Sunday Thoughts ~ White Roses

“I smell the white roses sweet-scented and growing.” ~ Walt Whitman

 

Good Sunday morning, beautiful souls.  I hope this finds you well and happy this winter morning.  We have just a light dusting of snow, enough to be pretty.  So, you may be wondering, “Why is she writing about roses?” 

“Love is the only thing in this whole universe, that can make the roses grow out of the swords.” ~ Akshay Vas

My thoughts, of course, are on our Presidential Inauguration.  As you know, this has always been a joyful and celebrated time in our country.  A dignified event and a gleaming star of our democracy.  In dreaming of a perfect day for this grand event, I began to think about a flower that could symbolize such an occasion.  My mind went immediately to the white rose.  Why the white rose?  Because the white rose is an ancient symbol of love and peace.  White roses also symbolize feelings of friendship, peace, respect, and hope.  All are attitudes of love and decency, which we pray to once again enjoy in America. 

“Peace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

Dear friends, as we approach this most special day, my heart is heavy with concern.  I can not begin to tell you how many times throughout the years I have read the following words, nor how many times I have read them in the past few days.  They are always a comfort to me.  The words remind me to think good thoughts and pray for a wonderful day and safety for everyone.

 

“Whatsoever things are true,

Whatsoever things are honest,

Whatsoever things are just,

Whatsoever things are pure,

Whatsoever things are lovely,

Whatsoever things are of good report,

If there be any virtue, and if there be any praise,

Think on these things.”

Philippians 4:8

 

Please know I wish you and yours a beautiful day.  

And. . .

In the days ahead, may we see peace and goodness across our land.   As well as, many white roses.

Stay well! 

 

“.. .I will dwell on all the angels singing, putting love and truth in my heart and in the words I speak.” ~ Alexandra Stoddard

 

Amour,

Sandra

 

 

 

 

 

 

Images:  Pinterest

 

 

 

 

The Gentler Side of Life ~ A Virtual Walk

“If the path be beautiful, let us not ask where it leads.” ~ Anatole France

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Good morning, dear friends and welcome to ‘The Gentler Side of Life.”  I enjoy the words, ‘Gentler Side of Life.  They make me feel safe, happy, and also they bring me to the realization of how much I crave a sweeter world.  A sweeter world is my hope for all of us.

As our weather is gloomy, I thought yours may be too.  Therefore, I would like to invite you to join me on a walk through a virtual path of beauty.  Beauty I have found from a gentler time.   I won’t be speaking much, as not to distract from the lovely images or from your own thoughts.  This post is just a wee bit of dreaming for a gray January morning.   So pour yourself a nice cup of coffee or tea and find a comfy chair.

“Beauty is all around us, of course.  Our world, with all its sordid problems, still brims with breathtaking loveliness.  And one of the benefits of the teatime ritual is that of slowing us down enough to notice what is beautiful around us.” ~ Emilie Barnes

A lovely teapot and or teacup is an exquisite thing.  Not only is it about the beauty of the vessel, but also for the gentleness it imposes on our souls.

There is something in the quiet nature of tea that leads us into quiet contemplation.” ~ Lin Yutang

“Ballet is like writing poetry with your body.” ~ Elif Shafak

Ballet is a breathtaking art that I know little about.  Other than to me it is beautiful, captivating, and holds the power to move one to joyful tears.  I have long admired the majestic dancers who are extremely disciplined and devoted to their craft.  Amazing souls who provide the world with spectacular beauty and grace every time they dance onto a stage.  

“Beauty is a nectar which intoxicates the soul.” ~ T.C. Henley

“. . . Luxury lives in the finer details.” ~ Iggy Azalea

I have long loved and collected vintage table linens and pillow slips.  The hours spent in creating such flawless beauty is astounding.   My mind always wonders about the person who created such magnificence and I like to think perhaps they know their lovely creations are now in good hands and appreciated.

“Beauty was not simply something to behold, it was something one could do.” ~ Toni Morrison

“Chandeliers are marvels of drop-dead showiness, the jewelry of architecture.” ~ Peter York

fancitaste: “ (via TumbleOn) ”

A little sparkle can change a room and its personality.  We have a crystal chandelier in our living room and dining room.  When the sun shines and they twinkle and sparkle, I become almost giddy.  They are certainly a mood changer.

“Beauty is a fragile gift.” ~ Ovid

No photo description available.

