Camp Fradd Hallmark Christmas – Day 2


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Our morning in Annapolis got off to a bit of a slow start. While Jay slept, I wrote up our day 1 journey from the sitting room of our Air B&B. Apparently he was excited to get going, because at 8am I got a message from him telling me he was getting in the shower

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Camp Fradd Hallmark Christmas – Day 1


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Saturday morning at 9AM, Jay and I loaded up the truck and headed out on the first leg of our 15 day road trip. Day one had the longest stint in the car, although staying 1-2 nights in each place means we’ll be keeping the road hot.

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Why General Life Updates are So Appealing

Writing my grandparents story dominated my creative energy over the past few months. Consequently, the chronicles of my life adventures in this space have taken a back seat.

When I joined the Foothills Voices writing project, I had no clue what my topic would be. I only knew that I love writing and Appalachia. A class joining the two seemed to be a no-brainer.

Between the research and writing itself, I’ve not had as much time to devote to other reading and writing. Now that I’m close to publication, I have a bit of room to breathe and catch up on the fun and randomness happening around these parts, present day.

Last night

Jay and I decorated our newest overnight rental cabin for Christmas. My niece helped us put up the Christmas tree at our home on Sunday. My perfectionism kicks in and paralyzes me when the spacing of ornaments (and colors, textures, lights) are not just so. And of course, they never are.

My niece reminds me to zoom out and see the bigger picture. I tried to put that into practice as I decorated Poolin’ Around. Hopefully, our efforts will be appreciated by the families renting our place around the holidays.

Tree and hearth in the main floor and living area of the cabin.

Small Christmas Tree

Small tree in the kids’ bunk area of the cabin. With the games (air hockey, arcade) we didn’t have much space for a tree but did the best we could. Hopefully, they appreciate Charlie Brown style trees.


I refuse to celebrate Christmas until after Thanksgiving. Books, movies, and music of the Christmas music have to wait until after Turkey-day. My one major exception to this rule is shopping. To me, that’s more of a chore than a celebration, so the sooner I can get that taken care of the better.

Mostly I like to wait on all things Christmas because once I start its all-Christmas all the time. If I were to start any earlier, I’d be burnt out before the big day arrived.

As I type, I have Christmas music playing through my computer speakers. I have a classical channel, one with standard-issue Christmas songs, and inspirational music.

The Kenny & Dolly album “Once Upon a Christmas” is a classing with my family, as is Alabama’s “Christmas.” My mother had both records and played them throughout our childhood. Now I own the CDs, and am thankful for the Spotify channels now that I no longer have a CD player in my car.


Jay and I are headed on vacation this weekend, so tomorrow I’ll be finishing up my packing. Heck – who am I kidding? Beyond creating a packing list on my iPad and browsing Pinterest for Winter capsule wardrobes, I haven’t started packing.

We’re heading north to Philadephia, Boston, New York City, and quiet a few tiny towns along the way. Traveling in December, my hope is that we’ll encounter plenty of snow. Of course I’m not the one who will have to drive in it, but I love the idea of walking the streets of the big city getting pelted.

I may try to do a few posts as we travel with updates, depending on Jay’s workload. I expect us to take a ton of pictures, and posting dozens at one time can be overwhelming.  If he has to work while we’re on vacation, I try to come up with a fun distraction for myself.

In Avignon a few years ago, we stopped at a cafe for free WiFi. While Jay caught up on emails, I used Google translate to learn how to say “one more please” in French. If I caught myself becoming annoyed that he never truly is able to get away from business, I just smiled at the waitress, pointed at my champagne and said “encore un s’il-vous-plaît.”


I didn’t intend this to be a Christmas themed post, but I suppose that’s where I am right now. A whole week of Christmas, and its not even December yet!

Do you have a holiday celebrating strategy? Or are you more laid back? Have you started your shopping? Finished your Christmas cards? I’d love to catch up with you in the comments.