Monday, September 16, 2019

Witches Dinner in The Hollow

It's that time of year when the ladies come out to 
join us in celebrating Halloween!  They have been
joining me in celebrating since my first year of 
blogging in 2010!

Click here to see their first blogging appearance,
even though they had been hanging around our
house for ages before that.

But the more witches, the merrier, as our group 
of Crafty Witches joined us for dinner, set up in the woods.

Wander down the land into the deep of the woods 
to find where we are gathering tonight.

We have owned this piece of property for over 30 years 
now, and we lived here for almost 3 years, with the 
intention of coming back within 5 years and building, 
but the kids were at that age that we didn't want to move 
them again during junior high and beyond, so family 
has lived here, including Joni from Red Couch Recipes.

My oldest daughter decided to move out into the old 
house and build a new house on the property 3 years 
ago.  After she started building I found a journal I had 
written when we lived there and she was 9.  At that 
time she said that when she got married she would 
move here and live with her husband.  That was so 
fun to find since we hadn't remembered that.  Now hubby 
wants to develop a few more lots and build there too.
(Can you imagine moving just my tablescape items!!!???)

It consists of 5 acres with the lower part having 
been called The Hollow, since before we owned 
the property.  This part is heavily wooded and 
has quite a few deer and a rogue white rooster.

I have wanted to have my witchy friends here for three
seasons, but the weather is always a little iffy.  This 
year it rained early in the day but was dry and 
warm for our party.

My son build a custom table just for eating in 
The Hollow, using a gray-wash marine finish so it can withstand 
the weather.  It is 12 feet long. I covered it with a 
open cut spider web fabric that I had purchased 
a few years ago.  It was a perfect fit.  

Purple jeweled chargers from ZGallerie begin the plate 
stack followed by fun scalloped plates from Home Goods.

I used my black flatware from Horchow.

These playful goblets were a new purchase from Dollar Tree 
this year and they came in orange, purple and black.

The napkins sat on a purple glass plate with their name tag 
and a witch shoe ornament, but there was also a 
special party favor!

I gave everyone these fabulous garden gloves with 
claws!  They just looked so witchy, but they work great.

This black chandelier was my favorite part of the 
whole event.

I missed the fact that it wasn't wire as a plug in, but 
hubby helped me set everything up and he quickly 
added a plug.  We have a Humless chargeable battery 
that we plugged it into after hanging it in the tree.

It just made everything magical.

The table was filled with lots of fun items 
(yes we had to drag them all from our house!)

I used battery operated candles and real candles.

These new serving dishes from Home Goods this year 
were my husband's favorites.  

Silk flowers in black and purple with eyes filled my 
adorable MacKenzie-Childs pumpkin cart.

These came from Dollar Tree also.

And they adorned the backs of my chairs, which were 
my white chiavari chairs covered in black stretch covers. 
The chairs also had a little bit of gauze and gray netting 
to bring up the drama. 

The ladies oversaw the serving table.

I have this wonderful Witches and Warlocks urn 
that I got from Home Goods a few years ago, but I 
wasn't certain it was food safe, so I placed a bowl inside 
to make my witches brew.

We also had a bonfire going to add to the mood. 

We witches gathered for a photo, but we were 
missing one.

We could excuse her being late as she was bringing 
this glorious, scary cake.

One of our hubbies calls us the "overachievers" and we 
certainly followed through with that when we all ended 
up with three favors to take home with us.  

Dinner was chili in a bread bowl with fresh garden veggies and 
a fun fruit dip.

As I was flying a group of witches up and out of The Hollow,
our battery gave out, so these three witches had only 
candle light to keep them company until I returned.

Thanks to all my witchy friends who came and made 
this a magical evening.  The biggest thanks goes to 
hubby who helped me pack everything in and out,
and then did it again for a family dinner as the 4 year old 
witch insisted we needed to do this for the family!

I will be posting this with

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Tales of the Traveling Tote - Havasupai

Welcome to our September edition of 
Tales of the Traveling Tote.  

I feel so lucky to have been invited into 
this wonderful group of women who 
travel all over with their MacKenzie-Childs 
totes and accessories.  

Visit their posts and join us in a fun giveaway 
of a MacKenzie-Childs gift.

Miss Madi K traveled with me to 
Arizona onto the Hualapai Indian Reservation,
to go down to Havasupai and Mooney Falls, 
which are in a canyon that empties into 
the Grand Canyon.  

The magic of Havasupai are the limestone 
deposits which create the gorgeous blue 

Havasupai is a bucket list item for many, many people, 
and with the popularity of the internet, Pinterest, and 
Instagram, it has become increasingly difficult to 
get a permit to hike Havasupai.  We were lucky enough 
to have a friend who has connections to get the permits. 
He was able to obtain permits for fourteen of us.

It is a rigorous zigzagging trail 10 miles 
down into the canyon.  Now, we aren't spring chickens
ranging in age from 52-69, so we decided to helicopter in the 
first 8 miles.  

