Happy Halloween!

Greetings from Scout! As if a black cat isn’t already pretty cool on Halloween, I sometimes call him Batcat.

Here he is all dolled up for the holiday in his bat wings.

I especially like the clasp at his throat.

Truth be told, Scout hates wearing costumes. He luckily has a great imagination and I suspect he thinks he’s a bat every time he bares his little fangs.

Happy Halloween!

Blennerhassett In Fall

Yesterday took me to Blennerhassett Island, a state park in West Virginia. I went with friends who had never been there which made the day all the more enjoyable. After all, when you have visited a place many times, it’s pretty neat to see it through someone else’s eyes.

It’s a special place that I been visiting off and on for most of my life and I wrote about it here once. I have some new thoughts to share but for now, I would love to just show you some pictures.

Meet the horses who took us on a wagon ride tour of the island. The one on the right is Sugar and recall that name because I heard it a lot – our tour guide said she’s a bully.

The foliage was amazing and the forest surrounding the mansion positively glowed in the sunlight.

I don’t know why but I always look forward to seeing this room on the mansion tour. The buttery yellow walls, the woman over the mantle who points em toward the bedroom. The built-in cabinets – it all makes me happy.

Their season ends today and the island will be closed until the new season begins in May. The island is home to a magnificent 90 year old walnut grove and is incredibly peaceful. It makes me wish I lived on an island like this with nothing but the company of squirrels and birds

Here’s one last image of this incredible place.

Do you follow Make the Journey Fun on Facebook? I’ll post some bonus pictures there too!


Ohioans are fortunate because we have four distinct seasons. Of these, spring is gentle and delicate. Winter is a harsh time of hibernation. Summer’s humidity and heat are brutally oppressive. I hibernate a lot then too.

But fall, oh fall! It’s deliciously beautiful. It’s cinnamon rolls, wood smoke, denim jackets and fresh apples. It’s pumpkin carving, long hikes and picnics under the maple trees.

Fresh air, blue skies and vibrant leaves in unexpected colors are hallmarks of this amazing season.

It’s the best season. It’s also ridiculously short.

Since it will soon be dark at 4:30 p.m. and the cold will soon move in, I have decided to make hay while the sun shines. I have been out for hikes and quick walks as much as possible this month and am grateful for each and every day this was possible.

Soon, I’ll have to work a little harder to be outdoors and keep thinking I need to buy better hiking clothes to make winter adventures more comfortable.

Fall is fleeting but so is life. As in nature, we all experience seasons in life. They aren’t always happy or beautiful times. It often feels like the happy moments pass in the blink of an eye while challenging periods seem to drag on forever.

Enjoy those beautiful, happy days to their fullest. Take the hike, pick the apples, breathe that crisp autumn air. And when the skies turn dark as winter settles in, look for ways to enjoy those days too.

These pictures are from my hike at Buzzard’s Roost after work last night. It was a quick 2.25 miles for exercise rather than for the near spiritual outdoor experience I described earlier this week.

Yet, I found myself occasionally coming around a bend to stop dead in my tracks. It was just that beautiful.

Someday, I’m going to pack a picnic and a book and linger on this bench. doesn’t that sound like a great way to enjoy a season?

Today is supposed to be gorgeous here in southern Ohio and I intend to enjoy every minute. Wherever you are, please go do the same.

Heritage Square Antique Mall

If you’re ever in Columbus, Ohio and looking for buried treasure, stop by Heritage Square Antique Mall. It’s 53,000 square feet of goodies where you could spend an entire day.

I have never left this place empty handed and often see unusual items you won’t find anywhere. The large black cat pictured below is delightful but vintage Halloween decor is highly collectible and costly. This was almost $300.

Another booth had a number of creepy items like these crazy doll parts.

Plus there’s a ton of furniture and home decor items that aren’t actually old. I found the message on this modern sign ironic. Can you read it?

It says “Collect moments, not things.” Haha. Great advice unless you’re in an antique mall where the point of the exercise is to buy stuff.

Heritage Square Antique Mall is less than fifteen minutes from Franklin Park Conservatory which I told you about the other day. Click here for that story. Visit them at 1865 Channingway Center Dr., Columbus and check them out online at their website.

Speak Carefully In Front Of The Plants

My grandma always kept African Violets. She had a brilliant green thumb and her kitchen windowsill was always lined with these pretty little plants.

The leaves are velvety and the flowers are tiny and delicate in shades of pink, white, blue and purple. They are sweet little flowers and always make me think of her.

So when I found a collection of African Violets for sale at Franklin Park Conservatory Saturday, I googled them to learn that they aren’t toxic to cats. It took just a second to decide that it might be fun to take one home.

When I asked the cashier for advice on how to keep it alive, it was kind of a joke. Sadly, I’m pretty sure the poor little thing heard me and probably died a little inside right there on the counter. Plants probably don’t get humor.

She was probably wondering what incompetent monster was kidnapping her. Why would her caregivers allow this maniac to leave with her?

They told me to let the soil dry out, to water from the bottom and to keep it in a container that seems a little too small as being slightly root bound encourages bloom.

What we didn’t talk about was how to keep it healthy on the way home when the temperature was nearly 8o degrees.


First I blasted the AC while driving. Then I abandoned the poor little thing in the hot car while I shopped. Then AC, then the greenhouse effect. This process was repeated a few times.

It was looking pekid by the time we made it home. I gave her some water in a saucer and said nice things. Maybe some kind, welcoming words will do her some good.

Some studies say that talking to plants will encourage them to grow faster – something about sound and vibrations. It’s not about the words so much as the sounds. It seems worth a shot.

If you need me, I’ll be speaking gently to my new friend and trying to reassure her that I won’t kill her. You know, lying to my plant.