Thursday, March 5, 2015

Book Review: Victoria's Daughters

by Jerrold M. Packard
Victoria's Daughters
A Partial Synopsis from Bas Bleu:  Queen Victoria bore four sons, but it's her five daughters who are of interest here. They lived privileged lives yet were "married off" politically all over Europe and faced the kind of family turmoil and intrigue we associate with soap-opera sagas
My Thoughts:  Wow!  Did I learn a lot about European history!  The book begins with Victoria's marriage to Albert.  As each child is born into the palace, it is interesting to consider the low state of medicine in the early nineteenth century.  Child bearing was quite dangerous, even for the Queen of England.  They had four sons and five daughters.  Their nine children would fill their hearts as well as their castle.  Queen Victoria would later arrange each marriage as a strategic political move.  These nine descendants can be found in the family trees of monarchs across Europe and Russia.  The author references several letters written between the five daughters and their mother.  It is absolutely fascinating how the sisters interact not only with the royal family, their new husbands, but with their subjects as well.  As the girls have their children, once again, Queen Victoria actively participates in carefully arranged marriages.  The influence of Queen Victoria and her direct lineage is astounding. 

So, if you like books about drama, castles, politics, history, parenting or even war (whew!) this book just might be for you!  I loved it!

What are you reading?

;-)  -Marci

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The Great Blog Train {March}

The Great Blog Train

A monthly blog hop departing from your online train station on the first Wednesday of every month!
 Great Blog Train

The Great Blog Train has 7 Engineers
plus a "Destination Co-host"!!
If you link up that means your blog will be seen on 8 different blogs!!!

Please meet our Destination Co-host:
Christine from "Must Love Home"

This month we will be travelling to COLUMBUS, OHIO
Also, remember to visit the DINING CAR on one of the Engineer's blogs!

If you are interested in being a Co-host for the Great Blog Train then please click HERE and fill out the form (THANK YOU!!)


The Great Blog Train's Great Giveaway!!!

1 Lucky winner will win the following:
- $10 Paypal Cash from Heidi
- 1 Ad Space (300X300) from Cathy
- 2 Handmade standard size pillow cases by Marci (The winner gets to choose the color)

God’s Growing Garden

Remember to join the fun even if you are running a little late.  The last entry will receive the Caboose Feature! 

February's Caboose and featured blog happens to be:

"Homesteading Quest" Congratulations!
Rachel's blog is so helpful & fun!  She shares delicious recipes, wonderful recycling/ saving tips, gardening expertise, family fun ideas & much more!  I guarantee that you will learn something from this fantastic blog! 


Blog Train Rules, by Angie Ouellette-Tower for
Linking up to the Train is as easy as
1, 2, 3!
 photo BlogTrain1_zpsd738cd09.jpgThe Great blog Train by Angie Ouellette-Tower for photo BlogTrain2_zpsf10a0b46.jpg The Great blog Train by Angie Ouellette-Tower for photo BlogTrain3_zpsdc2185c5.jpg

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

LINK PARTY!! Tuesdays with a Twist

Are you ready for a fun party?  We're your co-hosts:
Each co-host will be sharing her own picks for Features. This gives everyone a better chance of being featured.  Be sure to check all of our blogs!
 Y'all make choosing features so difficult!  There were GOBS of great links last week!  Thank you!  My features... 

(drum roll please)

Y'all are gonna love these!  ;-)

How pretty is this St Patrick's Day Door Hanger

from Robin at Redo It Yourself Inspirations.  You won't believe how simple this project is!  Robin is one Clever Crafter! 


Take a look at this Altered Tote Bag 

Altered Tote Bag with Chalky Finish Paints by Carmen Whitehead Designs

from Carmen at Carmen Whitehead Designs.  It's another very simple, but very clever project!
If you've been featured we'd love for you to grab a button.
We all love comments!  Please hop around and show some love!

The party starts every Tuesday at 7am EST and will continue until Friday at 11:59pm.  Feel free to stop back any time and "like" your favorites.  Please visit other blogs if you have a moment. 

Share older posts as well as new ones.  No limit on links!
*Pictures should be your own* 
By linking up you give us permission to use these photos
 (with proper link backs) in our features. 
And now for the party!

