Category Archives: ENTERTAINING

CASS Railroad Trip

Hubby and I have had more dates this year than we have had since we moved on this farm.  I’m not sure why but don’t question it because I love every minute we’re together whether it’s here or away from the farm.

On September 26th we went to Cass, West Virginia, and took a rail ride that was awe-inspiring and I would recommend the trip to everyone.  I’m going to leave you with a little snippet from their website and then a pictorial or our wonderful day trip.

Cass Scenic Railroad, an 11-mile (18 km) long heritage railroad that is owned by the West Virginia State Rail Authority and operated by the Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad.

Founded in 1901 by the West Virginia Pulp and Paper Company (now WestRock), Cass was built as a company town to serve the needs of the men who worked in the nearby mountains cutting spruce and hemlock for the West Virginia Spruce Lumber Company, a subsidiary of WVP&P. At one time, the sawmill at Cass was the largest double-band sawmill in the world. It processed an estimated 1.25 billion board feet (104,000,000 cu ft; 2,950,000 m3) of lumber during its lifetime.

In 1901 work started on the railroad, which climbs Back Allegheny Mountain. The railroad eventually reached a meadow area, now known as Whitaker Station, where a logging camp was established for the immigrants who were building the railroad. The railroad soon reached to the top of Gobblers Knob, and then to a location on top of the mountain known as ‘Spruce’. The railroad built a small town at this location, complete with a company store, houses, a hotel, and a doctor’s office. Work soon commenced on logging out the Red Spruce trees, which grew in the higher elevations.

Hope you enjoy the pictures as much as we enjoyed our day.  It was our first ride on a train and I would go again in a heartbeat.  For more information, here’s the link to their website,  http://mountainrailwv.com/tour/cass-scenic-railroad-bald-knob-trip/ .  They provided us a lunch and when we returned from the ride we took in the sites around the depot.

The depot, a souvenir shop and a restaurant are on site at the entrance of Cass Railroad.

Snack shop where the train reloads water for the engine.

Racing With My Love

In our house dating was almost a thing of the past until this summer.  Eddie and I have had several off the farm dates and hope to have more.  We are both race fans and attend Shelor Motor Mile Speedway to watch our favorite racer, Michael Looney.  If you haven’t been to a race before this is where you should start!

Motor Mile Speedway 

The races start in early summer and end in September.  Mike Looney was one of my Cub Scouts a few years ago and I thoroughly enjoy watching his success behind the wheel in the Late Model Stock Car heats. Michael placed 2nd in points at the end of the 2017 season.

Eddie and I only found time to go to two races at Motor Mile Speedway this past summer but enjoyed every minute and we followed Michael on to Martinsville in September 23rd to watch him compete against about 80 other competitors.

A gorgeous day for a race!

Michael’s car was crushed near the end of the race after he had moved into 9th place and was moving to the front!! He did not get hurt but we were all crushed that he was knocked out of the race!!

The stands were packed!

The weather was cold and windy! Eddie and I both were shivering and waiting for the end of the last 20 laps so we could go to our hotel! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then on October 29th we went back to Martinsville to the NASCAR race!!  We had a great time and we owe this trip to some very good friends of our that won the tickets but don’t like racing!!  Thank you Jo and Rusty!!!  We spent the night at The Dutch Inn where we stayed on our first honeymoon back 45 years ago!!! It was a fabulous date!

Dale Earnhardt, Jr. won the race in 2016!

The Collection Must Go

While contemplating spring cleaning, I have decided that I need to get rid of a lot of the collections I have including books, audio books and dolls.  Down-sizing will free up some space and cut down on my dusting which is always a good thing!!!

I have been a collector of beautiful dolls for over 25 years.  All of my dolls were expensive dolls with porcelain bodies and dressed in beautiful costumes.   Before we moved to this farm we had a huge farm-house in the county with about 20 acres. I dedicated one entire room to my collection of Georgetown, and other collectible dolls of all sizes and shapes.  I kept them in covered cases and displayed them on all four walls of the “doll room”.  Most of the dolls are 16″ – 24″ tall and some are 32″ – 36″ tall.

I’ve always been an avid reader of fiction and non-fiction and kept all of my hardcover books even after they’ve been read.  The audiobooks were mostly read when I was working and drove 45 minutes each way five days a week.  Listening to the books made the ride home more interesting! One room held most of my books and audio books in our old home.  In our present home the dolls are wrapped up and placed in sealed totes to keep them nice.  The books and audiobooks are all over the house and I’m not exaggerating.

This bookcase is in my dressing room off the guest room and is filled with gardening, homesteading, crafting and sewing books.

Third shelf in my sewing room.

Second bookcase in my sewing room.

This bookcase is in the guest room.

This shelf is in our guest room.  The bottom shelf is where all of my audiobooks are shelved along with a bookcase in the dressing room.

