A Magical Flight ~ Christmas 2010 Revisited

A Magical Flight ~ Christmas 2010 Revisited

 

Finding a gift for Mr. Menace is a challenge.  First of all, his birthday is in November, just a month before Christmas. So that means my brain has to come up with two ideas within 30 days of each other.Hot Air Balloon ride, Dream Flight USA

He already owns every tool known to man, and 3 or 4 (or more) of most of them.

He doesn’t wear hats or caps.

He doesn’t follow sports teams.

He cares nothing about cars, as long as they run.

 

But adventure, he likes.

Hot Air Balloon Ride, Dream Flights USA

So sometimes, I take him on a short trip. Once to Vegas.

Hot Air Balloon ride, Dream Flights USA

A couple of times to Philadelphia.

Mississippi that is.Hot Air Balloon ride, Dream Flights USA

In 2010, I was reading my Groupon email and I saw something interesting.Hot Air Balloon ride, Dream Flights USA

I purchased the Groupons. but it was a year later before we were scheduled to use them.Hot Air Balloon ride, Dream Flights USA

Mr. Menace enjoyed helping with the pre-flight activities as much as the ride itself.Hot Air Balloon ride, Dream Flights USA

The company worked as a well oiled machine.

Hot Air Balloon ride, Dream Flights USA

It was very interesting to find out how it all worked.

Hot Air Balloon ride, Dream Flights USA

And soon, it was time for our flight.

Hot Air Balloon ride, Dream Flights USA

Hot Air Balloon ride, Dream Flights USA

Hot Air Balloon ride, Dream Flights USA

Yep. The Groupons I purchased for Mr. Menace were for a Hot Air Balloon Ride.

Hot Air Balloon ride, Dream Flights USA

We climbed into the huge basket along with 15 or so other people. That’s the owner/pilot with his hand on the bar in the middle.

Hot Air Balloon ride, Dream Flights USA

This photo is from up in the basket just after lift off. You can see the imprint on the left where the basket sat on the grass.

And now… the views…

Hot Air Balloon ride, Dream Flights USA

Hot Air Balloon ride, Dream Flights USA

Hot Air Balloon ride, Dream Flights USA, awesome Christmas gift

See the horses in the top half of the above picture?

Hot Air Balloon ride, Dream Flights USA

Hot Air Balloon ride, Dream Flights USA

Hot Air Balloon ride, Dream Flights USA

Hot Air Balloon ride, Dream Flights USA

Our pilot buzzed the tree tops and Mr. Menace picked this leaf from inside the basket!

Hot Air Balloon ride, Dream Flights USA, awesome Christmas gift

Hot Air Balloon ride, Dream Flights USA, awesome Christmas gift

A balloon’s flight is totally dependent on the winds, so a landing strip cannot be decided in advance. After we had been flying for about 30 minutes, our pilot began to search for somewhere to land. Large open fields were not in abundance, but he spotted an open front yard and took it down.

Hot Air Balloon ride, Dream Flights USA, awesome Christmas gift

The IDA ST sign was in the way, but one of the passengers grabbed it and pushed us away from it as we came down.

Hot Air Balloon ride, Dream Flights USA, awesome Christmas gift

Hot Air Balloon ride, Dream Flight USA

I am not sure I will ever be able to top this gift.

Socks or a tie just aren’t going to get it.

Please give me your best ideas!

 

 

 

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Better Late Than Never Christmas Tour

Better Late Than Never Christmas Tour

I felt like I got an early start, but now all of a sudden, it is just barely over two weeks to Christmas and I’m behind! How DOES that happen??

 

Over Thanksgiving weekend, I decorated my front porch for Christmas and winter.

Front porch decor, Fall to Christmas, Blue for Fall, Blue for Christmas, Shimmer Collection, Big Lots

Then I brought down my tree and put it up and placed a few feathers and picks on it. Never did even get out any balls for it.

Christmas stockings, Blue Christmas, Peacock decor

As I mentioned in my front porch post, I exchanged the pillows that were on the porch for fall and I was going to use them inside for winter so I exchanged my summery floral pillows on the sofa, with the solid blue ones from the porch.

Christmas Decor, Blue Christmas Decor

I found the snowball throw blanket at Burke’s outlet and knew I needed it for winter!

