Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Fun Thing!!

Lately, I've just been so busy I haven't had time to blog or even be on the web much!
I apologize if I haven't been by to see you lately!
Today is my take-it-easy-and-rest day!!
Blogging is restful!
I'm sitting here in my rocking chair
looking at pictures from the last few weeks.
I ran across these pictures of "FUN" things
I saw at the street rod show at Robber's Cave, Oklahoma.
These were things that I thought Gramma's Guys would like to see!
Cute little pedal car in my favorite color!

Would you like lunch at Mel's drive-in? The man who owns this car brought the order sign and the "fake" food to sit beside his car!

I think all cars should have this break light!

Check out these bumper guards; they're wrenches!

I know you guys all like dogs!  This dog wouldn't be too easy to pet!  He's made out of  nuts, bolts, spark plugs, and  old car parts!

Look closely at the front grill of this hot rod. It's not a grill from a car, it's a grill from a Case tractor!!

This rat road belongs to a friend of ours. Not only is his car funny, but so is his trailer!!  Do you see the tractor seat on the top of the car?  There's usually a really big stuffed rat sitting in the seat when he's not driving the car. Yes, he really does drive this on the highways!!  Now, about the trailer. Years ago, homes did not have running water. Therefore, there was not a toilet in the house; no water to flush it with, you know!  Out behind their houses people built an "outhouse" that was their restroom. That's what this trailer looks like, an old-fashioned outhouse!! Funny, huh?  Wouldn't this be a funny sight to see on the freeway?

And, cool bus!
I believe it was made in about 1929!
I would love to take a ride in this!!
I hope you enjoyed these!!
Did any of them make you laugh?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Morning Stroll

I'm still waiting on the fall colors to make a grand appearance. Sure, we have a few sumac trees that are a glorious red and a few other colors appearing, but it's not near it's peak yet. I'm waiting impatiently I should add, so I carried my small camera with me on my walk this morning. I really don't do that very often, I tend to stroll and stop to often instead of keeping my heart rate up!!  I made an exception today though, I'm still a little tired from the weekend away from home so a stroll sounded extra nice!
I looked for color and discovered the leaves on my favorite tree are turning!  I just love the combination of color on these leaves; the bright spots of red against the shades of green.

I looked for fall textures.

I listened as the soft wind blew the leaves from the trees onto the road.

I picked up a leaf,  held it up to the sun,
and discovered a tiny heart.

I looked for something I've not seen before
and discovered this small flower stem.

I'm back, I'm refreshed, and I'm grateful for this beautiful morning!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Weekend Getaway

This weekend we made our annual trip to Robber's Cave State Park in Oklahoma. We take "Old Red" to the street rod show during their Fall Festival.  You may be wondering what that little gray thing on the running board is. If you step on the running boards you scratch the paint. The little kiddos always want to hop up on the running board and look inside. I had towels embroidered with the words "not a step." Just a kind way of keeping little ones off. I usually take them off when I take pictures of the truck, but I forgot this time!!

We arrive at the park before sunrise. It's the funniest thing, people start leaving the motel at 4:30 in the morning to find the perfect spot to park their cars!!  We didn't leave until 6:00, but we still arrived in the dark!  There's only one good outcome getting there in the dark, I get to watch the sunrise over the lake! As the sun rises you can see the mist floating up in spirals from the water. The leaves have just begunto turn. In a few more days they should be spectacular.
The sunlight also begins to shine on the rock formations across the lake.
I'm always off by myself walking around exploring the park. I like going by myself, I can spend as much time as I want taking photographs or just sitting on the rocks watching the sunrise. Sitting beside the lake left me nothing to think about, I just soaked in the quiet and the beauty of God's creation. Speaking of creation I'm always amazed at the details in creation like this rock with it's bumps and crevices.  Rocks could have all been created smooth with similar shapes and colors, but no, they weren't. God took pleasure in his creation and we are blessed to be able to enjoy the beauty.  As I loaded these images this morning, I noticed the heart-shaped indention.  I love finding little love notes from nature!!

It was a beautiful day with beautiful sunshine; perfect for beautiful reflections!

I think it would be lovely to paddle around the lake in a canoe! 
In my exploration I went around the back of one of the buildings. I'm assuming it may have been a boat house when the lake was higher. Under the house there were three stalls with boardwalks around them and even old roll-up garage doors. The  sacked rocks are one of many foundation piers under the building.

On Sunday we get up early once again and head home as the sunrises. I'm not sure why we do this, it's only about a four hour trip, but tradition is hard to break!!

