The rustic Enchanted Woods at Winterthur contrasted with the polished and elegant surrounding of the rest of the Dupont Estate. It was pure fantasy! I have always believed in fairies but this is the first time I actually felt like I was one!
The tree I'm standing in is made from a one hundred year old tulip poplar tree! There is room for two chairs inside, skillfully carved with squirrels and acorns.
The wildflowers are just beginning to bloom. Virginia blue bells, spring beauties, sorcerer's violet, trout lilies and blood roots grew in profusion, creating colorful carpets.
Be careful crossing the Troll Bridge, and if you dance in the center of the Ring of Toadstools you may well disappear!
There are so many reasons to visit this 1,000 acre site! Winterthur is abundant with treasures, varied and delightful, ever changing with the seasons!
The exhibit of Downton Abbey Costumes at Winterthur is exquisite. There are a few samples. If you want to see the wedding gown, numerous gowns with hats, fur trimmed coats, the men's costumes and the artistry of haute couture tailoring in all of them, you'll need to visit Winterthur! The exhibit will be there until January 2015 and is the only site in the United States that will showcase the collection.
Winterthur is a treasure trove of enticements. Francis Dupont (1880 - 1969) was the visionary who created Winterthur,.The Dupont mansion expanded from the original 14 rooms to 250 to house his collectibles. There are 2500 American Eagles, a collection of soup tureens, ceramics, needle work, textiles, furniture and more, all of the highest quality originality and craftsmanship. The library contains over 100,000 items, featuring rare books on architecture, design, nature, children's books, women's magazines, and numerous other topics centering on the artistry of living life with beauty and grace.
The estate is situated on 1,000 acres, artistically planted with trees from all over the world, Among them are seasonal plantings that bloom from late January through November, providing an endless living mosaic of blooms. He was known for his artistry in combining colors and fragrant, ever changing landscapes are a testimony.
The Enchanted Woods boasts a Story Stones, a Troll Bridge, a Tulip Tree House, Acorn Tea Room, Forbidden Fairy Ring and a Fairy Flower Labyrinth.
Time spent at Winterthur will leave you feeling refreshed and revitalized. I came home filled with inspiration and ideas to apply in my own space, admittedly on a much smaller scale. There are always opportunities to increase the beauty and sensuality in our world. The inspiration at Winterthur is endless.
Food is one of my greatest pleasures. I cook everyday - meals that are healthy, filled with color, texture and variety, and most of all nutrients. When I sit down to a meal - and I do sit down - I want something that adds value. Food is fuel, not entertainment or bulk. I want to know what I am eating is providing value. What's In It For Me?
When did eating get so complicated? We are obsessed with it. We have five senses, yet 'taste', or possible lack of it based on some of the things I see people eating in the name of diet and deprivation, is the over riding concern.
A study at the Center for Specialized Women’s Health at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio estimates that 70 to 80 percent of health risks come from poor lifestyle habits, according to Holly L. Thacker, MD, director of the study.
When did food become a vehicle for ill health instead of simply a way to maintain our bodies to function as the miraculous machines they are? When did we start misusing it? And why? We are doing this to ourselves. We are literally taking the beauty, the joy, the flavor out of the way we eat and then wondering why we are hungry. Feeding is not just about what we shove in our mouths. There is a satisfaction and fulfillment that comes from the preparation and from the actual process of eating. It may not be scientific or proven, but I'm convinced the more time I spend slicing, whisking and artfully arranging, the less I eat.
People weren't over weight when I was growing up. I truly can't remember anyone I thought of as heavy, let alone "fat". We all sat down to the table to eat delicious healthy meals, and often had dessert. Portions were small, healthy, and varied, simply prepared with not a lot of fuss. We didn't obsess about food, our weight or dieting. I can't remember hearing the word "diet" until I was in high school.
In our home meals were prepared from natural ingredients with no preservatives, processing or artificial ingredients that we couldn't pronounce. Chicken, pork or steak thinly sliced stir fried with broccoli, red pepper, garlic, ginger and served over rice was flavorful, could be prepared quickly and supplied a variety of nutrients. One serving of broiled fish, a sautéed chicken breast (pre-Dolly Parton versions), a crab cake with lemon, served with a salad tossed with olive oil and lemon, and a seasonal vegetable and dinner was served. A little planning before one trip to the store a week and meal preparation was stress free. We didn't eat out or order in. We knew what we were eating because we made it in our own kitchens.
We sat down together with no distractions. The television was not blaring in the back ground, nor was the radio. We weren't texting or checking our phones. We were paying attention to what was on our plates and having conversations with each other.
All this is running through my mind because a friend is frustrated after nine days of a ten day juice cleanse and is seeing no results. The concept of taking the much needed roughage out of our foods because we are concerned that there are fewer vitamins in the them doesn't make sense to me. If you feel the need for more vitamins, take more vitamins!
My friend is feeling deprived and is ready to go back to eating the pizza and hamburgers. I would be too. Depravation is something I don't associate with food. I'd be hungry all the time! The less it is distorted and manipulated from it's natural state, the happier I am. As I said initially, I love to eat. I feed myself with food. Real food. Food that has color, vitamins and nutrients, roughage and texture.
"Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death."
"My mission is
to help others see and cherish the beauty,
romance and treasures within and around them
that are often dismissed or completely overlooked."
Mikell is a writer, artist and professional treasure hunter, finding the greatest treasures in the wonderful people who enter her life!