Monthly Archives: April 2015

30 by 30: Trip to #29 Ohio

Ohio

One of my goals for 2015 is to visit 30 states by the time I turn 30.  It all started as an idea from a friend. The purpose is mainly just getting out there, making memories, and experiencing more of what  America has to offer. I have until September 9th, 2015 to complete this goal, so I better get traveling!! Pack your road trip gear and come along for the ride!

Several weeks ago (most) of my family went on a genealogy road trip! We knew the general location of a very old family farm in Ohio, and decided to go on the trip we’ve been talking about for years. We’ve always wanted to find it (again for my dad), clean up around the area, and get rubbings of the gravestones. To get there I drove through several other states had never been in before- Indiana, and West Virginia.

Pretty quickly I realized that although just on the cusp of Spring and still more more brown than green, Ohio is beautiful. We drove in the countryside north of Marietta looking for the old family farm. The hills and vistas were impressive. My ancestors were pioneers and people of the land. They had to have been strong to make a living from lands these – while beautiful- are certainly not the plains of Kansas they eventually came to settle in. We found Chapman Cemetery which is the burial place for my four times great grandmother, Sarah Flanders- wife of Thomas. We got a rubbing of her grave first, and were entertained by Charlie freaking out over his first cow experience.

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Before this trip I was always interested in my heritage, but from a standpoint of what countries they had come from and stories they lived. This trip got me thinking about how they really lived day to day, and how that translates to my life. Almost every single one of my ancestors- on both sides as far back as I know, until recently were farmers. Although I live in Kansas I live in the city- and my day to day is about as far removed from farming as possible. My dad asked me during the trip if I believed in ancestral imprinting. At the time I said no, but that was before I spent time in among my ancestor’s graves, tending to them and helping to get rubbings of the head stones. I feel connected to them now in a way I can’t explain or even understand really. I wonder if my love/obsession with indoor gardening is from them? I wonder if I would make them proud? Would they have made me proud? I think so.

After some searching we found the family graveyard which sits at the top of a crazy high hill, situated so that it overlooks a beautiful vista. They couldn’t have picked a prettier spot. As dusk came on we were still finding new headstones. There have to be many more we have yet to find. I sense another trip in our future! It would be great to really get in there with better tools to clear out the overgrown vegetation, more head stone rubbing supplies, and more time to really get it right.

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Some of the headstones of my ancestors we found include:

– W.H. Flanders – who served in the Civil War in the 26th Ohio Infantry. They were a volunteer infantry that called themselves ‘The Groundhog Regiment’. We left a little paper version of the Regiment’s National Flag at his grave.

– Jacob Flanders, my three times great grandfather. Buried next to his wife Sarah. His head stone holds an image of two shaking hands this usually indicates a farewell to earthly existence and God’s welcome into heaven. If the sleeves of the two hands are masculine and feminine, the handshake may symbolize marriage. While it’s hard to tell for sure it looks as though the hands are both uniform indicating the latter. The inscription on his grave reads, “He has left cares and sorrow, his heartaches and his pains. And who __ left behind him hope to meet in heaven again.”

– Sarah Flanders wife of Jacob Flanders, my third great grandfather. By doing a rubbing of her grave we could make out the roses which are usually indicate a meaning of love, victory, triumph, and/or purity. I believe in this case they are meant to mean love. Perhaps she loved roses as well. There were overgrown rose bushes planted nearby. The inscription at the bottom reads, ‘We shall meet again, sweet mother; in a brighter time than this, Where the anguish of this world of ours is lost in death’s bliss.’

– We found many infant graves and several young children, all of which were heartbreaking.

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Marietta had several of the best places we ate at for the entire trip. The Boat House BBQ even let us bring my dog Charlie on the patio! Not only that, but they had a big chair for photo opportunities, and the best cheeseburger maybe ever. Cheese and burger- PLUS a fried egg and avocado! That evening we ate at Las Trancas, which is maybe the best Mexican food ever.

