Friday, October 26, 2012

The Mad Gardener of Brown Manor

I thought this was so cool, I wanted to share it... 

The Brown Lady Ghost 
Published in Country Life Magazine, December 16, 1936 

"Provand took one photograph while I flashed the light. I was standing by his side just behind the camera, looking directly up the staircase. All at once I detected an ethereal veiled form coming slowly down the stairs.

I called out sharply: 'Quick, quick, there's something!' I pressed the trigger of the flashlight pistol. After the flash, Provand turned to me and said: 'What's all the excitement about?' After we printed the photo, we knew."

Rumor has it she appeared soon after this mansion destroyed her rose garden, in need of more space. Over the last 70 years, countless experts have studied this photo. They've found no indication of photo re-touching and no explanation other than "it's real."

Which is not all that surprising to me. Seriously? If somebody destroyed my rose garden, I'd haunt those buggers with clanking chains.

PS: Happy Halloween :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Cowgirl Camp and the Fountain of Youth

Wild Asters in the New Mexico Backcountry.
So, I had a birthday last week.

I like to celebrate birthdays once every 3 years (vs. annually) as I've discovered that makes growing older much more palatable. I'm surprised this hasn't caught on with more people because I've been 39 for like... forever. And, that's okay by me.

Rabbit brush speckles the desert landscape.
Do you know what's the very best thing about growing older? Yeah. Me, neither.

I suppose there are no 'best things' about growing old. Unless, of course, we're talkin' midlife crisis. Because those are a whole lotta fun.

A+ for amazing effort? This pretty brush rooted itself in a small crack in the boulder.
This had to be the best birthday I've ever had. Because instead of sitting around home doing the same old thing I hightailed it down to central New Mexico. Where the sun is still shining and flowers are still blooming.

We cantered our pretty ponies through some astonishing landscapes.
I went to Cowgirl Camp! Where I got to ride horses for 3 long, lovely days through the most breathtaking scenery.

√ Met some amazing women who, like me, firmly believe horses are the fountain of youth.
√ Pigged out at a wild west Dutch Oven cookout.
√ Partially conquered my fear of snakes:

video

And! I shot a real live pistol. Didn't hit anything, didn't even come close. But I pulled the trigger. And, I only screamed a little bit because it was so loud. (I still don't understand why everyone laughed when I asked why they don't have a silencer on it. Apparently, I've been watching too many movies.)

Plus, I learned a very valuable lesson in life. With respect to that proverbial fountain of youth? Riding horses works... wrinkle creams do not.


"Repeat after me, Wendy, let's never grow old." ~ Peter Pan

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Wordless Wednesdays ~ Timeless Blossoms




The most popular flower during the pioneer days of the 1800's. Often found at abandoned homesteads, blooming ever so brightly long after the humans have left.

Do you know the name of this flower?

Three cheers to these impressive perennials who flatly refuse to listen that common response: "No, you can't."

For more {slightly} Wordless Wednesday participants click here!

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A New Chapter

Deep breath, baby girl. This is your special day.
 It's taken me a full week, to come down off the clouds. To stop floating above the regular world, resting my tired feet on steady ground, after daughter Lauren's wedding day.

BFFs since middle school ~ bridesmaid dresses created by a designer on Etsy.
It was just wonderful.

Pictures keep rolling in ~ by email, and on Facebook ~ everyone who attended offers a cool perspective on this magical day. Photos filled with happy, smiling faces. Faces of folks I haven't seen in far too long.

A sunset ceremony in Willamette Valley, Oregon.
 And, now my little girl is a Missus. That might take some getting used to. But, I tip my hat to her. She is a tenacious little planner. The whole day went off without a hitch.

Dinner, outdoors, among the grapevines.
 I'll admit I had a meltdown when she dropped the bomb on me that I was walking her down the aisle. Instant wardrobe malfunction. Off to Nordstrom's to find a nicer dress. I was certain sure we'd trip on a tuft of grass and roll comically down the grassy hill.


But, that didn't happen either. Everything worked out perfectly.

Lauren's Fairy Godmothers
 A sweet beginning to a brand new life.