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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Father's Day Dinner

First things first...We are truly blessed to have the means to set a pretty table and invite our friends to join us for good food and fellowship. I am mindful that many are not so fortunate. My daughter has a passion for the work of the Food Bank. As a singer-songwriter, she has written and recorded a song that is the anthem for the world wide Crop Hunger Walk project. Her song, "Raise Your Voice" is featured in their video. I've included a link in the side margin of my blog. I hope that it will encourage you to support projects in your community that contribute to the effort to overcome hunger.


Sweet Mister and I were delighted when we received the call from our precious daughter inviting us for Father's Day Dinner at the bungalow.  It warms the cockles of my heart when I see what an amazing hostess she has become.

The table was all ready when we walked through the front door...

Sweet Mister and I were thrilled that she chose to anchor her tablescape with the beautiful pale green linen tablecloth and napkins that her daddy bought her during our wonderful stay in Sorrento, Italy.

A simple bouquet of white daisies in a silver beaker added just the right touch for the centerpiece.  The creamware pitcher, filled with iced water, was in constant action on this hot summer evening.

Dinner was served on KC's Haviland, "Ranson".  I collected a service for her when I was building my own set of this wonderful antique porcelain.  The pink floral ramekins are Limoges.  They belonged to Nana, KC's great grandmother.  The Waterford Marquis tumblers were like table jewelry in her design, and the wine goblets are their everyday crystal from Williams Sonoma.

While our gracious hostess completed last minute details, we relaxed in the kitchen sitting area and enjoyed home made bruschetta.  The antique hutch was a gift from KC's aunt and uncle.  She uses it to display her collection of Vietri, "Sorbetto".  A number of you have asked about the painted dining chairs.  I painted them for KC a number of years ago.  It blesses me that she continues to enjoy using them.

KC has become interested in cooking lately. Tonight she made a lovely chicken dish, accompanied by fresh asparagus, homemade French rolls, and homemade banana cream pie.  We dined 'high on the hog'!



It's time to take our seats at the table.  I can't think of a better way to celebrate Father's Day!


Thank you, yet again, to Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for hosting her magical meme, "Tablescape Thursday.  I'll be linking my post to "Tablescape Thursday."   Hop on over HERE and check out the myriad of marvelous tablescape designs, after 9:00 pm on Wednesdays.  You'll be glad that you made the trip...it's a wonderful adventure.


You can check out KC's music at www.kcclifford.com, on iTunes, and on YouTube.  I hope that you'll take a few minutes and give her a listen.  You'll also enjoy reading back through her blog on this site.  The girl can really write!  Her latest CD is called "Orchid."  It is available on iTunes or through her website.  I hope that you'll give her music a chance.  I know that I have zero objectivity where she is concerned, but I think that you'll fall in love with her music and her!   



Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Cream of the Crop

First things first...We are truly blessed to have the means to set a pretty table and invite our friends to join us for good food and fellowship. I am mindful that many are not so fortunate. My daughter has a passion for the work of the Food Bank. As a singer-songwriter, she has written and recorded a song that is the anthem for the world wide Crop Hunger Walk project. Her song, "Raise Your Voice" is featured in their video. I've included a link in the side margin of my blog. I hope that it will encourage you to support projects in your community that contribute to the effort to overcome hunger.


Every once in a while, I am privileged to host an event that is more exciting for me than for the honored guests.  This was one of those occasions. For more than a year, I have been compiling a data base of ladies who lived in my sorority house during my college years.  With the assistance of some dear alumnae, who live near, we issued around 200 invitations for a luncheon to be held in my back yard on Friday, June 17.  The response was fantastic!  We heard from more than 140 sisters, many of whom we had not seen in more than 45 years!  We were blessed that 56 wonderful old friends were able to join us for lunch on the back porch and under the shade tree. They came from all across the country, including Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Missouri, Ohio, California, Colorado, Georgia, Kentucky, Virginia, Florida, and Mexico.  You would have loved the energy and excitement in their voices as they reconnected after so many years apart.  The conversations began anew, as if they had never ended.  I'm still flying high from our magical day!  This day fulfilled all the criterion for 'collecting with a purpose.'


The back porch and the area under the big shade tree served as the perfect spot for seven tables of eight.  The flip-top table tops, of which you've often heard me speak, came in handy once again.


Our invitations featured a black and white cow with the caption, "Let's Reminisce Until the Cows Come Home!"  The guests were invited to join "The Cream of the Crop" of our chapter for an al fresco luncheon.  The small white creamery bottles held a single red Gebera Daisy and were placed at each place setting.  Each lady took home her creamery bottle as a party favor.  The dark rattan chargers on each table were a great bargain at WalMart.  No, I don't own 56 dark rattan chargers.  Yes, I am blessed to co-op these chargers with two friends.  I really liked them with the toile.  The back porch tables were set with Royal Doulton, "RD199" luncheon plates, on Castleton, "Laurel" dinner plates.

Did you know that you can order bulk flowers from Sam's Club Online?  I ordered the Sunflowers and the Gerbera Daisies, and I was able to specify the delivery date.  It was the perfect choice for today because I created 10 centerpieces for our luncheon.

The pastoral motif of the black and white tablecloths were perfect for our theme.  I bought 8 of them on eBay for less than I could rent two of them at our local linen rental shop.
I created the table centerfpieces in black reproduction French wire baskets that I found on clearance at Hobby Lobby a year or so ago.  In addition to the Sunflowers and Gebera Daisies, I used red Spray Roses, white carnations (our sorority flower), and Hypericum berries.