This shelf in one of three in my sewing room.

These shelves are in our upstairs foyer.

Now I MUST downsize and find a new home for these dolls.  Here’s a preview:


Another Win

Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt

Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt

The week before Christmas I won another book through my Read It Forward site and their contests. The title is Angela’s Ashes and the book is based the author, Frank McCourt’s childhood and adult life. It is a New York Times bestseller and a Pulitzer Prize Winner. I’m really looking forward to reading it and suggesting it to my book club.

There’s nothing finer than curling up with a good book and float away into another life and time, don’t you think!!

You can find books that I have read on my Goodread’s site and my reviews.  Here’s a few books that I read in 2015 and are on the site:

ButterflyPalace_ColleenCoble

EastofEden_JohnSteinbeck

FernMichaels_Blindsided

FernMichaels_EyesOnly

GapCreek_Robert Morgan

GrayMountain_John Grisham

HeadmistressofRosemere_SarahELadd

TheChoice_NicholasSparks

ToKillAMockingbird_HarperLee

Home by Toni Morrison

Home by Toni Morrison

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin

Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin

Some of the books are audio and I listen to them when I travel to and back to visit my brother since it takes a little better than an hour to get to him and some I read when I was traveling back and forth to work.  Now most of my actual book reading occurs at night while hubby is watching TV.  I tune out of the TV and into my Nextbook.

 

Book Contests-Reading it Forward & Goodreads

Being an avid reader, I have lots of books and belong to one book club with some friends at Virginia Tech.  We are currently reading “The Color Purple”  and “The Language of Flowers” and hopefully we’ll meet again very soon.  I finished the latter night before last and started the first one last night.  I love books and my collection is constantly growing with paperbacks, hardcover, audio and now my Kindle.

I also belong to two internet sites where I look for new books and review books that I read.  One link is GoodReads which I have listed on my blog and anyone can see the books I’ve read, become friends on the site, compare reviews and much more.  The other link is “Read It Forward” which has a weekly giveaway and all I have to do is enter which only takes about two minutes.

Craft room bookcase is full of how-to, gardening, decor, sustainability books and so much more.

Craft room bookcase is full of how-to, gardening, decor, sustainability books and so much more.

The book shelf on the bottom is full of idea books I've put together for the last 15 years.  I really need to go through them and clean out.

The book shelf on the bottom is full of idea books I’ve put together for the last 15 years. I really need to go through them and clean out.

Upstairs foyer book shelves.

Upstairs foyer book shelves.

Guest bedroom book and audio shelves.

Guest bedroom book and audio shelves.

Second shelving unit in my craft room.

Second shelving unit in my craft room.

Bookcase in the guest room with Nora Roberts, Karen White, and more.

Bookcase in the guest room with Nora Roberts, Karen White, and more.

 

I get lots of free books from entering contests on the sites I mentioned.  I usually receive at least once a week notices from these two sites about free book contest I can enter.  So far over the last year I’ve won ten books and I can’t remember how many from the year before.  These are new books and all have been hardcover books.  Here’s a few I’ve won this year:

TheWedding_NicholasSparks

What You Left Behind by Samantha Hayes.

What You Left Behind by Samantha Hayes.

Books by Pamela Clare. I can't wait to get started on them!

Books by Pamela Clare. I can’t wait to get started on them!

GrayMountain_John Grisham

John Grisham is always a hit!

ButterflyPalace_ColleenCoble

A new author for me but one I will definitely look for in the future.

These books would have probably cost me around $200 – $250 if I had bought them new at a bookstore.  That’s a lot of money at my house!!

I also have friends that bring me books by the bag full after they have read them.  When I was working at Virginia Tech I listened to audiobooks to and from work and now I listen to them when I travel to and from Covington to visit my brother.  I also read a lot while I’m in my deerstand waiting on that big buck and Eddie says it may be the reason I haven’t killed the “big one”!!  😉

Anyway, reading it great entertainment and it keeps the old brain busy!  I have plenty of books to keep me busy and lots of books with pretty pictures and ideas.

Thanksgiving Desserts today

Thanksgiving is just two days away and we will have a wonderful house full this year.  Most will be here for the whole day and some will be coming for dessert.  I’ve been quite busy today making desserts for our Thanksgiving feast. Here’s a preview:

Pumpkin pies

Pumpkin pies

Custard pies

Custard pies

Pumpkin Roll and my personal favorite.

Pumpkin Roll and my personal favorite.

Hershey Bar Cake

Hershey Bar Cake

Applesauce Cake

Applesauce Cake

I’ve also made the following treats to have for the entire week:

Preacher Cookies

Preacher Cookies

Sand Tarts

Sand Tarts

Lemon Bars

Lemon Bars

I made six dozen peanut butter cookies and still hope to get some German Christmas Cookies made tomorrow and two other desserts called Mountain Mama Chocolate Slide and Dutch Apple Pie.  I’ll also prepare some of the appetizers and salads tomorrow.

