Sunday, December 24, 2017

Christmas in the Dining Room

Hello dear readers.  The eve of Christmas is such a special time.  I'm sorry I've been absent here, but my dad had to be hospitalized again week before last.  He was there five days this time, and we're all thankful he can be home with us for Christmas.  I know some of you are missing loved ones this year -- some are spending first Christmases without a spouse, parent, etc.  I hope you will find comfort in the Christmas story more than ever this year.

I'm still decorating and haven't wrapped a single present, yet here I sit, typing away.  😉  Our dining room feels very Christmasy this year, so I'm sharing some pics with you.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Some Favorite Christmas Ornaments

Hello again!  I've been trying to get the house all decorated so I can share here on the blog, but it takes awhile.  I should have some pictures to show in a few days.  In the meantime, these are some pics we took last year during the holiday.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

A Chocolate Pie Recipe

Hi folks!  Boy have we had some snow!  It sure has been pretty.  We just had a power blink, though, and I hope we don't have any more of those.

A few weeks ago, I shared a picture of the pie and the deviled eggs I made to take to Thanksgiving lunch at my in-laws' house.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Roses In The Snow

Hello there.  Is it snowing at your house today?  Here in the Piedmont region of North Carolina, it's snowing to beat the band, as they say.  Our little world looks like the inside of a snow globe at the moment.  It really is beautiful, but I was somewhat unprepared.  Luckily, we did stop last night for milk and bread and a few other essentials.  They were calling all week for the possibility of snow today, but as of last night, the weather website showed only a 40 percent chance here.  By this morning, it was 90 percent chance, with predicted accumulation of three to five inches.  Whoops!  ☃ ⛄

Just a few days ago, I snapped a few pictures with my iPhone of two fully-bloomed roses on our rose bush.  We had a cold snap last week, and I was surprised the buds didn't get frozen then.  However, they opened, and we had two perfect roses in December.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Autumn Into Christmas

Fall came late in our area, and so we still have some color left on the trees.  We admired the late autumn foliage on our way to my parents' house the day after Thanksgiving.  Though it still feels like fall, it's time to move on to Christmas preparations.  We're planning to put our tree in the stand this afternoon and put the lights and garland on.

Before we do that, however, I want to show you the living room and foyer (very minimally) decorated for fall.  After today, it will be a bit topsy-turvy while I'm in the midst of putting out Christmas decs.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Thanksgiving 2017

Hello there.  Are you watching football and/or dozing on the sofa?  I'm as full as a tick, and I'd love to be snoozing on the sofa right now while the hubs watches football.  😴 

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving with lots of good food and family time.  We had a very enjoyable day, and I ate way too much.  I do love all the foods of Thanksgiving.  My mother-in-law had turkey, dressing, gravy, cranberry salad, green beans, corn, sweet potatoes, yeast rolls, and pumpkin pie.  I made deviled eggs and a chocolate pie to contribute to the feast, and I think my husband's brother and his wife made brownies.  I don't think anyone left the table hungry.  😉

Saturday, November 18, 2017

I Love Thanksgiving

Hello everyone!  Once again I haven't posted in over two weeks; I sure hope I can do better than this in 2018.

Those of you who live in the U.S., are you looking forward to Thanksgiving?  I sure am.  I feel like I have so much to be thankful for, and I look forward to spending time with our family and sharing good food and fellowship.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017


Happy November!  Can you believe how fast this year has flown?  Have I told you how much I love this time of year? 🍁🍂  Only a dozen times or more, I'm sure. 😊  

It's beautiful today, and I have some of our windows open, bringing fresh air into the house.  Just a short post sharing some random images with fall color today -- hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween everyone!  

Sunday, October 29, 2017

The Fall Den

Hello everyone!  I'm trying really hard to get some "photo shoots" of the various rooms in the house while it's still technically Fall.  I told my husband that in a few weeks, I'll be seeing posts about Christmas and Christmas home tours in blog land.  Here are some fall pics for you before we all have to start thinking about Christmas.

Friday, October 13, 2017

James Madison's Montpelier and Virginia Horse Country

You may remember Hal and I went to Charlottesville, Virginia a few weeks ago.  We actually stayed out in the countryside about 30 miles from Charlottesville, but more on that later.  On our first full day in Virginia, we decided to drive to Montpelier, the home of James and Dolley Madison, with the idea that we would just enjoy the pretty scenery on the way but not do the house tour.  I had read that the grounds were free to the public, and we thought we'd just walk through the grounds and take some pictures.  The scenery on the way to Montpelier was indeed beautiful.  Once we got to the museum shop, we decided to purchase tickets and see the house.  It was a terrific tour; we were so glad we decided to take it.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Travel Wardrobe

Hello friends!  I hope you've had a good weekend!  It's raining here, but boy do we need it.  We've basically had a soft, steady rainfall for the the past two days.  Today, it has been so warm and humid that the windows in our house fogged up.