Then I hung our stockings on my “fireplace” mantel.

Christmas stockings, Blue Christmas, Peacock decor

When I went shopping over the weekend I found this sparkly ball garland that needed to be hanging on my mantel.

Christmas stockings, Blue Christmas, Peacock decor

I placed my peacock feather wreath and garland on top of the warehouse scales.

Christmas stockings, Blue Christmas, Peacock decor

My new honeybee wreath that I already showed you HERE makes the whole room smell delicious.

Christmas stockings, Blue Christmas, Peacock decor, Honey Bee Wreath,

After adding a few more favorite items around the living room, I was finished.

Christmas stockings, Blue Christmas, Peacock decor, Gingerbread children

Christmas stockings, Blue Christmas, Peacock decor,

I haven’t gone all out in a couple of years now. I find that if I just do a few favorite things on these years that it just seems to be too much work, that eventually the mood will strike again and I’ll be energized and motivated and decking the halls once again.

Christmas stockings, Blue Christmas, Peacock decor

Are you an early get ‘er done decorator? or a better late than never??

 

 

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My November in a Sentence a Day

My November in a Sentence a Day

 

Wednesday Nov 1

Mr. Menace has been working out of town last week and this, so I have double duty at the office taking his phone calls too. (Did I ever mention that we work for the same company and even in the same office?)

Thursday Nov 2

I called Mr. Menace on his way home to stop and pick up Arby’s roast beef sandwiches for supper so I spent the hour or so of daylight when I got home outside taking pictures of the fall sunset.

Fall Sunset, Southern Sunset, Backyard Sunset, Sunset glow

Friday Nov 3

Date night at Saw’s Juke Joint where we enjoyed Cuban Sandwiches while listening to a new to us band which we really enjoyed.

Saturday Nov 4

Went to 3 yard sales and an outdoor market, Home Depot, Lowe’s and the grocery store. Mowed the grass and leaves, planted the pansies that I bought this morning. Ended the day relaxing in the hot tub.

Mailbox garden, full sun garden, southern garden

Sunday Nov 5

Attended an excellent recital by our nephew tonight!

Monday Nov 6

Finally got back to my lunch time walks with my co-worker.

Tuesday Nov 7

Made low-carb spaghetti tonight with zucchini “noodles.”

Wednesday Nov 8

I have found that I REALLY need to write down what I did each day, or I forget what I did!

Thursday Nov 9

Attended my first Garden Club meeting today for lunch and saw an interesting program on the history of the USA through the different flags.

Friday Nov 10

We drove to Tennessee last night after work to play with granddaughters for a couple of days and today I took them to Toys R Us.

Saturday Nov 11

Granddaughters were walking in the Veterans Day Parade this morning and I got to walk with them and then in the afternoon I helped them earn their decorators badge by helping them bake a cake and then teaching them how to decorate it.

Cake Decorating, Grandkids

Cake Decorating, Grandkids

Sunday Nov 12

I officially live with a senior citizen as of today! We will be celebrating next Saturday…. see Saturday Nov 18 for more info!

Monday Nov 13

As far as Monday’s go, it was a pretty good one.

Tuesday Nov 14

Mr. Menace wanted Captain D’s for supper. I love their tartar sauce! But It’s no Maine Lobster.

Wednesday Nov 15

So glad for sunny days when we can continue our lunchtime walks AND I’ve been craving roast beef and gravy ever since I bought groceries a couple of weeks ago and tonight my craving was fulfilled.

Thursday Nov 16

Busy day at the office and the next few days will only be busier! Better than having nothing to do.

Friday Nov 17

Finally Friday! We stayed home, ate left over roast beef sandwiches and sat in the hot tub.

Saturday Nov 18

Tonight was our special date night celebrating Mr. Menace’s 65 birthday, which was last Sunday, with dinner at a new Italian restaurant in Birmingham, Fero Restaurant, and then a concert at the Alabama Theatre. It was the tenth time that Mr. Menace has seen John Prine in concert, and (only) my third. Fantastic night.

John Prine, Alabama Theatre, Birmingham Concerts Birmingham Concerts

Sunday Nov 19

Washed clothes, burned leaves.

