Sunday, December 29, 2013

It's Still Christmas at Our House

We'll be leaving our Christmas decorations up until at least January 6th.  We haven't had a chance to invite our parents over to see our trees, and we hope to do that next weekend.  Yesterday, we helped our son move some of his things to Greensboro, where he'll be renting a house with two of his friends.  We'll get the rest of his furniture moved later this week.

What a busy holiday we've had and not a lot of time to take pictures of the house.  I like to see how things look different from one year to the next.  We did get a few pictures of our family room.  This is how it looked on Christmas Eve with all the neatly wrapped packages (I never get mine wrapped weeks before Christmas like some folks do).  :)

Saturday, December 28, 2013

♪New York♪ ♫New York♪

Hi everyone!  Did you have a good Christmas?  Ours was very nice, though somewhat hectic.  It seems like it's always harder when Thanksgiving falls so late in the calendar year.

Today, I want to finish my story about our trip to NYC in 2005.  You can read Part One Here.  In the first part of my post, I wrote that I was worried we would freeze up there, and so I kept going back to the stores and buying more cold weather clothing.  :)  Well, it was kind of funny, because the week before we were there, they had some really cold weather.  But it warmed up just before we got up there, so I think it may have been a little warmer in New York City than it was here in North Carolina.  The only day I felt really cold was the day we were at the harbor, and I guess we were getting the cold breeze off the water.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas 2013

I want to thank you for reading my blog this year and for commenting and letting me know you're interested.  Your interest inspires me and I thank you for your friendship.  I wish you Peace,

Saturday, December 21, 2013

New York at the Christmas Season

Are you someone who likes to travel at Christmas or do you prefer the comfort of hearth and home?  Do you have to travel to see family, or do they travel to be with you?

My entire life I've always spent Christmas at home.  Since I've been married, we drive to our parents' house on Christmas Day to eat and exchange gifts, but we always return home that night.  We're very fortunate that most of our family lives nearby.

Several years ago, in 2005, we did take a trip the week before Christmas.  My husband, son, and I went to New York City with my in-laws for three days, and we had the best time.  That trip was actually our Christmas gift from my mother and father-in-law that year, and it was great!  You can read Part Two of this post Here.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A Precious Keepsake

Hi everyone!  I literally just published a post to link to Vee's Note Card Party a few minutes ago; and I hate to publish another post right away, but please bear with me.

December Note Card Party

December is such a wonderful month filled with lovely images, and it's time for Vee's monthly Note Card Party.  If you'd like to participate, here's a link to Vee's blog, A Haven For Vee, and the December Note Card Party.  We're not limited to a particular theme for the party, but since this is a holiday month,  I couldn't resist doing Christmas note cards.

"Festival of Lights"

Friday, December 13, 2013

Christmas at My In-Laws' House

I promise I do realize that Christmas is not all about the decorations.  My friend Dotsie, who blogs at Podso wrote about all the symbols and traditions of Christmas much better than I could have.  To a large degree, our decorations and traditions are tied to the meaning of that first Christmas.  Most of us have secular decorations tied in with our religious decorations, but it is all about remembering the birth of the Christ child.

Today I'm sharing some of my mother-in-law's Christmas decorations from last year; she does such a pretty job every year.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

A Quick Look At Our Christmas Mantel

I just finished tweaking our Christmas Mantel for this year and thought I'd show you what it looks like.  I'm really happy with the way it turned out!  This is the first time I've done a totally different mantel in more than ten years.  I love tradition, especially at Christmas, so I have a hard time changing too many things in my decorating.  However, I felt that it was time for something different where the mantel is concerned.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Christmas at Mom and Dad's House

For more decorating inspiration and eye candy, I'm sharing the rest of the pics from my parents' house last Christmas.  You can see the pictures I shared earlier Here.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

A Few Words On Christmas Trees

I've recently determined that I suffer from a condition called Christmas Tree Selection Disorder (CTSD).  Have you heard of this?  No?  Well, it's basically a condition wherein you go to the Christmas tree farm with your husband and or family to pick out a tree(s) for your house.  One to fit inside your house.  Well, as we all know, in the wide-open outdoors, most of the trees look like this (minus the tree skirt)...

