Sunday, June 29, 2008

My Second Blog

I've discovered how much I love blogging, so I've established my second one. It's title is "Let's Go Ladies" and gives info and suggestions on exciting travel destinations for women of all ages, whether married or single; traveling alone or in a group.

I hope you will check it out at

Happy traveling!!

The Hermitage - Home of President Andrew Jackson - Home

As a child, we visited here a number of times. It was always one of my favorite historical sites in Tennessee.

Click on the link to take a virtual tour.
The Hermitage - Home of President Andrew Jackson - Home

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Cades Cove

When I was a child, my family and I traveled all over the Smokey Mountain National Park. We tried to go there at least once each year. Beautiful Cades Cove was one of our favorite spots to visit within the park. I hope you will take time to take the tour below and, if possible, take a vacation there with your own family.

You will also find the recipes for Smokey Mountain Skillet Cornbread, along with Smokies Cheese Grits, on the link below.

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park Cades Cove Tour

Friday, June 27, 2008

Gatlinburg Tennessee: Heart of the Great Smoky Mountains

Today we are going to Gatlinburg, Tennessee. This beautiful resort town was one of my favorite destinations as a child. It was very exciting to go there and I loved the mountain atmosphere, the quaint shops (especially the taffy shop) and the cool streams which ran through Gatlinburg. My family and I went there many times and I was also there for a parade, one very hot summer day, when I was a majorette in high school. It must have been over one hundred degrees and many people in our band fainted from the heat.

I may go there again next summer when my husband and I go back to Tennessee for a York family reunion.

See link to Gatlinbury below.

Gatlinburg Tennessee: Heart of the Great Smoky Mountains

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Skyline Drive, Shenandoah Virginia Mountain Park Information

Skyline Drive, Shenandoah Virginia Mountain Park Information

I remember going here when I was about nine years old and how excited the family was as they took in all of the surrounding beauty.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Buchart Gardens--My New Travel Blog---"Let's Go Ladies"

I'm very excited about my new Travel Blog. You can view it in my Blog List (in the lefthand column of this blog) under the name "Let's Go Ladies" or . We are going to travel to exciting places each day. I've started with the gorgeous Buchart Gardens in Canada. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

BILTMORE in Asheville, North Carolina, Americas Largest Home and More!

BILTMORE in Asheville, North Carolina, Americas Largest Home and More!

A few days ago I decided to try and think of the many places I visited as a child and list them here for my family and my blog friends to see and experience over the internet. Today, we are going to visit the Biltmore Mansion in Asheville, North Carolina (click on the site above). It is truly one of the most beautiful and elegant sights in our nation.

I realize that my readers have limited time, but I would encourage everyone who reads my blog to click onto the sites I mention and go completely through each website. I'm sure you will become fascinated by the wonderful things to see and places to go in America.


Monday, June 23, 2008

Unto These Hills - a Dramatic Retelling of Cherokee History | Performance in Cherokee, NC

Unto These Hills - a Dramatic Retelling of Cherokee History Performance in Cherokee, NC

I've decided to try and recall some of the places my family and I visited when I was a child. We were always going somewhere interesting. I can't remember all of the sights, but I am going to attempt to show as many as I can remember on my blog and take you on a travel tour.

Today we're going to a play in Cherokee, North Carolina, called "Unto These Hills". I was very young when we attended many years ago, but I can still remember the pageantry, the colorful costumes, and the dramatic recreation of the history of that region.

Please click onto the link, above, for photos and information.

Barter Theatre - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Barter Theatre - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This is the old theatre where my family and I vacationed when I was a child. We stayed across the street at The Martha Washington Inn (see below).

The Martha Washington Inn

The Martha Washington Inn

I was going back in time yesterday, telling my children a little about my childhood experiences. One of the vacations I remember my family taking was to the Martha Washington Inn in
Virginia. There's a link here. You might like to view the beauty of the famous inn. We stayed here when we would attend to the Barter Theatre.

Psalm 139

I was reading one of my favorite Psalms this morning and will share a portion of it here., starting with verse 7.

