Friday, September 1, 2023

Tales of the Traveling Tote #36 and Giveaway

Welcome to September and another installment of the Traveling Totes! 
I am one of a group of gals who, each calendar quarter, share experiences of where we've been and how we've used our MacKenzie-Childs totes. It also includes a token giveaway from us to you, so be sure to see further in this post for that opportunity. Be sure to also read through and see my fellow tote travelers' posts, with links provided to take you directly to each. If you want to visit my personal log of tales, you can begin here.

In June, we traveled to the Richmond, VA area for an 80th birthday party of a friend who Mr. P. has known for over 50 years, since his graduate school days at Va Tech. They coached basketball together. Along the way there, we stopped in WV's River Gorge National Park & Preserve, and did a little retail therapy in Charlottesville, VA.
The month of July had me busy in the garden. Allow me to walk you through the collage below, remarking on the most notable changes these past few months. 

Top frame: I bought and planted a fourth Pugster Blue dwarf butterfly bush (left). On the right is my 2022 stick of a crepe myrtle volunteer I mentioned transplanting in my last garden update. It started sprouting leaves in mid-July!πŸ™Œ 

The middle frames of the collage: a friend gave me a pinch of her Greek basil (left). It has bright, fresh flavor and grows in a compact, round shape. I stuck a single pansy and vinca in the pot which I found randomly on their own in the landscape elsewhere until the pot filled out. On the right middle frame, my Bobo hydrangea is a survivor! That dwarf plant was original to the landscape, but has been transplanted three times between October 2021 and March 2023, still surviving. A keeper.

Finally, the bottom frame are my front annuals. If you look back at the link above with my last garden update, they had just been planted. They're still going strong.
Mid-August was Baby J's "Two-dles" birthday bowling party. It was hilariously fun. Four little toddlers all bowled with 6-pound balls, using the dinosaur perches and bumper rails. That frame with J on my lap is her wanting to perform her "'nastics". She's taking gymnastics and she obviously has complete trust in her handler to help her do back flips!
In past tote installments, I have shown my tote handling mundane chores around the house, such as carrying loads of paperwork and laundry. Well, mid-August brought a new clothes washing machine my way, and boy, what a difference that's already making in my life! My old machine was out of balance and taking up to 2.5 hours trying to refill and rebalance loads. Now my loads are, on average, 35 minutes!
Late August, I took a little road trip with my daughter and Baby J to the BARKer Farm, about an hour away (north). We were able to interact with several animals kept on the private farm, and J loved them all! She fed a porcupine, goats, camels and llamas, and interacted with bunnies and a python (no, thank you!). There was also a playground, with an inflatable jump pad, slides, swings, and bubble machine. It was a great day.


The Traveling Totes Tribe is offering another giveaway and Jackie at Purple Chocolat Home is our giveaway sponsor this time. One lucky reader who leaves a comment on Jackie's  post will have their name thrown into the hat for an opportunity to win this MacKenzie-Childs To Go Tote. 
PLEASE NOTE: If your comment displays as anonymous, be sure to write your name so that you may be identified!

(This giveaway is now closed. The winner is Keshake from The Jaded Rose. Congratulations!)

Be sure to check out my other traveling sisters' posts to see how they spent their 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

Join us again on December 1, 2023 for another edition of Tales of the Traveling Tote.
Thanks so much for your visit. I love reading your comments, and be sure to leave one on Jackie's blog for a chance to win our token gift. Stay safe, and Happy September (and soon-to-beπŸ‚FALLπŸ‚ in the Northern Hemisphere).

Rita C. at Panoply


  1. Your tote certainly gets around - from mundane household chores all the way to the petting farm with Baby J. It's fun to get a peek into your life and see what occupies your time!

  2. I had no idea there was such a thing as birthday bowling parties for toddlers Rita…what a hoot! Baby J’s adorable, especially doing her ‘nastics’. Maybe I would throw fewer gutter balls if I used a dinosaur launch slide. 😊 Such cute photos of her interacting with all the critters at the farm too. Your garden is thriving, hooray for the crepe myrtle and Bobo hydrangea! Glad your Speed Queen is living up to its reputation. Happy September πŸ‚πŸπŸ

  3. Oh my gosh! Baby J is growing up so fast and she's just so adorable! How fun to have her close enough to share so many great experiences with her. It sounds like you've had
    a wonderful summer! Both spring and summer are just a blur to me as we worked to get the house on the market. We finally accomplished that a few weeks and although the market has slowed here, we've had quite a few showings. We'll be spending the autumn season traveling and trying to narrow down where the next chapter will be for us. Wish me luck! Thanks for sharing and have a fantastic fall season! Take care!