BUT, what I’m most proud of is that I didn’t eat one bite of anything while I was cooking!!!

 

Family visit with cousins

Vada is my and her Grandpa's little duck!

Vada is my and her Grandpa’s little duck!

What a very blessed Saturday I experienced with some cousins of my hubby! On May 15, 2014, his only surviving paternal aunt passed away. Peggy Ann was such a beautiful woman and I considered her a friend because she welcomed me into the family with open arms the first time I ever met her as did her husband, Dickie. Peggy Ann and Dickie lived in Lanexa, Virginia and have two children, Stuart III and Teresa. I’ve never met Teresa unfortunately but Stuart and his beautiful wife, Debra, have become very special to me and have been to the farm previously. They have a 28-year-old son, Stuart IV, and daughters, Heather, Dana and Brianne.  Heather and Dana had not been here before and were anxious to meet us and see where they’re grandmother was raised along with four other generations.
On Saturday, all of the family except for Teresa and Bri, but including two special son-in-laws and four grandchildren, caravan to Craig County to memorialize Peggy Ann and spread her ashes on her beloved mountain on the family farm which connects to our farm. This was the first time that me and Eddie had met Heather and Dana and their children. Our daughter and granddaughter joined us shortly after they arrived.
We spent the day with four of the most adorable kids and one being a seven month (I think) little girl by the name of Vada but I’ve nicknamed Ducky. I was in heaven!!

Dana, "Ducky" and myself

Dana, “Ducky” and myself

L J wrestling a huge bale of hay.

L J wrestling a huge bale of hay.

Lavar, Kenny, Ducky and Dana climbing the mountain.

Lavar, Kenny, Ducky and Dana climbing the mountain.

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2015-11-21 069This is Vada and her daddy, Kenny!  She never fussed the entire time she was here and took the cold on the mountain like a champ.

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Cousin Stuart was thrilled to be able to share the farm with his kids, son-in-laws, and grandchildren and they all visited the house that his mom grew up in.  It’s still standing and they’re hoping to fix it up a little and be able to come and camp out whenever they want.

Keep in mind looking at this photo that my husband is not a baby person. He's always afraid they would break. I think he got a little attached to this little munchkin!

Hubby is not a great champion to babies and never was but I think he fell in love with Vada and she him!

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2015-11-21 098

He doesn’t let just anyone wear his hats!!

Victoria and Heather, my granddaughter and daugher , we in on the visit too. Victoria was ready to go deer hunting.

Victoria and Heather, my granddaughter and daughter , were in on the visit too. Victoria was dressed to go deer hunting but never made it to her deer stand.

Eddie and Dana topping the mountain.

Eddie and Dana topping the mountain.

Linden and Heather on the mountain.

Linden and Heather on the mountain.  Heather has three children, two boys and a girl.

Before they trekked to the mountain in the cold to spread Aunt Peggy’s ashes they all got to visit the animals, check out the cellar, hives and sugar house after we had a small lunch.

This was a day I will never forget and am so looking forward to a return visit very soon.

Dean bowling

I’ m planning to visit little brother tomorrow and it made me think of my visit a week before last.  They bowl on Mondays or Tuesdays depending on the availability of the lanes.  They meaning the other Special Olympics residents in Covington.  I decided to go watch him bowl without him knowing I was coming.  I got there a little early and waited for the team from his residence to arrive and joined them as they were crossing the parking lot.  His face lit up like a rainbow!! We went in and got they’re assigned lane and he and Kevin his roommate started changing their shoes and readied their bowling balls.

Dean changing into his bowling shoes.

Dean changing into his bowling shoes.

Kevin gets the first bowl.  He was very professional and took tiny steps up to the lane, looked both ways and rolled!!

Kevin gets the first bowl. He was very professional and took tiny steps up to the lane, looked both ways and rolled!!

They took turns and used each others bowling balls.

They took turns and used each others bowling balls.

Deans turn and he rolled three strikes until another Special Olympics group arrived.

Deans turn and he rolled three strikes until another Special Olympics group arrived.

Kevin always waits for the ball to meet its target but Dean doesn't.

Kevin always waits for the ball to meet its target but Dean doesn’t.

Once the other group arrived and his new girlfriend joined him with a big hug, bowling was history! 😉

Cheyenne arrives and Dean is like a different person and his big sis doesn't exist.

Cheyenne arrives and Dean is like a different person and his big sis doesn’t exist.

They sat side by side and cheered each other on like there was no one else around.

They sat side by side and cheered each other on like there was no one else around.

The bowling lasted about an hour and then it was time to head back to Merryfield for showers, meds and winding down before bed.

