Archive for the ‘Rivers Of Europe 2012 Victory Jubilee’ Category

Big Bells

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

Did you know it’s customary to throw a penny on the grave of Benjamin Franklin (“a penny saved is a penny earned” fame)?

Or poorly cast coins are called “waffles” at the Phillie Mint?

Or that the Rhode Island delegation never showed up at Constitution Hall because their state didn’t fund the trip?

Or that Geno’s Phillie cheesesteak sandwich is better Pat’s, though Pats originated the famous meal in 1937 (author’s opinion)?

Or that the Rocky Balboa statue has been moved from the top of the steps to the foot of them and over under a tree because it’s a movie prop, not an icon?

Or that I got to attend the first NON-sell out Phillie baseball game they’ve had in over 2 years (because they are playing so poorly)?

AND the bell cracked being rung in honor of George Washington’s 100th anniversary of his birthday in 1846.

Well there is so much to learn in Philadelphia (our nation’s capitol for the first 10 years) that my brain can hardly hold it all.


Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

Two people begat five people begat ten people who begat many more in branches with surnames of Buie, Serfass, Fear, and Mackey. And some of those good folk made it to the Stone Harbor, New Jersey Shore to celebrate each other!

Eating, drinking, storytelling, beach time, games, ice cream, and tons of laughter.  Nothing fancy, but getting connected and catching up and promising not to be strangers.

Thank you for those who made it happen, those who traveled, and those who were our foundation and left us their legacy.  Missed those who couldn’t come but you were with us in spirit. There is a big hole in our hearts for those who have passed but family resemblances reminds us that they are still there in the smiles of the next generation.

I’m related to some pretty cool people and I’ve got the family tree to prove it (and a quest to look up early ancestors has me intrigued)!

Milton Hershey

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

Kisses, Twix, Reeses Pieces! Yes, they are here in abundance and more!

We took the tour at Chocolate Town and also a trolley tour around the city that bears Milton’s name.  But what I find most amazing is that every bit of profit from the Hershey products goes to support the Hershey Foundation whose key obligation is running Hershey School.

What started out as education for orphan boys now houses and teaches underprivledged kids. They are cared for in loving homes with “house parents” (like Jeff and Renee Glover) who nurture nearly 2000 youth in K-12 grades. There are over 160 beautifully maintained houses on acres and acres of land with parks, playgrounds, pools and sport complexes. The school buildings are state of the art and upon graduation, each student gets a crisp $100 bill just like in Milton’s day. And a scholarship worth over $70,000 if they qualify!

So next time you have a piece of candy, think of Milton Hershey and EAT MORE CHOCOLATE!

Intercourse, Pa.

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

I think I’d like to try being Amish. It’s probably more work than I could ever imagine but the simpler lifestyle and seeing the rewards of your labors sounds appealing. They were quite visible everywhere we went on our sojourn into Pennsylvania — on horse and buggy , out plowing fields, hanging laundry, or gathered in talkative clusters.

And corn, corn, corn.

Oh and yummie peaches too!

Jams, quilts, silos, meandering roads all beckoned.

But best of all, I never saw an Amish without a smile on their face.  I think it might be contentment.

The WI

Sunday, July 29th, 2012

Women’s Institute: gatherings of British women in regional groups for the purpose of camaraderie, and  fund raising for local charities.

Maybe it will resonate with you, like it does with me, if you remember the wonderful movie “Calendar Girls.” This true-life movie came from a group located in Skipton, a stones throw from here. In real life, a group of friends decided to spice up the yearly calendar with tasteful nudes of themselves to raise money for a leather couch to go in the local hospital waiting room. One of the ladies had spent many hours in that waiting room while her husband was receiving cancer treatments. He died, but the calendar raised enough money to build an entire wing for the hospital, and it became a movie to boot! This is the 10 year anniversary of the calendar.

