Thursday, August 15, 2019

Sunflowers and Selfies

A visit to Burnside Farms to visit their sunflower fields has been on my calendar since last year. You see while running the shop I never took the time to stop and smell the flowers and I was determined that would change once I had closed and wrapped things up.

Leslee and I have been rescheduling this visit and it was time to hit the road. I didn't know what to expect because I've only seen fields of sunflowers, all the same size, all planted at the same time. What we found was a huge field that had been segmented off with each segment planted at a different time so they could have sunflowers throughout summer into fall. I know we both were expecting to see more of the GIANT flowers and more variety of colors, but they only had one segment of the giant flowers and we only saw a few that weren't the traditional yellow with dark centers. But we weren't disappointed with the flowers we saw and we enjoyed our time walking around the flowers.

Thanks for walking through the sunflower fields with us.

Until Next Time
Be Kind

Sunday, August 11, 2019

FLW - Fallingwater

Every time we travel to Oak Park Illinois I renew my love of the prairie style of architecture and the building/designs of Frank Lloyd Wright. From 1887 to 1959 FLW never stopped designing and re-designing and changing his style. Take a few minutes to read about FLW in the link.

In 2017 we took a road trip to Oak Park to visit family and Andrew and I toured FLW's home and studio. I will say that I love his style of the building but decorating, not so much. He was very determined that all space be used and nothing wasted, the homes furniture needed to go with the building, and I know people that love that, me not so much but I can appreciate it.

This year we stopped at Fallingwater in Mill Run Pennsylvania. It is close enough for a day trip we just never made the effort, I'm so sorry that we didn't go sooner. The house is very lovely but it's all about how it is built into the landscape. The house was built for the Kaufmann Family who owned the Kaufmann Department Store in Pittsburgh.  Listening to the tour guide talk about the house and the family gave insight into the relationship between the Kaufmanns and FLW, they struggled with Mrs. Kaufmann wanting pieces she had collected from around the world in their home and FLW wanting things his way. The windows in Mr. Kaufmann's bedroom are in the corner and when open there is nothing to obstruct the view of Bear Run.

Photos are not allowed in the house but you can take exterior pictures that really show off how FLW worked the house into the landscape, to me this is the finest example of architecture really considering the land where a home will be.

If you ever get the chance to go to Fallingwater, please do so, it is worth the drive from our area and it really will take your breath away.

We are home, laundry is almost caught up and everyone is back in the swing of things here at the house.

Until Next Time
Be Kind

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Vacation Musings

This is the first real vacation we've taken since I closed the shop and I gotta say it was awesome. I did travel with my computer, iPad, and phone but mostly those were for reading my book, playing a game and posting pictures on Instagram. No worries about what was going on at the shop, how sales were, and if the daily sales numbers were where it should be. We've not worried for years about where our pets go for their vacations while we're gone, Pam and Charlie are amazing and have become family to us and our pets. The shop was the big worry hanging over my head while we traveled, but not this time.

So, here is a rundown of our 10-day road trip in case you didn't follow along on Instagram.

Days 1, 2 & a bit of 3 were spent with some dear friends at their new home; fun times of eating, antiquing and lots and lots of conversation, great conversation, can't wait to do it again.

Days 3, 4, 5 a bit of 6 were with family in Oak Park Illinois. Andrew's sister and her family live there and we pack as much fun into 2 full days as we can. We also get to visit with Andrew's mom in her little apartment in the assistant living facility. We went to a great Farmers Market, walked Oak Park's downtown, they have a great bookstore. On Sunday we went to the Lincon Park Zoo, the day was mild for August and there was a nice breeze coming off the lake. We got up on Monday, waiting for some of the rush hour to let up and headed over to Michigan.

Day 6 was spent on the road with a stop in Kalamazoo at Bell's Brewing for lunch and a tasty beer. We got back on the road and headed to Ann Arbor, which was our stop for the night and another brewery was found, Wolverine State Brewing, we had dinner and a beer, well we had pimento cheese spread and hot pretzels with beer sounds like a balanced meal to me.

Day 7 found us up early and on the road heading north to Canada. It was a quick and easy trip and we landed in Niagara on the Lake in time to unpack and walk the town and grab dinner and watch a major storm move through the area. We ate a place called Orzo and had an amazing fish dish, I tasted some local wines and we both gave ice wine a try. Before I chat about the ice wine y'all need to know that I really like deep, dark red wines, nothing too dry and not sweet, I wish I could say that the two flights of wine, one white and one red, gave me something to really write about but out of 8 tastings there was not one of them I wanted to go find the winery and bring a bottle or two home.

Now to the ice wine, I had not heard of it and was intrigued, I asked why it was called ice wine and here is what I found out, the grapes are left on the vine well into January, letting the grapes freeze before they are picked. This really pulls out the sugar in the wine and it's almost like drinking syrup, and because it's not made in big batches it's very pricey, $17 for 2 ounces.  I'm glad I tried it but I can say that I would not order it again, it is sweeter than any dessert wine I've ever had.

Day 8 we drove over to Niagara Falls, the Canadian side, and HOLY COWPIES...the falls were amazing.

