Saturday, March 18, 2017

Back on track!!

March 18, 2017

Well, it's been way too long since I visited my blog and a lot of visions and ramblings have occurred in the meantime. Thomas and I now find ourselves transplanted from the farm fields of Henry County, Indiana, to the Blue Ridge area of Hendersonville, North Carolina. We love this area not only for the natural beauty but for the welcoming friendship of the people here. A lot has happened in the last almost 4 years; will start with the "Now" and possibly have some flashbacks along the way to bring you up-to date.

Downtown Hendersonville is truly a jewel of a city nestled in a Blue Ridge valley. This was the main attraction that brought us here; our search began in the fall of 2014 with the Big Move accomplished summer 2016.

Have been taking some photos along the way (of course); here are some taken March 11 of this year that show some of the Downtown spring beauty:

Smiling Pansies:

A beautiful camellia tree that's been blooming at least 2 months; its lovely flowers have recently been joined by the flowering crabapple planted nearby.

This lovely yellow flowering Magnolia is a true eye-catcher; not sure of the exact cultivar but choose to believe it is one named "Elizabeth"! Like so many things, its beauty is fleeting. The day after my photo expedition, we had a very hard cold spell (lows in the teens for the first time in months) and the yellow flowers are now brown. Take note and appreciate the beauty in front of you today!

Another new adventure in my life finds me using my Master Gardener skills in the local Carolina Ace Hardware store. We'll be starting a series of garden programs in store this spring. Here's the schedule to date:
                                          April 1, 11 AM: What's New & Exciting for 2017!
                                          April 29, 1 PM: Raised Gardens
                                          May 13, 11 AM: Container Gardens for Mom

We'll be adding to this throughout the season. Stay tuned to
or contact me:

I'm also available to speak to local clubs and organizations. If you're in the Hendersonville area let me know!!

By the way, having fun along the way!! A belated Happy St. Patty's Day to you all. Thomas and I had a fine time at Jack of the Woods in Asheville; in keeping with the local friendship theme, we met a neat couple and plan to nurture this friendship in the coming months.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Day 22 Monday May 26: Oakhurst CA

On this Memorial Day, we decided not to fight the holiday weekend crowds at Yosemite and enjoyed a day of R&R, much needed for Thomas after yesterday’s  mileage and I logged a few more days on the blog.

I did take a nice nature walk on a path with my camera from the campground along the Fresno River:

There were lots of pretty flowers, too:





I thought of a dear, departed friend Marge Larrison when I saw the cedar trees. She had a friend in California who would ship these evergreen branches at Christmas time.

Also saw two neat birds I had never seen, earning them a tie for the Bird of the Day Award:

Acorn Woodpecker

Western Scrub Jay  

We completed this relaxing day with a bodacious cooked on the grill meal:

Day 21 Sunday May 25: Las Vegas – Oakhurst CA

Question: What do Aliens, Peggy Sue, Twenty Mule Team and the Mojave Desert have in common? Answer: Saturday May 25, 2013 and us.

Yes, on what was to have been a very long, 440+ mile drive, we were pleasantly diverted by all these amazing things! Upon traveling west on I-15 you leave behind the bright lights and high-tech architecture of Las Vegas, you are presented with the stark reality of the Mojave Desert.

This is the land of grey sand rock, stark mountain ranges, sand wadis (desert dry creek beds), US military training areas and weapon test ranges.

We also passed a sign for Twenty Mule Team Road: remember the western TV show sponsored by Borax laundry soap?

Oh, and did I mention aliens? Starting right after you leave the Las Vegas, massive billboards appear touting “Alien Fresh Jerky” in Baker CA. There must have been 20-30 of them. This was better than the old Stuckey candy store ads; remember them? If you were a kid traveling in the 1950’s and 60’s, there was no better place to go and you hounded your parents for miles until they relented and you got those pecan log rolls!

Then, after miles and miles, you get there:

Aliens everywhere!!

On the roof:

In their car:

Space Ships:

Crashed Space Ships:

Aliens looking at you!!

Talk about marketing genius, capitalizing on Area 51; we had never heard of them and spent over $60!

At least I didn't put a dollar in the launch pad control slot:

I kind of wish I would have, though: probably have been worth the money. If you are ever near Baker CA, stop in and launch one for me: let me know how it works!!

If that wasn’t enough, a few hours down the road, we started seeing signs for Peggy Sues 1950’s diner!

How could we not stop here for pie?

It was so good I almost ate it all before I took the photo: we even got 2 pieces to go!!

The d├ęcor was great with waitresses in pink and aqua (what else!):

Elizabeth even got to meet Elvis:

Waddling out of Peggy Sue’s, we resumed our journey with still some 200 miles to go. Our route sent us from the stark, rocky terrain into the San Joaquin Valley. To keep us entertained, I checked out Wikipedia and learned that the Bakersfield area of Kern County is the most productive oil producing county in the US and the fourth most productive by value in agriculture. Major crops include grapes, citrus, almonds, carrots, alfalfa, cotton and roses.

Here are some of the oil wells, shipping facilities and orchards we passed:


The sun was lovely on the golden grass landscape as we approached the southern end of Yosemite National Park:

We arrived at the High Sierra RV park almost at dark to find it had a very crowded with a very narrow access. Thomas did a superb job getting us parked and we called it a night!

Day 20 Saturday May 25: Bryce Canyon - Las Vegas

While we were breaking camp this morning, we had a very interesting visit with the two ladies staying next to us, Linda Hardin and Linda Dean. They are colleagues who conduct international seminars on self evolvement, living deliberately and personal improvement through Avatar: The Compassion Project. Linda Dean, from the Chicago area, shared the concept which totally intrigued me; I purchased the literature and will share with friends back home: let me know if you’re interested. You can also check out the website:

Linda Hardin, who lives in Colorado is an avid photographer, accepted Linda’s invitation to join her on this leg of her trip and drove her own car taking pictures along the way. She explained the concept of DHR, Digital High Resolution, photography to me where you use a tripod, manual setting and take 3 photos in rapid sequence, melding them together using a special computer program. If anyone out there understands this, please let me know as I hope to try it someday. It was a pleasure to meet to such kindred spirits.

On this 260 mile travel day, the red rocks of Utah turn into the bright lights of Las Vegas. Here are some views along the way:

Would you believe we didn’t even gamble or sightsee here?! Not even a slot machine! Opted out for laundry: are we getting old and pathetic or what?! Seriously, with the traffic, Thomas had enough driving and was not interested and I had been here before; a place that does not entice us, so we put up our feet and relaxed, once the sun went down: a ripe 95 degrees that afternoon, and it’s only May. The Oasis RV Park was pretty snazzy, with paved set up areas, a golf course and multiple pools.

Day 19 Friday May 24: Part 2 Bryce Canyon Nation Park

Being totally famished after our awesome ATV adventure, we stopped at a local restaurant for a bite to eat including wonderful homemade pie! Then it was on to Bryce Canyon, another of my favorite places. From vast vistas to rows of hoodoos to rock details to time weathered trees this is again a place where photos speak for themselves: