I arrived an hour early to get a good front row seat and started taking photos of the nice setup that Barnes & Noble provided.
Here's a photo of a wall of her books before she arrived:Once she breezed in and greeted us, she just let loose talking and thoroughly entertained us with her stories. So very interesting!Here she is autographing her new cookbook for me. I also brought her first cookbook from home, Southern Plate: Classic Comfort Food That Makes Everyone Feel Like Family so she could autograph that, too!And here's the page she signed complete with a scripture reference in Philippians 1:12 which says, "But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel." Thanks to my sister for taking this picture of Christy posing with me: What I liked about her down-home stories was her emphasis on family. Her love for her husband and children was evident in everything she said and every story she told.
In fact, it seemed she could hardly wait to get home from all her book appearances to cook supper for her family!
Here she is interacting with some folks in the audience: I was so excited to find out that Christy was going to be in SC exactly when I was visiting my sister. Too bad they didn't give away a free book to the person who had driven the farthest to get there! Ha!
We've had some fun times. Tomorrow I'll be winging my way back to Virginia and bringing Granny home with me. Talk at you later after we get settled in!
Okay...I know...this definitely isn't the best picture to exemplify spring, but I wanted that snowy scene from a few days ago to be replaced by something much more enjoyable!Yesterday I traveled south to my sister's house in SC, and the farther I traveled the more spring-like it became. The trees and flowers along the interstate were just beautiful! She and Granny have been enjoying lots of spring weather already!
The photo above is the redbud tree just outside my bedroom window here, and I loved seeing it first thing this morning.
Meanwhile back at home...Sarah was up bright and early today starting her baking for Farmers' Market which starts the season tomorrow! I'll miss hearing all about the girls' adventures on their first day.
Well, we plan to have some adventures here, too! Hopefully, post worthy! :)
New Year's Eve in our household usually consists of playing games as a family and praying the new year in, along with a sparkling apple cider toast. Nice and tame.
Some years the two oldsters in the family even decide to go to sleep before midnight and leave the youngsters to stay up and watch the clock. Very tame.
Well, this year was totally different! The weekend after Christmas we were on the road headed to....Canada! Can you imagine driving to Canada in the winter?!
Our friends invited us to drive up to their home for New Year's Eve. And we took them up on the offer!
This photo below was taken from our vehicle as we were approaching their farm. Actually, most of the photos were taken either inside the house or inside a van riding along since it was minus zero temps many of the days and much too cold for camera equipment to be outside: We certainly enjoyed being around the family including...playing with a sweet baby girl, attending their Sunday home church service, traveling and visiting Ottawa one afternoon, entertaining everyone with Christmas songs on keyboard and some flute playing, helping milk the cows in the barn (Jonathan), playing games on New Year's Eve, ice-skating when it was minus 12 degrees (not the oldsters though!), and experiencing hot chocolate at the famous Tim Horton's afterwards!
Here's a post full of photos showing some of our activities. First, the star of the show, little Miss Victoria, in a cowgirl hat: Jonathan, Sarah, and Tom having a fun time conversing: A kitchen scene where some good cooking and lots of activity took place: Musical interlude...Jonathan, Sarah, and Hannah playing hymns on flutes: And some Christmas songs...all the wee girls took a turn: And little Victoria was quite busy making her way to the keyboard as each girl played: Blessing takes a turn and blesses us with her playing: Jonathan talks with his good friend, Caleb, and has a good laugh: The younger cousins having a grand time together on New Year's Eve: The older girls in the kitchen: Bethany, Hannah, and Sarah:One afternoon we drove to Ottawa to see the capital of the country. The picture below shows the Rideau Canal with lots of skaters (photo credit All Tourist Attractions). When we were there, the Canal was being readied for the skaters; we saw workers preparing the ice but not skaters as shown below. Isn't that winter scene beautiful? I found someone who loves Scrabble as much as I do! A very late New Year's Eve game with Grandma: The kitchen is always a great place for folks to gather for conversation. Here's Caleb, Jordan and Mr. Y. listening intently, and Honour is helping in the kitchen: A very cold New Year's Day arrived, and it was time to head back to Virginia. But first, pictures of everyone! Here's our family in front of the tree: And a photo with both families together. I wanted to bring those smiling girlies on the back of the sofa home with me:This last photo is taken through the front car window after we're all loaded and ready to drive away. We're looking towards the farmhouse one last time. Everyone has said their good-byes and gone back inside because it's extremely cold at minus 10 degrees mid-day! Bye-bye beautiful farmhouse in the snow! We sure enjoyed Canada and the wonderful hospitality you showed to us! Thank you! We'll look forward next time to having you visit us in Virginia!
