Category Archives: Christian Walk

Getting Ready for a Party – Setting Up

Although I still have a mighty cough, everything else is converging toward the positive.

2-1/2 dozen supermarket roses for less than $25.

2-1/2 dozen supermarket roses for less than $25.

First of all, my grocery shopping for the party is finished including two and a half dozen pink roses.  My color scheme for this Christmas is blue/green/silver but I thought a warm color other than red would complete the look.

Some pink candles would be festive.

Some pink candles would be festive.

I’ll be using pink roses, pink candles, and pink napkins.

Pink table linens will look gorgeous with out white china decorated with a cobalt rim.

Pink table linens will look gorgeous with our white china decorated with a cobalt rim.

Second, my boss told me not to come in today.  So, woo-hoo, I have another whole day to decorate and cook for our party.

Annapolis Blue china by Lenox

Annapolis Blue china by Lenox

Third, tonight is our final Christmas cantata.  I’ll be conducting the choir and acting as worship leader and when it’s over I can relax for the rest of the weekend. There’s just one small riff that I hope I can drill into Charlie’s brain (he’s the accompanist) before we perform.

Merry Christmas, Friends.

Do you have a favorite seasonal song?

Starting the Christmas Decorating

This year I have been so excited about Christmas but at the same time other projects are keeping me from getting out the decorations.

An artificial tree on the side porch.

An artificial tree on the side porch.

But we have to start somewhere and here’s what we’re up to.

Norfolk Island pines don't do well outside below 40 degrees.

Norfolk Island pines don’t do well outside below 40 degrees.

My son and his wife brought us a spray of pine for the door, 2 Norfolk Island pines, and a fresh-cut Frasier fir  Christmas tree.

When I left the house yesterday morning Charlie had ladders up against the front and a strand of lights across the porch roof. Hmmm?

When I left the house yesterday morning Charlie had ladders up against the front and a strand of lights across the porch roof. Hmmm?

Charlie pulled out the Christmas lights from the attic and started checking the strands to see if he could get enough for the tree and maybe a little outdoor lighting.

We had filled the only clear corner of the conservatory with boxes of tile and a room-sized rug pad. All but gone now.

We had filled the only clear corner of the conservatory with boxes of tile and a room-sized rug pad. All but gone now.

I’m waiting for all the boxes of tile that have been sitting around in piles for the past few months to be stuck onto the walls.  Then the corners where the tile has been will be opened up for other things:  the olive trees, for instance.

I put one of the Norfolk Island pines on the kitchen island in a galvanized bucket and tied a sparkly bow around it.

I put one of the Norfolk Island pines on the kitchen island in a galvanized bucket and tied a sparkly bow around it.

But in spite of my tardiness I have purchased gifts for the most important people in my life and have mailed the ones that go out-of-state.

The Christmas tree is leaning up gainst the bump out until it goes in it's stand in the house. Maybe the living room this year.

The Christmas tree is leaning up gainst the bump out until it goes in it’s stand in the house. Maybe the living room this year.

Last night I attended ladies’ night at our local Ace hardware store just for the fun of it and to see if there was anything there that would be good and useful gifts for the folks I work with.

The greens on this door spray need to be freshened and then it will hang outside.

The greens on this door spray need to be freshened and then it will hang outside.

My final and favorite stop for last minute Christmas gifts is Trader Joe’s.  They always have something delicious (candy, dried fruit, nuts, panettone) and well-packaged (cinnamon brooms, rosemary trees) that will surely be appreciated.

Cinnamon brooms make the house smell delicious.

Cinnamon brooms make the house smell delicious.

Merry Christmas.

Do you have a cherished decoration that means Christmas to you?

Saint Stephen’s Feast

Charlie and I almost always have a holiday party at this time of year.  We’ve had many New Year’s Eve celebrations (also here).

Party tables always include flowers, candles, and food.

Party tables always include flowers, candles, and food.

One year we had a Twelfth Night Party in early January instead. And we’ve held a party just for the joy of it early in the month of December.

The mantel will need some Christmas style, too.

The mantel will need some Christmas style, too.

This year, since Christmas is on Friday, the day after Christmas seems like a perfect day for an open house. The day after Christmas, December 26th, is known Boxing Day or the Feast of St. Stephen.

An illustration that would be perfect for a Boxing Day party invitation.

An illustration that would be perfect for a Boxing Day party invitation.

Like many traditions we can only surmise the origin of Boxing Day which likely began in England during the Middle Ages. Some historians say the holiday developed because servants, having worked on Christmas Day, were presented with gift boxes as they went to spend their day off with family.

Stephen was the first Christian martyr.

Stephen was the first Christian martyr.

Another theory is that alms boxes placed in churches were opened and the contents distributed to the poor on December 26, which is also the Feast of St. Stephen. St. Stephen was one of the seven original deacons of the Christian Church who were ordained by the Apostles to care for widows and the poor. For the success of his preaching and his devotion to Christ, St. Stephen was stoned to death by a mob. As he died, he begged God not to punish his killers.

At last year's New Year's Eve party we ignored the unfinished parts of the house.

At last year’s New Year’s Eve party we ignored the unfinished parts of the house.

As with all parties I’ll need to get the invitations out, plan a menu, and get the house ready. Since December is a busy time for parties I’m going to try to get the invitations designed and printed forthwith.

We have many, many dishes that I love to pull out for parties.

We have many, many dishes that I love to pull out for parties.

I have created a tentative menu featuring the ham I’ll be getting from my employer.

Menu:

I’m working on the guest list which always includes my choir, my Facebook friends (I only have 23), and other special people.

Got party plans?

Thanksgiving Menu

Last year for Thanksgiving we had a before-noon open house with a brunch menu for any friends that wanted to stop by.

