little fawn.

dscn3965

And these gorgeous boys. They were smaller than our deer here in Indiana.

dscn3961

“Aren’t I handsome?”  He was not at all afraid of us.

Everywhere we turned, we saw deer.   Then we decided to drive onto the beach.

dscn3949

We had it almost to ourselves.  Just a few people.

dscn3951

I love the ocean.  There is something wild and wonderful about it.

dscn3967

We ate at this place one time.  All the locals seemed to like it.  You cannot go near the ocean and not eat fish.  Well, David didn’t.  He ate a hamburger.  But I had cod and clams and it was good.

dscn3986

The water was so cold the fishermen wore warm, waterproof clothes to fish in the water.  They looked like they were freezing.  I walked in the water and it was icy.

dscn3989

One of my favorite birds.  I have seen sea gulls on both coasts,  the gulf of Mexico,in Alaska, and in the Virgin Islands.  They all fascinate me because they are so aware of everything around them.  Drop a crump and suddenly you have twenty or more flying around you. I don’t know how they know when food is around, but they always do  They act solitary until food is around and then, bam.   Every bird for himself.

We left Ocean Shores for the Olympic Peninsula.  We didn’t get up there the last time we were in the Northwest and I always hoped to get back.  It’s about a three hundred mile loop around it so we decided to take three days to drive it.

dscn4006

There are lodges all around it. We stopped at this one to eat lunch.

dscn4005

How cozy is this?  It was chilly out and a roaring fire in the fireplace was just what was needed.  Big, comfy couches and chairs around it.  Wish we had stayed here.

dscn4004

As it was off season, there were a lot of empty tables.

dscn3996

We were seated right by the window and could look out at a beautiful lake and at birds eating at the bird feeders.

dscn3998

We learned this was a Stellar Jay,  not unlike the blue jays in Indiana.

dscn3993

This was our view while we dined.  All the Adirondack chairs waiting for people to come sit and look at the scenery.

dscn3999

Anyone could be a Sasquatch.  Just put your face in the hole.    Sad to say, we saw no Sasquatches while in Washington.

dscn4007

Maybe next time we will stay at this lodge.

We continued up the peninsula in search of the Big Cedar.   That will be in the next post.  Stay tuned. Bye.

 

 

 

Finishing Some Odds and Ends

David had the last two weeks off for vacation.  The weeks went by way too quickly and Monday he will be back at work.  We spent some time traveling as you know, but we are glad to be back to home sweet home.

Here is what has been going on the last couple of weeks:

DSCN7186

We got to spend some time with David’s brother and sister-in-law, Bill and Terry.  We had so much fun with them and they taught us how to play Dominoes.  I intend to learn to play it better and challenge them next time we see them. Hope it won’t be so many years before we see them again.  They talked about bringing their four grandchildren to visit us next summer to meet our grandchildren.  Hope it will happen.

DSCN7173

DSCN7185

DSCN7086

We walked the beach. Oh, how I love the beach and the wildness of the ocean.  This particular beach was almost deserted except for a very few people.  Met a girl walking her lab puppy and I had to pet it.  Guess we will be getting that new puppy next year.

DSCN7102

DSCN7109

DSCN7108

We took a ferry ride.  It was windy.  Can’t you tell?

DSCN7211

We stayed in motels where the maids folded the towels in decorative ways like these.  They looked like little shirts.

DSCN7219

I really loved this carpet in one of the motels.

DSCN7199

DSCN7197

We  saw several barn quilts that weren’t on barns.  They are really popular in the south.

DSCN7061

We passed this truck carrying all these chickens that were probably heading toward an untimely end.   I felt really badly seeing them all packed in like that when I know how wonderful my girls have it.  I told my girls when we got home they should be very happy that I am their owner.  They live a very spoiled life.  If they could only see how the other half lives.

DSCN7221

We drove very curvy mountain roads.  This is really one road that met itself.   The little car on Garmin was spinning out of control on the curves.

