Sunday, 28 July 2013

Ryder and I do some work in the garden.

Mum asked us if we would do some work in one of the vegetable boxes to get it ready for planting.  I asked Ryder if he was keen to do some digging.  You bet he agreed!

Mind you, not sure if Ryder quite knew what he was letting himself in for!  It was a jungle of weeds!

We toiled away most of the afternoon.

I think we could have done with larger tools!  How small does Mum think we are?  I mean really?  No wonder it too us ages.  A new spade, fork and rake OUR size are on our wish list!

Getting rid of the last of the weeds...

Into the wagon, ready to take to the compost heap.

Ta Da!  A job well done.

Now for that ice cream we were promised.

Friday, 26 July 2013

Hammock fun!

Great news!  I have another guest. This time it is Ryder, he is German but has been living in the USA and he came home with me from the Festival.  He is going to stay a few weeks before he heads off back home. 

I introduce him to Caleb and Simon who are pleased to have another friend to play with.

We decide to set up a 'Camp America' and I place the flag that I got while in the USA to show our campsite.

I show them the long box that Aunty Dorisanne gave me while I was at the Sasha Festival.  I tell them how lovely she is and how we must write to thank her, and my Mum has said she is going to get her some very special stamps to send as well.

We unload all the bits to the box and I get out my work apron and pliers.  

'Henry, you are not going to be able to put it together with pliers'  Simon tells me.  'You will need a screwdriver.  I'll go and get one for you'.

Simon goes off to find a screwdriver.

Before long he has returned with a screwdriver.

'That looks like Mum's sewing machine screwdriver'. I tell Simon.

'Shh, don't say it too loud she might find out'.  Simon says.

'Well don't forget to take it back and put it where you found it will you?'  I tell him.  

I help Simon hold it in place while he puts the first screws in and does them up.

Ryder helps hold it up with Simon while I put in the last screws.

We flip it over and Ryder attaches the first end of the hammock.

'You can put the other side on', he tells me.

I hook the other end of the hammock on to the stand.  Doesn't it look good?!  We all admire it and decide who is going to have first try.  I suggest Ryder should as he is the guest.

'So what do you think?'  I ask Ryder.

'It is pretty comfortable.'  Ryder replies.

We all take turns to try it out and then decide to play some games, after all that is what Camp America is all about...having fun!

Ryder and Caleb play a game of quoits, Simon plays Tarzan on the rope ladder and I relax in the hammock watching the game.

What a great game! 

Ryder hasn't played this before and thinks it is great fun.

Personally after all the excitement of my trip, I am quite happy to just relax in the hammock and watch.

As for Simon....well there just may be the possibility he is stuck!

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

USA - The last day - a visit to the Pope-Leighey House

Thursday morning of the day we flew home we visited the Pope-Leighey house in Virginia.  This house was formally in Falls Church, Virginia but was relocated to the grounds of the Woodlawn Plantation in Alexandria, Virginia.  It was designed by the American architect Frank Lloyd Wright.  It was commissioned by the journalist Loren Pope and his wife Charlotte in 1939 and was very innovative at the time.  The design of the house is of Wright's Usonian model of a well-designed space for middle income residents.  A design that is intended to bring nature inside using modest materials, a flat roof and lots of windows.

This house is a single story L shaped and the concrete floor is a 2 foot by 4 foot rectangular grid scored into concrete.  It has two bedrooms, a bathroom, a living and dining room and a kitchen with an entrance hall and study.  The windows in the living room are floor to ceiling and these doors open out into the garden as do the doors in the bedroom.  The house was heated with radiant hot water pipes embedded into the concrete slabs.  Even the furniture was designed by Wright and was 'mix and match' style.

Unfortunately we weren't able to take photos of the inside of the house.

Here is me and Norvell having a chat while waiting to go in.  I was asking her what the strange noise was that came in waves and she explained they were cicadas.  They must be quite different to the New Zealand cicadas that I heard while in NZ last year.

This was the view of the house you would have seen from the road where it was originally situated.

As you can see it is not very wide.  The hallway was based on a train's galley.

It was very interesting and the guide was very informative.  It was fortunately lovely and cool inside the house but not outside and it wasn't long before we had to make our way home for lunch and to get ready for the flight home.

We flew home on Champagne Belle

England here we come!

It will be quiet here for  a few days, but I have good news.

I have another visit from the USA come to have a holiday with me.

This time it is a boy and his name is Ryder...I think he is quite 'cool'.  

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

USA: Parkersburg and the Historic Julia-Ann Square

After the Sasha Festival was over on Sunday we started the long drive back to Washington.

The roads were long, and quite often pretty empty of traffic.

