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

Henry David Thoreau

One week down, one to go

Tuesday April 29, 2014
Charlottesville, Virginia



We made it back to C’ville just in time for the Dogwood Festival



This time of year really is one of my favorites because of all the beautiful flowers and flowering trees.  The temperatures haven’t gotten hot yet.

The Festival includes a carnival which was at the park just down the street from where Winnona is parked.   

It stays there for two weeks and in the middle they do fireworks which Winnona could see if she wasn’t facing away from them.  :-)   It also includes a barbeque, a fashion show,  a golf tournament, a parade, the queen’s ball.  It takes up nearly the entire month of April.






Of course a trip to Spudnuts was in order. 

Delicious potato donuts as usual.  Coconut of course!  mmmmmmmm


Home day 3 005

Home day 3 027





Carrie came for a whirlwind week-end.  


On Saturday we walked down to the city market and were pleasantly surprised to run into the Dogwood Parade.  Nothing like a small town parade.  Too cute.  Even the bookmobile was in the parade ahead of the high school band as were the never ending princesses and little Miss this and little Mr. that.  Who talks these kids into this??







Charlottesville loves its Rivanna River.


Junk food anyone?  No doubt the kids will want some


We walked up the street with the parade and then cut over to the other side of the Downtown Sidewalk Mall to the City Market where we were going to meet Carrie’s cousin Justin and his wife and 3 children.  I would have loved to watch the parade, Carrie not so much, but we had a date.

At the market we ran into my friends Pam and Keith who are the parents of Carrie’s friend Kate with whom we had dinner later that evening. Kate and Carrie have been friends since 2nd grade.  I got a picture of Pam, Keith and Carrie at the market but forgot my camera when we went to dinner with Kate. Bummer! Kate’s a cutie!




We walked around the market but we didn’t see them and I didn’t see my friend Maggie the potter either.  Darn.  Then Justin called and said they were watching the parade.  ALL RIGHTY THEN!   I do get to see the parade.   Off we went to join them.


Does every town have Shriners in little cars?  How do they decide who gets to drive?


It seems everything is orange for the Orange and Blue Virginia Wahoos.  Even the tractor.
Did you have tractors in your home town parade?




Miss Virginia Desiree Williams was on her float.  Boy is she beautiful!





Big sister Norah loved all the “princesses”.  Baby John has Carrie’s undivided attention.






The jazzercise gals got a good workout.  They danced all the way and it was at least 2 miles.





Apparently Buford Middle School has a step team.  Is this a new sport?  They were totally synchronized and brought big cheers from the crowd.  I’m guessing the guy in the back must be the coach.  He looks a bit big for middle school.




Justin’s sister Ashley joined us.  We were very happy to see her.  She only lives about 2 blocks over so she came on out to meet us.




Among my parade favorites were the Green Grannies.



And I guess the Green Grandpas with great signboards.



Whole foods sent out their banana and pea pod.  Eat Organic!!   And a carrot on a bicycle.


Now seriously how often do you get to see a carrot on a bike.  He was on the opposite side of the street from me and I couldn’t see him until he had almost passed us.









The children had a great time and we did too.  We all had suckers.  Even Dad!   This is a rare picture of little Elise sitting still.  She’s a busy girl with tons of energy. 



Every southern town has its Civil War statue and many, like Charlottesville, also have a statue of Robert E. Lee.  He’s a beloved favorite son of Virginia.  His statue is in Lee Park next to the Main branch of the library.  The two sisters, Norah and Elise, thought they’d go make his acquaintance and see the pretty tulips in bloom








Norah returns but dad has to go round up Elise.  Too funny!




Justin and Carrie were favorite cousins as children and since he stayed in Charlottesville after attending UVA architecture school, Carrie always likes to see him when she comes home.   Baby John was just born on March 1st so this is the first time any of us have seen him.  What a darling he is.



Sunday morning at the farm it’s time to work up an appetite for the farm breakfast

 A hike along the pond and through the woods did the trick but no one though to get a picture of the big spread.  Bad…bad!  Does it seem to you we have eaten our way through this week-end?  You’d be right and it isn’t finished yet. 

Still winter in the woods and spring is just barely showing at the pond.  Although the frogs are quite vocal.




GMF pond




Sunday afternoon we went for visit with long time family friends.



Carrie and her friend Allegra met in Kindergarten and have remained friends all these years.  Allegra is now an MD specializing in ObGyn and has been practicing in Boston.  I think this past winter has convinced her she needs to move back south.  LOL    Luckily she was in town interviewing at the same time we were all here. 

Her parents, Ted and Lynne, have been friends of ours for just as long.  They invited us over for dinner and Lynne fixed an amazing spread which was just beautiful and of course I was too busy eating it to remember pictures.  So all you get to see is the empty plates.   That’s a real shame.  Guess Lynne will have to do it again.   I promise to take pictures next time! Smile


However we did get a picture of Lynne cutting her walnut torte.  I mean to tell you this is one fabulous dessert.  We were all smiling just as big as she is while we ate it.  That’s a recipe I must remember to get.  If you are reading this Lynne, send it along…please!!




Carrie is a cat lover, she wanted to get a picture of Allegra and the family cat.  Now that’s some kitty for sure.





And now, it’s RAINING AGAIN!!



