Thursday, November 23, 2023

Giving thanks - a few summer photos

Summer salads.  Chilled white wine on the deck.  A rainbow of garden flowers, bejeweled with equally bonny butterflies.  Smothered hot dogs at the ball park.  Fascinating wildlife. Back-country camping and mountain grandeur.  Just a few photos from July; numerous reasons to be thankful!  Happy Thanksgiving to you all!


Today I am linking to LeeAnna's Not Afraid of Color for I Like Thursday  The prompt for this week is unexpected events at holidays - a funny story about Thanksgiving.  I have racked my brain and not come up with a thing.  I guess that puts us in the boring category!  So, instead, I am showing you this glorious brat and margarita I had at the ballpark this summer!

Our first back-country trip of the summer was in Waterton Peace Park, just over the border from Montana.  We stayed a night in Waterton before and after our trip.  It is a wonderfully quaint town, and we'll be going back!


Waterton has many beautiful sights that you can see without going into the back-country, such as the picture to the left.  The mountain in the distance is actually in Montana!!!!





We closed out our visit to Waterton with a meal at the Chop House - delectable food and outstanding service!

Back at home, I was entertained by this enormous toad in my garden, and a Great Blue Heron caught on my trail camera down by the lake.  It will be a while before I am seeing either one of them again!

Linking to Thankful Thursday

Linking to Mosaic Monday

Monday, October 30, 2023

Wedding Bells!

Love. Nostalgia. Joy.  Fulfillment.  Pride.  Just a few of the emotions that I felt on October 14, 2023, at the gorgeous wedding of #1 Daughter and the Fiance in Cincinnati, Ohio.

If you have been following my blog for a while, you will remember my post The Engagement from November 2021.  Yes, the wedding was two years in the planning!  And I am so proud of our daughter and her fiance - they had a vision for the wedding, and they fulfilled that dream.  A rustic venue.  An outdoor ceremony.  A wedding that would be fun, fun, fun! 

And did I mention that they also bought a house in the last 6 months?  But that's another story!

I am probably biased, but I think that the wedding and associated celebrations had many personal elements that made it unique.  Maybe it's the crafty nature of our family to give gifts that are hand-made.  Maybe it's our daughter's romantic nature that resulted in so many nostalgic moments.  Whatever the cause, these moments brought out the tears and the smiles in almost equal measure.

One of my sisters-in-law designed and hand-crafted a quilt, presenting it to the couple a few weekends before the wedding.  Can you tell how much they love it?

We were thrilled and relieved that my in-laws could travel from England for the wedding.  The icing on the cake?  That our daughter and her fiance could host all of us in their new house!  When they began their house-hunting process, that was their dream - and it was a blast being under one roof rather than in separate hotel rooms!

My in-laws brought this hand-made wooden "book", a gift from my husband's only cousin and her wife - they live in England and could not make it to the ceremony.

My youngest brother hand-delivered a carved bear, which holds a plaque displaying their name and wedding date.  My brother has been in the business of selling these bears for many years, and it is a special day when you receive a bear of your own.

Before my Mom passed away, she made afghans for each of her grandchildren, and these gifts were presented to them at their respective weddings.  Our daughter was one of five grandchildren yet to be married, and my oldest sister is the keeper of the afghans until each marriage happens.  Immediately after this photo, we were all sobbing.  I am tearing up even as I type these words - Mom, I wish you could have been there!

My oldest sister, a former florist, collaborated with our daughter on the floral design for the wedding, and was instrumental in setting up the venue the day before.  Her bouquets and other floral details were stunning.  How appropriate that she also gave the couple a floral afghan that she had originally made for my Mom many years ago.

I was very touched that our daughter found several ways to remember my Mom on her wedding day.  My Mom wore a satin headband for her wedding, and it was adorned with many seed pearls.  Our daughter incorporated some of those pearls into her hairpiece and earrings.  Imagine my delight (and the tears) when she presented me with this hand-made brooch at the rehearsal dinner.