The goblets on each table are Mikasa, "French Countryside", purchased at Dillard's.  There was a bit of wind when I set the tables, so the stemware was presented "Bottoms-up."  Our menu featured a variety of salads and desserts, so a pair of Reed and Barton, "Francis I" forks at each place setting were the only utensils needed for our luncheon.  Hooray for family silver! 


Under the shade tree...


...Looking toward the back porch.

The tables placed in the shade of the tree were set with Castleton, "Laurel" luncheon plates, which belonged to my mother-in-love, on Wedgwood, "Countryware" dinner plates, one of my patterns bought through eBay.


The Pier One white cotton napkins were tied with narrow "Cardinal and Straw" picot ribbons...our sorority colors.

The back yard is ready to receive my precious friends...the women who hold my history....

....the women who, in their victories and in their defeats...

taught me, by example, how to live my life.  I am blessed to get to welcome them into my home.



The dining table is dressed in the same black and white toile found on the tables in the back yard.  I couldn't resist using the Mottahedeh, "Musee d'Arts Decoratif Motifs" tureen with a pair of black tole containers and the Val St. Lambert crystal candlesticks.  Each attendee brought a salad or dessert to share with the others.  It was such a marvelous day.  We plan to meet again in October, 2012.  I wonder how many will be able to come the next time!

Thank you, yet again, to Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for hosting her magical meme, "Tablescape Thursday.  I'll be linking my post to "Tablescape Thursday."   Hop on over HERE and check out the myriad of marvelous tablescape designs, after 9:00 pm on Wednesdays.  You'll be glad that you made the trip...it's a wonderful adventure.


You can check out KC's music at www.kcclifford.com, on iTunes, and on YouTube.  I hope that you'll take a few minutes and give her a listen.  You'll also enjoy reading back through her blog on this site.  The girl can really write!  Her latest CD is called "Orchid."  It is available on iTunes or through her website.  I hope that you'll give her music a chance.  I know that I have zero objectivity where she is concerned, but I think that you'll fall in love with her music and her!   

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Sorrento, Italy, Part II


First things first...We are truly blessed to have the means to set a pretty table and invite our friends to join us for good food and fellowship. I am mindful that many are not so fortunate. My daughter has a passion for the work of the Food Bank. As a singer-songwriter, she has written and recorded a song that is the anthem for the world wide Crop Hunger Walk project. Her song, "Raise Your Voice" is featured in their video. I've included a link in the side margin of my blog. I hope that it will encourage you to support projects in your community that contribute to the effort to overcome hunger.


For the past few weeks, I've been involved with preparations for a large luncheon on the back porch for about 60 guests.  The luncheon is in two days, and I'll share it with you next week.  This week, I want to share with you some more highlights of our time in Sorrento, Italy.  I'll be keeping it short and sweet.


After settling in to our hotel, the gorgeous Hotel Bellevue Syrene, it was time to explore the square in Sorrento. 



The entire walk was filled with local eye candy....

Can you imagine coming home each evening and passing through this door?  I'm fascinated by unique doorways....are you?


I kept thinking of these passages as alleys, but they're really some of those quaint and narrow streets that I told you about in my post on Florence.  There was a wedding just ending as we passed.  The guests were chatting and sipping wine, standing in the lane as we passed.  There was only room for what I'm guessing was the get-away car.

Tablescape.....sort of...this was the seating for a local gelato shop.  They'd be fun for our grandkids.

I'm enchanted by the gorgeous Italian yellows found on so many buildings.

Just your everyday, centuries old loggia, where the older men of the community gather to talk....how gorgeous is this!




I can only imagine the joy of shopping for my produce everyday at open-air markets like these.  Wow!



The central square....a dynamic, energy-filled location.  Busy, but not hectic....I loved it!









 Not exactly your average Bed Bath 'n Beyond.  I've had dreams about this shop since returning from our trip....oh my....linen heaven!



We heard music playing, so naturally we turned the corner and headed down the alley/lane to seek out the sound.  That's how we found this wonderful restaurant, tucked into the alley space.

It was a perfect evening...




 The strolling musician loved that KC speaks Italian, and from her conversation, he figured out that she was a singer/songwriter.


The restaurant staff persuaded her to "sing for her supper."





I even managed to capture a blue hour shot.  It was a delightful evening.....

...and after a delicious gelato at the best gelato shop in Sorrento...

...We strolled back to the square across the street from our hotel....

 ...and headed for bed.  Tomorrow we'll be driven over the hill to the other side of the penninsula for a day trip along the Amalfi Coast.  Night, night!

Thank you, yet again, to Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for hosting her magical meme, "Tablescape Thursday.  I'll be linking my post to "Tablescape Thursday."   Hop on over HERE and check out the myriad of marvelous tablescape designs, after 9:00 pm on Wednesdays.  You'll be glad that you made the trip...it's a wonderful adventure.


You can check out KC's music at www.kcclifford.com, on iTunes, and on YouTube.  I hope that you'll take a few minutes and give her a listen.  You'll also enjoy reading back through her blog on this site.  The girl can really write!  Her latest CD is called "Orchid."  It is available on iTunes or through her website.  I hope that you'll give her music a chance.  I know that I have zero objectivity where she is concerned, but I think that you'll fall in love with her music and her!