Journey to Rocky Ridge and Lawrence KS

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After having a nice breakfast and conversation with Innkeeper Connie Roberts and having inquired as to where the Mansfield town cemetery was located, I checked out and started my journey. As you can tell by this picture many travelers make their way to the grave sites. I think cemeterys are very interesting and historical. This one was set up in 3 sections. The oldest had so many headstones that were not legible at all because they were so old and the elements of time wore them down. The second section was probably only 100 years old and that is where the Wilder’s graves were located. The 3rd section is where the graves were adorned with flowers because there were family members alive to take care of them.
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It was well kept and the Ozarks were visible there. It looks like there is plenty of area for expansion too.

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Almanzo and Lauras headstone. It was nicely done to distinguish them from the others with well manicured bushes and chain to the rear. As you can tell visitors feel the need to put pebbles and coins on the headstone maybe to just leave a marker noting they had been there. I didn’t know them while they were alive but I feel like I did since I have read so much about them. This is where the human bodies were laid to rest and was a very serene area.

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Rose’s grave is right next to her parents with the same kind of pebbles. After speaking with the tour guide at Rocky Ridge I have a whole new view of Rose Wilder Lane. My view was that she was bossy and didn’t treat her mother very well. The tour guide said that to understand Rose more I should read her writings. She probably would be considered “gifted” in our educational system now. She had an insatiable thirst for reading, she traveled all over the world and for her time was the second highest paid journalist.

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Rocky Ridge farm was just a mile out of town which may have seemed like a little trek with a horse and wagon but I can see why they built on this land. When I am at places where historical figures lived I like to feel that this is where they walked and made their life, hallowed ground. I guess I try to feel their presence.

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I walked around the grass to be able to get a good picture of Rocky Ridge. Here is the wonderful home that was build over a 20 year period as they worked the farm and in town and as money became more abundant. My next pictures are from the front porch on the right side.

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This section of the house was built last and I am sure Laura came out of this door often to sit on this porch in the shade and catch a breeze.

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The wonderful view from the porch. Not too hard on the eyes. They did not allow pictures inside the house or museum. The house was left just the way it was when Laura passed away in 1957. The countertops were made low because Laura was not even 5 feet tall and Alamanzo was not a tall man either. They were very hard working, frugal, socially conscious people. I thought this was very interesting, that they did not like Franklin Delano Roosevelt because he implemented the New Deal and all the plans that helped the country get through he depression. They felt that everyone should make their own way and work through the lean times as is what they did exactly in their lives.

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After the tour of the farmhouse we made our way over to The Rock House that Rose had built for Laura and Almanzo to make their lives easier. It was a Sears and Robuck house and she hired high school boys to dig rocks for the house one summer. Many of the original fixtures, doors and such are still in the house. They lived in the house for 8 years with Rose living in the farmhouse. It had electricity, running hot water, and all the amenities that were not available in the area during the late 1920’s. As the tour guide said, it did make Laura’s life easier and in this house is where she started writing the Little House books.( The woman in the picture is named Misty Miller from Alabama and she was waiting on her ride to pick her up). The Rock House was build on the Wilders land of course. It was 3/4 of a mile away from the farmhouse and Rose and Laura walked a path back and forth over the hill to visit each other. Laura felt isolated from others while living here and missed her farmhouse which she and Almanzo had built together. Her heart was still there and also Rose had equipped it with the needed amenities of the Rock House.

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Rose also had a garage built for their Buick and Rose had taught both Laura and Almanzo to drive.

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The view of the Ozarks from the Rock House. Stunning in the fall I am sure.

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Their land went to the tree line.

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A new museum is being built right now and should be opened next year. I loved the museum because it diplayed so much of the items that we read about in her books. Pa’s fiddle, the china figurine, Mary’s quilt that she made and I could go on and on. In her 80’s Laura appliqued a morning glory quilt that was spectacular. Oh and the Our Daily Bread plate that was saved from the house fire of Laura and Almanzo’s home in South Dakota. I was also impressed the the wall display of all The Little House books in different languages. Children in China and Germany wanted to read about the pioneer spirit.

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Plaque outside of the wonderful bookstore that beckoned me in. I had read Pioneer Girl before I left on this trip. It was the original story that Laura wrote and that the Little House Books were written from. It had more adult content like drunken people and such. Not like adult content of today. It came out in December 2014.

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The ticket for my tour. A bookmark I received with my bookstore purchase. I love the receipt from the bookstore with the graphic of the farmhouse. The cashier wanted to know if I wanted a receipt and I said “yes”. After I got it I said I love the graphic and she said, “that’s someone who has too much time on their hands”. I thought it was quite special.

