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 JULY 2016

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Ellen E



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PostSubject: Re: JULY 2016    Sat Jul 09, 2016 1:07 pm

I just happened to be channel surfing and hit on a cliff diving competition. Now THAT is some scary stuff. 92 feet in the air, landing in cold water. If you hit wrong, something is gonna HURT!
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PostSubject: Re: JULY 2016    Sat Jul 09, 2016 9:59 pm

Hugs and Prayers CB.
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PostSubject: Re: JULY 2016    Sun Jul 10, 2016 5:54 am

CB: Prayers for you and your family in this time of sorrow.
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PostSubject: RICK's Scotland Trip   Sun Jul 10, 2016 9:23 pm

From RICK's Scotland Trip:

Day eleven …
May 26, 2016

One would he hard pressed to find a more beautiful day for scenic sightseeing . The temps were in the 65 - 70F range and clear skies.

Its this area that is referred to as the gateway to the Highlands of Scotland. As is often the case, beautiful, scenic areas have a bloodied and violent past. This was the site of an historic battle in 1689. I won’t delve into the battle, but will point you to a website that has information of the battle and its significance as well as some pictures of KILLIECRANKIE gorge and battle area. Enjoy this for the natural beauty and scenic vistas: http://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/blairatholl/killiecrankie/index.html There is a visitor center there and signs warning of the pathway conditions. I walked partway and found a bench while Carol walked on much farther. She said it was very beautiful. I enjoyed the quiet sounds of nature and the stream below me.

Our next destination was also another one noted for its scenic views. This would be QUEEN’S VIEW and was just a very few miles away. A long, curvy, uphill drive brought us to the carpark for queen’s View. This was named for either Queen Victoria or the wife of King Robert the Bruce (depending on your source of information!). Regardless,a 200 yard path led us up a gentle hill to the overlook for this lovely view of Loch Tummel and the mountains of Glencoe far to the west. After our walk out to the viewpoint, we enjoyed some Arran ice cream on the patio outside the tiny cafe and gift shop. Here you’ll find more than enough photos of the view. We could barely see (tiny bit of haze) the Glencoe mountains in the far, far distance when looking down the lake towards the gap: https://images.search.yahoo.com/search/images;_ylt=AwrBT4Iy039X8V4AP8lXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTEyaHZjYzhtBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDQjE4NzlfMQRzZWMDc2M-?p=Queen%27s+View+Scotland&fr=aaplw

I’ve expressed many times my fascination with the neolithic / stone age structures scattered across Scotland and England. You’ll recall that we’ve already been by several sites on this trip. What we are going to see today is reconstruction based on careful (and still currently ongoing at this location) archeological findings. CRANNOGS are manmade or modified natural islands, found throughout the lochs of Scotland and Ireland. Today, they appear as tree-covered islands or remain hidden as submerged stony mounds. These loch-dwellings were first built as defensive homesteads in Scotland as early as the Neolithic period some 5,000 years ago. Some were inhabited periodically up until the 17th century AD. Their remains are found in many shapes and sizes and the nature of their construction varied with their environment and the period of their occupation. While their are hundreds of crannogs in Scotland, only a few have been closely examined. They may be found in shallow water near good agricultural land. Here is a wikipedia site that will probably give you too much information!! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crannog And what follows are two sites that will have a few photos about some demonstrations we saw … such as “fire making” and wood turning: https://www.visitscotland.com/info/see-do/the-scottish-crannog-centre-p255731 and the third site: http://www.britainexpress.com/attractions.htm?attraction=1158 Needless to say, but we were enthralled with this authentic display. As you can probably guess, there were a number of “skills” displayed such as fire making … drilling a hole in stone … ground grain … and wood turning using a crude but effective lathe. After the demonstrations, the audience was invited to try their hand at these varied tasks.

After a 5-star visit to the Crannog Center, and with the afternoon winding down, we headed back towards Pitlochry and the restful allure of our “home” at Rowanlea. While planning this trip, Carol had seen “Dunfallandy Stone” on an area map and decided it was probably worth seeings. Yes, it was on a tiny side road, but was just a small detur off the main route we were on. This website will tell you about this Pictish cross slab and show you a few small pictures. This was located on the top of a knoll and was immediately adjacent to a more modern private cemetery … all of which was accessed through a farm gate! http://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/pitlochry/dunfallandy/index.html

We stopped in Pitlochry for dinner and dined at The Old Mill Inn and had a very nice dinner with good service from the multi-national staff.

After dinner, we went walked down to the Pitlochry Dam and Fish Ladder. This hydro-electric dam was constructed between 1947 and 1951, creating Loch Faskally as well as (obviously) supplying electric power. I’m not exactly sure what is happening now, but there was more “construction” work going on now … perhaps newer generators?? This will give you more than enough pictures of the dam and fish ladder, etc.: https://images.search.yahoo.com/search/images;_ylt=AwrBT8E46n9X5JsALbxXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTEyaHZjYzhtBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDQjE4NzlfMQRzZWMDc2M-?p=Pitlochry+Dam+and+Fish+Ladder&fr=aaplw

Our day is done and we both are ready for some quiet relaxation at Rowanlea. We filled out our breakfast request and called it a day!!


RICK

Day twelve …
May 27, 2016

Jilly served us our breakfast and it was delicious and filling as to be expected.  If you leave the table hungry, its your own fault!!

