Going up in a Hot air Balloon at the Fair-Skywatch Friday

Yesterday was opening day at the Hunterdon County 4-H and agricultural  Fair. “What language did you just speak?” the  hot air balloon man said as I climbed into with first one foot, then another (Ha, Ha, Ha). What I was really saying very fast was,  “I’m feel like I’m an Olympic athlete  (thinking gymnastics-pommel horse) trying to the climb up into this thing.”  First, I put one foot up, then I quickly (split second) realized, my best way was to get on my knees (the leather edges of the balloon’s basket were very soft), hold on to the ropes, and hoist myself up, and then step down. “Hooray, I’m in.”  All of this happened very fast. The prior riders had to stay inside the balloon’s basket to provide weight until both my husband and then I got in.  My husband is taller, so he practically stepped in with ease.

Let me backtrack to the beginning.

As soon as we parked the car, and started to walk along the gravel road, a rep from the balloon company asked us if we wanted to try the Hot Air Balloon ride.  I asked, “How long are you up there?” He said, “About 30 seconds, then the balloon slowly comes down.  Pat is always game to try new things, and said, “Yes, we’ll do it!”, and the man said to gather over there to wait.  I’ll get in line, but there’s still time to change my mind, I thought. There was hardly a line.

I’ll have to say that the hardest part was climbing into the hot air balloon basket!!! I had imagined that it might feel like a giant rocking chair swaying in the sky to the wind’s, I was hoping, gentle breeze.  To my amazement,  I was correct. Of course, this was a trial, and the hot air balloon was tied securely on three sides to three heavy pick-up trucks.

Hot Air Balloon at the Hunterdon County fair

I was holding on to the camera, and my husband asks, “Have you taken a picture yet?” No, I say, as I’m clutching very tightly to the camera string, I might drop it. “Pass it to me,” he says. So here’s my picture too.

I’m up in the hot air balloon, “Smile for the camera”!

Would you like to see how enormous the fair is?  This is the “bird’s-eye view”!!

A “bird’s-eye” view or “hot air balloon eye”-view of the Fair!!

Look at all those tents, red and white striped ones, and there’s an enormous amusement ride to the right of the photo.

Can you see the heavy ropes secured to both the hot air balloon basket and the two pick-up trucks?

Hot air balloon and the cable and ropes.

In the photo above, there is one of the pick-up trucks, a dark green truck that the hot air balloon is secured to with cable lines.

The balloon company workers are wearing the light blue tee shirts.  Very nice and helpful guys.  You must listen and follow their instructions of when to climb in and when to climb out of the balloon’s basket.   They are pretty strong, too, when my mother had her turn in the hot air balloon, they lifted her out of the basket.

a view inside the hot air balloon!

Of course, I zoomed in , while standing on the ground to get this shot of the interior of the balloon.  While I was on the hot air balloon, it was exactly that , Hot!!!!  , I felt the heat, but I didn’t look up!

Here’s the Hot Air balloon company ‘s mascot

 In Flight Balloon adventures is the name of the company.


This little dog was so cute, and very friendly to us.  He was well trained to stay inside the pick-up truck, too.

Let’s get our walking shoes on and get this party started.

Here’s me with one of the llamas!!

Did you know that llamas are used on farms as guard animals, “guard Llamas” .  They protect against  wild  coyotes.    I can see why, these animals seem cuddly cute but they are very tall compared to a sheep.

This teen is showing this llama in Dressage and an obstacle course on Saturday night.

two 4-H ‘ers at the entrance to the The cow barn!

Come on, we’re going to take a little closer look at the cows!  Cows are my favorite farm animal!! You can call me cow paparazzi!!

Cows at the Hunterdon county fair.

There is a tent where judging of the cows take place as well.

Cow and the pink sign above has birthdate info.

the cow’ s name is ” Layla and is one years old.

 " Think it, Love it, Do it, Live it  "

4-H sign, ” Think it, Love it, Do it, Live it “in the sheep barn

Do you know the 4-H Pledge?

I pledge

my head to clearer thinking.

My heart to greater loyalty

my hands to larger service

and my health to better living

for my club, my community, my country, and my world.

“It is a common practice to involve hand motions to accompany these spoken words. While reciting the first line of the pledge, the speaker will point to their head with both of their hands. As the speaker recites the second line, they will place their right hand over their heart, much like during the Pledge of Allegiance. For the third line, the speaker will present their hands, palm side up, before them. For the fourth line, the speaker will motion to their body down their sides. And for the final line, the speaker will usually place their right hand out for club, left hand for community, bring them together for country, and then bring their hands upwards in a circle for world.”

(from Wikipedia).

Both my sister an I belonged to 4_H clubs from the age of 9 years through high school; each year, we  entered our cooking and sewing projects  and in our teen years did twirling demos and competitions.

