Monday, November 28, 2016

Thanksgiving Dinner 2016

Thanksgiving Dinner 2016

I trust each of you enjoyed a bountiful Thanksgiving.

As one can see from the serving buffet,

"the chef" prepared an amazing meal for our 

2016 Thanksgiving Dinner.

As is tradition in our home, 

we pardoned the turkey again this year.

Beef Tenderloin was the main dish,  

accompanied with many delicious sides.

~ Smoked Quail ~ Schnitzel Beans ~ Carrots w/ Fennel ~ 

~ Grilled Sweet Potatoes ~ Wild Rice w/ Brussel Sprouts ~

~ Fresh Baked Dinner Rolls ~

For Dessert ~ Apple and Pumpkin Pies

There were seven 

of us around the table.

A Cinderella pumpkin atop 

a grapevine and bittersweet wreath

served as the centerpiece.

Bethany Lowe placecards offered a

perfect excuse to use the silver placecard holders I

found at the Paris flea market several years ago.

Each a different woodland animal, 

these pieces of the past remind me of the autumn season.

I layered the 

table with neutral linens.

Vintage English bread boards were used

as chargers for each place setting.

Antique silver napkin rings collected from French markets held

 beautiful embroidered npkins from Williams Sonoma.

Once again I chose to use the beautiful dinner plates 

that were a gift from the sweet, generous 

Previous tables set with this gorgeous china

can be found here and here.

Crystal ~ Denby

Flatware ~ Christophe

Steak Knives ~ Laguiole

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into 

enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, 

confusion into clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a 

home, a stranger into a friend."             ~~ Melody Beattie

I'm grateful for each of you,

my readers.


Monday, November 14, 2016

The Flight of the Monarchs

Photo by
Excellent information on Monarchs on their site:

It was brought to my attention that I 

mistakenly identified the butterflies in this post.  

The butterflies I've photographed here are Queens, not Monarchs.  

In my rush and excitement I didn't properly examine the photos. 

You can see in the photo below, with the butterfly wings open, 

that the black veining of a Monarch is not present. 

When the wings are closed, both the Queen 

and the Monarch share this black veining characteristic.

Queens, closely related to Monarchs, 

are often mistaken for Monarchs.

I apologize, I should have noticed because I wrote a 

previous post on Queen butterflies here.  

That said, the information about Monarchs is correct. 

It's late in the migration season,

but Monarchs are here in Austin to refuel as they

 make the long journey to their winter home in Mexico.

Thursday, after my monthly CAMEO meeting,

I noticed my friend's garden was all a flutter.

Dozens of Monarch butterflies

were fluttering from plant to plant to feast

on the nectar of tropical milkweed and other plants.

These beautiful creatures are 

nothing short of little miracles and are the 

only butterfly known to make a two way journey of migration.  

The Monarch's 3,000 mile migration from Canada to 

Mexico and back again has long puzzled scientists.

Dwindling populations in recent years have caused alarm.

The governments of the US, Canada, and Mexico have  

joined in an effort to help save the Monarch butterfly.

Milkweed is the most important factor

in saving the Monarchs, as it is the only food

the Monarch caterpillar can eat, and 

it is the chemicals in milkweed that protect the Monarch.

Austin, recognized as the most wildlife-friendly

city in America, has resolved to incorporate

more native milkweed into the city's landscape.

 Former First Lady Laura Bush 

founded Texan By Nature in 2011.

A community run conservation effort to preserve Texas'

environment,  Texan By Nature has begun a state wide  

initiative to help preserve the Monarch.

Click here to become a Monarch Wrangler and learn

how you can make a difference for the Monarch butterfly.