This time of year in the Appalachian Mountains something quite special happens. Something that has been occurring for 72 years. From Kentucky, through Virginia into Tennessee (a 110 mile route) rolls a train carrying a man called Santa Clause. Sound familiar?
When the Santa Train comes through the Appalachian Mountains , you know it is officially the holiday season. I have watched clips on our local news and other programs since I was a little girl. I never got to see this special phenomenon until this past Saturday , November 19, 2016. I grabbed my camera bag and drove about thirty miles to the place where Santa would be arriving on a train instead of a sleigh. I arrived to a waiting crowd of several hundred people. The looks on the small children’s faces were ones that I will never forget. They just knew something wonderful was about to happen. Something more than wonderful happened and I was blessed to be part of it.
I stood with hundreds of mountain folk and all at once we heard a whistle and looked and saw the train coming. Cheers went up and you could hear the children yells above everyone. Parents started pressing forward into the crowd with their children to get close to the front to see Santa. Some Dad’s had their little ones perched on their shoulders.
Santa arrived and was waving and shouting to everyone “Merry Christmas!” Santa’s helpers, or Elves, started jumping off the train with bags full of treats, trinkets, and toys and started handing them out among the crowd. Santa was on the train tossing toys far out into the crowd so that those little ones in the back would not be left out. My eyes filled with tears as I snapped photos and tried to watch all this spirit of generosity going on all around me. I kept hearing children calling out, “Me Santa! “Me”. I saw Santa point to a child in the crowd and his Dad brought him up on his shoulders and I raised my camera and captured a moment I will forever remember. I saw a man, who to this child was Santa Clause, look into this child’s eyes and say “I came all this way to give this to you”. I saw anticipation in this child’s eyes and thankfulness in his Dad’s eyes.
Not only did children receive gifts but Santa was tossing out gifts to adults as well. Just as I put my camera down for a minute, I looked up and saw Santa pointing to me and motioning me to come forward. I shyly stepped forward and heard him say just as he was tossing me a package, “You need this young lady”. I wanted to say, “Oh, go on Santa”. I mean , who knew Santa was such a flatterer. I’m fifty years old! I opened my package and there was a lovely scarf! I felt very special to be singled out by Santa!
This was such a special day, Santa and his elves made sure that not one child or adult left without smiling and joy in their hearts. I know I wrapped my scarf around my neck and waved back at Santa as he left the depot and knew I would never forget the spirit of giving and holiday magic that moved in the mountains this past Saturday on a train that was called the Santa Train.
When I make dinner on Sunday’s, so many times my mind goes back to when I was growing up. I remember Sunday’s was “chicken day” at my house and the whole family looked forward to Sunday’s because my Mom would be in the kitchen and it seemed like in no time at all, I could start smelling the savory aroma of chicken baking. I never was exactly sure what she did to make the chicken so delicious but there were more than one of us kids that would stand and ask “is it done yet?”
I received a coupon from BzzAgent and Barber Foods to try Barber Foods stuffed chicken breast free. I chose the Broccoli and Cheese stuffed chicken breast. I made it for my husband and I a few nights ago and as the chicken was baking, I started smelling such a delicious aroma and it took me back to when I was a child when my Mom would bake chicken and I could smell those same scrumptous aromas and my belly would growl with anticipation.
I am always so pressed for time during the week to get dinner on the table and sometimes it can be such a hassle just trying to decide what I can make that doesn’t have a lot of prep or bake time. I was so pleased that there was not any prep time and it only took about thirty minutes for the Broccoli and Cheese chicken to bake. I actually had time to make a side dish of macaroni and cheese to go with the stuffed chicken breast while I waited.
My husband and I sat down to our dinner of Barber Foods Broccoli and Cheese stuffed chicken breast, macaroni and cheese and glasses of sweet iced tea. When I cut into my chicken breast and took my first bite of stuffed chicken breast with melted Swiss and American cheeses and tender broccoli, I knew this was the closest I would ever get to my Mom’s own baked chicken! So good!
I remember when I was a child I would write and draw on everything. I mean EVERYTHING. I loved coloring in coloring books and thought color needed to be everywhere. No piece of paper was safe and even our white and cream colored walls would have my doodles and markings. I can even recall using our pretty white siding as my very own chalkboard. I used to pretend I was a teacher and my crayons were my chalk and I would write my lessons all over the side of the house. Can you just imagine how that went over with my parents? Yeah, I spent a lot of days with a soapy bucket and a sore backside.
