A lot of people talk about Facebook and “pretend” virtual friends. I know what they mean, but my Facebook friends are real friends. We have real conversations. We have common interests. In fact, most of my FB friends came from a gardening group I joined shortly after I started Facebook in 2008.
I had my first Facebook Friends Meetup the very next year. Grace and I live about 30 miles or so from each other. We met at the Botanical Gardens for the day. She was lovely and we were instant friends. In fact, we were already friends, this was just the first time we got together. We met again the next month at a plant sale. And then again in 2012.
Thanksgiving 2012, my mama and my sister came to visit for the weekend and we all met our cousin Allen for the very first time. He and mama had email conversed for a while, but none of us had ever met before.
In 2014, my Facebook Friend Suzette mentioned that she was traveling through Alabama and we made plans to meet for lunch.
I didn’t get to spend a whole lot of time with her because they were just passing through but it was awesome to put a voice with the person that I already knew.
Then in 2015, I met one of my favorite gardeners, Heather!
Heather is also an author and she and Mr. Menace both were attending a local book signing event of which I was an organizer. We have been FB friends for many years and had planned a get together back in 2011 which was unavoidably postponed.
As you may or may not know, part of my mission on this blog is to share with the world what a wonderful place Alabama is and I do that by sharing our travels. I have plans to visit all nooks and crannies and all four corners of this great state of Alabama.
In May, 2016, our trip was to north Alabama to Florence where we met up with my long time friend Traci and her husband! She was everything I knew she would be from our friendship on FB.
And as I shared in my Fall New England trip post, I had a two-fer just last month! Lee from Massachusetts, and Jeannie from New Hampshire, long time FB garden friends, agreed to meet us for lunch in Maine.
For the people that don’t like or make fun of our FB friendships, I say, YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU ARE MISSING!
If you’re looking for a place where you can brag about your grandchildren, discuss life at a particular age, just be yourself, make friendships, get blogging help and for networking then how about joining us the Blogging Grandmothers group at Facebook? It’s a private group exclusively for grandmothers that blog. We grandmothers have to stick together you know!
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I think we all slept twelve hours after our exhausting day on Sunday, (Read about that HERE), and we got up Monday anxious to see all we could see!
The morning was rainy and misty which makes for beautiful mountain pictures. This is the view outside our condo and above the next building of condos.
And this is the view outside the back of our condo.
Our plan was to drive towards Windsor, Vermont. But first, BREAKFAST! Along the way, Ed was very accommodating for mine and Lisa’s picture taking, slowing down, backing up, pulling over, turning around… *Poor Ed*
This little restaurant served up a delicious breakfast and the antique tables and decor were beautiful.
Across the street, we made Ed drive back and forth and around in circles trying to get the perfect pictures of this sweet little church and the rocket. *Poor Ed*
After breakfast we loaded back into the van and set out for Vermont. Of course the scenery slowed our progress.
We eventually made it over to Windsor, Vermont, where we located the American Precision Museum, which was Mr. Menace’s choice of “things to do in New England.”
This museum is located in an 1840’s Armory, which was saved from demolition in the 1960’s.
It was fascinating to hear how about it’s past life as a gun factory for the Civil War.
Mr. Menace could have spent HOURS in this museum! But after seeing all the demonstrations and viewing all the machines, the rest of us were ready to move on and find some supper.
Tuesday morning dawned bright and sunny!
We headed out for breakfast and again, Ed found a great spot at The Main Street Station in Plymouth, New Hampshire.
After filling our bellies, we did a little sight seeing and photo taking across the street.
Mr. Menace is a huge history buff and was all about exploring the cannon in front of the town hall. According to the plaque, it was captured from British troops during the Revolutionary War in 1777. The insignia on the cannon, shown below, is the British Crown above the letters GR for George III, Rex, King from 1760-1820.
Next on the agenda was my choice of “things to do in New England”… LUNCH! haha not just lunch though, but lunch with FACEBOOK FRIENDS! Long time Facebook friends, Lee, from the Boston area, and Jeannie, from south New Hampshire, had agreed to meet us for lunch. I love Facebook meetups! I feel like I know my FB friends and to actually meet them in person and get a hug is a great feeling.
We took a leisurely drive over to York, Maine, to the Sun and Surf for lunch on the ocean.
These girls and I have been Facebook friends for more than 5 years and it was fascinating to finally meet! After lunch we all rode over to the Cape Neddick Lighthouse to explore and visit a little bit more.
Lisa, Ed, Lee, ME, Jeannie, Mr. Menace
We then took a short hike on the Cliff Walk. The flies were awful, but the scenery made up for it.
It was a bit sad to part, but Lee was going on to visit her father, and Jeannie had afternoon plans, and we had sight seeing and picture taking to do.
