Saturday, December 3, 2016

Our Christmas Tree




What kind of Christmas tree do you have in your home?  For many years now we have enjoyed an artificial tree. Gasp!!  Years ago we would get a live tree and every year the needles would be on the floor before we knew it. With an artificial tree we are able to put it up after Thanksgiving and enjoy it the whole Christmas season.  Yes, a real tree smells heavenly and truthfully is heavenly.  Our children still have live trees in their homes.  As the years have advanced we want to still enjoy a large tree.  Our tree has the lights already on it which is so easy.  I remember many years being frustrated with the strands of lights that needed repair.




A Christmas tree is truly a walk down memory lane.  Angie (our angel) is put on top of our tree as she has topped our tree for her fiftieth Christmas.  Ornaments from our parents adorn our tree along with ornaments made by our children as children.  Honestly we are unable to put all of the ornaments on our tree.  I used to put up another large tree in the living room, but it's not practical as our family has grown and we need the room for people and not trees.








If you would like to read about our old German ornaments you can go Here






The tree is the first item that we bring out to start the Christmas decorating.  Along with candles in the windows, we prepare for the most wonderful time of the year.  🎄🎄🎄











Saturday, November 19, 2016

Public Service Announcement




As we all make our preparations for Thanksgiving and then Christmas, I wanted to remind you my friends, to please check something you may not have thought of.  I know we are all busy and don't need to do one more thing!




We have noticed over the last couple of months that our clothes were not getting dry during just one cycle in the dryer.  So we would often let them go for another cycle.  My dryer is not that old.  Well, I don't think eight years is that old.




Grayden said he felt he was being urged to do something about this issue.  We always clean the lint filter after each drying cycle.  We also will occasionally use a special brush made to go into the filter basket for further cleaning.  Our dryer is in the laundry room in our basement.  The dryer is vented to the outside through the normal dryer venting system.

Grayden decided to check the vent on the outside.  Well, lo and behold, he was able to get out an enormous amount of lint.  At first he was able to get a small amount, but then came up with this pile of lint.  We were beyond shocked! We know the venting was clean when we put this dryer in place.  I'm sure you are aware of problems with lint catching on fire in dryer vents. There are fires every year that are started this way.  With this amount of lint a fire could have easily started!  We are so thankful that Grayden was listening to that small voice that speaks. Sometimes we listen and sometimes we don't.




Please ladies and gentlemen, make sure your dryer vent is clear all the way to the outside.  If you can't do it yourself, there are businesses that can do it for you.  In some areas, local firemen do this job on the side.  It is worth the life of you and your family.  According to FEMA there are 29,000 dryer vent fires every year in the United States, resulting in deaths, and 35 million dollars of property damage. Most dryer vent fires are in the fall and winter, peaking in January.  It is recommended that you clean out the dryer venting system every three months!  Grayden, please add that to your list! ♥











Monday, November 14, 2016

A Day in the Mountains





Autumn has been so lovely here in Virginia.  The late turning of leaves has been a bright spot for what is usually a gloomy November.  Our first frost occurred last evening.  Looking at past year's frost, this is late by at least a month for us.  Grayden and I emptied our pots of begonias that were hit by the heavy frost.  We always put all of the spent plants into our compost heap.  The other pots that I overwinter in our basement are now making a home in the Florida room as they acclimate to being inside.  I overwinter geraniums and re pot them in the spring.  I have some that are quite old.  We use grow lux bulbs that simulate the sun.  It's good enough for their winter vacation.  I also picked all the green grape tomatoes so I can let them ripen in brown paper bags.




Last week after voting we decided we wanted to get away for a few hours, so we drove up to the little town to have dinner and see what remains of the autumn color in the mountains.




On the way we stopped in two country stores.  I adore going to Yoder's Country Store.  It's been a while since we visited and we found they have opened a brand new big store.  It's a wonderful place to buy flour, nuts, jams, honey and kitchen items.  I bought a new little garden flag.  Also we couldn't resist a loaf of their honey wheat bread.










