Such A Pretty Day To Be Outside

Today is the PARK part of our Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park adventure.  [Yesterday was the SCULPTURE part.  Learn more here.]  The park never seems to end which makes it a fascinating place to explore– as the following photos will show you.  Or so I hope.  Enjoy!

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Bourbon, Bourbon, Who’s Got The Bourbon?

{A Weekend Getaway – Part 2 of 2.  Part 1 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.]

After taking time to enjoy Shaker simplicity, we hit the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.  Yes, there is such a thing.  You didn’t know that?!!

•  First we went to Woodford Reserve.  It was the only distillery to charge admission.  This might be in part because it was a very commercialized, modern place.  There were tickets & lines & audio headsets & a short bus ride & a long-winded presentation.

Our one small taste of Woodford bourbon was smooth & delicious, but the tour was not what we expected.  The whole experience had a “keep it moving” vibe to it.

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•  Next we went to Four Roses.  This distillery was about as mellow as the product they were selling.  Our tour guide was a young & friendly guy with an amazing knowledge of how the bourbon was made, the buildings in which the bourbon was made– and the charming family history that underscores the brand.

At the end of the tour our complimentary tasting included three different types of bourbon with suggestions of which ones to use in mixed drinks & which one to drink straight.  This tour was more of the experience that we had expected.

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•  Our third and final tour was at Maker’s Mark.  This distillery was by far the most personable and well-organized of the three that we visited.  The tour started in the refurbished home of the company’s founder, walked us through the distillery grounds, showed us the fermenting vats, the oak barrel storage facility & the bottling line where the bottles are hand-dipped in the famous bright red wax.

This tour ended in a laboratory-type setting where we each had four generous tastes of bourbon.  Our tour guide talked us through each glass telling us how the different Bourbons might taste to us– and why.  This was the experience we had hoped for along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.

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[Hello FTC!  As you may recall I do not take any money or other compensation for my opinions about any products that I discuss on my sweet little bloggy.  I tell you this again in case you’ve forgotten that fact.  We good, my friend?] 

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… 

How To Charm Me

My late aunt kept a scrapbook throughout her teen years.  In it she put mementos from her social life.  After she died a few years ago, I inherited the scrapbook.  Below is an invitation to a girlfriend’s party that I found in the scrapbook.  I love how it reflects the style of the times.  Hello, Art Deco!

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As if the beauty of this old invitation isn’t enough to charm me, if you look closely you’ll see that the girl giving the party has signed her name quite clearly. And who is this girl, you wonder?  Well, I know the answer to that.

She is Marilyn Meseke, who later became Miss America 1938.  And as such, thanks to news reel footage shown in movie theaters around the country, Marilyn was the first Miss America ever seen on-screen receiving her crown.

Pretty cool, huh?

Hello Summer

::  We had a fun holiday weekend with three days of sunshine in a row.  This is something that hasn’t happened around here in six months.  ‘Twas wonderful.

::  We went to a high school graduation party that was held at a cabin on a family farm.  To get to the party we drove out-of-town into the countryside to a small road lined on both sides with cow pastures.  From there our directions told us to look for the balloons and turn right.  We did as instructed, driving on a rough path down the middle of a cow pasture, over a small hill, and arriving at a lovely party totally hidden from view when on the road.  It was nice to be outside in a relaxed atmosphere– watching kids play games, talking to other guests, drinking beer, having fun.

::  We decided to go to the cemetery to see the Vietnam Memorial Traveling Wall.  It was interesting and well-planned.  The scale of the wall is smaller than the original, but it still manages to re-create some of the original’s ambiance. If nothing else, this exhibit gives an inkling of how amazing the real wall is– and perhaps encourages those who have never visited Washington, D. C., to do so.

::  While at the cemetery we walked around for a while.  Wandering through the grassy areas we saw all sorts of unique tombstones and family markers.  One said, “integer vitae.”  Neither one of us knew what that meant so when we got home, I researched it.  This is a phrase from a stanza from an ode written by Horace.  “Integer vitae” is telling you to live a life of integrity so that you’ll be safe no matter where you go.  Good idea, huh?

::  To decorate for Memorial Day I put red-white-blue stars-&-stripey pinwheels in the flower pots by our front door.  And then I put two smallish flags in a flower-pot along the front walk.  EZPZ, but stylish and inviting.  However, except for one other family on our street who put out one big flag, no one else decorated for the holiday.  Don’t know what to make of that.  This neighborhood usually goes overboard for any and all holidays.

::  We finally had a cookout– our first of the season.  Burgers and veggies cooked on the grill.  Fresh berries on ice cream for dessert.  Served with delightfully cold white wine spritzers.  Simple and delicious.  Just the way summer is meant to be.

How To Make Me Smile

Show me a recipe with a bit of small town snark buried inside of it from an 1894 church cookbook.  Delightful.

AMBROSIA FOR ONE

Fill a saucer with fresh peaches, finely sliced, or strawberries, carefully picked and  selected; over this, place a measure of ice-cream, vanilla flavor.  Cover all with powdered sugar to the depth of one-fourth inch.  Eat with spoon (if your income is over twenty thousand dollars, you can use a strawberry fork). [emphasis added]  Serve with angels food, or almond macaroons.

~ ~ Recipes Tried and True by the Ladies’ Aid Society of the First Presbyterian Church of Marion, Ohio