Today’s first adventure actually got started several years ago as we were passing through a gift shop at Glasgow Airport.  Something caught Carol’s eye and it was a necklace and earring set that was quite colorful.  This was made from the stems of dead heather plants … and made in Pitlochry! This day’s first stop was the free factory / shop tour to solve the mystery of heather and jewelry.  There was a nice video shown that explained and demonstrated the process.  This site will give you a little bit of background on the company (that is locally owned) history and the last paragraph will tell you “a bit” on the process: http://www.scottishshop.com/heathergems/   LOL!!  I’m NOT advertising for this business, but it was interesting to see the process and their gift shop that has some exquisite pieces of jewelry with a ‘Celtic flavor’ utilizing colorfully dyed heather stems.  Take a look … you’ll need to scroll down some to get to the beautiful pieces:  https://images.search.yahoo.com/search/images;_ylt=A0LEV0wLooFXtJ8AEPdXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTEyaHZjYzhtBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDQjE4NzlfMQRzZWMDc2M-?p=Heathergem+Factory+Pitlochry+Scotland&fr=aaplw

We did a bit of window shopping and more specifically we went “duck hunting” for a souvenir for one of our girls.  For a bit of whimsical visual humor, please carefully explore this site. We ALWAYS have to bring home another duck when we visit the UK: http://dcuk.com/

We’ve (I’ve)  had enough shopping for one day and was glad to go do some more exploring. This time our destination was a large, spread out, place with history dating back to the 1200s and in use today.  This would be BLAIR CASTLE just 10 miles (maybe even less) out from Pitlochry. My fatigue caught up with me and I only toured a part of the castle while Carol viewed more.  I did have an opportunity to rest in a video room and see a 30 minute (??) video of the castle and grounds so I don’t really feel left out.  Our favorite Scottish website will tell you about Blair Castle: http://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/blairatholl/blaircastle/index.html  This is an ongoing enterprise with various offerings such as meeting rooms and wedding facilities.  Take a quick peek and you’ll get an overview: https://images.search.yahoo.com/search/images;_ylt=AwrBT7grroFXc_MAAA9XNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTEyaHZjYzhtBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDQjE4NzlfMQRzZWMDc2M-?p=Blair+Castle+Scotland&fr=aaplw  Carol said she would NOT want to be a housekeeper there with its high ceilings and many artifacts and antiques to be dusted etc.  It would be an immense job for sure!!

BLAIR ATHOLL is a gray stone village that evolved as home to the many people needed to support and sustain Blair Castle.  Virtually all the buildings in the village are of gray stone … locally quarried..  We stopped in at the Blair Atholl Watermill and tea room for a break and enjoyed chatting with the extended family that shared our long table. (English, perhaps??)  This old mill’s history dates back to the 1590’s.  It was not in operation when we were there due to low water flow, but otherwise is a functioning mill.  Some of the tasty baked goods are made with flour that is ground on site. http://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/blairatholl/blairatholl/index.html  will give you a bit more of the background history of this pretty picturesque and thriving village. The first five or so rows of photos here are devoted to this mill and tearoom: https://images.search.yahoo.com/search/images;_ylt=A0LEVx20WoJXSycAmqNXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTEyaHZjYzhtBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDQjE4NzlfMQRzZWMDc2M-?p=Blair+Atholl+Watermill+%26+Tea+Room&fr=aaplw  Is it any wonder I actually gained weight on this trip?  My sweet tooth just will not be denied!!

Our next nearby stop was more for Carol’s sake than mine.  She really loves waterfalls, and the ones she loves best seem (to me, at least) to be quite a hike away!! LOL!  There is a modern “shopping” center at the start of the trail to the falls that is evidently quite a tourist drawing card in itself … a large bus- only parking lot in addition to a couple acres of car parking. Carol had to go into one of the stores to get directions to the trail’s beginning … it was behind the long building of stores.  This was the Falls of Bruar.  I walked with her part of the way until I found a large rock for a resting place.  I enjoyed the serenity of the woods and the sounds of the stream while she hiked on for perhaps another mile: http://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/blairatholl/fallsofbruar/index.html

After leaving the falls, we drove south back through Pitlochry for some sight seeing and then returned to Rowanlea to pack up for tomorrow’s departure.  We dined fashionably in the breakfast room on our peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and whatever “junk” we had left over.  That included finishing our chocolate purchase made in Brodick on Arran!  Why PBJs?? Its a source of some protein and calories needed for energy and the stuff doesn’t have to be kept cool like meat would be.

Carol got on a tear and lightened her purse and camera bag of unnecessary papers, etc. and then securely packed up some other stuff to mail home.

We filled out our breakfast request and turned in a bit early.


RICK
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PostSubject: RICK's Scotland Trip   Sun Jul 10, 2016 9:26 pm

From RICK's Scotland Trip:

Day thirteen …
May 28, 2016

We were awake and up and dressed by 7:30 and had time to put our bags in the car and get the maps out for the “nagrivator”. We were both disappointed to see foggy weather, but that changed while we ate our last meal at Rowanlea. By the time breakfast was over and we had had time to chat and visit a bit with our hostess, the skies were clear and blue!

Our destination today was Scotland’s historic capital … Edinburgh. But along the way, we had to stop and “reinvent the Wheel” (again!).