It is well-known in our family that we cry at weddings, and with that in mind, I set out to create a handkerchief that our daughter could use during the ceremony.  In the end, the one I made was too ornate for wedding make-up (!), so I made a second, simpler one for her to use (not pictured).


"Something borrowed, something blue."  Our daughter had seen her Nan's wedding photos, and one of them had Nan showing some leg with the garter in full view.  Nan gave our daughter this garter, and the photographer re-created the photo per our daughter's request.




To highlight her accessories, our daughter created this tableau for the photographer.   I love how it captures so many of the nostalgic items in this post.

 Congratulations to the newlyweds!


Linking to LeeAnna's Not Afraid of Color for I Like Thursday.  Prompt for November 2: Would you rather go on a hayride or visit a corn maze?

I would rather visit a corn maze - something active that engages my brain.  And it's fun!  We have done both in yesteryears, when the kids were young.  The hayride was typically a transportation method to the pumpkin patch or the Christmas tree farm.  I always loved the horses pulling the wagon!

Linking to Mosaic Monday

Sunday, June 18, 2023

Holiday Highlights Part 2

In my last post, I promised a peek at the photos from the Isle of Skye.  If that's what you came to see, you are in the right place!

You can't go far on the Isle without seeing water, and waterfalls are abundant.  So, when your cottage landlord recommends a particular set of waterfalls, you know it must be something special.  Before we even arrived at the cottage, we made a stop at the Fairy Pools, beautifully crystal clear blue pools at the foot of the Black Cuillins along the River Brittle. 


It was a short drive from the Pools to the cottage in Carbost, and we were delighted to inspect our "home-away-from-home".  Ironically, it was decorated with a camping/exploring theme!!!  And the view of the loch at the bottom of the garden/yard was the icing on the cake.  I loved the changing light around the boats in the harbor as the sun set on our first night there.

The landlord had also suggested a tour of the Isle of Raasay, a short ferry ride from Skye.  Raasay's main village was built to house iron ore miners.  Remains of the mine can be seen, but the island is primarily agricultural, with limited activities for tourists.  As we drove the remote, one-lane roads on the island, we relished its isolation and rugged, preserved beauty.

The legacy of the MacLeods endures on Raasay; the ruins of the MacLeod's 15th/16th century stronghold of Brochtel Castle appear to grow out of the cliff-top rocks.








Northwards, you can follow Calum's Road, a remarkable achievement by a 20th century member of the MacLeod clan.

The trails of Raasay beckoned, and we followed the call on two short hikes.  Dun Cana, pictured below, is the "mountain" that dominates the southern part of the island.

The "Hallaig" trail starts at the "end of the road", quickly narrowing to a track next to mossy stands of birch.  The trail rises toward the headland, gradually revealing sheer limestone cliffs that tower over the meadows and coastline below.  These cliffs are protected for their chalk-loving plants such as dark-red helleborine.

In the picture below, you can see Dun Cana from another angle - somehow, it looks even more dramatic from a distance than it did close up!

I like maps, so I couldn't resist including this photo of the island's map.   

When we returned to the harbor to await the ferry, we popped into the cafe at the Raasay House, a hotel that overlooks the marina.  The coffee and cake was so refreshing.  Time also allowed us a quick run into the local shop - Spousal Unit purchased some samples of Raasay whisky - what else do you buy when you are in Scotland???


*** Linking to Leeanna's Not Afraid of Color for I Like Thursday.  Prompt for June 22:  remember the ice cream truck driving around your neighborhood in summer? Did you go out with your money, stand in line and get a treat? What was your favorite frozen treat? Is there an ice cream truck that still goes around your neighborhood?

I don't have memories of an ice cream truck in our neighborhood.  Maybe that explains why we would run over to a friend's house after dinner in the summer - her mom would give us ice cream treats - the one I remember had a crumbly, sprinkle-like coating on it - so delicious.  I am not sure we ever told my Mom ...  And I laugh out loud when I think about an ice cream truck in our CURRENT neighborhood!  We are fifteen miles out of town, and then you have the three plus miles of dirt road ...

Linking to Mosaic Monday

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