Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Memorial Day 2014

His name was Richard, but almost everyone called him Dick.  I called him "Admiral", which usually made him smile. Today was his funeral, but I was not there.  I am very sad about that, but I am headed out of town and could not travel an hour away and an hour back to say good-bye.  Instead, I am trying to honor him by  dedicating this Memorial Day post to him.

He was a true Admiral - a Rear Admiral (Ret.) in the United States Navy and he served this country well.  He chose us, even though he was Canadian born. He fought for us. He was a veteran of the Korean and Vietnam wars. 

I had the privilege of getting to know him in the political realm.  Dick, his wife, and I worked together, during several campaigns.  His wife, Pat, was the leader of a political group and, despite his obvious leadership skills, he always was supportive of her and helped in any way that he could.

He leaves behind his wife, two children, and two grandchildren.  He, also, leaves behind many friends who admired him and his service to the United States.

Dick did not live quite long enough to memorialize his fallen comrades or celebrate on Memorial Day 2014, so I am asking that all of you think of him on Monday and be thankful that we have men and women who serve this country, many of whom have given their lives for the rest of us.

I am grateful and will remember.  I hope and pray that, as a country, we demand better treatment of the veterans who are in the VA system and that we never forget what they have done for each and every one of us. So, as you are enjoying your long week-end and being with family and friends, please remember:

It is the Soldier
Father Dennis Edward O'Brien
It is the Soldier,
not the reporter, who has given us freedom of press.

It is the Soldier,
not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the Soldier,
not the campus organizer, who gives us freedom to demonstrate.

It is the Soldier
who salutes the flag,
who serves beneath the flag,
and whose coffin is draped by the flag,
who allows the protester to burn the flag.

Thank you.

Sharing at:

Monday, May 12, 2014

Lenox Solitaire - Eight Different Looks!

When I started planning a post for the newest challenge (wedding china) from Kathleen of Cuisine Kathleen, I pulled out all of my wedding china, crystal and flatware. I thought I might do two tables using my "fine" china on one and my "everyday" china on the other. However, I started looking on Pinterest for some fresh ideas for using Lenox "Solitaire" and could not find a single table set with it! Perhaps those tables are on Pinterest, but they did not appear in my search. I put away my Royal Doulton "Samarra", which was the pattern I chose as my everyday china so many years ago and went to work trying to create interesting place settings with "Solitaire". I decided to use a "Solitaire" dinner plate in each for continuity.

These are the ones that I decided to use.  For the rest of the post, I will show you the place settings and let you know what pieces I used. I am listing everything that I used and where I found the pieces. I decided to itemize everything to show that you can find tableware in so many different places and mix them all together!  Oh, what fun I had with this creating these place settings!! I just ran out of time to photograph them exactly as I wanted. We had some rainy days here, before I ran off to the beach on vacation!!

For this place setting, I used all of my fine wedding tableware:

Lenox "Solitaire" dinner plate, all purpose bowl and covered vegetable without the lid for a centerpiece
Tiffin "Argenta" iced beverage glass
Gorham "Strasbourg" sterling flatware

To these pieces, I added:

Villeroy and Boch "Intarsia" accent salad plate
Celebrity "Ebony" water goblet
Arthur's Court "Grape" napkin ring from Goodwill with black napkin from Dillard's
"Zebra" placemat from Old Time Pottery

Pink was the color that I chose for the next place setting: I have never been a "pink" person, but the older I get, the better I like it.  I once had a very fashionable older lady (I was young back then) to tell me that pink is an old lady's friend!! That story always make me laugh, when I think of it, but when I put on something pink now, I am beginning to understand what she meant!!

Lenox "Solitaire" dinner and bread & butter plate
Maxwell and & Williams pink "Paint" charger
Anchor Hocking pink "Block Optic" salad plate
Fostoria rose "5098/5298" water goblet and champagne/high sherbet
Carlo Moretti (I think!) tall pink water goblet
Whiting "Imperial Queen" sterling flatware 
Pink placemat from Big Lots
Raymond Waites Studio napkin from T J Maxx
Pink polka dot napkin ring from Florida Linen - Panama City, Florida

This place setting is the most casual one.  I set it for a breakfast meal.  Despite Solitaire's formality, it is plain and timeless and looks good with almost anything: It can be dressed up or down - it is like a "little black dress" for the table!

Lenox "Solitaire" dinner plate
Rattan charger from World Market
Home Essentials and Beyond "Curls Collection" salad plate from Old Time Pottery
Waechtersbach "Fun Factory" orange coffee mug
Old Amsterdam Porcelain Works creamer & covered sugar bowl from Rose Cottage - Pine Mountain, Georgia
"Citrus" juice tumbler from Pier I
Villeroy and Boch "Donau" white wine goblet
Bamboo flatware from Steinmart
Placemat and napkin from Old Time Pottery
"Grand Gems" napkin ring from Pier I

The next setting the the most formal.  I love mixing gold and silver together, especially, in my jewelry. Konstantino and David Yuman's gold and silver pieces are my very favorites, so I thought I would translate that jewelry into a table setting: You can use almost anything as an inspiration for setting a table!!