The rest of these photos were taken in Kittery, Maine.
So many beautiful photo opportunities!
I do hope I have all the locations and names of towns correct. But it is highly possible that I don’t.
We drove back to our condo and after a bit of a rest, we went out to the local bar for karaoke night. Now, embarrassing ourselves is just not something Mr. Menace and I set out to do for fun. But, Ed & Lisa wanted to go and so we went.
We arrived right around 9 pm when it was scheduled to start, but they seem to operate on a different time schedule up there. Or at least the person in charge of karaoke night does. But that gave us some time to unwind and chat with a few of the other patrons.
About an hour later, when the DJ did show up, Ed was about first in line to sign up to serenade us and Lisa was next. And then, they began to work on us to participate. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love to sing! But I’ve just never done it in this unrehearsed, unstructured kind of way.
Eventually, we caved.
Mr. Menace entertained the crowd with “Let’s Talk Dirty in Hawaiian.”
I wish I had thought to video him, but I guess you’ll just have to make do with John Prine instead:
And then Ed and I did a duet of “Neon Moon.” We weren’t quite Brooks and Dunn, but we did ok.
Another first for me AND another mark off my bucket list!
Middle school football game after work to watch our granddaughter cheer and represent 7th grade on the Homecoming Court.
October 20 Friday
I know we all have different opinions, but I felt an overwhelming pride for my country, our military, and our flag as I stood there and listened to the US Marine playing taps, and then watched two young Marines folding the US flag and hand it to the family of a Veteran who was at Iwo Jima and I had to wonder how anyone who has EVER watched this live can possibly refuse to stand for the flag at any occasion.
October 21 Saturday
Enjoyed looking around at the open house of a new home decor store in town. Sad to report that I did not win one of the door prizes.
I love Saturdays: Slept a little late, cooked breakfast, shopped at home decor/antique store, visited with granddaughters and held the baby, picked up limbs and sticks in the yard, washed a few clothes, worked a little on straightening up garage, cooked supper, sat in hot tub, watched world series, worked on blog.
October 29 Sunday
Serenaded by our retired bosslady after supper. I sure admire pianists.
There were such fun Halloween ideas! But some years I get around to decorating and some years I don’t. This was one of those “don’t” years. Although I thought the spell book was awesome and pinned it for future “do” years.
I kept thinking about that bouquet.
And I decided that on a smaller scale, I could do something similar.
So after work, I grabbed some scissors, and a vase and hurried outside before it got dark.
I filled the vase with rainwater.
Using several long pieces of rosemary, I created a backdrop for my bouquet.
I then added some purple basil for color, lime basil seed stalks for interest, dill flowers for contrast, and fennel fronds for texture.
Then I realized that a few eucalyptus stems as filler would complete the arrangement.
It doesn’t photograph well, but I am so pleased with how it turned out and the aroma is divine!
Now that I am an empty nest-er, I really enjoy being able to expand my wardrobe and to be more selective and spend a little more on my clothes. I was not able to do that in my younger Mom years. Back then, my cutest clothes were hand me downs from my teenage daughters when they finished with them.
*This post contains affiliate links to products or companies that I truly love and believed in before I joined the affiliate program. If you use these links to make a purchase, I will be compensated at no extra cost to you.*
I recently signed up with a new clothing subscription box hoping to find some really unique outfits.
Although I’ve always loved clothes and really enjoyed getting a new top or dress, it was a very rare treat. As all mom’s know, you are, willingly, at the the very end of the shopping list.
Now I love exploring color and style. I am always on the look out for unique pieces, things that I have not seen in my local stores.
This lace skirt is oh so beautiful and romantic, but I think it can also be styled much more casual.
And now that we have a cool morning once in a while, I am LOVING this duster cardigan that I recently received.
I ordered my latest box from Natalie Attired asking for pieces to wear on our New England trip a couple of weeks ago. I took pictures as I tried on each piece from the box to share with you.
The first piece was distressed jeans.
They fit great and I need the longer length so I kept these.
These two shirts are cute, but I don’t like the fabric.
They are too tight and not flattering. I sent both of these two tops back.
This sweater with the ties is exactly what I need for my trip so I kept this.
This jacket was a perfect fit and very well made. I loved it. However, I had just bought another jacket so I sent it back. I hope to be able to purchase it at a later date.
This post is part of the Fantastic Fifty Fall Blog Hop where several bloggers are joining up and posting about their “over fifty” life. Please take a moment and visit some of the other bloggers below.
Natalie Attired is a styling subscription service. When you order a box, you receive 5 pieces of clothing that you can try on at your leisure at home. The pieces are always a surprise, which is fun, and I love not having to go and spend hours at a store shopping. I am not on a regular schedule to receive boxes, instead, I just order one every once in a while, when I need something interesting. You can set up a regular schedule if you prefer. And returns are FREE!
