A new kitchen theme....

As we prepare to move, I was packing up some of the kitchen decor. It dawned on me that I was really over the color scheme in my kitchen. There are a lot of things different in the new kitchen and I think I want to change my decor. I started thinking about different color schemes and what would go good together and what I am in the mood for. But I wasn't sure if I was on the right track. So, I did what any woman would do....I called my big sister.  
I ran my ideas by her. You see, I am falling in love with blue and green together. It is so light and airy and so different from my current kitchen. And since we are going to grow herbs in the kitchen window seal, I thought the blue and green would be a good way to go. But my dilemma is that I have some roosters and sunflower items that I love as well. My sister, who's house looks like something out of Country Living magazine, told me I can incorporate a few roosters and sunflowers into the blue/green theme so it adds some "pop". I loved the idea so I checked out the Internet (as usual) and found that French Country decor (which I love) incorporates a lot of blue, green, red and yellow. Here are a few decor ideas that hit my fancy. 

This touch of yellow in this one does add that extra zing.
I love this rooster and sunflower together. The rooster has the colors I want to use in it and they do look pretty good together.
After I saw a bunch of blue/green kitchens and realized that I definitely am going to go that route, I decided to check out Etsy for some blue/green kitchen items. Here are some of the things I saw that I would like to incorporate into my new theme. 
I'm loving this cookie jar. I always have cookies or candy and could use a new cookie jar. I may have to add that to my antique shopping list. 
 I have a recipe box that I have been using for close to 30 years now. I think it is time to change to a new one. This incorporates my new color scheme along with my herbs.
 I have one cabinet in the new place that has a frosted, etched glass front so I thought about displaying any vintage bowls in that cabinet. This one would be perfect.
 I thought this was a cute canister set, but it wouldn't be good for me. As much as I bake, I have canisters that hold 5 pounds of sugar and 5 pounds of flour.
I love this little juice pitcher.
I need to get a cream and sugar set so I'm going to look for a vintage one when I go antique shopping later this month. This one was cute. It kinda goes with one of the bowls I liked.
Well, now I've gotten myself in the mood to go shopping. Since I'm heading out tomorrow to birthday shop for my grandson Colby, I think I'll make a stop at Kohl's to check out tablecloths. They are one of my major weaknesses. You can change the whole look of a room, simply by putting out a new tablecloth. Hope everybody has a great weekend.


The Pumpkin Patch

It's that time of year when our minds start turning to pumpkins. Fall is officially here and Halloween is just arond the corner. Then before you know it Thanksgiving will arrive.
I have been noticing a lot of different decor where pumpkins are being used for more than pies and jack-o-lanterns. I searched the internet to find some of my favorite pumpkin decorations and thought I'd share them with you today. Whether they are real, handcrafted or store bought,  I'm loving the new and unique way pumpkins are being used.


Wednesday Hodge Podge

I'm linking up to Wednesday Hodge Podge at From This Side of the Pond.

1. It is officially fall here in North America...I realize not everyone who participates in the Hodgepodge lives in North America but if you do, what's your favorite memory of Summer 2011? If you're not in North America, what's your favorite memory of the season just ending on your side of the world? 
Wow, that's a hard one. I would have to say the weekend my Mom, my sister and her husband, her grandchildren and my niece Amy came down. We went out to eat with both my children, their spouses, and all my grandchildren. Then we went and played miniature golf afterwards. We had a blast. And it was great having so much of the family together.
2. Your favorite nut? You know I mean the edible kind, right?
It would have to be cashews. I love salted peanuts and redskins as well. But cashews are without a doubt the winner. The saltier, the better.
3. What activity puts your sense of balance to the test?
Simply walking. :) Seriously, I am not the most graceful person in the world. If you check out my legs at any given time, you are sure to see two or three big bruises where I have walked right into something. For some reason, I think you need to walk at warp speed 24/7. Add to that my general clumsiness and you get someone who trips on her own two feet. The funniest thing though is that during all my years at school, the one thing I did the best in gym class and the one thing I enjoyed the most and always got an "A" on was the balance beam. I could walk it with my eyes closed. I could lay down on that narrow little beam and do a backwards somersault and never fall off. But I can't walk on level ground. Go figure.

