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Thursday, November 24, 2016

Turkey Day in the USA!

A few of my most thankfulness-es:

Family ~







 
 (Connecting with Roberts clan members on Facebook and Ancestry.com)

Friends ~



(Johnna beat cancer this year!!!)


 (Mini high school class reunion twice a year!)

Things ~






(Franklin Graham prayer rally pre-election at the Virginia State Capitol)

And so much more!!!

Have a wonderful day being thankful!

Mary

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Moving Into the Holidays

Fall being my favorite time of year ... and maybe because it's soon followed by Christmas.



I love Christmas - everything about it from the lights to the decorations to the gifts. Shopping is so much more fun during the season as shoppers go their way eagerly searching for the perfect present for their loved ones. Such a feeling of giving permeates the air. Why can't we do that all that time!



The weather here in Virginia is perfect - warm days in the 70s, cool nights in the 40-50s. Great sleeping weather, and great to be outside weather too. I heard from my Pennsylvania cousins that it's quite a bit chillier there in the Pocono Mountains, but that's to be expected. They've already had a bit of an ice storm.


My mantel only required tiny tweaks to change from Halloween to Thanksgiving. I'm big on traditions, and these two have been part of the family for decades - the Pilgrim s&p formerly belonging to my dear mother, the turkey painted by me in a class long ago.



We've talked a lot this fall about the possibility of spending Christmas in Florida. That would be a very dramatic change for us from "the tradition" of spending the day with extended family. But we'll probably put that trip on hold as we have plans this summer of celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary with a trip to Colorado (my dream) and the Grand Canyon (his dream). Saving our nickels and dimes for that.




I haven't told you how I recently began drinking coffee at the age of 63. It started when my daughter introduced me to Wawa's free coffee (twice a year, who knew?!) and flavors to be added. I fell in love with French Vanilla and realized I could create the same coffee at home. And now I'm addicted with one cup of caffeine first thing each morning, following throughout the day by another two cups of decaf. I feel very adult (at last, haha).



We're still on the look-out for a puppy/dog to adopt. I search the shelters and wait for someone who will be right for us: quiet, calm, low-shedding. Hope I haven't set my sights too high but these are our requirements. Things have a way of coming together when the time is right.


Have a lovely week enjoying the fall days.

Mary

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Fall Mantel 2016

Happy First Day of Fall! It's my favorite time of the year ... well, second to Christmas of course. I've decorated my mantel and already enjoying the change of decor in the den.




A small apple basket contains faux leaves and the fabric pumpkins I made last  year. Mr. Scarecrow is back for his annual appearance. He always makes me smile.



 A red wire basket holds my faux flowers.



I love the cooler weather we're enjoying here in Virginia. Time to close the doors and stay inside to watch NetFlix movies in the evenings. I really miss Downton Abbey, don't you?

This section of the quilt hanging in my dining room was part of the Sew-a-long with Lori Holt a few years ago. This looks like a cozy house to winter in, don't you think?


Soon the Carter's Mountain Orchard will be beckoning us to visit to pick our own or buy pre-picked. I'll stock up on Granny Smith's, my choice for making an apple cobbler or pie. Either served piping hot with a big dollop of vanilla ice cream. Yum. And there'll be afternoons we'll want hot cocoa, one of my favorite cold weather treats. Another block from the same quilt ~




And the leaves will begin to fall, always a big (but enjoyable) job for hubby. We cut down several trees a few years ago but our nice neighbor is upwind of us and always shares loads of his leaves :)

Hope you enjoyed seeing my fall mantel and thinking of warm food, drinks, and home.

Mary

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Friday, September 2, 2016

Let's Call it Fall

As soon as the calendar flips to September, I'm ready to move on to all things autumn.

September: the world of new notebooks and pens. Backpacks and #2 pencils. Erasers. Lots of erasers!

And yes it's early but I couldn't wait:



As soon as I drop my son off at school for his junior year, I'll start putting out the orange. I admit to bringing home a white pumpkin from Michael's the other day. It sat on the table for a while. Others decorate beautifully with white pumpkins. But I can't seem to make the leap. So back to Michael's it went.


