Sunday, October 31, 2010

What's for dinner?

Here we have our Halloween supper. Or Halloween dinner as my Yankee children insist on calling the evening meal. Sigh, I tried.

On the menu: Hot dog mummies, potato ghosts, cauliflower and salsa brain. Yummy.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

A few Autumn and Halloween decorations

Since this is our first year in this house, I'm enjoying decorating as the new seasons roll around. I have to admit that Jacob did most of our decorating this year. He seems to be channeling his grandfather since he has the same great love of every holiday (except Valentine's Day, maybe he'll change his mind about that one when he's a little older.)

Here are a few pictures of our autumn/Halloween decorations.

Our front porch: We found the birdcage at the Salvation Army's Thrift Store. It has a few mini pumpkins and gourds inside. The urn has some wheat and a big pumpkin inside - this urn and its mate will go out front with some colorful pansies on Monday.

The mantel. Not very artistic, we just put some pumpkins, ribbon, and candles up among the regular pictures. We still need to get the pictures hung up in this room. The plaster is skeery! I'm not crazy about those white wall sconces, I think we can find some that fit the room better than those.

I love these little white pumpkins. The candle stand came from a little shop in downtown Leesville.

This bowl, from Southern Living at Home, gets a different look as the seasons turn. Now it has some pinecones and pumpkins in it.

And in the backroom, AKA The Internet Cafe, our candle holder (found in an antiques shop in Abbeville), is filled with a fall candle and acorns. Little guys and then some huge acorns from a white oak that I found at Chase's last cross country meet. (hey, I have to do something while the runners are out of sight!)

The rest are Jacob's decorations. I didn't take pictures of the various ghosts and spider webs throughout the house. Didn't want you to think my house is haunted or spider web-y ;-)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A funeral

I went to Miriam Brown's funeral today. She was "Mrs. Brown" to me - or more accurately, "Angela's Mom". I first met Angela in the nursery at First Baptist Church of West Columbia, which I hate like you don't know to admit was 50 years ago. So that means I've known her mom for 50 years, too. Church was a big part of our social life, so even before we were in the same middle school, Angela and I spent a lot of time together. The Browns had 5 children, 4 boys and then Angela, the youngest. I spent a good bit of time at their house and it was almost always full of children and then teenagers - not just their 5, always some extras, including me. I remember Mrs. Brown as the Ultimate Mom. All those boys! She was always cooking and whatever she cooked was always good. (now that I have 3 teen and preteen boys, I understand why she was ALWAYS cooking.) She was our Sunday School teacher and our VBS teacher. She sewed, she cut everybody's hair, and she helped Mr. Brown run their family's grocery store on State Street. Mrs. Brown became a grandmother while Angela and I were still kids. Finally some more little girls in the family. Today, she leaves behind her husband of 64 years, her 5 children and their spouses, 14 grandchildren, and 14 great-grandchildren. I think I got that right.

At the funeral today I also saw Mrs. Hill and Mrs. Cromer, Mrs. Crider, and Mrs. Bourne. And Mrs. Shepherd. All moms of my friends growing up. All of us children have moved away, none of us still go to FBC. But these women remain important to me. They helped shape who I am. They gave me the examples of what a woman, wife, and mother should be. I know that they had lives before children. I just didn't know them then. So to me, they are forever Wesley's mom and Laura's mom and Angela's mom. And I owe each of them a great big Thank You.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Tonight's Dinner: Before and (hopefully) After

And here we have the after:

The weather is so gorgeously Autumn here and I'm enjoying switching over to meals for cooler weather. Tonight's plan: pork roast ($1.48/lb at Ingles!) with pear preserves I made this summer with pears from my friend Angela's house and rosemary from our herb garden. Also lots of freshly ground pepper. Along with this, spaghetti squash - a new veggie for me. Chris and I went out to eat at The Fox Friday night and I had the most amazing spaghetti squash - very buttery flavor. I'm going to see what I can do with this giant yellow squash. To round out dinner: mixed greens salad with pecans and apples. Here's hoping for a successful 'After' picture this evening.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Show Us Your Life: Dining Room

This week's Show Us your Home is all about the Dining Room. There are lots of great dining rooms to check out at Kelly's Korner . You'll notice that there are no photos of our entire dining room. That's because right now, it's wearing a few hats. Reid is finishing up English and Geography projects, and I have 3 sewing machines set up at one end of the table. Maybe one day soon I'll have it all cleaned up and can post a picture. Maybe not.

This is our dining room chandelier. It is...big! But really it is perfectly sized for the room. When we bought this house, it had been fully restored, but I can't say that I would have done anything differently - the decor fits our furniture and style perfectly.

This beautiful tea set was brought back from Japan for me from my husband Chris. He was there on a trip with the USMC Drum and Bugle Corps. It was a rare commercial flight for them, and he packed the tea set very carefully in his luggage. Amazingly, it made it safely across all those miles. What I remember about that trip to Japan was that we got word while he was gone that the court procedures in India were over and Reid Mattison "Shyam" was officially our son. I was able to tell Chris when he was halfway around the world - closer to Reid than to me!

You can tell by this picture that we haven't finished decorating. I'm actually trying to find the best way to hang these pictures without damaging the paneled walls. The elephants were painted by an Indian artist - there are touches of India throughout our home, not surprising since three of our children were born there!

This is a very special painting, priceless to me. It was a wedding gift to my great-grandparents. When I was a child, it hung in our dining room and now it hangs in my family's dining room. The story goes that it originally had a very wide frame and when my grandmother inherited the frame, she decided that she didn't like it and had it cut down to the frame we have today. (as you can tell by the Halloween witch, my children have already decorated for the season!)

Here's the china cabinet. I still love the china I picked out - and I do mean 'I'. I waited a long time to get married and chose this china pattern when I graduated from college. I had some pieces and still loved the pattern when we were planning our wedding. Thankfully, Chris liked it, too. It's Randolph, by Noritake - now discontinued.

Here's the Daddy chair, at the head of the table (not to be sexist, the Mommy chair is at the other head of the table. Uh, closest to the kitchen.) Our table and chairs are from 2 different antique stores in Frederick, Maryland. We had spotted the chairs (8 of them, a rarity!) in the shop window before it opened. Then we found the table in another shop down the street. One shop kindly let us take the table leaf down the street to see if it matched the chairs. Little did we know that 2 other couples had spotted the same chairs and were following us down the sidewalk! Lucky for us, it was a perfect match and now it's all in our South Carolina dining room.

This picture shows a little of the wool rug, a little of the curtain, and a little of the window.