Sunday, November 22, 2009

Where Am I Now?

As usual, I am not at home, as I have been most of this past couple of months. I have been neglecting my own blog, but worse than that, I have been neglecting your blogs and for that I am truly sorry.

Where am I now? At this moment, I am in Roanoke, Virginia, visiting our daughter and enjoying playing with our seventeen-month old and three-year old grandboys. My stay here will probably be around ten days.

These past two to three months, we've traveled to Colorado, California, Florida, Nevada. As much as I love to travel, it can be hard work and a little tiring. We travel alot and at times, I've found myself waking in a hotel room and wondering just where we are that day.

I hope to get back to visiting my dear friends in Blogland as we enter into the new year and hope that I haven't lost too many of you. I thank you for your loyalty and patience with my absences.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

October gave a party;
The leaves by hundreds came-
The Chestnuts, Oaks, and Maples,
And leaves of every name.
The Sunshine spread a carpet,
And everything was grand,
Miss Weather led the dancing,
Professor Wind the band.

The Chestnuts came in yellow,
The Oaks in crimson dressed;
The lovely Misses Maple
In scarlet looked their best;
All balanced to their partners,
And gaily fluttered by;
The sight was like a rainbow
New fallen from the sky.

Then, in the rustic hollow,
At hide-and-seek they played,
The party closed at sundown,
And everybody stayed.
Professor Wind played louder;
They flew along the ground;
And then the party ended
In jolly "hands around."

October's Party
~George Cooper~

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

~Happy Fall Y'all!~

Autumn...truly my favorite time of year! And where are we going now? one of my favorite places in the world...Disney World! We'll be gone for a week and I'm wondering if I'll be ready to come home then.

Another of my favorites - tea parties! Have you ever thought of having an Autumn tea party? Here are some suggestions I found online to give you some ideas.


Float autumn flowers such as mums in a small shallow bowl and place one at each table setting.

Gold colored tablecloth, red dishes.

A bowl of beautiful fall apples on every table.

Write each guest's name on a paper leaf to be used as a place card.

Purchase a cinnamon broom and decorate with small autumn flowers, leaves, and grasses for the centerpiece. Arrange yellow, orange and green gourds along with Indian corn around the broom.


Cranberry Scones

my Curried Cranberry Chicken Salad

3/4 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons lime juice
3/4 teaspoon curry powder
2 cups cooked, cubed chicken
1 meduim apple - cut in chunks
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup thinly sliced celery
1/4 cup chopped pecans
2 tablespoons thin sliced green onion

Combine mayonnaise, lime juice and curry powder in a bowl and add all other ingredients. You can use
as salad or use for sandwiches. You might double for sandwiches.

Corn Chowder

Gingerbread Cake

my favorite easy Caramel Apple Pie:
Cook one three pound Mrs. Smith's crumb-topped deep dish apple pie.
Cool one hour.

In a two-quart pan:
1/4 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup whipping cream
bring to boil over medium heat and boil one minute.

Remove from heat.
Whisk in one teaspoon vanilla
1 cup xxx sugar

Pour over the cooled pie.
Sprinkle with 3/4 cup toasted chopped pecans.


Genmaicha is a green tea (sencha based) blended with toasted rice. This tea would be nice to serve with the chicken salad sandwiches and corn chowder since the toasty flavor of the tea would compliment the flavors and not overpower.

Vanilla flavored Rooibos is an herbal from South Africa and is very rich almost dessert like and would pair nicely with the gingerbread cake.


Fill a small jar (one for each guest) with some of the loose leaf tea that you are using for your party and cover the lid with a small straw hat with a fall flower glued to the hat. Place at each guests setting.

Small straw broom decorated with autumn leaves and glue a small magnet on one side to make a refrigerator magnet.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Rocky Mountain High

I've just returned from Colorado and I fell in love there. My first visit to that beautiful state has made an impression on my heart.

Mountains - how I love them. Being born a West Virginia girl, I am
naturally drawn to mountainous regions and their grandeur. I love both their strength and their gentleness.

Standing at the 14,110 feet summit of the famous Pike's Peak made me feel like a mere pin dot in this universe. I experienced the dizzying sensation of trying to take in air that was so much lighter than I was accustomed to. In spite of the 'touristy' atmosphere, I found the view to be more than awesome. It was a most beautiful day and the view took in surrounding states - yes, I could see Kansas in the far distance.

