Saturday, July 28, 2012

Henry County's Finest

     Today Henry County put it's best foot forward and invited the world into our backyard to experience our local heritage.  Every year, the last Saturday in July, we hold our Henry County Harvest Showcase.  This event is held at the county fairgrounds, publicized statewide and even warrants live broadcasts from Louisville's WHAS TV personality, Reed Yadon.

     To say the showcase has grown from humble beginnings to a regional event of major proportions would be an understatement.  Only around 500 people attended the first one held several years ago, with current totals reaching several thousand.  Besides the locals, people come from Louisville, Lexington and even further...especially, city folk.  Many kids and even some adults who come have never been up close and personal with farm animals before.  It is really interesting to hear the questions they ask.

     The whole purpose of the showcase is to promote our agricultural heritage.  Henry County used to be a thriving farm county.  Unfortunately, working farms are not as plentiful as they once were, but agriculture is still a major part of the county's economy.   We are proud of our rural heritage and eagerly share that experience with the thousands of visitors that come to the country to buy homegrown fruits and vegetables, handmade crafts and baked goods, hear some local talent, eat locally produced food, see real, live farm animals, and maybe even learn to milk a cow. (See video below)

     For us local folk, it's much like a reunion.  We see friends that we don't see everyday and enjoy catching up on the latest news as we stand around eating a locally grown hamburger or fresh ear of corn on the cob.  And someone always has homemade ice cream for sale...yum!

     Kenneth and I went out today and had a great time.  Most years we would have complained about the heat, but not this year.  It was probably in the upper 80s, maybe even 90, but after a summer of 100 and above temperatures it felt like a cool day.  

     I am already looking forward to next year, but until then, I took a few pictures.  Hope you enjoy them.

      Food and Craft Tents

Bookmobile and Librarian Linda 
Tour the grounds
Check out the tractors
Kids learn to milk
My brother-in-law David with our cows
Red Holsteins are rare.  
9 day old calf
And, just in case you ever wanted to know how to milk a cow...this is for you!

Until next time...that's my view.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Time to Start Planning for the Holidays

     Can you believe it is already time to start planning for the holidays!    This year, why not plan ahead and not let them slip up on you.     Some gifts may take a little advanced planning, but can be the easiest and best gifts you purchase this year.

     I want to tell you about a place to find the perfect gift that you may not have thought about.  This year why not order those gifts for the hard to shop for people on your list from Vista Print,   No matter how particular your gift recipients are, everyone loves to get a personalized gift that looks like you put a lot of effort into.   What parent or grandparent doesn't love to get anything with a picture of their child or grandchild on it?  Those are always my favorite gifts; especially since my grandkids don't live close enough that I get to see them often.  Or what executive or writer on your list wouldn't love an engraved pen or notebook?
     Vista Print, offers a large variety of personalized gifts to choose from at reasonable prices.    You can choose from gifts such as calendars, t-shirts, mugs, tote bags, mousepads, ink pens, keychains, ornaments and photo books.  While you're at it, stock up on your photo Christmas cards, invitations, announcements, and labels.    You can plan for all your holiday needs.

     Vista Print, also offers a great assortment of everyday stationary and gifts.  I personally know several people who have used their business cards and other items and have been very pleased with the results.
     I really hope you will check them out.  I plan to!

Until next time...that's my view.

This post was written for possible compensation by Vista Print but all opinions and recommendations expressed are my own.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Moments That Left Me Breathless

     “Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.” ― Hilary Cooper

     The above  quote is one of my favorites because of the simple logic that can make such a dramatic difference in the life we live.  Too  many  people go through life never taking time to appreciate the little moments that are so important.  Appreciating the little moments in life is essential to enjoying life and all it has to offer.   Finding the beauty in every day will make us more aware of those little moments that take our breath away.

      This week's prompt for our GBE 2 writing group is the word breathless.  There are many ways you could interpret this word and many directions you could go with writing about it.  I decided to think back on many of the moments in my life that left me breathless.  This is by no means an exhaustive list, but here are some of the top moments that took my breath away.    Many of them still do, no matter how many times I see them.

