Friday, October 30, 2009

From Jessie and Me


Hope you and yours have a safe and happy holiday!

Jessie will be a ladybug, but will spend part of the day cheering on the Rebels as we watch them on tv.


Happy Halloween


Jessie and me!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

When Autumn Leaves Start to Fall

I can hardly believe this is Susan’s 62nd Tablescape party. Susan at Between Naps on the Porch is always a gracious hostess and never fails to amaze and entertain us! CIMG0519

I love the jewel tones that come with autumn. I don’t believe I have ever used this particular combination of plates before and I think I like it. But first, let’s start with the centerpiece—you know I like those!


I think sometimes these are called “living centerpieces”. The name is appropriate, because these are potted plants from the hardware store and soon will find their way into pots on my deck. I used a large basket and filled it with daisy mums, ornamental cabbage and kale. I filled in the bare spots with a little Spanish moss and a few mini pumpkins. I like to vary the heights, colors, and textures of the plants. We can enjoy this for a little while on the breakfast room table and then later outside on the deck. I love not having dead flowers to throw away! This works great in any season with flowering plants.


Brown, gold, dark green, burgundy---all the rich jewel tones of fall. As you can tell, this is certainly not a collection—just playing with different combinations. The leaf plates are new this year from Marshall’s with the Olfaire stamped on the back. I am not familiar with this, but it’s microwave and dishwasher safe so it works for me!


I also found the stacked pumpkin candle holders on sale 50% off this year at Hobby Lobby. I like how the base and pumpkin napkin rings continue that rich feel with the burnished gold and copper. Both will be good for tables in October and November—pumpkins are versatile :) ! Votive holders are from where else—Dollar Tree!


The squirrels sitting on the leaf are salt and pepper shakers. Kathy at Life in the Slow Lane is having a few issues with squirrels, but not these. They are cute, harmless and certainly will stay out of the attic! Now, you know I like to “feed” you when you come to my table and this week I planned to . You’ll notice a dessert on that maple leaf plate in the top picture.CIMG0527

It’s hard to tell but this is a HOMEMADE toffee marshmallow s’more. Yes, I made the marshmallows and topped it with granny Smith apple slices and caramel topping. Now this is not what Gollum would call a train wreck, but it will not be repeated at my house. NOT a lot of bang for the time spent. Anytime I pull out the candy thermometer, it is serious business! I might repeat it with a bag of commercial marshmallows. The flavor combination of sweet and tangy was good.

I am glad you visited me today. Don’t forget your transportation back to Susan and many others is the TT button on the sidebar…Good things await you! And have a happy and safe Halloween!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Ducks Redux


I got some exciting news yesterday!  Shannon at The Creative Party Place sent me an email to tell me my “Just Ducky Baby Shower” had been featured in her Monday’s post along with two others.  You may have already seen the details of the party here if you visit me very often.


If you are unfamiliar with Shannon’s blog, you have a treat in store!  It’s a gathering of some of the most creative ideas for parties in blogland and contains lots of “how-to” information.  You can find ideas for everything from a 60th birthday party to an infant baptism.  Before you plan your next party, be sure to visit Shannon at The Creative Party Place. Thanks again Shannon!  I hope  I’ll  see you back here for Tablescape Thursday!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Bone Appetit

I"m so glad to be participating with Chari from Happy to Design in her Sunday Favorites party. I posted this last October. It's one of my favorites and I hope you enjoy it as well! Have a safe and happy Halloween!

What goes together better than “trick” and “treat”? Tablescape Thursday and Foodie Friday of course! Susan at Between Naps on the Porch and Michael at Designs by Gollum are our gracious hostesses once again. Their buttons are on my sidebar for easy transportation. Thank you ladies for our weekly feast for the eyes and palate!


There is nothing better for a crisp October night than sharing a casual meal with good friends. Tonight we are having green salad, chili, and Mexican cornbread muffins. It’s all casual from the menu to the fun and easy table setting.


No sissy sized bowls for Beloved. He likes a big bowl of chili and these large hand painted bowls from Corsica will do the trick. The soup tureen was found at a garage sale by Lauralu at Hidden Promise. She did not want it and sold it to me-- garage sale prices without the early Saturday morning shopping! The “napkins” are cotton tea towels from Dollar Tree.


Mexican cornbread muffins “shrouded” in a cute wire basket. Stemmed black cauldrons for witches’ brew.CIMG0498

Cupcakes make an easy and fun dessert. Mary at One Perfect Bite recently posted a recipe for these delicious pumpkin cupcakes with maple cream frosting here. I think they might be one of our new favorites. And now, I am going to share with you what Oprah calls an “Aha! moment”. See those cute spider webs on the cupcakes?


