Friday, December 30, 2022

Happy New Year, Celebrations and More

 Welcome 2023

picture courtesy

Hello friends!  Happy New Year to all of you.  I hope that you are well, happy and have been enjoying the Christmas season to the fullest. As my fur babies, Cassie and Garden, informed you in their Christmas post, I have had Covid for the last two weeks. I continue to recuperate and am doing well but find that coughing attacks still happen throughout the day and I need to rest frequently. From all I have read and heard this is completely normal. I am so grateful for prayers, support and love from my family, my church family, my friends and all of you, my dear readers. It has meant so very much! I am also so very grateful to have been fully vaccinated and boosted before catching Covid. I am certain that the vaccines have helped me to not have a worse case. Although Christmas Day was a bit of a downer, as I spent it in bed, I have truly enjoyed much of the Christmas holiday. I still have our lovely Christmas tree up and just love the colorful and bright lights. There are no big plans for New Year's Eve celebrations. The Mr. and I will spend it in our living room watching the ball drop. 

But guess what is happening on New Year's Day??????

We will be celebrating our 40th Wedding Anniversary!
Where on earth have the years gone?

It was fun to look back at our wedding photos and remember that day. The church is the one I grew up in and the members were kind in leaving their poinsettias on the altar for our New Year's wedding. The big advent wreath was still hanging above the altar and the nativity was on the altar table. See the brass quintet in the choir loft? Two of the players were our music teachers growing up. It was very special to have them play at our wedding. And my sister is at the organ while another sister was my matron of honor. The children are my nieces and nephews. The Mr.'s brother was his best man and two lifelong friends were the ushers. Our wedding was definitely a family/friend affair!

I love this stained glass window at the back of the church and I'm so glad our photographer shot this picture of us in silhouette against the stained glass. It's one of my favorite photos from our wedding day.

I love this saying that was on our wedding napkins. It is so very true that the more love is shared, the more it grows. 

It was a cold and cloudy January 1st in 1983 when we were married but we lucked out and had no snow! Here we are leaving the church in The Mr.'s Torino. We ended up having that car towed off the street about three months after we got married. But while it lasted it was a great car! It brought us to Asheville the very next day after our wedding and we began our married life together with many adventures to come! 

And here we are, 40 years later. And, yes, we're still having adventures!

The years go by so quickly. And, for many reasons, I'm kind of glad that this year is almost done. There have been too many sorrows this past year. But, I don't want life to speed by so quickly. I want to savor time, continue to enjoy being together with The Mr. and our fur babies and enjoy all the good things that life has to offer. There is so much to be grateful for. And I surely am thankful for celebrating 40 years of marriage to The Mr. on New Year's Day!

I hope you enjoy a wonderful New Year's and I will be back next week with some thoughts as 2023 gets started!

Until Next Time,

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Cassie Cat Chat: The Christmas Fur Edition

 Pawsitively Ready For Christmas!

🎜🎝  "On the first day of Christmas my true cat gave to me....
🎝 "A dead mou-ouse under the tree...."

Garden, will you please stop singing that song?!  I'm trying to write a blog post for Love. 

Hey, can I help it if I'm in the Christmas spirit?! 

🎶Fa, la, la,, la, lah.....lahhh.......

"You know you're not helping you little furball! Love has been sick and she asked me to write a post wishing all of her readers a Merry Christmas!"

Have you told her readers that Love has the pawronivirus?

Sigh...I was just getting to that. Get your four paws over here and help me find the keys. Wait, shove over, don't push me off the computer!


Anyway, as Garden was just rudely interrupting me and blurted out, Love has been sick with what she thought was a cold but turned out to be Covid.

Yeah, and we've been working our poor paws off trying to take care of her. 

That's true. I've barely gotten a cat nap in since she got sick, there has been so much to do!

Making sure the pillows are fluffed on the bed...

Giving her medicine when she needs it.....

And singing to her!!  🎜  "I'm dreaming of a full catbox...."

Garden, stop playing around! I need to get this post finished up! Go check out the food dish. 

Anyway, we have been very busy these last few days. Love is doing much better but has to continue to get better until Christmas according to orders from her veterinarian. 

