Isaiah 6:8

8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Monday, April 30, 2012

Z is for Zenith

Z is for Zenith

Today is my final entry in the April A-Z challenge.  Today is not an actual adventure but the summit, of Zenith of many adventures.  Throughout the month I have told you of the adventures I have had and the adventures I on my bucket list.  I realize in life that just because it is written down does not mean it is going to be.  It may not be God's plan for you at that time.  Scotland, or the many other places I want to see may have to wait. Who knows....but for now....right here in this place I have lived a great adventure.  I have a wonderful life, a wonderful husband, wonderful children, wonderful family and wonderful friends.  This truly is a day that the Lord has made and I will be glad and rejoice in it!  Many people have been with me on the ride of my life to date and they have made my adventures wonderful.  I look forward to many, many more grand adventures with many more friends and family.  Life is for living....I want to play in the game not just sit on the side lines and watch.  You may wonder why I chose Z for Zenith today.  Well according to Merriam-Webster the definition for zenith is: 1. the point on the celestial sphere vertically above a given position or observer. 2. a highest point or state; culmination.   apex, summit. So, as the A-Z challenge reaches it's summit I must thank you for being with me on the adventure I have had coming up with themed words using the alphabet and hope you will still stop by and set a spell with me from time to time.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Project 365 - Week 17

We are 17 weeks into Project 365 and this week was a slow one photographically for me.  I managed to get a shot a day until yesterday and I am so glad you are here to share my attempts with me.  I have been participating in the April A-Z Challenge this month and even though I am enjoying it I am glad tomorrow is my Z day.  If you like pictures of anything from a Tax Time Pig to gorgeous sunsets and flowers then hop over to Sarah's blog and see everyone else's offerings.  I promise you won't regret it.
Sunday, April 22nd
Today was Homecoming at our church.  Our guest pastor was Rev. Tommy Burks and Still Magnolias sang.  Following the service was a fabulous lunch.  I will tell you this....our Rock Mills ladies know how to lay a spread.....too bad I was sick.  The picture above is actually a tree stump that was caused by some straight line winds several years ago.....the ivy has covered the entire piece and I think it is an interesting front yard edifice.....but then what do I know....I love ivy.

Monday, April 23rd
Sunset Monday evening.  I love sunset shots when the trees and everything look black and the only light you see is the sun itself.
Tuesday, April 24th
We had to go to Lineville after school today to a viewing.  Beth and Jan's mom died.  I teach with these sisters and our path of illness and dementia with parents has run a parallel road.  Lineville is about 30 minutes from us so I went home, picked up Frank, and we headed to Bennefield Funeral Home.  Just outside of Wadley I saw this bottle tree.  I was hoping the light would still be good enough to get it on the return trip and I was lucky.  The blue bottles were so pretty....I don't know how well wine bottles on a dead tree would go over at the parsonage.  What do you think?

Wednesday, April 25th
On my way to work this morning I saw this bush but could not make the stop because I had a student coming in to make up a test.  On the way home I stopped and found this gorgeous plant.  I think it is some kind of rhododendron or hydrangea.  Anyone out there who knows I would appreciate a shout out with an answer.

Thursday, April 26th

When Frank picked me up on Thursday I saw his new car signs had come in.  He was tickled.  The excaliber was ahead of us on the road home.  It is not window was that dirty.

Friday, April 27th
On Tuesday I took a picture of this sad little cemetary and when I looked at it I found it was blurred because we were moving.  So, Friday on my way home I went there again and took another shot.  With all the high grass, the old headstones(some have toppled) there is still a cross and flag standing proudly.

Saturday, April 28th

We went to M.L. Awbry's(THE place in Roanoke to go and get amazing plants - as well as feed, seeds, and other cool stuff-I by special Christmas ornaments there too) today and bought all these gorgeous plants (and several more) for my front yard flower bed.  I cannot wait to get them in the ground.  I am also doing some bucket gardening and we bought flower pots and some cucumbers and squash to plant along the fence line.  I already have a tomato plant and a pepper plant growing in a pot.  The pink knockout rose is going in the backyard to replace a hydrangea that did not make it.  Have a great week and I hope to see you here next week!  I will post pictures once we get the garden set.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Y is for Yakima

Y is for Yakima

One of my favorite foods in the world is a good, ripe, juicy apple and Yakima kept me pretty busy.  On my W adventure I encountered a town southeast of Mt. Ranier called Yakima and their Farmer's Market.  It was there I discovered just how good a Granny Smith, Fuji, Rome Gala and host of others could be straight off a tree.  I ate so many apples I thought I was going to turn into one..  I ate apples while we were there everyway imaginable.  I also fell in love with a Braeburn apple.  It is the perfect crisp mix of tart and sweet. Here in Roanoke, where I live you are lucky if you get red/yellow delicious, Granny Smith, and maybe some other obscure variety.  Sigh!