Psalm 139
Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make by bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,"
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
In my opinion, there is no poetry written in modern times that can compare to the beauty of the Psalms.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Make Someone Happy

Today, I was thinking about celebrations and how each person adds their special presence to a party. Each one brings their own personality and talent. One may bring the gift of friendliness and conversation, one may bring the gift of humor and good-nature, and another may bring the gift of service and kindness. Whatever, good thing we bring, adds to the joy and success of the occasion.

I am frequently reminded of an important suggestion someone once gave to me. They said that if you wish to have a good time, you should see to it that someone else has a good time and you will always go home happy. What great advice! Try really works!!

Counting Blessings

Do we count our blessings?

How many times do we stop and think how fortunate we are at this moment? We are alive and able to enjoy our family and our friends. We still have breath to tell them how much we appreciate them and how much we love them.

I am going to dwell on the good things that have happened to me today....and they are many. I'm going to take the time to write about them in my journal, so I can remember them tomorrow and the next day and the day after that.

I'm not going to take God's gifts for granted. I'm going to praise Him for His goodness to me.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

The River

They say I live by the river--
my luck runs high and strong.
It's a dangerous place on fifth street--
My fortune rides on the flop and turn.

I could be drowned at the river.
The community wouldn't care.
I could die by the hand I'm dealt
And the ante of the dare.

I depend on the river for my portion;
Winning and losing are my plight.
I live with the deck and the deal.
This is the gambler's life.

Copyright 2008 By-Barbara J. Davis
(I wrote this after playing poker with my kids.)

Friday, June 20, 2008

Almost Here

Summer, daylight-saving time, end of school.
Mosquitoes signal the arrival--
we recognize them by the red spots,
that itch, beyond belief.
Warm; then sunless damp days
disappoint the sun worshipper
as wool sweaters are put aside,
only to be taken out again.
But mosquitoes remain.
When will it end--this uninvited
wind and rain?
It's time for deliverance-- vacations,
visiting exotic places seen in magazines
and talked about among friends,
picnics in the park, boat rides on the lake,
camping trips, lazy days at the beach.
Sultry summer can't be far away;
it's almost here. I hope.

Copyright 2008 By-Barbara J. Davis

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Quiet Reflections

Today the mountains are dark and somber.
Fog is drifting up from the valley floor,
embracing colorless clouds that linger over inky peaks.
Smoke performs a pirouette from a woodland cabin's chimney--
a cool breeze guiding it's path until there is nothing,
but the scent, which fills the air with the promise of winter.
Today is a day to reflect, to sleep,
to dream, to sit quietly alone.
(Copyright 1993) By-Barbara J. Davis

Dynamic Living

Everything we think controls our lives. Our thoughts control our moods and our relationship with others. When things seem to go wrong, it's best to move on quickly to positive thinking. Get busy with a favorite project, take a walk, read a Psalm, reach out to someone with love. Change your way of thinking and you will change your life. Great thoughts lead to dynamic living.

Copyright 2008 By-Barbara J. Davis

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Trip to Spokane

Jim and I returned home this afternoon from a trip to Spokane, Washington, where we visited with several of our children and grandchildren and took our son, Dan, to the airport. He is on the plane as I write this, flying back to his family in Japan. We had a wonderful time while he was here and, of course, he and his dad shared priceless memories of their trip to Alaska. We were sad to see him leave, but know that it's important for him to get back to his family and the normal routine of life.

Last evening, Linda's husband, Mike, grilled some of the 25lb. King Salmon Jim caught on his fishing trip in Alaska and it was absolutely delicious!! There were nine of us at dinner, including Dan. We still have 3/4 of the fish, still uncooked in the freezer, so I'm sure there's going to be several more great meals to come.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

God's Perfect Love

A very simple, but profound posting today: God's love and plan for us is perfect.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Happy Father's Day

This week I find myself remembering the most important man in my early life. We often hear how important mothers are in the development of a child, but little is ever mentioned about the importance of the father.