4. How would you describe your sense of humor?
Warped. I can find humor in some of the strangest things. Sometimes, I will say or do something and I just crack myself up. Other warped people love my sense of quirky humor because I actually "get" them. I see people who take themselves way to seriously. If you cannot laugh at yourself, who can you laugh out. I do some dumb things sometimes. You know, those "I can't believe I did that" moments when you look to see if anybody saw you. But the bad part is, I find it so funny that I tell everybody what I did. It's good to be able to laugh at ourselves.

5. September 28th is National Ask a Stupid Question Day...what's your stupid question?
I think the most stupid question in the world is one that I ask all the time. I will call my mom...on her home land line and when she answers I'll ask "Are you home?" Well, duh. If she wasn't home, how is she answering her phone. Of course, she always chuckles and says no she's somewhere else. I don't know why I do that every single solitary time I call her, but I do. Now, that is a stupid question.

6. Roller skates~hula hoop~jump rope...which activity would you most enjoy? Yes, you have to choose.
Without a doubt a jump rope. I don't have the hip/belly co-ordination for a hula hoop. Not to mention it is not a pretty site to watch me even try that one. Roller skating is something I have never learned to do well. I can move around the rink good enough, but I have to be close to the bar in case I panic and I start from a standing position, use my left toe to push me and never pick up my right foot at all. Again, not really graceful. But jump rope is something that I still love to do at 54. It is also something that is a great way to exercise. You can burn a lot of calories jumping rope and get in really good shape IF you can handle the embarrassment of the neighbors watching you jump rope by yourself.

7. What's your most sentimental possession?
I have many sentimental possessions and things that mean the world to me because of who gave it to me. But I guess the one thing that I just adore and have had the longest is a little plastic basket of poinsettias. My Mamaw Eden took me shopping when I was 5 years old. We went on the bus to downtown Huntington and went in McCroy's Five & Dime. Mamaw loved poinsettias and had them all over her house at Christmas. I picked this little basket up and loved it. Mamaw bought it for me for 10 cents so I could set poinsettias out every Christmas too. That was 50 years ago this coming December and this little basket is still the very first Christmas item I set out every single year.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
Saw this on Facebook and it gave me a good chuckle. "There's A Rumor Going Around That Boys Are Tougher Than Girls. Oh Please , Can You Carry A 7lb Baby In Your Stomach For 9 Months And Survive Hours Of Labour ? Can You Cook , Clean , And Talk On The Phone All At The Same Time ? Can You Walk In 5 Inch Heels ? Can You Cry All Night Then Wake Up The Next Day Like Everything Is Okay ? Remember Guys , Women Are Only Helpless Till Their Nail Polish Dries."

Have a great over-the-hump day!


Top 10 Favorites in the Great Smoky Mountains

Today, my father-in-law and sister-in-law arrive for a visit. I remember fondly through the years of all the things we have done together with visiting family. Not everybody shares the same interests so with each group of relatives that visits, we are able to explore different parts of our beautiful county. When the children were little, we would hit the obvious go cart tracks, amusement parks, waterslides. But now that they are grown and we get to play tourist with adults, it is an entirely different world. We live in a beautiful part of the country. There is much to see and do. Hubby and I will occasionally take a day off and play tourist ourself.

Today I am featuring my Top 10 Favorites things to do in the Great Smoky Mountains as I hop on board the Tuesday Train.