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I picked up this very small, easy reading book since I had stayed in Mansfield the previous night. It talks about the train, the bank of Mansfield and I just wanted to picture what this little sleepy town was like during that period of time.

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I picked this book because it has wonderful pictures of the inside of the houses and of things I wasn’t able to photograph. I also liked it that it was from the recipes that Laura used. It also had a picture of her recipe book, how she reused many different papers to compile them all. I made Farmhouse Stew last night and it received a good review from the family.

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This one I chose because it had great pictures of all the places where the Little House books take place. It took me on a tour without having to go, just like I am doing for you. that Cabin on the front is a replica in Independence, Kansas.

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So it was about 1:00 in the afternoon and I had a 4 hour drive ahead of me to Lawrence, Kansas. Got my GPS up and running and I was mostly on Hwy. 13 in Missouri to take me to Kansas. Observations I had along the way: Lake Truman is huge! I knew it had to be man made because there were dead trees in the middle of the part that I saw. Here is information I found about it. At one point on the lake were pelicans, I wasn’t expecting that. Here is talks about pelicans. Along the road I saw a dead armadillo, which is something I don’t come across in Indiana, mostly raccoon’s and deer. Here is tells about armadillos in Missouri. I got to my room in Lawrence about 6:45 and needed to get to this bookstore that I read about, from another blogger from Kansas. Here is the link to her amazing blog. The bookstore is The Raven and it was just 3 blocks from my hotel. As you know I love books and I love cats and this store contained both. As I walked up this one cat had slipped out with a customer and was hiding behind the potted plant outside the door. The clerk was having a bit o f a time getting him back into the store. Of course once she did the cat kept looking out the door planning his escape again. I saw cat toys on the floor so he and I got into a little cat play. I am sure he was glad that I came along.

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Then this other handsome fellow came out to see what it was all about. He was very pettable and joined in on the cat play also.

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This quilt was also displayed and I asked who had made it, some group in town she said. It had book covers on it.

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I had about a half and hour after playing with the cats to browse and make my choices. I fell in love with this book and it’s beautiful pictures.

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While I don’t like to make my watercolors to be used in a botanical book this had many good watercolor tips and pictures.

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The clerk included two bookmarks, each has a different quote from well known authors. She also gave me some good advice on where to get something to eat.

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Lawrence is a college town and Massachusetts avenue was a bustling place. Very interesting and I went to a brew house bar to place an order and took it back to the hotel. This is a building I passed and don’t know if it was a movie theater or a play house, but it was pretty.

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So Spring Hill Suites was at the end of my journey for the day. Very nice, sizable room. I watched the Republican Debate because I didn’t have to think too hard about anything. When you are driving by yourself you have to stay alert at all times so by the end of the day I was a bit depleted. It has been a great experience! To keep me awake and interested I am listening to audio books.  The first one I chose is Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult, 15 hours long.  Check back in for day three. Thanks for stopping!

 

Day One Destination: Mansfield, MO

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Earlier in the year I found out one of my favorite artists, Geninne, was having a mini art retreat in Boulder, Co. It took me all of 5 minutes to decide to go. I do not love to fly plus I have not been this far west so I am driving the route. I wanted to see the land and visit a few places. I rented a Ford Escape..my husband told me they wouldn’t have that car….they didn’t….I received a Subaru Forester. Everything is not where I think it should be. I am thankful that I have had good weather because I couldn’t get the front windshield wipers to work, the back wasn’t a problem. That would come in handy for driving backwards. I love the bluetooth synching to my phone….it’s great when I get a call. It doesn’t like my voice though when I give it a number to dial…Pardon…try again it says. At least it is polite! I made it to Mansfield 11 hours later. I prepared myself for a long trip the first day. It was still light because they are in a different time zone and I snapped some pictures. This bank is the one that helped the Wilders buy Rocky Ridge Farm along with the 100.00 that Laura brought with her from South Dakota. It was located across the street from my Bed and Breakfast.
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Mansfield is still as quaint as when the Wilders lived there, at least the parts that I saw. There is a park in the town square and it had a memorial up for a major league baseball player that lived in the vicinity of Mansfield in the early 1900’s.

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Carl “Sub” Mays and here is the Wikipedia report.

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The Weaver Inn, B&B I stayed at is on the left and the mexican restaurant that i dined at that night is on the right. The Weaver Inn proprietors were fantastic people. They were from the area and I had a nice talk with her while having my breakfast. They have 6 rooms total in the Inn and I took the only one downstairs. It was a very nice room, the building was the oldest in town but it has been kept up well. I did have a resident cricket that serenaded me all night.