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Images of Christmas Past

Alma, who blogs at The Tablescaper, has a wonderful idea for a link party.  Tomorrow, for her weekly Seasonal Sundays party, she's suggested we link our posts from previous Christmases.  I think this is a brilliant idea because we're all busy as bees trying to get ready for this Christmas -- decorating, shopping, wrapping, baking, addressing Christmas cards.  Soooo, I went through my archives and found some things to share from previous Christmases.  Some things were published in posts, but others are just pictures we took, but I never got a chance to do a post on them.  I hope you enjoy!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving Tables And A Favorite Recipe

How was your Thanksgiving?  I hope you all had a nice one.  We had such a nice day and such good food; we are truly blessed.

Since the first year we were married, my husband and I have rotated Thanksgiving between our parents' homes.  This year, it was our turn to eat at my in-laws' house.  I'm sharing some pictures of my mother-in-law's tables; they just looked so pretty.  We were supposed to be 13 people in all, but my husband's grandmother and great-aunt were not able to be there due to sickness.  We missed them, and I'm sorry they missed out on such a delicious meal.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends.



Sunday, November 24, 2013

Christmas At My Parents' House

Hello everyone!  It's been a while since I've done a regular post; I hope I can still remember how.  :)  Have you had a nice weekend?  Have you bought your turkey and your cranberry sauce?  How about your sweet potatoes, pecans, green beans, and french fried onions in a can for all those veggie casseroles?  Do you have your pumpkin and whipping cream, broccoli, brussels sprouts, eggs for deviling, rolls and cornbread?  No?  Me neither.  :)

I'm not going to skip over Thanksgiving, but I don't have anything Thanksgiving-related to share today.  Instead, I've got some pictures of my parents' house from Christmas last year -- hope you enjoy them.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

A Dog's Plea

I wanted to say thank you, dear friends, for all the sweet comments you left for me when MacDuff passed away earlier this week.  It means a lot to me.  People who have pets will always understand how it feels to lose a beloved companion.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Goodbye MacDuff

 This evening we had to say goodbye to our beloved companion, MacDuff.  He was a courageous fellow, but he had come to the end of his road. He was 13 1/2 this September, and he lived longer than either of my previous Scotties.

We had been treating him at home for some health issues; our vet was very good and dedicated to work with us.  MacDuff had basically gone blind over the past year, and he had arthritis in his hips and some liver problems.  But late last week he took a bad turn for the worse; vomiting, diarrhea, and labored breathing.  In addition, we discovered a lump at the base of his throat, which the vet said almost certainly indicated lymphoma.  Some further tests would have confirmed that diagnosis, but at his age, it would not have made a difference.  He was not a candidate for surgery, and we would not subject him to treatments that would have briefly prolonged his life, but not given him a better quality of life.

Thursday, October 31, 2013



Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Life's Busy -- Be Back Soon!

Hi everyone!  Just a short post to say "Help!"  (Just kidding)  :)  Life is really busy here at the moment.  If I haven't stopped by your blog as regularly as I normally do, it's because I'm trying to keep my head above water here.  I'm determined to finish this de-cluttering before the holidays are upon us, and I want to do a really thorough job so that I won't have to turn around and do it again three months from now.  Can anyone else relate?!

I still look at my blogroll and try to keep up with what you're doing, but I just can't spend much time looking and visiting at the moment.  I hope you're all well and enjoying autumn.  Please don't forget me -- I'll be back soon!


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

October Note Card Party

I'm so glad to be participating in Vee's monthly Note Card Party again -- it's one of my very favorites.  :)  Stop by A Haven For Vee and see what the party is all about; I think you'll be glad you did.

I usually have a theme for my Note Cards, but you certainly don't have to.  I like to add a caption to my cards, too, because I'm just OCD that way.  :)  This month I'm simply doing "Fall Scenes."

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Chateau Morrisette Winery

Hi everyone!  We're having a cool snap here, how about you?  It's been bright and sunny, so all in all, a really nice fall day.

Do you like to take day trips?  We almost always go to the mountains for our day trips, but we haven't gotten to do that in quite a while.  This is our favorite time of the year to go to the mountains and drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Technically, the Blue Ridge Parkway is a National Park, so I wonder if it will be blocked off with barricades?  Hmmm -- sure hope not.