There is quite a network of canals throughout the UK and wherever you have canals, you’ll typically have a need for locks to navigate from one level of water down / up to another level. There was such a need near the town of Falkirk. The FALKIRK WHEEL amazes me with its simple yet very efficient design. This will give you a pretty good story about this 2002 built marvel: http://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/falkirk/falkirkwheel/ and to really appreciate it, you need to see a few pictures of it from different angles: https://images.search.yahoo.com/search/images;_ylt=AwrBT4PyoIJX9S4ArQxXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTEyaHZjYzhtBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDQjE4NzlfMQRzZWMDc2M-?p=Falkirk+Wheel&fr=aaplw We were there several years ago during my first trip to Scotland and Carol had been there on a prior trip. I well remember taking a tourist-ride and it was so quiet and smooth. You make a half revolution of the wheel and rise to go out the long canal behind it to a larger body of water to turn around and return for the second half revolution to lower back to the lower level. Unfortunately, the wheel was not operating when we were here this time … down for maintenance. Good ole wikipedia will give you some information from a more technical and engineering standpoint about the Wheel and the total project’s history. Of particular note is a small video of the wheel turning continuously. Just remember it has to stop for boats to enter and exit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falkirk_Wheel

While at the Wheel, we got a preview of the next attraction to visit in the near area. What you’ll see next was also presented in miniature form on the grounds of the Falkirk Wheel. These artistic figures were … I guessing now … 8 - 10 feet tall.

Carol has done a bit of research and writes in her scrapbook: “ Kelpie is the Scots name given to a shape-shifting water spirit inhabiting the lochs of Scotland. It is usually described as appearing as a horse, but it is able to adopt human form.” Please be sure to click on the “photos” after you’ve read about the “construction”: http://www.thehelix.co.uk/things-to-do/the-kelpies/ Be sure to find a blue box cue to view a time-lapse video of the actual construction. 90 days!! I’m really amazed at how expressive these artistic pieces are. Carol went up for a close look while I stayed behind and viewed them from the car park. It was just a bit more than I felt like walking, but I did have a wonderful view. She further writes: “ I was amazed by the artist’s ability to represent the curved features of the horse heads by using 928 sharply angular stainless steel plates. The softness of the muzzle, the roundness of the cheeks, the muscles of the neck -- EXTRAORDINARY!!”

Carol had tried very diligently to find us a reasonably priced B & B near Edinburgh … and hopefully near a city bus line. Either the places were out of our price range or the location was not what she wanted, or already booked full for other notable activities happening in the city over the weekend. She found us an efficiency apartment within a block of a bus stop. I backed into a parking spot and did not move the car for two days. (Remember … this ole boy is from the country and I don’t do city driving very well!!) There was a self-check in procedure to get the key and we were soon settled. While Carol went exploring (on foot), I took a nap. She came back with information about what bus number to catch that would take us into the historic part of Edinburgh and also about a couple restaurants nearby with a moderately priced menu.

The White Lady Pub was pretty loud, but we found a table in a quiet(er) front room and had a very nice dinner. It was fish and chips for me and Carol enjoyed a steak and ale pie. By the time we walked (slowly strolled) back to the apartment, we were ready to make up beds and get some rest. She also took advantage of the clothes washer and ran a load.

We will find something to eat somewhere in the morning … Good night!


RICK
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PostSubject: Re: JULY 2016    Mon Jul 11, 2016 8:26 am

CB
I hope you and Harry are doing better. ((((Hugs)))) hug


RICK
Donnie and I loved Edinburgh. We took the train from London to there and stayed in a B&B close enough to the city center that we walked most places. Great city! If we ever go again, I want to do the underground tour.


Areion is at summer camp. We spent most of Saturday getting ready, then taking her there, then staying a few hours to make sure she would be okay. She is. Lori ponied her from her mustang, Tonto, all over the farm. It was her first time meeting Tonto and being ponied. She caught on quickly and they went everywhere in sync. Fun to watch! She met her pasture mate, a small chestnut mare, who told Areion right away that she was in charge. Areion quickly agreed and they got along fine. Lori rode Areion later that afternoon and said Areion wasn't nervous or spooky and was doing very well. Lori has been keeping me updated. I am going this afternoon to visit. So far, so good....

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PostSubject: Re: JULY 2016    Mon Jul 11, 2016 6:44 pm

I just got back from visiting Areion. She seems to have gotten used to the routine very quickly! They are changing her pasture mate this evening, the chestnut mare didn't want Areion to have any hay, despite it being well separated. Bossy little creature!

I watched Lori ride Areion in their outdoor arena, then I rode her for about 20 minutes. A young lady arrived with a TB to be schooled with Areion, so Lori got back on for that. Areion was a bit nervous about the strange gelding trotting along behind her, but didn't get upset. She was more perturbed about the biting deer flies than the gelding. Lori and I gave Areion a good bath after she was done, then she got to go to her stall to await dinner while she dried. I suspect by now, she is covered in dirt out in the paddock. Rolling Eyes

So far, it has been a good experience. I think Ivan misses Areion more than she misses him!

Tomorrow, we take Kazi to Tech for her trim, so I won't see Areion until Wednesday after my physical therapy session.
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PostSubject: Re: JULY 2016    Tue Jul 12, 2016 12:48 am

Having phone probs getting here,
Been keeping busy, started yard selling stuff, and its been hot and humid, nephew still here, good thing we have two showers, but we draw straws to see who gets to use it first.
Ark, sounds like you may have a steady mount coming along, I hope my mare does as well one day.
Thanks one and all, we r toodling along day by day and I realize for him its better, no more sickness or pain.
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PostSubject: Re: JULY 2016    Tue Jul 12, 2016 5:43 am

Yesterday was a horrific day, I had to send my 18 year old cat Sassy Cat across the Rainbow Bridge, the night was pretty bad too. But I survived the worst of it and can go on knowing that Sass is in a better place without pain. It's so hard to make that final decision but once it's made, a weight is lifted knowing that we did the right thing for our furry kids.