I got to attend one of their WI competitions; a dozen groups entering their jams, jellies, wines, cakes, clothespin dolls, book marks etc. Name a craft, and they were going head to head for the coveted silver trophies. It was a hoot! And I got to spend time with a half dozen of them over tea to learn of their stories, recipes, gossip, and affections for each other. One of the ladies, (Susan) gave us many of her entries — elderberry gin, red current wine, chutney, marmalade, cookies, bread and more. She had earned many points for her chapter’s group score. (Karl’s sister Pamela, and cousin Ann-Marie are members)

If I lived here, I would be a WI   🙂

Memorial Bench

Sunday, July 29th, 2012

With Gail’s untimely death, the brilliant idea of a bench for the town square came about. With donations from town folk, friends, and all who she touched, a design for a unique and touching bench was submitted and is currently being created. It will reside in the niche of the square where Gail could be found several times a day when she needed a quick break.

It’s the left corner of the square where she could look back at her shop. This is a view from the shop window and the current bench will be moved.

An unveiling and dedication will take place on Barnoldswick Day on Sept. 8, 2012.

In Search Of Mr. Darcy

Sunday, July 29th, 2012

Pemberly is the palatial home of Mr. Darcy featured in Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Mr Darcy is the ultimate in romantic characters and was played by Colin Firth in the movie…sigh. He also played the king in The King’s Speech.

I digress.

We spent the day at Chatsworth, which is the real-life home and gardens of the fictional Mr. Darcy. It is palatial, awe-inspiring, enormous and ever so beautiful! Besides kitchen gardens, sensory gardens, and fountains, there was a real live victorian maze. We split up with the challenge of first one to the middle wins, but after 20 minutes we weren’t making any progress.  The fellas gave up and I told them to give me 15 more minutes. Ta Da!  I did it and led them to the center, feeling quite victorious.

The home of the Duke and Duchess was like Versaille in magnitude. We even saw a famous trompe’loi violin from the 1700’s (that’s a painting of a violin on a door,only the knob is real), a da Vinci, and a couple Rembrandts.

Can’t you just see the dances and teas and garden parties? This place pulled out all the stops on my England meter.

Lady Dye

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

Off the beaten track, I have a question to ask any readers.

Should I color my hair?

The post-chemo emerging hair is black and white and looks like a dirty ashtray, and it is curly at the moment. I planned on coloring it as soon as possible to resume looking like me! Do I delude myself in thinking that I look younger when in fact I can’t escape that 62 years is my reality?

BUT I came across a couple Bible verses.

Proverbs 16:31: “Gray hair is the mark of distinction, the award of a God-loyal life.”

Proverbs 20:29 ” Gray hair gives prestige to old age.”

Was it a God-thing that I came across these verses?

What to do, what to do?

“Vanity, thy name is woman.” Shakespeare

Where’s The Beef?

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

Like a movie set arising from the verdant countryside, Hoghton Tower embodies everything English to me. What a great tour we had with Marion Macdonald, docent extraordinaire whose life’s passion is serving that “castle’s” history.  The 14th Baronett (one degree above a knight) lives in a wing of the tower while the rest is on display for tours and events.  It was originally built in 1109 and rebuilt in 1565 and land-granted to the de Hoghton (pronounced Horton) family for service to king and country.

OK, TMI, here’s the cool part.

When King James I of Bible translation fame, wanted to visit the area (with his entourage of 400), most neighboring nobles burned down their barns to escape from entertaining the not-so-popular king. But the Baronett opened his doors and regaled the king royally for 3 days (nearly going bankrupt in the process).

They had a huge banquet in the Great Hall and as a lark, the king knighted the fatted-calf that was to be the evening meal.  Hence forth and ever more, “Sir-Loin” was fit for a king! Really!

I did snopes this and they are unclear, but there is an etching of the knighting in the hall AND it is also noted in “The Story of Britain”, a 500+ page book I am currently reading.

Enjoying New Beers

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

This is a contribution from Steve (via Andy).

Moorhouses White Witch and Timothy Taylor Landlord

Moorhouses White Witch and Timothy Taylor Landlord

Bowland Hen Harrier

Bowland Hen Harrier