Monday Nov 20

Whoa! Busy day at the office!

Tuesday Nov 21

If possible, today was busier at the office than yesterday! But thankfully, it is also HAIR COLOR DAY!! woop woop!

Wednesday Nov 22

I can sure USE a 4 day weekend after this busy partial week!

Thursday Nov 23

Started the day in the hot tub and ended it with a bonfire.

Friday Nov 24

Did my Christmas decorating.

Saturday Nov 25

Had brunch in Birmingham with a long time Facebook gardening friend who was passing through and then did a little bit of sight seeing with her and her husband. She was just as great as I knew she would be.

Sunday Nov 26

Ran to Walmart to get a couple of boxes of lights to finish up my Christmas decor when I found these cute honey bees and made myself a new wreath!

Christmas Wreath, Honey Bee Wreath, Bee Ornaments, Walmart ornaments

Monday Nov 27

Loving these lunch time walks again. I had missed them. The weather is perfect.

Tuesday Nov 28

Brazilian Baked Ham & Cheese Sandwiches. That is all.

Wednesday Nov 29

We went shopping immediately after work to find office party Dirty Santa gifts. I love walking around Tractor Supply.

Thursday Nov 30

Payday. *doing the dance*

 

 

As always, you can click here on the froggy button and see all the participants in the month in a sentence a day blog posts:

Please check out my friends and see how their month went. They would love to have you visit. Also, if you’d like to join us, just start writing your sentences and let us know and we will get you added to the list.

 

 

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Front Porch Transition from Fall into Christmas

Front Porch Transition from Fall into Christmas

When it came time to decorate my front porch for Christmas, I wasn’t ready to put away my fall decor. I liked what I had done and wanted to keep it out. So how could my front porch transition from fall into Christmas?

Fall front porch, Blue Fall decor

I didn’t want to spend a lot of money either. So I went to Michaels during one of their 50% off sales, armed with coupons and I bought just a few things to add to what I already had.Fall Porch, Fall Blue, Dusty blue for fall, transitioning fall blue to Christmas

ADDING SPARKLE:

The dusty blues of fall still appealed to me and I wanted to just update them for Christmas. And the best way to do that is to add glitter and sparkle!

Front porch decor, Fall to Christmas, Blue for Fall, Blue for Christmas

Front porch decor, Fall to Christmas, Blue for Fall, Blue for Christmas

I found these blue glittery peonies at Michaels and I bought 3 in these two different shades of blue.

Christmas Decor, Front Porch Christmas, Glittered Pinecones, Michael's

I also got two of these silver branches with glittered blue pine cones attached.

Front porch decor, Fall to Christmas, Blue for Fall, Blue for Christmas

I didn’t remove any of my fall flowers, I simply added the new glittery ones to the bouquet.

Front porch decor, Fall to Christmas, Blue for Fall, Blue for Christmas, antique milk can,

It was a pretty good start!

ADDING WARMTH:

Fall Front Porch Decor, Christmas Front Porch Decor, blue fall decor

I have really enjoyed having this small blanket and pillow on my church pews for fall nights, so my plan was to keep the blanket here… I love that the print resembles leaves … and exchange the pillows for a more Christmas vibe.


Front porch decor, Fall to Christmas, Blue for Fall, Blue for Christmas

I found these snowflake pillows from Big Lots shimmer Collection, and I rather like that they will work for the whole winter and not just Christmas! I will be using the solid blue pillows inside.

Front porch decor, Fall to Christmas, Blue for Fall, Blue for Christmas, Shimmer Collection, Big Lots

I also purchased another blanket from Big Lots for the other church pew. This one is the same gray and teal colors, but this time in plaid.

Front porch decor, Fall to Christmas, Blue for Fall, Blue for Christmas, Shimmer Collection, Big Lots

 

I am transitioning from Christmas reds, but since I can’t afford to do it all at once, I am still using the reds but I decided to add some blues to it.

Front porch decor, Fall to Christmas, Blue for Fall, Blue for Christmas

Front porch decor, Fall to Christmas, Blue for Fall, Blue for Christmas

I added these gray/blue/silver hydrangeas to my flower basket.

