Friday, July 21, 2017

How about some snippets and bit's and pieces for a Friday post?


How NOT to stage a house to sale!
 http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/4302-Colony-West-Dr_Richmond_TX_77406_M72430-94369

Can you imagine anyone living with all this stuff?  YIKES!



I enjoy following South Shore Decorating's blog and Thursday they featured "Dramatic Rooms."
I liked all of them, but this was my favorite.
There is so much to like about this vignette, from the art work to the lights to the pillows on the divine sofa.
Check out their website and see which is your favorite room.
South Shore Decorating Dramatic Rooms


My granddaughter who just got back from Spain now has the most fun job while waiting for her final semester at UT.  It is so perfect for her.  She is assistant to one of the cutest and most popular fashion bloggers in the Dallas/Austin area, Dani Austin.  Her Instagram link is Dani Austin
and blog is theDaniAustin.  Check her out.
 
Let me just say that Cassidy is having a ball.  They were in Austin, taking pictures at the boutique Hotel Ella and this is the two of them acting and looking like sisters.  Cassidy is on the right.  They are just too cute.


If you are or desire to be a Prayer Warrior, let me recommend a book I recently discovered.
Take Words With You
It is a comprehensive compilation of over 2500 Scripture promises and prayers to provide "tangible traction" to your prayers.  It is an excellent tool to pray God's Word back to Him.

The eBook is currently $0.00 on Kindle Unlimited.


I hope you have enjoyed my Friday bits and pieces.
Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Flying Through July

My participation in the Wednesday Hodgepodge has been sporadic lately to say the least and I have missed it.  So, I was excited to be able to play along with all the other Hodgepodgers this morning.
To see how they have answered these questions, pop over to Joyce's blog,
and check them out.

1. Growing up, were you close to your grandparents? Tell us one or two specific things you remember about them.
I am on the right and my sister is in Mama's lap.  Not sure whose house this is, but notice the broom hanging on the wall.
My mother's father died when she was seven so I never knew him of course.  But, her mother, Mama lived with us until her death when I was nine, so yes, we were very close to her.  The thing I remember most about her was her sweet, gentle spirit.  I remember snuggling in her lap as she loved to read to us.  This was a daily special time.  She had long dark hair that she wore in a bun on the back of her head.  I remember sitting on the back of a chair and brushing her hair for hours.  Needless to say she was also a very patient person.  She was the mother of ten.

My dad's father passed away when I was very small but I do have very fond memories of him.  My grandmother would come for extended visits but we were not as close to her as Mama.  We loved her, but I never recall her reading to us and she wasn't the snuggling type.  I do remember that she wasn't comfortable about us leaving the house as teenagers with bare shoulders.  She would often offer her shawls which both tickled us and aggravated us at the same time.

2. What's an item you were attached to as a child? What happened to it?

I really don't recall being especially attached to any item as a child.

3. When you look out your window, do you see the forest or the trees (literally and figuratively)? Explain.

Literally, I see a couple trees in a neighbor's yard and one fairly large Oak tree in mine.  Figuratively, I also see the trees.  I tend to see details before taking in the whole picture.

4. Do you like sour candies? Which of the 'sour' foods listed below would you say is your favorite?

grapefruit, Greek yogurt, tart cherries, lemons, limes, sauerkraut, buttermilk, or kumquats
I do NOT like sour candies!  Of the foods on the list, grapefruit with Greek yogurt would be my favorite.

Have you ever eaten a kumquat? What's your favorite dish containing one of the sour foods on the list?
Yes, I have eaten a kumquat and like them.  My favorite dish would be a bowl of grapefruit and bananas with a large dollop of Honey flavored Greek yogurt, sprinkled with granola.

5. July 1st marked the mid point of 2017. In fifteen words or less, tell us how it's going so far.

Crazy with travel and helping to take care of my sis.

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

On Monday, I featured the Balloon Fest recently held in our city and the sights of them going right over our house on Sunday morning.  One of the residents of our subdivision has a drone and got these amazing pictures.
Source:  Andrew Mulford, Twelve Oaks

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Peaceful Floating Beauty

Our local sky has been lit with the graceful presence of hot air balloons this week as part of the U.S. National Hot Air Balloon Championship.

There were 41 total balloons in the championship and all were located at a local college campus not far from our house.
 
