Monday, September 21, 2009

I Haven't Dropped Off the Earth

I have been doing some (not much) reading and looking at tablescapes, but haven't had a lot of time. Our life has changed drastically during the past month. We have had two of my nieces since the end of August and will probably have the oldest (11 years) in a long term guardianship. The other sister is seven and will probably be going to her daddy's after this week. My youngest sister (their Nana) just moved up North at the end of July and this is breaking her heart since she can't be here for them. However, we are standing in for her and are hoping that we will be granded the temporary guardianship of the oldest.

We have been in a flurry of activity around here making room for them and transforming a bedroom to suit a Tween and the younger one, too. We finally have that taken care of and the girls have settled down to a routine. It seems there isn't time for much else besides school, homework, cooking, washing and spending time with them. We will get back to Playing Dishes, but at the moment, that has taken a back seat.

The girls are very excited about the upcoming holidays and wanted to go all out for Halloween. I had been planning a Boo Bash this year, so we have been in full blown plans for that costume party. I have been thrifting (got to have some ME time---LOL) and have picked up some amazing, cheap props and Halloween decor. I have spent countless hours working up my Halloween notebook like my Christmas and Thanksgiving ones and have started a Halloween blog, too. Our Boo Bash will be the Saturday before Halloween and will include mostly adults, but also some family and close friends' kids.

I have never really been into Halloween, but got excited about a Boo Bash last year. So, this has been in the slow planning stage for about a year. We will have themes for the front yard, front porch, each room in the house, the screened porch and the backyard. It is shaping up to be a ghoulish good time.

I just wanted to drop in and say hello and to let you know I will be back. At the moment, I just don't have time or energy for setting a table outside of the basics. I think we will probably slowly move back into this with some spooky and creative foods and tables in October. It will be a good way to involve the girls.

So, see you soon. Stop by the Haven Haunt for a visit. It is listed in the sidebar.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Giveaways Should Be Arriving

Life got in the way and I was running so behind getting all these in the mail, but they are all one the way. I have 10 packages from the giveaways between the two blogs and one that I sponsored on Magical Holiday Home forum.

The challenge was finding boxes for some of them! In one case, I opened the container and flattened it out and added the items to a small flat rate box. It was plenty big to hold things, but in the original container of the table items, they were stacked and made for a deeper and smaller shape. I did include the original plastic box container. I hope you don't mind dear friend. I think that this was Country Wings gift.

I also left all the small cards at home when I went to the postal center on Friday with these, so they only have the return address! I did put printersdevil above my name and address for those of you who will remember that instead of my given name-Felecia.

Sorry for the delay. I hope that you each enjoy your items.
My dear sister was with me for almost a week at the end of July-first of August just prior to her move to Nebraska. During this time we also had her precious granddaughters and little grandson for a lot of the time. We had our CIJ family dinner on August 2. I found out that it is way too hot in Texas to cook like this during the heat of the summer! It was great though.

We had around 25 for Sunday dinner and about the same number again on Monday evening for left overs. Dear sis's "man" flew in on Tuesday afternoon so we had the crew again on Tuesday evening. We had planned to all go out to eat that night, but decided that it would be more relaxed to just eat here. We tried to go simple with hamburgers and hot dogs, chip and dip and cookies. However, after a trip to Sam's Club and Walmart, we ended up also picking up potato salads, baked beans and the chips and dips. We also had over 40 ears of Nebraska corn.

Dan called and we asked about the corn in his area and said that we loved corn on the cob. Then he called back that he was bringing corn! It wasn't really food that fit the menu, but it was so fresh! He bought it from a farmer who had picked it that morning!

He brought it in a carry-on collapsible ice chest. He had called to make sure it was okay. However, when he got to the airport it set off the alarms and had to be unloaded piece by piece to be checked. It must have been hilarious. He had one woman who told him that she was going to grab the bag and run! It was the first time for him to meet much of our family and I think he was an instant hit with the corn. Actually he is a keeper and would have been a hit anyway.
But, he sure found his way into this family's heart through the stomach and love of fresh veggies.

