The Adventure Continues, and Other News

When last I left off, I was bound for the “haunted inn with the cats” to seek another clue in what I can only call an impromptu Saturday morning adventure. ¬† While waiting in line at an ATM, I spied a note tied to a climbing vine on a building. ¬†Really. ¬†Yielding to temptation I¬†opened it, read it, and off I went, leaving all my (relatively dull) errands to wait.

The Inn is actually famous.  Many rock-steady, sensible folks claim to have had ghostly encounters there.  Spirits of the dearly departed, both human and feline, are said to patrol the halls and gardens.  The gardens are labyrinthine and filled with statues and fountains so finding the next clue might prove quite a task, but I was up to it.

Ironically, I did not have to look too hard at all. I was hoping for an opportunity to roam in the gardens, but instead found the red string on a sign post right out by the street.Adventure (3 of 8) Another note! This one made reference to the location of a frozen custard shop that, incidentally, does make the dreamiest custard ever. Who could be behind these notes, though? My husband would worry that it was something clandestine and sinister, but I think mischievous middle-schoolers or sorority sisters are more likely. Adventure (4 of 8)Also, local merchants have been known to secret little gifts around town on special occasions, and post hints on their Facebook pages. If you’re an early riser with your eyes open, you might just find one.


Well, I think I‚Äôll drag this out a little longer, and move on now to the other news. We named the kitten. KatieShe is Katie. And of course, no cat has just one name. She is ‚ÄúKatie, Katie Sweet P‚Äôtatie‚ÄĚ, ‚ÄúKater Tater‚ÄĚ, ‚ÄúTater-Bug‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúKatie-Kitty‚ÄĚ, ‚ÄúPrincess Puffy Pants‚ÄĚ, ‚ÄúKaters‚ÄĚ, and ‚ÄúKatie Scarlett‚ÄĚ after the heroine of Gone¬†With The Wind. She shares many personality traits with that Katie. Did you know that Scarlett‚Äôs first name was Katie? ¬†Only her father, Gerald O’Hara called her that.

We also had our first snow. First_snow-1So glad I got this picture because in an hour the sun was out and the snow just melted away. Photography certainly teaches you to seize the moment.


An (Almost) Adventure Begins

The other week on Saturday I was passing through an alley by one of the older buildings in town.  The building’s wall has ancient ivy climbing up its whitewashed brick and it is home to many noisy birds.  I was surveying it to see if I could see a nest when I spied a folded piece of paper tied with green yarn to one of its lower branches.  Adventure (1 of 8)Several other people passed but not one of them noticed it.   It looked to me like the paper had been purposely placed there, but why?  I debated for a few moments before removing it and unfolding it.  I tried to be somewhat casual about it, as though people left folded papers in climbing vines all the time.  For all I knew, and for all anyone else was paying attention, they did, and I was the last to know about it.

It was a note!  Here is what it (partly) said.  Adventure (2 of 8)The first sentence ( cropped out of the photo) was a stern request to leave the note exactly as I found it.  The next sentence was a clue describing a location where another note could be found, tied with a blue string to a certain landmark.  The last sentence is pictured.   It pretty well described my circumstances.  I did indeed just happen along, and I did want to start the adventure from the beginning.  And even if I didn’t know exactly where the haunted inn with the cats was (I did) I would totally want to go there anyhow.  Because, well…. ghosts and cats.  So I carefully re-folded the note, returned it to the ivy and went to find a red string.

Look for my next post to see what was at the Inn. ¬† ¬†ūüôā

Farmer’s Market, Day 1

Yesterday was the first day of the Granville Farmer’s Market, and unlike last year I was there when the market master rang the opening bell, and I was in time for the asparagus. ¬†I’m also really enjoying my new “Nifty Fifty” lens and getting some practice creating¬†the sharp focus and the bokeh where I want them. There’s a fine line between a shallow depth of field that tells a story and a picture that is murky and blurry. ¬†Also, since I was loaded down with bags of goodies, I was shooting one-handed and trying to avoid camera shake. ¬†Here are the ones I’m happiest with, and isn’t the Market a pretty place? ¬†The vendors really brought it this year.

