Monday, October 30, 2017

Well, well, well...

Well, how about that?!
We have a well!

After a slight delay, well over a month,
the well driller man got his well drilling rig working well again.

 And it's all well and good...
...the well driller man hit water at about 250 feet but went down just a bit further...
well, you know, for good measure.
Adam says our well is better than his well.
Well done, right Parker?

Well, I think the well has his stamp of approval.
All's well that begins well...(we hope)...
...but you know as well as I do...only too well actually,
building projects have a tendency to...well...
encourage one to practice that fruit of the Spirit known as longsuffering.
If a thing is worth doing, it's worth doing well...
...and it will be well worth it in the end.
So I'll leave well enough alone and end this post.
But just remember... never miss the water 'til the well runs dry.

Fare thee well!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Late October Hodgepodge

Happy Wednesday...
and welcome back to Joyce and her Hodgepodge.
She asks the questions and we answer them on our blogs.
So this has been a strange fall but we are finally just starting to get some pretty color.
It may be another week before I get some decent photos so in the mean time,
here are some spider webs.

I love lace doilies and I love it even more when the roadsides are decorated with them.

A favorite hay barn on a favorite country road.

Here are some milkweed pods I pulled from the archives since I haven't seen any this fall.
My go-to place where I normally find them growing has been mowed down several times this year.

I came across these lovelies in an old folder from a couple of years ago,

Trying out a newly acquired lens here...

...and here.

My lantana looks so out of place among all of the dry, fallen leaves...
...but it's still going strong!
So let's get on with the questions....

1. What's surprised you most about your life or life in general?

Wow, tough question! Life is certainly full of surprises...where do I begin?? I remember being a young girl and lying in bed at night and wondering how long I would have my parents with me since they were so much older than me. I also remember doing the math in my the time I was 20, they'd be in their the time I was 40, they may not even be living. What a tremendous blessing that they both lived to be in their 90s...Mom, into her late 90s and able to enjoy their many grand and even great-grand children. Also when I think back, the thought of leaving my home town never even crossed my mind or seemed like a possibility.  I am one of only two of us eight kids who's life took them away from home.

2.  Sweet potato fries, sweet potato casserole, a baked sweet potato, a bowl of butternut squash soup, a caramel apple or a slice of pumpkin have to order one thing on this list right now. Which one do you go for?

There is no one answer for me when it comes to sweet all depends on what I'm eating with it. If I'm eating a burger, I'd go for the fries...turkey, the casserole for sure (Thanksgiving just is not Thanksgiving without it)...steak, I'd go for baked. For dessert pumpkin pie, no doubt! Come on Joyce, how can you just pick one of these items from the menu??

3. What's a famous book set in your home state? Have you read it? On a scale of 1-5 (5 is fantastic) how many stars does it rate?

I did not know of any books that were set in Ohio...that is until I googled it. The list that came up were no books that I had ever heard of or fact, most were rather dark in nature...not my cup of tea anyway. I did however notice that "Beloved" was on the list. Somehow, I managed to see this movie when it was on TV but did not read the book. It was interesting but rather dark as well. If I was rating it, I'd give it maybe 2 stars.

4. There are 60 days until Christmas...have you started your shopping? How do you stay organized for the holidays?

No, I haven't...and I don't.

5. October 26th is National Tennessee Day. Have you ever lived or spent any time in Tennessee? Is this a state you'd like to visit one day?

Why, yes...I have spent LOTS of time there! I fell in love with Tennessee when I was a girl and first traveled through it on our way to SC to visit my brother. I often fantasized about living in those mountains one day. Little did I know then that years later, our youngest son would go to college in Nashville (Trevecca Nazarene University), meet his wife and wind up making his home there. Most you know that we also hope to make a home there as well, hopefully very soon.

