From My Carolina Home

Quilting, cooking, reading books, gardening, crafting, sewing, photography and more


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August This and That, Etsy Sale and Studio Sale

Thrift shopping and warehouse sales have been very fruitful lately.  The four bolts of fabrics were my haul during a recent trip to Foust.  While we were out that day, I picked up my Shop Hop win! Yes, amazingly, for the first time ever, my entry was drawn for one of the Shop Hop basket prizes!  Wahoo!! Just look at all the goodies inside!! Some of them will become door prizes for other events, but I’ll sure have fun with the fabric.

This and That at From My Carolina Home

The fabric box it came in will be really useful.

This and That at From My Carolina Home

Of course, getting new stuff means I need to clear out some old, so you can have a chance to get some nice fabric, or new stamps at a great deal.  My Etsy store is restocked and ready, and here is a coupon code link – Click HERE to take you to my Etsy store, and register your 15% discount on any sale $20 or more without having to enter the code.  I have made a number of new pincushions, and listed more of my stash and stamps to temp you plus I have added fabrics, charm packs and stash stuff I am willing to let go. The coupon code AUGUST2017SALE will be good to the end of the month, just put that in the coupon area if you use your own link to get there.

This and That at From My Carolina Home

New-to-me Gorham crystal wine glasses came from the thrift store last month (we used them at the summer luncheon), and some really fun pottery bowls were nabbed from a friend’s garage sale.  I have been experimenting with Japanese cooking lately, and these rice bowls were perfect for those meals.  Yes, I’ll be sharing some recipes soon, but I don’t have the spice balance right yet, and the meat filling on the Shumai is coming out too much like a meatball.

This and That at From My Carolina Home

I was thrifting with a friend last week, and we found a big garage sale at a downtown church, and a new-to-me junk shop in old downtown. What a score!! An added bonus is I got to see a number of friends at the church that I haven’t seen since I left the quilt club. I am thinking of attending a quilt retreat day in the fall, just so I can sew with friends for a day.

This and That at From My Carolina Home

This gorgeous magnolia picture has the perfect color background for my master bath, but I don’t like the band of beige and gold on the frame. This will be a DIY rework soon.  I picked this up at the Safelight thrift store the week I delivered the spa bags.  If you are local, try the Tomato Pie at the Safelight run Dandelion Cafe on 5th St in Hendersonville.  It was scrumptious.

This and That at From My Carolina Home

I couldn’t resist these white fine bone china leaves at a recent auction house sale.  They are so delicate that you can see your hand through them when you hold them up to the light, indicating a very high quality china.  They will be wonderful when I do all white tablescapes in January.  All seven dishes, six plates and the larger bowl were too inexpensive to pass up.

This and That at From My Carolina Home

Grilling outdoors has been fun this summer, and I haven’t had a chance to show you that I found a good use for the onion bowls from a previous thrift find. They were perfect for baked beans!

This and That at From My Carolina Home

After my luncheon earlier in the summer, a dear friend gave me the knife rests I have been wanting. Thanks, Bonnie!!

This and That at From My Carolina Home

Many of you have asked where I store all these dishes, and the answer is in every nook and cranny I can find. One thing I do is change out the ones in the kitchen seasonally. The spring and summer colors occupy these spots in the lower dish drawer, and will change to the autumn colors in September. Off season dishes are stored in the basement on a bookshelf stuffed with tablescaping bits. Holiday dishes have their own cabinet in the den, that also doubles as a TV stand.  My china and glassware, along with some depression glass and serving dishes are in the china hutch around the corner from the kitchen.

This and That at From My Carolina Home

This biscotti jar was also a recent find at the Blue Ridge Humane Society thrift store, and will be nice on the apple inspired tables I like in September.  I just realized that I have never shared my recipe for my biscotti that I give as gifts some years.  I need to make some and share that this fall.

This and That at From My Carolina Home

I’ve been harvesting in the garden too, and I’ll show you that soon. Fresh parsley has been making its way into lots of dishes.

This and That at From My Carolina Home

I am currently in the process of designing for Autumn Jubilee, gathering sponsors for giveaways, and pulling things out of the stash for a studio sale.  I have invited friends over for a shopping day next week for a first peek and preview sale, then I’ll be carting some of what is left to a friend’s home in September to participate in a neighborhood garage sale.  I’ll keep her company and sell a few things of my own.  I spent hours this week, pulling and culling, and I have a good start here. Household items, bird feeder, sewing notions, bits of this and that, crafting and tablescaping. Still to be added, stamp sets and paper goods.  Sorry the picture is so dark, it was pouring rain when I took this shot.  Oh, and the table is stuffed a lot fuller now.

