Sunday, August 19, 2012

Shaker Village and Family Trees

            last fall we took a short trip down to an area just east of Harrodsburg Kentucky to a place called Shaker Village.

 Shaker Village is truly a step back in time! Once you enter the area you feel the strength of their convictions, of simplicity and peace. Oh and incredibly hard see the results of that everywhere.

I must admit I knew very little about this quaint and unusual group of deeply religious people.

You may or may not know that the Shakers invented the flat broom, the clothespin, and the circular saw, among many other items. This all seems amazing to me since their leader Mother Ann Lee never learned to read or write.
Shaker men and women lived separately. Some members came to the group as married couples but once they became a Shaker they lived the rest their lives in separate quarters. Order,simplicity,hard work and celibacy were strong convictions of this group. In spite of the celibacy though there were lots of children raised in the Shaker villages. Often they were orphans brought in when no one else would take them.
 This is one of the rooms once occupied by children. It doesn't look like a lot of fun for a kid.....we didn't see any toys or dolls or any thing child like that said children once lived here.

 They may have given the children a roof over their heads and three meals a day but fun and play I guess was not a priority.
We fell in love with the furniture and the architecture of the village. I knew from my Mother's love of ladder back chairs that they were invited by the Shakers,and trust me comfort was not part of that invention. I think they designed these chairs so they could hang them on the wall in the evening and sweep the floors clean.
I loved the kitchens and all of the old utensils, the beautiful large bowls and pots. It really made you realize that putting a meal on the table was not a quick and easy process........after all they didn't invent the microwave!

We were surprised to learn that they have a hotel there on the property. We discovered this when we stopped for lunch at their restaurant. The atmosphere in the restaurant was very tranquil and relaxing so I bet a stay at the hotel would be they same. I actually saw this hotel on a list of the top favorite stays of Martha Stewart. I just hope the rooms are a tad more modern than what we saw on our tour of the village.
I have to say the food was wonderful...... they had the best ice tea I've ever had. We hope to go back down someday soon. I bet it's beautiful during the Christmas season. What a great treat that would be to go down for the weekend and shop and simply get away.
This is the staircase that leads to their guest rooms. I wondered if there was an elevator but we didn't any sign of one, but that doesn't mean there isn't one of course. But to be on the safe side I'd pack light!
 I thought this was interesting and I don't think this photo really shows you that they had separate staircases. One for men and one for women,leading them to their separate quarters. That had to add even more work to build these in each house.....I mean one staircase couldn't ensure that you lived separate from each other. It just seemed interesting to me the thought process in this I guess.

 This trip was for two reasons,one to visit the Shaker Village, and two to search my mother's family tree the LeMay side. We share a family tree with General Curtis Lemay who was very important during WWll. We spent a lot of our time there in Lancaster Ky in the library researching. This research led us to meeting a few women from D.A.R. The Daughters of the American Revolution, a group I hope to join, and a women writing a book about local war veterans. What a surprise to learn she had a story about my mother's cousin who served in WW11. It gave me some much needed information about him I never would have known.
While we were walking around the cemetery where some of my family was laid to rest, I noticed a dog sitting in front of a grave. At first I was kind of scared because I didn't know if it was a friendly dog or not. It had been raining all day and that made it hard to see and even harder to take photos.
 But after a few seconds I realized the dog wasn't moving and was part of the grave. I just couldn't bring myself to walk any closer. The sheer sadness of this dog sitting in front of this headstone waiting on his master was so emotional.....and rather spooky too I have to admit. I just felt that walking down there would be somehow disrespectful and probably upsetting.
In spite of the rain and drizzle it was a great trip. All of the barns with these painted quilt signs on them were so pretty. The stone walls and of course the black and some remaining white horse fences were everywhere in this area. I especially love these dry stacked stone fences,which are probably a couple hundred years old. These have most likely been here since the state was settled. If they could talk....oh just imagine the stories they could tell us.
There was also some interesting cows behind a few of these fences too. I walked over to this one because it didn't look real, but it was....and huge!

