Sunday, July 15, 2018

Hot Air Balloons

Who doesn't love to see a beautiful, bright hot air balloon floating through the sky!

What is even better is to see them up close on the ground.  And, it may even be better to see them from the basket of one floating in the sky, but that's not part of my story.

Our city hosted its third annual Red River Balloon Rally this past week.  It is part of the U.S. Hot Air Balloon Championships.

This past Friday night, was the big Faith & Family night of the festival and held on one of the local college campuses.  Our church was one of the sponsors.

I will let my pictures tell their story.

Dick found a couple Duck Dynasty stars to pose with.

It truly takes a crew to get one of these huge balloons upright.  It was so fascinating to watch this whole process.

This one was tethered and only took riders up a short distance.

Before we realized what was happening, other balloons began to appear all across this large field.

I decided it was time to leave the comfort of my tent and chair and walk among these giants.

The highlight of the festival is the "Moon Glow" when all of the balloons fire at the same time.

I cannot begin to tell you how thrilling it was for me to be right in the middle of these 40 plus full firing balloons.

My pictures do not begin to do it justice.

Another spectacular scene is when they all do the "twinkle" lights where they fire at different times.  It was like being among giant fireflies.

Our church sponsored these two Star Wars balloons and they were quite the hit.

As if this was not spectacular enough, the evening ended with ten minutes of sky filling fireworks.  What a show!

We will not miss this amazing spectacle next year for sure. 

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Before & After in My House

I mentioned a few posts ago that I had been inspired to make some changes in my house after visiting and photographing a Parade of Homes house my friend decorated.

So, for a fresh set of eyes, I asked Jan of Hudson's Interiors to come take a look at my house and offer suggestions.

This is what she found.


 First words out of her mouth were,
"I love your house but this red has got to go!"

I really wasn't surprised and it didn't hurt my feelings at all, but I did like my red foyer.

Next, we went into the living room and she eyeballed the small dark rug.  I already knew that would be on the "out" list so wasn't surprised here either when she confirmed it.

The dark rug under the dining table was soon added to the "OUT" list.  No surprise here either.

The next thing to create frown lines on Jan's pretty face was this outdated sofa table.

Since we were getting rid of the red walls and the red rugs, I took the initiative to suggest I remove the pretty deep red table skirt and pillows.  She just smiled.

I kept repeating to myself, "Fresh, fresh, fresh is what you want, remember?"

Now, are you ready for the results?


We went with a beautiful shade of greenish grey or greyish green - not sure about that as it changes depending on the lighting - called "Rushing River" from Sherwin Williams.

I really didn't change the table decor except to add a table runner I already had which blends perfectly.

On the opposite wall, I put one of my own paintings that brought out the color of the wall and added a lot of color to the room.

Dick and I found this plush floor rug that we think is perfect just inside the door.

Now, come inside.

Remember the before?


What a difference a rug makes!
My friend already had both of the replacement rugs and we loved both of them.

I absolutely love the heavy sculpted design in this lush rug.

This tone-on-tone plush rug complements the furniture and the ceramic tile floors.

We agreed that the flame stitch fabric on my chairs can stay because I love it.  Who know's it just may come back into style and I will be a pace-setter.

Anything missing?

Yes, the sofa table is gone - not away, just moved - and the end table is in another room.

With the sofa table moved, and the much larger rug, we were able to open up the room so much more.  I love the feel of spaciousness we now have.

I put the small curio under the wall of mirrors and replaced it temporarily with the sofa table.

We are in the process of looking for the right piece to go here that will balance the 12 ft ceilings.

A few colorful accessories and my antique tea set, complete the coffee table.  We may replace this table in the future, but for right now, Queen Anne is fine.

I replaced the red table cover with a large scarf I had in my closet.  After making a sassy knot, I think it looks pretty good.  Love the colors.

I found this gorgeous dish at Home Goods and it is perfect in the center of this round table.

 I already had these pillows and love the way their feel of elegance matches that of the rug.

These are pieces I had and again tie all the colors together and make a pretty statement on the mantel.

Adding pewter chargers under my wedding china that has a platinum ring and a light aqua linen napkin, also adds a bit of freshness to the table.

So, what do you think of my new and fresh AFTER?

The only items we purchased other than the paint, were the rugs and the bowl.  Everything else we already had.  I love shopping in my own house.

LINKING TO: Amaze Me Monday

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Saturday 9 Link Up

I'm doing something a bit different this week.  A fellow blogger frequently joins this group and it looked like so much fun I thought I would play along this week.  They ask 9 questions and there is usually a theme based on an "Oldie" song.  Come join us.

By the way, I graduated from high school in 1962.

Saturday 9: Chains (1962)

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) The song is about a woman who is in love with her boyfriend, but still attracted to someone else. Do you believe a woman can be in love with more than one person at a time?

