Sunday, December 1, 2019

A final fall finish and Thanksgiving memories

And suddenly the house is quiet... My last visitor (youngest son) left this morning after the Thanksgiving break, and that strange feeling has set in. I bet you've experienced that feeling--the one where your house has hummed with activity for the past week and now all that's left are the lingering memories of the week's activities... the laughter around the dinner table, the clicking of the keyboards as several family members pressed on with work duties off and on all week, the teasing and measuring of heights as one son was sure he had grown taller than another. I see and hear these images in my mind and shed a tear or two. It was a wonderful, rare holiday when we could all be together for more than a day or two. And busy as I was, I treasured each moment... 

Luckily, before the busyness of last week set in, I had finished stitching two pieces which I'll share with  you today. First up is one of my favorites--the fall town scene from Book No. 93 called "Harvest Time." This was stitched on 40 ct. Vintage Country Mocha with the suggested DMC threads. Good old Prairie Schooler--I can always count on it to comfort me during stressful times. I think this piece so perfectly captures the fall season in all its glory--you can almost smell the crunchy leaves and feel the cool autumn air as you look at it, can't you? I'll, most likely, be framing this one in the future.

"Harvest Time" all finished up

The colors of autumn

I saved the farmer riding atop his straw-filled pumpkin wagon to stitch last!

And I've finished my November ornament--an oldie, but goodie from Homespun Elegance called "Jingle, Jingle." These were also stitched on 40 ct. Vintage Country Mocha Newcastle (I seem to be in a rut and always use that fabric, but colors show up so nicely on it!). I did change the colors to more of a Prairie Schooler palette, though using DMC 201, 407, 520, 610, 3031, 3828, and white. To complete the finish, I used some red Woolies Flannel and a quintet of jingle bells strung across the bottom.

"Jingle, Jingle" times three!

My finished November ornament--one more ornament left to stitch for 2019!

Yes, I made a total of three--two will be traveling to friends this Christmas.

GIVEAWAY WINNER... I only had a few entries for the giveaway for this pretty Thanksgiving chart and the winner is...


Meg--congratulations! Please send me your mailing address and I'll get this off to you as soon as possible. I so hope you enjoy stitching this one (or parts of it!) and that you'll share your finish with us next year, Meg. For those of you who aren't familiar with Meg's blog--please visit Live To Stitch and say "hello." And be sure to check out Meg's delightful Thanksgiving freebie on her November 23, 2019 post!

The winner of the Thanksgiving chart is Meg!

A new giveaway... So should we do another giveaway for a Christmas chart pulled from an older cross stitch magazine? How about this sweet design called "This Year's Tree?" From the Summer 1993 issue of  "Treasures In Needlework," it features a young girl presenting a freshly decorated tree to her forest friends--love the little raccoon and, of course, the red cardinal flying in to get a better look. The folk art look of this design is so beautiful, isn't it? Just look at that painted red sled! If you would like to win this chart (just three pages pulled from a magazine--not the entire magazine / the pages will be folded and mailed in a legal sized envelope to save postage costs) let me know in your comments below and 1) tell me about one of your favorite Christmas gifts ever and 2) make sure to include your email address if I don't already have it. I will keep the giveaway open until Monday, December 9th and announce the winner on my next post. And in keeping with tradition, I'll answer my own question, too... One of my very favorite Christmas gifts was the Easy Bake Oven I got when I was about 9 years old. I so enjoyed creating little cakes and treats for my family and I truly believe that gift was the beginning of my love for baking. Did any of you have one?

If you would like to be entered for the giveaway of this pretty chart, please let me know in the comments below, answer the question "What was one of your favorite Christmas gifts?" and include your email address (if I don't already have it).

I had a Thanksgiving surprise when, at the very last minute, my youngest son's work trip was cancelled! Hooray--I had all three sons and my daughter-in-law home for Thanksgiving after all! It was a ton of work preparing for 20 guests, but I had a lot of help this year. Everyone brought a dish to share and helped with the clean-up.  As always, it amazes me how an event you spend weeks preparing for is over in a flash! I thought you might like to see a few photos from our day.

To fit all 20 guests,  I push two tables together and we eat in our sunroom.

I love this checked table runner with the white sweater pumpkin that I found at Home Goods this fall.  The little white houses light up and were found for $1.50 each at Target on clearance.

