Thursday, September 29, 2016

Daniel Boone Country/Frankfort, Kentucky

Of course one who writes "The BooneDocks" would want to pay respects to the Daniel Boone who founded the first white man settlement in Kentucky and blazed the Wilderness Road through the Cumberland Gap of the Appalachians by which many other settlers of mid-America passed. We did this by visiting the grave site of Daniel Boone and his wife Rebecca in a cemetery in Frankfort, Kentucky -- the capital of Kentucky.

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Daniel and Rebecca Boone actually died and were buried in Missouri. But the remains were subsequently dug up and reinterred in a hillside grave site high above the Kentucky River. There is some question if the remains of Daniel really were moved as he may have been buried at the foot of Rebecca's grave rather than at her side. One anthropologist contends the remains in Frankfurt really are of a slave.

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So, are the BooneDocks descendants of Daniel Boone? Well, we obviously love to blaze the trail traveling about the country just as Daniel did. But we are afraid that is about the only connection. Daniel Boone was of English and Welsh descent. Our Boone heritage in the new world dates back to 1741 when Johann Diel Bohne of Germany arrived on a ship in Philadelphia. Within a generation the Bohne name had been changed to the English Boone version. So, in all likelihood we don't have a blood connection to Daniel.

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While in Frankfort, we also toured the State Capitol building and viewed the Governor's Mansion and the floral clock on the capitol grounds. It was pretty much your typical capitol building with House, Senate, and Supreme Court Chambers within a stone building featuring a rotunda and various statues of famous citizens. The floral clock was particularly impressive as it was a giant flower pot suspended at an angle on a pedestal over a fountain.

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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The Bourbon Trail

Kentucky is well known for something beyond horses and that is bourbon whiskey. Bourbon is distilled mainly from corn and is aged in oak barrels. The Kentucky Bourbon Trail is an association of whiskey distillers that offer tours at their distillery locations. Brands of the various members include Jim Beam, Maker's Mark, Wild Turkey and Four Roses.

We toured the Buffalo Trace distillery, which was the closest one to the location where we were camped. Although not a formal stop on the Bourbon Trail, it is definitely one of the old order of distilleries in Kentucky. Some of their whiskey brands include Buffalo Trace, Eagle Rare, and Blanton's. You can see the layout of the distillery complex and view live cameras in the following link:

https://www.buffalotracedistillery.com/

Our tour did not include the stills as there was a separate hard hat tour going through that area, but we did get to see specialty bottling, the barrel houses, and a tasting. Our favorites were the Bourbon Ball candies. They have a bourbon-laced creamy center, covered in chocolate, and topped with a pecan half. Yummy! We went to the Rebecca-Ruth candy factory where they are made and bought a pound box of them. We are trying not to touch them until we are back in Florida when we can share them on very special occasions.

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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Horsing Around In Lexington, KY

From Columbus we moved one State south to the Commonwealth of Kentucky. What is a Commonwealth and why does Kentucky call itself one? Commonwealth basically means a political community founded for the common good of its people. It does loosely relate back to the days of British colonies and rule. Kentucky wasn't a colony of Britain, but it was a part of the Commonwealth of Virginia and the Commonwealth moniker apparently stuck when Kentucky separated from Virginia. The few States that call themselves Commonwealths have no special status vis-a-vis any other State, it's just a part of history reflected in the official name of the State.

We had driven by Lexington on I75 on a few occasions. It was one of those places where you say, "one day we will find the time to stop here for awhile." This time we did. Kentucky is known for horses. And the horse center of Kentucky is the greater Lexington area. One major theme of our visit was to experience a bit of that horse culture.

We did a few different driving tours to see the bluegrass, board fence, rock wall horse farms of Lexington.

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  We spent a good part of a day touring the Kentucky Horse Park, somewhat of a theme park of man's relationship with the horse. It is a two-square-mile working horse farm that holds various shows and competitions as well. There was a horse jumping competition going on during our visit. There are two museums on site -- the Museum of the Horse, an affiliate of the Smithsonian, and the American Saddlebred Museum. The Park showcases many of the various breeds of horses of the world.

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Another horse related stop we made was to Keeneland Farms. It is famous in horse circles for two reasons -- its racetrack which many regard as the world's finest and as the premier horse auction venue of the world. There weren't any races going on at Keeneland during our stay, but they were conducting their all important Fall sale of yearling thoroughbred horses -- where potential future Triple Crown race winners are sold. We were able to sit in on part of the auction. After recently watching a 4-H auction of animals in a sawdust ring in a barn, we were blown away by the sale facility at Keeneland. While watching we made sure we didn't make any sudden body movements and thereby purchasing by accident a Thoroughbred horse. We saw one sell for $150,000. We heard earlier in the week a yearling had sold for $3 million. But we saw one horse sell where the auctioneer practically had to beg to draw out a winning bid of $1,000.