I have been most fortunate to travel the world, but there are so many sites I have yet to see - great ones, ancient ones, grand cities and remote villages. However, I look forward to seeing so much more of our beautiful United States and that includes, one day, returning to the great Rocky Mountains. There was so much more there that I didn't get the opportunity to see.

Where we waited for our ride to the top of the world

The cog-train track

Here comes our train and right on time!

Stacked boulders with the 'sleigh-rock'
sitting on the third boulder up

I loved the running waters

Pines stood with roots above the ground

Desolate land left as it is

Billions of broken boulders scattered as if thrown by a gigantic hand

We saw a little snow and deep valleys holding dark lakes

Water springs from rock's crevices

Mountain meadows

In 1893, a visitor to the summit of Pike's Peak (teacher Katharine Bates) was so inspired with it's beauty, that she wrote a poem that would become "America the Beautiful".

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

~Away for a last breath of Summer~

I'll be away until Monday. I'm just going away for a last bit of summer fun. Oh, it will be hot enough for several weeks to come, but according to the calendar, summer is scheduled to come to an end around September 21 and that is not far off.

We'll take the boat and skim blue warm waters

We'll walk along the beach and pick up seashells

We'll frolic in the surf

We'll just try to relax

Yes, it will be fun enjoying the last days of summer,
but what I'm really looking forward to is Fall!

See y'all Monday!

Monday, August 24, 2009

~A Swan Story~

Is there anything more beautiful, more gentle, more graceful than a swan? To me the swan has always been a symbol of love, family, loyalty. The swan has been the subject of poets and artists alike. This is the story of a swan that my brother, sister-in-law, husband and myself met personally and up close this summer. We were in my brother's new pickup truck travelling in and around Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. We drove down to Pawley's Island to visit some gift shops and have some lunch. My brother was in a shop, my husband and I and our sister-in-law returned to the truck to wait for him.

This is the swan who lives at the pond at the gift shops in Pawley's Island, South Carolina.
We were told she ran her mate off because she is so tempermental
...and she bites!
We kept our distance and I begin snapping pictures.

As she had forced her mate to leave, actually two of them,
her only companions are ducks.

I got in the truck. Larry and Teresa were outside the truck looking at her.
She was about fed up with the picture taking and us looking at her.
She plodded toward Larry and Teresa with her big feet,
head down and determined.

Then she spread her wings and charged!

Larry and Teresa jumped in the truck as quickly as they could. The swan's head was in and out of the front window where Larry sat ducking..."ducking" pun intended.
He was really trying to dodge her attempts to bite him.
After she was through scaring the daylights out of Larry, she began munching on the side mirror. She was mad!

She was through with the mirror - we THOUGHT she was through with us.

When she was through with the side-view mirror, she walked away. Teresa got out of the truck...

Swan abruptly turned and marched toward Teresa - here she came again with that intent, determined look!
Good thing Teresa was fast on her feet!


So, if you ever have the opportunity to visit beautiful Pawley's Island, do so ... but be forwarned...

there is a swan...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

~Moon Dreams - Marta Wiley~

Cast me to the wind
Let me dance upon a cloud
Tether me not
Nor keep me earthbound

For it is beyond the horizon
Where I most feel at home
Give me freedom to fly
Give me grant to roam

I want to leap from star to star
I want to swing on crescent moon
I want to sing sweet harmonies
Reflecting my heart’s tune

I will fall to earth as dawn breaks
Where my burdens wait for me
Let me envision my wish come true
Let me dream of what could be

Deborah Cashwell
© August 17, 2009

"If trouble ever troubles you, just dream your cares away"

Monday, August 17, 2009

I've been away. Have you noticed? I haven't been physically away. I just haven't been blogging. As one of my best blogger girlfriends said, I've been on "hiatus". Well, my dear Claudie, that's a nice way to put it. Thank you! The truth is I haven't been inspired to blog for several weeks. I haven't had any brilliant ideas to share, not much exciting going on to tell you about. I would log in to create a new post and when I shut down, the page was just as I found it - blank, as was my mind.

Well, this evening, a small fire may have been rekindled within me. My husband took me to a movie - a movie that has inspired me in a way. We saw "Julie and Julia".