The day before Thanksgiving I bought several bunches of flowers and combined them into colorful bouquets for the table and to set in different spots in the house. The orange gerbera daisies and yellow ranunculus were simply gorgeous!

This turkey, made of meats, crackers, and cheeses was something I saw on Pinterest and asked my oldest son and daughter-in-law to recreate. I think they did a great job!

I love this time of year because I always get to indulge in my second favorite hobby (after cross stitching!)--baking! This year, I baked two pecan pies, nine types of cookies, four loaves of pumpkin cranberry bread, and four dozen applesauce mini-muffins.

So, my "diet" between Thanksgiving and Christmas begins today! Is that even possible? There are just so many tempting treats surrounding us at this time of year, aren't there? I actually don't do a lot of baking at Christmas because I freeze half of the cookies I've made for Thanksgiving--just a little tip to save you time during December. I don't do anything special--just use Ziploc Freezer Bags with wax paper in between each layer of cookies. I then take a straw and suck as much air out of the bags as possible. This keeps them fresh and flavorful for our Christmas cookie tray.

Cruise wrap-up... Several of you had questions for me on what I liked / disliked about river cruising so I thought I'd give you a little run-down. This was the only cruise, of any type, that my husband and I have ever taken and was a special gift from our three sons for our 40th wedding anniversary back in 2017. Due to other commitments, we couldn't take it that year or in 2018, so we finally got it on our calendar for July 2019.  Our sons took care of all of the booking details and, based on some input from us, they chose Avalon Waterways and a cruise on the Danube River from Prague to Budapest. My husband and I want to thank each of them for such a generous and thoughtful gift--how blessed we are to have them as sons! It was truly a gift that we'll never forget...


The cruise line... Avalon Waterways won the "Cruisers' Choice" award for 2019 for "Best European River Cruise Line." And although I have nothing to compare it to, our entire experience with the ship and staff was excellent. The ships are fairly new (ours was just three years old) and impeccably maintained. 

Some of our fellow cruisers board the ship

The name of the ship was the Avalon Passion--fitting for an anniversary cruise, I'd say!

My husband boarding the ship

Our cabin... We were shocked to find out that our sons had booked us into one of two "Royal Suites" on the ship! They said they did it because they knew we would never do anything like that for ourselves (they're right!)... It was so roomy and luxurious-- the Royal Suite is 50% larger than the standard cabins so we had plenty of space to spread out. To tell you the truth--not a lot of time is spent in your cabin. If you aren't off touring the landmarks, you are usually eating meals or sleeping!

The Royal Suite included extra space on the side of the bed with a couch, desk (not shown), bookcase (not shown) and closets. There was a lovely  plate filled with fruit to welcome us when we embarked. The glass doors fully slide open to the outside so you can turn the chairs around and simply sit and relax as you cruise down the river.

The king size bed featured an adjustable mattress and was very comfortable!

Our cabin had two sinks, a large shower and a separate toilet room! Included were L'Occitane bath products.

There was even a gorgeous white orchid in our room!

Dining... On this ship of 150+ passengers there were two choices of dining spots: the main dining room or the more casual bistro which was set up buffet style. Dining was where my husband and I struggled. We are both quite shy and walking into a large, loud dining room with over a hundred strangers was overwhelming for both of us. In the future, if we ever take another river cruise, we will be sure to travel with at least one other couple for dinner companions. We ate with various people and did finally find another couple from New Orleans to eat most meals with. What we discovered is that we preferred the quieter buffet bistro to the noisy main dining room so we gravitated there on most evenings. The food was excellent in both places--especially the soups, breads, and desserts. The waiters were all male (for some reason!) and came from many eastern European countries like Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, and Romania. They all spoke English quite well, too.

The desserts were little masterpieces! I especially love the musical notes on the one in the upper left!

The passengers: I had a question about the age of the passengers. Well, as you can see in this photo below, they all tended to be on the older side--60s and 70s with a few in their 80s. Oh, you would see an occasional younger couple (and one family who brought their teenage kids), but most were of  retirement age. There was a huge contingent of folks from one Catholic diocese in Missouri who were traveling together that made up over half of the passengers. This made it a bit harder to meet people as they all knew each other and tended to hang out together. All the passengers seemed to be from the U.S., Great Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. We got to know the people in the background quite well who were from Canada, just four hours north of us!


