Saturday, April 28, 2012

Wildlife Right in Our Own Back Yard

You know, it's usually just about impossible to photograph any of the wildlife around our yard. Mostly because of two reasons:
1.) The animals are afraid of any person holding a camera.
2.) The noise from our pretty constant traffic frightens them off if the camera hasn't done so already.

The last twenty-four hours are proving the exception to the rule, however, as we've gotten photos of a bunny rabbit and a Mama Mourning Dove on her nest. The little rabbit was in the front yard, eating grass and not too nervous of the passing cars. I took a few pictures through the door screen, but the bunny even let me open the door and stand there photographing him for a minute!

This evening, Dad went out to bring the wood in for the night and found that the little mourning dove (who nested a while ago on the wood in the shed) had hatched her two eggs! Mom took the camera out, and the dove actually stayed there while Mom took a photo. Dad says that the dove is actually pretty friendly and isn't even scared of him when he goes out there every evening.

So, the wildlife is happy. The chipmunks have been active all day (and night). They live in the walls of out bedroom, so Elizabeth and I can hear them scurrying around in the night. Cute little sweeties. Even if they are making holes in the yard. More later.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Another Rummage Sale

St. Pete's had their rummage sale today. It's so big that they actually have it in the old Kroger building. Wow! We got some great stuff. A stack of Reminisce magazines. A bunch of children's books, and cool tins. Canning jars. A cute lamp and lots more!

Elizabeth and I were enjoying seeing the old Kroger building. It's been divided now, so about half of a third of it has been turned into a Save-A-Lot. The other part, where the sale was today, is still painted just like the old Kroger, though. The coolers and shelves are gone, but the painting on the walls is the same old stuff. It was actually one of those old, dark, dingy Kroger stores --- so, the new one is tons better. But, we hadn't been in the old building since we were probably nine years old. Kind on a blast from the past.

On Tuesday, Buddy and Kay came over for lunch. We watched a movie in the afternoon. It was really windy, as we're having all kinds of fronts blowing in and out right now, and the weather had everybody kind of beat. We all just relaxed together. Solved the problems of the world at all that. Hoping to meet up with them again this weekend.

Yesterday, I managed to get a picture of our "bleeding heart" flowers in the garden. I never get photos, since it blooms earlier than most of the other flowers, so this year is the first!! Yay! More later.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Ground Breaking Ceremony & Playing with Boaz

This morning we did something a little different. We went to a ground breaking ceremony at Dad's work. They are building a new office building for the engineering department, and it's supposed to be ready come the end of the year. So, we headed out there this morning. There was about a ten minute ceremony, and then the six VIPs "broke the ground (including the city mayor). It had been conveniently broken and smoothed a front loader earlier this week. Then a pile of sand was put on the top --- to make the "work" easy on the VIPs. Well, I asked Mom why no one ever comes and takes pictures of me while I'm moving dirt in the garden. Maybe it's because I don't wear dress clothes??

We made it back from that in time to sell something from an ad that we had on Craig's List. The weather was so nice that I decided to go out to mow the lawn. It took me about twenty minutes just to pick up the downed branches all over the place. We've had two days of crazy wind, so the yard was a mess. I made the mistake of passing by the garden, though, so I decided to do just a little weeding. In the end, I got a whole garbage can full of weeds!

I ended up getting about two-thirds of the grass mown, then Sarah came over with Little Boaz. Boy, is he CUTE! We played for about four hours, and that was fun. He is just the cutest little thing. And so bright. And so BOY. :) More later.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

1937 Edition of 'Gone With the Wind': A Real Find

You know, there are lots of things in Ohio that are considered, by most, to be sure signs of Spring. Buds on the trees. Groundhogs popping out of their holes. Skunks mating in your backyard. Orange construction barrels on the highway. Well, one of the sure signs in our house is . . .

Rummage Sales! We've had two of them this week already, and things are really looking up. Wednesday was the annual sale at the Congregational church --- that one is the best around here! We spent two and a half hours there and got some great stuff. Everything from a Berenstain Bears book to a stack of stationary to a mechanical pencil. Since we've been going to these same sales for about fifteen years now, a lot of the people know us (and vice versa). They told us that the Presbyterian church down the road was having their sale today. Wow! Two in one week. So, we marked it on the calendar and set off bright and early this morning.

This sale isn't quite as good (it used to be huge, but it's been dwindling in size over the last few years), but we did get a 1960s hardback copy of Gone With the Wind last year. We found some great note cards. A whole bag full, in fact, and then the two of us headed to the book section. Guess what!? Sitting on the bottom shelf, stuck among the pulp-fiction paperbacks, was a beautiful 1937 edition of Gone With the Wind! That was the edition that I've wanted for a year --- but they can be slightly pricey online. Here it was. Exactly what I wanted, and it was $1.00. It's amazing how God supplies us with even the little things that don't really matter. :) More later.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Visiting Stan Hywet for the First TimeThis Season

They're open! Finally! It seems like this winter season (even though we never really had winter) has lasted forever. Stan Hywet closes from Dec.30 to April 1 every year, and it seems like it's been a whole year in those four short months.

We were finally able to go up this past Friday. The weather was beautiful --- not a cloud in the sky, and we were even able to get Sarah to come along with us. Little Boaz stayed with his Grandma for the day, as none of us thought that he'd really enjoy Stan Hywet. There's not much to offer for a little boy who is not quite two years old. The tulips were at their peak up there, too, which was great. The colors were beautiful. We walked around outside for a while and even went through the conservatory. These are some assorted photos taken "around". :)

The house was great. Their exhibit for this season is called The Art of Living Beautifully and features a display of jewelry spanning the Victorian era through the 1930s. This was fabulous, and the pieces on display were amazing. My favorite was a 1920s necklace made of pink and purple beads that were made in a kind of "rope" pattern. Also, Mr. Seiberling's presentation watch was on display. This is a limited edition pocket watch presented to him in 1928 by the staff at Seiberling Rubber Company. The watch is in it's original box, complete with key and certificates. It is still owned by Seiberling's grandson, and this is the first time that it's been displayed.

