Saturday, June 30, 2012

~ Gettysburg Farmhouse Yields Relics ~

Letters and a photograph from the 1800s were beneath the attic floorboards.

(Interesting article of history & artifacts ... for all you intrigued with history.)  

Tanza ~ we drove right by this farm when in Gettysburg.

An 1888 letter was discovered during renovations to the attic of a historic house on what is locally known as the Yingling Farm. Workers discovered more than a dozen artifacts while renovating the farmhouse.   

This historic farmhouse provided much over the years.

Its well cooled Union soldiers marching to Gettysburg. Its kitchen was raided by Confederates, the tables and chairs burned as firewood.
Decades later, the lawn was used by crews filming the movie "Gettysburg." Thousands have tramped the grounds for battle re-enactments.
But the famous farmhouse kept secrets, too.
A collection of historic artifacts remained hidden beneath the attic floorboards for decades.
Only recently did construction workers discover letters from the 1880s. In one letter, the writer complains in elegant script of a $3 bill for a doctor's visit and the $1 expense for medicine.
A rusty straight-razor was pulled from beneath the floorboards. A tin of witch hazel, used to treat sores and blisters during the Civil War, also was found during the remodeling work.
Construction workers discovered more - a red canister of "mild mustard plasters," which promised to cure everything from earaches to asthma. They found half-a-dozen glass bottles, once containing salves and ointments, and with the tell-tale brown glass and wide opening of 19th Century medicines.
The most curious find, perhaps, was the negative of a glass-plate photograph.
It shows a fat pig, clearly the prize of the farm. A lab analysis dated the image to the 1880s.
"I think it's amazing that there are still secrets this house is giving up," Laurey Schroeder said.
Schroeder and her husband, Gary, purchased the farmhouse about four years ago with plans to retire there. The house sits on what is locally known as the Yingling Farm, the past site of the Battle of Gettysburg re-enactment.
But the house itself sat vacant for several years on Pumping Station Road, four miles southwest of Gettysburg. Water leaked beneath the 1860s foundation. The floorboards rotted. Roof beams sagged in the attic. The front bay window with its Victorian detailing nearly collapsed. Wallpaper covered the ceilings and walls, every inch, Laurey said.

This tobacco pouch, believed to be at least 123-years old, was discovered during the renovation of a historic farmhouse outside Gettysburg. (THE EVENING SUN - SHANE DUNLAP)

Workers spent three weeks removing wallpaper.
Now, they're adding new plumbing and electrical wiring. They're replacing missing floorboards, shoring up the attic beams and readying everything for the Schroeders.
"You always kind of hope that maybe you'll find something behind the walls," Gary said. "But we did not expect to find anything like this."
Newspapers printed in the early 1900s were pulled from between wall joists. Yellowed but readable, one comments on the coming prohibition of alcohol, it promises states will be "bone dry" by 1926.
There was found an early mousetrap, the springs rusty but still working, and a cloth pouch of tobacco with lettering that reads "The Seal of North

Historians believe some of these bottles were produced in the 19th Century. They were discovered during renovations to a historic house on what is locally known as the Yingling Farm. (THE EVENING SUN - SHANE DUNLAP)
Carolina." It promises the contents to be "only the purest and the best." Historians estimate the tobacco pouch dates to the 1890s.
Magazines from the early 1900s were pulled from the floorboards. One advertises a six-day cruise to Bermuda for $75. Another appeals for readers to buy a 1-cent stamp and, when finished, mail the magazine to soldiers fighting in World War I.
A 1917 issue of Philadelphia's Public Ledger announces, "Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and his colleagues believe it soon will be proven that plants have souls."
Another Public Ledger story curiously reads, "Science assures us there are fairies."
Laurey laughs when mentioning the original insulation pulled from the attic. It looked strange at first and they feared asbestos. A lab analysis, though, identified it as aged sheep's wool.
Crews left it intact alongside the horsehair plaster that has secured the farmhouse since it was built by the Bigham family, believed to be in the 1860s.
The farm remained in the Bigham family through the 1900s, while two brothers raised dairy cows on the property, according to a history called "Jimmy at Gettysburg," written by Margaret Bigham Beitler.
In 1951, it was sold, and the property has since been divided, with the farmhouse bought by the Schroeders.
The couple lives in Chester County, though Laurey said she always dreamed of retiring to Gettysburg, ever since her childhood romps through the battlefield.
In fact, they considered several historic farmhouses, she said. That is, until she recognized the view from her new bedroom window.
In the distance, rising up against the horizon, is Big Round Top.
post signature "Oh my gosh," Laurey said, "my husband knew he was sunk when I saw that."

