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

Monday, December 31, 2012

Looking back at 2012

Candle Wraps
I thought it'd be fun to look back at 2012 before I delve headfirst into 2013. My year seemed to fly by in the blink of an eye. I really wish it hadn't done that. I would have liked to have enjoyed the moments more. But onward we go.. the top viewed post of 2012 - the candle wraps. The titles under the pictures are links if you want to travel back in time and see the entire post. Thanks so much!

Tablescapes, a bit of travel and a fabulous store
Next on the list was a post about a fabulous store in Weatherford, Texas with many beautiful tablesettings and fine accessories.

New Year's Buffet

And then there was the new year's buffet table. We host the family each new year's day, just as my beloved mother-in-law used to do. The menu has not changed at all. It's what I had 39 years ago and so it still is today. Ham, green chile grits, black-eyed peas, oyster noodle bake, condiments, rolls, crazy slaw and various desserts. This family is all about tradition.

Sammeltassen, the buffet and closet

I shared my grandmother's collector's cups, actually trios, with you and our new buffet. I was so excited to finally have that piece in our home. I promptly fell off the china wagon, so to speak, and found a set to keep the buffet from being so empty. What was I thinking? It's now full. drats!

Advent 2012 - Pinecone Tablescape

Next in the line up is this outdoor tablescape I shared with you in December. Yes, set outside. We did have a few balmy days in there. I used the same elements of this table set inside for a holiday dinner party. So happy with the pinecone dishes I found at Tuesday Morning!

Schumann Ladies Luncheon

This, too was one of my favorite tables this year, as it was yours. I love the lace tablecloth and the dishes. I started collecting this set with a lot of help from my dear friend Cherry Kay at Entertaining Women.

Dining at the Derby
Early in May, we dined at the Derby! That was fun. I loved trying to recreate the look of the Stakes room at Churchill Downs. Early in our married life, we had a few racehorses so the memorabilia from them and our trip to Kentucky was plentiful!

Rustic Schumann
In August, I couldn't resist playing with my new collection, the Schumann Dresden dishes. I am wishing I already had 12 of the dinner plates because they would be helping us welcome the New Year if I did!

A tribute to Mothers
In honor of mothers everywhere, I set a rose laden table. There were pieces on the table for all the women that had touched my life and formed into who I am today. God bless them each and every one.

Party Planning Tips
In October, I shared our annual Tapas Party with all y'all. It's one of our most favorite events we host, as everyone brings a dish and we just provide the location. This year the addition of "bus" trays kept everyone from traipsing through the house with dishes. Brilliant, I say!

Wishing it was Summer

In March, I really had spring fever and replayed a very old table setting. Colorful flowers and sewing machine "enhanced" napkins make this table joyful and festive!

A Gaelic Tablescape in honor of St. Patrick

To round out the year's top 12... This Gaelic tablescape came in at #12. We do so enjoy a good St. Patrick's celebration in our house. Lot of food and good friends make this a fun time, and seriously not everything is green!

Thank you for stopping by and being faithful readers. It's been a grand year and the time is here to put it behind us and move forward. To make new dreams, to see new options, to take a different course. I wish each of you more blessings than sorrows, more joy than pain. And above all to be happy in the moment.

Joining Cuisine Kathleen for Let's Dish 
and Susan for Tablescape Thursday!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Advent Calendar 2012 - the truth about the German pickle ornament

How many have read this? Do you believe this story? NO, NO, NO I say. All fallacy. I was born in Germany to a German mother, with German grandparents. I did not leave Europe until I was almost 21. That makes 20 German Christmases I witnessed first hand. NEVER was there a pickle on our Christmas tree. If the old black and white photos were better I could enlarge them and show you - Christmas trees devoid of green pickles.

First off, St Nikolaus comes on December the 6th. Not Christmas.
Then, the tree is not set up until Christmas eve, by the Christkind (Christ child).
So never do St Nick and the tree come together!

German children open presents on Christmas Eve, not Christmas day as the legend tells.

Third, if you ask a German, they will never have heard this story. I was so surprised to see this after I came here and just laughed. Called my mother long distance to see if my she and Oma had omitted anything from the tree, like say a pickle.. Nope.. they did not.

Now there is a company in Germany that makes Christmas ornaments including the aforementioned pickle. Some visitors have reported that a few Germans have been seen hanging a pickle in the tree and follow the tradition mentioned on the packaging. Reminds me of the Elf on the shelf, like a fad. But really NOT a real German tradition. Who cooked this up is still up in the air. Any clues??

Friday, December 21, 2012

Advent Calendar 2012 - Winter Solstice

It's the Winter Solstice today!! Time to cozy in - build a fire, light some candles, watch a holiday movie, and just 'chill'!

Some interesting facts:
It's the winter solstice up here in the Northern Hemisphere.
It's the summer solstice down in the Southern Hemisphere.
Why? Because they have summer down there and it's winter up here above the the equator.


