Archive | July 2012

Good ol’ Summertime

Roanoke, VA

Roller Coaster at Mountain Park in Roanoke, VA Early twentieth century

Where did Isabel and her friends go to ride a roller coaster in the 1920’s? They went to Mountain Park in Roanoke, Virginia. There were amusement park rides as well as a pavilion and a grandstand where music was played.

Where did I go to ride a roller coaster when I was a kid?

We went to the Lakeside Park in Salem, Va. It was wonderful!

I can still feel the joy at hearing the words, “We’re going to Lakeside today!” We could hear the happy crowds before we arrived. Laughter, screams as the Shooting Star roller coaster plunged quickly, click, click, click of the cars climbing a steep hill and more screams as it quickly rounded a sharp curve – and I couldn’t wait for my turn!

As soon as one entered the park, the smells were wonderful. Candy apples, popcorn, sticky cotton candy but my first stop was the Ferris Wheel. From the top, one could practically see the entire park. Oh, what fun!

When my husband speaks of Lakeside, he remembers Cactus Joe and his wife, “Sweetie”.

  • If you have Lakeside memories, we would love to hear them.
  • What were summer activities you looked forward to as a child?
  • What or who stands out in your memories?
  • What was your best summer ever?

Please feel free to share!

History of Lakeside

Lakeside was first opened around 1920 as a pool with a sandy beach. So Isabel may have spent time here as well. I have a picture of her and my grandfather taken at Lakeside around 1936.  It was a wonderful place to go and was a big part of Roanoke and Salem’s history. We enjoyed hot summer days at lakeside until it closed in 1986.

For more information on Lakeside, go to

We also had the Mill Mountain Zoo but that’s another story!

(Old photographs borrowed from Go to the site for fantastic pictures of time gone by.)

More views of Historic Virginia Homes from the Belle Grove Plantation Bed and Breakfast. Today they are staying at The Inn at Warner Hall in Gloucester, VA. Don’t miss this – they have pictures! =-)

Belle Grove Plantation Bed and Breakfast

Okay, no getting jealous about this one!

Tomorrow night (Tuesday night), Brett and I are going to be staying at the Inn at Warner Hallin Gloucester, Virginia. You may remember it from our previous post, Nothing ventured, nothing gained posting. Brett has a meeting on Wednesday in Saluda, Virginia with VDOT (Virginia Department of Transportation) to discuss our entry into the plantation from State Route 301. After that meeting, he is meeting with our surveyor/engineer to discuss the site plan for zoning. So we thought it would be allot easier for him to get there if we slept closer. (That excuse is good as any… haha) After breakfast, I will be returning to Chesapeake and my current job to work.


But we are hoping to be able to look a little closer at Warner Hall and how they have things set up. So far it is the closest to…

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Rejoice – The Lord Reigns!


“Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth: Break forth in song, rejoice, and sing praises.

Sing to the LORD with the harp.

With the harp and the sound of a psalm,

With trumpets and the sound of a horn; Shout joyfully before the LORD, the King.

Let the sea roar, and all its fullness. The world and those who dwell in it:

Let the rivers clap their hands; Let the hills be joyful together before the LORD.”

Psalm 98:4-9

What is there to fear? Why fret? Despite the circumstances, the heat, the tragedies and the trials, we remember that He Lives! Rejoice and be glad for the wondrous things He provides daily and we don’t normally notice because we become complacent.  Today, lets look for something wondrous to be glad about and rejoice for His goodness, grace and mercy. Sing unto the Lord and look for ways to praise Him.

What are you rejoicing for today? What treasures in the sand of life has He shown you today? What song has He placed on your heart?

This is so cool! More Virginia History surrounding the Belle Grove Plantation B&B. Check it out!

Belle Grove Plantation Bed and Breakfast

Quick Update:   We got the draft of the contract! Yes and Argh! We are glad to have the draft, but in reading it, it’s like stereo instruction with all the legal jargon. Brett is reading over it tonight and making notes of questions and concerns. Then it’s off to our attorney to check it and to advise us on modification we would like to make. It’s all part of the process, nothing is simple any more. I think the hardest part is not to allow emotions to be involved. Brett and I are pretty new to some aspects of business so we tend to think as someone personal not as business. We have to learn how to control that part of ourselves I guess. But at least it is a step in the right direction. Onward and upwards.

The Turner Family lived at Belle Grove plantation from 1839, when a…

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Do You Remember…

Do you remember the first real recipe you cooked? Not just helping Grandma bake cookies or opening a can of soup or even making your first PB&J but the first time you looked at a recipe and followed the instructions without assistance?

