Wednesday’s Ode #49

Last week, I told you the Wednesday’s Odes were coming to a close. Well, I actually spoke a week too soon, because I should have ended them on the #50; however, since that was my little goof, I will keep to my word and end today. Ha! These have been fun to do over the past (almost) year, and I do hope you’ve enjoyed learning a little more about the things that I love. Thanks so much for following! It means so much.

Next week, I will begin a different weekly event, and these will start on Tuesdays…

As we leave the Wednesday’s Odes, I leave you with a repost of one more of my favorites…  🙂

Wednesday’s Ode #5

  
Today, I’d like to give tribute to sweets. I LOVE sweets! I love cheesecake (of almost any kind!) and key lime pie and apple pie. I love cookies, brownies and just about anything covered in caramel. I love sweets!

  
In actuality, however, it’s not like I eat them in excess, really. Well, I have to amend that, because I’m sure that is completely relative to whose perspective we’re talking about. From the perspective of someone who doesn’t eat many sweets and someone who may be very health conscious, I am probably considered a sweets fanatic. However, to someone who eats sweets all day long or someone who can sit down and eat a whole box of Girl Scout cookies, I may be thought of a lite or moderate sweets person. Either way, I definitely like my fair share of the confections!

  
Some of my favorites would be warm apple pie, lemon meringue, key lime pie and almost anything cheesecake. I love to have dessert in the middle of the day or even sneak a little cookie at breakfast. *Shhh….. I promise, I don’t do this very often, and I definitely don’t want my boys to follow in my footsteps, but I have to be honest that my self control isn’t very strong when it comes to the sweet stuff. It doesn’t have to be a whole piece of pie, and it doesn’t have to be a half dozen cookies; sometimes, just a little chocolate after-dinner mint will do! …well, maybe two. 😉

All these wonderful treats go just wonderfully with one of my other “loves” that I talked about here 

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Wednesday’s Ode #49

Welcome to my Wednesday’s Ode. This is where I tell of something I absolutely love and why. It has been fun doing these over the (almost) past year; however, these are coming to a close next week. I believe they have run their course, and I’d like to start something new with you. Thank you so much for being here with me, for reading, and for all your lovely comments and wonderful support. I am so thankful for you, and I hope you will continue with me on this journey of writing and discovering! 😉

So, today, I’d like to repost one of my favorite Wednesday’s Ode, and maybe, one of the longest, as well. (I hope you don’t mind!) It’s about one of my very favorite towns, and I do hope you enjoy it! 🙂


I absolutely love Highlands, NC! At over 4,000 feet in elevation, it is the second highest town on the East Coast, and it is simply a wonderful little town. If you’ve ever visited Gatlinburg, Tn, we always say Highlands is everything Gatlinburg should be…without all the Tshirt shops and commercializations. It is simply beautiful, and if you’ve never been, I encourage you to make a trip! It is a definite favorite for me and my husband, as we spent our first and second honeymoons here, and due to the cooler temperature year-round, we come here at least 4-6 times a year, if not a good many more.


It’s not a big city. It’s a quaint little mountain town with a little bit of “high society” living. They’ve got wonderful accommodations, restaurants and shops. One of my favorites is The Old Edwards Inn; the character of this place is incredible. They have a library, in which, you can actually find a book to sit and enjoy, high vaulted ceilings and even a hidden butler pantry where the staff may come to serve the guests. Their restaurant, Madison’s, has some of the best shrimp and grits I’ve ever put in my mouth…and being a Southern girl, that’s quite a bit! They have inside seating, a wine garden with outside seating, and even a rooftop terrace where you can choose to have your meal.   Now just imagine: a lovely rooftop terrace, with beautiful shutters, table settings and cushioned seating, overlooking the little town, and a gentle summer breeze blowing in the “heat” of summer with ceiling fans gently rolling. The temperature gauge rising no more than about 70-72 degrees, because you’re at such a high elevation! The waiter brings you a pleasant cheese and cracker tray for an appetizer, “just right” sweet Southern tea, mini biscuits and cornbread made fresh daily, and your meal consists of fish and chips and the best shrimp and grits you’ve ever tasted. They even serve the shrimp and grits in a mini iron crock; so, they stay warm throughout the duration of the meal. It is a fine Southern meal to remember! 😉


   Doesn’t that look just awesome?! …It tastes even better!!

