Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Three Weeks in May: Memories, Maintenance and Festivals

May 2016                                                                                           Most Recent Posts:
Charlottesville, Virginia                                                                      
Abracadabra, We’re Back in Virginia Again
                                                                                                          What a Surprise



Those of you who follow along know that my Disney posts from mid April were done in quite a bit of detail. 
My previous post covered our quick trip back to Virginia to be in time for Carrie’s baby shower on April 23.  I’ve already posted on the shower so if you missed it, there is a separate
post on the shower here.

After that we busied ourselves waiting for the birth of our grand daughter Celia Claire  on May 19.  If you missed that, You can see her sweet self at this link.

Today’s post is about some of the things we did in the month of May. Both before and after the big event.

While we waited, I got up in the attic to see what sorts of toys, baby things and just general ‘put it away’ stuff was up there.  What fun it was finding all the baby things and toys that many parents save and then wonder why.

Here’s some of what I found.  Boxes and suitcases, little person rockers and doll beds. Remember the View Master?  Celia’s too little for any of these just yet but I hope Carrie will enjoy the memories of these pictures.  I sure did.





Most of the things up there were protected in old suitcases we had picked up over time for a song at the goodwill.   Looking down from above there were quite a few and a couple of old metal trunks too.



Opening them up I found a treasure trove of memories of both my Carrie and my her Great Great Aunt Carrie for whom she was named.   Aunt Carrie was an amazing creater of dolls and toys.  All by hand.  There’s kermit the crocheted frog on the right, and the gingerbread boy below him. 




All of the dolls and animals in the next 5 pictures were made by her.





I think their faces are just amazing.




The bunny rabbit with his stiff ears, pants and shirt with pockets is just amazing.   The doll in the center Aunt Carrie made for ‘baby Carrie’ when she visited in 1980 shortly after her namesake was born.  Aunt Carrie was 93 and flew to visit on a prop plane from Ocala Florida.
She named the doll Barbara Ann after her mother which would be Carrie’s Great Great Great Grandmother and Celia’s 4th Great Maternal Grandmother.





These are all priceless family heirlooms that Aunt Carrie intrusted to me and I hope Celia will want to keep them, care for them and continue passing them on.




This is the pair of Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls she made for me when I was five years old.  They had multiple changes of clothing and I had great fun acting out all the stories from the books.   How I miss my wonderful Great Aunt Carrie



Of course there are many of what Carrie called her “friends” that were not created by our Aunt.  Like Cabbage Patch twins.  Remember them and at least half a dozen or more puppets which when she was just a few months old made Carrie laugh and laugh especially the cow.




A Fisherprice School house complete with bus and playground, desks, chairs and bathroom fixtures.



Wonder if Allegra played with the Fisher Price Doctor’s kit when she came over and spent the night?


I find a bag of Duplos.   Pretty sure they still make these younger children’s version of Legos.



Big Chip and little Dale and a bag of blocks.


Well I don’t see anything to take up to baby Celia just yet but it sure was fun looking at all of this.  It will be interesting to see what things eventually will interest her most.


On a couple of Saturdays I walked down to the Charlottesville Farmer’s market which I must say has changed into being dominated by caterers and one entire isle has become a food court.



But my friend Maggie is still here with her beautiful pottery. 







On this Saturday,  I meet my friend Pam there and we started walking back to the house.  We stop at Southern States nursery to look at plants and it starts to sprinkle.  When they find out we are walking they graciously loan us umbrellas and we didn’t even buy anything.  How nice. We promise to return them and the next day I do.

We continue walking. Then it starts to pour so we stop under the porch at Pampered Pets where Pam works until it lightens up a bit.  Rachel Carson says a rainy day is a great day for a walk and we actually do have a good time.  What’s a little water even if by the time we get back we are soaked.  We’re waterproof and our clothes will dry.



Another fun day, mostly for David, was doing an oil change and a grease job for Winnona.  The farm road is just too rough and too overgrown in the woods for Winnona so she stays in Charlottesville but this is not a town with level streets.  It’s a town with hills.   We bring her over to the parking lot of the high school one Sunday and David takes care of it all.  Boy do I love having my own repair and maintenance man.  Thank you David!



Can you see him under there?  Look closely and you might see his ear.  He’s looking down.



Maybe now that I’m a little closer.  Lots easier than getting under Ruby that’s for sure.