Tanya (DSis) and Dan left here on Wednesday almost two weeks ago after we loaded the huge U-Haul to the brim. There wasn't room for much more than a small pillow!! Her SUV was also packed and on a trailer pulled behind as they headed north. My DH and I helped them load everything from her two storage sheds and came home and took a long nap. That afternoon, DD called on her way home to ask me to have the door open since it was storming. I got up and opened the door to find it almost dark and my huge oak trees bending over. DD got home and in about 15 minutes our electricity popped off. Just a few minutes later, my niece called and was hysterical. I thought she was saying that a train was in the middle of her house. We rushed out and headed over there. They do have a train track close by, but it runs the other direction, so I knew that wasn't what was wrong. She was frantic and crying about not finding the babies--her dogs. When we got there, we found a 65 foot tree of about 4 1/2 foot in diameter that had crashed through the side of their house and fell through the roof! My nephew was in the room that it came through and flattened. He had gotten up to go open the blinds when the electricity popped off and saw the tree coming down. He threw one of the little chiauhauas toward the door and tried to get out. He took a lot of impact from limbs and debris, but fortuanately got out enough not to be crushed by the tree. Fast forward a few hours and we had about 15 back here eating left-overs again since we got our power turned on first. They released him from the hospital thankfully with only bruises and sprains.

To say it has been a crazy few weeks is an UNDERSTATEMENT! They spent that night with us as it continued to rain and storm. Their insurance company put them in a hotel the next day but they joined us a couple of times to eat during the week at night and often during the day to get out. We had had their Mini Pin, two birds and fish until tonight. They finally got them into a rental house on Saturday, but they still don't have it furnished completely. I think everything else is to arrive in the morning. At this point, the decision has not been made on whether they are going to pull the house completely down or not. The contractor says that the weight bearing walls are ruined. The tree fell completely through into the laundry room and two huge limbs into the kitchen and living room by morning. It was and is horrendous.

So, needless to say, I haven't felt much like blogging. I also started back to work today. I only work part time and am off in the summer, but during the first few weeks of the school year I am there full time. So, this is my crunch time.

I have been popping in and out doing some reading, but I will be back!!!!! Thanks for the comments that have been left lately. See you soon!


Friday, August 7, 2009

Holiday Lovers Come Join Us

We're having a membership drive at one of my favorite holiday spots on the web---Our Home for the Holidays forum. If you love the holidays come and join the fun. There is something for everyone from shoppers, crafters, bargain hunters, cooks, swappers, and lots of other forums, too.

There is a wonderful group of members who share a love of Christmas and other holidays year round. If you aren't interested in all of this on a year round basis, come and join our seasonal members. Many return to active posting during the Christmas season.

We also have forums devoted to other holidays---Halloween, Thanksgiving, Valentines, Easter, St. Patrick's Day. It truly is Our Home for the Holidays.

Please stop by for a visit. If you decide to join (free, of course), introduce yourself in the Welcome thread and mention that I sent you. The Admins are holding a giveaway for membership recruitment. I am a moderator on the board, but am eligible to enter with new members brought in to our board.

I hope to see you there soon.

Friday, July 31, 2009

CIJ Tablescape Giveaway Winner Is...

I am sorry that this took me so long to get posted. I had an out of town meeting Sunday and planned to finish counting all the posts, shout outs, etc. and post a winner on Monday.

Many of you know that my husband lost his only brother earlier this month after a very short battle with lung cancer. Sunday, the BIL's wife Sharon's mother had a stroke and was hospitalized. She had lived with BIL and SIL for the past few years and was 94 1/2. She passed quietly in her sleep Monday morning. Although she was not in my immediate family, she had been a part of our family. This has been another very tough week with another funeral and my heart is just broken for my SIL. She has not even processed the loss of her husband and now lost her Mom.

