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Sunday, October 23, 2016

H"OWL TIME FLIES, 10.14.16

  The past few weeks I've been preparing for my semi-annual luncheon for the women of my sorority chapter who lived in the chapter house at some point during the four years that I also lived in the house.   This is always one of my favorite luncheons; these women are very important to me.  They hold my history, and I hold theirs.  I have managed to build a database of about 250 ladies.  Preparing for this day is a labor of love.  The riot of color provided by the flowers of Autumn just made it that much better as I designed 9 tables for 70 guests who came from all across our nation and from deep down in Mexico. 

I used three of this bouquet for the dining table buffet.  Sadly I forgot to capture any shots of the dining table, so use your imagination, please.


Fall offers pro and cons for entertaining al fresco.  The weather is as close to perfect as it comes out here on the prairie, but there are definite signs that nature is preparing to cause the lawn and flowers to go to sleep for the coming winter. The greens are less than vibrant, and the hydrangeas are long gone.  The yellow mums were a welcome spot of color, as were the bright red cyclamen plants used as the centerpiece on each table.

Blue and white are the colors of choice for today's festivities.  The mimosa in one of my hand-painted flutes was offered to guests as they entered the house.  I also see a few purses on a couple of chairs.   I think that my guests must already be saving seats.  Typically, many of the sisters like to sit with others from their pledge classes.  There is a great deal of visiting and catching up to be accomplished.  Some of these precious women have not seen each other in 54 years!  It's always a very special day. 

I bought the 10 blue and white toile tablecloths some years ago on eBay for $10.00 each.  $100.00 for 10 tablecloths versus renting 10 cloths for a minimum of $35.00 each for one day.  Now that's a no brainer in my mind.  I snapped those puppies up in a New York minute!

I chose to design my tables with three blue willow variations and an assortment of blue chargers.  Here I've placed the Burleigh Blue Willow, one of my everyday china patterns, on the Royal Doulton Steelite cobalt charger.  The goblet is Godinger Sutton Place.  For this type of gathering I tend to use what I call my "walk around" wine goblets from Bed Bath 'n Beyond.  These type of occasions tend to include dear friends who talk enthusiastically with their hands.  It's definitely not the time to pull out the Lalique, the Baccarat, or the Waterford crystals.

A variety of white napkins were caught in red or white watches...party favors used as napkin rings.  The ladies loved the watches.  I was thrilled that one of the charms on the woven leather band of each watch was a pair of wings...tempus fugit...time flies.  It was the perfect choice because of our invitations...

"H'OWL TIME FLIES".  My dear "sister" and friend, BJ always designs, addresses, and mails the invitations as well as comes up with the perfect party favors each time.  I give her an idea that has sparked my interest, and she takes it and runs with it.  This year I had visualized lots of clocks.  She's amazing, and she makes the process so much easier.


This table featured the Mottahedeh Blue Canton dinner plate on the Mottahedeh Blue Cornflower Lace charger plate.  The goblet on this table was the Mikasa French Country.  The flatware on all the tables was the blue, white, or red L'Argent Sophia.  Sorry for the wonky position. I was taking pictures as quickly as possible because my guests were beginning to arrive.  I did straighten it up right after I snapped the shot.

It was a glorious day.  On Monday, the weather forecast for Friday was 90% chance of rain and 30 mph winds.  Thank you, sweet Lord!  The day was a blessed 74º and 6 mph winds (that counts as no wind at all on the prairie).  It was absolutely perfect!  Answered prayer.

Here the Burleigh Blue Willow is paired with the Spode Vermicelli charger.  I had to step away for a while, and evidently my servers couldn't find all the walk around wines.  Somehow the Pier One Pink goblets made the billing.  They weren't part of the original plan, but I really like the way they look.   Flexibility is the name of the game for a luncheon this size.



The third pattern that I chose for today's luncheon was the Booth's Real Old Willow.  Here it is resting on the Mottahedeh Blue Lace charger plate. 


Booth's Real Old Willow perched atop the Anna Weatherly scalloped cobalt charger plate.  After saying grace, each guest picked up her plate and headed to the dining room to fill it.  I provided an entree of Kind Ranch Chicken, and each guest brought a salad or dessert.  It was delicious!  We started at 11:30 a.m. The last guests departed after 5:00 p.m. Priceless hours for everyone.


Time to stop taking table pics for today.  I can't wait another moment to go welcome the rest of my sisters.  I want to encourage you to reach out to friends from your past...high school, college, sorority, neighborhood friends.  The importance of reconnecting with old friends cannot be overestimated.  By my age, all of us have overcome some major experiences, be it illness, marriage issues, loss of  loved ones, financial disasters, and on and on.  At this point, we are all survivors in some arena, and coming together again proves to have incredible value.  As much as I am able, I never want to lose another old friend without have had the opportunity to say one more time, "Hello, I love you, and good bye. I pray that you will find your way to the same blessing.  It doesn't matter if the menu is creamed tuna on toast or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches; just please, find a way and do it. You'll never regret it!

This week I'm joining:

Inspire Me Monday @ Domestically Speaking

Inspire Me Tuesday with Marty @ A Stroll Through Life

The Scoop @ Domestically Speaking

Tablesccape Thursday with Susan @ Between Naps on the Porch




7 comments:

Suzanne Scarborough Melson said...

Beautiful....King Ranch Chicken again....sure wish I had the recipe! haha

Francie Newcomb said...

This is just awesome. I can't believe you had 70 for lunch! Everything is so beautiful and harmonious. Love the Booth's Real Old Willow especially! You made King Ranch casserole for 70 and that was a real feat. What a joy to provide such a lovely time for your old friends. I had the joy of attending my sister's big, big high school reunion with her in Kansas City last month (a graduating class of 22 girls) and agree with you about how special this kind of event can be.

Sarah said...

You are so amazing! I admire that you host this wonderful occasion each fall. Lucky Chi O sisters! You never miss a detail either. Love the blue and white theme of the tables, and the watch / napkin ring / favor is a darling idea. Very clever! Thanks for sharing.

Rosemary and Thyme said...

Wow CherryKay. You sure know how to entertain. You are such a gracious hostess. I love everything about your event. It is always done with such class.

Fondly,

Janet

Patti @ Pandoras Box said...

I love that you host this every year. I love how you pay such attention to every little detail! Just beautiful! My favorite part of this post is the last few lines; I feel the very same way and have enjoyed reconnecting with many old friends during the last 6 or 7 years, mostly through Facebook. It gives me such comfort knowing that these old friends are doing well! I could not survive without my wonderful girlfriends!!

Marlis said...

Cherry Kay, you are the hostess with the mostess.. charm and grace that is. I love your settings for your friends. I know they felt the warmth of your grace when they saw your preparations. I love the blue and white tables. Somehow have succumbed to that color scheme myself this year. Be blessed. xo marlis

Donna Tagliaferri said...

Cherry Kay!
So for some odd reason I became obsessed with blue plates a couple of months ago. I am just not sure what overcame me...but I started at home goods and visited each one until I had as many as I could find. Then the obsession continued with blue and white porcelain vases...this obsession had to take the place of my former obsession of flow blue which was halted due to lack of proper funds. So this table was so much fun to find. I believe some of my blue plates are blue williow...I have decided to use them for Thanksgiving. I know that is an odd idea, but I think they look good with autumn colors.
Please take this as the compliment it is intended to be and not some weird stalker person....but you flawlessly, effortlessly and beautifully do what I want to do and that is make the table amazing. I am ok....but your tables are the gold standard. Please keep posting....keep making beautiful art!!!