Front porch decor, Fall to Christmas, Blue for Fall, Blue for Christmas

This week, Michael’s had their Christmas florals 60% off, so I went back and got a few more to add to what I had. This time I found a third shade of blue.

Front porch decor, Fall to Christmas, Blue for Fall, Blue for Christmas

Front porch decor, Fall to Christmas, Blue for Fall, Blue for Christmas

Front porch decor, Fall to Christmas, Blue for Fall, Blue for Christmas

Front porch decor, Fall to Christmas, Blue for Fall, Blue for Christmas

Front porch decor, Fall to Christmas, Blue for Fall, Blue for Christmas

I am wondering if I should take the red topiaries out of the flower pots. I wish they were in blues instead.

Front porch decor, Fall to Christmas, Blue for Fall, Blue for Christmas

I am happy with the blue changes for Christmas. Do you think I should just remove the topiaries and let the flower pots be empty? Or another idea, spray paint?? What would you do?

 

*NOTE: The links in this post are NOT affiliate links. I am just sharing where I purchased my items for your convenience.*

 

 

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Fall New England Trip ~ The Finale

Fall New England Trip ~ The Finale

Well, we have finally made it to the finale of our Fall New England Trip. And it is well worth the wait!

If you missed Part 1 HERE, you missed the flight and a day in Portland Maine.

If you missed Part 2 HERE, you missed lots of beautiful fall color, a museum in Vermont, and a Facebook Friend meetup!

If you missed Part 3 HERE, you missed lobstering and the Flume Gorge hike.

 

Friday

It dawned as our coldest day yet and we had an even colder day planned! But first, BREAKFAST! haha

As usual, our mastermind, Ed, had chosen another really cool restaurant, Munroe’s Family Restaurant, in Twin Mountain, New Hampshire.

Breakfast, Twin Mountain New Hampshire, Munroe's Family Restaurant

I had to take an interior picture to share with my Mama. She adores the country look and plaid curtains, and red…

Breakfast, Twin Mountain New Hampshire, Munroes Family restaurant

 

Our plan for the day was to ride the Cog Railway up to the top of Mount Washington which is the highest point in the Northeast.
Cog Railway, Mount Washington, New Hampshire

It was our coldest day yet, and going up to over 6000 feet we knew it would be windy and even colder, so we bundled up.

New England, Fall in New England, New Hampshire, Cog Railway, Mount Washington

The train ride itself was interesting. Mr. March’s idea began in 1852 and in 1869, the first cog-driven train climbed to the summit of Mount Washington. The original engine was steam driven and there is still one that makes the climb, but the rest of the engines are new efficient biodiesel locomotives which are more environmentally friendly.

New England, Fall in New England, New Hampshire, Cog Railway, Mount Washington

There were 4 trains running the day we were there and this is the engine and car that we rode.

 

New England, Fall in New England, New Hampshire, Cog Railway, Mount Washington

We managed to be the last people on the train so we got the back seat. Here you can see why Mr. Menace got his name.

New England, Fall in New England, New Hampshire, Cog Railway, Mount Washington

This is the view from our back seat, out the front door, of the track in front of us. I think it shows exactly how steep this climb was going to be!

 

New England, Fall in New England, New Hampshire, Cog Railway, Mount Washington

And this photo gives a pretty good view of the angle we are traveling. This is looking behind us.

 

New England, Fall in New England, New Hampshire, Cog Railway, Mount Washington, NH State Park, Observatory Deck

Mr. Menace captured this gorgeous photo of our train.

 

There was a brakeman on board, who entertained us with facts, history, and stories. When we approached the very steepest section of the journey, we were told to stand and take pictures.

New England, Fall in New England, New Hampshire, Cog Railway, Mount Washington

Although it appears that Mr. Menace is leaning, he is actually standing straight up and the train car is on the incline.

New England, Fall in New England, New Hampshire, Cog Railway, Mount Washington

Look Ma! No hands!


New England, Fall in New England, New Hampshire, Cog Railway, Mount Washington

I know that the horizon in my picture is suppose to be level, but when traveling on a incline, the horizon ISN’T level! You can see that as we neared the summit, the only growth on the mountains was the lichen on the rocks.

