NATIONAL FALL FOLIAGE WEEK

tl-9-27-thru-10-3-national-fall-foliage-weekI know the upcoming election is important – it’s a turning point for America.  Having said that, I will add that I’m sick and tired of the campaign speeches, debates and mud slinging on both sides.

When I read that this week is NATIONAL FALL FOLIAGE WEEK, my first thought was “Oh how lovely to sit and watch the amazing colors dancing instead of watching politics on television.”

Here are a few poems about this beautiful time of year:

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headin-into-the-seasona-soft-bed-of-leavesall-the-samefall-in-the-valleythrough-gods-eyesprayer-about-short-autumn-daysa-dessert-for-the-eyeshow-can-i-thank-youprayer-about-autumnautumn-in-my-backyardits-crunch-timemy-first-applepatchwork-prairiepath-of-peacethese-people-rockthis-spider-has-such-talent

Sit back and turn up the volume because here are some of the most beautiful videos I could find on the internet.  Today let’s relax with a cup of any hot beverage and enjoy God’s nature.

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WE’VE PACKED OUR DUDS… LET’S GO

WE'VE PACKED OUR DUDS... LET'S GO!

FAMILY VACATION

We recently enjoyed a great trip to Peoria, IL for the National Autumn Leaf Collector’s Club convention.  We renewed friendships, had lovely conversations and of course we shopped for Hall china.  Even though the folks in the club collect the autumn leaf pattern, there are always a few other patterns for sale as well.

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As serious as we are about our collection, we are more serious about the entertainment at our end of the week banquet!  I especially enjoyed the entertainment this year because I LOVE ELVIS!  Okay, the guy had the wig and the big (BIG) dark glasses, so I don’t really think he LOOKED like Elvis without all that, but I sat and listened – and when I closed my eyes, it was like the KING of Rock & Roll was in the room – no joke!  He was really good.  😀027

ME & ELVIS

I told “Elvis” that I enjoyed his performance and that when I closed my eyes, he sounded just like the original Elvis.  Still in character, he did the “Elvis lip” (you will either understand that or you won’t)…  and said, “Thank you…  thank you very much.”  I also told him I didn’t think he needed a gym membership, as I’m pretty sure these shows keep him very fit.  He said, “This was my only show today.  Sometimes I do 2 or 3 a day.”

I have found the history of Hall China and the autumn leaf pattern quite interesting.  As usual, I wrote a poem about it.  I was so tickled that it was published in the NALCC newsletter!  I’m not sure if I’ve shared it here on the blog, but I’m going to share it here today.

WE THANK YOU SINCERELYWe began collecting these dishes because my husband’s mother had them and used them every day.   There was a time when a little brown truck delivered not only dishes, but cleaning supplies and food products to your door.  No, it wasn’t UPS…  it was the Jewel Tea man!  I was chatting with a former sales rep with Jewel about how the times changed and Jewel had a difficult time changing with them.  When women started leaving the home to work full-time jobs, they were no longer home during the day, so the need for home delivery was not necessary anymore.

I wonder how House of Schwan stays in business?  Hmm…  maybe they are willing to deliver their products to the workplace.  And they sell food – wonderful yummy food.

When our convention ended, we headed east on I-70.  Illinois to Indiana…  Indiana to Ohio.  We don’t change our watches or the clock in our truck when we cross a time zone, but once in a while I forgot that we needed to add an hour…  it got interesting.  😉

We shopped at a few antique stores along the way, of course.  The closer to the Longaberger Homestead we got, the more of their baskets I found!  I also found some sugar-free apple butter for $4.50 a jar at Webb’s Antique Mall in Centerville, IL.  I picked up several jars because it is a mere 4 grams of carbs per serving!  They sell apple butter here in Wichita, but I’ve not seen any sugar-free varieties.  Score!

Dutch Country Kettle sugar-free apple butter is delicious and does not raise my blood glucose.  🙂  This morning I spread some on my hotcakes, made with Carbquick (a product similar to Bisquick, but 90% lower in carbohydrates).

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This will sound weird, but consider the source.  😉  We didn’t want to pay S&H on Carbquick, so we got online and found a grocery store in Terre Haute, IN that sells it.

BAESLER’S MARKET
2900 POPLAR ST.
TERRE HAUTE, IN 47803
Phone: 812-232-2498

We bought a few boxes, packed them in the truck and kept going east.