Saturday – Weekend Caravan

You'll see cows grazing along a county road.

We’re going on local weekend caravan ride.  We’re taking a drive down a long and windy county road, crossing two thoroughfares along the way, we will see a pasture with cows and be tempted to stop and take more photos of the cows grazing.

cows grazing along county road 518

Emu says "hello!"

Hopewell Museum, a 45 min tour became a 2 hr with all my talking!

We rode into the town of Blawenburg and stopped there for the Reformed church’s spring flea market and sale. It was the last day of the sale, so fill up a bag for $5.00.  We put in there a spring wooden door decoration, 4 picnic paper plate holders, a small handmad wooden jar with lid, a spatula, Ekco-made in the USA, a tortilla cookbook, a Babi movie, a few more books, a tube of lotion, a Santa hat with ” Mr’ Claus” in red and green glitter.  What a find!

Then we drove into the next town of Hopewell.  It is a historic town.  After lunch, we walked across the street, to tour the Hopewell house museum.  Perferct for us , it opens at 2:00 P.M. on Saturdays.

The Hopewell Museum is a four level brownstone building   built in 1877 by Randolph Stout .     In 1967, a two story addition was added due to the generosity of Dr. David H. Hill, to display additional fine collections, including his collection of Southwestern Native American crafts.

The first inhabitants were the  marriage of Mr. Stout.   Guests came from Philadelphia, and Trenton, and other large cities for the wedding.

During this era, the  mode of transportation was horse and buggy;  Displayed in one of the rooms of the house are memorabilia   of the early Hopewell.     There are old wooden signs for places of business . For  example, the” American Grocer ” which had the option of delivery of groceries first horse-drawn, and later by car.  In the photo , there is a row of delivery cars, that look similar to the a PT Cruiser car.  photos of Main street with the horse stables.   Even the Fire Company wagon was horse drawn.

One of the museum ladies asked us if we’d like a tour , it takes only 45 minutes.  Of course , with me interjecting comments and taking a long time to gaze at each of the rooms, we were in there for two hours.

The first floor has Period rooms, a Victorian parlour with 2  mannequins dressed in vintage wedding dresses.  No you cannot take photos. 😦   On the opposite side oof the hallway in the front is the calling room.  There was an antique sofa , beautiful furniture , and the box for the ” calling cards” .  Every room in the house had a fireplace since during this time in the 1800’s, built in 1877 by Randolph Stout, there wasn’t electricity.  In 1967, a two story addition was added due to the generosity of Dr. David H. Hill, to display additional fine collections, including his collection of Southwestern Native American crafts.

We  walked upstairs, and toured about 4 or 5 rooms , some of them bedrooms, and then I was surprised that there was yet another flight of stairs for more rooms to tour.  There was a children’s toy room.  The toys included two dollhouses, and one boy’s castle complete with metal soldiers.  Also were antique dolls with porcelain faces and wax arms and legs sitting in doll carriages with big wheels.  Many of the possessions are of local origin.

On this topmost floor, was a room with Civil war, and  World War I mannequins dressed in uniform.  The uniform was a dark green britches, and a wool “Ace Wrap-looking was wound around the lower legs, to keep warm  winter when they fought.

There’s another room with Fire Department uniforms and their Fire Department hats, and photos of the horse drawn fire truck.

This is worth the time if you are enthusiastic about history, and live close to the state of New Jersey.  There are several floors, be prepared for all of the flights of stairs!!    If you’re hungry, the town has quite a few nice restaurants  and sandwich shops.  Stay for the evening, and you can take in a play at the Hopewell Dessert theater.

Scenic Sunday

Baby cow on Lancaster county farm

Baby cow on Lancaster county farm

Happy Scenic Sunday everyone! It’s a little late, I was working all weekend.

For more Secenic Sunday photos:

Beyond Pennsbury Manor- The farm animals

What do you have for me?

What do you have for me?

Farm animal friends;the horse and the peacock

Farm animal friends;the horse and the peacock

Big brown eyes looking out!

Big brown eyes looking out!

Come along now, Bessie and Brownie

Come along now, Bessie and Brownie

And good day to you, too!

And good day to you, too!

cows of PA

"Hey, are you taking a picture?"

I wonder who loves cows enough  to photograph them?   Like  Me!

Mi domandochi ama le mucche abbastanza a photograh lor come faccio.  (in Italian)

On a recent trip to Hershey, PA , we passed pastures with Holstein cows a few miles away.  I said to my husband,” look there’s the cows”, “oh , please stop at the next farm, I want to take a picture of the cows” almost pouting.  Once stopped, I could have gotten closer, but it  was me standing there and a seemingly thin wire fence.  How fast do they “moove” anyway.? LOL.

I was happy as could be, now that I had my cows on film.

