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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Royal Wedding Day!

I don't remember when I fell in love with England but I think my high school English Lit teacher, Miss Ludwig, may have had something to do with it. England was "her place" and in addition to being the hardest teacher ever, she was one of the most interesting, peppering her talks about Thomas Hardy, Dickens and Shakespeare with slides from her trips and wonderful bits of history.


The September that I graduated from college and before starting grad school for the first time (1973), my mom and I went to England. The timing was fortuitous, because shortly after she was diagnosed with cancer and it was our last trip together. I didn't return until an extended layover with Rick six years ago. (But we're headed back in October!) So, my England is one of memories and history.


I have a pretty extensive collection of books related to England and the Royals, along with loads of Brit Lit, along with coronation cups, tins, plates and dishes that I've collected over the years. I decided to put it to use for the Royal Wedding.


My friend Carol was coming at the crack of dawn. Well, actually, pre-dawn, so the day before I made my scone dough (Marilyn's wonderful recipe from her "Tea Party in My Cupboard" book) and froze it to bake off and dipped the strawberries. (I knew a frozen quiche would have to do at that hour.)


I also got a few flowers for my garden and loosely planted them in some of my royal mugs.


This is the oldest -- Edward VII and Alexandra.


Here we salute the Queen.


The Charles/Diana cup went atop the Elizabeth/Philip tin. (Only fitting -- Harry's parents and grandparents.)


And this one, on the sideboard, was an error in timing -- the Coronation of King Edward VIII. And yes, if you remember your English history or watched "The Crown" you will know that never happened.


Mom's silver. Royal Doulton plates, atop a pink and white cloth over a crocheted lace confection. Do you recognize it, Linda? You should!


A little lemon curd and ginger marmalade (because Harry is, after all, as ginger as Gypsy was!), shortbread and tea and we were good to go.


Carol and I had our hats (Mine was a tad small and sat more on the back of my head!)...


...and we enjoyed the Royal Wedding Bingo from Thekittchen that I learned about from a host of Decor to Adore posts about the Royal Weddings present and past. (Laura's posts are a fabulous history lesson in themselves. If you don't know her blog and are into all things royal, check it out!)


Of course I took photos from the telly, even though I knew they would be much better if I just "borrowed" them from the internet.


I loved the ceremony but I wonder what the Queen thought. (Here's a fun fact -- Lizzie is named after the Queen -- she came into my life on Jubilee year.) Lizzie chimed in with a few meows, endearing herself to the allergic Carol! I love the pageantry of it all and the smiles, gorgeous music and Bishop Curry's exuberant homily. Oh yes, and Charlotte -- she's got the wave thing down pat!


And of course this photo -- fuzzy but so lovely. The thing I loved most about the dress was the very sheer train with the symbolic embroidery along the edge. It doesn't show in this photo but it was wonderful to see the tile of the chapel underneath the train.



It seems like recent weeks have been filled with bad news and sad things, both in ways more personal, affecting friends, and on a larger, more global scale. The thought of one more shooting on the Friday before the Royal Wedding (and apparently another later) just makes it feel a bit hopeless at times. It was lovely to see two people who do good things, who have had their personal struggles in the past, find happiness.


We all need a little happiness, a bit of diversion and love. Flowery hats and scones are good, too.

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Sunday, May 20, 2018

Crazy, Fun, Good.

It was one of those crazy couple of weeks where there is something good every day on the calendar. This is always a plus. It also makes you really long for a quiet day. But let's talk fun. The magnolia and apple blossoms are beginning to fall but it's all green and all good!


I had my last board meeting for Friends of Theatre. There will be a brief annual meeting but basically, my term is through and I will miss it. (I could have run for another but I told them to hold that thought for another year!) Leading into that was our annual gala. The entertainment was a musical written by students and targeted to children with autism, with puppets, music and fun. Our gala audience was adults and we all loved it.


