Simply Shaker

{A Weekend Getaway – Part 1 of 2.  Part 2 here.}  

[I know, I know.  I said that I’d post once a week during the summer… but this adventure was two parts.  My blog, my rules to break at will.]

This past weekend we got together with some friends and we went to Lexington KY for the weekend.  On Saturday we drove about 25 miles from Lexington to Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill.  Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill is a living history museum with 14 buildings nestled in the hills of Kentucky.  It is the largest restored Shaker community in America.

Above is a stone building with wood floors built by the Shakers.  When built in the [early?] middle 1800s, it was a wonder to behold because at that time many people lived in log cabins with dirt floors.  The fact that this building is still standing today is equally amazing to me.

This is the dormitory where the Shakers lived.  At the height of their popularity the Shakers, who were celibate, numbered around 500 people.  Notice that there are two front doors on this building.  The left door was for the women & the right door was for the men.

I loved this well-maintained, yet slightly off-kilter, shed.  The white fences and the stone fence you see here were everywhere on the Shaker property– as well as all around Lexington KY.

Inside the barn we saw this snoozing lamb whose mother [upper right corner] gave me her version of the evil eye as I snapped this photo.  In all honesty, sheep don’t do evil very well;  they are just way too cute for that sort of thing.

I like goats so when these two guys decided to try to eat a leather tab on my cross-body bag I let them do it… for a short while.  This is the look they gave me when I stepped back from the fence taking my handbag with me.  Not pleased were they.

This guy, one of two oxen, was a goof.  He loved having his photo taken and followed me along his fence pausing so I could get a good shot of him.  Such a cooperative fellow!

Here is a view of the land surrounding Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill.  It was spectacular to see.  We enjoyed craft demonstrations in many of the restored buildings, then stepped outside each building to see a serene view such as this one.

Naturally there was gift shop at this museum.  Many of the items for sale were either made/grown on the property.  Also, it was possible to special order some pieces of furniture.  We didn’t buy a thing, but enjoyed the inside of this shop which was beautifully merchandised.

While on the outside of the shop on a window ledge this little guy– blissfully unaware of anyone or anything except his own comfort– cleaned his toes .  ‘Tis a gift to be simple, ’tis a gift to be free… 

My Cat: Birthday Girl OR Conspiracy Theorist?

I was 15 3/4 years old & Cally Cat was 2 years old when my mother snapped this photo of us standing in our kitchen.  These details I know because Mom wrote them on the back of the photo.  God bless those who do such things because I’d  never remember those sorts of details.

Putting aside how tired I look, the first thing that struck me about this photo is how very wingnutty my cat looks in the finely crafted aluminium foil crown that I made for her birthday.  Who knew that by 2012 this style of hat would become the symbol of conspiracy theorist everywhere?

I didn’t, of course.  But maybe Cally Cat did.  She was always a less-than-friendly cat with a tendency toward paranoia.  [Which was probably somewhat justified considering that my mother did accidentally drive the car over her about six months before this photo was taken.]

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Upon finding this photo I did a quick Google search of foil hats– and discovered myself in a whole new world of wackiness.  So without further babble I give you, my gentle readers, some delightful links that will entertain and tell you about a topic that I’m guessing you’ve never really thought about before.  [Unless you’re a conspiracy theorist, in which case these links are all old hat to you.  ;-)]

::  A song about foil hats: “I’ve Got My Tin Foil Hat On” sung by Sylvia & Emmeline Spankhurts.

::  An explanation of what a foil hat is really all about:  “Propoganda [sic] designed to cover up a massive government conspiracy.

::  An article discussing the efficacy of foil hats:  “Do tinfoil helmets provide adequate protection against mind control rays?

::  A definition of a foil tiara: “A tiara or crown that one makes from tinfoil/aluminium foil for play when one lives in a trailer in the hood.

::  An academic treatise about the need for foil hats: “On the Effectiveness of Aluminium Foil Helmets: An Empirical Study.

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By Collaborating With Sylvia Plath I Create A Poem Of Dubious Value

verily KITTYCAT’s verily KITTYCAT

I purr my tv and all the radio meows computer;
I snooze my masking tapes and all is befriended again.
(I climb I destroy you up inside my blinds.)

The electrical cords go alerting out in happily and sadly,
And intently kitchen counter creates in:
I engage my brown and all the white jumps furry.

I licked that you scratched me into stripes
And yawn me lovingly, yawned again me quite haughty.
(I climb I destroy you up inside my blinds.)

Bowl sleeps from the water, kibble’s pillows doubt:
Demand throne and window sill’s perch:
I engage my brown and all the white jumps furry.

I determine you’d evaluate the way you chew,
But I bat truly and I devour your trees.
(I climb I destroy you up inside my blinds.)

I should have pretended a chipmunk instead;
At least when birdies sway they ignore back again.
I engage my brown and all the white jumps furry.

(I climb I destroy you up inside my blinds.)

– Ally Bean & Sylvia Plath

{ Create your own Madlib Poem here. }

{ Visit Language is a Virus for more interesting activities here. }

{ April is National Poetry Month. Learn more here.}

Horsing Around

Yesterday the weather was so pretty that I stopped at a nearby stable to take a few photos of the horses that board there.

There were a few horses in the pastures.

My favorite horse was this one.  She was a goof.

After trotting around the pasture to make sure that everyone saw her, she dropped down to the ground and did a shimmy & a roll.

And then, just for good measure, she did it again rolling in the other direction.

Meanwhile, in an adjacent pasture, an older horse looked on with what only may be described as “church lady” contempt.  In fact, she snorted a few times, clearly unimpressed with little miss shimmy.

And there I stood, camera in hand, snapping photos and laughing at the show.  I mean, who knew that horsing around was something that literally happened?  Not me, that’s for sure.  But now I do– and I’ve got the photos to prove it!

Take Joy

The holidays are almost upon us.  Things to do.  Places to go.  People to meet.

Because Z-D & I will be sort of busy and because I’m sort of tired of writing here, I’ve decided to put my blog on hold until after the beginning of next year.  A short break from blogging sounds like a good idea to me right now.

But before I go, gentle readers, I’ll leave you with this charming video about– well… kindness, curiosity & joy.  “Oskar, what did you do?”

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~ Happy Holidays Everyone ~

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Ignored At The Zoo

Yesterday afternoon Z-D and I went to the zoo.  It was hot and humid outside, but there was a light breeze.  I thought that I might be able to get some fun shots of the animals.  I was wrong.

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We were ignored by a little brown wild bird, even though I was standing about 18″ away from him when I took this photo.

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We were ignored by many turtles who ducked under the water the nanosecond before I clicked this photo.

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We were given the cold shoulder by the okapi…  

… who then wandered to the back of her enclosure, just to make sure that we got the message that we weren’t wanted there.

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We were warned off by this less than friendly sign posted by the gorillas.

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And finally we were ignored by this hippopotamus who had better things to do than pose for the camera.

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It’s a good thing that I have a quite a bit of experience with being ignored– and surviving the emotional shock of such indifference.  Heck, I’m a free spirit in suburbia, remember. Still, I have to admit that I thought that at the zoo, at least, something might pay attention to me, and help me achieve my goal.

But no such luck.  *sigh*