DSCN7045

We saw so much beauty in the North Carolina mountains.

DSCN7092

We walked through a really old cemetery.  I’ll have to tell you about that some time.

DSCN7192

We passed cotton fields.  One time in Texas we passed a cotton field and I got out of the car and went and picked a few bolls that I brought home and put in a quart jar that I labeled “quilt starter.”  I am sorry I stole those cotton bolls.  I still have them if the farmer wants them back.

DSCN7210

We ate at several hometown restaurants.  This one was in Tennessee.  They served the most decadent desserts here that we had to eat ice cream with them to cut the sweetness!

DSCN7235

We kept finding these little soaps in antique stores and by the end of the trip I had collected quite a few.  They all smell so good.  I like using homemade soap as I think it is better for your skin.

DSCN7241

DSCN7243

 

DSCN7237

Of course I bought some fabric.  I really didn’t plan to, but some of it just jumped into my hands.  In one antique store they were selling rolls of fabric for a quarter.  A QUARTER.  Well, I would have been crazy not to have bought some. We also bought a few other things in the antique stores, but we were really trying not to overspend as we really don’t need anything more in our house.  Really.

DSCN7239

I bought this batik fabric to make a skirt but I evidently didn’t look at it closely in the store because when I got home I noticed it had snails on it.   Do I really want to wear a skirt with snails on it?  We shall see.

DSCN7236

When we finally arrived home David and I hurried and made some soup because we had starved ourselves on our trip.  Ahem.  Actually, I just found this recipe for soup like the Zuppa Tuscana we love at Olive Garden and wanted to try it.   It was better, I think, and made a huge amount.  Enough for several meals.  David and I laugh and say I make better coffee, bisquits and now soup than any we had in all the restaurants.  Why do we need to travel?

DSCN7226

I was so glad to see Phoebe, Freedom, Pininnah, Jemima, Dorcas and Beatrice.  I think they were glad to see me as they rushed to the gate to meet me.  They now have free range in the garden area and have really been scratching up a storm.

DSCN7229

Bonnie still sits watch.  One day before we left for our trip we were sitting by

the firepit and I saw movement in the chicken pen and it was Bonnie in there.  I had forgotten to close the gate!

Bonnie wasn’t interested in the chickens, however, she was looking at what they were eating.  She knows the hens get scraps every once in while and was looking for something good to eat.  I was so surprised that she didn’t even try to catch a chicken, thank heaven. I still won’t let her have free run of the coop, though.

DSCN7085

All in all, it has been a wonderful two weeks.  We reconnected with some family we don’t see very often and had a great time together. We got to relax some and slow down and isn’t that what vacations are for?   Now to start planning our next vacation.

DSCN7066

Whoops, I must go get David out of the stocks.  Bye.

 

North Carolina Dreaming

Have you ever been to North Carolina?  Do you live here?  It is one of the most beautiful states we have visited.  I say that about almost every state I have ever been in, but NC is right at the top of my list for beautiful states.  It has mountains, rivers, the ocean, palm trees, Spanish moss and some of the nicest people you would ever want to meet.

David and I are spending some time here with family and visiting some pretty sights. Before we got to Wilmington, we passed through some charming southern towns one of them being Blowing Rock.  Have you read the Mitford books by Jan Karon?   Jan based her books on this little town in the Northwest corner of the state smack dab in the most beautiful mountains you would ever want to see.

DSCN7045

DSCN7046

 

Blowing Rock is enchanting, quaint, friendly, entrancing and just plain enjoyable.  We spent a long morning there looking in all the shops.

DSCN7019

 

Eating some of the best ice cream we have ever eaten.  David got Traverse City Cherry and I got Butter Pecan and Dominacara chocolate.  Yum. (We found this same ice cream shop in Wilmington today.)

DSCN7014

 

The town was all dressed up for Autumn with mums and these gigantic pumpkins all over town.