Celebrating our 42nd wedding anniversary aboard the Avalon "Passion"

Time spent at destinations... This would be my biggest complaint, but I think it is just something you have to expect when on a river cruise. The ship is on a strict deadline as far as docking in the various cities so they must keep to a schedule--and that means you have more time in some destinations than others. For me, Vienna was far too brief a visit--especially the time we spent at Schönbrunn Palace on that extremely hot, humid day. I heard from some seasoned cruisers that a few people actually hire their own guides to take them around the city and are thus able to see and experience more of the local flavor of the city at a faster pace. Definitely something to consider!

Double docking problem... A little known fact--and one that isn't often mentioned in cruise brochures--is that you may be docked right next to another ship making your view not one of the city or a  pretty landscape, but of another ship's rooms! Even worse, your may be sandwiched between two ships (this only happened once, but ended up with us having to have our curtains drawn that entire day!). This seems to happen in the very busiest stops like Budapest and Vienna. The smaller towns weren't usually a problem. 

Two ships double docked in Dürnstein, Austria

More double docked ships in Linz, Austria

The staff... What a wonderful mix of nationalities were represented on this cruise! Our cruise director was Dutch, the captain was Bulgarian, and the housekeeping and wait staff were from countries all over the world. It was interesting to talk with them a bit about their lives back home and to hear just how much the job on the cruise ship meant to them in terms of helping out their families in other countries. Many would work two weeks on, two weeks off, and return home to work another job in between. There was no problem with communication as all spoke (at least some) English. I would assume the people dealing with the passengers in jobs such as receptionists and waiters spoke better English than the cooks in the kitchen and others with behind the scenes duties, but I don't know for sure. 

The actual cruising time... For me, this was the best part of the trip and I wish there had been more hours to just sit in our cabin with our doors open, stitching in hand, lazily watching the world go by as we drifted down the Danube.

It was such a joy to simply sit on the ship and watch the world go by!

Swans were our constant companions. Notice the ruins in the background.

There was a seemingly endless supply of pretty little towns with old castles perched high above!

The trips through the locks on the Danube were always interesting.

The locks at night

Mornings on the rivers were my favorites. I loved hearing the sounds of the world waking up--children playing on the shoreline, bells pealing from church towers, dogs barking in the distance...

Our last morning on the river as we approach Budapest

Would we go again? Yes! But, as I mentioned above, we would prefer to go with another couple to make meal-times less stressful for us. We never dreamed we would be traveling in eastern Europe... You have to remember that when I was growing up, in the 50s and 60s, the idea of traveling to countries behind "The Iron Curtain," was unimaginable. I mean, I grew up in the era of the Cold War, fear of the atomic bomb, and "Duck and Cover" drills in schools (like hiding under our desks would really protect us)!  So, to be actually traveling in countries like Hungary, Slovenia, and The Czech Republic--and to be welcomed there--felt a bit surreal. It was so, so interesting to hear the guides talk about their lives under Soviet rule and it made me even more appreciative of growing up in a democracy. Traveling abroad not only opens your eyes to different ways of living, customs, and history, but it also allows you to understand and appreciate your own life better. So, yes, I would definitely go on a river cruise again to experience a taste of many, many different cultures in a short period of time. 

I hope you've enjoyed this Danube River journey--it sure has been a long one! I appreciate the many comments I've received along the way and I'm so happy that you've traveled the Danube with me. Thank you for reading (or even glancing at the photos!).

Well, it's December--and for those of you who are long-time readers, you know what that means, don't you? I hope you'll stop by and visit me next week! Until then--thank you for visiting today--and a special thank you for those who take the time to comment. Your comments mean so much to me--they really do! Take care now and good luck with all of your Christmas baking, decorating, card writing, present wrapping, but try to take some extra time for yourself, too! I am keeping things simpler this year so I can really sit back and enjoy the spirit of the holiday--I hope you can, too. Bye for now...

50 comments:

diamondc said...

Carol: Congratulations on your 42nd anniversary, your trip looks beautiful, thank-you for sharing the lovely photos with us.
Your Harvest Time is such a beautiful design, I love the colors of fall.
Your November ornaments are finished in such a lovely way, the red flannel is perfect.
The Thanksgiving table beautiful, I am so happy you had your boys and daughter in law with you.
Please do not include me in your giveaway I have the magazine.