She was so weak and just went in the blink of an eye, no struggle, just the horrific car ride and going into the vets office, all the way there she cried, it was heart breaking. At the vets, she clung to me and purred.

I know her best friends Tuffy and Lucky were there at the gate to welcome her. Tuff probably bopped her on the head and said "where have you been? I've been waiting for you to arrive."

George & I buried her right next to Bandit and Chip. I swear it was one of the hottest days of the summer and the ground was like digging thru rocks, we haven't had any rain for days. We were up there for a couple hours digging a little at a time.

I was worried about Ace, but he seems OK. He did mope around all day yesterday Funny but I have noticed that Sass had started to wean herself away from him in the last couple months. She rarely slept on the dog bed with him and didn't spend time with him at all. She knew he needed to be able go on without her, I'm sure of that.

Kevin & Laura came up and brought us dinner to help ease the pain and distract me from sitting around crying all day. They are such good kids.
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PostSubject: Re: JULY 2016    Tue Jul 12, 2016 12:36 pm

TRUDY
I am so sorry about Sassy Cat.... Sad It's strange how a little ball of fur can entwined itself around your heart. Sassy will be well remembered..... hug


Lori emailed me to tell me Areion has a new obsession. She is trying to take the floating ball out of the Ritchie waterer in her paddock. This should keep her entertained for awhile.

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PostSubject: RICK's Scotland Trip   Tue Jul 12, 2016 10:13 pm



From RICK's Scotland Trip

Day fourteen …
May 29, 2016 (Sunday)

Carol writes an “overview of the day” for her scrapbook: “The 8:20 bus dropped us off one uphill block from St. Giles, which is in the center of the Royal Mile. We stopped mid-block for coffee for Rick. We already had our tickets for the 10:45 tour of Mary King’s Close and for the 2:15 street tour. We could not enter St. Giles Cathedral until 12:30, so we walked uphill to the Castle, but neither of us wanted to deal with the huge mob. We shopped a bit at the Tartan Woolen Mill, then relaxed in the cafe at Mary King until our tour. After the tour, we walked through the Cathedral and returned to sit in the Mary King cafe (again!) until the street tour, after which we rested in our home base (cafe) before going to the bus stop. On the way to the bus stop, we bought sandwiches at Subway for dinner (so Rick would not have to walk to dinner) and sweet rolls for breakfast as we were not in a B & B. So there you have it!”.

I was really disappointed to not get into the castle, but the street was really mobbed. There were several events going on in Edinburgh this weekend and it was also a “bank holiday” for the UK. We never did learn the reason or significance of this bank holiday, but with the beautiful weather and warm temperature, the city was mobbed.

OK, I guess I need to give you some information about the Royal Mile, etc. It is basically the main street ( and its attendant side streets) that run from the Edinburgh Castle down to Holyrood Palace. There is obviously quite a bit of history in this area as well as it is a major tourist attraction. Even though I was not physically strong enough to see all this, I want you to explore it with me via the computer. Let’s start at the top of the hill with Edinburgh Castle that goes back to 900BC: http://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/edinburgh/edinburghcastle/index.html Carol says she was very impressed with the castle when she was there in 2006 with her sister. Its still an “active” building today.

Our first (actual) tour for the day starts in the 17th Century along the busy narrow streets and alleys of old Edinburgh called “close” around the year 1645. A “close”, in Edinburgh, is a narrow street or alley running off the High Street (main thoroughfare in the town) which forms the spine of the Old Town. This part of the city was much the same in 1645 as it had been for the previous one hundred years or so. It was cramped, crowded and growing increasingly upwards. It was also quite filthy. 1645 was the year of the great plague in Edinburgh.

The MARY KING’S CLOSE (alley) is today a warren of underground streets and spaces. Mary King was a prominant businesswoman in the 1630’s. It is very unusual for a close to be named for a woman, indicating Mary’s standing in the old town.

In 1645, this and neighboring closes were at the heart of Edinburgh’s busiest and most vibrant streets, open to the sky and bustling with traders. But life in the 17th century was less than sanitary. Inhabitants lived in narrow, winding alleys crammed into tenements up to 7 stories high.

Without a proper sewer system, the wast in the streets (man as well as animal) attracted rats carrying fleas that spread the bubonic plague … or Black Death. This spelled disaster for the residents of these closes.

When work started on the Royal Exchange Building in 1753, the closes were emptied, sealed up and forgotten as the new building was built ON TOP of the tenements. The area was not rediscovered until workmen digging in the street accidentally punched down into the winding streets of this underground warren. The close has been open as a tourist attraction since 2003. “Close” is pronounced like “close call” … not “close the door”.

Our guide for the underground tour was Lucia (real name Sara), a musician born in 1502. As she led us down the stairs and steep streets, she told us of living in the closes and took us to rooms where where whole families lived, and to one room where a murder had been committed. New to us was her tale of the PNEUMONIC PLAGUE which kiled by destroying the lungs. There were real looking mannequins of a father who had dies of BUBONIC plague (aka Black Death) and of his wife holding their son who is dying of the open sores and buboes (blisters) of the Plague. We saw the “Plague Doctor” who tried to treat the plague by cauterizing the wounds. This will give you some information about the close and a couple pics. Also: http://www.atlasobscura.com/places/mary-kings-close . We need to remember that the Bubonic Plague affected people all over Europe and the world … we learned about this, and saw similar informative displays in Tallinn, Estonia in 2013. For more pics of the underground, etc. please see: https://images.search.yahoo.com/search/images;_ylt=A0LEVxrnF4VXsRoAYwNXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTEyaHZjYzhtBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDQjE4NzlfMQRzZWMDc2M-?p=Mary+King+Edinburgh+Scotland&fr=aaplw

As luck would have it, Lucia / Sara was also our guide for the “above ground” 2:45 street tour. She walked our legs off as she pointed out various buildings, etc. in the town. Quite honestly, it was “over our heads”. She did try to make it interesting and injected some humor where appropriate.

