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.  🙂

 

 

 

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FLIP-FLOP DAY

TL 6-17 FLIP FLOP DAY

HAPPY FEELIN' FEET

This won’t be a long post because frankly, YOU KNOW WHAT TO DO!  Today is the day to show off that great pedicure with your favorite flip flops!  Summer doesn’t begin officially until the 21st, but wearing your flip-flops lets everyone know you are ready and waiting for hot weather and cool pools.

Go to the beach and stick your toes in the sand…  sounds great, doesn’t it?  At the very least we need to get away from all the horrific events that have taken place in recent days.  Run away from the television, radio, computer and any other media source.  I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m so sick of hearing about politics in this election year – as well as shootings and other sad situations reported in the news lately. 

Get out of the house – and get away today!  I know that people my age used to call these thongs, but trust me…  don’t do that – thong is wrong, wrong, wrong.  They’re flip-flops and we won’t discuss thongs here.  Um…  no.  😉

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (15)

BECAUSE GOD IS LOVE

Would it be okay if I shared a little about our visit to Ohio for our anniversary a few weeks ago?  We spent a night at THE ORCHARD HOUSE in Granville, Ohio, a Bed & Breakfast about a half hour from The Longaberger Homestead.

The Walden Room
The Walden Room at THE ORCHARD HOUSE

There was great significance in choosing this room for me.  One of my favorite authors is Henry David Thoreau!  Obviously, my husband put a great deal of thought into this trip.  It was perfect!

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion.  —Henry David Thoreau, Walden, “Where I Lived, and What I Lived For”

He was not only a philosopher and poet, but he also embraced a sort of civil disobedience and there’s something about that…  well, it appeals to me.  :-/
Driving from Kansas to Ohio was in itself an accomplishment.  We were weary from travel and ready to move around.  Sitting in one spot except for the occasional potty break at the truck stop makes my old bones stiff and sore.
As we drove up to The Orchard House, I could not help but notice the long, narrow drive leading up to the house.  I think the last time I saw a driveway like that was in the movie “The Bridges of Madison County” I knew this would be a very romantic evening from that moment.
There are twelve acres, most of it wide open spaces, perfect for walking and talking – and holding hands.  On the back of the property are farm animals to see.  We found goats, chickens and one sheep with a ton of wool and very long horns.  There was also an alpaca with the funniest little smile.
 We meandered toward the front yard and discovered an apple tree.  I guess that’s why it’s called The Orchard House.  The apples were green and not fit to eat, but I did find a horse in a field across the driveway who seemed interested in eating it.  Somehow I get the impression I’m not the first person who has fed him an apple.  It’s as though he was just standing there waiting for the notion to occur to me.
As the sun was setting in Ohio, we sat in comfy wooden chairs in the front yard.  It’s strange, the house was full, yet it was as though we were the only people there!  It was so quiet – all I could hear was the sound of locusts.  That’s not something I’ve had memory of hearing since I was a kid.
I felt as though we were being a bit Thoreau-like in our journey.  Our hearts and minds were open to every new sighting.  Maybe we were just so grateful to finally be outside instead of stuck in the truck – traveling.
This world is but a canvas to our imagination.  – Henry David Thoreau
Inside the house there were all sorts of good things waiting for us.  In the dining room there was a glass footed cake plate with a lid, filled with slices of homemade banana bread!  There were little conversation spots throughout the house where we could sit and watch TV or just talk.
The atmosphere invited us to relax and breathe.  To be honest, shortly after the sun set, it invited us to crash and sleep!  But isn’t that what we need to do after driving so far?
I enjoyed looking at the lovely antiques and soaking in the sense of calm around me.  I packed my laptop and took it to the room, but to be honest, if I would have taken it out it would have ruined the vibe – so it stayed packed up! 
 Breakfast was amazing!  Every Bed & Breakfast has their own specialty, and the special recipe at The Orchard House is Sweet Potato Hash.  It is sautéed onion, red bell pepper and diced sweet potato (skin on), with African spice.  It is so addictive and very healthy!  We have made this recipe for breakfast, lunch and sometimes supper so many times since we’ve been back home.  Along with the hash we were given a farm-fresh fried egg and thick-sliced bacon.  Ah…  it was so good!
I’m reading Walden again…  it’s better than ever now that I’ve been to The Orchard House.  🙂

I STILL BELIEVE AS I GRIEVE

I STILL BELIEVE AS I GRIEVE (3)

Does anyone have the number for heaven?  I would really like to call my mom and dad today!