When we arrived at the top we toured the museum, the Tip Top House, and ventured out onto the Observatory Deck. It was a fantastically beautiful day and our plan was to take a selfie. These next three pictures tell the story…

New England, Fall in New England, New Hampshire, Cog Railway, Mount Washington, NH State Park, Observatory Deck

Smiling big for our selfie! Oops…. blurry… lets take another…

New England, Fall in New England, New Hampshire, Cog Railway, Mount Washington, NH State Park, Observatory Deck

Ok, but hurry I can’t see! That wind and sun is blinding me, but I’m still smiling…

New England, Fall in New England, New Hampshire, Cog Railway, Mount Washington, NH State Park, Observatory Deck

Nope. Can’t do it any more. Can’t open my eyes, can’t smile. Gotta get OUT of this wind! hahaha

The wind was indescribably blustery! But again, these pictures tell the story…

New England, Fall in New England, New Hampshire, Cog Railway, Mount Washington, NH State Park, Observatory Deck, Highest point in the north east

New England, Fall in New England, New Hampshire, Cog Railway, Mount Washington, NH State Park, Observatory Deck

New England, Fall in New England, New Hampshire, Cog Railway, Mount Washington, NH State Park, Observatory Deck

The raised building that you see behind us is the Observatory.

New England, Fall in New England, New Hampshire, Cog Railway, Mount Washington, NH State Park, Observatory Deck

New England, Fall in New England, New Hampshire, Cog Railway, Mount Washington, NH State Park, Observatory Deck

The wild wind even affected our ability to take selfies!

Weather stats:

Visibility 110 miles

Winds 39 mph

Temp 41 F

Wind chill 28 F

New England, Fall in New England, New Hampshire, Cog Railway, Mount Washington, NH State Park, Observatory Deck

We eventually located a spot up closer to the observatory where there was a wind block and got a good selfie. Of all the things that we did on this fantastic trip, this one was my absolute favorite.

 

Jackson New Hampshire, Restaurant, Wildcat Inn & Tavern

Later that day we stopped for supper at the Wildcat Inn & Tavern, in Jackson, New Hampshire.

Jackson New Hampshire, Restaurant, Wildcat Inn & Tavern

Mr. Menace and his sister, Lisa.

 

Saturday

Our last day in New England began with, you guessed it!,  BREAKFAST! Our designated “good food finder”, Ed, again did his best work and found us another goodie for brunch at the Mad River Coffee House, in Campton, New Hampshire.

New Hampshire, Restaurants, Campton NH, Mad River Coffee House

We decided to drive to Kennebunk, Maine so that we would not have a 2 hour drive to the airport in the morning, and we rented a tiny cottage for the night. Then we took a drive into Kennebunk and walked around shopping and taking pictures.

Kennebunk Maine

Kennebunk Maine

Kennebunk Maine

Kennebunk Maine

Kennebunk Maine

Kennebunk Maine

 

 

We went back one more time for lobster.Kennebunk Maine

And just like that, our New England vacation was over.

Kennebunk Maine

Have you been to New England? Do you live there? Where should we plan to go and what do we need to see on our next trip to New England?

 

 

 

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Easy Christmas Wreath that will work All Year!

Easy Christmas Wreath that will work All Year!

I unexpectedly  made myself a new Christmas Wreath today and best of all, it will work all year! I ran over to Walmart to get a couple of strands of lights and of course I had to look through all the Christmas decor and while I was digging through the boxes of ornaments, I came across these.

Christmas Wreath, Honey Bee Wreath, Bee Ornaments, Walmart ornaments

BEES!!!

Christmas Wreath, Honey Bee Wreath, Bee Ornaments, Walmart ornaments

Oh so cute bees!

Christmas Wreath, Honey Bee Wreath, Bee Ornaments, Walmart ornaments

I had to have them in honor of our Honey Bees.

When I got home I asked Mr. Menace if he had an old bee hive frame that I could have.

Christmas Wreath, Honey Bee Wreath, Bee Ornaments, Walmart ornaments, Beehive frames

All I had to do was clip the tags off the ornaments and clip the bees onto the frame. They already had tiny alligator clips on each ornament.

Christmas Wreath, Honey Bee Wreath, Bee Ornaments, Walmart ornaments

And just like that, I have a new wreath of sorts.

