As the New Year approaches, I can't help but remember the winter of 2016. In Tennessee, we had downright wintry weather, minus the dreaded Polar Vortex. It's the time to take down Christmas decorations and evaluate the year--was it good, bad, or ugly? Do you have resolutions or will you adjust your sails when they need adjusting?
Thursday, December 29, 2016
Thursday, December 22, 2016
Welcome to Christmas at Foodie Friday and Everything Else. Are you ready for the holidays? Ahead of schedule or behind? Are you staying home or traveling? Wherever you'll be this Christmas Eve, I wish you a happy, safe holiday.
Wednesday, December 21, 2016
I'm joining the Novel Bakers for the final day of Southern Living's Christmas All Through the South. It's the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year, marking a slow but sure return to light. I'm in the kitchen, serving casual Southern fare: buttermilk fried chicken, apple-cranberry slaw, pecan cornbread, Montgomery's punch, and shortbread.
Monday, December 19, 2016
I'm joining the Novel Bakers today and Wednesday to present Southern Living's Christmas All Through the South, a book overflowing with charm and old fashioned magic. You'll tour gracious holiday homes, stopping to look at outdoor decorations, foyers, mantels, staircases, wreaths, and gorgeous trees. Along the way, you'll see a home in the pines and a house by the sea (to name a few), and a menu has been prepared for each home, reflecting the season and geographic location. The last chapter is devoted to festive recipes.
Thursday, December 15, 2016
It's time for Foodie Friday and Everything Else. The temperature is falling, and I've stayed inside my warm, cozy kitchen, baking Christmas goodies. I've made French bread, 2 kinds of peanut butter fudge (one recipe didn't quite work), shortbread, gingerbread cake, and pecan scones.
Monday, December 12, 2016
December is a month-long feast, a time for parties and pot lucks. Every event, large or small, is a food lover's dream, and you'll have the honor of sampling the host's finest dishes. Potlucks are a delight, because you'll encounter at least one new-to-you recipe, along with the classics. But it can get dicey if you're attending six potlucks in five days--and you've promised to bring a dish to each one.
Thursday, December 8, 2016
Monday, December 5, 2016
This week I'm teaming up with 20 other bloggers for the Holiday Home Tour Blog Hop, which brings you 4 homes each day, hosted by Celebrate and Decorate. Day 2 of the tour began today, Tuesday (I'm posting early).
Thursday, December 1, 2016
Happy December 1st. I hope you had an enjoyable Thanksgiving. My mother has made great strides since her illness last summer, and she set out vintage Santas and even made fried apples. Everyone brought food, and we were so busy eating, no one remembered to take a picture. My great niece kept us all entertained with her bright personality and charming ways. During the holiday, we had the best news: I will be a great aunt for the second time. I'm excited to see what you brought to this week's Foodie Friday and Everything Else. And I love hearing about you, from the weather in your neck of the woods to your kitchen adventures to your holiday activities.
Tuesday, November 29, 2016
I'm delighted to launch Christmas festivities with 20-plus bloggers for a holiday tablescape blog hop, organized by the darling, talented Chloe at Celebrate and Decorate
Thursday, November 24, 2016
Rattlebridge Farm wishes you a happy Thanksgiving. I am grateful for Foodie Friday because it has introduced me to so many lovely people over the years. The party began in the winter of 2009, and it has remained the highlight of my week.
Thursday, November 17, 2016
Welcome to the pre-Thanksgiving party at Foodie Friday and Everything Else. The holiday is almost here. Are you ready? How do you find time to blog and entertain (and prepare your home for guests)? Do you have any time-saving tips?
Wednesday, November 16, 2016
I'm so happy to join the Novel Bakers for part two of A Forest Feast Gatherings by Erin Gleeson. If you missed part one, you can catch up by visiting Jain, Mary, Linda, and me. I was enchanted by the Bakers' unique presentations of this extraordinary cookbook, and I know you will love them, too.
Monday, November 14, 2016
I'm excited to join the Novel Bakers today and Wednesday for a delightful romp through The Forest Feast Gatherings by Erin Gleeson. If you aren't familiar with her recipes, you will be drawn to her simple, elegant style and equally simple (and delicious) recipes.
Thursday, November 10, 2016
It's always a delight to see you at Foodie Friday and Everything Else. Glad you're here. Thanksgiving is two weeks away, so you've come to the right place today for recipes and ideas. Let's take a look at last week's party:
Wednesday, November 9, 2016
I'm delighted to join a group of talented bloggers for the Thoughts of Home Thanksgiving Vignettes Tour. The week-long event launched Monday, November 7th, and will continue through Friday, November 11th, featuring twenty amazing bloggers. Since Monday, I have toured 14 beautiful homes, each one filled with holiday ideas and creativity. I'm looking forward to the rest of the week!
Monday, November 7, 2016
I'm looking forward to the holidays. Bit by bit, I'm getting the house ready. The Halloween items have been put away, and I filled the little cupboard with brown and white pottery. I began collecting it many years ago, and I don't mind if it's old or new--if it's brown and white, I adore it.
Thursday, November 3, 2016
I'm delighted to see you today at Foodie Friday and Everything Else. I've spent the week doing chores in the house and garden--and I've still got miles to go.
Monday, October 31, 2016
Saturday, October 29, 2016
The magical light of October calls for a celebration. Since we're on the cusp of All Hallows Eve, my thoughts turned playful. Why not serve something mystical? A tiny feast with spells and spirits. I set up a wine and cheese bar on the porch, complete with a resident ghost. If you don't blink, you can see him floating over the table, peering into the orange wine glasses.