A friend took this close up picture and the one of the "Balloon Glow."  We were able to hear and see some of the nightly fireworks from our house.

It has been so exciting to see these massive colorful balloons float about the sky overhead.
But, Sunday morning we got an up close view from our front lawn.  They were flying right over our house so closely that I was able to see the face of some of the flyers and watch them pull the levers to steer.
We counted 34 in all.
 
 
 
Peaceful beauty in the skies of Northwest Louisiana!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge

So glad to be joining Joyce for Wednesday Hodgepodge.

1. When and where were the best fireworks you've ever seen? Speaking of fireworks...do you know your hot buttons? The things people can say and/do to set you off? When was the last time someone pushed one of your hot buttons?

A couple years ago, we went to the Texas State Fair with some Texas friends.  We managed to stay long enough to see the amazing fireworks display.  Let's say they do things big in Texas!

I do have buttons and they do get pushed but for the life of me right now, I can't think of an incident when that happened recently.  My buttons are mostly when I'm accused of saying or doing something I didn't do or was totally misconstrued.

2. Have you hosted any outdoor summer parties this year? Attended any? What makes for a great outdoor party?

We are hosting a party today and will be grilling outside.  But, in our part of the country, this time of year is not at all conducive to outdoor entertaining.  It is much too hot and humid and the mosquitoes are out in mass .  Criteria for a great outdoor party is when the weather permits and you're with good friends. And there are no flying man eaters.

3. What does freedom mean to you?
 "For as much as it hath pleased Almighty God...knowing where a people are gathered together the word of God requires that to maintain the peace and union of such a people there should be an orderly and decent Government established according to God, to order and dispose of the affairs of the people at all seasons as occasion shall require; ... to maintain and preserve the liberty and purity of the Gospel is now practiced amongst us; as also in our civil affairs to be guided and governed according to such Laws, Rules, Orders and Decrees..."  The Fundamental Orders of 1638
That men back 1638 were blessed by God to ordain that a government be established according to God's Word.  It is only through the Gospel of our Lord Jesus that true freedom can be found.

4. July is National Cell Phone Courtesy month...what annoys you most about people's cell phone habits?

Definitely those who walk around with a bud in their ear carrying on a conversation while shopping, or eating out, or in the bathroom stall next to you, etc.  I am also very annoyed by anyone in public who talks on their phone loudly.

5. What's your current summer anthem?

I don't really have one.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

Tomorrow, Thursday, I will be going to Dallas to see our granddaughter who has been in Spain for six months.  I can hardly wait to see her and hear all she wants to share about that time.  This will not be her last trip abroad for the travel bug has bitten for sure.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

A Trip to Mackinac Island

I don't know about where you live, but it is 100 degrees here and I am more than ready to go where its cooler.  And prettier!

While in Northern Indiana visiting family, Dick and I took a little time for the two of us.  Mackinac Island has been on our bucket list to visit ever since our son moved to the Midwest.

It is in Michigan's Upper Peninsula and a 5.5 hour drive from our son's house.
 I will try to not make this a tour guide for you but it will be a photo overload for sure.

Our first stop was Mackinaw City.  Whether spelled "Mackinaw" or "Mackinac" it is always pronounced with a "naw" at the end.

The highlight here was the old Mackinac Point Lighthouse, built in 1890 and closed in 1958.
 The views from the tower were amazing.
There is a very interesting museum on the bottom floor that tells the maritime history of this area.

What we most looked forward to though was crossing the Mackinac Bridge.
 Considered by many to be the "8th wonder of the world," this bridge is the longest suspension bridge in the western hemisphere and the 5th longest suspension bridge in the world.
 It is 7,400 feet of 4-lane roadway suspended over the Straits of Mackinac - Lake Michigan to the west and Lake Huron to the east.
This amazing 5-mile structure unites the lower states to the Upper Peninsula.

Our first night was spent in the quaint little village of St. Ignace where we boarded the ferry the next morning for Mackinac Island.
We chose the early departure time in order to take the tour under the bridge which gave us spectacular views.  It also meant getting to the island early enough to have a whole day to tour.
 The ferry ride was only about fifteen minutes over beautiful Lake Huron.