So, many years later only a little has changed. I still love to write and draw but I am respecting personal property and now I use paper and I have found a love for gel pens, which were not around when I was a child. I have several sets of gel pens and I have found that I reach for the glitter pens most often out of all of the other types of pens that I have available in the sets. I was offered a set of Caliart Glitter Gel Pens at a discount and I jumped at the chance to have a set of only glitter gel pens. I couldn’t wait to get them so I could start coloring in my new adult coloring book. I never outgrew my coloring books either. I just color a little fancier and prettier now!
The Caliart glitter pens came in a plastic case with four trays and if you are organized that’s great but honestly, I took mine out and put them in a big metal mug and made my own holder for gel pens because I know as much as I use them, I won’t ever keep them organized in neat little trays. Let’s be real.
I was really surprised that when I first started using them, the ink started flowing right off. With some of the other gel pens I have had, I have had to “coax” the ink to get to get it going so this was a good start. The more I have used the Caliart glitter pens, I have been impressed with them. I love that there are 48 glitter pens in all – 38 unique glitter colors with 14 neon glitter colors. I love that there are silver and gold colors too. The tips are nice 1.0 mm and that makes it nice to outline drawings and stay in the outlines of coloring books.
The one thing I did learn about these gel pens is that I need to let these dry a little longer than some of my other sets of gel pens because the colors will smear a little if they are not completely dry. I think that might be because the ink in these gel pens go on really nice and thick and that is what makes the colors pop and stand out as well.
Does anyone still write old fashioned letters and notes? I do! I love going to my mailbox and getting a handwritten note or letter, even though it is rare in this day and time and that is why I love sending them myself because I know how much I love getting them so I am also going to be using my Caliart glitter pens to send special little notes to my family and friends.
As I stated, I did receive these Caliart Glitter Pens at a promotional discount and if you would like to check them out click on the link https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MFXCJN6
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I am always looking for something unique each fall to make and THIS is it this year! Thanks reviewerpam!
Place adhesive mounting strips on the back of the leaves and affix them to your two jars.
Place the jars upside down on a piece of cardboard or newspaper and use spray paint color of your choice. Once dry, turn them over to spray the top. Spray from front to back lightly so the paint doesn’t get on the inside of the jar behind your leaf.
Once dry, remove the leaves and adhesive strips. Add the corn. I used corn husks around the top of the jar. Just super glue it in the back & tie them together in the front. I used a couple of extra pieces and tied them around the front. As another option you could just tie a piece of twine around the…
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I got up this morning in a rush, as usual. I have to admit I am not a breakfast person and I rarely eat breakfast or take the time to even take a moment for myself to get my thoughts together before I start my day of endless tasks. I know breakfast is supposed to be the most important part of the day but I just don’t feel hungry until later in the day and I don’t even feel much like a snack. The New Year is coming maybe I’ll make some changes do better. Maybe…
So, I did decide to put the brakes on this morning when I felt a chill and wrapped my lime green and hot pink polka dotted robe around me and thought a nice cup of hot tea might warm my body up. I am not a coffee drinker at all. I do love the smell of coffee, though. Is that strange? I remember growing up and laying in bed early in the morning and I could smell the coffee that my Mom was perking in the kitchen and thinking “that smells so good”. I couldn’t wait until I was old enough to drink coffee. In my house, coffee was only for “adults”. I don’t know why? Back then, I thought adults look so sophisticated drinking coffee. I think I was about 11 when I drank my first (and last cup of coffee). My Mom and Dad went to a neighbors house and I decided I could not wait until I was grown to taste coffee. I had smelled it long enough and it was just killing me. I went to the cabinet and picked out my Mom’s prettiest coffee cup. It was a white cup with pretty pink and blue flowers. I found a saucer, it didn’t match but I thought I needed a saucer to be fancy. I poured the coffee into my pretty cup and sat down at the table and crossed my legs and took my first drink with so much anticipation. I hated it! How disappointed I was. This coffee tasted nothing like it smelled to me. Oh, I know many disagree with me but that was my coffee experience and to this day, I still love the smell of coffee but won’t try it again. Anyway, I am completely off the subject!