There also was a herd of brown cows, beef cattle along the edge of the road behind a fence.  I wondered what kept them from crossing the fence onto the road.

Many years ago,  we went on rides in the country with my grandparents.  If the cows were sitting, my grandmother P. would say that it was going to rain; an old wives tale perhaps.   While riding in the car, my mother would say, “look out the window at the cows.”  We would stop our conversation or games and turn our heads to look.

Now, I love to  look at the cows. Relaxing , maybe seeing them standing quietly evokes  a slower pace.   Whenever I come to the place where I know there is a dairy farm a few miles from my house, I cast a glance in the direction of the dairy farm’s grounds.   Are they close to the road?  Are they far in the distance,  near their barn and large-size funny imitation cow for decoration.  Today, as I drove on South Middlebush Road, the cows were in a pasture to the  left side of the road.  Most of them were close to the fence and they were sitting down.  As I got closer to my destination, you guessed it, it was raining (drizzling). Just like my grandmother P. used to say.

In Italian:

Su un viaggio recente a Hershey, Pa, abbiamo passato i pascoli con le mucche dell’ Holstein.

“IL colorato beige della mucca, seite che esaminate il me.”

November 7, 2008

I’ve added one more photo.  This is of a farm in New Jersey.  It’s along Rt. 518.  I don’t know the name of the farm.  One day last fall, the cows were fairly close to the road and I had my camera with me.  Yahoo.  I parked the car and walked a little closer.  This beige cow photographed seemed to look up from the grass he/she was munching and say, ” this is the first time somebody stopped to take our picture” or ” are you looking at me”  A photogenic cow.  The others are contentedly grazing.   There are more photos; perhaps my friend will create  a painting for me.

Any comments out there. Where are you from?

Scrivere,  Dove vive?


Hello and thanks for stopping by.  We’d love to hear from you.  Farm animals are fun to look at !

Please share with me your comments on these photos of the Holstein cows. I’d love to hear what you think!

Southern Vermont-Hill Farm Inn

Baa, Baaa

Baa, Baaa


One place that is sure to renew your soul and give you a sense of tranquility is Southern Vermont. From the first glimpse of the Green Mountains, the red covered bridges on the quiet back roads, the cows in the pasture along the side of the road, the silos in the distance, you know that you have arrived at a special place. If peace and quiet is what you’re looking for, then this is the place to get away from the hustle and bustle of busy three and four lane highways back home. You won’t find them here. As a matter of fact, with two laned roads, there’s less street lights. At night, when no other car is on the road,except for your cars headlights, it is pitch black in either direction. My cousins who moved to Vermont several years ago, live on a road like that in East Dorset.
During our travel from Manchester to Weston along the roads, I wondered if we’d see a moose. We didn’t, however my cousins reported that one of their daughters has seen a moose along the road at the edge of The Green Mountains.


Be sure to stop in the Vermont cheese shop. There’s quite a selection of goodies to choose from, Vermont cheeses,different grades of maple syrup, and a variety of Vermont themed gifts, in earrrings and nic nacs.that include spoon rests, shot glasses, and ceramics. Vermont bottled soda is delicious. It’s all natural ,and made with cane sugar with country pictures on each bottle in flavors of Maple soda, Vermont Root Beer, strawberry rhubarb and orange tangerine. An item that I was elated to find was the Old_fashioned Calendar towel. I was so excited, that I called a friend at home to inquire which on she wanted. There was a variety of calendar towels to choose from, a blue and white tea service with a quote, to cats and lemons. Guess what I came home with. Three, yes three of the same design RED COVERED BRIDGES.

This place is huge!

This place is huge!

You’ll find many items that were availabe to people many years ago. Vermont-made suspenders, cotton floral embroidered hankies, granny flannel nightgown, tortoise hair combs, Cola syrup(soothes your stomach), Tabu, the original smear-proof lipstick, and old-fashioned cream rouge,
Sold here and in the catolog is Old-time resin-free cotton sheets (wrinkle-free), goose-down pillows, and Chenille bedspreads; my mother, to my surprise donated all of her old chenille bedspreads and they are back in style for some. Mountain Weave table linens woven in Pennsylvania and cut into tablecloth, napkins and placemats by people in neighboring Dorset, Vermont, in primary or pastel colors. 100% cotton floursack towels, absorbent and economical used by frugal Vermonters. Chair pads and wedge pillows can be found here in cotton, duck and curduroy fabrics. There are candy treats, chocolates and jelly. Vermont cheddar cheese and Vermont maple syrup and jars of maple butter are at the top of most visitors lists.
Classic toys such as the sock monkeys (1939), wooden calliope,Tiddledy Winks, tin kaleidoscope, potholder metal loom, and Paint-by number set of a red covered bridge can also be found here.

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