All the pictures in this post are from fall of 2011.  We have several local wineries near us in North Carolina that we like to visit, but Chateau Morrisette is actually in Virginia.  It's further for us to drive, but we enjoy spending an afternoon there in the fall if we have a free day.  It's right off the Blue Ridge Parkway in a little community called Meadows of Dan.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Closet Progress and A Purse Organizer

Hello everyone!  I hope you all enjoyed a beautiful weekend wherever you were.  We had a pretty weekend here, and a hot one.  A bit of Indian Summer in this first week of October.

I'm still in the grip of my cleaning and organizing frenzy.  Wow -- I know I've made some good progress, but there's still so much to do.  This is what I get for procrastinating.  :)  Our city gives everyone a large trash can for weekly pickup (I think it's about a 50 or 60 gallon can on wheels) and it was completely full yesterday evening, just in time for today's pickup.  That's a good thing because it's not always full, and that means I got a lot more junk cleaned out this weekend.

My closet is about 97 percent finished.  I do still have to go through some of my clothes, and I'm sure I'll be putting some of them back in the closet.  When I first posted about my big closet re-org, I mentioned that I had purchased a new purse organizer, and one of my friends commented that I should show a picture of said purse organizer.  These pics are for you, Dotsie.  :)

Monday, September 30, 2013

A Blogging Milestone

I reached a milestone last week in blogging -- I hit 100,000 total page views.  Yep, that little clicker on my dashboard that counts the page views like a car odometer counts your miles, turned over 100,000.  I know this is really small potatoes to the super-bloggers who probably get 100,000 page views in one week.  I don't have that kind of following here on my blog, so I was excited to reach this number.

I really appreciate those loyal folks who read my blog posts faithfully and regularly leave me comments.  You make my day and my week!!  I've enjoyed getting to know you and learning something about your lives.  How fun to meet people from Canada, England, Ecuador, Texas, New York, Maine, Colorado, California, Georgia, Alabama, and North Carolina.  It's great to discover the things we have in common (a lot, it seems) and I've learned so much from all of you.  Great decorating tips, recipes, book recommendations, craft ideas, shopping tips, and beautiful photography, just to name a few.

In just a few months, I will have been blogging for three years.  Oh how time flies!  I thought I'd share my top-viewed posts over these past three years.  The number one most viewed post is "MERRY CHRISTMAS AND GOD BLESS US EVERY ONE."

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Still Cleaning and Organizing

Hi everyone!  I hope you've had a lovely fall weekend!  The weather has been so nice in North Carolina -- our favorite time of year here at Forest Manor.

This past week, hubby and I watched "The Book of Manning" on ESPN, and we loved it!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Fall Cleaning and Organizing

I'd really rather be going to the North Carolina mountains to get fresh apples, taking pretty outdoor pictures, or decorating my house and porch for fall.  That will come (sooner rather than later, I hope) but for now, I'm cleaning out closets and drawers and trying to re-organize everything.  Why am I doing this?  I'm afraid the people from "Hoarders" are going to show up on our doorstep any day now if I don't do something with some of this stuff.

The late George Carlin famously said that "A house is just a place to keep your stuff while you go out and get more stuff."  :)  So funny and so true.  At least it's funny until you're forced to have to find a place to store all this stuff.

I've mentioned before that our house was built in 1972, so that was before the time of really big closets.  Our first house, the 1924 bungalow in Greensboro...

Monday, September 23, 2013

It's Fall Y'all!

Happy Monday and Happy Fall!  I feel like my blog posts and visits to others have been rather sporadic the past week or so.  Am I the only one out there who starts a big project only to get sidetracked by something small and then something else, and get the picture?  I feel like I'm all over the place and my brain just won't focus.  Maybe I have fall fever, as opposed to spring fever.  :)

I want to take a minute to say a very big "THANK YOU" to the ladies who kindly featured my kitchen last week in their link parties.  Cindy at Dwellings-The Heart of Your Home featured my post last week on her "Amaze Me Monday" party.  Thank you so much, Cindy!!  Cindy is a North Carolina blogger, like me.  If you haven't visited Cindy's blog before, you really should pay her a visit.  She has a lovely home, and she's a lovely person, inside and out.  :)  Cindy has a great talent for capturing beautiful outdoor shots in her garden, and she writes about decorating, travel, family, gardening, and more.  She's currently in the midst of starting a kitchen renovation in her home, and I can't wait to see her progress on that.