We left our home airport in Birmingham, Alabama, early on Sunday morning, October 8. The first flight was a very short hop over to Atlanta where we boarded for Portland, Maine. I was tired but WAY too excited to sleep in anticipation of our fall New England trip.
Our brother in law, Ed, reserved his Dad’s timeshare and he & Mr. Menace’s sister, Lisa, invited us to tag along on their trip. We could not turn down free accommodations and were very excited to join them on this adventure since none of us had been to the northeast.
We rented a minivan at the airport and hit the roads, where we were immediately greeted by fall color right outside the airport!
First on the agenda was lunch. We had gotten up at 3 am and had a meager breakfast in the Birmingham airport, so we decided to eat while we were still in Portland before we drove up into the mountains to our condo.
Ed was our navigator, driver, and chooser of good eating places and he excelled at his job! He drove us to the waterfront and we ate at DiMillo’s. The “building” began life as a ferry in 1941, and was purchased by the DiMillo family and converted into the floating restaurant in 1982. According to their website, it is:
“One of the largest such restaurants in the country, her overall length is 206 feet, with a beam of 65 feet. She weighs 701 tons and boasts a -horsepower steam engine (but we promise not to fire it up while you’re dining). We are able to seat over 600 guests in our First Deck Dining Room, Port Side Lounge, Second Deck Dining Rooms and three Outside Decks.”
I had my very first Lobster Roll and Mr. Menace had the Lobster Mac & Cheese. Both were delicious.
After our fine meal, the misty rain had stopped and the clouds began to part just in time for the first of MANY photo opportunities.
LINCOLN NEW HAMPSHIRE:
By this time, we were getting a bit tired and we still had a two hour drive, so we loaded up and headed north to Lincoln, New Hampshire.
I took these photos from the backseat of the minivan, through the windshield, with the zoom, so the quality of the photos isn’t the best, but even through all that, it is so obvious how beautiful the drive was.
Our lunch had been so late, that we skipped supper. We made one more run to get a few snacks from the local Family Dollar Store and then made an early night of it.
As I mentioned HERE in my post about cute walking shoes, we are on a trip to New England, and just before our trip I planned a yard sale. In doing so, I hoped to kill two birds with one stone: Make some spending money for our trip, and clear some things out of our way.
The weekend before our trip, was the planned yard sale, so the weekend before THAT, we were in full preparation mode! We went down to one of our storage rental houses and brought back two loads of items that we were ready to get rid of.
Then I started going through boxes that have been packed for years, which was a lot of hard work! But we ended up letting go of a lot of things that we just didn’t love any more.
Friday night before the sale on Saturday, I set up all the tables that would hold our goodies.
We got up early Saturday morning and put up all the signs that I had made. Making them all look alike makes it easier for people to follow to your location. I used 6 poster boards, cut in half, making 12 good size signs to hang on telephone poles in various prominent locations near our house. I also used 1 poster board cut into 1/4’s and used those to hang on NOTICE bulletin boards on the local stores. Advertising is KEY!
I also had been making posts on Facebook Marketplace, Facebook yardsale pages, and on mine and Mr. Menace’s personal Facebook pages all during the week. On these posts, I shared pictures of some of the items that would be for sale. This always help attract attention.
All the advertising paid off. We had a steady stream of shoppers all day long. I had set the closing time for 2 pm, but people kept coming while I was packing up and so I continued to sell. That WAS the objective after all….
AFTER THE SALE:
After all that salesman work he did, Mr. Menace needed a nap, so while he rested I went through what was left and made the KEEP or DONATE decision. I made a huge pile to donate and the keep pile was very small.
This is the donate pile loaded up and ready to drop off at the thrift store.
POST YARD SALE SALES:
While I was packing up, I listed the four items from my KEEP pile on Facebook marketplace. An inquiry came in immediately on these beautiful antique HAZEL dishes by SCIO. They sold immediately for double what I had been asking for at the yard sale.
By the next day I had several inquires on the antique Armoire. It sold to the fourth person, although she asked me to store it for her until her house closing at the end of this month.
I regretted having to sell this table. It really appeals to me and I’d love to use it, but a round table fits so much better in my skinny room. I was happy to sell it to a girl who thought it was perfect for the farmhouse look in her new home.
I only have one item left on FB Marketplace and I’ve had a couple of hits on it, but no sale yet. But its a small item and no problem to store.
Obviously, we had some big items to sell, but we ended up making right at $1000. This worked out perfectly. We were able to go on our vacation and eat expensive meals and go on some really cool adventures without dipping into our regular budget!
I can’t wait to share our trip with you, but in the mean time, HAVE A YARD SALE! 🙂