Have a wonderful week

Catherine

Sandy said...

I am so happy you had all three home. IT is truly wonderful to have all the chickadees under one roof. The table was very pretty for Thanksgiving and you know I love flowers. Those PS stitches are so very pretty. So simple but yet completely perfect in their final outcome. The ornaments are always adorable and someone will be very happy to open her mailbox. You have been busy stitching. I have only been on one cruise and we went with really good friends. I too would have not enjoyed meal time without them. I am shy as well. My husband can chat easily, but he doesn't particularly enjoy it.
I always wanted an Easy Bake oven, but Mother (Santa) didn't seem to think that was a gift for me. I still love to bake. It is one of my favorite things to do as well.

Sandy said...

Oh and I couldn't help but smile at all those leaves and acorns around the PS stitch. That would be so me ---collecting the leaves.

dianne said...

i didn't get the Easy Bake oven that i asked for - my mom told me that if i wanted to bake I could use the big oven if i promised to not burn down the house - ha ha ha!!!

my auntie gave me a stuffed dog (named Lady) that i slept with till her fur wore off - we tried to wash her in the washer, but she refused to dry (before we had a clothes dryer) and she molded - wow, remembering Lady is not as much fun as i thought it would be...

anywho, merry christmas to you and yours!!!

Sandra said...

Your new seasonal stitching is just beautiful. I do love the addition of the tiny bells to the Jingle Jingle ones! Oh to be one of your friends and receive such a gorgeous gift!
A very big and lovely Thanksgiving table and a lovely celebration to honour!
How clever to do a diet between Thanksgiving and Christmas!
So glad you enjoyed that river cruise so much and congratulations for your 42nd wedding anniversary!

MartinaM said...

Oh yes, I know that too, when one day the house is full of life and the next moment everything is empty and quiet.
Wow Harvest Time looks great. Such beautiful colors.
Three times you have made the great ornament, because you will give two great pleasure. I would like to win the great pattern, I love these old nostalgic motifs very much, even if I have not embroidered even one. My favorite Christmas present? Actually, those are the ones my children surprise me with since they are little, about whom I know nothing and they show no signs of it.
I wish you a nice Advent, Hugs Martina

Gabi said...

Oh yes, I know that feeling too. Laughter all day and then .... silence. But very nice to hear you had a wonderful thanksgiving and enjoyed.
Your stitching is always so pretty and TPS is one of my favorites.
Your report about the journey is very interesting and yes, I am thankful that I grow up in a free country.
Hope that such a time will never happen again.
Have a wonderful week.
Hugs Gabi

butterfly said...

WOW love your stitching.
And wow again your thanks giving table and food looks fab .
Lovely holiday photos it looked wonderful.
So happy your younger son made to too.
Oh I love the free chart I love little girl ones , so please add my name to the pot.
My best gift was when all my family were here at Christmas time .
Have a lovely week hugs.

Manuela said...

Hello Carol.
a wonderful post as always. The Harvest Time is a great finish. So beautiful autumn colours.
I like your three finishes. Wonderful idea with the little bells.
A lovely giveaway. My best christmas-gift is a little star, that my son create in the kindergarten. Every year I love it to hang it in the window. The star is over 20 years old.
Enjoy the time untill Christmas.
Hugs, Manuela

Shortbread and Ginger said...

Harvest Time is absolutely beautiful - the colours are fantastic. Think I might put this on my "must do" list!

Marilyn said...

Harvest Time is beautiful! Love the Fall colors.
Those Jingle, Jingles are too cute.
Beautiful Thanksgiving table also.
That cruise looks like fun, thanks for sharing the pics.
Can't wait for your post with pics of your tree!!
Marilyn

Barb said...

Hi Carol - what a happy, fun and truly interesting posting you’ve shared with us! I so loved reading it! Thank you!!
I am so happy for you that all of your sons (and your one son’s wife, too) were able to be home with you. Looks like you had lots of others to share Thanksgiving with you. Your dining table is so festive and beautiful! I’m sure it was a very happy event for everyone.
Thanks, too, for all of your thoughts about your wonderful Danube River cruise. What a wonderful trip your sons gave to you and your ship’s room was most amazing! A truly memorable experience!

Love your stitching pictures, too. That Prairie Schooler “Harvest Time” stitching is just gorgeous - you always do such incredibly beautiful work. It makes me want to stitch it, too!, And, of course, I love “Jingle, Jingle” - so perfect and your finish is perfect!!!

