Saturday, August 11, 2018

Back to School

I was in Target a few days ago.
I shouldn't have gone then.
I forgot the store would be crowded with parents and children
shopping for back-to-school items.
It wasn't so much the crowded aisles that bothered me.
It was the fact that I had no need of those supplies.
I didn't have two little boys with me searching for just the right backpack.
No little fists holding lists of items to be checked off:
yellow pocket folders,
green spiral one subject notebooks,
no. 2 Ticonderoga pencils,
and the list goes on.

No need to search out pants to replace the ones an inch too short.
No need to decide on crew-neck sweaters
or polo-style shirts.

No need to say "no" to those action figure lunchboxes.
They were never really lunch takers.
I was never a pack- a- healthy- but- interesting- lunch mom.
I did make sure I was at home when they came home.
I made sure there was a good snack.
I made sure I could always put my hands on
the keys to the Volvo so we could get to whatever
practice, meeting, appointment came next.

As I stood in line at the Target checkout,
I saw, or imagined I saw, as much excitement 
in the faces of the parents as I saw in the faces of 
the children.  Excitement for the coming school year.
I silently wished them all success in learning.

Those two little boys I shopped with have long 
grown into successful young men.
I still miss those shopping trips!

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Summertime--At Last

I had an e-mail from my favorite farmer on Monday evening.  "I'll have about ten pounds of tomatoes at tomorrow's market."  I threw meal planning aside and knew what we'd have for dinner supper Tuesday evening.  Summer comes late to the foot of Lake Michigan.  While I start thinking of a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich on whole grain bread in late May, I know the reality of that happening then.  Our spring was not an easy one.  LE Garden, my favorite farmer's farm, spent much of the spring under water.  Short of hydroponic gardening, I knew a big bag of those tasty tomatoes would be unusually late.  They were worth the wait!  Our side dish was a beautiful, tasty ear of corn from said farm.  In just a few minutes, I'll put some lovely chioggia beets into the oven to roast.  

As I'm typing this, a mother turkey and three youngsters waddled by the window looking onto  the back lawn.  As thoughts turn to summer, fall comes to mind.

I hope all of you are well and enjoying summer and it's bounty.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

P.E.O. Tea

"The 'art of tea' is a spiritual force for us to share."
Alexandra Stoddard

Last week, my P.E.O. sisters came together to share an afternoon of tea and friendship.
Twenty-four sisters gathered at the comfortable home of Thelma Mck. 

Christine C. brought some lovely hats to share.

She helped set the mood
and soon....

....there were colorful hats scattered about.

How appropriate that Martha H. arrived in a hat of bountiful daisies.
The marguerite is the signature flower of P.E.O..

MaryAnn T. found the perfect hat.

There were many amazing hats that I failed to get photographs of.  Next year for sure.

had a feathered fascinator in her hair.
Somehow, I only got a photograph of her
sparkly sandels.  

Ruth I. sent this beautiful 
floral arrangement for the table.
The colors were perfect with the teacups.
Thank you, Ruth. 
We missed you!

Oh, those teacups!
Aren't they beautiful?
I helped open the ones from Ellen C..
What a lovely surprise each wrapping unfolded to.
Thanks for all who provided tea cups and tea pots.

The savory table.

Cucumber sandwiches
Ham salad sandwiches
Turkey with cranberry mayonnaise sandwiches

The sweet table.

Chocolate-covered strawberries
Pecan squares
Lemon bars
Miniature vanilla and chocolate cupcakes
Thanks to Thelma and Jane W-B for joining me in
preparing the delicious food.

After a time of sipping tea and enjoying tasty treats, 
Linda D. shared highlights of State Convention with us.
This year, we had two Golden Girls to celebrate.
Congratulations to Beth F. and Marilyn E. 
for such a wonderful achievement!

Sunday, May 20, 2018

The Royal Wedding With Friends

The hats!  I'm always amazed by the hats that attend English weddings (and the Kentucky Derby).  I wondered if there were peacocks, egrets and other plumed birds strutting around minus a few feathers.  In fact, I decided to check this out so I did a Google search and was not pleased with what I found.  We'll not go into details in this post.  I will only say that the hats of today are adorned with far less plumage than those of the past.

My (mini) fascinator had only two white feathers that look like they were plucked from the ground near a chicken coop which was fine with me.  I think the pearls and large diamond made up for the lack of feathers.

Yes, of course I wore white gloves.

Thelma was sparkly (I wish I had photographed her shoes!  But, how does one request a shot like that?)!!

Sue added a breath of spring and, almost, matched the Queen in her color choice.

Jane, our hostess, was in a proper fascinator.  No guest would mind sitting behind her at the wedding.
Our seats were front row.  We didn't have to rise from our beds in the wee morning hours either.  Jane had asked her "smart" television to record the event as seen through the eyes of PBS (no commercial breaks!!).

