November 26, 2010

Holding Off Christmas

Before December appears and all of our fall decorations are replaced with Christmas evergreen, I want to savor the last few days of November and enjoy the colors of autumn.

When I looked out our kitchen window this morning, the little bit of orange leaves left on our oak tree looked so wonderful framing our barn.  Soon the leaves will be gone and we will be looking out at the color of gray until the green buds appear again in the spring.

Our Thanksgiving table was also decorated in a fall theme this year with sunflowers, eucalyptus, wheat, and other natural grasses.  The fall colors will remain until after the first of December when Christmas decorations will gradually make their way into our home.

Christmas used to really excite me as a child.  I don't get so excited anymore...I know some lost excitement could be my age, but sometimes I think maybe it is because Christmas starts so much earlier in the year (like around Halloween!).  By the time December 25 finally arrives, the excitement of the lights, the smells and the stories have all lost their wonder.  AND by December 26, I am ready to celebrate Britain's Boxing Day to get our house back to normal.

This year, I am going to enjoy our fall decorations as long as possible.  On the first of December, I will replace our front door wreath with our Christmas wreath.  Then around December 10 I'll start getting out our Christmas decorations and put up the Christmas Tree.  Maybe this way I can make the Christmas excitement last for a little while this year without feeling the yearly burn out.

What do you do to make the excitement of Christmas last until December 25?

Have a great weekend!

Judy :)

November 18, 2010

Before & After: The Front Door

When we purchased our house, it had been “well” used.  Bluntly, it was filthy and needed a total make over.  We did a quick makeover of walls and flooring then moved into it as soon as we could.  Over the past six years (after moving in), we have slowly been fixing other little things as we can.  One of my recent “do-overs” was the front door.  We have a really nice front door with the side window lights.  I think the previous owners intended to paint the door after their dogs had ruined the finish as they scratched to get inside.  The front door looked like it had been lightly sanded at several places.  These are the before pictures of the front door:

Everywhere we drove this past summer, I looked at front doors.  I noticed the colors of the doors and if the side lights were painted the same or in contrast.  My favorite front doors were painted black with white side lights.  The contrast really made the front doors pop.  I liked black, but I remembered traveling in Charleston, South Carolina when I was in college and loving the color of their front doors.  At first glance, they looked black, but after looking closer, you noticed the color was really a green that was so dark it was almost black.  I started looking for that color and found what I thought might be a good substitute at Lowe’s.  The color is called Nocturnal Green and is made by Valspar.

When I began painting the front door, the paint looked to have a more bluish tinge to it.  My son thinks it looks black, but I can definitely see a blue tinge and not a green tinge.  When I hold the paint sample up to the door (which looks green when held away from the door), the paint exactly matches the sample.  Go figure?!  Maybe the bluish tinge is the reflection of the gray concrete on the porch floor.  I do like the way the door looks, so I am going to keep the color….just not totally what I was after.

Here is the way the door looks now (and decorated for fall):

The gold “Welcome” is a vinyl transfer from “Leen the Graphics Queen”.  Check out her website.  She has all kinds of sayings and scriptures to add to your walls, doors, or crafts.  They are reasonably priced and are easy to apply.

What new projects have you finished this fall?

Enjoy your weekend!

Judy :)

November 16, 2010

Road Trip: Louisville, KY

I believe my husband and I are making this a yearly trip.  A trip that I love!  My husband is always interested in attending the North American International Livestock Exposition in Louisville each year.  This show has the largest amount of sheep, cattle, horses, mules, or whatever livestock you want to see.  We try to hit it each year on the weekend of the sheep show.  We both enjoy staying at the 1840 Tucker House Bed & Breakfast.  The house is filled with antiques and the breakfast is (pardon the expression) die for.

Our first stop this year was at the exposition center.  We spent all of our time in the sheep barn.  This is a shot from last year showing just how many sheep this barn holds.

This is the one picture I took this year of the sheep.  This ewe was so peacefully, chewing her cud and totally ignoring all of the chaos going on around her.  Doesn't she look totally oblivious and happy?

After spending some time in the sheep barn, we took off to do some antiquing.  We hit the Derby City Antique Mall and spent a couple of hours.  This mall has around 170 vendors with three floors of antiques.  I ended up purchasing a small drop leaf table for our living room.

Then we headed to the Tucker House.  I love, love, love this bed & breakfast.  The rooms are so comfortable.  Every need is met from the usual toiletries to a keeping room where you can get bottled water, snacks, dvd's or videos, and coffee.  Extra pillows, blankets, and robes are in the bedroom closet.  And you are welcomed by the owner's, Steve and Devona, Sophie, a Wirehaired Pointing Griffon, and Tucker, the cat.  This is a picture of Tucker House from last fall.  We didn't have a good shot of it this year because of more parked vehicles.