Thank you for your patience. I haven't even had the energy to post all week.

The winner of the Christmas tablecloth is Shutterbugs!
Please send me your name and mailing address and I will get it on the way to you. I have all the other CIJ giveaways from this month packaged and ready to ship to all of you.

I also decided to have several more drawings. I did a pull out drawing from all the participants who linked up a holiday table and the winner is:
Marty at A Stroll Thru Life

Another from those participants taking part more than one week (several did this for 3 weeks!) The winner from that group is:
Marge at Christmas Traditions

The final was one more from the HUGE collection of names from all month. The winner of that one is:
Country Wings in Phoenix

Marty, Marge and Country Wings, you each will receive something for you to use on your holiday tables. Sorry, these are not tablecloths, but will be a surprise gift. So, please send me your names and mailing address to:

Thank you all for your support and participation all month.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

From My Heart to Your Blog

Wow, what a day of parties! I want to thank everyone who stopped by to visit me today and share in this great Christmas in July! Many of you stopped by as existing friends and followers, some came only for a chance to win a Christmas giveaway, others came through links to Maggi's CIJ party at Just Add Glitter and Stir or through a link from my Playing Dishes CIJ Tablescape Party or my Memes for Me blog, or just found this site by chance. No matter how or why you arrived, I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Christmas is truly a magical time that I hold dear. However, July is a particularly difficult time in my life due to life's unexpected losses. Each year I struggle with the entire month of July, but this year, I shifted gears and extended my usual CIJ to include the entire month. Each of you has played a part in helping me through this time, even after my family experienced another two losses this month with the death of a wonderful uncle Leon, my husband's only brother, Larry, and our late son's beloved dog Blackjack.

My faith continues to guide me through these times.

I have enjoyed each and every comment you have left and have spent way too many hours reading and laughing at things on your blogs and countless wonderful hours working on my own CIJ parties, posts and giveaways.

Wow, I sound like it is all over---not so! There is still another full week of CIJ and I have a huge family holiday dinner next weekend. Family is so important, so it is really fitting that that will be the final event for this fun filled month.

Tonight, I just want to thank all of you for this wonderful weekend. My birthday was last week and I told my husband that all I wanted was some great holiday cheer and wow, did you all deliver!

I copied and pasted the names of all the participants in Maggi's party into the post below and the links worked! That way I will be able to go back and revisit and savor the wonderful things found there.

I will be visiting you often, please do the same. My Christmas Memories in My Heart blog will only have posts around Rudolph Day on the 25th of each month until the end of November, when I will be posting daily again. So check back around Rudy Day for a visit of holiday fun. Playing Dishes will continue to have posts related to dishes and my obsession with thrifting. My newest blog, Memes for Me will be devoted to the fun things in blog land. I will post things as they hit my fancy.

Until next time, I am roping all of you Christmas lovers into my Christmas Memories in My Heart.

I love things from the Southwest and the little musical cactus at the top is one of my favorite Christmas things. So, it is only fitting that he uses his lasso to pull us all together one last time.

Enjoy the cartoon video with Paul baby singing about a wonderful Christmas.

Merry Christmas in July,

Please excuse me for posting this on both of my CIJ intensive blogs. I am way too tired to write another post to thank you all.

I have an out off town on Sunday for a meeting and will post the giveaway for Playing Dishes on Monday. I want to make sure that everyone has time to visit and I have time to add all the new names!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Christmas in July Tablescape Party--Week 4

After viewing all the wonderful CIJ tablescapes on Mr. Linky below, be sure to visit Maggi~katamommy at Just Add Glitter and Stir for another great CIJ Party on Saturday, July 25. Just click on the link to be transferred and visit Maggi and all the participants for more CIJ fun.

Join us for a blog party!

