A Walk with my Brother


My youngest brother came for a 2 week visit and, of course, a walk with coffee breaks had to be included! It’s always a joyous time to spend with loved ones with a bean buzz and fresh air. The sites and venues are always an added perk as well.

While here in the Upstate, I wanted to share some of the local awesome adventures with him…and he smiled the whole time. His smile lightens up the whole world and he is a fun, handsome guy (but I might be just a bit biased, being his sister and all!)

The photos are captioned of the places we attended. The conversations were endless!

Multi-Generation Family Adventure–Beaufort, Lady’s Island & Hunting’s Beach, S.C.


Who knew that going to the beach in January could be so much fun!

As per their annual tradition, my parents made their winter road-trip across the country, stopping in South Carolina after the New Year to visit their daughters (my sister and I live relatively close together, within an easy commute of each other), Papa (my mother’s father) and of course, my brother-in-law and to meet my Sweetness (he lives close, too!)

So what do we do? We spontaneously decide to hit the coast while playing games over a family dinner Thursday night and we left promptly Saturday Morning!

Along the drive to Beaufort, the place we decided to stay for the night, the Spanish Moss indicated how close we were approaching the ocean, with every mile, it became thicker, creating a mystical “fog”, draping from the trees, power lines, and every place it could position itself, with all of its silver-miller and mossy green and grey hues.

We easily checked into our hotel and enjoyed the recommendation of the hotel concierge by dining at a local restaurant called “Dockside”–and it was lovely atmosphere and good food, especially the raw oysters! Nothing like a good local meal to finish off the drive there.

Sunday Morning, after we had breakfast at the hotel and checked out, we drove over the bridges, across Lady’s Island, through Port Royal and headed to Hunting Beach, on the Atlantic Coast, and enjoyed a heavy day of finding seashells and enjoying the surf and feeding the birds, generally enjoying each other’s company, with laughter as I donned my swimming suit and my mother wrapped up as she felt chilled…but all laughter and fun as we fed the birds and just enjoyed the day.

A late lunch at Port Royal, much later in the day, at the Fish Camp was a great way to wrap things up. While waiting outside for a brief moment, enjoying looking at the ships with all their riggings, I spotted a dolphin breach and play in the firth. What a lucky and fortunate spotting!!! Alas, I wasn’t fast enough with my camera to capture the beautiful dolphin, but it did smile at me when it came up!

Hunting Beach Seagulls Video

A Southern Winter Wonderland, Snow Days


While the holiday may be over, a winter wonderland is still something beautiful to behold. While living here in the lovely state of South Carolina, snow, true snow (not a powdered sugar dusting) is a rare event…and something to be cherished for sure.

While it’s true that I grew up in Colorado, living there sporadically through my adult life, I greatly missed experiencing true snow days (which I greatly underappreciated when I was in my teens, taking the break for granted.)

Technology and forecasting predicted the snow, which is a new-age perk, allowing those in the affected area to be able to prepare for inclement weather, which is a blessing on many fronts (pun intended). Forecasted fun and adventures, though, when there is a white out? Naturally!

Adventures at home are a true joy–a stay-vacation! While there is always a list of things to be done, a snow balling accumulation of chores to be done, projects to be finished (or begun), sidewalks to be scooped, animals to feed, etc.

The forecast allowed my Sweetheart and I to clean out and re-line his chicken coop with fresh straw before the storm hit, preventing chaos and worry about the health and well-being of his flock, avoiding the need to go out in the snow and icy roads to retrieve much needed items for the animals and house (and finding a place that is open)–like with any good adventure, a bit of pre-prep work is essential, allowing a much more enjoyable.

Speaking of a bit of prep work, while out and about, purchasing feed and straw for the flock, I did remember to pick up extra wicks for my oil lantern, just in case the electricity went out (which does tend to happen from time to time with bad weather.) My sister, on the other hand, already had the foresight to retrofit her house, when she purchased it, making the fireplaces and her stove natural gas (which is awesome, even without power, the stove and fireplaces still work!) But why prep in advance, one could possibly have everything at one’s hand or delivered while on an adventure? Well….things can get icy without a bit of forethought (okay, cheesy puns aside, nasty weather does make things a bit more challenging!)