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I don’t feel that the buildings have changed too much since the early days of the town.

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Outside of the tourism building.

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I did miss the annual Wilder festival taking place this weekend.

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Many houses have this kind of rock on the outside.

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A nice bust of Laura in the towns square.

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The Weaver Inn had a nice coffee, pastry shop inside also. This is where I had my breakfast. It was very inviting and cozy.

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Since I coudn’t take pictures I jotted from memory in a journal my observations. When in Illinois I saw gas for $1.91 per gal. I found this pretty moth, dead on the parking lot. Thought it was too pretty to let get run over. Crossed the Mississippi river into St. Louis and saw the arch and Busch Stadium. Then somewhere there was this huge cross looming up and I couldn’t see a church around. Someone did a youtube video of it. It had a sidewalk and seating around the bottom. Always signage for Meramac Caverns….you can now zipline and rent horses there. Vinyards and winerys. Every town outside of St. Louis on I44 is deemed a historic town on the signs along the interstate. With our IPads my family and I facetime which is really nice. Technology is great. Thus ended my day one journey.

 

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Here’s What’s Going On

First off with our warm and wet weather my morning glorys will be reaching up to climb soon. The week has just shown a growth spurt. There is a rotten dandelion weed behind the trellis that I just can’t get the roots out and it keeps coming back.

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The hollyhocks are putting on a good show this year. I have really dark maroon ones.

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Also some really light pink ones.

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My candystriped daylilies are just going to be a profusion of blooms very soon. They are going to be mighty pretty. I have several bunches planted around the yard.

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The pots of begonias like the sun and wetness. Full and vibrant these are.

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I signed up for this online course last October but was not able to participate in it when it opened. It is still up until October 1st, 2015 and I am going to start it again, possibly today. I signed up because I needed more work with drawing faces. These ladies have different styles and there is a lesson with each one and also Effy Wild who is the wonderful lady that put the class together. It looks like you can take the course for half price right now and she is putting together a second Radiant Faces Course that will be starting in October.

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In the first lesson we were to choose a picture to use, so I am that far.

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I did get the notebook done though and even made a few for my friends.

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Yesterday I finished up my Indiana Woodlands poster. My inspiration was from a biology class that I took, where we tromped around the woods in search of species. I added some of the critters that we found also. Prints can be purchased in my Etsy shop.

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All the drawings are from pictures that I took from our journeys.

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Since I finished my painting I am putting my attention back onto my little quilt so I can get it finished and posted in my shop. I will be adding much embroidery. I really love quilting and needlework together. This little quilt is named “Words to Live By”.

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Another flower that is blooming in my garden is the balloon flower. What a wonderful blueish purple.

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I love the way it blows up like a balloon before it blooms.

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A decorating project that I am going to start is recovering the dining room chairs. I found this fabric on the greatly discounted rack at Joann’s and it was just what I was looking for. The green will be the chair pad covers and then the others I am making a banner to go at the top of my three windows in that room.

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I have picked up this book again and have gotten into it. When I finish it I will give it a review.

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I got an email that this book has shipped. I bet it is out in my mailbox now! Tomorrow my niece Wendy and I are going to his an Antiques fair and an Art fair in Fort Wayne. I also plan to go to the Farmers Market in the morning. I should come back with lots of pictures to share. Hope you have a great weekend! and as always….. Thanks for stopping!

Books

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I was taking inventory tonight of what books I have to read. I then realized I had 4 that I had started but didn’t finish. I think school and life took over. This will be the first one that I am going to finish. My dear friend Colleen sent this one to me. She worked at a high school and Jodi came and spoke. She got an autographed copy for me. This is a very special gift. She also sent a picture of herself and Jodi. I love autographed books, it’s a favorite of mine.

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I also started this one. I wasn’t too far into it and can’t quite remember what it was about, but it is on my list to restart and finish.

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I was pretty far along and there was a double murder and I still have no idea who did it. I will find out.

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This one was good as I recall. One of the main characters had a form of autism that was Aspergers and that is one reason why I started reading it along with it being a Jodi Picoult book. A very near and dear person to me has Aspergers so I was especially interested in this book.

Billy Joel

This was on my must read list and I just ordered it from Amazon. I am a Billy Joel fan and this came out in October.

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This was also on my must read list. It came out in early this year and it was so popular that they had to print some more copies. I ordered this and should get it by Friday. In September I am taking a trip to Colorado for a mini art retreat with Geninne. I am driving so I plan to stop at Mansfield Missouri where Laura Ingalls Wilder lived her adult years and wrote the Little House books. I am looking very forward to both. I will give my book reviews when I am done. Thanks for stopping!