Friday, August 31, 2018

Dog Days of Summer ~ Garden Gates

According to ancient Rome,
Dog Days of Summer 
last from July 23 to August 24.

Well, I'm here to tell you that
with the Texas heat,
Dog Days
of lethargy and inactivity are still here.
Lack of rain is all too familiar in Austin, and summer 2018
is likely to be Austin's hottest summer on record.
This was one of the hotter days recently.  Today was 103.
That said, you can imagine that things in the gardens
around here are pretty stressed.
With that in mind, I thought it might be fun to share a few 
garden gates for The Garden Linky Party.
You enter our back garden 
through this stone arched gateway.

This garden gate off our back terrace
will lead you to steps that take you through 
the wild, natural part of our garden.
I pass by this stately gate on my daily walks.
You might be surprised to know that this rustic cedar gate
is right here in the central city, part of a historic property.
As is this long forgotten plot that sits close to a busy street.
I love the authentic feel and the patina of time.
 A local slogan is "Keep Austin Weird".
I'd say this colorful gate with hand knitted gate slats 
is doing its part to keep things weird.
Have to admit, it is pretty clever!
One of my favorite gates keeps these two sweet miniature
donkeys in their special arena at my friend's historic
property that was once a gristmill and which is 
located just south of downtown Austin.
This unusual gate leads to a secret garden
at a beautiful property in San Antonio.
With Texas' close proximity to Mexico,
it's not unusual to see a welcome in Spanish.
Not a garden gate, but the entrance to my friend's
beautiful horse ranch just outside of Austin.

 These star finials accent the top.
I'll leave you with one last gate that captured my 
imagination when visiting a plantation outside of Savannah.
I was taken with the mix of textures of the stone, brick, and iron
work among the overgrown plants and grasses.
~ The Dog Days of Summer ~ 
are definitely the season for leisure times, 
so I've made some refreshing treats.
How about an icy cold 
glass of lemonade.
Along with a slice of
 delicious Meyer Lemon cake.
~ Lorina ~
Delicious ~ Sparkling ~ Lemonade
Nothing better on a hot summer day
than citrus drinks to quench one's thirst.
And any way you slice it,
this lemon cake is full of goodness.
Tangy with a 
touch of sweetness.
Elegant and Light
An afternoon citrus refresher.
Sadie and I thank you for your visit.
This is the last Garden Linky Party of the season.
A Garden Party, the perfect distraction for
~ Dog Days of Summer ~

Monday, August 13, 2018

Keep Your Sunny Side Up

My sweet mother used to send us off to school saying,
"Remember, keep your sunny side up!"

It's a thought that has stayed with me for a lifetime!
If we go through the day with a happy attitude,
those around us are likely to feel the same.

 I've noticed that the Texas sunflowers are beginning
to show up in the flower markets.

Their sunny faces make me think of 
my mother and her wise words.

I've a fondness for pretty accent pillows,
especially those done in needlepoint.
When I spied this pretty pillow at a consignment store on a
 trip to Dallas, I knew it would have to go home with me.
Just look at the detail and those scalloped edges!

It's been moving around a bit, but for now 
it has landed on the chase that is on the upstairs porch.

It's just a small little porch, only room for a rocker and a chase
with a small side table by each.  What makes it special is that it 
looks down on our back garden, so one feels as if in a tree house.

It's a pefect spot to relax with a cup of coffee, a good book, or a needlepoint canvas that is a work in progress.

Tell me, do you have any wise words from your mother?
Do sunflowers grow where you live?

Monday, August 6, 2018

A Brown Cow ~ Perfect Summer Dessert

August 6th is National Root Beer Float Day.
In honor of this "holiday", I'm sharing a post from the archives.


Several years ago, Cuisine Kathleen challenged us to set a 
 table with white dishes and one accent color.
Easy for me to pull out the dishes we use daily,
Nantucket by Wedgwood.

As you can see my accent color of choice is brown.
Luncheon plates are a design by Kate Spade
for Lenox.  I picked up a set on clearance at TJ Maxx.
Flatware is Talisman by Christophe.

Rattan Chargers ~ Pier I
White Plates ~ Nantucket by Wedgwood
Accent Plates ~ Cordell Place Chocolate by Lenox

All of that topped with crystal stems by Denby and 
brown linen napkins held by Royal Staffordshire 
napkin rings in Tonquin.  

The monogramed napkins are circa early marriage.

The brown and white transfer ware napkin holders 
are Tonquin, a design by Clarice Cliff from the 1920s.
I found three of these at the Round Top Antique Market one year
and luckily was fortunate to add four more from
Nancy's Etsy Shop, English Transferware.
Nancy is a fantastic source for 
transfer ware and a delightful person.
You can find her Etsy shop here 
and her blog, Nancy's Daily Dish here.

The bone dish at the top of the setting is also Tonquin. 
I only have two of these, but thought I'd add them just because.

Colored crystal stems were all the rage 
in the mid 70s when we married.  
Our wedding china is 
Palermo Brown by Richard Ginori
so it seemed to be the perfect choice at the time.  
I still find them beautiful, but colored crystal has its limits.  

The bucolic scene of the transfer ware 
made me think of cows grazing in the countryside.

It wasn't long before my collection of 
cow creamers came into play on this tabletop.

This fancy lady is French, made with beautiful details
that one expects from Limoges china.  

The brown and white cow, another Round Top find,
 is in the Charlotte pattern by Royal Crownford.

These little girls are inexpensive 
and newly made in China.

So there you have it, Cuisine Kathleen
a table set with only white and brown.

My nod to National Root Beer Float Day
 is a quick and easy, but tasty dessert.

It is a favorite from my childhood.
~ A Brown Cow ~

~ Root Beer ~
~Vanilla Ice Cream ~
 ~ Whipped Cream ~

You can see I used the new A and W low calorie root beer, 
and the whipped cream only has 15 calories a serving.  
With a small scoop of ice cream, this is a fairly low cal dessert.

Top it off with some 
chocolate sprinkles or shavings.  

It's so tasty you'll have 
to hurry before the cows drink it.

 ~ Brown Cow ~
Yum ~ Yum
Happy National Root Beer Float Day!