Studio Sale at From My Carolina Home

Fabrics on bolts will be cut to length wanted.  I only really need about 2 yards from each of the bolts I had to buy at Foust, so the rest will be offered for sale.  Then there are other fabrics I have wound onto bolts since I had multiple yards of it, and haven’t used nearly all of it.  Prices will run from $1-5 per yard, depending on what I paid. Pretty much I am selling at below what I paid, but I just have more than I will ever use.

Studio Sale at From My Carolina Home

Large 2-gallon size grab bags of scraps are on the longarm table on the backside, after hours of measuring and pulling out fat quarters, half yard pieces and yardage.  The grab bags are sorted loosely into spring, fall and holiday collections, all $3 each.

Studio Sale at From My Carolina Home

I set up a cardboard folded mat to display more fabrics, all labeled with the length. There are quilting cottons, gabardines, corduroy, some silky fabrics, some home dec and a doggy tapestry.  This was at the end of day one of pulling and pricing, I’ve had two more days since then to add to the sale.

Studio Sale at From My Carolina Home

I figure I’ll sell what I can, then whatever is left will be used in projects coming up. I still have two more shelves of fabrics to go through in the big closet. I am finding fat quarters tucked everywhere! Gathering them into baskets, they’ll be $1 each.

Studio Sale at From My Carolina Home

Now up to three baskets full, with some one yard cuts in a bin for easy shopping.

Studio Sale at From My Carolina Home

Then I’ll have books on sale too, Christmas books fill two shelves, and they will all be for sale.

Studio Sale at From My Carolina Home

Plus, I am going to go through my shelves of quilting and sewing books to cull out the majority of them. Now that I am designing my own, the books are never used anymore. So, most of these will be in the sale too. I guarantee, my selection will be better than the library sale!  I’ll be pulling out patterns, magazines and duplicate notions too.

Studio Sale at From My Carolina Home

Batting for sale in small craft and table runner sizes, along with some large enough for lullaby quilts.

Studio Sale at From My Carolina Home

And here is the box on offer of rayon embroidery thread. I’ll have other specialty threads too.  What doesn’t sell will go on Etsy, or another internet selling site.

Studio Sale at From My Carolina Home

So, that is what is going on around here.  What is going on in your studio today?


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The Safelight Project Update

The response to the Safelight project idea has just been incredible, so get ready for a long and picture heavy post. Thank you so much to everyone that has participated, with cards and donations for the gift bags.  I have begun assembling the bags, and want to show you were we are at this point.  I do need to apologize, I must have hit a wrong button and my first paragraphs of this post’s draft posted to the site last Thursday. I immediately took it down, and I apologize for the mis-post. A few days after the first post, I purchased the tote bags, removing the labels and opening them up all over the office floor.

The Safelight Project at From My Carolina Home

Taking what funds I had at the end of that week, I went to the stores and found lots of things to begin filling the bags. I got pretty hairbrushes with flower handles, hand lotion, facial peel off masks, perfumes, shower gels, scrubbies, and gel eye coolers.

The Safelight Project at From My Carolina Home

I found hair treatments, and neutral color eye shadows too.

The Safelight Project at From My Carolina Home

I also did several hypoallergenic bags for those with perfume and fragrance sensitivities. At the thrift store (unbelievably!) there were some full size, brand new, Avon products for just $1 each – I bought them all!

The Safelight Project at From My Carolina Home

Then, like handing out trick-or-treat goodies, I began filling the bags with goodies.

The Safelight Project at From My Carolina Home

I want to publicly thank the donors, each and every 1/2 bag, whole bag and multiple bags sponsored made a difference. I won’t tell you who the two gold star donors are, but they donated $50 each to get this project well underway. With the mail from Friday, promises of checks yet to be received, and a couple of donations from the mis-post, the financial goal has been exceeded for the project!!  If any additional funds come in next week, I’ll put them to making up additional bags for future residents.

Amy O. —  Mary Jo L.  — Nancy B.  — Norece E.  —  Susan D. — Mary Z.

Sharon S.  —  Kathryn W.  —  Jodi M.  —  Mary C.  — Deborah M  —  Denise F.

Mary Jean C. — Susan G.  —  Jennifer G.  —  Christine S.  —  Erika N.   —  Susan C.

Linda S.  —  Carol L.   —-  Teresa M. —   Sherry T.  —  Jeanne C.  —  Donna S.

