Two barn quilts at Seven Islands



Seven Islands State Birding Park is a Tennessee state park developed from farmland. The original farmhouse and barn still stand and are in use.


Japan, I

MDH and I decided to fly somewhere exotic. Asia is exotic to us. Other reasons for choosing Japan over any other Asian country were Japan is clean and organized, people in general are very respectful, and the Japanese people don’t eat cats and dogs. I cannot bear the thought of accidentally eating one of those creatures.

Neither of us speak or read the Japanese language, so the Google translator app on MDH’s phone and the travel-sized translation book that I carried were our friends! We did learn how to say “thank you”, “please”, “hello”, and “goodbye” in Japanese before we went. It also helped that some signs have English translations on them.

Also , thank you to MDH’s long-time friend who grew up in Japan and tutored us some on a few aspects before we went and was in touch with MDH while we were there. “Arigato”, Jim!

Ahoy there! Our first sighting of Japan. We’re quite excited!
That thing that looks like a sailboat is actually a vent for a tunnel, we read later. Form and function.
Haneda Airport, Tokyo. There are two international airports in Tokyo. We flew out of Narita Airport when we came home.

plans B & C, because of the D

Today was a lovely spring day in east Tennessee, and My Darling Husband had the sudden urge to go hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. So away we went, up to the entrance road to Clingman’s Dome. Alas, the dome is closed until March 31, so we went across the road to the Newfound Gap trailhead.20160315_17362420160315_17364120160315_174029

Alas, no dogs allowed! We then read that pets on a leash are allowed on only two of the trails in this national park. That is highly disappointing, because we had planned to take CutieDog on most of our hiking excursions here and we want to work our way along all of the trails in this park.
We loaded the dog and ourselves into the car and headed back down the twisty mountain road to this path that we spied on the way up. This path is called the Quiet Walkway and there were not any No Dogs Allowed signs to be seen.


Along the Quiet Walkway is this cemetery from the 1800s. The tall headstone on the right is a newer replacement stone for one of the old graves.20160315_182049

We then came to this river, which I think is the West Prong Little Pigeon River. You can see the native rhododendrons in this shot. Our mountain goat of a dog rambled and jumped from rock to rock right along with us. We sat on a rock here for a bit.20160315_18382020160315_184535

We had met two exiting hikers at the head of the Quiet Walkway, but no others. Not being able to hike with the crowds on the first two trails was rewarded by having the Quiet Walkway and this spot on the river to ourselves, the birds, and the sound of rushing water. Bliss.

airplanes and art

A friend from church invited My Darling Husband and I to join him at the model airplane show down in Toledo, Ohio today. That friend is a member of the organization and quite the enthusiast!  While neither MDH nor I are joining that bandwagon, it was fun to to see the working models.


My Darling Husband practicing his pilot skills with both feet on the ground. Even I got to fly!

My Darling Husband and I spent a couple of hours at the model airplane show, then we headed over to my comfort zone, the Toledo Museum of Art.  This was our first time to visit this particular art museum.  I’m always game for exploring new houses of art.0405141249-00

Below are photos of some of my favorite offerings at the museum:

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“ahhhh” and the bustle

Today we escaped to the Nichols Arboretum, part of the University of Michigan’s botanical garden holdings. The arboretum is a peaceful respite in the hustle that is downtown Ann Arbor, the university, and the MU hospital campus.

the arboretum office building is an old house
the hustle and bustle, as viewed from inside the ahhhhh



the Huron River



lots of ups and downs here
an old apple orchard



from a little house on the prairie to a house by a silver lake

From Our Small Town in southeast Kansas,


My Darling Husband and I have moved


to the metropolitan Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti/Detroit, Michigan area.


There are lots of lakes up here. Some of the lakes are actually dammed rivers, one of which we live next to. Our location is a quiet area. I’m thankful to live outside the city. After living within city limits most of my life, I came to appreciate the low volume of a small town (although Our Small Town in Kansas was becoming louder, with crime increasing, thanks in part to a certain demographic moving into that area).
I’m still flabbergasted every time the thought of having moved half-way across the country crosses my mind. Except for six months residing on the Missouri side of Kansas City (which doesn’t really count because it’s almost like living on the Kansas side), I lived in Kansas from birth until now, a few decades later. I’m a third-generation Kansan, through and through. This will take some getting used to!
p.s. — The title of this post is a reference to Laura Ingalls Wilder and her writings.

the sounds of a summer evening

Cicadas are the music of summer, but so is the community band of Our Small Town. They play in the band shell at the city park every summer Tuesday.


My Darling Husband and I ate a picnic dinner there this evening.


In a small town, you are more likely than not to run into friends and acquaintances wherever you go.


’tis a fine evening for driving pretty cars

“Reader, I married him. A quiet wedding we had….”,

then I moved from a large metropolitan area (Kansas City) to his quiet town in southeast Kansas. Now what? I knew the sidewalks would roll up at 5 p.m. since I grew up in a small town. However, sixteen years in big cities can spoil a lady!

After the busyness of packing up my life and wedding preparations…after honeymoon traveling…here we are. What does one do with oneself when the cars in rush hour traffic can be counted on two hands, when one falls asleep to the tick tock of a clock instead of police sirens, when an adventure has to be created instead of choosing from infinite events? A person finds beauty in the details of life and has time to find the beauty.