Vintage items are irresistible to me.  Although, often, their price tag will keep them from my reach.  Even if that may be the case, I do enjoy admiring them and never fail to fall under the charm of their beauty. 

womansart: “ 1920s Wedgwood fairyland lustre series ‘Ghostly Wood’ by Daisy Makeig-Jones, UK pottery designer ”1920s Wedgwood fairyland luster series. ‘Ghostly Wood’ by Daisy Makeig-Jones, UK pottery designer

“Nature isn’t owned.  Its beauty is available to everyone.” ~ unknown

 

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“The Earth is what we all have in common.” ~ Wendell Berry

The garden was full of fireflies, the scent of flowers was intoxicating, the moon was full.  We seemed to have reached almost the limit of beauty.” ~ Diana Cooper

Mottisfont Abbey & Gardens – Hampshire, England

A stroll through this lovely garden would be a glimpse of paradise.

 

“Great beauty is moving because it touches the soul.” ~ unknown

Dear friends, I hope you have enjoyed your walk.  As you can tell, my heart truly resides in ‘The Gentler Side of Life.’ 

Wishing you a lovely and peaceful day.

And . . .

May beauty warm your heart and provide you all the joys and peace of a gentler time.  Stay well!

“Beauty does not become more profound the higher the price.  Beauty can be found in the most humble.”  ~ unknown

 

Amour,

Sandra

 

 

 

Images:  via tumblr

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday Thoughts ~ Beauty Soothes

“Beauty is the shadow of God on the universe.” ~ Gabriela Mistral

tulipomania historyPhoto from: Flower House|Garden| Lifestyle Magazine“Soft hearts make the universe worth living in.” ~ Veronica Roth

Good Sunday morning, dear friends.  The horrendous events of this past week left me feeling lost, bewildered, and heartbroken.  Perhaps you felt the same?  So, what did I do for comfort?  I turned, as I always do in times of distress, to beauty.  Beauty helps soothe broken hearts and souls.  

Thinking that your hearts could probably use a little soothing as well, I thought I would share some lovely things which helped brighten my past few days.  Please know I am not rushing the season and I don’t think I have gone around the bend.  However, tulips are such happy flowers and they always bring me smiles.  I hope they will do the same for you.

A simple tulip arrangement by floral designer Mimi Brown in a tole cachepot “A simple gathering of tulips in a tole jardinière brightens a room. See designer Mimi Brown’s step-by-step instructions for this easy-to-assemble arrangement in an excerpt from LIVING FLORAL by Margot Shaw” (see note at the end of this post.) Photo and information are from, Flower. 

“Tulips are all about levity and rebirth. Their flowers are like ballerinas ~ they dance”  ~ Sandra Sigman

All of the following photos are from Flower House|Garden| Lifestyle Magazine.  Should you not be familiar with this magazine I highly recommend you purchase a copy.  It is spectacular, not just one issue, but each one.  And, the regular column in each issue written by the Editor-In-Chief, Margot Shaw, is always grand.   Also, her book Living Floral is a treasure. (See information about the magazine and book at the end of this post.)

field of yellow and pink tulips along a wavy brick wall

This lovely photo was taken at the gardens of the Stevens-Coolidge Place. The Stevens–Coolidge Place, formerly known as Ashdale Farm, is a garden and historic home located on 91 acres in North Andover, Massachusetts. It is stewarded by the Trustees of Reservations to preserve the 20th-century North Andover, Massachusetts estate of Helen Stevens Coolidge and her husband John Gardner Coolidge, a descendent of Thomas Jefferson. Notice, the serpentine wall which was added by architect Joseph Everett Chandler when he designed the Steven-Coolidge gardens.  It serves as a nod to Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson.

virtual 2020 Tulip Festival

This pretty lady is floral designer, Sandra Sigman.  She said, “I felt lightheaded when I rounded the bend at Stevens-Coolidge Place and saw 30,000 tulips in full splendor.”  I certainly guess one would.  What a sight to behold!

blue, white, yellow and peach arrangement by floral designer Sandra Sigman“Muscari and white hyacinths balance the visual weight of yellow and peach double tulips. Green viburnum softens the flow.”  Design by, Sandra Sigman

multicolored tulip arrangement by Sandra Sigman with pink, yellow, and white blooms Design, by Sandra Sigman.

