Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Heading to My Favorite Place on Earth

Biltmore is calling my name.  I haven't been lately and although I don't need a reason to go... I'm going. There is a wonderful exhibit that opens on Friday, February 12, 2016.  It's entitled, "Fashionable Romance." Visitors will be able to view wedding gowns from TV and Movies from the past few decades.   I am most excited, however, to see the recreation of Cornelia Vanderbilt's wedding dress.  The orginal gown is unavailable... not sure why. It is rumored to be in the hands of her descendants but is not in good condition and I have also heard, unfortunately, it was destroyed. I pray it is the former and not the latter. Cornelia, the only child of George and Edith Vanderbilt, married John Cecil on April 29, 1924 at All Souls Episcopal Church in Asheville, NC.  It was a grand event with hundreds of guests descending on Biltmore Village to either attend the wedding or catch a glimpse of the bride.

The exhibit will be on display from February 12, 2016 through July 4, 2016.  If you are in the area, I invite you to visit the "Lady on the Hill." You won't regret your visit.  It's a treasure nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and for me, my visit always brings solace and peace to my soul.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! I hope you all have a wonderful day with family and friends celebrating the greatest gift of all time... Jesus Christ.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

On this Thanksgiving day, I am so grateful for my family and friends. They stand with me and love me unconditionally.  I have been blessed beyond measure and I am thankful to God for His provisions in my life.  Not only does He meet my needs, but He is gracious with the desires of my heart.   I don't deserve His love but am overwhelmed with His generosity. Thank you, my God, for your precious son, Jesus, who redeemed me and makes me righteous before you. May I be found faithful to You and may everything I think, do and say bring glory to you... for you alone, are worthy of all praise.    

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Blog Hits 10,000 views

WOW! My Days with Nell blog just hit 10,000 views! When I began this blog, I had no idea this would ever happen. It was more of a way for me to chronicle the journey of publishing my first children's book, My Days with Nell. Through this blog, I have met some wonderful people and have enjoyed discussing all types of literature. It has truly been a blessing to me. Thanks to all who took the time to read my posts and offer encouragement to me as I continue writing.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Author Day at North Cove Elementary

    Today, I had the honor of speaking to some of the students at North Cove Elementary School. At the invitation of Mrs. Penny Jackson, Media Coordinator, I spoke to the third grade students about The Biltmore Estate and "My Days with Nell."I presented the writing process to two different third grade classes and we discussed the Pre-Writing, Drafting, Revising, Editing and Publishing stages of writing.   I believe their awesome teachers have previously worked with them on this process for they seemed to be familiar with the concept and responded positively to the questions I asked and topics we discussed. These youngsters had recently visited the estate and had some interesting questions from their field trip. It was obvious they had listened intently to their Biltmore guide and had time to digest what  they had learned as they were ready to "dig a little deeper" for more information.   We also had a brief question and answer time that basically revolved around the present restoration work on the North Tower Ridge cap on the Biltmore House roof. It is a huge undertaking and will be gorgeous when it is restored to it's original color and beauty.
     I spoke to the North Cove fourth graders about the Historic Carson House.  I shared a brief presentation on the history of the John Hazzard Carson family and shared the plot and book summary of "Treasures of My Heart." They are very excited about visiting the Historic Carson House next Thursday.  I was only able to skim the surface of all the Carson House has to offer in intriguing stories. They are certainly in for a treat on this field trip.
     I am so proud of the North Cove Elementary teachers for planning field trips to these two historical Western North Carolina places. They are opening up a new world to these students and encouraging and introducing history in an exciting way.  Talking about these houses is informative but to see them in person takes learning to a whole new level. Field trips are not an easy day for educators... I know, I have been on many!  But it enriches the learning experience for the students in a way that a simple lecture on the subject can not possibly accomplish. So, "Yay, Teachers!"
      I loved visiting with these third and fourth graders. Both grade levels were well behaved and asked wonderful, pertinent and thought provoking questions. I appreciate the opportunity to visit North Cove Elementary and am appreciative to Mrs. Jackson for the invitation.  I am always welcomed into their school as a friend and made to feel right at home! They also fed me a delicious lunch!  Good things are happening at North Cove! So proud of  all of our McDowell County Schools!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

McDowell Visitors Center

I met so many nice people last week when I spoke at the McDowell County Rotary meeting. One of them was Mr. Steve Bush, executive director of  McDowell County Chamber of Commerce. He invited me to place "My Days with Nell" and "Treasures of my Heart" at the McDowell County Visitor Center. I am pleased to say that I took books by there today and was very impressed with the professional and welcoming atmosphere of the center. There were several folk milling about shopping and asking questions. Mr. Bush informed me that the center entertains about 15,000 to 20,000 visitors a year! Wow! I had no idea so many people stopped by our little town of Marion! Isn't that great?

Thursday, April 23, 2015

What a great week!

This has been a wonderful week!  On Monday, April 20, 2015, I had the pleasure of speaking at McDowell County Public Library with ladies from the United Daughters of the Confederacy. These women were a delight! I was welcomed into their midst and was impressed with the UDC's efforts in benevolence, historical accuracy, and preservation of records.  This group of "Daughters" are very involved in the community and with upcoming events celebrating our heritage.  I presented a PowerPoint on McDowell County's Historic Carson House and the descendants of John Hazzard Carson. "Treasures of My Heart" was well received and I am grateful for the opportunity to visit with these dedicated and proud women of McDowell County's UDC chapter.
    Today, I had the privilege of speaking at the Community Building with  McDowell County's Rotary Club. This group of professional men and women were so warm, engaging, and hospitable. I saw a few people I had not seen in was so nice to reconnect with them.  I was treated to a delicious meal catered by Countryside Barbecue and enjoyed the presentation of McDowell High School's "Student of the Week" to a fine young woman whose ambition is to have a career as a nurse anesthetist . Good luck to her... I wish her the best.
     Following a brief business update, I  presented a 20 minute PowerPoint based on the historical research I did while writing, "My Days with Nell." I hope I was able to share some new information and enlighten the members on some of the Vanderbilt and Cecil family history.  I enjoyed my time with some of McDowell County's finest business entrepreneurs and hope I persuaded some of them to visit America's largest privately owned home... soon!
     I have been invited to speak at two upcoming book club meetings and will be at North Cove Elementary School the first week of May sharing "My Days with Nell" with their fourth graders and "Treasures of My Heart" with the  third grade students. I can't wait!