Spring Break week continued as we eagerly waited for the rest of the family to arrive in South Carolina on Good Friday. We were all scheduled to attend the late afternoon performance of The Living Gallery at Bob Jones University. Driving on campus is always a treat when the trees and flowers are in bloom. It was just lovely:
This was our first time to see this magnificent production where actors step out of paintings and then back into them (and vice-versa) to actually become part of the painting. If you didn't see it happen, you'd never know the characters were real. We loved it!
And my motto of always taking a camera with me everywhere I go? Fail! I left it behind because no photography was allowed inside the auditorium.
And what happens?! I met my blogging friend Becka, who writes Becka's Blog, for the first time InRealLife! She and her husband, Rob, were attending the same showing, and she had spotted us in the crowd and came over. Ooh, I was so disappointed when our cell phone camera didn't work! Becka and I will have to plan a real get-together another time with lots of blogging pictures!
Saturday and Sunday we traveled further south to Aiken to visit new friends that some of the family met at last fall's White Unto Harvest conference in Asheville, NC. Here we are getting acquainted with the Hammond family:First order of business was a tour of their dairy--so very interesting for all of us who know nothing about goats! We saw the milking station and the processing area where the milk is handled and where cheese and goat's milk soap are produced for several Farmers' Markets they attend each week:Thirteen goats were ready to be milked...most by machine, but some new mama goats needed milking by hand since little goat babies were newly born that morning! We arrived very close to milking time, so guess what? They allowed us to participate. Hi, Goats!And, yes, all of us practiced milking! Even I was talked into it! But Sarah was a natural and caught on quickly:
The fresh milk from the mama goats was put into bottles for the babies...here are Hannah and Sarah holding some very cute little baby goats just before they fed them:
The Hammonds' daughter and son-in-law from Canada were visiting with their little daughter while we were there. It was great meeting them, too. Caleb talked with Jonathan while one of the kids had some fun nibbling on Jonathan's pants:
Here are all the Hammond ladies, including little Miss Victoria:Jonathan takes a turn at feeding one of the newborns. This one was named Frisky:
Now Hannah takes a turn feeding Peaches...there were enough newborn babies so everyone got some practice:
Sarah always seems to find the doggies...or they find her:After a delicious meal around the table, we brought out instruments and played some Celtic tunes and sang a few hymns:
Here's the Hammond family having fun as they prepare to sing for us:
We also had an enjoyable time looking at wedding photos and watching the wedding video of Caleb and Jordan. Ethan, one of the Hammonds' sons looks along with Tom and Sarah:
The next morning, Resurrection Sunday, we attended the Hammonds' home church fellowship which consisted of six or seven families. They met in a beautiful log house nearby.
Here Tom and I are posing with the Hammonds after the service...Mr. Hammond is the pastor of the church:We enjoyed the Easter brunch the ladies of the church prepared and also enjoyed fellowshipping with the families there:This home church day brought back many good memories of when church families met in our home for several years: Flowers were blooming everywhere, and the day was just beautiful for outside conversations also. The Hammonds' youngest son, Noah, plays on the deck with the other children:Thank you, Hammond Family, for your gracious hospitality and friendship! We certainly enjoyed the visit!
Last Thursday began my wild, wonderful weekend quilting adventure, and I arrived home Sunday evening--tired but excited about the friendships renewed and the fun I had--and the sewing that was accomplished!
Since I was driving through Williamsburg on my journey to Hampton, I wanted to stop and visit some friends we knew when we lived in the colonial city for ten years back in the 90's. I planned a full itinerary!My long-ago homeschooling friend, Christine, and I met for lunch here at The Old Chickahominy House on Jamestown Road. Have you ever experienced eating here? It's quite popular.Here's the porch sign below that greeted visitors and announced their pies of the day:We both enjoyed Miss Melinda's Special - Cup of Brunswick Stew, Old Virginia Ham on Hot Biscuits, Fruit Salad, Homemade Cherry Crumb Pie, and Tea. It was so nice to see my friend again. Thanks, Christine!
Next on my itinerary: I invited myself to our former neighbors' home who used to live in our cul-de-sac and who now live in an independent-living facility. We have fond memories of our neighbors hiring the kids many times to help in their yard and reminisced about our time in Williamsburg.
She knew I was headed to the quilt festival, so she showed me her sampler quilt, below. It was beautiful!
Unfortunately, I didn't quilt when we lived in the same neighborhood for her to give me tips...I was too busy homeschooling those years!Next stop: Duke of Gloucester Street! One of our favorite past times when we lived in Williamsburg was walking down DOG Street, finding the Colonial Bakery, and buying a gingerbread cookie and hot apple cider.
Another long-ago homeschooling friend, Beverly, and I strolled the street for old times sake! She treated and bought us both cookies and ciders as we walked and chatted. Here's Beverly with one of the colonial interpreters:
My sister-in-law in Connecticut used to work for Colonial Williamsburg as an interpreter, so these next pictures are for her--maybe she'll recognize some of the workers pictured:
My last stop in Williamsburg was to the home of our Japanese neighbor who lives directly behind our former home. Chiaki was in our neighborhood Bible study along with this couple who also was invited to dinner at her home:
Chiaki prepared some traditional Japanese appetizers for us...three dishes this southern girl had never experienced before. The cute little pouches to the left are Inari Sushi, and the food to the right is Sushi with Smoked Salmon, with capers on top.And the mango shrimp fruit dish was delicious, consisting of mango, shrimp, parsley with lemon juice, curry powder, olive oil, salt/pepper, and ginger. It was quite spicy, and the fruit was delicious:The rest of our menu included piping hot beef stew with a flavor unlike any I'd experienced...very delicious. Bread and a green salad accompanied our meal. Dessert was Banana Nut Cake topped with Vanilla Honey Yogurt with strawberries and blueberries. Chiaki worked hard in the kitchen for us!
Whew! What a day full of renewing friendships! I enjoyed myself a lot! I still had a half-hour drive in the dark ahead of me before I arrived at my quilting friend's house for the night.
The next day's plans were to attend the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival. Stay tuned for more from our wild wonderful quilting weekend. We've only just begun our adventures!
William Featherston, 1864. Music: Adoniram Gordon, 1876
My Jesus, I love Thee, I know Thou art mine;
For Thee all the follies of sin I resign.
My gracious Redeemer, my Savior art Thou;
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.
I love Thee because Thou has first loved me,
And purchased my pardon on Calvary’s tree.
I love Thee for wearing the thorns on Thy brow;
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.
I’ll love Thee in life, I will love Thee in death,
And praise Thee as long as Thou lendest me breath;
And say when the death dew lies cold on my brow,
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.
In mansions of glory and endless delight,
I’ll ever adore Thee in heaven so bright;
I’ll sing with the glittering crown on my brow;
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.
Whenever we sing this song, as we recently did in one of our Friday night devotional hymn times, I get a bit teary-eyed with memories of where I was singing this very song many years ago.
Back in 1977 when I was but a wee girl of 25, I traveled with a friend to Israel and visited the Holy Land. That is a story in itself, and I loved the trip!
After our ten-day tour of Jerusalem and surrounding cities, we were encouraged to go on the extended two-day tour of Rome and see, among many other places, Mamertine Prison where Paul was secluded.
In lieu of my own faded pictures, if you click on this link, you will see 9 photos showing Mamertine Prison from the outside (pictures 1 - 4), steps going down inside the underground prison (picture 5); and then you'll see a group of folks standing there in the small room where Paul was imprisoned (pictures 7 - 9).
I traveled down those same narrow steep steps.
I stood in that dark, damp, dungeon.
I sang with the group, "If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now."
We traveled up to Connecticut to visit Dad's side of the family for Thanksgiving. It was good to stop in and see Grampa's new apartment and listen to him reminiscing with stories of Italy, WW2, and family history.
Everyone gathered midday as we enjoyed snacking, chatting, and preparing for the bountiful meal.