In order to ride the helicopter you wait at the top 
of the canyon while tribal members and supplies 
are given first priority.  You should get there early 
as the line grows all day.  

We waited about an hour and a half at the top 
and then another 2 hours down at the bottom 
to receive our backpacks.

Our friend with the connections with the tribe had 
matching hats and tee's made for our group.  You 
would be surprised how the natives all wanted to 
get one of the tee shirts and hats.  He brought shirts 
and hats for the Tribal Council, but by the end of 
the trip we all gave our hats and shirts away to 
tribal members. 

The helicopter is a stunning four minute 
ride covering the first eight miles, 
but then you hike in the remaining two.  

When backpacking, it is all about the weight.  We 
managed to keep ours under 30 lbs., so needless to 
say, Miss Madi K stayed up at the top of the canyon,

but I needed a camp cup to pour boiling water into, 
so my MC cup got to come along.

The water flows down the canyon and the bottom of 
the canyon is filled with trees and shade, which is 
wonderful since the temperatures in the summer can 
reach well over 100. 

The first order of business was 
to set up camp.  Hubby had backpacked using hammocks 
before, but I had never slept in one longer than a quick nap.  
Mine is the one on the right.

Here is a peek inside my hammock.  I have never slept so 
well camping.  Just like all of my kids, I am converted to 
hammock sleeping.  

Then we headed to dip and later float down the river.  
The water is consistently 70, but we were so hot 
from the hike and camp set-up that it just felt 

For those who haven't backpacked, weight for your food 
is really critical too.  We have a Great Harvest Freeze Dryer, 
so I got creative and freeze dried quite a few things to 
make backpacking food a lot better.  These are cheesy 
eggs with bacon served in a flour tortilla.  

The one thing I always missed when backpacking was 
some form of bread.  We decided to try street taco 
flour tortillas.  they traveled really well and were 
very versatile.  Now tortillas will be a staple 
for family backpacking.

I also freeze dried marinated, grilled steak strips, 
Sweet Tamale Corn Cakes from Cheesecake Factory, 
and Pasta Napoletana, also from Cheesecake Factory.

Needless to say, we have never eaten so well while 
backpacking.  The steak was served with freeze 
dried asparagus and Monterey Pepper Jack Instant 
Potatoes by Idahoan.  

The next day we had a short two mile hike 
to Mooney Falls, which is about 200 feet tall.  
Havasupai is around 100 feet tall. 

We weren't told ahead of time the crazy, scary hike 
it would take to get down to these falls.  There are 
two "mouse holes" like this that you have to go 
down backwards.  

Then after that, you are using chains and wooden 
ladders to get down to the bottom.  The chains and 
rock get super slippery.

The power of the falls is amazing. 
 It is fun to get in and 
swim towards the falls where you can
 feel the push of 
the waterfall, but it is dangerous
 to try and get too close. 

Then it is back up the ladders and chains!  

We had been told by our trip organizer that on 
occasion some of the tribe might make and 
sell some Navajo Tacos along the trail.  I love their 
sense of humor, as it wasn't until the third day that 
we actually saw some being made along the trail.

They had set up camp right along the trail and were 
selling plain fry bread, Indian Tacos or 
cheeseburgers served in fry bread.

Wow, when you have been eating freeze dried food,
although good freeze dried food, these were an 
amazing treat.  We tried the taco, 

and a burger.  I don't think we would have chosen the 
burger, but another hiker recommended it.  Wow, 
he was right.  They also had ice cold drinks.  I 
think I could backpack like this any time.

Check this one off the bucket list! 
 It was a lot of fun!!

The reservation requires 3 nights at $100 per person,
per night.  We helicoptered out again, but had to 
wait 8 hours to get out as payday had been the day 
before and most of the village exits after receiving 
their checks.  

The drive home brought us along Route 66.

We chose to eat in this retro style diner, Mr. D's.

Yum!!! Cheese stuffed burger.  The food was delicious, 
but the smile and charm of the servers was even better.  

Thanks for traveling with Miss Madi K and me 
to another beautiful spot in this great big 
wonderful world.  Now see where our other friends 
have been off to.

 with Miss Aurora @ Mountain Breaths 
Emily with Miss Courtney ChildsThe French Hutch
 Patti with Miss Kenzie @ Pandora's Box
Jenna with Miss Coquille @The Painted Apron
Katie with Miss Daisy @ Preppy Empty Nester
Linda P with Miss Lola @ Life and Linda
Linda with Miss Rosie @ More Fun Less Laundry
Sarah with Miss Merri Mac @ Hyacinths for the Soul
Rita with Miss Luna C Panoply 
Ricki Jill and Countess De Monet @ The Sketchy Reader

Now for the giveaway! Visit Debbie to enter into the 

We will be back again with more fun tales on 
December 1st.  Come back and visit us.  

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