Monthly Archives: April 2018

Still Traveling, But There’s No Place Like Home

One of the last things we did on Dauphin island was tour the fort that was on its Eastern most end.   This fort was here long before civilization crowded in.  The men had no stores from which to buy their food, so they depended on the oysters, fish and alligators for their meals.  It must have been a long, lonely tour of duty as there was not much to do but guard the coast, eat, sleep and find food each day.   Their sleeping arrangements were not the best either.

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Hopefully feather mattresses were put on these narrow beds.

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Or maybe they just laid down on this and covered up with a thin blanket.


This must have been an officer’s room as he had the fortune to have a fireplace to keep him warm at night.


There were many hand written letters home to family and they typed them up so we could read them as many of the words were hard to read and many were misspelled.   Notice this guy received some shirts from his wife, but the wristbands were too tight!  There were many  letters like this and I could have stayed and read them all, but we had more to see.

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Another military man looking at quarters in which he is very happy he was never quartered.   But he had to sleep out in the woods a lot so it wasn’t much better.  He didn’t have to hunt for food, though.

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This is another place I wish we could have stayed longer, but we had a ferry to catch.


Out to sea.


Past pelicans and seagulls resting on rocks in the bay.


Past oil rigs that looked somewhat alien in this scenery.

We were driving to Destin, Florida in hopes of spending a day at the beach before we headed north, but near Fort Walton our car starting bucking like a horse in a rodeo.  It would run well for a while until we stopped at a light and starting up, it would start bucking again.  Thankfully, we made it to our motel without hitting one red light after I said a prayer.   We found a repair shop and took it in.  Of course they could find nothing wrong. “Bring it back in in the morning,” They said so we did. David left the car running so the repairman could witness what was happening.  It was a relatively simple fix, but we missed our beach time. So on north we drove.


This will mean nothing to anyone but those who attend my church.  Our pastor talks about how he was saved in Piney Grove Baptist Church and wouldn’t you know it. We drove right past it!  I had to get a picture. There was a man there we hoped knew Brother Bailey, but he was just visiting the cemetery there and didn’t know him.

Then we found this wonderful museum of Alabama history.


I can’t even begin to show you all the pictures I took and how much was in this little museum, but it was wonderful.



Rooms set up to look like long ago.






So many antique quilts.  Many I didn’t recognize the pattern.


Set up for a quilting bee but…..


The quilters were on break.



This hat and purse were made from corn husks.


An old baby bed.  Kept the mosquitoes and flies off baby.

Besides the museum. there were buildings to see.


A general store that was full of old general store stuff.


A church heated by an old cast iron stove.


Lit by kerosene lamps. I told David it would be wonderful to decorate this church for Christmas with a tree and holly and have the lamps lit, the stove heating the room and having a church service at night. It would be magical.


And Pastor David said, “Yes, that would be nice.”


There was an old chicken house, but no chickens.


A covered bridge and several other houses to see.   And then it was time to move on.




Through more little southern towns with beautiful houses with big front porches.


Until we came to another town where we found this park.  Another place off the beaten path.  Not a tourist trap, but well worth seeing.


Over a bridge…


To a beautiful falls.  It was roaring like Niagra.



History tells us that an Indian maiden, betrothed to a man she did not want to marry because she was in love with another, jumped to her death at these falls.  No woman should ever have to marry someone she is not madly in love with.


I would have probably done the same thing if I were being forced to marry someone I did not love.

Back on the road again and what do I see ahead???????


We passed it, David, go back!


I can’t believe it. It’s a Haunted Chicken House!  Opens in October.  Road trip!!






So many cars with chickens on the top.  There was a big building there where the haunted part was, but I was loving seeing all these cars with the chickens.  So funny.   And I can’t even tell you what it’s near so we probably could never find it again.

Many times serendipitous things happen to us. Like when David missed his turn in a town and right at that very moment when he knew he had missed it, we saw to our left a part.  This park had log cabins on its grounds and a walking path.  “Let’s go in!”  And we did.  I walked  and looked at all there was to see.



A bridge to walk and fountains.


A log cabin with plaques of “dead mothers,”  There were a lot of them.


Another old cabin. I love cabins.  I would love to live in one.