Sailing through the week, I recorded pledge breaks for WKAR and had a friend for lunch. My dessert (and this photo isn't the best) is Sarah Anderson's Lemon Pie, the recipe for which Jenna of The Painted Apron shared HERE. If you love tart lemon (and I do), this is the easiest, tastiest pie you will ever make. (Note: I made mine in graham cracker instead of regular crust and if you do that, it's fine but cover the edge of the crust or bake a little less. Might be my hot oven!)


And my friend Barb created this fabulous herb basket for me. It smells wonderful!


Then into the following week, a road trip to IKEA, Trade Joe's and my favorite Italian Grocery to celebrate friend Kate's belated birthday. We didn't get one of these cakes -- but it was tempting!


Then Southern Exposure and our log planter. My friend Jan and I were in a celebratory and reflective mood. Jan's birthday was the day before our workshop and it was six years to the day I said farewell to my Marmelade Gypsy. It was a good place to be. (More on our Southern Exposure visit soon.)


Thursday found a friend and I helping one of our Corkies pack for her move to Savannah. Pat had recalled our make-and-take tea and gave Barb and I each a tea cup from her wedding china. The most thoughtful thing ever. And later, Rick and I went to a travelogue produced by a friend!


That brings us to Friday, which started with a mani-pedi for Lizzie when my wonderful vet stopped by to clip her talon-like nails. A little wedding baking was followed by a wonderful massage and then a retirement party for my "work brother" Tim.


I've known Tim since I first started working at WKAR. We worked in side-by-side offices, then he was later my boss. I danced at his wedding and we traveled to many PBS conferences together. His was a long and creative career and deserved celebration. This event was held at the local ballpark (because Tim is world's biggest baseball fan and possibly world's biggest Cubs fan, too!). Not only was it a terrific celebration for Tim but fun for me to see loads of people I'd not seen in eons! (Thanks, Dave Brown, for taking the photo!)


And then, the Royal Wedding. Up at 5 a.m. Scones in the oven, tea ready, table set...


Amal Clooney rocked it in the wardrobe department. I loved her dress, even more than the brides! (More on that soon!)


Immediately after the wedding, I took a robin that was injured to bird rehab. They think they can help it.


And on their grounds on the way home, spotted this.


Apparently they know what they are doing. Birds flock to them!


The end!

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Friday, May 18, 2018

Southern Exposure Bird Planter

A few weeks ago I told you about our first visit to Southern Exposure (and I still haven't found a place for my HUGE sun face yet!). Not much was blooming but last week it was an entirely different story!


Tulips were in full bloom. I loved the pink ones!


We were greeted by the Southern Exposure bunny. He looked just like Peter Rabbit, waiting for us to head to dinner so he could go make mischief!


I always get a bit of a thrill when I begin to enter the garden path, wondering what I might see.


There were loads of bleeding hearts, a favorite that reminds me of my grandmother's garden.


Even the lilacs were in bloom.


They do wonderful things with sculpture, whether it is poured...


...or stacked.


We checked out the herb garden.


Looking healthy!


Have you seen chamomile? I hadn't. Loads of tea to come, I think!


The greenhouse is a favorite spot. These pansies are in full bloom!


And I loved this heart with succulents. I suspect this is for a workshop that unfortunately I am not taking. Rats! I would have loved this!


My companions for the evening were my friend Kate and sister-in-law Kim.


As always, we paid respect to the chickens.


The rooster was in good form, chasing the ladies and making plenty of noise!


Our project was a three-pot metal planter with birds. Our work spaces included a bin of dirt, a spoon and gloves and the metal piece, along with basil, violas, kale and thyme.


There were 60 of us and it was, as usual, set out on hay bales which made clean-up easy!


This was super easy -- basically filling in the pots with the dirt. I love how they have everything set out for us! The end result was lovely.


And even better, I got to see a friend from junior high school! We have seen each other since we were 13 or 14, but not often enough. This was a bonus!


After the workshop we had time to take another quick look at the gardens (ask me how much I love Daylight Saving Time!)


I have one more coming up (actually, by the time this one posts, that will be over!) And I'm anxious to see how much greener and more developed the garden is.


No matter what, I know it will be beautiful!

And here, the finished product! I will probably rig to hang on my fence, but I do love how the light picks up the bird shadows!

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