Not the way I define love and my definition comes from the Bible.  If a woman loves a man following those teachings, there is only one for her.  Now, can she be attracted to someone else?  Yes she can.  But the Bible talks about that too.

2) What about the male of the species? Do you believe a man can be in love with more than one person at a time? 

Not if he loves as Christ loves the church - sacrificially.  The Biblical principle remains the same.  I think a person can express love to any number of people, but to truly love, there can only be one.

3) These lyrics were by Gerry Goffin and the music by Carole King. Carole was a favorite guest of David Letterman's. When she appeared on his show, he often commented on how impressed he was by her firm handshake. She credited her memorable grip to time spent milking goats on her Idaho farm. Have you poured goat milk on your cereal? Eaten goat milk yogurt or cheese?

I have never tasted goat milk in any shape or fashion.  I have although eaten goat meat.

4) When it first came out, "Chains" was a favorite of 18-year-old George Harrison. It was at his recommendation that the Beatles added it to their early stage shows and even recorded it on their first album. When you were in high school, what was one of your favorite songs?

Unquestionably, my favorite was Ray Charles's "I Can't Stop Loving You" from 1958.

I still feel nostalgic when I hear this one.

5) In 1962, when this song was released, epic movies were popular on the big screen. The Longest Day was three hours long, and Lawrence of Arabia more than three hours and a half hours. Today's most popular movies are nowhere near that long. Do you think the average American has a shorter attention span today than he did in 1962? 

Yes, I think we have been conditioned to not be willing to spend very long doing any one thing.  In 1962 there were fewer options for entertainment than there is today.

6) In 1962, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy went on a two-week goodwill tour of India and Pakistan. She received a ceremonial "welcome necklace" in India. Made without jewels or precious metals -- just beads, sequins and paper -- it was valued by the First Lady for its delicate appearance and craftsmanship, and today it's on display at the John F. Kennedy Library. Tell us about a piece of jewelry that means a great deal to you, and why.

I have a beautiful topaz ring that we bought in Haifa, Israel in 1972.  It is my birthstone and very special to me.

7) In Pakistan, Mrs. Kennedy made headlines by riding a camel. Have you ever ridden a horse, donkey, camel or elephant?

I have ridden a horse many times, never a donkey or elephant.  I rode a camel while on a trip to Egypt.

8) Also in 1962, the New York Newspaper Guild went on strike, so the nation's largest city went 114 days without a single daily paper. In 2018, how do you get your news?

We stopped our newspaper over a year ago and I haven't missed it.  I get what news I want to see or hear from the internet and occasionally from the TV.  I am pretty much content these days to not know what is going on.

9) Random question -- Complete this sentence: Before I go to sleep, I always ___________________________.

I always say a prayer of thanksgiving for my day and try to be specific regarding things that I saw as blessings.  I also pray for family and for other requests the Lord brings to mind.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Road Trippin' with Zoom Views

This post will wind up our very full day in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.

After our self-guided tour of the Crescent Hotel (HERE if you missed it), we drove back down the mountain side into downtown for lunch at a locally owned small diner.  The food is usually always good in these places, and this one did not disappoint.

Then we strolled and shopped and enjoyed the afternoon.

The 1905 Basin Park Hotel is in the middle of the downtown area and provides a view out over the Ozark Mountains from the roof of it's 8-stories.  It also provides a ghost hunt and a cave beneath that was once a bustling speakeasy.  There are many stories associated with this place and is currently owned by the owners of the Crescent Hotel

We learned that Eureka Springs is actually built on three levels.  The Crescent Hotel is on the upper level, and here you see the middle and lower levels.

We certainly got our exercise going up and down the streets, literally.

The walking bridge spans the lower level street to reach this relic Bath House building from the late 1880's.

This is another view of the tallest building in this little town Ripley of Ripley's Believe It Or Not, called one of the top 10 most interesting towns in America.

Slightly doctored!
And we had fun!

The Open Air Tram only runs at 1 and 3 p.m. so we took the later tour.  We felt this would be a great way to get an overview of the town and it was worth the $16.75 per person ticket.  It was 90 minutes well spent.  The guide was excellent and as I stated in a previous post, she is a 5th generation Eureka Springs native with a lot of personal stories and insights.

Here are some of the scenes from our open air ride.

This house was built by a young man who grew up in his grandmother's house across the street and later became a state legislator and helped to revive the dying little town many years ago.

Because the town is built on a mountain, many of the houses may be five-story dwellings.

The early settlers used whatever space was available.

And this is perhaps the largest single Victorian dwelling in the town.

That night we attended The Great Passion Play.  All I can say is that it was so very well done.  I will share some of my zoomed shots with you to show the amazing details and life-changing story.

It was as if this camel knew I was taking his picture.

The blurred affect of this picture speaks to me.

And what a glorious way to close out this little road trip.  We shall see Him as He is one day.