Saturday, September 21, 2019

Saturday 9: Candy Man

It is good to be back with the faithful Saturday 9 bloggers today.

Sam asks the questions based on a popular song and we go from there.

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

1) This song is from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, starring Gene Wilder. The movie was remade as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, with Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka. Which Wonka did you prefer? 

I have only seen the Gene Wilder version so have no comparison.  Since I am not a Johnny Depp fan, I'm pretty sure my opinion wouldn't change.

My granddaughter will be playing the part of Charlie's mother in the play this fall with the North Dallas Performing Arts Theater.  She will be singing the solo, "Cheer up Charlie" and I can't wait to see her perform.

2) In the movie, this song is sung by Bill, the candy store shopkeeper. Think about the last counter person you dealt with. We know that he or she likely didn't break into song, but did you two engage in conversation?

Yes, the last counter person was a sales lady at Chico's this week.  She was very friendly and we did have a nice visit.  No songs - just a spoken conversation

3) The lyrics tell us that The Candy Man can make the world taste good. What's the last thing you ate? Was it delicious, or just OK?

The last thing I ate was the last of the Pumpkin Bread, an early fall gift from a visiting niece.  Out of this world delicious!

4) The most popular recording of this song was by Sammy Davis,  Jr. Sammy was in a horrific car accident when he was 29 years old. His cheek and nose were broken and he lost an eye. That he survived at all left him reflective and after his hospitalization, he converted to Judaism. Do you still worship in the faith you were raised in? 

Yes, my maternal grandfather and my dad were Baptist preachers.  I married a Baptist minister-of-music and we remain faithful and active in a local Baptist Church.

5) Sammy was proud of the honorary college degrees he received because he never formally attended school. As a child, he performed on the road with his father and uncle. In addition to depriving him of an education, that lifestyle kept him from kids his own age. He would later describe his childhood as, "in a word, 'lonely.'" Give us a one-word description of your childhood.

6) Because he spent so much of his youth on the road, living on buses, trains and hotel rooms, he loved eventually having his own kitchen and being able to cook his own meals. This weekend, will you spend much time in the kitchen?

I don't ever spend a lot of time in the kitchen.  I don't mind cooking but it's just not my favorite thing to do.  Our meals are good and balanced but don't require a lot of prep/cooking time.

7) Sammy enjoyed experimenting with clothes and jewelry. What about you? Do you consider yourself conservative in dress or are you fashion forward?

I am conservative although I love pretty clothes and try to stay current on fashion but not trends.  I have a pretty good idea of what looks best on me and I don't branch too far away from that.

8) When he died, Sammy was in debt to the IRS. Do you handle your own taxes, or do you use the services of an accountant?

We use the services of a CPA although I keep excellent records that make her job much easier.
9) Random question: If you had to tell nothing but the truth (not even the tiniest white lie) for 24 hours, do you think you'd get yourself in trouble?

I would be okay unless someone asked me what I thought about something and I had to balance being honest or saving their feelings.

I might end up in a bit of trouble either way.

Happy to be joining Samantha for this week's Saturday 9

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Writing Autumn In My House

"Autumn writes her own poetry, we are merely observers."
Terri Guillemets

As we were expecting several out-of-town guests last week, I put out a few fall items to hopefully take our attention away from the 100 degree temperatures.

The two small pillows were Tuesday Morning finds a couple years ago.  The one in the middle came from At Home and I like the way it ties in the fall colors without being an overload.

My large square copper tray holds an assortment of glittered fruit and pumpkins.

Again, it says "Autumn" without being too much in the orange family and ties in with the other colors throughout my house.

The mantle is a simple composition of color.

I used decorative pics in an existing green arrangement and topped it off with a couple glamorous velvet pumpkins.

My sweet husband brought in a fresh bouquet of golden alstroemeria and it just seemed perfect in this beautiful vase. 

Because I am such a stickler for a continuity of color, I love the way this little antique vase repeats all the colors in the room.

And these candles and candle stands carry out the color scheme as well and balance the flowers on the opposite end.

This side table is the perfect place to show off my small amber glass pumpkins.

The candles inside this metal mesh pumpkin are on a timer and add such a nice glow in the evenings.

The foyer adds a bright spot to entering guests as it is bedecked with an assortment of white fruit items.

The carrot-munching bunny adds a touch of whimsy from his decorative perch.