Mumbled crunching from a distance...."And tell them that Softie isn't sick!"

I was just about to say that, Garden. Paws crossed that we don't have to put Softie in the kennel and take him to the vet!

So, that's the news. We all hope you have a fun and festive Christmas! Please remember the true meaning of Christmas and all of the animals surrounding baby Jesus in the manger. They were among the first to see Him!

And remind them of all the fun Christmas Movies like,"The Pawler Express and Frawsty the Furman!"

I just did, Garden. Maybe we could end this post by singing a song together? 

Hold on,  I'm coming to sing with you...

🎜 "Dashing down the hall, paws flying this-a-way
       O'er the bed we jump, meowing all the day
      Knocking over Love's glass, interrupting her nap
      We're awfully glad she loves us lots 
      And puts up with our crap! "  🎜

Merry Christmas Everyone!
Cassie and Garden 
(And Love and Softie too!)


*Cassie and Garden story by Debbie Ross
*photos by Bill Ross and Debbie Ross

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

A Little Christmas Celebration


Hello friends!  Thought I would share some lovely pics from the home of my friend, Ruth Ann. She is so kind to host our women's gathering each year and her Christmas decor is just beautiful! 

Ruth Ann is such a gracious hostess and has a knack for setting a beautiful table for all of us and for placing Christmas decorations in just the right places.

Aren't these place settings lovely? And looking into the kitchen you can see the lights, greenery and ribbon that bring Christmas cheer. 

How clever is this window pane in green that is just perfect for holding small Christmas decorations? So cute! Sorry that I didn't take the picture straight!

Little touches like this red bow under the mirror add a festive touch, don't you think?

And here is her beautiful tree all decorated. I cannot tell you how good the fresh pine smelled. It makes me wish for a real tree instead of an artificial one!

Pockets of Christmas were everywhere. These carolers were handmade for her as a gift many years ago. Aren't they precious?

Family antiques hold holiday decor upstairs. 

And even the bathrooms hold fun Christmas figurines that add to the festive look throughout the house!

Here's a look at some of the women in my women's group. We consider ourselves sisters in Christ and our yearly Christmas celebration is always a time of joy for all of us. We missed two ladies who were not able to be with us this year. And two other members of our group were not there yet when I snapped this photo. The laughter we shared was special indeed! (And the food was delicious too!)

And on another note, here are some lovely flowers The Mr. picked out for me as a late birthday gift. I love the red and white together and have them prominently displayed on the mantel. That's the place I have found that keeps a certain little cat (Cassie!) from getting into them. They smell good too!

I'm feeling a bit bummed today because I feel like I am taking a cold. I'm hoping it will be short-lived. (My home Covid test was negative thank goodness.) I was sick over Christmas last year and I don't want to be sick again this year! I have lots of things I want to be doing and so prayers for a quick recovery are appreciated!

Hope you are well and enjoying all of the Christmas decorations, celebrations and gatherings. I am so thankful for my friends, sisters in Christ, family and special gatherings. 

"A friend loves at all times"
Proverbs 17:17

Until Next Time,

Friday, December 9, 2022

Christmas Tablescape and A New Christmas Sweater


Hello everyone!  I thought you might enjoy seeing a Christmas tablescape today so I got creative. Red is always eye-popping for the holidays and this tablescape certainly does not disappoint when it comes to including red! The red ornament tree as a centerpiece is just gorgeous and cheerful!

The place setting features Better Homes and Gardens plates in the Barn pattern with red cloth napkins and red poinsettia placemats underneath. 

Don't these plates just portray a beautiful scene? I like the fact that they can be used not only for Christmas but all Winter long. 

And as I continue to spread Christmas cheer today, here's a peek at my new Christmas sweater. I don't think it qualifies as an "ugly Christmas sweater" at all.  I appreciate that it is blue and white and could be worn after Christmas as well as during. I'm enjoying it. I haven't picked out a new Christmas sweater in a long while so it was a fun find at Sam's Club this year. They may have some left if you are interested!

How are you spreading Christmas cheer right now? 