Christmas Wreath, Honey Bee Wreath, Bee Ornaments, Walmart ornaments

Christmas Wreath, Honey Bee Wreath, Bee Ornaments, Walmart ornaments

Christmas Wreath, Honey Bee Wreath, Bee Ornaments, Walmart ornaments

Christmas Wreath, Honey Bee Wreath, Bee Ornaments, Walmart ornaments

Christmas Wreath, Honey Bee Wreath, Bee Ornaments, Walmart ornaments

I am so happy with my new “wreath.” It couldn’t have been more simple to do AND nobody else has one like it.

Christmas Wreath, Honey Bee Wreath, Bee Ornaments, Walmart ornaments

I love an easy quick craft! Have you made any Christmas crafts yet?

 

 

 

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Give Thanks Tablescape Blog Tour

Give Thanks Tablescape Blog Tour

My friend Katherine, at the blog Katherine’s Corner, has organized a blog tour of some fall tablescapes with the theme “Give Thanks”. At the end of my post, you will find the links to all the participants. Please click through to some or all of the other bloggers for some inspiration!

I also participated in her Summer tablescape blog tour earlier this year, which you can see HERE.

Tablescape, Outdoor dining, Home Decor

 

When I saw that it was time for her fall tablescapes tour, I almost didn’t sign up. I don’t have a lot of dishes, or glassware, or silverware and I really thought I had nothing that I could use. But the idea sat in the back of my mind.

Tablescape, Fall tablescape, Casual Tablescape, Cozy Tablescape,

And after thinking about it for several days, maybe even weeks, eventually I realized that the perfect way to participate in a Give Thanks event, was to be THANKFUL for what I DO have and participate in this fun event!

Tablescape, Fall tablescape, Casual Tablescape, Cozy Tablescape,

So I started thinking about what I do have.

Tablescape, Fall tablescape, Casual Tablescape, Cozy Tablescape,

And about my things that make me thankful.

Tablescape, Fall tablescape, Casual Tablescape, Cozy Tablescape,

And how those things make me think of and remember people for which I am thankful.

Tablescape, Fall tablescape, Casual Tablescape, Cozy Tablescape,

And just like that, my tablescape began to come together and fall right into place.

Tablescape, Fall tablescape, Casual Tablescape, Cozy Tablescape,

My warm and cozy tablescape started with my herb print flannel tablecloth. My thrifted blue everyday Pfaltzgraff plates, and yard sale white Mikasa French Countryside breakfast plates, along with my yellow Sweet Olive Designs Fancy Scroll Collection bowls make up my place settings for this fall meal.

Tablescape, Fall tablescape, Casual Tablescape, Cozy Tablescape, Antique Bowls

We will be dishing out potato soup from my largest antique yellow milk bowl. The smaller yellow bowl will be keeping our biscuits warm with its colorful fall napkin. And the smallest antique bowl in blue will serve us up some sausage patties.

Potato soup always make me think of my dear friend Emma Jean, who taught me to make the BEST potato soup, while I was hanging out at her house for hours on end! And my antique bowls make me think of my mama, who ran an antique store for years, which made it possible for me to afford to buy antiques, and loves me like no other.

Tablescape, Fall tablescape, Casual Tablescape, Cozy Tablescape, Local Honey, Homegrown Fig preserves, wood boxes, antique bowls

For dessert we are going to spread loads of butter and homemade fig preserves and local honey, (from our backyard apiary), on our biscuits! Both are served from an antique wooden box, which is part of my box collection.

Fig preserves make me think of my daddy, who is no longer with us, but was a true farmer and who LOVED his fruit trees and picked the fruits to be made into something delicious. Honey makes me think of Mr. Menace and how very thankful I am to have found him and to be able to spend the rest of our lives together.

Tablescape, Fall tablescape, Casual Tablescape, Cozy Tablescape, Fall Centerpiece, Hydrangeas, feather wreath, blue pumpkin

My feather wreath makes a nice colorful fall centerpiece, that I decided not to center, but to put to the side of the rather large table. I prefer it off to the side so that it doesn’t interfere with filling your plate from the serving dishes, which I like to have in the middle, family style.