According to Sigman, “Tulip’s beam happiness, and they prompt glorious floral arrangements in a range of hues other flowers can only wish to match”

Dear friends, I hope you have enjoyed your visit and that you have been soothed by a little beauty.  

Know I wish you and yours a lovely day and a splendid week ahead.

And. . . 

May you find love, beauty, and kind souls wherever you roam.  Stay well!

 

  Tulip, Amazone

 

“To love beauty is to see light.” ~ Victor Hugo

 

Amour,

Sandra

 

 

Notes:

The magazine Flower House|Garden| Lifestyle, may be ordered here:

Living Floral, by Margot Shaw is available through Amazon

Living Floral: Entertaining and Decorating with Flowers

 

The Stevens-Coolidge Place’s Spring Spectacular will be held April 24–May 16, 2021. Pre-registration is required. For more information, visit thetrustees.org 

There are 150,000 bulbs planted throughout their grounds.  One would have to be inspired at such a sight.  It truly will be a Spring Spectacular.

 

April 17 – 24, 2021, will be Historic Garden Week in Virginia.  This is something quite amazing and I highly recommend attending. For information,  Visit: 

 

Photo of tulip, Amazone is from Pinterest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday Thoughts – The ‘Flame Within’

“Goodness is a bright flame within you. Use it to light up the world.” ~ Frank Sonnenberg

sheepyhollows: “Zetas ”

Good Sunday morning, dear ones.  Welcome to the first ‘Sunday Thoughts’ of 2021.  Today, I want to share a lovely piece written by Howard Thurman ~ The Work of Christmas.  It is my hope his words will settle in your heart, as they have mine.  To me, such words are inspiring and help to move us forward when thinking of the days and work ahead.

The Work of Christmas, by Howard Thurman

When the song of the angels is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and the princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flock,
The work of Christmas begins:
To find the lost,
To heal the broken,
To feed the hungry,
To release the prisoner,
To rebuild the nations,
To bring peace among brothers,
To make music in the heart. 

Dear friends, 2021 will certainly be a year of much work.  But, I don’t believe any of us are shy about sharing what is within our means to make our world a happier and more loving place.  Truly, the smallest kindness shown toward our fellow man can make a vast difference.

 

Know I wish you and yours a beautiful day, full of love and joy.

And. . .

May the week ahead find you enjoying the things which make your heart sing.

 

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“Whatever you do in life . . . remember . . . think higher, feel deeper.  Life is not a fist.  Life is an open hand waiting for some other hand to enter it in friendship.  Ultimately, the answers are so simple.  Not simplistic, but so simple.” ~ Elie Wiesel (see note) 

Amour,

Sandra

 

Images:  via Tumblr

Note:  Elie Wiesel was born September 30, 1928, in Sighet, Romania, and died July 2, 2016, in New York, New York.  He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1986.   Elie Wiesel was a Romanian-born American writer, professor, political activist, Nobel laureate, and Holocaust survivor. He authored 57 books, written mostly in French and English, including Night, a work based on his experiences as a Jewish prisoner in the Auschwitz and Buchenwald concentration camps.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome ~ 2021!

“And now we welcome the new year. Full of things that have never been.” ~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Happy New Year, beautiful people!  I don’t believe there is a person among us who is not happy to say goodbye to 2020.  However, I feel it is important to carry with us the lessons from the past year.  Mom always said, “Count your blessings, life can change overnight.”  I have always tried to count my blessings, but now more than ever.  The past year has reminded me of how important it is to pay extra attention to the remarkable people in my life, as well as all the many marvelous details of which I have been graciously blessed.  Most importantly, to hold tight to those I love.  Life is so precious and COVID has also reminded me how quickly it can be gone.

While 2020 is now part of history, I do not believe 2021 is going to be all ‘cake and ice cream.’  Mask-wearing and social distancing will remain our good friends and patience will be required for a while longer.  It is going to take time to get back to normal, but we will get there.  

“We must free ourselves of the hope that the sea will ever rest.  We must learn to sail in high winds. ~ Aristotle Onassis

“So many books, so little time.” ~ Frank Zappa

The week between Christmas and New Year’s is a favorite of mine.  I give myself permission to be lazy, not cook, and to read and read and read. A Santa-helper named Mike brought me a wonderful book for Christmas.  I devoured it in two days.  Only because my eyes became tired did it take two days.  For anyone who is interested in France, the lives of the French after the war, and the Holocaust, this is certainly a must-read book.  It is on my shelf with other books I consider to be ‘The Best.’