 I had to shop for some clothes before we went to Charlottesville a few weeks ago, and I thought I would share with you what I wore while we were in Virginia. 

Monday, October 2, 2017

The Waltons House (Earl Hamner, Jr. Homeplace)

Happy October to you!  Don't you love this time of year?  I hope you all had a nice weekend; ours was nice -- and short.  I know the days will be flying by from now until Christmas.  Yikes!

As promised, I'm going to show you my pictures from inside Earl Hamner's childhood home.

Friday, September 29, 2017

A Trip To Virginia

Happy Friday to you!  It's been almost three weeks since I've posted, so I hope you haven't given up on me.  😃  First, I need to update you on my dad.  I want to thank you all for your kind thoughts and prayers over the past two months.  He went home from the hospital about two weeks ago today, and it's been a tough time for everyone.  As my sister said, we all knew it was going to be hard, but I don't think any of us realized it would be this tough.  My mom insists on being positive around us, and she says she thinks things are going okay, but I know this has been incredibly hard on her and my dad.

Hal and I went to Virginia on Sunday and returned yesterday.  We have had this trip planned for a good while, and my mom really wanted us to go.  She and my dad own a timeshare, and she had booked a cabin for us at a resort in the Shenandoah area, so we decided to go.  My sister was here to help out, and my parents' neighbors have been wonderful.


Sunday, September 10, 2017

Hello September

September and October are my favorite months of the year.  Of the two, I would probably say September is my very favorite.  You know fall is just right around the corner -- the days have started to draw in, the skies are clear and blue,  

Friday, September 8, 2017

Good Food For a Good Cause

Hello friends!!  Have you had a good week?  Ours has been shorter, thanks to Monday's holiday.  The weather here has been beautiful for the past two days; I fear it is the calm before the storm.  I've been so preoccupied with my family situation that I haven't started preparing (just in case).

In spite of everything going on here, I have had the folks in Texas in my thoughts and prayers.  On this beautiful day here in North Carolina, it's heartbreaking to think of all the people whose homes have been destroyed and those who have lost loved ones because of Hurricane Harvey.  However, I'm so proud of all the Americans who've stepped up to help in so many ways -- one of the things I love best about our country!

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Happy Labor Day

Just a short post to wish you all a Happy Labor Day.  I hope all of you out there are able to enjoy a nice, three-day weekend.

Friday, August 18, 2017

A Family Wedding

My niece, Anna, and her fiancee, Justin, tied the knot on Saturday, August 5th.  My mom's good friend and neighbor, Susie, took care of the decorations for the private ceremony and the reception that followed.  I thought everything looked so pretty!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Updates and A Wedding

Hi friends!  Are you ready for summer to wind down and move into autumn?  Do you have school-age children, or perhaps college students, heading back to school?  I still can't believe our son is grown; we celebrated his 27th birthday last Sunday!  How time flies, and how I wish I could make it slow down sometimes.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Bethabara Gardens, Part 2

Welcome to House at Forest Manor.  Today I'm sharing the rest of the pictures from the gardens at Bethabara Park in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.  You can read about the history of Bethabara in my previous post Here.

I had the best of intentions to publish Part Two of this post a few weeks ago, shortly after Part One.  As usual, things got busy and I forgot.  Better late than never, I suppose.  I'm posting a lot this week because I suddenly have some free time in which to work on my blog, and I never know when that will change.  I haven't forgotten about visiting you, though, and I'll be doing that throughout the week.  I hope you're all having a good summer; my thoughts go out to BJ at Sweet Nothings who lost her beloved husband this week.  

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Fruit Dip and Punch -- Two Easy Recipes

Hi everyone!  If you read my post yesterday about the bridal shower, I promised to share some recipes with you throughout this week.  Today, I'll share two very easy recipes that are good for summer gatherings.

Fruit Dip

Monday, July 10, 2017

A Bridal Shower

Hello -- how was your weekend?  Mine was great and very busy.  I had the pleasure of helping with a bridal shower for my niece, Anna -- my sister's only child.  We both just have one each, even though we wanted more.  They're almost exactly a year apart in age, so we've all been very close.