ramps and radishes from Bird's Haven Farms
ramps and radishes from Bird’s Haven Farms
baby kale plants from The Kale Yard
baby kale plants from The Kale Yard
bread from Lucky Cat Bakery
bread from Lucky Cat Bakery
ohio maple syrup from Flying J Farm
ohio maple syrup from Flying J Farm
hydrangeas and alliums
hydrangeas and alliums
lilacs and fresh eggs from Copia Farm
lilacs and fresh eggs from Copia Farm
beautiful packaging for Copia's farm fresh eggs
beautiful display for Copia’s farm fresh eggs
decorative planter with lettuce leaves
decorative planter with lettuce leaves

Day of the Daffodil

My and my mother’s weekend¬†adventure was strolling once again through the beautiful Bryn Du Mansion at the 70th Annual Daffodil Show and Sale, held by the Granville (Ohio) Garden Club. ¬†Creativity and dedication to gardening and especially the cultivation of daffodils were in evidence throughout the rooms. ¬†The theme of the show this year was “Daffodil Show 1945: Back to Our Future.”

Nineteen forty-five was the year of the very first daffodil show, and even with the austerity of the Second World War, daffodils were gracing yards and gardens in our little town. ¬†The show celebrated the presence of “daffs” in our lives then and now by staging household vignettes that might have been seen¬†at the end of WWII. ¬†These included a kitchen, a victory garden, a living room and a floor radio. ¬†I had to smile a little as a young mother tried¬†to explain¬†what radio¬†was to her little boy and girl. ¬†I was touched by lovely photos on display of servicemen and women from our area.

Daffodils in a 1940s kitchen vignette
Daffodils in a 1940s kitchen vignette
a 1940s floor radio with Roosevelt portrait and daffodils
a 1940s floor radio with Roosevelt portrait and daffodils
the 1940s living room with photos displayed
the 1940s living room with photos displayed
daffodils in a traditional vase
daffodils in a traditional vase

A large part of the show was dedicated to tables of daffodil creations by Granville residents from their own gardens.   The arrangements ran the gamut from very elaborate to super simple single stems and were inspired by literature, movies and fashions from the 1940s.  I loved them all but my favorites are here. It was a marvelous photo opportunity.  Flowers are seldom awkward or camera-shy.

daffodils and baby's breath in a lady-head vase
daffodils and baby’s breath in a lady-head vase
daffodils and strawberries
daffodils and strawberries
stems in an Arts and Crafts vase
stems in an Arts and Crafts vase

The show also had several large rooms devoted to judging daffodil specimens.  I never knew there were so many in the world!

so many specimens!
so many specimens!
and even more specimens.
and even more specimens.

Most fascinating to me are the miniature varieties.  They are perfectly formed, much tinier versions of the larger flowers.

miniature daffodils in a salt cellar
miniature daffodils in a salt cellar
table setting with miniature daffodils
table setting with miniature daffodils
tiny daffodils in crystal baskets, on a windowsill
tiny daffodils in crystal baskets, on a windowsill
diminutive display
diminutive display

In addition to all the inspiration from the gardeners, there were some shopping opportunities for a good cause.  I bought a nice poster, and bulbs are for sale for autumn delivery and planting.  Proceeds benefit the Garden Club.  My mom was able to select a small bouquet of 8-10 blooms for free.  (But we did give a little donation.)  We were told by a garden club member that when re-cutting daffodils to fit a vase you should never use scissors because it can crush their hollow stems.  Instead use a serrated knife.  More daffodil fun facts:

  • Squirrels, rodents and deer do not eat daffodils or their bulbs
  • Daffodil bulbs are long-lasting–perhaps several generations
  • Daffodils will grow under shallow-rooted ground covers like vinca

I hope you have enjoyed the images and info.  Does your local garden club hold any interesting events?  Have you participated?

for education and beautification
for education and beautification






Our Moveable Feast and the Granville Turkey Trot

We moved our Thanksgiving meal to Saturday this year so my wonderful sis-in-law could recover from a not so wonderful case of bronchitis and be with us.  She did both and we were so very happy to see her.  The day would not have been the same without her cheerful spirit.