We also traveled down the Colombia River Gorge, saw some incredible wineries, had an awesome view of Mt. Ranier.  It seems that Yakima's weather and temerature is much like that in Italy where grapes are grown so it is a perfect place to grow them here.

All the fruits and vegetables grown in the Yakima area are nurtured in ideal growing conditions. Washington State provides the perfect combination of hot, dry days and cool, crisp nights. Rich, volcanic soil and Cascade Mountain water offer the optimal nutrients for “the best on earth.”  I ate raspberries that were bigger than my thumb, blueberries that were huge, and my favorite.....Ranier cherries.  The girls, Dianne and Cecilia...and me too of course loaded up on the fresh stuff and headed back to Walla Walla.  I have to say that for me Yakima is this tasters choice of a wonderful Y adventure.

Friday, April 27, 2012

X is for Xenia

X is for Xenia
Two more days left of the April A-Z challenge and so far I have had a letter for each day.  Today is somewhere I have never been but would like to visit.  X is for Xenia, OH.  Have you ever heard of it?  I hadn't until 1974 when an F5 tornado hit the town and destroyed most of it.  What impressed me was their resiliancy.   That was when I placed Xenia on my Adventure Bucket List. 
Let me tell you a bit about this history rich town. Xenia was founded in 1803, the year Ohio was admitted into the Union. In that year, pioneer John Paul bought 2,000 acres of land from Thomas and Elizabeth Richardson who lived in Virginia for "1050 pounds current moneys of Virginia." Paul influenced county commissioners to locate the town seat on this land at the forks of the Shawnee Creeks.  Joseph C. Vance was named to survey the site and lay out the town. The following year, he bought the town site of 257 acres (1.04 km2) from John Paul for $250. The name of the new village was chosen in typically democratic fashion. Vance called a town meeting to discuss possible names. The committee had considered several suggestions without reaching any decision. Then the Rev. Robert Armstrong proposed the name "Xenia," meaning "hospitality" in Greek, because of the fine hospitality extended to him in this friendly community. When a tie developed, Laticia Davis, wife of Owen Davis, was invited to cast the deciding ballot. She voted for "Xenia."   Way to go Laticia Davis! 
William Beattie was Xenia's first businessman. In 1804, he opened a tavern which became a center of community affairs. In 1804, John Marshall built Xenia's first home. The first log school house was constructed in 1805, and, that same year, Rev. James Towler (wonder if he is any relation to the Rock Mills Towlers?) became the town's first postmaster. The growing community soon attracted many pioneer industries - flour mills, sawmills, woolen mills, pork packing plants, oil mills, and tow mills. Xenia was incorporated by an act of the legislature in 1817 and became a city in 1834. 
On April 3, 1974 an F5 tornado that cut a path directly through the middle of Xenia during the Tonadic Super Outbreak,  the second largest series of tornadoes in recorded history. The disaster killed 34 people, injured an additional 1,150, destroyed almost half of the city’s buildings, and left 10,000 people homeless. Five schools, including Xenia High School, Central Junior High School, McKinley Elementary, Simon Kenton Elementary, and Saint Brigid Catholic School were destroyed. The tornado also destroyed nine churches and 180 businesses. The city's plight was featured in the national news, including a 1974 news television documentary, Tornado!  Legendary comedian Bob Hope organized a benefit for Xenia and, in appreciation, the new Xenia High School Auditorium was named the "Bob Hope Auditorium."  But it does not stop there.  It seems that Xenia has a long history of severe storm activity. According to local legend, the area was referred to by the Shawnee Indians as "the place of the devil wind" or "the land of the crazy winds"   You can find reference to this legend on a historical marker out on a Route 68.  Records of great storms go back to the early 19th century. Local records show 20 tornadoes have occured since 1884. Xenia was hit by a much smaller tornado in April, 1989 and again by another F4 tornado on September 20, 2000. The 1989 tornado caused over two-million dollars in damage, but no one was killed. The twister of 2000 left one person killed, and 100 people injured. This third tornado followed a path roughly parallel to the 1974 tornado.
This is definitely somewhere I must travel to and see. I want to see the blooms, the parts of Old Town that still remain, read the marker on Hwy 68. Yep! Xenia, Oh is a must on my Adventure Bucket List......just not during a time of tornadic weather.  

