Sunday, May 30, 2010

Old graveyards

In the not so distant past, I didn't like cemeteries. I mean, they just didn't hold much interest for me. I didn't have the time, nor the maturity, to appreciate what they had to offer. To me, they were just places of sorrow.

Lately, however, I can seem to get enough of them. Is it the beauty or the peaceful ease in the air? Perhaps it is the history and the artistic nature of the monuments. Recently I came upon a cemetery quite by accident. Taking note of it while riding along on a small country road, I knew I had to stop. I wasn't disappointed.

Many of the grave stones had symbols and/or ornamentation that I was not familiar with. But, with a little investigating, I have learned quite a bit about the symbolism. This lamb stands for innocence. Typically, it will mark the grave of a child. Christians will even associate it with the Lamb of God, meaning Jesus. This young woman had not yet turned twenty at the time of her passing.

A dove represents the Holy Spirit, as well as purity and spirituality. People of the Jewish and Catholic faiths utilize the dove in their monuments.



A scroll can symbolize several things. If it is held by a hand it can represent life being recorded by angels. It can also signify honor and commemoration. It also exhibits a life that is unfolding like a scroll of uncertain length. I have to say that this was the first scroll I have seen in a cemetery.


The double headstone of this man and wife is my favorite. Beautiful with age and patina, the headstones are about to be engulfed by the honeysuckle vine.

My favorite part of this picture is the wrought iron fence that is enclosing the family plot. In fact, it was the subject of my most recent Thoughtless Thursday picture.


A cemetery that I would like to visit is Highgate cemetery. Located in London it is full of character, age, and a few famous inhabitants. If you would like to read more about it, and see a few photos, you can do so here. To me, Highgate is the epitome of an old cemetery.
If you would like to read and investigate more about the symbolism found in cemeteries you can do so here.




Sunday, May 23, 2010

Chocolate Cheesecake

I am far overdue when it comes to posting a recipe. And, I have to confess, even this one is an afterthought. Located on the back of a box of baking chocolate, this cheesecake recipe is smooth and rich in chocolate flavor. The fact that the crust is made of oreo's doesn't hurt.

I only have one picture to share and that is of it half gone! It was delicious.


Chocolate Cheesecake

18 oreo cookies, finely crushed (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 tbsp butter, melted
3 pkg. (8 oz each) of cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 pkg (8 squares) semi-sweet chocolate melted, cooled slightly
3 eggs

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Press combined crumbs and butter onto bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.

Beat cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla with a mixer until well blended. Add cooled chocolate and mix well. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition, until well blended. Pour over crust.

Bake 55 minutes to 1 hour or until center is almost set. Run knife around rim of pan to loosen cake; cool before removing rim. Refrigerate 4 hours.

Try not to eat it all at once.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Sometimes....

Sometimes I dream
of a place in England, or...
maybe it is Kentucky.
Where people live in big houses,


with peeling paint
and they grow herbs,

in the backyard
next to the swingset.




Saturday, May 15, 2010

My days, they are full

The past couple of weeks have been a blur of activity here at my house. The month of May rolls in with a blast of trap shooting and softball. These activities encompass three afternoons per week and some weekends. Not much time for blogging or commenting....or laundry, housecleaning, cooking, or anything else!


The Deerslayer is shooting with amazing growth, maturity, and improvement since last year.


Toots has moved up to fast pitch ball this year. And, in her usual fashion, she is loving it. Those skinny legs are pretty fast.



Her team even spiced things up this year with crazy socks.




In other Smalltownland news, I am pleased to report that Pharaoh, the camel, made an excellent debut at the prom. In an earlier post I reported that a local horse trainer was breaking Pharaoh so a student could ride him into the prom. Pharaoh wore the traditional, "sparkly saddle", and minded his best manners.
In some other, more disturbing, news, it seems that we will attend school next Saturday. Our county missed yet another day of school due to our recent flooding. Thus, it has been decided that we would attend on a Saturday so graduation would not be moved. Going to school on a Saturday is almost like a sin.
Seriously.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

A Happy Mother's Day wish goes out to my mom, The Babs. I know she sacrificed so much for me while I was growing up and I miss her daily. She is pictured here, (on the right), with her sister, Mater.

This is also a day to reflect on all of the other great mothers and grandmothers who have had an influence on our lives. This is my grandmother, Bird, who just turned a brisk 94, and shows no signs of slowing down. She is pictured here with her great-great grandchild. When I was a kid, Bird used to braid my hair so tight I thought my face was frozen in place. She also made the best macaroni and cheese. A fine, fine lady indeed.



And, my grandmother Lucy who is adjusting to her new life in the nursing home. For quite a long time I was the only granddaughter in the family. Significant for Lucy because she raised three boys. So, I was doted on just a bit. She used to sew clothes for me and then with the scraps, she would make matching clothes for my dolls. She is pictured here with her great granddaughter.



Happy Mother's Day to all of the moms reading this today.


Friday, May 7, 2010

When a limo just won't do


Now.

Before we even begin discussing this little nugget of information, let me apologize for the abysmal quality of this photograph. I actually took a picture of the newpaper as it seems my scanner won't work. Operator error I have no doubt.

Our local fish wrapper came out on Wednesday of this week with news of our recent flood on the top of the front page. The newly crowned prom king and queen ranked the middle section of the front page and the camel here, ranked the bottom portion.

The lady on the horse is well known in our area. She is a very knowledgeable horse trainer and quite sought after for her skill. I was not so surprised to see her in the paper. Seeing her husband saddled up on a camel....well, that's another story entirely. AND, they are my neighbors. Why haven't I caught them trotting up and down the road with this camel they are training? Because, obviously, this is just the sort of thing that I love.

I think the real question is: WHY is this camel hanging around in Smalltownland? Well, it seems the horse trainer and her husband are breaking the camel so a wonderful teenage gentleman can ride him, (with his date mind you), into the prom. Apparently a limo just won't do around these parts.

Now, close your mouth and no, I am not lying.

Seeking more information about this situation I made a beeline to a true source.....a CHILD. Because we all know that a child shoots straight from the hip. Yes, I know a youngster with some firsthand knowledge of the camel. The camel's name is Pharaoh and he happens to love candy bars. Ones with peanuts, actually. And, more specifically he does enjoy a good energy bar now and again. Pharaoh is not a spitter, which is going to come in handy at the prom.

Pharaoh makes his prom debut this coming Saturday, so stayed tuned. I know ya'll are going to want a full update.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Flooding

This past weekend we suffered through a torrent of rain. The rain started on Friday night and continued through late Sunday. Storms and threats of tornadoes were part of the danger as well. Flash flood warnings were issued and our local river flooded several homes and made many road impassable. Many, many inches poured from the sky in such a short amount of time that it created ponds on our farm where there were none before.


This is a small stream located close to our farm. And, typically it is what we call a creek. Here it looks more like a river.

This bridge is located over the above mentioned creek. Looking through the truck windshield you can see the water flowing in front of us. Normally that is a road. Quite a few homes sit along that road and for this reason there was no school today in our county and surrounding counties.


My son tried to make the best of the situation and took the canoe out to the pasture. He honed his skills. Typically this area is dry and even contains my clothesline! He later took his sister out for a ride. I peeked out the door and caught her standing in the front of the canoe exhibiting her best, "Pocahontas stance". I am so sorry I missed that picture.



If you are reading this and live in one of the more disaster ridden areas, my thoughts and prayers are with you.