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Monday, February 26, 2018

Birthday Party for a Lifetime Friend, January, 2018

"The best laid schemes o' mice an' men/Gang aft a-gley."  "To a Mouse", by Robert Burns

We are probably more familiar with "The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry. Either way, it certainly speaks to my January and February. My early January was primarily consumed with deconstructing Christmas decorations. As soon as the task was accomplished, I was blessed to host a birthday party for my friend Becky. Following closely was my friend Guyanne's birthday luncheon at the end of January. I was on the proverbial roll. Then came February. First Sweet Mister fell prey to the flu. Threes days later, I succumbed to Flu Type A. We were both down for the count for more than two weeks. Except for a lingering cough, we both eventually came through to the other side just in time for a long planned and eagerly anticipated trip to Phoenix with dear friends. And here we are waiting for March to come in like a lion. I finally have the pics edited from Guyanne's birthday luncheon, and I'm excited to share some of them with you. Today I set a table for eight in the dining room. Come on in and join the party...

Guyanne, Becky, and I met each other in the first grade.  That's right, we we've been friends since we were six years old!  After we graduated from university, our lives all went in different directions, and we pretty much only saw each other at the high school reunions, every five to ten years.  Eventually, everyone was back on the prairie, and after our children were grown and had families of their own, we found each other once again.  Reconnecting with these lifetime friends has been one of the true joys of my life.  Along the way, we've found a number of our childhood friends, and I count each of them as one of the treasures that God has placed in my life.

I am blessed to open my doors and invite these dear friend to gather around my table.  It is a privilege to create a setting for their pleasure. The Christmas reds and greens have been carefully packed away, and I was more than ready to pull out some feminine colors.

The antique ivory runner, placemats, and napkins were a fortunate estate sale find.  They provided the perfect frame for the Mottahedeh Cornflower Blue charger plate.  It's just the right filet for...

...the Mottahedeh Tobacco Leaf dinner plate.  I've only recently begun to collect this wonderful pattern, and I am completely mesmerized by the design.  This day I paired it
 with my wedding silver, Reed & Barton Grande Renaissance.  Forty-nine years later, I would choose it again. Now on to a few of the details...

Waterford Simply Blue and La Stelle of Italy hot pink wine goblet...

Entertaining tip:  I adore the antique napkin that matches the placemat, but they are becoming fairly fragile.  I think they are no longer sturdy enough to be used, so I layered them with a stronger Madeira linen napkin for my guests.

The tiny Glass Act salt and peppers come in a number of assorted designs.  I love mixing the designs for the whimsy they provide. Go to Glassactusa.com, and you can shop to your heart's desire.

This was a sure fire way to bring color to a dreary winter day.  On to the centerpiece...


I've always been fascinated by the Herend tureens. There is a story that goes with how I acquired this one, but I'll save it for another day.


The florals, insects, and butterflies in the Herend Queen Victoria tureen work so well with the elements in the Tobacco Leaf china.






Six petite bouquets from Whole Foods were simply snipped and placed in the small urns, which at one time held Le Seda France candles.  After the luncheon, I gave the flowers to my guests to take home.

Silver birds scattered among the bouquets and the Val St. Lambert crystal candlesticks completed the elements for the centerpiece. Oh, the green accents in the chandelier were left over from Christmas.  I didn't realize they were still there until I started taking pictures.  I decided to leave them in place because I didn't want to scatter green glitter all over the plates and table.  Hardly appetizing!  




A touch of spring for a winter day.


Although my tablescape designs are always a surprise for my guests, I must confess that I tend to turn, time and again, to menus that I know will be well received.  I rotate my menus according to the guest lists. One Christmas I served the same menu six times...same menu, different audience each time.  I want my offerings to be delicious for my guests and easy for me.  A simple salad, a yummy casserole, delicious hot bread, and a dessert so good it can't be refused...that's my equation for a good meal most of the time, and I'm sticking to it. Also, if my guest list exceeds 15, I normally cater the meal and hire helpers to serve and clean up.

  
Everything was spit spot, and my guests would be arriving soon for the birthday celebration.

It was a delightful way to spend an afternoon with cherished friends.  Have you invited friends over for lunch lately?  Think about it, please.  Set a pretty table, and plan a meal.  Even if you serve PBJ, tuna fish sandwiches, or take-out, put it on your pretty dishes.  Your guests will feel special, and you'll have a wonderful time, too.  Let the party begin!

This week I'm joining:

Tablescape Thursday with Susan @ Between Naps on the Porch

Linda @ Life & Linda for Dishing It and Digging It