This beautiful little plate completes the fruit and pumpkin theme in the rest of the house.  It makes me happy!

The side entry also contains touches of fall to welcome our guests.

The front porch wasn't forgotten either.  

Have you already brought touches of Autumn to your home?

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Happy Birthday & Anniversary to Us

Today we are celebrating being married 54 years.  Yeah for us!

Where have the years gone?

On Monday, Dick had his 79th birthday which is no small feat.

We decided we needed to celebrate these momentous occasions by taking a mini road trip, which is one of our favorite things to do together.

We left right after church on Sunday and headed northwest into the state of Arkansas.

After a delightful 3.5 hour drive through the country side - no major highways for us if we can help it - we ended up in Mena.

Mena is a small town with an interesting if not tragically sad history.  It has been known as a "Sundown town" because of the lynching in 1901 of a black man, after an alleged altercation with a white girl. There were other racially motivated instances during those years, which along with the absence of employment, caused the Black community to move elsewhere.  It was once advertised at a "100% White Town," thus the title. Today, there is less than 0.2% black population.

In the 1980's Mena airport was the headquarters of one of the most notorious drug smuggling operations in the country, led by Barry Seal.  Think Bill/Hillary Clinton days in Little Rock.

In 2009 a violent tornado destroyed much of the town and homes killing three and injuring 30.

Our over-night stay was not focused on the past thankfully.  Mena is a nice, friendly place and we could not have been more pleased with our accommodations.

The Fennelwood Executive Suite

After getting settled into our lovely B&B, we took a driving tour of the town.  Being a Sunday, there weren't many open places, but there are museums, galleries and shops to entertain during the week.

Perhaps the most striking building there is the St. Agnes Catholic Church.  It is Spanish Mission Revival style and was built in 1921-22 of local fieldstone.  It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1991.

The cross in the side yard was quite interesting if not unusual.

From Mena, one can enter into some of the most well-known tourist spots in the Natural State.  Our destination from here would be into the Ouachita National Forest which extends westward into Oklahoma.

There are numerous opportunities to pull over in order to take advantage of the scenic vistas.  It was early morning, so there was still a haze over the mountains.

The Rich Mountain Fire Tower is on the tallest point along the Talimena Scenic Highway.  It served as the lookout point for the forest from 1940's-1975.  It is now a popular picnic area.  The tower is no longer open to visitors.

These outdoor restroom facilities are no longer used, but a reminder of what life must have been like many years ago when the fire ranger and his family lived on this spot.

As I was walking around, I spotted a nice size black bear playing on the road we had just used.  It fled when a car approached and before I could get a clear picture.

Also part of National Forest and right on the highway, is the Queen Wilhelmina State Park and beautiful lodge.

The view from here is beautiful, but we decided an even higher vantage point might be interesting.  The Lover's Leap Hiking Trail looked inviting and since we were celebrating our love, why not take it.  After all it was only a mile long.

Truly, the view from the Lover's Leap lookout point was breathtaking.

We also knew that since the first half of the hike was fairly easy, the last half would be a challenge.  We were right.

It went straight up and was very, very rocky.  My fitbit showed we had climbed 29 flights of stairs by the time we got back.  Not bad for two old folks.

Our reward, other than the view was seeing a doe and her two fawns right along the path, but they were too hidden in the branches for me to get a good clear picture, but you may be able to see the mama here.  You will just have to trust me that they were beautiful.

Inside the lodge was a bear exactly like the one I had seen earlier and he wasn't going anywhere.

Coincidentally, while at the lodge, Dick found his surprise birthday present.
Only, the owner had not been notified yet.  LOL!

From here we went south into Oklahoma.  We stopped at a place called "Shuck Me" for lunch in Hochatown.  The food was delicious as evidenced by Dick's plate.

Bread Pudding served as his birthday cake and neither of us were complaining.

This whole area is a sportsman's paradise with lakes and state parks.  The Broken Bow Lake was beautiful and there were many families and groups out picnicking and boating on this Labor Day.

The Beaver's Bend State Park is nearby and provided some of the most beautiful and scenic drives we had seen.

This totem sculpture reminded us that we were in the middle of Choctaw Nation.  

Even though this was a whirlwind road trip, we confirmed that these 54 years have been wonderful years together and we look forward to taking many more trips together.