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The morning we left we stopped at Mound Cemetery inside Marietta town limits. This cemetery holds a Native American burial mound, which is the burial place of many chieftains. Marietta was the first permanent settlement in the Northwest Territory, and many of those settlers were officers and soldiers of the American Revolution. It is said that there are more Revolutionary officers buried in this county than in any other region in the United States. This cemetery alone has a long list of them. My fifth great grandfather Enoch Flanders and his wife Anna Flanders are buried somewhere in this cemetery. This is where planning and research would have come in handy as there is no one to help locate graves (at least not when we were there), there are so many to look through, and so many headstones were virtually unreadable. Although we didn’t find them, I’m certain we could at a later date.

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We had a fantastic trip, I’m happy about the work we completed on my ancestor’s head stones and we had really good family time. This trip sparked a fire in me to work on the family tree and to get my DNA tested to discover and confirm knowledge and suspicions of my ethnicity. Stay tuned for those posts!

That’s 29 down, one states to go!!

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The states I have now been to are:

Ohio

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Click here to read about my other 30 by 30 adventures: NevadaIndiana, West Virginia,

Click here to see my 2015 manifesto.

You can also check out my 2014, 2013, and 2012 goals- or my bucket list

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‘A Dance with Dragons’ by George R.R. Martin [REVIEW]

Dance with Dragons One of my goals for 2015 is to get back to my roots and read more books. As the great Frederick Douglass said, ‘Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.’ Books are a passion – nay, an obsession of mine and always have been. I grew up in the library and my parents fostered my love of reading and learning. With books I have lived a thousand lives, found myself absorbed in different worlds, and learned immensely more than I could have otherwise. So put up your feet, grab a good paperback and let’s get reading!

In ‘A Dance with Dragons’ by George R.R. Martin the characters appear to have mostly lost what illusions they may have had when the epic series ‘A Song of Fire and Ice’ began. Outbreaks of violence are common, the illusions of security are shattered for many, and factionalism in the Night’s Watch leaves the whole world under threat.

What Dragons has going for it is something sorely missing from Feast: Tyrion Lannister. The noble-born Tyrion is a sarcastic dwarf whose quick wits, sharp tongue, and tragic sensibility make him the closest thing the series has to a soul. In Dragons, Tyrion is stuck maneuvering to stay alive on a continent far from Westeros where a parallel drama has been developing. Daenerys Targaryen has risen from being the teen bride of a desert lord in the first book to a victorious queen intent on reconquering Westeros, with an army of fearless eunuchs and three dragons (a species long thought long extinct) at her back.

The novel as a whole suffers from a lack of cohesion—a likely result of the fact that it was meant to be the second half of one overly long novel (Martin hacked off the first part to make A Feast for Crows’). Each book is less a stand-alone volume than it is one section in a continuous novel that seems to have the ability to keep spinning itself into multi-strand plotlets forever. Each of the plots that Martin has set on course in his earlier books keeps humming along without a hitch. It’s a fantastic read that sometimes frustrates and deviates, (focus, George, focus!) but more often than not enthralls as the greatest epic adventure fiction should.

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Click here to see my goals for 2015

You can also see my goals for 2014, 2013, 2012 and my bucket list!

 

Lush : Secret Garden Bomb [ REVIEW ]

One of my *unofficial* goals for 2015 is to relax more. As the great Leonardo da Vinci once said, ‘Every now and then go away and have a little relaxation. To remain constantly at work will diminish your judgement.” What is more relaxing close to home than a luxurious bath?  This year I will review products from my fav shop that makes fresh and handmade beauty goods, Lush! So draw up a bath, get a good book and a glass of wine, and let’s relax!

Lush’s Secret Garden Bath Bomb is one of my favorite bath bombs ever. The smell is amazing. When you drop it in the water, the bomb froths and fizzes, slooowwllyyy releasing the smell of rose absolute and sweet wild orange oil, along with REAL rose petals, marigold petals and blue mallow flowers. It has a frothy outer layer which creates a light blanket of foam to sink beneath as your cares float away.

