Sunday, September 4, 2016

September 2016

September 2016

September 5, 2016

Labor Day

The NYC Central Labor Union began Labor Day 

in 1882 to honor the worker.  It became a national holiday in 1894.  

Always celebrated on the first Monday of September,  

Labor Day marks the official end of summer and signals

the start of a new school year for many children.

Labor Day Weekend is often a day of picnics and family reunions,

as it was for my family when I was a child.

The two little girls in the mosaic are my sister and I 

in the 1950s at the yearly Labor Day Weekend reunion held on

the dairy farm that had belonged to our grandparents.

Detail of Book and Author Luncheon Wall Quilt by Pat Clark

September 8

International Literacy Day

Begun in 1965 by UNESCO, this day is meant to

"highlight the importance of literacy

 to individuals, communities, and societies."

September 11

9/11 Remembrance Day

The oak tree above, was just a seedling of six inches

when it was planted by the Walsh family in my neighborhood. 

in 2001 as a tribute to honor and mourn those lost on the

horrific morning of September 11, 2001.

This special tree continues to grow and stand

 tall some fifteen years later.

I often pass this tree several times a day, 

and without exception it sparks the memory of

how Americans across our country came together in grief and

patriotism in the days and months following that tragic day.

September 13

Uncle Sam Day

Uncle Sam Day was officially declared by Congress in 1989.

The date was selected because 

"Uncle Sam Wilson" was born on this date

You can read more about Uncle Sam Wilson and

my collection of Uncle Sam folk art here.

September 22

Autumn Equinox

This date signals the beginning of autumn when

daylight hours begin to diminish and cooler temperatures arrive.

A favorite time of year for me, I enjoy the russet colors,

dining alfresco, pumpkins, and the nip in the air.

September 26

Round Top Antiques Fair 

It's fall and that means it's time to head to Round Top, Texas

for one of my favorite antique shopping venues.

Though I tend to shop the two venues above,

there are thousands of dealers who come from across the country

and set up in buildings and tents along the roadsides in this

area of Texas, all here to offer a marathon shopping experience.


Thursday, September 1, 2016

Summer Adventures with Miss Merri Mac

Welcome to Tales of the Traveling Totes #8

It's been a full summer,

and Miss Merri Mac and I have lots to share!


Author Susan Branch, along with the love of her life, Joe Hall, 

made a two month cross country book tour 

in their A FINE ROMANCE van.

~ 8,000 miles ~ 23 Book Stores ~

 All the way from sea to shining sea and back again.

Lucky us that she chose Austin

as one of her stops.

"Girlfriends" drove in from far and wide across the state, 

and if you know anything about the geography of TX,

you know that nothing is close.

Some drove from as far away as New Mexico.

Susan generously spent most of the afternoon engaged with

the attendees and graciously signed books for all.

My very special "gift" from the very thoughtful,

Susan Branch!

Susan wrote A FINE ROMANCE first,

followed by THE FAIRY TALE GIRL, 

and most recently, ISLE OF DREAMS.

Published in the unique style of her delightful cookbooks

 with handwritten text and exquisite watercolored images,

Susan actually wrote the trilogy out of sequence.

Each is a delightful read, in or out of order.


When I read that Susan would be speaking at an event in 

Brewster, MA, the end of July, 

I set my alarm to be one of the first to secure 

tickets to the special Beatrix Potter 150th Celebration.

Then Miss Merri Mac and I bought a ticket to Boston!

Lucky me, I have a friend who lives on Cape Cod,

and she invited me to visit this summer.

Delightful days spent in this adorable Cape Cod home

that included lunch one day with a special blogging friend, 

(Note the smiling face in the center of the mosaic.)

The Beatrix Potter Society's 150th Birthday Celebration

was held in the Brewster Baptist Church.

400 guests were treated to an amazing program.

Betsy Bray, President of the US Beatrix Potter Society,

gave an outstanding presentation on the life

and achievements of Beatrix Potter.

Following her talk, Betsy interviewed Susan about her lifelong 

passion for Beatrix Potter, and then Susan read from

  A FINE ROMANCE,  about her first visit to 

Beatrix Potter's Farm, Hill Top.

The program concluded with birthday cake  

and singing Happy Birthday for Beatrix Potter.

Following the program,

everyone gathered in the fellowship hall 

for birthday cake and a book signing by Susan Branch.

Susan's latest book is a 30th Anniversary Edition of her first book,


Signed copies available HERE.

Next door at the Brewster Library

was a special exhibit of Beatrix Potter items.

Of course the week included other adventures as well.

~ Walks on the Beach ~ Shopping ~ Lobster Roll Lunches ~

~ Lobster Dinners ~ Oklahoma by Community Theatre ~

~ A Day on the Vineyard ~


We wrapped up the Cape visit with a quick visit to

NYC before flying back to Texas the first week in August.

(More on that trip another time.)

Our most recent adventure was

a long weekend in NOLA.

As you can see, Miss Merri Mac and I

filled the summer with some fun times, so I'll

save the NOLA details for a future post.

Suffice it to say that we were in town

 to celebrate the nuptials of this darling couple.

You might recall our LA trip in January for 

a wedding dress search here?

The winner ~ Iconic Gemma by Vera Wang 

Isn't she gorgeous?

The Traveling Tote girls will offer a 

MacKenzie-Childs giveaway with each of our next five posts.

will host this month, and to be entered you must

leave a comment on Emily's blog for a chance to win

the gift featured above ~ 2 pkgs of MacKenzie-Childs 

paper plates and an enamel storage container.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

More Tales of the Traveling Totes
at the links below.

~ Don't Miss the Fun ~

To Visit Previous Miss Merri Mac Adventures

Just click on number links below. 

#1, #2, #3, #4, #5 # 6, #7, and also
hereherehere, and here.