Those Special Evenings

“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.”

Cesar Chavez

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere are few things I like better than spending time with friends, especially those evenings when we gather around the table to share a meal.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI love the laughter

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand the sometimes energetic discussions, most of which seem to evolve around politics. These days that subject can evoke a lot of emotion as well as some pretty funny comments.

Foodie Adventure Spain/fishDinner is always a treat,  and most of the time it is a meal to which we’ve all contributed.  That way no one has to spend all day in the kitchen, and everyone is comfortable having played a part in the preparation.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhat I particularly get a kick out of is the effort made to set a lovely table.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAgain and again I see how that is opportunity for one to express their unique creativity.  Too, an inviting table always makes the food taste even better!

So, what is your favorite way to spend an evening?

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Favorite Things Thursday

The Last Leg

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAfter that unexpected stop in Portsmouth, we proceeded next day to the last of our scheduled destinations, Dolphin Marina on the Harpswell Peninsula in Maine.

This is a quiet place where at night inky black sky is alive with stars twinkling like diamonds.  This night we were also treated to the rising of a blood moon.  It came up behind the trees so fast that in a blink of an eye it was overhead.  I’m happy to have any photo, but my camera does not do justice to the drama of this moon or the moment.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAfter a peaceful night, the morning was greeted with super, both in size and taste, blueberry muffins that disappeared so quickly I almost didn’t get a shot!

islandsOn a perfect day to be asea, we decided on a leisurely cruise that would allow taking in all the beauty that defines Maine’s midcoast.  What I see along the shore and on the islands that dot the bay never ceases to enchant me.  There are few places where I feel more at peace or more grateful for the privilege that is my life

Along the way are some of my favorite lighthouses….Pemaquid Point, Southern Island, Whitehead, Owl’s Head

Indian Islandand, of course Indian Island at the entrance to Rockport Harbor.

Close to lunch time we were near Tenant’s Harbor which was good excuse to stop and try out Luke’s, new on the scene this year.  We were not disappointed!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs we enjoyed clam rolls, we chatted about our five day adventure, and the good news is we four are still friends after sharing close quarters and some harrowing moments.  These are the kind of people you like to have in your corner!  I’m glad to have had you along, too.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

HomeStyle

As many of you know, I live in two very different places, Maine and Houston.  While it is a privilege, there are some challenges to picking up life where it left off.  This is particularly true in Houston where people have so many options that keep them busy.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATo reengage with friends, I make an effort to have someone over for dinner most every week.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMany, especially the husbands, are very appreciative because most of our Houston friends have ceased to prepare meals at home but opt to eat out or pick something up.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMost of the dinners are quite simple as the purpose is to visit.  The table isn’t fussy either, but I do give some thought to the personalities that will gather round it and go from there.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALike many of you, I have lots of dishes and since I have no rules for how they are used, mixing and matching comes naturally.  

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOften, I have no idea what is going to happen, but surprise is part of the fun.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACan you tell I was in a very playful mood, pushing the boundaries with pattern, color and texture.  Whether or not a table setting makes the food taste better is debatable, but it sure does go a long way toward making people feel welcome and in many cases reflect the character of the people who join there.  What would you say about this foursome?

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

Joining

Tablescape Thursday

Inspiration Thursday

Friendship: A Gift

In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.

Albert Schweitzer

Linda_  044Usually on Thursdays, tablescapes and/or food are subject for my post.  Today, however, I’m thinking about friends and the people who come into life at just the right moment.

For whatever reason this week, I’ve not felt my usual chipper self.  No reason, just a little blue and believe me when I tell you there’s seldom reason for me to feel down.   Still, there are days when a smile is hard to come by and the heart feels a little heavy.  It’s times such as these when often the unexpected occurs and rekindles my inner spirit.

This morning, for example, the first email I read was from a long time friend whose joyful spirit is itself a gift.  Today, for whatever reason, she sent a message filled with kind words of appreciation, the kind that cause tears to flow and which I did nothing to earn.  How did she know that on this day her thoughtful kindness would mean so much?

Later, a woman who is a casual acquaintance I’ve not seen for years pulled into my driveway.  I happened to be getting out of my car and turned to see who was in the unfamiliar vehicle.  What a surprise to see her face!  She hadn’t stopped to visit but to snap a photo of the beautiful azaleas blooming along the side yard.  She explained the coincidence by saying that God must have brought her to that spot at that moment so that we might reconnect and be reminded of the value of people who pass through our lives.

Is there a greater gift than unsolicited expressions of friendship?  Certainly, they lifted my spirit and reminded me that I need often to offer the same.  Maybe those expressions will make a difference in someone else’s day.

Today I will start by telling each one of you who take the time to muddle through my musings how very grateful I am.  Many of you regularly brighten my day with your posts or your visits here.  Thank you.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

Transitioning to Another Holiday

My thought was to have a holiday party this year, but as in years past I dragged my feet and now it’s too late to plan and invite.  Instead, I am having a few dinner parties that will give us opportunity to spend time with friends we haven’t seen for a while.  Maybe those will be even better than a house full of partyers!

Christmas tablescapeI liked the burlap that was on the table Thanksgiving.  It had a homey feel that was very comfortable, so why not use it again and tie it this time around with ribbons having the traditional winter reds and greens?

Christmas tablescapeI bought this piece (is it a candle or candy mold?) years ago just because I liked it, but I rarely can figure out how to use it.  On the burlap  and with the holes filled with greenery and candles, it gives the table a rustic, woodsy look.

Christmas tablescapeAs for dishes, what better choice than the much loved, familiar Spode pattern that fits right in with the woodsy look of the centerpiece?  They were a gift from my mother oh so many years ago, and I never tire of using them

Christmas tablescapeor the companion stemware.

Christmas tablescapeAll are on holly berry placemats that enhance the colors in both the ribbons and the Spode pieces.

napkinThe napkin fold is an easy one.  Simply take a quartered napkin, pleat it, pinch it in the middle

napkinand secure with ribbon.

Christmas tablescapeFor a little touch of kid like fun, poppers are at each setting,

Christmas tablescapeand place cards sit atop the reindeer’s antlers.  Would you believe I just found these in a drawer, never used though I bought them several years ago at Pottery Barn.  Sometimes you just forget what you have!

Christmas tablescapeAll done, the table is consistent with my simple style, it used the same things differently

Christmas tablescapeand I hope is welcoming to the friends who will soon gather round.  Now, I have to decide what is going to fill the plates and get to work in the kitchen.

         i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind  

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