1. Cades Cove - I love the drive around the 11-mile one way road that loops through Cades Cove. It has many historial sites such as some of the original log structures that were home to the families of the Cove before it became part of the national park. There are old churches, old cemeteries; the place is steeped in history. It is not unusual to see deer and bear meandering in their natural habitat.
2. Townsend - On your way to the Cove, you can stop and visit the town of Townsend, TN. There are walking trails, white water rafting, and tubing. You can also stop in the many craft and antique stores along the way. I love going to the Apple Valley Farm. It is a unique country store with crafts and decor that celebrate the Southern way of life. While there, I always like to have lunch at the Back Porch Restaurant. Good ole country cooking like your Mom would make.
3. Cherokee, NC - Nothing in this world is as breathtaking as the views of the mountains as you drive the winding roads through the Smokies to Cherokee. At one point, you can park and see the panaramic view of the exact point where you leave Tennessee and cross into North Carolina. For me, there is no place on earth that says "God lives here" like the pinnacle of the Smokies. I love heading over to Cherokee and touring the unique shops and watching the artisans perform their skills on the Cherokee reservation.
4. Wears Valley Antiques - Nestled in the Foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains is a little community called Wears Valley. We love to go there for the day and visit the antique stores and craft malls. I love the handcrafted items of the area. There is one store called Moonshine Ridge that contains some of the best fudge you will ever put in your mouth. They have a little cafe as well. I always have to stop there for a hotdog. I can easily spend a whole day in the Valley.
5. Horse drawn buggy ride at Cades Cove - Another "must" if you ever visit the area is to take the Horse Drawn Buggy Ride through the woods surrounding Cades Cove. We have seen a bear every time we have taking the ride. But the horses ignore the bears and the bears ignore the horses. I guess it has become a way of life for both of them. One time, we actually took the horse back trail ride through the park. But my husband's horse, Smoky, kept lagging behind and we would have to wait on him to get going again. The problem was that my horse, Sultan, thought he was the leader and he kept trying to go ahead of the trail boss every time Smoky caused us to stop. It was not one of my more pleasurable horse rides sitting atop 1,000 pounds of attitude.
6. Town of Gatlinburg - No trip to the Smokies is complete without a visit to the quaint town of Gatlinburg. Shops of all types line the main street. There are also many things to see and do in Gatlinburg, such as Hillbilly Golf, Ripley's Aquarium, Guiness World Record Museum, Mysterious Mansion, and much more. There are many benches lining the streets. You can grab a box of fresh Karmel Korn, a lemonade and simply park yourself and people watch. I love walking up and down the streets of town.
7. Ole Smoky Mountain Candy - One of the most frequently visited spots (in my opinion) is the Ole Smoky Candy Kitchen. You can spend time at the huge windows watch taffy being pulled or fudge poured and cooled. Then journey on into the store for the biggest supply of fresh made candy you have ever seen. I never go there without buying a pound of the their milk chocolate orange creams. They have been an addiction of mine for over 30 years since my very first trip to Gatlinburg for our honeymoon.
8. Apple Barn - Probably one of the most well-known spots in the Smokies is The Apple Barn and their farmhouse style restaurant. I love visit their. We like to go in the shop itself. They have some gorgeous items for decorating, some kitchen items for cooking, recipe books, baskets and much more. Then cap off your day with dinner at the restaurant. They start you out with a free serving of apple fritters, homemade apple butter and apple juleps that are to die for. Every meal comes with a bowl of homemade vegetable soup. Your veggies come in serving bowls so you can share. Run out of veggies? Simply let them know and they will bring a free refill. One of the few restaurants I know where you definitely get your money's worth.
9. Craftsmen Community - Another must see is the local artisan's in the Glades area of Gatlinburg. Make the loop through the Glades and visit some of our local craftsmen and women at work as they display the many talents passed down through the ages. You can watch the artists of the Craft community as they make brooms, woodcarvings, candles, pottery and much more. You can easily spend the day in the Craft Community and pick up some wonderful items at your home at prices that are unbelievable for handcrafted items. I make a trip out there several times a year just to see what new things I might stumble upon.
10. The Chimney's - Name for it's high mountain top that resemble a chimney in shape, this area is a great way to relax and get away from the hustle and bustle of life. Pack a picnic, some hiking boots and some dry clothes and head to the Chimneys. The picnic area is tucked among the trees as you enter the Chimney's. Park your car and enjoy a relaxing lunch. The picnic area is on one of the many rushing streams that flows through the mountains. If you are adventurous enough, climb around in the stream on the rocks or perch on a rock as you watch your children frolic in the water. I warn you, it is very tempting to touch your toes to the water and sometimes slip right on in and enjoy the cool mountain stream on a hot summer day (therefore I recommend packing dry clothes...just in case). And for those of you who are energetic and love nature, you can hike the trail to Chimney Tops and get a great view of the mountains.