I was the child of a totally absent parents were divorced. The father-figure in my life was a devoted and loving grandfather. I can't remember one word he ever said to me in anger or annoyance. He was not well-educated or well-to-do, but he was a giant when it came to understanding life. He was kind....a gentle soul; unusually wise. He knew just the right words to say when I needed discipline or encouragement. He was a quiet man, but when he spoke, it was worth the listening. We were also buddies. He would take me with him to the feed store to buy newborn baby chicks or to the town-square, where back then, old men would sit together on a low rock wall, chew tobacco and talk about their gardens or local politics. He often took me fishing on delightfully warm summer days. He taught me how to use a cane pole and how to put night crawlers on the hook. He told me stories from his own childhood. He taught me how to whittle and how to cut the peeling off an apple in one long unbroken strip. He would sing to me, "Froggy Went A Courting" and "She'll Be Coming Round The Mountain." He made me laugh when he would dance before me in his hillbilly way, that I now understand was the dance of the mountain folk from whence he came. Popo (that's what I called him), was the essence of fatherhood and gave me a wonderful, happy, positive start in life.

My husband is always here for his family, too. As our children were growing up we could always depend on him coming home every afternoon at exactly 5:10 p.m.( on the dot). He was always eager to get home to his family. His six children are his greatest joy and his great wisdom and guidance will remain with them for their entire lives. He is another giant among men. How fortunate we are to have him in our lives!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Alaskan Homecoming

Jim and Dan returned, safely, by plane today around noon, bringing with them lots of stories and gorgeous photos (over 600) of their Alaskan adventure. They covered almost 2,500 miles by road, ranging from Anchorage to the end of a gravel road at Circle and ate fresh seafood regularly. It was a dream vacation for the father and son duo.

Jim was so impressed with the trip that he is already talking about taking me to Anchorage, Homer and Seward next summer. Believe me, that sounds wonderful. I can hardly wait!!

Natural Cycle

The old oak has fallen;
sustainer of life,
genetrix of comfort,
overseer of it's kind.
She grew round with age;
wisdom was contained
within the folds of her growth;
flawed, imperfect
from pounding winds;
handsome in character and integrity.
The late one cannot be reclaimed.
Another, a seedling, will take her place.
The order of life is complete.

Copyright 2008 By- Barbara J. Davis

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Spring Confusion

Spring has arrived.
Occasional snow gently falls.
Birds have come back to the feeder
and challenge the squirrels for their rightful place.
Daffodils peek through the porous earth,
like sleepy children in morning fog,
confused by the cool cloudy days.
The garden is drab and restrained,
awaiting the burst of rose and daisy.
Soon the sound of summer voices will
honor the season's warmth
and we will linger in the consecrated place,
gliding back and forth, sharing memories
of other occasions.
Soft birdsong will bring a sense of peace...
the air will fill with it
and thoughts of the recent winter will be a
thing of the past.
Copyright 2008 By- Barbara Davis

Elder Freedom

Is this it?
Is this what I've always heard was coming?
Learning to say "no" --
Laughing out loud--
No one telling me who I am
Or how to act
Or what to do?
No one scolding me when I mess up,
Imposing their own perceptions
And strict standards,
Making judgements?
It's been a long road--
Making mistakes,
Falling on my face,
Getting back up with determination.
Trials made me stronger.
Heartache made me kinder.
Listening to my own voice.
Why does it take so long to get
To this Special place--
Abandoning stigmas
And expectations placed on us by
Those less free?

Copyright 2008 By-Barbara Davis

Monday, June 9, 2008

The Finished Spirit

Where is the wise man,
The rabbi,
The sage,
The prophet,
The Finished Spirit?
Sitting in the higher abode
In the full brilliance
Of God;
Another Kingdom,
Where knowledge
And inspiration
Continue the unbroken thread;
Reaching beyond
The zenith
To the fullness
Of the cosmos.
To understand;
To fathom the totality
Of Creation
Is their reward.

Copyright 2008 By Barbara J. Davis

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Shopping For Candles

Shopping for scented candles is one of my favorite activities in life. So yesterday when my youngest daughter and I went into Walmart for a few garden and pet supplies, I couldn't help but wander over to the candle section.

