Visiting Presque Isle State Park

Last weekend, my best friend and her family invited me to go with her and her family to the beautiful Presque Isle State Park in Erie, PA.  We saw so much more wildlife than I’ve ever seen at our local state park, or even around here.  I fell in love with water and the sand and saw driftwood for the first time.  This was also my first time to a “seashore” though I still dream of visiting the ocean one day.  I love those houseboat homes floating on Horseshoe Pond too!  I’d love to stay in one.  It was a beautiful and fun day and we finished up with a hearty meal at the Cracker Barrel in Erie.

Presque Isle State Park is a 3,200-acre sandy peninsula that arches into Lake Erie. As Pennsylvania’s only “seashore,” Presque Isle offers its visitors a beautiful coastline and many recreational activities, including swimming, boating, fishing, hiking, bicycling and in-line skating. A National Natural Landmark, Presque Isle is a favorite spot for migrating birds. Because of the many unique habitats, Presque Isle contains a greater number of the state’s endangered, threatened and rare species than any other area of comparable size in Pennsylvania.

At the City of Erie, a peninsula, over six miles in length, arches out into the water of Lake Erie forming an expansive natural harbor. French explorers recognized the intrinsic value of the harbor and in 1753 constructed Fort Presque Isle on the mainland near the harbor entrance. The name Presque Isle means “almost an island” in French and referred to the nearby peninsula. From Fort Presque Isle, fur traders could portage their goods fifteen miles to Fort Le Boeuf, located at the upper reaches of the Allegheny River near present-day Waterford, and then float downstream to Pittsburgh and on to Louisiana. Fort Presque Isle and its portage thus became a vital link between the French fur trade network in the Great Lakes and its colony on the Gulf Coast.

Curious about those houseboat homes floating on Horseshoe Pond?  I was too.  Learn more about them HERE.

If you live nearby or if you’re going to be traveling in the area, I highly recommend stopping in at this beautiful park.  You won’t be disappointed!

 

Till Next Time…

Heather

Bone Processing

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These are some wishbones I have whiten and preserved over a period of a couple of months.   It was very fun and interesting to learn about the whole process of how to do it and it is sometime I wish to pursue further.

If you are encouraged or informed by something you have read here at Ramblings Of A Plain Girl, please consider liking my page on Facebook or simply by leaving a comment below.

Heather

Getting To Know Me

 

All About Me

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Please note:  Not only is this post weeks in the making, but has also been edited many times.

 

I am far from extraordinary.  From the “norm”.  From what everyone thinks I ought to be or from what they thought I would.  I have deviated from the path that other women my age of the world have taken.  I guess it is because I am not suppose to have anything about me that sets me apart from anyone else.  I am a Plain person.  Of course, I am quite unique in my own way.  I enjoy things that other people might shy away from or think weird.  I really enjoy the company of my praying mantises and my horse.  I am fiercely independent and enjoy solitary activities such as embroidery and reading and bible study and photography.  But there are times I like to socialize.  I have a group, Beauty In Decay Project, where a few of us get together and explore abandoned buildings, homes, and sanitariums.  We explore in the tri-state(NY, OH, and PA) area.  It is a photography and a preservation project.

 

I have never come oupro-pic-march-2017t on my blog and explained WHO exactly I am.  My name is Heather.  I am 33 years old.  I am happily married and have a 15-year old stepson.  I think I never explained because I just haven’t had the exact words to do.  Or perhaps I fear that people won’t understand.  I follow the Mennonite religion, though I am not a baptised member of any church.  The closest church is over an hour away, but I don’t have a ride there or otherwise I would go.  I pray every day that the Lord would plant a seed in my town for a church.  I do what I can to follow the Lord in my heart, my actions, and my thoughts.  My family doesn’t understand it.  My husband doesn’t understand it and wonders why “such a beautiful girl would dress this way”…actually I get that a lot.  I try and try to explain until I am blue in the face that it has nothing do with that.  I am not dressing for other people.  I am dressing for the Lord.  My husband, it is not that he is not a Christian, he is just not as devout as I am.  I want something more out of life.  I am in the world but not of it.  I want to spend my life after death with Christ.  But I don’t want to sit here and seem “preachy” and have you click away.  I want to introduce myself to what followers I have(thank you very by the way) and to any future followers I have.1-peter-3-3-4

