Friday, November 5, 2021

Hello November

We've had a nice week here at Forest Manor -- Hal's first real week of retirement.  It has been a busy one.  I thought for sure I would have time to set a fall tablescape, maybe share a fall recipe, but no.  'Fraid not.  😉  Still, I am taking a few moments to pound out this post.  On Tuesday, we decided to go to the mountains for one of our very favorite things to do -- leaf peeping.  The peak of our leaf season in the mountains had already passed, and we knew that, but we were pleasantly surprised at how much color still remained.  This has been one of the most beautiful autumns we've seen in some years.   
We decided to stop in the town of West Jefferson, in Ashe County, to eat some lunch, take some pictures, and visit the Cheese Shop (which I posted about several years ago).  
We bought two jars of mountain honey, made in Boone, North Carolina.  One of the jars is glass with a pretty label, and that's the reason I bought it.  Yes folks, I might be certifiable -- do you do this?  Buy a product for the "packaging"?  We also bought a small block of Ashe County Mild Cheddar cheese; I love mild cheddar, and theirs is really good on crackers, on a sandwich, or grated for topping our homemade potato soup.  

After leaving West Jefferson, we got on the Blue Ridge Parkway and enjoyed the palette of fall colors all around us.  Without a doubt, fall is my favorite season.  Driving through the countryside and seeing the beauty of nature along these winding roads is good for the soul.  There's something extra special to me about being in the Blue Ridge Mountains this time of the year.  It was cold on Tuesday, and it felt good to know I had a warm house to go home to.  The houses up there are few and far between, and some already had smoke coming from their chimneys.  It seems a rather lonesome lifestyle; I'm sure it's not for everyone.  I imagine it's peaceful in the winter and those who are self-sufficient would probably find it a good place to be.    
Hal and I are taking a Zoom class (just four hours total) and I'll share my thoughts on that soon.  Our yard is coming along; it still surprises us how different everything looks.  Alex, who's been helping us with the yard, came again today with his helper and they started cleaning out the brush/undergrowth at the back of our property.  The wooded, vacant lot behind us belongs to someone else, but vines and weeds from there spill over into our back yard.  Alex has also planted 12 crepe myrtle trees down the side of our driveway; the variety is called "Natchez" and they will have white blooms.  Speaking of the yard, I had good success in drying some of the blooms from my hydrangea and will share those in pictures soon.  I've read a couple of good books, too and will talk about those in an upcoming post.     
I hope you're all well and enjoying a lovely fall season.  I've been reading your posts daily, but have simply not had time to comment, so I'll be around very soon to do that.  Happy Belated Birthday to my friend, Lorrie, at Fabric, Paper, ThreadThanks so much for visiting me today, and have a great weekend friends!!   

Much have I spoken of the faded leaf;
Long have I listened to the wailing wind,
And watched it plowing through the heavy clouds;
For autumn charms my melancholy mind. 
When autumn comes the poets sing a dirge:
The year must perish; all the leaves are dead;
The sheaves are gathered; and the mottled quail 
Runs in the stubble, but the lark has fled! 
Still, autumn ushers in the Christmas cheer,
The holly-berries and the ivy-tree:
They weave a chaplet for the Old Year's heir;
These waiting mourners do not sing for me!  
I find sweet peace in depths of autumn woods,
Where grow the ragged ferns and roughened moss;
The naked, silent trees have taught me this,--
The loss of beauty is not always loss!

                      Elizabeth Stoddard  



  1. You found some beautiful color. That looks like a great town to visit, too. We stayed the night in Boone at the end of September on our way to Hickory. Glad you are enjoying retirement already!

  2. Thank you for the birthday greetings, Denise. Such a surprise! We're actually getting together with the family this evening for a party to celebrate my birthday, our eldest daughter's birthday, and our daughter-in-law's birthday. I'm looking forward to it very much.
    I confess that packaging has made me purchase a few things once or twice, too! So glad you had a fun little trip in the beautiful autumn colours.

  3. The colors of the trees are exquisite. Your area is so nice to have great fall color. Our hickory trees are just now turning gold but they only last a few days and turn brown and fall. Mostly our trees are pine and oak so I will have to settle on seeing fall colors on your blog and others.
    Glad you had a great trip. Your yard work will pay off but I relate to the process.
    You will find you are just as busy as ever in retirement! Congratulations.



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