This picture is of the Canadian Falls and if it weren't so crowded around the wall I could have stood there forever watching the water spill over the falls and take in all of its wonder. After leaving the falls we drove back to Niagara on the Lake for a walk through their park and up and down Main St. Lots of beautiful flowers and shops and about 10 ice cream shops. Back to our hotel for a late light dinner so we could get up early and head for the border.

Day 9 we got up early and headed towards Buffalo NY to cross the border and grab breakfast. We were lucky that there was a long line at the border and we made it back into the US with no real-time lost. We left Buffalo and headed to Fallingwater in Pennsylvania, I'll go into more detail on that visit in a later post because it deserves a post all on it's one.

We weren't sure how long our tour at Fallingwater was going to take so we decided to spend another night on the road, this time we stayed in Morgantown West by God Virginia. Found a place called Pies & Pints for dinner, if you have one around you I recommend you go, they have a great selection of brews and their pizza is awesome.

Day 10...4 hours and we were back home, we took back roads, which was fun but very curvy and by the time we got home we were both kind of tired of being in the car.

We passed the time listening to Jack Reacher books, finished one and started another, so we'll be listening to the rest of that one while watching the baseball game on mute.

I have a bunch of pictures to share, and I can't wait to tell y'all about Fallingwater but for now, it's getting late and it's time to head to bed.

Until Next Time
Be Kind

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Wednesday Musings

Since closing the shop I get all mixed up on what day of the week it is, it's kind of funny because when my mother retired, she would say "it's Friday again, where did the week go?" Well...I'm here to tell you that "it's Friday again where did the week go?"

With all the distractions at home, laundry, dogs, cats, OMgeeee the telemarketers on the phone, it seems to take longer to get anything done.

So laundry is done, suitcase packed and pet supplies ready to go...we're hitting the road for a fun road-trip today, visiting friends and family and our neighbors to the "way-north." If you want to follow along with us pop over to Instagram and follow me, I'll be sure to share lots of pictures.

Until Next Time
Be Kind

BGB wanted to pop in to say hello!

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Tuesday Musings

Long to-do list today...laundry, packing, cleaning, shopping and prepping for a fun road trip.

Yesterday was spent working in the wool studio, still, a little more to do so I can have a few projects to take on the road with me, not so sure why I always wait to the last minute to do this, but that's who I am.

I'm sitting here looking out at my bird feeders, they need to be filled. Anyway, I just saw my first juvenile cardinal...they are not the prettiest bird at this age, but you can see their potential with the red feathers poking their way to the surface. So that's kind of a life lesson, look for the possibility, look for the red feathers poking out, and you too can blossom!

Until Next Time
Be Kind

Monday, July 29, 2019

Monday Morning Musings

I was all ready to update y'all last night on how my Sunday ended on the back porch, but the heat and cicadas sent us inside to finishing watching our movie. Retail therapy was a bust, and driving around the Haymarket/Gainesville area on the weekend is crazy. Spent a few hours in the wool studio and a fun phone visit with Ashley all the way from Alaska was a nice way to wrap up the afternoon.

We are a few days from departing on our road trip, so lots to do, laundry and I need to prep some wool work so I can stitch in the car.

It's a little more humid this morning than yesterday on the back porch, and the sun is popping up over the trees so it won't be long before it heats up and drives me inside. When we return from our trip, we'll be installing curtains to help block that morning sun and extend our time out here.

Until Next Time
Be Kind

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Sunday Morning Musings

Sunday is breakfast day here on the back porch. I'm known as the "enemy of breakfast" by the other human that lives in the house.

Andrew loves breakfast food, I, on the other hand, could eat cold pizza or a meatloaf sandwich for breakfast.

When we lived in New Hampshire, we would go out to breakfast on either Saturday or Sunday mornings, there were so many places to chose from, and they were all delicious. We moved to Virginia, and the breakfast joints were few and far between, so I started making breakfast on Sundays.

Andrew likes scrambled not so much. I like a good hardboiled egg or softboiled, but through the years I've come to realize that I am not really a fried egg gal. I love bacon and sausage, and bacon on toast breakfast sandwich suits me just fine.

Pancakes, I've tried numerous recipes through the years and FINALLY found one that is perfect every time I make them. They are called The Best Buttermilk Pancakes, and they really are.

This morning while Andrew took Bodhi for a walk I mixed up waffles, it's best to let the recipe I use set for a bit to let the air pockets settle, so it was perfect, I mixed, and they walked early to escape the heat. So many waffle recipes insist on having you separate the eggs and whip the whites till frothy...that is do want to take the eggs and mix them for a while to get some froth before adding the dry ingredients. I follow this recipe, Homemade Waffle Recipe, I use my stand mixer and crack the eggs in the bowl and let the mixer do the work while I gather and mix the rest of the ingredients, this gives enough time for the frothing to work. I learned to like waffles with peanut butter from my friend, Susan, and sometimes I'll use real maple syrup, no fake crap, that stuff is just bad for you.

So there is my Sunday morning...some retail therapy is on the agenda today while Andrew and his pal, Neal, head off in search of beer nirvana.

Until Next Time
Be Kind

Sunflowers and Selfies

A visit to Burnside Farms to visit their sunflower fields has been on my calendar since last year. You see while running the shop I never t...