Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Tulips, Foxgloves, Bluebonnets,Indian Paint Brush, and more

We had a wonderful trip to Texas last week to visit family.
On the way to Dallas we broke up  the long drive from Alabama to Dallas by stopping to visit our Alma Mater. I shared a few pics of that on Instagram (Join me if you haven't yet) but I'll share a few here, too. I won't tell you how many years it has been since we have been to Tuscaloosa, Alabama. It is too convenient to watch the football games on television. The campus had changed so much. It was a special and nostalgic afternoon. 

The tulips were gorgeous as we walked the quad and visited many of the buildings where we attended class. It was a  Saturday afternoon thankfully because if it had been a week day parking would have been a problem. Not to mention they have added many one way streets and new buildings so we hardly recognized things.

After arriving in Dallas we visited the Arboretum and the foxgloves were putting on a show. 

It was a beautiful day to stroll through the Arboretum and enjoy a myriad of pretty gardens.

 There were a few tulips left that were still pretty. We saw workers busy pulling up spent tulips and planting new plants for the new season. Tulips are a cold weather bulb and it is warming up quickly in Dallas. The mornings were cool but by mid afternoon it was clear summer is around the corner.

 Boxwood parterres  filled with delphiniums were beautiful.

 Here's our little angel that made the long drive from Alabama to Dallas worthwhile. Her brother was in school so she had us all to herself.

Face painting and a petting zoo is offered on Tuesday's for children.  Being a member of the Arboretum has been a blessing for my son's family and we have had the opportunity to visit a number of times. The memberships are very reasonable. See Christmas, fall and summer visits here.

 While in Dallas we also toured the George W. Bush Presidential library and museum located on the Southern Methodist University campus. 

 I was thrilled to see Blue Bonnets and Indian Paintbrush growing. Just the night before, I enjoyed reading two books by Tomie DePaola to the grandchildren about the legend of Bluebonnets and Indian Paintbrush flowers. (link provided)
One of the most interesting things are the natural areas around the museum. There is a walking trail around the large building and wild flowers and natural plants abound. They don't use pesticides and keep the grounds in a natural state. This is a haven for pollinators, birds and other native species.  We are accustomed to a manicured look so it was good for me to see, read about, and acquire a new mind set. To read more about this 15 acre urban park, google, Native Texas Park or listen to a you tube video about the part here: Native Texas Park 

 Bluebonnets and Indian paintbrush are beautiful and this was my first time to see them in person.

Bluebonnets usually bloom from the end of March to early May. Bluebonnets were named the state flower of Texas in 1901.

 The library was very interesting.  Shown here are President and Mrs. Bush clothes worn for the state dinner for Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh at the White House.

The menu and invitation was interesting and the china and the flowers beautiful.

There were interactive things for children to do.The school bus was a perfect viewing area for videos about, No Child Left Behind.

I didn't take many pictures because our time was short and I wanted to see and read everything. From the moment I walked in the door many emotions raced through my mind. From seeing the Bush family from their younger days to the horrible images of 9-11 made me thankful for our nation and it's leaders. What an awesome responsibility they have. May we never forget those that lost their lives and what happened on that day in 2001.
I highly recommend you visit the Presidential library and allow yourself plenty of time. 

We had to hurry back to pick up this little guy from school. We had a wonderful week with our Texas family. 

On the way back home we stopped in Vicksburg, Mississippi, and spent the night in a lovely bed and breakfast called, Baer House Inn.  If only we had known it was the Spring Pilgrimage in Natchez and Vickburg we may have planned to stay longer.

Our bedroom and bath was spacious and furnished with lovely antiques.  We had a great meal at a local restaurant that night.
The next morning we enjoyed a delicious breakfast along with other guests in the dining room. It was fun  meeting interesting people from around the U.S. visiting the Spring Pilgrimage of Antebellum Homes.
Isn't the magnolia china pretty?

The first course was fresh fruit.

Followed by cinnamon scones, crisp bacon and breakfast casserole.
Do you enjoy staying in bed and breakfasts as you travel?  I have decided it is the way to go.

We enjoy listening to books on tape as we travel by car. My husband selects wonderful books. I highly recommend the book we listened to on this recent trip called, A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles. Actually, I want to read the paper copy to enjoy the language and reread parts over and over. I also look forward to reading another of his books, Rules of Civility. Have you read these books?
Hope you are enjoying the new month of April. Upon arriving home we have had two days of threatening  storms. Fortunately, we were spared. Schools were cancelled on Monday and today on Wednesday. 

Have a great week. 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Spring Girlfriend Luncheon


It is a beautiful spring day! Bright sunshine, pretty blooming flowers, birds singing and moderate temperatures make us happy! It is a perfect day for a girlfriend luncheon!
I love people, beautiful flowers, pretty dishes, and great food so a spring luncheon is right up my alley. What is better than getting together with friends and eating and chatting for hours?
There is always something to talk about with all my girlfriends which includes you, my blogging friends. Sit down and let's enjoy a relaxed lunch.

Flowers are my passion and I am happy to have fresh picked camellias and azaleas from my garden for the centerpiece. I bought one bunch of flowers from the grocery store to add some yellow to the arrangement. 

The footed container for the centerpiece is actually a casserole dish and caddy that was the ideal size and texture.

A luncheon for four in an intimate home environment with no distractions can be very relaxed. A small number of guests gives each person time to share and enjoy each other. No cell phones allowed!

The delicate vases of fushia, yellow and blue flowers with scrolls of gold trim and verge is such a feminine pattern perfect for our luncheon today. 

The china is vintage american made from the 1930's called Lamberton Ivory in the Dorothea pattern. 

I set the table before I planned the menu and the dessert fork is in the wrong place. There are some other mistakes in etiquette but I'll not embarrass myself by pointing them out. 

 This tablecloth began my color scheme for this tablescape. I love the  damask shamrock design.
The ivory coffee set with gold trim is Eschenbach made in Bavaria. Vintage scalloped brass tray is from China.

 Lemon creme cake is for dessert.  Our main course is an orzo salad with shrimp, 
 cherry tomatoes and olives, asparagus wrapped in prosciutto, and homemade yeast rolls.

To pick up the fushia flowers in the china I added fushia azaleas in the centerpiece. Also shown above the yellow roses are my white with a slight pink tint camellia called Julia France. Dusty miller adds additional texture and repeats the white color.

Each place setting has it's own pink perfection camellia blossom in a tiny vase.  The individual candlewick salt cellars and salt spoons were collected over several years.

"The beautiful spring came; and when nature resumes her loveliness, the human soul is apt to revive also." 
Harriet Ann Jacobs

Thank you for joining me today for a spring luncheon. I hope you will be inspired to host a girlfriend luncheon soon. I cherish my friendships and enjoy setting a beautiful table to entertain. Please continue the bloghop with bloggers listed below.