Nancy J.  —  Beth L.  —  Sarah K.  —  Elizabeth S.  —  Ruth C.   —  Melanie T.

Karen T. —  Judy D.  —  Lesley G.  —  Janice H.  —  Lisa (unknown)

Mildred P.  —  Jennie R.

I have responded personally to every donation I have received. If you see your name above, but you didn’t get an email from me, check your spam folder. If you made a donation, and you have not received an acknowledgement from me, and you don’t see your name above, I didn’t get it.  Sometimes the long email address doesn’t get transcribed exactly right, and you know how computers can be.  Let me know in an email or a comment if this is the case, and we’ll try to resolve it.

The Safelight Project at From My Carolina Home

I have to tell you all a quick story that just shows how wonderful people can be. While I was checking out at the Dollar store with over 100 items, a lady came up to stand behind me in line.  I apologized to her for holding her up as the checker had already begun before she got in line.  The checker was curious as to why I was buying multiples of so many things.  I told the checker about the project as she was ringing up the sale. When she told me the total, I felt a tap on my shoulder. The total stranger behind me was holding out a $20 bill, and said “I want to help you with that.” I was absolutely blown away. All she would tell me was that her first name was Lisa. So, Lisa, even though you may never see this, I am so grateful for your kindness.

The Safelight Project at From My Carolina Home

My friend Sam brought over boxes of items to add to the bags, toothbrushes and combs, nail files and razors, deodorant and soaps.  Each bag got two or three of each of these items, and there are still some left over that I’ll take with me to the shelter.  They can use some of these items for the kids, and the rest can be stored for future needs.

The Safelight Project at From My Carolina Home

The creativity in the cards coming in is just awesome. The first package from Lenora arrived just days after the Safelight Project post, and contained 16 unique cards with such creativity!

Lenora's cards 1

Inside, Lenora put several different sentiments, all very inspiring! I really like how she signed her cards – ” A Friend You Haven’t Met!”

Lenora's cards 2

Lenora's cards 5

Then, she used a great stamp for the outside of the envelopes and decorated those with stickers too.

Lenora's cards 3

Gorgeous cards, here are a few more of her designs.

Lenora's cards 4

I was inspired by her cards, and went to the stamping workbench to create a few more for the project. Remember my sunshine box from my friend Val? These daisies came from that box, and I hope they will bring that sunshine to the women. I stamped a bluebird of happiness on textured cardstock, and a Happiness Always greeting. The trim on the bottom is washi tape.

My Safelight Cards at From My Carolina Home 2

I found the perfect sentiment stamp in the box of goodies given to me by reader Katie. Thanks again, Katie!  I signed the cards “Someone Who Cares.”

My Safelight Cards at From My Carolina Home 1

On the back, this stamp was cute, and left my name off.

My Safelight Cards at From My Carolina Home 3

I decorated the envelopes too.

My Safelight Cards at From My Carolina Home 6

Then I stamped this design for another purpose, and made a second one for the Safelight bags.  Inside it has my sentiment from the first post on the project.

My Safelight Cards at From My Carolina Home 9

Karen T. sent in products for the bags, some Mary Kay lip and eye crayons along with some makeup items. Thanks so much, Karen, these will add a lovely touch to some of the bags. I put them in the bags with the hypoallergenic items as those had fewer items per bag. I was able to find sensitive skin unscented shower gel and lotions, but no makeup items, and of course, no perfume. It really helped to balance out the bags so the scent free ones were just as fun as the rest.

Karen's Mary Kay donation

Danice made these lovely cards, using the sentiment from my post inside. Thank you, Danice, for blogging about the project as well! She sent an email that she is sending six more cards that should arrive next week too!

Danice's cards

Then, a dozen cards arrived from Carol L, beautifully done.

Carol's Cards 1

Each and every one has a unique, handwritten message inside. Truly stunning, and once again I was just blown away.

Carol's Cards 3

Carol's Cards 4

Carol's Cards 5

Jennie’s cards arrived on Friday, how lovely!

Jennie's Cards

I love what she did inside too.

Jennie's Cards 2

The cards are truly the most important piece of this project and without your help, I’d be gluing my own fingers together by now. The inspirational messages will help these women so much, to feel better, to believe in themselves, and to have hope for the future. If you are counting, you’ll notice that we made the goal of 35 cards, but will be using a few more for the extra bags that can be done from the extra donations received.  Any additional cards received will be given to the shelter for future needs.  Here is one of the bag assortments after week one of shopping.  The roll of tissue contains a nail polish, wrapped to keep it from breaking in the bag.

