Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Roamy & Crew in Illinois!

Roamy Stopped By the Police

The story about the police stopping us is true...

Sunday morning dawned and it was going to be a beautiful day. We decided to take off and show Roamy and family some of our town's attractions. Roamy is interested in Nuclear Power plants, so we decided to drive by the Byron Nuclear Generating Station which is a nuclear power plant located in Byron...2 miles east of the Rock River. The reactors house two pressurized power reactors, they first began operation in September 1985 and August 1987 respectively. The plant was built for Commonwealth Edison and is currently owned and operated by Exelon Corporation.
We had quite an adventure. As we approached the plant, Joe said, "Maybe you shouldn't take pictures here, Balisha." He went on kidding, "Homeland Security might think you are a terrorist." We both chuckled...Roamy looked worried. The little Gnomes were sitting in their special seats in the car until we neared the plant. They wanted a better look, so they climbed on the dash board and watched the huge looming towers, with clouds of steam rising, coming closer.
I decided to wait till we got real close to take them outside for a photo.

We stopped the car and I got out with Roamy to take some pictures. As I held him up to get a better look, a police car came out of nowhere. The officer rolled the window down and said, "You can't take pictures here." Joe got out of the car and went over to talk to the police woman. He explained about the Gnomes visiting and said that we were just taking pictures for my blog. I think the officer was wondering about our story. She was kind and let us go on our way. Whew! That was something...what if they had apprehended the Gnomes and took us in for questioning? I can just picture Roamy and Juliet in prison stripes.

After this encounter Juliet suggested that we do something a little less exciting. We were having steak for dinner and wanted some sweet corn to go with it. We headed into town and saw a sign advertising sweet corn.

We stopped the car and the gnomes jumped out and climbed up for a better look. Ansel stayed in the car to catch a nap. Roamy helped Joe pull back the husks of each ear of corn. We wanted the best for our company. The ears were bigger than the Gnomes...I wondered how they would be able to handle these big ears.

our next stop was at Lowden State Park, where a huge statue of an Indian stands looking out over the Rock River and area below.

Lorado Taft, who created the 50-foot statue as a tribute to Native Americans, is said to have thought of the figure one evening as he and other members of the Eagles' Nest colony stood gazing at the view from the bluffs. According to a story attributed to Taft, he and his colleagues tended to stand with their arms folded over their chests. The pose made him think of the Native Americans who were so reverent of the beauty of nature and who probably had enjoyed the same view. The statue was dedicated to all Native Americans, but has come to be known as the statue of Blackhawk. The picture below shows the mammoth size of this statue.
We met a family there, who were so interested in the story of the visiting Gnomes. They thought it was a wonderful story and wanted to know where Roamy had been and where he was going next.

Roamy and Juliet bid goodbye to this big guy. Juliet was glad to be back in the car. This statue stands on a bluff over the river and she is a little leery of heights.
She was watching as we left the park.

Roamy was more interested in the Smokey the Bear sign...
relieved that the threat of forest fires was low today.

There are 23 teepees located in different places all over town. Artists painted them all so different. The artwork was created as a fund-raising tool for the restoration of Black Hawk and the 100th anniversary celebration that was held in July. They are all painted so beautifully and stand there through all kinds of weather. The gnomes weren't satisfied with viewing from the car. They had to hop out and inspect this up close. Roamy dabbles in oils and is very interested in art of all kinds.
They wanted to climb up for a better look and little Ansel wanted to go clear to the top. I kept looking around for that police car, because we had driven in the grass...right up to the teepee. We coaxed them down and all got back in the car. We were all tired and decided to ride along the river and head home. There were boats on the river. It was finally a nice weekend and it seemed that everyone was out enjoying the scenery and weather. We got home and fell into our chairs. The gnomes climbed into the big red chair and I gave Joe a glance. He had a little frown on his face. He loves his chair, but is cordial and will share it with the gnomes...but after they are gone, he wants it back. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

This just in - Roamy and Juliet MARRIED!!!!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

~ Historical Tour of MD & VA ~ Roamy Union Blessed

St. Peter's Catholic Church is a beautiful country church. On the final legs of her restoration, a few years ago she burned & had to be rebuilt. The front facade is still original. Oh, how heart breaking to
see her beauty charred.

Now Roamy & family have been very busy travelling, & expanding. To bless this 'union' Father Jason Worley gave his blessing & also welcomed Ansel to the Lord's community. No nonsense going on with
this wee family. Did you notice Juliet's lovely tulle
veil! What a train she had. The ceremony was beautiful. Now they can safely continue their travels.

