Friday, May 24, 2024

The Highground Veteran's Memorial Park

A great place to spend Memorial Day honoring those who serve is The Highground Veteran's Memorial Park.  Located four miles west of Neilsville Wisconsin, the memorial was built as a tribute to fallen veterans and as an honor to all those who have served.


Although I live very close to this park, I had never heard of it before and I was completely shocked by the both the scale and beauty of it.  Here's some interesting facts:  The park project began in 1984 and has grown to 155 acres.  It includes a museum, a gift shop, pavilions, picnic area, and four miles of hiking trails.  And here's the best part:  it receives NO federal or state funding, and is supported by donations and grants!  Isn't that amazing?  It is the LARGEST manned Veteran's Park in the nation!

Pictured below are "Honor Stones".  Family members and individuals alive or dead can have a stone made for them in honor of their service.



The park is filled with beautiful and meaningful statues of all the wars and conflicts the United States has been involved in. 


Below is pictured The Gold Star Tribute dedicated to anyone who has lost a family member in any of our nation's national conflicts.


Pictured below is the Persian Gulf Tribute honors all branches of military service who served through conflicts in the Middle East.  The tribute is actually the shape of a boot (which you can see from a higher viewpoint).  According to the park's website the boot impression has the following meanings:

  • The impression of the bootprint symbolically recalls the impression these men and women have had in our world.
  • The bootprint is a metaphor for marching forward in the Global War on Terrorism
  • The bootprint is a metaphor for walking with you and not past you as stated in the Mission Statement for the Tribute design.
  • The bootprint is divided into two symbolizing the sorrow felt by the loss of each of these loved ones.
  • The two-piece boot design allows for this Tribute to straddle existing trails and act as a gateway or ‘anchor’ for a section of the trail system or future Tributes.
  • The bootprint recalls the variety of impressions left in the sand, of the desert-like conditions of the Middle East conflicts.
  • The bootprint allows the Tribute to be located at a lower elevation so that those arriving to The Highground, can view the Persian Gulf Tribute from above.


The first permanent structure in the park was the 70 foot high flag pole.



Below is pictured part of the beautiful grounds and Meditation Garden.  Being a Gardner myself, I found this area of the park to be the most touching and meaningful.



Pavilion inside the Meditation Garden.




The Fountain of Tears is one of four rooms located in the Mediation Garden.  "The GI statue is the genesis of the tears in the Fountain of Tears tribute which reflects the spirituality of the Meditation Garden. In one hand the GI is holding dog tags of his fallen comrade. His other hand rests on a helmet and impaled rifle. His tears flow through the fountain under the bridge and into the pond."


As a wife and mother, this statue spoke the most to me, where the wife and child sit at the end of the pond holding a folded flag.  So sad.


Here is the story of the dove sculpture pictured below:

"On September 26, 2005, Sgt. Andrew Wallace was killed serving in Iraq. In October 2005, his mother Janie Brockman and other members of his family visited the park and talked to the director at that time, Kirk Rodman, about ways to honor Andrew. One of the options, Kirk told them, was to sponsor the Dove Signature Sculpture. Janie mentioned there had been doves at Andrew’s funeral, but didn’t elaborate. Later, Janie agreed to write a story for the newsletter about the seven doves released at Andrew’s funeral. In the meantime, welder David Hallingstad agreed to help Anne build her sculpture. On February 7, 2006, just 10 days before the sculpture was to be placed on its base, David called The Highground with a change he felt was necessary. Anne’s design specified six doves, but “there was a hole in the center that didn’t look right.” It was just the right size for a dove, the seventh.

On February 24, 2006, Janie and Andrew’s family, Anne and David, set the base of the Ascension of Doves sculpture in the Meditation Garden. Seven Doves. Welcome Home, Andrew."


The globe pictured below represents the world's involvement in WWII and how every continent in the world was somehow affected by the war.  The globe is five feet in diameter and illuminates at night.


There is a special section of the park dedicated just to female soldiers and nurses.






The Korean Veterans Memorial is pictured remaining photos.  My father was involved in both WWII and the Korean War.  He served as an airplane mechanic.






If you are interested in reading more about this incredible place that honors our military I encourage you to visit their website The Highground,  as this post cannot do it justice. And better yet, if you're ever in the area, stop by and pay it a visit.   It is truly an amazing and beautiful place.  

The park is free and open to the public 24 hours, 7 days a week, all year long.

Have A Great Memorial Day Weekend!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!



 

Thursday, May 16, 2024

Straw Purses, Totes, or Handbags with "Ageless Style"

Ageless Style is a monthly style challenge and link up for women of all ages.   Each month we pick a different theme and style an outfit based on that theme.  This month's theme is "Straw Purses, Totes, or Handbags" and was picked by Jodie.