About midway the mile is St. Giles Cathedral that today is sometimes regarded as the “Mother Church of Presbyterianism”. Wikipedia has this to say about the building: “The oldest parts of the building are four massive central pillars, often said to date from 1124, although there is very little evidence to this effect. In 1385 the building suffered a fire and was rebuilt in the subsequent years. Much of the current interior dates from this period. Over the years many chapels, referred to as 'aisles', were added, greatly enlarging the church and leaving it rather irregular in plan. In 1466 St Giles was established as a collegiate church. In response to this raising of status, the lantern tower was added around 1490, and the chancel ceiling raised, vaulted and a clerestory installed. By the middle of the 16th century, immediately before the Reformation arrived in Scotland, there were about fifty side altars in the church, some of which were paid for by the city's trade incorporations and dedicated to their patron saints.” Once again, I direct you to our favorite website to help us “discover” Scotland -- http://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/edinburgh/stgiles/index.html There was a large crowd of people / tourists waiting outside the cathedral to enter when church services let out. We were very close to the front to enter. Note the comment about the pipe organ … 4,000 pipes! We heard just a little bit of the recessional as the doors were opened and the congregation let out. This is a little about the organ: http://www.stgilescathedral.org.uk/worship-in-st-giles/music-in-st-giles/organ-in-st-giles-cathedral/

“The “thistle” was adopted over 700 years ago as the emblem of Scotland, when according to legend it caused bare-footed invaders to cry out in pain, signaling their presence, and foiling their attack. It is beautiful to look at in quality, detail and balance; but be careful if you touch it, or for that matter step on it with your bare feet.” (from a tag on a broach that Carol purchased.)

The Order of the Thistle is Scotland’s great order of chivalry, membership being a high honor. Thistle Chapel … inside and a part of St. Giles Cathedral … has stalls for 16 Knights, the King, and two royal stalls. This Chapel was finished in 1911. Here you’ll find a bit more information and a few pictures from inside this little chapel: http://www.stgilescathedral.org.uk/saint-giles-history/the-thistle-chapel/

This pretty much finished our day other than some “obligatory shopping” and a stop at a Subway Shop for dinner. We really had to hustle to catch our bus back to our apartment. We were tired from being on our feet all day … its really been a full day!

See ya in the morning ...


RICK
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PostSubject: Re: JULY 2016    Tue Jul 12, 2016 10:27 pm

RICK'

Sorry you didn't go thru the castle. It is worth the trip alone! The first time I went there was in 1982 with a bunch of fellow teachers. Donnie didn't go that time. The castle was still being guarded by military guys in kilts. That was actually worth seeing even without the castle. The wind was howling and the guardsmen kept grabbing their kilts to keep them from flying straight up! hysterical The last time I went with Donnie in 2002 and they no longer had military guys guarding the gates anymore. Too bad..... It is a very nice castle with some great historical museum exhibits. I would see it again.


We took Kazi to Tech today in the 'new' trailer. She got in and immediately flooded it. Rolling Eyes This is a horse who can hold her bladder for 18 hours. Something about the trailer got rid of her usual inhibitions. Then we got to the farrier building and there was a pretty mare in there. Kazi was immediately in love and screamed her head off when the mare left. Kazi seems to swing both ways..... She is usually so well behaved. Not today. She stepped on the farrier's foot and wiggled around when she usually stands like a statue. I suspect she is coming into heat....again.... She did step up on weight scales like a pro and had lost 40 pounds from 7 weeks ago! That makes 70 pounds she has lost since we started her new diet 14 weeks ago. She is now 917 pounds and needs to lose about 40 more. Her diet is working better than mine.


We got home in time for a series of good sized thunderstorms.
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PostSubject: Re: JULY 2016    Wed Jul 13, 2016 10:38 am

Monday evening, I drove down to see my cousin and to get a haircut Tuesday morning. I came back with quite a bit less hair. Yesterday, today, and probably tomorrow we are having real summer - hot and humid. Nothing much going on at all. Swim time coming up.
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PostSubject: Re: JULY 2016    Wed Jul 13, 2016 9:15 pm

Trudy hugs for you and ace. Sorry.
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Rick Angell

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PostSubject: Re: JULY 2016    Wed Jul 13, 2016 10:49 pm

Hello fools ... I'm struggling to post here. My computer crossed the Junk Bridge into ether land while we were on holiday in Scotland. I'm reduced (for the foreseeable future) to using my "touchy" iPhone. I am able to use Carol's desk top for writing my travel blog. Our dear, sweet ARK has been gracious about posting it here.

I just had a blood-work follow up this past week and my WBC numbers are slowly coming down. Dr. won't make any promises about stamina / energy levels nor any comment about how long I'll be on this pill form of chemo treatment. I'm still "tired"
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PostSubject: Re: JULY 2016    Wed Jul 13, 2016 10:55 pm

NOT 'fools' ... Should be FOOPS.

And last of my posting went SOMEWHERE!!

