Home for the Holidays, by Thomas Kincaid

Thursday, October 31, 2013


Happy Halloween to all!  Here's hoping many little ghosts and goblins visit your home tonight for treats and NO TRICKS!

More posts soon....I have been mothering a sick son.:)

Monday, October 28, 2013

Menu Planning Monday - October 28th

Oh, my!  My humble blog was pretty silent last week, with a sick teenager and lots of BUSY, BUSY, BUSY! 
So, here we are at a new week and a new group of menus!  Here is what we will be serving in our house this week - with pics and links. 

Monday - Butter Dipped Cajun Chicken, Yaya's Best Green Beans, Black Eyed Peas

Tuesday - Beef & Broccoli Stir Fry, White Rice, Dim Sum (frozen)

Wednesday - Church Halloween Dinner

Thursday - Layered Taco Salad, Chips and Fruit

Friday - Spaghetti and Red Sauce, Tossed Salad & Garlic Bread

Saturday - Gourmet Chicken Soup, Salad & Sourdough Bread

Sunday - Pork Tenderloin with Best Spice Rub, Mashed Potatoes & Gravy, Petit Green Beans

For more Menu Plans, please visit Organizing Junkie!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Menu Planning Monday - October 21

It's Monday once again and Here are my week's menus:

Monday  - Turkey Fried Rice, Stir Fried Broccoli & Chinese Dumplings (frozen)

 Tuesday - Creamy Enchiladas Verde,  Tossed Salad with Cilantro Ranch Dressing

 Wednesday - Layered Taco Salad, Fruit

Thursday - Honey Mustard Chicken, Petit Green Beans, Mashed Potatoes

Friday - Night Out!

Saturday - Grilled Hamburgers, All the Fixins, Tossed Salad (Last Grilling!)

Sunday - Baked Turkey Breast, Mashed Potatoes, Tossed Salad and Sautéed Vegetables!

For more Menu Planning Monday, please click HERE!


Friday, October 18, 2013

Show and Tell Friday - October 18th - Primitive Halloween Decorations

Show And Tell Friday - Halloween Decorations/Entryway and Living Room
Welcome to our home!  We have only been here a year and there is much to do, but here is what we have going so far...for HALLOWEEN~
 Our entryway looks a little bare because I removed sweaters hanging on the peg rail, but they didn't quite match! :)

 I love this little table!  Over the years I have picked up my decorations at many different places, often waiting until after the holiday to snatch a bargain on something I have been eyeing for awhile.  The metal crow comes from Piper Classics.  It is one of my favorite things.
 Just made the BOO sign at a fun ladies gathering at church this past week....
 This pumpkin guy I use as a candle holder, as the candle burns down the light from the flame shines through his eyes!  The metal leaf holder I got at a thrift store for $1.

 Here is a closer look at my crow.  The little jack-o-lantern toy I bought at an after-HALLOWEEN sale years ago. 
 My friend, Sue, is an expert quilter.  I have purchased many of her seasonal quilts over the years.  Here are two HALLOWEEN themed quilts.
Another view of our entryway...
A jaunty orange ribbon spices up a colonial-style lamp!
 Our coffee table...
 Doesn't he look like he is up to no good?
 Our hearth...
 Love these candle holders from Piper Classics...
 Our living room...Imagine it candle lit with a fire going...That is how our Fall evenings look...
 I try to keep the decorations simple.
Found this flying witch cling-on at Joanns Fabrics.
This pumpkinhead is another favorite things...AND and an after-HALLOWEEN sale item!
Some ripe pumpkins...
Nic nacs from sales, thrifting and the other people's gardens :)


Hope you enjoyed a small tour of our humble home.
For more Show and Tell Friday posts click HERE.
Have a great day!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Rediscovering Joy - Week #6 - Spending Time in Nature


Up until the last century, people lived attuned to the natural world.

They built their homes out of available materials in nature.

They planted their crops in times of warmth and harvested before cold weather came.

Transportation was by foot, horse or boat.

Medicines were derived from indigenous plants.

Drinking water came from nearby streams, rivers and springs.

People looked to the sky in the mornings and, in the evenings, to forecast weather for the next day.

Movement of the constellations in the night sky were keenly observed and provided subject matter for stories passed down for generations.

People awoke at sunrise and went to bed at sundown.

They watched the habits of wild animals to signal whether or not there would be a drought, or a very cold winter.

Successes and failures in life often were attached to what earth and sky were producing..and whether nature was kind that year..or not.

Lives were inextricably connected to the outside world.