For dessert, you’ll want to walk down the street to Kilwin’s, where you can choose homemade fudge and chocolates, or you can choose from a mass variety of Mayfield ice cream. The pralines and chocolate dipped Nutter Butters, PB cups and Oreos are some of my family’s faves; however, my personal favorite is the turtle caramel apple! They take a Granny Smith Apple, dip it in caramel, roll it in pecans and, then, drizzle it with chocolate, and they will slice it right there for you; so, you don’t have to try to bite into that monstrosity! It is divine!!  If you’d like a wonderful cup of coffee with your dessert, you can also find it there; however, I prefer a cup of Buck’s Coffee, preferably a cup of white chocolate mocha, just across the street. Outside Kilwin’s is a brick patio with lots of umbrella tables and chairs where you can enjoy your coffee and yummy desserts, and on Friday and Saturday evenings, often times, they will have a live bluegrass, country (or other Southern genre) band playing. It’s simply a delightful ending for a great day.

These things have just got to be in heaven!

Now, if you’d like to work off some of those delicious calories you’ve added to your waistline during your stay, they have a ton of shops for you to find any number of items, and they have a numerous amount of hikes for you to explore. You can stop by the Highland Hiker and pick up a local booklet of all the Day Hikes Of Highlands, and explore till your heart is content. You can check the local weather and head out for a delightful, cool climat-ed, adventure.

We, personally, love Dry Falls, Glenn Falls, Sunset Rock and Whiteside Mountain. Dry Falls had recently had a remodeling of the parking lot and walkway, and it’s an incredibly easy walk to a beautiful waterfall which you can walk behind. When it has had a lot of recent waterfall, the roar can be so loud that you can barely hear each other talk while standing behind it. Glenn Falls is a little bit longer of a hiker but definitely an easy one. Many people who go to this one say they’ve always ended up at the bottom of the falls, but haven’t ever been to the top. Upon starting out, there is a sign to the falls on the left, and to another location on the right. Choose the left; then, a little bit further down the trail, there is a fork in the road where you must choose the right side path in order to get to the top of the falls. The left path takes you to the bottom. We always choose the top of the falls, because we like to put out feet in the water, but please, please be careful here! There are no boundaries once you cross over the overlook area. You can get as close to the edge as you’d like, and if you have adventurous boys like mine, your mother’s heart can very easily suffer about three heart attacks during your enjoyment of the view and the cool waters!!

 …WAY too close, JGrizz!!

If you are visiting the area with your significant other, Sunset Rock is a must! You drive to it, and walk just a tiny path that opens up to an incredible sheer-faced rock that overlooks the town of Highlands. The view from here at sunset definitely earns its name! If you’d prefer to just drive to the many water falls, you can pick up a map, head out and literally drive under Bridal Falls and drive around to see many others. Just beware of the very curvy, and often, very narrow highway you must travel to see these. You might want to have a designated driver who doesn’t want to sightsee and drive! Haha.

If you’d prefer a bit longer hike, Whiteside  Mountain is a great choice. We hiked here during our honeymoon week and saw our first Peregrine Falcon face to face. The little snapshot camera I had (these were the days before iPhones and digitals!) didn’t really do it justice, but he was about 3-4 feet from us and just seemed to sit there and simile for the camera. The hike is pleasant, and the views are simply breathtaking!

If you are on the East Coast and have never been to Highlands, it is well worth the trip!! It is a beautiful town that is surrounded with breathtaking sights, and the weather, especially in the summertime, is a very welcome delight! If shopping, hiking and sightseeing is your kind of thing, this is definitely a must-see!

 

Wednesday’s Ode #47

I love the time of New Years! I know that may sound funny when I just said last week that I love Christmastime, but it’s true. The new year is such a refreshing and exciting time of year. 

