Category Archives: holiday

Longwood’s Christmas lights 2013


Christmas 2013 is on it’s way!


I realized it’s been a while since our trip to the Buchanan house post. Having a late Thanksgiving kind of put me in a tailspin with Christmas this year. After all these years, I have it pretty down pat to what I do and when, but I switched it up a bit. I just finished sending cards as I wasn’t sure I wanted to even do so. I send out about three different styles. I saw a box of Charlie Harper cardinal drawings in the Longwood Gardens gift shop that were calling my name. I have a few of his stylized designs in cross stitch that I should do.

We got the tree up a little over a week ago. We have been having early snow this year in Pennsylvania, very unusual. I trimmed the tree in a wintery theme of white snowflakes, clear and blue balls and silvery things. No red! Well there is a wee bit on a ‘Phillies’ ornament and a Santa ornament of Sean as a baby.
I think a tree has to be pretty with the lights off too! #DecemberDaily

This is off my phone. I should set up the tripod to get some more shots with the Canon. The mantel had to be redone as the greenery started to fall a week after it was placed up there. No fire or anything-just a dry house. It was a terrible mess to take down. I replaced it with two garlands-a silvery one wrapped around the aqua snowflake cord and one with pine cones just laying above that. I added the sparkly leaves back. I like it better as it is reflecting the mega lights from the tree.


I like this tree a lot! It’s from the Habitat store, but I think it will be retired for a few years so I can so some color. I do like themed trees.

All day deorating....silver, white and blue...snowflakes, clear balls. Lots of new ornaments.

I love those snowflakes in front that are a bit iridescent and the snowball garland. But I love the over all effect.

Did a 'Sweets' tree for the front living room window. Its my 'Sandy Hook' tree as I put it up last year, though with a heavy heart....but for the kids and teachers. Mainly cupcakes and goodies.

Remember these are the phone’s camera photos. I just put this pink foil tree up a few days ago. I like how it gives a pink glow. It is a little close to the big tree, but it makes its own statement. I bought it last year and was going to put it up on the 14th, the day of the Sandy Hook tragedy. I went ahead and put it up and adorned it with cupcakes, lollipops and sweets and dedicated it to them so I could honor them. I also put this up on the 14th this year.

Did a few shelves of Snowbabies on my vintage hutch that belonged to my great auntie.

The snowbabies made an appearance again this year! #DecemberDaily
And today I put up some of my ‘Wizard of Oz’things. I could do a little tree too as I have Oz ornaments. Finding them in my stuff would take a little effort!
Set up my little Wizard of Oz collection in the family room as Sean gave me an WOZ domed clock as a Christmas gift last year and I wanted to hightlight it this year. #DecemberDaily
I’ll never say never!

One of my favorite collections is also on a tree, but a feather tree. It is mostly covered with hand-stitched (cross stitched) ornaments that I made and a few pals made too. I am trying to find a second one!

Just put up the feather tree which has mostly hand stitched items. I have two more ornaments to add. Think I need a second tree soon!

I’ve added a few new ones too! It’s getting really full. I nearly knocked it down the other night when I tried to add one to the side. About 10 fell off at 1 in the morning. Not fun fixing it.

We did some lights on the outside hedges and stars along the brick sidewalk. I like a spotlight on the door and also on Brian’s old sled.

Between doing all this, I worked (still one day this week left) and made cross stitched ornaments for coworkers.

Assembled this last night and will give it as a gift tomorrow. Turned out cute for this horse lover.
I made everything. The little horseshoes were really hard to cut out of felt. I made this after our ladies’ tea at work.
Made a 'lady dancing' for a coworker who is also a dancer. Personalized with her name.
Our teen helper is a dancer, so this was for her.
I also made an ornament for Sean’s new co-worker who loves nutcrackers. I burnt the midnight oil on this one and put it around the neck of a big bottle of Moscarto wine for her. She loved it!
Burning the midnight oil getting this ornament made. Stitching errors set me back an hour.
I am busy making something for my mom. She asked for it, so I found a pattern which was giving me a headache at first, but I think I have it figured out now. Will share when it is finished and/or she receives it.
Next on the agenda is cookie baking. I know I will do chocolate chips and 7 layer cookies (Sean’s favorite). Presents will be wrapped a few days before Christmas.
Things are flowing along….there are still areas that need to be tidied up-at least I clean well at Christmas!
Happy Holiday-Merry Christmas and Happy 2014 everyone!

