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Diane Baker: The Best That It Can Be…

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An Article From: The Chris Thomas Files

Honey Bee Shot Image One
06-28-2020

The Best That It Can Be…
On the face of it, this is a good statement: the positive approach to our life and the way we live it. Why should it, our life, not be the best that it can be?

Three events occurred and, together, they drove my patience out the window. First of all, a friend chatted to me about her concern for her son and daughter-in-law, about how they were working all hours to buy new furniture for their new house and, that every time they came to stay, she had to take all the packaging off the food in her fridge, otherwise, they would throw it out if it was anywhere near its date. Then, I watched Countryfile on the BBC and they were showing how a whole new industry was growing around waste food collection and its use to create energy for our homes. Then, I read an article in Positive News where a tribe in India stood to lose their land because a huge conglomerate wished to mine for bauxite (raw aluminum). This is such a toxic substance that mining for it poisons all the land and the people. The article was in Positive News because the tribe won their case. Sadly, there are many other stories where the outcome is not so happy.

We humans, mostly in the west (I regret to say our influence is spreading), have come to believe we deserve the best. We have interpreted the best it can be into all aspects of our lives. This means we should aspire to the best house, best kitchen, the best car, furniture, clothes, television, computer, mobile phone and, of course, the best food. Our food has Best Before written on it so, subconsciously, we see it is not good enough for us if it is near that date or, that the apple has a blemish or, the potato and cucumber are a bit knobbly…so, we throw it away. [A]re we not worthy of the best?

How Much Does Best Cost?
The consequences of all of these choices are that, currently, the world is at war over mineral rights, (Darfur is only one example of genocide and destruction based on the greed of the west for [minerals] used in mobile phones and other electrical equipment). [M]en and women are used as slave labour to make our clothes, the planet is being carved up and, the rivers polluted for the copper, zinc, etc…to go into our newest, and best, electronic toys […]. Billions of tons of food is thrown away each year because it is considered not to be the best it can be, whilst those that live in the countries that grow our food starve.

Bumblebee Image Two
09-14-2019

I am not advocating a hair shirt, sleeping under a hedge or eating rotten food and starving but, in all things, there is a balance. And, yes, I do have a mobile phone which is second-hand, over six years old and works perfectly for the rare emergency calls I make. The balance is, I do not feel I need to change it every time a new, improved model comes on the market. Millions of mobile phones are put into landfill and are not recycled. The price we may pay for misunderstanding best that it can be… is monumental. There are many people affected by our choices that we never see or think of. The people who grow the food or mine the mineral do so at a very high price. If a people [live] on a land that is rich in minerals, that land will be torn away from them, they will be placed in camps and the reason why, is…you. Our misunderstanding of what makes us special, a success [or] admired, is, now, tightly bound up with possessions, material goods and if I do not have the best and newest of everything, I will be judged a failure.

A Complete Consciousness
It is the best that we can be, as a human and, as a complete consciousness. The best that we are is not made up of, or lack of, possessions. It is about how we live our lives in relation to the rest of the universe and, in particular, with each other. It is we, the so called civilised world, who are so insecure in who we are as souls that we need the third world to be plundered so that we can surround ourselves with our props and say to the world Look. I am worthy. I have the best that there can be.

Think About It
In his book The Human Soul, my husband, Chris Thomas, asks that we Think About It. Think about the consequences your actions will have on others and, then, make the choice that feels right to you. It is your choice and you cannot blame the consequences on anyone else. Everything we buy is made from the planet, itself. This is the planet which has given us the choice of physical life rather than a free-floating soul. Chris has said in his book that we are here to prove that it is possible to have a full soul in physical form and, that, the whole of our existence has been to prove that that is possible. Everything that is happening on Earth, our solar system, our galaxy and the universe beyond, is currently happening in order to help us to be the best human beings we can whilst remaining on Earth. The Human Soul can help you to determine where you are within that process. With Christmas fast approaching, your love and affection to your family without buying something that would cause another family [on] the other side of the world pain and suffering? Think about it. Are you the best that you can be?