  4. I love that you are able to spend so much time with Baby J. She's darling. But gymnastics? I didn't know they could do that so soon! How cool is that? Loved the bowling, your garden, all the fun. It looks like a good couple of months!

  5. Your baby lime looks great. Ours out front did not bloom this year, neither did any of our French blue hydrangeas. But at least they did survive the deep freeze at Christmas, and the plants look good! We had a dwarf butterfly bush that we lost, and we also lost several shishi gashira camellias and a couple of gardenias. I love them, and I want to know your secret because your baby lime and butterfly bush look so good. Baby J warms my heart....thanks so much for sharing photos from her birthday party. It's hard to believe that she's two! I can tell she enjoyed the BARKer Farm. They have quite the variety of animals! Happy fall!

  6. Baby J is just the cutest! It's amazing how quickly they grow and change. I know it must be such fun for you to be such a presence in her life. Lucky little girl.
    Your gardens look amazing. I need you to come garden here, please!
    Welcome September. May it be a much cooler month!

  7. How fun to visit and old friend and catch up and your garden is showing your labor of love, beautiful! Baby J steals the show today, that toddler bowling is too cute, love the dinosaur slide! How sweet are those pics with the animals, it's so nice she's nearby and you can do all these fun things with her. I'm so glad you got a new washing machine, what a difference! Happy September Rita, and on to more adventures!

  8. How quickly Baby J has changed to a toddler, and it just keeps getting better and better.
    Your hard work has paid off in your lovely gardens. You and my hubby have the same enthusiasm for curb appeal! The backyard gardens are my responsibility, and I am having fun with that. Hope you have a wonderful fall, and we are finally going to visit some of the National Parks out west that you saw a while back.

  9. OMG the pics with little J are so so cute. What a doll she is. Happy Labor Day Weekend. Hugs. Kris

  10. First of all Rita, I am in love with little baby J! She is adorable. How can she already be two years old?!!! That party looks like it kept you busy enjoying those little tots. It is always nice to catch up with old friends from school. Bet Mr. P had a blast catching up. I think your garden is looking beautiful, after all your hard work.You always inspire me to get it going here in mine, I have a long way to go! I know what you mean having the tote to help around the house. Miss Courtney has been doing some heavy duty moving here! Wishing you and Mr. P a very wonderful September and fall.........

  11. Baby J is a doll and her birthday party looked like loads of fun. The trip to the farm was also a fun excursion. I have had a blast with my grands on day trips. I love seeing garden updates, the hydrangea is a survivor. Grandmother looks good on you, Rita!

  12. Baby J is growing up so quickly - what a cutie-patootie! Your yard/gardens look lovely and your hard work paid off!! A new wash machine - I will need one soon - who would think that an appliance would excite us so much?

  13. Awww, baby J is growing up too fast. She is so adorable. How fun is the birthday party, including bowling. I am a terrible bowler. A new washer is exciting. When Paul and I got our new red washer and dryer, she stood there with a glass of wine and admired them….LOL. Your gardens look lovely Rita, lots of hard work shows. Happy Labor Day weekend.

  14. You’ve had a busy summer, Rita! Your annuals lining your walkway make for such a welcoming entrance. Baby J is darling! I’ll bet the bowling party was such fun. Happy Labor Day weekend!

  15. Rita, Your little granddaughter is beyond adorable in all the photos. Even the look on her face with the python. I had no idea they have toddler bowling parties. What a hoot!! I’m so glad you bought a Speed Queen, as that’s what we last purchased. As far as I’m concerned, it’s been fabulous for us!

  16. J.'s hair looks so blonde in these outdoor photos. What a fun outing to a petting zoo. You'd have to drag me away. I'm looking forward to those times with our granddaughter. You know my favorite pic?... The one with you standing there in all your petite glory, yay, for us!

  17. The garden is looking great, and your flowers out front are so lush and full! Mine are pretty good for now, but starting to wane. It is always sad for me when summer ends, but I should be used to it by now!!
    That is the way I like to bowl too - with the bumper rails - haha! I can just imagine how cute that must have been watching the little ones.

  18. I love seeing all of your adventures. Sweet Baby J is getting so big!

  19. It is fun following you along on your adventures and Baby J is just adorable in her little spotted dress! Your garden is looking so pretty too. I especially like your Bobo Hydrangea and the annuals lining each side of the walkway, which give such an inviting look.

    1. Oops...forgot to sign in. Now you know who this is above! Have a great week!