I think, after my best friend moved away a month after I was married, it really affected me and I never went out and seeked any other friends.  Also, I suffer from fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, hemiplegic & basilar migraines, herniated discs, and disc degenerative disease, and live with chronic pain daily, so that does not help in going out and seeking a social life.  Plus I cannot work because of all of this.  I’ve had over a dozen surgeries and countless medical tests in the past decade and a half, so I’ve been quite isolated and not had a whole lot of opportunities to go out and meet people.

1424697843259However, my best friend and I still talk.  Thankfully, she still has family here in town so she pops in and every now and then when she’s in town.  She’s the greatest thing since sliced bread, that’s for sure!

I collect a few things.  I collect vintage cameras, nutcrackers, owls, and model horses.

 

I really, really want to add these two to my collections:

Currently I Am eading:

 

Currently I Am Watching:

 

Looking forward to: 

Hulu’s tv interpretation of Margaret Atwood’s classic novel, “The Handmaid’s Tale”.  I’ve read the book and watched the movie, so I am excited to see how well this turns out.

 

Some East Embroidery Projects:

 

Current Embroidery Projects:

I love house plants!  I am amassing quite a collection…

I also have a fern, a parlor palm, and a Dracaena.

I also collect knives…

Those are just a few that I have.

 

A little more personal…my Chris and I, our anniversary is 15 August 2015.

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This is my dear husband, Chris.  This was shot at The Bistro.

Chris works at a local restaurant, The Bistro.  Though it’s run by brothers from Pakistan, it includes a mix of fine American and Paki dishes, but more American dishes.  It is one of the two 4-star restaurants in Olean, NY.  They have dishes here that you would more commonly find in a big city compared to small-town Olean.

I am a stay-at-home housewife.  I am on permanent disability because of my back and other chronic and debilitating health problems.  I have 6 herniated discs in my back, two cages, and disc degenerative disease.  I’ve had two back surgeries.  I suffer daily from chronic pain as well as severe basal migraines several times a week.  I also have fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue.  I also have bouts of IBS too.  This is not an inclusive list but I will say that a decade ago I hemorrhaged for three days which led to an emergency DNC and a hysterectomy a week later at age 28 after suffering for a decade from severe endometriosis and four surgeries from that.

I do what I can to bring in a meager income to add to our family balance.  I sell some of my embroidery locally plus I am a “mother’s helper” to my friend Mara.  I watch her daughter while she is at work until her husband gets home for a couple a hours and she pays me for it.

I stay active but some days it is very hard.  The 15 medications I am do alright for the most part.  I suppose I could be a lot worse off.  Nothing is a 100%.

My favorite seasons are spring and summer.  Fall is pretty and I absolutely loathe winter & snow.  My favorite colors are lavender and cream.  My favorite soda is Dr. Pepper and cream soda.  I love the clean scents of hyacinth, lavender, vanilla, and cotton.  I love being out of doors, out in the woods or by some water, with my husband fishing or out on the kayak, with my just wandering around, checking out the nature, taking pictures, and notes, and samples.  We love to go camping.  I love to explore, hence the urban’xing.  Want to see a cool shot I took last summer at an abandoned tuberculosis sanitarium?

 

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This was a patient’s room. Since this was TB hospital. these doors opened so their bed could be wheel out any season so they could reap the benefits of the fresh air. Back then, it was believed the fresh air would cure the TB, no matter what time of year. I just love that peeling paint! It is the lead in the paint that makes old paint like that peel. This place is located in WNY.

From time to time, I may share some shots on here with you I’ve taken for my “Beauty In Decay Project” or for my personal photography.  I absolutely love to shoot nature and wildlife, and landscape  photography.  Here is three more great shots I got last summer…and btw, usually any shots that I post are for sale.  All you have to do is contact me.  I also sell prints for reasonable prices and I frame and matte them myself too!

Three long trees in a field just before a storm…
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He snuck up on me!
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This is the last look he gave me before he left.