This was our first view of where we would be spending the next three days and nights. 
 Mission Point Hotel would be our home away from home.
Our hotel was within walking distance, so as our luggage was being delivered, we decided to spend some time just walking the streets and becoming acquainted with the place before checking in.
There are no motorized vehicles allowed on the island, so all transportation is either horse-drawn carriage or bicycle.  We did both.                                     
 I loved the architecture dating back to the Victorian era.
It was the Victorians who made Mackinac Island one of the nation's most favored summer resorts. In the post-Civil War industrial age and before automobiles, vacationers traveled by large lake excursion boats from Buffalo, Cleveland, Chicago and Detroit to the cooler weather of Mackinac Island. To accommodate overnight guests, boat and railroad companies built summer hotels, such as the Grand Hotel in the late 19th century. Victorians, like all travelers, loved to shop for souvenirs, and thus all the Mackinac shops.

The most famous souvenir these days is its famed chocolates.  There are at least seven different chocolate shops on main street.

In the 1890's wealthy Midwestern industrialists who wanted to spend more than a few nights on Mackinac built their own summer cottages on the east and west bluffs. Soon a social life including tennis, hiking, bicycling, examining the local natural wonders happened, and at the turn of the century, a new golf  course brought in even more tourists.
 It happened to be the Lilac Festival the weekend we were there.  I have never seen so many beautiful lilac bushes and trees.
We finally arrived at our hotel, Mission Point.

It is situated at the far point of the island away from the hustle and bustle of the main street.
 We loved every minute spent at this beautiful retreat.

After getting settled in our room, we took a carriage back to Main Street and ate dinner on the veranda of a delightful Italian Restaurant in one of the oldest hotels on the island.
  There was a very private outdoor hot tub on our deck, so guess where we unwound at the end of each day.

Day 2, we took a carriage ride around the interior of the island.  These are a few of the views.
 And our carriage arrives.
All of the island is now owned by the state of Michigan and is a state park.
These are views of Arch Rock.  With natural corrosion, it is predicted this will be gone by 2020.  Sad.
 
Look closely at the road below this cliff, because that is the path we will take the next day on bikes.
 St Ann's Cemetery where local residents have been buried for centuries.
This is only one of five cemeteries in the world where the flag is always flown at half-staff.
Fort Mackinac as seen from below.  We elected to visit from an above approach.
The town and lake below was a spectacular view from this vantage point.
  
Market Street
During the peak of the fur trade this street bustled with activity.  We were told that each July and August Indians, traders, and trappers by the thousands came here with furs from throughout the Northwest.  This was what brought the Europeans to the island.
In 1817 John Jacob Astor's American Fur Co. located its headquarters here.  Records show that furs valued at $3,000,000 went through the Market Street offices in 1822.  After 1834 the trade moved westward.  Shortly thereafter, thousands of Indians were removed from this area.
We were told that there are no postmen on the island.  The post office is a daily gathering place for the residents as there is no home delivery.
The Governor's summer home.
 A selfie showing the many lilac trees on the cliff in front of the Governor's Mansion.
 
 This was our first view of the famed Grand Hotel and it is indeed grand.  We couldn't wait to get a closer look.
This was a wonderful day and we topped it off with a delicious dinner at our hotel overlooking Lake Huron and Round Island.

Day 3 was probably the most fun day of the trip for us.
 In spite of aching knees, we decided to take a four-hour bike ride around the perimeter of the island.  Our bike trail also took into the interior of the island.
 It was amazing!
 These are some of the permanent residences.
 A cyclist's view of the Grand Hotel.
We loved being on the grounds of the Grand Hotel and seeing this amazing building from this vantage point.
 One of the greenhouses
 
Lilac Trees everywhere.The time flew and we were having such a wonderful time, we decided to go back around the point passed our hotel to enjoy the water view and listen to the surf a little more.
Then, to rest our rather tired legs, we spent a while on our veranda enjoying a cup of tea and watching the sights below.
That evening was our final night so we celebrated by going to the Grand Hotel for an elegant dinner.
Everything is truly grand at the Grand!
 We enjoyed listening to this harpist after dinner and touring the art gallery.
The next morning, we very reluctantly boarded our ferry that took us back to reality.
Thank you for taking this very abbreviated trip with us to Mackinac Island.  If it isn't on your bucket list, put it at the top.

I look forward to sharing some of the interesting things my camera lens found here (without dialog) in the near future.

Linking with Amaze Me Monday