And the adventure part? The flurry of choice is an endless blizzard. For me, the adventure is being able to get to read a book, unhindered, delving into the pages, skating through the characters’ lives, snow shoeing through the plot, enjoying the snow day, exploiting the comforts of my love seat as the gusts of a zephyr wind howl outside.

Pottery Pendant Necklaces…a pretty accessory


There are several fashionable scarves and pretty pendant necklaces available on my eBay, all handcrafted and locally made here in South Carolina, perfect for the last-minute stocking stuffers and prices that will make Santa go HoHoho.

The items on my ebay are not only handmade and locally crafted (AKA made in America) but the sales also help support me and my travels. Thank you for shopping my eBay

Season’s Greetings…a family tradition.


Season’s Greetings, a “newer” way to greet the universal crowd to wish them a happy holiday season when one doesn’t feel a “Merry Christmas” is warranted in the situation. In our home growing up, though, the expression of “Season’s Greetings” meant and means something entirely different….in a magical kind of way.

There are 4 children in my family, grown up now, living lives of our own but we continue to celebrate our Season’s Greetings. Each of us have something “unique” about our birthdays, a conjoined “event” that was highlight, the 4th of July, Bastille Day, Santa’s Birthday, and yet, the youngest of us, my brother, when small, asked what was special about his birthday and inquired what Season’s Greetings was (he was learning how to read at the time.)

Being creative, as most mothers are, our mother explained that Season’s Greetings was his birthday “buddy” holiday, a special day when the North Pole aligned with the North Star, allowing all the elves to roam amongst us, being Santa’s helpers to look for all the good little boys and girls, and it officially started December 1st. The elves would watch for goodness and other such loveliness amongst us, leaving elf treats as a reward, inspiration and more….and thus began the tradition of Elf Treats and Season’s greetings.

As we grew older, the elf treats customization, of course, grew with us and now, as adults, elf treats are delivered by the help of the mail system instead in lieu of the winds of the Northern Zepher and help of a volunteer flying reindeer for giving….adding a flare of fun and spice amongst us.

Elf treats now are often fun but sometimes, they are also little gifts of help or need as well and aren’t limited to giving to each other-paying for the coffee for the person behind you in line, donating of time to a neighbor or babysitting for a family, sending kibble to an animal shelter in need, sharing a bubble bath basket for a stressed out relative, the possibilities of sharing an elf treat are endless, and the size is often on the smaller side but sprinkled with the magic of the season.

My sister and I live relatively close to each other, in terms of physical distance, now and since. Season’s greetings parties have been made, inviting the neighborhood, making new friends, and even the pets get involved, because whom doesn’t need a good jingle jangle from time to time? And with that, I wish you a very Merry Season’s Greetings and may you be the best of yourself and a good Elf this year and always.

Here are some elf ideas, in case you want to share! (And I have tried to be a very good girl this year!)

A Day with Papa, South Carolina Botanical Gardens and Geology Museum, Clemson, S.C.


A day out with my grandfather, with local history, a great variety of plants, and even a stuffed mountain lion, it literally rocked as toured the Botanical Gardens and Geology museum–an extra nice perk? The venues don’t charge admission but do take donations (which are well worth giving!)

There is so much more to do and enjoy in Clemson, beyond going to a football game, and there is ample parking! The parking lot abuts to the gardens and is easily accessible, and most paths are handicap/scooter friendly for those who desire to go with some assistance.

Summer Blossoms along the road side


Road side blooms make a lovely bouquet

On the way home, I came across a most obliging field of wild flowers; I couldn’t help but stop and pick some for my home (while leaving plenty for others to enjoy!) And what girl doesn’t enjoy a nice bouquet? I gifted myself the beautiful bouquet and it was well worth the 10 minutes of effort to enjoy such blossoms!!