Surprisingly the speed limits were a lot lower than in the UK.

We stopped half way back in a place called Parkersburg.  We stayed in the Historic Blennerhasset Hotel.

The room was lovely

The bathroom was quite small but very nice. 

However!  Our room must have been on a heavy truck/lorry route and it was VERY noisy, with trucks braking and starting all night.  There was also a group of revellers that came up during the night and the sound carried...  Mum was okay as she had earplugs in, but poor Norvell didn't get a lot of sleep.  

Once we had settled into the hotel we went for a walk doing the Historic Walking Tour of Julia-Ann Square, the Parkersburg's Historic District.

This area was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977.  The historic street lights were installed in 2007 and the four arches at the entrances to the district on Juliana, Ann and Thirteenth Streets were erected in 2009 with the assistance of grant funding and with the initiative of the neighbourhood association.  Walking around the area you got a strong feeling of neighbourhood and friendship and people are obviously very proud of their homes and the area.

Jackson- Cartwright House, 919 Juliana Street is a Colonial Revival house built in 1920

The streets were beautiful and many had planted on the verges.

This is John Martin and he lives in the Acton-Martin House, 940 Juliana Street which was built circa 1870 in the Italianate style.  This style was very popular in America in the 1850s to 1880s overlapping with other popular Victorian Era styles.  

Mr John was very friendly and talked a little about his house and the neighbourhood of which he was very proud.  He was one of the editors of the tour guide.

He invited us in to see the paving stones which he had laid.  They were reclaimed and he put them up to show off the various foot step markings in them to add interest.

It was fascinating.  

This is the First United Methodist Church built 1909 - 1911 in the English Gothic Style.  It is situated at 1001 Juliana Street

Clemens-Bungard House 1970, 1006 Juliana Street, built in the Vernacular and Queen Anne Victorian Style

Crawford-Baptist Convention House, Circa 1875 and 1915, 1019 Juliana Street, Victorian Gothic Style

Taking a rest under the shade of a tree as it was so hot, I spotted this fungi.

Caswell-Smith House, Circa 1885, 1024 Juliana Street.

Davidson-Bennett House - 1865, 1033 and 1035 Juliana Street, built in the Victorian Gothic and Queen Anne Style.  

Dils-Letich-Creel House, 1902 built in the Colonial Revival Style.  1103 Juliana Street.

This was in the front of one house - isn't it cool?  I asked Mum why we haven't got a canon in our front garden!

Smith-Gillespie House built in the Queen Anne Style in 1888, is situated at 1125 Juliana Street.  This house consists of an area of 4,500 square feet over three stories!

Deming-Hayhurst House built circa 1853 is of the Italianate and Shingle Style and is said to be the oldest standing structure in the Julia-Ann District.

Boreman House built circa 1884 in the Victorian Vernacular, Gothic and Stick Styles is situated at 1201 Juliana Street.

The Van Winkle-Wilson House, circa 1860 is a Vernacular Victorian Cottage and was ever so pretty with its front garden which also catered for the wildlife.  It sits at 1216 Juliana Street.

Casto-Douglass-Longacre-Harris House, built in 1913 combining two styles popular at the time, Four Square and Prairie which were each a reaction to the elaborate European influences that predominated this period in time.  The house is 5400 square feet and has been restored to its original condition..

Van Winkle-Hiteshew-Duranti House built circa 1860 in the Queen Ann Style is situated at 112 13th Street.

This house is the Amis-McCrary House built circa 1872, again in the Queen Anne Style.  111 13th Street.

Such a pretty garden this is the Leach-Holmes-Mallory-von Westerholt House built circa 1840 in the Gothic Revival Style and is number 1214 Ann Street.

Now I am sure this house must be haunted!  It looks just the sort that would be.

"The Castle"  Van Winkle - Wix House, built circa 1855 it is a house of grand scale, Chateauesque Italianate style.

It looks like it requires a lot of restoration work.

It is on the market - currently being offered for sale at the grand price of $199,900 a simple search on the internet shows more about this house. 

Mum said it would take a lot of work and money to restore it to its former glory and no we couldn't buy it!

This house at 1214 West 12th Street is the Smith-Dodrill House and was built circa 1886 in the Queen Anne Style.  Reading the brochure, this house celebrates Halloween like no other and has a special treat for visitors at Halloween.

Smith House, circa 1895 in the Colonial Revival Style 118 West 12th Street.

This little office just tickled my fancy  :-)

There was another street we unfortunately didn't get to explore as my Mum's face had turned the brightest red ever seen and Norvell thought it was best we got back to the hotel before Mum had heat stroke and was ill.  Personally I could have gone of for hours!  But then I didn't have to do all that walking!