Sunday, July 5, 2020

Independence Day 2020

~ July 4th ~ 
American Independence Day!
As we all have learned,
2020 is different.
I never miss the neighborhood 4th of July Parade,
though this year, there was no parade. 
Instead, neighbors were encouraged to decorate their
laws with a patriotic theme
I missed sitting on the curbside! 
It's always heart warming to see the hundreds of neighbors,
young and old, who come out on the 4th of July to 
participate in these little community parades.   
All parades were canceled because of COVID-19!
No large outdoor gatherings for family and friend meals!
No public parks open!
No Austin Symphony Orchestra concert along the 
grassy banks of Lady Bird Lake,
culminating with a spectacular fireworks display 
above the beautiful Austin skyline. 
None of the traditional festivities for the 4th this year!
Fortunately these two didn't let COVID-19 
dampen their patriotic spirit.
They had their own little solo parade!
There were no plans to join friends for a traditional gathering.
For us it was a quiet evening at home, dinner for two
with our sweet Sadie girl at our feet.
I kept the decor simple this July.  
Between our ongoing remodel and no entertaining 
at home, I hesitate to bring much out.
Though I am enjoying this new cachepot 
filled with summer blooms.
 A tray filled with flags and 
Uncle Sam figures sits on the buffet.
I couldn't resist these special 4th of July party crowns,
though admitedly they were strictly to add a festive touch.
These fun party crowns are by Bethany Lowe Designs.
They came in red and blue, each with a different sentiment.
Do you have a favorite?

They give a festive party feel to the stack of dishes,
Blue Pinstripe Chargers ~ Neiman Marcus
Royal Check Dinner ~ MacKenzie-Childs
Red Italian Salad ~ Spode
Royal Linens ~ Crown Linen Designs
Mother of Pearl Flatware ~ English Antique
I think a varried stack makes for an interesting table.
This one alternates the red and blue 
with a touch of black and white.
Love Letter Placemats ~ Hester and Cook
Black and White Ruffled Placemats ~ Crown Linen Designs
We are fans of colored glass, and these blue glass stemware and tumblers are pieces we have enjoyed for decades.
  What about you, do you like colored glass?
No fireworks here! 
Our finale was a Stars and Stripe 
cupcake with faux sparkler.
~ America the Beautiful ~
Happy 244th Birthday!

Monday, June 1, 2020

Tales of the Traveling Tote #23

Welcome, friends!
Like most, we are masked and in mandatory "stay at home" here.
Obviously there hasn't been any travel.

Our first major disappointment was this!
Round Top Antique Market

That meant one of my besties who was 
scheduled to join me from Cape Cod
had to cancel her visit.

I've been shopping these 
bi-annual markets since the 1980s.

Grocery shopping is done online 
with curbside pickup.

 Then there was this!
Fresh cut flowers are difficult to find.

Fortunately, Mother Nature came to the rescue!
~Red Bud Blooms ~ 

 ~ Mountain Laurel ~

~ Bridal Wreath ~

 In May, Texas began to reopen, and I began to 
venture into the grocery stores on occasion.
Entries are timed to limit the number of shoppers inside 
a store, so shoppers line up waiting to enter.
Masks and strict social distancing are required, and store employees are stationed to monitor that rules are observed.

I only venture out for 
essential shopping!

Trader Joe's of course 
has very clever 6 foot stations.

 Our neighborhood streets are active with 
children and families out walking or biking.

Sadie doesn't think all this fuss about 
social distancing applies to canines.

In reality, Sadie has enjoyed the months of isolation.
She gets multiple walks, likes to stop and smell the flowers,
and always finds a comfy spot for napping.
Now that Austin has begun reopening, curbside drop-off for grooming means Sadie gets time with her favorite groomer, Joelle.

 Early on, someone in our neighborhood suggested that 
the neighbors set up a Bear Hunt based on the children's book,
by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury.

The idea was that families would place
a teddy bear in one of their front windows.

When families are out on their daily walks, 
the children look for bears, as they go on a Bear Hunt.
The idea was immediately embraced as you can see with
my sampling in the collage above.  It even expanded to an 
Easter Egg Hunt with some families adding eggs in their windows.