We had a nice clear spring weather week-end, just perfect, but immediately after that the rain began again.  All day every day for 3 days.  We are supposed to get major storms tomorrow with hail and strong winds.  Crossing my fingers none of the trees in the neighborhood where Winnona is parked come down on top of her.  The area is beautiful with many old trees.  In the past few years at least one of them has come down each year.  Some do no damage and one totally flattened the house next door to it.  Thank goodness no one was home at the time.   She’d be much safer at the farm but since it won’t quit raining, no work can be done on the road.   I’m wondering where we can go other than California to get away from this east coast never ending rain.

Back at the Farm

Friday April 25, 2014
Greenfield Mountain Farm



Winnona doesn’t get to come but here are the pictures of the farm in the spring time that you requested.  So far it looks as if everything has weathered the horrid winter here.  The truck started up and so did the lawn mower after a few complaints and some work on David’s part.   No mice seemed to have taken up residence despite the cold.  All in all, pretty amazing.




The farm house is 3/4 of a mile down the lane from the county road. The county road is one of those up and down and curving mountain roads you find often in rural mountain and foothills NC and Virginia. We have been snowed in and unable to get out many times over the years we have lived here. All lots of fun actually except the time we had to bring the groceries back on a sled and walk in knee deep snow that 3/4 of a mile.   The picture below is the side that faces the barnyard.




These next pictures are taken on the road as it climbs up past the house.  The road continues on past the house and goes down to our lower pasture bordered by a stream.  The dream always was for Carrie and her family to move into the farm house and Gramma and Grampa would build a little house down in that lower section and everyone would live happily ever after.   But that was before Winnona.   Not sure we’ll ever leave her now unless forced to which given the situation could, of course, happen.  This is one reason we hold on to the farm.  And the other of course is sentimental.  




We paid a song for the property over 30 years ago, rescued it from serious neglect and spent years doing the renovations.  With the help of a local farmer who knew how to do EVERYTHING, David took down the chimney in the original part of the house and rebuilt it inside the house.  Just amazing.  But those of you who have ever lived in a renovation that extended for years, know what a trial that can be.  If you do it yourself there is often no other way.

It is now the family “home place” as they say around here.  We try to stop by at least once a year now to make sure things are still fine.  This is actually the front of the house and has the porch with swing and rockers.   The red buds, dogwoods and mountains are looking very fine today.




Closer view




Back yard looking toward the pond.  At one time this field had 2 horses, 2 burrows and 6 geese.  25 chickens had their own yard with a chicken house fondly known as the Hen Hilton for its glass windows.   The menagerie also included two beagles and a cat.   All of them lived full and happy lives here before we went on the road.




I guess spring is my second favorite time of year at the farm since the trees look so lovely. Fall is breath taking and even winter with the snow on the ground is a picture postcard. Only summer is hot and humid and difficult.




Carrie will be coming back for a visit this week-end.  We are excited as always to have her visit.





Have you been to the Lancaster PA Area?

April 22-April 24, 2014
Charlottesville, Virginia


TUESDAY  April 22


We got another early start leaving Zooland Family Campground.  It’s a great place for an overnight if you are planning to go up Route 29 through southern Virginia to the foothills and provides another route to the Shenandoah National Park other than I-81.

The only problem with it this time is that the bridge between I-73 and the campground was out and going around added 5 miles to the already 4 miles between the interstate and the campground.  But it’s only once for us as the bridge will be back in business as of June 1, they say.



The drive up Route 29 through Virginia is really really lovely as the dogwoods and redbuds and azaleas are in bloom.

Since we got an early start, we arrived about 1:00.  I really like that.   The rest of the day was spent in getting Winnona situated in her not so level spot and getting out to the farm to see how many days of roadwork and tree limb pruning it would take to get her down the driveway.

Things looked great at the farm.  No winter damage at all despite the never ending snow and continually freezing temperatures.










Spring at the farm and in Charlottesville is always simply gorgeous!   The dogwoods and redbuds and azaleas are all in bloom.   You just can’t help but be happy and smile when you see them.  They are a big reason why I keep coming back to Virginia in the spring “on my way” to somewhere else.

Winnona has a gorgeous pink dogwood keeping her company for two weeks.


The tulips and daffodils are nearly finished but there are a few beauties hidden in the shade of one of the dogwood trees.



If course I have the same problem in the fall.  The turning of the leaves on the Blue Ridge is magnificent and we often find ourselves here again on our way to winter spots.


This morning is the lab visit for all the blood tests necessary to the doctor visit next week.





In the afternoon is a bath for Winnona and cleaning off some of that pollen and mildew from wet wet Florida.  FINALLY!  So hard to do this in parks.  They don’t let you wash your vehicles.

Last October Winnona got everything washed and waxed but her roof.   So hopefully tomorrow the roof will get finished.  Seems we only have two sunny days before the rain may return.  Sad smile










Also on tap is a trip to my favorite library for REAL BOOKS that aren’t eons old from the swap tables at parks.  I love books!  I love the smell of books!  I love to turn their pages.  I love my library!

Tomorrow is the dentist.   No so whoo hoo!





Most important of all is asking your advice.





We will be going to Pennsylvania in mid May for our solar install and will be spending a few days in the Lancaster PA area.  I know many of you have been there and hope you will comment with suggestions on campgrounds to stay in and specific places you loved that we should visit.   My commenters are way better than RV Park Reviews or Trip Advisor.





I am so enjoying the beautiful weather and the gorgeous trees and flowers.
I hope you are too.

Happy Happy Spring to you all!