The festival is always enjoyable. There's a quilt show, craft show, amusement park rides, plenty of old cars and trucks to look at, and great food vendors!!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Scavenger Hunt Sunday ~ October 21, 2012

Scavenger Hunt Sunday
I'm a day late posting my Scavenger Hunt Sunday pictures.
I've been out of town on a fun, fall weekend.
I'll show pictures of our trip later this week.
Our prompts were:
orange or pink (for breast cancer)
faceless portrait
view from the top
orange or...

I couldn't decide between orange or pink so I just included both! This last picture was taken at the unveiling of the 2013 Angels calendar produced by the Pink Ribbon Boutique in Russellville, Arkansas.  My sister was chosen to be featured in the calendar for the month of May. She is a two year breast cancer survivor!! I'm so proud of her!!

faceless portrait
view from the top
of the ferris wheel
I took this photo from the very top of the ferris wheel! I haven't riden on of these in many, many years!!
This is a stretch, but doesn't this leaf look cozy tucked in the fence basking in the sunshine?
acorn caps
Hop over to
to check out how others interpreted these prompts.
There's still time to join the fun!
Hope you have a wonderful week full of beauty and sunshine!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

3rd Thursday Challenge - October 2012

As I mentioned a couple of posts ago, I've been in a photo and blogging slump. I've posted a couple of times, but still felt uninspired. Then, I remembered it was almost time for 3rd Thursday Challenge with Brenda at How To Feather An Empty Nest. Each month she challenges us to try something new or different in our photography.  I must admit I had no clue what to do. I wasn't even in the mood for photography. Then, you know how you read someones blog and the message just seems to be just what you need. Well, that's what happened. I read Kim's post at Focusing On Life about a different technique to try. Perfect!! Something for me to do!  Along with some stunning images she gave instructions on how to take a dramatic image in the daylight creating a dark background.  I've always wondered about those beautiful dark backgrounds.
These images were taken in the afternoon in direct sunlight. I adjusted the shutter speed and aperture to underexpose the image, which means to make it too dark. My first attempts didn't get the desired dark background, but I like the colors of this one!

I also liked this one with the blurred background, a little bit of bokeh, and the tree line.

I tried again later about 4 p.m. This time, I was indoors with the sun coming in a west window and it worked much better.

 I did have to contrast a little and add a little shadow, but I was happy with them.

It's hard to believe these were taken in the sunlight!
This is just what it took to get me out of my slump!
I'm ready to pick up my camera again!
Thanks to my friends,
  Brenda for the challenge,
Kim for the instructions, and
Kelly for giving me some advice about the camera settings and the set-up she used to take her gorgeous picture, You can see it here.
Everyday I'm grateful for the friends I've made through photography. We may never see each other in person, but there is a kindred spirit among us!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Little Rock Castle

Have you ever believed something almost all your life and then found out it just wasn't so? Well, I have!  I just found out that one of my childhood memories is wrong.  I've been thinking recently about fears in childhood. I thought about the fears I had in elementary school; fear of riding the bus with those big kids, fear of not being liked, or fear of being embarrassed. I had all the usual fears, but one year I had a very big fear...fear of a spooky castle.  In the 50's and 60's the threat of nuclear warfare was very high. During this time it was feared that a nuclear bomb could be dropped on our heads at anytime. We were told that in case of a nuclear attack we would take safety in the stone building next door to the school that we thought was a monastery. To me it looked like a spooky castle. The castle was obscured from the highway by large cedar trees, the house itself was covered in English Ivy, and it even had a drawbridge. I remember as we peeked through the tall shrubs and fence, we could see the huge stone castle and watched fearfully for the the monks dressed in black robes wandering around the yard.   I wasn't afraid of nuclear attacks, I was too young to even know what that was, but I was terrified of the castle next door!  
After thinking about this castle looking monastery, I did a little research. To my surprise and disbelief it was never a monastery, there were no monks that lived there. They were all rumors told by children to frighten other children.  I didn't make up the monastery story, my sister, who is three years older than me, went to this school and she has the same memories. We both remember monks walking around the grounds. I wonder if they were just people in long coats or if it may have been Halloween?? More than likely, we both just had nightmares of this place!! "The Castle" as it is called has always been a residence, owned by four different families. It was built in the early 1940's by a Little Rock dentist, Dr. Koch. The house was even used in the 70's horror film "So Sad About Gloria."
My husband and I were by there recently, he stopped let me out, and waited down the road a bit while I took a few pictures. The castle looks nothing like it did in my childhood. The huge trees and Ivy are gone and the property is nicely manicured. I was a little saddened by my discovery! It made a much better story when I thought it was a haunted castle with black-robed men wandering around!!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Don't "rush" through Rush!!

