Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Coolest

Checking off another spot on Summer's Wanderlust Wishlist, we ventured to Lititz, just voted America's Coolest Small Town.  Through the Amish villages and farms, past the bi-plane airport lies some of the states' best kept secrets.
I was the one traveling to see America's first Pretzel Factory, the antiqued Wilbur Chocolate Factory, and the first girl's school. 

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Hung Out to Dry

Yeah, I'm the one who makes the special drive to see the World's Largest Clothespin. 
There's nothing more to say. Its a huge clothespin.
Philli, oh Philli!  You are amazing and weird!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

With Silver Bells and Cockle Shells

With 80-90% humidity atop the 95 degree temperatures, dog days have just been unbearable.  The sticky, constricting air reeks havock on any outdoor adventures. 

That being said, the strangling heat wave is great "tomato ripenin' weather" (as my Appalachian kin says)

Bringing a pop of lovely colour inside from the flower gardens.  (I tried some new flowers this year and was really pleased with them)
Mid-July's Harvest.... Carrots, Baby tomatoes, Zuchinni, Heirlooms, Field Greens and Herbs.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Prof.Ouch's Odditorium/Bizarre Bazaar in Philli

If you're in Philli, anyway.... I mean, if you're driving along and see it.... I mean, we just stumbled upon it.....

(Sigh~ Who am I kidding?!  The dorkside took over and, yes, we are the ones who drive around looking for the strange and absolutely nerdy!)
This is Professor Ouch's Bizarre Bazaar and Odditorium in Philli.

If you ask me (which, yes, I know.. you didn't), its more toys than bizzarity or bazaar-esque-ness.  BUT.... he did have a banjo.... with a rooster painted on it..... 

Thursday, July 18, 2013


And I've named him Humphrey

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Down in the Valley

There was no spelunking this time.   There were no hooks, or oversuits, or even a headlamp.  There were stairs (and wheelchair accessible elevators), electricity, and guides.
But the chill and total silent stillness still takes my breath away.
(The Shenandoah Caverns in Shenandoah Valley,  VA)

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Painted Flowers

"Everyone is delightful because of a hard resolve to remake the world."
In the dusty neighborhoods of Pittsburgh, where once laid rubbish and obscurity, is a vibrant (if not splendiferous) and quirky block.  Looking like it jumped right off the page of a pop-art book ala 1973, this corner of the city can be seen from the hill and is more than just a gaudy and bizarre roadside attraction. 

Actually, Randyland, as neighbors and visitors call it, is the vision of a do-gooder, Randy Gilson, who, seeing that his neighborhood was in sad disrepair (in the 1980's), littered with abandoned lots and the grime they encourage, decided to plant some flowers around them in large barrels.  Slowly, he started to paint anything that could be painted (concurrently with another group of ladies who'd jumped on the bandwagon of re-making their town).  
Over the past 30 years, this small art garden has blossomed into a multi-lot, neighborhood project. 
Beyond the aesthetic value, developing points of interest, like this, and encouraging community involvement has a strong correlation with decreased property and violent crime (people don't want to hurt something they're involved in bettering; they don't want to hurt someone they have a common goal with).    Furthermore, revitalizing neighborhoods increases business to areas, which in turn increases jobs (again, correlating with the decrease in crime-- if you have a job, you're not as likely to commit a crime for money).

 Randy didn't wait around for them to do it. 
Why are we?

Thursday, July 11, 2013

With a Click and a Whistle

Its remarkable that these dogs posess a greater work ethic than many people I've met.  Sure, its their desire to make their people happy that creates the trainer/worker bond, but these canines are elated to lead the woolies.   Call it science or an act of God, I am amazed by the innate ability and duty these dogs have and how effortless it seems that a whistle means left and a click can mean right.
Of course, I am more in love with Alpacas than I'd been before... (Did you know that this cameloid will politely ride in a car with you?)

At the Shepherd Exhibition, 2013

Monday, July 8, 2013

Jumping Ship

If you see a random shark and john boat in a random parking lot as you sojourn, you pull over and climb in that john boat, dang it!  You pull over.
The sign read this was used in Jaws.... could be. 
Taken off 611 in Maryland's Eastern Shore.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Go West, Young Man!

Sadly, a good majority of the quirky and gimick laiden theme parks have closed down. , leaving only remnants and ruins of their once slightly creepy amusement sector.
When an open (and vibrantly bustling) one is stumbled upon, it doesn't matter if its the destination or part of the journey.  
I was the one whirling into the Wild West Show, sans blinker, just to snap some shots of the dairy lovin' giant. 

Photos taken at Frontier Town near Ocean City.  Yes, its a Western Theme Park that backs into the ocean.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Rhubarb & Ramekins

I'm on a rhubarb kick right now. (Yes, I do miss the inordinate amount of it growing in my mom's yard)

For outdoor  summer movies, rhubarb vanilla ice cream is perfection.

What I do:
Puree  some rhubarb (I do about 5 stocks, but if you want it weaker, do less~ stronger, do more) and then blend it with about a cup of ice (makes it like a slushie).
Fold in a thing of Vanilla Greek Yogurt (its seriously delicious this way as opposed to using the heavy cream needed for ice cream),  sprinkle with cinnamon and cardamom. 
I add honey to sweeten it (you could start by pureeing the rhubarb with about a 1/4 c. of sugar, if you'd rather);  refreeze for at least a couple hours uncovered and enjoy.