Until Next Time,

Sunday, November 27, 2022

Pockets of Christmas Decor All Through The House

 Christmas Decor Here And There

Hi friends!  Today, I'm sharing all of my Christmas decor with you and how I have inserted "pockets of Christmas" all throughout the house. I think it is so fun to see little bits of Christmas here, there and everywhere!

First up, is the dining room. Here, I have a bit of a gingerbread theme going on. The top of the tiered tray is featuring the gingerbread chef, a gingerbread house and a gingerbread wagon. And, of course, there is a gingerbread man! I love the vibrant color of this top tier.

The bottom tier of the tiered tray features so many cute little figurines. From a little mouse poking his head out of a mailbox to Santa Cats, snowman and a real Santa, this tray is just so much fun to look at and enjoy!

Here's a look at the tiered tray all together. It sits on the top of the tall thin table in the dining room.

The bottom of the thin table continues the gingerbread theme with another gingerbread house (it lights up!) and to the left are my stuffed gingerbread dolls.

As you can see, they have been busy baking gingerbread cookies to wear and even baked a pan of miniature gingerbread people! I found the little gingerbread tray ornament on a shopping spree at Jo-Ann's and just had to have it to add to my little display. So cute!

I even added some pockets of Christmas on my curio display cabinet in the corner of the dining room. It's not as colorful but, if you look closely, you can see a Santa, a white ceramic tree, little snowman angels, snowman salt shakers, and my Mitford snowman peeking out on the shelves. How many did you find?

The living room holds most of the "light-up" displays starting with our table top 4 foot Christmas tree in the corner. I love all of the ornaments on the tree and they are predominantly red with a few other colors thrown in. The lights along with the ornaments create such a festive corner in the living room.

And this is the side table with all of the lights glowing. As you can see, I have added and rearranged a few items in order to accommodate the Christmas decor. 

And this is the mantle all decorated for Christmas with the nutcracker musicians, a new little snowman and these pretty little light-up trees. The trees change colors and add such a note of cheer to the mantle. 

And these last two photos show some of the fun items used to decorate two bathrooms. I like fun and playful items as you can see!

And that, dear readers, completes the tour of Christmas decor in my home for 2022. Hope you enjoyed the tour and that you are having fun decorating your own home. Be sure to let me know if you have a particular theme or way of going about decorating in the comments. Perhaps you too have pockets of Christmas throughout your house! Can't wait to hear from you!

Until Next Time,

Friday, November 18, 2022

Thanksgiving Week How About You?


Hi friends!  Hard to believe but it is the weekend of Thanksgiving week and I am thinking about all of the many things in my life for which I am grateful. How about you?

The Mr. and I will be celebrating with just the two of us and our furry girls so I will not be cooking a huge turkey. But, we will have a delicious dinner for two. How about you?

I know that many folks start their Christmas decorating soon after Thanksgiving. I have already decorated and will share my efforts with you soon. I did manage to go through our Christmas tubs and found many things to donate and allow someone else to enjoy. That gave me a real feeling of accomplishment. How about you?

It is such a blessing to be a blogger who connects with lovely readers. I'm certainly thankful for all of you! Remember when I invited all of you to "take five" with me and think of five things each day for which we are grateful? How about if we revive the "take five" habit for each day of Thanksgiving week? I'll be taking five each day. How about you? 

Wishing you many blessings,

Fix your thoughts on what is true and good and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely, and dwell on the fine, good things in others. Think about all you can praise God for and be glad about.
Philippians 4:8
The Living Bible

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Candle and Stone Garden Piece for Remembrance and Christmas Beginnings

 Items for Remembrance and Christmas Beginnings

flameless candles

Hi everyone!  Today, I'm sharing some items that I purchased recently as remembrances for my sister who recently passed away. The handbell choir I direct was so kind in giving me a gift card to Jesse Israel & Sons Garden Center which is a local shop. Rather than a plant which might not make it in our yard, I chose a couple items that I can always keep. First is this pretty flameless candle. My sister loved to watch birds and especially liked Cardinals, so the Cardinal on this candle caught my eye right away. And then when I turned on the candle and saw the lights on the front twinkling I knew this would be my choice. Since my sister's name is Star, the twinkle lights were especially appropriate. I can't tell you how pretty this candle is all aglow in the evening!

