Friday, September 30, 2011

Fall Book Club Read & Giveaway

One of the highlights of our quarterly book club meetings is the reveal of the new book selection at the end of the meeting. Because we pushed our last meeting further into the fall, we have decided to switch things up a bit. I plan to host a Christmas party and book exchange at my house in December, and our next regular meeting will fall sometime in winter -- hopefully around Valentine's Day. We will be discussing this romantic story I am sure you will love ...

Courting Morrow Little by Laura Frantz

Are you looking for a good read to curl up with this fall? Reviewers praise Courting Morrow Little, calling it breathtaking, transformative and true to the period. Romantic Times Book Reviews enthuses, "The vivid descriptions will bring the landscape to life, and the excellent writing will keep readers turning pages." This sweeping romance will captivate you from the start. The book description reads:

Caught between the wilderness and civilization, Morrow Little must find her way to true love.

Morrow Little is haunted by the memory of the day her family was torn apart by raiding Shawnee warriors. Now that she is nearly a grown woman and her father is ailing, she must make difficult choices about the future. Several men--ranging from the undesired to the unthinkable--vie for her attentions, but she finds herself inexplicably drawn to a forbidden love that both terrifies and intrigues her. Can she betray the memory of her lost loved ones--and garner suspicion from her friends--by pursuing a life with him? Or should she seal her own misery by marrying a man she doesn't love?

This sweeping tale of romance and forgiveness will envelop you as it takes you from a Kentucky fort through the vast wilderness of the West.

Stop by author Laura Frantz' web site, and you will notice immediately that she truly has a heart for her readers. Within a few moments you will feel at home, ready to curl up on the sofa to catch up with a dear friend. I hope to connect with Laura and know our book club will be eager to chat with her. Read an excerpt of the book and purchase your copy of Courting Morrow Little here.

And if you would like to enter to win a copy of the book, please leave a comment below. I will announce the winner next week!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Apple Recipe Round-Up

Last week's Sweetwater Gap book club meeting allowed us to step into the orchard to sample one of fall's favorite flavors. For an easy appetizer, we piled apple slices onto a wooden tray. Chalkboard signs slipped into whole apples let guests know the varieties offered: Fuji, Gala, Granny Smith, Golden Delicious and Red Delicious. And a bowl of caramel dip placed alongside was perfect for dipping.

We invited guests to bring a favorite fall dish.  I tossed this easy salad in a bushel basket and served dressing on the side.

Fall Apple Salad
Mixed greens
Crumbled goat cheese
Sweetened, dried cranberries with cherry juice
Sweetened, glazed pecans
Dried apple chips
Low-fat raspberry-pecan vinaigrette dressing
Line a bushel basket with a cloth napkin or a remnant of fabric. Toss greens with goat cheese, cranberries and pecans in the basket. Just before serving, add apple chips to the mix. Toss, and garnish with a few apple chips on top. Serve with vinaigrette on the side.

Hostesses Missy Jones and Teri Phillips contributed their prize-worthy apple desserts to our menu. Their recipes follow. Find author Denise Hunter's recipe for Aunt Lola's Apple Pie on her website here.

Daddy's Famous Apple Pie

For this cutie pie, Teri used stamps to punch apples and leaves from leftover pie crust dough. And she used letter stamps saved from her children's Play-Doh days to cut out the name of the book.
1 can apples or apple pie filling
1/2 cup sugar
1 stick butter or margarine (melt half at a time)
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 package Pillsbury All Ready Pie Crusts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare 1 pie crust as instructed on package (flute edges) in pie pan. Mix in separate bowl, apples, sugar, 1/2 stick of melted margarine, cinnamon, and 1 teaspoon flour. Pour mixture into uncooked pie crust. Now using the other pie crust dough, cut strips 3/4 inch wide. Place over pie in a crisscross pattern covering pie. If any dough is left over, roll in hand and pat and cut out 3 leaves and 3 balls, placing them on the edge for decoration. Pour 1/2 stick of butter over top of pie and sprinkle 1 tablespoon sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon on top. Bake till brown  (about 30 to 40 minutes). Makes 1 pie.

