Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Tales of the Traveling Tote No. 28 & Giveaway

Welcome to the Tales of the Traveling Tote #28, and Happy September! Our tales began in 2015, and we are still journaling our tales each quarter. You can go here for my personal travel history with my totes - Miss Luna C and Miss Charley C and Miss Penny.

The BEST event of this past quarter was the birth of my first grandchild, a girl, born August 17. It's all still very new and exhausting, but this sweet child is such a miracle. Thank you to everyone who prayed for the baby, my daughter and son-in-law along their journey.💜
My June birth month couldn't have started out any better than with a huge surprise party my daughter and son-in-law hosted for me the first weekend of June! Can you even imagine how hard it would be to keep a surprise a secret with an immediate family of 8 siblings, their spouses, their children and their spouses, and their children.......I was shocked (I think we were ALL shocked they were able to keep it a surprise)! I knew my daughter and sil were hosting a birthday cookout for me, but when I walked in her door, and the music started and my siblings and their spouses came through, one by surprise! So much fun!
My friend Karen and I hit the Everything Fiesta outlet my birthday week too. Fiestaware is manufactured in WV, and there's an outlet about an hour north of where we live. Shopping here is fun, but mostly a crap shoot as far as what to expect. 
All the seconds are super cheap, and some seconds are hard to discern the blips. Firsts are also sold in the outlet, and are priced below retail. This is a good opportunity to purchase seasonal items, as they are not as frequently marked down in retail as, say, a regular place setting would be.
We also hit the Blenko Visitors' Center in mid-June while they were having a 15% markdown of all seconds, which are already priced quite favorably. I added an item to my growing collection of colorful glassware, soon to share here on the blog.
I took a monthly subscription for a car wash that's less than half a mile from where I live. This makes dashing through the soap so easy after any trip. Three minutes later, my 15 year old car looks brand new again.
Little did any of us know the shock wave that soon followed after my family gathered for my birthday. My Panoply's sister husband of Cincinnati passed away unexpectedly later that month. You've heard me share before in our antiquing travels how he would host us by cooking wonderful meals while the three of us shopped. He and my sister were married 53+ years of the 58 we all knew him.
Everyone in the family was so grateful to have had that visit with him at my surprise party. We traveled to Ohio for his celebration of life in mid-July. We stayed right in the center of town, adjacent to Fountain Square. 
We said our last goodbyes, and I know my sister will appreciate any and all prayers, good vibes and/or positive energy you might send her way as she navigates life without her soulmate. Gardening was a hobby pastime for him, and his bounty was shared with all who came to the visitation.

In late July, MacKenzie-Childs hosted the barn sale virtually for the second year in a row. My local boutique that sells MacKenzie-Childs was encouraging shopping local of items they stocked which were part of the sale. So as I scoured the daily barn sale offerings, I took screenshots of items I knew my boutique carried. I was able to snag both of these pictured below (picture has wonky waves because I literally took a picture of my desktop screen) at barn sale pricing, without shipping charges!
I got a few more things at great prices, but was disappointed with one order that was accepted and acknowledged as in stock, only to receive an email two weeks later as canceled, due to being oversold.

In mid-August, in the midst of Hurricane Fred's post-tropical storm, my daughter went into the hospital for induced labor delivery of my first grandchild. She labored for 20 hours before she and her obstetrician decided a c-section was the safest means of delivering her baby girl. I was fortunate to be able to be with my daughter and her husband most of labor, and then after delivery. One really special treat was having one of my high school classmates be my daughter's assigned nurse post delivery! She has been with me in previous tote traveling escapades, as told here and here, and noticed the tote in the room right away!
Baby Jacqueline was three weeks early due to the circumstances, and things have been hectic since, but everyone's doing great. Thank you to all who prayed for their little family. Jacqueline has very expressive arms, most notably rehearsing Swan Lake. Her Mama says she'll be an Olympic gymnast, in spite of her Mimi and Mama dancer lineage. She can be anything she wants to be!

The Traveling Totes Tribe is offering another giveaway and Cherry Kay at Entertaining Women is our giveaway sponsor this time. One lucky reader who leaves a comment on Cherry Kay's post today will have their name thrown into the hat for an opportunity to win these super cute Patience Brewster (a MacKenzie-Childs acquired line) seasonal towels. These are a perfect accessory to celebrate Halloween with whimsy. 
Be sure to check out my other traveling sisters' posts to see what they've been up to the past few [mostly] summer months.
Debbie with Miss Aurora @ Mountain Breaths
Emily with Miss Courtney Childs@ The French Hutch
Patti with Miss Kenzie and Miss Taylor @ Pandora's Box
Jenna with Miss Coquille @ The Painted Apron
Linda P with Miss Lola @ Life and Linda
Rita with Miss Luna C @ Panoply (you are here!)
Sarah with Miss Merri Mac @ Hyacinths for the Soul
Jackie with Miss Madi K @ Purple Chocolat Home
Ricki Jill and Countess de Monet @The Bookish Dilettante
Cherry Kay and Carrie and Haul @ Entertaining Women

Join us again on December 1, 2021 for another edition of the Tales of the Traveling Tote. 
Thanks so much for your visit. I love reading your comments, and be sure to leave one on Cherry Kay's blog for a chance at our token gift. Stay safe, and Happy September!