I would love to enter my name to win “This Year’s Tree” . It really is so special - it would be a perfect design for next year’s Christmas. One of my favorite Christmas gifts was the year my parents gave me the chance to get my own snow skis. Yeah! No more renting skis! I love to snow ski!

Hope all is going well for you and your family. All the best to all of you!!
Barb R.

Susan of River Ridge said...

Hi Carol, I am a new reader of your post. It was very interesting. I love to cruise but have never done a river cruise. Thank you for the cruise line recommendation. I love your cross stitching! you do beautiful work. I particularly liked the Harvest Time but love the Jingle, Jingle ones too.

Please enter my name for the giveaway.

marly said...

I so enjoyed the posts of your trip. I don't know how your sons could top that gift!! I would think that people who suffer from sea sickness would be able to handle such a trip. My cousin enjoyed a Germany river cruise at Christmas, said it was magical.

Lovely Thanksgiving table and foods. Enjoy! January is the time for cutting back! Please do not include me in your offer.

Arlene @Nanaland said...

Oh the Prairie Schooler Autumn scene is one of my favorites. I am working on Weather Wise right now and I am loving it as well. You are right about PS...always a joy to stitch! Your Thanksgiving table was lovely and so nice to have all your family with you. As for crusing, not sure it is in my future but I enjoyed traveling along with you on your trip Carol. Marvin's family is German and I would love to travel there some day to see his Roots.lol Of course I would enjoy seeing my own Roots in England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Recently Norway was added to my ancestry DNA....I am sure that is because of the Vikings pillaging Scotland and here I am all these years later as proof.lol Have a blessed day.

Robin in Virginia said...

Carol, love the festive holiday background to your blog! I am glad that your youngest son was able to join you at Thanksgiving. The turkey appetizer created by your oldest and his wife is adorable and I bet so yummy.

I love your PS Harvest finish and yes, it needs to be framed soon. I stitched this one (well actually I stitched it twice -- once for me and one for a dear friend) and it hangs all year in our bedroom. Your November ornament looks fabulous and I love the color changes you made to it. I don't think you are in a rut with fabric. The vintage country mocha is my go to fabric; it makes most designs and threads look good.

Thank you for sharing about your cruise along with your likes/dislikes. Wishing you a wonderful first week of December and I, for one, am looking forward to the unveiling of your parade of ornaments!

Katie said...

What beautiful finishes. Love that you made 3. Lucky friends you have. Congrats to Meg! Please don't include me in your drawing. What a lovely Thanksgiving you had. I'm so glad the son's work trip was canceled. Sounds like a lovely day indeed. The turkey meat and cheese platter is too cute! Thanks for sharing your cruise thoughts. Our friends want us to go on an Alaska cruise. We aren't ready for that type of expensive adventure just yet. Maybe sometime later in life. It sounds like fun but I think it's $8,500 for 2 people. It's a Land and Water cruise. I'm so glad you guys had a great time on your cruise. Thanks for sharing with your readers. I enjoyed it a lot.

leen said...

Carol, Please enter me n your Christmas chart giveaway. My fav present was when I was 13. I received a small transistor radio in a chestnut color leather case from my parents. My dad and I would listen to baseball games together on the radio. Many happy memories.

November 3 was a big month for our family. We had our first female grandchild. Named after my mom, Anna. She smells so good...

Christmas Blessings to you.

leen3d@gmail.com

Barb said...

Thank you for sharing your cruise with us. We have been on several cruises, but never a river cruise. The cabin looks so nice as we always do inside and I wouldn't know what to do with that room. I always stitch in the common areas.

Meg said...

Hi, Carol! Yay - I won the giveaway?! Whoopee! I'll send you my mailing address via email. Thank you so much! ;-)

I love, love, love the PS finish in this post. I have a similar PS chart in my stash that I'd love to stitch one day. I tried the 40-count vintage country mocha linen you've been using and it is awesome. Your ornament for November is lovely, one that I have not seen before. As always, love your finish.

Since I just won a giveaway, I won't enter the next one, but my favorite Christmas gift was a Barbie townhouse. Thinking back, it was just a big piece of cardboard printed with "rooms" and plastic pillars to divide the floors, but it had a working elevator and to my young eyes it was simply amazing. I never did have an EasyBake oven, but my mom and I would bake cookies together every Saturday. That's where I got my love of baking.

