Friday, March 30, 2012

Spring has Sprung at our House

It seems like Spring has definitely arrived. Everything is blooming at my house with the exception of my favorite flower in the whole world, lilacs!  My lilac bush is loaded with buds so it will not be long until I can smell that heavenly fragrance!

American Dogwood--I was always fascinated with this tree when I was growing up,
because my grandmother told me the story of how the four petals represents the cross that Christ died on
and the reddish-brown marks on each petal is the blood that was shed.
One of my favorite trees to climb was a dogwood tree!

Violets--My grandmother and I used to pick violets, then have "fights" where
each person takes a flower and you hook it on your opponents bloom, then yank and
see which violet can pop the bloom off of the other. 

Snakeberry bloom.   It always makes me think of wild strawberries, but
I have not seen a wild strawberry in YEARS!

Money Plant

The much beleaguered dandelion. I think they are so sunny and cheerful!

The soil at my house is perfect for azaleas.  

Azaleas grow like weeds at my house.

Coreopsis.  This plant produces one of the most beautiful natural dyes!

My catnip did not even die back this past winter.
That made my cats very happy all winter long!

This rosemary plant is about 10 years old.
In many areas of the Valley
they die come winter and must be replanted each spring. 

Chinese Cherry--we have two of these gorgeous trees in our yard. 

With all of this blooming, it should be no surprise that my throat is sore and almost swollen shut!

Copyright 2012--All Rights Reserved--The Wheel & Distaff by Kimberly Burnette-Dean. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Carroll County Courthouse Tragedy

When I was growing up and we needed to "go to town" for anything, whether it was for a doctor visit or to pick up grocery, Hillsville was where we went. I also got my first job in Hillsville and lived there, on and off for about five years. One of the prominent features of the town is the Carroll County Courthouse which sits proudly on Main Street. As a child, I was (and still am) fascinated by older buildings with an upstairs.  Perhaps that comes from living in a single level, ranch-style home. I have always loved and admired this beautiful building.

The Carroll County Courthouse, Hillsville, Virginia
My grandpa always told me stories about the Allen family tragedy that took place in the courthouse when he was eleven years old.  (He always referred to it as "The Allen Tragedy.") He remembered the shootout, the following manhunt for the Allens, and the trials.  

I got to fulfill some of my curiosity about the courthouse when I minored in Appalachian Studies at Radford University. For two different projects, I researched the construction and history of the courthouse and the Allen tragedy. I was able to locate the original architectural plans for the courthouse for one of those projects and I had an artistic friend sketch what the courthouse would have looked like if it had of been build according to the plans.

One of two beautiful staircases that lead to the second floor courtroom

Whether you choose to call it "The Carroll County Courthouse Tragedy," "The Allen Tragedy," "The Hillsville Shootout," or some other name,  it was a horrible event. We will never know whether the Allen family conspired to shoot up the court or whether the court officials of Carroll County saw this as an opportunity to rid themselves of a family that they viewed as trouble makers. Several of my ancestors were involved in that faithful day. Some of them survived, some did not. 

The 100th anniversary of the tragedy was on March 14, 2012.  Frank Levering wrote a play called "Thunder in the Hills" and it was performed in the actual courtroom where the event took place.  (Read more about it here and here.) 

One of the bullet holes in the courthouse steps from that terrible day
Fortunately, I was lucky enough to get two tickets to the sold-out play. It was fabulous! I laughed. I cried. All of the actors and actresses gave wonderful performances.  Of course, as someone who worked in the living history field for almost 20 years, I am a tad picky when it comes to historical accuracy because that was my job for so long.  In a community performance like "Thunder in the Hills," I totally understand that money is limited and that totally period-appropriate clothing, jewelry, and eyeglasses would be expensive, so that can be overlooked. It was well-written and well-acted. It was truly an event not to be missed! I can only hope that there will be future performances of this wonderful play so that more folks can see it.
If you are ever in Hillsville, be sure to visit Carroll County Historical Society located in the courthouse.

Here is another good website with more information. 

Copyright 2012--All Rights Reserved--The Wheel & Distaff by Kimberly Burnette-Dean. 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Where Am I?--Answer

This photo was taken in Bristol, TN on Interstate 81.
For more information about this unique building, click here and here
One of the websites states that it has been closed for years,
but other sites say that it is still open.

