Saturday, May 27, 2023

Memorial Day and Recent and Upcoming Events


Photo courtesy

Hello everyone!  It's Memorial Day Weekend and I hope that each of us pauses to remember those who have given their lives for the freedoms we enjoy. Several members of my family were in different branches of service both before I was born and after and I also thank them for their service. 

I believe I have mentioned before that, when I was growing up in West Virginia, Memorial Day was always referred to as "Decoration Day."  Families, including my own, would travel to the family graveyards and decorate the graves of deceased loved ones. I wrote about this tradition in an article published in "Goldenseal" a West Virginia magazine. In the article, I wrote about how my parents, sisters and I would make a family day of having a picnic and then walking railroad tracks and climbing a steep hill to get to the family graveyard where my Mother's parents were buried. It was a long and tiring day, especially for a little girl of 3 or so as I was at the time this picture was taken. But, it was also fun in its own way and I have fond memories of these trips. I plan to go back to West Virginia to visit family during this next week and will be visiting the graveyard where several of my family members are buried. Although this will only include a car drive, and not walking on railroad tracks and climbing a steep hill, I will have flowers to take and decorate their graves, continuing the long tradition of "Decoration Day."

My Mom and me, standing on the railroad tracks. Can you believe how she dressed for a long walk and hill climb? And her pocket book! Those were the styles women wore then. And how pretty is my Mom?!

My Decoration Day article is published in this edition.

This will be my first trip back since the passing of my oldest sister and I know that this trip will be both joyful and bittersweet at the same time. Time marches on and will bring new family memories and events. And speaking of time, here are a few pics of how I have been spending my time recently. 

The Mr. and I took a drive over to The Great Smoky Mountains National Park to scout out a few hiking trails for him and I must say the scenery along the way was just gorgeous! Along the way we saw pretty waterfalls and beautiful mountains and greenery.

It had been quite a long while since I had been in the park and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the scenery. We also took time to enjoy some of the historical buildings that are in the park such as the old Palmer Methodist Chapel, an old farmhouse long empty and an old two room schoolhouse long attended by children in the area before the park was formed in 1926. 

Palmer Chapel Methodist Church

The Mr. walking in front of The Caldwell Place

Beech Grove School

I found myself becoming interested in the lives of the people who were displaced when the park opened and they had to sell their land. One family of sisters refused to leave, however, and were given permission to stay on their homestead until the last one passed away. There were 7 Walker sisters and if you are interested you can read about their fascinating life here.  Although we didn't make it to their log cabin this time, I would like to hike to see it another time. The buildings we did see were so interesting. I simply can't imagine what it would have been like to teach in the two room schoolhouse. It looks like it was right out of the set used for the "Christy" television series that was on in the 90's that documented the life of Catherine Marshall's mother when she taught in this area. The small chapel is still used as a place for people who have ties to the area to have a yearly reunion. It reminds me of an old church that my family would attend when we visited my Aunt Beulah back in West Virginia. If you ever get a chance to visit The Smokies, you will see for yourself the gorgeous scenery and amazing history of the area. I certainly enjoyed this day traveling with The Mr. to see the sights. 

So, that's it for now. As I mentioned before, I will be traveling in the next week. I hope each of you is well and enjoys the holiday weekend and the week ahead. Leave me a comment and tell me what you enjoyed about this post and/or what your plans are for the holiday weekend or the week ahead. Or...anything else that's on your mind. I look forward to hearing from you. 

Until Next Time,

*photos of scenery/buildings in Great Smoky Mountains Park by Debbie Ross

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

How To Style A Blue Polo Dress

 Blue Polo Dress and What's Been Happening

Hi Everyone!  Time sure has a way of passing quickly and I can't believe it has been so long since my last post! So, I thought I would share a little fashion with you along with tidbits of life over the last several days. 

You know, I have become a fan of Blair clothing over the last few years and when I saw this retro style Polo dress in blue, I decided to order it online. I really like this style of dress and thought you might be interested in how it can be styled. 

I wore the dress to do some church work the other day and felt like it would look good with a belt to give it some more definition around my waist. My solid black belt seemed to do the trick.

This longer white cardigan provided some nice contrast to the blue color and also gave some additional warmth since we continue to have cooler May days. I have always thought that blue and white look really good together. I keep reading about making sure that a sweater or jacket is 2/3 the length of the dress or skirt you are wearing and this cardigan seems to fulfill that rule. 