And (bonus)¬†because I was not tethered to a¬†turkey on the Day of Thanksgiving, I was able to walk in the Granville Turkey Trot , a 5 K fun¬†run/walk benefitting¬†the Licking County Food Pantry. ¬†I love this event because it’s so easy to take part, and my “philanthropic dollar” can go such a long way. ¬†We’re bombarded ¬†at holiday time with strategies¬†to get the most for our money, whether it’s spent on our table, or gifts. ¬†I think when we give to our community in any amount¬†we are also very mindful of our expenditures and want our money to make the biggest impact it can.¬† It’s super¬†that the Turkey Trot¬†organizers make it possible to register or give in so many ways. ¬†You can register online, or in person, in advance (recommended) or¬†on race day if you are¬†prepared to pay a little extra and wait in line.

projects&promises|Granville Turkey Trot
Brutus Buckeye and the trainers from Village core fitness warm up the crowd

You can register as a virtual runner and never leave the warmth and comfort of your home, which is not such a bad deal when it’s snowing and 30 degrees like it was this Thanksgiving. ¬†A fun new thing added this year was the “Turkey Buck”, that¬†you could buy at the Granville IGA by adding a dollar to your order. ¬†It was so encouraging to see the walls of the market papered with all the “Turkey Bucks”¬†given by customers, and to know that every dollar raised by the Turkey Trot could purchase $8 worth of food for our neighbors who need it. ¬† That’s a nearly magical return on investment.

projects&promises|granville turkey trot

The Rendville Artists Return

This past weekend marked the return of the Rendville Artists to Bryn Du Mansion in Granville Ohio for their annual show and sale. The Rendville Art Works is a studio¬†in the tiny town of Rendville, Ohio, located¬†an old church. On their website, the mission statement of the Rendville Art works is, ‚ÄúProviding an opportunity for people who have disabilities to experience the satisfaction of making art and to participate in a shared sense of community.‚ÄĚ They seem to be fulfilling their mission because their Instagram and Facebook photos are full of busy, smiling artists enjoying their wonderful workspace. I‚Äôve attended the shows each year for several now, and I hope to someday visit the studio in Rendville.

Rendville Show (2 of 9)

As always the show and sale was a huge success, with paintings and sculpture ‚Äúflying off the walls‚ÄĚ. The art is amazing and people love it. Guests arrive early to be among the first in the door, and many (like me) run (or walk purposefully) right in to find work by their favorite artists and buy it immediately. ¬†The prices are more than reasonable. Smaller works tend to sell for well under¬†one hundred¬†dollars, but larger pieces can go for several hundred. All of the proceeds go to the artists. On the first night of the show, many of the artists are in attendance and a reception is held for them.

Rendville Show (4 of 9)
choosing art to buy at the Rendville show

The crowd at the show on opening night is unfailingly buzzing with excitement because all the work is new.¬†¬† It‚Äôs fascinating to see what the artists bring and how their work has changed and evolved over time. One of my favorite artists is Susie Mohler, who is known for her cat paintings. I have bought several of them over the past few years and while they have similarities, each canvas seems to show a different facet of the painter and her subjects. An early acquisition, ‚ÄúFrom the Same Litter‚ÄĚ shows a pair of puff-ball kittens rendered in¬†lots of child-like round shapes.

cat with crescent moon face, by artist Susie Mohler, from my personal collection
cat with crescent moon face, by artist Susie Mohler, from my personal collection

Another more recent work, a sinuous adult cat with a crescent moon head, is painted in fluid strokes.   The cat is seated but the canvas has lots of movement. I like to believe Ms. Mohler and I look at cats the same way, and that’s why her work is meaningful to me. If you attend the Rendville Art Show, you will certainly find a piece that sings to you. The artists work in all media, so you have a chance to bring home a painting, a sculpture, a photo, or all three.


a fish sculpture at the Rendville show and sale
a fish sculpture at the Rendville show and sale

Goodbye, for now, to Wisp

This post is a wistful (Wispful?) addendum to my earlier post¬†Grand Reopening. ¬† Wisp knitting shop in Granville has closed, as of October 1, 2014. ¬† I delayed writing¬†about this until now, probably for a variety of reasons. ¬†Mostly, I was hoping the proprietor would change her mind about returning to her home in Great Britain, but alas, she did not. ¬†Of course, I wish her the best. ¬†¬†We were certainly fortunate to have her and her wonderful store for these last few years. It is¬†my hope that this post will¬†straighten out any confusion caused by my previous post¬†to those trying to find the shop using internet search engines. ¬†Wisp’s Granville store is indeed closed. ¬†It is also my¬†hope that Wisp will live again in Great Britain and/or in “cyber-space” ¬†but you must visit the Facebook page for any updates about that, as will I. ¬† In the meantime, I have stocked up on wool and needles and I have many projects and promises to see me through this winter.

