Sunday Chat – Turkey Trot, Christmas Reading and Happy Mail

It has been a fun holiday weekend. Thursday was football and food, chatting with friends online and on the phone. Friday brought out the sappy little Christmas movies, leading off with Miracle on 34th Street as I packed up all the autumn and Thanksgiving decor, and brought out the Christmas boxes. I pulled my table toppers and quilts from the cedar chest, and began laying them on tables to decide what would go where. When I unpacked this stoneware Christmas set, I noticed something fun. I’ll show you the idea that came to mind on December 6 as I participate in a Christmas tablescape blog hop.

While we are talking about Christmas, a friend of mine found some napkins on sale that match my holiday china! What a fun friendship gift! She said she just had to get them for me. Thanks, Sam!

Saturday brought a car club event called the Turkey Trot, just a fun name for a drive on Thanksgiving weekend. We gathered in Cedar Mountain, North Carolina for coffee and chat time, then took a drive. The leader had a turkey feather trophy he modified for our drive, fun to see.

The route took us down into South Carolina where the colorful leaves still cling to some of the trees. With some leaves down, it is easier to see the mountain behind.

We led the second group, at a touring speed. The jackrabbits went in group one. I like getting shots like this one, cars in the mirror.

Out front, a twisty road ahead, winding around the forested mountains.

We stopped for a break at the top of Sassafrass Mountain. The views are spectacular in all directions. After the break, we drove back to Cedar Mountain for lunch.

Back home, Oliver enjoyed his sandwich.

Happy mail came this week, thanks to Loris. She emailed a few photos to me of some stamps she wanted to pass along, and I picked out about a dozen or so that I liked. Well, the little scamp shipped a big box full, with a note that wished me a happy birthday and she refused to let me pay for the shipping. Such a generous gift!! It was delightful to go through the box, and I can’t wait to play with them. Thank you, Loris, you are a treasure! This is the first layer.

And all this was underneath! Aren’t those rabbits too stinkin’ cute? Both the ones in the photo above and the one below.

My Sweet Babboo brought me a dozen roses for my birthday.

And let there be cake! Happy Birthday to me!

Vanilla cake, dark chocolate frosting and pale pink roses.

Over the past two weeks, I’ve been going through books quickly, reading mostly in the early morning. I like to read ones set in the Christmas season during this time of year. These are all easy and quick reads, with happy endings like we expect.

The Christmas Bookshop by Jenny Colgan – A woman at loose ends, jealous of all her sister has, reluctantly comes to stay in the basement, and takes a job at a failing bookshop. Her retail experience helps her push the owner to improve his shop and naturally ends up making it better. There is some substance in the growth of the character, as she realizes that her acting out has only been hurting herself, and that embracing family brings contentment. Charming and delightful, just what you want a Christmas read to be.

Catching Christmas by Terri Blackstock – funny and lighthearted as an elderly woman with dementia keeps calling the same cab driver to take her places during the holiday season. He is drawn into her situation despite his attempts not to be. Poignant ending.

A Christmas Secret by Katherine Spencer – A sweet holiday story about a young man forced into being a Secret Santa in a small town. There is not much character development, but this may be because it is #19 in the series, but the first one I’ve read. The story has the depth of a Hallmark romance movie, but then again, that is fine for the Christmas season. It will make you smile again and again, just what I’m looking for in a holiday novel.

The Christmas Thief by Mary Higgins Clark and Carol Higgins Clark – Short and easy reading novel of a swindler just let out of jail trying to get to his stash of diamonds hidden in a tree, before it gets shipped to New York to Rockefeller Center. Not as suspenseful as the authors intended, but a nice happy ending.

Those early mornings often have beautiful skies at sunrise or just before. Beginning over the east mountain, soft orange and gold glows around the dark architecture of the trees.

The light layer of clouds captures the light.

Over the valley, fog settles in the low spots while the sky is luminous.

When the day gets going, I’m still watching and counting birds for Feeder Watch.

Today, I’ll take the turkey bones with a little onion and garlic, and make a rich broth for turkey and dumplings. My tip for great soup is to add the rest of the gravy to the soup base after the bones have boiled and before the dumplings are added to cook. Yum! It is raining and cold today, the perfect time for a hot bowl of comfort food.

Christmas gets rolling this week, as I’ll finish decorating, and maybe do a bit of baking. Our guild has the first party of the season. It is going to be such fun, and I cannot wait. What are your plans for this week?

