...family, friends, home and other tidbits of a blessed life

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Memorial Day

Memories, Memorial Day and Me

Growing up in France, I was privileged to have lived much of American history overseas. We traveled across Europe stopping at sights around every turn of the road. Among Nice, Paris, Milan, the Rhine river, the Black Forest, Switzerland, Austria there were those excursions that Dad would take because it was something he wanted to see.

I saw the Marginot line along Germany and France were the French held off the German attack until the Germans broke through in Belgium. I remember walking these lines of bunkers seeing left over dog tags, helmets, and guns.

But more than those memories, I vividly remember the American cemetaries in Europe. White crosses and perfectly manicured lawns pepper the landscape. There was one on the way to school in Orleans, France along with the notible ones on Omaha and Normandy beaches. And every year on Memorial Day the pristine white crosses were adorned with flags. Every single cross had it's own flag. I used to wonder who went out and planted each one so perfectly. I know now. It is those who are left behind and who remember. As a token of thanks for giving their lives so that others may live.

Have a wonderful Memorial Day remembering why we celebrate this day.

*This is a repost of May 2009.... I'll be linking up with the Tablescaper's Seasonal Sunday - see ya there!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Burlap and lace Tablescape

We are taking advantage of every opportunity to dine outdoors before the weather gets scorching hot and even under the canopy of the trees, outside becomes unbearable. And as long as burlap is still "in", I'll be using it because I love the roughness of the fibers. Especially in contrast to something as refined as crochet lace and silver.

I love the contrast between the burlap and the lace!

Pier One wooden chargers with scrolls, don'tcha just love these?

Bordallo Pinheiro dinner plates in that wonderful cabbage green

Pier One Salad plates are perfect for dining outdoors and blend well with the dinner plates.

Know nothing about this silver* - estate sale find for next to nothing.. R is my middle initial. I loved the heaviness of the pieces with its lovely scrollwork and roses.

The pieces are as pretty front and back.

World Market red woven cord napkin rings around vintage damask napkins add a bit more color to the table.

Sterling salt and peppers in dire need of polishing... oops.

 Ceramic baskets hold tea lights for after dark.

My favorite hand-blown goblets, capable of holding enough liquid so we don't get parched,.

My favorite Wedgwood pitcher to refill our glasses.

I love fresh flowers and although I don't have a cutting garden (drats), I know of good florists (United and Sam).

The steal of Sunday's estate sale... a Vietri container for a pittance! Look at the darling feet!


White wooden chargers - Pier One
Crochet Place Mats - a long ago purchase with my mom
Green cabbage plates - Bordallo Pinheiro
Salad Plates - Pier One
Silver - Signature byOld Company Plate
Goblets - French hand-blown, Satna Fe, NM
Napkins - Vintage damask
Napkin rings - World Market
Pitcher - Wedgwood
Flower container - Vietri
Salt and Pepper - Wallace Sterling
* Signature by Old Company Plate was made in 1950; Old company Plate is International Silver

 Thanks for dropping in. I do hope you've enjoyed your visit. I'm hoping to see you poking around at Susan's Between Naps on the Porch blog looking at all the lovely tables set just for you!  See you there!

Please visit Fifi of Fifi Flowers blog (just click her name)... she's used a photo from THIS (For the birds) tablescape to paint some darling bookmarks. I am honored and humbled. (She'll have the original up on Thursday!) She's so very creative... I hope some rubs off!! Thank you Fifi.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

A window with a view

This is my view when first I open my eyes. A big picture window with the dappled sunlight streaming across the yard. A bird feeder is just beyond the rocking chair on the left, that provides countless amusing moments for both Regan and me. With a fresh cup of coffee on the nightstand, this becomes a welcome spot to contemplate the day.
But there is a dilemma. I need drapes and am finding it increasingly difficult to commit. Three years in July in this house has not brought me any closer to a decision. Bed skirt is a beautiful sage silk dupioni - I'd rather not change this. Wall color is Valspar 5008 1C Lyndhurst Castle Sand - a delicious shade of gray with undertones of taupe and green. I'd rather not change that either. The bedskirt was a 5 second decision when I saw the fabric, the wall color took a couple of months. The drapes, well I am not there yet.