The Sun at noon is at the lowest altitude above the horizon - 23.5 degrees.
That means the North Pole is 23.5 degrees from the sun.

The area above the Artic Polar Circle is in complete darkness.
The area below the Antarctic Polar Circle has 24 hours of daylight.

The solstices were first heralded by people in the northern Hemisphere.
Stonehenge is aligned with both the winter and summer solstices.
It has been used to mark this passing of time for more than 70,000 years.

It is the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere.
It is the longest day of the year in the Southern Hemisphere.

How are you spending your day?

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Advent 2012 Oh Christmas Tree Tablescape

It was time for tradition.
It was time for the familiar.
It was time for Oh Christmas Tree, Spode that is.

 A centerpiece of fir greenery, red lilies and white spider mums graces the center of the table.
Low enough to talk over.
Long enough to fill the space.

Oh Christmas tree.
These dishes have been part of our Christmas for 30 years.
They survived our house fire.
It's tradition.

Antique pressed glass candle holders on each end of the table.

Fitz and Floyd salt and peppers add a bit of whimsy to the table.

Spode wine glasses along with Mikasa water glasses.
I didn't want to take away from the gorgeous woven lace tablecloth.
It belonged to my husband's grandmother.

Love these butter spreaders. 
They are of a quiet pattern and go well with most anything.

Spode's little mistletoe on each fork adds a lovely extra to the dinner ware.

My favorite Bordallo pitcher.
See the basketweave along the top?
And the lovely holly leaves and berries?

Bells hanging from the decked out chandelier add a lovely touch above eye level.

I used the Spode dinner plate, salad plate and the bread and butter plate. 
No mixing here. 

Vintage damask napkins monogrammed with a B.
Wrapped in the perfect red of the braided napkin holder.

Dishes - Spode Christmas Tree
Flatware - Spode Christmas Tree
Wine glasses - Spode Christmas Tree
Water goblets - Mikasa French Countryside
Napkins - vintage; estate sale; embroidered on a Bernina
Candleholders - Estate sale
Salt and Pepper - Fitz and Floyd
Napkin Rings - World Market 2011
Red linen tablecloth - Williams Sonoma
Woven Lace Tablecloth - husband's grandmother

I am praying for the families of the sweet angels now in heaven. I hope you will join me in asking God to comfort them and reassure them that He is taking care of their angels.

I will continue posting daily through December 25th, but I know how busy everyone is, so I want to take this time to wish each of you the merriest of Christmases with dreams and wishes that come true. May we never forget the baby born in the manger for our salvation. Be blessed everyone!

Thank you so much for visiting and leaving your comments. You make my day!
I'm linking up to Cuisine Kathleen's Let's Dish on Wednesday evening and to  Susan's Tablescape Thursday.
See you there!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Advent Calendar 2012 - Christmas in a Small Town

I love this song. It's so nostalgic. Ricky Tims sings about Christmas in LaVeta, Colorado where he lives. I consider Ricky Tims a friend and hope that you will go by his website to see the beauty he creates both with his music and his art quilts. Rickytims.com 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Advent Calendar 2012 - Christmas Movies

Are there Christmas movies you watch every single year. 
Without which the season isn't complete?
Home Alone - on our watch list since it came out in 1990.  Who can forget the antics that 8 year old Kevin pulls off as his parents leave him - Home Alone!

Christmas Vacation - 1989
Oh yes, this makes the list. After all, this family is so down to earth real with so many mishaps in one movie (fried cat, burned tree, dry turkey, family - oh yeah the family) it makes us laugh and feel normal.

Miracle on 34th Street - 1947
Six year old Susan, who begins the movie as a little adult, receive the miracle of believing in Santa Claus. You know, if you don't believe you get underwear!

It's a Wonderful Life - 1946
George Bailey, who has been a kind, goodhearted person learns quickly how badly things would have turned out had he not be around. In the end, the town bails him out leaving us with hope for humanity.

White Christmas
Two singing army buddies go out of their way to help out their old Commanding Officer in his business in Vermont. Of course there are pretty costumes and some women to go along with this plot.

Holiday Inn - 1942
Another Bing Crosby movie where there is singing, great wardrobe, wonderful scenery.

A Charlie Brown Christmas - 1965
Charlie Brown is take back by all the crass commercialization around him and tries to find the true meaning of Christmas.

Rudolf the Red-nosed Reindeer - 1964
Santa's 9th reindeer, a misfit with his red nose, saves the day by lighting the way in bad weather for Santa to make his appointed rounds.

Mickey's Christmas Carol - 1983
The animated version of the classic Christmas Carol wherein Ebeneezer Scrooge is shown the error of his ways and makes a 180 degree turnaround to become a good person.

What's on your must-watch list this season?


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