Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Wrapping Up July: Grandkid Pics

Here are my favorite grandkid pictures from
the latter part of July.  Something for everyone.

Hunter helps Grandma harvest green beans.

And that means Bri is on the lookout for beans, too.

The kids help Grandma get them ready to cook.

Here's Disappearing Claire!

How's this for random.  We needed stamps, so I
bought these muscle car commemoratives.  I scanned the
 sheet so I can show the kids, but we're using those things!

Speaking of muscles . . . .

Skeptical Bri allows Grandpa one picture.

Claire poses on one foot.  Because she can.

Not sure who this celebrity is, but I couldn't
pass up the photo op.  No autograph, though.

Claire's playing hard-to-get.  Sort of.

Let's blow bubbles.
There aren't enough bubbles in this world.

You blow bubbles, I'll bust 'em.
Or better yet, eat 'em.

Funny faces, hiding faces, and entertaining royalty
are all part of Family Night at the Loyds'.

Don't worry.  This was just for appetizers.
They all ate a hearty meal, too.

Hunter is engrossed in his little factory.  The little balls
are people.  He speaks for them in a small voice,
"My turn, my turn."

Evan and Claire are a lapful for story time.
And that suits Grandpa just fine.

Hunter is sure getting independent-- as are all the kids.
This day, he wanted to put in one of Amanda's old
cassette story tapes and follow along with "Peter and
the Wolf."  I told him what buttons to push and he did
the rest.  He stuck with it for a while even though I went in
 the other room to be with Bri.  I snuck back for this photo.

Not only did Bri color a bunch of pictures, she later
wrote bunches of numbers and words all over her
pictures-- then asked me what she had written.  Hmm.

I had pictures of Evan and Claire in the pool a while
back.  This was the first day I remembered to bring
the camera out for Hunter and Bri.

Isn't that the happiest shark you've ever seen?

Bri is so proud of her little brother.

Here, I think he's a beached whale.
Actually, he's sliding from the wading pool
over to the pink slip-and-slide pool.

No injuries, no lost teeth, even with all the
backwards and headfirst slides.

Since keeping cool is the primary objective, we do
more imaginative play than actual swimming.  In
fact, I don't know if a goldfish could swim in this pool.

In Bri's vivid imagination, all these pool toys become
Grandma's garden vegetables.  And Bri is the chef.

Don't you dare think this means Hunter is tired.
He's just pretending to be asleep so he won't have
to go home yet.  It worked for a little while.
In the next blog, I'll share a few cute videos
 that go along with these wonderful summer days.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Rankin Museum: Hidden Jewel of Ellerbe, NC

On a recent Friday, Judy and I took one of
our trademark day trips.  Our destination was
the tiny town of Ellerbe in neighboring Richmond
County.  The main attraction was the famed
Rankin Museum, located in the most unlikely
of places.  Our visit was most rewarding.

I would recommend this museum to both adults
and families with children.  There's something for
everyone, plus a small gift shop.

Here's Dr. P. R. Rankin, Jr., whose lifelong
collections comprise the vast majority of this
museum's impressive contents.  Read historical
background at

Dr. Rankin lived out the dreams of
many young folks.

This vintage milk bottle touts the healthy
benefits of milk.

This similar milk bottle was not in the museum.
I found it in our yard, just a few weeks ago. It
states: "A Bottle of Milk is a Bottle of Health."
Coming from a dairy family, I'm quick to agree!
Below are samples of the multitude of exhibits.

Samples from Dr. Rankin's personal library

Spinning wheel

Weaving loom and assorted antiques

This exhibit was especially interesting to me because
of a story in the Jack Tales by Richard Chase, which I
always read to my classes.  The story of "Hardy Hardhead"
in that book tells how a remarkable character helped
out-duel a witch by bouncing headfirst off a hackle 
(pictured above and below) and breaking out all the steel
teeth in it-- without batting an eye.

Not a story for the squeamish

There were many exhibits from America's wars
over more than a century.

This printing press, which students operated, was
instrumental in the Ellerbe School's international
rise to fame in the 1930's.  Its successful philosophy
of "learning by doing" attracted over 4,000 visitors
in one year.

Another exhibit that had personal meaning for
me was this one featuring a tool called a "froe."

This is also a froe-- but it wasn't in the museum.
This is one that my Daddy's granddaddy used to
split shingles for the Loyd barn.  Daddy just called
it a shingle-splitter.

Another reason I'm glad my generation came later.

A turpentine distillery

There were many displays of wildlife, both from
our region and around the world.

Dr. Rankin's medical apparatus and bag

I'm not sure, but perhaps this was a ring-toss game . . . .

I'm sure this gator is a favorite of school groups.

There were numerous display cases filled with fascinating
shells, fossils, minerals, and more.

This display demonstrates the relative size of
predator (a shark) and prey.  Another schoolkid
favorite, I'm sure. 

Do you remember the famed Tar Heel wrestler,
Andre the Giant?  His life is chronicled here.

You don't get these size boots at Shoe Show.

With the close proximity to Town Creek Indian Mound,
no wonder there's a huge exhibit of Native American artifacts.
 And no wonder we were hungry while in Ellerbe.
However, we passed up the Dixie Burger, as intriguing
as it was.  After all, we've got Carthage's Chuckwagon.

Instead, we chose Denise's Diner, and were well-pleased.
The prices were good, food really was home cooked,
and it seemed popular with the local folks.  That's always
a sure-fire indicator of where to dine!
So that is a brief look at our day trip to Ellerbe.
If you've never been there, set aside time for a visit.