Missy’s Apple Bread

Enjoy this moist and delicious cake for dessert at dinner, then have another slice for breakfast.

1 (21-ounce) can apple pie filling
4 cups self rising flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon apple pie spice
1 cup sour cream
2/3 cup butter, melted and cooled
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup confectioners sugar
2 tablespoon milk
½ teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a Bundt pan with baking spray with flour. Place pie filing in a food processor and pulse four or five times until the apples are coarsely chopped. Do not puree. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar and pie spice. Make a well in the middle. Add pie filling, sour cream, butter and eggs. Stir until dry ingredients are moistened. Pour batter into prepared pan. Tap to release any air bubbles. Bake about 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes before turning out onto a cake plate. Cool completely. Mix confectioner’s sugar, milk and vanilla to make a drizzle. Adjust milk and sugar to get desired consistency. It shouldn’t be too think. It needs to be a thinner (but not runny) drizzle. Drizzle over cake.

Please link up your favorite apple recipes below, and browse the list for fresh-picked menu ideas!

I'm linking this post to On the Menu Monday at Stone Gable.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Guilty or Ashamed?


My dear friend Missy Jones presented our devotional at last week's ladies book club meeting. Missy tapped into the struggles faced by the main character in our book selection, Sweetwater Gap by Denise Hunter, and gave us some great food for thought. Missy has graciously allowed me to share her message with you.

Guilty or Ashamed?

by Missy Jones 

I have a friend. Let’s call her “Jo.” Jo was raised in the church. She was taught right from wrong at a very early age. But she was rebellious as a teenager, and as a result, made a lot of bad decisions that haunt her to this day.

Jo carries a lot of guilt. She doesn’t really try to hide it. If you talk to her long enough, she’ll let you know that she has made a lot of mistakes in her life. And the guilt of those past mistakes is affecting her life even today. Her marriage is not what it should be. She worries about how her shortcomings affect her children. Even her health is affected by the worry that plagues her mind. She works day and night to rise above the memory of her past. But she can’t. No matter what she does, the memory is there, and it is the guiding force in her life.

The guilt she is carrying is causing her to make bad decisions, even today. Not the same kind of mistakes she made in the past. Nothing illegal or immoral, but just wrong. The guilt affects the way she deals with her husband and children. It affects the activities she chooses, almost as if these activities are some sort of penance for her past misdeeds. She is sad. She is tired. She is frustrated. She feels unworthy.

Now, I’m no psychiatrist, but Jo has come to me at times for help, and I’ve done my best to make her realize that the past is just that – the past. I have tried to tell Jo that the guilt she is carrying is unhealthy and unnecessary, but for some reason, she can’t lay it down. I have come to believe that Jo is not actually feeling guilty as much as she is feeling ashamed. And there is a difference.

First of all, we are all guilty. Webster defines guilt as “the fact of having committed a breach of conduct, especially violating law and involving a penalty.” Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
Each one of us is a sinner. Each one of us has made mistakes. Each one of us has felt the sadness and heaviness of heart that results when we do wrong. It is that feeling that ultimately led each of us to give our lives to Christ. It is that awareness of our sin that caused us to want to make a change in our lives.

First John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” We have assurance that God is willing to forgive us. We know that once we come in contact with the blood of Christ, our sins are washed away. We know that as long as we walk in the light, that blood continues to cleanse us. Christ’s blood is the ultimate stain fighting formula. It removes every stain, and it continues to keep us clean. This is such great news!

Jo was guilty; I was guilty; you were guilty. We were all guilty at some point in our life. We were all in need of forgiveness. Jo knows this. Jo was baptized at an early age. She received the cleansing she needed. Even though she made many mistakes later, she repented, and Christ’s blood flowed over her, cleansing her again! So why is she still feeling guilty? I believe that Jo is confusing guilt with shame.

Shame is defined as “a painful emotion caused by consciousness of guilt, shortcoming, or impropriety.” Shame is a direct result of guilt. Or at least is should be. Shame can be a motivating force. Shame helps to keep our conscious tender. Shame can help keep us on track. But shame can also cause us to get off track. When we use shame as a tool to help monitor our own behavior, it can be a good thing. But when we allow the devil to use our shame against us, it can become very dangerous.