Another piece that is quite memorable was a gold square-shaped locket that also belonged to Mr. Seiberling. This was given to him by a friend (believed to be from John Wesley Hill, an author and friend of the Seiberlings). What is special about this locket is that it contains some hair from Abraham Lincoln. Mr. Seiberling was a keen Lincoln "buff", and a member of a lot of Lincoln groups (the Lincoln Highway, the Lincoln Memorial Foundation and others). The hair was purchased from one of the largest Lincoln collectors (can't remember the name) and then given to Mr. Seiberling. Elizabeth and I thought that was pretty cool to see.

Also as part of this year's displays, various clothes from the Seiberling family were on display throughout the house. It was quite eye-opening to see how normal all of the clothes actually looked when not seen in a black-and-white photograph. The dress that really thrilled me was a bright red flapper dress, complete with matching accessories, that was in Irene's bedroom. Wow! That thing was a work of art.

Well, Elizabeth and I are hoping to go back in the next couple of weeks for another go. We'd like to see the Gate House and take the Nooks and Crannies tour. Not to mention that you can, apparently, hike the foot path around to a view of the back of the house. We'd like to take that in as well. More later.

Catching up on Easter and Other News

Oh, that my words were now written! Oh, that they were printed in a book, that they were graven with an iron pen and lead, in the rock for ever! For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth; and though after my skin, worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God . . .
Job 19: 25

This last week has literally flown by (evidenced by the lack of blogging)! So, I think that I'm actually going to post two entries to catch up on the news.

Easter was great. As it always happens, we didn't take a single picture, so nothing "visual" to post. We spent the entire day with the Keultjeses. We got up kind of early in order to have our breakfast and to give each other some little presents. Mom and Dad got us each a charm for our bracelets, a little stuffed animal (mine is a billy goat!), and some snacks: prunes and goldfish crackers. We're not much into candy. For Elizabeth, there was a beautiful stained-glass picture of black-capped chickadees, which she has hanging on the window above the kitchen sink. For me, there was a gorgeous yellow-metal watering can. That'll come in great handy for my garden this year. It doesn't have one of those silly little "shower head" spouts on it that just ends up spreading water all of the leaves of the plant. I can't wait to use it!

There was another thing in mine that just thrills me. Another garden gnome. This is a little fellow lounging on his stomach with his feet in the air. For shade from the hot garden sun, he's resting underneath an open daisy --- that's just his size!

So, after we finished breakfast and all our family fun, we had barely enough time to get "fancied up" and in the car. We even went to church with the Keultjeses, so we had one long pew for all of us. Claire and Hannah were up for the weekend, and their cousin, Nathan, came in from Columbus. There was communion at the end of service, but this church uses those little pieces of pressed cardboard (commonly known as "wafers") for bread. Yuck. ELizabeth actually likes that poison?! The real shocker came when the wine was actually . . . wine! Whoa. Half a little communion cup did me in for probably twenty minutes. Wine and I just don't agree.

Back to their house to get ready for lunch and have an egg hunt for us "kids" (the youngest one was 21 years old). That was fun. Everybody had a certain color of eggs assigned to them and had to find all eight of their eggs. There was also a set of eight camouflage eggs that were "free" finds. Anybody could find and keep as many of those as they came across. The colored eggs for everybody had little candies and chocolates inside of them, but the camo eggs had money. Let me tell you, that was a fun time! Really great.

Lunch was nice, with some other people arriving for that. Mrs. Keultjes made cheesy-apples --- and that's always great! We all sat around and talked until about six o'clock, then we decided to head home.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Photographing Cemeteries and Mausoleums

We've been spending as much time as possible outside this week. The temperature is cooler, but we've had a lot of sunshine for Ohio --- and you have to take advantage of that whenever you can! We have spent quite some time working at cemeteries for On Wednesday, we went out to Amish country to the fabric store, and we found two cemeteries out there that we spent a few hours photographing. The second cemetery out there was a little one that has a few new burials in it and a bunch of 1840s and 1850s stones. It's in really, really bad shape, though, with some of the old stones and graves actually washing down the hill into a little stream. There was something there that we'd never seen the likes of, and it made a couple interesting photos. The caretaker's shed stood in the corner --- and looked like it had been standing there for a long time. Decades ago, they seem to have put up a sign, and I guess, since that one got rusty, they added yet another sign to the same effect. To paraphrase: "Please, send money if you want us to mow around your plot." Uh, all these people paid for these plots with the stipulation that the cemetery would upkeep the area.
Anyway . . .

So, on a different day this week we were at another cemetery. This place is in better shape than the last but not as great as it should/could be in. They have a mausoleum there that looked fairly large, but nothing spectacular. And, there were six photo requests on FindaGrave for graves inside, so Mom called the office to see if we could get inside. Turns out that the place is locked all year (except on Memorial Day), but the lady who runs the office said she'd meet us out there in the afternoon and let us in for a little while. I made sure that the camera cards were empty and that all the batteries were charged. It turns out that there were about 200 graves in there! And the place isn't even full. We were able to photograph everything in about forty-five minutes, but Mom and Elizabeth are still working on uploading them.

We're celebrating Easter with the Keultjes's! In fact, we're even going to church with them --- then, it's back to their house for egg-hunting and Dinner. Mrs. Furr and others are over for Dinner, so that should be really fun. I can't wait. Tomorrow can't come soon enough for me. Still have some getting ready to do, though, which means that I should probably stop here and get to it! More later.