I really, really hope you’ve enjoyed this post.  I’ve put a lot of time and effort into this.  Like I said before, it’s been a few months in the making and been through edits multiple times.  I’m kinda nervous about putting this out there lol 🙂  I am just nervous about negative feedback is all.

If you are encouraged or informed by something you have read here at Ramblings of a Plain Girl, please consider liking my page on Facebook or simply by leaving a comment below.

Heather

March’s Full Worm Moon

March’s Full Worm Moon is named for the time when the ground softens…

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It’s the first Full Moon of Spring, although in many locations, this Moon arrives between the seasons. As snows melt and chlorophyll rushes up to green the grass, earthworm castings begin to appear everywhere; this draws the robins, the plump and friendliest of backyard birds. It’s a time for leaping forward and for clearing any remaining cobwebs, for releasing what doesn’t serve your future growth.

At the time of this spring Moon, the ground begins to soften and earthworm casts reappear, inviting the return of robins. This is also known as the Sap Moon, as it marks the time when maple sap begins to flow and the annual tapping of maple trees begins.

Snow slowly begins to melt, the ground softens, and earthworms show their heads again and their castings or fecal matter can be found. Other signs of spring gave rise to other variations: the cawing of crows (the Crow Moon); the formation of crusts on the snow from repeated thawing and freezing (the Crust Moon); and the time for tapping maple trees (the Sap Moon). Christian settlers also called this the Lenten Moon and considered it the last moon of winter.  It has also been called the Death Moon.

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The Full Worm Moon will light up the skies Sunday (March 12). This will be the last full moon of the winter season, rising just eight days before the vernal equinox, or spring.

In the U.S., the moon will be at its fullest at 9:54 a.m. EDT (1454 GMT). Because the moon rises in the evening for viewers along the East Coast, many Americans will not see the moon at peak fullness. The moon, however, will be between 99 and 100 percent illuminated from March 11 to March 13, so there will be plenty of time to check out its brightly glowing face.

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Skywatchers in Hawaii will be able to catch the exact moment the moon is fullest before sunrise, at 4:54 a.m. HST, while those in the Middle East and surrounding areas of the Eastern Hemisphere will see the moon reach peak fullness after it pokes over the horizon in the evening.

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Your Inspiration For 08 March 2017

Some inspiration to guide you along your day for 09 March 2017…BE INSPIRED today!

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If we train ourselves to reach for a snack or pick up the phone to text-message whenever we feel frightened or bored, this is definitely training. The next time we feel uncomfortable we will also tend to reach for some comfort outside ourselves, eventually establishing a deeply ingrained habit, another brick in the wall of our mental prison.

—Gaylon Ferguson, “Fruitless Labor

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No work or love will flourish out of guilt, fear, or hollowness of heart, just as no valid plans for the future can be made by those who have no capacity for living now.
Alan Watts

When it is impossible for anger to arise within you, you find no outside enemies anywhere. An outside enemy exists only if there is anger inside.
Lama Zopa Rinpoche

You want to know about anybody? See what books they read, and how they’ve been read…
Keri Hulme

When a distraught mother asked [the Buddha] to heal the dead child she carried in her arms, he did not perform a miracle, but instead instructed her to bring him a mustard seed from a house where no one had ever died. She returned from her search without the seed, but with the knowledge that death is universal.

—The Buddha, “Who is the Buddha?

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I love Rumi…

Inspiration for the Day: Try to pay attention to your intentions.

If you are encouraged or informed by something you have read here at Ramblings of a Plain Girl, please consider liking my page on Facebook or simply by leaving a comment below.