Travel back in time with me and let yourself imagine the booming mining town of Rush, Arkansas. In the late 1800's farmers on Rush Creek discovered zinc ore and soon the "rush" to Rush began. By the 1890's the mining town was well established with miners and investors from all over the country. During it's hey day the town swelled to over 5,000 people.  Rush was officially recognized as a ghost town in 1972 and is supposedly the only ghost town between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains. Mr. H and I recently explored Rush.  Let me just state, right up front, we didn't see any ghosts!!
As we turned off the main highway down a crooked, tree lined road we began to spot several deer along the sides of the road, in the creek, and laying in the sunshine in the forest.  In fact,  we saw thirteen deer. It took us a while to get down the road, I kept stopping to take pictures of the deer!
 I can't imagine traveling down these roads and up the mountain on horses or mules or in a wagon!  I was very grateful for the air-conditioned car!!
The asphalt we traveled on changed to gravel and the first buildings came into view. These three simple board houses were built about 1899.  I wish I could have gotten closer and been able to look inside better, but they're all behind fences as they've become quite rickety and dangerous. When I enlarged one of my pictures on my computer I could see old faded wall paper with blue flowers on it.
A little further down the road was the Taylor-Medley store which operated until 1956. Here you could buy all your supplies, mail and receive letters, sit on the large front porch and gossip, or even get married. The store owner was not only the shopkeeper and postmaster but also a justice of the peace. The shopkeeper's home is on the right.
 We walked along a trail that led to an old blacksmith shop built in 1925. It supposedly has part of the old forge left, but it was difficult to see in the buildings due to the shadows. In his shop the blacksmith turned iron and steel into functional items for the mill.  It's where broken things could be fixed and  where  horses could be shod. Also, along this trail the mine offices, company store, and doctor's office once stood. None of those buildings have survived.
We continued along the trail which wove steeply up the mountain to the small entrances of several mines. The mines have been blocked off for safety reasons. I can't imagine going into those dark mines with only lanterns!
 We then followed the trail down the mountain where the Morning Star Mill was built in 1898. The only parts left of the mill are some rock foundation piers, an old rusty smoke stack and various pieces of metal that have been covered by brush. A gravity tram system moved the ore from the mining level down to the mill for crushing to remove the zinc. I understand gravity sending the ore cars down the mountain to the mill, but getting those cars back up the mountain to the mine would have been difficult! The largest zinc nugget removed from these mines weighed in at over 13,000 pounds and received a blue ribbon at the 1892 Chicago World Fair. How did they ever manage to get that piece of zinc out of the valley and up the mountain to the nearest town that had a railroad to transport it to Chicago??

Wandering on the down the road we saw this beautiful rock wall with two sets of stairs. I climbed up the stairs and could see the remains of a sidewalk lined with rock flower beds. The wall surrounded what originally was the Hicks store, a two-story, rock-walled building built in 1916. Part of the walls and the concrete floor is all that's left. In the 1960's the store was remodeled into a residence. The wall and rock building reflect the prosperity of the period. (The top two pictures are of the wall, the bottom two are of the store.)
These mines boomed with business during WWI when all the mines were open producing zinc for the war effort. Zinc was used in the production of shell casings. The end of the war brought a decline in the demand and price of zinc. The town began to slowly die. The post office of Rush closed in the 1950's and the remaining inhabitants left.
We spend a fun afternoon in Rush. It was a beautiful place nestled in the Ozark Mountains along the Buffalo River and Rush Creek. Most of the time we were the only people there, so it was very quiet. As I walked through this town I was once again made aware of how blessed and spoiled we are. Unless you were the mine owners, these people lived very hard lives and had very little to show for it. I love to read and research about historical buildings and towns, but I certainly wouldn't want to have lived during this time period.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Calendar Girl!!

My sister, Judith, was honored to be chosen as one of the Angels of 2013 by The Pink Ribbon Boutique in Russellville, AR. (She's the one standing in the middle.) Twelve beautiful, strong women who are all breast cancer survivors were chosen for the very first Angels Calendar. Today, at a small reception the women were honored as the calendar was released. There was a lot of emotion in that small shop today...smiles and tears!

The back of the calendar reads,
These women lived through what most of us couldn't dream of enduring.
They have used laughter as a source for healing.
They have earned their wings through their creator's love for them.

This town came together in order to produce a lovely calendar. So many people donated their time and expertise to make this calendar possible, from the photographer to the hair stylists! The money from the calendars will be donated to the Relay For Life.
Here she is...
Ms. May
Below their photo each one told their story. Judith says in her story, "Inner strength is so very hard to describe, but I truly believe that God gives us the strength at the time we need it most."
I have the most amazing, beautiful, strong, courageous sister!  I'm so very proud of her!!