projects&promises|goodbye wisp (2 of 4)

A Walk in Town on the Fourth of July

On an uncharacteristically cool and bright Fourth of July I am walking around the village of Granville, Ohio, observing the goings-on before and during the parade.  In spite of having lived here almost 20 years I have never attended this event.

photo of a flag on a porch in Granville, Ohio
everyone is flying their flag

The light in the east makes all the flags seem to glow.

photo of people dining outside
al fresco dining among the flags

The town is quiet now, but not for long.  People stake out their seats days ahead of time, marking their places with tarps, chairs and caution tape.

photo of an empty sidewalk and iron fence
quiet sidewalk, before the crowd forms

The thoughtfulness and hospitality of the town are evident.  July days can be long and hot.  A resident or merchant has placed complimentary water out for passers-by.

photo of water jug and glasses for guests at the parade and fair in Granville, Ohio
complimentary water

photo of small hand drawn sign on sidewalk in Granville, Ohio

The carnival in town is closed so I can approach the carousel and take photos of the painted horses.

photo of painted horses on a carousel
carousel horses

Funny–up close they look a bit panicked and vaguely sinister. ¬† For a ride that most of us are introduced to as little kids, there’s an unexpected element of danger.

photo of a figure on a carousel
mardi-gras-esque figure

I guess that’s what makes carnivals appealing. ¬†They set up in the night, tempt us with scary rides and fried pies, and disappear as quickly as they came.

photo of flags on display, waving in the wind, Granville, Ohio
flags on Broadway

Back on the bright side, the flags wave in the lovely breeze.  Neighborly gatherings spill into the street.

photo of a crowd at a block party
neighborly gathering

Antique auto aficionados bring their prized possessions out to show .

photo of the grille of brightly painted old car

The parade begins!  I find my place along the route as the American Legion approaches, bearing our flag.  I was greeted by several of these pleasant and courteous gentlemen on my way through town.

photo of American Legion Color Guard at Fourth of July Parade, Granville, Ohio
the American Legion bearing the Colors

The Legionnaires are followed by our Vietnam veterans.  The float bears the names of those from the town killed in battle.

photo of the Vietnam veterans float in the Fourth of July Parade, Granville, Ohio
our Vietnam Veterans

Next is¬†our fleet of firetrucks. ¬†Who doesn’t love firetrucks and firefighters?

photo of firetrucks in the Fourth of July Parade, Granville, Ohio
here come the firefighters!

The Civil War re-enactors pass, and it’s like looking back through time. ¬†Every block or so, they pause to load and fire their guns, much to the delight of the crowd.

photo of Civil War re-enactors marching in the Fourth of July Parade, Granville, Oho
Civil War re-enactors

In keeping with the “Going Green” theme of the Parade, Darrel the Rain Barrel rides along and waves to the crowd. ¬†He’s a ¬†cheerful fellow.

photo of Licking County Soil and Water mascot
Darrel the Barrel

Really, the floats and marchers are so many it’s hard to believe¬†anyone in town is left to line the parade route! ¬† I’ll leave you with four charming young spectators¬†and a gallery of other highlights from the morning.

photo of four little girls at the Fourth of July Parade
four little ladies



Rainy Saturday at the Farmer’s Market

I am kind of¬†ashamed to admit this, but Saturday morning I almost missed that thing I wait all winter for- opening day of the Granville Farmer’s Market.

photo of sign for Saturday Farmer's Market in Granville Ohio
farmer’s market sign

I rolled out of bed (quite late) to the sound of the rain,¬†sat down to eat my banana bread (thanks Mom–delicious), and saw that Bird’s Haven Farms had posted to Facebook from their stall at the market. (!!!!) ¬†It was a total “this is happening now and you’re not there” kind of moment. ¬† I showered and got out the door as soon as I reasonably could and here’s what I saw in the village.

