Heading north

These three months have flown by. We’re on the road this morning and heading back, taking our time and enjoying the scenery, well except for the thousands of cars we’ll encounter.

What are we leaving behind – a family of friends.

Why come south? Our minds and hearts may be willing to shovel snow, clear driveways, and dig out cars, but our bodies aren’t.

We are also much happier and healthier being able to be outside, walk, have people to interact with, and enjoy the early spring here. It doesn’t have to be hot, it just has to be so we aren’t housebound because of the cold and snow and don’t have to shovel. 🙂

You can be as alone as you like or you can be busy all day – your choice.

When all these groups go on adventures, there is one thing everyone does – eat out. And, do they ever have a lot of good restaurants down here. Wikipedia says there are over 1,900 restaurants in this area.

So, I’ll share a few food photos, and I’ll hope you’re not in between meals. Those sticky bun pancakes with pecans on top, in the lower center, were worth every calorie until I get home to the treadmill anyway.

Everyone will be headed home this week to about every state you can name from North Carolina up through Montana, and into Canada and Nova Scotia. May they all travel safely.

Why head home April 1st? The snow certainly hasn’t melted in many northern states yet. That date is the start of the tourist season in Myrtle Beach. The rental rates go up two or three times the amount we pay for a winter month, and that rate is for one week. You could pay cash for a nice car for what it would cost you to stay here three months between April and October. 🙂

Next post will come from the seacoast of New Hampshire. See you soon.

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Thursday Doors

One last blast of colorful beach houses from Murrells Inlet, South Carolina. I even found two doors that weren’t white, and that is an accomplishment.

There is no history lesson with these doors. They are just great beach homes that I see when I walk.

But, if I have grabbed your attention, and you’re thinking housing colors and decorations, here’s a chandelier we saw this week at the Pottery Barn. Start saving your bottles, and you too could create a one of a kind light fixture if you have a few DIY skills and a welder.

Happy Thursday. 🙂

Check out the  links from our head door man, Norm Frampton, at Thursday Doors, March 22, 2018.

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Movie review

I grew up walking to the theatre every Saturday or Sunday. I’d meet friends or go alone because I could do that safely in those years.

I don’t go to the movies as much any more. I know they’ll be available in another media in a few months, can avoid the crowds, and paying $15 a ticket, and $7 for popcorn.

But Monday, three friends and I took ourselves off to lunch and then a movie – I Can Only Imagine.

I had no expectations except knowing it was based on a true story and Dennis Quaid had a supporting role. I didn’t recognize J. Michael Finley, Bart Millard, or the musical group, Mercy Me.

For 110 minutes, I sat there absorbing the message and the music. Yes, it is a story of faith, but it is not preachy or focusing on a certain religion. It does address the gritty issue of domestic abuse and uncontrollable anger in a very real way. And, woven through the story is music that you feel in your soul.

I can’t remember the last time I felt strong enough to put a movie out to everyone, but I’m going to do it this time. Christian or non-Christian, this is a story of people conquering their inner most fears to forgive those who have harmed them physically and mentally and becoming better human beings.

The theatre was packed, the movie ended, and not a soul moved. The credits rolled including an update on the real life characters while the beautiful title song played. Still, no one moved. Then the applause broke out and rippled throughout the theatre.

It was an experience I won’t likely forget. If you choose to see I Can Only Imagine, please let me know what you think about it.

Have a wonderful Wednesday.

If you’re in the path of that Nor’easter, may it be the very last one and stay safe. If you have an opportunity today to speak directly with Mother Nature, do us all a favor, ask her to kick winter to the curb. 🙂

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Friends

We’ve been hanging out with some very nice people down here in SC, and it has made me think about where we find our friends and how long we get to keep them.

Life has a way of getting in the way sometimes. The friends we made while our children were young have since raised their families and retired around the country. There were special friends we made when we were working, but they’re in the Midwest and we’re in the Northeast.

Master Gardener friends are a large part of my summer months, and we have a few very special NH couples we are friends with year round.

