Tuesday, July 27, 2010

My Kitchen

IMG_1639 This afternoon, while my grandsons were napping, I decided to make a double layer cake and to roast a chicken.

As I turned and looked at the end of my kitchen, I sighed.

My kitchen is galley style, and I planned this space originally as an area for a table and chairs.

Since I have three other dining tables and chairs in other areas, I decided years ago to create this special space.


The cake was in the oven, so I started to play.


I brought out a Blue Italian dinner plate and placed it on the red and white toile charger that goes with the pillows I have on my white wicker.


For my single place setting, I used my mother’s Damask Rose sterling and a white battenburg lace napkin and place mat.

IMG_1643 IMG_1644


I added a Blue Italian coffee mug, a blue and white cloche that I love, and as I looked around my kitchen, I thought this would be a great way to say good bye to the last of my valiant zinnias.



They have given me such immense pleasure this summer.

The cake is ready.

My grandsons should be waking up soon. All is right in my world.


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Monday, July 26, 2010

Framed Prints


One of my all time favorite, go-to flea market/antique store/thrift store quests is searching for framed prints.

(and lamps, and tables, and chairs, and china, and silver plate, and garden wrought iron, and old books, and Mexican pottery, and unique milk glass, and hammered aluminum, and religious figures, and Carolee pearl necklaces (preferably baroque), and lockets, and sets of napkins, and champagne flutes for mimosas (for my entertaining closet), and chafing dishes, and rattan chargers, and copper double boilers, and cake pedestals, and bangle bracelets, and vintage silver jewelry from Taxco…)


So on the way to Katy for a recent family wedding, my daughter Lauren and I persuaded my husband to stop in Wharton.

Driving north on 77, this is not on your usual route to Katy.

While going through antique stores on the square, I found these.



It was a grouping of four.

For those of you, like me, who do not have the patience to create a pattern for hanging prints perfectly, just do what I do.

Use straight pins and a tack hammer-

Double the pins if you need extra strength-


Change your mind frequently.


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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Daybook Sunday, July 25th


Outside my window...  My crepe myrtle is blooming. I am amazed at the strength and persistence of plants and trees that thrive in heat and still look beautiful.

I am thinking... that I have to be on my toes this week.  My grandsons are visiting, and I want them to have a great time.

In order for that to happen I need to:

*hook up the DVD player in the little house so they can  sleep in the bunk beds out there with their grandfather.

*buy plenty of pancake mix and syrup

*buy chocolate milk (sshh… don’t tell their mother)

*find out who sells pokemon collector’s cards- I will go to any length to do this- I can not fail.

Surely it can’t be any harder than the fighting I did for Cabbage Patch Dolls (early 80’s) with my friend JB?

*locate the nearest raspa stand (snow cone stand)

*buy a sack of Blue Bell ice cream cups (sshh…don’t tell their mother)

*see if my oldest grandson (age 6) can teach me to play chess

If my father had anything to say about it, he would teach them to drive.  (sshh…don’t tell their mother)

I am thankful for... seeing friends at a baby shower I helped host this morning. 

What was the best part?  Sitting around the table when it was over, shoes off, laughing and visiting. 

From the kitchen...  I know I am a one trick pony, but if not for Sister Schubert cinnamon rolls, I would be in deep shower food/entertaining trouble.

I was wearing... black linen cropped pants, a turquoise , white and black top, turquoise beads and earrings, and black sandals.

I am creating...a list for fall planting . We are going to San Antonio this weekend for a wedding, and I want to visit the nursery owned by the garden guy on KTSA talk radio. He sounds so reassuring. He makes me think I can do it too!

I am going...to stay in the moment.

I am grateful for… anyone who stops by my blog and takes the time out of their day to read. Thank you.

I am reading... The 19th Wife.

I am hoping... that I get the energy and drive to begin creating a wildflower bed. Yikes.   

I am hearing… songs from my IPod..

Around the house.... I see things that offer comfort and welcome.

One of my favorite things... writing daybook entries and thinking about my week.  



Thursday, July 22, 2010

Boarding School Part II and Dear Daughters

saint marys hall
        Dear Daughters,

Attending a girls’ boarding school for 4 years of high school impacted my life in ways that are so deeply embedded in me, it is hard to remember what they were.
        However dear daughters, here are a few details: 
*  I feel certain my mother  (your Nonnie) was worried and concerned about this great adventure I was beginning at age 14, but as she sewed name tags in all of my clothes and newly purchased uniforms, she never said a word- other than the sage advice I mentioned in a previous post.

Lesson:  in relation to your own children, figure out when as a mother you show fear and when you do not.
*  Never underestimate the power of table manners. Was I raised to eat fried chicken with a knife and fork, as clearly some of my classmates were?

No , I was not.
Lesson:  if you have a core set of table manners these oddities will not bother you when you see them.
(I remember being horrified.

My solution? I didn’t eat fried chicken my freshman year, until I gained my sea legs and thought, Mills style, this is crazy. )
*I wore a hat or a mantilla to the Episcopal church near the school every Sunday because it was required (both the hat and church).
Lesson: Don’t always balk at the required.  It can lead to wonderful adventures.