DSCN7016

Have you read the Mitford books by Jan Karon?  The town of Mitford she wrote about is said to have been based on Blowing Rock and it is easy to see why.   You can almost see Father Tim walking down the streets of the town.  Esther Bolick carrying her special cakes to someone.  Miss Sadie driving her car upon to the sidewalk. Cynthia walking down the street with one hair roller hanging in her hair.

We saw the Episcopal church Jan Karon based her Father Tim’s church upon.

DSCN7024

 

I could just see Father Tim coming out the door of this church.  It was so charming.

DSCN7022

 

A nice lady asked us if we wanted her to take our picture and we said, “Sure.”  Behind us are some of the gardens surrounding the church.  It was just so pretty and I felt like I was in the pages of a book.

DSCN7010

 

David found a friend to share a park bench with.

DSCN7029

 

Hydrangeas grew all over the town and were at their peak.

DSCN7027

 

They were the biggest hydrangeas I have seen.

DSCN7028

 

David saw this cute empty little house on main street and said it would make a great quilt shop.   I said, “Let’s sell our house and move here and open a shop.”  Nice dreaming, but I think we will stay where we have been planted.

DSCN7018

 

We walked down some side streets and found this little garden lady standing among the flowers.

DSCN7033

Everywhere you looked there were Autumn vignettes.  I could have stayed all day and looked and looked and looked, but we had to move on.

DSCN7051

 

We wanted to see the place which gave the town its name.

DSCN7047

 

This is Blowing Rock.  David decided to climb it.  I was  taking pictures and hoping he would not fall over the top when he got up there. Legend has it that an Indian brave jumped off this rock and his lover waited here day after day until one day he was blown back up onto the rock by the winds.  Snow is said to blow backward here.  Still watching David and praying the wind won’t blow him over!

DSCN7048

 

He made it!  I would have tried to climb it, but I didn’t have the right kind of shoes on, so I lived vicariously through David.  It was harder to come down than to go up.

DSCN7038

It was just beautiful up here.  I could have stayed all day, but there were other places to go and other things to see.

Here’s to the beautiful state of North Carolina.  I’m in love.  Bye.

 

Autumn Decor and Dibs and Dabs

I love Autumn.  I love the word, Autumn.  I love the colors and the way the sunlight seems golden.  I love the cool nights when we throw the windows open wide and sleep deep sleeps in the cool, crisp air.  I love the almost too perfect days of blue skies and golden everything.

I also love to decorate for Autumn.  I have always felt our house was built for Autumn because it always looks it best this time of year.

DSCN6750

I love that Halloween comes in October.  There are so many festivals and harvest celebrations in the Autumn.  This is the front table of my shop.  Those pumpkins are my very own pumpkins that I grew myself this year.  David made the wooden pumpkin.

 

DSCN6751

A few years ago we traveled to New York to the finger lakes district and went through several  beautiful New England towns.  In one shop in one of the towns they were selling wooden jack-o-lanterns.  They were kind of expensive and David said,  “I could make them.”  And he came home and made two for me and one for each of our kids and I painted them.   They light up at night.  I tell David he could make these and sell them.

DSCN6752

These are more of my pumpkins.  I am already planning to grow pumpkins again next year.   I really like the white ones.   There is a scarecrow sitting just opposite these pumpkins, but I forgot to take a picture of him.  I’ll show you later.

DSCN6859

See how golden everything looks in our house?  I picked these hydrangeas and sedum and lamb’s ear to make a dry flower arrangement.   Okay, you don’t see the golden?  My picture just does not do the light coming in our house justice.

DSCN6858

I strung a garland of leaves I made across the kitchen window.

DSCN6855

DSCN6857

DSCN6853

Just a few things I have made to decorate for Autumn.

DSCN6813

The Autumn sedum is especially pretty this year.