We finally got to the Longaberger Homestead!  YAY!!!  We made (actually I made…) a TAKE ALONG basket with dark purple and bright green accent colors that will look very nice in our dining room.  We’re going to put it on our bench in front of the bay window.  We found a plate that says HAPPY ANNIVERSARY in pewter, and got a free heart-shaped tie-on that we can customize for it.  A great big THANK YOU to Lisa at Longaberger’s Homestead for helping me make my basket.  050

053TA DA…

My husband booked a night at The Inn at Dresden for our 30th wedding anniversary.

THE INN ON THE HILL

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The view was remarkable!  Hills are not what I’m accustomed to, having lived in Kansas my whole life.  This was so nice.064066067068069071We stayed in the Gallery room – down a couple of flights of stairs and to the left as far as you can go…  very nice. 063

LOL…  a greeter stood at the end of the hallway!  He said about as much as most Walmart greeters I’ve met…  ha!062

061Isn’t that a pretty painted piece?  There was a tray with two glasses and a carafe’ setting on a tray on top of the little fridge.  It was filtered ice water – so refreshing!  It tasted so good after walking up that hill to get back to the Inn.  Toto, I don’t think this is Kansas!  That bit of exploration was just a practice jaunt for what hiking was ahead…  😉

080Two different kinds of clouds there…  :-/

We spent the day going from store to store in downtown Dresden.  I found a lid for my waste basket and was so excited about it – what a weird thing to get excited about, huh???

When we got to Logan, Ohio, we stopped at the Welcome Center to ask questions and make the usual pit stop…  LOL.  121

Sorry lady – I try not to get a shot with people in it unless they’re people I know.  Oops.  Hey – you see that little brown building on the R.H. side of the photo???  Guess what that is?  You’ll never guess…  nah, you’re way off…  want me to tell ya?  It’s a PENCIL SHARPENER MUSEUM!  Nope – not joking – that’s what it is.  We got pictures!124 125127128129130131I had no idea such a museum existed…  did you???  Well – now we know – it does!123

The friendly lady at the welcome center was so helpful.  She highlighted the trails and told us which ones would be the easiest to walk.  I appreciated having that information.  We decided to try to do a little hiking in Ohio.  Logan, Ohio is so beautiful and is the home of Hocking Hills State Park.  There are several hiking trails and we knew we couldn’t walk all of them.  We went to see Old Man’s Cave first.  I like the bridge inside.

A nice young man offered to take both our photos behind the sign.  You don’t always feel trusting, but when he asked, “You want me to take both youin’s picture?”  – we decided it was probably okay and we appreciate his kindness.  It’s nice to know that some people do good deeds because it’s a good thing to do.136

139140143146Okay, this is going to sound totally weird…  but when I saw this photo of the bridge, I was reminded of the painting by Thomas Kinkade – Bridge of Hope.  Don’t ask me why, but it looks like that painting to me.  Of course, the colors are not at all similar, but the arrangement somehow – the trees and so forth.  Oh well, moving on…

There were not too many stairs at Old Man’s Cave – but I can’t say the same for Cedar Falls…  going down the stairs was not so bad – it was coming back up that was painful on my poor knees!

147149150152There were all kinds of fish in the water, but we never expected to see this little dude!  153

154They told us at the Logan Welcome Center that they needed rain and the falls were not as full of water as usual.  I guess Kansas is not the only state in need of moisture.  😦

Fortunately, we were traveling with a jar of Miracle Ice – our joints were well cared for after that hike!  But isn’t it beautiful?  The videos don’t do them justice.  It was nice to get away from television and radio broadcasts for a day – and be totally connected with nature and the God who made it.  I’m praying for rain…  we all need it.  🙂

 

 

 

DAY TRIPPIN’ AROUND KANSAS

DAY TRIPPIN' AROUND KANSAS

 

9-5 CORONADO HEIGHTS

 

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It’s a journey we and many other families have taken many times through the years. We went to Coronado Heights Park this week just to get out of the house for a while.

Of course this landmark just northwest of Lindsborg, Kansas was not always known as a park. It was the highest hill in the area (a prominent 300 ft. above the valley below) where local legend teaches that Francisco Vasquez de Coronado surveyed the rich valley before he abandoned his search for the legendary Land of Quivera and its seven cities of gold.