Welcome to my Christmas in July Tablescape Party---Week 4. This is the final week for this event for the year. I want to thank each of you in advance for all your support. I was hesitant to spread this party out over an entire month, but since so many are vacationing and busy, I thought it would be best to give everyone a wider time frame to pull together Christmas tablescapes. I have to admit, that it has really been a stretch for me to find enough for all my tables without having to go through all my stored holiday decor.

Let me just say that I have a substantial number of huge Rubbermaid tubs, countless boxes of trees, ceramics, decorations, and ornaments, tinsel, etc. I really thought I was smart when I invested in tubs that were color coordinated for the seasons. I have a few older ones that I have always used for Christmas that don't match, but they are such staples that we know they include Christmas stuff. Let's just say that I am a Christmas nut and leave it at that! I guarantee that I will add a contents list to each tub this year when I put things up---or better yet, I will number each tub and save the contents list on my computer so when I NEED something in July, I don't have to get a heat stroke trying to find it.

I have done a table each week of the parties and even made a Christmas-snowman themed tablescape on my breakfast bar for an ice cream social that I attended in blog land recently. It was the same week that I had a blue and white snowman table for this party. Afterall, the hostess has to be a participant each week.

It has been a lot of fun, but I did find myself digging through some of the Christmas tubs looking for something to add to finish off a table. I live in Texas and let me tell you that it is HOT here in July and all my tubs are stored in an un-airconditioned shed, so this was not the highlight of these parties. We are having a cool front at the moment and are back in the upper 80s and 90s, but the weather has been in the triple digits for awhile. It is really feeling like Christmas is coming.

I am a big thrift store shopper and I lucked into two new sets of holiday dishes this month and immediately put them to use for the party.Thus, saving me some digging for things to use for two weeks.

If you have missed some of the fun this month at Playing Dishes, just scroll down through my posts to see each week's party. Don't forget to also look at the links to the other participants' tables, too. Remember, I had an extra tablescape at an ice cream social between week 2 and 3 parties.

We love comments, so please leave us one before you leave. Speaking of comments, I will be giving away a beautiful Christmas tablecloth this Sunday. I have a large container of names of everyone who has participated with a CIJ tablescape, left me a comment, or posted a link on their blog about this party. Like I said, the container of names is HUGE. It outgrew the original teapot container. So be sure to check back on Sunday to see who won.

Now, it is time for Christmas in July. I have five tables this week!!! Yes, bloggers, that is cinco.

You can see that I haven't finalized my place cards yet, because I am waiting to add your name, too!

I am going to post my main table first. It is all set and ready for my CIJ family dinner that will include turkey and dressing and all the trimmings. My youngest sis is moving to Nebraska at the end of the month and won't be here this Christmas, so we are celebrating early. I had planned to have this on July 25, but had to postpone the dinner until next weekend due to some family conflicts. But, the tables are set and ready. I will have to wash the dishes and reset things at the end of next week, but I am leaving things ready on the main table and the screened porch tables. The two card table settings were pulled down right after I took the photos to show you. I have things boxed up and ready to set up again next weekend. I will also be resetting the breakfast bar with a snowman theme for the two littlest relatives. I will do something similiar to the one from the ice cream social minus the white tablecloth. (I actually have still another set of snowman dishes that I might use for the little tikes.) Next weekend, I will add another leaf to the main table and expand it to seat 6. I just don't like the look of it and don't want to use all the extra space this week. So, at the moment it is set for only four.

I will be having 20 for dinner. That is six at the main table, four on the screened porch, two card tables of four each and the little tykes at the breakfast bar.

This week I am using my wedding china on the main table. I started with a green Christmas tablecloth and gold chargers. Next, I layered the dinner plate, salad plate, bowl, and finally little juice glasses that I will use for fruit salad. I am not very traditional, but wanted to used more of the dishes in my set. The ornament place cards (from Bed Bath & Beyond) were placed on the bread plates.