Thursday, April 26, 2012

W is for Washington State

W is for Washington State

Well, the A-Z challenge is winding down with only three days to go after today. Of course these are the hardest letters to use.  I am glad that today is W so I can tell you about one of the greatest adventures I have ever had in Washington State.  I went to school there for a summer and packed everything I could into each day.  I saw everything there was to see from Seattle to Spokane.  We were in Seattle for the Taste of Seattle so I got to taste samples from a lot of great restaurants.  did you know that you can see Mt. Ranier from the Space Needle????  I didn't and it is amazing! 

I did a historical stop in Spokane and learned a lot about the Lewis and Clark Expedition.  I traveled over the line into Oregan to go to Chief Joseph Days in Joseph, OR and into Idaho to see the world's only floating golf course in Coeur d'Alene.  I also took a plane ride over the St Joe River there on a plane that lands on water and attended a lumberjack competition. The Colombia River Gorge was amazing.  We were able to see a speed boat race that took place there.   In Walla Walla we saw a salmon ladder work, toured the L'ecole winery, and we went white water rafting on the Deschutes River (an adventure I don't plan on doing again...but that is another post). 

 I loved Washington State....loved the rainy days, loved the woodsiness, loved it all.  It was a wonderful place to visit and I hope to go back again someday.  If you want an adventure....try Washington is one of the U.S.'s best kept secrets and there is so much more there than hunting and fishing. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Wednesday Hodge Podge - vol 75

If this is Wednesday this is Hodge Podge.  Since April 1st I have been participating in the A-Z April Challenge so there are two posts for today.  Today's letter for the A-Z Challenge was V so we are almost finished with this adventure.  If you want to read everyone else's post then jump over to Joyce's blog and check them out.  Here are the questions for the week and my feeble responses.
1. Shakespeare's birthday is celebrated on April 23rd...when did you last read Shakespeare? What's your favorite Shakespeare play?  I read Shakespeare a lot in college since I have a major in it.  I also am an English teacher so I have seen McBeth, Romeo and Juliet, and Julius Caesar in the classroom.  I love Shakespeare.  The comedies are my favorites.  My favorite play would have to be Comedy of of the Nights Dream.  It would be hard for me to choose.
2. What food(s) would you recommend a foreign visitor try when they visit your home country?  Bagels and schmear, Geno's Philly Cheesesteak, bbq in the south (wet and dry), Salmon in Washington, Lobster in Maine, Maple syrup in Vermont, our country is a culinary dream.
3. What's a lie you often tell yourself?  I will start again tomorrow I am going to have to borrow from Joyce. 
4. What's something you're good at that might surprise us? Remember this is a family friendly blog.  I would be better off answering this with what are you not good at.   But my answer would be starting a lot of projects and then moving on to another one.  I am the queen of this.
5. Who is your favorite animal character from a book?  Again with Joyce it would have to be Wilbur.  When my kids were small and I read this book to them at ex brought home a shote (tiny, runt baby pig)  We named her Sally and gave her buttermilk baths and let her stay in the house because she was so tiny.  When she got bigger she was moved outside to her pen and we continued to give her baths each day.  We loved her....we eventally named her Dirty Sally when she hit about 800 pounds and seemed to love the mud baths more than the buttermilk ones.  One day some men came and loaded her up....they took her nearby and we heard a gunshot. Dirty Sally was dead.  She was processed and my ex brought the meat home to put in the smokehouse he had built.  The kids and I never ate a bite.  I can't wat food from something I have named.  I am still not a huge ham eater.
6. April showers bring May you have a green thumb?  Sometimes I do if it is an outdoor plant.  Inside plants not so much.
7. Speaking of rainy days, which one of the following activities would you most want to spend time doing on a rainy day-

sort photos and create albums
bake cookies
read a good book
hold an all-day movie marathon
clean and organize closets, cupboards, or bookshelves
try a new recipe
fix something that needs fixing
In order of desire I would love to read a good book, hold an all-day movie marathon, sort photos and create albums, clean and organize anything, try and new recipe, bake cookies, fix something.
8. Insert your own random thought here.  I am a Pinterest Addict.  I love to spend time just looking through ideas and deciding if I want to try one.  I have completed several projects and so far modge podging is my favorite.  I am currently working on a blackboard tray for my dining room.  I made crack potatoes Sunday for our homecoming - recipe from Pinterest.  I probably won't ever do them again.  Do you do Pinterest?  Have you ever completed any of your pins?  Tried any recipes?