The top rated tourist attractions in Tennessee are-

The Great Smoky Mountain National Park (Gatlinburg area) - yes, it's heavenly

and one of the great tunnels...
Elvis's Graceland (Memphis)
Birth of the Music Biz (Memphis and Nashville) - yes, many times
Dollywood (Pigeon Forge)
Tennessee's Military Heritage (many battlefields)
The Hermitage (Andrew Jackson's home)
The Parthenon (Nashville)
Oak Ridge American Museum of Science and Energy
Chattanooga and the Tennessee Valley Railroad - yes, honeymoon...does riding the Incline count?
Downtown Knoxville - yes...Jim had a job interview there once
Lookout Mountain - yes...honeymoon
The Titanic Museum (Pigeon Forge)
The Museum of Appalachia (Clinton)
The Lost Sea Adventure (Sweetwater)
How many on this list have you seen? Looks like about 5.
Which one on the list would you most like to see? I'd love to visit The Museum of Appalachia.
6.  Insert your own random thought here.

Can y'all believe that Thanksgiving is less than a month away? The years seriously seem to get shorter and shorter as I grow older and older. 

Until next time...

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Dilapidated and Decrepit

I seem to have this thing for old abandoned buildings, houses in particular.

Old broken down dwellings... houses, barns or whatever, untouched for years...
well, there's just something about them that just fascinates me.

Most of these photos were taken in eastern North Carolina near Mt. Olive,
which is also the pickle capital of the south, in case you are interested.
I call it pig and pickle country since there are also hog farms literally as far as the eye can see.

The land is flatter than a flitter if you are using southern speak
and on a clear day, you can see for miles.

You would most likely be able to find these great old places around every turn.

I was absolutely mesmerized when we drove by these broken down old places.
I imagine most of them, if not all, were sharecropper homes.
I would love to know more of the history...maybe someday I'll do some research.

The windows of this one is almost like you are looking into the eyes of an empty soul.
Rather eerie, don't you think?

Crumbling roofs, rotting and blistered window frames with shattered glass or no glass at all,
neglected yards where masses of tangled weeds have completely taken over,
all make up these hauntingly beautiful images of an era long past.

If you listen closely, you just might hear echos of the laughter of children who once lived there,
or the loving call of a mother letting the family know that supper is on the table.
It makes me wonder how long it has actually been since those walls heard the voices of a child
and how many generations the house has been standing.

Undoubtedly, the families living here didn't have much money.
Somehow I envision damp, old photograph albums stuffed with sepia toned photos,
draped in cobwebs, stashed away in attics or other dark places.
But I doubt anyone could have afforded a camera.

And these barns haven't seen any animals for quite some time.

The photo below is what looks to be an old brick silo.

There is a tree growing right into the side of the bricks and coming out the top.
Now that's what I call character!

This particular old farm house is actually just a few miles from my home.

What a great old place it is and it kind of breaks my heart to see it sitting empty.
 I found a poem that I thought went so well with these images.
It was written about an old house in Suffern, New Jersey near the railroad tracks.
 Although the locations are different, the same can be said about any abandoned home,
regardless of the zip code.

The House With Nobody In It
~Joyce Kilmer

Whenever I walk to Suffern along the Erie track
I go by a poor old farmhouse with its shingles broken and black.
I suppose I've passed it a hundred times, but I always stop for a minute
And look at the house, the tragic house, the house with nobody in it.
I never have seen a haunted house, but I hear there are such things;
That they hold the talk of spirits, their mirth and sorrowings.
I know this house isn't haunted, and I wish it were, I do;
For it wouldn't be so lonely if it had a ghost or two.

This house on the road to Suffern needs a dozen panes of glass,
And somebody ought to weed the walk and take a scythe to the grass.
It needs new paint and shingles, and the vines should be trimmed and tied;
But what it needs the most of all is some people living inside.

If I had a lot of money and all my debts were paid
I'd put a gang of men to work with brush and saw and spade.
I'd buy that place and fix it up the way it used to be
And I'd find some people who wanted a home and give it to them free.

Now, a new house standing empty, with staring window and door,
Looks idle, perhaps, and foolish, like a hat on its block in the store.
But there's nothing mournful about it; it cannot be sad and lone
For the lack of something within it that it has never known.

But a house that has done what a house should do,
a house that has sheltered life,
That has put its loving wooden arms around a man and his wife,
A house that has echoed a baby's laugh and held up his stumbling feet,
Is the saddest sight, when it's left alone, that ever your eyes could meet.