Best Wishes,
Diane

© Diane Baker 2010

Cygnus Review Magazine (Issue 12, Page 12, December 2010/Download & Share)
The Blog Post (Cygnus Review Blog…with the wrong author credited)

Town Tuesday: Yellow House 1768

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William Courtney’s Yellow House

This is one of a few of the oldest homes in Hillsborough. ~Vic

William Courtney Yellow House Image One
Downtown Hillsborough
Taken: 04-04-2020
William Courtney Yellow House Image Two
Steps leading from the driveway
to the front door.
Taken: 04-16-2020
William Courtney Yellow House Sign Image Three
Sign Marker

Additional Information:
William Courtney’s Yellow House 1768 (Facebook)
Walk Through Historic Hillsborough (Historic Hillsborough)
William Courtney’s Yellow House (Open Orange NC/Built date is wrong)

Foto Friday: Sky Gazing 5.0

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These are companion shots to my POTD: Sunset post, as well as previous Sky Gazing posts. This town can have some of the most glorious sunsets and quirky cloud formations. ~Vic

Eno River Sunset Image One
Standing on the bridge over the Eno River.
06-24-2020
Sunset Over Garage Image Two
Walking up to the parking garage.
Sunset Over The Trees Image Three
On top of the garage and the colors develop.
Sunset Over The Building Image Four
Sweeping over the adjacent building.
Sunset Over The Town Image Five
Looking out across the town.
Sunset In Full Bloom Image Six
Breathtaking rich colors and contrasts.

Shutterbug Sunday: Solstice Shots

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I dropped the ball and missed posting about our Summer Solstice. I did catch some pictures, though and a Shutterbug Sunday is a perfect reason to post them. I posted about the Solstice in 2018, shortly after I had started blogging, again, after a four year absence. I did an Almanac write-up on the Solstice in 2019. This year’s Solstice occurred at 5:44pm EDT, yesterday. ~Vic

Daisy Group Image One
Daisy Family
Sea Turtle Cloud Image Two
It looks like a Sea Turtle, swimming towards me…sort of…
Cone Flower Image Three
Cone flowers in the Pollinator Garden
Feather Cloud Image Four
Big Feather
New Growth Image Five
New Growth
Bird Flight Image Six
In Flight
Stonehenge Image Seven
Photo Credit: Farmers’ Almanac 1818

Some Folklore:
♦ In ancient Egypt, the summer solstice coincided with the rising of the Nile River. As it was crucial to predict this annual flooding, the Egyptian New Year began at this important solstice.
♦ In centuries past, the Irish would cut hazel branches on solstice eve to be used in searching for gold, water and precious jewels.
♦ Many European cultures hold what are known as Midsummer celebrations at the solstice, which include gatherings at Stonehenge and the lighting of bonfires on hilltops.

Strawberry Moon 2020

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I did a complete write-up on the Strawberry Moon last year with two videos. No need to repeat. Full illumination occurred at 3:12pm EDT. Howl for me! ~Vic

Late add:
I forgot to mention that there was a penumbral eclipse (space.com link) of this Moon but, we weren’t in the path of sight. We will be in the path of sight for the early July eclipse and the late November eclipse.

Gibbous Moon Clouds Image One
Waxing Gibbous with a Sky Eagle
06-01-2020
Gibbous Moon Trees Image Two
Through the limbs.
06-03-2020
Gibbous Moon Trees Image Three
Happy Waxing Gibbous
Gibbous Moon Trees Image Four
Growing Gibbous
06-04-2020
Waning Gibbous At Night Image Five
Clouds moved in.
Little bit of rain.
Spooky
06-05-2020
Waning Gibbous Clouds Image Six
Lovely glow.

Town Tuesday: The Colonial Inn

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Orange Hotel Ad 1867 Image One
Advertisement
1867
Image Credit: Rootsweb

The structure known today as the Colonial Inn was built on Lot 15 in 1838 as a hotel and was locally called Spencer’s Tavern […] but, was advertised as the Orange Hotel (a name which lasted into the 1880s). The structure was built for Isaac (Isaiah) Spencer (from Hyde County) who had purchased the property in late 1837. In 1841, Richardson Nichols purchased the property from Spencer and expanded the main structure. In 1856, Nichols sold the structure to the “Hillsborough Improvement Company” which consisted of Alfred, Henry and Cave Stroud.

