Thursday, October 19, 2023

Ready for Halloween!


Ready for Halloween!

Each year I tell myself I am not going to put a lot of decorations out for Halloween....and then I get started and can't stop.
The wreath on the door is old...I made it years ago - very easy.  Just cut a styrofoam ball in half, cover with any white fabric, tie it off to make the head, and add the face with a black marker. Then arrange the fabric to look like a ghost.  I added the Halloween ribbon and some bats and a Happy Halloween little board.
Kept the same Fall decor at the front door...

but switched out the art work, and added some spiders to go with the web design!

My witch hat and a bat are added to the clock.

Kept the fall decor going in the living room, just added a bat and a little ceramic ghost.

Found this plate last year at a Hallmark store and like the way the light shines through.  You can see a small Jack-O-Lantern on the porch table...I lit it when we had company and it was nice to see it outside.  

The ghost lights up ( I have it on a timer ) and was made years ago by my Aunt Mamie when she took up ceramics in her 90's.  Several people in my family have one and each October we post on Facebook that "Aunt Mamie's ghost has returned"!!!  You cant see the book...but it is open to Poe's "The Raven".

Again, kept my Fall decor, just added a Jack-O-Lantern to the apples and my little witch.

This ceramic pumpkin was made by 1977!  I don't have an outlet there to plug it in, so I use a battery operated candle in it and I love the way it glimmers.

Took some old books and spray panted them black and added the titles...I love the little gingham pumpkin from Dollar Tree!

This is the first year I added the bats to my decorations... and of course, my Susan Branch Autumn book had to be out.  The little mug and saucer are Temptations that I got for a steal at the QVC outlet near here before they closed.
Dining Room table is simple...just used candy corn as the base for the candle...another ghost (made those the same year I made my Jack-O-Lantern) and the leaf place mate is old.

Last week we had tickets with friends to see an Oldies Concert - Jay and the Americans, The Brooklyn Bridge, The Coasters, and a few others.  We had planned on going out to dinner before the show, but is was a terrible rainy day...and we had all attended a Memorial Service that morning followed by a lunch reception that was very filling.  I knew I had some Chicken Taco Soup on the freezer and it seemed like a good soup day, so we decided to eat at our home before heading to the concert.  I got the place mats at our local Cash and Cary yard sale ( one of the many things I stuffed in a bag for 2 dollars on the last day.) The leaf bowl is from a floral arrangement my mother brought for a Thanksgiving dinner years ago...

The leaf chargers are from Ross, the napkins are VERY old and from a store called Welcome Home...anyone remember that place ? The napkin rings are from Dollar Tree.  We were SO glad to be eating soup on such a wet day....and we did get soaked going to the concert, but it was worth it.  The music was WONDERFUL!

I had some bats left over so I added them outside our apartment door...

Our front door again...and our utility closet...some more bats.  All of our neighbors and several of the work people who are in the building have commented on how much they like them.
Do you decorate for Halloween ?  We don't get Trick or Treaters in our building, but there is a Trunk and Treat event nearby.  I like to make treats for the neighbors - this year probably brownies!
Thanks for stopping by Our New Vista! Please leave a comment below - I love hearing from you !

Monday, October 2, 2023

Road Trip !



We love to travel...and have a few overseas trips planned for the future.  But, it has been a few years since we took a road trip and decided to visit New York State - Hyde Park and Bethel Woods.  Here we go - come along !
A four hour drive from our home - with a stop for a diner lunch!- and we arrived in Hyde Park in the rain.  First stop was the Vanderbilt mansion.  We purchased a Senior Pass for National Parks.  What a bargain - 20 dollars for one pass for the both of us.  That got us into the mansion with no additional cost.  We were able to use it for our trip to FDR's home and library - and the pass is good for an entire year, so more road trips are in the plans.

We checked into our hotel and made it for the last tour of the day...and JUST made it!  Our hotel was a basic Quality Inn that we chose because 1) it was 1 mile away from the sites we wanted to visit, and 2) it was FREE with our Choice Rewards points!  A basic hotel with breakfast was fine as we spent all our time exploring history!

Tickets are purchased in what was the "bachelor quarters" - a little house where single men stayed as it was not proper for male guests who were unmarried to stay in the mansion with single women guests.

Our Park Ranger tour guide was wonderful...he told us this was the smallest of the Vanderbilt mansions and was used only in the Spring and Fall...

and it was like walking into the Gilded Age on HBO!  All of the rugs and furnishings are the originals.

Many treasures brought from Europe...this is a 15th century marriage chest from Italy.

It was so interesting to hear how a weekend in the country happened for the rich in that time.  The rain stopped by the end of the tour but it was still too wet to visit the gardens.  We will have to go back someday! After a quick dinner it was an early to bed night to be at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt site bright and early the next morning.
After purchasing our tickets in the Visitor Center - Free for the house and a reduced price for the library and museum.  That ticket was 26 dollars per person, but just 6 dollars for us with our "Senior Pass"...LOL, it pays to get old!
The house was called Springwood.  FDR was born there and moved there after his marriage to Eleanor...along with HIS mother, Sara.  

All the photos on the piano are heads of state who visited there....Churchill, the King and Queen of England, etc.

The library...with FDR's wheelchair.  There were ramps over the stairs for him to maneuver the stairs down to the library...which were removed when visitors came.

FDR got upstairs to his bedroom by using the large dumbwaiter that was used in the past for luggage.  It was modified for him to fit and he pulled himself up and down by that rope.

Room where FDR was born...

His dog, Fala's leash.

Us, in the big mirror in the hallway !

Beautiful view and a cozy screened porch.

FDR, Eleanor, and his mother are buried in the rose garden.

After lunch in the visitor center canteen we moved on to the library and museum...

It was fascinating!  My first thought was that he was SO wealthy that when he contracted polio he could have just said "that's it...I am going to take it easy" - and instead he was passionate about politics and really changed America.  Some people hated him...others adored him.  Our families have benefited from many of the New Deal programs.

Both of our fathers were in the CCCs - the Civilian Conservation Corp - in the 1930's. 

Lots of interactive could sit at a 1930's kitchen table and listen to one of FDR's famous Fireside Chats.

Many displays about our role in WWII.

Thank goodness our ticket was good for two days...we read each display and the first day did not get to see the special exhibit about Civil Rights.   We did that the next morning...

and then headed down the road to the Culinary Institute of America for lunch.  DELICIOUS and a beautiful campus!

Love the chef in the crosswalk!

Caramel Apple Cheesecake for dessert!

Spent the afternoon at Val Kill - Eleanor's home after her husband's death.  The room above is where she met with JFK before the election for him to gain her support.  She was a wonderful woman and did so much to support human rights.
We made an early night and got up the next morning to head to Bethel Woods and the Woodstock Museum.

Another great museum...we spent about 5 hours there.

Lots of video displays and interactive things to explore.

Could not resist playing at Woodstock...

A mile or so down the road you can visit the actual site of the concert.

Can you see the peace sign in the grass...very cool.
After that we had a great drive home through the mountains...very remote and some beautiful lakes along the way.  It was a great trip...and we are inspired to visit more Presidential Library and Museum sites.  Have you been to any?  Do you enjoy a good road trip?  I would love to hear about your adventures - so please leave a comment below.  Have a great week and a wonderful October !

Trip !

  TRIP !!! And not the trip we were looking forward to...out for a walk and waiting for the crosswalk to say WALK.  A tractor trailer turned...