The water is turned sooo soft by the bath bomb, and is tinted a gorgeous dark green. The floating flower petals set the scene for your own secret garden. *Tip: If you don’t want the flower petals to float around in your tub, just wrap the bomb in nylon before you use it. Also, don’t be turned off by the flower power/60’s look of it, the secret garden bath bomb is as sumptuous and lovely as they come!

Happy April, and Happy Mother’s Day!

Mother’s Day Lush Product’s I’ve tested:

Rose Bubble Bar,

Easter Lush Products I’ve tested:

Immaculate Eggception, Golden Egg, Fluffy Egg, Bunch of Carrots, Bubblegrub

Other Lush Products I’ve tested:

Blackberry Bath BombTwilight Bath Bomb

*This post is not sponsored

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Click here to see my goals for 2015

You can also see my goals for 2014, 2013, 2012 and my bucket list!

 

April ArtSnacks Unboxing [ 2015 ]

One of my goals for 2015 is to sketch more. I’ve always loved art, whether it was admiring other’s work or creating my own. Over the past year I have been taking online classes through Sketchbook Skool. I found out about it before the first class and I’ve taken all three (plus currently their Bootkamp) that they have offered. They have inspired me to capture the everyday. They also inspired me to try new materials which has me on the hunt for the ‘perfect’ sketchbook as well as new products.

This month yielded a great box even though it had several products I already have and use:

Pentel Medium Aquash Brush

Designed for transport and storage on the go, it’s a handy tool for water coloring when you don’t want to lug around water with you. I actually already have an aqua brush, but not one with flat sides that will keep it from rolling around when you put it down. You can fill up the barrel with water or ink.

Pentalic Watercolor Pencils

Two different colors were in the box ready to be used with the Aquash Brush. They worked great, but no better than the cheap kind.

ZIG Millennium Fine Point Pen

One of my favorite sketching pens. I have multiple sizes in my regular sketching kit. These pens are great because they are made with acid-free archival quality, pure pigment color. The tip will last and the ink will for a long time as well.

Chartpak AD Marker

I used markers similar to this in school for my architectural renderings. This marker is different in that is has a cone shape tip designed to keep its shape intact. That’s good and bad as it will keep the tip from fraying as was an issue once in a while, but it also made me hold the marker differently. As I wanted to hold it the way I was used to the tip kept marking strangely. This would just be something to get used to.

Le Plume II Dual-Tipped Marker

This marker is water-based and made to stay wet longer than the average marker. They are recommended for brushing on rubber stamps and any other mixed media projects. This was the blue marker I used for the sky and water you’ll see above. Unfortunately so far I’m not very impressed with it. In the picture above it was used dry. I added water after and it went sideways really fast. I will try it again though in an application where it has a better chance to succeed like with stamps or while water coloring.

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Click to see my ArtSnacks unboxing for: February, March

*This post is not sponsored

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Click here to see my goals for 2015

You can also see my goals for 2014, 2013, and 2012 and my bucket list!

30 by 30: Trip to #28 West Virginia

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One of my goals for 2015 is to visit 30 states by the time I turn 30.  It all started as an idea from a friend. The purpose is mainly just getting out there, making memories, and experiencing more of what  America has to offer. I have until September 9th, 2015 to complete this goal, so I better get traveling!! Pack your road trip gear and come along for the ride!

A few weeks ago (most) of my family went on a genealogy road trip! We knew the general location of a very old family farm in Ohio, and decided to go on the trip we’ve been talking about for years. We’ve always wanted to find it (again for my dad), clean up around the area, and get rubbings of the gravestones. The first state we drove through that I had never been in before was Indiana. I took over the wheel before we crossed the state line into Kentucky- a state I had not been in since I was two years old. Gosh, it is gorgeous. It was fun to see the iconic  long white fences indicating horse farms, and all of the signs tempting the driver to visit the next bourbon distillery. I drove literally all of the way across Kentucky on I64 into West Virginia. Each state is so unique- it’s so interesting to start out in one part of the country, drive a few hours and see landscape that’s so entirely different.