There was a little free lending library there where you could take a book and leave one.  There was a book I really wanted to take, but I didn’t have one to leave so I passed it by.   The paths in the park wove round and round and it really was so easy to walk a mile without even thinking about it.  I walked around for quite a while an met this man walking his macaw.


He told me he walks it every day.  His name is Bobby.  The macaw, that is.  This guy is an old Navy man.    That bird was so tame, it just walked on his arm and sometimes over his shoulders and back to the other arm and he talked as it did it like it was the most normal thing in the world. You meet the nicest people and their birds while walking in a park!


Coming through Kentucky, we stopped at this Lincoln memorial.  There are exactly 56 steps up to the memorial.  The age President Lincoln was when he was assassinated.   So young.


This log cabin was inside the memorial. At one time it was believed the Lincolns lived in this cabin, but in recent years and with testing of the logs, they learned the cabin was too new to be of that time.  So it’s kept as a memory of log cabins.


We walked this wooden walkway back down.

There was  a little museum where we watched a movie about Lincoln’s life.  It told that although we have learned that Abraham Lincoln’s family was very poor, they were actually middle class and very probably upper middle class at that time in history as they had been able to buy a farm.  Sadly that farm was lost because the deal had not been done legally by the seller.   They bought another farm and it was lost too.  Evidently Abe’s father wasn’t too good at making deals.


I found this picture of Lincoln made from pennies very interesting.


The Lincolns probably did get water from a spring here on the property.


Then it was time to get home driving through rain over the Ohio River in Louisville.


We are in Indiana!  Yay!

And back to home sweet home.


To one of the prettiest gardens I’ve seen except for Bellingrath Gardens.   And I didn’t miss any of the blooms.


The magnolias were magnificent.


The daffodils had not faded.


The azalea was as pretty as any I had seen down south.


And the redbud was bursting with bloom.  It was good to be home.










And David was so glad to get home because he was starting to look like that old man in “Up.”   Sorry I don’t know how to turn this picture, so lay on your side and look at it.  We have laughed so hard at this.   He did this playing with his cellphone one night.

Here’s to traveling and all the sights we’ve seen. Bye.

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.

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


Over tall bridges over rivers running throughout our country.


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


We are getting closer.

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Ocean on either side of us.

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

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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.


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.

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Soon we had several seagulls flying around us.

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

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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.


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


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.


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.


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….









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


Orchids in the green house.


Even pineapples were growing.


Fountains all around.




The smell of roses filled the air.


A little mermaid.


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.





Everywhere you looked there was eye candy.


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.


We were surrounded by scenes like this.


A lookout built above the estuary.



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


And look at the claws on this guy.


Bamboo grew abundantly.


Two old lions making friends.


Trumpet flowers falling on my head!


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


We saw this plaque on the way out.


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.



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.





Traveling South Part I

David and I love to travel.  We have been in every state in our country except for Hawaii for David and Hawaii and Rhode Island for me.  Some of the states we have visited several times. We love the west.  But we love the south, north and east also.  It was hard deciding where to go this year. Since we have not spent a lot of time in Mississippi except the time when my brother and his family lived there, we decided to travel that state to the Gulf.  We also planned a stop in a town where one of our favorite television shows is filmed.

I was having mixed feelings about leaving my pets this time as our favorite pet sitters have closed their business.  They are older than us, so I was not surprised that they had decided to do so, but I was worried at finding a new pet sitter. Then someone suggested a girl who attends our church so I called her and she came and visited and I at once felt calm about leaving my dogs and chickens with her.  The dogs loved her the first time they met her.  As dogs are very good judges of people, I knew she would be very good to them. She is a really sweet girl and very good with animals as she works at a dog daycare where I plan to take Molly this Summer for some play with other dogs as Belle would rather sleep than play.

So we left and I actually cried a little at leaving them and all the flowers that were in bloom around our house.  Crazy, isn’t it?



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The daffodils and magnolias were blooming and here is my crab apple I really hope won’t bloom and be gone before we get back as I wait for it every year.

So off we set.

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Down the road.

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Through little Indiana towns.

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Over the bridge over the Ohio River.

And south.

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We stop at little out of the way places. Not a big tourist site, but interesting.

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A park where we stretched our legs.   Walking around the paths twice was a quarter of a mile. Yes, I am counting my steps again.


This old house was next to the bridge park and there were feral cats coming in and out of it.  I think they have taken it over.

