Monday, June 19, 2017

buildings in manchester

Before I left Manchester I drove around the streets in the center of town.  I like to see the architecture in smaller towns.  In the very center of the town sits the courthouse.  In front of the courthouse are memorial stones presented to commemorate the fallen soldiers in each of the major wars fought here and abroad starting with the Revolutionary War.  It was very moving to read the words of dedication written on these stones.  It is good to remember what has gone on before us and what is happening now.  Later I drove by a church that had a very interesting steeple.  I had to take a picture before I hit the road.  The weather was looking quite chance-y and I feared a storm was a-brewing.  It was.

first umc manchester

I made it to Manchester, Tennessee after leaving Lookout Mountain near Chattanooga.  I arrived on a Saturday night and I was sitting with the congregation in the sanctuary of First UMC on Sunday morning.  The church is right in the center of town.  The service was very good and the people, as always, were very friendly.  After a delicious home cooked lunch at a local cafeteria about a half a block from the church, I was on my way.  Next stop...Murfreesboro.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

lookout mtn

This is the view that the southern army had overlooking Chattanooga during the war between the states.  This is Lookout Mountain and it is part of the Chickamauga-Chattanooga Battlefield Park run by the National Park Service.  The view from the top is spectacular and from this viewpoint high above the city the southern army was able to keep track of the movements of the northern army.

The mountain offered a natural defense line and the army, under General Braxton Bragg, was able to hold off the enemy...for a while.  Eventually the northern army broke through the lines and continued their march toward Atlanta.  Chattanooga, like Atlanta, was (and is) a major rail hub and it was important to gain control of the city.  The island in the distance is called Moccasin Island because it is shaped like the slipper of the same name.  The mountain has many stacked rock formations.  No climbing, though!!  There are hiking paths and picnic areas here and it's a great place to enjoy the outdoors...and the history.

Saturday, June 17, 2017


I drove north on I-75 in Georgia a couple of weeks ago.  Just before the Tennessee border, I turned off of the interstate, drove a short distance and stopped at the Chickamauga-Chattanooga  National Battlefield.  This park is operated by the National Park Service.  Inside the headquarters I was able to read about the history of this area and the importance it played in the War Between the States.  There is a very nice driving tour that can be taken throughout the park grounds.  Monuments and buildings of importance are featured along the route.  The day I visited the park there was an authors symposium focusing on General Braxton Bragg of the southern army.  History buffs loaded with books for the authors to autograph were in attendance at the day long event.  Two battles--Chickamauga and Chattanooga--were fought in this part of Georgia and Tennessee and there are several locations within the park, open to visitors, that pertain to the various battle sites.  They are all located within a relatively short driving distance of each other.  This is another beautifully maintained park that is part of the national park system.  "Came for the history, stayed for the beauty."

Friday, June 16, 2017


I've started my way north for the summer.  Before leaving the Atlanta area I visited Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park in Cobb County, Georgia.  Operated by the National Park Service, the park is most associated with the battle that took place here in June of 1864.  This location was the last line of defense by the southern army in their attempt to keep the Union troops from marching toward Atlanta.  The battle line was broken and the northern army moved on to Atlanta.  

The maps and diagrams on display in the park headquarters showed where each fighting unit was stationed and how their movements lead to the breaks in the lines of defense.  The topography of the land played an extremely important roll during the battle with its natural walls formed by the mountains, hills and vallys.  There is a hiking path that leads to the top of Kennesaw Mountain and it begins near the headquarters.  Visit the national parks.  They're yours to enjoy.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

sleeping gorilla

I had the opportunity to go to the San Diego Zoo recently and I came across this very sleepy fellow.  He looked so comfortable just laying there.  Nothing (and no one) seemed to bother him.  shhhhh

pretty flower

I came across this pretty flower on my walk one morning.  I do like a pretty flower.  I had not seen this type of flower before.  The blooms were perfectly arranged on the plant.  Again, very pretty.

balloon house

This is how to celebrate your birthday.  Tie balloons to your house.  Give it an "UP" look.  There were lots more balloons attached to the house than the picture shows but this will give you the idea of what was going on.  Come fly away!

house of blues

This is how I spent Mother's Day.  I went to the House of Blues in San Diego for the gospel brunch.  Very good food and great entertainment made for a fun filled afternoon.  All mom's and those celebrating birthdays and anniversaries were invited to come onto the stage and join in the singing and dancing during one of the numbers.  The stage was filled with happy people just enjoying the moment.  What a day!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

where the Easter lilies go (grow)

I passed this garden on my way to my sister's house.  The lilies were planted along the road next to a church.  I came back later to get a better view of the flowers and stay a bit and enjoy the flowers.