The Safelight Project at From My Carolina Home

At the second trip to the stores, I found a pedicure set and got more nail polish so every bag has these items.

The Safelight Project at From My Carolina Home

Several of you have asked about sewing projects, and I do have a couple of things in mind. More cards will be appreciated for holidays coming in a few months. I will look around when I deliver the bags and see what may be needed or appreciated, and we can do another project later in the year.

The Safelight Project at From My Carolina Home

The drawings for the prizes will be in early August, with the winners notified by email. One question I got privately, but want to answer publicly is regarding the gift card prize. The MasterCard Gift Card prize is not being funded by donations, it is coming out of a points program I have on my personal credit card. So, all your donations, every penny, will go to the gift bags. I’ll draw a couple of days past the postmark date of August 1 so everyone has a chance. You get one entry for each card sent, and one entry for every $5 donation.

Stampin’ Up has provided this wonderful prize for someone making cards for the project.  Visit Stampin’ UP to find a demonstrator near you.  This company has the BEST stamping supplies!

So, that is where the project stands at this time.  It is almost complete!  I am still going to wait until August 1 to draw the prizes as I know of at least a couple of things still coming.  I’ll bring you another update when the delivery is made in early August.  Thank you all for your wonderful support of this project!

What do you think of our progress?


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Wildlife on the Mountain

Wildlife abounds in the country, and in the mountains we have been seeing more visitors lately. It is a true quote I heard somewhere that if you put food out, someone will come along to eat it. I had some scraps left over from cutting vegetables, and thought the squirrels would like to have the asparagus ends and squash seeds. So I put those out, and sure enough, it wasn’t too long before a guest came for a meal. This was after I had set out the apple cores and peels for the crows.

Squirrel buffet at From My Carolina Home

It took him quite a while to get up the courage to look over the edge of the pan and then hop in to take a bite, but he made short work of the squash when he finally did jump in.

Squirrel buffet at From My Carolina Home

This little young woodchuck (or groundhog as some call them) was digging in the meadow one morning last week.   I’m not sure what he found, but he seemed happy enough to frolic in the meadow for a bit.  It was so hard to get a clear picture as the lens was zoomed at far as it could go.  I must have taken a dozen pictures, and this was the only one that came close to being clear.

Woodchuck visit at From My Carolina Home

This raccoon came to visit a couple of times right at dusk.  He took advantage of the asparagus stalks left by the squirrels that I had neglected to pick up.  After I saw him the second time, I made sure to take the pan away.  The last thing I need is a raccoon tearing up the shingles, which I know they sometimes will do.  He can stay in the forest and we’ll get along fine.

Raccoon visit at From My Carolina Home

This little guy came by for a bite of seed. He looks a bit moth-eaten, but in fact those dark spots are his juvenile brown feathers that he hasn’t shed yet.

Juvenille Cardinal at From My Carolina Home

He is still learning how to grab onto the feeder. He fell off and flew away a couple of times before getting the balance to stay on while he ate.

Juvenille Cardinal at From My Carolina Home

It is always a surprise to look out the window and see a fox.  Usually by the time I grab the camera and get it turned on, then get it focused, the fox is gone.  But this evening, the sun was low in the sky, and only a patch of sunlight was available at the edge of the meadow, where the fox was sitting and scratching himself.

June 2017 Fox visit at From My Carolina Home

He must have a lot of fleas, as he was scratching and scratching.

June 2017 Fox visit at From My Carolina Home

I was amused at how long he stayed in that one spot.

June 2017 Fox visit at From My Carolina Home

He started sniffing around for a minute, and I wondered what he was up to.

June 2017 Fox visit at From My Carolina Home

Then, he wallowed on the stones in the drainage area that collects rainwater off the mountain and directs it to the drive and across to the stream at the bottom of the cove. Those stones are larger and probably made a good scratching pad.

June 2017 Fox visit at From My Carolina Home

He sat down for just a moment, then headed off down the road. Fun to see him stay for a bit, as he usually is just a flash as he lopes across the meadow.  He is so skinny!  But at least we don’t have any mice in the house.

June 2017 Fox visit at From My Carolina Home

On Thursday, a single solitary wild turkey was grazing in the meadow. It looks like a young one, cannot tell if it is a male or a female as it hasn’t developed any of the normal characteristics of a mature turkey yet.