This is how that spider web starts out—three circles made with black Wilton Sparkle Gel. Next, start at the center and drag a toothpick through to the last circle—instant spider web! Top with the plastic critter of your choice!


I am also joining Rhoda at Southern Hospitality for her Recipe Party. Here’s how I make Mexican Cornbread Muffins:

Mix one and 1/2 cups self rising corn meal, one medium onion,chopped; one half green pepper, chopped; one jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped; one (15 1/4 can whole kernel corn, drained; one teaspoon sugar; 3/4 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese; two eggs, and one cup of buttermilk. Pour into greased muffin tins. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for about twenty minutes.

Thank you Susan, Michael, and Rhoda! Bone Appetit!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Telltale Signs

I am joining Sharon at Fiberdoodles and Susan at Between Naps on the Porch today. You can click on Susan’s button on my sidebar or join Sharon here. Thank you ladies for allowing me to share my Halloween “metamorphosis” and holiday decorations! Please come on in! button2

My family knows that should they lose their calendars or suffer amnesia, there are always places in my house that will immediately clue them into to the season or next approaching holiday. The first is the front door.CIMG0477I just added this friendly ghost to our fall wreath to make it Halloween ready—no ghouls or monsters here, just smiling faces ready for trick or treaters! The next place to look for holiday clues is in my kitchen.


I always try to have a fun centerpiece on the breakfast room table with holiday placemats for everyday meals. I caught this visiting granddog in the act of a nap this afternoon.CIMG0463

I may have to have a chat with his mother about where Cooper takes his naps at home—he’s an only child :) My small kitchen chest that I use as a sideboard is usually decorated according to the season also.CIMG0467I made this “Nevermore” arrangement with inspiration from The DIY Showoff with an urn I already owned, Dollar Tree crows, and spray painted Spanish moss. For many years all children who come into my house know that I always have a cookie jar with some kind of treat. This pumpkin is my Halloween cookie jar. CIMG0469

I have a couple of other fall/Halloween decorations that I have collected. This pumpkin plate on the stand is here for October and and November.


I also love teapots and found this one this year. The plate is Arthur Court.


And probably one of my favorite ways to decorate for the holidays is in the bathroom. I love guest towels and tea towels. I try not to put out anything too fussy if they are used (but I also provide an alternative :)


Hope you enjoyed the tour! Be sure to visit Susan and Sharon for lots of other participants!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Prayer of a Control Freak?

Periodically, during the day, I send up what I call "bullet prayers"....the ones I just "shoot" up there as the need arises or the thought occurs....concise and to-the-point prayers of intercession or gratitude.

So that is what I did when I heard the plight of a six year old Colorado boy believed to be floating alone over Colorado in his family's homemade balloon. "Lord," I prayed, "let this boy be safe. Protect him. Amen". I "shot" that prayer right up there.

So, several hours later when I heard that he had been found unharmed and hiding in the attic, I was relieved. But it did not take long for that relief to turn to indignation--I, along with the rest of the world had been scammed. I felt I had wasted a perfectly good prayer on a publicity stunt. I wondered what this world is coming to. It took a while....I got the answer to my question. My prayer was answered. I just didn't get to control the circumstances. So I "shot" another one up there. "Thank you God for mischievous little boys in attics and the lesson. Amen".

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Never Lost a Party


The ESPN Road Warrior named it number two on the list of the top ten best places to tailgate and called it “so sublime even William Faulkner would be at a loss to describe it”. The Grove at Ole Miss…officially it’s a tailgate party, a picnic. But experience it firsthand just once and you will know it is so much more than that. The New York Times called it a cocktail party, a family or class reunion, fraternity and sorority rush, and a political handgrab all rolled into one. This past weekend the University of Mississippi, Ole Miss, hosted number one ranked Alabama. Over 62,000 people attended in a damp cold mist. Most of them, I think, started in the Grove where outdoor tablescaping has reached an art form. Beginning at midnight on Friday, people start arriving with tents to stake out their real estate. They bring flowers, chandeliers, tablecloths, chairs, sterling silver, televisions and, of course, food. The centerpieces alone are worthy of magazine layouts.


Pumpkins are a familiar theme this time of year.


Faux magnolias, the state flower, make their way onto some tables.CIMG0427 I can’t repeat what Beloved would have said if I had asked him to haul this one in.. :).


Colonel Rebel, the school mascot, stands guard at many tables…but all are welcome here.CIMG0433

Some people branch out from the traditional red and blue theme. I’ve seen this zebra tent (yes, the whole tent is zebra) for a couple of years now.