V is for Vermont

V is for Vermont

One of the two United States I have not been to on my nationwide U.S. adventure is Vermont.I am torn between when I want to see it.  Do I want summer, spring, or fall.  I know winter is out because I am not a snow person.  I don't like cold. After having seen Maine in the fall I know that Vermont's world famous foliage is at the top of many people's "bucket lists." Touring the state in search of yet another view is a definite must.  I have to admit I am leaning toward seeing it in the fall.  I want to taste Vermont maple syrup and other culinary delights, I want to see the trees changing, I want to see the covered bridges.....i just want to see what all is there.  Have you been there before?  What did you do when you were there? of my unfulfilled bucket list items is to see Vermont....and soon I hope.  When I do get there....I hope to see these things and many more. Happy Adventuring!

Oh yeah....I can hear Vermont calling me.  V is definitely for Vermont!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

U is for Universities

U is for Universities

One of the biggest mental adventures I have had was attending college.  I have a Bachelors from Auburn, a degree from the University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa), and my Masters from Auburn.  I have been fortunate enough to attend Auburn main campus and Auburn at Montgomery.  I also attended some class at Southern Miss and was an National Endowment of the Humanities Fellow and attended summer classes on Miguel Cervantes in Walla Walla, WA at Whitman college.  I have to be honest.  I loved college and wish someone would pay me what I make to just go to class. Learning is a great adventure and I am so glad I was fortunate enough to have had this experience.  My only wish was that I had done this the normal way as an 18 year old....not as a mother of three.  Sometime I think I would like to go back to school and get another degree in something fun to use when I retire in 2015.  We will see.
Sanford Hall at night on the main campus of Auburn University.  It is a well-known site and one of the most photographed places on campus.  I have made pictures of it at night, during snow, during the spring, during graduations....I love this place.
The University of Alabama's most famous site....Denny Chimes.  I used to love to sit on the quad and listen to them sound.  I lived behind the chimes in Rose Towers during my tenure on campus.
Whitman College Administrative building.  Our apartments were directly across the street from this.  This campus is lovely with ducks swimming in little brooks.  Walla Walla is a quaint town and right in the middle of some gorgeous scenery and mountains.
 When I was working on my Masters in Education I spent a huge amount of time in the AUM library.  I used to love the smell of the old books when you walked in the building.  Of all my schools I have attended I have the fondest memories of AUM.  Universities are not for everyone and if you had told me when I was a senior in high school that I was going to college I would have laughed in your face....but one day it hit and I knew I had to do this for myself.....and U for University became one of the biggest and best adventures of my life.

Monday, April 23, 2012

T for Texas - T for Tennessee

T for Texas

We are on the downhill slide of the A-Z April challenge.  Texas was a great adventure for me.  I loved the history of Dallas, the cute little shops in Grapevine, the cattle drive in Ft. Worth.  Does Fort Worth ever cross your mind?  It does mine. 
My cousin Faye lives outside of Plano in a small farming town called Farmersville.  I have been to visit her a few times and she has shown me where Dallas was filmed and believe me it is impressive.  I have driven across Texas, enroute to Los Angeles, and was overwhelmed by the dessert.

T for Tennessee
I could not make a call on my T AdventureTennessee is one of my favorite places on earth.  It is metropolitan, blue grass country, old ways vs new ways.  I love this place.  Memphis is ribs, blues, Elvis, and the ducks at the Peabody Hotel.  Nashville is country music, dreams, disappointments, the Grand Old Opry, Ft. Nashborough, and E.T.'s Record Shop.  Baby cousin Missi and her husband Clay live there and I love to go visit them.  There is so much to do....or you can do absolutely nothing.  The choice is yours...but you need to take in some of the sights if it is your first time there.

And then there is Knoxville.  Home to the University of Tennessee, the host of the 1982 World's Fair, culture, class, tradition, and beauty.  If you are ever in Knoxville and you like a good steak you must eat at Ye Olde Steakhouse.  It is to die for. 

One of my oldest friends (we have been friends since we were five) lives there with her husband and there is always an open door.  From anywhere you go you can see gorgeous mountains, and get a big dose of southern culture.  The South abounds with that.  Want a great vacation....tour Tennessee.  You won't regret it and it will capture your heart.....forever.