Turkey June 2017 at From My Carolina Home

But, just for fun, I called to it. It looked at me, but didn’t come toward me. It also didn’t run away. It just went back to looking for acorns and worms, and ambled off at a leisurely pace.

Turkey June 2017 at From My Carolina Home

On the feeder, I managed to catch the wood thrush, the spotted breasted bird on the left.  He has been regaling us with birdsong for quite some years, and this is the first time I have managed to photograph one.  The female cardinal on the right has come by every evening now for a week or so.  I have seen the male courting her again, feeding her seeds from the feeder, a sweet sight.

Thrush and Cardinal at From My Carolina Home

It is quite unusual to see a thrush at a feeder, I am told that they like to stay in the woods and feed on the ground in the forest floor underbrush.  This is the first time I’ve ever seen one at all, much less at our feeder.

Thrush at From My Carolina Home

The story of identifying his song was interesting.  I had heard this bird for some years and never knew who was singing this particular song.  I looked on websites, and listened to snippets of bird songs for all the birds I knew were living here, but could not find this melodic birdsong.  I was able to record a video on my camera of just some trees with the bird song, and the video file came out at whopping 576MB!  DH showed me how to extract just the audio using a program on our computer, and export it to the desktop as an MP3 file, at a much more manageable 487kb.  I then sent the file to the wonderful people at the Ornithology Lab at Cornell University.  I got an email back the same day from a very nice guy named Matt, who identified the song for me as a Wood Thrush.   I’d love for you to hear it, but none of my normal outlets will upload an MP3 file – not Flickr, not Youtube, not the blog.  Oh well.  If I figure something out I’ll let you know.

What is the wildlife doing at your place?

 

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Celebrate Your Story


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Car Club Weekend Fun and Gardens

It was one of those weekends where everything went just right.  We had two car club events scheduled for Friday night and Saturday morning, but the remnants of a tropical storm threatened to scuttle our plans.  On Friday nights all summer long, our small town does free band concerts called Music on Main.  People bring their interesting cars to park on the road, paying a $5 fee to be in the show which goes to charity.  We always have a fun time, and go as often as we can. We had a discussion as to whether or not our new car would be welcome, but the Classic Car Club members in charge of the show said yes, they’d love to have us park on the street with the newer models.  Our white two-seat convertible Fiat Spider is still a bit rare in this part of the country.  The car next to us is a replica kit car.

Fun with the Car Club at From My Carolina Home

We parked and walked just a block off Main street to a new restaurant called Olive or Twist on the corner of Barnwell and Church. If you are local, or you come up to visit, have a meal here. The food is really good, and they specialize in small appetizer plates, and specialty martinis. I like having a meal like that, shared with friends, ordering a bunch of appetizers and grazing off all the choices. The four of us at the table had shrimp cocktail, spinach artichoke dip with chips, smoked trout, baja fish tacos, fried oysters and a tuna-tini.  This was the second time I have eaten here and the food was consistently good.  In the evening, they have a light jazz group playing live music and we enjoyed that before the main concert on the center stage began downtown.

Fun with the Car Club at From My Carolina Home

The band was Special Edition, playing lots of oldies from mostly the 1970s and 80s.  This is a permanent stage set up to do concerts and events in the summer and fall.  It is downtown next to the Visitors Center.  I’ve done posts on this summer music series with car shows before, and you can see more on Summer Fun and Friday Night in a Small Town.

Fun with the Car Club at From My Carolina Home

Further down, the rest of our British contingent were mostly parked together.

Fun with the Car Club at From My Carolina Home

Lots of other old cars were there too, I won’t show you all the pictures I took, LOL, but they will be on our BCCWNC.org website in a couple of days. I need to collect the rest of the pictures the guys took.

Fun with the Car Club at From My Carolina Home

Fun with the Car Club at From My Carolina Home

The rain stayed west until after the concert was over and we were home.  Whew, dodged the first downpour, now for Saturday’s event.  We were a bit afraid that the rain would extend into the morning as it rained most of the night, but we got up to mostly clear skies.  Meeting up with a bunch more club members in a parking lot in Fletcher, we were in for a wonderful drive. We set out on Mills Gap Road heading up to Hooper’s Creek.

Fun with the Car Club at From My Carolina Home

Through lovely green areas with trees and lots of fresh grass, fragrant from the overnight rain.  The clouds were building, but we hoped for the best.

Fun with the Car Club at From My Carolina Home

Out in West Henderson county, we stopped for a brief photo-op of these huge cow statues. If you are local and want to see them, they are on Old Clear Creek Road.  We were told that the Paul Bunyon statue is nearby, but we didn’t look for it.