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Monday, September 26, 2016

Last Summer Visit to Columbus

After Labor Day we proceeded to our third and final stay in Columbus with little grandson Victor. We got to watch him two full days on each of our final two weeks there. It was nice spending some real quality and bonding time with the little guy. The new news between our Columbus visits was that Victor had his hair cut for the first time. The curls now are gone and he looks so much more grown up.

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We all went out for a belated 65th birthday dinner for Gary as we had been in Michigan on his actual birthday. Victor celebrated by crawling up to the booster seat which earlier had been set aside in the corner of the back of the booth. And I was able to snap a picture of the Boone Boys.

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Victor did have a very special message for his Grandpa Boone.  Click on the following link: https://youtu.be/acqZPQ1tza8

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Sister's Birthday/Michigan Wrap Up

Once again, I am behind in my blogging.  So let’s get at least the beginning of the month caught up.

My younger sister turned 50 this year (she is the one in the pictures "wearing" the bunny ears). We planned our schedule this Summer so we could be in Michigan for Gary's 5K race and me to be around for my sister's birthday. And I wasn't just around. I threw a birthday party around the old campfire for her (albeit "camped" at the Wayne County Fairgrounds). But we really did have a campfire.

My mother and my older sister came as well and of course Gary was there too. We got all caught up, solved all the world's problems, and had a nice birthday celebration. I cooked out and grilled chicken and had a meal with all the fixings. I even made a birthday pie -- the Boone family recipe for sugar cream pie. And to finish it off, we had toasted marshmallows over that campfire I mentioned.

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We finished our stay in Michigan after Labor Day. We spent a total of 5 weeks there this Summer. It was nice to be "home" with family and friends. So on to Columbus (from where we actually already have left) and more time with Grandson Victor. I'll have to get that blog done before at least we move on from our current location.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Gary Isn't The Only One To Lose Weight

Gary isn't the only one of us who has lost weight. Actually, I have lost just about as much as he has. We joke that between us we have lost the equivalent of a person.

Most of Gary's weight loss has been through diet and exercise. Mine came off a little differently as I had two life events in the past year that affected my lifestyle. One was the loss of my Dad. That was an emotional and stressful time and I lost weight because of it. And the other was my shoulder surgery and subsequent recovery. You just don't eat a lot when you are in the kind of pain that accompanies a shoulder surgery and the pain medicine took away my appetite as well. And the physical therapy got me active..

But Gary and I are both eating much more wisely. We eschew the buffets, sweets, and snacks. So just how much did I lose? Well, a woman never tells. But from the pictures below you will get the idea.

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Sunday, August 28, 2016

Gary’s 65th Birthday

While traveling this Summer, Gary had a milestone birthday.  He is now a carding carrying member of Medicare.  He wrote about his birthday on Facebook.  He wrote so well, that I will just cut and paste it below.  Happy 65th, my love!

 

MY BIRTHDAY PRESENT TO MYSELF. Thank you all very much for all the kind birthday wishes. I gave myself a present for my 65th birthday -- a much healthier body. Over 20 years ago, I finally quit the cigarettes but with that came a weight gain of over 50 pounds. Although I was much better off by quitting tobacco, I carried around a body of 250 to 260 pounds thereafter. I remained active and stayed healthy overall, but carrying that much weight was taking a toll. My joints knew I was too heavy. Moreover some of my health metrics such as blood pressure and sugar were at the very high end of the normal range. I had a couple bouts of gout and they were rather painful. So through diet and exercise, I took off 60 pounds over the last year. I cut out the snacks, practiced portion control, and took up walking/running and weight lifting to rebuild my strength which had been waning. Back at the beginning of 2016, I told Leeanne that I was going to run a 5K (3.1 mile) race on my 65th birthday. She literally burst out laughing when I announced that one which at the time probably was the appropriate response. But I walked every day and up to 10 miles at a time until I got down to 225. At that point, I started running. These old muscles struggled with running as I suffered several minor muscle tears along the way, but I was going to run that 5K race on my 65th birthday muscle tears or not. I ran the whole way through "The 5K On The Runway" at the Willow Run Airport in Belleville, Michigan. I finished in the top half of all runners and was second in the 65 to 69 age group. And most importantly, I am healthier and stronger and am feeling good physically and about what I have accomplished.

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A picture album for the race and the related air show is at:    https://goo.gl/photos/nzMUJxFnW2iLxb5KA