Ah, yes. It's that time of year again, which means I'm busier than ever. From October to January I am on a permanent busy streak primarily because my family likes me to do the ultimate for the holidays and family birthdays. That means autumnal decor by October 1 is always a hope. Prefacing this, though, was my husband's repainting of the ceiling (post forthcoming) and the ensuing clean up which led to deep cleaning of the house which finally led to putting out some autumnal decor (post forthcoming...lots of new looks) and a general low budget redecorating of the house. (post forthcoming)
Ideally I would have blogged daily because I have much to catch up on since last summer, but I was determined to finally conquer all the piles before my birthday. With the help of my husband that finally happened the night before so I didn't have any piles taunting me while I had a great day with my family. We played board games. We ate well. We even danced: Swing Dance and Waltzing! Then we topped off the evening with Anne of Green Gables!
Opening the gifts was a lot of fun too. I thought some of my gifts might be of interest to some of my readers, and would create a bridge between a quick catch up of past events and forthcoming posts.
My daughter bought this historic home card for me when we were at St. Michaels last summer (post forthcoming). So pretty! It's the cannonball house, so named because it survived a cannon bombardment during the War of 1812. We'll have to look for this house next time we visit.
She also gifted me this beverage bottle which I have dubbed the "forever hot drink container." Many of her classmates at college have these. They have raved at how long their hot drinks remain hot (up to 12 hours for hot) and how long their cold drinks remain cold (up to 24 hours).
My son gave this Mac Nut Oil to me. Long story short, he wanted to buy a gift for his chef friend. When he asked me for ideas, I suggested fun cooking ingredients. He saw this, buy 1 get 1 free. He hesitated about gifting 2 and I agreed. I told him he could just give one to me for Christmas or something. So I got it for my birthday. It will be fun to use! (His friend liked it too!)
My son also surprised me with these gloves! He likes to gift me technology themed items. Do you see it? It's in the fingertips of the pointer finger and thumb. That is a special surface to allow one to use their smart phone while wearing gloves. My son knows how much I prefer to wear pretty things over practical things, and how much I like to wear vintage things. This covers it all!
Now for my husband's gifts to me. He does not like to shop for me at all. He is most happy when I show him something I like so he can buy it on the spot. In fact all of us in the family do that for each other, so it's rather rare that we actually surprise anyone. Since we stick rather closely to budgets and
rarely buy ourselves many items, this works well for us.
My husband purchased this mug for me on a very recent incredible trip to Colonial Williamsburg! I have been so anxious to share this visit on my blog, because it was a most unique and historic visit due to a most unique and historic event!!!! My plan is to blog about it later this week. Oh, and I love the mug which is a great companion to the one my daughter gave to me from Mount Vernon last spring. I love the boxes these come in as well. I already reused the other one for storage. I will store something and keep this one on display somewhere too. Probably my sewing room which is the other bit of big news I wanted to share. We are planning on turning the basement into my sewing studio!!!!! (Oh, and now my husband wants to buy me the spring one. Nope. We don't keep many secrets around here.)
This cute bit of practicality is a magnifying glass shaped like a sunflower which I discovered at Gunston Hall!
I also got this blotter from Hawthorne House at the Occoquan from my first visit of the year there. (post forthcoming) I've since made a very recent second trip that had nothing to do with sightseeing, shopping or eating, though I did eat there. (post forthcoming) This blotter has a fun story! I showed it to my husband, asking him if he'd buy it for my birthday or Christmas. He asked, "What in the world is it?" After I explained it to him the saleslady exclaimed that she was so glad to hear someone who knew what it was! I exclaimed I was so glad that someone who was selling it actually knew what it was! lol She gave me some good tips on what to use when I replace the paper part of the blotter. This box is also lovely and will definitely will become displayed storage.
My husband also gave me these lovely earrings from our trip to Harper's Ferry (post forthcoming). I had pointed out different items so I was surprised to see which one he chose. I'm glad he chose the turquoise. Pearls might be my first favorite but I think turquoise is my second favorite. Or third. (Opals might be second.)
Since I was taking these photos this evening I thought I'd take a couple more. My son bought the gadget below for a Christmas gift a few years ago. It helps me use my smart phone when I need to try to touch a very tiny space (or even if I want to touch a large space) on my screen. I think I am well covered for smart phone techie gadgets. I don't know though. We'll see. My son said another gift was supposed to arrive for my birthday but it's going to take a while so that will become my Christmas gift.
My daughter gave this crossword puzzle book for my birthday last year. She gave me one the year before too but I had pretty much finished it out. It was a New York Times with puzzles from throughout the week, so it ranged from easy to difficult. I settled down with this one and it has much tinier font. But worse...it is insanely difficult!!!!! I've been slowly plugging away at it though.
Just the other day I happened to read the back cover, laughed, then showed it to my daughter.
Well...it has definitely raised the bar on crosswords for me. Some puzzles are only 1/4 complete but others are nearly done. I confess I do use google for questions like: "Which song almost won the emmy in 1966?" "Who almost made the cut to be with the Beatles Tour?" etc, etc, etc. (I made those up but they fit.) Even those answers can be agonizing to find, but any clues I get help me to figure out the mind benders that can have multiple correct answers. Then there are the in-between ones that leave you to think the answer is obvious, but not always. That leads one to think that the rest of the answers aren't as obvious, but they are. Agggggghhhhhh....but fun at the same time.
Finally...here is the Mount Vernon mug my daughter gave to me for Mother's Day. I thought I had already shared it on my blog but I can't find it anywhere. Life has been so crazy, but with all the reorganization I've been doing, I a m finding necessities like important papers quicker, so I hope that translates into other parts of life to free up more time for reading, blogging, and sewing.