Spring and Summer is the perfect time of year to carry a straw handbag.  They go seamlessly with our more lightweight outfits and just give that casual vibe of warmer weather.  Just like our "Stripes" theme last month, straw bags are always in style but this season they are hot, hot, hot and you will see straw bags everywhere!

Some of the ladies in our group were excited about the challenge because they didn't own a straw bag and it gave them a good excuse to go buy one.  I on the other hand, have always been a fan of straw bags and had quite the collection already  (see these posts HERE and HERE, for some other examples) and I had to actually decide which straw bag I would feature for today's post.  I finally decided on this small straw clutch which I've had for a while but never did a fashion post on it.  It did however make an appearance on THIS wedding post.



I thought my straw clutch would coordinate beautifully with my relaxed Caribbean vibe I had going on in this outfit.  My pants are new from Ross.  I am so into these linen drawstring pants, I can't get enough of them!  I keep buying them!  I intend to wear them all summer long in place of shorts.  They are so cool and comfy.

It's still a little chilly here in Wisconsin most days, so I paired my linen pants with a white denim jacket.  I shopped my closet for the top and couldn't believe it matched the color in the pants so perfectly;  one would think I bought this as a "set".  For shoes, I went with closed toe flats, although I think the outfit would look better with a white sandal.  It was just too cool to expose the tootsies on this day.


For jewelry, I kept the beachy vibe going with a shell necklace and bracelet.



This straw clutch also comes with a long chain if you want to use it as a cross body bag.  You can see how I used it the chain on the wedding post I linked above.  


So what about you?  Do you like straw bags, purses, or totes?  Do you plan on buying a new one this spring?  I'd love to hear from you.

Now be sure to check out how the other ladies in the group are styling their straw bags and link up with us as well.

Have a Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!



Amy ~ Amy’s Creative Pursuits

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Joanne ~ My Slice of Life

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Jodie ~ Jodie’s Touch of Style

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Leslie ~ Once Upon a Time and Happily Ever After

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Mireille ~ Chez Mireille Fashion Travel Mom

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Rosemary ~ Distinctly Southern Style

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Tuesday, May 7, 2024

The Featured Stamper Challenge #900 Celebration!

If you haven't seen me around in blog land much recently it's because I've been keeping a "dirty" little secret:  I was asked to become a part of of the "Dirty Dozen" on Splitcoaststampers:  aka, I'm officially now one of the "dirty girls".   And before you start to worry about me, ha ha, "dirty" is just a fun play on words;  we are called the "Dirty Dozen" because our hands are constantly covered in ink from stamping!  Fun pun, heh?  

Now I realize because I'm a lifestyle blogger and not exclusively a card maker blogger, most of my readers don't have a clue about what I'm talking about.  So for those readers let's just say it's like receiving an Oscar for card making.  I honestly never in a million years would have thought of being asked to be a part of this incredible team of crafters.  I'm still pinching myself that's it real.

So what are the requirements of a Dirty Girl you might ask?  Well the main requirement is that I have to make six cards a month for six months which follow a specific theme that changes monthly.  I'm not allowed to post those cards to my blog till after my six month period is over.  The cards are reserved only for the Splitcoaststampers Fan Club members to view.  However, the one I am showing today I can post here because the current Dirty Girl design team was asked to make a make a card for the 900th Featured Stamper Challenge and that gallery is open to the public.

So what is the Featured Stamper challenge you might be wondering?  Well, every week on Splitcoaststampers a stamper's gallery from the community is featured and everyone is asked to pick one of the featured stampers cards and "case" it.  The first challenge post was 2/11/07  and since then has inspired over 9000 cards, 900 weeks later.  To "case" a card, you just create your own card from the inspiration card you picked of the featured stamper's, and change two or more things.  

So, here is MY card:


And here is the card I cased.  You can find the original card with all the details HERE.  

The original card is by Barbara Tarayao.  Isn't it beautiful?  I love how she did the "hello" sentiment.  I chose Barbara's card because I had just purchased a stamp/die set similar to this and wanted to play with it, but I also needed a wedding card so I was trying to catch two birds with one stone.


The major changes I made were the colors, stamp/die set, and theme.  But I also changed little detail's like I sewed around the edge of the card using my sewing machine since I didn't have a "stitched" die.  I also used a white embossing folder for the background and added glitter glue to all the flower centers.  I popped the heart up on dimensionals.



 Being on the Dirty Dozen Design Team is a huge time commitment and is especially rough for me as now is the time of year I need to spend so much time outdoors in my garden.  But I've been planning ahead and working feverishly on rainy/cold days to get my cards done, so that when the weather is nice, I can be outside.  However, I did have to cut back on other things, like blogging, to find the time to do this, so if you haven't seen a lot of posts by me lately, that is the reason why.  But soon, I'll be back to a regular blogging schedule and I will have a lot of cards to share with you from my time as part of the "Dirty Dozen".

Have A Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!