My mom and I were the hostesses of the shower because my niece doesn't have any bridesmaids.  She's having a private church ceremony with just the parents of the bride and groom attending.  Then they're having a reception afterward, which the rest of the family and friends are invited to.  I was the photographer yesterday, as well as helping serve the food.  My mom and I worked most of Friday afternoon preparing finger sandwiches, some spreads, and fruit dip.  The cupcakes and cake squares, along with a few other small things, were all purchased.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

The Lord's Day

"Praise God from Whom all blessings flow."

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Independence Day 2017

Hello all.  I'm wishing my American friends, readers, and family a very happy and safe Fourth of July -- the day we celebrate our country's independence.  

Charleston, South Carolina 2016

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Happy Canada Day

Happy Canada Day to my sweet Canadian friends!  Enjoy your country's 150th birthday!

I hope to someday visit your beautiful country.  


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The Taste of Summer

Hi all!  How is your week going?  Mine has been good so far.  Last night we had our first dinner of fresh summer produce, purchased at the Piedmont Triad Farmer's Market on Saturday.  It is such a pleasure for me to visit our farmer's market.  It's located right off Interstate 40 (you can see it from the highway) and it serves the Piedmont area of North Carolina.  This past weekend, they had a bountiful selection of summer offerings from the garden, as well as homemade baked goods and goat's milk cheeses, soaps and lotions.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

The Gardens at Bethabara Park

Hello Friends!  Today I'm sharing with you this interesting garden that hubby and I visited last weekend.  This is proof that you don't have to travel far from home at all to find new and fascinating things.

Friday, June 16, 2017


Hello out there!  How is everyone -- I have missed you so!  I'm sorry I've been absent for awhile, but we're trying to get things fixed and cleaned up (still) from the basement flooding.  The weather has been hot (88°F here yesterday) but pretty with gorgeous summer skies, so I decided I had to get out and take some pictures.  These were all taken with my iPhone, so the quality is definitely not the best.  Hubby and I are signed up for a one-time class on taking pictures with your iPhone, so we're hoping to get some good pointers on taking better pictures.  It's often handier to use the phone camera than having to lug around the bigger camera with extra lenses, etc.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Celebrating 30 Years of Marriage

**Note:  I actually wrote this post yesterday, but have added to it this morning.  When I re-read the first paragraph an hour ago, I thought how odd it was that I had chosen the saying about shared joy and sorrow.  We had an epic rain here last night, and this morning when leaving for work, Hal discovered that our basement is flooding.  Yes, it's still flooding.  There is what looks like a small crack in the floor, and water is bubbling up through that like a small spring.  The ground in our area has been saturated for weeks, and the weather service is calling for more rain and flooding here tonight.  I'm really afraid to think what sort of damage this will lead to.  $$$$  We may not get to the beach after all -- life will go on.     

When we say, "I Do" in that wedding ceremony, it's a real commitment and also a leap of faith, isn't it?  After all, we none of us really know what's ahead of us.  Today, Mr. Forest Manor and I are celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary, and I am so very grateful for all that entails.  "A shared joy is a double joy; a shared sorrow is half the sorrow."  For me, that saying really goes to the heart of our years together, I believe.  We've laughed together, cried together, and so often find we're thinking the same thing at the same moment -- like minds, don't you know.  ;)

 May 23, 1987

Saturday, May 20, 2017

The Ocean Calls

Summer is here in the south.  Oh, I know the calendar says summer begins on June 21st, but when the temperature is 86° (yesterday and today) I say it's summertime.  😎  I'm willing to bet that it got hot all the way up the east coast this week.  We're making plans to go to the beach -- Hal and I can't wait.  Our son may be able to join us there for a few days (we sure hope so).

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Simple Pork Chops

Guess what we had for dinner tonight?  If you guessed pork chops, you're right!  ;)  This is not a pretty, nor fancy, recipe so I'm just calling it simple pork chops.  There may not be a soul out there who hasn't already seen this recipe, but anyway, here you go.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Spring Tour of Biltmore House, Part 4

I took a break from the Biltmore posts because I didn't want to swamp you with the whole house at one time.  If I take too much of a break, I'll have trouble getting back to the subject, so today, we'll tour two more rooms.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Belated Easter Tablescape

Happy Wednesday to you!  I hope your week is going well.  I didn't get a chance to get photos of our table before Easter, so I'm sharing them now.  I decided to go ahead and post this tablescape because this is a table that would convert easily to an any-occasion Spring table.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Eufy the Robot Vac and a New Mirror

Hi everyone!  How was your weekend and your Monday?  Rainy and rainy are the answers to both questions here at Forest Manor.  We've had buckets of rain, and it's turned cold again.

So, Mr. Forest Manor made a secret purchase online a few weeks ago, and when it was delivered, I had no idea what it was.  Hal was acting kind of mysterious about it, and that evening I found out what it was...