Well those are my Top 10 favorite things to do. There is so much more that I couldn't even begin to cover it all. It was hard enough to pick just 10. We vacation here for the first 8 years of our marriage and loved it so much that we finally moved here. I think that's why it doesn't bother me if we don't go on an actual "vacation" some years. We can vacation any weekend we want to and not have the trouble of packing, the long drive or the expensive gas.


The Great Curtain Hunt has begun....

Saturday was the beginning of the great curtain hunt. I haven't had a chance to measure windows yet so I'm in the "pre-shopping" mode. There is only one room that I will be able to use existing curtains in since the other rooms all have more windows than my current place.

We only looked at a couple of places so far and I am so overwhelmed that it boggles the mind. I still need to go to Kohl's, Belk, Target, Penny's and Sears. This is going to be a process. On a good note, I think I found the ones for the kitchen if the size is right. I did find some new kitchen rugs that my daughter spotted and I fell in love with them.

Of course, between the packing, the moving and family visiting this week, the curtain hunt will have to wait a little while longer.


Another walk down memory lane...

Today is National Comic Book Day. This brings back so many memories for me. But my fondest memory of comic books, "funny books" as we called them, is my neighbor growing up, Gladys Swan.

Gladys and Walter didn't have any children of their own. But they loved kids so they kinda sorta "semi-adopted" us.  They lived across from us on that old country road. It was nothing unusual in the summertime for us to ask Mom if we could go visit Gladys. The answer was almost always yes. We loved Gladys. She was like a favorite aunt that dotes on you. Of course, I'm sure the initial draw was the fact that she had one drawer in her kitchen that was all stocked with full size Milky Ways and Snickers for us to have when we visited.

But the thing that thrilled us the most was her stash of funny books. Gladys had a nice ranch house with a huge living room. In the middle of the living room was a fantastic oval braided rug. But the Piece De Resistance was tucked in the closet in the living room. Most people store coats or jackets in the living room closet. But not Gladys. Her closet was dedicated to funny books.

She would stack them in the floor of the closet, sorted by comic. There were always a ton from the Archie series. There were Dennis the Menace, Little Lotta, Dot, Sugar & Spice, and one of my personal favorites, Richie Rich. There were many others as well, plenty to wile away a summer afternoon with.

I can remember it so well. We would run across the road while Mom watched from the porch. Then we ran up Gladys's long drive way. She was always waiting at the back door with it held wide open and a huge smile on her face. She would always welcome us with hugs and that smile. We would go through the kitchen and stop at that candy drawer and get a candy bar. I always got Milky Way. Every time. Then we would head to the closet and dig through the stacks and pick out a pile of funny books that we wanted to read that day.

We would pile up on that old braided rug with our candy and our comics and spend the day. After awhile, the phone would ring and Mom would ask Gladys to send us home. I'm pretty sure Mom was glad for those breaks. With four kids under foot, she didn't get a lot of "me" time. Especially with it being summer and Mom didn't work, so she was always with us. But when Mom called, we put up our books and headed back home. Knowing we would be back another day.

Now, here are some fascinating things that I learned about myself when I sat down to write this post. Apparently, our early formative years DO make an impact on us a we grow up. To this day, my favorite candy bar in the entire world has been and always will be Milky Ways, even though I will stray and one will becme a new favorite for awhile, my Milky Ways are always still in the candy bowl. You will always find the candy bowl full at my house and are always welcome to share in my stash of chocolate. I still adore braided rugs and almost always have a couple somewhere in my house. Here I am at 54 years old and I still occasionally read an Archie or Rich Richie comic book. And my favorite movie to watch every Halloween is Casper the friendly ghost.

Gladys has been gone many years now. After Walter passed away, the property was sold and split up into a housing development. But in my mind it will always be that ranch house with the candy bars in the drawer and the funny books in the closet. Thanks Gladys for all the wonderful memories.