But before they left we took them on a 'honeymoon' tour of ...

Frederick, MD has a beautiful canal & walkway right thru the center of the city. When Juliet saw the gorgeous flowers & art along the bridges & canal, she just had to take a stroll with Roamy.

***If you have missed the adventures of Roamy &
Juliet w/Ansel, go to Sunday past to enjoy their
travels throughout this week. Particularly
http://blushingrosetoo.blogspot.com/2011/07/god-bless-our-soldiers-blogger.html, as well as yesterday.***

Roamy was not so sure about this fella until he realized this was merely an artists sculpture.

He went over to chat with these 3 fellas, but got no replies.

This is not distorted, it is how the artist painted it on the bridge walls. I love the
angel greeting you at the entrance.

As we continued our stroll along this
inviting path ...

Roamy got very excited when he noticed a family
of ducks & had to stop to enjoy them. They were too busy to be social.

Juliet was so intrigued with the history of Barbara Fritchie, that we had to take a
jaunt over to the historical home & site.

She was a friend of Francis Scott Key & they participated together in a memorial service at Frederick, MD when George Washington died. A central figure in the history of Frederick, she lived in a house that has, in modern times, become a stop on the town's walking tour. According to one story, at the age of 95 she waved the Union flag in the middle of the street to block, or at least antagonize Stonewall Jackson's troops, as they passed through Frederick in the Maryland Campaign. This event is the subject of John Greenleaf Whittier's poem of 1864, Barbara Frietchie. When Winston Churchill passed through Frederick in 1943, he stopped at the house and recited the poem from memory.

Barbara Fritchie died at the age of 96 and was interred in Mt. Olivet Cemetery, in Frederick City.

Francis Scott Key burial & monument in Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Frederick, MD.

You could hear Roamy singing ... '... that our flag is still there'!!!

For a fabulous historical write, visit this site ~

Of course, Harold had to show Roamy where the heroes of the Civil War rest in Mt. Olivet.
154 Confederates, who fought valiantly for 'the
cause' died in hospitals in Frederick. They have
found eternal peace in a single row in Mt. Olivet.
Roamy had no idea that 'his own relatives' could be
part of this southern history, but Harold explained
it very clearly to Roamy he was a 'southern' gnome.

Then we whisked them over to visit the Jug Bridge monument.

For over 130 years, from 1808 to 1942, a very unique stone arch bridge carried everything from horse and buggy, Civil War troops, and finally automobiles over the Monocacy River just east of Frederick. Then suddenly, the bridge collapsed into the river on March 3, 1942. The bridge consisted of two 65 foot spans carried over four arches.

The most unique feature of the Monocacy Bridge was the jug shaped stone demijohn on the east banks of the Monocacy. Years after the collapse of the bridge, the "jug" and a stone monument to Marquis De LaFayette were moved to a park about two miles west of their original location.

Roamy, Juliet & Marydon taking a rest.

The monument honoring Revolutionary War hero, General LaFayette was placed by the Daughters of the American Revolution in 1926. The Monocacy Bridge was where the returning hero was greeted by Fredericktonians in December 1824.

Now we took another trip for a few days to uncharted back roads thru VA. Of course, Roamy & family accompanied us.

It was another feedsack purchasing trip.

After some exquisite countryside, we decided it was time for a good Mexican meal.

You can see that Juliet was ready to 'dive in' to the
margaritas ...

Roamy thought he would go with the guys & try
a Fat Tire beer.

We found a new place that was fabulous, the service was excellent ... Pueblo's Tex Mex Grill in Fredericksburg, VA. Do not pass by if you love good Mexican foods.

This was a whole new adventure for Romeo & Juliet. They could not believe the huge amounts of delicious food. They loved it!


We headed out to Spotsylvania Battlefield. Harold had always wanted to visit. Roamy had his adrenal flowing ... he really has gotten into history.

Ryan Longfellow, a veteran 10 yr. Ranger, had a lovely chat with Roamy, who nestled right up into Ryan's pocket. He didn't want to miss a thing Ryan had to say.

Here Harold is showing Roamy the exact location where great-grandfather John Ransom Green (Harold's maternal side) actually served & fought during the Civil War. It was a nasty battle.