I am using Acorns to invest. We both get a perk if you sign up here, too!! Help me invest!! https://share.acorns.com/apotthoff

Wrapping Up the Year


2020 for all of us has been quite an interesting year; a year no one expected on so many levels. The pandemic had cancelled trips and vacations, altered the way we mix and mingle, go to work and the way we even grocery shop. Alas, it has been an amazing year, full of wonderful twists and turns, interactions, new friends made and so much more! Lie is one big beautiful adventure, as seen in just a few of my photos.

In 2020, I have enjoyed numerous cemetery crawls, a handful of dates, I made new friends, saw family, my nephew was born this year, and so many other blessing occurred.

I hope your 2021 is as glorious and blessed as years passed and filled with many more adventures and excitement.

A morning stroll along my own Street, coffee in hand


Adventures can be enjoyed any where, even a stroll down my own street this lovely morning. Here in Upstate, South Carolina, the changing of the autumn leaves are still taking place and it is quite splendid. A little stroll provided quite a stunning view while enjoying the cool morning air and golden sunshine that glowed over the Seneca River tributary.

Living in a quite neighborhood complex has its perks, as you can well see, not a whole lot of traffic but a great place to enjoy a little adventure this morning, admiring all the pretty colors and hues and smiling at neighbors walking their dogs, all while sipping a toasted chestnut praline latte (Starbucks was on the drive home this morning!)

A fine and lovely autumn morning at an adventure best!

Changing of the Leaves…and of your wardrobe: a packing tip.


The season’s are changing and here in the Northern Hemisphere, Autumn is approaching, the leaves are changing into beautiful hues of reds and crimsons, golds and rusts; the skies are changing from Carolina blues to sapphires and jeweled tones as evenings come sooner and sooner, beckoning us to don cardigans and drink hot apple cider, cinnamon and cloves swirling on the steam.

Our wardrobes change with the seasons, well, twice a year for me, anyway. I swap in the Spring and the Fall, warm/hot verses chilly/cold weather is generally the theme. For some, this might be a major undertaking, especially if you have little ones or other’s you help to make the seasonal swap.

Often, while swapping clothes for the seasons, thinning and/or taking stock, inventory of what is in the closet is done in tandem. While we all often own too many articles of clothing and try to purge from time to time (and donating is a very good thing.) Clothes are rediscovered or make you “gag”, sick of wearing it, or possesses a piece that you love but is on its last leg:

Here comes the fun part: Pre-pack a suitcase and “forget about it”. Every one likes to have new clothes or something fun to wear on an adventure, weekend getaway or on a special vacation. In alliance with keeping adventures and travels affordable, this entails a way to experience something “new”, that you know will fit, and will feel fresh when you haven’t worn it in a good while.

Here’s how the system works:

While swapping your seasonal wardrobe, or whenever you choose, pull out 2 -3 pieces or outfits that fit well, that you over wear, forget to wear, or are just sick of looking at from your collection, or however many you choose to decide. Note: Choose clothing that you like to wear or would wear but wouldn’t mind parting ways with, I ‘ll tell you why in a moment!

Pull accessories, such as a fashion scarf or tie, funky socks, a necklace (I am a huge fan of costume jewelry) to go with each outfit. Note: Extra “winning points” if the accessories can go with all three outfits.

Place outfits and accessories in your suitcase. If you know you have an adventure or trip already planned in the future and can determine which seasonal wear to pull from, even better, no guess work involved.

The white dress, as seen in the far left hand picture, is such an outfit. I’d packed it, knowing it was “on its last leg”, not likely to be washed and worn much more. The perk? One snag on a railing tore the dress and it was a goner, and I was able to purchase a new dress from a sidewalk sale, a souvenir as a functional item and a happy memory!!!

Ultimate Tip: By packing clothing ahead of time and “forgetting about it” allows you to feel like you have something fresh to wear on your trip, while knowing it fits as you wish. The perks are, you were likely either going to donate the articles, eave them in your wardrobe unused, or wear it so much it tatters, which can easilyhappen on your trip. If you happen to ruin the outfit on your trip, no harm, no foul. Also, if you want to leave the article of clothing behind (donate it or leave it in a charity bin), especially if you packed an outfit that isn’t a “favorite”, you will free up space in your luggage, assuring space for something more special.