Gift

Yesterday, Mother Nature gifted us with sunshine and 71°F. That is unseasonably warm even for South Carolina. Regular temps are on their way for the rest of the week including a forecast for frost this Thursday evening.

We took advantage of the beautiful weather by sitting in the sun on the balcony, and in the afternoon several of us went out to Brookgreen Gardens. What’s not to love – beautiful flowers in bloom, baby alligator and turtles sunning themselves, and even a visiting cardinal. It was a great way to spend Sunday afternoon. 🙂

When I’m not enjoying the outdoors, I’ve been sewing on the first of the two baby quilts I brought to work on. The pattern is lattice, the baby is a boy, and his room is gray and white with other accents. I have the two middle rows to attach, add the borders, and then I’m on to quilting and binding. I’ll show it again when I’m finished.

I also promised a photo of the quilt I put together with my Mom’s candlewicking or white embroidery. It is somewhat wonky because I couldn’t quilt her pieces on my sewing machine. I’m still contemplating what I can do to smooth those out. I’m thinking this would be a good project for me to attempt some hand quilting. It’s not perfect, but I try to look at the bottom line that I preserved those panels and their memories.

This morning a group of ladies is off to Stitchin at the Beach to check out vendors and then to grab lunch.

Hope your second week in January is off to a great start!

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Thursday Doors

Hello from the Palmetto State and my patio door.  🙂

We’re settled into a very comfortable condo in Murrells Inlet and enjoying the view and sounds of the ocean even on a gray and foggy day.

Did I mention it is 70°F? So, although I can’t see very far in the distance, I can still get in my daily walk to the jetty and be amazed by Mother Nature’s creatures that I run across.

My sewing machine is set up in a perfect little spot, I enjoyed lunch out with friends yesterday, and I’m anticipating my first walk at Brookgreen Gardens.

Life is good this first week of 2019 with special thanks to a Mainer who is renting us her very nice condo. 🙂

Linked to Norm Frampton’s Thursday Doors, January 3, 2019

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Thursday Doors

I know, I know, I’m suppose to be doing a year-end recap, but I couldn’t. A beautiful red door with Snoopy and Woodstock resting above it beats all in my book.

I saw an article on line that a man in Portsmouth had created a Christmas Snoopy and Charlie Brown display. Al Bailey, 487 Ocean Road, Portsmouth, is the creative homeowner. If you’re nearby, and you or someone you love is a Snoopy fan, it’s worth the drive.

I went during the day so I could get better photos, and I even met Mr. Bailey as he was returning from a walk with his dog.

Everyone is in a hurry doing their holiday stuff, and the world, well we won’t talk about the world. But, here is a man and his family who spend months creating Christmas decorations for the simple enjoyment of their community.

Thank you Mr. Bailey for sixteen years of Christmas displays. You have given us an opportunity to stop, smile, and appreciate these wonderful characters and their adventures from our youth.

I hope Santa Norm can forgive me for bending the rules, but I just had to go with Charlie Brown and the gang the Thursday before Christmas. 🎄

Linked to Norm Frampton’s Thursday Doors, December 20, 2018.

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Reading Nirvana

I read mysteries, and I won the library lottery last week when I was notified that books by four great authors were ready for pickup within a few days of each other. 📚

What sequence did I read them?

Jesse Stone, Police Chief in Paradise, Massachusetts, and his cast of characters were up first. Jesse Stone was created by Robert B. Parker and picked up by Reed Farrel Coleman upon his death. Thank you Mr. Coleman for keeping Jesse going because this was a great read.

Michael Connelly had Detectives Harry Bosch and Renee Ballard fighting crime and cold cases on the west coast. Anyone who is a Harry Bosch fan knows he can get into hot water investigating a cold case, and this was no exception. It was another really good one.

Lee Child’s, Jack Reacher, former military police, walks and hitchhikes across the country with his toothbrush in his pocket. This book found Jack roaming around New Hampshire trying to solve a family mystery while another very gritty mystery was evolving and closing in on him. Reading Jack Reacher is always an adventure that you can barely put down.

