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In my drives as I enjoy the beauty of North Carolina I come across another extremely large confederate flag flying along the interstate.  An interstate purchased with federal funding, as are many of the roads in the South.  I am filled with sadness as this display evokes much pain..  Why?

Then I recall this was the state where the slogan, “Lock her up,” began.  Another hateful signal which led to our country’s division, and almost demise.

As a single senior woman driving in North Carolina and previously West Virginia, I am fearful. Passing through these small communities with homes in disrepair and garbage strewn around them, I always see a tr/pen sign on their property.  Perhaps no one told them of the election results?. And what good came from him?

What are these American citizens thinking?  There is no good which can come from these expressions, only pain.

Something to think about.

Fort Defiance

This is the home of General William Lenoir. According to signage he was a leader in the Revolutionary War handling public affairs. The home was built between 1788-1792 and named for a colonial fort 4 1/2 miles from the home. It has original out buildings and a family cemetery.

The home was closed on the day of my visit. Am hopeful that the State of North Carolina will invest in the property due to its historical significance. The grounds surrounding the property are flat and vast. Much could be done on the property with special events.

Original Smoke House on the property
Family Cemetery

The Blowing Rock

View from the road

This is North Carolina’s oldest tourist attraction open since 1933. It offers spectacular views of the area and a museum of memorabilia of the area, however is a bit pricey for a family visit. That said some views.

Attraction entrance with gift shop..

The Rocks and The Views

The Museum

Leaving the venue travel south to find fun open air markets to explore..


Mast Farm Inn

The Mast Farm dates back to the 1700’s when Joseph Mast traveled from his home in Randolph County to the fertile Watauga River. Lore states he purchased 1000 acres of fertile ground in trade for his rifle, dog, and leggings. Not a bad deal.

The cabins on the property were built in the early 1800’s and are the oldest habitable properties in North Carolina. Rooms are also available in the main house.

Pictures of the original farm buildings which are available for stay.

The rooms inside the buildings are up to date with modern furnishings and bathrooms.

Some pictures of the grounds..

Banner Elk Winery and Villa

Not far from the town of Banner Elk is the award winning Banner Elk Winery. In non-pandemic times weddings are held on the property and they have a lovely tasting room with a sampler of 4 wines $10, and by the glass $8. Tried their reds and they were good quality especially their award- winning blueberry which was delicious, however, $39 a bottle is out of my price range. Here’s some pictures of the grounds and tasting room.

Here’s where it all starts, the vineyard

Pond on the property. Great place for wedding pictures.


There are several other wineries on the High Country Wine Trail. Here are the names of these wineries should you wish to partake.

  • Grandfather Vineyard grandfathervineyard.com Banner Elk, NC (828) 963-2400
  • Linville Falls Winery linvillefallswinery.com Linville Falls, NC (828) 765-1400
  • Villa Nove Vineyards villanovavineyards.com Butler, TN (423) 768-3633
  • Watauga Lake Winery wataugalakewinery.com Butler, TN (423) 768-0345

Banner Elk, North Carolina

With all these North Carolina mountains was wondering where the ski towns were?. Well, found it In Banner Elk, North Carolina, and what a charming town it is!

Here’s a few pictures of this delightful little town..

There were several restaurants, an art studio, and what would a ski town be without a chiropractor..

Also, some housing for skiers..

Then caught this on the way out of town – A Family Dollar ski style..

Madeline Albright

Madeline Albright is an American success story.  The daughter of a diplomat the family immigrated to America from Prague, when her father lost favor with his government’s policies on communism. In Denver, where the family relocated, Madeline founded the school’s international relations club.  Next was a full scholarship to Wellesley College, with advanced degrees from John Hopkins and Columbia University to follow.

Her government work began as an aide to Senator Ed Muskie. This led her to a position on the National Security Council under President Jimmy Carter.  Upon Carter’s departure from office she taught at Georgetown University and was a foreign policy advisor to Democratic candidates.  In 1992, she again worked on the National Security Council and in 1997 was tapped by President Bill Clinton for Secretary of State.  She was the first woman to hold that position.  President Barack Obama awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012.

At 83, she continues to write and advise on foreign policy.  She is a six -time New York Times bestselling author and her latest book is Hell and Other Destinations.

Reese Witherspoon

Laura Jeanne Reese Witherspoon, or Reese Witherspoon, has a bio a mile long.  There is little this savvy Southern gal hasn’t done or accomplished.  Here’s a brief listing:

  • Academy Award Winner
  • 2 Golden Globes
  • An Emmy Award
  • One of the highest paid actresses in the world
  • Named to Forbes World’s Most Powerful Women
  • Global Ambassador for Avon
  • Board Member Children’s Defense Fund
  • Clothing Company Owner

As to her origins Reese claims her Southern roots made her what she is today.  Born in New Orleans, and raised in Nashville, her father was an otolaryngologist, and her mother a nurse with PhD credentials.  She attended private southern schools and began modeling at 7, then acting bug hit and she began acting lessons.

College was Stanford which she never completed as Hollywood beckoned and the rest is history.

Reese is one steel magnolia.

May be an image of 1 person, standing, flower and outdoors
Reese in a dress from her line…. Think she has another hit!

Anna Wintour

Dame Anna Wintour is a British American journalist who since 1988 has reigned as Editor in Chief of Vogue magazine.  With her signature bob hair style and sunglasses this fashion industry icon is known to be an aloof and demanding creature who can make or break those in this industry with a mention.

Since 15 years old she held interest in fashion and as a member of a British land gentry family her father opened doors to her career with a boutique position.  From there she worked in other retail capacities eventually studying in fashion school.  Avenues opened in the magazine arena causing her to move across the pond to America.

Nicknamed “Nuclear Wintour,”  a book and later movie was written by a former assistant.  The Devil Wears Prada, starred Meryl Streep in this 2006 classic and is believed to be based on Dame Anna.  

At 72, this Scorpion woman continues to shape fashion and industry trends.

March 2021: The Women

Women's History Month | ICE

March is Women’s History Month. Molly Murphy MacGregor, and others of the National Women’s History Alliance, founded this Month in 1985. The month highlights women’s contributions to society and history.

The next blogs portray 3 women with diverse skill sets as they contribute.

Read on, enjoy, and remember we are all making history whether we bag groceries, are a housekeeper, a Queen, or a mom changing a diaper. Our contributions to the work force and the fabric of society are endless and we all are to be……..