Thursday, October 30, 2014

Good Fences, October 30, 2014

This week, I'm sharing these pictures of the garden wall and gate at Montpelier, James Madison's home (near Monticello, Thomas Jefferson's home).  We stopped here on the way back from one of our trips to Ohio this past summer.  The gardens are very pretty and well cared for.  Montpelier's history is quite interesting.  The Madison's lost the house after his death, and the last owners finally turned it back to the citizens for preservation.

Again, these shots were taken with my cell, so the quality is sub-par....I really must start dragging my SLR with me all the time.


I just love this pretty
Hoppin' over to Theresa's for Good Fences Thursday

Until next time.....

~~Karen ~~

Saturday, October 25, 2014

A Trip to Cuyahoga River Valley

Lee and I just returned from a trip to the Akron area where our youngest daughter and her kitty live.  She's in the Air Force, and has to leave home for a few weeks at a time (usually 4-6), leaving her kitty, Stemi, behind.  Stemi spent a hard life in a shelter's cage for several months before Katie adopted her 2 years ago, and none of us have the heart to put her in another cage at a vet's office while Katie has to leave town.  So, Lee and I have traveled up to Akron to stay with Stemi for a couple of weeks during these duty-assignments from time to time through this past year.  (While we aren't there, neighbors and friends stop by to visit Stemi, so she's not totally alone.)

Stemi snuggles with Lee
This last time, we were fortunate to find the Autumn leaves at their peak, and the whole area was just beautiful.  We spent most days out driving someplace, just to see the leaves.  One of the brochures Katie had laying around the house was for the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.  One of it's tours travels along the Valley from downtown Akron northward to a stop just south of Cleveland, and we decided to take that tour with Katie the weekend she came home..

Approach 2

Approach 3

Approach 4
The train runs through the Cuyahoga River Valley following along the old Erie Canal towpath.  All along the ride, you can see families biking and walking along the adjacent bike trails.  Whole industries and towns sprung up along the canals and you can see remnants of the old locks and towns.  There are also ponds and farm markets and city views along the way, but mostly the River and the Valley views.
grasses near the tracks from window on the other side of the aisle

Hwy bridge across the Valley
bike path along the canal

Thinking of snacktime, Lee and Katie
After the train ride, we stopped by a "designer sandwich shop" a few blocks away.  We shared 2 specialty Grilled Cheese sandwiches and 3 bowls of homemade tomato soup....yum.  Then, we went back home to pick up a few apples for baking an apple tart.

After dinner in downtown Akron, Angry skies...approaching rain from the West
Shopping at Krieger's Market in Cuyahoga Falls
-Pendant lamp at Grandpa's Cheese Barn deli, Ashland, Ohio along I-71
Of course, Grandpa's Cheese Barn is a must for Lee and me.  Earlier in the week, we took a trip to Amish Country that I talked about here.  We started our impromptu journey after shopping all morning.  We bought all sorts of goodies....jams, trail bologna, maple lollipops, and assorted cheeses.  The nice thing about Grandpa's is that you can sample almost everything before buying.  Great marketing ploy, because the choices are all yummy and limiting your purchases is quite a difficult task. 

Hope you are having a lovely weekend.  I'm off to go outside on this gorgeous day.....

Until next time.....  ~~Karen~~

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Good Fences

We were visiting Amish country in North-Eastern Ohio this week.  It was so crowded with traffic, that I couldn't find a good place to pull off the road safely and take some pictures, but I did get a few....
Yes, those are real goats walking around up there...

We were so lucky to find the Autumn colors in NE Ohio at their peak.  This was a pretty cloudy day, and again, I had only my cell phone to get these shots.

Head on over to

Until next time...     ~~Karen~~

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Where is "Home" anyway?

Here we are in Ohio, again, and I'm really enjoying the visit.  Although I've lived in a few places far and wide, Ohio is home for me....cold weather and all.

Three years ago this past August, as empty-nesters, we sold our house of 22 years in Central Ohio, and had to move out within 14 days. Through a series of crazy events, we came to the decision to leave Ohio and moved to Southern Virginia 2 years ago.

We now live in Newport News (part of the Norfolk metropolitan area).  This is our 3rd house in 3 years, and we've lived here for 1-1/2 years now.  Is it home to me? No.  I've been terribly homesick, but my husband likes it, and I'm trying very hard to embrace it as my home.

Its funny, we lived in Ohio for so many years, but are just now enjoying some of the fun tourist areas while we here visiting our daughter.  This week includes Stan Hywet Estate...

Stan Hywet Hall
and a trip on a train through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park,

Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Train

and of course, we must visit our favorite place....Grandpa's Cheese Barn in Ashland, Ohio.
Grandpa's Cheese Barn
So, until next time