CHRISTMAS ORNAMENT COLLECTIONS: Oh, the stories they tell!

December 1   Are you in countdown mode?   It's hard for me to believe that, for the second year in a row, there will be precious little Christmas decorating going on at our house. One year ago today we sold the big ol' house we restored in town and began a year of fifth wheel living at the farm . . . waiting to build our Finally Farmhouse. We're still waiting—but we *think* we'll be able to move forward in January.   Can you believe Renaissance Man asked me the other day how may trees I want to put up for our open house next Christmas? :-) Seriously? We don't even have a house! How can I possibly think about having an OPEN house?   But in this season of missing my pretties, I had a special treat. If ... Keep Reading...

Going Green at Christmas

Can we really make a difference in our world?   Sometimes it seems we ask ourselves that question more at this time of year than any other . . . and we're a little more intentional about trying to make that difference. If you've spent much time here at My Place (thank you for that!), you know I'm all about making a difference in the lives of children. Holiday shopping in our family includes local giving opportunities like Angel Tree and Coats for the Cold and Christmas in Jefferson County.   I hope you're looking for those chances to give where you live, too.   There's one topic, though, that isn't "first" in my mind during the holidays, but I started thinking about it recently when considering tips for “going ... Keep Reading...

Christmas at Biltmore Estate

How about a short field trip on this Friday before Thanksgiving? Anyone needing a break?   Renaissance Man and I had to be in South Carolina earlier this week—and WE were needing a break— so I made my request:   How about on the way home we stop at Biltmore to see the Christmas decorations?   He agreed—and so we did!   And now you can, too!   Let's "travel to a whole new state of mind" to Asheville, North Carolina. Today we're visiting Biltmore Estate, America's largest home, built over a century ago by George Vanderbilt for his family—and still owned by the family today.   I know you're busy, so here are just a few bits of inspiration to think about as you're baking those ... Keep Reading...