Lenox "Solitaire" dinner plate and bread & butter plate
Syracuse "Wayne" small dinner plate and cup & saucer
Gold "Baroque" charger from Old Time Pottery
Pickard "Rose and Daisy" gold creamer & covered sugar bowl
"Jamestown" sterling goblet by Reed and Barton
Circleware "Maxim" water goblet with gold trim
"French Renaissance" sterling flatware by Reed and Barton
Brown Ivy Hill Home placemat from Dillard's
Gold and silver organza napkins from Florida Linen - Panama City, Florida
Gold and silver napkin ring from Dillard's

I could not use several looks without incorporating everyone's favorite blue and white china! "Solitaire" is perfect with those patterns:

Lenox "Solitaire" dinner plate, cup & saucer, coffee pot, creamer & covered sugar bowl
Cobalt charger from Horchow
Johnson Brothers "Asiatic Pheasant" salad plate
Libbey cobalt water goblet from Dollar Tree
Artland "Williamsburg" cobalt shrub glass to hold the flowers
My Grandmother's Oneida "Jasmine" silverplate
Home Collection blue and ivory placemat from Dollar Tree
Sferra "Herald" blue napkin
Blue and white napkin ring - in my collection forever!!

Do you like purple?  I have a friend whom we used to call "The Purple Queen".  She has the most beautiful house you have ever seen (really!) and at Christmas, she uses purple, fuchsia, and teal as her main colors. It is gorgeous!! This one is for you, Carol:

Lenox "Solitaire" dinner plate and salad plate
Pryex "Festiva" purple glass luncheon plate
Andrea by Sadek "Buckingham" salad plate
Fostoria "Holly" water goblet
Fostoria "Fascination" lavender water goblet
Laurie Gates purple "Sizzle" flatware from Horchow
Lavender ceramic bird - Timeless Settings (
Newbridge "Happy Days" lavender gingham placemat
Sferra "Dusty" lilac napkin
Honeycomb & bee napkin ring from One Kings Lane

Who doesn't love the beach? Take "Solitaire" along and create a elegant, but casual table setting. I love the blue and brown in this one:

Lenox "Solitaire" dinner plate and cup & saucer
"Whitaker" aqua salad plate by Paula Deen
Mo-Mo Panche "Beach House" goblet
Towle "Diane" sterling flatware
George Shreve mother-of-pearl knife with silverplate blade and sterling ferrule
"Coral Beach" placemat by Karen Lee Ballard (they have a finish that can be wiped clean - very casual!)
Napkin and shell napkin ring from Florida Linen - Panama City, Florida

For the last place setting, I knew that I wanted to use red with "Solitaire". I think red with the platinum trim on the "Solitaire" pieces is just beautiful and "Solitaire" looks great on the table for all of the red holidays! 

Lenox "Solitaire" dinner plate
Bordallo Pinheiro "Cabbage" charger
Maxwell and Williams red "Paint" salad plate
Royal Doulton "Samarra" bread & butter plate (O.K., I could not help myself.  I really, really wanted to show you my other wedding china pattern!!!!)
Fostoria "Spartan" green water goblet and champagne/high sherbet
Fostoria red "Westchester" water goblet
Watson "Bridal Flower" sterling flatware
Silverplate creamer by Two's Company for the flowers
Sferra green "Momento" napkin (hard to see in the photos, but it is there!)
Noble Excellence "Julia" reversible (reverses to plaid) placemat
Well, I have shown you all eight different place settings.  This might be the longest post that I have ever written, but I wanted to emphasize how easy it is to use "Solitaire" with so many other china patterns.  I am guilty of overlooking it, when I am choosing something new for a tablescape.  I have 20 place settings of this pattern and I really should use it more often. I still am happy, though, when I walk through my dining room and see it in my china cabinets. I am thrilled that I selected a pattern that is this timeless - I have never tired of it and I can use it for almost any occasion. I have moved many times, especially, in the early years of my marriage and never had to worry about my china fitting into new color schemes. How about you - do you still love the patterns you chose as a young bride?

I would love to know which of the place settings that you liked the best. My sister and my oldest granddaughter both saw all of the settings, when they were out on my table.  My sister liked the orange one best and, surprisingly, my granddaughter said that she would feel wonderful eating from the gold and silver one. I did not expect that - I guess everyone needs to feel like a princess once in a while!

 I cannot wait to see everyone's interpretation of Kathleen's challenge - what fun!!


Sharing at:

A Stroll Thru Life for Inspire Me Tuesday

Cuisine Kathleen for Let's Dish

Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday