Monday, August 4, 2008

A Really BIG Manic Monday!

Manic Monday BigIf it's Monday then it must be manic at It's a Blog Eat Blog World, blog-home of my friend Morgen who is the host for the Manic Monday Meme where each week Mo gives his minions a word and then we scurry about and do our best to come up with a post based around that word. This week Morgen reached into his bag of words and pulled out the word "BIG".

Hmmm ... what to do for that? Here in Connecticut, the weather Sunday evening was about as perfect as you're going to get in New England in August with moderate temperatures and low humidity so I asked Amanda if she wanted to break away from the computer for a little while and head out in search of "BIG" with me. Once I mentioned the search would include ice cream that was enough for her to put up an away message and throw her shoes on!

After jumping into my trusty Mazda, I pointed it East and we took a drive out of town on Route 165 heading towards Griswold where one can find one of the biggest attractions on a summer day in this part of Connecticut ...

Big Attraction
Buttonwood Farm first opened for business in 1997 making their own ice cream from their own dairy cows right there on the farm and to say that it's absolutely delicious would not be doing it justice!

Big Ice Cream This is my big double-scoop waffle cone with Almond Joy and Coffee Mocha Crunch ice cream.

Amanda's Big Cone Here we have Amanda's big cone of Chocolate Silk and Chocolate Almond Fudge and, as you can see, she had already taken a big lick out of it before I grabbed the camera! Who can blame her??

Big Line of PeopleThis place draws a pretty big crowd!

Big Gazebo Some of that big crowd likes to eat their ice cream underneath the big gazebo next to the ice cream stand.

Big Field of Sunflowers 2 In addition to the fabulous ice cream, a lot of people go out to Buttonwood Farm to look at their acres and acres of beautiful sunflowers. Each year they plant thousands of plants for people to come and enjoy. When the big blooms are cut, the bouquets are sold for $5.00 a bunch with 100% of the proceeds going to the Make-a-Wish Foundation. The program is called Sunflowers for Wishes and it's a big fundraiser for the non-profit organization that is devoted to making wishes possible for children with life-threatening medical conditions.

Big SunflowersPeople come from miles away to see these big sunflowers and to take pictures of them - just like Amanda and I did and who can blame them? Aren't they beautiful?

Big Ant While we were admiring the sunflowers, Amanda was startled by a very big ant that was climbing on the stone wall next to her. She shrieked and took a big step backwards but then decided a picture was in order!

Big Sun & Big Clouds There were some big clouds hovering over the sunflower fields so, of course, I had to take a picture of them along with the big sun shining in the sky!

Big Stalks of CornOn the way back to Norwich I noticed that the corn was getting pretty big so I pulled over to take a picture of it, too, as this post is all about BIG, right?

Big Ear of Corn These ears will eventually get bigger but for now that was more than big enough for a picture for this meme!

Before I continued on to find some more "BIG" pictures, I dropped Amanda off at home as she wanted to get back to her latest big obsession - World of Warcraft. She used to play it awhile back but the file was too big for the computer and I had removed it but after she took off some other stuff and reloaded it last night it didn't seem to take up as much room and she could go back to working on her characters.

Amanda's Druid 1 This is Amanda's Druid Night Elf; she's only a Level 12 which isn't too big but I'm sure that will change once she spends way too much time trying to level up.

Amanda's Undead Rogue 1This one is her other character which is a Level 6 Undead Rogue, doesn't that just sound lovely? Hey, Asara, any of this sound familiar?!? I know that you're definitely big into WoW!

Big Building on Norwich State Hospital GroundsAfter dropping Amanda at the house I continued on my hunt for the next "BIG" thing next stopping at the old Norwich State Hospital grounds which is right up the road from my house. I was very careful not to actually go on the hospital grounds as they are clearly marked "No Trespassing" with big signs all over the place but I figured that the security guards that roam the place in SUVs wouldn't throw too big of a fit if I was just on the edge of the property using a zoom lens. I didn't see any of them to tell me otherwise so I figured it was okay but I didn't take a big chance and dilly-dally too long!

Big Empty BuildngBuilt in 1904 and covering over 100 acres, the Norwich State Mental Hospital for the Insane was one of the biggest mental health facilities in the State of Connecticut until it closed in 1996. The patient population was at its biggest in the 1950's with over 3,000 patients and rumors now abound that the grounds and buildings are haunted by some of the lost and tortured souls who were treated here. The place is a big attraction for local ghost-hunters, or wanna be ones!, and that's part of the reason for all the big security. This picture shows the Administration Building which was obviously quite grand-looking but is now falling apart big-time as it sits there abandoned and neglected.

Big Back View of the BuildingThis picture shows the back side of the same big building pictured above. I took it from a vantage point across the Thames River in one of the big parking lots of the Mohegan Sun Casino.