The following is part of a review written by, Lin­da F. Burghardt a New York-based jour­nal­ist. (See note at the end of this post.) 

“Filled with a com­plex mix­ture of aching sad­ness and abun­dant joy, A Fifty-Year Silence fol­lows the author’s very per­son­al jour­ney across two con­ti­nents and three gen­er­a­tions. Mouil­lot is the grand­child of Holo­caust sur­vivors, and she describes this fact of her life in sim­ple yet heart­break­ing words: ​I’d grown up in a uni­verse that revolved around an unspo­ken max­im: every­thing can fall apart.”   

“Hold fast to dreams, For if dreams die Life is a broken-winged bird, That cannot fly.” ~ Langston Hughes

I also find these quiet days to be perfect for dreaming.  Thinking of things I would like to do or places to visit once COVID is out of town.  Many of us are eager to be with family and friends.  To once again enjoy those warm hugs and sweet kisses.  Others are keen to travel and complete canceled plans, which were made at a time that seems like ages ago.

French Onion Soup

And, there are those who want to learn new skills, such as cooking, painting, or photography.  To register and participate in classes, make new like-minded acquaintances,  all while learning something which is fun and interesting.  These are a few ordinary things we have all enjoyed so many times and perhaps taken for granted. I know have.

I close my eyes to old ends. And open my heart to new beginnings.” ~ Nick Frederickson

 

Dear friends, know I wish you and yours a spectacular New Year. 

Most of all I wish you health, happiness, love, and peace.

And . . .

May the angels walk beside you every step of your journey, in 2021 and always.

 

image

 

“Hope Smiles from the threshold of the year to come, Whispering ‘it will be happier’…” ~ Alfred Lord Tennyson

 

Amour,

Sandra

 

 

Images:  via Tumblr

Note:  Lin­da F. Burghardt is a New York-based jour­nal­ist and author who has con­tributed com­men­tary, break­ing news, and fea­tures to major news­pa­pers across the U.S., in addi­tion to hav­ing three non-fic­tion books pub­lished. She writes fre­quent­ly on Jew­ish top­ics and is now serv­ing as Schol­ar-in-Res­i­dence at the Holo­caust Memo­r­i­al & Tol­er­ance Cen­ter of Nas­sau County.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“What Can I Give Him”

Image may contain: candles

In The Bleak Midwinter, By Christina Rossetti

“In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter, long ago.

Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him, nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away when He comes to reign.
In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.

Enough for Him, whom cherubim, worship night and day,
Breastful of milk, and a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, whom angels fall before,
The ox and ass and camel which adore.

Angels and archangels may have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim thronged the air;
But His mother only, in her maiden bliss,
Worshipped the beloved with a kiss.

What can I give Him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
Yet what I can I give Him: give my heart.”

“Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift.” ~ 2 Corinthians 9:15 (NIV)

joyeuxno-el: “A Merry Little Christmas Blog ☕️🎄🎁”

 

Dear friends, may your Christmas be beautiful and overflow with joy and love.

And. . .

May the New Year bring you peace, good health, and happiness.

 

“Star of Wonder, Star of Light, Star with Royal Beauty Bright. . .

Guide Us to Thy Perfect Light.”

 

Joyeux Noël,

Sandra

 

 

 

 

 

Images: via Tumblr and Pinterest

 

 

 

Sunday Thoughts – Christmas Wishes

“I truly believe that if we keep telling the Christmas story, singing the Christmas songs, and living the Christmas spirit, we can bring joy and happiness and peace to this world.” ~ Norman Vincent Peale

Good Sunday morning, dear friends.  Can you believe this is the last Sunday before Christmas?  The days pass way too quickly for my liking, especially during this most beautiful season of the year.  Although, considering the swiftly moving days, I am just about ready for Christmas.  The house is decorated, baking is almost finished, and the Christmas cards are mailed.  Speaking of Christmas cards, I have something to confess.

Do you keep old Christmas cards?  Oh, I do.  Honestly, I am not a hoarder, but I do keep old cards.  Ones I have received and also ones I have sent.  And, why do I keep them?  I don’t keep them all, they must meet certain criteria.  They must be quite special.  Meaning, the message inside has to be absolutely beautiful.  Each year, I go through them (probably about twenty cards) and enjoy their message and beauty.  They are marvelous enjoyment along with a cookie and coffee.  

