Fall Preview

Lake alma july 2018

I took these pictures at Lake Alma yesterday morning. It was about sixty degrees and the park was quiet save for a few fishermen and dog walkers. The smell of campfire hung heavy on the air and the mist coming off the lake was simply breathtaking. The camera on my phone is good but it didn’t do justice to this gorgeous morning. It reminded me of Fall in the Smoky Mountains and made me hope for an early (and long) fall this year.

lake alma July 2018 b

Fun With Mold-A-Rama


Have you ever used a Mold-A-Rama machine? It’s a type of vending machine that creates a plastic toy in just seconds.

These machines debuted in the sixties and gained popularity at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York. It’s an inexpensive little souvenir that provides entertainment while it’s being made. They can still be found operating in some museums around the country and I encountered this one in Dearborn, Michigan at the Henry Ford Museum. They actually have several of these machines. You can have a bust of Abe Lincoln made or even a Weinermobile (just feet away from a real Weinermobile).

I chose a red 1965 Mustang for the bargain basement price of $2.

They’re kinda smelly when they come out but a fun little souvenir. I’m going to fashion my Mustang into an ornament for my travel tree. Huh. I’ll have tell you about my travel tree someday. . .

Mold-A-Romas are pretty collectible and you can often find them on Ebay but I think the most fun is in actually making one for yourself.


My Happy Place

I wish I could describe how much I love my back porch. It’s screened and I have filled it with vintage and found treasures that make me happy. My two favorite times of day are breakfast (right now, in fact) and dusk when the twinkle lights are on.

In the mornings, birds keep me company – countless birds that come to my feeders and that fill the trees on the overgrown hill behind the house. I know it’s a bit unsightly but the brush and trees on that hill are filled with rabbits and birds and lizards and deer that I want to have around.

On mornings like this the air is cool and sweet. I can hear a woodpecker in the distance while a nearby mourning dove sings its lonely call. Here, it feels like all is right with the world. And so I eat my breakfast and gather my thoughts before starting another day.

In the evenings a chorus of bullfrogs, crickets and owls join in the conversation. A lot of nights I don’t even turn on the television. I do my chores, make dinner and retreat to the porch, where I stay, until long past my bedtime.

My parents built this porch for me as a birthday gift a few years ago and it is truly one of the best gifts I’ve ever received. Everyone should be so lucky.


A Losing Battle

37811308_10208930804945780_3769043357989339136_n_edited.jpgI’m fighting a losing battle in my garden this year. The extreme swings from ridiculous heat to torrential rain have made it hard to keep up with my weeding. When the weather is good I like to spend it doing fun things and walking for fitness rather than pulling weeds. Frankly, it shows.

So I won’t show you pictures of the weeds, we’ll just focus on these little beauties that finally popped up this week!

Walk and Be Happy


“The sum of the whole is this: Walk and be happy. Walk and be healthy.”

Ben Montgomery
“Grandma Gatewood’s Walk”

Emma Gatewood was the first to walk the entire 2,050 mile Appalachian Trail solo. She was 67 at the time. She’s my hero so I’ll tell you more about her sometime. 

Union Hall Theater

aaa union hall

This weekend I got to see a live performance at Union Hall Theater in Chesterhill. I mentioned it yesterday but wanted to give it some attention of its own.

I was there once, one hot summer day, when my Aunt Janice took me inside. She worked in the Kate Love Simpson Morgan County Library, which inhabits the first floor, and had access to the second floor theater.

This place felt like a time capsule. It seemed as though they turned off the lights after a show and just walked away. At the time, there was talk of someone trying to reopen the theater but I don’t recall there being a real plan. I sat in the balcony and swore that if it ever reopened I would return for a performance.


It was built in 1908 and hosted all sorts of live performances over the years. When movies came into vogue, they began showing films too. I don’t know much else about the place but there is a non-profit organization working to revive it.

Make no mistake. This theater has not been restored. Some of the tin ceiling tiles show damage and the floors are worn from use. But it’s clean and all those signs of wear lend character. It’s not a fancy space like some theaters of that period. That may be one reason I like it so well. There is a sparseness, a simplicity that makes all of the details that much more beautiful. I suppose that is appropriate since the town was founded by Quakers.

I don’t know what plans are in the works but I really hope they don’t change the feel of the place. It feels at once old and timeless, plain and yet special. It is special and I hope to go back again someday.  If I lived closer I would volunteer to help with their PR or something else useful but I’m a little too far away to be helpful.

Want to learn more? Here’s their website. You can also follow them on Facebook. I imagine they would be happy to receive monetary donations and would be thrilled to see your smiling face in a seat for a show someday.