Friday, April 21, 2017

Happy Friday!

Hello everyone!  I hope you've had a good week and are looking forward to the weekend.  We have and we are.  :D  As I write this, it's started to thunder outside (just as the weather forecast predicted) and apparently we're in for a weekend of rain.

I hope you all had a good Easter.  It's been over a week since I've posted, and I thought I'd fill you in a bit on what's been happening around here.  First of all, we are loving our new floors and carpet; I'm so thankful we could get those done.  They've made such a difference in our home.  We ordered a new rug to put under the table in our kitchen eating area.  We've never felt the need for one there before, but we really do now.  First of all, we want to protect the wood floors from the chairs being scooted in and out from the table, and secondly, we feel like a rug would add a nice touch of color to the floor.  After much thought and consideration, I decided on a braided rug, as I felt it was more suited to the decor and style of our kitchen.  I just couldn't get on board with the more contemporary styles for that particular room.  While the kitchen doesn't really have a "country" vibe, it does have a cottage feel to it.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The Curio Cabinet

I like to think that I have a mind of my own, in decorating as well as other things.  But one of the fun parts of blogging is that I do sometimes get wonderful ideas that really click with my own style; I  love that other bloggers share their ideas with the rest of us.

I mentioned Laura Ingalls Gunn at "Decor To Adore" a few weeks ago when I wrote a post about some of my favorite bloggers.  I wrote that I love Laura's decorating style, and when she posted about curio cabinets a few weeks ago and told us the history behind curio cabinets, or cabinet of curiosities, as they were originally called, this post really resonated with me.  Laura then shared her own "cabinet of curiosities" Here, and after seeing it, I was on a mission.  I immediately went into our living room and started putting together my own curio cabinet.  I didn't have to buy a thing for it; everything was collected from throughout our house.  Thanks for the inspiration, Laura -- I hope you don't mind my copycatting!  :)

Friday, April 7, 2017

Spring Biltmore Tour, Part 3

Welcome to Part 3 of our Spring tour of the Biltmore House in Asheville, North Carolina.  If you read the first two posts, thank you for your interest!  If you'd like to catch up on those, you can find them Here and Here.

Today, I want to show you a bit of the downstairs at Biltmore House.  This section didn't feature any movie costumes, but it was interesting, nevertheless.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Spring Trip to Biltmore, Part 2

Hello everyone -- I'm bringing you more pictures from Biltmore House today.  If you missed the first post, you can find it Here.  When writing a blog, we're not always sure which posts our readers will be excited to see, and which ones will bore them silly.  The thing is, part of my reason for writing this blog is to have a sort of journal of our family life, which I'm hoping our son will be interested in reading someday after his dad and I are long gone.  If you're thinking, "Oh no, not that place again," that's okay.  I'll have some other things to share very soon.

I won't be showing as many costume pictures today, but I do want to share with you some of the creative and lovely things that the folks who work at Biltmore House displayed as part of this exhibit.  In addition to the movie costumes, books were a big part of the theme, and since it's Spring, there were lots of beautiful flowers too.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Spring Trip to Biltmore House

Hi there friends!  Happy April to you; I hope you had a good weekend!

On Saturday, April 1st, we went to Biltmore House again.  Yes, I thought the Christmas candlelight tour would be our last visit for awhile, but Mr. Forest Manor decided to renew our annual membership.  That suited me just fine.  :)  The reason for our trip this time was to celebrate my father-in-law's birthday.  He turned 80 back in February, the same week that his mother turned 100.  For this reason, his birthday got somewhat overshadowed.  I was glad Hal thought of this because we all enjoyed the trip.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Happy St. Patrick's Day -- And the Floors are Done

A Happy St. Patrick's Day to you!  I love when St. Pat's Day falls on the weekend, but I'm sorry to say I haven't prepared anything Irish for today.  We've just been too busy here for the last month or so.  You can click on my sidebar pictures to read older posts from St. Patrick's Day.

As for the new floors, yesterday was Day 2 and they finished everything!  The job was scheduled for three days, but it only took two.  They had three men here working hard both days; I was really impressed with their work.  The upshot of this is that I have an extra day before the weekend to start putting things back in place.  The verdict on the floors -- we think the flooring company did an excellent job, and we absolutely love the floors.  What a huge difference they will make to the look of our house.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Today Is Flooring Day

Day 1
Whew, what a pain!  Last night I told my husband that I was not having fun.  I wouldn't want to do this again for a long time.  I know -- what a whiner, right?  As I type this, we are sitting here waiting for the hardwood floor installers to arrive.  They'll be doing our foyer, living room dining room, and kitchen, over a period of three days.

