Thursday, November 29, 2018


 All the preparations and traditions surrounding Thanksgiving are some of my favorites.

 From the oranges with cloves on the table, to the bed of seeded eucalyptus.  It all means and smells Thanksgiving.

 Treats, you gotta have em...

 My Mom's braided bread.  Delicious and there might me a revolt if I were to serve another bread option.

 It's sweet and traditional.

 We were missing our boys.  Jon and Charlotte stayed put at home.  Charlotte has had a hard time with those twins. Charlotte calls them the sailors on the good ship Charlotte.  Mike and Amanda were in Michigan greeting their five weeks early nephew!
Sure did miss them all, especially their good humor and great hugs.

 We have a good sized home but never enough space when everyone is here. On the left, my oldest Brother Tony and Brother Greg.  On the right niece Emma, SIL Mindy and Brother Jeff.  Then there's my sweethearts Penny and Kristen.

 The vat of mashed potatoes.  It weighs a ton of deliciousness.

 Elizabeth and my dearest. 

  Doug in my chair with his adorable wife.

So many beautiful children.
This is our good friend John and Rhonda's daughter, holding Daddy's hand.

 Nephew Tyler standing.  They came all the way from St. Louis to be with us.

 My sweet nephews Greg and Jimmy and their dad Greg. Jim fell asleep on the love seat and I got to cover him with a cozy throw, just like the old days when they were little.

 My favorite visitors.  These girls are the very sweetest,  kindest, and most fun. 
My little bird who is now ten, walked around the house, lovingly looked at everything and insisted that I add her height to the chart that started on a wall by our pantry 24 years ago.

These girls.  I love them so...  They are the best of friends.

 There is Zoe in a hat that Kris knitted for Teya when she was a baby.

 And then it's over in a flash.  Just like that.  The happy memories remain.

Every utensil in the house used. We used Chinet plates, and beautiful but disposable napkins.
There is still two load of dishes to wash and all those pots and casseroles.
We sent home most of the food and all the desserts.
All that was left was potatoes, and that's fine with me.
"I am only here for the potatoes."
-Penny Willoughby

 We had a couple of days of good weather.  We took advantage of it and had breakfast at one of our favorite spots.

 My dearest stays put while I take some photos.

Just minutes from home, so peaceful.

 Then a blizzard.  Started with rain, sleet, ice then snow on Sunday.  Then the power went out.
We were told that from power pole to power pole 500 pounds of ice can form, bringing down the lines from the sheer weigh of the ice.  Not to mention the 40 mph winds and tree limbs that came down.

 We made it thought the first night, but the temperature was supposed to drop.  We spent the next night in a hotel nearby.  
 We couldn't see out of the windows because of the driven snow.
Mike and Amanda came by with a tiny shovel  (All they could find at the hardware store, not knowing that we had Mike's shovel, and three of our own.) and helped us clear the car and the driveway.
They saved the day!

 It was just like Frozen.  I was dressed just like Elsa, if Elsa was a 63 year old lady in jeans.

 Funny how cold and dark made my favorite, a snowstorm, seem a lot less fun.

 Though I did watch a John Denver Christmas Special on you tube on my phone, just like Laura Ingalls did in The Long Winter.  (It's a joke about roughing it in the 21st century.)

While we were at the hotel, I kept calling home, hoping the answering machine would pick up signaling that power was restored. Finally, at 5:00 am on Tuesday the answering machine answered!
This made me happy.  We hurried to shower and get home to start our day.
Walking in the house, it was already warm, all the lights were on and it felt like home again.

There was much damage in our town.  We saw many power lines down in the streets.  We were fortunate that our power was restored rather quickly.

Back home to do laundry, pack up the fall decorations and start our Christmas decorating.
There truly is no place like home.

Thanks for stopping by.
Enjoy this beautiful day.
Love, Penny

Monday, November 19, 2018

A Perfect Snow

 We had the most beautiful snowstorm.  The kind where the trees are frosted, and the ground is covered.  Good packing, great for snowballs and snowmen.  Yet no shoveling was involved.

 We had a visitor, camera shy little elf. 
 The neighborhood looked lovely, dreamy even.
 I asked Penny if she loved the snow too, and she does. 
 Then she asked if I was crying...I was.
Sometimes great beauty brings me to tears.  

 We live surrounded by woods, and they were magical covered in white.

 It was the annual open house at our favorite nursery.  Every year they have a large display of model trains.  It's something that we all look forward to.  A beautiful steeple in the distance.

 This place is great on a regular day, with a frosting of snow, it was picture perfect.

 Bundled up for the weather, these two sweethearts were ready for some railroading. 

 Waiting for the rain to come round the track.

Another beautiful steeple. Such pretty settings.

 A happy child enjoying the display.

 Amazing and realistic vignettes were just charming.

 I loved the bridge and seeing the trains pass each other.

 This year there wasn't as many novelty cars.  In previous years there were some that blew bubbles and made smoke, even characters from popular children's shows. Our small one was not disappointed, she just loves trains.

 There were free donuts that Grandpa and Penny both enjoyed. 
 Look at those Christmas trees, how beautiful.  A chocolate smile on our girl.
Such a lovely sight.

 On the way home, the snow stopped falling 
but the trees held onto the snow for most of the day.

 I couldn't stop taking photos.

 This is my kind of weather.

 By the next day the skies cleared and the snow melted.  

 Leaving us with the memory of a perfect snow.

 I am so grateful for everyone who stops in to visit.
Wishing you dear readers a Happy Thanksgiving.
Enjoy this beautiful day.
Love, Penny