The historic farmhouse  

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Calling All Angels ~ Zoe Needs Your Love For Her Birthday

Zoe was born on 5 July, 2001 in the very early hours in Stavanger, Norway.  To this day, my grandpa insists her birthday is the 4th of July because everyone was celebrating the 4th when they got the call that Zoe had arrived.  It was years before she figured out the fireworks weren't for her on the 4th.

Mark and I were completely in awe with our little bundle.  She began winning people over immediately with her bright blue eyes and it wasn't long before she was knocking them dead with her smile.  Zoe was a perfect baby and watching her grow up has been my honor and pleasure.

When Zoe was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy at 14 months old, she received her first wheelchair.  And she immediately took on the challenge.  That kid was everywhere in that thing.  A year later when she got her first power wheelchair, there was no stopping her.

Zoe is different than most kids.  But not because of her diagnosis.  Because she truly is a special person.  She's had wisdom beyond her years for as long as I can remember.  She's got the biggest heart of anyone I know.  And she is truly nonjudgmental.  Zoe doesn't care who you are, where you're from, or who you love.  Her philosophy is "be nice." And she follows it to a T.  I've yet to meet an adult who hasn't fallen instantly under her spell when they talk to her.

For as much as Zoe needs me physically, I need her three thousand times more emotionally.  I do everything for Zoe from the moment she wakes up until she goes to bed.  She's never been able to brush her own hair or teeth, and I'm happy to be the person to do it for her.  But as her dad has spent so much time away from us, Zoe had definitely become my rock.  It's crazy that even as young as 6 years old, she was able to keep me grounded through so many hard times.  I look at her sometimes and I just think, "why on earth are people complaining about petty things when you don't hear Zoe complain at all about anything?"  It's hard to feel sorry for yourself when your surrounded by such a positive light.

Zoe is about to turn 11 years old.  Recently she's begun to doubt herself and her physical differences.  We try not to leave too much room for self pity and fill Zoe's world with love, laughter, and of course - music.  But it is inevitable for a young girl this age to compare herself to her friends.  Zoe hates her body - how it looks and how it can't keep up with her mind.  We have tears and struggle with finding clothes that she thinks will hide her differences.  She points out everything she hates about her body as I get her dressed in the morning.

She doesn't realize just how amazing her body is and how it has beaten so many odds.  That body of hers has been through 12 spinal surgeries.  That round belly of hers keeps her breathing.  Yes, SMA is a crappy thing.  But she goes so far beyond SMA, that I often forget just how terrible the disease really is.  I look at Zoe and I see true beauty.  I see my best friend.  I see the absolute reason I live and breathe.

And in Zoe's eyes, she doesn't measure up.  It's heart breaking.

Throughout the years, Zoe has touched many people's lives with her spirit and kindness.  She thinks that everyone reacts to her because of her wheelchair and out of pity.  She couldn't be more wrong.  They react to her heart which is undeniably the most genuine heart I've ever known.

In attempts to change Zoe's mind about how insignificant she thinks she is, I'm putting together a birthday video.  I would like people to hold signs - just a white piece of paper or two - that say "I love you, Zoe" or "Happy Birthday, Zoe" or "Zoe rocks" or even "Zoe, you are BEAUTIFUL."  I will compile them into a slideshow and show her this for her birthday.  My goal is to show her people all over love her and support her.  Of course, I plan on using Katy Perry's "Firework" as the background song for my little firecracker.

