Barns from the Past…..

Being a country girl, I have to admit……I love barns. Barns of all sizes and shapes…and even the smells. Horse and cow manure, feed….hay….leather…… I’ve recently become a little obsessed with finding old barns to photograph and add to my collection. Living in a small town with lots of farmland surrounding the area, I’ve found there are barns hidden away all around me. At least once a week I go “back-roading” looking for these ancient structures. They all have a story to tell……of course, I don’t know the stories since I wasn’t born around here. But I’d love to know…..

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This one is on FM 1387 here in town, the house it belonged to on the corner, has been boarded up for about two years and the barn is fading fast.

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This is the Anderson barn, west of Highway 67, off Gifco Road. The land now belongs to Ashgrove and is destined to become a quarry. The local historical society is trying to raise funds to save the barn and the house that is on the same property. I haven’t seen the house at all, and the barn itself is hard to photograph since it sits right smack in the middle of the acreage. I did get a better shot last week, though from near the entrance to the property.

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This barn is huge……3 stories tall.

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These photos show the barns true colors, very gray and faded, with shingles falling through the roof. So sad.

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This is west at the end ofĀ  Gifco road atop a hill. Very pretty place, modern barn.

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Mt Zion Road, practically on the street.

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Ennis, Texas….we were looking for Bluebonnets, of course!

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Somewhere between Rockett and Ferris, I love this one!

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And just farther up the road from the Texas flag barn…..

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I’m completely baffled as to where i found this one. I should be keeping notes, right?

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Somewhere near a railroad track. Yep, that narrows it down!

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Not a barn, but on the same property as previous picture.

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Again, not sure where this one was…..I cover a lot of territory some days!

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Inside the main barn at the Penn Agricultural Center at Cedar Hill State Park.

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Inside the main barn at the Penn Agricultural Center at Cedar Hill State Park.

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The main barn at the Penn Agricultural Center at Cedar Hill State Park.

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Just what a photographer on a mission doesn’t want to see……”No trespassing”…. Bummer šŸ˜¦

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But, when I walked all the way up to the fence line, I got a much better shot with my 300mm zoom lens….

and of course, a lot of heavy editing makes the barn look much better than it really looks.

That’s about the extent of my barns for now, but I’ll keep looking!

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I Got a NEW TOY!!!!!

Yes, I’m just like a kid…I got a new toy! I’ve always wanted to be a “photographer”, meaning I’ve always wanted to own a camera that was more than a “point and shoot” cam. Last weekend I took the plunge. I have been inspired by a fellow musician, Pam, who takes the most amazing photos of babies, nature and her grand-kids…..so, as I studied her photos I wondered….”couldn’t I do that, too”? (you can find Pam on Facebook “Portraits by Pam”)

I purchased a Nikon D3100 camera, no extra frills or lenses, briefly read through the instructions, then set out on Sunday to take pics of some local scenery that I thought would be interesting to photograph. I’ll graduate to people later after I’ve had some more practice, because I do have a gorgeous new grandson who’d make beautiful pics….and a 19-year-old granddaughter who is stunningly photogenic. So….be patient!

The first seven photos were taken in historic Waxahachie, Texas. There’s also a section of town full of Victorian houses, on the “Gingerbread Trail” that I would love to shoot. Maybe later……

Feed Store
M-K-T Depot Waxahachie, Texas
Pedestrian bridge parallel to Highway 77
Katy Depot
Railroad crossing, look out for the cars, can you spell that without any R’s?
Bridge on walking trail at Getzendaner Park, Waxahachie
It was raining intermittently, so this shot was snapped through the windshield of the car, and I thought it was kinda cool.

These photos are from my own backyard…..

Windmill in motion….this little windmill is in my backyard šŸ™‚
Budding Lily
The other budding lily….lol….they need to BLOOM already!
Sunrise above the rooftops……it’s hard to do in town!
Ertle the Turtle, who is really a “pot hanger” but looks so cute sitting next to the succulent…..

That’s the extent of my photography as of today….I’m still reading blogs and websites for tips and inspiration.

Coming soon…..pictures of my grandchildren!

Accent? What accent?

InĀ  1999, the hubby’s company moved us to a strange new land.Ā  “Virginia” they called it…….I actually had to get out my trusty atlas to see exactly where Virginia was on the map. Yes, Geography was another subject in which I failed to excel. We were nonetheless excited about this new adventure in a new place. I had never lived outside the Great State of Texas, but Mike had lived in Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia and last, but not least, Oklahoma. His company flew us out to look for a place to live, and we leased a beautiful new 2 story townhouse; then we checked out local places and the scenery. All the Redbud trees were in bloom while we were there in late March, so we could hardly wait until we got properly moved, in less than a month.