Fun with the Car Club at From My Carolina Home

We wound around the apple orchards, with the trees heavy with ripening fruit. We still have about 8 weeks to go to get fresh apples. With the abundant rain and sunshine, it should be a good harvest.

Fun with the Car Club at From My Carolina Home

More of our beautiful roads, our route took almost an hour.

Fun with the Car Club at From My Carolina Home

Our destination was Troyer’s Amish Farm.  I posted about this wonderful place last year, showing a lot more of the farm and the country store.  Click Here to see more. Members parked on the green, and had our lunch in their new pavilion behind the cars.

Fun with the Car Club at From My Carolina Home

They have added to the gardens as well.

Fun with the Car Club at From My Carolina Home

Fun with the Car Club at From My Carolina Home

After lunch, we caravan drove over to a members home, like we do every year, to see Mary Alice’s gardens and have dessert. Her home was on the Garden Tour from Asheville this year, and they estimate that they had about 1000 people visit their garden over the course of the event. You can see why, her gardens are just wonderful, full of flowers and veggies!  That is her greenhouse next to their home at the top of the hill.

Fun with the Car Club at From My Carolina Home

I’ve shown her gardens before too, click on Mary Alice’s Garden to see more of her gorgeous flowers, along with the treehouse and some of the other features of their home.

Fun with the Car Club at From My Carolina Home

She has a new ‘she-shed’ for potting and doing the artistic things she does. It is all reclaimed wood, and recycled windows.  Built by husband, Terry, it is a true marvel, right next to the vegetable patch.

Fun with the Car Club at From My Carolina Home

Inside is rustic, and the creek can be heard babbling just outside the shed. I love the old glass.

Fun with the Car Club at From My Carolina Home

Inside her home on her table, she has a chrysalis house. She has found a number of monarch chrysalis on her plants, and brought them inside to protect them until the butterflies emerge. As usual, she had the perfect thing to keep them, a little metal house with glass panels to use as an incubator.

Fun with the Car Club at From My Carolina Home

Thankfully, the rain held off until the club members had toured the gardens and eaten most of the three cakes offered for dessert. We sprinted for the car as the rain came on, thankful that we made it through both events before it let loose.

Fun with the Car Club at From My Carolina Home

What did you do this weekend?

 

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Gardens Galore

 


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Dinner on the Veranda

The weather is really nice now, cool in the evenings, sometimes after an afternoon shower. I like eating outside especially when we are grilling dinner. Of course, planning for the meat and veggies to be grilled means very little cleanup in the kitchen, and more time to sit and enjoy the view. I wanted to get out the lemon plates, as I haven’t used them since last summer. That meant yellow napkins too. The little napkin rings that are yellow flower pots were perfect for this tablescape.

Dinner on the Veranda at From My Carolina Home

I set the plate stack on my thrift store score of rattan chargers.

Dinner on the Veranda at From My Carolina Home

I set the table early in the day, and wanted to keep the bugs off the plates and cutlery. Recently I found these vintage screen covers at the thrift stores – one each at two different stores – and snapped them up. I need four more now!! I placed the cutlery on the plate and covered them with the vintage screen covers.

Dinner on the Veranda at From My Carolina Home

Here is the other one, with different flowers.

Dinner on the Veranda at From My Carolina Home

For the centerpiece, I placed a little planter that was given to me by a friend inside the ceramic yellow basket. I filled it with water about half full.

Dinner on the Veranda at From My Carolina Home

And here is how I left it until later when it was time to cook outside.

Dinner on the Veranda at From My Carolina Home

When evening came, I cut some fresh hydrangeas and added them to the centerpiece. Lavendar and yellow go so well together.

Dinner on the Veranda at From My Carolina Home

So the table is ready, now for the food.

Dinner on the Veranda at From My Carolina Home

Dinner was nice rib-eye steaks with zucchini boats filled with some butter and Parmesan cheese. I put a screen over the food while the grill heated up.  We decided that we didn’t need a salad with this meal since there was more than plenty here.

Dinner on the Veranda at From My Carolina Home

Grilled to perfection by DH resident grill-master,  and served with horseradish sauce, we had a lovely meal.

Dinner on the Veranda at From My Carolina Home

Looking out over the valley, there is a lovely green view we enjoyed as we had our dinner.  The distant ridge is a bit hazy on this evening.  It is difficult for the camera to see both the close up green and the distant ridge at the same time.