On another day, early in the morning,  I walk to the Downtown Mall to see the LOOK Festival of the Photograph Pictures.   This isn’t the only one of several festivals that happen in Charlottesville.



In March, Charlottesville has the Festival of the Book, a fabulous week of authors and publishers and talks and discussions all about books,  in May/June there is the Festival of the Photograph which celebrates extraordinary photographers with viewings of their works, discussion and talks and in November is the Virginia Film Festival also held in Charlottesville

Today is all about photographs.  Fabulous Photographs hanging from the trees all up and down our downtown walking mall.  I wasn’t thinking about the festival when I walked down and didn’t bring my real camera so these pictures are all taken with my Samsung Galaxy 5 android phone whose camera, at least as I use it, is not so hot.  If you have this phone and can give me some tips, PLEASE DO.



This pride of Lions photograph was taken in Africa.







Here is our very own big cat, one of my very favorite photographs.  Although this cougar’s picture was taken in Central America, he is our East coast big cat. 




What fantastic  eyes!!



Fountains and photographs.





All of the photographs have small information plaques somewhere near them. You can see the ones for these pictures on the flagpole below. The white rectangles. These say the photographs are titled Lionesses at Twilight and Elephants at Twilight.  Both were taken in Botswana in 1989.  For the pride of Lionesses the photographer Frans Lanting followed them for weeks to get to know them .  Here they are scanning the bush, awake and ready to hunt.




For this picture of the Elephant herd, Lanting waded into the water and waited, the full moon in the background.



These zebras were grazing in the lush grassland of East Kenya in 1996.



This Emperor Penguin family portrait was taken in 1994 and has become very famous.  In a greeting ritual the parents bow their heads over the chick they raise in the brutal Antarctica climate.  The chick’s out stretched flippers look like joy.




As you can probably tell from these pictures, I was on the mall very early in the morning.  The sun was a bit harsh and there were few people at the many outdoor restaurant tables over which these giant photographs hang.  A few folks begin to show up as the morning moves along.






Wonder what these two would do if this macaw actually flew this closely over their heads.




This Orangatang, whose name means “man of the forest” in Borneo where this photograph was taken in 1991, came flying through the air with his scare look as he tried to grab the photographer’s camera.

20160602_085704  It was all for show.  Lanting comments, “Orangatangs are our close cousins, yet we have not treated them particularly like relatives”.  Thousands have been taken over the centuries from the forest as pets, for medical research and for zoos.  Now the greatest danger to their existance is habitat destruction. 

While I was taking several shots this young man was concentrating on his cell phone and then all of a sudden he looked up to see what I was shooting and the relationship was striking.  At least to me.

















My single constructive suggstion for the placement of these photographs would be not to put this Caiman above the toddlers merry go round.  Maybe a cute penguin instead?




These gray langurs would be nice there too.





My first thought was that this looks like an single Emperor penguin babysitting the lot of chicks. I learn it’s not.



Once Emperor Penguin chicks are a month old, their parents go off foraging in the waters around Antarctica.  The chicks gather together and wait.  Emporers and their offspring recognize each other by voice rather than sight so when the Emporers return to the colony, they find their young by trumpeting and the chicks chirp in response.



This photograph of the sun setting behind the Bayobab trees in Madagascar in 1985 seems like a fine one to end this look at the really fine photgraphy hanging in the trees here on Charlottesville’s Downtown Mall.  An interseting tidbit: these are the trees from which  Disney patterned the Tree of Life.



There is definitely a lot to see in this town and a lot to do including hiking which will be up in the next post about our last weeks in Virginia.


  1. I miss Virginia, and even though I lived in Fairfax County I managed to get away often to the Shenandoah and further south for hiking trips.

    The handmade dolls are exquisite. I got a doll every Christmas, and few of them made it to the next Christmas. I had little brothers who loved to torment me. I just can't imagine being able to save dolls from one generation to the next.

  2. How wonderful you have all those toys in such good condition, AS WELL AS those amazing handmade dolls!! Really great treasures! I was surprised to see me and am not remembering you having a camera that day. You always take such great pictures! Love seeing the LOOK Festival photos too - so nice we get to have that here each year. Thanks for all the documentation!!

  3. Lanting is a favorite. We have the Emporer Penguin family framed and on the desk. Ours is just a greeting card we framed, but it has remained in the place of honor for many years.