I also want to thank the ladies who host the "Homework Wednesday" party every week for featuring my kitchen renovation last week, as one of their Quick-Peek Features.  Thank you Amy at Atta Girl Says, Barb at The Everyday Home, Marty at Marty's Musings, and Suzy at Worthing Court!!  I'm honored to have been featured on "Homework Wednesday!"  Hope you'll stop by these talented ladies' blogs (also North Carolina bloggers) for some creative ideas on decorating, cooking, DIY, family, and more.

I also want to thank all of you readers who visited me and had such nice, complimentary things to say about our kitchen.  We love the way it turned out, but you don't always know if others will like what you've done.  :)

What are you up to this week?  Are you enjoying these lovely fall days?  Have you noticed how the quality of the sunlight is different this time of year?  It's a softer light, somehow, and I absolutely love it -- one of the many things I love about fall.  Thank you for your visit and I hope you have a great Monday!!


Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Harvest Moon

Earlier this evening my husband and I ran an errand to WalMart, or Wally World, as hubby fondly refers to it.  :)  There was a beautiful moon coming up in the sky, and it looked a lot like the one below.  I remembered that I had done a post on the Harvest Moon back in September of 2011 (my first year of blogging).  I decided to re-post it tonight because it's that time of year again.  If you're sky gazers like we are, you might find the history of the Harvest Moon interesting.  Even if you don't care about the historical facts, it's hard to ignore the uncommon beauty of this autumn moon.


Image Credit:  Dan Bush of Missouri Skies

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Summer's End

Hello all!  I know most of you are probably kicking into fall mode now (I am too) but before I completely leave summer behind for another year, I want to share a few images from the beach trip we took over Labor Day weekend.  We normally go to the beach much earlier in the summer, like May for instance, but this year we couldn't manage that.

September and October are beautiful times to be at the coast, too; we've discovered that in years past.  After all the rain, rain, rain, and dismal skies we had most of the summer here, it was beautiful and sunny for the three days we were at Oak Island.

Dry Street Pizza in Southport, North Carolina

Friday, September 13, 2013

Happy Friday

Happy Friday, everyone!  I just wanted to say a quick "Thank You" to Sherry, at The Charm of Home, for featuring my kitchen renovation on her Friday Home Sweet Home link party today!

It's being featured along with four other blog posts from last week's party.  I'm so honored to be featured there.  Please go by and check out Sherry's blog, if you haven't already; she has such a pretty blog.  She always shares wonderful recipes, lovely vignettes, and great craft ideas.

Thank you again, Sherry!


Thursday, September 5, 2013

Our Kitchen -- Before and After

I noticed yesterday that a post I wrote early in 2012 is now being viewed again.  The post was written at the time that we were just beginning our kitchen remodel, and I showed lots of pics of our kitchen as it used to be for the first 15 years that we lived here.  Then I showed some more pictures of the ongoing renovation, but I've never shown a real kitchen "reveal" since we've completed everything.  That's mainly because we waited about three months to hang anything on the walls because we couldn't stand the thought of messing up that pristine paint job.  :)  By then, we were into the 2012 holiday season, so again, I put off showing the kitchen until after the holidays.  I wanted everything to look perfect for my reveal pictures, so I kept putting off doing the post, and I finally realized that I just need to show you how everything turned out.

*WARNING*  Picture Heavy Post

There are several pictures here (the understatement of the century).  They were taken on different days at different times during the day with two different cameras, so please overlook the fact that the quality of some are not as good as others.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Happy September!

Hi everyone!  I hope this day finds you well and enjoying some sunshine in your part of the world.  I've missed visiting you and leaving comments on your blogs, but once again, life got kind of busy around here.  In addition, we just returned yesterday from a trip to the seashore.

Friday, August 16, 2013

The Rest of the Collection...

Did you know that the first thimbles in England were called "thumb bells" because they were worn on the thumb and shaped like a bell?  The shape eventually changed, but the name softened into "thimble."  And did you know that a person who collects thimbles is known as a digitabulist?  No??  Me neither.  :)

Computer search engines are turning me into a real-life Cliff Clavin.  :-D  Remember "Cheers"?  Such a funny show, and good old Cliff was a storehouse of trivia.  There was one episode where Cliff was selected to be a contestant on "Jeopardy"; it was just hilarious.  My husband and I still laugh about it all these years later.

