A Sabbath trek…

On Saturday we went back to the trail head.  No, not me and the dogs, but me and Bob this time!  I had already decided that there was too much poison ivy, and too many ticks to risk taking the dogs on the unpaved trail!

And so, having donned hats, boots, and a day pack, we grabbed our hiking poles and took the unpaved path.  I am so glad I thought it a good idea to wear long pants!  The trail was a bit to closely grown with poison ivy, and I found a tick in our clothing too!

We hiked about a third of it before we got too tired and turned back.

I have a few things to share that we found along the trail.

I planted one of these in my yard last year.  She didn’t make it.  I think I might like to try again.  I hope Bennett’s has them again this year!

We passed another such outcropping of stone and heard water.  We looked carefully but no river or falls were evident.  We then realized the water we could hear was from an underground river!  The sound was coming right out of a large fracture in the rocks!

It is amazing how thick the vegetation on this mountain is considering that the whole mountain is solid limestone rock, but over time, rain, snow, and ice work on the stone.  They seep deep into its fissures, eroding and freezing to expand, and break it apart. 

Leaves fall and collect in the cracks and begin their process of decomposition. 

Seeds fall into the humus… and miraculously they grow!

and they will further the destruction of the stones.

This mighty tree fell in a storm.  I looked at her limbs and imagined a giant hand, fingers outstretched to the sky.  On closer inspection I realized that she was not dead.  She had refused to give up!   Notice the smaller branches?  The leaves have reoriented themselves to take better advantage of the sun.  I also noticed that the forestry service has tagged her for removal as she is laying directly across the trail.

I stumbled into this stone and noticed the odd breaks in it.  In places it seemed to have been incised by a knife’s edge.  It also seemed to have an outer coating, almost like a shell…

I picked it up and that is when I saw that inside this potato sized stone was a surprise!  On a nicked edge there were revealed crystal structures like jewels inside.


I wondered what else might be found if it were cut open.  Was it a geode perhaps?  I decided I didn’t need to know and carefully placed the stone back where I had found it. 😉

On our way back we took a wrong turn! The path is supposed to be just one long loop around the mountain, but apparently because of all the fallen trees from last year’s storms, there have been a few alternate paths made.  We realized that the area was small enough that we really needn’t worry, and we did have snacks, water and a cell phone.

However, later when I downloaded all my photos I found this one and thought about how very careful you must be when taking any unfamiliar trail…

Because after all, we wouldn’t have wanted to end up like this poor little fellow.  He climbed up the cedar, out onto a limb, was totally lost, and then expired!


OK, because some of you said you were inspired to get back into a routine of healthy living I am going to share some BEFORE and AFTER pictures with you.  This is a very hard thing for me to do, pride you know, but here is Buddy, and me in California when I was we were fit…

And here I am now, after no exercise and a lay-up from a back injury…

This is the fallen tree I mentioned above.  Climbing over it I wanted to just stay there, but forced myself to get up and continue on.  So I am not the same woman who left California.  However, I refuse to go down without a fight!


This was my third hike this week and the most strenuous!  I was tired and obviously out of shape, but my trekking poles really helped me both up and down the mountainside.   I woke up this morning to a bit of stiffness, but no pain, so I guess I haven’t overdone it this week.   Nine miles.  NICE!   🙂


Hint to all with bad knees and backs:  Get some trekking poles and use them!  They really help to take the strain off your knees and back, and give a little workout to your arms too!

A Little Dog’sTale of Woe

Yesterday in the back yard Bob and the Little Dog were playing a rousing game of B-A-L-L  (he’s laying right here by my feet) 😉  and you know how much he loves the game…  Well, after chugging across the yard for the hundredth time, he slides into home, snatches the ball, spins for the return, and suddenly…

He just dropped the BALL!

Yes, he did!  He stood there for a moment and then slowly, very carefully he limped over to Bob and stopped.

We were stunned.

We took him to the emergency vet and they checked him over, but he is not doing so hot.  Nothing serious or life threatening, but he has been pretty wimpy and whiny.  The vet said nothing was broken, thank goodness, but the little dog is just not getting around so good…

This guy, in spite of his pain, is jones’n for his B-A-L-L!


Oh yes, and the good news is that the vet said he can play again in about two weeks.


Photo Friday: the world according to my little dog

Here on the Farmlet there are a few words and phrases that are never said out loud unless we really mean it.

In order of importance to the Little Dog they are:

  1. Ball”  (ALWAYS spelled when we are talking to each other.)
  2. Kong” (Same as above)
  3. Who want’s breakfast/dinner?”  (abbreviated, when we are wondering if the other has already fed them their “B” or “D”)
  4. Is daddy home yet?”
  5. Clean-up on isle nine!”  (This one is handy whenever you have spilled something on the kitchen floor, or when it is time to go to bed and they are frolicking and barking with total abandon in the dark …  and yes, we do reward for an appropriate response at bedtime!)

This morning However . . .

Not even the number one word could get a rise out of the Little Dog!



When the north wind blows,

and a chill is in the air,

sometimes all that is needed

is a soft bed…

and a warm nose.


Stay warm, and enjoy your weekend my friends!


Photo Friday: traveling by train

Mia culpa!  This got posted before I was finished editing, but I think I got it now.  ~ L   😉

Once upon a time travel by train was the ultimate in luxury, though I am sure that those who traveled by rail in its infancy might argue that point.

Photo credit:  Scanning around with Gene – please click the photo for source and many other wonderful vintage photos and adds.


As a child, in California, my 2nd grade class took a ride on the train to the San Bernardino Depot.  It was a wonderful experience, though I also remember how cheated felt on finding out we did not get a return trip!

San Bernardino Train Depot, California

I also recall arguing with my teacher about this point.  At which time she put her hand firmly on my arm, and with the conductor’s assistance, redirected me to the bus!

Photo credit:  Scanning around with Gene – please click the photo for source and many other wonderful vintage photos and adds.

The picture is the right vintage, but do you see that the Teacher and Conductor have strained smiles… and me?  No way was I smilin’!  Posers all!


Later in my life I would meet my husband Bob.  He and his father were great train enthusiasts.  Why, he even had a model RR set up in his bedroom that was so big it went edge to edge, taking up a full two-thirds of the room.   That  necessitated the placement of his bed shoved head first into one closet, with the chest of drawers shoved into the other!   Me, being a tomboy at heart, loved to watch him and his dad run the HO Scale models on the layout.  There were mountains that climbed the back walls, tunnels, bridges, a town and more.  All done to exacting scale and very realistic.


Jump forward to this November when we went to the Huntsville train museum with our friends Pam and Tim…  They wanted to take the “Fall Color Ride” and could either of us say no?  Of course not!

The following photographs were taken on that day and recalled many memories of times that are no more…

In its heyday, the dining car carried folks long distances, and you were  wined and dined in comfort and luxury.


Looking about I saw

A Diner’s still bright windows,

and  I thought to myself, 

“They resemble eyes, still bright, that remember better days.”

Clinging vines tying iron wheels to the tracks,

dust, rust, and

Couplers gone green with algae

were now rendered useless.

The men who remember,

some as old as the relics they tend, 

dream of a time when life was large

and mighty engines



and rattled down the tracks,

taking us to where we were going

in style and luxury.

A time that passed…

and is no more.