I’m closing out this amazing reading opportunity with John Sanford’s, Virgil Flowers. I kept one of the best for last. Virgil is a good old boy, who forgets his gun half the time, pulls a fishing boat to a crime scenes, and includes some great lines that make you laugh out loud. If you like John Sanford and Virgil, this is a really good read.

If mysteries aren’t your thing, and you’d like to support some fellow bloggers, here are a few books for you to consider.

Laurie Graves from Hinterlands is writing The Great Library Series.

She currently has two issues available, “Maya and the Book of Everything” and “Library Lost.” They are geared toward pre teens and early teens.

Love your library and librarians? Enjoy a little fantasy and a challenge between time and chaos? These might be perfect.

If you have a child, grandchild, or niece or nephew who you’d like to encourage to enjoy nature, this could be a great choice – “Encourage A Child To Watch Birds” by Denzil Walton, Discovering Belgium.

The book is intended for 7-12 year olds that may be spending more time scrolling screens than outside in nature. It contains ten well written chapters that also include suggestions for enriching conversations between you and your budding bird watcher.

Denzil’s website and blog, Encourage a Child, are focused on “motivating a child’s interest in nature.”

Cynthia Reyes has two books for adults, “an Honest House” and “a Good Home.” They tell the story of her life including “the pain, the joy, and the totally unexpected.”

She also has a marvelous book for young children, “Myrtle the Purple Turtle.” Who could resist a purple turtle named Myrtle who wants to encourage children to embrace and learn from differences?

I can’t imagine my life without my local library and their wealth of books because I derive pure pleasure from reading. Are you a reader? What’s the best book you’ve read lately?

Books are a uniquely portable magic.” ― Stephen King

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Thursday Doors

It’s been cold here. It was 7°F when I made coffee this morning, but I won’t complain because it is -16°F up north. The flannel lined jeans came out yesterday.

So, let’s go this Thursday with a tiny train door made out of ice that won’t be melting any time soon. 🙂

Do you like ice sculptures? I have always admired the skills needed to craft them.

I worked human resources at a college that included a culinary academy. Each winter semester, the chef instructors demonstrated their ice sculpting skills, and I would always be amazed at their creations.

So, when I heard there was an ice sculpture downtown at the Cocheco Mills, I headed that way to grab some shots to share with you.

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Shopping done? Baking started? Favorite dessert recipe this time of year? I’m making toffee today which came from my blogging friend, Kerry, Love Those ‘Hands at Home’.

Happy Thursday – 11 days until Christmas Eve, but who’s counting. 🎄🎅🏻⛄️

Linked to Norm Frampton’s Thursday Doors, December 13, 2018

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HO HO HO

I love Christmas decorations, and I remember the many, many years when every inch of the house, inside and out, was decorated including several trees. Today, you could say my decoration are somewhat scaled back because everything that comes down from the attic must go back up. 🙂

Poinsettias have always been a part of the season for me, and I have really enjoyed attending the annual UNH Poinsettia Open House which benefits the school.

But, December 2018 was the last Poinsettia Open House. 😦 The two-year horticulture degree was cancelled due to low enrollment. Translation – the number of students who enjoy working with their hands in the soil are dwindling.

Outside I put together live branches and winterberry branches to make a spray for the door.

When I was at my grandparents for the Christmas holidays, my Grandfather would go out into the woods and cut branches. My Grandmother and I would then put together sprays – never wreaths, just sprays. To this day if I make a spray of fresh greens, I’m a happy woman.

This time of year also starts the cold season which means we try every concoction out there to get rid of the cold symptoms.

Recently, I learned about Cold Bee Gone which was created by a woman who lives about 16 miles from me.

The only challenge was it was sold out everywhere we went except on Amazon where the shipping was ridiculous. Finally after leaving our name at a local store, we got a call – new shipment in.

I tried it yesterday because I was feeling a few symptoms. It comes out like you would expect honey to, and it smells like honey but with a small kick. As you breathe in, it opens up the sinuses.

Miracle cure? I have no idea, but I do know it’s natural, made in the USA, and it doesn’t come via prescription which is always a plus with me.

As we start the count down to Christmas Day, here’s hoping you’ll enjoy the next couple of weeks, your decorations are shining bright, and you are cold free. 🎄

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