Your Thanksgiving looks like something out of a magazine! ;-) I'm glad your sons were all home. How fun.

Love your new Christmas background, by the way. I can hardly believe it's already December!

Karen said...

Congratulations on your 42nd anniversary! Beautiful November ornament finish. How wonderful that all your sons were home for Thanksgiving.

ndavis said...

Warmest wishes on you anniversary!!!! I love reading your blog, you always give me such inspiration. Please enter my name in your give a way....just a great design! My favorite Christmas gift was a portable stereo when I was about 14. That thing when to the carport in the summer as well as friends homes where we would play records and dance in the basements.

Merry Christmas - ndavis2124@gmail.com

Charlotte Holzhausen said...











First time at your site. Enjoyed it very much. Hard to believe Thanksgiving is over and Christmas is just around the corner. Thanks for sharing your river cruise, what a wonderful surprise from your children. Would love to win cross stitch pattern. love those old time girls. My favorite Christmas present was a stuffed tiger, we 3 girls called him Tiger Lily. We received Evening in Paris also that year. We dumped the bottle on the tiger. My sister still has him and the faint smell of Evening in Paris is still there.

Barb said...

Your Fall village is just beautiful. Yes, I could almost feel the leaves crunching beneath the wagon. PS always delivers. I just stitched 3 PS nut crackers, now how to finish them??!! The info on the cruise was very interesting. We went on a small boat when we went to Alaska and we really enjoyed it. Your Thanksgiving table looked so pretty! Glad you had such a wonderful visit with your sons and family. We had a quiet one with just Laurie and her friend Al. It was lovely!

Susan Lankford said...

Hi Carol...Your family must be so grateful to have you and your gracious home host their Thanksgiving. Everything looked so inviting.

Of course, Harvest Time looks impeccably stitched and sooo lovely! Do you stitch one over two on 40 count?

And you are so self-disciplined...stitching an ornament per month along with your travels. So many say that's what they will do, but life happens and they don't.

And your final pictures of the Danube RiverCruise are amazing...the suite alone is gasp-worthy! ....more great retirement memories...

Hugs,
Susan

Shelly said...

Carol, Harvest Time has to be the prettiest Fall design I've seen and I hang around on the FB stitching sites! I've written down the name and # because I'm stitching that up sometime in my future. The three ornaments you also stitched are nothing to sneeze at! So glad you had all 3 sons and 1 wife present. I never had an Easy Bake oven but I did buy one for my daughter for Christmas when she was small. I did buy other mixes after she used up the ones that came with it. I am looking forward to what's coming up this month! Have a super stitchy week!

Donna said...

It sounds like you had a wonderful holiday! You’re right when you say weeks of preparation and it’s over so fast. I love the Harvest Time piece that you stitched. It’s just beautiful and your ornament is lovely. What thoughtful boys you have to give you such an amazing trip and to even book a suite. That looked like a trip of a lifetime. Thank you for sharing all the pictures. Are you getting the snowstorm and winds that we got over the weekend here in a Minnesota? It looks like winter is here! Have a wonderful holiday season.

Kathy H said...

I enjoyed reading about your river cruise. Glad you were able to have your family together for thanksgiving. Loved the meat and cheese tray!

Natureluvr57 said...

Such a wonderful posting-loved the pictures. You're Harvest Time makes me want to stitch it now. We didn't even get much of a fall this year. I love the little girl and wildlife. I used to have a fat little sparrow visit every day when I was about 5 and I would talk to it. Grew up loving wildlife and nature so I would love "This Year's Tree". Love the older magazines-I have some but I don't think I have that one. Have a great week.

Lola said...

I love reading about your adventures. Harvest Time is beautiful. I have not seen that chart. My favorite gift was a Chatty Baby doll that talked when you pulled the string on her neck. I was about 8 years old. lmund_1999@yahoo.com.
Lola in NW Minnesota

Unknown said...

Hi from South Africa! Enjoy your blog so much. All my family are in Canada now, so I love seeing their snow, wintery looking pics they send me ... and it makes me long for them so much especially this time of year.

I would love to do the cross stitch pattern 'Harvest Time'. Is there perhaps an email graph download of this available?