I thought I would show you the rest of my little treasures from yesterday's post.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Little Treasures

I wrote about our den several weeks ago, pointing out some summer touches I had added here and there.  Today, I thought I'd show you a little collection that hangs on the wall beside our television in the den.  It's a thimble collection (with a few other miniatures thrown in) that I've had for over 30 years.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Happy Birthday Will!

Twenty-three years ago today, our son entered the world at 10:06 p.m.  It was a joyful time for Mr. Forest Manor and I.  These years have gone by in such a whirl -- story time at the library, playing at the park in summer, piano lessons, swimming lessons, t-ball, little league baseball, boy scouts, concert band, marching band, laughter, heart-to-heart talks, lots of family time.  Good times and not-so-good times -- all a part of living life.  Parenting certainly isn't easy, but we wouldn't trade a minute of it.

Today, we celebrate our son's birthday on the second day of his new job.  Three months since he graduated from college, and he has a full-time job.  We are blessed and oh, so thankful!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Diane's Garden

I want to say a big "Thank You" to everyone for your sweet comments on my mom's pink and green tablescape!  My mom enjoyed seeing her table on the blog, and she really appreciated all the nice comments!

I'll bet many of your thoughts are starting to turn towards fall, yes?  Mine too; I pinned some really pretty fall images yesterday.  :)  But I'm still trying to hold on to the nicer parts of summer; the older I get, the more guilty I feel about rushing the seasons and wishing my life away.  Life really is so precious, and it goes by much too quickly these days. So for this post, I'm going back to late spring/early summer to share with you some pictures from my mother-in-law Diane's garden this year.  I always enjoy walking around my mom and mom-in-law's yard every spring and summer to see what they have blooming.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

A Pink and Green Tablescape

Back in the first week of July, we gathered at my parents' house to celebrate my dad's birthday, which was July 3rd.  We had a delicious summer meal of grilled hot dogs with all the fixings (including my mom's homemade chili), baked beans, potato chips, Asian coleslaw, deviled eggs, and homemade ice cream for dessert.  It was wonderful!  :)

My mom had set the prettiest table in her dining room -- just a summer tablescape that she planned to leave out for a few weeks or a month, since they only eat in the dining room on special occasions.  I just fell in love with these dishes and the tablescape, so I wanted to share it with you.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Land of Mountains and Waterfalls

Last week Mr. Forest Manor and I were able to get away for a few days, where we escaped to the Great Smoky Mountains and the Blue Waters Mountain Lodge.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

More of This and That

I'm following up on last week's post, aptly titled "A Bit of This and That," wherein I moaned and groaned about the heat and humidity and being without our central air for almost three days.  Mr. Forest Manor and I are so thankful to have a new A/C unit installed.

We did get to go out of town late Thursday afternoon, and we were glad to get away for a few days.  We spent two days in this relaxing place...

Thursday, July 25, 2013

A Bit of This and That

Well, it seems like I eventually end up saying it every year, and this year I was trying really hard not to say it, but yesterday was the day for me.  The words came out, even though I'm the only one that heard them, as my husband wasn't in the room at the time.  But I muttered it to myself -- "I Hate Summer."

I felt like a real grouch for saying it, but yesterday was not fun, folks.  Our air conditioner started acting wonky on Monday afternoon, but by dinnertime, it was working and the house was cool again.  Thankfully, we were all three able to get a good night's sleep that night.  Then on Tuesday, the house started heating up really fast.  Our regular guy that we've used for years wasn't available, so we called one of the really big companies in town.  They couldn't even think about seeing us until Thursday at the earliest.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

July Note Card Party

Hi everyone!  How's the weather in your part of the world?  The heat has finally arrived here in North Carolina and has joined forces with the ever-present humidity to make us feel like we're in a steam bath.  But...we have blue skies and sunshine, and for that I am very thankful.

Every summer on our local weather station, we hear the nasty D-word (drought) at least every other day.  Not so this year.  In fact, we are truly saturated.  I saw a disturbing piece on our local news last night that a portion of the Blue Ridge Parkway between Asheville and Mount Mitchell is closed indefinitely due to cracks in the pavement.  The ground beneath the road in that section is completely saturated and they said the crack is five feet deep and 200 feet long.  Yikes!  Can you say sinkhole, or maybe, landslide?