We made reservations to have lunch at Grave's Mountain Lodge.  We have been going here for years. They usually serve buffet dinners, but the day we visited it was family style dining.  Years ago we  attended retreats at this mountain lodge.  Grave's Mountain Lodge is located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Syria, Virginia.  It was enjoyable to share our dinner with two other couples that were getting away for the day as well.












After our dinner we rocked in the rocking chairs and soaked in the beauty of the area.  Samuel commented how quiet it was there.  All the hushed tones of the mountains, except the chirping of the wrens and the sounds of leaves falling to the ground was good for the soul.








On our drive through the rolling hills we stopped at an antique store.  I bought nothing.  Buyer's regret on a few things.  I couldn't believe I didn't buy this sweet cross stitch piece that was only $12 dollars!




What was I thinking?




What little day trips do you enjoy?  I'd love to hear about them.  I hope you are enjoying the days leading up to Thanksgiving. ♥



















Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Walks




We enjoy taking walks to get exercise.  It's what we have enjoyed for years.  Our walks have been a good way for us to talk and observe the beauty of the world outside of our home.  There have been  many problems solved on our walks.  Over the years the paths we follow have changed depending on the time we have to spend.  Mostly we spend about thirty minutes walking two miles.  Starting the day with a walk always feels right.  All you really need is a good pair of walking shoes and off we go. 




This time of year is so lovely as we observe the leaves taking on their fall colors.  Trees seem to light up with the sun.  How beautiful our world is.  I'm so glad I live in an area that has four seasons.  


Autumn carries more gold in its pocket than all the other seasons.

Jim Bishop


Let's take a look at our walk that we enjoyed recently.  It is the walk that we take frequently.














Sometimes we go on a longer walk.  Our city has a wonderful Canal Path/ Heritage Trail that takes a little longer.  It's a 3.1 mile circuit that we usually begin by the river and takes us around the old canal and then back to the river.  Along the way you can learn more about our town and the changes that have taken place.  This past weekend was so pretty we decided to take this path for our walk.  There were many folks outside enjoying this wonderful autumn weather.  Folks walking their dogs,  bikers, children with parents all enjoy this path.  Many communities are adding trails for the enjoyment of their citizens.  Old rail beds have been converted into walking paths.  Our daughter worked on the committee to develop an old rail bed into a trail for her community in New England.


Here are a few photos of our Canal/Path Heritage Trail.





















Old Germania Flour Mill





Along the path there are many markers reminding us of those who came before us.  



Now after all of this walking let's go inside and have tea. ♥















 



Friday, November 4, 2016

November




How can it be November already?  October just made its entrance.  Does time seem to be passing quickly to you?  It certainly does for me.  I am reminded to enjoy every moment and spend my days well.  November certainly brings me back into our home as the cooler days are upon us.  Gardening chores take on a new slant.  There are many green grape tomatoes on the vines.  Without a frost I will let nature ripen them.  Leaf raking begins on a weekly basis.  It's always nice to make changes to our menus as the weather turns.  Making soups and stews and oven meals are welcome this time of the year.






Long cold nights mark November's return, grey rains fall, wind walks in the bronze oak leaves.

Gladys Taber




Rides in the country take on a different views.  Our leaves are now showing beautiful color.   It is a least a couple weeks later than usual. 






Daylight savings time ends this weekend and darkness will come early.   It's nice to light candles to give our home a cozy feel.  Afghans draped over the chairs are put to use to warm us in the evenings.  A fire is always nice.  We have gas logs in the Florida room so we can have a fire quickly.  I must admit that a real fire is my preference,  but I do like the convenience of the gas logs.  We have two other fireplaces that we have fires in occasionally. 






The Friendly Village dishes will now be put into service and the Thanksgiving decor will be added.  As we approach this month of gratitude I am reminded to count my blessings.  Among my many blessings, I count the friendships of you, dear readers.