So whenever I go to Suffern along the Erie track
I never go by the empty house without stopping and looking back,
Yet it hurts me to look at the crumbling roof and the shutters fallen apart,
For I can't help thinking the poor old house is a house with a broken heart.
So you see what happens when there is no Hodgepodge...
...I actually write a real post. 😉

Enjoy the rest of your week!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

An Unseasonable Hodgpodge

Greetings from the tropics!

Just kidding.
But if I didn't know better and someone led me outside blindfolded,
I might very well be convinced that I was in the Bahamas.
This is what it really looks like when I walk out my door...

...plenty of falling leaves and a tad of color but it feels nothing like fall right now.
Our local weather forecasters totally missed it.
Thanks to Hurricane Nate, we are experiencing this "lovely" taste of the tropics.
Now don't get me wrong, I love a tropical paradise when the surroundings match the temps...
...but this is a bit extreme.
Oh, and remember that chili I was going to make over the weekend?
Well, the hamburger meat is now in the freezer
and the other ingredients are waiting (impatiently) on the pantry shelf.
I even bought that bag of tortilla chips for my nachos...MAN! taste buds have been put on hold.
I'll stop complaining about the weather now because it's time for Joyce's Hodgepodge,
and because I can't do anything about it anyway!

You know the drill...she asks the questions and we answer them on our blogs.
Here are this week's questions:
1. On a scale of 1-10 how would you rate your sense of direction? 1=can't find my way out of a paper bag and 10=if I've been somewhere once I can find it blindfolded ten years later.

I think I have a pretty good sense of direction and would probably rate myself at about a "7". And this all depends on if I am doing the driving or the navigating. If I am just one of several passengers, you might as well forget it if we are heading somewhere unfamiliar...I am usually too busy running my mouth rather than paying attention to the route. Normally, it just takes a couple of times to feel confident about where I am going and I rely a lot on landmarks, not necessarily the road signs since I don't see them well until I am right up on them!

When was the last time you looked at/used a map you could hold in your hand? (phones don't count!)

It has probably well over a year. I have only had my iPhone that long and did not have a car with a built-in navigation system until I got my CR-V earlier this year. I didn't use an atlas but I did print directions off Google maps and go by them.

Back east, down south, out west, up north...choose one of these directional expressions and tell us why you chose it.

I've never been out west and I've always lived closer to the east or the southeast. That would leave up north. There are many places much more "northern" than Ohio but that has pretty much been where most of my northern travels have been limited to.

2. Did you do more talking or listening yesterday? Talking. Is that typical? Yes, but not the rule. Describe your yesterday in one word. Positive.

3. Time, money, water-power-resources, opportunity...which one on the list are you most guilty of wasting? What might you do to change that?

If I am being honest (and that is how we are to answer these questions, right?), I have to admit that I find myself wasting time more than anything, which can then become a wasted opportunity, am I right? I don't think that we need to be busy 100% of the time...we all need down time to just do nothing in particular or to do the things we like to do. This is how I see myself, anyway. I have never had anyone else tell me that I'm a time waster. Lord knows that there are many things on my to-do list...and the key word here is LIST. When I make a list, I get 'er done!

4. Did  your family take regular vacations when you were a kid? Tell us something you remember about a family roadtrip from your own childhood.

When I was growing up, a family road trip consisted of piling in the old Buick on a Sunday afternoon and heading about 20-30 miles out to the country to visit various aunts, uncles and cousins. We had a blast traveling down those back roads, especially when we convinced Dad to take that hill just a little faster (when there were no other cars coming, of course). Losing our stomachs when we reached the bottom of the hill was the high point of the day! I wrote more about the things that make me go aaahhhh over on my childhood memories blog. When you are a family with that many kids and Dad was the one and only breadwinner, an actual vacation was something we knew nothing about. But you know what? I never ever had one regret about the way I grew up and what we could and could not don't miss something you never had. I was actually about 13 or so before I left the state of Ohio. My youngest older brother took me and two of sisters on a road trip to South Carolina to visit our older brother and his family. I not only got to experience the Smokey Mountains along the way, and stepping into the Atlantic Ocean at Myrtle Beach for the first time was all it took for me to want to go back to those places as often as I could...or anywhere else for that matter.

