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Sunday, December 4, 2016

Our Trip to Mount Vernon

Greetings from the foothills! 

The highlight of our trip to Virginia in October was touring Mount Vernon, the home of President George Washington, our first President.  We were in line, facing the morning sun and awaiting our turn to enter the mansion when this picture was taken.  (All photos are courtesy of our youngest daughter.) 

Likenesses of the presidential family greeted everyone in the screening area.

These stained glass windows were amazing to see in person.  They are huge and depict the Declaration of Independence being read to General Washington so beautifully.

We were, understandably, not allowed to take pictures inside the mansion itself, but I will say the tour of our first president's home was wonderful.  On the veranda we got a fleeting glimpse of Mrs. Washington. ;)

A peek of through an arch on the portico overlooking the Potomac River. 

 The Tombs where Mr. Washington's remains still rest today.

His personal flag is at the front of the resting place.  It's a copy the one that was always born for him in battle and has thirteen stars.

The General's marble coffin with elaborate sculpting on the lid. 

Mrs. Washington's remains rest in marble a bit less decorative in the same tomb.

I think the family carriage is still quite handsome.

After seeing the mansion and stables there were other buildings to tour that contained wonderfully preserved items of historical note.  President Washington's teeth are still looking pretty good!   They are a mixture of human and cow teeth and elephant ivory.  The story that he had wooden teeth is just a myth, of course. 

Life-like figures showing the Presidential Oath of Office and other scenes were beautifully displayed.

I hope you enjoyed the photos.  We loved this trip!
Have a great week, Y'all!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Area Wildfires

First, I want to thank the bloggers that were worried about us in wake of the wildfires in the mountains near us.  We are safe as we are in the surrounding foothills.

Gatlinburg last night around 11 p.m.

However, we're asking for your prayers for the evacuees from Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. And also for the firefighters and other personnel. The fires have jumped from ridge to ridge.  We did get some rain last night, which helped, but the fires are still burning.  The rain has moved out, though, and the sun is out, again.  Again, prayers please.

On the Spur between Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge

As of 9:30 a.m. EST on the news they are saying no reports of fatalities, a MIRACLE.
Update:  Five people are unaccounted for.

  Some hotels have burned, but there's no reliable assessment available yet.   The news footage is not encouraging, but we know you're interested as we are.


Officials: 13 dead, 85 injured from devastating Sevier Co. wildfires

EDIT:  12/1/16:

7 dead, 74 injured, over 400 buildings damaged from devastating Sevier Co. fires

Source:  Knoxville News-Sentinel

Update 11/30/16:   Gatlinburg under curfew 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.
                               Raining.  Thank the Lord!

Update 11/29/16:

TEMA: More than 100 buildings destroyed; 1,400 evacuated

Earlier I told you Ober Gatlinburg is gone since our news had broadcast that it was completely burned.
EDIT:  TEMA said earlier that Ober Gatlinburg is gone, but now reports say it's still there.
We simply must wait for the final assessment.

Even the news stations are asking for your prayers.
Here's the link to our local station with live feed:     ...such as it is....
EDIT:  I know this post is not very forthcoming, but I was urged by a couple of readers to post what I could.  The truth is we are sitting, glued to the news and Facebook hoping for reliable news, as everyone else is.

Thank you for your prayers!
And please, please remember:

Thursday, November 3, 2016

VMI, A Stop Along the Way

Hello from the hills!   The weather is fairly pleasant, and the trees are turning.

We recently embarked on a trip to see a few places in Virginia.  This wasn't our main destination, but we stopped at Virginia Military Institute to tour the museum and grounds. 
Click to view fence for Good Fences.

Our tour guide was an amiable psychology major from Taiwan.

 The cadet barracks reminded me a a sprawling castle.

We saw tributes to great men who had led valiant troops in battle...

And of "Virginia" mourning her dead.

In the museum... relics of the past.

In the chapel is a painting depicting the Battle of New Market.   

A closer look at the painting.  If you're interested, the heartbreaking story of young cadets thrust into a civil war was told in the 2014 film, Field of Lost Shoes.  

In my next post I'll share pics of our trip to Mount Vernon.  
In the meantime, I've been knitting a few hats.  This is the Sunset Hat, a free pattern on Ravelry.  It's a good pattern for using up small amounts of yarn leftover from other projects. 

I used self striping yarn with sequins for this one.

Hope you're having a great fall!
Shared at Good Fences

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Therapy Shawl and The End

Hello from the foothills!  I'm going to start this post with The End, and you may guess from the first photo that I'm referring to the unusually long, depressive heat we've experienced since late spring.  I am so glad to see this brown leaf and many others that have begun to expel themselves from our exhausted sugar maples.  Goodbye summer of 2016 - you will not be missed.  

 We planted several tomato plants, as usual, but reaped nary a fruit from them.  However, unnoticed at first, a total volunteer fought to live through the heat and lack of rain from under a pile of compost, and has bloomed and started producing our favorite Rutgers tomatoes.  They are few in number and quite small, but we are thankful for small things like this right now.   (I'm sure Ma Ingalls is nodding her head and sayin' "Been there!" from her heavenly abode.)  Homegrown tomatoes are the best!