Dinner on the Veranda at From My Carolina Home

Later, at dusk, I attempted to get some of the hundreds of fireflies that were flashing in the trees and in the meadow.  Taking a couple of dozen photos, this was the only one that had a yellow light.  There are so many fireflies, it looks like twinkle lights on the meadow and in the dark areas of the forest.

Dinner on the Veranda at From My Carolina Home

I did try again later with a tripod, can you see some tiny lights near the grass here?  They are just so hard to capture!  But so pretty, softly flashing tiny yellow lights.

Fireflies at From My Carolina Home

Do you have dinner outside at your place?

Dinner on the Veranda at From My Carolina Home

Sharing

Fluster Buster

Talk of the Town

Vintage Charm

Share Your Cup

Foodie Friday at Rattlebridge Farm

Celebrate Your Story

Handmade Hangout

Saturday Sparks at Pieced Pastimes


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French Broad River Canoe Trip

The late spring weather has been mild, with cool mornings and evenings. Abundant rain this spring has pulled us out of drought, and brought the level up in the French Broad River. DH had a day off during the week, so we decided to finally take the canoe trip we’ve planned to do for years. It is only a half day of total time, including the drive time up to the facility in Asheville. So, we got tickets online, and made reservations for an early start. Arriving at the waterside, we were given a short instruction on the river hazards, what to avoid, how to go under the three bridges, and interesting things to look for on the way.

French Broad River Canoe Trip at From My Carolina Home

Slathering on sunscreen and spritzing a bit of bug spray, we donned our life jackets and boarded the van towing the canoes for the ride out to the launch point. It only took twenty minutes to get there, but would take two and a half hours to come back on the river. We were the only canoe renters that morning, but three other folks went along with their own kayaks. Several canoes were removed from the trailer to make room for their kayaks. They were here on vacation, and we had a nice chat about local restaurants on the way.

French Broad River Canoe Trip at From My Carolina Home

Our canoe was unloaded first, and we climbed in and sat down with our paddles at the ready.  A push off by our guide, and we set out on the river.

French Broad River Canoe Trip at From My Carolina Home

About 20 minutes later, we got to the first bridge. Going ‘left of the blue dot’ we easily floated through the archway.  Those little churning areas were no problem, and actually quite pretty in the sun.

French Broad River Canoe Trip at From My Carolina Home

Verdant green trees lined the river on both sides as it wound lazily around the countryside. It was so quiet too, just the gentle sound of the water as it flowed, sometimes babbling as it went around boulders or bridges, or trees sticking up on the edge of the shore.

French Broad River Canoe Trip at From My Carolina Home

Off the main river, in a side inlet, we found the arched stone bridge.

French Broad River Canoe Trip at From My Carolina Home

In places, the trees overhung the water, so you could stay in the shade a bit.  We came to appreciate these areas as the sun climbed higher in the sky, and the temperature rose with it.  Although it was about 68º F when we started (19º Celsius), it was about 86ºF at the end (30º Celsius).

French Broad River Canoe Trip at From My Carolina Home

Wildlife was abundant in the morning hours. We came around a bend and almost missed this giant turtle sunning himself as he blended with his surroundings quite well. I wasn’t sure the picture was going to be clear, so we turned the canoe around and paddled back to see him again. But when we made the turn, he was gone.  DH was amazed at the length of his tail!  He was huge.

French Broad River Canoe Trip at From My Carolina Home

Looking up the hill on the side of the river, a horse pasture with an old barn came into view. We could hear the horses neighing to one another long before we were able to see them. Can you see them? There are at least four at the top of the hill.

French Broad River Canoe Trip at From My Carolina Home

The river took us farther downstream, as we floated without paddling for a bit. Did you know that the French Broad River flows northward?  Originating near the town of Rosman which is near the southern border of North Carolina in Transylvania county, it flows northeast generally, winding around towards Asheville getting larger as it goes north, collecting in smaller rivers.  It flows north east then north west, ending in Tennessee near Knoxville where it joins the Holston River to form the Tennessee River.

French Broad River Canoe Trip at From My Carolina Home

Looking up on the right, we could see the corner of the Biltmore House coming into view. We had been told that it would be visible from the river, and thought this would be it.

French Broad River Canoe Trip at From My Carolina Home

But a little farther on the river, a better view presented itself.

French Broad River Canoe Trip at From My Carolina Home

A couple of families of Canadian Geese were tending to their little ones. So cute, the little golden fluffballs swimming next to the parents on the right couldn’t be more than a couple of weeks old.

