Friday, July 31, 2015

Tales of the Traveling Totes #2 ~ Oh, the Places We've Been

Tales of the Traveling Totes # 2

Oh, the places we've been!

MyBeautiful Cousin, the Mother of the Groom

Well, actually, there hasn't been much summer travel for moi

and Miss CC, though there was a family wedding in early June.

Miss CC is the perfect overnight bag.

What to take?

Miz Mini Merri Mac or Sarah Oliver's Classic Clutch

As much as I enjoy Miz Mini Merri Mac for summer occasions,

the Sarah Oliver clutch seemed more appropriate 

for a formal wedding than the sassy Miss Mini Merri Mac.

Hmmmm ~ 

Wish I'd thought of the name Merri Mac for Miss CC.

Think it's too late to give my tote a name change?

Our Second Summer Trip ~ Girls Night at the Ranch

Again, Miss CC was the perfect travel companion 

for an overnight get away with some friends.

All packed and loaded up in the car,

ready to head out to the country.

See that brown case beside her?

Thought we might play a few games of Mah Jongg.

Summer in TX is hot, and though 

we are having a mild one, it's always  a 

great idea to escape the city and go out into the country. 

A girls night out at the ranch offers

cool breezes and fresh air.

We won't be roughing it, but just so

you know, this is a real TX ranch with livestock.

Our accommodations are this

comfortable home. 

We don't usually go for a swim,

 but .   .   .

We do hang out on

this porch in these rockers.


My girlfriends say, "Howdy, y'all!"

My friend is an expert horsewoman

who participates in the sport of cutting.

She is the real deal!

I'm born and raised in Texas,

but I've never even owned a pair of cowgirl boots.

Remember, Miss CC and I are city girls,

but we do enjoy little country retreats.

Want to join us for a cocktail  

out on the ranch porch?  

We've saved a comfy rocker just for you.

The view is incredible with

China and Disco grazing in the pasture 

and the sun setting in the distance.

Harvey, our ever present companion,

will likely cozy up by your feet.

Cocktails for us,

but dinner time for the horses.

I think Clay thinks Miss CC is full of feed.

Meet Sundance.

This beauty is Cleo.  Legacy behind her.

China has come in for dinner, and 

Romeo has stopped for a cool drink.  

There are a dozen quarter horses, one miniature horse, 

two longhorns, and lots of chickens 

for whom this ranch is home.

Oh, and as a bit of trivia,

there have been some famous guests 

who've stayed here in the past.

Yes, summer days in the country

can offer a cool retreat from the city.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Stay tuned for more adventures

coming in the fall.

Until then, join my friends below to see more

 Tales of the Traveling Totes.

Patti and Miss Kenzie @ Pandoras Box

Linda and Miss Rosie @ More Fun Less Laundry

Debbie and Miss Aurora @ Mountain Breaths
Colleen and Miss MacKenzie Joy
Tami and Miss MC La Mer

And our new travelers:

Rita and Miss Luna C @ Panoply

Sammie and Miss Christabel @ Samantha Stone 

Debbie and Miss Aurora 

are hosting a lovely give away of a set of

cards depicting Thomas Cole's series of paintings,

The Voyage of Life, 1842.

Be certain to leave a comment with 

Debbie @ Mountain Breaths to be entered.


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

K is for Kettle and A Winner!

K is for Kettle

The kettle has a long and interesting history

having been used across times and cultures to

insure potable water by boiling away impurities.

Our Georgian copper kettle dates to 1870,

yet still continues to serve us well.

We purchased it in 1980s from

an antique dealer at the iconic London

Antiquarian Antiques Market on Kings Road.

One of the best and most useful souvenirs ever.

Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida.

This 17th century nursery rhyme was written by a father

who observed his daughters tricking their brothers

to get them to go outside to play.

Seems the girls didn't want the rowdy boys around,

so they pretended to have a tea party, 

which of course the boys wanted no part of.

As soon as the boys took off,

the girls went about doing the things they liked to do

 without any rowdy boys to interrupt!

Photo by Debbie @ Mountain Breaths

Debbie @ Mountain Breaths

was my inspiration for K is for Kettle.

She recently attended the

MacKenzie-Childs' Annual Barn Sale,

and her new Courtly Check tea kettle

was among the treasures she scored at this year's sale.

Photo by Debbie @ Mountain Breaths

Debbie put the kettle on just for us

so we could all have tea.

Oh, I see some yummy muffins too.

Grab a cup and join me!

Speaking of tea,

Thanks to all who stopped by to visit our

Mad Tea 2015.