When Debbie @ Mountain Breaths convinced me to add
Olivia Owl to my nest, I decided to have a little fun with her too.
Olivia flitted about from one flower filled container to another.
Instead of WHERE'S WALDO, it was WHERE'S OLIVIA?

 Families have embraced this isolation time to reconnect.
The slower pace has families enjoying just being together.
No schools are open, so children are finishing the school year online from home with the assistance of their parents.
 Birthdays are celebrated with drive by parades or
gathering together for virtual parties on Zoom.
Our local schools organized graduation parades.
Last week high school seniors rode through the neighborhoods in cars and trucks decorated with balloons and flags and banners;
honking horns and the sound of cheers filled the streets.

One of my friends organized a couple of us to 
celebrate a friend's birthday with a tailgate party.
Four masked friends sitting six feet apart in a parking lot!
When life gives you lemons, 
make something sweet!

In addition to the isolation and lockdown orders, we are
in the throws of a remodel.  Meetings with our contractor and architect are held outside, masked, and distanced.

May 13th brought a special event to our city.
The US Air Force Thunderbirds conducted a flyover of 
Austin area hospitals to salute health care workers,
first responders, and other essential workers on the front lines.
A friend snapped this photo from her vantage point downtown.

Rabbit, Rabbit! ~ Today is June 1st
A new month, a new start!
Today, more than ever, our country must embrace the
oneness of humanity, to live with kindness and compassion.
"Through judging, we separate.  
Through understanding, we grow."
~ Doe Zantamata~

Linda is hosting our June giveaway, 
leave a comment on her blog to be entered.
Be sure to visit all the adventures below.
Debbie with Miss Aurora @ Mountain Breaths 
Emily with Miss Courtney ChildsThe French Hutch
Jenna with Miss Coquille @The Painted Apron
Linda P with Miss Lola @ Life and Linda
 Patti with Miss Kenzie @ Pandora's Box
Rita with Miss Luna C Panoply 
Sarah with Miss Merri Mac @ Hyacinths for the Soul (You are here)
Jackie and Miss Madi K @ Purple Chocolat Home
Ricki Jill and Countess De Monet @ The Sketchy Reader
Cherry Kay and Carrie Ann Hall @ Entertaining Women  

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Liberty and Freedom for All

~ Liberty and Freedom for All ~

 As we recognize Memorial Day 2020,
there will not be the usual parades, 
nor the large gatherings.

Here we will set a table for two,
a rememberance of the brave men and women 
who served and gave their lives for our country.

 Originally begun after the Civil War in the 1860s 
and known as Decoration Day, it gradually became known as
Memorial Day and a National Holiday.

 Celebrated on the last Monday in May,
it also welcomes the unofficial start of summer.

Memorial Day marks the first of several 
American patriotic summer holidays,
and traditionally I would set out patriotic 
vignettes to enjoy through Labor Day.
This May, as with everything during 
the Pandemic, I'm keeping things simple.

The beautiful paper products of Hester and Cook 
are from the Love Letter series.
They seem appropriate to honor those 
lost in wars through the years.
I selected one of my vintage napkin rings 
with an F monogram for Freedom.

 The other napkin ring, an L for Liberty.

 A table of red, white, and blue seemed fitting and inviting.
Chargers ~ Ambiance Vintage Garden
Dinner Plates ~ Juliska Country Estate Blue
Flatware ~ MacKenzie-Childs Courtly Check
Red and White Napkins ~ Su La Table
Blue Napkins ~ Sue Fisher King from the 90s
Striped Linen Tablecloth ~ Crown Linen Designs

I set a dessert table too.
The vintage table cloth is another hand 
embroidered piece from my mother.

Beautiful bee embroidered cocktail napkins 
are from Crown Linen Designs
destined to be heirlooms for future generations.

 As is this Crown Linen Designs hand towel.

Serving up a delicious blueberry / cherry pie 
from our local Central Market Bakery.

 My very special Bee Brave Bear, created by 
Bobbie @ Rolling Hills Cottage and Studio,
is here to remind us to be brave like those who 
serve in the Armed Forces of our country.

 All the brave men and women who gave 
their lives so we can live in freedom.