Friday, August 26, 2011

Oh Amy!

Came home yesterday to my "Pumpkin Swap" hosted by Amy at Bumble Bee Lane Blog. It is only the second swap I have participated in and both have been delightful. There is something ever so sweet about receiving a package in the mail that is just prim! It is fun the gather some goodies together for someone you know only in the blog world and ship it out, knowing in return you will be receiving a box of goodies too! It's like having a birthday just any old time of the year and you don't have to count it!

As you can see, Amy spoiled me. I received a fantastic old book by Jules Verne with a gorgeous cover and spine. The cover has a sweet saying as well as the initial B on it. The spine is just as pretty and honestly it will be hard to put it in the secretary ( filling it with old books with lovely spines) and NOT display the cover! The box smelled wonderfully when I opened it...thanks to the scented wax corns with cheesecloth. The fragrance quickly filled my kitchen. A dual gift; both decorative AND fragrant. A pumpkin of some sort had to be included and Amy picked a darling votive holder. So prim and perfect for fall! Cats are a favorite for me and look at the PURRFECT make do prim kitty. What a sly face and bright eyes! Topping the package off was a cute ditty bag; love the reference to Salem and the plaid trim. So many treats in this box for me, definitely swapping is not a trick!

If you have a chance to sign up for a swap, do it! You won't be disappointed. Think of the fun you will have shopping for someone, knowing it will make their day when the package arrives. Certainly if you are out shopping, you'll also find a goodie or two for yourself! There is not a place near by here that I could have found those wax corns so you can see how great it is to get things in your swap that you just can't get locally. If you are lucky enough to receive something hand made by the swapper then you will really have a momento to cherish. What great smiles erupt from this swapping we do.

I have to say many thanks to Amy for a delightful swap. I will be sending her an email soon. I hope when my box arrives at her home, she will find the contents as special and pleasing as the ones I received.

Happy weekend everyone....and while you are out there, pick up a few items for swapping! ~Beth

Friday, August 19, 2011

Everyone has their favorite season of the year. Some people love summer; they love the sun and the surf and vacations and the fourth of July celebrations. Others really enjoy winter; the quiet of winter, the ice skating, the baking and nights of soup and sandwiches culminating with Christmas time! Some folk can't wait for spring; Easter and bunnies and new growth, pretty flowers and the songs the birds sing. This person loves all changes in our seasons, but is especially fond of FALL.

Not sure what made fall my favorite time of year, but there are so many things about fall that I love! As a southern gal, we have to talk about the food first. Caramel goodies and cobblers are two reasons to love fall. I always have certain foods that I typically only make during the days of cooler air and big moons. Spicy chili, vegetable soup, beer cheese potato soup to name a few. Can't forget to mention the baked apples and toasted pumpkin seeds. Fall is all about comfort food. Homemade macaroni and cheese is good all year but it really tastes the best in the fall. Chicken and Dumplins are perfect for fall fare. One of my favorite treats that only seems to come out when the pumpkins do is a toasted marshmallow: placed on a saltine cracker and tucked under the broiler for a few minutes, those brown skinned mallows mix with the salty cracker and yum, it takes me back!

As fall cools down, the fireplace heats up. Even in the south, we can appreciate a warm fire....we just turn the air conditioner to a cooler setting if the nip in the air is not enough! Cotton is harvested and little patches of it litter the roads and look like melting snow. Even the school buses look like a fall announcement; the golden yellow and licorice black mimic the colors of the fall sunflowers. The cats become a little friskier as the afternoons cool off. Baskets are filled with apples and pears and pumpkins galore. Even brown potatoes become part of the color scheme. Acorns and bittersweet can transform a summer white bowl or pitcher into a autumnal pronouncement. Extra linens like quilts and comforters are added to beds while peg racks boast leather jackets and thick sweaters in harvest hues. Even the candle glow seems prouder when the calendar marks fall.

The Friday night lights of football games brighten the horizon. Carnivals abound. Craft shows are everywhere. Our town hosts a state fair where cotton candy and candy apples are staples. And then there is Halloween. The combination of black cats and orange pumpkins fill my home for the month of October. Up until a few years ago, we had our own resident black cat. He must have loved fall too. BC ( short for black cat) knew his job well; relax on the porch right by the pumpkins. His bright yellow eyes were the color of the harvest moon and just as big. On Halloween night we brought him inside where he sat in an upstairs dormer window overseeing the children as they dashed from door to door.

As fall comes to a close in November, our family gathers together for Thanksgiving. Traditionally at my grandparents home, it was the culmination of the wonderful seasons sights and sounds. It was the time all my aunts and uncles and cousins could come together. It was a trip I looked forward to all year. Christmas at home was great, but Thanksgiving was spectacular. I'm pretty sure that is why fall is my favorite time of year. My sweet grandparents have been gone now for several years but my immediate family still enjoys a special Thanksgiving time together.

There is no better time of year to me than fall. Sleeping with open windows and pulling up that extra blanket or curled up reading a favorite book while enjoying a cup of caramel cocoa are "fall onlys" that I love. It's a time of year I long for all year through. Just a few more weeks and the pumpkins can come out to play. ~~ Beth

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Working all the time....

I must say I do love to tweak in my house and there always seems to be a project or two (or three!) going all the time. One of my projects is completing the decor in our guest bedroom, formally our oldest daugthers room. It is still in progress, with some things to do, but here is a glimpse of where I am at this stage. I guess Jackie thinks it is pretty great....still working on things all the time!

Working on swap items for a swap that needs to be mailed shortly, still painting rooms in the house, just finished a wedding shower for a friend and have another one coming, and so many other little projects....always fun. ~ Beth