Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Memorial Day ~ Celebrate in Red, White, and Blue

America the Beautiful

Celebrate the patriotic holidays of summer 

and indulge your patriotic spirit.

Fill your favorite 

blue and white container

with blooms from your garden.

Set a festive table, 

and dine in patriotic style!

Memorial Day Weekend

It's the prelude to the patriotic holidays of summer.

The perfect opportunity to pack a basket 

in anticipation of a picnic.

Gather together some of your 

Red ~ White ~ Blue 

Spread your quilt and enjoy a picnic 

at the lake, on the beach, your favorite park,

or where ever your heart desires.

Memorial Day

A time to honor all those 

who have given selflessly to their country.  

From the Civil War soldiers 

to those fighting today on foreign soils,

we remember the men and women who have died 

while serving in the US Armed Forces.

Tablescape Thursday @ Between Naps on the Porch
Foodie Friday and Everything Else @ Rattlebridge Farm

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Field to Vase Dinner Tour ~ A Hill Country Garden Party

Put on a crown of flowers and join me

for the most amazing 

Field of Flowers Garden Party.

is a series of private, intimate gatherings being  

held across the US at family owned flower farms.

Last evening I had the privilage to be a guest 

at one of these artisan-style dinners held in a unique venue. 

Pamela and Frank Arnosky of

were our gracious hosts for the evening at their

Texas hill country flower farm in Blanco, TX.

Originally planned to be held in the fields among

all these gorgeous blooming flowers,

the threat of thunder storms moved the venue into

the Arnosky's beautiful big blue barn.

Three rows of long tables filled the space

while thousands of gorgeous fresh flowers filled

vases down the center of all the tables.

Can you see how amazing this setting is?

Outside, tents were set up for the on-site kitchen and bar.

filled the glasses of happy guests.

Erin Esensee and her team from H-E-B Blooms

were the flower designers who created 

all the amazing arrangements for the event.

Erin demonstrated the art of creating

a sweet boquet with Arnosky fresh flowers.

In addition to the blue glass vases filled with flowers,

Erin and her team created the arrangements with a "fence post"

as a nod to the many flowers that grow wild

across the pastures and along the fences of our Texas hill country.

Each place setting featured a mix 

of vintage dishes and flatware.

Can you imagine my squeal of delight

as I sat down to this charming place setting?

The dinner plate at my spot

was Eggshell Georgian by Homer Laughlin.

If you read my recent post,

 Inspirations From My Mother, here

you'll know why I was touched with nostalgia.

was the chef responsible for our incredible meal.

Take a look at the scrumptious menu above.

Dinner was 

served family style.

Platter after platter of delicious offerings 

were place down the center of our table for all to enjoy.

As dining companions enjoyed the 

"farm to table" seasonal meal,

the beautiful blue barn was filled with

the sounds of laughter and lively conversation.

All the while, the beauty of the 

landscape lingered just outside the windows.

I feel full of gratitude 

for friends, flowers, and fine food.

Field to Vase Dinner Tour ~ here.

Arnosky Family Flower Farm ~ here.

Slow Flowers, American Grown Flowers ~ here.

Flower Magazine ~ here.


A Garden Party @ Thoughts of Home and Share Your Cup
Mosaic Monday @ Lavender Cottage

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Inspirations From My Mother

A few years ago, Laura @ Decor to Adore 
asked me to share my Favorite Five in the month of May, 
I immediately thought about Mother's Day. 
Having lost my mother the previous November, 
it seemed fitting that my Favorite Five would be something 
that honored my mother, Henrietta Emily.  
Perhaps some of my mother's favorite things 
that have provided inspiration in my life 
will inspire you in the month of May.

~ A Love of Gardening ~
My mother lived to be 99 years of age, 
gardening right up into her early 90s.  
Both she and her mother before her could be found 
cheerfully working in their gardens every day.  
I grew up nurtured with a love of nature and beautiful gardens.  
I don't have the green thumb of either of these admirable women, 
but I do share the love of gardening and the joys of nature 
that they instilled in me early in my childhood. 
She who plants a garden plants happiness.  
~ Chinese Proverb

~ Yellow Roses ~
My mother's garden was full of beautiful seasonal flowers, 
but her roses were always my favorites.  
Yellow roses to be specific.   
Once I left home and was living on my own, 
mother and I frequently sent each other a bit of sunshine 
~ a bouquet of yellow roses.  
The yellow roses above can be found growing in my own garden.