Show a little Love today


I heard that Valentine’s Day was an invented holiday, but so were Mother and Father’s Days. It is a nice distraction during the gloomy winter months. I love hearts, cupids and chocolate!

I made the kids at the preschool a little collage card too.


I  need to thank my Flickr pal-here’s her page

There’s a new movie called ‘Safe Haven’ and the funny thing is, I was writing a little story back in 2011 about my Grandmom and growing up that I called ‘Sheltering Haven’. Here’s a portion of the little I did write.

     My grandmother Ruth was a sheltering haven to me for most of my life and I didn’t even realize it until she passed away. When she died, something in my subconscious was brought up to the surface from my memory bank and what was old became quite new and fresh in my mind again. Perhaps these memories were meant to be buried all that time as when I remembered them, I felt new love and appreciation for my ‘mom-mom’. A few things; not everyone gets to live with their grandmother or will get a much older person’s point of view about things. But more than that, she was there not only to fill a void where a father should have been, but to be someone we could count on when we needed advice, a hot meal or maybe a ‘talking to’. 


“Shower the people you love with love, show them the way that you feel….. (JT)

Have a lovely day of love! ❤

Christmas Revisited!


I happen to see that it was my pal’s 25th wedding anniversary on Facebook (I gave her a thumb’s up) and clicked through to her sister’s wall. Her sister was up from the south visiting and went to the National Christmas Center and a photo she showed piqued my interested in going to a place we have passed dozens of time going to the Lancaster, PA area. It’s right in Paradise, about 20 miles from here. We had until this Sunday to go as they would have weird hours until this Christmas.

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Ma, you going bye byes again?

Brian was off (unfortunately, his hours have been cut at the store), so I had even mapped out a few geocaches in the area-most were those ‘lifting the skirt’ kind, but we just couldn’t find one in a tree on a short road. We stopped at a thrift store where I had consigned things in 2011. They were having a sale, but we didn’t linger. I got an adorable  gingerbread man wreath for $2.50.


The center was a lot bigger than we thought. We read that the owner started out with 3 displays and grew to 10 or so.

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This guy greeted us, though he looks a bit frumpy.

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This is perfectly decorated.

We took over 100 photos!

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The Norwegians use to wrap their trees with cotton batting to make it look like snow!

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The Woolworth store display! This is the photo Olivia’s sister showed on her page.

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This was the German Santa, the ultimate ‘toy maker’ The room had a number of wax Santas-they looked so real! I didn’t care for the children or the elves-creepy!

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This was part of Tudor Towne, an animated story with different animals/creatures telling the story about how they almost didn’t have Christmas. We took Sean to his display, but in Delaware when he was a little boy!

There was a display about the time Jesus was born, down to cobblestones…most of it was very dark, but this was very beautifully done


NatlCmasCenter 082Here’s Virginia, the little girl who wrote a letter about the existence of Santa (I think her face looks old). Be glad you can’t see the father’s face. But it was interesting to see how the turn of the last century looked (when my grandmom Ruth was born) and they had a loop on the monitor of the real Virginia reading her letter and reply from the newspaper editor.

The workshop where Santa greets the children was special too. Not sure if the owner of the center does that job, but he sure looks like him as we saw him go to the phone and talk to someone about a music box for the center. He turned them down.

workshopCreepy elves

Brian loved the trains. We heard they will be redoing this, it looked pretty nice to us!

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I will be unloading all the photos to Flickr sooner or later, so I will add the link here when I do.

Makes me want to not take down the tree, but it’s been up a month now, so I’m thinking dust factory.

I hope you enjoyed these.

Found 4 out of 5 geocaches! Ate at Pizza Hut-it’s been a long time and it was just as greasy good as I remember it. ; )   Got some 60% off goodies at The Christmas Tree Shoppe (store) and because I signed up for email, I got $10 off my total .

We also stopped at a Dutch market. The prices of their meat and lunch meat cant’ be beat!

Good day!

In closing-the neatest ‘cache’ of the day!


Oh I wish I was an Oscar Meyer weiner-lol! Those Lancaster caches had over 200 logs!

Longwood Christmas 2012


I was a bit apprehensive about going to display this year with my arthritis issues being so bothersome. I had missed the autumn display because of it. What I think is saving me more than anything, and go figure is the cream version of ‘Icy Hot’! I’m going to smell really good (got to figure out what perfume will mask it), but if I am getting this relief-hallelujah!

We headed over around 4:15 as you want to go and see the light displays the most. It was a frigid 29! That’s cold for these parts. I was bundled up, but I was still cold!