1.    The first time Kenneth asked me out.

2.    The first time Kenneth kissed me.

3.    The Christmas eve I unwrapped my engagement ring.

4.    My Wedding Day

5.    The day my son was born and I looked at that tiny little face.

6.    Every time my baby boy accomplished a new task such as 
       laughing, rolling over, calling
       me momma, etc. 

7.    The day my son got married.

8.    The day both of my grandchildren were born.

9.    Every time I see a rainbow or a beautiful sunset.

10.  Any time I see the view from the top of a mountain.

11.   Any time I stand on the beach and see the vastness of the ocean.

12.   Many times on my first cruise, seeing for the first time
        the beauty of the Caribbean.

13.  Every time my grandchildren run in the house when
       coming for a visit.

14.  Every time I see a butterfly.

15.  Every time I get together with my friends and realize   
       how blessed I am.

16.  Every time I hear a beautiful hymn sung with conviction.

17.  Every time I witness a miracle.

18.  Every time I feel the presence of God and see the blessings of his mercy and grace.

     I could go on and on for days because I am so blessed.   I don't believe in waiting for the mountain top highs to take my breath away.  I would rather enjoy the beauty of the little moments that bring joy to my life.  Those are the real moments that take my breath away.

Until next time...that's my view.


Saturday, July 21, 2012

Never Too Old to Learn

     Education...the dictionary defines it as the act or process of imparting or acquiring general knowledge, developing the powers of reasoning and judgment, and generally of preparing oneself or others intellectually for mature life.

     When most people think of education, they think of formal education, starting with pre-school or kindergarten, and ending anywhere from high school to doctorate degrees.  Formal education is definitely a large portion of our lives and may determine our career path.   As important as formal education is, to me, it is not the education that makes us who we are; that form of education starts on the day you are born.

     Education is an automatic result of living life.  Even the tiniest baby learns quickly how to get their parents attention; how to get fed when they are hungry; and who they can trust.  And they don't stop there.  Everyday, much to the delight of the parents, they learn something new.  That learning doesn't stop when they are no longer babies, nor when they start their formal education.

     Every day of our lives is a learning opportunity, and, I would be so bold as to say that every day you learn something new; often without even realizing it.   Learning something new doesn't have to be earth-shattering.  It may be as simple as learning a new shortcut to use when texting or as complicated as learning a new hobby or craft.  My point is, life is an education.  It doesn't stop when we graduate.  

     Education has no boundaries nor age limits...we are never too old to learn.  Life is about being open to new things and opening our eyes to what is around us.   Education is a life-long process.

Written for Week 61 GBE 2 prompt - Education

Until next time...that's my view.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Real Story of Beth's Mysterious Absence

     We all love our Beth and have felt a huge loss during her absence this month.    It's like not seeing a close member of your own family and I miss her very much, as I'm sure all within her blogging circles do.  But why all the secrecy and sneaking around?    What is Beth really up to?  
     Let's face it...we all know Beth has a flair for the mysterious.  After all, she won't even show the world her beautiful face, but instead, opts for a cute avatar on her blog and facebook page.  This helps her create that air of mystery that keeps us all eager to know her better and to lean on every word of wisdom that comes from her blog.  We just can't get enough.   That's why this unexplained absence has left us all shaken and consumed with curiosity.  

     Unfortunately for Beth,  her careful plotting and planning in secrecy were no match for my powers of deduction and sheer nosiness and I was able to decipher her well hidden plans.    Here is where Beth really is.

     She and the Hubs have decided it is time to start a new chapter in their lives.  Finally, it will be their time to live the life they have always dreamed of.  Trouble is, they can't decide just where they should start their new adventure.   Beth has the heart of an artist so maybe an artist colony in the beautiful forested countryside of southern Indiana.  But then, she and the Hubs both love the majesty and beauty of the mountains...that has to be considered.  And, to make the decision even harder, she can't quite shake the romantic allure of a quaint little cottage on a deserted beach.    How can they make such an important decision?