If you visited the party last week, you will recognize these gold Christmas tree candle holders. I was looking for something to elevate the gold angels and they worked nicely.

I also used the same gold wired lacy ribbon again because it also worked with the new table.

Since I am such a thrifty shopper and love to repurpose things, I didn't think you would mind me using some of the same things with different dishes and a new tablescape.

I used an assortment of glassware. The gold wine glasses were a Big Lots find and the green goblets came from Pier 1 on an after Christmas clearance. I drove to Dallas to find enough of them since I didn't find them until they were almost all gone.

Here is another view of the table and the angels. I just love them. I found them recently at Goodwill for $6 each. I thought that was too much, but I do love them.

You can see the beautiful green color on the Pier I glasses in this shot. They were worth the extra effort and drive to Dallas---to four stores to find enough.

Thank you for stopping by today and all the other weeks for my Christmas in July Tablescape Party. I enjoyed all the photos and comments left. I can't wait to see all the tables submitted this week. Remember, that I will be linking four more tables to Mr. Linky from me. Please don't skip over them and think that I just goofed. They are each different.

I knew that this post was going to be long, so I decided to submit each post separate. I will be posting the tea party one from my Christmas Memories in My Heart blog, since it is my post over there because I shared info about this little teapot earlier in the week there.

Have a wonderful Christmas in July!

Previous Christmas in July Tablescape Parties:

CIJ Tablescape Party Week 1

CIJ Tablescape Party Week 2

CIJ Tablescape Party Week 3

CIJ Mini Tablescape for an ice cream social

I have five Christmas tables this week since I am decorating for a IRL party for 20. I didn't want to put them all in one post since that is like looking at a novel. So, each on is in a separate post, one right after the other for a total of four. The fifth one is on my Christmas Memories in My Heart blog at
However, in the interest of making it easier for you, I linked each individual post to Mr. Linky, too. So, you can view what you want.
Thanks for stopping by my party.

CIJ Screened Porch Table

After viewing all the gorgeous CIJ tablescapes linked below on Mr. Linky, be sure to attend Maggi~katamommy's CIJ Party on Saturday, July 25 at Just Add Glitter and Stir. Maggi has a great party planned and there are lots of participants ready to help you celebrate all weekend.

Hopefully you have already read my main post that explains that I have five tables this week since I am hosting a real CIJ family party and needed tables for 20. Each table is in a separate link. This one is the table on my screened porch.

I started with a red tablecloth and tried out two different sets of green chargers. The first ones were more of Christmas green, but since this was outdoors, I wanted to use my casual green flatware and it and the centerpiece looked better with these dark green ones.

I am using a set of white dinner plates that feature a sort of scalloped edge and design. Solid red napkins are used and I chose to place them on the plates to break up the stark white of the plates. Gold metal napkin rings were placed on top of the napkins to give a holiday feel and add the touch of gold that I needed.

The centerpiece is one that was my late MIL's. It is a black wrought iron candelabra that hold five votive cups. She always used the gold cups and I couldn't find my red ones. Please pardon this photo. You can see it was one of my early ones and the broom is still in the background. The candles are also melted on the sides of the votives and I will be replacing them. I just didn't have five that size this afternoon.

For glassware I used a set of red stems that came from Kirklands and clear glasses with a holiday wreath on two sides. I purchased these a few weekends ago from a neighbor's garage sale for 25 cents each!

I hope that you enjoyed your visit to my porch table. The weather was very nice today, I just hope it is this nice on the day of my real CIJ dinner.

Be sure to visit all the other participants in this CIJ Tablescape Party. Remember, I haven't lost my mind, I just have numerous tables today and decided to spread them out to be looked at one at a time. They will all be used at my party next weekend.

Remember to leave us all a comment because we love to hear from you. The drawing for the holiday tablecloth will be held on Sunday.

Thanks for stopping by today. Be sure to check back throughout the weekend for additional participants.