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There is something about old, abandoned houses that interest me.  I often tell David if I were a billionaire I would travel the country and restore these old houses to their former grandeur so people could again live in them.  What history would this old house tell?

We passed many old houses the first day as we traveled further and further south.


Wouldn’t this house be beautiful if repaired and brought back to life?  Now a farmer keeps his tractor parked where the cars use to park.  I could see me having a sewing room in that upstairs room with the big windows.

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There are still a few log cabins around. When I was a girl, there were two log cabins near my home. My brothers and I use to have walnut fights in one of them.  Those cabins are long gone.  It appears someone is trying to preserve this one with a new metal roof on the porch.


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You don’t see these houses driving the interstate.  This one must have housed a large family at one time. I think of the Waltons looking at it.

Besides houses the trees and flowers were in bloom everywhere the farther south we got.

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This is what my crabapple looks like every Spring.  At least I got to see a flowering crabapple this year.

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Beautiful blooms everywhere.


Then, we noticed something strange ahead.

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I believe they have landed!   Don’t know what this was.  But it looks alien.

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I always think of the south when I see azaleas.  Even the most humble home looks wonderful with azaleas blooming in the yard.

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Another park where I walked in a wonderful southern town with lots of old houses.

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They really knew how to build them.  Many houses built today are all pretty generic.

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This house looked like a castle.

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David was trying to get out of all the pictures I was taking!

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Big front porches where one could sit and rock and sip sweet tea.


I fell in love with this little house and it had a name.

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If I were a little old lady(well, I kind of am) and didn’t have a husband(which I don’t want to happen), I would live in a little pink house like this with a dog at my feet and a quilt to work on in my hands.  I would invite people in for sweet tea and cookies.

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I love the ingenuity of people. Who thinks of planting flowers in an old boat, but it works.


A pumpkin colored house.  We are getting our house repainted in a year or two.  Think this would be a good color!


Some of the houses had little carriage houses in the back converted to something else.

Then we got to one of our destinations.

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Down tree covered streets with large live oaks covering them. Past beautiful parks. This town had so many parks.

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Live oaks, a tree that is everywhere in the south.  Thankfully, many have been allowed to grow to this size.  Many dripping with Spanish moss.

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Roses blooming in profusion.  Then we reached our destination.

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We were in Laurel, Mississippi.  The site of the home renovation show Home Town. This is Ben and Erin Napier’s mercantile.  Of course I bought a few things here. It was a cute little store.  I was hoping maybe one of them would show up, but I am sure they have better things to do.

So on south we went.  I will write more soon. Bye.






Easter Celebration and a Tutorial

Can’t believe Easter was just last Sunday.   It’s one of my favorite holidays for many reasons. For one, it’s the happiest day for Christians all around the world who celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ who was beat, tortured and hung on the cross on Friday and on the third day he arose.  He took every last one of our sins upon himself. Only God could do that.   Because of Jesus, I can face every day knowing that He lives and lives through me.  One day I will see His face.

The other reason I love Easter is because of the fun things we do with out grandchildren.  We always have an egg hunt. This year two of our grandchildren were in California with their daddy and our granddaughter was in Florida with friends.  As our grandchildren grow older, their lives get busier and we see less of them which makes me sad, but that is the way of life.  But we had two grandboys and our son’s girlfriend’s son here to hunt eggs so it was fun. David and I prepared 216 eggs.  Seventy-five of them had little pieces of paper in them with dollar signs on them. Those who found those got a dollar for each one.  Dangling that carrot in front of young boys gives them a big incentive to hunt the eggs.  We hid some in he house and in my shop because we were expecting rain and when it didn’t rain, we hid more outdoors.

The hunt was a great success and each boy got a wad of dollar bills. All but two of the eggs were found. I suppose I will run across them sometime just like I do every year.


I cut some of the daffodils from my garden for the table.  I had fun dyeing those eggs using just food coloring water and vinegar.

We had a nice dinner and conversation as we ate. In the course of talking we got to laughing about the Debbie Downer character who was on Saturday Night Live years ago.  Debbie Downer always found something pessimistic to say when her friends were discussing something.  Every time she said something pessimistic, the music would go Wa-wa-wa.   It was really funny.  Well, we were discussing whether we were getting any eggs and I mentioned one of our hens had died of old age this week and my son went “Wa-wa-wa,”  and we all started laughing. Then I tried to think of pessimistic things to interject in the conversation just to get to say it.  We were all laughing so hard.  I guess you had to be there, but if you have ever seen that sketch on SNL you know what I am talking about.