My mom had given me a new coat, had to return it and chose this one with the giraffe print. My pal Sherry made my hat (that I bought from her).

003 Up the first walk way to the conservatory. Boy was I freezing!


The sun was setting nicely. Not sure what those streaks in the sky are.


As we entered the conservatory. They’ve had other Moravian stars for years.

Then we saw this all white tree! I was going to do that, but we used the ‘tinsel’ tree which called out for red (to me).


The star of the show to me was the table! Wow, it was probably modeled after one Mr. Dupont had back in the 1920s,




I really loved the library/music room also!








This was a living wreath-it’s a common houseplant.


We went to the little cafe and had their mushroom soup (not as good as it usually is, kind of on the thin side).  We went to see the train display which was a bit of a walk. Sean took photos there.

Then we went to the DuPont house. Imagine having a green house in the middle of your house!


I was so happy to do all this walking after the month I had. : )

Happy 2013!



I raise my wine slushie to you on this first day of the new year. I’m hoping for health and happiness (a little wealth wouldn’t hurt) this year for you!

I’m watching the Rose Parade and will watch the Philadelphia Mummer’s Parade later.

Didn’t have the greatest of nights with achiness, so couldn’t get comfortable. I’m hoping I can find something to help me soon as I don’t want to rely on medicine like my mom does. This really worries me, as I like working at the preschool, like geocaching and like doing things in general where I have to walk and stand a lot.

I’m making a dish similar to my favorite from ‘The Olive Garden’-shrimp and chicken carbonara.

Merry Christmas 2012


I hope everyone got to spend time with their family and loved ones this year.

Last night we headed to my mom and brother’s house. They outdid themselves with decorating. Don’s been wanting a lighted village display for a year and started collecting them, from yard sales and eBay. they are really hard to take a photo of without a tripod, but what a great job he did.

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This is the seaport. The other one is across the room there. Then there were some on the bookcases and sofa table…and dining room!

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Mom and some of her new white tree.

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Silly dog Kelsey!

Sean’s girlfriend Mary and her daughter came over for a little bit. K. loved Kelsey and he was kissing her like crazy!

We decided to attend a midnight mass service at a Chadds Ford church. It was very nice, they had singing and a trumpet soloist, new to us. Think we’d go back!

Today we slept in, ate the hash brown casserole I made the day before. Made one for mom and Don too. As I was making these, I bit into a cookie and a tooth crown came off! I called the dentist right away and he couldn’t come into the office to glue it back in. I will probably go in on Wednesday, but the weather is suppose to be bad. My luck! Yes, I endured both Christmas eve and Christmas with this issue.

I made a nice brisket dinner with roasted veggies, mashed potatoes and sticky toffee cake. My mom and brother were suppose to come out and open their gifts and eat, but my brother wasn’t feeling well. He had made appetizers to dessert last night and also did last minute tidying up which wore him out and gave him a racing heart.  Sean was going to see his girlfriend, who lives a few towns over, so he dropped off their dinners and gifts to them. Brian also took food over to his dad along with gifts.

I got to use the iPad app, Facetime to watch my younger brother and his family open their gifts and then Mom and Don later. That was neat!

I’m now relaxing, enjoying my tea in my blue glass mug (from Sean and a set of 6) and my new book from Brian called: Local Treasures: Geocaching across America.  : )

Sean in front of our tree-only shot of our Christmas-just so busy!



Gifts from Sean. Love both!


My new book, Some sweet Pier One bird canvases. a Vera Bradley wallet and two sock monkeys.

Sean got his dad a new laptop! Bri is getting use to it and having a little trouble with it.

Having fun with Instagram


I am feeling better today. I’ll take more days like this! I have been using the heating pad off and on and I do believe it’s loosening up that sore, stiff muscle (or two). Brian suggested it. He saved me by buying yogurt as the medicine was going to give me issues and it helped too.

Sean helped me get some Christmas things from the basement and I did the front bay window and we strung lights outside. I took a few photos with the phone app ‘Instagram’ tonight. It’s like a Polaroid-you get a square photo and can use different effects.

This is part of my front window display. I have 3 sweet Christmas dolls. We put white lights under ‘snow’ and put the girls in a gold sleigh with Ernest Elf and Snowy owl. Yes, the owls are even dominate for Christmas as I got two of them for my birthday. I’m not finished all the way with the window. There are also shots of the mantel here.


You can’t see the one Richard Simmons doll.


I have some glass jars this year on the mantel.  I need to get some candy for a few of them. The bright red lights are holly berries.