Chain mail was found by a professor at Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas in 1915. It was at an Indian village excavation site a few miles southwest of Coronado Heights. Another Bethany College professor promoted the name of Coronado Heights for the hill. In 1920, Swensson Drive was constructed on the hill with a footpath known as Olsson Trail.

In 1936, the Historical Society sold Coronado Heights to Saline County for $1.00 so the Depression-era Work Progress Administration could make further improvements to the park, including construction of the iconic castle, additional cooking and picnic areas, and restroom facilities. They also built a front gate made of the same soft Dakota Formation sandstone.

In 1987, Saline County sold Coronado Heights back to the Smoky Valley Historical Association for – you guessed it – $1.00. I think that’s a HOOT.

In 1988 a sculpture that says “Coronado Heights, A Place to Share” was put at the half-way point up the hill. It was obvious the Heights should be valued and accessible for everyone to enjoy.

Now it’s a park, owned by the Smoky Valley Historical Association. The view from the top is amazing and you can see for miles. There are wildflowers in bloom on the hill in the spring and summer months. A beautiful mix of yucca, butterfly milkweed and spiderwort along with various prairie grasses are astounding. Clumps of sandhill plum, sumac and gooseberry are found around the north and east sides of the hill. As you get closer to the entrance, you can see where people have carved their initials in the soft sandstone.

I was talking with a local shop owner in Lindsborg who told me the castle has been used in movies! He recalled a couple of years ago when large vehicles were parked all around Coronado Heights – up top! He said he was amazed they could maneuver the curves and avoid the potholes going up Swensson Drive. I must say, I agree. The road is very rough and there are some hairpin curves!

The Smoky Valley Historical Association is trying to raise funds to make some necessary repairs to the park, specifically, update the bathrooms and make some repairs in the picnic area. I asked if the road was on the list of things to repair. I was assured that it was the third item on their “to-do” list. If you would like to give, you can send it to:

SMOKY VALLEY HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION
P.O. BOX 255
LINDSBORG, KS 67456

Or, credit & debit card donations may be made by going to:
http://www.lindsborghistory.org
and click on the Coronado Heights donate button.

A gift to support Coronado Heights is an investment in the history of Kansas and the future of Kansas. I hope and pray that future generations of Kansans will get to enjoy the natural beauty of Kansas as they picnic with their families at Coronado Heights Park.
Kansas thanks you!

The Smoky Valley Historical Association is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation.

Directions: From Lindsborg (18 miles S. of Salina), follow K-4 to the west edge of town. Take Coronado Avenue 3 miles north to Winchester Road and go 1 mile west. Open 8 AM to 11 PM.

We here in Kansas say, “Go down Coronado till you pass the cemetery, then hang a right!” I hope if you’re ever in Kansas you’ll visit Coronado Heights Park.   🙂

THANKS LIVING DAY 18

TL THANKSGIVING

PRAYER WITH FUNNY HAY PEOPLE

Isn’t time-lapse photography cool?

Define beauty. No doubt every person you ask would define it differently. Do you take everyday beauty for granted? It’s easy to overlook beauty because you’ve grown so accustomed to having it near. I challenge you to notice the beauty around you every day and stop on purpose to thank God for placing it in your path.

 Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.  – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Here in Wichita we have a great zoo that displays pretty fields and prairie grasses and so forth. Most people make fun of the plains, Kansas in particular, but I think the plains hold a unique beauty. No matter how much we travel, I’m always happy to head back home to Kansas!

 Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where Nature may heal and cheer and give strength to body and soul alike. This natural beauty-hunger is made manifest in the little window-sill gardens of the poor, though perhaps only a geranium slip in a broken cup, as well as in the carefully tended rose and lily gardens of the rich, the thousands of spacious city parks and botanical gardens, and in our magnificent National parks — the Yellowstone, Yosemite, Sequoia, etc. — Nature’s sublime wonderlands, the admiration and joy of the world.  – John Muir, The Yosemite

What is beauty? It is anything that catches your attention and makes you stop and smile for just a moment in an otherwise normal day. Don’t be too busy or too preoccupied to notice the beauty around you – even if it’s a photograph from a friend. God bless you and have a great day!   🙂