Hospitality, Friendship, Encouragement

Friday, November 29, 2019

Our Thanksgiving

We had a very nice Thanksgiving.  12 around our table, and an adorable, squishy baby.  The menu was turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans, homemade rolls, dressing, and cranberry salad.  Everyone brings something and we split the leftovers.  

I had Sarah take some photos of the table before everyone arrived.

After the meal, the table was cleared for games.  They started with Rook, but then we switched to Mexican Train.

The desserts were English Apple Pie, Pumpkin and Sweet Potato pie, Pumpkin Crumble, Pumpkin Roll, and Pumpkin Pies!  We never even touched the pies!  Usually only one or two people bring dessert but this year everyone did!

I'll start my Christmas decorating today, but I do really like this centerpiece. Its been sweet.

Everyone is away today, either on a trip, working, or helping at the grandparents house.  I'll putter, read, eat leftovers, and begin to prepare my heart for the season of JOY!

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

A Quick Mirror Makeover

I bought this mirror at a small shop that sells used and new things.  I really like interesting mirrors, and this one fit the bill.  My plan had been to paint it with chalk paint in white.

The details are so pretty...

Well, as things go, I didn't have any white chalk paint, and didn't have it budgeted for so I didn't do anything for a year.  I just had it on a small bookcase in my bedroom with some lovely dried hydrangea.

Then inspiration hit me! What if I used my Rub 'n Buff to give it some shine like my other gold mirrors?!

Yesterday I did it.

Here is where it is currently - back on the small bookcase in my bedroom.  

However, I have thought of having Tim hang it in the master bathroom.  We shall see where it ends up, but for now I'm very happy with how it looks and where it is living in my cottage!

Are you all set for Thanksgiving tomorrow? My turkey is thawed and waiting in the fridge.  Tonight I'll slow roast that Tom, breast side down, in a 350 degree over for an hour, then I'll turn it down to 200 degrees, and let it cook until tomorrow afternoon.  It'll be juicy and moist, with the best flavor! Plus the wonderful juices from the turkey make awesome gravy!  Give it a try and you'll never cook a turkey a different way!

Monday, November 25, 2019

This And That

Sarah started work this morning at 6:00 am so we were out the door at 5:30 am.  She surprised me by playing Chris Tomlin's Christmas album Adore.  It was just right for a dark morning drive.  I love to sing with her and this album of songs is one of my favorites.

We had snow yesterday. It came down so beautifully in the morning, and by mid afternoon it was gone.  The sun came out, it was mild in temperature. It was such a pretty snow.

If you follow me on Instagram you know I mentioned that I have a cold and that most of last week was spent with a terrible cough.  This weekend was a turning point, and while I'm still coughing, I can tell I'm on the mend!  Thankfully, just in time for a very busy day today.  

Friday evening, the performing arts academy theater class that Sarah attends put on a three act version of Our Town.

Sarah played Rebecca Gibbs, and one other character.  She did very well and so did all the young actors!  Its been delightful to see Sarah 'find her people' in a sense and grow as a performer.  In the spring there is a huge cast who will be performing a full production of Beauty and the Beast!  She is thrilled!

Saturday evening Sarah and I went to watch the other theater class perform their one act plays of  Pride and Prejudice and A Christmas Carol.  They were both very well done!

Today, we hope to go get a look at a potential venue for a reception, and we are going to have a first look at wedding dresses!

Lots of fun and enjoyable activities happening.  Rachel and Wes will be going to spend Thanksgiving with his family in Tennessee, and she'll get to visit Emma, too.

I'll leave you with Klaire last evening at our house.  Don't mind the Minecraft players in the background.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Life Is Grand!

Remember when I mentioned I had family news that I couldn't tell?  Many of you guessed either a new grandbaby or engagement.  Rachel's engagement was not the news.

This was....

Coming in June 2020. 

We're all excited!

 That'll make 4 grandbabies born in June! (the other two were born a day apart in October!)

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

The Crown

So I finished watching The Crown, season three, last night!  It is so good.


Olivia Coleman is an amazing actress.  I think she does a wonderful job showing us an Elizabeth who is now very settled into her role as Queen. She has become a bit hardened I think by what her role is as Monarch verses being a woman, wife, mother, sister, daughter.

The costuming is incredible, as usual.  Here are shots of the real Princess Margaret, Princess Anne, and the Queen Mother from Prince Charles' investiture as Prince of Wales, (on the left) and from The Crown.                                   

the crown princess margaret princess anne queen mother costumes

Helena Bonham Carter is so good as Margaret, and Erin Doherty as Anne makes me understand Princess Anne a bit more.