Stroud family history has it that Henry’s wife (Sarah) saved the Inn from looting by Union troops by displaying her husband’s Masonic apron. Upon seeing the apron, a sympathetic Union officer, [whom] was a fellow Mason, protected the site from destruction.

The Colonial Inn 1870 Image Two
Strayhorn’s Hotel
1870
Image Credit: Rootsweb

William F. Strayhorn may have purchased or, at least, managed the business beginning in 1868 and, the property was purchased by local businessmen Henry N. Brown and Charles M. Latimer (who was also the county treasurer) in 1870. Brown and Latimer apparently lost the property through bankruptcy in 1872, with Strayhorn managing or operating the hotel until at least then. Perhaps related is that Strayhorn had been living in Twin Chimneys across the street from the hotel but, lost it due to financial problems in January 1869. [It] was purchased by David C. Parks in December 1872. In 1885, Parks sold the property to neighboring property owner Emily Pogue, who sold it back to Parks in 1888. [At] this time, it became known as the Occoneechee Hotel.

The Colonial Inn 1890 Image Three
Looking East
1890s
Image Credit: Rootsweb

In 1908, Thomas A. Corbin purchased the property and renamed the complex the Corbinton Inn. In 1921, W. L. Foushee […] purchased the property from a H. L. Akers and by 1924, renamed the hotel the Colonial Inn. In 1946, Paul Henderson purchased the property from Foushee […].

The Colonial Inn Image Four
Corbinton Inn
1915
Image Credit: Open Orange

During Henderson’s ownership, a “fine-dining” restaurant was added within the hotel structure. In December 1952, Charles and Ann Crawford purchased the property and business and, expanded the structure. They operated the business successfully until they, in turn, sold it to James and Maxine Freeland in 1969. The Freelands also expanded the structure and, continued the hotel and restaurant business at the location.

The Colonial Inn Image Five
Looking WSW
1960s
Photo Credit: Open Orange

It fell into disrepair for many years. When I moved to this town in 2011, it looked bad.

The Colonial Inn Image Six
10-23-2016
The Colonial Inn Image Seven
10-23-2016

The good news is, new owners are re-building. ~Vic

The Colonial Inn 2020 Image Eight
02-29-2020

Additional Information:
The Colonial Inn Hillsborough (Facebook)
Old Town Cemetery (Hillsborough Government Site PDF)
Colonial Inn (Open Orange)
The Colonial Inn 1838-1969 (Rootsweb)
The Colonial Inn: It’s History & Significance (World Now PDF)

Foto Friday: Virus Humor

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We have a few comedians in town. I can appreciate. These are cute and clever. That being said, I am getting tired of the TV telling me to social distance, stay at home and wash my hands. I heard you the first fifty times. Enough already. All photos are my personal collection. © ~Vic

Crownavirus Image One
Sidewalk railing in front of a house on the corner.
The homeowners are known for wiring things
to the railing.
04-15-2020
Crow With Mask Image Two
Crow demonstrates how to wear a mask.
Crow With Bunny Ears Image Three
Crow with bunny ears…and mask.

Jack With Rider Image Four
This is Jack, which, I’m pretty sure
is short for jackass. He is well known
around town. The green critter on his
back is a Disney character, I guess.
04-16-2020

Shutterbug Saturday: Animal Friends 3.0

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Update: I am changing the heading on all of my wildlife posts to Animal Friends. ~Vic

More shots from the local wild babies. All photos are my personal collection. ©.

Animal Friends 2.0

Brown Snake Image One
Saw this little guy on the Riverwalk.
Sadly, it was dead.
It cooked in the sun.
Non-poisonous.
06-02-2019
Mama Deer Image Two
She startled us and we startled her.
07-25-2019
Fawn Image Three
Then, we saw her fawn.
Peek-a-boo!
07-25-2019
Mama & Fawn Image Four
They posed for us for a bit, then took off.
07-25-2019
Green Snake Image Five
This was pitiful.
Victim of a vehicle.
The phone couldn’t capture the brilliant green.
Non-poisonous.
07-29-2019
Fawn Image Six
Hey, Baby!
Seeing spots.
08-17-2019

Shutterbug Saturday: Person County History Museum

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I intended to start posting these pictures yesterday but, I was just too busy. And, I’m nearly out of time for today but, more will be posted tomorrow.