Today, I've put together four pictures from some of my previous posts in order to join in with the other bloggers at Vee's monthly Note Card Party.  This month I was in the mood to use pictures of our American flag because July always feels like a patriotic month to me.  These pictures somewhat reflect the evolution of our American flag from early colonial days up to the 21st century.

"Continental Colors a/k/a Grand Union Flag"
A restored merchant's shop in Old Salem, N.C., circa 1776

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Adding Summer Touches To The Family Room

Hi everyone!  It seems that I've disappeared from blogland recently; but not by choice, I can assure you.  Life has certainly changed since our son graduated from college and moved back home -- more dirty dishes, more trash, more recycling, and less time for me on the computer.  We have two desktop computers in this house and two laptops, but my son and I both want to use the same desktop computer.  Sigh.

What have you been up to during these rainy summer days?  I hope you all had a great Fourth of July holiday.  Ours was very nice -- a family reunion on my husband's side of the family, and a cookout at my parents (with homemade ice cream) on the Saturday.  It was a busy four days.

I've been making a few wee changes to our den just for the summer months; I felt it needed some lightening up.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Beautiful Brookgreen Gardens, Part Three

Today, I'm sharing some more images of Brookgreen Gardens in South Carolina. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Amazing Mr. Armitage

Hello, Dear Friends.  I want to say "Thank You" for the very sweet comments you left on my Father's Day tribute.  I always appreciate your visits and your input.

Today, I'm sharing a different type of piece than I normally write for my blog.  There are a couple of reasons for that.  Firstly, I would love to be able to show some more home decorating pics, but right now, our living room and dining room look like an episode of hoarders.  It's quite disheartening.  My sweet hubby helped me take everything out of our linen closet, so that I could do some long overdue purging and re-arranging, and part of that stuff is still in the living room.  Yippee.  (You'll notice the absence of exclamation mark after "Yippee")

Secondly, our son is living back at home now since he graduated from college last month.  He'll be living here until such time that he's able to find a job, and right now things aren't looking too promising on that front.  We're all learning to adjust to our new lifestyle.  He was used to living around all his friends and people his age in a lively, thriving university environment.  Now he's stuck back at home with the old fuddy duddys; i.e., Mr. and Mrs. Forest Manor.  In addition, he's been hogging using my computer a lot, so I haven't been able to blog as much as usual.

So, no tablescapes, recipes, home decorating, or pretty garden photos, etc.  I wondered if this post would be appropriate in a forum of family-friendly blogs where we mostly focus on house and home; but a change can be fun sometimes.

  Sooo...I'm going to write about my latest celebrity crush/obsession.  In addition to his handsome, chiseled features, and blue, blue eyes, he has the most wonderful voice.  I don't often get gaga over actors; I'm picky that way, and I don't like celebrities who have big egos and are always in the limelight.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day To My Dad

I think it's so nice that we have a designated day every year to officially acknowledge our Fathers (and our Mothers).  It gives us all a chance to thank them in a more pronounced way than we normally do throughout the year.  But truthfully, most of us know that we are grateful to, and for, our fathers and mothers every day.  I wonder how many of you asked the same question I did once when I was still growing up in my parents' home -- "Why don't we have a Children's Day, since we have a Mother's Day and a Father's Day?"  To which my parents replied, "Every day is children's day."  Very true that is, too.  :)

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Las Vegas Bellagio, Part 2

A few weeks ago, I showed you some images of the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas (from the trip we took in 2006) and I promised to show some pictures of the conservatory and botanical gardens located inside the hotel/resort.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Memorial Day

I've been upset and mad as fire angry for the past week, maybe two weeks -- I'm starting to lose count.  I can't remember when I've been so disgusted with the leadership of our nation.  It's become glaringly obvious that our current administration has very little ethics, scruples, and apparently, no accountability. 

While some families are grieving over flag-draped coffins, our federal employees and elected officials have chosen to drape themselves in the Fifth Amendment.

Because I've been so disgusted, and sad, I almost chose not to write a Memorial Day Tribute.  But then I realized that Memorial Day is really about remembering and saying a heartfelt "Thank You."