If you would like to be included, email a picture to or shoot it to me on Twitter - @LO_Raine.  Or check out our brand new Facebook page and tag your picture there.  Please share this.  Let's change one little girl's mind.  Let's show her just how special she is.  Convince her that she doesn't have to look like the girls on TV - she can look just like herself because she is beyond beautiful.

Let's leave lots of wonderful comments here for her, also ... they will be forwarded to her.
Happy Birthday precious Zoe. You are one beautiful young lady.
Hugs & love from ~

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Sunday, June 24, 2012

~ Deviled Eggs ~ Love Is...

Diana has a great recipe for deviled eggs.  The key ingredient of course is the need for hard boiled eggs and lots of seasoning. How do you take a regular egg and turn it into hard boiled?  Place it in boiling water for a period of time and that hardens everything within.

How about your heart?  How do you harden your heart or the hearts of those around you?  You boil the heart for a period of time.  Not in water, but with cruel comments, with exposure to cutting remarks, with disrespect, with contempt, with lies, with betrayal.  Add a little spice in there and you have a deviled heart!

Once the egg is hard boiled, you can’t turn back the process.  However, that is not true for the human heart.  I am living proof of a hardened heart going soft. But you need some time and special ingredients.  You need to cover the hard hearted person in prayer, you need to change their programming, and you need to surround them in love.   Then Voila – a Soft Heart!

Ezekiel 36:25- 27 “Then it will be as though I had sprinkled clean water on you, for you will be clean – your filthiness will be washed away, your idol worship gone. And I will give you a new heart – I will give you new and right desires – and put a new spirit within you.  I will take out your stony hearts of sin and give you new hearts of love.  And I will put my Spirit within you so that you will obey my laws and do whatever I command. 

So today Lord, we thank You for allowing us to have soft hearts.  We pray for all those whose hearts have gone hard and whose eyes no longer see. We ask for forgiveness for the times that we have caused others to become hardened based on our actions, our words or our attitudes.  We pray for the opportunity to help those who are hardened today, to reverse the process and guide them to Angelic Hearts.  Allow us to be the ones to help them reverse the process. Amen.

Have a Soft Heart Day.
Victory is ours already!
(Thank you Tim for allowing me to share this post)

Join our Love Is... ladies

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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

~ Lovely Pinks ~

Do not interfere ... I am busy working on those fabulous See's Chocolate's, a sippy of champagne & sniffing beautiful florals!  Can't you just feel the love coming thru!

First, do you like the hair do?  I am toying with letting it get longer but still indecisive ...
Now I have been sharing all these beautiful days we spent with Tanza & her mother, Donna ...
you can not know how blessed we are to have had such a grand time.
The jibber jabber constant, the laughter ever more ...
Ooooo's & ahhh's ...

 I want to share with you all the treasures that they showered upon us, other than their lovable selves. Breathtakingly scrumptious flowers & candy ... BTW, there's still a couple pieces left & I don't share! Chuckle!
 These darling little birds are soooo vintage adorable! They sit beautifully on my stove ... every time I cook I think of Tanza & Donna ... but then so would you.
 Tanza's friend made this marriage of a candle stick & candy dish, isn't it darling?
 The chintz cream & sugar look perfect with my English cup &amp sitting elegantly on the dining room table ...
 This delicate chintz dish graces the table between our 2 green chairs in our living room ...
 These heart ornies adorn G'ma Maggie's cook table that we use for a kitchen island ... at Christmas they will go on our tree
 The glove box graces my dresser ...
 And the heart warming note that I found while making beds ... Tanza melted my heart.
 Sachet sweetly tucked on the silver tray on G'ma Maggie's table ...
 When the flowers arrived I just sat down & cried ... gosh! we miss them all. The house is so silent.
And then, the next day this huge box arrived with See's chocolates ... I feel like a queen ... and, yes,  I did let Harold have a couple ... chuckle!
 Thank you Donna, Tanza & Taylor for the wonderful memories ... for the beginning of our journey together & many more memories left to be made.  We love you all.
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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