5. If you could grow anything you wanted, what would you grow? Why?

Sunflowers and milkweed because they both attract butterflies...

...and because milkweed pods and those wispy seeds are among my favorite things. I'm still a little upset that the field of milkweed, the one pictured above, has gotten mowed down twice this year. 😒

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Gee, a nice warm bowl of chili sure would hit the spot. Some day.
So that's it for this Hodgepodge...and enjoy your break, Joyce. 
I have a sneaking suspicion that there will be some baby lovin' on your itinerary. 👶
And maybe in a couple of weeks, I'll be wearing my winter duds, who knows?

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Old MacDonald Had a Hodgepodge...


After a week of 90 degree heat, the autumn breezes are gracing us once again.
The cool down came just in time for the weekend, perfect weather for a campfire in the backyard... dogs with all the fixin's and s'mores too!
Oh, I just LOVE fall!
So it's Wednesday and that means it's Hodgepodge Day...

...where Joyce asks the questions and we answer them on our blogs.
Let's get right to them.
1.  Have you ever spent time on a farm? Tell us a little bit about it. Have you ever grown your own pumpkin? Been on a hayride? Driven a tractor? Milked a cow?

I only wish I could answer yes to every part of this question. The only times I have spent on a farm is when I was a young girl visiting my aunt and uncle or just visiting some sort of farm that was open to the public. I have always yearned to live on a farm or in the country in general. The closest I ever came to homegrown pumpkins is when my dad grew a wide array of gourds in his garden when I was still at home...but I guess that doesn't count as a "yes" does it? I have been on several hayrides in my day but have never driven a tractor or milked a cow. It looks like part of my life-long dream may be coming true as we are planning our move to the Tennessee countryside...AND...guess what?? Directly across the road from the meadow where we are building our farmhouse is a farm with just about every kind of farm animal you'd ever want to see.

Our future neighbors have a petting zoo. I think this is about as close as it's going to get for me...but I'll take it!

2. What's something younger you would like about you now?

I think the younger me would be happy to know that she still has a close friend...someone that she can relate to...a peer, so to speak. Although I consider myself much wiser and am thankful that I've learned many lessons over the years (some of them the hard way), I am also thankful that I still feel young inside...even though the outside of me is growing old. Having a young heart and a smarter brain can be a good combination...what's not to like, right?

3. What are three things you'd like to do more often? Three things you'd like to do less often?

More often: travel, spend time with the younger grands, get lost in the country
Less often: punch in, punch in, punch in.
Does it sound a little bit like I'm ready to retire?? 😏 

4. What's on your nachos?

This depends on where I am eating them. When I make chili (mmm...think I'll make some this weekend), I love to make nachos. I take a handful of tortilla chips, pour a generous serving of chili over them and top it off with shredded cheddar, lettuce, tomato, black olives (if I have them) and a dollop of sour cream on top. One of my go-to menu items at our favorite local Mexican place is their Fajitas Nachos...a bed of tortilla chips covered by a combo of grilled chicken, steak, onions and peppers and then smothered with queso sauce. Mmm-mmm, good!

5. What's the most random thing in your purse or wallet? Does it need to stay there?

Well, I just went through my purse and didn't find any random items. I guess finding that bread stick from Olive Garden from a couple of weeks ago was enough randomness to hold me over for a while. 

I am showing this photo again for those who may have missed it. Needless to say, it did NOT need to stay there and it didn't once I found it. As far as my wallet goes, the most random thing I found in it was a book of stamps...really not so random though, right?

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

The right words are just hard to find after the unspeakable tragedy in Las Vegas this week. May our merciful Lord give peace and comfort to everyone who has been affected by this horrific act of violence.

And so, another Wednesday, another Hodgepodge...
...before you know it, we will be wishing each other a Merry Christmas!
I don't know about you but I don't even want to think about that yet. 😟

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