The bedroom we have chosen the last two years is the Courting Chamber.  It has beautiful pictures hung in the room of couples courting.  We especially like the bathroom with this bedroom.  Look at that sink!  I  would love to have one just like it some day!

This is the living room and all of it's wonderful period antiques.

The Dining Room:

The entry hall with staircase:

The outside front door entry is even inviting.  I love the bench and the antique sled which is hidden right behind that column...and of course, Tucker!

Before we left, I snuck across the hall and took a picture of one of the other bedrooms that was empty.  This room holds a small bed for a child, too!

Please take a look at the Tucker House and if you are in the Louisville area, check it out.  From our experience, you definitely won't be disappointed.

Oh, by the way, for breakfast we had grilled grapefruit with bananas, baked eggs with cream and two cheeses, bacon, german sausage, and pumpkin pancakes.  Mmmm, so good!  This is the kitchen where all of the magic happens:

Enjoy your week!

Judy :)

November 11, 2010

Remember Our Veterans

Take A Moment To Thank A Veteran
When you see someone in a uniform,
Someone who serves us all,
Doing military duty,
Answering their country’s call,
Take a moment to thank them
For protecting what you hold dear;
Tell them you are proud of them;
Make it very clear.
Just tap them on the shoulder,
Give a smile, and say,
"Thanks for what you’re doing
To keep us safe in the USA!"
By Joanna Fuchs

Think today on the meaning of veterans day and the service of our soldiers past and present...and then thank them.

Enjoy your celebration!

Judy :)

November 10, 2010

Road Trip: Searcy & Heber Springs, Arkansas

We went on a short road trip to Arkansas this past weekend.  Our son is interested in attending Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas.  Last weekend was their Homecoming so it was a great opportunity for him to visit the campus and stay with a couple of graduates from his high school.  My husband and I stopped at Harding University long enough to enjoy a performance of an acapella group called the "Good News Singers".  They performed outside the auditorium.  Beautiful voices, but there was definitely the bite of cool fall temperatures in the air.  It was cold enough that I didn't want to take my hands out of my pockets to snap pictures.  This is the only shot I took that shows part of the campus while we were visiting Harding:

My husband and I left Joseph at the dorm with his friends and headed to Heber Springs to a Bed & Breakfast.

I normally love to stay at Bed & Breakfasts, but we were both disappointed in this one, so I didn't take any pictures.  (We are going to a fabulous Bed & Breakfast in Louisville, Kentucky this coming weekend and I will take tons of pictures to show you.  It is gorgeous!)

We had a nice leisurely Saturday and did a lot of things that the two of us enjoy.  We shopped Heber Spring's Main Street and looked in several antique stores, had chai lattes at a coffee shop, and enjoyed talking with a cashier at a "Life Is Good" store.  She told us of a really good Flea Market store about 7 miles up the road.  We drove there and had a great time reminiscing as we browsed the booths.  You start feeling really old when you see objects from your childhood displayed in an antique shop!  We came home with a few "antiques" we just couldn't pass up.  Aromatique is headquartered in Heber Springs, so we visited their outlet and purchased their Creme Caramel room spray.  It has a warm baked vanilla scent.  I seem to be drawn to fragrances that smell like food!

In the afternoon, we decided to hike Sugar Loaf Mountain.  Sugar Loaf Mountain is more of a large hill than a mountain, but on the very top of it was a huge rock structure.  The only way to get to the very top of the mountain would be to have climbing gear.  It took us about 20 minutes and several stops to catch our breath before we made it to the place where the rock formation started.  We then climbed as far as we safely could on the rocks.  Climbing on the rocks was the most fun I have had in a long time!  We did see some men attempting to climb to the top with ropes.  The climb was well worth it...the view was spectacular!

A view of Sugar Loaf Mountain from the bottom.

On our way to the top, you can see the rock structure through the trees.

The view from our first stop after we started climbing the rock.

The rocks above us. (They were leaning, not me!)

As a visual perspective, my husband beside the rocks.

A crack in the rocks just large enough to squeeze through, but no way to get to the top.

This is the view from the other side.  This was as far as we could go.

We thoroughly enjoyed our day to ourselves.  Joseph had a great time at Harding visiting with his friends.  We pick him up in time for church on Sunday morning and then headed back to Alabama.  Joseph has decided to go to college at Harding.

This is how he told me he had decided on Harding:  On Friday after we arrived at Harding, Joseph and I were in their Bookstore looking for a sweatshirt to purchase since it was so cool outside.  The sweatshirt he chose was a Nike sweatshirt and was more than I normally pay for sweatshirts.  He asked if I would consider paying that much for a sweatshirt.  I told him there was no way I would pay that much for a sweatshirt for a University he might not even attend.  He looked at me and said, "I thought you knew this is where I want to go to college!"  Needless to say, I bought the sweatshirt.  We are pleased with his decision to attend this Christian University and are looking forward to exploring more of this area in the next few years.

Enjoy your week!

Judy :)