If you missed the party, click here.

In honor of 

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland's

150th Anniversary

I invited my readers to leave a comment 

and to share their favorite character 

from Lewis Carroll's Alice.

Drumroll Please!

~  ~  ~  ~  

 Hands Down Favorite Alice Character 

The Chershire Cat

Alice 150th Anniversary Gift

Goes to

Christina Paul ~ Comment # 18

Congratulations, Christina!

Christina shared her own Mad Tea Party here.

Christina, please send me your mailing addy.

The White Rabbit  has a few tea time

things for your next Mad Tea Party.

~  ~  ~  ~


Tea Time Napkins by Meri Meri

English Caramel Tea from Austin's Steeping Room

A Heart Shaped Tea Ball

~  ~  ~  ~

If you are an Alice fan,

perhaps you'll plan your own Mad Tea and join

Vanessa's Annual Mad Tea Party 2016.


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

J is for Jester

J is for Jester

Jester ~ historically an entertainer; 

 a professional joker or "fool" at a royal court,

typically wearing a cap with bells on it and 

carrying a mock scepter.

André Derain Harlequin

Picasso, Chagall, and Derain are but a few artists

whose paintings of jesters or harlequins delight my senses

while visiting museum exhibits.

Some years ago, I purchased the charts to stitch 

these cute French valentine characters.

Do you see him,

the little boy dressed as a jester?

A whimsical valentine jester spied 

at my friend Susan's home last February.

Cock - a - doodle - do!

A handsome rooster jester has hung on 

our Christmas tree each Christmas

for the past 20 years.

Patience Brewster, Inc. ~ Image Used With Permission

Meet  Josie, Joker of Hearts.

She is one of Patience Brewster's adorable creations.

Want to add her to your Christmas tree?

I do!

Available here.

Don't forget, Patience Brewester

is hosting a Christmas in July

Instagram Contest.  Details at the top of my sidebar.

Character or Toby jugs have

been produced since the 18th century.

The French refer to these as Jacquots.

This is my jester Jacquot made in Desvres.

He's perfect for a bookend, a bouquet,

 or simply a smile!

Never, circa late 1800

In 2003 while shopping the

located just outside of Paris, France,

I happened upon this French faience menu.

It was love at first sight!

I've never seen another piece like this one,

and never once regretted this purchase.

Jaure Japy Dinnerware, Paris

In honor of Alice in Wonderland's 150th birthday,

my friend Judy hosted an Alice themed dinner party

to celebrate my birthday this past January.

Harlequin Plates ~ Don't you love it?

A little harlequin for 

our neighbors' dog, Sophia, too!

I hope you have a jester or

two or three in your life to keep

 you entertained!


Monday, July 20, 2015

Pass Along Plants

Pass Alongs Shared By My Readers

Last week I shared a post

on a few of my iris plants that bloom

here in the gardens at Hyacinths for the Soul.

I mentioned that most of my iris

are "pass along" plants like these

beautiful Japanese rooftop iris transplanted

from a friend's garden last fall.

I was thrilled when several of my readers responded that

that they too enjoy "pass along" iris

in their own gardens.

was the lucky recipient of these stunning iris. 

They were passed along from her mother's garden,

but the original pass along had come 

from Gina's great grandmother's garden.

Wow, four generations have enjoyed these iris!

wrote to say she inherited these yellow iris 

when she and the senior partner moved into 

the 16th/18th century former Presbytery

that is their beautiful home in the Normandy countryside.

Maggie says she sees their relatives happily blooming

about the village in the gardens of her neighbors.

shared this vibrant yellow iris passed along

from her mother's garden. 

These deep purple beauties grow in the gardens of

She said they were pass alongs that she now

needs to divide and pass along to a new garden.

Some lucky gardener is going to be thrilled!

Patti @ Pandora's Box

shared her lavender iris that were

passed along from her friend, Rhonda.

Thank you to all my readers who

shared these gorgeous heirloom pass along plants.

If you missed the Mad Tea Parties 

hosted throughout Blogville last week,

you can find a list of parties here.

If you'd like, stop by my party here.

Leave a comment,  and you'll be entered in my

Celebrating 150 Years of Alice Giveaway.

Tell me which Alice character is your favorite.

Hurry.  Don't be late.

You have till July 25th 

to leave your comment.

Why, oh why think of Christmas in July?

Well, because our friends over at 

Patience Brewster, Inc. are sponsoring a 

Christmas in July Giveaway.

Click here to get all the details for a chance to

win this grand Nicholas Santa Candelabra.

Contest ends July 31, 2015.