Tablescape, Fall tablescape, Casual Tablescape, Cozy Tablescape, wood boxes, antique oil lamp

My blue pumpkin and blue hydrangeas from my fall decor add more color and much need height to my table. Instead of candles, I decided it was very fitting to use my fingertip oil lamp.

Tablescape, Fall tablescape, Casual Tablescape, Cozy Tablescape, wood boxes, antique oil lamp,

It’s not fancy.

But it’s us.

It’s how we live.

And for that, I give thanks.

 

 

 

 

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To Grandma’s House We Go

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The Full Sun Plant that Wasn’t

The Full Sun Plant that Wasn’t

 

If you remember, I created a new flower bed this spring out by the road which incorporated our mailbox. If not, you can read about it HERE.

I remember how excited I was when I found Huchera for full sun and put it in my new mailbox garden.  It was so pretty and the perfect color. But when July rolled around, it was determined that this is the full sun plant that wasn’t. Or at least not in Zone 7B in Alabama. Poor thing. It just shriveled up and died in our heat. Lesson learned: no huchera in full sun even if the tag says differently.

I had a hard time finding anything to replace them, but eventually found these. They have not been bold so I am not totally pleased, but at least they have been green and not shriveled and brown!

Mailbox garden, full sun garden, southern garden

Full Sun Garden, Mailbox Garden, Gardening in the South

A couple of weeks ago, I had the urge to buy pansies. I haven’t planted pansies in several years, so it was time.

Mailbox garden, full sun garden, southern garden, pansies

Mailbox garden, full sun garden, southern garden, pansies

Mailbox garden, full sun garden, southern garden, pansies

I took these pictures one morning before work, but the sun was too brilliant and I had to try again another day.

Mailbox garden, full sun garden, southern garden

Mailbox garden, full sun garden, southern garden

Mailbox garden, full sun garden, southern garden

The pansies are just getting started blooming. I can’t wait till they really get going.

Mailbox garden, full sun garden, southern garden

Mailbox garden, full sun garden, southern garden

I had planted sweet alyssum seeds back in the summer but they didn’t germinate very well at all this year. But there are a few plants here.

Mailbox garden, full sun garden, southern garden

So this is how my mailbox garden looks today.

Mailbox garden, full sun garden, southern garden

Mailbox garden, full sun garden, southern garden

 

Do you plant pansies in the fall?

 

 

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Fall New England Trip ~ Part 3

Fall New England Trip ~ Part 3

As you know, we took a fall vacation to the north east last month. It is such a picturesque area that I have had to break the posts up into three parts to share just a few of my pictures.

Part 1 (read HERE) covered the flight and a day, Sunday, in Portland, Maine.

Part 2 (read HERE) covered the next two days, Monday & Tuesday, which included a museum in Vermont, and a Facebook friends meetup in York, Maine. And now, we are here:

Wednesday

We left the condo and ate breakfast at nearby Peg’s Restaurant. We enjoyed the food so much that we said we were going to go back there again, but never made it.

New Hampshire, Peg's Restaurant, North Woodstock restaurants,

After we left Peg’s we took another scenic route (spoiler alert: they are ALL scenic routes!) to Portland Maine.

New Hampshire

New Hampshire

We had another beautiful day and our plans were to board the Lucky Catch and learn how to catch lobsters!

Portland Maine, Lucky Catch, Lobster Boat,

The scenery from the water was just as impressive.

Portland Maine, Casco Bay

Portland Maine, Lobster Boat, Lucky Catch, Celebrity Cruise, Casco Bay

Celebrity Cruise Ship

Portland Maine, Casco Bay, Lucky Catch, Lobster Boat, Sailboat, sea gull

Portland Maine, Casco Bay, Portland Head Lighthouse

Portland Head Lighthouse

Portland Maine, Casco Bay, Shrimp Boat

Portland Maine, Casco Bay, Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse

Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse

Portland Maine, Casco Bay, Fort Gorges

Fort Gorges

On the lobster boat, we learned how to bait the traps.

Lobster Boat, Lucky Catch,

Portland Maine, Casco Bay, Lobster Boat

Portland Maine, Casco Bay, Lobster Boat

We also emptied the traps of any lobsters and crabs that had been caught and then threw them back into the water.