Wednesday’s Ode #46

I love Christmas time!! It IS the most wonderful time of the year!! 

I love the caroling, the wrapping of presents and putting them around the tree, the gatherings of families and friends to eat yummy foods and all the wonderful laughter that can be heard within the home. Oh, yes, Christmas time is my absolute favorite time of the year! 

I love to see random acts of kindness happening all over the place. A few days ago, I was in Walmart, in the middle of the toy aisle, and all of a sudden, I was surrounded by 3-4 cops, and just as many children. I walked to the next aisle, and as far as I could see, there were policemen of all different divisions all over the store with children and their families, as they walked the aisles, asking the kids what they’d like to have. I was overwhelmed with emotion and tears. It was such a moving moment. So many families being provided Christmas in their time of need!   

Yesterday, I was in a Big Lots store, and these two ladies were being taken care of by this sweet little cashier lady. She was commenting on the glass globes the lady was purchasing and how she would like to get one of those for her mother. She continued to ring up the bill, the lady paid, and the she picked up one of those gloves and spoke to the manager beside the cashier, as well as the cashier, and said, “This is hers. Now, you know this is paid for, but I’m leaving this with her for her mother. You mark it as paid for her. Merry Christmas!” The cashier almost cried in delight! …and for those who have a few race issues, you may note, these three ladies, as well as, those cops and children,  were all of different ethnic races, ones of which too many people claim hate each other! There’s not as much hatred and animosity as the media and politicians would, sometimes, have you believe!! (Ok, so, that one was free. Haha.) These were such precious giving moments!! My heart was so full. ❤️

These are some of the reasons I love this time of year! If you will open your eyes, you will see these random acts of kindness all over. Sometimes, right in front of you, or even coming your way, and sometimes, you’ll even find yourself wanting to repeat them. 

I encourage you, make someone’s day today. Share a little love and cheer. You never know what burden you might be lifting. Better yet, don’t do these acts simply at Christmas time, try to spread love and cheer throughout this next year! Our world needs to be reminded of the goodness and love that does still reside in the hearts of those who live around us! 

Wednesday’s Ode #45

I posted this back on March 3rd, as my Wednesday’s Ode #4. I hope you don’t mind my reblogging it. I wanted to reshare it today, because I am SO longing for snow! It has been in the 70s week, and these warm temperatures are getting ridiculous!! I am so ready for some cooler temps and a little white stuff falling from the sky! … Hope you enjoy… 🙂

Today’s Ode goes to… SNOW!! Since I gave my tribute to warm clothes last week, I thought it only appropriate to give one to snow this week! 🙂

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I love snow! Snow is fun to walk in. It’s fun to play in, and it’s even fun to eat. We haven’t gotten a whole lot of it this year (this picture was taken, in the North Georgia mountains, about this time last year), and about that, I’m kind of bummed, but when I start to get too down, I think, “Well, there’s always next year!” 😉
Snow is universal, it falls whenever it pleases and on whomever it pleases. It’s not confined to winter or spring, and it’s not bound by time, either. It can snow at midnight just as easily as it can snow at noon! …Sometimes, I believe, we could learn a lesson or two from snow…
I suppose my favorite thing about snow is that it makes me feel like a little kid! When it starts snowing, I get all giddy and want to jump up and down and twirl around!! It makes me want to clap my hands and do a happy dance! It just brings so much joy and laughter to our little home.
Now, I know, for some who might be reading this, snow might mean a lot of hard work, because you’ve got to do a lot of shoveling and snowplowing. For others, it means extra days of make-up work and longer hours of toil during the week, but for me, I guess, I just haven’t quite “grown up” in that area yet. I always feel like a little kid wishing for snow days when the forecasters start even hinting at the slightest chance, and my little balloon of happiness gets all deflated when I don’t get to see the white stuff fluttering down.
I love to get out in deep snow and make snow angels…

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I love to take long walks and look at the beautiful trees…

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And do you want to know one of the things I love most?
I absolutely LOVE making (and eating) snow cream!! Mmmm, mmmm, good!