I'll be looking for my Red Wing stag to use as a centerpiece. I've stashed it away for safe-keeping.

I’ll be looking for my Red Wing stag to use as a centerpiece. I’ve stashed it away for safe-keeping.

This year we planning a sit-down mid-afternoon dinner for 6 or 8 people. Last Christmas we had dinner for 6 and it was just about perfect.

Last Thanksgiving we had a breakfast buffet open house at The Glade.

Last Thanksgiving we had a breakfast buffet open house at The Glade.

If it becomes more people than that then we’ll serve and eat buffet-style.

We can use the kitchen island as a buffet station for both hot and cold foods.

We can use the kitchen island as a buffet station for both hot and cold foods.

If we serve a buffet we’ll set it up in the kitchen and eat at the dining room table.

I think I'll use my

I think I’ll use my “Annapolis Blue” china by Lenox.

I get a turkey from work around the 18th of November so turkey will definitely be on the menu. I like to make plenty of side dishes so I won’t have to actually cook for the rest of the weekend.

Here’s the menu:

  • Turkey with dressing and cranberry sauce

    I'll definitely be making cranberry relish from scratch.

    I’ll definitely be making cranberry relish from scratch.

  • Candied sweet potatoes
  • Mashed potatoes and gravy
  • Cauliflower with cheese sauce
  • Roasted Brussels sprouts
  • Peas and carrots
  • Good bread
  • Pumpkin custard with whipped cream

I’ll probably need some light hors d’oeuvres before dinner starts.  I don’t want anyone to come to table unhungry.

I'll make pumpkin pie without crust and serve them in custard cups with whipped cream.

I’ll make pumpkin pie without crust and serve them in custard cups with whipped cream.

My next steps are to invite people, then to make a comprehensive grocery list and check the local flyers for good sales.

The dining room will need to be cleaned among other things.

The dining room will need to be cleaned among other things.

I’m going to take D’Arcy’s advice and focus on the dining room. This should be fun.

A special thanks on this Veteran’s Day to all who have served our country to ensure our freedom.

What’re your favorite light hors d’oeuvres?

Thinking about Christmas Trees

That’s right, I said trees, plural.

Last year's tree was enormous and could be seen from every room on the first floor.

Last year’s tree was enormous and could be seen from every room on the first floor.

Last year we had a huge tree in the dining room.

Isn't this adorable?

Isn’t this adorable?

A small tree would fit in so many spaces.

A small tree would fit in so many spaces.

Source: Lilacs and Longhorns

This year I thought I’d try smaller trees all over the house.

We've discarded all partially working and non-working strings of lights and we still have oodles.

We’ve discarded all partially working and non-working strings of lights and we still have oodles.

I want every corner of The Glade to have a little Christmas cheer.

We had a small tree the year we were

We had a small tree the year we were “under construction”.

We certainly have enough lights and ornaments for a dozen trees.

I'm thinking of a Barbie-theme tree this year.

I’m thinking of a Barbie-theme tree this year.

My preliminary plan would be to have different themes or color combinations for each of the trees.

Rosemary trees from Trader Joe's are about $10.

Rosemary trees from Trader Joe’s are about $10.

Possible trees could include a DIY tabletop tree from evergreen cuttings, a rosemary topiary in the shape of a Christmas tree, small evergreens like a lemon cypress, and even a more traditional small balsam fir.

A tiny electrified ceramic tree.

A tiny electrified ceramic tree.

I even saved one tiny ceramic tree when I sold 3 other ones.

I bought a small

I bought a small “Sky Pencil” holly 2 years ago but let it die in the cold. Not this year.

I’m going to start now looking for discounted evergreens that can be used inside now, then later outside. We have a large yard to landscape.

What Christmas decoration can’t you do without?

Usually Bunnies, This Year Fish

Two years ago I wrote about all the items I have that are related to fish.

A brightly colored fish (about 8" long).

A brightly colored papier-mache fish (about 8″ long).

As it turns out I have even more

Glass and ceramic dolphins with shells and a polished geode.

Glass and ceramic dolphins with shells and a polished geode.

and, dare I say, even more interesting fish.

The grey dolphins are Swedish Konstglas and the white bisque group are Lenox.

The grey dolphins are Swedish Konstglas and the white bisque group are Lenox.

As I totally missed decorating for Valentine’s Day, except for a vase with a heart on it, I’m heading strait on to Easter this year eschewing my bunnies for some fish décor.

I had lots of shells in storage with the dolphins.

I had lots of shells in storage with the dolphins.

The fish as a Christian symbol comes from the an acrostic made of the Greek word  for fish, ichthys, which translated means “Jesus, Son of God, Savior”.

I keep moving items around until the whole vignette changes.

I keep moving items around until the whole vignette changes.

The mantle has been fishified.

Conch shells and a geode.

Conch shells and a geode.

To complement shells on the mantel I placed others around the room.

Similar shells mounted on white blocks.

Similar shells mounted on white blocks.

The coffee table has some shell shock, too.

A bowl of shells on the bistro table in the conservatory.

A bowl of shells on the bistro table in the conservatory.

Even the conservatory is not exempt.

What sign of spring are you waiting for?

Merry and Bright

Charlie and I wish our readers and supporters a very Merry Christmas.

Even during the day the Christmas tree twinkles between the living room and dining room.

Even during the day the Christmas tree twinkles between the living room and dining room.

We look forward to more DIY and crazy little sidelines in the months to come.

I never noticed before that it looks like someone bit a chunk out of the left side of the tree halfway up. So strange.

I never noticed before that it looks like someone bit a chunk out of the left side of the tree halfway up. So strange.

Have the best day ever! Christ is born indeed.

Are you having a favorite treat today?