I'm too
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PostSubject: Re: JULY 2016    Wed Jul 13, 2016 10:57 pm

I give up {}%**<\<€¥ iPhone
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PostSubject: RICK's Scotland Trip   Wed Jul 13, 2016 11:41 pm

From RICK's Scotland Trip:

Day fifteen …
May, 30, 2016

We tidied up our apartment and left around 9:00 AM after a breakfast of sweet rolls and “stuff”. LOL! Our destination for the day was a return to Loch Lomond where we had stayed in 2008. This loch is one of the largest lochs in inland Scotland, and is certainly one of the prettiest to see. http://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/lomond/lochlomond/index.html

Since it was still a “bank holiday” and with bright sunny and warm (borderline ‘hot’) weather. The small picturesque village of Luss was crowded with folk enjoying an outing … being on the clean sandy beach or on the water in some manner. We were fortunate to find a parking place fairly near the dock and got tickets (after boarding) for a 90 minute cruise around part of the loch. There are 35 or so islands … some of which are habitat for wild life while others are privately owned and inhabited. We made a couple of stops to pick up or drop off folks along the way. Because of her risk of “sun poisoning”, Carol stayed in the lower deck for most of the excursion while I enjoyed it from topside. I found this website to be very suitable for showing you the scenery as we saw it (and then some!!). This is a “must see” website for Loch Lomond: https://lochsplus.com/loch-lomond-summer-spectacular-a-visual-feast-images-videos-words/

After our cruise, we “moseyed” on down the main road for 4 miles or so and returned to Shantron Farm B & B. I say ‘returned’ because we had stayed there in 2008. We literally got a big hug from our hostess, Annie, and she took us to the same room we had had in ’08. This is truly a working sheep and cattle farm and where I saw some ‘blue cows’ for the first time. The guest house is a fairly new purpose built facility down hill from the main house and farm buildings. One has a beautiful unobstructed view of Loch Lomond from the front bed rooms as well as the lounge / breakfast eating room. This shows the rear of the guest house and Loch Lomond in the distance. https://www.visitscotland.com/info/accommodation/shantron-farm-bed-and-breakfast-p191371 MY FAVORITE view is from sitting on the swing in the front yard under the shade canopy! We could relax and watch the lambs gambol, jump and play tag in the green pasture … HEAVEN for an old farm boy even if I don’t know the first thing about sheep!!

I’m sure we’ve all seen black, white, brown, and red cattle (or slight variations), but I’d never even heard of “blue / grey” cows until 2008. As a retired feed delivery truck driver, I’ve over the years been on many farms and seen a lot of cows … primarily dairy, but a goodly number of beef cattle also. Shantron Farm runs a small herd of these “blue” cows. Take time to read about these cows and note the picture of the blue grey cow: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Grey_cattle

After getting settled and a short visit with Annie, we ventured back to the village of Luss to The Village Rest … a restaurant, cafe, and bistro. We had no difficulty in getting seated as the bank holiday was over and the crowd disapated. They also had FREE wifi, but you had to be sitting at just the right part of the room … tilt your toy just so … and have an older version than my “6” series iPhone. Carol could get connected with her “5”, but I could not get my “6” to connect. Our young waitress said the the “6” just would not connect … she knew because she had a “6” also. At any rate, I had a very nice meal of salmon on mashed potatoes while Carol had lasagna. This is the website address taken from their business card. Give it a few minutes as it cycles through some nice photos: http://www.the-village-rest.co.uk/ Since iced tea is not available in the UK … and especially not “sweet tea” … I usually have cider or a light beer. Carol drinks one of several different J2O fruity drinks. A word of caution is in order … the UK folk serve food HOT, as in blister your mouth HOT. Don’t ask me how I know!!

After our delicious and filling meal, we took a short “stroll” in the village just to look at how attractive a place it is. Almost every small house and cottage had window boxes with blooming flowers and many had larger potted flowers by the door. This village was very neat and well maintained: http://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/luss/luss/index.html You need to take a moment and look at a few of these pictures here to get an even better appreciation for this little village: https://images.search.yahoo.com/search/images;_ylt=A0LEV2BZhoZXQ1AATPJXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTEyaHZjYzhtBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDQjE4NzlfMQRzZWMDc2M-?p=Luss+Scotland&fr=aaplw

I found a couple farm magazines to read while Carol organized her maps and papers for tomorrow’s adventures. This would be our last day of adventure and discovery.

Annie had said it would be ready at 8:30 and it would be a full meal. We well remembered her cooking from 2008 and looked forward to it as we turned in for the night.


RICK
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PostSubject: Re: JULY 2016    Wed Jul 13, 2016 11:52 pm



RICK:
I am sorry you aren't feeling tip top. I hope they figure out some way to help you out. Your travel log has been very interesting! I'll go look at the blue cows.....


ELLEN:
It is going to be summer here tomorrow, too. 91 degrees!!! Ewwwww......Sweat City. We installed fans for the ponies and Daisy in the barn. Daisy is having a laminitis episode and will be stall bound for the most part for some time.

I visited Areion today and brought her a nice bale of hay from her own field. She seems to be fitting in with the snooty horse crowd in the stables. Very Happy It will be a real loss of horsey status when she comes home.... Laughing
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PostSubject: Re: JULY 2016    Thu Jul 14, 2016 10:19 am

It's still fairly early in the day, so the temperature is only 72, but the humidity is HIGH! Very heavy soggy morning. The humidity makes me feel soggy and sluggish too.