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So, we may not have seen much of that fluffy white stuff here in our “neck of the woods” this year, but I’ll still be dreaming of a wintry white Christmas for the end of this year! 🙂

Wednesday’s Ode #44

I do apologize for the tardiness of this post! Those who read every week, especially, at precisely the 11:30am hour, please forgive me for the delays yesterday and today…we had a little “speed bump….”

  
I just love Christmas traditions! Yeah, I suppose you could say I’m a little “old school.” I like having family traditions you return to year after year. I enjoy watching the kiddos open one present at our house, or at the grandparents house, on Christmas Eve. I look forward to setting up the nativity scene and taking a moment to intentionally remember the true reason for the season. I love baking and decorating Christmas cookies with our boys. I love piling up in the car and searching all over town for the best light displays. Most of all, I enjoy sitting in front of the Christmas tree, with all the other lights off, sipping a cup of coffee and gazing at the lights and ornaments. Yes, these are all traditions our family enjoys every year, and I just love each and every one!   

What are some of the traditions our family enjoys during the holiday season?

Wednesday’s Ode #43

I love the month of December! The days are (usually) cooler. The nights are definitely chilly, and everyone seems to be a little more cheerful as the lights begin to shine and the carolers begin their song. There’s more shopping days and more sales, more goodies to be baked and more trees to be trimmed. I just love December!

Of course, I love the month of December most, because it means Christmas is here! Christmas is my most favorite holiday of the year, and YES, I still love to say, “MERRY CHRISTMAS!” If you are offended by that phrase, I do ask you to reconsider. I will say, “I am sorry you are offended;” however, I will never apologize for stating the phrase. It is a phrase I hold very dear; I love it, and I believe in it. I do not ask anyone else to stop saying, “Happy Kwanzaa,” or “Happy Hanukkah;” so, it amazes me why those same people who work hard to create those as important wishes want me to stop my cheerful greeting. I will not, but I digress. That is not what this post is about!

I love Christmas time, and I love this time of year. December seems to cause us to reminisce of days gone by and deepen the yearning of our hearts for family, faith and home. December seems to bring a cheery smile to those you encounter and causes those down trodden to lift a weary head when those cheerful smiles come their way. December seems to bring old friends together and lost souls home. It is a time to reflect, ponder and gaze in wonder.

Most of all, for me, personally, it is a time to remember the wonderful birth of my Savior, my God. He was a king in Glory, and He gave it all to come to Earth to live among us, to live, to die and to be risen again. He did all this for you and for me, and it all started this time of year.

So, I say to you, Merry Christmas! It’s going to be a wonderful month of celebration here at our house!! 🙂

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Wednesday’s Ode #42

  
I love Thanksgiving! I am so excited we have a day to celebrate thankfulness tomorrow. I have so many things of which to be thankful. I have a great husband, kids, home, extended family, church, town and nation. My heart is just overwhelmed with thankfulness, and I do try to maintain this thankfulness not just once a year, but rather, throughout the year. 

Yet, sometimes, I think we can get so caught up in the thankfulness of the “good things” that, maybe, we forget about the not so pleasant things for which we should be grateful, or, maybe even, the mundane things for which we should still carry a grateful heart. You might ask, “For what bad things could we ever be thankful? For which unanswered prayers could we possibly be grateful??” 

Well, let me share a little in a personal note…

I am thankful for the pain I experienced as a child when I grew up without a father around. Not because it was heartwrenching and left me with scars, but rather, for the joy in knowing what it’s like to have a grandfather who stepped into that role for me. I am thankful for the void that led to the fulfillment I felt when my stepdad walked me down the aisle. I am thankful for the maturity I experienced early in life and the ability to make better choices for my future than the harder lessons my mother had to learn at the same age. 

I am thankful for the pain of losing our first child through a miss carriage. Not because of the heartwrenching tears I cried, nor for the fear in wondering if we’d ever have another, but because I learned what it is to experience true loss and to have a heart-stopping doubt within my soul, wondering if God even cares, which caused me to the realize He loves me unconditionally and that love caused me to grow so much closer to my God during this time of doubt and pain. 