This is an actual live photo from the Civil War of Grant's army was coming thru & all his staff & general's held a meeting in the church yard, taking the pews from the church to outside. These pews are still inside the church being used today. The Matthew Brady photographer, Mr. Timothy Sullivan, took the photo from the balcony window of the church, in May 1864.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Roamy at Mission St. Xavier Del Bac, Tucson, AZ

Thursday, July 28, 2011

~ Mission St. Xavier del bac, Tucson ... Roamy's Pink Saturday ~

A National Historic Landmark, San Xavier Mission was founded as a Catholic mission by Father Eusebio Kino in 1692. Construction of the current church began in 1783 and was completed in 1797.

(If you have not read the previous post, do so also ... ty)

The oldest intact European structure in Arizona, the church's interior is filled with marvelous original statuary and mural paintings. It is a place where visitors can truly step back in time and enter an authentic 18th Century space.

The current church dates from the late 1700's, when Southern Arizona was part of New Spain. In 1783, Franciscan missionary Fr. Juan Bautista Velderrain was able to begin construction on the present structure using money borrowed from a Sonoran rancher. He hired an architect, Ignacio Gaona, and a large work force of O'odham to create the present church.

Thank you, Miss Beverly our wonderful
hostess of Pink Saturday. Join our other
pink ladies @

Following Mexican independence in 1821, San Xavier became part of Mexico. The last resident Franciscan of the 19th Century departed in 1837. With the Gadsden Purchase of 1854, the Mission joined the United States. In 1859 San Xavier became part of the Diocese of Santa Fe.

In 1866 Tucson became an incipient diocese and regular services were held at the Mission once again. Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet opened a school at the Mission in 1872. Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity now teach at the school and reside in the convent.


The Franciscans returned to the Mission in 1913. Recently, Mission San Xavier became a separate nonprofit entity. It remains a testament to the endurance of culture throughout our history.

Constructed of low-fire clay brick, stone and lime mortar, the entire structure is roofed with masonry vaults, making it unique among Spanish Colonial buildings within U. S. borders. The architect, Ignacio Gaona, is credited with building another church in Caborca, Sonora Mexico.

Little is known about the people who decorated the interior. The artwork was probably commissioned by Fr. Velderrain's successor and most likely created by artists from Queretero in New Spain (now Mexico). The sculpture was created in guild workshops and carried by donkey through the Pimeria Alta to its destination at the Mission. Craftsmen created gessoed clothing once the sculpture was in place.

The church contains numerous references to the Franciscan cord both on the facade and throughout the church.

The shell, a symbol of pilgrimage after the patron saint of Spain, Santiago or James the Greater, is replicated all through the structure in window treatments, the sanctuary, the facade and other details within the interior.

The Baroque architecture style features playful dramatic elements such as theatrical curtain displays, faux doors, marbleing, and overall sense of balance.

An earthquake in 1887 knocked down the mortuary wall and damaged parts of the church. Extensive repairs began in 1905, under Bishop Henry Granjon. The next round of restoration followed the years after 1939 when a lightening strike hit the West Tower lantern.

A group of community leaders formed the Patronanto San Xavier in 1978 to promote the conservation of Mission San Xavier. Shortly after a comprehensive study of its condition was completed, water seeped into the west wall of the church's sanctuary, forcing an emergency conservation effort by the Patronato. In a five-year program, an international team of conservators cleaned, removed over-painting, and repaired the interior painted and sculptured art of Mission San Xavier del Bac.

A wooden replica of St. Francis lies here. People pilgrimmage here to pray their personal requests.

Now when I truned the corner & saw this, my blood
curdled. I stood & watched people approach this
'figure', lift its head 3 times, lay it back down, touch
& pin items to the coverlet, have 'items' in bags/parcels touching the entire length of the 'figure'.

I fingered for Sherry, Tony or Harold to 'GET OVER
HERE!' They looked at me puzzled. FINALLY, Sherry
came over. (Snails move faster, chuckle!) We both got in line, declaring no touching, standing back a few feet as we approached.

Later we read it is a wooden image of St. Francis & a significant gesture as one prays for their request.

The artwork is awesome.

People purchase candles to pray for their requests in this little chapel. The heat was
so stifling, we stayed outside.

As the rain storm brewed ... the heavens
came alive.

Roamy was deeply moved by this religious visit.

Roamy at the foot of the exterior statue

Two powerful lions grace the entry on
the left lower picture. Awesome hill side scene.

God's beautiful artwork at the end of the day in Tucson.

Roamy is now content to have had his second visit with Sherry & Tony. He & his 'family' will be visiting the final sights in
Frederick, MD on Sunday.