Today, we live more disconnected from nature than at any other time in history.

Our homes are built from materials grown and bought from who-knows-what-or-where.  Our environments are temperature controlled, isolated from the elements.

Most of us are completely disconnected from food production.

We travel by vehicles that are temperature controlled and contained, as we rush around from place to place.

As for night sky watching, light pollution withholds the radiance of stars from most people who are in or near cities.  And most people live in or near cities.

It is possible for many people to spend rarely a moment out-of-doors.

I am thankful for a warm secure house when the winter winds blow snow against our window panes.

I am also thankful for my air conditioning when the heat outside becomes unbearable.

I am very attached to indoor running water and modern toilets!

But living apart from the rhythms of the earth and its cycles has robbed us of some peace.

Do you remember, when as a child, you leaped at the opportunity to run unrestrained outdoors?  When a tall tree with many branches provided endless opportunities for imagination and fun?

Did you ever watch ants at work on a mound of dirt?  Or run to catch a butterfly?

Did you play with wiggly/potato bugs and watch them curl into a ball in the palm your hand?

Weren't wild animals of every type  - birds, rodents, deer -  a source of wonder and amazement?

The outside world was our kingdom and we were the monarchs!

Remember the joy you felt back then?

Start now to take more time outdoors.  (Rushing through it to get somewhere else, doesn't count.)

Take your cup of hot chocolate and sit outside for awhile to enjoy the autumn colors.

Observe local wildlife...

 Don't just be aware of birds, really watch them.  Their behavior is fascinating.

Find something you love to do outdoors - backpacking, fishing,  picnicking...

Taking brisk walks or hikes...

In spring and summer, try your hand at cultivating a small vegetable garden.  You will be surprised how delicious everything will taste!

Don't allow the coming winter to keep you indoors.  You can still go walking, snow-shoeing, snowman-building (you are NEVER too old for that!).

Take in a sunset...or even occasionally, a sunrise.  Watch the moon in her phases.  Go parking with your husband, (or on a walk) when the moon, resplendent with silver, is full and marvelous.

If you consistently make an effort to spend more time in nature, I PROMISE you will find greater peace.

You may say, "But I thought we were talking about rediscovering JOY."

Well, my friends, when heart and mind are calm and tranquil, there is a PLACE for JOY.

And JOY will come. :)

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Outdoor Wednesday - Oak Alley Plantation, Louisiana

This week, I am continuing to show pictures from our 20th Anniversary trip to New Orleans this past April... On our first day in New Orleans, we were picked up by a tour shuttle which took us to two wonderful plantations: Today, I am showing you pictures from one of them - Oak Alley!
If it looks somewhat familiar that is because the house and grounds have been used in numerous movie, including "Interview with A Vampire" and "Primary Colors".  As you can tell, it was fashioned in the popular Greek Revival style of the early to mid-1800s, but also has some French Creole (meaning original French settlers) distinguishing feature.
The plantation eventually was named for the long row of Live Oaks that form an "alley" in front of the house.  Did you know that live oaks can live 500 years?  These famous oaks were planted by the original owner in the very early 1700's!
The are impressive for their height and girth.  Their enormous branches provide immense shade to the grounds around them.
This is a view from me standing outside looking in on a reconstructed slave shack.  The ones on this plantation (which are being reconstructed atop original foundations) are much better than many I have seen elsewhere.
The hearth and cooking area...
This lovely lady greeted us on the front veranda of the house to prepare us for our tour inside.

Okay, I know this is "Outdoor Wednesday"  not Indoor Wednesday, but for those of you who are curious about the house, I provide you with the next few pictures.  For you purists, please skip ahead until we are back outside again.
The above lady is one of the owners of Oak Alley.  I am sorry to say that I don't remember her name.  But she is lovely, isn't she?
This is her husband or father.  I don't remember much about him.  The family history is complicated.  All I know is that the plantation originally belonged to a French creole family known as the Romans.  The owned and operated it as a sugar plantation until the War Between the States changed the economy and the whole enterprise was no longer profitable.
Checkers, anyone?
The curtain in the middle of the table (red) is a gigantic fan ... their inventive way of providing air conditioning in the summer months.
One of the bedrooms...
This is the "Lavender Room", much loved by the last mistress of the house.
Lovely isn't it?
Another look at the Live Oaks, view from the front veranda.
This is an enormous sugar vat, used now as a pond.
Silhouette of the live oak branches against a bright blue sky.
This is a fly catcher!
For more Outdoor Wednesday posts, please visit ASouthern Dreamer.
Have  great day!