Blog share #4: Into the South

Here comes another early blog from my list, and one that I just restored to my follows. I’m not sure how it got taken off of my follow list, although I have been known to click tabs and such without realizing what the consequences might be. I don’t think that I really noticed that this historically related blog was MIA because I typically follow Michelle and Brett of Belle Grove Plantation Bed & Breakfast on Facebook.

I discovered Michelle’s early blog on a search for vacation bed & breakfast locations a few years ago. It must have been on one of those days when I was dreaming of adventure, and musing on things to see and do on the opposite coast. I limit my flying so perhaps I was contemplating a long road trip. I have always wanted to visit some of the historically important areas of the United States. New England is high on my list, as well as some of the south so I surmise that some sort of related search led me to this blog.

When I first encountered Belle Grove and Michelle in 2012, her entire focus was getting all the governmental documents approved to be listed as, and used for, the purpose of a historical B&B location. She wrote often of the struggles and regulation hurdles that she was jumping over to bring her goal to fruition. The plantation house was in need of repair, as well as the surrounding lands, so her journey was just beginning even when she won the approval to go ahead as a bona fide business.

Michelle has since worked diligently to restore the plantation house itself with period antiques. Many of her posts and Facebook updates take readers on her adventures to antique auctions and stores. She and Brett, their children, and countless volunteers have logged hour upon hour in this restoration process and Michelle is amazing in her willingness to share pictures of every step of the process. Reading her blog and Facebook page has given me the opportunity to feel as if I have personally visited so much of Belle Grove without ever setting foot in Virginia.

I believe that since its opening Belle Grove has maintained a steady stream of overnight guests. Living in an area of Virginia that is historically valuable and uses that validity to its advantage in community activities has helped Belle Grove to establish itself as a destination. Michelle makes certain that the B&B is represented in the social activities of their community, has created a network of business associates who service the plantation, and has willingly encouraged the use of Belle Grove for local large-scale events as well as private and more personal festivities such as weddings and anniversary weekends.

Michelle has also spent countless hours researching the history of Belle Grove Plantation with its presidential connections and maintains that history through living reenactments and events.

If you are a history enthusiast, are looking for a quiet location for a weekend getaway, need a spectacular place for an event, want to do some ghost hunting, or just want to follow Michelle’s personal journal detailing her journey and commitment to this historical restoration, then I highly believe you will find something of interest in the Belle Grove blog.

Give yourself plenty of time though, as you explore the blog. I would suggest that you start from the beginning to really connect with the complete story of Belle Grove in both words and pictures. It’s entirely worth the effort.

And, of course you have to come to know Hurley-the official plantation dog.




I’ve sprung a leak

It’s Friday night, 7 PM. I’m sitting here alone. The cat is sleeping in the chair opposite me. I have a few candles burning, a few lights on here and there, the new curtains are pulled tight and it is dark, dark, dark outside. No stars, just heavy rain and wind. That wind is coming in gusts that blow around the corner of the house and rattle the windows. At least I’m not under six feet of snow. I can’t even imagine six feet of snow or what I would do if my house was buried under mountains of snow.

Our states mountains are getting snow though, so much in fact that the two main roads over the Cascades are in a constant state of flux, being opened to traffic at one moment, then closed the next. It only took about two hours for enough snow to cause havoc.

I’ve started and stopped any number of posts in the last few days. I get what I believe to be an inspiration for some topic. then find myself either changing my mind or simply unable to gather my thoughts beyond one or two sentences. Is it possible to simply stop having opinions, to simply stop having an ability to form coherent thoughts, to literally have nothing to say? That’s about the only way I can describe this odd malaise I seem to be under when it comes to writing just now. I just sort of don’t care, nor do I want to take the time to care, or think, or really write much about anything.

If I was an artist I would depict my head as an outline with nothing inside the lines save for stark white canvas. Perhaps there would be a tiny trap door somewhere near the base of my skull, sitting just slightly ajar, with the hint that once there were words, but now only faint ghost images are visible if you look really closely at the canvas from the side, in just the right light, at just the right angle and quickly before those remnants are gone as well. Perhaps something like this, only not so bold.

I don’t feel bold at all, or even that defined. Simple black and white verging into gray and slightly translucent as if my entire being was slowly fading. A shadow of my former self…isn’t that how the saying goes.

I hope something of value creeps back in there soon, some tangible thought process ignites and bursts forth. I’d settle for a teeny, tiny spark even. Right now I got nothin…


I’m only gonna say this once, so LISTEN CLOSELY.

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Does this make it clear that rape is real, that rape cannot be overlooked, accepted, excused or tolerated at anytime, anywhere, for any reason, by anyone, ever. Thank you Alice.

Originally posted on coffee and a blank page:

[TW for discussion of sexual assault. Most of these links, too, I'm betting. Also: adult language.]

Didja hear about the rape/sexual assault/incest allegations that have been raised about your beloved actor-slash-TV dad/singer/writer/other writer’s husband/other actor-slash-TV dad/director/other director/radio personality? And when you did, whom did you believe?

If you gave credence to the survivors, then we’re good. You can sit this one out. You’re not who I’m talking to.

If, on the other hand, you found yourself thinking, “Wow, I sure hope that’s not true. Of course, there’s no real way to know, so best to remain skeptical. Maybe there was just some miscommunicationI have a lot of questions for those people claiming to have been attacked. I mean, they hardly behaved like Real Victims™. And how terrible for him

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