I'm sticking with orange and yellow for fall. Tree colors here in Virginia.

And baking! Oh I love me some baking; today I'm making a pound cake for a friend and I can't wait. Cheating with a mix this time, but I have found a family recipe for pound cake and plan to make that soon. Will share the recipe with you then. Meanwhile: measure ... stir ... bake.



Are you ready for fall? Or are you like my friend Donna, who groans at the end of summer?

Mary

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Monday, August 15, 2016

Summer - And The Livin' is Easy

It's the hot, humid end of summer I'm talking about! Only three weeks until school starts again, and my son will be off to the tech center half-days to learn more about computer programming. His passion. Got it from his Dad, definitely not me - see here.

My sister-in-law Linda brought us some tomatoes from her garden. She lives in the country but no animals bother her crop. We live in town and we quit planting - the squirrels were the winners :)



Meanwhile, I joined a really fun Sew Sampler monthly quilt group at Fat Quarter Shop. Each month I get a box filled with goodies - everything from fabric to quilt patterns to things every quilter needs -



I've made three blocks, with nine more to go. The colors are different from anything I've ever done but it's kind of fun to mix things up a bit.



Well, enjoy the rest of your summer and stay cool!

Mary 


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Learning Curve

UPDATE: After many trials and failures, I've finally got my blog banner to look pretty good - not perfect, but a working header!

I've been blogging off and on for three or four years, and there are still so many things I can't figure out.

Like the blog header above. The picture on the far right is cut off. So frustrating!

I started editing in Picmonkey - couldn't get it to save anything I worked on. Finally gave up and moved to something called Foto Flex. That's where I ended up with this banner.

Last week it was my camera. I couldn't figure out how to transfer pictures from the camera to the computer. Had to wait for hubby to find time to help me do that.

(Source:  http://www.tomsguide.com/us/nikon-d3300-user-guide,review-2183.html)

And speaking of the camera - it's a nice camera, a Nikon D3300 (mine's black), but I can't use all the upgrade features. The kind man at the camera shop said to come in first thing one morning and he'd start teaching me about aperture, lighting ... things like that.

I still haven't gotten there. So hubby and I tried an online class through Craftsy. So far over my head!

And so it goes. This week I will try to edit the pictures we transferred. So what's it going to be: Picmonkey? iPiccy? Foto Flex?

Does this technological world ever overwhelm you? Or is it just me?

Mary 

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Summer - And the Living is Easy

Hope you had a great July 4th weekend! We did a little shopping and a little cooking out. Lots of rain again in this part of Virginia - I'm beginning to feel like we live in England with all this rain and very green grass.

I wanted to show you a few vignettes I've created for summer. I love the textures and colors atop my inherited what-not shelf (it belonged to my mom). A clock in every room is a total necessity for me since I quit wearing a watch. Who needs a watch when they have a cell phone, right? But when you're in one room and the cell phone is in another - you need a clock! My daughter's baby picture brings back such happy memories, what a precious little girl who was the answer to years of prayer. We adopted her (and her brother) from Romania in 1997. The blue vase with pink and white daisies is another thing that makes me happy. 



This summer I kept my mantel very simple - this is the little vignette on the far right. I'm beginning to see a theme in colors as I post these pictures  Blue and pink are two colors that make me very happy, apparently ;)


Oh my goodness, this picture below - more blue and pink! I hadn't even realized I was doing this in my house, but now that I realize how I'm really crushing on these colors, I think I'll go with it in other areas!
 

The above are a few mugs I've been collecting at Home Goods, and have I mentioned (about a hundred times) that Home Goods is my all-time favorite store?! It is. The white vase with pink flowers on the mantel (in pic above) is from Home Goods too. There's lots more in my home from that store (I visit weekly lol), so I'll have to do a Home Good post soon. 

If you're interested in shopping there (the greatest items at fantastic prices), here's an inside tip: the truck delivers new merchandise for the week on Sunday. The merchandise is on the shelves by Monday afternoon. So, pencil Home Goods in on your Monday dance card, it's the day to shop!


Hugs  ~ Mary



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