God’s plan is great! He created us. He loves us. He blesses us. He wants us to be with Him forever. He has even provided a way to make that happen. Who wouldn’t want to take advantage of this great plan?

What the devil has to offer is eternal damnation. Not very appealing! We would never choose the devil’s offer over God’s, and the devil knows this! Since we would never choose damnation over eternal life, the only way the devil can win us over is to somehow make us believe that we are unworthy of what God has to offer. How does he do this? Shame.

Jo’s shame is robbing her of her joy and peace. Romans 5:1 says, “Therefore since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Peace is such a wonderful gift. Peace renews us. It centers us. It allows us to remain focused. And if we have peace, it is obvious to all around us. Proverbs 15:13 reads, “A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit.” David sings in Psalm 13:5, “But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.”

Peace and joy are the gifts God gives us to remind us that we are saved. They come as a direct result of knowing that we are forgiven. They feel good! When we have peace and joy, we smile. We are kinder. We feel confident. We’re walking on sunshine! We want to share these good feelings with all we come in contact with. People see our peace and joy, and they want to know how to get it. In the same way, if we wear our shame like an old winter coat while claiming to be Christians, then others question our faith, our conversion, perhaps even our God. We must make sure that we wear our peace and joy as we would our favorite outfit. We should feel beautiful in it!

How do we do this? How can we move past guilt and shame and claim our joy? Romans 5:1-11 tells us exactly how to do this.

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
 Jo didn’t deserve it. We didn’t deserve it. But it was done. God sent his son to die for Jo. To die for you. To die for me. It’s done. As Christians, we should shake free from the shame that binds us, and wear our peace and joy as a sign to all those around us that we are saved. We are not perfect, but we are saved! To remain living in the sadness and shame of our prior acts is to be ungrateful for what God has done for us. No, we’re not worthy, but God still chose to give us this great gift.

Jo’s shame is a result of bad choices she made in the past. Jo must now make the choice to live a life worthy of the sacrifice made for her. Because Christ died for Jo, she was made worthy. Because Christ died for us, we were made worthy. Our lives should reflect this worthiness.

I would like to end with Colossians 2:6-7: “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.”

Let us pray:

Father, we praise you for the gift you gave us. The gift we didn’t deserve, but the gift we so greatly needed. Father, may we live each day with the great understanding of what you have done for us. May we truly understand where we would be without this great gift. May we choose to live our lives with the full assurance that we are saved and that we belong to you. Father, when we feel unworthy, help us to push that shame from our hearts and replace it with a true joy and peace. May we all live worthy of our calling in you. In Christ’s most precious name we pray, Amen.

Missy (Hilyer) Jones lives with her husband, Gerald, and their two children, Jewell (9) and Brack (6), near Tallassee, Ala.  She enjoys writing and teaching Bible to all ages at University Church of Christ.  She loves to cook, entertain and decorate her home.  She also enjoys teaching heirloom sewing and embroidery. Her favorite thing to do is throw a party!  She is the executive director of the McCraney-Cottle Arts Council in Tallassee.

(Photo from Bigstock Photo)

Thank you, Missy! Still to come, a round-up of favorite apple recipes and the announcement of our new book club selection.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Apple Butter Recipe

Apple butter seemed like the perfect take-home favor for this quarter's book club meeting, where we talked about Christian fiction novel Sweetwater Gap by Denise Hunter. This was my first attempt at making apple butter, so I turned to my grandmother for advice on how to make it. I used her tried and true recipe, but tweaked it to make it my own. I hope you will give it a try!

Apple Butter

As it cooks, this recipe will fill your house with the warm aroma of fall.

Apple cider
Apple Cider Vinegar
You can use a variety of apples for this recipe. A farmer's market will probably yield the best selection of cooking apples, but if you need to purchase them from your grocer, select one or more varieties that bake well. For my apple butter, I used a mixture of Jonamac, Gala and Granny Smith apples.