Indy, how is your grass doing? Did it survive the spring? I see a few fields around here that are working on second cutting hay.
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PostSubject: RICK's Scotland Trip   Fri Jul 15, 2016 9:18 am

From RICK's Scotland Trip:

Day Sixteen …
May 31, 2016

All I can say is WOW!! Joining us at breakfast was a lovely Arab family from the room across the hallway from our room. They were from London, He was a doctor heavily involved in cancer research, more specifically leukemia. She had just recently received her doctorate in Social Science and had written her thesis on how cell phones and texting have changed how we relate to others. Very interesting! We had a great conversation with them and LOTS of laughs with the teenage son and daughter. The little 6 yo. Girl was a bit too shy to say very much. They were from London, and had been residents of the UK for (I think…??) 10 years. I don’t believe they had UK citizenship yet, because I remember asking if the little one was “automatically a UK citizen because of being born in the UK.” He immediately understood the background of my question and replied that was not the case as in the USA. He did indicate that there were “papers” that could be filed and the child would be citizen and possibly a “dual citizen”. They were originally from Saudia Arabia. I don’t know WHEN I’ve enjoyed a meal together with strangers as much as we enjoyed this one. It will be a highpoint of our trip for sure. We finally tore ourselves away and left Shantron at 10:15 for our final day of adventure.

We drove north along the A 82 a very few miles to meet up with and follow the A83 to Inveraray. You’ll remember we were passing through on our first day of travels and had told (perhaps “warned” would be a more appropriate choice of words here!!) Jenn at the Woolen Mill Cafe that we would return.

It would be an adventure in itself to travel the full length of this road through Scotland. This will tell you a bit of ‘why’ and some history of a famous roadside pull off and resting place called “Rest and Be Thankful”: http://www.scotlandinfo.eu/rest-and-be-thankful-on-the-a83/ The 83 today is a comfortable road to drive on and I could make decent time in the car. When you look at this site, you need to scroll down to the bottom and see the picture showing the 83 and its predecessor the Old Military Road just below it. There is also a video you might want to watch made on the old road. http://secretscotland.org.uk/index.php/Secrets/RestAndBeThankful The scenic views were well worth the stop and gave me a chance to stretch my legs while Carol made some photos.

The village of Inveraray was our destination as there were several different attractions there to be seen. ( The MAIN attraction for me was to return to the Woolen Mill Cafe and have TWO slices of Lemon Drizzle Cake and a good cup of coffee. How do you say Sweet Tooth??) There is a “busy” history about this small village that actually starts in the 1400s, and the village was moved in the early 1700s to its present location. Read all about it here: http://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/inveraray/inveraray/index.html and this “urban removal” project.

The history / story of Inveraray Castle is interwoven with the story of the Campbells of Lochawe. Its a busy story that goes through a serious fire in 1975, and its subsequent restoration to its “former glory”. At least take time to skim over this for some of this story and a description of the castle’s interior: http://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/inveraray/inveraraycastle/index.html I did a Google search “inveraray castle inside photos” and decided to suggest that the 18 photo block of photos that pops up would be sufficient to our purposes. You may of coarse click on each image individually and it will expand nicely … or click on ‘image results’ and see more: http://search.yahoo.com/search?ei=utf-8&fr=aaplw&p=inveraray+castle+inside+photos

Without a doubt, the highlight of our day in Inveraray was a the fulfillment of our “promise / threat to return” to the Woolen Mill Cafe. As soon as we climbed the stairs, Jenn recognized us right away and the laughter and friendly banter started right away like we were old friends (Carol and I think we were!). I wanted another slice (actually had TWO) of the Lemon Victorian Sponge Cake … “lemon drizzle”. I literally licked the plate and Carol has photographic proof!! Carol had a slice also. While we ate the treat, the bantering continued and the other two waitresses joined in. I then took out my phone and shared with them a picture of a Pecan Cheesecake pie I had made and then was bombarded with “Well, where is my piece?”. Everything seemed even funnier with the strong Scot accent. Jenn wrote down a recipe for us for her own creation … Coconut cheesecake … and we promised to send her the Pecan Cheesecake recipe . We really think they enjoyed our time there as much as we did. Making new connections is one of the best parts of travel! Jenn gave us permission to leave our car parked there at the cafe while we walked to the old gaol.

What do you do about crime and criminals? Hopefully the criminal gets to spend some time in jail!! The old jail … or gaol … in Inveraray has been made into a tourist attraction and is really quite interesting. I sometimes think that maybe we need to “return to some old ways” when dealing with crime. Read about this Old Gaol here and form your own opinion: http://www.inverarayjail.co.uk/our-history/the-jails-story/#courthouse . Here you’ll find photos of the jail (and a few of the village also). Down towards the bottom, is an apparatus with a crank handle to be turned as a means of punishment. It is HARD turning: https://images.search.yahoo.com/search/images;_ylt=AwrBT.KJ14dXvjYA9VNXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTEyaHZjYzhtBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDQjE4NzlfMQRzZWMDc2M-?p=Inveraray+Old+Gaol&fr=aaplw

Carol records our return experience at Shantron: “ As we were repacking for our departure in the morning, Annie came to the door of our room. ‘You look a bit dressy. Are you going out?”, I asked. She replied, ‘No, I came to visit.’ We were touched, as I am sure she doesn’t often do this. The three of us went into the lounge and enjoyed visiting for well over an hour! She is a hard-working farm wife who contributes by running the B & B, even baking bread from scratch for her guests. We asked about the farm … The more we talked, the more parallels I could see between lambing and human childbirth. With his own farming background, Rick could relate to the common experiences. Anne and Bobby had been featured recently on a BBC program following four farm families in different parts of Scotland. Rick and I felt honored to have spent this evening getting to know Anne more. This closeness would never happen if we stayed in big hotels!” It was very obvious that this woman truly, deeply loved her way of life as a “farm wife” and she said she was ALWAYS moved by witnessing the miracle of birth.