Rita C. at Panoply

Parties I Share With: Pieced Pastimes, Love Your CreativityBNOTPAll About Home Common GroundAll About Home Follow the Yellow Brick Home, A Stroll Thru LifeMy Wee AbodeThistle Key LaneBluesky at Home, Zucchini SistersFrench Ethereal SYSKatherine's Corner TFTGrace at Home, My Thrift Store AddictionOur Hopeful HomeKarin's KottageMy Hubbard Home FWFCounty Road 407 Farmhouse Friday


  1. Happy September Rita! Congrats again on the birth of baby Jacqueline! So glad mom and baby are in good health and what a fun surprise to have a classmate be assigned as their nurse. Happy belated birthday wishes to you too, what a fun surprise party. I can see the family resemblance in the photos. :) I’m so sorry to hear of your brother-in-law’s passing. I love that his garden bounty was shared with all as a remembrance. So sorry for your sister and family’s loss. Thoughts and prayers for your sister during these difficult times. ♥

  2. Rita, congrats again on the birth of baby Jacqueline and what a fun surprise party! I was sorry to hear of your brother-in-law’s passing, and even though I have never met him, I remember him vividly cooking for you and your sisters. What a guy! Your sister has been in my thoughts during these difficult times. Happy September! Hope we all have a beautiful fall with more tote adventures.

  3. What an exciting summer you had! And to welcome your first grandchild made it even more special - she is precious and will only better your life!! So sorry that you lost your BIL - keep the memories close to heart. I love that you live close to the Blenko and Fiesta outlets - i would love going there! Enjoy the last few days of summer!

  4. Wow Rita, you have had a busy summer, the highlight being of course your beautiful granddaughter, such a blessing! I'm so glad you were able to be there with your daughter and what a wonderful treat to have an old friend as her nurse. Fun shopping trips, I would love to go to the Blenko Vistor's Center. Your surprise party sounds like it was truly amazing, how much they all must love you! I am so sorry that you lost your brother in law so soon after, it's almost like a Godwink that the party brought you all together right before he passed. Prayers to your sister...

  5. Rita, What a wonderful birthday surprise party! So many happy times! Congratulations on the birth of Jacqueline! She's a little doll! She will certainly enrich your life and steal your heart. Your trip to the Blenko and Fiesta outlets sounds wonderful. So sorry to hear about your BIL. I know you have many cherished memories. I will be praying for your sister. After so many years together, the sudden loss will indeed take some adjustment. You had a busy quarter! Thanks for sharing them with us. Clara❤️

  6. Rita, what a wonderful way to celebrate summer than with the birth of your first grandchild. When that precious bundle arrived and you knew all was well with mother and daughter it must have been such a relief, you could finally relax and enjoy your blessing. The surprise birthday party was special for you and your entire family. It's not easy to pull off a surprise event, I know!. I am so sorry for the loss of your BIL. Hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend.

  7. Rita I am so excited for you to be a grandma! Just when you think you cannot love anyone more than your own daughter she gives you a granddaughter and your heart explodes with love again. How fun the surprise party for your birthday and what a nice blessing that your BIL was able to be there and everyone was together before his unexpected passing. So sorry for your loss. I know how you always said what a great guy he was and how happy he and your sister were together. I know you all miss him greatly. Prayers for all of you. xoxo Kris

  8. Rita, I just don't know were to begin! Congratulations on being a Grandma for the first time!!! Your joyous days are just beginning!! I know that feeling as you well know....I love being a Gigi!
    I am so sorry to read about your brother-in-laws passing. Please pass along my prayers for you sister. I can't imagine her pain.
    Happy Belated Birthday and what a day that must have been! Your sister resembles you so much. Such a beautiful celebration of a lovely lady!!!
    Love the Fiesta trip how fun and such a terrific idea. I am sure many memories were made.
    I loved your update, it made my day! Take care,

  9. Thank you sweet Rita for sharing your summer months, You have had blessings and sorrows but through it all...there is joy in living, and the cycle moves on. You and yours are always in my prayers and don't ya just love kissing the soft sweet cheeks of your grand baby. Bless you my friend. Special Hugs!!

  10. Aw, my heart is so full seeing these photos of beautiful angel baby Jacqueline! She is so cute, Rita! I hope mother and daughter are doing well! :D
    I'm so sorry for your and your family's loss. I think the process of grief has been so difficult during these times.
    I love Fiestaware. I love the fun and classic lines of the pieces. Very modern! What a fun field trip for y'all! Can you believe that I did not buy a thing during the Barn Sale? That's a first for me, LOL. I think it's great you could participate in the sale locally. Buy local when you can!!!
    Happy September, Sweet Friend!