Slice and core the apples, and place them in a heavy pot. Add a little water or apple cider to the pot (not enough to cover the apples; just enough to add a little liquid). Place the lid on the pot, and heat the apples to boiling. Turn down the heat, and simmer the apples until they are soft.

Pour the cooked apples into a strainer, and let the liquid drain out. Then push the apple pulp back into the pot through the strainer, careful to remove any seeds or bits of peel that might go through. When you have gotten as much pulp as possible through the strainer, measure out the pulp to see how many cups you have.

Place the pulp back in the pot, and add seasonings. For 6 cups of pulp, add 3 cups sugar, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon allspice, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1/8 cup apple cider vinegar. Use an emulsion blender to incorporate the spices and smooth the pulp. Then cook on medium-low heat until thick. The apple butter needs to cook without the lid so moisture will evaporate, but as the liquid thickens it has a tendency to splatter. To avoid heavy cleanup duty, lay two wooden  spoons across the pot and prop the lid on top.

Apple butter will not thicken in the jar, so you need to cook it down to the consistency you desire. There are a couple of tests you can use to determine if it is thick enough. Place a spoonful on a plate, and if liquid seeps out from the edges the butter is too thin. You can also stir the apple butter in the pan and spoon a dollop on top of the rest of the mixture, and if it stays on top, you have achieved a desirable consistency. From this point, thickness is really a matter of taste.

When you reach the desired consistency, sample the butter. Season, if needed, and run the emulsion blender through the apple butter once more. Remove the apple butter from heat, and allow it to cool before spooning it into sterile jars. Serve warm from the stove, or store in the refrigerator.

"Happiness is like apple butter. You can't spread even a little without getting some on yourself." -- My Grandmother, Frances Prichard

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A Bushel of Sweetwater Gap Book Club Ideas

Tuesday night's book club meeting was bushels of fun, and several members said this was their favorite gathering yet. Our book selection, Sweetwater Gap by Denise Hunter, gave us so much to pull from to plan a memorable fall evening. The book is set in an orchard in Shelbyville, N.C., so we wanted readers to step into the Apple Picking Festival for the evening.

A free banner from VistaPrint set the tone for the evening.

And, of course, we had plenty of apples to go around. They topped tables, toppled out of baskets, and tumbled into the evening's recipes.

Over the weekend I made apple butter to serve with our meal and to send home with each guest. I thought it would be fun to attribute the apple butter to the book's main character, Josie's, sister. So I had VistaPrint labels printed for quilted half-pint jars to advertise the fictional orchard. Packaged and tied with burlap string, they looked ready to sell at the Apple Picking Festival. I was so tickled over them until in the middle of our book discussion, I noticed that Josie's sister was actually LAUREL! I was mortified, but we decided that Lauren was probably a lesser-known cousin who did not appear in the book because she was always in the kitchen making apple butter. Despite my goof, the apple butter itself was delicious. I will share the recipe in tomorrow's post.

My chalkboard platter provided good advertising for our Apple Picking Festival, and instrumental bluegrass music helped set a convivial mood.

Friends Missy Jones, Terri Phillips and I always coordinate the meeting decor and menu to fit the theme of  the book. For this meeting we provided apples and caramel dip, biscuits and  apple butter, and apple tea. Missy and Terri brought blue-ribbon-worthy apple desserts, so I played with wire-edged ribbon to make blue ribbons to display with their cake and pie. I will be rounding up apple recipes from the evening and hope to share those soon.

We asked guests to bring a favorite fall dish for our potluck meal. We had such a delicious balance of flavors, and I am eager to try all of the recipes I sampled during the meeting. I took a green salad with goat cheese, cherry-flavored dried cranberries, candied pecans and apple chips. I presented it in a bushel basket lined with a napkin, so served the dressing on the side. I hope to share more of the evening's delicious recipes in upcoming posts.

Quilts topped all of our tables for the evening. Not only is this an effortless way to decorate a table; it also adds instant warmth to the setting.

