Bucket List Adventure

My bucket list isn’t long, but at the top for some time has been India. I am fascinated by its colors and textures to say nothing about the textiles and architecture. As if that’s not enough, there’s the food which I expect to be even better than Trader Joe’s Indian entrees!
Now the downside of India being on my bucket list is that it’s not on the hubby’s. That being said, I’m lucky to have girlfriends who have great spirits of adventure and whose spouses don’t always share their wanderlust. Four of us experienced Vietnam and Cambodia together and were dubbed the Traveling Sisterhood by Jeanne who writes Collage of Life. We plus several others who are joining the fun are off to make memories in India which will last a lifetime.
Our travel for Vietnam and now India is organized by another Jean who lives in Australia and specializes in travel for women. Take a look here at what she has coming up. Coincidentally, I learned of her through the other Jeanne which shows how blog friends can open doors for one another. I have to say Jean is a real find. She is wonderful to work with and does her utmost to make travel dreams come true. She is meeting us in Dehli, and I am very excited to become better acquainted with a woman who already seems like a friend.
There’s a long trip ahead before the adventure begins, and I’m hoping to sleep through most of it! During the next couple of weeks, if internet allows, I will share India with you and hope you will come along and enjoy the journey.

One Last Time

As you may know, I spend roughly half the year in Rockport, Maine, and half in Houston. This is the time of year when we start thinking about the return to Texas, and this is done with some regret. It is always hard to leave friends with whom we enjoy so many good summer times. This week we have shared meals, a last one at our house so I could use up whatever edibles were left.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASetting the table is always the first thing that happens when folks are coming for dinner. Ordinarily that is the easy part, but this one had me going in all different directions. I wanted to use the pumpkins and gourds that have been part of every table for the last month. To change them up a bit, they were worked in around a piece gotten some years ago from TJ Maxx.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThat was the easy part. For some reason I couldn’t decide where to go from there. I tried this and that and finally decided to let the centerpiece be the star of this last table.
Playing off the colors in the runner, black plates were used on brown placemats. That’s pretty subtle for me!
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFrom there, I added the harlequin patterned plates that are favorites.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFor whatever reason, they just didn’t strike me right so it was back to the cabinet for more black. Additional color would have to come from the salad that would be served on them.
I liked the coppery tone of the flatware with the darker ones, but having it lay alongside the plate didn’t satisfy me. Are you beginning to feel my struggle?
Ultimately, copper and silver were combined and after several arrangements contained in a napkin.

There’s nothing left to do but add a mix of stemware
pa194660.jpgand sweet little cordials for the remainder of the puffball soup that had been in the freezer.

After so many tries, it was time to walk away and be satisfied with the result.
pa194675.jpgConsidering the changes, it’s a good thing I started early preparing the table otherwise dinner may never have happened. Later in the day the sun hit just right on the pumpkins and gourds, and I knew it had been the right decision to let them be the star. Now if I can just figure out how to get them to Houston…….


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Tablescape Thursday

Last Flight

Exploring the Moosehead Lake region, we spied a sign pointing down a dirt road to a B 52 Memorial. We couldn’t imagine what that would be, but there was only one way to find out and that was to take the road.
It was a bumpy, dusty ride made tolerable by magnificent fall color .
In the distance were mountains, one of which we commented resembled an elephant. We later learned that it was called Elephant Mountain and was part of what we were about to experience.

Seven miles or so down the road, we arrived at the site to be welcomed by a sign giving indication we were going to experience something we’d not expected.

Before we’d walked too far, we saw what was the first of many airplane parts.

Needless to say that was sobering.

Debris was scattered throughout a heavily wooded area which made us wonder how and when such an obviously devastating accident had occurred.

As we continued further into the area, we became more solemn as even larger remains littered the forest.

At last, we came to the place where some questions were answered. We were surprised that anyone could have survived such a tragic crash and wondered how the survivors were rescued in such an isolated area.

When we returned to the inn later in the day, the first thing we did was research the event. It occurred January 1963 on a routine exercise that you can learn more about here. What was astonishing is that the two survivors withstood -30 degree temperatures in a snowy terrain for hours before being rescued. With today’s sophisticated location equipment they would have been found much sooner.

Needless to say, we were very moved by what we saw and appreciative of the effort to honor the men whose lives were lost.

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Sunday Wanderings

Me: Hey, we’re running out of time for a last adventure before we go back to Houston.

Hubby: So what do you have in mind?