Each time we passed an abandoned house I wondered....could this have once been owned by someone in my family. I have been told that the house my grandmother was raised in still partially stands, but where? So still more to research. My next stop is the University of Kentucky to look at old newspapers and even older recorders.You see this search is easy and hard because my great-great grandparents were first cousins! So my search for both sides is with the same last name. Often back in those days people could not read or write so they never knew if the census taker recorded them correctly. This has made me crazy at times!
After I find all I can on this part of my tree I plan to do more on my Dads side the Jones'es and my mom's father's side the Sawyers. An interesting discovery was made before my dad died. We never knew that my mom's maiden name was not Sawyer it was in fact we believe Sawyers......or so I  have seen on old records in Kentucky. This search has led me to discover that we descend from Daniel Boone's sister, Mary Polly Boone. Still lots to confirm and discover.......but one fact has I have learned for is more and more interesting and colorful characters turn up at each point of this process.

I just wish I had paid more attention to my parents and grandparents when they tried to tell me who and where I came from. I hope to leave a better record of things for my sons and their family!

As an interesting foot note, I discovered that as of 2010, this once thriving group has dwindled down to only 3 remaining Shakers. I don't know if this number is still true today.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Space and an Evening Under the Stars

            Have you ever wondered what space smell like? No? I now that I've never thought about it to tell you the truth. But now I am intrigued. Evidently the odor or smell clings to the astronauts space suit,gloves,helmets and even their tools from when they are out working in space. NASA Astronaut Kevin Ford says it a smell he's never smelled before and will never ever forget!

Oh my.....can you just imagine what everything looks like from there, our planet I mean. No politics, no hatred, borders. Just earthlings, all appearing smaller than ants, and all working hard to survive. What an awesome thing to ever be able to experience.

I have Skyview on my IPhone I guess that's as close as I'm ever going to get. I use it often whether I'm inside or outside in the evening. I even sometimes use it at my desk at work. It's a little harder to see but it's still too much fun!I just love knowing where the planets are or where the International Space Station vast...God is incredible!!!

Stop by National Geographic for the answer to what space smells may surprise you.

Tonight we are planning on taking our tractor, some folding chairs and blankets and going out to the center of our property to watch the meteor shower which is suppose to be huge!

This sounds absolutely wonderful to TV, no computers, no lights on.....just sitting or laying on a blanket and waiting for what some say will be a spectacular meteor display!! I sure hope so because with grand-kids they'll be chasing firefly's in no time. So lets see I've got blankets,water bottles, bug spray, and cameras ready....lets hope it's a good show!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Vacations Never Last Long Enough

Well here I am back again with more boring vacations photos and stories. So sorry I just couldn't help myself. Honestly I think it all goes back to elementary school when we had to write each year about what you did over your summer vacation. I was always very long winded! So have a seat this could take a while.

When I was going through all the photos feverishly trying to crop myself out, I began to feel so sad. Sad because it will most likely be a whole year before we can go again on any form of vacation.
Yep I could have laid there all day.....and did on more than one occasion.

Now believe me I realize have no reason to complain because we do have a place we go to on weekends,but that in some ways has become another house to clean, repair and grocery shop for! Please don't miss understand we LOVE it there and it is very relaxing. But vacations are totally different they're all about fun and relaxing or WHATEVER YOU WANT TO DO.....yep I still miss it!
It's all about seeing NEW sights,new experiences,new places!
We still are trying to master the self photo hahaha!

After we left Savannah Georgia we headed down to Cocoa Beach Fl. It wasn't our first choice but we decided to stay there because our oldest grandson was on a school trip to the big W.D.W. His health had been an issue lately so we wanted to be close enough that if he had any problems we could get there quick. So since we were in the area we decided to go and see him for a very short visit.They were waiting for all of the kids to arrive so we drove over and had a quick lunch with him and a few of his theater pals.
A new favorite photo of mine!
Say cheese....he is one of the kindest,smartest,and funniest kids you'll ever meet!

 But I'm getting ahead of myself. Before we arrived in Cocoa Beach we made a quick stop in St. Augustine Fl. We really want to go back there and spend more time, it is such a great much history and Pirate stuff! Yep I am a kid at heart....sadly however my knees are not.
So cool,so much history....history is one of our shared passions!

It was in St. Augustine that I decided I have had it with constant pain and am now planning on having my knee replaced. Well that's a subject for another time, oh and I will be begging all you sweet people out in blogland for lots of prayers too,because you see I am a HUGE chicken!
I promise you he was burning up in this costume. It was at least 100 degrees that day!