  11. Awwww Rita, congratulations on becoming a grandma! Baby Jacqueline is just precious. Hopefully your dear daughter is doing well. On a sad note, I am so terribly sorry about the loss of your beloved brother in law. Life sure has so many blessings and sorrows.
    You had some fun shopping excursions to bring some joy. Happy September to you, Rita! ❤️

  12. Awww, congrats on the birth of Jacqueline, your first grandchild. She is so precious. I am sorry to hear of your brother in law. Losing a family member is so sad. How fun the Fiestaware is. I don't own any. I didn't buy a thing this year at the online barn sale. So glad you had a lovely Birthday. Here's to a wonderful labor Day weekend. Happy September.

  13. Happy September, Rita! Your summer has been busy, busy… Being a Mimi is simply the best! Baby Jacqueline is beautiful and I am so happy for all of you. Your life has been completely changed now and you will enjoy every minute. The birthday celebration was fabulous and so glad you all were all together. Continued prayers for your dear sister. Fiesta and Blenko shopping looks fun. Happy Labor Day Weekend!

  14. Oh, my goodness, Rita, your baby girl is beautiful. You will be the best grandmother. Looking forward to lots of photos. So sorry to hear about your brother in law. Fifty-three years is a long time. Sending prayers and comforting thoughts her way.
    Enjoy Labor Day weekend and I do hope the dreadful rains from the hurricane have not visited your area. We are good so far here.

  15. Well your new baby has the best name EVER!!! What a joy to have her here safe and sound. There is nothing like grandchildren. You will have so much fun.
    So sorry to hear about your brother in law. So many wonderful years together. He will be missed by so many.
    The weather is so crazy lately. We came home early from Cabo last week because a hurricane was headed straight at us but it went up the Sea of Cortez and we didn’t even get rains. Hope everyone stays safe.

  16. Baby Jacqueline is so beautiful -- just a perfect little girl face and I know she is filled with love. I'm glad all is well and she is out of the woods. You are going to LOVE being a gran! Just sayin'....

    I really need to visit that Fiesta outlet. No, not need. But boy, I'd love to. And Blenko too on sale! Sounds like a great season for you!

  17. I love being able to catch up on your life with your posts. What an amazing blessing that precious little gal is. She's adorable. I'm so sorry to hear about your BIL, your sis and family will be in my prayers. A party, wow, I can't even imagine what a thrill that would be. I can't go anywhere or be with anyone without a mask, it's a huge bummer. Hopefully we'll have a family get together with our older daughter soon. Enjoy the start of Fall and those sweet baby days. take care and be well! xo

  18. Rita, it's impossible to top your summer! Congratulations on welcoming your first grandchild. He is adorable! Holding and cuddling a new born is the best!!!
    Love your great Barn Sale scores. I have the small anniversary vase and absolutely love the size and details. I scored my #1 item, the Rabbit Totem, and was relieved when it arrived safely. It's a big piece!
    I intend to add it to the garden once the new landscape goes in. I'm living the Waiting Game with all the projects associated with our remodel, but we are finally in the space. Just a punch list of items to finish and the landscape project which is a biggie.
    Happy September!

  19. Rita, congratulations on the birth of your sweet granddaughter! She is precious! And, it was so wonderful that you were able to gather with family to celebrate your birthday! Two joyous events! I'm so sorry to hear about your sister's husband. Deepest condolences to her, and may his memory be a blessing to all who knew him.

  20. Rita....congratulations on that precious beautiful baby girl! She is certainly a living dolly You look like a very happy G'ma in the picture....and I love her name too. I'm so sorry about your BIL...and I love the saying you's so true. I've always enjoyed your shopping adventures with your sister's and hearing about your large family. May God be with all of you and especially your sister as she adjusts to these changes. Take care.....

  21. Dear Rita, the incongruity of life, a joyous birth, a birthday celebration and saying goodby to soon to Jack. May his garden live on! Congratulations on your beautiful granddaughter.

    1. You certainly described it well. Thank you for your wishes and condolences, Susan.

  22. Rita, such a sweet tribute to Jack--my condolences. What a wonderful birthday surprise and welcome beautiful Baby Jacqueline! Your summer has been full, indeed!

  23. A beautiful post, Rita, expressing the love of the gift of the birth of your sweet granddaughter and the heartbreaking sadness of saying goodbye to your beloved brother-in-law. Wonderful your last memories of Jack were happy times at your surprise birthday party. Sending condolences to you, your sister and your families, and pray that you will all be given strength through these days♡

  24. Rita, I'm sad to read of your BIL's passing. My sincere condolences to your sister and each of you who loved Jack. What a long marriage! I will keep your sister in my prayers. The circle of life goes on though, as your family welcomed that precious little girl. Jacqueline is the cutest little girl, and I know brings joy every single day. How fortunate for you and her that you live close and will be a constant in her life.
    Congratulation on the MC beauties you snagged during the sale.
    Happy December!