Wednesday, December 23, 2015

An Appalachian Christmas...

Appalachia is not just a place ... it is a heritage. A heritage that defines a people and their way of life.  Living in Appalachia is to live among places of incredible beauty, vast open spaces surrounded by mountains and hills, valleys that ring with the history of those who first came to this country and settled here to make their homes and raise their families.  We recently visited the amazing and beautiful Museum of Appalachia during their special holiday season.  The pioneer settlement there was all decked out and decorated just as our great great grandparents would have done all those many years ago.  My holiday gift to you is to share some of these holiday photos of our wonderful day at this incredible place...

 the pioneer settlement 
at the museum consists of more than
30 cabins...
each of them were a picture postcard
of holidays
 in years gone by...

follow us along as we tour the cabins
and wonder at the simple but beautiful
holiday decorations...

loved the display of 
vintage toys..

loved this wreath
hung on the outside of one of the cabins...

this photo would
make a beautiful Christmas card...

simple, beautiful, elegant... 

 loved the nature
holiday decorations of this

you just know 
that my heart beat faster
when I saw this little bird nest 
in the holiday

 such a beautiful mantle display...

the settlement at the museum
includes a historic 
old church..

there is also an old 

how beautiful is this
tree decorated
with children's handmade

the schoolhouse diaplay
was one ofour

in addition to the pioneer settlement,
the Museum of Appalachia
also has 2 amazing
 exhibition display rooms.
this pretty kitty
 followed me around inside the
display areas--
he was my little tour guide!

My Christmas wish for you is to enjoy peace and love this holiday season... may you feel the joy in your home that you have shared with me throughout this past year.  This is a joyous season to take a step back from our busy lives and enjoy time with our loved ones. Best wishes to you and yours...

ps -- I'm taking a little break from my blog as I work frantically to complete the last little details on the newest nest design.  Those of you on the waiting list for the "Snowbird " nest will be hearing from me soon.  30 little winter nests are almost ready to fly out the door soon!  I'll be back to share photos when they are completed.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Josephine's Children making crafts...

Josephine has shared some photos of the children making and using the craft items that you all so graciously donated and sent to them. We have had a difficult time getting these photos because Josephine's computer has not been working correctly.  I am so happy to finally be able to share photos of the children as they work on their crafts...

  earrings made with fabric yo-yo's

 a little vest made with yarns..

 this has been such an incredible project
for these children..

 so many wonderful crafting items
for them to use and enjoy..

 a beautiful necklace and earrings

 I'm loving this fashionable clutch bag --
so creative!

 the children are elated to be able to enjoy all the 
wonderful items that were donated
by so many of you..

working with the yarns..

 how fun it this!!
so many lovely yarns and threads..

 craft papers..
if Josephine is able to share more photos,
I will post them..

 sharing a few more photos
of the children enjoying their new
back packs..

 As the holidays approach and this season of giving begins,.... 
I just want to thank you all again for your incredible generosity and caring towards these beautiful children.  Their lives have been enriched and touched by your love and thoughtful donations.
On their behalf I want to say how very much that your gifts have been appreciated.  You guys totally rocked this project to  unprecedented expectations ---
 thank you from the bottom of my heart.


Friday, November 27, 2015

Last colors of Autumn-- a hike in the woods

Winter is soon to be upon us -- although these last few days  have been unseasonably warm --- the cold is coming and Autumn will be just a memory. A few weeks ago we took off on a little last minute hiking trip to McCloud's Mountain in Duff, TN. On top of the mountain, 2700 ft in the clouds,... our walks in the woods were filled with color and brisk fresh air.  There are no words to describe the beauty that we found on top of that mountain. Come along with us on an incredible walk in the woods... 

 starting out early in the morning,
the air was brisk and clear..

there were no marked trails,
so we followed the paths
that led along the

we followed the ridge
for hours,
the views of the valley below
were incredible...

the drive up the mountain 
is quite an experience!!
A little nerve wracking to say
the least!
this beautiful fence is
located at one of the overlooks
as you drive up the

we spent two nights 
at the lodge on top of the mountain...
this is a sunset view
from the balcony...

  view of the valley below
as the late evening sun began
to set..

the day we arrived to the mountain
was rainy and overcast,
the clouds hung low...
this photo was taken from 
the restaurant near the lodge..

  I was a little disappointed 
that it was rainy the evening we arrived,
but when I say the low hanging clouds,
I could not stop taking photos!!

this photo was taken
from inside the lodge restaurant...
I snapped the picture just at that moment
when the sun peeked out
between the clouds and cast
an incredible glow over everything...

beginning our second day
of early morning

 we took off
 on some of the old logging roads
that criss crossed the top of
the mountain...

we tried to drive down one of the roads,
in search of a rumored trail that led to 
an old stone chimney..
but the road got pretty rough,
so we parked and took off
from there...

we never found the stone chimney,
but we had a wonderful
hike through the woods...
(we will find it next time!!)

the sunlight made the colors
so bright..
it almost did not look 

early morning sunrise
from our balcony at the lodge...
I posted this photo on my Instagram
page and it was featured by the
Official Tennessee Instagram page
on their site...
it had almost 5000 hits!
If you have an Instagram account,
I would love for you to follow me

sunrise glow across the valley...

 a wonderful place to sip
an early morning coffee...

an amazing sky walk is located at the
top of the mountain...
over 32 stone chimney outcroppings
are located here on this property--
a beautiful sky walk traverses the 
stone chimneys and allows for
incredible views of the valley and mountains 
in the distance..

and then we heard this rumor
about a natural stone arch
that was located someplace on the mountain...

no maps, no trails,
just some scattered info that we
learned from a few folks that we talked to....
we didn't hold out much hope..

but.... we found it!!
down some rickety rusty old steps
and into a crevice between the mountains...
a beautiful natural arch...
a perfect way to end our
last day on the 

 I wanted to share this photo
of this quaint little church
at the foot of the mountain...
one tiny little room..
there were 3 outhouse in the
backyard of the church!
Like a step back in time...

Notes from me...
Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving to you all.  I had to work on the holiday, those babies still have to have someone to take care of them, and this year it was my turn.  Our family and friends have given us tons of left overs and we will be eating turkey for days to come!  I am thankful for my family and friends,and for numerous blessings in my life.  My blogging friends are one of those wonderful blessings...thank you for being here for me and for allowing me to share with you as I do here on my blog.

For those of you who have followed along on the "Josephine's Children project".... Josephine has shared photos of the children using their craft items and making wonderful creations with the treasures that you donated for them.  I will be sharing those photos with  you in my next blog post.  

We are beginning to decorate for Christmas around here...