But in spite of these crunchy,swollen, knobby knees I walked the fort that I had wanted to see and the Pirate Museum across the street. Sadly the Pirate Museum doesn't allow any photography inside and that's a shame because it is great.  The St. Augustine Pirate & Treasure Museum is great for kids and well big kids too. It's all hands on, and chocked full of fun learning and even more fun pirate experiences. They have the largest collection of real pirate artifacts in the world. Blackbeard, Captain Kid and many more. You can see Captain Kids real treasure chest and his read his last words. You can light a canon, touch a 450 year old pirate chest,and lift a gold bar and see real wanted posters of some of the most famous pirates.
There was one thing missing for us however.......................

We so wished we had our grand-kids with us.... lots of things they would have flipped out over....... well who knows maybe next year!
We spent lots of time on the beach, and so enjoyed the sail boats and the people we came across.
For example this man and his delightful family. We watched them walk the beach gathering seaweed one evening. Each bunch they picked up they would rinse off in the ocean water. They were fun to watch, laughing and talking....they left us wondering about them....and what exactly they would do with all that seaweed. There was an elderly Asian gentleman who arrived at the exact same time each evening to walk and he even stopped at the same spot each time to check his pulse.....I will miss him.
The largest one story building in the world. One star is 6' high.

We visited the Kennedy Space Center one day as well as the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. I highly recommend both! So many times we were in awe of the brave men and women who have gone where most all of us will NEVER go. You can experience and see so many things that I would never be able to list it all.
I bought the kids some fun stuff,and a few things for us too.

Go if you should ever have the chance!The tour is worth every penny! We walked around and drove around the nature reserve and it is something to see!!
As we walked we began to hear a gator,so we high tailed it out of there!

We met a sweet couple from Holland here on vacation and spent a few moments discussing all the places they had visited, and where they were headed after their stay in Cocoa Beach. She is also a blogger  and is expecting their first child. Madiva-Creations is her blog name and I certainly enjoyed meeting them both.
We had a wonderful time and are ready to leave again tomorrow........Vacations are good for whatever ails ya!
3D I-Max movie about living on International Space Station

We played hard,ate too much and spent too much money.We did everything we said we wouldn't do hahaha.....oh well we had a blast! The best part is we lots of memories and photos to enjoy!
Isn't this mailbox a hoot!

So Savannah & Cocoa Beach we sure hope to.............

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

A Wonderful Summer Get-Away

              A few nights ago I did something really rare. I say this because I'm usually sewing, Oh who am I kidding I'm always sewing! This rare ocurrance was that I sat down and did nothing.....but read magazines!! I haven't had a lot of spare time lately because I've been preparing for a baby shower I'm hosting soon. Besides that I've also been crazy busy trying to finish editing the rest of our vacation photos. So an evening to just flip leisurely through some magazines was a real treat!!

I was tickled to see a two page story about something that is near and dear to our hearts. Patoka Lake was featured in this months Midwest Living in a story about lake getaways without the crowds. Our family has a small cabin near this lake and this is where we spend most of our summers.

 Patoka Lake is the second largest lake in the state of Indiana, and is a perfect place for all things family! If you like camping,hiking,boating and swimming then this is the perfect place for you.

These days we spend most our weekends just chillin and visiting with family at either our cabin or my brother's new camp site. We don't go on the lake as much we use to and I must admit I do miss it. My brother and his wife bought a place last summer and have just about finished tweaking things. They have now parked their once traveling RV and swear it is forever, no more pulling it in and out! I wish I had some photos of their place finished, because it is simply beautiful.

So each evening as the sun goes down the chillaxin begins! We head around the corner to sit and remove the stresses of the work week.......with a pitcher of frozen margaritas in hand of course! Lately we have been branching out into other fun beverages like mojitos and recently my husbands new specialty, rum punch.

Here we are ready to enjoy a pitcher of something frozen! We still haven't mastered the art of taking a self portait.

A few yrs ago on the lake. Papa and his grandson enjoying a quiet moment on the back of the boat.

When life gets crazy and it always does, I can sit down, take a deep breath and know in a few days we will be heading down to our cozy cabin.

During an evening cruise on our son's boat on Patoka Lake.

I know my posts haven't been coming as often as I would like.....Please bare with me as I struggle to do IT ALL as they say. I guess you really can't do it all,something always gets neglected. But I plan to be back very soon and bore you to death with more of our vacation photos.=)