We did not tour the museum as everything seems to be closed and everyone is virus-risk averse. The grounds were open, so we just enjoyed the outdoors. I hope we can return and tour the old home.

All photos are my personal collection. © ~Vic

Person County Museum Image One
This lovely old home in downtown Roxboro
was converted into a history museum.
03-19-2020
Person Museum Sign Image Two
Hours of Operation
Blue Star Image Three
Roxboro Garden Club Plaque
Military Dedication Image Four
Military Dedication
Surrounded by military veteran bricks.
Gazebo Image Five
The lovely gazebo for lunch.
Clock Tower Image Six
Adorable clock tower with the wrong time.

Shutterbug Sunday: Buddy 2.0

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Buddy came to me (and an ex) as a little thing. He had been born under a home 75 miles east and his mother had to leave him behind. The guy living there heard the crying mews and went to investigate. He found tiny Buddy in an upright cinder block, pulled him out and realized he was a newborn with his eyes still closed. He sought help from a veterinarian and began to feed him. Fast forward five weeks and the guy contacts my ex. “You want a kitten? I can’t handle him, anymore.” He shows up with this gi-normous litter box with a cover, that little Buddy could barely jump in and out of, a box of various toys and a gallon container of kitten food. The guy lived alone and traveled a lot so, he felt Buddy would be better off with us. I had lost my very first cat six months prior so, Buddy’s arrival was cause for celebration. He was my baby for nine years. (1997-2006). All photos are my personal collection. ~Vic

See also: Love Your Pet Day and Buddy

Buddy Image One
He loved to be held.
09-06-2004
Buddy Image Two
I found him napping in my sewing basket.
09-06-2004
Buddy Image Three
Kitty in his box.
05-17-2005
Buddy Image Four
I gave him my basket.
I had no choice.
09-13-2004
Buddy Image Five
These are my gifts.
This was his last Christmas.
12-18-2005.

Shutterbug Saturday: Rogue Artistes 5.0

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It’s been nearly a year since I made my first post on our local artwork. Here are parts two, three and four. I’ve gathered up some more, below. All photos are my personal collection. © ~Vic

Slayer Image One
Somebody is a Slayer fan.
06-23-2019
Pipe Support Image Two
Drainage pipe support.
What the critter is, I don’t know.
07-25-2019
Strange Manhole Image Three
Houie?
Howie?
Wowie?
10-04-2019
Uh Oh Image Four
I don’t even remember where I found this one.
10-10-2019
Footy Prints Image Five
This one was curious.
Captured well after Halloween.
It appears to be prints of a one-legged man?
There’s a foot print and a dot.
What do you think?
11-26-2019
Toast Image Six
Toast?
With a “V”?
This one was hard to get.
02-22-2020

Shutterbug Sunday: Snow Pix 2.0

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Part two of the Snow Pix from yesterday. ~Vic

Snowy Limbs Image One
Photo Credit: Christi Sykes
Black Lab Image Two
Photo Credit: Kate Franklin
Harvester Snow Image Three
Photo Credit: Melissa Fred
Else Image Four
Photo Credit: Suzanne DeNeve Goodall
Her daughter wanted to dress as Elsa
The Lake Image Five
Photo Credit: Amber Alexandra

Shutterbug Saturday: Snow Pix

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We’ve had cold temps here and plenty of rain but, the two haven’t combined to give us any frozen precipitation. Don’t me wrong. I’m not complaining. I like a good snow storm, here and there but, I don’t like the mess. That being said, since we haven’t had any of the white stuff, I submit…for your approval…some pix I harvested from a FakeBook group back in 2018, when we had two snow bombs. I posted my own photos on December 9, 2018 and added some of my stuff to the same group. These are really good and photographer credit is listed. I will post the rest, tomorrow. ~Vic

Snowman Pooping Image One
Photo Credit: Mike Oechsle
Snow Tree Image Two
Photo Credit: Alex Webb
What Is This Image Three
Photo Credit: Laura Smith
Icicles Image Four
Photo Credit: Becky Johnson
Cold Cardinal Image Five
Photo Credit: Dora Hammond

Snow Moon 2020

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Snow Moon 2020 Image Two
From my front yard.

