My photo
A former middle school principal, I am blissfully enjoying retirement with the Headmaster! Thank you for visiting, commenting, and following!

30 April 2012

Rooster Party! (Part the First)

Left Face!  Oh, dear, another cow picture.  I just can't help myself!

My best friend's son (my Godson) is getting married soon (applause, applause, applause!!!)!  The wedding won't be until October, but I wanted to do something for him and his fiancee before we head to the Midwest and our 'summer' home.  So...out came the 'props' for the table.

A farm outside of our little town in Wisconsin had these neat old cheese boxes for sale last year for twenty-five cents!  I only bought three, but wish I had bought a dozen!  Perhaps he'll have some more this summer.

Now, for some odd reason that I have never understood, my Godson's nickname is...wait for it...ROOSTER!  So...naturally there would have to be a rooster somewhere in the decor!  This one, from HL, half price.  I came close to purchasing one of those huge colorful ones, but for some reason, I was drawn to this one (maybe because it is red, and that's his Mom's favorite color).  He will sit on top of two upside down cheese boxes surrounded with colorful bedding plants.  Perhaps he will tie!?!

I didn't start out with a Mexican theme, but since the celebration will be close to Cinco de Mayo, and the rooster is red, I thought primary colors should be the order of the day.  Napkins from Wal-Mart (and made in the USA!!!!).

There is NO doubt that it will be hot, but I will probably need the courtyard for something; and to cover the table I stumbled upon this bright tablecloth at Big Lots (it's the ONLY thing I've found at our local store that has been worthy of  a purchase).

Now, you would simply fall down right now if you could see the house and yard--no signs here that a party will ensue in a matter of days!  However, I have great faith in the Headmaster  myself that I can pull it all together.  STAY TUNED!

I'll be linking this incomplete story at some point this week to:

29 April 2012

Bird's Eye View

Back of the house in the winter (!) in Wisconsin(!)  What's wrong with this picture?

Our home in Wisconsin is over 100 years old; it's the house where the Headmaster grew up.  A number of years ago, he undertook the mammoth project of completely updating and renovating.  This involved every room in the house:  gutting, moving walls, redoing plumbing, etc.  I continue to be in awe of what he did...and all by himself.  Very little of the work was contracted out.

The only 'room' left untouched, however, is our basement.  Now, many homes have basements that are quite nicely finished and furnished and look as nice or nicer than the main house.

Not ours.

Our basement is very 'dungeon-esque.'  It's kind of creepy, in fact!  One of my projects this summer is to get down there and do a major cleaning out of many of the gazillion nails, screws, nuts, bolts, etc., etc.  that haven't been touched in years!

While plundering around down there last summer, I happened upon this piece of furniture (I knew it was down there but had forgotten about it).  Though it had some flaws, it was too nice to languish 'below ground.'  So, up it came.  I brought it up on the deck; cleaned it up really well, and re-attached drawer bottoms, etc.  There is still a problem with one handle (which I have) but haven't figured out yet how to attach it.  I'll figure that out this year.
The piece is a lovely bird's eye maple!  I love, LOVE the warmth of the wood, and at a certain time of the day when the sunlight hits it, it simply glows!  I managed to find the perfect spot for it - in the kitchen where storage is very minimal! do you like the old watering can with dried hydrangeas from our developing garden?
Had I known I would be doing this blog, there would be more and much better pictures, I promise!  

There's at least one more treasure down there that I plan to refurbish this year.  It might just be my maiden voyage into Annie Sloan Chalk Paint!  Stay tuned!

I'll be linking to the following this week:

24 April 2012

Garden Walk

Mooooooooove Over, Darling!
Disclaimer:  this photo has nothing at all to do with this post; I just love the cows!

Last year, our little town in northeast Wisconsin held its first ever Garden Walk.  Several, from master to everyday gardeners, opened their gardens to the public.  Now, I don't know about you, but when I ride my bike by a number of these homes, I'm just dying to see what's going on there; and in our very small town on Lake Michigan, where the 'blooming' season lasts for such a gloriously long time, I'm just taken aback by the beautiful gardens!  Please allow me to share some with you from last summer!

These first photos are from a house about a block or less from Lake Michigan.  It's just so charming.  I was so happy it was on the tour!  The gate to the back yard is very welcoming!  Everything she has planted is just so....LUSH!

Also on the walk, this little  fertilizer, planted with colorful zinnias!

And how about this old wicker chair...covered in moss and planted with succulents! 

. all time favorite!  These are growing on the side of an old barn about a block from Lake Michigan!
And now, saving the best for last!  This garden happens to belong to personal friends; however, I had never seen it in all its glory...I was spell-bound!  It is obvious that these are serious gardeners; they love what they do; and, probably most importantly, they devote the time it takes to make this a true wonderland!
Fabulous wheelbarrow with zinnias and creeping jenny.

A great old garden bench with a stunning bleeding heart.

An artichoke grows in Wisconsin!

More stunning photos from the property!  Isn't this just lovely?
I hope that you have enjoyed this Garden Walk.  Now, sadly, none of these fine gardens are ours, but we're working on it!  Also, I'm still slowly working on my photography skills (when I took these pics last summer, I had no idea I'd be posting for all the world to see!).  Hopefully, there will  be something to show later on in the summer from our meager efforts once we finally get there the end of May!