  4. Great Aunt Carrie was very talented!
    Love all those photos hanging dowtown.

  5. Your attic is a true treasure, Grandma's Attic! What a wondrous trove of wonderful keepsakes inside those lovely wood walls and floors. Lucky Carrie, lucky you. The festivals and art that you have there in Charlottesville seems quite wonderful, love the big photographs hanging over the streets. Wonderful.

  6. Those hand made dolls are just amazing! How sweet that you even have the dolls that your Great Aunt Carrie made for you. She seems like she was a remarkable woman—what a gift to her that you named Carrie in her honor. I enjoy your adventures in Charlottesville. We're looking forward to stopping there when we make it to the East Coast.

  7. How fun to dig out memories in the attic. Those dolls are all fantastic. Little Celia will have many years of fun from those choices. Of course I especially love the photographs from Africa. I really do want to go back and explore more.

  8. Wow, that is quite an assortment of priceless heirloom. I just hope that in Celias generation, they know how to appreciate handmade dolls which are priceless and labor of love.

    I love that photography festival, I think this is the first time I have seen one.
    What would we do without our handyman husbands!

  9. I hope you have all those hand made dolls, labeled with dates, names and stories.

  10. Wonderful blog with all those heirloom dolls I wish I had my toys when I was a child.... when I could suggest about your picture is do more of a close up the flag with less busy background with trees and whatever else is there... I have a new LG phone and the camera is fantastic but I'd like little else about the phone just my 2 cents

  11. You are so lucky to have a place to have stored all those heirlooms. I come from a family of non-sentimental people. No one saves anything.

  12. Amazing dolls, what beautiful labors of love they are. Wonderful that you've saved them all these years. Treasures in the attic! :c)

  13. What a fine doll collection. Good thing you kept the old farm house. What a treasure trove.

  14. You have quite a lot of memories in that attic! I really like how those pics are displayed in the outdoors.

  15. Played 'catch up' today... and learned of Cecelia.. such lovely pictures, it all brought tears to my eyes so love and happiness, congrats to all!! Loved looking at all the toys, Your Aunt Carrie was wonderful to make all of those GREAT stuffed toys, just beautiful.. I have some my Mom made for me and Brian later in life, all of my childhood dolls burned in a barn fire, it was a terrible thing....
    Happiness to all of you...

  16. The dolls are amazing and so well kept. Aunt Cecelia was a great creater.
    Love all the photo's just beautiful.

  17. Oh, my, goodness! The dolls are so beautiful:) Great Aunt Carrie was certainly talented. Your collection is amazing! One day you can display them when you settle:) I recognize those toys. Brings back memories:) Thanks for sharing!

    We love Charlottesville! Such a neat town:) Our daughter's best friend live there. Boy, am I glad I wasn't with you when you stopped by your pottery friend's booth. I love her work, but the MH isn't the place...one day! What a very cool way to display the paintings! But I agree that the choice for the Toddler area wasn't great!

    We have the Samsung Galaxy 5 phone and most of our blog photos are taken with the phone. We mainly only use the camera for zoom photos since the phone takes such nice photos. We found that having the HDR setting "on" is a great help outside. Our phone takes better photos into the sun than the camera (but then we have a point and shoot camera).

    It certainly is must to have a handy maintenance man when living in an RV. Good work, David!

  18. Aunt Carrie was so talented. I remember many of those dolls and other toys. I like that elephant. I certainly had a terrific childhood there :) I look forward to when Celia takes interest in things!! Beautiful photographs on the mall!

  19. Beautiful heirlooms! I'm not a saver myself, I have a few of Cory's Thomas trains, a few of Katrina's American Girl dolls and a handmade blanket from Wayne's mom. Luckily I also kept her Girl Scout vest and her 4H books, which is amazing since now I plan to use the vest to make her a pillow or a tote bag to have on display in her new office at GS of America!

  20. What wonderful treasures you've kept, heirlooms to say the least. The photographs on the mall were amazing.

  21. Those treasures are certainly beautiful and special, Celia is very lucky! Nice to have a mechanic and a place for him to work in town. Love the walk in the rain. All the photos are of animals in far away lands so I'm assuming there is an annual theme. I think your critique of the choice of subjects for the merry go 'round is spot on - not well thought out on their part :-) How wonderful to be where all the festivals come to you!!

  22. Your toys are beautiful and in such beautiful condition! I never had toys that looked that nice after we were finished with them! I love the photo festival and how they are displayed.


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