It's a story about blogging, cooking and food, determination and perseverance and love. Julie, a young lady who created a blog that covered a year of 'channeling' Julia Child and cooking over 500 of her recipes in 365 days, was played by Amy Adams. Julia Child's life was portrayed by Meryl Streep from her early days in France to the beginning of her success as a cookbook author. Both were writers, both cooks, both persevered and both loved. Meryl Streep was superb. You would think she was truly 'channeling' Julia Child.

If you get the opportunity to see
"Julie and Julia", do so. I hope you will enjoy it as much as we did.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

~How does your garden grow?~

Have you visited Asheville, North Carolina's Biltmore Estate? The gardens are absolutely amazing! This August, the Biltmore's second annual Flower Carpet will be installed. Take a look at last summer's Flower Carpet.

You can visit this one-of-a kind 'living tapestry' August 14 - 30, 2009. The 14,400-square-foot Flower Carpet features over 100,000 flowers and plants.

This year the Flower Carpet will be patterned as a fleur de lis.

That's one way to 'grow' a garden!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Welcome to Friday's Favorite Family Foto!

If you would like to share one of you favorite family photos,old or new, just post it to your blog, then come back here and sign up with Mr. Linky below. A reference back to this blog would be greatly appreciated and will direct your readers to other bloggers sharing their photos.

My family photo for this Friday is very new - taken June 14 at the Mill Mountain Zoo in Roanoke, Virginia.

This is me with my four grandchildren waiting to ride the zoo train. I'm holding little Andrew on my lap. He just turned one-year old the day before this picture was taken. Beside me is my brown-eyed boy Nicholas making his silly face - just what a four and a half year old would do. Beside him is Coy. Isn't he a cool 'dude'? He will be three in August. Next is our princess Kathryn in pigtails. She turns seven in October. Andrew and Coy are brothers and Nicholas and Kathryn are brother and sister.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

~Flying High~

You might be aware that Hubby and I vacationed in Key West a few weeks ago. We had a wonderful time and topped it off with an adventure we will never forget and I think we did pretty good for old folks!
~Lift off!~

~Going up!~

~Way out there!~
About 150 to 200 feet up

Do you have a favorite family vacation photo?...or ANY family photo that you like. Why don't you post it today, then come back here and add your name and URL blog address to the Mr. Linky below. Then come back next Friday and do it again for Friday's Favorite Family Foto.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

~Sleep...Sweet Sleep~

The worst thing in the world is to
try to sleep and not to.

~F. Scott Fitzgerald

Now, I do not consider myself a princess...perhaps a queen? Just kidding! However, I do require and expect certain, a roof over my head, clothing....SLEEP!
Why does it elude me night after night?
I've bought the finest high-thread count sheets,
down comforters, featherbeds,
a pillow-top mattress...$$$,
but do I catch any Z's? NO!

I will admit that I stay up too late into the night, but, if I were to slip into bed at a decent hour, I would just lie there, my mind churning over the day's activities and anticipating what will be tomorrow. In the morn, my back aches from tossing and turning, my blue eyes are red-tinged and swollen. Perhaps my love snores? No matter, my ears are oblivious to the sawing - I wear earplugs to bed. So what could the problem be? I cannot shut my mind off once the moon shows it's light. I count sheep - yes, I have done that
and I've counted back from one hundred.

Could I be a creature of the night, coming to life while the world around me slumbers? I think so and I think cat-napping while the sun shines could be my lot in life. But, who can do that?!
No answers - just an endless chase for one perfect night's sleep.

A flock of sheep that leisurely pass by
One after one; the sound of rain, and bees
Murmuring; the fall of rivers, winds and seas,
Smooth fields, white sheets of water,
and pure sky -
I've thought of all by turns,
and still I lie

~William Wordsworth, "To Sleep"

Life is too short to sleep on
low thread-count sheets.

~Leah Stussy

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Help yourself to a scrumptious pink cupcake and celebrate with us the one year birthday of

Our friend, Beverly, began organizing this group of pink lovers one year ago.
It's been so much fun that it doesn't even seem like a year has passed.
You will find a list of pink posts on her lovely blog.

While in Key West a couple weeks ago, we found some delightful Florida pinks. The first was this darling pink cottage
that I REALLY wanted!

These pink taxis where everywhere!

Maybe not as pink as my, I mean, the pink cottage we saw or those precious pink taxis,
but what could say "Florida" better than these pink flamingos?!