Burlap added great texture to our decorating. Above you see our next book club selection, ready to be revealed at the end of the meeting. I tied a strip of burlap around the book, then finished the gift with a rosette. To make the rosette, I simply rolled a strip of burlap, folding and twisting the strip to give the rose a little more complexity. After I rolled the rose, I left the edge of the strip loose and frayed the edge a bit to resemble a leaf. A few stitches secured the bloom, and hot glue adhered the rose to the burlap ribbon.

We topped all our quilts with burlap place mats. The dimensions were approximately 19 inches by 11 1/2 inches. Pulling a few threads out all around gave the place mats a charming frayed edge. Unfortunately, my photos from the evening did not turn out very well, but I wanted to show you a couple anyway to give you an impression of our tables.

Mums wrapped in burlap, apples, baskets of biscuits, apple butter, candles and a pitcher of tea topped each guest table.

Missy, Terri and I combined dishware, flatware and tea glasses for a collected look that kept us from having to purchase paper products. I wish you could have stepped into the meeting with us; my photos do not do the event justice!

One of my favorite little book club projects was making these sweet little chalkboard signs. I used a paper punch to cut out vinyl chalkboard adhesive squares, which I affixed to checked scrapbook paper from Michaels. Glued to each side of a popsicle stick, it makes a charming little sign. We used these to identify the variety of apples piled onto a wooden platter for an easy appetizer.

Still to come, recipes, devotional and our new book club selection!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Word Fitly Spoken with Denise Hunter

We are busy making preparations for tonight's book club meeting, an Apple Picking Festival in celebration of our fall read, Sweetwater Gap by Denise Hunter. We will be chatting with Denise by phone during our meeting tonight and look forward to getting to know her. In the meantime, Denise was kind enough to answer a few questions about her work.

What was your inspiration for Sweetwater Gap?

I conceived of the idea for Sweetwater Gap when my editor sent me a newspaper clipping. The article was about a man who was dealing with survivor guilt after his fellow soldier had fallen on a grenade to save his life. He was left with questions: Why had his friend done the unthinkable, and how could he live up to this incredible sacrifice?

I did further research and found one particular soldier whose life had turned chaotic following a similar incident. Unable to deal with the guilt and pressure to be worthy of his friend’s sacrifice, he changed, becoming reckless and distant from his family.

I began thinking about how Christ died for mankind and wondering how mere mortals can be worthy of that act. Seeing the parallels lit my creative fire. What kind of love story could I write that illustrated the value of this gift?

The creative journey led me to a wounded photographer named Josephine Mitchell, an apple orchard in Shelbyville, N.C., and Sweetwater Gap was born.

Tell us about the setting of the book.

I live in a very flat part of Indiana, and I love to escape to the mountains. I confess, that played into my decision to set the story in the Blue Ridge mountains. I also love the South. I chose an apple orchard because, one, I find them romantic; and two, there are all kinds of rich metaphors to be drawn from growing fruit.

Did you draw inspiration for any characters in the book from your own life or family?

I'm sure there are bits of people I know in my characters, but mainly, all of them came from my imagination.

What lessons do you want readers to learn from Josie’s story?

Mainly I'd like readers to realize that Christ's love is a gift -- all you have to do is accept it.

Do you have any new projects you would like to share?

I'm currently working on a cowboy series called "Big Sky." The first book, A Cowboy's Touch, is already on the bookshelves. The next in the series, The Accidental Bride, releases in January 2012.

I'm also excited about a romantic collection I'm writing with my best buds, Colleen Coble, Kristin Billerbeck, and Diann Hunt. It's called Smitten and releases in December. Here's a little blurb:

With Smitten Lumber closing, residents wonder if their town can stay afloat. Then four friends and local business owners decide the town is worth saving: they'll turn it into a honeymoon destination. Little do they know that love is already on the way. As each woman finds her own true love, a little child reminds the whole town what it means to have real faith in the God who is the always and forever Love.

Thank you, Denise, for giving us some insight into Sweetwater Gap. I look forward to reading more of your work.

If you have a thought to share about the book or an encouraging word for the author, let's discuss in the comments below. Still to come this week, creative ideas, recipes and more!