Walmart has a wonderful candle selection where I could easily spend a small fortune. Yesterday, I found several things that I just couldn't live without. I bought a pair of gorgeous medium-size crystal hurricane lamps for holding small twelve hour candles. When I returned home I immediately sat them on the sideboard/dresser in the Serenity Room, placed little clear glass candles inside, lit both of them and sat down in the wicker chair to view the glistening, flickering scene. BEAUTIFUL!!

My inexpensive etched crystal hurricane lamps are one purchase that will be enjoyed and appreciated for years to come. It's a wonderful feeling to get so much pleasure from a $12.00 bargain.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Favorite Dog

I just voted for my favorite dog breed over the Internet. Someone wanted to buy a dog and asked readers to suggest the perfect breed (if that exists).

I've had many dogs over my lifetime...from Irish Wolfhounds to German Shepards and while they were all great dogs, my favorite has been my miniature schnauzer, Sgt. Riley (picture below). I call him "my little boy in a dog suit." He is highly intelligent (very human-like), loving, loyal, extremely sensitive, athletic (LOVES to play ball and run in our fenced backyard), doesn't shed at all, doesn't smell if I keep him bathed and groomed, loves children and family members, likes to travel and is eager to please me. He sleeps at my feet every night and is now laying beside me as I write this. He is my constant companion and joy.

I am a devotee of the breed and will probably adopt a female as time and my budget allow.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Discovering The Soul of Rumi

Last night, before drifting off to sleep, I was reading the beautiful and profound poetry of Rumi. When I became too sleepy to continue, I lay the book down beside me on the bed. Since it was the first thing I saw as I awoke this morning, I picked it up and began to read again. Two major thoughts leaped off the page before me, as I read. I'll try to remember and meditate on them throughout my day; I also want to share them with you. They are....

"A love with no object is a true love"....... and
"Love's sun is the face of the Friend"
(From- The Soul of Rumi)

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Jim and Dan's Alaska Adventure

Jim and Dan are having the "time of their life" in Alaska. They are seeing beautiful scenery at every turn in the road and three days ago, while on a guided fishing trip, Jim caught a 25 lb. king salmon. Dan caught a smaller salmon that same evening. They're sending the fish home, on ice, by UPS. What a trip!! They'll be home next week...can't wait to see the pictures they are bringing back with them. I'll post some here, so keep checking back.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

She's Here At Last

Our daughter-in-law, Christina gave birth to a little girl this afternoon. Our little granddaughter, Mikenna Caitlyn, joins her sister, Sienna; father, Jim, and her mother at the family home in Washington D.C. She is our eighth grandchild. She weighed in at 7 lbs. 8 ozs. and has lots of brown hair...just like her sister. (See her photo below).

Monday, June 2, 2008

Sex And The City (Part 2)

As I mentioned in an earlier posting (see below), my daughter and I saw the movie version of "Sex And The City" last Friday night. Since then I've talked to several other women who attended and they all say they loved the movie version. I read, yesterday, that it had earned over $50 million the first night. A few years ago ladies packed theaters to watch "The Devil Wears Prada." Obviously, women enjoy movies they identify with and that offer a peek at gorgeous fashions and the New York lifestyle. What could be better?

Sunday, June 1, 2008

North To Alaska

Jim's wish finally came true last week. He has always dreamed of exploring the small towns and wilderness of Alaska, so Thursday he flew to Anchorage where he joined our son, Dan, and began the long awaited trip. He and Dan will fish and sightsee for the next ten days, traveling by road to Homer, Soldotna, Talkeetna, Fairbanks, Valdez, Seward and all points in-between.

They are experiencing Alaska at it's best...eating in wonderful restaurants, fishing in pristine streams, viewing the vast and majestic landscape, seeing lots of wildlife and meeting tons of interesting people.

Our family can hardly wait until he returns so we can hear all of his exciting stories and share the hundreds of photos he's taking.

(See photo of Jim leaving on his trip, below)