Today, I want to share a few with you.  All are from Hallmark Cards and are at least over thirty years old.  Know their message is from my heart and home to you and yours.

“Christmas is the day that holds all time together.” ~ Alexander Smith

“There is a beloved sameness about Christmas with its familiar carols,

its treasured ornaments and favorite traditions.

Still every Christmas is special, one of a kind, as unique as a snowflake,

as bright as a star, as new as a dream that’s about to come true.”

“May the wonderful feelings of Christmas stay with you long after the gifts are unwrapped,

the tree is taken down, and the ornaments are stored safely away. 

May the once-a-year joy of Christmas return to you in memories throughout the year,

each time tugging at your heart strings. . . each time bringing a smile.”

 

Dear friends, thank you so much for your visit.  

May the gift of peace, love and joy be yours this Christmas.

And. . .

May Christmas Blessings be with you and those you love during the New Year.

 

“I like to compare the holiday season with the way a child listens to a favorite story. The pleasure is in the familiar way the story begins, the anticipation of familiar turns it takes, the familiar moments of suspense, and the familiar climax and ending.” ~ Fred Rogers

 

 Joyeux Noël,

Sandra

 

 

Images: via tumblr

At Table ~ In December

“It’s the month of cakes and candles, snow and songs, carols and joys, laughter and love…it’s December.” ~ Unknown

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And, “there’s something special about gathering a few favorite people for a meal.”  Especially, in December.

Good morning, sweet friends.  Welcome to my December post of ‘At Table.’  For many of us, this December will be far different than what we are accustomed to enjoying.  Seated at our tables may only be those who actually reside in our homes.  And, while we will certainly miss others, “This, Too, Shall Pass.”  

That said, I want to thank you so much for your visit and I hope it will be one you will enjoy and perhaps find a little inspiration as well.  Please join me as I share ‘At Table~In December.’  You may want to pour yourself a cup of coffee or tea.  

“Christmas is doing a little something extra for someone.” ~ Charles M. Schult

 

Most of you who have been following me know I adore just about anything French.  I have the greatest respect for the French people, their food is absolutely divine, and their attention to detail in their homes and on their tables is unmatched.  They take great care in doing for others, taking the extra step, and creating beauty. 

Today, I want to share lovely inspiration from a fellow blogger, Sharon Santoni.  Sharon writes the most beautiful blog ~ “My French Country Home.”  And, I do mean a “most beautiful blog.”  Perhaps, many of you may be familiar with Sharon?  However, if you are not, you can visit her blog here. 

Along with writing her blog, Sharon is the author of two books, brought to life “The Magazine, My French Country Home” (available to be ordered on her blog), and does a podcast series.  Additionally, she is the mother of four grown children.  She and her husband reside in their home in the countryside of Normandy (northern France).  Here she enjoys her gardens, a little quiet time, entertaining, and her sweet dogs. 

While I am certain I have missed something regarding her activities,  today I will be sharing a video of hers from four years ago, “Laying a Christmas Table.”  Sharon lays a beautiful table in the dining room of her friend’s French chateau.  I feel it is most inspirational during this beautiful season.  

Before we begin, you may want to turn up your volume.  Sharon has a lovely voice, but she is very soft-spoken and it can be a little hard to understand her with her charming accent.  Visit here to enjoy the video.

“I loved French when I didn’t know what it was.” ~ Charles Faudree

I hope you enjoyed the video and noticed the many small details.  There are two details that make my heart pound a bit harder.  One is the forks turned with the tines down. The French place as much importance on ‘l’art de la table’ as they do cuisine. Also, one may be able to notice the maker’s mark on the silver and the lovely details.  Often, the backs are as pretty or even more so than the front.  The other detail is the table cloth falling to the floor, which adds beauty to the room and sets the mood for an evening of warmth, great fellowship, and delicious food.  Nothing on Sharon’s table is extravagant, but everything is quite elegant.

See note at the end of this post regarding this photo.

“It’s the holiday season.  Let the overeating begin!” ~ Melanie White

Traditional Rub Prime Rib Roast

 

It wouldn’t be ‘At Table’ without recipes and I do believe you will enjoy these.  They are favorites of mine and are tried and true.  First I will share a recipe I have had for years and it has never failed me.  It is delicious and turns out perfectly every time.  The secret is obtaining a 5-pound roast, not over or under in weight.

