Thursday, March 7, 2013
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Okay, back to my cave...
Friday, February 1, 2013
I'm popping in here today to say if you're on Facebook, you might want to check out the Washington Loves Romance page here. Today they're beginning Bedding Lord Ned. I'll be stopping by from time to time to answer questions. Hope to see you there!
Tuesday, January 1, 2013
Tuesday, December 25, 2012
Merry Christmas--or happy whatever winter holiday you prefer. We were very late getting our Christmas tree up. Mr. M bought it this week from the church lot, and I started decorating it this weekend, with an assist from second son who came home on Sunday.
I thought I'd share with you my most treasured Christmas ornament. Yes, it is amazingly ugly--it looks like a ball of tinfoil in netting--but that is a good part of its charm. I'm afraid I don't know all the details of its history. As I recall, it came from my mother's family. I'm assuming my grandmother purchased it, but that seems a bit odd as I would have thought she'd have looked for something more attractive. I googled "Graf Zeppellin" and found out here that the Graf Zeppellin flew between 1928 and 1937, so I'm guessing this ornament must be about 80 years old.
It always had a prominent spot on my family's Christmas tree when I was growing up, and when my folks downsized their Christmas decorations, I grabbed it for my tree. My husband and sons groan, but every year I hang it front and center.
Sunday, December 23, 2012
In our ramblings—and our many times getting lost—we became very familiar with fences and gates. On our Mountain Goat tour, I learned that the stacked stone fences can last 300 years, which means my Regency characters could have leaned against the very fences I was looking at—if my characters were real, of course. People used whatever stones were available, so if the stones had been tumbled around by a river, they were round. If they came straight from the ground, they were flat.
Here’s a fence with mostly rounded stones.
And here’s one where I’d say the stones are mostly flat.
Here’s a longer view of the flat-stone fence.
I even got some pictures of fences that had fallen down.
If you’ve got a fence, you need a way to get to the other side of it. You can go over it via a stile. (This was on Wansfell Pike.)
Or maybe you can go under it.
I’m not sure what this is, really. I did peek inside and this is what I saw.
Mostly we went through fences via a gate. There were a variety of gate types. Here is the one that got us into Levens Park, but from the park side. It was less noticeable from the highway side.
Here’s Mr. M posing so you can see how narrow the opening is.
A large, farm-style gate was relatively common. Sometimes they had a latch, but other times they closed with just a piece of rope to loop over the fence post.
A common gate—and rather ingenious, I thought—that I hadn’t seen before was one that required you to step through an opening into a box kind of arrangement and then swing the gate so that it closed up that opening and opened the other to exit. Here’s a picture that might make it clearer.
The gate is on the right. Sometimes with a backpack and camera, it was a bit of a tight fit to stand in the box area and swing the gate into the other position.
We saw an odd structure on one of our long rambles that looked like a fence across a stream. I couldn’t figure out what it was for—to corral the fish? But they could just swim through.
I asked our guide on the Mountain Goat tour, and he said it was to keep the sheep from wandering.
Here’s another that you can clearly see is part of a fence.
Monday, December 17, 2012
We scampered across the highway in search of goats. The woman in the gift shop had told us the goats generally hung out to the right of the river, but the fellow at the ticket booth, who gave us a map to the park, said you couldn’t count on that. Mr. M’s patience for goat hunting was limited. The day was progressing; he didn’t think we had the hour or more needed to do the full loop around the park. So I had my fingers crossed that we weren’t off on a wild goose—er, goat--chase.
We started down the wrong path, of course, but fortunately I realized our mistake almost immediately and we were able to backtrack and get on the right path within a few minutes. If you link to the map, above, you can see where we went wrong—the sort of dotted line on the far right—and then the path we were supposed to take—the dashed line going down between the tree pairs.
The River Kent was on our left.
I was hoping the goats weren’t on the other side of the river, because if they were, I suspect Mr. M would have insisted on giving up and turning back. So when we came upon some walkers heading toward us, I asked if there were goats around and they said yes, indeed, that the herd was down near the gate. I had no idea where the gate was, but it was apparently on our side of the river, so I persuaded Mr. M. to keep going.
We came upon an odd chair-like object
and the “unusual herd of black fallow deer”
as well as the ubiquitous sheep.
We were on the verge of giving up, when we finally encountered the Bagot goats. This pair patiently posed for our many photos.
Mission accomplished, Mr. M. herded me back to catch the bus to Bowness.