Arriving at 10 a.m., we were promptly seated and served a delicious coffee cake accompanied by a hot cup of proper English tea.  We enjoyed the commentary by various broadcasters.  There was still much speculation over the wedding dress and the designer.  The wedding cake baker from the U.S. was interviewed as she was preparing to put the final touches on the cake.  The florist was making the final delivery on the flowers.  Everything was happily falling into place--at least as far as we could tell.

A bit after noon, we paused to plate our lunches.  The delicious choices included:

Crudites with green goddess dip.

Deviled eggs.
Take notice of that lovely tablecloth.  
Jane embroidered it when she was in high school!

My plate.
Yes, I had to try everything.
How else could I tell you how delicious it all was?


Wedding cake?
Of course!

The bride was stunning in a simple but elegant dress.
The groom was handsome in his uniform.

One of the most touching scenes for me was the empty chair beside Prince William in honor of his mother, Princess Diana.  I'm actually not a hundred percent sure of this but I'm going with it as fact.

I loved that the bride carried forget-me-nots.  They were her late mother-in-law's favorite.

Loved that the Bishop read from an iPad!!  Loved his words as well.

The young cellist (who had on polka dot socks and his left shoe was untied) was fabulous.

The gospel choir made me want to tap my toes and shout!

In fact, it was a wonderful celebration.  I wouldn't have changed a thing!!

Thank you Jane for inviting
us to the wedding.

It was lovely!

Tuesday, April 3, 2018


When the table is set, one knows the "event" is going to happen soon. Here is our Easter table waiting for a basket of flowers and the food. Oh, and most importantly, the guests. There were no children among the eight of us so no eggs were hidden. It was a good thing since it was very cold and windy outside.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Birds, Snow, Snow, Snow, Birthdays and Poison

The cardinals met this morning.  No, not those cardinals!  The brilliant Northern Orange Cardinals.  There are five of them in this photo.  Every time I try to raise the blinds to get a clearer view, they hastily fly away.  Yesterday, we counted nine of them on the branches and more on the ground.  They were joined by wrens and finches.  They seem oblivious to the lake-effect snow and howling winds!

Even more of the birds gathered for my birthday last week.  The weather was the same:  snow and wind shrieking and howling off Lake Michigan.  The Baker had plans to take me out to dinner.  I had plans to curl up under a blanket and read.  It was bridge day, though, and I wanted to play. My dear friends and players had other ideas.  It was, after all, my birthday and they were going to make it special.  My sweet friend, Thelma, decided the night before to make a big pot of soup for us.  She also had spanakopita in the freezer and time to make a delicious chocolate and nut bar cookie.  Andrew drove me from our garage to the Brown's garage.  Then he picked up Thelma and drove her and the food back to the nice, dry garage.  Jane had set a lovely table for our feast.  After many hands of cards, we tucked into that tasty soup.  Thelma called it "everything but the kitchen sink soup".

Yesterday, it snowed from sunup to sundown--a beautiful snow.  It was a perfect day to enjoy a couple of my birthday presents.

"Bitten by Witch Fever:
Wallpaper & Arsenic in the Nineteenth-Century Home"
Lucinda Hawksley

and a lovely new Liberty of London teacup from

Now to sip tea and read about "the fatal story of Victorian home decor".  I've long been a fan of the Arts and Crafts movement and especially like the wall papers of William Morris.

Tucked into the pages of lovely wallpaper designs, are small booklets that give the history of arsenic and arsenic-based dyes.  Thanks Elyssa and Stefan!!

Now I'm headed out to another birthday celebration.  It is one of the perks of having a winter birthday.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Let Them Eat Cake!

"Come said the wind to the leaves one day,
come o're the meadows and we will play.
Put on your dresses scarlet and gold,
for summer is gone and the days grow cold."
A Child's Song from the 1880s

A gaggle of geese, franticly honking, just flew over.  They were headed south.  I guess they were as surprised as I was to wake up to 35 degrees this morning.  This gorgeous tree, just outside our front door, will soon drop those colorful leaves.  The patio fern will have to be brought inside where it hates to spend the winter.  

We had friends over for dinner on Saturday.  The menu was a nod to early autumn.  We started with
Brunswick stew, a dish I claim started in Virginia.  The Baker offered to do dessert.  I gratefully accepted and asked for a southern sweet.  He obliged with a ten layer white cake with chocolate frosting.

No, the crow did not have a crumb of this delicious concoction!

It was a good evening with dear friends.  So dear that we sent each couple home with a few slices of cake for their future enjoyment.  

I love cozy fall evenings with good friends and good food!!