Since this past weekend, I've been packing up dishes, more dishes, stemware, and dishes.  When it comes time to put all this stuff back, I plan to take some to the Goodwill or give some to my niece, who's getting married in August.  Who's idea was it to get all this stuff anyway?  Heaven help us if we ever move.  😨

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Photos on Canvas

If you read this blog regularly, you know that Mr. Forest Manor and I like to take pictures.  He is a much better photographer than I (he's much more diligent about practicing).  I'm really appreciative of all the pictures he takes for me to use here on my blog.

Last summer, Hal decided to get a photo put on canvas to give as a gift for his mom and dad.  This is the picture he chose, 

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Some of My Favorite Blogs

Hi All!  I hope your week has gotten off to a good start.  Here in central N.C., March has come in like a lion this year -- lots of wind and gray skies.

In my last post, I mentioned that I had been away from blogging for almost a month.  I'm playing catch-up on reading the blogs I like to follow, and once again, I'm reminded how many creative and talented people are out there.  Right now, I'd like to share with you some of my favorite ladies to visit.

For starters, my friend Bonnie, of Living With Thanksgiving, has a lovely blog.  She lives in the south, and her home is just beautiful, classic southern style.  Being from the south myself, I can't help but be partial.  :)  Bonnie had her kitchen renovated last year, and she shared the reveal back in September.  For those of you who haven't seen this, it's well worth a look.  Please stop by and see (Here) you're in for a treat!  I know you love hydrangeas, Bonnie, so these flowers are for you.  :D

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Hello March!

I've been away from my blog for almost a month -- again.  I took a break to get some things done around here.  I have to tell you, it sure feels good to be back.  :)  I really miss my blog if I'm away for too long -- are you like that, too?

Here are a few of the things we've been up to...

On Valentine's Day, we tried a new (to us) restaurant in the heart of downtown.  It's an Italian restaurant called "Quanto Basta."  The food was delicious, and it was fun to look out on the downtown area from our table.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Pigs With Wings

Those of you who visit here regularly know how we love to feed the birds.  We currently have six feeders out back (including a suet feeder) and a suet feeder in the front yard.  We've been lucky to get a good variety of songbirds, woodpeckers, and ground feeders, even the occasional squirrel.  Unfortunately, our feeders have attracted a less welcome variety of birds, whom I have dubbed "pigs with wings."  Actually, this is an insult to pigs everywhere because pigs can be really cute.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Upcoming House Projects

Happy Wednesday everyone!  I hope you're having a good week.  I've mentioned off and on for about two years now that we're going to get our den carpet replaced.  Well, we've finally started moving with that project.  We've made our selection and are waiting to hear when the installation date will be.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Bird Watching

I mentioned back in January that we got a beautiful snow (about eight inches) and because of very cold temps., it actually hung around for a few days.  My husband worked from home that Monday, and he was able to capture some pretty images of the birds at our feeders.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Last Day of January

Hi everyone!  I can't believe it's been three weeks since I posted here.  I had to take a little break because we've had a lot going on at the homestead.  ;)  In addition to not posting, I haven't been able to visit much, either, but I haven't forgotten about you all.  So, how have you been?  I've been doing well, except for having tooth problems.  I forgot just how painful a toothache can be, but I've been reminded the past few weeks.  It made me realize (again) how hard it must have been to live in the middle ages when dentistry was practically non-existent.  I guess the barber did tooth work, as well.

Anywho, I always had good teeth when I was young, but years of grinding them in my sleep during middle age has finally caused much cracking and having to get crowns -- not the pretty kind you wear on your head either.  Well, enough of that.  Today is my dear mom's birthday, but I won't be able to visit her until Friday.  I'm so lucky to still have my parents and Hal's parents, too.  My husband's grandmother will turn 100 years old the last week of February.  I don't know of anyone in my family who lived that long -- quite a milestone!

Also in the month of January, our Duncan turned three.  He's very sweet these days, but he's still a mischievous monkey.  ;)

Sunday, January 8, 2017

The Kitchen at Christmas

I'm pretty sure these will be the last Christmas pictures I make you suffer through share with you this year.  ;)  I hardly ever show my kitchen decorated for Christmas, so here goes.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

A Snow Day and Hungry Jack Casserole

I just love a good, old-fashioned snow.  I especially love it when it falls on or near the weekend and I've had time to stock up on food and something to read.  :)  There's just nothing more cozy than being inside where it's warm and watching the snowflakes falling outside the window.  I totally understand that in some areas, people get so much snow every winter that they're quickly sick of it; I would be too.  But we don't get a lot here in North Carolina; I don't think we even had a big snow at all last year.

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