Custom designed tablecloths adorn many tables.


And although most are red and blue, some tailgaters branch out… .

CIMG0436and bring all the comforts of home.


At game time most head to the stadium…CIMG0418to watch the Rebels and hear the Pride of the South marching band. We watch…. ever hopeful and return to the Grove to continue the party and finish off the food —win, lose, or draw. CIMG0440

Pimiento cheese is a staple….at home at a cocktail party or a picnic. People think I have a secret family recipe. There are two secrets. First, grate your own cheese—sharp, medium, whatever you like best. The shredded cheese in a packet never produces the same texture. Mix it up with the amount of mayo you like. But here is the secret—dry Italian dressing. Just add it to taste for the best pimiento cheese ever!CIMG0414

So… we lost to Alabama. We’ll ride off into the sunset. I remind the men in my family that it’s a game. We came, saw old friends, feasted on good food and had a good time. No matter what…We may not win every game, but we never lose a party!

Click on the TT button to join our gracious hostess Susan at Between Naps on the Porch. On Friday join Michael for food and recipes at Designs by Gollum. Click the button on the side for immediate transportation!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Foodie Friday…Honey, I’m Home

Beloved spent five days last week in Saskatchewan hunting for ducks and geese.   This is a yearly excursion and one he looks forward to…me too.  For five days I am free to eat, sleep, read, work and play exactly when I want to.  I can be as ridiculously messy or obsessively neat as I want to.  I can (and did) have ice cream for dinner.  But I do miss him, so when he arrived home we prepared each other a meal of our favorites.  For him it meant this asparagus salad.


This is one of his all time favorites and has been for many years.  It’s simple enough for just us and impressive looking enough for guests…you know I like a lot of bang for the buck.  Here’s how you make it:

Asparagus salad

Rinse and remove the tough ends from one bunch of fresh asparagus.  Steam until tender, not limp, by your favorite steaming method—mine is the microwave. Place in the refrigerator to chill.  For two salads, fry about 4 or 5 pieces of bacon.  To assemble the salad, place a bed of mixed salad greens of your choice on the individual salad plate.  Top with chilled asparagus and commercial ranch or cucumber dressing.  Top with crumbled bacon and sliced black olives.


This was the guest of honor at our homecoming celebration—all three pounds of him.  Two salads, one lobster, and one steak split between the two of us.  Beloved is glad he’s home….me too.

Michael is our gracious hostess for Foodie Friday.  Click on the button on the sidebar for a feast! 


I want to thank Joycee at Grannymountain for this award .  If you have not visited Joycee, take a minute.  I think you will enjoy her blog.  Thanks Joycee! 



Sunday, October 4, 2009

Why Haven't I Heard From You?

RSVP --a simple little acronym appearing at the end of many invitations. It stands for "respondez s'il vou plait" meaning "please respond". You don't have to respond in French. Good old American will do. So, in the words of Reba Mcentire: tell me why...haven't I...heard from you? Even if you don't normally have your volume turned on--turn it on'll smile :) In recent months we've entertained a few times...a large formal wedding and a couple of smaller parties. I am appalled (yes, I used that word) at the number of people who do not respond to an invitation. I'm not talking about sixteen year old slackers. I'm talking about the guy who is on the board at the bank, the lady who teaches your kids, the mother in charge of raising the next short, lots of people. Really in this age of instant communication, there really is no excuse...none. There are lots of different ways to reach me.

I conveniently wrote my number at the end of the invitation. You can try my house phone...I still have one. As the song says, "I have call waiting, call forwarding, you can even call collect". I have an answering machine if I am not at home.

I've got a cell phone. I know you have one too. I see you in your car, in line at the grocery store, and sometimes even in the movie theater. Could you take just a minute to RSVP?

We don't even have to have direct contact. You can email me. I don't mind. I won't be judgemental if you can't come.

I'm "with it" now! You can even write on my Facebook page.

I don't twitt..or tweet, or whatever it is...but I will, if it will help.

I've tried to make it as painless as possible. The envelope is pre-addressed and there is a stamp on it. All you have to do is fill in the name and make a check mark. No explanation or personal message is necessary. Sure, I'd love a note, but I know you're busy.

It's not as if I asked you to send it by carrier pigeon. Any of the above methods will work. It's just a matter of good manners and basic consideration really. Sooo....tell me why...haven't I...heard from you?

I'm linking this to Tam at the Gypsy's Corner for Three or More Tuesday ...three or more ways you can reach me:) I think her regular format will resume this week. You can visit some less disgruntled people here :)