Have a super week further.
Nicole - from the coastal city of Port Elizabeth

Bellemarie said...

Hi Carol- Your blog is so lovely. The pictures, oh my. Love them. You take a lot of time to make your blog full and rich with info on family and what you stitch and I just want to say thank you for your blog.

Your cruise is once in a lifetime trip. Being my hubby and I recently retired, we are planning to visit our army son in Germany next year. He knows I have a thing about castles and is waiting for both of us to visit so he can see them with us. Europe is so rich in history, customs and architecture. Can hardly wait and your pictures make me want to see Budapest.

Thanks for your the pictures of your Thanksgiving and it was wonderful that all your sons and daughter in law could celebrate with you and your husband.

Cindy in northern Illinois

Cathy H. said...

What an amazing cruise! I was drooling over every picture! I'm also drooling over your beautiful stitched pieces. I'm anxiously awaiting the next post!!

Leonore Winterer said...

I'm so glad you got to celebrate Thanksgiving with all your sons! The holiday sounds wonderful and is something we are really lacking here in Germany. We might get the whole family together on Christmas, but even that isn't happening all that often.
The food and especially your baking look delicious, it's a good thing it's almost dinner time as I'm starving just looking at it!
Lovely stitching as well. The Harvest design has such nice, autumn-y colours, and I admire how you can make not just one, bur three almost identical, gorgeous ornaments!
Thanks for the additional information on your cruise, it was really interesting to read! Between this and a Mediterranean stitching cruise I've been reading about on another blog, I really want to go on one myself now...
Re: all male waiters - I don't know how it is in the US, but in my experience, in Europe, more 'upscale' restaurants will usually only have male waiters, whereas in more casual dining places, you are more likely to have female waitresses. Not sure whether that's a sexist statement or what...

Wendy Howard said...

This was a beautiful trip down the Danube. I love the free gift. My favorite Christmas memory (it still happens ) is watching my grandchildren open their gifts. The shine in their eyes is something I will never forget.

Christel said...

Merci Carol d'avoir partager de nouvelles informations concernant votre croisière sur le Danube. C'est près de la France mais je ne connais pas du tout l'Autriche, grâce à tes photos je la connais un petit peu maintenant.
Ton Harvest Time est une splendeur. Il y a toujours un modèle qui nous fait craquer chez Prairie Schooler.
Tes ornements de Noël sont très jolis. Tes amis seront très heureux de recevoir un de ces coussinets.
Mon plus beau souvenir de Noël est celui de mes 12 ans lorsque j'ai eu mon premier clavier... Et cette année je suis chanceuse car le Père Noël m'a promis le dernier clavier sorti de chez Yamaha. C'est une petite merveille de technologie avec une multitude de sons de grande qualité. Je donnerai celui que j'ai à une amie, elle aime jouer aussi et le sien est très vieux. Elle sera contente, et ça aussi ça fait partie de mon bonheur, donner et avoir en retour un sourire....
Quel courage d'avoir fait à manger, même s'il y a eu des participations, pour 20 personnes... J'aime manger mais je déteste faire la cuisine... Mon mari prépare de bons plats heureusement qu'il aime ça être derrière les fourneaux...
Amitiés de France,
Christel
http://toilesetfils.blogspot.com

Faith... said...

Harvest Time is a beautiful fall piece! That is quite a table you have set there. Sounds like you had a wonderful family filled day.

Sherri said...

OMG Carol, when I saw three ornaments, my first thought was that you stitched them for you sons and "mother of the year!" Ha! No doubt your friends will be thrilled to get them. As usual, your ornaments are always so cute! Love your PS piece as well. Your Thanksgiving sounds wonderful with your family and I'd say all the baked good as well!

LoriU said...

Love that Prairie Schooler finish! It is one of my favorite of their designs! The little Jingle Jingle ornaments are cute too!

Ah the Easy Bake Oven! I loved mine too! My poor parents ate those little cakes I made and acted like they were fine bakery!!

I don't think I would have been able to stitch on the river cruise because I would be looking out the window the entire time! I would be afraid I'd miss seeing something! LOL!

Claire said...