French Broad River Canoe Trip at From My Carolina Home

A little farther along, pretty dark birds with a flash of blue were flying low over the water. We think they were after the mayflies and similar insects floating on the surface of the water.  The river stayed about the same width the entire length of our trip, but it gets much bigger after gathering in the Swannanoa River north of where we would end our trip.  The river is 218 miles long, and we only saw a tiny fraction.

French Broad River Canoe Trip at From My Carolina Home

These geese were loudly complaining about the intrusion on their waterway.

French Broad River Canoe Trip at From My Carolina Home

More green on the water, so peaceful and quiet. We didn’t see the kayakers until the end of our journey when they finally caught up to us. We decided to let them go by, and took a bit of a break in the shade.

French Broad River Canoe Trip at From My Carolina Home

One more picture, the river with more mountains in the distance. Such clear colors are seen on this morning, but by now it was after noon and getting a bit hot in the sun in spite of the puffy clouds.  By the way, do you know why it is called the French Broad River?  I had to look it up because I was curious.  There are actually two rivers in North Carolina which were called Broad Rivers, and at the time they were named, this area was held by the French.  So this one became the French Broad River and the other was referred to as the English Broad River.

French Broad River Canoe Trip at From My Carolina Home

At this point, we still had about half an hour to go before getting to the end point where the car was parked. There was one more beautiful bridge with some lovely architectural details, but the camera battery died before I could get it. I guess that means we have to go again. I think this would be stunning in the autumn, but I am also sure that the river is likely pretty crowded then.  Still, if we go at the right time, it could be wonderful.

Have you ever done a canoe trip, or something like it?

 

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Driving the Devil’s Whip

Yesterday was a beautiful sunny day, warm and clear, the best time to take a car club drive.  This time the drive leader had us meet in Swannanoa for an event that was supposed to be two weeks ago, but was postponed.  We drove as a group from Swannanoa to Old Fort, and then formed up again to begin the winding, twisty and steep drive up into the mountains by a road locals call the Devil’s Whip. It is Hwy 80, going north from Hwy 70 out of Old Fort. This road is 12 miles with 160 curves, some switchbacks, and rising in elevation 2000 feet in those 12 miles.    There are huge signs telling trucks not to take this route, then this small one that says “steep winding road”, yeah, no kidding!!

Devil's Whip Drive at From My Carolina Home

But, taken carefully, it is a fun drive with a lot of gorgeous scenery, trees meeting overhead to form green arbors over the road, and flowers blooming.  Well, that’s what I thought was good about it, DH preferred the curvy road driving.  I did try to get more pictures, but you have to trust me that it was a beautiful road, but difficult to get a good picture while going around all those curves.

Devil's Whip Drive at From My Carolina Home

At the top, we turned left to enter the Blue Ridge Parkway east of Mount Mitchell. The parkway was busy, as usual for summer weekends, especially on clear days. Several tunnels are on the way to the peak of Mount Mitchell, where we were going to have a picnic lunch.

Devil's Whip Drive at From My Carolina Home

The higher elevations have rhododendrons blooming profusely along the road. I tried to get pictures of them, but few turned out, and even this one that is clear doesn’t show you the mass of blooms we were seeing.

Devil's Whip Drive at From My Carolina Home

Reaching the summit at Mt Mitchell, the guys were pretty happy with the drive. Three of our members brought their British motorcycles.

Devil's Whip Drive at From My Carolina Home

Just look at the mountain view past the cars!  The orange car on the left is a Tesla, all electric and quiet as a ghost.

Devil's Whip Drive at From My Carolina Home

Devil's Whip Drive at From My Carolina Home

The temperature on the top is often cool to cold, even in summer, but this day was nice. It was in the low 70s, and sunny, perfect for a picnic.

Devil's Whip Drive at From My Carolina Home

The views were clear too. Often it is so foggy up here that you cannot see these vistas.

Devil's Whip Drive at From My Carolina Home

I love seeing all the layers of smoky blue-grey that define the Blue Ridge mountains.  This elevation is in the parking lot, and you can walk to the highest point of 6,684 feet via a paved walkway.

Devil's Whip Drive at From My Carolina Home

Heading home, we enjoyed the parkway views.

Devil's Whip Drive at From My Carolina Home

I kept trying to get more rhododendron shots, the purple-pink color was so pretty.

Devil's Whip Drive at From My Carolina Home

There is nothing like a day on the Blue Ridge Parkway, it never disappoints.

What did you do for fun this weekend?