Friday, November 30, 2018


My desk calendar (created by my friend Kate) turns to December on Saturday. Time to celebrate, wrap, bake, party, and be with the ones we love.

I'm writing about Tradition over at Modern Creative Life this week. I hope you'll check in there and take a look at some of our traditions and share some of yours in the comments. This is my last post for this wonderful online site before it stops publishing new work, and I will miss it. I thank Debra, Becca and Melissa, the site's editors, for giving me the opportunity to write pieces slightly different than most of those here on the Gypsy, and wish them wonderful things as they pursue new opportunities. Older posts will remain and I suggest looking down the pages. Lots of inspiring, thoughtful work there.

Our Thanksgiving was anything but traditional this year! Normally, you find us at home but this year we had two Thanksgivings. The first was with Rick's cousins and aunts. We brought bread and pie to the table!

Stephanie and Brian brought this fun cheese ball turkey with peppers and pretzels as the feathers and face. It doesn't show as well here as it should but it was so cute and really tasty too!

The kids were especially great and fun to be around. (I love that in the background in the photo below, Evan and Jilly (age 2) seem to be having quite the conversation.

Plenty of smiles! (Jilly definitely loves to laugh!)

The second was with Molly's family. And of course we got to see the Baby Grands! It's fun that our Little Big Guy is big enough to go walking and even though it was a bit drizzly, we enjoyed the time outside with him.

Of course we had to take some pix.

In the series of pix with me holding him, he went from the above to...

Time for Grandpa, where they engaged in a little bit of mimicry (Rick was mimicking the new tongue-out habit!)

But I loved this picture most. Snotty noses and all!

And of course our Little Guy is getting bigger every day -- he's in the 100th percentile for his age and two inches taller than his brother was at four months! And he's very happy. We hope he's still happy when Rick and I baby sit for them this weekend!

I leave you with the moon. This was a morning moon at the ditch last week.

Took my breath away.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Southern Exposure: Bittersweet November

Before we end November, I wanted to take a break from travel posts and take you back to my favorite Southern Exposure for a quick look at my favorite place in November. We'll return with posts from England next time, and more on the workshop at the end of this post. But first, let's visit the garden.

And there wasn't much garden left in November. We've had snow and it has been very cold so the only flowers still surviving were those in the bird baths, probably arranged that morning!

The flowering kale still held its color, too.

And the stone cherubs holding court looked more than a little cold on this frosty morning.

But the bittersweet was fantastic. I've never seen so much growing wild. Or maybe not so wild!

We couldn't stop taking photos, it felt like a rare sight to us.

There is a certain beauty in fading blooms, the quiet colors of autumn. I confess I found these faded hydrangea blooms just as pretty in a soft tan hue as beautiful as the more colorful versions in the heat of the summer. These seemed to just form in a heart shape!

Inside the greenhouse, a few lovely vignettes.

Look closely. I loved the heart in shadow on the back wall. Lots of love today!

And this made me smile. I want a greenhouse!

Of course our trio of creatives had to do a selfie in the gazebo. This was our last workshop there together (although at the bottom of this post I'll share another project I did there a week later).

Should you think there is only fall color at Southern Exposure, think again!

Now, that's what I call a holly bush!

It made me think it was time to start decking the halls!

Back in the Milking Parlor, Angie greeted us with a berry cocktail.

Then it was on to lunch -- a fabulous salmon dish this time, with wild rice and the obligatory November pumpkin pie. As always, the table was lovely and our table companions delightful.

Then to the craft tent for the project. We started with a very gnarly wreath and were given live eucalyptus. Micah explained the type we used and since I didn't have a notebook, I can't remember -- I just know it wasn't the "silver dollar" kind. He promised it would dry well for us. I love how they set us up with very sturdy easels and all our supplies!

Here's the end project when we left. I knew I would be tucking a few stray leaves into place and adding some red for this season when I got home.

And here you have it finished. Well, no, because when I got home I added berries and a cardinal for the season! And tamed some of the leaves a little bit!

The next week I went down for an "Alpine Sled" workshop. We decorated a small sled with pine, boxwood, holly, berries, eucalyptus, and dogwood, added a couple of snowflakes (which I'll rearrange before I put it up) and I loved it!

We'll start visiting England in the next post or two but those will be interspersed with lots of holiday merriment, you can be sure! (And maybe a baby grand or two!)

Monday, November 26, 2018

Au Revoir, Paris

All good things come to an end.

And what saved me from being completely morose at leaving Paris was knowing that in a few hours, I would be in England, my soul country. But oh, I do love Paris. and here are a few of my favorite photos I didn't include in the other posts. Some of the reasons I love Paris.

The flowers...

The metro signs old...

...and new...

...Inside and out.

The boulangeries. This one was across from our hotel.

Honestly, how can one resist?

The glorious architecture.

The cafes.

The markets.

The Seine.

Ah, the Seine!

The spirit.

The doors and windows...

...and fountains.

Walking the narrow streets.

 The wine.

The bouquinistes.

The bicycles.

The elegance and history.

The unabashed glitziness. But elegant glitz.

The gardens and palaces.

The macarons.

The street signs.

The way they just do it right.

Time to head to Gare du Nord. I do love train stations!

And catch a ride...

...through the beautiful French countryside as the sun goes down on our time in France.

Until next time...

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