;-)  -Marci 
Follow on Bloglovin


Monday, March 2, 2015

Art Atop Arkansas

When we visited Mount Magazine State Park there was a fun event Saturday evening. 

Art Atop Arkansas.

It was kind of like "Paint by Number" with snacks.  Everyone painted the same familiar scene,  the park logo!  ;-)  This particular tree that inspired the logo grows on the bluff overlooking Petit Jean River Valley right below the restaurant end of The Lodge.

Everyone looks so serious in this photo.  It must have been snapped at the very beginning.  There was lots of chatter and laughter throughout the evening.  Several kiddos participated.  Can you see the toddler, or really, the top of his head?  This little cutie pie went from table to table and everyone kept giving him snacks and treats!  I bet he wasn't hungry for a week!  LOL!

We met this sweet couple during the program.
Here we are with our paintings.  Our last name is Vaughn.  Handsome Husband says these masterpieces are "Vaughn - Goghs"!  LOL!  They are hanging proudly in our master bedroom, a sweet reminder of a fun getaway!
;-)  -Marci

Friday, February 27, 2015

Gray's Spring

This lovely picnic area was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s.
The view in Winter is amazing!  Have you heard the old saying, "Can't see the forest for the trees".

Well, that's a good reason to hike in Winter!  ;-)  This view is still gorgeous when the leaves are on the trees, but, my goodness, look at those Ozark Mountains in early February!

The CCC did amazing rock work, didn't they?

While it's a pretty rough climb down to this little picnic spot

it's certainly worth the time to visit and pause for just a moment

before heading on down the road.

Gray's Spring is located on White Rock Mountain Road off Arkansas Scenic Highway 23, AKA The Pig Trail.
;-)  -Marci

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Announcing The Winner!! {February}

 Great Blog Train
The 26th GREAT BLOG TRAIN was a blast! - We all safely reached our destination: Myrtle Beach, SOUTH CAROLINA. It was a wonderful trip with 41 boxcars!! We (the Engineers) would like to thank all of you for travelling with us and we hope that you all had a wonderful time!
The Giveaway Winner: M.D. (I have contacted the winner by email)

W   A   N   T   E   D  :

The Great Blog Train by Angie Ouellette-Tower for photo BlogTrainDestination_zps2925d251.jpg

(Being a "Destination Cohost" means that you get to pick our next destination!!  It also means that you will post The Great Blog Train on your blog on the first Wednesday of whatever month you will be cohosting (1 different cohost per month).  We (the engineers or hosts) will provide you with the html code for the blog hop & for the Giveaway - all you will have to do is add into that post some information on the destination that you picked (like population, known for, location etc - basic family friendly facts) and add a few pictures.  Also, if you cohost we ask that you promote it on your social media sites) (We are now scheduling for May 2015).

If you are interested in being a Destination Co-host for the Great Blog Train then please click HERE and fill out the form (THANK YOU!!)

We are now featuring the top 3 Boxcars!  (These are the links that received the most clicks)
Building Our Pool by "Fabulous Farm Living"

17 Things We Don't Pay For by "My Overflowing Cup"

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcake by "Katherines Corner"
Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate Cupcakes
Please join us for the MARCH Great Blog Train
on March 4th, 2015!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Gardening News, February Harvest

One of my 20 Wishes for 2015, Number 15 to be exact, is
Harvest something edible from either the green house or garden 10 months of the year
Some months, this will be easy, other months, not so much!  
A few of my herbs spend winter in a south facing window.  This is not ideal growing conditions, as they grow very slowly in the limited sunlight.  It does get them through the winter though and you might get a small harvest here and there. 
This basil hangs out in a west facing window behind an antique bed.
It was snipped and added to some comforting Vegetable Beef Soup on a snowy February day!  What a treat!  Fresh basil in winter, straight from my garden window!
Snow peas, lettuce and spinach are doing well in my greenhouse.  Hopefully, they will continue to grow even though we have snow and very cold temperatures!  I need to get some seeds started soon.  Spring Planting Time in Arkansas is around mid-April which is only 8 weeks away!  Thank goodness!
Are you ready for gardening season?
;-)  -Marci