Taking Time Out

OriginalPhoto-468983450.166784With so much energy focused on Halloween and Christmas, Thanksgiving is an almost forgotten holiday wedged between the two.   Perhaps that’s a good thing because there is a calmness around Thanksgiving that doesn’t exist with most other holidays.

Though I try every day to be thankful, it is on this day I sit quietly and focus on all the gifts in my life.  They are many, some so small they sometimes get overlooked.  Some are full of joy, others are tinged with sadness, but in its own way each is a gift.

One gift I don’t want to overlook is each of you who take the time to read and sometimes comment on these musings.  I  started writing thinking it would be a good way to keep up with friends but thanks to the power of the internet,  a whole new audience has become part of my life.  Thank you.

Wherever you are, I wish you a wonderful day and urge you to take time to be grateful not just today but every day.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind



OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand how I look forward to having family gather round.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThanksgiving is the only holiday the hubby and I still host as daughters have taken over the rest and create their own traditions.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHere not much changes from year to year.  Dishes are the same

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand for years dryer hose pumpkins have been arranged one way or another for a centerpiece.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis time some of the pumpkins are in a box that belonged to my much loved mother-in-law.  In spirit she is always with us

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAas is my mother whose flatware is at my place.  Why I kept only one place setting is totally beyond me.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMost years there is a little something new just because!


There’s still shopping to do and preparations to be made, but readying the table  and reminiscing about all that it means is one of my favorite parts of the day that is to come.

Have you things on your table that are special to you?

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind


Centerpiece Wednesday

Tablescape Thursday

Catching Up

If you really want to make a friend, go to someone’s house and eat with him.  The people who give you their food give you their heart.

I’m way behind on fall tables, maybe because for the last several weeks I’ve been transitioning from Maine to Houston and it takes me a while to get my act together.

As soon as I’m settled in I like to get together with friends I’ve not seen in several months.  Having them over for a bite to eat gives me a good excuse for doing a table.


Right before leaving Maine I happened into a new shop in the area that was just filled with wonderful things.  I couldn’t resist these cute ceramic houses, and it’s no surprise they should become a source of inspiration.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHow simple is combining them with small vases of lantana for a centerpiece?  That made everything else easy!


Working from the colors in the tiny blooms, I chose burlap placemats trimmed with ribbon and these dishes and napkins, all of which are full of orange and gold.  By the way, the placemat is a super easy project.  It’s a length of burlap finished at the ends to keep it from unraveling and finished off with a ribbon machine stitched to the burlap.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI had completely forgotten about this flatware until I opened a cabinet door looking for something else.  Out it came and it’s a fun complement to the other pieces.  You’ll notice I couldn’t resist finding one more use for the little pumpkins!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn a matter of minutes the table was done,

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand when I passed by this morning I noticed that the painting even tied into the table.  I love it when happy accidents like that happen!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThinking about the menu, I determined that it should have the flavors of fall and first thing that came to mind was a cake combining pumpkin, apples and cranberries.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe recipe was in Southern Living some time ago and has since become a favorite.  If you think it looks good, wait until you taste it!

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind


Tablescape Thursday

Share Your Cup Thursday

Full Plate Thursday

Foodie Friday

French Country Meets Farmhouse

Since she was a teenager, my now farm girl daughter has been drawn to French country style and has done a great job making it her own.  As it turns out the style lends itself to farmhouse touches appropriate for a  new lifestyle on the Franklin farm.  

Take a look at how she has combined the two on the screen porch.

IMG_5093 (1)At one end is a comfortable sitting area where friends can join for tini time or the family can have a casual meal at the large wooden table.  I believe it was a find at Texas’s Round Top Antique Show.


At the other is a swing, something every porch should have for those moments of total relaxation.  Throw pillows and the indoor/outdoor rug are in the French tradition and blend nicely with the Farmer’s Market sign.


The daughter and her hubby take pride in their new identity as farm girl

IMG_5103and farm boy.  May I tell you that I am jealous of the apple ladder in this photo?  One of these days I’m going to have one if I can just figure out where to put it.

FranklinWith its accessories, this table that once stood behind a sofa, is totally French country.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Well, maybe that’s not true of the candles which the son-in-law cleverly made from spirits bottles.  Talk about an easy do-it-yourself project that adds a touch of character!

As this one so clearly shows, porches can be an extension of your personal style.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind


Wow Us Wednesday

Feathered Nest Friday

Metamorphosis Monday


Farm Changes

Franklin farmThe reason the hubby and I make the long drive from Maine to Houston is to to stop in Franklin, Tennessee, where one of our daughters moved to a small farm 3 years ago.

FranklinEvery visit we see changes.  The  Katadin lambs that once grazed in the pasture are gone because they liked to jump up on people and as they grew larger that was not such a good thing.  Not only that they were nasty creatures whose fondness for the barn left it stinky and messy, and no one was crazy about cleaning up after them.

FranklinThere were lots of ducks, but who knew they would be so prolific.  Every hatching introduced 10-15 new ducklings.  Unfortunately, the ducks never left because they liked their lifestyle at the farm.  As a consequence, some ducks ended up on the dining table.

FranklinTurkeys became a bit of a problem as well.  The intent was to have them be a good food source, but there’s a small window of time when they are good to eat otherwise they get tough, really tough. So into the wild went the turkeys.

IMG_3404Still, there are chickens that roam freely

Franklinand keep the family in plenty of fresh eggs.  In fact, there are so many that the girls have made a little business of selling the extras.

FranklinBuddy and Bella, the big Anatolian shepherds, earn their keep by keeping predators off the property.  They’ve been the winner in a number of encounters!

FranklinIn the pasture, there is a new visitor who seems very content in her surroundings. She’s a boarder that gives just the right look to the farm.

FranklinThis visit I was touched to see this flower blooming.  Believe it or not, it propagated from a plant that belonged to my great grandmother which means it is well over 60 years old.  Just mentioning this flower leads to a whole other story, but I’ll save it for next time.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind


Metamorphosis Monday

The Scoop

Thinking With My Heart

cloudsThis morning when I went outside to walk the dog, I found a day filled with clouds and sunshine in a bright blue sky. Unexpectedly my heart filled with gratitude.  I don’t think the emotion was due totally to it being a beautiful day but to the realization that I was safe and my heart wasn’t aching with grief over the loss of a loved one.  

Such response is likely related to the Paris tragedy caused by people whose intent I cannot begin to understand.  Hate is not an emotion to which I can relate, especially when it results in such unnecessary violence.  I had to stop and think for a minute about my unexpected emotions which led to wondering why it is we find it so hard to love when it should be so much easier than hate and result in much better outcomes.

I have no answers to the problems that exist in the world and in our relationships with each other, but as I explored my own feelings I made a commitment to loving as best I can and to live without fear of being hurt.  I am only one, but if enough of us adopt similar behavior, it will, hopefully, diffuse some of the power those with evil intent have over us.

And to think, all these feelings started with walking the dog.