I did a Snow Moon post last year on February 18. I covered all the unique names and the history. I won’t repeat the information here.

100% illumination occurred at 02:33am EST. Howl for me!

All photos are my personal collection. © ~Vic

Snow Moon 2020 Image Three
It’s spooky looking between the branches.
Snow Moon 2020 Image Four
I see you.
Moon Giant Snow Moon Image One
Image Credit: moongiant.com

Shutterbug Sunday: Alamance Battleground 2.0

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Two months ago, on December 7, 2019, I visited Alamance Battleground with my buddy Ray. I posted the first batch of pictures on December 8, intending to post the rest on December 14. For obvious reasons, that didn’t happen so, here are the rest.

All photos are my personal collection. © ~Vic

James Hunter Monument Image One
The Colonial Column Monument
Originally located at Guilford Courthouse Military Park
Moved in 1962, “on indefinite loan.”
Colonial Column Marker Image Two
Colonial Column Marker
Monument Plaque Image Three
Front Plaque
It is claimed that the battle was the first of the Revolutionary War.
It was actually the last battle of the War of Regulation,
which lead to the Revolutionary War.
James Hunter Plaque Image Four
Right Side
James Hunter
General of the Regulators
North Carolina Timeline Image Five
Back Side
North Carolina Timeline
1774 North Carolina Provincial Congress
The Mecklenburg Declaration 1775
Battle of Moore’s Creek Bridge 1776
North Carolina is the first to call for independence
with the Halifax Resolves 1776
Regulators Hanged Image Six
Twelve Regulators Condemned At Hillsboro
Six were executed.
“Our blood will be as good seed in good ground,
that will soon produce one hundred fold.”
James Pugh June 19, 1771
Bridge Image Seven
Bridge over the creek.
Highway View Image Eight
View across the highway.
Flag of North Carolina Image Nine
Image Credit: wikipedia.org & wikimedia.org
Dates reflect the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence (disputed but,
possibly Mecklenburg Resolves) and
the Halifax Resolves.

Thanksgiving 2019

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Riverwalk Sunset Image One
Riverwalk Thanksgiving sunset this evening.

As I type this, I am nearly comatose from the tryptophan overload. I’m glad I went for a walk before I ate as I would never have been able to get off the couch. I didn’t prepare a full size turkey as there was only three of us eating. I slow cooked a turkey breast in my crock pot. I did have the usual mashed potatoes, green beans, cranberry sauce and my lumpy mushroom gravy. With a small gathering, no traditional dressing but, stove top stuffing instead. I’ve struggled for years to make non-lumpy gravy. It just ain’t happening. *sigh*

Many well wishes and, safe travels to family and friends. The weather is a mess in many parts of the US. *yawn* ~Vic

Riverwalk Thanksgiving Sunset Image Two
I was actually trying to capture not only the sun setting but,
the crescent moon as well.
Crescent Moon Image Three
You can just see the crescent moon in the center.
Just below it, hard to see, is Venus.
It’s a truly slim crescent but, my phone always blurs Moon.

Shutterbug Saturday: Sky Gazing 2.0

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Beauty when you look up. All photos are my personal collection © ~Vic

Sky Gazing 1.0

Cloud Image One
A “W” with a smile.
06-22-2018
Cloud Image Two
A big feather or…a Gremlin?
06-27-2019
Cloud Image Three
Reminds me of cooked fish.
10-17-2019
Cloud Image Four
Ribbons of color.
The phone couldn’t capture the deep pinks.
11-12-2019

Foto Friday: Halloween Local 3.0

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I was planning to do a Flick Friday for 1954. No such luck. In fact, sticking with Friday and sticking with 1954, there are no releases until well into December. *sigh* So, you gets pix! All photos are my personal collection. ~Vic