Portland Maine, Lobster Boat, Lucky Catch

While Ed & Lisa were working, Mr. Menace got into a little mischief teasing the sea gulls…

Portland Maine, Lobster Boat, sea gulls

After our lobster fishing experience, we purchased our fresh lobsters and headed out with them to the Portland Lobster Company where they would prepare our lobsters and serve us up some sides and drinks to go along with them.

Funny thing though… if you were not taking your lobster home, but were taking it the few feet down the dock to the restaurant, there was some law that the lobster couldn’t be wrapped or hidden in a bag. You had to take it in your hand. So we marched down the boardwalk, lobsters in hand and then decided we should take a selfie with our live lobsters.

Portland Maine, Casco Bay, Portland Lobster Company

Somehow, Ed held on to the camera button on his phone too long and it snapped about 20 pictures rapid fire! In the above picture, I was the only one realizing what was happening.

In the picture below, Ed had realized he did something wrong. Lisa was trying to see exactly what was going on. And Mr. Menace was still oblivious.

Portland Maine, Casco Bay, Portland Lobster Company

We were sure ready for our meal by this time. So we settled down at a picnic table outside on the dock.

Portland Maine, Portland Lobster Company, fresh lobsters

Cracking open a lobster isn’t the easiest thing in the world. Luckily the placemats had instructions for us.

Portland Maine, Portland Lobster Company, fresh lobsters

By the time we got it figured out, the meat was cold, but it was still good.

Portland Maine, Portland Lobster Company, fresh lobsters

And I learned how to do it so the next time I had lobster, I was a PRO!

THURSDAY

We didn’t have anything scheduled for Thursday. We decided to just ride and see what we saw. But first, BREAKFAST! Ed, our man in charge, picked another winner with Sunny Day Diner in Lincoln, New Hampshire.

Lincoln New Hampshire, Sunny Day Diner

After breakfast, we started out to sightsee and we drove past the Indian Head Resort, which had this small firetower.

Lincoln New Hampshire, Indian Head Resort,

Lincoln New Hampshire, Indian Head Resort, tower views

It was a blustery cool day, but the views from the tower were magnificent.

Lincoln New Hampshire, Indian Head Resort, tower views

Lincoln New Hampshire, Indian Head Resort, tower views

We then rode a little further and came upon The Flume Gorge. We decided to take the 2 mile loop hike and boy was it worth it!

New Hampshire, The Flume Gorge

New Hampshire, The Flume Gorge

New Hampshire, The Flume Gorge

New Hampshire, The Flume Gorge

New Hampshire, The Flume Gorge

New Hampshire, The Flume Gorge

The pictures do not do it justice. It is a sight meant to be seen in person.

New Hampshire, The Flume Gorge

New Hampshire, The Flume Gorge

And of course I wanted a selfie when we made it to the top.

The trip back down was not as spectacular, but still beautiful in a different way.

New Hampshire

 

New Hampshire

I am an outdoor person and this is the kind of thing that I really enjoy doing.

You can watch a short video that I posted of the waterfall HERE. Take a look!

 

I thought I could finish our trip in 3 posts, but this post is getting too lengthy and heavy with pictures. You won’t want to miss the final episode though. I promise!

 

 

 

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A Love/Hate Relationship

A Love/Hate Relationship

During the heat of summer, they are life savers.

In the fall, their majestic beauty shines.

Oak Trees, raking leaves, composting leaves, burning leaves, fall cleanup

And when they drop their first few leaves, I enjoy raking.

Oak Trees, raking leaves, composting leaves, burning leaves, fall cleanup

But then the wind blows

Oak Trees, raking leaves, composting leaves, burning leaves, fall cleanup

and the leaves fall

Oak Trees, raking leaves, composting leaves, burning leaves, fall cleanup

and fall

Oak Trees, raking leaves, composting leaves, burning leaves, fall cleanup

and fall.

Oak Trees, raking leaves, composting leaves, burning leaves, fall cleanup

I mow leaves. I rake leaves. I compost leaves. (See how HERE.)  I burn leaves. I compost burnt leaves.

And I repeat.

And repeat.

And repeat.

 

But come next spring I will be loving them all over again! My oak trees.

Do you love fall cleanup?

 

 

 

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