I first became acquainted with Blair clothing years ago when I saw some of the clothing my mother-in-law was wearing. She had closets-full of Blair. I looked at her catalogs and saw items that I thought were cute for someone my age. Fast forward several years and I bought a few items on Poshmark that were Blair and really enjoyed wearing and decided to buy an item from the actual online site. Over the years I have pretty much narrowed down my size for Blair items and have been happy with what I have purchased online. If you decide to order from this company I can give you a few suggestions that helped me. First off, read the size charts carefully and measure yourself to make sure. Reading the reviews about items can also help to see if sizing is true to size or runs small or large. Also, when you go online to browse on their site you will most likely be offered either a low shipping cost for your first purchase or there will be a code you can use to reduce shipping costs. It is worth it to wait until you can pay the least amount for shipping. I also recommend ordering one or two items only to start with until you are certain about your sizing. Blair does charge shipping to return items and that can be costly. Once you order online from them you will receive catalogs from them every other month or so but I enjoy browsing to see what they offer. They offer clearance items frequently and that is a good way to try items at a lower cost. This company occasionally changes where the clothing is manufactured and that sometimes results in reviews being mixed about quality or sizing but, as I mentioned, I have been 90% happy with what I have ordered either from the direct online site or Blair clothing from Poshmark. I'm not being compensated by Blair for sharing this dress with you. I just like their clothing!

In other news about what's been happening lately, my husband's Mother celebrated her 90th birthday last week and we enjoyed this delicious cake as part of her celebration!

It's hard to know what to buy for someone who is 90 years old! Her room in assisted living is filled with plants and flowers that have been sent to her so we decided she might enjoy a dish garden of succulents. Something a bit different. 

Other family members came to visit over the weekend and we took them up into the mountains toward Mt. Mitchell State Park to enjoy the scenery. It was a beautiful day to do this!

I believe The Mr. snapped this photo from on top of Mt. Mitchell. I wish you could smell the fresh clean scent of these pines. It was wonderful! The rain held off until we were driving back to our house so we didn't get wet. 

I snapped this photo of a bud on an Ohio Buckeye tree that we saw on the drive back. I had not seen a bud opening quite like this one before. 

And just look at this yummy pizza!  I have been lucky enough to eat at "My Father's Pizza" in Black Mountain, NC twice in the last month and a half. On the day this picture was taken, The Mr. and I drove there to lunch and look around the shops. Today, my dear friend, Sharon, and I were able to walk around Lake Tomahawk and then eat on the outside pation of the restaurant. 

The Mr. and I have been going to this restaurant for many, many years and always enjoy the pizza there. Today was no exception!

I'll close this post today with the bears that frequent our backyard. We have had many visits this Spring, almost everyday. Sometimes it's a mama and her yearlings or her itty bitty babies and sometimes it's a lone bear passing through. 

Photo by William Ross

And sometimes it's a baby bear wanting to know if Cassie and Garden want to come out to play! (They always decline!)

Hope your week is going well. I would love to hear from you in the comments!

Until Next Time,
Debbie (Stylin' Life and Enjoyin' This and That)

Thursday, May 4, 2023

Dusting Off Your Tiara?

 Donning My Tiara

Hello Everyone!  As you can see, I'm pulling out my tiara, faux pearls and Avon purchased Princess Diana engagement ring. How about you? Are you dusting off your tiara in anticipation of the Coronation on Saturday? 

Public Domain Image designed by Karen Arnold

To be honest, I'm not sure how interested I really am in watching the Coronation on Saturday. Mainly because I am a Princess Diana loyalist and I feel sad that it won't be her being crowned but "the other woman" will be. I know, I know. I keep reading that Camilla has ingratiated herself with much of the British public over the years she and Charles have been married. But, I haven't forgotten the fact that, according to Diana, she was the third wheel in her and Charles' marriage. 

Wouldn't Diana have made a beautiful queen? Just as I know Princess Catherine will make a beautiful queen at some point. I still enjoy looking back at my books and magazines of Diana. But it makes me sad. Because she will never be queen. I do continue to be interested in William and Harry and their families. I'm a bit disappointed in Harry's airing of the family laundry, though. I think he might have been able to get further with healing the rifts in the family without having written that book. But, perhaps I'm wrong. Who knows? I just know that every family has their issues and writing books about the issues usually isn't a good thing. I'm just sayin'

But, this whole post is just my opinion, you know. 

Anyway, I'm trying to decide if I want to set my alarm for 5:00 a.m. on Saturday to watch the Coronation or not. If I do, it will be in support of William, Catherine and Harry. 

How about you? Will you be watching the Coronation on Saturday? And if you would like to read my previous posts on the Royals you can click here and here

Meanwhile, I've got to get back to dusting off my tiara. It doesn't dust itself you know!!

Until Next Time,
Princess Debbie