Big CasinoSpeaking of the Mohegan Sun Casino, that would be this place - the second biggest casino in the world and literally sitting in my backyard! That big shiny building is the hotel with the casino sprawled below it. I used to work here as a blackjack dealer back in 2002-2003 and will be going back to work here soon as a part-time dispatcher for the Mohegan Tribe at their Public Safety Complex once I get through with my background investigation and all. No doubt I'll fill you in more on that in future posts!

Big Thames River Did I mention the Thames River? Ah yes, I believe I did! That would be this big river! I took this picture from the Mohegan Sun grounds looking towards Norwich. I live on the right side of the river as you're looking at it and work on the left side just across from the Marina at American Wharf (which my big boss also owns!). I've yet to get them to put in a zip-line for me so I could just skip the whole driving commute but at least I only have about 1-1/2 miles through downtown to get there. That really helps big when it comes to saving on gas!

Another view of the big riverThis is a slightly different angle of the big river that runs south for 15 miles through eastern Connecticut. The Thames (rhymes with James) River is primarily a tidal estuary along which is located the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London and a U.S. Navy Submarine Base in Groton. The river forms at the junction of the Yantic and Shetucket Rivers in Norwich and ends at the mouth of the Long Island Sound in Groton near Eastern Point Beach where I have taken fireworks pictures.

Big Red Sky as I left the store Finally, I had reached the end of my "BIG" journey but on my way back home I saw these beautiful big red clouds floating in the sky over my head and how could I possibly resist taking a picture of them? I couldn't! You may have noticed that I am a big pushover lately when it comes to clouds!

I hope you enjoyed this "BIG" journey through my little part of Connecticut! If you'd like to see what other people thought of when Mo said "BIG", be sure to check out the Big Linkies at It's a Blog Eat Blog World!


  1. FOOKING HELL! the photographs are fantastic lindy loo :)

    Especially the sunflower ones and the following cloud one.

  2. Geez Linda, you are really getting good at the photography thing! Keep it up and I might rope you into coming up and taking some pictures of my kids!!!

  3. Anonymous9:33 AM EDT

    WOW! What a BIG post! that was a wonderful journey. Thanks for sharing your corner of CT with us!


  4. That was one interesting and BIG post, Duchess Linda of the aforementioned Thames!

    I love the photographs you have been posting of late...really good stuff.

    The sunflower shot is a perfect entry for Roger's contest...

  5. Linda, this was a BIG post. I was not sure if I'll ever find the end of it :o) I loved the pics, especially the ice cream and the casino. (lol)
    Went for an ice cream on Saturday after dinner to La Gellateria. had lemon and hazelnut. Yummy!

  6. It is a good thing you started with ice cream, I was having bites while i read the rest of the post. Nice photos.

  7. hey that ant looks alot like roger! ha ha ha

    smiles, bee

  8. The ice cream really looks yummy. I loved the sunflowers too. I'm sure you remember, but along highway 12 some years back there were sunflower fields like this. I so loved that. Have a great day Linda. :)

  9. What a BIG post Linda!

    You got some great photos there and I just love the one of the sunflowers and the idea behind their planting. Thanks for sharing all that info, I really enjoyed seeing where you live. :)

  10. You really made a day of finding great picture to fit this week's MM theme. That ice cream looks very good at the moment. Mine is up @ The Cafe.

  11. I lile Amanda's WoW characters. I would play that if the fee wasn't so pricey here.

  12. That was one BIG post!
    The sunflower pics and story were just mah-velous darling!
    And you included two of my favorite things about the area where you live: The Mohegan Sun and the creepy mental institution.

    love ya,

  13. Anonymous6:17 PM EDT

    OMG, I can't believe you'd do this to a pregnant woman...the ice cream photos! *sigh*

    The rest, although I just skimmed so I could look back at the ice cream photos was awesome! *wink*

  14. Can's say I would wait in that big line for ice cream but it looks fantastic. Great pictures for BIG.

    Especially the sky picture.

    Happy MM.

  15. Linda, you are truly amazing! The clouds are glorious, the sunflowers are incredible - I could go on and on but I won't. They are a splendid collection of BIG things - Oh, yeah, the ice cream! You devil, you...

    What server does Amanda play on so that I can go visit and offer tips if she wants?

    I'm on Malfurion, and she's welcome to roll on over there and say hi at any time also. I've played every class there is, some to better effect than others, but I'm always glad to help where I can! :)

    p.s. I wish I'd had time to get ice cream when we were in CT!

  17. Wow! That's some big scenery!

  18. You must have for days on this post ... so impressive!!

    i took a bite out of one ice cream cone - sorry


  19. and a BIG yeehaw for your lovely sites of Conn. :-)


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