Then there are the SC friends we’ve made over the two years we’ve spent here. Who knew we’d meet a wonderful friend on a trip to Ireland who could introduce us to so many nice folks.

When we head home in a week, I need to keep in touch with my NH friend, even though she is the busiest woman I have ever met, and a good friend from northern ME. There’s also a lady from New Brunswick who loves gardening and repurposing as much as I do, a highly skilled crafty woman from neighboring Massachusetts, and a Michigan woman who relishes reading a good mystery and finding new authors like I do.

Another group of friends that has enriched my daily life for the past six years are my blogging friends – bloggers, readers, and people who take time out of their busy day to chat. I know how much effort that takes, and I want to say thank you because I look forward to those exchanges.

Here’s a bouquet of SC flowers for my good friends, past and present, because the reality is that friends are the family we get to choose. 

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Thursday Doors

Yesterday, three friends and I went on a road trip to see a Paulownia or Empress Tree, also known as a Foxglove tree, that a gardening friend told us about.

We pulled off the road in a Myrtle Beach residential area as much as we could to grab a photo of the tree.

Right next to the car in the neighboring yard, we saw this bird house.  These traffic light ‘doors’ are for sure the cutest doors I’ve seen this week. I wonder which door the birds favor – stop, caution, or go. 🙂

Getting a photo of the tree was a little challenging since it is close to a house, has wires running through it, and we were stopped right in the road. Even though I got a photo of the tree that shows you its size, you can’t really see the flowers. So, I’ve borrowed one from Barcham Trees, UK, that will allow you a close-up view.

The Foxglove tree was introduced to central and western China in the early 1800’s. The wood of a mature tree is highly valued for making furniture, but when growing in its native environment it can also produce as many as 20 million seeds per year. Now, that is a lot of seeds floating and falling in a yard.

Consider this a two-for-one Thursday – doors and gardening. 🙂

Now throw caution to the wind and head on over to Norm Frampton’s Thursday Doors, March 15, 2018, to see doors from all walks of life and all around the globe.

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Cards

Do you still buy holiday cards or do you prefer posting on social media? I’m going to take a wild guess and say that the answer may depend partially on your age.

Some of us grew up actually getting mail in the mailbox instead of just bills, ads, and political flyers. So, if you do buy cards where do you get them? Hallmark? Box store? Make your own?

Several of my SC friends here have some serious craft skills.

Last Friday, Sue and I went to a class to learn how to make cards using Stampin’ Up products, and those barn doors really do move from side to side. If I told you how long it took us to make the first one, you’d have yourself a really good laugh.

We came away with a new respect for their cards, and found one piece of equipment that anyone who uses ink stamps needs – Tim Holtz’s Stamp Platform. It has a side for clear or rubber stamps. You set the stamp where you want it, ink, and press on the card which is held with magnets. If it isn’t quite dark enough, you can do it again, and it lines up perfectly every time.

Linda taught me how to complete my first embroidery card, and working on that type of card fits right in with my sewing – I like it a lot. Marilyn makes and sells Iris & Fancy Folding cards, and I bought several because she does a lovely job.

I enjoy these special cards and thinking I’m sending a keepsake for family or friends. I also like writing a message in cursive. After all, those nuns spent a lot of years making me practice cursive, I want to keep using it for a while longer. 🙂

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Snow or Floral Friday

The Nor’easter that plowed through New England yesterday sure packed a wallop. It dropped 18″ at our house. Then the John Deere had a flat tire, and the state plow took out the mailbox. Good thing our daughter is creative and not afraid of a challenge.

I sure hope this is their last big blast of winter. But, just in case my fingers are crossed too.

Here in SC, the temperatures have dropped into the 40’s and 50’s, but every  plant around here is bursting forth.

I could show you pictures of white snow, downed branches, and flat tires, or I could show pictures of colorful blooms. I choose color.

Here are a few of the lovely flowers strutting their stuff down here. I also threw in a beautiful Cardinal hiding amidst the soft gray moss of a live oak that my friend, Sue, and I stalked trying to grab this shot. Have a great Friday. 🌺

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