(Photo from Bigstock Photo)

"She closed her eyes and was, in an instant, back at Blue Ridge Orchard. She could almost smell the apples ripening on the trees. Hear the snap of the branch as an apple twisted free. See the ripples of Sweetwater Creek running alongside the property. And with that thought, the other memories came. The ones that had chased her from Shelbyville six years ago. The ones that still chased her every day. The ones that, at the mention of going home, caused a dread, deep and thick in her belly." -- Sweetwater Gap

Monday, September 19, 2011

An Apple a Day

This week everything is coming up Apples on A Little Loveliness! I am preparing to host our quarterly ladies book club, and our fall book selection has given us a perfect fall theme. Sweetwater Gap by Denise Hunter is set in an apple orchard, so we will be serving up bushels of fall flavor and fun at tomorrow night's potluck dinner. I will be chronicling all of the festivities here, so be sure to stop in this week for an apple a day!

I am busy working on several projects for book club, but wanted to at least take a moment to share lunch with you. I recently picked up a Rival Mini-Grill, and in the 3 minutes it takes to heat up, I can assemble a ham, apple and brie panini. Two minutes on the grill, and I have a delicious sandwich worthy of my favorite lunchtime cafe.

Ham, Apple and Brie Panini

I found my new favorite sandwich recipe, along with a bushel of other "Fresh Picked Apple Recipes," at

2 slices Tuscan style rustic bread
2 slices smoked ham or smoked turkey
3 teaspoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons pepper jelly, mango chutney, sour cherry jam or cranberry jam
3 slices brie cheese, thick
1/2 crisp, tart apple (such as Granny Smith), thinly sliced
handful baby lettuce

Heat the panini press or skillet, greased with butter, to medium heat. Spread one slice of bread with mayonnaise and mustard. Spread the other slice with the pepper jelly or chutney. Fold the ham or turkey slices in half, and place on one slice of bread; top with the apple slices. On the other slice of bread, layer on the brie cheese. Carefully close sandwich, and place in the panini press. Cook until sandwiches are golden brown and the cheese is melted, about 5 minutes. Alternately, place the sandwiches on a grill pan or skillet and cook for about 5 minutes per side, compressing them slightly with a spatula. Remove from the pan, add some baby lettuce and serve. (Note: I used whole-grain sandwich bread I had on hand, with delicious results. It takes about 2 minutes to toast a panini on my Rival Mini-Grill.)

"A seed hidden in the heart of an apple is an orchard invisible." ~ Welsh

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Homes of Harbortown

On our way to the airport Sunday, my dear friend Jean Ann took me to downtown Memphis for a quick tour of the picturesque community of Harbortown.

With 500 houses, a shopping district and a small private school, Harbortown overlooks the Mississippi River.

Harbortown residents view Tennessee and Arkansas. Above, you can see the Arkansas state sign on this bridge that crosses the Mississippi.

My visit to Memphis went far too quickly! Ladies at the Bartlett Woods Church of Christ gave me such a warm welcome during our ladies day, and I enjoyed spending time with Jean Ann and her beautiful family through the weekend. I was stunned to realize that at least 10 years have passed since my last visit to Memphis, but I am hopeful that I will be walking in Memphis again soon.

"Put on my blue suede shoes/
And I boarded the plane/
Touched down in the land of the Delta Blues/
In the middle of the pouring rain ... ."
~ Marc Cohn, "Walking in Memphis"

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Germantown Festival

"Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all." ~ Stanley Horowitz

Saturday afternoon my friend Jean Ann and her daughter, Ellen, took me to one of their favorite fall events: The Germantown Festival in Germantown, Tenn. There is perhaps no better place to experience the sights, sounds and smells of autumn than at a community fall festival. This one boasts more than 400 arts and crafts vendors, along with live entertainment, children's rides and games, a car show and the crowd-pleasing "Running of the Weenies" Dachshund Races. Enjoy this mosaic of color from some of my favorite craft vendors -- an inspiring feast for the senses and a sure sign that fall is on the way.

(Tea towels by VintageCraft)

Still to come, a visit to the quaint neighborhood of Harbortown in downtown Memphis.
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