I got my tea box down and look through my packets of tea. A dear friend sent me a beautiful wooden tea box with Bentley’s finest tea’s several years ago for Christmas and the packets of teas are long gone now but I kept the beautiful box to keep my favorite tea packets in. I tried to decide which tea I would have this morning and I narrowed it down to three, Twinings Honeybush, Mandarin & Orange, Bigelow Earl Grey and Twinings Irish Breakfast. All three are favorites and it was a hard decision. Maybe if I had more time and had a long leisurely morning I could have thrown caution to the wind and had all three but I ended up picking Earl Grey. I’ve enjoyed drinking Earl Grey tea for years, long before I discovered the other two. I’ve learned some things about Earl Grey tea over the years. Earl Grey tea has some surprising benefits.
1. Good For Your Teeth
Earl Grey tea has fluoride and fluoride is good for your teeth because it helps protect them from cavities and helps fight tooth decay. Who knew?
Maybe it doesn’t give you a kick like coffee (or so I’ve heard coffee gives you a kick) but it does give you a little morning or afternoon boost.
3. Helps Fight Anxiety And Depression
Earl Grey tea contains bergamot and that has been known to have a calming effect on some people and also known to be a mood booster. Some people use it to help with depression, anxiety, and stress.
Earl Grey tea also has been known to help in digestion and indigestion and nausea and even to promote regularity.
5. Weight Loss
This one got my attention and seems to be one of the more popular benefits of Earl Grey tea (wonder why?) It is believed to help in weight loss because it contains citrus extract which a lot of people believe citrus fruits can induce weight loss.
While I took this relaxing time this morning enjoying my cup of Earl Grey tea, I thought would catch up on one of my favorite PBS shows, Poldark. Oh my, what a dashing figure he is. How appropriate, drinking Earl Grey tea and watching the British show, Poldark!
I’ve always heard “all good things must come to an end” and when I got to the last drop of my tea, I knew I must get on with my day and I bid my handsome Poldark farewell until we meet again, sigh…
I love this time of the year. I go to fall/harvest festivals and watch the leaves turn from green to yellow, orange, brown and red. This is a time of year when I really feel motivated to bake because apples are plenty. I went to an Apple Festival last week and brought back a bushel of apples. The next day I went to work and made yummy fried apple pies.
Oh my, they tasted so good! I didn’t wait until I had a chance to go to the store and get vanilla ice cream put on top of these pies. I only make fried apple pies during fall with fresh apples and I just felt I had waited so long to get this delicious treat. I am making more pies this weekend and guess what I have in my freezer? Yep, vanilla bean ice cream!
Today, I canned some apples so that this winter and throughout spring, I can have applesauce with hot buttermilk biscuits slathered with butter. I can also make my Old Fashioned Apple Stack Cake too. I’m starving writing about all the yummy things I am going to do with these apples
Fall, such a lovely and delicous time of the year!
The great thing about this necklace is that I don’t have to leave my favorite essential oil at home. I can bring it with me in this oil diffuser necklace.
The necklace is actually very lovely with an antique gold finish pendant and a diamond leaf charm. I have two other diffuser necklaces. One if made of a metal that does not shine and it does not have a charm and the other does have a charm but it is smaller and the charm does not make the necklace stand out. This diamond leaf charm makes this oil diffuser necklace noticeable and gives it a elegant look.
The pendant on the necklace is one inch round and it opens up like a locket. There are two black and two gray leather disc that come with this necklace. I have been putting one or two drops of my favorite essential oil on one of the disc and putting it inside the pendant. I also have found out that I can put a few drops, or sprays, of my favorite perfume on one of the disc as well. This is another way of wearing my perfume and being able to catch a scent of it from the pendant each time I go out wearing my necklace. The chain is approximately 30 inches and has a lobster claw clasp. I love this length because I can easily slip it over my head and I don’t fumble with the clasp. This length if also perfect for wearing the necklace about mid ways of the chest, which makes it more noticeable but the pendant is still close enough to breath in the aromatic scents of essential oil or perfume.
Because the diamond leaf charm is so pretty, I would like it to be more noticeable when wearing the necklace but it does hide behind the pendant a lot of times when I am wearing it and I find myself adjusting it so that it is closer to the front of the pendant. Also, a couple of the disc seemed worn in a few places but they absorbed the oil and perfume I used fairly well and I can use one disc for about three days before having to replace it with another.
My experience with this necklace has been mostly positive and I am very pleased with the design and functionality of this necklace. I love that this necklace is elegant enough to wear in a formal setting but fits comfortable and can be worn casually as well.
I was happy to get this oil diffuser necklace at a discount for my evaluation.
If you would like to check it out,