Linking to:

15 April 2012

Plating the Oyster!

Photo by Bethany L. King

Behold...the OYSTER!  For many people (but not for all, including the Headmaster), there is nothing better than a plate full of fat, cold, salty oysters on a bed of ice with just a little ketchup, a lot of horseradish, and a dash of lemon juice--and of course, some wonderful person to shuck them!  What a fabulous treat!  Sadly, as a result of the BP oil spill two years ago, many of the oyster beds of the Gulf Coast were heavily affected, and oyster production, once highly prolific in the area, plummeted to lows never before seen.  But there is good news:  the beds are rejuvenating and the industry is starting to bounce back.  Prices are still quite high, but there are a number of restaurants that advertise special 'raw oyster nights' where the prices are great and the oysters are fat and delicious!  As we are now in April, this is traditionally the last month of the 'season', as oysters weren't traditionally consumed during the months of May, June, July, or August (the only ones without an 'R').  Back in the day, this was observed mainly because of the heat of the summer and the lack of refrigeration; today, however, oysters are great to eat anytime--and I can attest to the fact that they are yummy AND safe!

These days, oysters are served in ordinary plastic trays or platters if you are having them raw.  However, in Victorian times, you might have had yours presented to you in one of the thousands of oyster plates that were in high fashion during that time.


Limoges oyster plate


  Since that time, oyster plates have become highly collectible, and can be found in antique shops and online sites ranging from a few to thousands of dollars (I, myself, am in the few dollar category)!  While there are serious collectors out there, I am not one of them; I look for what I like and if the price is really, really right, I might buy it.  Occasionally it comes with a Limoges or Haviland mark on the back; for me, that's nice but not necessary.  These plates can be very beautiful and can compliment  most any collection of china.  Here are a few of mine:

 Thanks to the Headmaster, we recently discovered another use for these beautiful plates: a vehicle for deviled eggs!  So, though you may not be an oyster lover, you might want to consider them to hold the eggs for next year's Easter celebration!

Thank you for visiting my new blog, and have a wonderful week!  Your comments are most appreciated, and I welcome your following me!

Here is a link to more information concerning oyster plates; additionally, you may view even more of these beautiful dishes on my Pinterest board!

Linking to A Stroll Through Life for Tabletop Tuesday
                Savvy Southern Style for Wow Us Wednesday
                Ivy and Elephants for What's It Wednesday
                Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday
                Chic on a Shoestring for Flaunt It Friday

12 April 2012

A Mantel for Spring

Our mantel has been all spiffed up for spring!  While I adore preparing it for Christmas, after a while, I'm ready for something a lot more 'light' and, well, just springy!
This is the first time I've stood a picture in front of the mirror and I rather like it.  This past summer, our local PBS station featured an online art auction as a fundraiser, and I was able to bid from our home in Wisconsin.  Fortunately, I was the winner of this lovely watercolor by Jean Kreamer, an artist in Lafayette, La.  It caught my eye because it reminded me of my two sons, both of whom were very tow-headed when they were small.  It's titled 'The First Day of School' and I just fell in love with it!
The lanterns were leftover from Christmas (Hobby Lobby) and provide a nice balance, as do the (real!) ivies on either side.
The yellow vase on the left was a Tuesday Morning find (it matches chargers from Horchow) with a honeycomb and bee pattern.  The plate, a Limoges T&V LaCloche from a set found on eBay on the right, perfectly picks up the colors in the painting (how lucky was that?).  

We will enjoy this setting all spring, until it's time to head north!  Thank you for visiting!

               Seasonal Sundays at the Tablescaper
               Debbiedoos Newbie Monday

10 April 2012

All Things Green, and Purple, and Red, and...

Like nearly everyone else, our spring came very early this year, and the flowers started putting on a show way ahead of schedule:
The irises were some of the first; actually there was one blooming on Christmas Day!
The Knock-Outs are, as usual, knocking themselves out all over town!
One of the first of the daylilys to bloom - I wish I knew the variety!
And then, there's this!  I started watching this fine specimen weeks ago and decided to leave it up just to watch the flowers on it.  The bees loved it!  Now...the thing is over five feet tall.  I shall take it down when I locate the appropriate body armor (and maybe TNT and a backhoe)!!!  What a weed!!!!  Happy Spring, everyone!

Linking to Savvy Southern Style for Wow Us Wednesday!

08 April 2012

Hail Thee, Festival Day!

A glorious Easter Day here in south Louisiana!  The entire Holy Week has been a fabulous experience, especially with a new rector on board at Trinity Church in Baton Rouge!  Today found us at the glorious Easter Day service, and afterwards, hosting our family here in our home.  Pictures of the church and the dessert follow!
The altar at Trinity Episcopal Church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  Photo by The Reverend R. Kevin Kelly
The Easter Cake!

And here is the #2 assistant, Midnight, the Magical Cat, after everyone had departed.  I just know I heard him saying, "Please, sir,...may I have...MORE?"  Shortly thereafter, I heard the orchestra strike up 'Food, Glorious Food!' from the musical OLIVER!  Or, maybe I've just been in overdrive this week and am hearing things; or, maybe...not!