A bit of fragrance always clings 
to the hand that gives roses. ~ Chinese Proverb

~ A Beautiful Table ~
My mother always set a beautiful table for family meals.  
We ate on a large square oak table that had been 
passed along from my grandmother and is now 
the setting for large family meals 
in my sister's home.  
It's my Mother's wedding china that was passed on to me, 
her daughter who loves dishes and is passionate
 about setting a beautiful table.

 Fruits of the same tree have different tastes; children of the 
same mother have various qualities. ~ Chinese Proverb

~  Family Heirlooms ~
The family pieces passed on to me from my mom 
are not fine antiques or of any value other than sentimental. 
All the same they are greatly treasured.  
They are simple things that were in my childhood home, 
pieces loved and cherished through the years by my mom, 
special things that once belonged to my mother or grandmother ~ 
my family connections to the past.  
I credit my mother for my love of things that 
wear the patina of time.

A tree without roots will fall over. ~ Chinese Proverb

~ Sweets ~
I definitely inherited my mother's sweet tooth.  
Delicious baked goods and dark rich 
chocolate were my mother's favorites.  
The aroma of bread baking, 
the fragrance of sweet fruit pies wafting through the house, 
the joy of my mother's rum cake as it melted in my mouth ~
delicious memories of sweet treats from my mother's kitchen.  
My husband prepares most of the meals in our  home and
frequently bakes bread, but it is me who is the baker of sweet treats.

Patience is a bitter plant, 
but it has a sweet fruit. ~ Chinese Proverb

~ Rum Cake ~ A Family Recipe ~
1 cup shortening or butter
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
3 cups flour
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/3 tsp. salt
1 and 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Cream shortening or butter with sugar until fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time and beat well after each one.  Add dry ingredients and buttermilk alternately, mixing well after each addition.  Add vanilla.  Bake in large tube pan @ 325º  for 1 hour or longer.  Once out of the oven, invert tube pan.  Gently remove cake from pan, and using a wooden skewer, poke holes throughout the cake.  Coat the cake with a sugar and rum glaze of your choice.  Enjoy!

Happy Mother's Day to all!


Sunday, May 1, 2016

May ~ 2016

Maypole Dance ~ Pease Elementary, Austin, Texas c. 1950s
Photo from Pease Elementary Archives, Used With Permission

May 1st ~ May Day

Though not at all common these days, at one time May Day was 

traditionally celebrated with festive dances around a Maypole.

As a young child, I fondly remember dancing around a Maypole

during my early years in elementary school in the 1950s.

Dressed in a pretty spring dress and holding a brightly colored 

ribbon, I danced with my classmates around the tall Maypole

that had been erected in the school yard.   As one group moved 

clockwise and the other counter clockwise, we wove the

 colorful ribbons around the pole, then reversed the motion to

unfurl the ribbons back into the long streamers which we had held

at the start of the dance.  Fond memories of a beautiful time!

Another early May Day tradition was 

the giving of May baskets filled with flowers.

The baskets were left anonymously 

at the door of special friends and neighbors.

I think this lovely custom needs to be reinstated!

Tell me if you have any special May Day traditions.

 May 5th ~ Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo is a favorite Mexican holiday celebrated here  

in Central Texas where both the Mexican culture and

the love of Mexican food are prominent.

For ideas on hosting your own 

Mexican dinner party click here and here.

The Polohouse, Used With Permission

May 7th ~ The Kentucky Derby

I've never been to the Kentucky Derby,

but have long been fascinated with the tradition of this event.

I think it would be fun to host a Kentucky Derby Party.  

Have you ever attended the Kentucky Derby 

or hosted a Derby Party?

Visit Alison @ The Polohouse for 

Derby Party inspiration here, here, and here.

Image from Home Is Where The Boat Is

 To view the complet post of Mary's beautiful, 

Off to the Races table click here.

May 8 ~ Mother's Day

In the US, Mother's Day is celebrated 

on the second Sunday in May.

Though my sweet mom is no longer with us,

I will plan a special dessert tray in her honor, just 

as I prepared for a previous Mother's Day post here.

May 30th ~ Memorial Day

A time to remember and honor all those who have given

selflessly to their country.  From Civil War soldiers to those fighting 

today on foreign soils, we remember the men and women

who have died while serving in the US Armed Forces.