Sunday, October 14, 2018

Sunday Walkabout 10-14

After a week of wild, historic weather that devastated parts of Florida and surprised our own state with its flooding fury, it seems more than a little trite to write about the week that included a field-trip, a birthday party and very little farm work.


That’s all I got. 

Keeping up with the news can be a draining, depressing activity. It’s made worse by the fact that there seems so little we can do to help anyone or to change anything. It can either make you angry or depressed, and personally, neither one seems very desirable. So, we do what we can where we can and try to find joy and meaning in all of it. I really don’t know what else anyone can do.

So, perhaps this week my mission in writing should be to provide a diversion, a bright spot in your week. Because, Lord knows, we all need a bright spot! And, this week, it was pretty easy to find “three good things” (did you read last week? )

Swannanoa Palace

Last week I mentioned a fieldtrip. The Boss and I have been meaning to go to on this particular jaunt for years now. Swannanoa is a grand marble mansion built on the top of Afton Mountain by Major James Dooley in 1912 as a token of his love for his dear wife, Sallie May.

stained glass at top of grand staircase
(this is supposed to be Mrs. Dooley)

made by Tiffany Studios
valued at $100,000 at the time of installation
(cannot imagine how much it is worth today)

stained glass flowers

details are amazing
this is a ceiling corner molding
original plaster

even the water tower is ornate

carved marble pillars

loved this walkway

mosaic details on fireplace
hand-painted flowers in breakfast room

fish fountain in side garden

amazing water feature 
the craftsmanship was astonishing

water tower through the trees

Over the years it has fallen into disrepair and is no longer used as a residence. However, on occasion it is opened to the public for tours. Despite the oppressive heat and humidity, it was a fascinating trip.

The mansion has had a colorful history. You can read more about it here.

While the craftsmanship was amazing, and it truly was a beautiful spot, it made me sad to see it in such a state of decline. To restore it to its former glory would be incredibly costly (if not impossible).
So, I suppose it will slowly sink into the landscape and be forgotten. That's just sad.
it looks like it's getting dangerous

We returned to our own hilltop where the only thing that borders on grandeur is the sky.

When the rains from what was now Tropical Storm Michael headed up the coast, I don’t think anyone realized just how much this would affect many portions of Virginia. There was lots of flooding and even the loss of life. Read this article in the Washington Post.

Here on the hill, we saw a fair amount of rain. But, the big story was the weird light show we had as the storm moved out of the area. It was eerie, all yellow and pink and glowing, made all the stranger by the fact it was overcast, and we couldn’t see the sun…just the rather ominous light that turned everything a strange pinky-orange.
Looking out the back door

leaf on the back porch
(no filter)

But, the storm brought a change in the weather.


It feels like FALL. The sky is a bright blue and the air is crisp and clear.

chillin' in the shadows

common checkered skipper
(isn't the color gorgeous?)
planting cloves for green garlic

dried pokeberries
beaten by all the rain 
locust thorns

teasels at the creek

It felt chilly when the Market opened on Saturday morning. And, it was dark...

downtown at 7am

Lady Justice 8am

looks like the Boss got "finned"
by one of the the Findells
 But, the sun came out, it warmed up and the band sounded great! It was a beautiful Market day, no two ways about that. We’re counting down to the last Market of the season… Just 5 more!

We ended the week with Garrett’s first birthday party. It’s always so fun to see all the little cousins playing together and having fun. They are all growing up so quickly! (Sadly, I did not get shots of all of them)

He wasn't too sure about that candle...
but, the cupcake was another story

cousin ready for repairs


cousin checking out the playhouse

brother love

this cousin says
you can take ONE picture...


It's FUN being one!

And, that’s all folks!

Hope you have a Happy Sunday! 

Thanks for stopping by. Come back and “visit” again soon!

Check out the Boss' Market photos below:


  1. Your grandchildren are adorable! What a great place to visit, and so ornate. -Jenn

    1. Thanks, Jenn! I think they're really cute! :)
      It was an intriguing place and the history is unique.