Monday, February 24, 2014

Mardi Gras


It is "confession" time here in Georgia!  I am not a Catholic, but I cannot resist the idea of the huge celebration of Mardi Gras, before the season of Lent begins.  How can anyone resist the beautiful colors and the idea of "Fat Tuesday"?



Of course, Mardi Gras began as a pagan festival, which the Catholic church incorporated into the Christian religion. They did this with several holidays, because it was an easier transition into the new faith. I think this might explain some of the behaviors that occur, during Mardi Gras - especially in New Orleans!!



The colors of green, purple and gold were chosen by the New Orleans "Rex" krewe.  This organization has been participating in the Mardi Gras festivities since 1872. Good job, gentlemen!!  I love these colors, don't  you?



Each year, it is so much fun to look for pieces for my Mardi Gras table.  Fortunately, I spend a quite a lot of  time in Panama City Beach, Florida, where a fairly new Mardi Gras tradition has begun.  It is much easier to find supplies for Fat Tuesday there, than in my home town. That is where I found the purple and gold masks and some of my new Mardi Gras beads.



Choosing stemware is always a delight, as well.  I used only green and purple this year.  Sometimes, I use gold, also.



The other masks on the table were purchased online at the Mardi Gras Outlet store.  Oh, how I love to browse through the products on that site!!

Did you know that the wearing of masks on Mardi Gras began in Venice, when the Venetians would celebrate "Carnevale" with masquerade balls? Carnevale or Carnival are different words used to describe Mardi Gras in countries like Italy, Canada and Brazil.



Did you know that Louisiana is the only state in which Mardi Gras is a legal holiday? How I would love to be there for the big party one day.  New Orleans has long been one of my favorite cities!



I do hope that your Fat Tuesday is a great success!  Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow, we diet!!! Lol!!

Diane




Place mats and feathered masks - Mardi Gras Outlet online
Gold and purple masks - Dollar Tree
Gold chargers - Old Time Pottery
Purple Plates - J C Penney "Chateau" from Replacements
Gold and Ivory luncheon plates - Syracuse "Wayne" from eBay
Green balloon wine glasses - Goodwill and eBay
Purple polka dot glasses - Pier I
Purple Laurie Gates flatware - Horchow


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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

True Love!


Since my husband's birthday falls on Valentine's Day, I usually write an ode to him on the big day.  However, this year, I am writing about another "True Love" of mine.

This year, I am honoring my dear mother-in-law who is having a very big birthday this month.  So, Trudie, will you be my Valentine this year???



I usually use red for Valentine's Day, because pink does not suit my husband.  However, this Valentine's table is all "girl", so pink is the color of the day.

I found a photo of my mother-in-law in pink, so it is perfect for this tribute!



I have had the privilege of knowing this incredible woman, since I was fourteen years old. We have shared many joys, as well as many sorrows. I have been awed by her talents.  She is an unbelievably creative cook and seamstress - she used to sew clothes that looked exactly like the newest ones in the stores. She usually sewed at night, after working all day and finishing her household duties at home. She is extremely smart, too - she still remembers everything, when the rest of us cannot!  She is beautiful - she has gorgeous skin and lovely green eyes, which she has passed down to my husband, our daughter and one of our granddaughters.  Here is a photo of all of them together a couple of years ago. Three of them have February birthdays, too!







We have celebrated many of those birthdays together.  Here are four of the years. It is funny to see how my dining room has changed through the years - first wallpaper, then red paint and, finally,  Modern Masters metallic paint.

I guess what I am trying to convey to all of you dear readers is that - she is a very hard act to follow!!!! She is loving and kind and we all adore her. She is dedicated to her faith and we all laugh, when we really need a special prayer.  We ask her to pray for us, because we are convinced that she has a direct line to God.




She always tries to make everyone in her family feel special. She knows how much I love coffee and whenever I arrive at her home, she immediately fixes coffee for me.  Trudie, here is coffee for you - won't we have fun drinking it and catching up?



I made birthday cake, too.  It will not be as good, as one of your cakes, but I tried! Since we are celebrating Valentine's Day, I used hearts and cherubs for the decorations.

She has been a wonderful Mother, Grandmother and Great-Grandmother to her family.  Her children honor her and her grandchildren and great-grandchildren love her without reserve.



Trudie loves to laugh and have fun and we have enjoyed many adventures together.  In 2002, my husband and I treated her to her first airplane ride and a trip to Williamsburg, VA, where she had always wanted to visit.