029

The squirrels are gathering nuts and other food for winter.  This one is pretty plump.  Looks like he/she has been eating very well.  I put out cobs of corn and the whole cobs disappear.  Somewhere in some tree a squirrel has a lot of corn stored away.

085

Of course we always have candy corn or candy pumpkins out.  David is the only one who eats them.  I don’t really like them.  Does that make me bad?

 

DSCN6861

I got a Yankee Candle catalog this week and was astounded that they had a candle scented like turkey and stuffing.  The catalog has scratch and sniff places in its pages and this candle smells very strongly of sage.   They also have Sweet Potato Pie scent and Cranberry Sauce scent.  I don’t know how they do it, but the scents are very close to the real thing.

A few weeks ago David laid a cement pad just outside the new door in my shop and two of my grandsons and David and I put our handprints in it.

DSCN6748

 

 

 

 

DSCN6746

 

DSCN6745

 

DSCN6744

Our other grandchildren will have to put their handprints on with paint and then I will seal the cement for all eternity or until the cement falls apart or I fall apart, whichever comes first.  It startles me that my grandsons’ hands are almost as big as mine.

 

002

078

I haven’t posted any pictures of our dogs for a while.  Please excuse Belle.  She forgot her manners and stuck out her tongue.

Here’s to Autumn, pumpkins, cool evenings, and naughty pups.  Bye.

Chickens and Chatting

I got to spend some time with one of my best friends from school this week.    We went to school together for twelve years from first grade until we graduated.  While I was attending college and marrying David, she was attending beauty school and getting married to a farmer.  We have kept in touch all these years even if It is just once a year.  When we get together it is as if we hadn’t been away from each other for months and months.  I love her to pieces.  She knows things about me and I know things about her and we aren’t telling!

My friend’s husband raises chickens for the eggs.  Not just a few, mind you, but thousands.  Ninety-seven thousand to be exact.  I have always wanted to go up and see their chicken operation and I got to do it this trip.    When we first went in the building, it was cold and on a conveyor belt were hundreds of eggs.  There were stacks and stacks of eggs ready for shipment.  We then went into where the chickens lived.  I was overwhelmed.  To see that many chickens and eggs continuously coming down a conveyor belt was amazing.  They were beautiful white chickens with bright red combs.  And the eggs.  They were enormous.   They made the jumbo eggs in the grocery stores look like small eggs.  The building was so long that you could not see the end. My friend told me if someone was standing at the other end  you would not be able to see them.

Once the eggs are packed and shipped, they go to another company where the eggs are boiled and chopped up and packaged for restaurants so if you get a salad with chopped eggs on it, you very well may be eating my friend’s chickens’ eggs.  It was so interesting and I am glad I got to see it all.

We didn’t just look at chickens, though.  We went to quilt shops and antique stores and talked and talked and ate dinner together before David and I had to get to our motel.  It was so much fun.

DSCN6820

This is my best friend forever and no, she is not an antique.  This girl can do more work than any ten women.  She is always busy.  We are bound by something that cannot be broken.

The next day David brought me breakfast in bed from the motel’s breakfast room.  Cinnamon rolls, blueberry muffins, yogurt, a banana and coffee.  It all tasted so good. I had slept so well that I didn’t get up in time to go down for breakfast.

We drove to Geneva where the Limberlost cabin is.  If you have heard of Gene Stratton Porter you know what I am talking about.  She was a famous Indiana author who wrote “Girl of the Limberlost,”  “Freckles” and many others.  She studied moths and butterflies and wildlife in the swamps that surrounded her house in the early 1900’s.  She was saddened to see the swamps being drained for farmland and houses and later in her life she moved away because she couldn’t stand it anymore.  She lived in California, built a mansion there and became the first woman to produce movies.  She was killed in a car accident when her limo was struck.

We took a tour through the house and it was wonderful.

DSCN6833

It was a frame house with whole logs nailed to the side to look like a log cabin.  It had a broad, airy front porch that made me want to pull up a chair and sit for a while.

DSCN6827

I could live in this house.  I didn’t have my camera to take pictures inside, so you will have to go here sometime and see just how beautiful it is.  The fireplaces all had gas logs.  Something most houses in that time would never have.  It cost five dollars a month to use all the natural gas you wanted.  Wow, I wish it were still that cheap.  The house cost five thousand dollars to build.  In those days that was still a lot of money.

DSCN6836

This is the guest bedroom’s own private porch.  How neat is that?

DSCN6829

A beautiful bay window with windows that opened at the top and the bottom.  Inside the house Mrs. Porter could close off this area and she would allow any animal or bird to come in this area and could watch them through the glass doors inside the house.  She loved watching the animals and birds.

DSCN6830

Mrs. Porter hated seeing the trees being cut down in the swamp and when they cut down this big one, she had it brought to her house and used it as a smoke house for meats.

DSCN6835

This little kitten was wandering around the grounds.  He or she was a little skittish and wouldn’t allow me to pet it.

DSCN6831

This is the hired hand’s room.  Real comfy looking.  Our tour guide said his pictures look like Yosemite Sam and that he was just as cranky.  Not our guide, the hired hand.

DSCN6825

My mother always wanted to come here all her life and never got to see it.  When the tour guide asked us why we were there I told him I was seeing this for my mother.  She read a lot of Gene Stratton Porter’s books and was always telling me how wonderful they were.  I guess I am going to have to read some soon.  Mrs. Porter was very popular when my mother was a girl.

We drove country roads.   We arrived in Berne where I found another quilt shop and saw this clock tower.

 

DSCN6840

It plays music at three o’clock every afternoon, but we left at two-thirty and missed it.

Then we returned to Geneva to find the marshes.

DSCN6841

They are returning the marshland to areas around Geneva and this is one of them.  I walked this path and enjoyed seeing a large hawk fly before me, hear the crickets chirping and hear the swishing of the tall grasses in the breeze.  It was so peaceful the farther I went back into the marsh I felt like I was the only person in the world.  It was a mile round trip and I walked it twice, then walked another path across the road.  I would have stayed longer, but David and I had to get home.  We drove back roads as much as we could through small towns.

DSCN6817

Saw this sign.   Free speechDSCN6824

Where else but in the country would you see a tractor pulled up to a gas pump?  This was farm country and tractors ruled.

We drove past soybean fields being harvested as dust clouds rose from the combines.  We passed acres and acres of corn growing brown and brittle in the Autumn sun. The sky was blue, the breeze was pleasant.  I love our state.

We had a wonderful time, but we were glad to get home and see that the automatic door on the chicken coop worked and the girls were all fine.  The dogs were hungry and telling us it was time to eat.  Nice to come home to pets.

Here’s to BBF, country roads and wonderful Hoosier authors.  Bye

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Birthday and A Busy Weekend

It was a busy weekend.  We had two of our grandsons overnight and they helped their grandpa around the house.  They learned how to lay cement and they helped him clean out a shed.  They were a great help and he said he would gladly have them help him again.  I will have to show you the concrete pad they laid right outside my shop door.   We all put our handprints in the cement and I wrote our names and the date so we will remember this day.

Sunday after church we headed to my hometown for a birthday party.  It was my sister-in-law’s seventy-fifth birthday.  She was married to my oldest brother, Jack.  There were relatives there I hadn’t see in ages.  And I mean ages.  They all got old on me overnight, it seems.

 

DSCN6656

This man is my oldest nephew.  I remember when he was born.  But when I was talking to his sister, I asked her where was Doug, and she said, “He’s right here! ”   He was standing beside her.  He use to have red hair.  I gave him a big hug because I haven’t seen him since my mother died in l994.  He’s not suppose to be this old.  I remember babysitting him when he was a boy.

 

DSCN6660

This is my sister-in-law, Carroll, who was celebrating her birthday.  She always remembers to send birthday cards to me and David.  Her cake was so pretty and good, too.

DSCN6679

Of course pictures had to be taken for posterity and this is Carroll with my two nephews, Doug and Tom(who I did recognize) and my two nieces, Cindy and Sandy.   I really remember when my niece, Sandy, in the brown shirt was born.  My brother was in the military and gone on duty and Carroll went into labor and called my mother so Mom packed up me and my brother and went over to Richmond where we picked up Carroll, Doug, Tom and Cindy and rushed to the hospital.  I was only a few years older than Doug, but Mom told me to stay in the car with all the kids while she took Carroll into the hospital.  Carroll almost had Sandy before she got into the hospital.  Mom came back to the car very soon after and said I had a new niece.   She couldn’t believe how fast her new grandchild had come.

DSCN6668

A picture of my brothers and sister.  That’s my “baby” brother in  the red shirt.  All the others are older than I.   They were all shocked at my red hair except for Joanne who I had already told.

DSCN6661

This is my brother-in-law, Clyde, who is married to my sister.  He had a kidney removed in July.  If I had had a kidney removed in July, I would probably still be in a fetal position laying in bed and having David wait on me hand and foot. Clyde is tough. He’s already mowed his yard.  He can’t stand to be sitting doing nothing.  Keep him in your prayers that he will make a full recovery and be able to keep his big garden next year.  He really hates that he couldn’t plant one this year.  He and my sister provide a lot of food for the people at their church.  My sister puts me to shame with all the food she cans and preserves every year.  Clyde is a special guy.

DSCN6662

My sister doesn’t like her picture taken so, being the bratty younger sister I am, I kept snapping one after the other of her.  She laughed.

DSCN6676

These are cousins of David’s that came to the party.  I haven’t seen either of them for ages either and we had a nice visit.  They are both retired.  Carolyn use to be a school teacher.  A very good one from what I always heard.  Wally is a card and likes to joke around.  They are both  special people too.

David and I drove back roads to get to my hometown and along the way we saw some neat barn quilts.

DSCN6655

DSCN6686

DSCN6684

By the way, have I shown you the barn quilt I painted for our house since we don’t have a barn?  Here it is:

DSCN6567

 

I thought it would look good with our chocolate brown house and in the Autumn it will blend in with all the Fall colors.

On one of the back roads we came upon this.  Something you won’t see on the interstate.

DSCN6688

DSCN6691

Not exactly sure what town this was near as we were just wandering around, but this bridge was built one year after our house was built.  How neat is that?

DSCN6693

I will leave you with a picture of some of the last of the roses of the summer.   I love these roses.  Yellow with just a tinge of pink on the edges.

Here’s to birthday celebrations, family and taking the back roads.  Bye.

 

 

 

 

 

Where Am I?

  What has happened to the time?  Where am I?  Is it Summer still or is it Autumn?  I don’t know.  I just wrote about Spring and planting the garden and enjoying the warm weather and now I am so looking forward to cooler temperatures, falling leaves and wearing sweaters, sitting by campfires and drinking hot chocolate. 

  The chicks were tiny little balls of fluff only yesterday and now they are laying an egg every day.  A dozen every two days.   One hundred and eighty eggs a month.   I can’t use them fast enough.  The dogs get one in their dog food every other day.  I boil them, fry them, scramble them, make egg salad, bake cakes and cookies and still they keep coming.  The hens are like little laying machines now and the eggs are getting bigger.  The thrill is still there, though, every time I go out to the coop and find the pretty brown eggs, some still warm from the hens’ bodies. 

  We got an automatic chicken coop door opener today.  We are hoping we can go away once in a while and not have to worry whether the chooks are able to get out during the day and are safely shut in at night.  The company that we ordered from included a free gospel of John in the box.  Was a very nice thing to find.   The company is called Fleming Outdoor if you are interested.