Part I/Part II/Old Halloween Stuff

Halloween Image One
Minimalist decorations for a home originally built in 1860.
Taken: 10-27-2018
Halloween Image Two
Rest in pieces. Love the black rose.
Taken: 10-28-2018
Halloween Image Three
Opposite side. Twins?
Halloween Image Four
I think this is supposed to be a ghost/skeleton mix. Not totally sure…
Halloween Image Five
Just hanging out on the porch with the dog…and a gargoyle.
Halloween Image Six
Hanging around.
Lovely home built in 1936.
Halloween Image Seven
That is one big spider.
Can you see the barbie doll and the two baby spiders?
Halloween Image Eight
Let me out!
Taken: 10-30-2018
Halloween Image Nine
Skeletons can garden, too.
Halloween Image Ten
Resting under the tree.

Shutterbug Saturday: Halloween Local 2.0

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More local images. Part I was last year. All pictures are my personal collection. ~Vic

Squirrel Image One
I *think* this is a stuffed squirrel.
11-03-2015
Hamilton Burr Image Two
Hamilton vs Burr
10-23-2016
Skeleton Image Three
Another angle of the crazy skeleton from last year’s post.
11-05-2017
Spider & Bat Image Four
I love the bat.
11-05-2017
Ghost Image Five
“I’m coming to take you away, ha-ha!”
10-28-2018
Skeleton & Ghost Image Six
This bat isn’t as well fed as the last one.
10-28-2018
Snake Skeleton Image Seven
The snake skeleton is pretty creepy.
10-28-2018
Frankenstein Jack Image Eight
It’s Frankenstein Jack!
10-28-2018
Eek Image Nine
Spider in the bushes and EEK on the mailbox.
10-28-2018
Big Spider Image Ten
That is a big spider.
10-28-2018

Shutterbug Sunday: Red Oak Brew Haus & Bier Garten 2.0

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I’ve never done a Shutterbug Sunday before but, it might come in handy in the future. Saturday posting was impossible with all of the reunion festivities. All photos are my personal collection. ~Vic

Brew Kettles Image One
Brew kettles.
Bronze Busts Image Two
Bronze busts in the drinking room.
Ivory Statue Image Three
Carved ivory? Alabaster? White marble?
Fire Pit Image Four
Fire pit.
Bronze Lady Image Five
Bronze lady of the fountain.
Dog Area Image Six
Doggie area with doggie water.
Buddha Image Seven
Buddha at the fire pit.
Bronze Fish Image Eight
Bronze fish and bronze girl.
Stone Wall Image Nine
Stone wall or…phallic symbol?
Whirlwind Image Ten
Yeah, I have no idea here.

Foto Friday: Red Oak Brew Haus & Bier Garten

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This is my 35th reunion weekend and, a few of my high school compatriots and I gathered at a local brewery & bier garten this evening. Red Oak Brewery is a central NC favorite and is America’s largest Lager Only craft brewery. Construction is ongoing and tours of the brewery are given all the time. They don’t serve food but, a food truck is always handy and you can bring in your own food. Beer is by the pint or half pint and wine is by the half bottle or full bottle. The owner is also the artist of the sculptures. All photos are my personal collection. ~Vic

Doorway Image One
Impressive gate.
The Road Less Traveled Image Two
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I…I took the one less traveled by. And, that has made all the difference.
Robert Frost
Ironwork Image Three
Ironwork art.
Iron Weeds Image Four
Iron weeds in front of the fountain.
Statue Image Five
Do NOT touch…and they mean it.
Soap & Lotion Image Six
Soap & lotion made with beer.
Friends At The Door Image Seven
I was getting a shot of the doorway when these two guys walked thru. They were concerned that they had messed up my shot. They didn’t but, when I asked them if they wanted to be photographed and posted on my blog, they happily agreed. Notice the “Yoga & Real Beer” Pug flier. LOL!
The Brew Haus Image Eight
Plenty of room to mingle, drink and sit.
Waterfall Image Nine
I am assuming this is some of his artwork. I couldn’t tell if water is running over this…or beer.
Carved Bench Image Ten
Unbelievably beautiful carved bench.

More to come…