Welcome reader to my blog - a mixture of this and that. Now that we are living in a retirement community in downtown Columbia, MD my personal gardening activities are somewhat curtailed. I still enjoy visiting gardens, reading, watching wildlife on my walks, traveling, and occasional food commentary. Please leave a comment if you feel inspired to do so. I read every one of them.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Getting Ready for Christmas

I am a card maker so for Christmas that means a lot of time needed to make the cards I will send.  Living here at Vantage House means even more cards to give out.

I've been busy, but I'm not done yet.  Here's what I've made so far.

This first set I spent this morning on.  It was much more detail than I thought but they were my own design.


I wanted to make wreaths so used two different sized circle thinlits to cut the wreaths out.  I used the holes from the centers to make two cards with Christmas bulbs hanging.





The birds were punched as were the ribbons.



These three cards I made this week.  I got the idea for the two on the right from Pinterest.



For this one I glued on the plaid strip stamped Merry Christmas then used a post it note to block that portion and stamped the trees.  The green snowflake paper is corrugated by embossing.  I had a lot of trouble with this because the paper disintegrated in the Big Shot while embossing.  Finally I reread the embossing folder directions which suggested breaking the paper fibers by curling the paper over the edge of a table.


The snowflake on here I embossed directly on the card.


This set I did at my Stampin Up distributors Stamp a Stack event for September.  I'm going to the October gathering tomorrow to make 12 more cards (3 of 4 designs).




I purchased the buffalo check stamp and made some more of this design.  My modification is on the right.



Do you send Christmas cards?

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Just Some Signs

I've been saving these signs for who knows why.  A real mix.

The first two were in Alexandria, VA.



Berkeley Springs, WV


Outside Lewisburg, WV


And another sign of our times is that we've come to accept that we have a President that lies all the time.
Read this article published today fact checking his latest speeches.


Monday, October 22, 2018

Going Underground

How do you feel about going under? 90 feet or more underground?

We did this when we visited the Lost World Caverns in Lewisburg, WV.


The back story is that in 1942 some caving guys approached a farmer about whether he knew of any caves on his property.  The area around Lewisburg and north is full of caves. The farmer told the guys that there was a hole in one of his pastures that he threw dead cows down.  When he did that, he said it took a long time for them to hit bottom.

The cavers climbed down the hole with a rope ladder and discovered the caves we visited. In 1960 an opening was made at another part of the property to enable visitors to walk down into the cave.

One thing that sets this cave apart from others is that it is self guided.  Once you pay your admission they give you a flashlight just in case the lights go out!  We did use the flashlights though the lights were on to look beyond what was illuminated.




The cave is not ADA compliant.  And if you're claustrophobic I wouldn't recommend it.  If you have an exploring nature check it out.



The temperature below ground was in 50ยบ F.  We were glad to have jackets on but did warm up as we walked up and down staircases in the various chambers and then of course on the climb out which was like climbing 10 flights of stairs.



It takes 100 years for a stalactite or stalagmite to grow 1 cm!






These hexagonal shaped rocks fell from the ceiling who knows when.









None of pursued the wild cave option.





Here's the hole in the ceiling of this chamber where the cows were dropped.






Hard to take photos that have no fuzziness in the light we had.  Also difficult to show the size of these formations.  Take my word for it they've been forming for a long time and continue to do so.  We had drips fall on us.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Fall Color in West Virginia

Fall is slow in showing itself even in the higher elevations of southeastern West Virginia where we visited last week.

Here's the Greenbriar River near Lewisburg.





There's an 80 mile rail trail along the river. We were near the southern end.



Lots of leaves underfoot but coming off the trees before coloring up.














When it started to rain we returned to the car and went for a drive.  GPS took us the shortest way which was a one lane paved road that became crush and run gravel then just gravel and dirt.  Then the GPS decided it didn't know where we were.  The two track lane with weeds growing in the middle was disappearing in front of us.  With a careful turn around we retrace our steps. 

This church, unnamed, was along that road.


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