This week besides painting in my shop, something that seems to go on and on, I did manage to do a little quilt making.  And by little I mean the quilts are little.


I have been working on this quilt.  Orange peel.


Kathleen Tracy made this quilt. Now I have made orange peel blocks before and the instructions for them are in this book, but I make mine a little differently so as to get uniform orange peels.  Here is how I do it.


Take one small piece of fabric.


Draw the orange peel shapes on freezer paper.  Cut them out.


Iron one on each piece of fabric you are using for all the orange peels. I used 64 different colors of fabric to make it more patchwork looking.


Next, iron in the ends.


Press all around the orange peel shape. Don’t burn your fingers!


Remove the parchment paper.

Then I go one extra step some people don’t do.


I baste around the orange peel.


Pin it on your square.  Sew around it with tiny stitches.  Do this 64 times and you will have enough little blocks to make this particular quilt.


I must admit it is quite habit forming making these blocks.  I so enjoyed stitching each different orange peel on its block.  I have them sewn together, but I will show you that in another post.

We are expecting yet another round of snow tonight.   I’m so ready for warm weather and sunshine.   We were going to go to the Indianapolis Zoo Saturday, but that’s been cancelled.   We will get to the zoo sometime this year.  Maybe even go to the Cincinnati Zoo.

Here’s to Spring, wherever she is and may she get here before Summer. Bye.






I am a crier.  I don’t cry every day and sometimes I go weeks without crying, but I cry quite often.  Sometimes when I am happy and most times when I am sad.   I don’t really like to cry, but as one author wrote in his autobiographical book,  his bladder was close to his eyes, and I guess mine is too.    A sad story, a happy story, tragedy,  others’ sadness, my children, my husband, friends or family members passing, all have made me cry.  Sometimes I cry for absolutely nothing.   If you ever watched Everybody Loves Raymond on television, Deborah, Raymond’s wife was sitting on their couch one day just crying and Ray saw her through a window and wondered what was wrong.  When he found out she was just crying because she wanted to, he was dumbfounded and couldn’t figure out why she would want to do that.  My husband is uncomfortable when I cry because I am usually a strong, cheerful person.

I have seen friends and family go through some horrible times in their lives and I have cried with them.  Some things just seem unbearable at times, but I find that a good cry seems to let go of some of the grief held inside. One time I was going through a particularly bad time, I won’t go into it, but I was attending a Bible study with several women and all of a sudden, during the study I started sobbing.  I mean a complete breakdown with tears that would not stop. I finally got up to leave and one of the ladies followed me and asked me what was wrong and I told her.  She didn’t tell me not to cry. She commiserated with me.   The strange thing was, that after that good cry, things started looking differently and I felt much better. I didn’t know how much grief I had been holding inside.   I believe God gives us tears for a reason.  One day He will wipe away all tears.

Never tell someone not to cry. I have had friends who have lost their husbands and people have told them not to cry. How awful.  I would never tell anyone not to cry because to do so would be to hold all that grief inside. It’s not good for you. A friend told me the worst thing people told her after her husband had passed, was not to cry.

I was watching a movie on Amazon Prime the other day and there was a song on it called, “Let Me Cry.”  It’s about letting someone cry even if it makes you feel uncomfortable.    They need to cry.  It’s by Hillary Wells, someone I had never heard of before, but I looked up some of her other songs and they are tear jerkers.   I sat there, all alone in my living room and bawled my eyes out.   I told David about it later and started crying again.  He didn’t know what to do!

The movie, “Marley and Me” is one I cannot watch.  We saw it at a movie theater and  when it got to the really sad part, I got that choked feeling in my throat and then I sobbed.  One day at my daughter’s house, they wanted to watch it, but I had to leave the room when the sad part came on.  I hope you know what I am talking about. It’s a good movie, but sad.

So, do you cry?  Do simple things make you cry or do you need a big, awful thing to happen for you to cry?  I don’t know what you are going through now, but if it deserves a good cry, let it out.  Don’t hold back.   Then blow your nose and go on living. That’s all anyone can do.

I promise my next post will be about happier things.

From a crier and not ashamed of it. Bye.