Drapes at the top of the list are these from Ballard design. Click HERE for a better view. I keep coming back to these. So this afternoon, I'm sending off for swatches. In the black check. We have lots of touches of black in our home and I love the statement that black makes. As lovely as the new lighter look is, I'm not sure I can embrace that. What do you think? Am I going to be sick of these in a year? Is this too much pattern to compete with the view?

Evening as the sun begins to set, the yard gets dappled from the western sun.

I think I'll take a hint from Regan and take a nap!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Southwest Chicken Wraps

It was a warm day.
It was the NCIS season finale.
It was time for something fast!

Southwest Chicken Wraps

10 oz. steamed rice (I used a steamer rice with peas and carrots)
1 cup leftover chicken, shredded
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2-3/4 cup sliced baby Portabello mushrooms
6 oz. corn 
1/2 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon cumin
1/3 cup chopped hot green chiles
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon cumin
3 Tablespoons olive oil
Mission Wraps - Jalapeno and Cheddar
3 Tablespoons olive oil 
Juice of 2 limes
Shredded Cheddar Jack cheese
Sour Cream

  1. Glaze onions and garlic in a large pan over medium heat.
  2. Add drained black beans and shredded chicken. Warm thoroughly.
  3. Add corn, mushrooms and steamed rice.
  4. Add the green chiles and cumin.
  5. At the last, add the chopped cilantro and the lime juice.
  6. When warmed thoroughly, place on 1/3 of wrap. Garnish with sour cream, guacamole and cheese.
  7. Fold ends over and then the sides. Cut in half.
  8. Enjoy!

 Tip: To warm up the wraps, place 4-6 wraps between two damp paper towels and microwave for 45 seconds. Keep warm until ready to use.

I am linking up with Design by Gollum's Foodie Friday.. a perfect spot to get some new recipes, and don't we all need some of those!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

For the birds Tablescape

Welcome to the patio and another casual dining experience.

Grapevine trays on a layering of burlap, along with the everyday flatware provide the bones.

Wraps will be served on teak plates, remembrances of a trip to Hawaii.

Topped with the wonderful porcelain salad plates by Mikasa.  I love the vines trailing across this set of dishes!

White cotton napkins wrapped through the handles of the trays are kept neatly in place.

Crystal goblets for our beverages. Crystal likes the fresh air where the sunbeams can dance on their many facets.

The completed setting inviting you to take a seat and be part of the adventure.

Green votive candle holders pick up the color of the vines and strike up a conversation with the green on the plates.

The stout wooden candleholder dominates the center, with a candle burned down just enough to allow it to be used without a hurricane shade to protect it from gentle West Texas breeze.

 An old zinc watering filled with asparagus fern holds court at one end of the table.

 Even the birds want to come visit!

 The decanter from Santa Fe found it's way to the table too. As did a bird house that is keeping court on this end of the table. For more information on the birdhouse, click HERE.


Burlap - Hancock's
Napkins - white cotton 
Grapevine trays - Pier One World Market
Teak Plates - Hawaii
Salad plates - Mikasa Daylight
Crystal - Mikasa Parklane
Decanter - Cielo, Santa Fe, NM
Flatware - Gorham
Wooden Candleholder - Pier One World Market
Green votive holders - Garden Ridge, Arlington, TX
Watering Can - Antique
Birdhouse - made by moi

Thank you for dropping in, I hope you've enjoyed your visit. I love knowing you were here and will only know if you comment! ;-)

I'll be linking up to Tablescape Thursday at Susan's Between Naps on the Porch blog and to the Tablescaper's Seasonal Sunday party on her blog. Be sure to drop in on the parties at those two links, you won't be disappointed.


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