I remember it well because Mom made baked beans every weekend. One Friday when I was in the fifth grade, I came home from school and Mom asked me to make dinner. It had been a difficult day as the babies had been “fussy”. My little sister was two and my brother was probably teething at the time.
Fortunately, we had hotdogs and buns in the refrigerator. Easy to just fry or boil the hotdogs but we needed something to go with them. I pulled out Mom’s recipes and pulled out her baked bean recipe. (Nope. I did not add the hotdogs to the beans.)

Mom usually opened the cans and just dumped everything into the casserole dish with two or three strips of bacon on top – so it was easy to do. That’s what I did – exactly the way I had watched Mom prepare her recipe every week.

After years of practice, I  have made a few changes to the recipe. I began stacking uncooked bacon, slicing them into bits and frying them – drying the bacon bits on a paper towel while I sauteed the onion in the bacon drippings. Bits of bacon left on the bottom of the pan came off nicely if the juice from the canned beans is added and stirred with a wooden spatula to loosen what is left. It gives a nice flavor to the beans. Also, I have learned to simmer the beans a long time for a nice, thick sauce.
I only bake them once or twice a year now since they are so sweet. I just decided to make some at the end of this month for my sister’s birthday. They go well with fried chicken!

Kathy’s Baked Beans
(A variation of Mom’s Recipe)        


1 med to large onion – diced

(Green bell pepper optional)
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 Tbsp molasses (I use Karo Dark Syrup)
1/4 cup hot water
1 cup ketchup
1/4 tsp. of dry mustard

(prepared mustard works in a pinch)

1/8th tsp. of vinegar
salt & pepper to taste
2 cans pork & beans

Preheat 350@ oven
Cut several strips of bacon into smaller pieces, fry in frying pan. Remove the bacon onto a plate lined with paper towels to absorb grease. Saute’ the onion in the bacon drippings.

Open cans of pork & beans and pour into large casserole dish or dutch oven. Add bacon bits and onions. Stir.

In sauce pan, mix the rest of the ingredients on medium heat until it almost comes to a boil. Add this sauce to the casserole dish and stir.

Bake covered 2-3 hours or Uncovered until the desired consistency.

Moms, what are your children learning by watching you? Are you following God’s Word as your recipe for life or are you throwing in a little bit of this and a little bit of that as you go along? What do they hear when you speak?

“Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time.

Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt,

that you may know how you ought to answer each one.”

Colossians 4:5-6

I realize some of my readers have not seen The Vision of a Mother’s Heart trailer by M&M Productions. Hope you enjoy learning a little more about Isabel and her story.

Katherine H. Purdy

The Vision of a Mother’s Heart is my first novel and I am excited about having it published. Although it is written as family fiction, it is inspired by my grandmother’s childhood. Hope you will enjoy reading about the Greene family as they laugh, cry, sing and learn to face tragedy by trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ as Mama taught them. Even when things seemed hopeless, the seeds of faith grew in the hearts of her children.

I have enjoyed looking through the eyes of a ten-year-old Isabel in the 1920’s when life moved at a slower pace and families worked hard to survive and to stay together.

The Vision of a Mother’s Heartshould be available as an e-book soon!  The sequel, Hope Beyond the Sunsetis a work in progress.

The title was used with permission from Abigail Miller

Look for this beautiful song on her…

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Nothing ventured, nothing gained

The Belle Grove Plantation has published another wonderful beauty from Virginia History.

If you love reading about Virginia History and enjoy viewing plantation homes which have been restored you will enjoy this. I know I did!

Step back into a more graceful era…


Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Card tutorial for children

Many years ago when I was a teacher, I found that manilla folders came in quite handy. Not just for files but were the perfect weight for cutting out letters for the bulletin board. I often glued outdated wallpaper samples to the folder, rolling out the bubbles and wrinkles with a wallpaper roller before cutting out letters and designs.

Folders were also handy for storing flannelgraph. (An old fashioned visual used for teaching Bible Lessons) I used packing tape to close the sides of the folder secure.

I used old folders for making signs and for making Bible verse cards. I simply designed the verse on the computer, print it out and adhere it to the old folder and cut it out to the appropriate size. (Perfect for Bible Verse presentation. Add a cardboard stand to the back and it works great! For individual verses when teaching a class, I printed the verses directly onto business card stock.)

One thing I never thought of was making greeting cards using folders. Check out The Better Mom’s blog for a great tutorial. Your kids will have fun making cards for their grandparents and friends!

Card tutorial for children.