I'm pretty sure these beautiful lilies were once displayed in the sanctuary of the church on Easter morning and after services were over, the remaining flowers were planted in the church garden.  This appears to be what took place over a number of years as the garden has grown to cover a large area.  How wonderful that these lilies have grown back each Spring and bloomed in unison creating a beautiful lily garden along the roadway.  Forever gorgeous.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Memorial Day 2017

I had the opportunity to attend a Memorial Day service in Smyrna, Georgia this year.  The entire program was very meaningful.  

There was a twenty one gun salute to the fallen soldiers.

The speakers were wonderful and delivered very thought provoking speeches.  The army band was outstanding.  The music was perfect.  I'm so glad I was here.

stacked chairs

After the Memorial Day program, the chairs were quickly stacked.  I thought the columns of chairs looked very artistic.  They were stacked very high.  Tall people did this.

Thursday, June 8, 2017


We had the opportunity to visit the Biltmore Estate near Asheville, North Carolina recently.  What a   magnificently magical place this is!!  Upon entering the formal entranceway, we immediately were drawn to the winter garden atrium.  It is filled with tropical plants and would be a very cozy place to spend some time reading a book or quietly meditating.

The grand staircase led to the upper bedroom area.  While we were there we were able to see theatrical costumes on display in the various rooms.  These were the actual costumes worn by well known actors in the films they were created for.

I liked the lighting in this room.  A large shadow appears on the wall behind the costumed mannikin and it gives off a somewhat foreboding (spooky) look to the room.

I loved the ceiling treatment in this room.  It is created by using yards and yards of rolled fabric.  It softens the hard corners of the ceiling and gives it a very feminine, romantic look.

We enjoyed our visit to Biltmore Estate.  The house, patterned after French chateau architecture,  was built between 1889 and 1895 and has hundreds of rooms.  In the basement you will find a bowling alley, a swimming pool, changing rooms and utility rooms such as the laundry.  The house, the stables, the gardens and the winery fill the day with things to see.  Go, if you can!

the gardens at Biltmore

The gardens at the Biltmore Estate were patterned after the formal landscaped gardens of Europe.

           Imagine looking out of these windows overlooking the beautiful gardens at Biltmore Estate.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Zebulon Vance birthplace

On a recent trip to North Carolina we stopped to see the birthplace of Zebulon Vance.  He came from a long line of public servants and military service from the Revolutionary War through the War of 1812 and the War between the States.  He later went on to become the governor of North Carolina.

The reconstructed log home was built around the original fireplaces.  The house is a large two story building which reflects the wealth and status of the family.  The home, with its many outbuildings is located in western North Carolina near the Asheville area.  The settlers in this region were known as mountain pioneers.

There is a loom housed in one of the outbuildings.  There were people living here that made all the clothes for the family, including the weaving of the cloth.  There was a beautiful baby's gown on display in one of the upper bed rooms.  The stitching was precise and very detailed.  If you are ever near Weaverville, North Carolina, please stop by and see this lovely farm built in the late 1700's.  History lives here.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Mt. Zion UMC

A week ago I attended this wonderful church near Hapeville.  What a lovely church!  The congregation is warm and welcoming and the music, wow, I can't say enough good things about the choir.  Powerful words and amazing harmonies!!!

The front of the sanctuary is very simple, yet beautiful.  The stained glass windows allow lots of sunlight to enter the sanctuary.  As you know, I love stained glass windows, especially when they are in a church.  The service is traditional and the congregation is friendly.  I hope to worship here again.

dogwoods and azaleas

I just thought this was such a lovely setting and I hope I captured the beauty of the flowers in this picture.  It was taken earlier this Spring when the azaleas and the dogwood trees were in full bloom.   Enjoy the gardens!!