Ah now, this is a bright spot and also a freebie from last year.   Some folks had sold their house and were having a moving sale, and I had commented that I loved their Double Rose of Sharon so the lady told me to take some cuttings if I wanted to, so I did.  Of the two cuttings only one lived, but it rooted in no time and now is only one year old and blooming.  Thankful, again.  Love it.

Now, for a little Therapy.  I readily admit I mostly knitted my way through the summer in my spare time.  Knitting is a very calming retreat once you've mastered a few stitches. 

I think Ma Ingalls might be a tad surprised how we like to wear our shawls these days.  o.O  I did enjoy the knitting, and this one is an asymetrical triangle, which shape I had not done before.

There was a bit of dog sitting within the family, and the owners rewarded me handsomely with this 6-cup measuring pitcher by Pioneer Woman.  The pattern is Timeless, and I agree.  That Pioneer Woman knows how to make everyday kitchenware beautiful.

If the weather is still holding you hostage, you have my deepest sympathies.  Until next time may cool winds blow as soothingly in your neck o' the woods as, finally, they have in mine.
A shot of a gated community in the big city to our north. (Good Fences meme.)

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Yarn Bowl & Memories

...or where my summer went.
Anise Hyssop that I grew and dried for use in a Polysporin-type ointment which is on my list to make very soon.

There was a bit more sock knitting. This pattern was free on ravelry by Susan B. Anderson called How I Make My Socks.  The stripes match on these, horrors. ;)  

Back in July when my sisters were visiting we went through Bulls Gap, Tenn. and stopped at Yoder's Country Market. 
First of Good Fences meme photo
They had the typical baked breads, etc. I actually prefer Mountain View Bulk Store in Chuckey, Tenn., but this one is in a different area, of course.

We've lived on our little farm for 23 years this summer and have had loads of fun along with lots of work during that time.  Two of the things I've enjoyed the most here are the herbs that I grew and foraged and used for flavorings, food and medicine and the time in the evenings when I've been able to knit.

  And I've always thought it would be cool to have a yarn bowl that I could use when knitting so when I saw that my blogger friend Kathy had gotten a custom made one from a potter who sells on Etsy, I knew I wanted to do the same.  This was a birthday present from Goodman, and I'm thrilled to have it.

It's not just a yarn bowl though, it's a keepsake of memories from our farm.  In this view there's a depiction of Butterfly Weed that grows wild in our pasture.  It's also called pleurisy root, and mentioned here.

There are two Black Walnut trees on the property, and I've posted about them and what we did with them here and here

Pokeberries grow all over the place, and while leaving lots of them for the birds to eat, I posted about dyeing yarn with them here.

Blackberries have been a tasty part of our lives, posted about here and here.  We plan to down-size someday and move to a smaller acreage, but the bowl of farm memories will go along with us. ;)

Back in the spring I took cuttings from my hydrangea bushes, dipped them in rooting hormone and planted them in old plastic pots...

They've grown fairly well even though we've had a blisteringly hot summer.  I'll be planting them as soon as the weather cools a bit. 

Lastly, a view of the John Sevier Plantation Home historical site in Knoxville, Tenn.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Road Trip!

Most of our hydrangeas have started to turn bronze from the heat and lack of rain, but I still like looking at them.

My sisters were here for a visit, recently, and we had a great time visiting several yarn shops.  Don't worry, I won't take you along to all of them.  Smoky Mountain Spinnery* in Gatlinburg, Tenn. is the coup de grâce when one is shopping for fiber related items so here's a little tour.

It's just off the main thoroughfare in Gatlinburg. The entrance...

Aren't these sheep the cutest.  We thought they were concrete, but they're not, they're resin and a bit pricey, but in case you're interested,  Plow & Hearth carries them. 

The Spinnery has some of the best sheep-y decor I've seen...

All manner of tools for knitting, crocheting, spinning and weaving are available, of course.

Handspun yarns were hanging nearly everywhere we looked.
Look at the gorgeously dyed roving.  I was tempted to buy them all to spin into yarn, but I was able to resist that notion, somehow.  o.O

They have several spinning wheels and looms, too.

More sheepy decor.

There were all manner of creatures sporting spin-able fibers. o.O

Some can spin yarn with their toes...evidently.

And some demonstrate how to use a loom.

I found several skeins of off-white & purple baby alpaca on sale.  The Turquoise yarn is for a nifty winter hat.  After touring the shop and finding our treasures we were ready to head to the checkout.

Look at their beautiful, old cash register!  It's an antique, of course, but it still works and brings back memories of days gone by when other stores had them.  If you're a knitter/weaver/crocheter/spinner and are going to be in the area, you'll definitely want to visit The Spinnery.

I'll leave you with a look at our "Black Iris" (that I forgot to share when it was in bloom.)

*No affiliation, just my favorite yarn store.
Have a great week Y'all!