Good evening, and we only have 4 more days until the Jolly Fat Man shows up. (actually since it's evening, we really only have 3 more days...if I'm being strictly accurate). Thank you to all who sent us wishes for a safe drive south. Much appreciated, and it was a fairly quiet, easy drive (well, I sleep so of course it was easy for me! But if the pickup has to swerve, that wakes me up right fast). We had good weather leaving after having a breakfast locally, returning to our house to put away the garbage dumpster and then getting on the road. It was in the low 40's when we left home, and at each stop, we shed a layer of clothing. Finally had to turn on the a/c once we crossed the Florida State Line. Yesterday & today we've had mid 70 to mid 80's sunshine weather, and it's been lovely.

Last night we had a luscious full golden moon shining a lovely path across the water so I tried to capture it. Used a night setting and here's what I ended up with:

I took #2 first, then used the zoom to get #1 shown here. I was hoping the lights across the water would show up better, but is what it is. At least I got the golden path on the water. So very beautiful to see it.

I didn't bring craft supplies along. Debated on packing the copics and at the last minute, the bag got loaded. Maybe I'll get motivated to color some images I had stamped. Maybe not! I've been reading & relaxing a bit. Yesterday afternoon we drove to Tampa International to collect our SIL. We've been to the airport before, but with someone else driving. Found the airport ok, but then to locate the SIL. Finally we did...

Today we drove up to Lakeland to Violette's - primarily because I had several punched rewards tags that I determined to spend. I am pleased to say our visit today was much more pleasant than the one at Thanksgiving (also I didn't spend as much either!). The lady manning the store was much more welcoming, friendly & helpful if I asked about a specific item.  I tried to tactfully tell of our opinions formed on our last visit. I always hesitate because I didn't want to 'get anyone in trouble', but I felt the owner really does need to get the feedback. I would not have returned except for the rewards (and had I not been visiting here, I sure would not have gone out of my way to get back to the store.) So I felt that after today's visit, I needed to say it was more like what we expect from a store this nice & I complimented the sales person on how she treated us today. Today's visit would encourage us for a future visit to be sure. They have a great selection of merchandise, but I'm a firm believer in making your customer feel appreciated. People don't HAVE to spend their money on this kind of thing, so it's doubly important to make them feel that you were happy to have them visit your store. OK, I'm off my soapbox now.

I hope to get back to Sparkle n Sprinkle, but the kids have some things we need to help them do, so we may not make it there. In the meantime, thanks for stopping to visit. I hope that your count down to the Big Day has gotten in control & that you will find a few minutes to relax, enjoy your family & just celebrate this wonderful time of year. Big Hugs & Merry Christmas.


  1. Glad to hear you got a good reception from the ladies at Violettes - I always find them so helpful - did you get to speak to Diana (the owner)? Good Luck with getting back to SnS. Your sunset pix are faberoony

    Seasons Greetings


  2. Your photos are fabulous. Love the "golden path". So, you're out making sure your inventory back home doesn't get too low, huh? Ha Have fun.

    We are now under a tornado watch and it is going to be a bad night. Hopefully, not too bad.

  3. Glad you arrived safe and sound. Lucky you to have that gorgeous weather!DH loves the heat! I melt a bit in hot weather!

    I did not show the light up is very garish and sits outside the front porch...I may have to show it if I do an outdoor lights post. Usually we go for drives in the evening a few times during Xmas and look at the lights. We have been out twice already so next time, I will take a shot of our too and you will see the will not be able to miss him as he about 36 or maybe 40 inches high of ugly painted plastic delight!

  4. Nothing more soothing than a sunset! How pretty! A little glitter and you've got a card in the making Mary!

  5. Big hugs and a Merry Christmas to you both. Hugs Mrs A.

  6. What a wonderful place to live with scenery like that. Glad you had a better trip to the craft store this time. Customer service is what it's about with all the similar stores around.

  7. Beautiful photo's Mary, glad to hear you arrived safely, and am jealous of the warmth! Have a fab Xmas xx

  8. Your photos are gorgeous, Mary! I am really glad you arrived safely. Merry Christmas to you!

  9. Oh Momma Mary, those pics are just beautiful! I love that moon shinning off the water like that. Very good photography!! I am glad that you got better service at the store. Merry Christmas to you all Momma Mary! I'm knee deep in baking and keeping after grandkids. lol Big hugs!

  10. Hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas Mary! Love and hugs from Christine xx

  11. Thanks for the kind and thoughtful words you left on my blog Mary - I'm glad I found your blog as well! I'm glad your trip was uneventful and you've stepped into the tropical paradise of warm weather in FL! Here in PA today we hit temps close to 70, can you believe it? The first full day of winter was a shocker, but a pleasant one! All the snow is now melted, but tomorrow our high is supposed to be 36, so there are extreme changes coming that I'm sure will have many of us coming down with colds and flu just in time for Christmas! Yesterday there were stink bugs crawling on my back door already - YUK! I hope tomorrow they go back into hibernation for sure!! TFS the gorgeous moon photos too - how lovely!
    Enjoy your Christmas with your family and above all, have FUN!! {{hugs}}

  12. I'm glad you had a safe journey and that you have arrived to some warm sunny weather, how nice. We have had lashings of wind and rain here this week, very miserable and dark. Today was a better though with some sunshine but still windy, we managed to get out to visit some family members.
    Wishing you a very happy Christmastime with your family.
    Jean x

  13. Oh my! Breathtaking photos, Mary!

  14. What gorgeous pictures, Mary!! You captured the scene beautifully!! I'm glad you had a safe trip!! I hope you and your family have a very Merry Christmas and happy holiday season!!

    A Mermaid's Crafts

  15. Sounds like a wonderful Christmas adventure, Mary. Thank you for sharing the photo, and for enjoying our unseasonably warm and humid Christmas this year! We will have frost in the morning, tho, and I am only 60 miles north of you as the crow flies. Isn't that something? Safe travels home, and very happy memories for you this holiday season, Mary. hugs, de

  16. beautiful pics! sounds like you're enjoying your holidays. merry christmas and happy new year.


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