Monday, December 13, 2021

Decorating for Christmas

Decorating for Christmas has evolved over the years.  We dearly love Christmas!  I grew up in a home that celebrated Christmas in a big way.  My parents always made the holidays very special for their four children.  On Christmas Eve the very excited children tried to go to sleep when told, but the excitement was too much.  Even after falling asleep, we managed to wake well before dawn.  Some years, Santa was just leaving our home!  I don't know how he managed, but he also decorated our Christmas tree!  Daddy would bring home a tree on his way home from work.  We always had a cedar that he cut down himself.  So Christmas eve was spent putting the tree in the corner of the living room, but not decorating it!  Thinking about that always amazes this grown up woman.  Some years bicycles had to be assembled or other toys put together.  We didn't care as children as it all came together just like the magic that only Santa brings.

 This old Santa is the same age as me.  My Daddy bought him for me when I was a baby.  He also has a windup music box inside that no longer works.

Old ornaments from both Grayden's family and my family now fill our tree.

Bringing out each piece brings back memories of their origin.  The candle holder was a gift from my Mama and Daddy.  There were three girls in our family that my Daddy dubbed his three little angels.

We're looking forward to spending the week of Christmas with our children and grands.  It's a special time to build new memories.

 Merry Christmas to you and your family, dear readers!

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Tea for Two

Last week Grayden invited me to take a little ride to visit our favorite tearoom in Virginia.  Miss Minerva's in Culpeper is always an enjoyable place to relax and do something we haven't been able to do for a long time.

 Since Grayden's stress fracture I have been driving.  I'm happy to say he is out of the boot, but is still easing back into his normal routine per doctor's orders.

After parking the car by the Love sign, we venture up Davis Street.  This street has a lot of lovely little local shops that are nice to visit and maybe begin buying a few gifts for Christmas gifting.  Buying from small business owners helps to support the local economy.

After visiting, and maybe buying a few gifts, we come to Miss Minerva's tearoom.  We had made reservations the day before our visit.

We are surprised when we enter the tearoom that we are the only clients.

The sign on the door tells us they only serve tea with reservations and masks are mandatory.  We are greeted by a lovely young woman that seats us at a table for two.  I have mentioned many times that I have been following a low carb diet for the past three years.  They have always accomodated my diet which I greatly appreciate.

We learn from the young lady that last year the women that owned Miss Minerva's had family obligations that would force them to close the tearoom.  She had worked for them so they offered to sell the business to her.  She decided to buy it from them in spite of opening a business during the pandemic. It's been rough going for her, but she is hoping for her business to improve.  We wish the same for her!

We both enjoyed our time at Miss Minerva's.  I was really pleased that she served me a lovely low carb tea.  Grayden tried their Scottish Toffee tea that was so good we had to bring some home.  I'm drinking a cup as I write this.  

We also stopped at a little shop on the way out of town when we spotted the row of chimneas.

Have you ever wished you had bought something and didn't?  Well, our chimnea cracked after 15 years and we were debating whether or not to buy another.  Our debate made us decide to think about it for a while.  Sure wish we had bought it , though!  Maybe it will give us a reason to return!

This month we have been working on solving a very difficult puzzle. (Grayden and Samuel mostly)  Today we finally finished this one that my sister gave me years ago!  Yes,  I really love tea and all that goes with it.

Sunday, November 7, 2021

A Nice Surprise

Do you love going into antique shops as much as I do?  Over the last year and a half I have not felt comfortable visiting one.  I was so excited last week when we did go into an antique mall in the mountains of Virginia.  I really don't need anything but it is so fun to see items that I grew up with. 

 We began walking around the many rows of booths that were full of lovely old yelloware bowls, quilts, and other various things.  First we viewed an item that I knew our son would like.  It was actually a brand new cast iron dutch oven.  Our son is a great cook and has expressed an interest in having one he can use on his grill.  The price was very inexpensive, so Grayden took it up to the register for them to save for us as I continued to look around.  Suddenly there before me was a stack of dishes that made my heart leap for joy!

I couldn't believe my eyes that there were the Old Britain Castle dishes that I collect!  A stack of eight lovely Johnson Brother dinner plates that I adore.  The price was unbelievably low.  When we checked out we even found that they were fifteen percent off.  I'm so happy to have them join my collection.

During the month of November I bring out my Friendly Village dishes along with Thanksgiving decor.

I made this turkey and napkin rings in 1978 as is imprinted on the bottom.  There were several ceramic items I made during this time.

Thanksgiving is important to us to celebrate before we start into the Christmas celebrations.

We are so excited that this year our daughter and son-in-law will visit for Thanksgiving week.  I'll be planning our traditional Thanksgiving menu soon.  Do you have turkey with all the fixings for Thanksgiving like we do or do you eat out like some folks do?  

"Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some."   Charles Dickens

Monday, November 1, 2021

A Little Outing

We decided to take a little day trip to see how the leaves look in the mountains of Virginia.  The forecast called for good weather so off we headed in the direction of Sperryville.  My sweetie is still in his boot, so I did the driving on this lovely morning.

 I packed a small picnic for us to enjoy when we reach our destination.  I had my Rtic tumbler full of Constant Comment tea and Grayden had his preferred coffee.  Driving along, Grayden pointed the camera out the window and began snapping away.

The further along we drove the darker the sky began to look.  

Continuing along the weather began to brighten again.

The leaves varied as we traveled along.  The scenery felt so peaceful.  I do love the country lanes and farms that dotted roads along the way.  I'm definitely a country mouse.  How about you?  Are you a city mouse or a country mouse?

The orange and yellow leaves brightened as the sunrays shined on them. 

It's exciting to see the Blue Ridge mountains rising on the horizon. 

Autumn farm stands came into view as we approached the town of Sperryville.  Of course we stop to have a look.  Sperryville is a very small town of around 300 folks.  The town sits on 3,000 acres from an original land grant from King George II in 1731 to Francis Thornton.  

We have been coming to Sperryville for years.  We used to come with our children when they were small.  So our many memories come to mind as we view the pumpkins and apples.

All of the beautiful colors of the pumpkins, gourds, and apples are a feast for our eyes.

Inside of this little fruit stand there are more items to tempt.

The quilts certainly got my attention.  If I had room, I'd add more to my collection!  

More produce and fresh fall apple cider filled the shelves.

After leaving the farm stand, we continue driving up the mountain through the Shenandoah National Park.  We decided to enter Skyline Drive at Thornton Gap.  From here one can travel north or south along the drive that was built by the Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) from 1933 to 1942.  This program gave many men jobs.  It's quite amazing that they built the roads, the rock walls, trails and scenic overlooks and a lot more along this 105.5 mile drive!  It is quite a gift for all of us and our posterity to enjoy.

We decide to travel to Skyland that is 10 miles away.  I thought it would be nice to enjoy our picnic there.  

Mary's Rock Tunnel takes us along the drive south to Skyland.

The tunnel was built by the CCC in 1932 by blasting and drilling through Mary's Rock.

We both enjoyed stopping at the scenic overlook, but unfortunately we began to see the fog roll in.

The fog and the colors certainly were beautiful!

Then our world turned black and white!

As lovely as it is, I must admit to not enjoying the driving now!

Changing elevations did bring some relief for which I was grateful.

Then turning into Skyland we were in a blanket of fog that made it quite hard to find a proper parking spot.  We decided it was not a good idea to have an outdoor picnic, so we enjoyed our lunch in our car!  Grayden and I have stayed in the cabins you can rent and find them to be quite enjoyable. There are many trails you can explore.  But today after our lunch, and hopefully the fog lifting, we will head back home.

The fog did start to lift slowly as we drove back to Thornton Gap.

Getting away for a little while did my heart and soul good.  Being in the beauty of nature is always a balm for me.  

Thanks for coming along on our little outing!  It was a lovely day with my sweetheart.