We are now Episcopalians because of those early adventures, and yes I did wear my pajamas to church once covered with my trench coat. I have always been a fan of just a little healthy rebellion.
*I had a History of Art teacher my senior year who cursed in class (occasionally) and even wrote similar comments in the margins of our essays. 

Guess what?  She was one of my favorite teachers.

Lesson: Why do you think that was?You tell me the next time we see each other.
*I never had a teacher in the classroom when the class was taking a test.  The minute the tests were distributed, the teacher walked to the door, turned as he/she left the room and said, ‘You are on your honor’.
Lesson:  As a high school English teacher , I periodically turned my back on my students while they were testing.

I always said 'You are on your honor'.

To many of my colleagues and certainly administrators this would be considered heresy.

I wasn't encouraging them to cheat. The result?  My students’ shoulders were a little straighter, and those that did cheat were given the gift of honor anyway.
Food for thought-

Love, Mom

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Daughter Watching and a Gift


         This past Saturday afternoon, while taking advantage of some exploring time with two of my daughters in Katy, Texas (before a family wedding that evening), I was given the gift of

daughter watching.

        As we moved in and out of antique stores, Daughters #2 and #3 began to shop intently, while daughter #1 checked in frequently by phone-

as in “where are you now?”

As I watched Katherine (#3) walk up to the counter holding a milk glass punch bowl and 9 cups,

I started to smile.

I decided I would just plop myself down and watch things unfold.

She had already placed 6 Jadeite plates near the register.

The third item she found was this.


That evening at the reception, as the DJ played one great song after another, and a particularly great one began to play,

I turned to my husband and said,

“Here they come.”

“Who?”, he asked.

“Your girls (all three).”

  “They’re getting ready to dance.”

And I smiled some more.


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White Wednesday.


Monday, July 19, 2010

Summer Blues


My new summer blues aren’t really new at all.

I have used and enjoyed these colors for years.

Especially in turquoise jewelry .


If I am wearing my favorite combination, what would it be?

White linen , lots of turquoise and sterling silver jewelry, an ice cold Diet Coke, my Tahoe’s AC on max, and Motown playing .



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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Hollywood Regency Style


(Preface:  Our middle daughter Lauren is the expert on this type of style; I am not.  She has collected unbelievable things.)

        Dare I do a post on Hollywood regency style and a tablescape?


        It all started with finding this in a closet this morning (while digging) . This remnant is from a stack of fabric I bought last summer in Dallas.

        It has the perfect sheen, is a wonderful color combination of dull gold and aquamarine, and as I looked at it , I started feeling inspired.


        So often I read about using an inspiration piece.  That is not how I operate.

         I am of the ‘one thing leads to another’ school of thought, which causes me to become inspired, which somehow feels different to me.

And so I began building a tablescape for one, just so I could play.


         I remembered the Franciscan Gold Renaissance that I have been collecting for our youngest daughter Katherine (of the ‘giving me back things I had given her’ fame).

        She saw it on the cover of Southern Lady several years ago, and she said she had to have it.

         And so I began collecting it for her.

         This tablescape , which reminds me of old movies, includes the following:

mirrored placemat/white pottery charger

Franciscan Gold Renaissance dinner plate and an aqua dinner plate that I love (but I only have one)


I also played with a 4 calling birds dessert plate from a set Katherine gave me at Christmas


an initialed linen napkin, my regency styled silverplate, a crystal goblet, and a brushed gold coaster


         And then the table extras began.  I am a great fan of high and low and, above all, doing the opposite of what is expected.

        For example, I tried my gold baroque, regency styled buffet lamp thinking it would look so cool to have buffet lamps on the table instead of candlesticks (And I mean a lit buffet lamp-low watt). 


        I haven’t figured out the plugs yet.


        Then I added a few rose bowls, empty, because I love them that way. 

        Next was a crystal chest I have ,where I could use some more opposite thinking.


        A brass monogram and a small crystal votive and white candle seemed right.

        Next was my white, glossy ceramic horse, of a pair I found at Ross. 


Clarification: they were not a pair because they are both headed the same direction, but I bought 2 anyway .

        I switched out the mirrored charger to a white one and moved in a wicker chair.


Final note:  Now that I have publicly admitted that I collected these dishes for one daughter, I will be in deep trouble. 

I have two other daughters who also love dishes.

Please check on me if I don’t surface soon.

Doesn’t that sound like the movies too?


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Favorite Things Friday.25

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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Small Size, Big Heart


A recent flea market addition to my back yard is giving me such daily, knock your socks off joy, I can’t hardly stand it.


It is only about 3 feet high, but it has the heart of Big Daddy, my other fountain.


When I spotted it at the flea market, I knew I had the perfect spot for it. 

In fact, if I could fill my entire back yard with the sound of running/moving water (especially when it is 102 degrees, like it is today) I would.



Note: To anyone building or remodeling a home, learn from my mistake.

Beware of where the air conditioning service man wants to place the compressor. If at all possible, you do NOT want it near your patio area- or anywhere you like to sit and relax.

If you have any Princess and the Pea tendencies, as I do, the noise it creates may make you crazy.

Been there and done that.


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