Paranormal Bandwagon & Sunbury Lunatic Asylum

A photograph taken at a notorious lunatic asylum in Victoria has caused quite a ruckus today…

Eerie photo appears to be ghost of doomed patient on roof of Melbourne hospital

That article came through on my FB feed this morning.  A friend had shared it.  I’m interested in this type of stuff, so I thought, well, I’ll go check it out.  Based on the pictures, people were divided on whether or not it was truly an apparition or a chimney.  A lot things created confusion, like the height of the roof in the dark, the location of the chimney in comparison to the location of the apparition, and if there really was an apparition in the first place.  It was divided.  But the majority of people believed that it was a chimney.  Now just because I am a believer, I am not the first to hop on the bandwagon and immediately say “YES”.  I gotta look at something.  I gotta zoom in and look around at the picture first and really scrutinize and see something before saying that there is something there.  This is what I came up with.  I will let you decide for yourself.  The night shot was taken Sunbury Historical Tour’s participant Ebony Toth-Littlewood during one of the night tours of the Old Mental Hospital.  She captured what appears to be a female patient on the roof of the Old Nurse’s Quarters.

Original Shot…

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My Conclusion…

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A little history…

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Sunbury Lunatic Asylum first opened in October 1879. Its proclamation as an asylum was published in the Government Gazette on 31 October 1879.

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Prior to being opened as an asylum, Sunbury was controlled by the Department of Industrial and Reformatory Schools (VA 1466). When Sunbury was acquired by the Hospitals for the Insane Branch (VA 2863) patients were transferred from the Ballarat Asylum (VA 2844) and the Ballarat Asylum was handed over to the Department of Industrial and Reformatory Schools. Patients were also transferred from Yarra Bend Asylum (VA 2839).

Since its establishment the title of the institution at Sunbury has been altered several times to reflect both the community’s changing attitude towards mental illness an2886679d the Victorian Government’s approach to the treatment of mentally disturbed persons. Despite the changes in designation the function and structure of the agency has not altered significantly, therefore the institution has been registered as one continuous agency. From its establishment until 1905 the institution at Sunbury was known as an Asylum. This title emphasised its function as a place of detention rather than a hospital which provided treatment for mentally ill people who could be cured. The Lunacy Act 1903 (No.1873) of changed the title of all “asylums” to “hospitals for the insane”. This Act came into operation in March 1905. The Mental Hygiene Act 1933 (No.4157) altered the title to “mental hospitals”.

An asylum/hospital for the insane etc. was any public building proclaimed by the Governor-in-Council and published in the Government Gazette as a place for the reception of mentally ill persons. An asylum could also provide wards for the temporary reception of patients as well as long term patients. Up until the Mental Health Act 1959 became operative in 1962 these “short-term” wards were known as “receiving houses” or “receiving wards”. The Mental Health Act 1959 (No.6605) designated hospitals providing short-term diagnosis and accommodation as “psychiatric hospitals”. However throughout its life Sunbury has been used almost exclusively for long-term patients.

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Patients could not be retained in an Asylum without a warrant requesting their admission. Prior to 1867 the warrant was signed by the Governor. After this date the Chief Secretary (VRG 26) was responsible for this function. From 1934 the Director of Mental Hygiene (VA 2866) and from 1952 the Chief Medical Officer of the Mental Hygiene Branch (VA 2866) were successively responsible for admission of patients. The Lunacy Act 1914 (No.2539) made provision for the admission of patients on a voluntary basis, i.e. on a patient’s own request for a specified period of time.

In 1962 under the provisions of the Mental Health Act 1959 (No.6605) Sunbury was proclaimed in the Government Gazette as a Mental Hospital and a Training Centre as it was responsible for mentally disturbed and mentally retarded patients. In 1985 responsibility for Sunbury was passed from the Mental Health Division (VA 6961) of the Department of Health II (VA 2695) to the Office of Intellectual Disability Services (VA 2909), a division of the Department of Community Services (VA 2633). It was used for a period thereafter as a training centre to accommodate intellectually handicapped persons.

Victoria University accepted the Urban Land Authorities’ offer in 1992 to take over the Caloola site and operated it as a university campus for several years; it closed the campus in 2011 but is still home to a primary and specialist school, 3NRG radio, and the Boilerhouse Theatre Company.

In 2013, a group known as the Sunbury Asylum Alliance was established with the aim to reclaim the site for a community, training and tourism hub.

Sunbury Historical Tours

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If you are encouraged or informed by something you have read here at Ramblings of a Plain Girl, please consider liking my page on Facebook or simply by leaving a comment below.