24 thoughts on “Sunday Chat – Turkey Trot, Christmas Reading and Happy Mail

  1. Rita C.

    Love Your Lenox china and now napkins to match! Looking forward to your tablescape for the hop, too
    Beautiful sunrises with the silhouettes of the bare trees.
    You certainly stay busy! My kind of woman.

  2. Mary Stori

    Happy Birthday girlfriend……cake looks yummy! Sorry we missed the Turkey Trot……the scenery here is enjoyable any time of the year but I really appreciate the awesome views, sans all the foliage this time of the year.

  3. Margaret Nelson

    I love Housemouse stamps, they are my favorite! Those bunnies are adorable.
    Finished a T-shirt quilt, started 3 more. This week I plan to quilt 2 more flimsys that have been hanging around for a while.

  4. It’s always fun to get to the time of year when we pull out the Christmas decorations! Your Turkey Trot drive looks fun, too. Happy Birthday – what a beautiful cake! Thanks for the book recommendations – I’m putting some on my hold list at the library. There can never be too many books! Enjoy your turkey leftovers today!

  5. Happy birthday Carole – The roses are just beautiful. I bet that cake was delicious. Enjoyed all your photos. Lucky girl with all the stamps. I got a donation like that recently and it was so much fun to look at everything. Spent the last couple of days doing neglected cleaning so that I can get ready for Christmas decorating. Seems like it takes me twice as long with as many minutes on break as behind the vacuum. Definitely have more clutter than I need, but I faithfully dusted every picture frame and trinket. Today is “train club” day, so I am off to sell raffle tickets and greet visitors. (Maybe they will choose to drop tickets in the box for the little train quilt I donated). Enjoy your football and turkey soup.

  6. Reading your post makes me feel so happy! Just love all your photos and happenings. How fun to receive surprise napkins that go with your treasured Christmas dishes so well. I can’t wait to get home to pull out the Christmas stuff!

  7. Loris Mills

    Such beautiful photos! Your views and your lovely birds are wonderful to see!
    I’m so glad you are enjoying that box of stamps. I did get a little carried away once I discovered the vegetables 😉 The local stamp store helped me re-home a huge box as well. And with that…I got the energy to start sewing again a bit!
    Your cake looks like a masterpiece…as well as delicious. Happy Birthday!

  8. Happy birthday, Carole! Your cake looks scrumptious. The Lenox china is one of my all-time favorite patterns, so thoughtful of your friend to mail you napkins! Have a wonderful time decorating for Christmas!

  9. Barbara Winkler

    Belated Happy Birthday. Like, Loris, I was thinking of sending you some stamping stuff that I never used BUT, it would be really big box(es)!!

  10. Jean McKinstry

    Birthday Greetings Carole, looks like the cake was a beauty. Lovely stamps, what a wonderful surprise to find more, t hey are all delightful.

  11. Joan Sheppard

    Chicago weather has been – odd. Played Tennis on Thanksgiving. But my boys will play in the snow…. Love the birthday cake – I can smell and taste it from here! Thanks for sharing The Ride! All the beauty! Happy Birthday!

  12. What a fun stamping gift for you! I hope you enjoyed every bite of that beautiful cake, and the roses too. You have a real keeper in your Sweet Baboo. After a week full of Thanksgiving and recording, I am finally sewing, and enjoying every minute of it! I may even start pulling out decorations today and start working on the fireplace and studio after cleaning tomorrow. We’ll likely wait on the tree until next weekend so it stays fresh through New Years.

  13. Julie

    Happy Birthday, Carole! The stamp on top says it all, “if friends were flowers, I’d pick you”. We’ve had some lovely sunrise/sunsets too and a few breathtaking ones. Not ready to bring out the Christmas decorations yet, but I did sneak in a few movies.

  14. Melanie

    Happy, Happy Birthday, Carole!! Oh my gosh, your cake looks delicious and the roses on top…beautiful. Your real roses are beautiful, and such a nice thing for your DH to do for you. Many happy returns of your special day!

  15. It sounds like a busy and fabulous weekend with two celebrations — Turkey Day and your birthday! That cake looks to die for. Love each and every photo — so glad you got a club event in, along with all the decorating, too. Your china is lovely! Thanks for sharing so many wonderful images! Happy week!

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