And a view from outside


Tomorrow Brian will take me to get my hair done as I am still a little nervous about using my right side to drive. I decided to skip the school too but the director said they are doing all Christmas activities on Wednesday.  I may swing by there to wish them Merry Christmas. The Bible study will resume on January 9th.

Tablescaping for Christmas-a post for Zoey


Last night I was invited to the Ladies’ tea at the church where I work. I was expecting tea sandwiches but we got delicious gourmet finger foods. And get this,  there were about 35 tables which were all decorated differently-so lovely for the holidays! One had Christmas cacti and crackers. Another had cranberries in pretty glass containers while another had angel wings on the back of the chairs and the ladies wore halos (kind of glad I didn’t sit at that one-lol) I picked these as my favorites.

I’ve never had duck confit before. It tasted like sausage.

Everything was tasty and rich.


This is where I sat-with the pastor’s wife and right next to the stage. I felt honored!


Deane decorated the table. I like the touch of holly between the trees. We all loved the glass mugs and they were from Walmart!




On the stage, next to one of the trees that looked like this:


We saw a skit about a man who was at the inn when Jesus was born, complaining about his room.

Then the chorus sang three songs.

Finally a young woman was a speaker who also teaches Bible study. She was saying that Christmas should really be a sad holiday as we know what happens to Jesus. And she mentioned how commercialized it is. But of course it’s a celebration of who was born to save us. : )

So I had a lovely time.

When I came home. Bri can’t seem to use my camera phone-it’s the same one that took the lovely photos above.


By the way, I had to go and do ‘maintenance’ on my garden cache. It was wet and rusty from jingle bells someone had added. I had to replace the container, log book and everything inside. I also hide it in a different spot, under a patch of catnip! The bush it was under had lost all it’s leaves.

Then we went along a busy road and found 6 caches! One was hanging in a tree-a flashlight! You unscrewed it and a happy face popped out and the log was in the back of the top. Clever! Brian finds the nanos for me (tiny ones). We finally found the one down the road here (1/2 mile away) as we figured out it was in the guardrail. It was getting dark and Brian took the flashlight and retrieved the container!


The entry before me is dated June 3rd!

I had a full late afternoon and evening!

Hello there Christmas!


It sure is funny what you find on outings! I went with Brian when he deposited his check and we found a cute little store up in Kennett. They had healing kinds of things, and a mixture of art, jewelry and even a lending library of wellness books. I told Brian to go back up sometime and pick me out something. We then went looking for a new geocaches. The hardest part with these were finding places to park. The one we didn’t really try to find had cars zooming by-I just didn’t feel like having people watch me poke around, so we went to one I tried to find in June and I could see it under this big electrical box from the car!

I needed something at the Dollar General, but before we went in there, I hit the Habitat for Humanity resale store. The first thing I see is a sign that all Christmas items were 50% off! That included trees. So one really stood out-prelit with at least 400 lights and it had tinsel woven on the green branches. It was under $40 and I know this had to be over a $200 tree. We got the box and it looked new. I will have to load it up  with ornaments to cut back on the brightness. Right now I have both autumn stuff and the tree up. I’ve never had a tree up in November before! It took only a few minutes to get up too.


I have to mess with the branches a bit. I was trying out some holly up near the top there.

I’m really excited to decorate it. I have a lot of work to do to get it tidied up in the living room. I also received a big gift order and that box is in there too.

Finally some Christmas spirit! Not feeling great as my hip and back had dampened my enthusiasm. I did go to the physical therapist and she thinks my issue is the ‘gel’ between my back ligaments  that is all shifted to one side. I have to do a form of a push up several times a day, 10 times a session. That is killing my arms. I think it is helping a bit. My insurance won’t pay for the PT (it sure doesn’t pay for much, and has a rule about pre-existing conditions, which is crazy for people over 50).

I went back to the church on Wednesday and the kids were mostly good. I’ve worked here 2 months now! We had my middle brother and our mom here on his birthday that night and I made yummy vegetable lasagna for dinner.

The next day, Brian and I took Mr. Cosmo kitty to the vet for a check-up. He is a good weight for his age and is pretty healthy. But, she did take a peek at his teeth and said that a few looked like they needed to be extracted at $20-200 a tooth! He’s had a tartar issue all his life. I can’t see subjecting an old cat to anesthesia either. Signs he is having issues is eating really slow or chattering when he eats-he does neither, but I will watch him. I am still working on paying off my own dental bill. Geesh.

Sunday evening I was invited to a ladies’ tea at the church. Sounds nice!