     So is born the idea of a long, quiet getaway for two.   A romantic adventure that could decide the course of the rest of their lives.  Starting in Indiana, they would spend some time in each of the settings that had filled their dreams.  First, the artist colony where they would leisurely stroll around the area, getting to know the locals and getting a taste of what it would be like to live there.  From there they would travel to Tennessee where they would rent a beautiful cabin in the mountains, exploring life on both the Tennessee and the North Carolina sides, finding what life there would have to offer.  Last, but not least, they would drive through North Carolina, stopping to check out the pottery makers community around Asheboro.  Leaving from there, they will finally reach their final destination...a sleepy little community on the North Carolina coastline.  

     Completing their 2 weeks of exploration and quality time spent together, they will return home to spend even more quality time with the grands and the rest of their family.    Once the vacation time is over Beth and the Hubs will have lots of time to review the many pictures, brochures, notes and other memorabilia from their special trip.  Then will come the time for serious decisions.  But for now, they are having the month that will make memories for a lifetime.

Until next time...that's my view.


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Life's Highs and Lows

     During the first 2 weeks of July, I have experienced life from one extreme to the other; from its worst to its best; from its lowest to its highest.  It has not been an easy time.  For those who have missed me and were concerned, thank you for caring and checking on me.  For those who knew what was going on, thank you for your support.   

     The month started with the death of my mother-in-law.  She was a special lady and was known and loved by an entire community.   In my early years as a new bride she was a mentor, teacher, and shining example of what it meant to be a good farmer's wife.  She was like a second mother and lived much closer than my own mother.

     She died on June 30th and we buried her on July 4th.  Not the way you ever want to spend a holiday.  It was really a rough week.


      That Saturday,   July 7th, was the one year anniversary of my own mother's death.  One year ago that day, she was killed unexpectedly in a car accident.  I still miss her terribly.  Two years in a row the first week of July has been devastating.   Life's lows can be extremely painful.

     Thankfully, mixed with the lows of the last couple of weeks have also been some beautiful highs that have made the month bearable.    When my son and daughter-in-law left to go home on July 5th, they left our two beautiful grandchildren to spend the week with Granny and Grandpa.    Children have a way of putting things in perspective and getting us through even the darkest times in our lives.   They remind us that life must go on and can bring a smile to our faces even when we are feeling our lowest.

     Since our grandchildren live almost 300 miles away, time spent with them is always a special blessing.  They are always sunshine after the storm, but especially so this time.  They kept me from falling into a deep well of depression and instead filled me with hope and happiness.  We had a wonderful time in spite of the way our time started out.


     To say they love the swimming pool would be a vast understatement.  They would have stayed in it 24/7 if I would have let them.  It may not be huge but it sure provided a huge amount of fun.

     On Tuesday, sister Jane, niece Cheri, great niece Jayna, nephew Chris, great niece Bella,  Jacob, Nicole and I went to Indiana to visit my dad.  While there, all but Dad, Jane and Jayna went to Marengo cave to take a tour.  I hadn't been in the cave since I was a kid and really enjoyed the trip, as did the rest of our crew.

     Not wanting my time with the kids to end, we went on one more adventure before taking them home.  On the day we were to meet their mom halfway, we picked up my friend Brenda and headed to Glendale to eat at the famous Whistle Stop restaurant. 

     The kids had never been there but after eating decided they really liked the food.  After lunch, we walked around in a couple of shops until it was time to make the long drive to meet their mom.  Despite the look on Jacob's face, he really did have a good time and really enjoyed Glendale.  We all had a fun time and hated to see it end.

     Such is the roller coaster ride I have been on so far this month.  Thanks again for everyone's support.  I am looking forward to the rest of the month getting back to normal (if there is such a thing).    Thankfully, no matter how dark life becomes at times, my God, my family and my friends always help me find the light.  Love to all!

Until next time...that's my view.