Oh Carol I was so happy to read that your youngest son managed to come for Thanksgiving, too! What a great surprise! Your house is beautiful and what a special thing for all of your guests to be able to gather together at your gorgeous Thanksgiving table. Such a beautiful meal and gift of memeories you have given to all of them. Your sweet finishes are so lovely and I am so looking forward to your ornament parade. Thank you so much for taking us along on your cruise. I've enjoyed every minute! Here's hoping that you will find some quiet stitching moments among the busy December days. Merry Christmas, my friend.

Jutta said...

My dear June,
oh, what a wonderful post, I enjoyed it from the first to the last line.
I'm glad you loved the turbulent time around your family so much.
Your "Harvest Time" is perfect, what a beautiful motive. I also like the three small pillows very much.
And the great dining table, how beautifully you decorated it. And you baked like a "World Champion", mmmhhh, already when looking at the photos the water runs together in my mouth.
Thanks also for the impressive photos of your very luxurious trip with the Avalon Waterways and congratulations on your 42nd wedding anniversary, you are a great couple!!!!
I don't want to participate in your giveaway because I think the postage to Germany is too expensive. Good luck to all.
Enjoy the Advent season, many greetings to you, Jutta

Christine said...

What a great post! Your stitched pieces are fantastic - congrats on all the finishes! And thank you for taking the time to share pics of your wonderful cruise. It was very informative for those of us who always wonder what it is really like.

Can't wait for the annual Christmas decorations!

Cindy's cross stitch said...

Love the pieces. The Turkey platter is so cute. You desserts always looks good. I hope your December is enjoyable and relaxing.

Unknown said...

Hello sissy,

Beautiful stitching as always. I enjoyed reading about your 42nd anniversary river cruise. You raised three great sons (my nephews)! I was sad to learn my Easy Bake Oven thst I loved so much was a hand me down, lol!!! Keep in your stitching, Love, Sissy

Stasi said...

Carol, so happy your youngest made it to Thanksgiving; I'm sure it made for an extra special day! I ove your decorations..all so welcoming! Your PS and ornaments are fabulous--you really do such a nice job finishing!
Thanks too for the trip info...pros and cons...could be helpful in the future. :)

Sally said...

I hope I’m not too late to enter the giveaway. That chart is just so cute! One of my favourite Christmas gifts was a small cross stitch needle book kit that I received when I was about ten years old. That kit ignited my love of cross stitch and I still have the needle book that I made.

Your November ornament is fabulous as always and your Thanksgiving table setting was gorgeous. I’m sure everyone had a wonderful time.

Mary said...

Carol, I'm going to come back and read about your trip, trying to catch up on blog reading...I LOVE your PS Harvest stitch!!! It is amazing. Your Jingle Jingle ornaments are so sweet. YOur Thanksgiving table is beautiful!!! I'm glad you had such a wonderful Thanksgiving with your sons and family.

Cathy said...

I was lucky enought to go on a river barge cruise here in the US with my father 13 years ago. We went up the Mississippi river into the Illionis river. Beauftiful scenery. Loved stitching on deck. good food. I was the youngest but enjoyed sitting with different people at each meal. Since most were in their 70's and up it was like a traveling history book.

Robin Wylde said...

Well Carol, I seem to have missed your latest entry! It's been nice to read it though, it sounds like your Thanksgiving was a lovely family affair and I'm very pleased to hear it :) the amount of baking you did is incredible and absolutely photo-worthy! I can't imagine the amount of work you put in behind the scenes, I'm glad you enjoyed it all though :D

Your autumn finish is gorgeous, I love all the little details, you can almost feel the cold setting in! The farmer on his wagon with the hay and pumpkins really took my fancy.

Finally, it was really nice to read more in-depth about your cruise experience and what you liked/didn't like... that feeling of watching the world go by is so beautiful when you're on a boat isn't it? You got some great pictures!

I hope you're having a good week so far :D

Margaret said...

How lovely to hear the whole family was together for Thanksgiving! Yay! That's the best ever! I definitely hear you on the quiet house afterward. Such a contrast! Love all your lovely stitching -- looking forward to the big Christmas post!

Thanks for the lovely review of your cruise! It's so good to know all this stuff. I don't know if we'll ever want or be able to afford a cruise, but it's nice to have a view of how it is from someone who went on a cruise. I admit, I'd never heard of this cruiseline either, so that's handy as well!My itinerary, if we ever did it, would have to include the Shetland Islands. :D Knitting! Yarn! sweaters! lol! And Shetland ponies and sheep!

Hope your December is going well!