Bringing “the pretty” to an otherwise dreary morning were the magnificent pink dogwoods blooming in front of the Episcopal church.

photo of blossoming pink dogwood trees
pretty in pink

And here are the irises, also on the church grounds.

photo of purple irises
Irises in the rain, with anthemions

Other than snapping photos of the flora I pretty much made a beeline for the Bird’s Haven Farm booth. ¬†They have¬†a prime spot right at the corner of Broadway and Main¬†at what I would consider the entrance to the Market. ¬†In the high season they have a beautiful spread of veggies. ¬†This day they had spring onions (they called them bunching onions) and RAMPS! There is a delicious-sounding ramp recipe on their Facebook page. ¬†

photo of wild ramps for sale at Granville Farmer's Market
Ramps for sale!

Sadly, I was too late for their asparagus, but it serves me right, I guess, for sleeping in. ¬†That’ll teach me. ūüôā ¬†What I did get, however, was a bag of these adorable¬†micro greens.

photo of a bag of micro greens
micro greens

I’m sure I’ve been served them in restaurants, but I’ve never cooked with them, so I asked, “What can I use these for?” ¬†They told me¬†as well as adding them to green salads, they are great in smoothies, and on sandwiches. ¬†They pair well with creamy, cold dishes; think egg salad, chicken salad, shrimp salad, and the like. ¬†They are tender and have an intense bright and tangy flavor. ¬† I had mine with a scoop of tuna salad on top, and loved them. ¬†I’m never sorry when I try a new veggie.

I really don’t mean to play favorites, but I wanted to visit Bird’s Haven first because we joined their CSA program last year and had such fun. ¬†I will certainly write more about all the great vendors at the Market in coming weeks/months. ¬†It’s one of my favorite places.

Grand Reopening

Please see the addendum to this post for the latest news about Wisp.  Sadly, the shop in Granville closed at the end of September, 2014.  

On the third of April 2014, Granville Ohio’s charming Wisp Shop reopened in a new location after a winter hiatus and I’m just over the moon about it.

photo of sign for Wisp Shop
Welcome back, Wisp Shop

Wisp Shop is a knitter’s paradise, and a not-yet-knitter’s (this girl, circa 2011) inspiration to become a knitter.

photo of colorful yarn display at Wisp Shop
Color inspiration

The new store, located between the Robbins Hunter Museum, the Granville public library and Alfie’s restaurant, features everything I loved about the old one; all the beautiful yarns, needles and buttons as well as books and patterns.

photo of knitting needle display at Wisp Shop
Needles of all sizes
photo of sock yarn display at Wisp Shop
luscious colored sock yarns
photo of knitted swatches at Wisp Shop
swatches of many of the yarns Wisp stocks are available to see and touch

There is a new selection of gifts and textiles for the home, and some apparel.  As ever, Wisp is a feast for the eyes.  Anne-Sara, the proprietor, has a gift for creating chic, tempting displays. She’s traded in her calculator and receipt pad for a gleaming new state of the art point of sale system, and she’s very excited. She’s also hoping to launch a website very soon.

photo of yarn and gift display at Wisp Shop
recycled knitwear bunnies
photo of gift items on display at Wisp Shop
Wisp wishes and cute sew in labels for your handmade gifts.
photo of imported scarves on display at Wisp Shop
scarves in scarlet and gray
photo of baby sweater and baby hats on display at Wisp Shop
darling infant hats and a sweater
photo of yarns and patterns on display at Wisp Shop
more yarns and patterns

Best of all, the knitting table, around which I met so many wonderful folks, still occupies a prominent place in the store.

photo of the knitting table/classroom space at Wisp Shop
the knitting table

More than all the gorgeous yarn, I value the community that this little store brought into being. Through this long, long winter, even while Wisp was closed, there was knitting and companionship with friends, many of whom first connected while spending time there. Wisp is so much more than just a place to buy supplies. I think it represents the very best of small business, and it reinforces my desire to ‚Äúshop small‚ÄĚ whenever I can.


photo of ribbon on display at Wisp Shop
with love

Pertinent Information:

Wisp Knitting and Crochet
221 East Broadway
Granville, Ohio  43023
Hours:  Thursday, Friday & Saturday  10am-5pm.

Find Wisp on Facebook