Breakfast will be “early” … we will have a plane to catch!! Our mileage for today was 79.


Rick
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PostSubject: Re: JULY 2016    Sat Jul 16, 2016 11:24 pm

If I remember right, Areion was supposed to go to a show today. How did she do after her week at camp?
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PostSubject: Re: JULY 2016    Sun Jul 17, 2016 12:35 am

ELLEN
Areion did MUCH better than the first show! She got three 1st places and one Fourth place!! (In one class, she was the only entry Laughing , but she actually did perform well in it. Very Happy ) I will post a couple pix tomorrow when I get on my computer. The horse camp was a great success!

Now she is home and the quiet week is over. We are having mare turf wars, with Ivan and the ponies hiding out. Kazi performed actual piaffs while loudly confronting Areion....really spectacular in a scary horse sort of way.... They are all in separate spaces tonight so the hills won't be alive with the sound of mare music.
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PostSubject: Re: JULY 2016    Sun Jul 17, 2016 12:27 pm

Good for Areion! Being worked everyday is good for any horse. It's fun to show when your horse does well.
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PostSubject: RICK's Scotland Trip   Sun Jul 17, 2016 2:44 pm


From RICK's Scotland Trip

Day seventeen …
June 1, 2016

Annie served us an “early” breakfast and we got to visit for a few minutes with another house guest that had come in late yesterday afternoon … she was from New York but had some deeper … perhaps family … connection with Scotland. Pleasant lady to chat with over breakfast, but we had to “go” to catch our flight to return to the USA.

One BIG reason we had chosen Shantron Farm B & B years ago was its proximity to the Glasgow airport. It is about a 20 minute drive … maybe 30 minutes if traffic is heavy. Our flight boarded at 9:55 and we had to turn in the car to Enterprise as well as the “check-in” process at the airport. We gave Anne our big hugs and got away very shortly after 9:00.

The Scottish “road sign placing union” must have been on strike or something. My nagrivator told me we would probably be making a left hand exit and to watch for airport signs. VERY SOON after seeing an overhead sign for the airport (to the left) we saw another sign right beside an exit to the left. As (bad) luck would have it after making the turn, we realized rather quickly this was NOT the road we wanted and we didn’t see any signage directing us back to the main highway or the Erskine Bridge. We spent rapidly diminishing time before finding a way to get turned around and headed back on the road. Just a short distance beyond our wrong turn … and around a curve in the road … was another left exit that had good signage directing us towards the landmark of Erskine Bridge and the airport.

We had a little bit of difficulty finding the Enterprise lot because of the direction we were going, but got there and and Carol did the check-in while I grabbed our bags, jackets, and her camera bag. Our total mileage on this little car for this trip was 1590.

By now, we really had to hustle to get to airport checkin, but even that had a SNAFU … they wanted to examine some contents in Carol’s bag. It was a long, slender glass bottle … empty, I might add. The ticket counter clerks hurried us through and said to “hurry”. Of course, our gate number was at the very end of the concourse. I was not in good shape to be doing that rapid pace for as long as it took us, but we made it. We were in the last handful of passengers boarding.

June 1 is my birthday and Carol had spent a bit extra and got me the exit row seat right at the doorway of the aircraft. I had a real surplus of legroom as a birthday present. I think this is one of the most thoughtful things she could have done and I’m grateful for it.

Our flight back to Philadelphia was uneventful and very smooth and we actually got in about an hour early!! However our short flight from Philadelphia to Greensboro was a few minutes late in loading and then we sat on the tarmac for nearly 45 minutes before takeoff. At one point, the pilot announced we were 28th in line!!

We were happy to see Charlotte and her service dog Kima waiting for us, and we had an even greater surprise at home with Jillian and Cameron in “hiding”. We were actually in the house for several minutes before they revealed themselves!! There is nothing quite like Home Sweet Home!!

+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+

EPILOGUE
A “good trip” for me is one that has answered a few questions in my mind, but probably more importantly leaves me wondering about something new that I’ve seen or heard, or refreshes my appreciation of something. This trip seems to have accomplished all three of these objectives to some degree or other.

Writing this series of narratives has been a good experience as it has caused me to “re-research” where we’ve been. I do this because of my lack of skills with the computer in being able to insert pictures that Carol and I make and have them appear like I want. THAT is beyond my level of job skills and way above my pay grade level!

My guiding light in this series of narratives has been Carol’s clever scrapbook(s). I wish each person that reads my scribblings could have an opportunity to sit down with her scrapbook and take the time to absorb it. She has done such a good job that you would not really need her assistance to answer questions … next best thing to taking the trip!!

We have in our library of movies / videos at home a movie that is really quite educational and very central to part of this trip. The movie is MISS POTTER and was made in 2006. By the title, you can see it was about Beatrix Potter, and was filmed in the Lake District of England. Here is a quote by Miss Potter from the movie that I’ll use to end this narrative: “ There’s something delicious about writing those first few words of a story. You can never quite tell where they’ll take you.”

Thank you for traveling with us … its been quite a trip!!


RICK
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PostSubject: Re: JULY 2016    Mon Jul 18, 2016 9:13 am

Rick, your trip was a good one. Thanks for sharing it with us.
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