Alternative Wedding Gowns created with vintage lace and fabrics. A portion of the proceeds are given to Destiny Rescue to rescue children from human trafficking.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Scotland Adventure, The Romance of the Highlands

Today I have a guest contributor on my blog!
 My dear sweet daughter recently stepped out of her very orderly well planned life
 to go on an adventure! 

A couple of friends invited her to join them on a trip to Scotland! 
In less than two weeks time she was boarding a US Air jet and on her way!  
It's a wonderful thing to watch your children become adults 
and step into the wonder of this great big world. 
She brought back stories of getting lost and finding their way, 
 of seeing new sights and going back to enjoy more, 
 and of just loving Scotland.

Her brother lent her his nice camera,  
so I'm really excited to be able to share these wonderful photographs she took.  
She very rarely takes photos,  
and her only tutorial on using his camera was hours before her flight.  
So we're all very impressed with these beautiful photographs.

This brother also sent her an article on how to travel safely for women.  
I'm so grateful for my son looking out for her.

The first day the ladies flew into Glasgow,  traveled to Sterling,  Perth,  
took in the Inverlochy Castle at night,  
 and finally settled at a B & B style hotel on the west side of Inverness.


The second day the they went back through Inverness
  to Loch Ness, 
 and visited Fort William and Fort Augustus.


Fort Augustus

The next day they hiked the tallest mountain in the UK,  Ben Nevis
The hike was about  10 miles,  so plenty of water,  and snacks are a good idea. 
They headed toward  a B&B in Kyle of Lochalsh,  
checking out castle Eileen Donan on the way,
 it was too dark to tour, but not too dark to photograph!

take a few moments to be awed!

The fourth day found them touring the privately owned castle Eileen Donan,  
and visiting with the friendly curators and bagpiper. 
He recommended a great destination,  Skye Skyns.  
So after a delicious meal of local fish and chips in Portree,  they drove to Skye Skyns.  
This tannery is a hidden gem! Tucked up north on the Isle 
they acquire their skins from the meat industry in  England,  
making great use of what the meat plant considers waste. 
The skilled craftsmen process these hides into heavenly soft sheep skins. 
This was my daughters souvenir of choice.  
She just could not leave without one,  and if you touched this hide,  you would so agree.


That evening they stayed in a new hostel that had curtains on each of the beds, 
 like a train berth.  
The privacy made for a good night's rest in an up to date,  clean hostel.

Refreshed,  they headed to Fairy Glen and enjoyed the beautiful landscape. 
They visited a cemetery,  and were wowed by Kilt Rock,  
which boasts a gorgeous waterfall tumbling into the sea. The also enjoyed Old man of Storr which is nearby.
Just before dark they found the fairy pools and decided they would visit them in the morning.

Isle of Skye

Kilt Rock

Fairy Pools

The fairy pools were one of the high lights for my daughter;the photographs confirm why.

They passed through the tiny town of Glencoe,  
the stopped in Oban  to walk around a bit.  
On to Inveraray where they walked the gorgeous grounds
of the castle featured in the Downton Abbey Christmas special.
Next they headed off to Glasgow and spent the afternoon 
at the University of Glasgow Museum 
where you can enjoy world class art free of charge.  
She said you could actually spend at least a whole day there.

The last day was spent in Edinburgh enjoying the Castle,  
walking the Royal Mile, 
 and shopping for souvenirs.


The ladies had considered public transportation before going,  
and all were glad they opted for the car.  
Since most of their time was spent in the Highlands,  the car was a good choice.
They made their way around by saving the Google map on the screen,  
since WiFi was not easily accessible,  so a physical map would have been helpful.
They scheduled their accommodations as they went,  
and found doing that in the morning was best,  as opposed to later in the day.
I am so grateful my daughter was able to make this trip
because she found ways to make it affordable and memorable!
Hope you are inspired to go somewhere on your bucket list!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Thoughts on Thanksgiving, And Nurturing a Grateful Heart

As Thanksgiving quickly approaches I've been so blessed to see the many posts on gratefulness. I don't know who started the #30days of gratitude, but I am so glad so many people joined in.
It's amazing how a positive perspective can completely change a persons character and personality for the best, which then is the beginning of changing relationships and situations for the best. It's exciting!

I'm so grateful to live on the top of a mountain. I can see for miles out my windows. Smaller mountains, rolling hills , lakes, forest glades valleys and more hills. It's spectacular. 
I once dreamed I had a choice of living in a castle, very tempting indeed, 
or my mountaintop home.  
In my dream, I chose here.
 Because my husband's heart is here, mine is too.  
My children are growing up here, and so are my grandchildren. 
Love and life seem to be growing all around us here 
on the other side of my view.

The interesting thing is when I look out at my view, there's a huge Oak tree which obscures part of the horizon. One of my sons wanted us to cut it down; open up the view he said.

 But for me , that beautiful stately Oak tree 
part of the view. 
Looking at  the landscape that seems to go on forever,
 it's easy to look to the future and big dreams. 
It's easy to imagine away any obstacles,
 any amount of understanding
 or hard work 
that could slow down the journey to future goals.

 It's easy to dream fast and big looking at endlessness.
But looking at the Oak tree,
 especially when I get up close to it, 
makes me dream in a different way.
 It reminds me of the perseverance, knowledge and wisdom
 that is to be learned from our elders, and those before them. 
It reminds me that sometimes it takes years to reach goals 
and that slow steady growth can reach gracefully toward strength and endurance. 
Like a friend looking with me at the view ahead is that tree,
 firmly planted on this earth, 
intentional about growing and reaching toward heaven.

Whether you have a wide open view this day, or a seemingly muddled one, 
I'm hoping you'll see there's beautiful life poems
 to be read by your heart, no matter your circumstances. 
I'm praying that you'll know the priceless value of nurturing a grateful heart.

Happy Thanksgiving!

I will give thanks to you Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of your wonderful deeds!
Psalm 9:1