It was fun watching him and that weekend at a dance given at the Covington Moose Club he was awarded a new Special Olympics metal for the area and his hard work bowling.  THREE CHEERS EVERYONE!!!

The Gift That Guilts Me

Do you ever get caught up in something that you just can’t seem to stay away from and then it seems to take up all your “free” moments???
My hubby got me an Android tablet in 2013 for my birthday and I’m absolutely addicted to it.

Android Nextbook 2013

Android Nextbook 2013

So much so that I’ve neglected my blog and my quilting and my HUSBAND.  We watch TV together at night but now I read while he watches TV.  Android is the name of my “kindle” and I add new books to it every week while my “paper” books are gathering dust on the shelves upstairs.

Easy to charge and quick.

Easy to charge and quick.

There's over two hundred  books on it currently.

There’s over two hundred books on it currently.

Thanks hubby for my wonderful gift and I’ll try very hard not to neglect and ignore you from this moment on.  I’ll also devote more time to my blog and my quilting before I forget how!!!

Weekend gratification

What an awesome long weekend I just had (Memorial Day Weekend).  I worked my tail off but the end results were so gratifying.  On Thursday afternoon and evening of last week, I moved everything off my front porch and swept down the walls, porch floor and steps.  Then I took a very stiff brush with a long handle and knocked down all the debris from spiders and other bugs and peeling paint from the ceiling and walls.  I worked until dark but even got it all mopped with a solution of two gallons of water, 1/2 cup of bleach and a cup of laundry detergent.  It still looked pretty rough but it smelled good and there were no more spiders and their nasty webs.  The wind was blowing about 20-25 miles an hour so I knew the porch would dry by the next day when I would start painting.  Here’s my “before” pictures:

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Before the cleaning 05232014 (19)

Before the cleaning 05232014 (20)

Before the cleaning 05232014 (18)

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Before the cleaning 05232014 (13)

Before the cleaning 05232014 (12)

Before the cleaning 05232014 (11)

Before the cleaning 05232014 (10)

Before the cleaning 05232014 (8)

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Before the cleaning 05232014 (3)

Before the cleaning 05232014 (2)

 

On Friday morning I took a trip with my beautiful daughter to Roanoke/Salem area and we visited four spots looking for flowers for my gardens, stands, gazebo and porch.  We had such a great and much overdue trip together.  Those beauties will be shown in another post after they’re where they need to be and taking root.

On Friday afternoon, the paint brushes came out and I spent about five hours painting the columns and wooden trim and part of the ceiling.  Most of the ceiling is a very pale blue siding but it’s has a wide section that flows from the porch columns up to the siding and it’s wood.  I painted it as well in the brilliant white that I put on the columns.  They looked so good but while on my step ladder I realized how dirty the ceiling was and the white siding didn’t look so white so I went at them with a vengence and what a difference.  Everything dried overnite while I worked in the yard on other projects and hubby built me another shelf on the entrance to the porch just like the one on the opposite post.  We use these to sit our binoculars for watching wildlife on the mountain.

On Saturday morning I started putting the stain and water repellent on the porch and it took about four hours because I used a brush and got down on my knees to make sure everything was covered really good.  It was dried by 8:00 p.m. but no furniture was to be placed on it for 24-48 hours.  On Sunday afternoon, I cleaned up all the furniture and put felt pads on everything.  Here’s the results:

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The end results and very nice, clean porch that has been washed down, painted, weather proofed and furniture minimized and cleaned as well.  Out damned spiders!!  Not sure how long it will look this nice with two cats and a dog always on it and muddy feet when it rains but it is so gratifying at the moment and a little swish with a broom and a mop to wipe off tracks and we’ll be set.  We’re already enjoying the evenings listening to the quiet!!

 

Mother’s Day Lunch

We truly had a wonderful day with my kids and our friends and it seemed to fly by but I guess that’s because we were having fun!!  The day was full of stories, laughter, getting to know each other and friendship.

For lunch, I fixed a vegie tray, fruit bowl and a small cheese tray.  I made homemade chicken salad, teriyaki chicken wings, and fried morels for the main course.  Of course, the day wouldn’t have been right with a big batch of homemade dinner rolls and loaf of homemade bread.  I made a cocoanut dream cake which was my first attempt at the recipe and it was so moist and good but I dread what it may do to my weight-loss.  I made a cherry crunch tart, also a new recipe, but I wasn’t real thrilled with it so that recipe is coming out of the box!!

Cocoanut dream cake for Mother's Day 2014.

Cocoanut dream cake for Mother’s Day 2014.

 

One of my guests brought some homemade cheese pastries that were so good and we had tea, lemonade and a new drink I’m using, called marguerita ade.  It is so sweet-tart and really quenches your thirst on a hot day!

Family, friends, and fabulous food, what more could you ask for.