Foolproof Standing Rib Roast – serves six to eight

1 – 5 pound standing rib roast

salt, pepper, and garlic powder

Allow roast to stand at room temperature for at least 1 hour

Preheat oven to 375.  Rub roast with seasonings.  Place roast on a rack in a roaster with the rib side down and fatty side up.  Roast for 1 hour.  Turn off oven.  Leave roast in oven, but do not open oven door for the next 3 hours.  About 30-40 minutes before serving time, turn oven to 375 and reheat roast, for about 30 minutes.

IMPERATIVE DIRECTIONSDo not remove roast or re-open the oven door from the time roast is put in the oven until it is ready to serve.

 

Honey-Spiced Brussels Sprouts – serve 8 (at our home 4-6) – This is a great side for the Rib Roast.

1 Tbls. olive oil

1 healthy pat of butter

2 pounds fresh Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. pepper

1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper

2 Tbls honey

1 tsp. fresh lemon juice

 

Deviled Crab ~ Serves 6

1 pound lump crab meat

4 Tbls. unsalted butter

4 scallions, white and  some of the green parts

1 rib of celery finely chopped

1/2 red pepper, finely chopped

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 large or extra-large egg

3 Tbls. sour cream

1/2 tsp. dry mustard

1 Tbls. Worchestershire sauce

1/2 tsp. Old Bay Seasoning

1/4 tsp. lemon pepper

1 tsp. Creole Seasoning

14-16 buttery crackers – I used Ritz

 

Topping:

2 Tbls. unsalted butter melted

8-9 buttery crackers

In a large saucepan, heat oil and butter over medium heat.  Add Brussels sprouts, garlic, salt, and both peppers.  Cover and cook, stirring occasionally until tender, about 10 minutes.  Add honey and lemon juice, tossing to coat.  Serve immediately.

Preheat oven to 350.  Melt butter in a medium-size skillet over medium heat.  Add the scallions, celery, and pepper.  Cook and stir for about four minutes or until the veggies are tender and translucent.  Remove from the heat and set aside.  Crush crackers.  I put them in a zip lock bag and use a wooden mallet.  Carefully pick through crab meat to remove any bits of shell, set aside.  In a large bowl, add the cooled veggies, mayonnaise, beaten egg, sour cream, dry mustard, Worcestershire, Old Bay seasonings, lemon pepper, and Creole Seasoning.  Mix well.  Add the crushed crackers and crab meat, toss gently.  Spoon the mixture into a medium-size baking dish.  Sprinkle the crushed crackers for topping, evenly over the crab.  Bake for 20 minutes or until the topping is browned and a little crispy.  Remove the oven and serve immediately.

 

Date Muffins ~ Makes 1 dozen

Preheat oven to 350

1 cup finely chopped dates

1 cup boiling water

1 Tbls. butter

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup of sugar

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1 cup finely chopped pecans

Combine the first 3 ingredients; let stand 1 hour.  Stir in egg and vanilla.  Combine flour and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl; make a well in the center of the mixture.  Add date mixture, stirring just until moistened.  Spoon into greased muffin pans, filling three-fourths full.  Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.   

Note:  These muffins are wonderful to serve with any meat or poultry.  They are also grand for breakfast accompanied by a cup of good coffee.

Dear friends, there you have it!  I hope you have enjoyed being ‘At Table ~ In December.”  

Know how much I wish you and your family a magical Christmas.

And. . .

May your lives be touched with the magnificent beauty of the season and overflow with blessings.

“Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love. ~ Hamilton Wright Mabie

Joyeux Noël,

Sandra

 

 

Notes:  The quote, “There’s something special about gathering a few favorite people for a meal,” was written by Chantal Larocque.

The photo of the table with the red goblets is from tumblr, and as often is the case there was no source.  However, I believe it to be a photo from Sharon Santoni.  Perhaps it is from an older post as she began writing her blog in 2010. 

Laying a Christmas Table is on YouTube and is a Delavous Production at LeChateau D’Emalleville.

Other photos, tumblr and pinterest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday Thoughts ~ “Wild Bells”

“I will honor Christmas in my heart and try to keep it all the year.” ~ Charles Dickens

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Good Sunday morning, dear friends.  I hope this finds you well and enjoying the days and nights of this beautiful month.

Today, I want to share a poem by one of my favorite poets, Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809~1892).  Personally, I feel it is most appropriate for the year we have endured. 