Let me just say, West Virginia is also completely gorgeous. We skirted around Charleston, and I drove north on I77 toward our final destination of Marietta, Ohio. The hills are so much fun to maneuver, and the landscape stunning in the waning light of day. By the time we reached our new home base I had drove over 300 miles through big cities and rolling countrysides. Pretty cool all around. Marietta is right on the Ohio River, so it was easy to hop back and forth. The first night we had dinner at a local Italian restaurant in Williamstown, West Virginia called Da Vinci’s. We also visited the Fenton glass factory/gift shop, which has been in business for over 100 years, and has even been featured on Mike Rowe’s Dirty Jobs. Sadly they were in the process of closing forever and so we picked through the last of the products and even the molds which were for sale. You can still find them online and in several gift shops though!

West Virginia was awesome!

That’s 28 down, two states to go!

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The states I have now been to are:

West Virginia

___________________________

Click here to read about my other 30 by 30 adventures: NevadaIndiana,

Click here to see my 2015 manifesto.

You can also check out my 2014, 2013, and 2012 goals- or my bucket list!

Lush : Rose Bubble Bar [ REVIEW ]

One of my *unofficial* goals for 2015 is to relax more. As the great Leonardo da Vinci once said, ‘Every now and then go away and have a little relaxation. To remain constantly at work will diminish your judgement.” What is more relaxing close to home than a luxurious bath?  This year I will review products from my fav shop that makes fresh and handmade beauty goods, Lush! So draw up a bath, get a good book and a glass of wine, and let’s relax!

Lush’s Rose bubble bar is heavenly smelling and produces a bunch of frothy bubbles! The ladies at the Lush store told me it was designed for Mother’s Day after the rose in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. Sold. As recommended, I used half of the rose, since it is made with such a dense formula even though it is small you’ll get a lovely bubble bath using just half. It is harder to break apart than other Lush bubble bars I’ve tried but not impossible. The water turned a soft pink that was hardly noticeable under all of the bubbles.

The greater the pressure of the water the more bubbles- so crumble up the rose right under the tap. The water is turned super soft by the fair trade organic shea butter and leaves your skin feeling moisturized and slightly shimmery from the light glitter mixed in the bar. That combined with the scent of lemon and rose makes for a great bubble bar. Be my guest and try one out for yourself! 😉

Happy April, and Happy Mother’s Day!

Easter Lush Products I’ve tested:

Immaculate Eggception, Golden Egg, Fluffy Egg, Bunch of Carrots, Bubblegrub

Other Lush Products I’ve tested:

Blackberry Bath BombTwilight Bath Bomb

*This post is not sponsored

_________________________________

Click here to see my goals for 2015

You can also see my goals for 2014, 2013, 2012 and my bucket list!

 

30 by 30: Trip to #27 Indiana

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One of my goals for 2015 is to visit 30 states by the time I turn 30.  It all started as an idea from a friend. The purpose is mainly just getting out there, making memories, and experiencing more of what  America has to offer. I have until September 9th, 2015 to complete this goal, so I better get traveling!! Pack your road trip gear and come along for the ride!

A few weeks ago (most) of my family went on a genealogy road trip! We knew the general location of an old family farm in Ohio, and decided to go on the trip we’ve been talking about for years. We’ve always wanted to go find it (again for my dad), and clean up around the area and get rubbings of the gravestones. The first state we drove through to get there that I had never been to before was Indiana! On the way through we didn’t stop to do much, but on the way back home we stopped at a candle factory and a gardening center! They were very welcoming and had LOTS of fun homemade products to look through and purchase. I even got myself a little souvenir in the form of an Indiana grown and produced Merlot!

That’s 27 down, three states to go!

__________________________

The states I have now been to are:

Indiana

___________________________

Click here to read about my other 30 by 30 adventures: Nevada,

Click here to see my 2015 manifesto.

You can also check out my 2014, 2013, and 2012 goals- or my bucket list!