Here we are in front of the Governor's Palace.  Trudie was having a problem with a bone spur in her foot, while we were there.  Did it stop her for one single minute?  Absolutely, not! She was a trooper and walked everywhere and saw everything and did not complain for a single minute. I would have been whining all day!!



We took her to a live show, while we were visiting and the star performer fell madly in love with Trudie and took her on stage to serenade her. Can you blame him - she is totally adorable!



 So, Trudie come and join me - you are definitely the guest of honor at my table this Valentine's Day.  I love and respect you and cannot ever repay for all that you have done for me and my family.



This is my favorite photo of you with my husband and late father-in-law.  You look like you know a secret that the rest of us need to discover.  I think it is a secret about how to live a happy, faithful and healthy (did I mention that she still walks on the treadmill every day??) life.  I just wish that I could learn all of what that secret holds.

I cannot wait to see you this week-end and celebrate that "big number" with you.  I would share that number with you, dear readers, but you would never believe it!!!



Happy Birthday, Trudie - you absolutely have my heart!!!


Your blessed daughter-in-law,

Diane



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Sunday, February 9, 2014

Georgia Day


On February 12, 2014, the state of Georgia will reach the ripe old age of 231! On that day in 1733, James Oglethorpe founded the province of Georgia to serve two purposes for King George II of England.  One was to give debtors who were thrown into prison a chance at a new beginning and, more importantly, to become a barrier to the Spanish troops in Florida.



So that I could celebrate the grand occasion in style, Susie who is one of my very best friends loaned me her set of Georgia Historical Plates to use for my tablescape.  These wonderful plates are made in pink and blue and were created to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the founding of Georgia and the 25th anniversary of  the Transylvania Club of Sandersville, Georgia. Susie grew up in the Sandersville area, so these plates are near and dear to her heart.



Miss Louise Irwin conceived and executed the design for the plates. After falling in love with these plates many years ago (I own only one blue one), I discovered that Miss Irwin was a relative of one of my close childhood friends.  The world is small and getting smaller every day! The Transylvania Club approached the Wedgwood Company to create the plates. When Wedgwood agreed to the project, the club sent a $1500.00 deposit to get the process started.



There are twelve plates in the collection, but for this table, I used only eight.  I chose the ones that meant the most to me personally.  Of course, I had to use the James Oglethorpe one, since he is one who started it all.  In the second photo, I used the plate which depicts Wesleyan College.  Wesleyan was the first college in the country to grant degrees exclusively to women and is located in the town in which I live, although this original building burned down many years ago.



Another meaningful plate was the one above that presents John Wesley preaching to the native Americans.  I was raised in the Methodist Church, which John and his brother started.



This plate is probably my favorite.  Nancy Hart is capturing Tories, during the Revolutionary War. My only Georgia Plate shows this same scene in blue. On another occasion, Nancy captured a single Tory and hanged him. I am a member of the Nancy Hart Chapter, N.S.D.A.R and our chapter still owns a wooden gavel made from the tree on which Nancy hanged the Tory!



I lived in Milledgeville, Georgia for many years and this plate is a representation of the Old Capitol building there. Milledgeville was the last capital of Georgia, before Atlanta. Like Wesleyan's original building, a fire destroyed this structure many years ago, but a replica was built in its place and now is part of Georgia Military College and Prep School.  This place is dear to me, because my daughter works at the college and two of my grandchildren attend the Prep school.



The Georgia Plates have many references to education.  This plate design is of the University of Georgia in its early days.  The state of Georgia was the first state in the country to charter a state-supported university.  This school is important to me, even though I cheer for another school in football (Roll Tide!), because one of my ancestors, Augustine Blackburn, sold part of his land in Clarke County, Georgia, so that the school could be built.



The last educational institution shown on the plates is Richmond Academy in Augusta, Georgia. While I do not have any real connection with this school, I am very proud that it is the oldest existing high school in the United States having been established in 1793.



The last plate that I used on the table pictures a building that makes my heart skip a beat each time that it comes into view, when I approach Atlanta.  It is our state capitol building with a gorgeous golden dome.  The gold covering the dome was mined in Dahlonega, Georgia, where the first major gold rush in the United States occurred  in 1819.



If  you are interested in acquiring any of the pink or blue plates or you want learn more about them, you can find the website HERE.

Not only are these plates a walk through Georgia history, they are beautiful!! Thank you Susie for helping me celebrate Georgia Day in such a stunning way!!!


Diane




HAPPY BIRTHDAY, GEORGIA!


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