Tobias Menzies is excellent as Prince Philip.  PP and QE are settled in their marriage, happy together, but PP is having a bit of a midlife crisis.  The episode with the Apollo 11 astronauts is so good.  The story telling The Crown is phenomenal.  


Josh O'Conner as Prince Charles is amazing.  He has the mannerisms down pat.  
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I enjoyed every episode and felt like I learned something about the Royal Family from that time period.  The old guard wanting to keep things the way they've always been, and the younger yearning to be who they are as persons.

Are you watching the series on Netflix?  If so, let's chat in the comments!                                             

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Preparing For Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is next week, and with that in mind I thought I’d share our menu and share my slow roasted turkey instructions.

We are pretty traditional in our menu so we are having turkey, stuffing/dressing, cranberry salad, mashed potatoes, gravy, rolls, green beans casserole (my version cooked on the stove top), sweet potatoes.  There will be pumpkin roll, English Apple Pie, pumpkin pie, and another dessert that Lindsay is bringing.

We’ll have twelve people for dinner this year, and we all contribute something to the feast so it’s never a burden on anyone.  

I enjoy setting a beautiful table, and think I’m going to go with blue floral plates and orange accents in the form of mini pumpkins.  It’s going to be really lovely, I can see it all in my mind!

The link to the slow roasted turkey with all the directions is {here}.

What are your plans for Thanksgiving?

Monday, November 18, 2019

Happy News

Rachel and Weston are engaged!

We are so happy for them, and for us.

This photo Rachel took for her Instagram.  She wanted to show him and the ring.  She is radiant and full of joy!

They'll be getting photos engagement photos taken and I'll show you, of course.

Let the planning begin!

Friday, November 15, 2019

Friday Five

Today for the Five, I have mediocre photos of my plate wall.  I finally got brave to hang the plates back up on the wall.  I had hoped that Rachel would help me, but she was doing something so I just bit the bullet and got it done! I edited some of the plates I had up here previously and also ended up with a more curved shape and I'm loving it!

1. It's hard to get good photo, and I couldn't keep the doorbell wires out of the photo either!

2. I'm really liking the plates I hung up, and I may add more plates.  You never know.

 3. This is a new plate.  I found it a few weeks ago at Christmas Tree Shops.  I could easily have a million dishes as I love a beautiful pattern.  But by buying one plate to hang on the wall, I can delight in the beauty of the design without feeling like I need to buy enough plates to serve Thanksgiving dinner.

4. This pretty plate is metal and I bought it in Scotland.  It has Victoria and Albert's monogram.

5. This pretty plate was found for me by a friend.  She was at a yard sale and thought I'd like it.  She was right!

I'm thankful it is the weekend.  After hosting a book study with ladies from our church, meeting with the bride whose wedding I am coordinating in late December, sitting with our friends during my friends' heart surgery, and co-op, I'm ready to relax.

Of course, I am thinking about going out to buy an artificial Christmas tree, so how much relaxing will actually happen remains to be seen. {grin}

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Praising God!


Thank you for your prayers for my friend!  She had her surgery yesterday, and it went great!

They were able to replace her heart valve with no problems, and she didn't not need to have any life support!  I can't wait to see her this afternoon.

Rachel and I were able to go sit with her family while the surgery was underway.  We arrived with some coffee and some Dunkin Donuts Munchkins.  It was cheering to an unknown situation!  We are thankful to be able to walk alongside them through life.

We know that God could have chosen a different outcome for Jen, but we are grateful for His mercy.

My friend was at peace about it all, and I told her that God's people were praying for her.  She said she could feel it because of the peace she had.

Here is a photo of us with my mom (on the left) at our favorite tea room.
Image may contain: 3 people, including Deanna McElrath Rabe
                                               Photo from a few years ago.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Book Review: Fortunes Claimed

Several months ago, Brenda did a review of a book written by a young, self published author.  The book was Fortunes Claimed, by Rose Ellen Taylor.

Miss Taylor contacted me on a referral from Brenda and asked me to read her book and to review it.  I agreed and she sent it to me. The opinions in the review are my own.

It is written in an old fashioned style, and reminded me very much of Grace Livingston Hill or books sold by Lamplighter.  Its not a book that is going to make you surprised at the outcome, but it ends just how you want it to end.

There is a storyline in the book, that must have an interesting backstory and I would have loved to have seen this fleshed out.  Perhaps the author intends it to be its own book!  So for the author I'm going to say, Edward Lawrence, and leave it at that! {grin}

If you'd like to order a copy of the book you could contact the author at

I enjoyed this book, the author's first, and I hope to see her continue to grow as a writer!

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Mid November Morning Musings

It's a rainy morning, but the mild temperatures it have kept us from  wintery mix.  We had flurries the other day, and while some parts of our county may see some snow showers, I think we're in the clear.

I'm grateful for that because tonight I am hosting a small group of ladies from my church to talk about The Livegiving Home by Sally Clarkson.  At least the book will be a starting point to discuss how we can make our homes places where our families, and those whom the Lord brings into our lives, can find a place of encouragement, hope, rest, companionship, friendship, and welcome.

This has been a passion of mine for many years.

 Tomorrow Tim's sister and brother in law (I call Richard and I the outlaws!) arrive for an overnight stay on their way to upstate New York.  Richard will be hunting deer, and they will be visiting with his mom who still lives on the family farm.  She came there as a bride 75 years ago, and intends to breathe her last breath there, too. 

I'll get to practice hospitality and welcome this week, which makes me happy.  I'll also be spending time with my friend at the hospital, and tomorrow morning meeting with a bride and her mom at their wedding venue.  I'm doing flowers and day of coordinating for them for a late December wedding.  The couple go to our church, and the groom is my son in law, Joseph's, brother.  I'm excited about this wedding and very happy for this sweet couple.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Veteran’s Day

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My dad served in the Navy twice. The first time was when he was 17 and wanting to move out from living with an abusive stepfather.  His mom signed his papers if he promised to get his GED in the Navy, which he did. (He also went on afterward to get an associates degree at the local junior college)

The second time he served, he'd been working for an airline and they went on strike.  It was 1963 and he and mom had a second child on the way (me).  He likes to brag that I cost them a whopping $25! [grin]  He left on a cruise that ended up being 10 months long.  I was three months old when he left and a toddling 13 month old when he got back.

He also was in Vietnam during this time.  The aircraft carrier they were on was in the Tonkin Gulf.  My dad over time has had some health issues - a Parkinson's like shaking, bladder cancer, hearing loss, diabetes.  His hearing aids are provided by the VA because he worked in the boiler room and they didn't use hearing protection in those days.  They are finding out many illnesses that are attributed to Agent Orange, and now realizing that even sailors onboard ships that were in Port were exposed. Here is information on this.  My dad didn't know that there were services available to him through the VA, such as his hearing aids, until friend from church who works with veterans told him he should contact the VA.  So I am passing this information along to you in the case that any of you know a veteran who has some medical needs.

I share these things so that we can remember the sacrifices that the men and women in the military make on a daily basis, and some have long term consequences.

I'm so grateful to those who served, and are serving today.

Friday, November 8, 2019

Friday Five

The weather has turned from mild autumn to the deep chill of November (at least overnight!). With the early darkness comes a chance to get cozy in the evenings!

1. My dried Limelight hydrangea are looking amazing in front of the mirror at the end of the hallway.

2. I bought some magazines for inspiration.  I love to hold magazine and savor the pages, but I now why the print industry is struggling.  These two magazines cost me $25.00! (I had a gift card to use, but still!)

3. This is what Kyle did with the hat I knit.  This lamp is next to the computer where he spends a lot of time!

4. I'm beginning my quick gift making.  I love this pretty yarn!

5. You may remember that my MIL turned 98 last week.  Tim and I sent her flowers and her is a photo of her enjoying them!

It's been an emotional week for me.  My friend is stable at the moment and instead of surgery today, it will be Tuesday or Wednesday next week.  Thank you for praying!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Let's Chat

I have lots of different things to chat about today, so I am very happy you're hear to talk with me!  Grab a cup of coffee or tea and let's get to it!

I brought my Johnson Brothers The Friendly Village Plates out for the fall/winter seasons. These plates just feel right at this time of year.  My Pioneer Woman Cottage style plates are now stored until spring.

I bought my plates at Christmas Tree Shops when they carried them several years ago.  $4.99 a plate.  I know these are the ones now made in China, and not England, but they are affordable for me, and so I don't feel badly.  After all this is where Johnson Brothers is having their china made these days.