Written in 1850, the poem seems like a prayer for humanity to strive for a kindlier world. I hope you will find Tennyson’s words meaningful and they will give you thoughts to contemplate.  To me, as we approach a new year, I find them to be most worthy of thought.  I  hope will to you also.     

“Ring Out, Wild Bells” ~  by,  Alfred, Lord Tennyson

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The flying cloud, the frosty light:
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
   Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
   The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind
   For those that here we see no more;
   Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
   And ancient forms of party strife;
   Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
   The faithless coldness of the times;
   Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes
But ring the fuller minstrel in.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease;
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.”

Dear friends, may your heart and the hearts of those you hold dear be filled with all the joys and blessings of the season ~ enough to last a lifetime.
 
Thank you so much for your visit.  Stay well!

 

Christmas! The very word brings joy to our hearts. . .” ~ Joan Winmill Brown

Amour,

Sandra

Images:  via tumblr

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday Thoughts ~ The Magic Of The Season

“The best part about Christmas is the build-up to it, and doing all the fun stuff, like baking, decorating, getting presents for loved ones, getting a tree, watching Christmas movies, watching Christmas specials, drinking cocoa, playing in the snow, listening to Christmas music. . .” ~ Unknown

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Good Sunday morning, dear friends.  I hope this finds you well and enjoying this beautiful month.  Mike and I are about ready for Christmas.  We have a few remaining things to do outside and some small details inside. And then, the ‘cookie factory’ will open.   The fruit cakes were made last weekend and they are enjoying their soak in Calvados (French apple brandy).  You will find the recipe here

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“. . . snow~dusted villages lit with wick and wax, lit with wonder by tiny souls.” ~ M, Wonder & Joy

A Merry Little Christmas Blog ☕️🎄🎁

During my years growing up in North Central West Virginia, we always had snow during the Christmas season.  Our downtown area was so pretty dressed in a blanket of snow and the lights sparkled like diamonds.  Everywhere you looked, the lights were twinkling.  There were specialty shops and beautifully decorated department store windows, as well as a huge tree.  The tree, decorated with colored lights, proudly stood on the Court House Square, along with Santa’s house and loads of children so excited to visit Santa.   Wiggling and dancing around, hardly able to contain their excitement.  People were bursting with Christmas cheer as they scurried about, and finally ending their evening with a nice cup of cocoa at the local drug store, Wells and Haymaker.  Truly, this is not a dream, it was just a different time and world.  

“Between bustle and breaths, between twinkling and flurry, December’s warm embrace.” ~ M. Wonder & Joy

“I don’t remember what I got for Christmas when I was six or ten.  I do remember the smell of the kitchen on Christmas morning.  I remember counting the marshmallows my dad put in my hot cocoa.  I remember waking up, giving my parents a hug, and feeling magic before a gift was even opened.  Remember, it is the memories that make the magic.” ~ Unknown

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Don’t Christmas ornaments bring back the memories?    We have a tree in our family room with ornaments from both of our childhoods as well as from our school children.  A Christmas ornament is the perfect gift for a teacher or school employee.  Many I received were hand made and to me, that makes them extra special.  I can still tell you who gave them to me, remembering the child fondly.

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While we all decorate our trees differently, I have never seen one that was not beautiful.  Large or small, lavish or simple.  . .

oldfarmhouse: “(via # our.littlehouse @instagram) ”

“The Christmas tree is a symbol of love, not money. There’s a kind of glory to them when they’re all lit up that exceeds anything all the money in the world could buy.” ~Andy Rooney

“My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others. Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that?” ~ Bob Hope

 

I certainly agree with Mr. Hope, ” Why do we have to wait for Christmas to be loving to others?”  But at Christmas we are different, aren’t we?  The entire world seems to be wrapped in the goodness that we do not see so much throughout the year.  We are greeted everywhere with lovely decorations, marvelous smells, and smiles and greetings from strangers.  We feel warm even in unseasonably cold weather.  Such a part of the magic of the season.

“Peace on earth will come to stay, When we live Christmas every day.” ~ Helen Steiner Rice

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Dear friends, know I wish you and yours a beautiful day.  

And. . .

May the love of this precious time of year be yours to savor throughout the season and always.  Stay well!

 

Always Believe,

Sandra

 

 

 

 

 

Images:  via Tumblr and M.S. Lambiotte