Copyright 2012--All Rights Reserved--The Wheel & Distaff by Kimberly Burnette-Dean. 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Where Am I?

Where did I take this photo?
Leave your guess in the comment section below.

Copyright 2012--All Rights Reserved--The Wheel & Distaff by Kimberly Burnette-Dean.  

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Vacation Fiber Projects

When I was packing to go on vacation last week, I decided that I wanted to take my spinning wheel with me.  Here is what I accomplished last week.

Black alpaca roving from Renee Gillespie
(This is actually very black in color, but in the pic it looks grey!)
65% Merino/15% Tencel/10% banana/10% Milk
from River's Edge Fiber Arts
Colorway: Midnight Blue 
100% Polwarth Wool
from Wild Hare Fiber Studio
Colorway: Aquamarine
March Roving Club Selection at Wooly Belle 
All spun into 2-ply yarn
Forgot to take a pic of the roving!
The wool top was from Wild Hare
Colorway: "Spring Flowers"
Copyright 2012--All Rights Reserved--The Wheel & Distaff by Kimberly Burnette-Dean. 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Mystery Item Answer

Congrats to Penny for having the correct answer!

Copyright 2012--All Rights Reserved--The Wheel & Distaff by Kimberly Burnette-Dean. 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Mystery Item

Do you know what this item is?  
Leave your guess in the comment section below.
The answer will be posted tomorrow. 

Copyright 2012--All Rights Reserved--The Wheel & Distaff by Kimberly Burnette-Dean. 

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Where Am I? Answer!

I just realized that I did not ever post the answer identifying where the photo was taken from my March 11 post!  My excuse is that I was on vacation and simply forgot. I apologize!

The photo was taken in Marion, Virginia as we were driving down I-81. Years ago, the water treatment plant painted the "hot" and "cold" on the water towers.

Upstate South Carolina

All of the following photos were taken at Table Rock Resort, Pickens, SC

View from our front porch
Upper Gauley Falls
Huge knot on tree
Ginormous boulder sitting in the middle of a beautiful wooded area
View from the top of that ginormous boulder
That is one determined little tree
I have always loved rocks and boulders and there are HUGE ones here

The female Cardinal was not camera shy . . . 
. . . .the male Cardinal was very elusive (except for when I was sitting on the deck sans camera)
Just chillin'
What'cha doing?
View from our deck

Copyright 2012--All Rights Reserved--The Wheel & Distaff by Kimberly Burnette-Dean. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Pickens County Flea Market

We visit upstate South Carolina every Spring. One of the highlights of our trip each year is visiting the Pickens County Flea Market. This flea market is HUGE! It covers 60 acres and has over 2000 tables!  Massive! You better be sure to wear some good walking shoes! It is held on Wednesdays each week from 5:00am to 3:00pm.

It is impossible to take a photo that shows the size of this flea market!

If you are looking for plants, everything from vegetables to flowers to trees are available at very good prices. Fresh produce is abundant and much cheaper than anything you could pick up in a grocery store.  Then there is the "stuff." Some folks have elaborately set up sales areas and you can tell they do this on a regular basis. Then there are the tables that look like the folks just walked through their house or garage that morning and threw some stuff in a box to sell. If you are ever in the area, be sure to visit this flea market.

$56.00 worth of current magazine issues for only $14.00!
1949 book of riddles
Great old canner & lid with the wire rack still inside.
This will become a wonderful dye pot!
Only $5.00
Great interlocking mats to use as blocking boards for knitting!

Copyright 2012--All Rights Reserved--The Wheel & Distaff by Kimberly Burnette-Dean. 

Monday, March 12, 2012

Spring weather

This is some gorgeous spring weather that we are having!  Here are some scenes from my day.

Imagine the Pepsi bottle this was on!
Spring has Sprung!
Hands on what??
NOT one of my favs
Table Rock, SC
I wanted to stop and load them all into the car!
Honeybee's Restaurant
View from our deck

Copyright 2012--All Rights Reserved--The Wheel & Distaff by Kimberly Burnette-Dean.