  I am still getting tomatoes.  The cucumbers finally stopped producing, thank goodness.  We got hundred of cucumbers this year.  I have Roma tomatoes just coming on and one cherry tomato plant that is starting to produce.  I love this time of year.  We can eat from the garden and the chooks.  We haven’t gone to the grocery as much lately for some reason.  David said the other day we hadn’t made a big grocery store run for some time.  Don’t know why.  We seem to be eating pretty well.  

  I am sewing on Tuesdays with a friend.  I need to get into another Bible study soon, but I just haven’t felt like studying for a while.  I have taken Bible studies for years and needed to take a break, but I have one in mind I am planning to do.  The new Beth Moore.

  I also need to get into my walking again.  I kind of slowed down when it got so hot and have had a hard time getting myself motivated to get back to my five miles a day.  I’m hoping with the cooler weather coming, I will start again.  I really love walking, but find the first mile is the hardest.  After I can get past that one, I feel like I could walk for hours.  I also need to find a new walking place as where I walk there are so many trucks, trains and automobiles.  Sounds like the name of a movie.  I read blogs where they have beautiful hills and valleys and fields and quiet roads on which to walk and wish I lived in such an area.  I guess I could drive somewhere to walk, but somehow for me that defeats the whole purpose of walking.  When we go on vacation to North Carolina, I am hoping we find a lot of nice walking areas like we did when we went to Alaska.  I walked to Alaska I always say, because every day we found a park or safe area for me to walk and I would walk my five miles.  I even walked five miles a day on the boat going to Alaska.

   I need to get new glasses, but am too lazy to go to the eye doctor.  I hate going to any doctor. Both my dentist and my family doctor are wonderful, don’t get me wrong.  I have a doctor’s appointment this week for a check-up and a dentist appointment the week after.  I don’t know why it spoils my whole day when I have to go have anything done with or for my body to include the hair dresser.  I am sort of afraid what my beautician is going to say to me when she sees my red hair.  I refreshed the color yesterday and still love it.    Anyway,  I feel so out of control in a doctor’s office because I am afraid he will find something wrong which would mean tests and more time spent in medical offices.  I think my fear comes from when I was a little girl and my older sister would tease me about the big, long needles the doctor was going to use on me.  She use to scare me to death.  I grew up in the time when you had to get multiple polio shots and it seemed to me that we were always going to Dr. Barton’s office to get yet another polio shot.  Then I developed a very stiff neck and my parents were afraid I had gotten polio.  Thankfully, it wasn’t, but polio was scary back then.

  I feel like I am in a kind of limbo right now between seasons and what I want to do.  I need a goal so I am going to think of one and put it up on this blog so that I will have to meet the goal.  It will probably be about walking distances or something like that.  Or maybe I will try to finish a quilt a week.  I have so many quilt tops that need to be quilted and bound.  Or maybe I could pick an author and try to read all his or her books.  Right now I am reading a really good Jodi Piccoult book.  I have read some others of hers and liked them.  I would like to find a book with about a thousand pages. The book I read about Deitrich Bonhoeffer had over a thousand pages and I loved every one of them.  It was such an inspiring book, but sad also. 

  I am finished with American television for the most part.  There are very few shows I like and the reality shows just turn me off.  We have Netflix and have been watching British dramas and comedies and those people know how to write a good story.  We are watching “Doc Martin” right now about a surgeon who becomes sick at the sight of blood and goes to a small British town as a GP.  He is rather gruff and abrupt with his patients, but they don’t seem to mind.  I laugh out loud at some of the things that happen to him.  The townspeople are rather quirky and I like quirky people. 

  Have I rambled on long enough?  I felt like I should come here before people decided I had given up blogging.  I haven’t.  I have so many things I want to blog about, but it takes time to upload the pictures and then write the blog and I have been kind of busy.   I have children’s stories I have written I went to put on here.  Oh, no, I am not finished blogging.  I have this need to write whether anyone reads it or not.  I am hoping I am making a kind of diary for my children so they will know their mother a little better. 