The beautiful town-home!
Outside of the beautiful town-home!

Mike had driven his truck to Christiansburg to get to work, and left me behind to oversee the movers, then he flew back and we drove the car to Virginia, stopping on the way to see The Grand Ol’ Opry in Nashville. We spent about a week in a hotel waiting for our belongings to arrive, and when they did, we started getting settled in the beautiful new home. Mike’s new store was to open in June, so he was busy hiring a crew, and I started looking for a job. Kroger was opening a new store in nearby Blacksburg, and due to my vast experience in the grocery business, they hired me right away. (Too bad the pay was not commensurate with my experience, but that’s a story for another day)

On the weekends, we drove all around, looking at the scenery, which was breathtaking. I loved the mountains, it seemed like you could literally see forever. We made friends with a couple who were happy to show us all the sights that we might never have known about. They took us on the Blue Ridge Parkway, which runs for 469 miles through the southern Appalachians of Virginia and North Carolina, linkingĀ  Shenandoah and Great Smoky Mountain National Parks along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

View from The Blue Ridge Parkway…..stunning!

One of the most amazing places on the Parkway was Mabry Mill , a historic water-powered grist mill which was originally built in 1910. I snapped this photo below, and I swear, it looks just like a picture postcard. We visited there again when Mike’s folks came to visit us in September.

A perfect shot, if I say so myself!

When my parents visited us in August, shortly after we had moved there, we took them to Natural Bridge:

We lived in Christiansburg for about 7 months, then were transferred again, and moved again….whew, to central Virginia, and Mike’s next new store was in Lexington, which is a wonderful historic place, however, we couldn’t find any place to live, so we rented a house in Stuarts Draft.

Stuarts Draft, in the valley this time….

This was about 30 miles north, in the valley; there were a great number of beautiful Mennonite farms there, and the people were exceedingly friendly and polite.

Now, I say they were all polite and friendly, however, there was this teeny tiny misunderstanding about who actually had the southern accent….ME….or THEM! Of course, I have a Texas accent and Mike does not, since he was born in Alabama; so I’m not sure why they picked on me for MY “alleged” accent! The women didn’t carry “purses” they carried “pocketbooks” and I told them that if I came back to Texas and said “pocketbook”, I’d get laughed out of town! But, they still teased me about my accent…..and I had no choice but to take it in stride, hence my nicknameĀ  “Texas Twang Debi”……see, if you can’t fight ’em, join ’em!

Just across the mountain to the east of us was Charlottesville, home of Thomas Jefferson and the University of Virginia which he founded. We toured Jefferson’s home, Monticello twice while living in the state, and it was my favorite historical site. I learned so much about American history while living in Virginia because everywhere you turn, there’s another historic site.

Monticello

Monticello was amazing….

While in Stuarts Draft, I worked at the Kroger on Lew DeWitt Boulevard in Waynesboro, and we were just a few miles from Staunton (pronounced Stanton for some reason!) home of The Statler Brothers! We toured their museum and I got very up close and personal with gold records and Grammy Awards! The closest I will ever get, no doubt!

After about 8 months in Lexington/Stuarts Draft, we moved again….sigh…..this time to the less idyllic locale of Warrenton, about 40 miles from Washington D.C. The people were less friendly, the cost of living was much higher, and the scenery was not as pretty, although, there were several horse farms that we saw that were nice.

The house we rented was stuck in a 1970s time warp, but the rent wasn’t too outrageous. Plus, we were only 40 miles from our nations capitol. We went twice to DC….Mike’s favorite site was Kennedy’s grave at Arlington National Cemetery.

Me and mom….

In November of 2000, we had enjoyed as much of Virginia as we could, because we learned that each time Mike’s company moved us, our two years started all over again…see, they had said “go there and open this store, and in two years we’ll move you back to Texas”. He opened two new stores and then moved again to take over the top store in the district.

Hmph.

That’s all I’m going to say about that.

I was quite homesick by this time, so we made a joint decision.

Like I said, I was homesick……lol…..

We had a MASSIVE garage sale, even sold the truck…..loaded up what was left and headed home to The Great State of Texas. We didn’t have jobs to come home to, nowhere to live, but my sweet and practical brother said “y’all can live with us while you get jobs and find a place to live, 90 days ought to do it”…..LOL…… That 90 days evolved into SIX months, because we built a new house, and it took that long. Good thing they lived in a huge house……we had a blast staying with them, though and felt a little lost when we had to move out! (Thanks PK and KK)

Our new house!

Like I said earlier, the lovely folks in Virginia made fun of my accent, but I loved the time we spent there, and I think about it every time I grab my PURSE, not my pocketbook, but my purse and leave the HOUSE, not my “hoose”…..lol

Virginia may be for lovers, but when I die, I want to STAY in Texas!