 It's three weeks until Thanksgiving and then only three and a half   weeks until Christmas.  With Thanksgiving on the 28th this year, it is going to cut into the Christmas decor season.  I won't have our Christmas tree up by Thanksgiving, but I will start doing some decorating. 

I tend to do greenery and ribbons, natural things like oranges with cloves, and lights.  So I don't think my decor will look out of place at Thanksgiving.  I may leave the red plaid ribbons off, until after though.

What about you?  Those of you in the US who, like me, have Thanksgiving coming up, do you decorate for Christmas before or after this holiday?

Oh, also, how many of you do a real tree and how many do artificial?  The artificial trees have improved so much over the years, and the real trees are getting very expensive in our area.  For the first time I am seriously considering an artificial tree.  I'd love to hear your thoughts and opinions!

I've been working on a few knitting projects.  I think this hat is coming along nicely, but I'm going to run out of yarn before its finished.  I may run to Hobby Lobby today and get another skein.

This yarn has slight variations in color and is lovely.  Its thinner and soft and will be a beautiful cowl when finished.  I like the yarn thinner when I am planning to wear the cowl as part of my outfit and keep it on indoors.  I love the thick ones for warmth too, but I take those off inside the house.

I have some fun family news for later this week.  That's all I can say until I know I have permission!

I have a prayer request for a friend.  I am respecting her privacy, so I won't give much information.  She is medically fragile and has a serious surgery coming up soon.  Will you pray with me?  God knows the details.  Thanks.

Monday, November 4, 2019

Why Are People Confused About Daylight Savings Time?

A pet peeve I have is that every time we have a time change, people complain about Daylight Savings Time.

I actually saw an online petition to abolish DST.  People complain about it getting dark earlier now that its "DST."

People, people, people.

When we 'fell' back this weekend we returned to Standard Time.  This is what it would be like in November if we abolished DST.  It is a naturally occurring seasonal change due to our trip around the sun.

I think the problem is really that people actually like DST and would like to do away with the return to ST.  However, it still would get darker earlier at this time of year due to where the earth is in our yearly spin around the sun. 

I think another problem people have is just losing or gaining that hour.  For adults it really means less sleep.  We tend to stay up and use that 'gained' hour, and when we spring forward and lose an hour in the spring, we still don't go to bed early.  

The real problem is for those with small children who sleep and wake by body clock.  Those little people were up before the sun yesterday, because their body clocks said it was time to get up!

Benjamin Franklin proposed DST back in the early years of our country's founding.  When congress actually passed it, it was with the idea that farmers, especially, would have an extra hour of daylight for working in their fields.

Now days, farmers use GPS and the tractors have headlights so they are out working in the fields long after the sun has gone down anyway.

I personally would be okay with doing away with DST.  I like Standard Time.  I don't mind it getting dark early.  For me, its a chance to turn on ambient lighting, have some delicious meal ready for the family as they all return home, and for us all to get cozy and relax together in the evening.

Daylight Savings with it staying light later, tends to keep us busier and on the run, because its still light out.  

Regardless if we keep DST or just stay on Standard Time, I think what we all want is to not go back and forth.  Let's just keep one, and my vote is to keep the one that is the natural cycle of light and dark during the year.

What about you?  Which do you prefer?  Also did you know that some states don't do DST?  Arizona and Hawaii, and part of Indiana.  And some territories like Puerto Rico, and Samoa.

Friday, November 1, 2019

Friday Five-ish

Happy November! 

A seasonal poem to add to Circle Time: to recite and (eventually) commit to memory if said throughout the month of November.:


I haven't taken many photos lately so I'm stretching things abit, but this is the way things are here at the beginning of November!

1. Autumn wreath - I refreshed this wreath, I've been using for several years, by adding new faux flowers.  I just stuck them in with the others and it has make a huge difference! I'm loving this wreath again!

2. I usually hang this sign on our kitchen door, but with the new door, I don't really want to hang anything on it directly. So this year, I hung it on a fence post and its good.

3. My trees this year were stunning and between rain this week, I sat outside and enjoyed them.  

4. Last night a strong thunderstorm and wind blew through, taking our electricity out for about 5 hours.  It came back on about 2:30 this morning.  Sadly, this is what the trees look like today.

5. Had a fun breakfast date this morning!

If you were in the path of that storm last night, I hope you all fared well.  We lost part of a tree that was already marked to be taken down this year.  Thankful there was no damage to the house or barn.  

Happy Weekend, Friends!


  This lovely Calathea that I bought in Nashville last month is doing well in my living room. It does need to be repotted, and I think I'...