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Oh The Places I've Been -- Bellagio Hotel, Las Vegas

Hi everyone; I hope you're having a great week!  I'm excited to be participating in The Tablescaper's weekly Friday party, "Oh The Places I've Been."  This week, I'm going to share some pictures from 2006 when I tagged along accompanied Mr. Forest Manor on a business trip to Las Vegas.

One Happy Dog

I want to say "Thanks" to all of you for the sweet comments I received on the article I wrote about my friend Judy and her therapy dog, McDuff.  That meant a lot to me, and it meant a lot to Judy, as well.  She is such a nice person.

The reason Judy and I got acquainted was, of course, our mutual love for Scotties; and our dogs even had the same names.  I thought I'd share a few funny pictures of my MacDuff, just in case you could use a laugh today.  :)

MacDuff on the Blue Ridge Parkway - 2011

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

May Note Card Party -- Images of England

Our good friend Vee, at A Haven For Vee, is hosting her monthly Note Card Party.  This party is one of my favorites because we get to look back through our archives and pick a few favorite photos to share with readers who may not have seen them before.  I love seeing other people's note cards because even though I may read their blogs regularly, chances are I haven't seen these particular posts.

This month, I'm sharing some images from our trip to England in 1999.  As I explained in my previous posts, these pictures were all taken using a point and shoot camera with film (no digital cameras for us back then).  As of this year, the pictures are 14 years old; they're not perfect, but I think they've held up pretty well for the most part.  I hope you enjoy!

"View From a Double-Decker Bus"

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day

I want to wish my Mom, my Mother-in-Law, my sister, and all my sweet blogging friends a very Happy and Blessed Mother's Day!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A Book Review and A New Friend

Hi everyone.  What kind of week are you having?  My week is going to be busy; I still have a lot to do before next Friday (graduation day), but I want to keep up with my blog, even if I just write a few things over the next week and a half.

Writing this blog has been such a good thing for me; it has challenged and motivated me to learn new things, and it's definitely broadened my horizons.  One of the best things I've experienced is meeting so many nice people with similar interests, and I've even gotten to meet a few of you in person.

The most recent example of that is my new friend, Judy McFadden.  Meeting Judy was definitely one of those serendipitous occasions that happen to us from time to time in life.

Those of you who read my blog regularly know that we have a Scottish Terrorist Terrier named MacDuff, whose picture is on my sidebar.  MacDuff is the third Scottie I've had in my lifetime and the second one for my husband and I.  Some time back, I started a board on my Pinterest account called "Love Scotties."  I honestly can't remember where I saw this book now, but I came across it online back in the winter and pinned it to my board.  The book is called, "Life With McDuff -- Lessons Learned from a Therapy Dog."  

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A Busy Month Ahead

I may have to take some breaks from blogging during the next three or four weeks.  We have a lot going on here at the hacienda.  :)  I have a sewing class and project to finish.  Our teacher has kindly offered to let us make up a class because we've had to miss a few due to sickness and a concert at our son's university.

The big event in our lives right now is that our son is about to graduate from college in just about three and a half weeks.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Spring -- Here At Last!


 "Spring Morning"

Where am I going?  I don't quite know.
Down to the stream where the king-cups grow--
Up on the hill where the pine-trees blow--
Anywhere, anywhere.  I don't know.

Where am I going?  The clouds sail by,
Little ones, baby ones, over the sky.
 Where am I going?  The shadows pass,
Little ones, baby ones, over the grass.

If you were a cloud, and sailed up there
You'd sail on water as blue as air,
And you'd see me here in the fields and say:
"Doesn't the sky look green today?"

Where am I going?  The high rooks call:
"It's awful fun to be born at all."
Where am I going?  The ring-doves coo:
"We do have beautiful things to do."

If you were a bird, and lived on high,
You'd lean on the wind when the wind came by,
You'd say to the wind when it took you away:
"That's where I wanted to go today!"

Where am I going?  I don't quite know,
What does it matter where people go?
Down to the wood where the blue-bells grow--
Anywhere, anywhere, I don't know.
~A. A. Milne, "When We Were Very Young"

 "The first day of Spring is one thing, the first Spring day another.  The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month." ~Henry Van Dyke 

"No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow." ~Proverb
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