About this Blog: Bread making recipes, knit and crochet projects, wood working, gardening, digital imaging, travel, cruise ships, Labrador Retrievers, and more....

About the Header Image: Idlebrook Wendy Darling Evensen "Wendy" one of our four Labrador Retrievers.

Click the header image to see most current posts.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Catalpa Tree Stump Removal

Good morning,

While we were driving home from the Great Smoky Mountains our daughter, Catherine, called to tell us The Tree People were back to grind the stump of the tree they had taken down earlier
I asked Catherine to take some pictures for me and here they are.
It's pretty cool to see how this is done considering how huge and deep the roots of the tree are.
As huge as the stump grinder is, this was a one man job.
As soon as he got it all set up in the right position...
...the grinder started doing its thing.
 Catherine said it took quite awhile to get through this 130+ year old tree stump.
 Soon all that remained was a heap of shredded wood and soil.  We will allow the pile to settle before reworking the garden in that area.

Here's a video that includes the sounds as well as the sights.

Now all that is left is to split all of that wood that is still out there in the front yard! 



Monday, November 29, 2010

Last Day in the Smokies

Good morning,

All good things must come to an end.   We have been very fortunate with weather for our visit to The Great Smoky Mountains and Cherokee, North Carolina.

The bear above was outside our hotel.  I had looked at it so many times as we came and went from our hotel and finally got a picture just before we headed home.
The weather was overcast and there was a rain drop from time to time.

It was only a few moments after we pulled out of Cherokee, North Carolina, before we stopped along the road to take pictures of this mountain stream.

Here's a short video of the water rushing past us.
Further on the road we stopped again.  This sign explains what happened here in the Smokies in 1910, the year my mother was born. 
The forest was literally stripped of its lumber before the land was bought and protected to become a National Park.  Mother Nature has returned the forest to us.
Looking straight down the mountainside from the road, the colors were still quite brilliant.
More signs and more information.  This one explains how the altitude of the mountains were determined. 
The various mountains were named for the men who did the measuring.
This stop was especially fascinating.
It is cold and windy up here.  I can only imagine how hard life in these mountains must have been.
On down the road the picture post cards just jumped out at us. 
 I took this image to put the trees into size perspective.  My Honey isn't holding that tree up;  he is leaning against it to brace for a good photo.
 We drove a few more miles and the sun finally peeked through the clouds.  When we rounded the corner and saw the above sight we immediately pulled off to take pictures.
 The scene was so pretty it was downright dangerous.  After we had pulled in many more cars came screeching into the parking area to stop and also get pictures.  It was just so gorgeous that it was a MUST stop.
 This is the next stop, overlooking...
 ...Gatlinburg, Tennessee.  The bypass is the way to go unless your destination is downtown Gatlinburg.
 Back on the road, through a tunnel, and soon we found ourselves...
 ...driving through Pigeon Forge. 
 I remember the old days when the road was only two lanes, one each way.  Now it it an eight lane highway so those who want to stop and do tourist things can do so and those who don't, don't have to.  ;)

 We stopped.  First we went to a leather store where we had stopped before.  I am in the market for a new purse.  The store was great, but didn't have a purse I wanted to buy.
Then we stopped for lunch at a pancake restaurant so ordered breakfast.  The picture above and the next one were taken with my Blackberry, obviously while the food was in motion.  :)
 When we ordered ham, eggs, and pancakes, we had no idea how huge the portions would be.  We should have ordered one serving and split it, but we didn't.  Wow. 

After that lunch we managed to stay awake, drive through Kentucky, and home to Cincinnati.
 We had so much fun on this trip, but as always, there is no place like home.

I hope you've enjoyed traveling with us once again.

Very best,


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Great Smoky Mountains Farm Museum

Good morning,

These images are of our return visit to the Great Smoky Mountains Farm Museum.  We have visited here before and have noted changes and improvements over the years.
This farm homestead consists of pioneer era buildings that have been brought here to be displayed with other buildings that were already on the site.
The "museum" is a teaching tool, too.  We have been here when there were children in period costumes, their teachers, and park rangers tending the fields, touring the home, and baking corn bread.

Tours are offered, but we enjoy walking through the homestead at our own pace to take pictures.  There are informative signs explaining the buildings, tools, and life style of the early inhabitants.

Corn was very important to the early settlers.

 This corn husker and other simple tools are on display.

I didn't realize I had them in any pictures, but the two men in the distance left of center in the picture had dinner at the next table from us in Cherokee the previous evening.  My Norwegian-born husband stopped to chat because he heard them speaking Swedish.  Shortly after I took this picture, they caught up with us as we walked through the farm and we chatted again.   It's a small world, isn't it?
 This is a Park Ranger guided tour. 

There are many farm vehicles and tools stored in the barn at the far end of the property...
...where it is guarded by Mr. Rooster who takes his job very seriously.
This is real government pork here at the National Park. 
 Two hams on the hoof...
 ...and such a pretty face.  Sorry, I couldn't help myself.
 This mountain stream supplied water for the farm.  There is also a spring with a spring house built around it on the property.
 This is the blacksmith shop.
 And here are images of the inside of the home.
 It was nicely furnished for the times.
 The organ is a beautiful antique.
 This is the wood shed with at least a little wood ready for the winter months.
 This little patch of weeds was between the steps to the cooking building.  The leaves to the left look like mint to me. Perhaps that mint has been returning for many years just outside the kitchen door.
 When we were here a few years ago a park ranger was making corn bread in a kettle at this fireplace.  A group of school children were having a grand time watching and surely consumed the finished product.
 The cook house was quite roomy to prepare meals for the main house.  Of course, the cook house was a distance from the main house as a precaution against fire.
Next to the cookhouse was the meat house...
 ...again there are plenty of teaching tools in the building.
 This brought us back around to the beginning of our tour.

There is a great deal of building going on near the parking area and it appears there will be even more educational opportunities here soon.

The US National Park system is a national treasure.  If you haven't explored it, be sure to put it on your list of things to do very soon.

Here is the link to the Farm Museum and Mingus Mill on the National Park web site.

We have been to Mingus Mill (my November 24 post) and here at the farm before.  We have other images of the park on line here:

March 30, 2005 - Mingus Mill in The Great Smoky Mountains near Cherokee, North Carolina

April 23 - 24, 2001 - The Great Smoky Mountains National Park