Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Back Home Again In Indiana....

Hi all -- Dianne here. We made good progress in sprucing up our yard, planting annuals, deadheading, etc.

 One of my pet peeves in spring (my favorite season) is seeing brown, dead debris left over from winter spoiling the fresh, green spring growth.  Now it is gone, and we have planted fresh greenery and flowers in the window boxes.  We're ready for someone new to fall in love with our house, as we did 11 1/2 years ago.  (If you want to see photos of the house, click on the "photos of our house for sale" link at the right side of the blog.)   We did have a second showing the other day.  The couple love the house, but the wife was recently laid off, so they are not able to move forward with it.   Oh well, maybe next showing....

I was very happy to discover that my geraniums survived the winter in our cellar. Normally, I water them a few times over the winter and they make it.   They always look a little scraggly at first, but soon fill out and get bigger each year.  When my daughter went to water them for me while we were gone (late in the winter), she said they looked brown and dead.  I was expecting to have to just throw them in the trash.  Imagine my delight when I went down to the cellar and under the fluorescent light saw an abundance of green, even some blooms!    This is an advantage of a 100+ year old house with an old-fashioned cellar.  Here is a link showing how they looked last summer in one of our planters on the deck: 
Here's another link showing how the same geraniums looked in a different planter five years ago (judging from our old van in the background):

  These geraniums are older than my 10-year-old granddaughter!   I know that is true, because I have a photo of her as an infant with the already large, salmon-colored geraniums in the background.

We've written about the idyllic small town of Pendleton, Indiana in the blog before. One of the special things about this town is the many, many parades, festivals, and special events throughout the year.   One of these events occurred last weekend while we were working in the yard.  There is a giant garage sale that follows State Road 38 in Indiana from the town of Noblesville to New Castle.  Pendleton is right in the middle, and really makes an event of it, with the downtown merchants setting up outside, the garden club selling flower starts, etc.

The Pendleton Garden Club is very active in town.   One of their activities is a yearly "Garden Walk" showcasing some of the many lovely gardens in Pendleton.  My doorbell rang on Saturday, and two very nice women from the garden club said they had seen our side yard from the garage sale at the house next door, and politely asked if we would like to participate in the Garden Walk on June 27.  Of course, I said yes! This will give us some good, free publicity!    Maybe someone from the Garden Walk will know someone who knows someone who's looking for a house with a beautiful yard....

I'll let Roger write about our short stay at Mounds State Park in Anderson, Indiana.  Our daughter, Amanda, granddaughter, Kaia, and our "grandpuppy" Cinnamon

 came out to our camp site at Mounds for a day of relaxing fun on Sunday.   Cinnamon has also kept us company in our back yard while we've been working.  She enjoys playing and sleeping with our two dogs, seen here sleeping on our screened porch

 on a cool, rainy day while we were outside planting flowers.

Roger here...  Since Dianne and I restarted our camping pursuits a few years back, we have always used the Mounds State Park in Anderson as our first shake-down stop of the season.  It is only 10 miles from our home in Pendleton - easy to get to and easy to solve any problems that might have arisen in opening up our travel trailer (then) and motor home (now).

This year the stop at Mounds was obviously different.  Since we have now been living in the motor home for five-plus months, the stop was due to convenience (near garden work at the house AND near our daughter and granddaughter).  

Often we do not appreciate the cool places and events that we are near.  This has always been the case with me and Mounds State Park.  When I grew up, it was a place for occasional school field trips and hikes in the woods, but little else.  I always knew that it was historic based upon the ancient Indian Mounds in the park, but it was too close to be of interest to me.  I much preferred going to some of the better known Indiana State Parks - Turkey Run, Brown County, Clifty Falls, Spring Mill, etc.  We have rediscovered Mounds as a restful, no hassle, nearby retreat.  The springtime view of the forest from our motor home was green and peaceful.

  A walk along the White River is beautiful in the fall.  The small campground fills up on summer weekends, but is very quiet during the week.  The old Indian Mounds bring a sense of wonder.  Why did the native Americans work so hard to build them?  What was their true purpose?

Last summer we hosted our granddaughter's 10th birthday party there by having four of her friends and our daughter spend the night.  The plan was to have the girls sleep in a tent with our daughter in an adjacent tent while Dianne and I slept in the quiet motor home.  That plan failed (as I should have known) when a raccoon ran across the campsite around 11:00 p.m. and the four screaming girls stormed the motor home.  There was also a "Daddy-Long-Legs" issue.  The girls had a great time.  Dianne and I were tired from lack of sleep for several days.  We should have anticipated the strain of the night.  After all, we did raise two daughters of our own.  Interesting how the mind sometimes forgets.  However, it was certainly worth the hassles - a birthday that Kaia will not forget.


 rock-hopping pictures were taken a couple of days ago 

when our granddaughter, Kaia, while riding her bike, found several boulders that had been placed on one of the campsites for obvious later relocation.  Kaia could not resist the temptation to hop from boulder to boulder (much better than the playground).  Her Mom joined in,

 and I walked over to snap some pictures.   I took my turn as well, but since I had the camera there were fortunately no pictures of the old man hopping around like a kid.  Later Kaia dragged Dianne over to take what Kaia described as a very careful turn.  It was great to see Kaia and Amanda having a great time goofing around outside with an activity that did not involve electronics, the Disney Channel, Hannah Montana, or the Jonas Brothers (not that there is anything wrong with any of those).   The other good news was that none of us broke any bones :-)

We are now staying at Summit Lake State Park outside New Castle, Indiana for two weeks as we continue keeping our yard and house ready for any upcoming realtor showings.  In our next blog, we'll describe another undiscovered gem, Summit Lake State Park, which has a very nice campground and large lake suitable for the S.S. Minnow, should we happen to get our work done!!

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