~ From Dawn to Sunset ~

Just a little bit of our travels from MD, PA, VA, WV while Tanza was here

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Monday, June 18, 2012

~ Amish Country, Bloggy Friend, MD. Crabs, Gettysburg ~

Your choice ... motorcycle or buggy? C'mon, let's go ...
  I just loving going to Strasburg, PA, sitting on the corner & watching the new vs old world pass by.
 The clippity clop echoing throughout the village ...
 These horses perk up when they are readying to 'go' ... it's like their hineys shimmer, their head shakes, their necks arch .. they are ready to go! Love watching them get harnessed up ...
 This village is just 4-corners in a very historic old town outside of Lancaster.
 There are a couple of antique shops, a tea room, a few gift shops ...
 You can never imagine the serenity of this wee village ...
 No one is in a rush ...
 Giddy up, Joe ... more to see ......
 Oh, my! Look what I found in this buddy ... our precious pinky girl Tanza
 Tanza & her beautiful mother, Donna
 Our wonderful Becky  Becky makes the best candles you'll find & some of the most beautiful gift cards from her photography.  We went to Becky's shop & had a ball shopping ... car smelled fabulous coming home.
 "Moi" with Tanza & Donna.  We 4 ladies ate lunch at the Hershey Farm restaurant. Let me tell you, if you want authentic PA. cooking, this is a great place to eat ... doggy bags to go, trust me.
 As we are popping on down the road after a lovely luncheon, we saw something even I had not been fortunate to see before. Look at these stacks ... so picturesque.
 The workers are stacking them on the wagon ...
 Neat as pins ...
 They were very friendly & even waved ...
 Nearly loaded ...
 They walk them across the road to the farm to store.  Quite the sight ...
 This scene further down the road are a group of women behind the farm equipment, as the man leads the horse across the plowed fields ...
 In the equipment are actual plants & the women are grabbing them & planting them ... perfect unison in placing.  Everyone works together ... from young to old.
 And a tad further another farm being plowed ... I have been known to pull over & sit for very long periods of time just to enjoy the sight ... now to head back home for hubby's birthday dinner.
 And TeA found out what real Maryland crabs are all about.  They had not ever eaten a crab fresh out of the water like this, seasoned with Old Bay.
 This is Harold enjoying his birthday dinner, a beer & fabulous company ... Taylor is Tanza's chunk o'hunk son who is going to the USN Annapolis Academy next year.
 There was great chatter & reminiscing of our travels during the past 7 days ...
 Harold told them about the travels to Antietam Battlefield & Harper's Ferry for the next day ...
 Taylor digging in ...
 Celebrating his Naval Academy week ...
 And off to Gettysburg we go ... Tanza & Elijah.  This child is so precious & can sell you anything ... he is a bubble looking to burst with his personality ...
 My friend David & Junko make pottery & have a fruit stand at their residence ...
 The fruits we got are deelish if you are up that way.  Old Taneytown Rd Gettysburg.
 Horseback tourists with head sets travelling thru the fields of Gettysburg, w/headsets to listen to the tour.
 Too precious to not get their adorable picture!!
 Got to have a picture of all with that famous Traveller who served well in the Civil War ...
 And look who got snuggly with Abraham Lincoln ...

Please join our Love Is... ladies ~
 We meandered thru the battlefield, monument after monument unfolding memories of how valiantly they fought for their cause ... brother against brother, father against son ...
 And the day come to a glorious close, the sun sets gently in the heavens. God has brought us all together at long last to forge an extended family bond to carry on forever.  Thank you Tanza, Donna & Taylor for a  love filled fun week that will be remembered every day of our lives ... with deep love & smiles to warm a heart ... all year round.

Pop by Tanza's blog to enjoy pictures or our travels that I do not have to be able to share with you.
Welcome her back to blogging once again.
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