I want to tell them how much fun I’ve had this week and how much I appreciate the lessons they taught me.  Daddy always told me to be aware of my surroundings at all times.  I believe that lesson kept me from harm’s way last night.

We were traveling home and stopped at a well-lit, popular and seemingly busy truck stop in another state last night.  I went in and headed for the women’s restroom.  Ahead of me, I noticed a man standing in the narrow hallway.  He did not appear to be going in to the men’s restroom, nor did he appear to be leaving it.  He was just standing there, leaning against the wall.

Something told me to wait…  so I stopped in my tracks and did an about-face, heading toward the grocery section of the store.  I pretended to need something, but was of course, watching the actions of the man.

I thought maybe he was waiting on someone – but nobody came out.  It seems like he stood there for several minutes (my poor bladder was convinced he stood there an hour).  I never felt it was safe to go back there.  My instincts kicked in…  the instincts my father instilled in me.  The instincts my heavenly Father helps me to remember.

I prayed that no other woman would walk back there – and that prayer was answered.  I got tired of waiting for him to leave, so I went to the clerk and told him about my concern.  I didn’t want to get an innocent man in trouble, but I didn’t want to assume he was innocent and live to regret it if he wasn’t.

God’s Holy Spirit helps me to use wisdom at times like this.  I praise Him for that and thank Him for giving me a dad who taught me to be observant of my surroundings at all times.

Was I being paranoid?  I’ll never know, but I got home from vacation safely.  I want to encourage you to listen to the little voice inside that tells you that something doesn’t look right.  If you see someone who is neither coming or going from a restroom, that’s not normal.  If there seems to be no good reason for a person to be there, they are probably up to no good.

At any rate, I had a very good time and would love to call my folks and tell them all about it.  Wouldn’t that be nice?  I always talked about vacations with my mom.  I used to call her on the phone from the motel – yeah, wish I could do that again.

So, what did we find at the Longaberger Homestead???

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I have wanted wrought iron shelving to organize my “coffee” stuff for so many years.  I found it at a quaint little shop in Dresden, OH.  I decided to get one for the kitchen upstairs and one for the bar downstairs!  I’m so tickled with this find.  We found other things too, of course, but the shelving was something I’ve wanted for a long time.

There was one piece of sad news from the Longaberger Homestead.  They have closed Crawford Barn because the furnace exploded!  All of the basket making is done in the main building now.

Do you enjoy Longaberger baskets & pottery?  Me too!  I have a group called “I’m a Basket Case” on facebook!  I hope you’ll come over and join us!  https://www.facebook.com/groups/669536513153216/

It’s great to get away, but wonderful to be back home.  We’re so thankful for traveling mercies and that God brought us home safe and sound.  🙂

COUNTRY INN BED & BREAKFAST DAY

TL 10-5 COUNTRY INN BED & BREAKFAST DAY
http://youtu.be/4gKwCOOGlEo

Whether you are in Indiana or Maine, today is COUNTRY INN BED & BREAKFAST DAY!!!  Isn’t autumn the perfect time to stay at a bed & breakfast? We naturally enjoy a change of scenery and the rooms are usually very nice and smell amazing! The best part of the getaway is enjoying some wonderful meals and snacks. These great pumpkin cookies await you at White Cedar Inn in Maine. http://www.whitecedarinn.com/freeportmainetodo

Ingredients:
2 1/2 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
pinch salt
1 1/2 c sugar
1 stick butter
1 c canned pumpkin (15 oz can works well, use the remaining pumpkin as a snack)
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla

Grease baking sheets. Preheat oven to 350.