These are just two examples of when my pain and times of difficulty have caused a deep gratefulness within my heart for the things which I learned. So, today, as we get ready to celebrate a day of Thanksgiving tomorrow, let us be thankful for not only the “grand and glorious” things in our lives, but let’s also be thankful for those “not-so-grand-and-glorious” times when the pain of our experience elevated us toward our destiny! 😉

What surprising, and maybe painful, things have caused you to grow, learn, change and to become more grateful?

Wednesday’s Ode #41

  I LOVE Classic movies! Last night, I went to see The Sound of Music with a friend. One of the local movie theaters are showing several retro movies during this month and next. I haven’t actually watched this movie in several years, and I have never seen it on the big screen. My friend had never even seen the movie, only a play of it. It was simply wonderful! I had even forgotten how much I loved this movie, all of  the wonderful singing, the great story line and the beautiful scenery of the Swiss Alps. Yes, it is rather lengthy; so, don’t watch it expecting your normal hour and a half…it has an Intermission! 😂lol! There are actually a few songs, I think, they could have cut in order to shorten it a little, but it is what it is. I’m not the writer. 😉 

This movie actually was inspired from real live events. Maria Von Trapp wrote a book about her family, and Disney got the rights to it; however, there are several things that were inaccurate in the movie. Of course, the movie is for entertainment, and it never states “this is based on a true story.” You can read more about the family here. I found it quite fascinating, but I like stuff like that. 😉

Yes, it is a classic. So, obviously in parts, you can tell the backdrop isn’t real, and there are no modern computer-generated, digitally mastered, figures or locations; however, I can’t deny my love for  the simplistic and serene. Don’t get me wrong, I love movies today; however, I love the requirements of the actors back then. Those were the days you had to act, sing AND dance to be considered one of the greats. There were a few who were known for their beauty, or for their ability to simply capture the screen by their becoming character, but so many, during that era in Hollywood, had to expand their talents beyond the simple reading of lines.   

There are good merits and disadvantages alike if we began a comparison of modern vs.  classic; so, I’m not really trying to debate it. I just appreciate the multi-skill level of those actors then. 

I can’t wait until next month, for I get to see A White Christmas and It’s A Wonderful Life on the big screen as well! How fun!! 😊

Do you have any classics that are your favorite?

Wednesday’s Ode #39

  I love ORGANIZATION! When things are out of order, I start getting a little anxious and unsettled. If things get in total disarray, I actually might be able to handle it for a day or two, especially if I’m really, really busy; however, if it rolls on this way, I will set aside needed priorities simply to get things back into order. This isn’t always a good thing, but I have definitely determined this is one of my characteristics. 

It’s not really that I am overly organized either. I certainly joke about having OCD and how everything has to be “just so;” however, if you read articles and books about true OCD, I suppose, these descriptions wouldn’t quite describe my home or my office space. 

I think I might be more of an “organized piler.” I do like things in their place, and I don’t like chaos in my cabinets, drawers or closets; yet, I, also, have certain areas where I might have a basket full of things I really need to go through or maybe a small stack of papers on which I need to follow up. I’m trying to get better with these two things, because even that drives me crazy! … You know it’s bad when you’re getting on your own nerves! Haha.

I really do love being organized. I am often reading to improve some area, or space, in my life; however, I don’t want to be so crazy about the organization that I miss the point of it: to spend more time with the people I love and doing the things I enjoy! 

If your organizational skills become as such that you constantly forsake family time, or friendships, simply to organize something more, then you might want to take a step back, reassess, and determine the more important things in this life. 

You only have this moment, right now, and you may not have it again for the rest of your life! You’ll never, again, catch this memory that may be happening right now. I challenge you to set aside the need to organize today and go spend some time with those you love! Get out in nature. Go see a waterfall or watch the sky for the first constellations to appear. I promise you, you won’t be disappointed! 😊