Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas, Everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This holiday season may you....
give a gift of yourself
mend a quarrel
seek out a forgotten friend
share some treasure
give a soft answer
encourage youth
keep a promise
find the time
laugh a little,
laugh a little more...
express your gratitude
welcome a stranger
gladden the heart of a child
take pleasure in the beauty &
wonder of the earth

speak your love...
speak it again...
speak it still once again
and let your heart be filled with holiday joy.

(excerpts from Day by Day with Charles Swindoll)

The following is my most favorite Christmas song.

It was my Dad's solo every year at Midnight Mass.

He had the most beautiful tenor voice.

Miss you Dad!

Be silent and listen to the voice of God.

Pause from a hectic schedule to be refreshed in spirit.

Accentuate the joy of God’s provision.

End the day by reflecting on the Lord’s faithfulness.

Wishing all of you a very Merry Christmas!
May you be surrounded by family &
friends to warm your heart.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tennis Team Luncheon


On Thursday of last week, my entire tennis team gathered together after tennis to celebrate the holidays at my home. I have played tennis weekly with some of these gals for over 22 years! They are very dear friends & many of their husbands are also friends with my husband through their golf league.

We have 13 members on the team & everyone brought something to share on the buffet.
Both the kitchen & dining room tables were set with my Eternal Holiday plates on candy apple red chargers.
I used the Eternal Presentation plates with the bows on them for the salads & the Eternal Christmas bread plates that have little holly berries on them. I like to mix & match my different Lenox pieces & thankfully, they all work together nicely.


I had a local florist make this centerpiece for the sunroom using my own sleigh container. You can barely see the ivory & gold sleigh beneath all the flowers. It goes beautifully with the Santa although I didn't buy them at the same time or place. Just a lucky match!



I had some of the same cream roses (I've forgotten the name) tucked into water vials & scattered them inside the French horn arrangement on the dining room table to tie the look together.


Depression glass butter dish. Darn! This could have qualified for Marty's Christmas Cloche Party!!!


The dining room place settings looked very similar except for different bread plates.

I was able to capture a few photos of the buffet bar prior to their arrival but once people started coming in, I forgot all about my camera. I was too busy taking coats & boots & hats & gloves! Remember, we had over 2 feet of snow just days before this party! I was so worried they wouldn't be able to get here!



Aren't these yummy looking RED & GREEN deviled eggs?


We had sweet treats galore!


These cookies are arranged on my vintage Fostoria American square cake stand with center brandy cup and sawtooth edge. It was made by the Fostoria Glass Company in Moundsville, West Virginia between 1937-1982.

I saw these same plates HERE on Mary's beautiful blog Sailing Simply & knew they would be PERFECT
for this plate rack. I've had it sitting in the garage, freshly painted with oil rubbed bronze back in the summer, while I searched for the just the right plates to display on it.

Aren't they GORGEOUS? The detail on them is wonderful. They are from Home Interiors & I found them on EBay just last week. I was so glad they arrived in time for the party. My husband hung the rack for me just the day before the party.
I can see lots of possibilities for decorating this rack for every holiday. Already, I'm searching for something for Valentines & St. Patrick's Day!

Remembering the "Reason for the Season", we shared a beautiful prayer & a delightful afternoon of fellowship & fun.
I was so happy to have everyone available for the party. One gal had just gotten out of the hospital after gall bladder surgery but she was determined not to miss out.

The following morning, my husband had chest pain & passed out after taking nitroglycerin under his tongue. I had to call 911 & have him rushed to the hospital. Following behind the ambulance is one of the most frightening experiences! As a nurse, I want to be right there, seeing & helping with whatever is being done. They advise you not to try to keep up with them, as they are running red lights & going way over the speed limit. It is heartbreaking to see the ambulance disappear off in the distance & feel like you'll never see your loved one again. Just an awful feeling!

Thankfully, he did not have any damage to his heart but they kept him over the weekend for observation while they had him on anti-coagulating IV meds. He's home now & back to his old fun-loving self but what a scare! Very stressful~~I'm just glad it didn't happen the day before!!!

We're enjoying a quiet pre-Christmas week & appreciating each others company more every day. I hope all of us can slow our pace & be filled with the wonder of the season as we celebrate the birth of Our Savior.
Like I said in last December's post, when he had his FIRST heart attack a little over a year ago,
"Every day may not be good but there is something good in every day."
Thank you, ladies for hosting these fun memes each week!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Winter Snow Storm!

We've gotten almost 2 feet of snow over the past few days!