  Here’s to rambling on and on and people kind enough to read it.  Bye.

 

The Egg and I and a Trip to England

Does anyone remember the movie, “The Egg and I,”  that starred Fred McMurray and Claudette Colbert?  You have to be really old to remember it although TMC may show it once in a while. It’s about a man and woman who move from the city onto a farm to raise chickens and all the problems they had and all the crazy neighbors they had.  I use to love watching it.  Perhaps you could see it somewhere online.

I’m living a sort of Egg and I life right now.  Raising chickens has been more fun than I could ever imagine.  I feel at one with the chooks.  They are my peeps.  They cluck and I cluck back. They ruffle their feathers and I….well, maybe not.    Now we are reaping the rewards of all the time and money we have spent on them by gathering eggs every day. They are still small, but I live in hope they will get bigger as we go along.  We ate some yesterday for breakfast.

DSCN6455

Look at that bright orange yolk.

DSCN6456

The store bought egg is on the right.  It was a double yolker however.

DSCN6458

We ate our breakfast al fresco by the pool.  Yes, that is Spam on our plates.  I do like a slice or two of Spam occasionally.   Spam has gotten a bum rap.  My doctor is stocking up Spam for the end times he tells me.  If it is good enough for my doctor, it’s good enough for me.

DSCN6460

We enjoyed the garden as we ate.

DSCN6461

Belle joined us. These are her begging eyes.  Can’t you tell?

The other day I received a wonderful book in the mail.  I found a blog over a year ago written by Susan Branch.  I had never heard of her before that, but I absolutely loved her blog.  She calls all her readers her “girl friends,” and always has something wonderful to write about.  She gave a tea party for the new Prince George for her friends and neighbors.  It was quite something and looked like so much fun.  Anyway, she writes books.  She handwrites them and water colors them and they are just amazing.  They include recipes and sayings and Susan’s outlook on life.  As she says about others, she has the “happy” gene.   Susan and her husband, Joe, took a two month vacation to England last year and she chronicled it in a diary.  They went over on the Queen Mary2 and rented a car and drove all over England.  That is exactly what David and I want to do.

Her diary came out in hardcover just last week and as I had pre-ordered the book, I got mine last week.  It’s signed and everything.  This is a book you cannot read on Kindle.  It is a book you need to hold and smell and leaf through over and over and read excerpts from it and stare at the pictures and read some more.

Susan handwrote the entire book and drew her wonderful water color pictures.  This book is a travel guide of sorts and tells all the places they stayed and what they ate where and how crazy it was to drive on the left side of the road.  David and I did that when we visited the Virgin Islands and David thinks it is easier to drive on the left side of the road instead of the right.  He even said the other day he wished he could find a car with the steering wheel on the right.  My guy is crazy like that.

DSCN6476

She called her book A Fine Romance.  It tells how she met her husband after she had pretty much given up ever getting married and her love of the English countryside.

DSCN6470

I have read this book and am reading it again.  It’s that wonderful.  If you love England, you will love this book.  Here are some of Susan’s watercolors and pictures from the book.

DSCN6473

She loves Beatrix Potter, the author of Peter Rabbit, and visited her home called Hilltop.

DSCN6475

She and Joe walked through many fields with sheep in them.

DSCN6471

Love these phone booths. Are they really used anymore or are they just for atmosphere now?

DSCN6474

They sailed on the Queen Mary2.  There were over three thousand people on the ship.  David and I want to sail across to England, but David said we will probably have to take a freighter.  I’m not sure about sailing on such a big ship.  We will have to see.  We want to go over on our fiftieth wedding anniversary. I really don’t want to fly.

Still picking cucumbers.  Fifteen yesterday and four today because I really didn’t want to look for them.  Also we are getting tomatoes.  They are so good.  Nothing is as good as that first tomato from the garden.

Here’s to English diaries, dining al fresco and laying hens..  Bye.