Directions:
Cream together sugar & butter in large mixing bowl. Mix in pumpkin, egg & vanilla. Add flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg & salt to pumpkin mixture, beat until well-mixed.

Using a cookie scoop, drop rounded mixture on baking sheets, leaving room for expansion. Bake for 15 minutes until edges are set.

Let cookies cool and then drizzle on glaze. I used a condiment squeeze bottle, but a plastic bag with the corner cut off works well, too.

Glaze:
2 c confectioner’s sugar
3 tbsp whole milk
1 tbsp melted butter
1 tsp vanilla

Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Transfer to ‘dispenser’ to glaze.

Keep in mind that 15 ozs of canned pumpkin is by weight. You’ll be using 1 cup by volume so there will not be that much left over. Mix it in with some Greek yogurt for a really creamy, seasonal snack.
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Well, I won’t get to stay at White Cedar Inn tonight, but maybe I’ll make a batch of these cookies! I’ll use Splenda instead of sugar, of course, and probably skip the glaze. They’ll still be good I’m sure! It is pumpkin season and we should celebrate! Wink! 😉

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 15

TL THANKSGIVING

NAPKIN PRAYER

I try not to think about the bad days – the sad days – the anniversaries that muster up all sorts of images in my mind that I wish would just go away forever. I can’t help it. For the past 25 years, November 4th has been a dark, sad, gloomy day for me. My father lost his battle with pancreatic cancer on this day 25 years ago. Time does not heal all wounds. I still hurt and expect I probably always will.

This year was better for a couple of reasons. I was busy on vacation so my mind was not able to “dwell” on things. Staying busy is very important at these times. Many people feel the need to get back to work after loss for this very reason. There is something blissful about jumping back into a routine. There is something about regaining some sense of “normalcy” that helps the hurt. Finding your new “normal” is one of the biggest challenges after experiencing loss.

God takes such good care of me emotionally – I just have to praise Him for that! We traveled over 1,200 miles to get back home! We felt exhausted both mentally and physically. Even when you take breaks on a road trip, there is still a certain amount of fatigue associated with vacation – especially the ride home. It takes forever to get home!

We walked in the door and I headed for my favorite chair. I missed that chair! I’m not sure why I was ready to sit down after being in the truck all day, but anyway – there I was! Larry came in with a week’s worth of mail. There were bills – well of course there were bills! Duh! But I spotted something different. There was a manila envelope mixed in with all the others. It was for ME – just ME! I don’t mean to sound immature – but I never get mail! It was not addressed to Mrs. Larry Palmer. It said Linda Palmer. Then I looked at the return address. It was from my friend, Lucinda Berry Hill! Well my spirits lifted immediately!

I whispered a prayer – “Thank You, Lord, for my very good friend Lucinda!” It was Christmas for me. I could not wait to open my gift! Dare I hope that it was… could it be??? It WAS!!! She sent me one of her beautiful napkins with her lovely poem monogrammed on it! I had seen photos of them, but honestly once I saw it for real, it is simply stunning! The best quality available. What a wonderful reminder of the fact that we serve a risen Savior. God is not dead – He is ALIVE! And – He is in control of everything.

Suddenly it dawned on me that my dad is with Jesus. How could I possibly be sad about that? Thank You, Lord, for taking such good care of my dad. Thank You for Your plan of salvation. Thank You for the sacrifice You made for all of us because You love us so much!

If you would like to have one of these beautiful napkins, go to www.lucindaspoetry.webs.com to order. Imagine how stunning they would look at your women’s ministry Christmas function. I can envision these adding just the right finishing touch to a Christmas high tea. In our church we have a Christmas tea and quilt show. How ideal to have Lucinda’s napkins as part of the décor.