I also chose this stone garden ornament that continues to carry the bird theme. For now it is on top of my figurine cabinet in the dining room.

stone garden pieces

I removed the basket so you could see the detail of the piece better. I love how one bird is sheltering the other. That's the way I always felt about my oldest sister. As you can probably tell I'm still coming to terms with her passing. I have many sad days where I struggle but I know this is normal. I am grateful to have three sisters still with me. 

To cheer myself I am slowly starting to add Christmas decor to the house. I actually have had a tree up for awhile so I can enjoy the colorful lights. This photo doesn't do justice to how pretty the lights are! I hope to start actually decorating it later today. It may be too early for some but I like time to enjoy Christmas decor before Christmas Day arrives. 

side table Christmas decor

And this year I decided to change up the side table and put my ceramic tree on the bottom shelf rather than the red ornament tree. Now, I just have to figure out where to put the red ornament tree! I've also added a few unique Santa figurines  to the shelf. 

I've owned this ceramic tree for a lot of years. It reminds me of a handmade one that my great-aunt made years ago and gave to my Mom. I always enjoyed seeing it lit up and was thrilled when I was able to get this one. So pretty. 

Each year, I try to go through my Christmas decor and decided what I want to keep and what I am ready to give away for someone else to enjoy. Certain things always remain like certain ornaments that were gifts from family, the Peanuts handmade ornaments one of my sisters made for our first Christmas and this ceramic tree. The last few years I have been able to downsize a whole tub of Christmas decor and this year I hope to do the same which will leave me with two tubs. I'll keep you posted on my progress both with Christmas decorating and with purging a tub. 

How about you?  Any early Christmas beginnings at your house?  How about Thanksgiving preparation? I hope to hear from you in the comments. 

Until Next Time,

Thursday, November 3, 2022

Halloween Fun, Concerts and Fall Decor Pics

 A Little Bit of This and That

rose in Elizabethton, TN
Rose from trip to Elizabethton, TN

Hi friends!  The last rose of summer is about gone and I have lots to share with you today about what I've been doing of late. In true "this and that fashion" there will be some fun pics from Halloween, Fall decor from a recent trip, just a little bit of bragging about The Mr. and, of course, some food! Let's get started. 

music concert at The Whitehorse

Last Saturday night The Mr. and one of the bands he plays in gave their annual Halloween Concert at The Whitehorse in Black Mountain, NC. I have to tell you, it was so much fun! The band members dressed up and their costumes were spectacular!  I have several to share with you. 

There were scary, creepy costumes. 

gorgeous flower costume

And beautiful flower costumes that light up in the back!

Costumes from movies!

Cat woman costumes!

Sweet costumes!

And well......costumes that aren't really costumes, lol!!

I almost didn't go to this concert but I'm so glad I changed my mind and went. I would have missed out on all the fun. 

And speaking of concerts, The Mr. played a solo at another band concert this past Tuesday and he did a wonderful job. 

He got loud applause at the end!  I'm so proud of his musical abilities. 

How about a few more photos from our day trip to Elizabethton, TN?  I love this farmhouse decor porch.  Everything looks so cozy. I think I could spend a few hours in that porch swing on one of those rocking chairs. 

And I loved this gate all dressed up for Fall with a sunflower and leaf wreath! This makes me want a white picket fence with a similar gate around our property. Alas, it wouldn't work!

And while Fall decor is pretty, so is a beautiful and healthy plate of food!  This was a tasty meal I pulled together today. Steamed rice with veggies with the addition of flaked chicken and some Durkees onions. On the side were steamer bag green beans that I sauteed in olive oil with the addition of onion powder and garlic powder. And, of course, some juicy mandarin oranges to complete the plate. This was a colorful, delicious and healthy meal!

So how's that for a little bit of this and that from my part of the world? Now, it's your turn to share a little bit of this and that from yours. I can't wait to hear from you in the comments!

And, whatever you do, please, please, please don't forget to exercise your right to vote!  Make your voice be heard!

Until Next Time,