Me: Hmmm, how about a couple of days at Moosehead Lake?

Hubby: OK, if you can find us a place to stay.

That proved to be a challenge, but luckily Blair Hill Inn had one room available.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOur room was beautifully appointed

with spectacular views of the lake and mountains.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo, what’s special about the Moosehead Lake region? It is all about the outdoors-fishing, canoeing, kayaking, hunting, hiking-in a pristine environment.

Speaking of hiking, the Appalachian Trail runs through the region and ends at nearby Mount Katadin.

It’s not likely I’ll ever do the entire 2100 mile trek, but I have a bit of it under my belt!

For campers, the area has several state parks with ample campsites.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASome folks had seasonal touches which made “roughing” it seem rather homey.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALike most of Maine, the population is sparse, and Kotadjo states it best!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt’s said that moose outnumber humans 3:1, but we saw nary a one. Only a lone deer crossed our path.

When we got to Kotajdo, it was about lunch time and there wasn’t much on the road ahead of us. That meant stopping here where an enterprising soul provided staples for hunters and fishermen and served a few sandwiches.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA. We were the only people there whose dress gave us away as visitors. When our Texas license plate was noted, there was some surprise we weren’t driving a pickup!

The Moosehead Lake region is unspoiled, and every effort is made to keep it that way. Whenever there is a proposal to increase development be it residential or wind farms, it meets strong resistance.

While that may not seem like progress, it is one of the reasons Maine is one of this country’s gifts when it comes to natural beauty.

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Dishing It and Digging It

A Peek Inside

In Maine, many people have as second homes camps located on a pond or lake.

They are not fancy places but are meant for relaxing and enjoying nature, kayaking, paddle boarding, fishing or maybe the luxury of dozing on the porch.

Camps are generally simple with no wasted space and places for only necessities.

The whole idea is comfort.

There seem always to be special touches in these homes away from home. Here it’s a rocking chair embroidered with meaningful images by a grandmother. In my eyes, this is a priceless treasure.

Elsewhere it’s the way fresh produce is mounded in a basket

or how a pot of herbs is an ample centerpiece for the evening meal.

Remembering that the reason for being at a camp is to chill, I think it’s time for a little refreshment

and some quiet time on the porch to enjoy the solitude of the pond.

It’s not likely the silence will be broken by anything other than a loon’s baleful cry. Yes, this is the way life should be.

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Simply Fall

shades of fall

When leaves begin wearing their rich fall colors, they inspire many a table setting at our house.

No dishes with their deep red orange tone and  leaf outlines are better complements to fall than these. They are right not only because of their color but because they always make me think of the sweet friend who gave them to me.

Playing off the black, these plates are chosen for salad,  

and for a first course of soup they are topped with cups that are companion pieces to the larger plates. The contrasting shapes of all the pieces are playful and interesting.

Add to the place setting a napkin tucked into a simple black napkin ring, and all is done, and I’m liking the way the setting brings out the richness of the table’s wood tones.

Several years ago, a daughter gave me candle holders that fit into bottles.  Somewhere along the line I put them away so well I forgot where they were.  Something made me think of them, and after searching high and low, they reappeared to become part of a fun centerpiece.

Laugh if you will, but I buy many wines because of their label.  It was fun going through the empty bottles and finding ones that would add a playful touch to the table.

Except for the time it took to recover the candle holders, this table went together in a matter of minutes which leaves plenty of time to play in the kitchen.  That’s the way I like it!

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

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Tablescape Thursday

Sunday Wanderings

From miles around, folks follow the road signs to Beth’s, a farm market with all things fresh and local. For me, it’s a 30 mile round trip worth every mile and the time it takes to get there.

This time of year Beth’s is a real treat as the market is loaded with much of what is perfect for fall decor.

There are pumpkins and gourds galore which makes it very hard to choose just a few.

Many of the pumpkins have names that are both perfectly descriptive

And tickle the funny bone. To tell the truth I didn’t think these were so ugly and added them to my cart.

No way were a couple of these being left behind!  Now there will have to be a ladies lunch to show them off.

Inside Beth’s is a wonderland of interesting produce all grown on the premises.

When there’s so much to choose from the real challenge is not to overbuy.

That’s a challenge I’m seldom able to meet as one of everything wants to jump in my basket.

When the basket can hold no more, I join the crowd in line and start thinking about creative ways to use everything. That’s part of the fun!

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Dishing It & Digging It