This is a view of the pile on top of our hot tub.

I would love to put a yardstick in this but I can't get to it without shoveling the entire deck.


It feels like we're living in a cocoon...complete white out conditions for the past 2 days.


We're staying INSIDE, working on our Christmas cards & doing some Christmas baking, too.


Its nice to look out through the windows at this beautiful winter wonderland.


Being retired & not needing to get to work at the hospital makes it so much nicer!

I remember the blizzard of '78 when they sent out the National Guard

to bring the ICU nurses in to work.

With patients on ventilators, the prior shift couldn't go home until we arrived.




This is a view out my front door.

It is up to my knees in some places, due to strong winds & drifting.


Just look at that pile of SNOW made by the plows!!


The temperature this morning was only 17º...Brrrrr!

Thankfully, the grandchildren's schools are closed.

I bet they're having a blast playing in this!!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Nativity Scenes~"Reason for the Season" Party & Tabletop Tuesday, too!

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6

Won't you join me at Lynn's Nativity Party at

Happier Than A Pig In Mud

I just realized that this post qualifies as a Tabletop Tuesday entry so
I'm going to join Marty, too at A Stroll Thru Life!

My handmade Nativity set was a Christmas gift from my sister-in-law Patti in 1978.

I cherish this gift so much & have lovingly & carefully positioned each piece every year.

I could have cried last week when I accidentally bumped & chipped the ear on the large camel.

I think I can camouflage it with some brown marker but I'll always know it is there.

I have the set on the bottom shelf of a table, down low where the grandchildren can see it.

I want them to know & understand.

It is on an embroidered
Sturzenegger linen tablerunner

that was a gift from my step-son & his wife.

They brought it back for me from their honeymoon in Switzerland.

Sturzenegger Linen shop is in Zurich, Switzerland.

I was told this century-old, wood-paneled store is a good place to buy all kinds of

delicate hand-embroidered items,

including Swiss-made lace.

I do have an obsession for lace!!!

I wish I had known about it when we visited Lake Lugano in 1998.

We bought Swiss Army knives
& silk scarves for the grandchildren

& I brought back a sterling silver spoon for myself.

My trick for keeping the pieces from toppling over is to use

a small piece of blue sticky tack poster putty.

It never does any damage to surfaces & provides a nice stable base.

Thanks for stopping in The Gazebo House &

a special "thanks" to Marty & Lynn for letting us

share with each other our most cherished symbols of the season.

Friday, December 10, 2010

I'm Dreaming of a *White Christmas*...



My dream came true & even MORE snow is on the way in the next few days!
Come in out of the cold & join me for a "White Christmas" dinner party, won't you?


I've done an all white...well, off-white/cream, really...tablescape for Cuisine Kathleen's "White Christmas" party, The Tablescaper's "Seasonal Sundays" as well as Susan's Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch.


I decided to forgo a tablecloth & just use chargers this year,
as I was so disappointed in the cutwork tablecloth
that I bought for last year's Christmas dinner table.
Besides, I can't find it!
Perhaps I returned it?
Isn't that awful to not be able to remember?? *mental-pause*


I'm mixing gold & silver for this tablescape...
so even the after dinner candy matches.
I wish I owned gold plated flatware to use with these dishes.
Maybe someday.
The silverware, "Danish Princess" byHolmes & Edwards, was introduced in 1938.
I am blessed to now have
service for 12 in this delicate pattern,
along with several of the serving pieces.


Besides my usual Lenox Eternal dinner plates, (you've seen them a million times!) I've added a salad plate from Lenox called Jacquard Gold and the Lenox Christmas soup bowls & bread plates from the Dimension Collection, which are no longer available. Wish I had more of these, too!

A new thrift store purchase ( $1.50 ) are these vintage Three in One candle holders.
They can take a taper, a tea light or a fat candle
depending on how you turn them.
The tall gold tapers are in my Ralph Lauren crystal candlesticks
(you've seen them a million times, too)
The candle rings match the centerpiece as well as ones on the side table.
I will add fresh white roses on Christmas Eve.

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I used these same French horn ornaments last year as napkin rings but the heavy cream napkins that I've gotten won't fit inside of them nicely so I just put them at the top of the charger for a decoration.
Off white poinsettias with gold glitter trim accent the entire house.

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I love to have my family gather around for our Christmas dinner.
What better way to say "Happy Birthday, Jesus!"


Thanks for stopping by The Gazebo House.
I hope your homes are filled with lots of love &
merriment & good health, too!