Thursday, October 27, 2016
Welcome to Foodie Friday and Everything Else, our last party in October. The next time I see you, we'll be in the 11th month, a time that launches the holiday season. November summons images of warm browns and gold, feathers and acorns, woolly scarves and walking sticks, nubby sweaters and herringbone jackets. The first frost is the last call for the garden, a reminder of things to come. November is Winter's opening act. But we have a few more sparkling days in October, and I'm enjoying every minute. I hope you are, too.
Wednesday, October 26, 2016
It is a sunny, mellow afternoon in October, the kind that makes you crave a picnic. But I wasn't prepared. The fast-food cupboard was empty, and I didn't have time to bake something from scratch. Also, I didn't want to miss one moment of this warm, sparkling day. All too soon we'll be pulling on boots and heavy sweaters. I dashed off to the grocery, gathering a few delectable items.
All of a sudden, October is winding down. Sunset comes sooner and sooner, bringing a sharpness to the air, making me think of two words I dread more than rats and bees (polar vortex). It's time to bring out nubby sweaters, scarves, and tartan blankets. Time to relish these waning days, enjoying the last of the roses and hydrangeas, watching the sun stretch out over the hilltop.
Monday, October 24, 2016
Even before we moved to Rattlebridge, I knew the living room would present design issues. In its former life, it was all cut up, with a 1970s sunken living room. At some point, a sun room was added. Our contribution was to open the space, allowing for unrestricted views of the distant mountains; but the remodel also created my biggest decorating challenge to date.
Thursday, October 20, 2016
Welcome to Foodie Friday and Everything Else. This week, I've been busy painting my old wicker and re-doing the upper level screened porch. I had planned on neutrals, but the man cave's ambient beige has made me realize how much I love--and need--color (along with old fashioned comfort and simplicity). Though the wicker project hasn't been without mishaps, it's been interesting--and colorful. I still haven't painted the sofa (glossy black, maybe).
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
"She's gone Primitive and country on me," my formal-loving husband said when he walked into the room. He may think this is temporary, like a virus, but I've found my groove. It's comfortable, laid-back, un-trendy, and follows no logical design. I like that.
Monday, October 17, 2016
It was a magical October afternoon when I stepped onto the balcony to serve lunch. Dappled sunlight danced across the floor, and way up in a tree, I heard a cardinal singing. Only a few years ago, this second story balcony had made a different impression. We'd dubbed it the Motel 6 porch. It still looked rather homely after we added the cedar shake.
Saturday, October 15, 2016
I'm enjoying the slow rhythm of decorating the house for autumn. It's been quite a few years since I've done this, and I've had such fun. I usually keep white ironstone in the wee pine cupboard, so the foundation was already there. I just added a few playful items.
Thursday, October 13, 2016
Wednesday, October 12, 2016
Here on the hilltop, I've embraced Halloween with a childlike enthusiasm. Maybe it's because I will turn 63 years young this week, or maybe I'm just out for the candy. Either way, whimsy is the word of the month, and I can't remember when I've had this much fun.
Tuesday, October 11, 2016
Monday, October 10, 2016
A few years ago, when we bought a 70s ranch house, I was charmed by a fenced rose garden. After the remodeling process, we made an alarming discovery: the bushes had every symptom of rose rosette disease. Since there's no treatment, the bushes were removed and destroyed. I slowly began building a butterfly garden..
Sunday, October 9, 2016
What if joy was a rare event, occurring only once a year? Not only would we look forward to that day, we would also worry that something might steal it. Oh, Lord, what if we got food poisoning that day? What if we fell off a mountain or a mountain fell on us? We might string up imaginary barbed wire, hoping to snag trouble before it had a chance to creep up and steal our joy. The problem is, we could get tangled in our self-protection, sabotaging that one, magical day.
Thursday, October 6, 2016
And welcome to Foodie Friday and Everything Else. It's time to put on your party shoes and dance your way from house to house, sipping cider, eating caramel cake, and jotting down ideas for Halloween and Thanksgiving. Last week's party had plenty of goodies.
Wednesday, October 5, 2016
Early October feels like a bridge between September's playful warmth and the frosty weather of deep autumn. I love this journey. If only October could last a bit longer. With this feeling in mind, I reached for colorful linens that evoked the beauty of the month. For tabletop decorations, I added pumpkins, antlers, and sunflowers--and a lone, black crow figurine.
Monday, October 3, 2016
I love the bright, bold colors of autumn--a dash of paprika, a sprinkle of cinnamon, a pinch of saffron. Now that the weather is a bit cooler, I'm enjoying the porch. It's fun to switch around the furniture and make cozy dining areas.
Sunday, October 2, 2016
At times, blogging reminds me of a fast-moving river, its powerful current rushing downstream, washing away everything in its path. Rocks are eroded, creek beds are carved out, and debris is carried for many miles. Drop a penny into the water, and it disappears. Writing a blog post is like building a paper boat and setting it gently into a wave. The boat launches, scurrying into the tumultuous current. Will it stay afloat or get sucked to the bottom?
Saturday, October 1, 2016
Thursday, September 29, 2016
Goodbye, September. You were a warm, colorful month, bringing crisp, cool weather, the kind that matches the fantasy of a perfect autumn day. You taught me a few lessons. You reminded me that the changing seasons are beyond our control, but not beyond our longing, not beyond our imagination. The best part of fall is receiving gifts that each day holds. Sometimes these gifts are fleeting, just for us, for this moment. If this isn't magic, I don't know what is.
Tuesday, September 27, 2016
The potting shed has a long and interesting history, dating back to 2013. She began as an anniversary shed, a gift to my husband and myself, two intrepid gardeners with two different mindsets. I dreamed of a Country Living type space, and my husband envisioned something utilitarian, where grass seed was stored in twisted sacks and muddy tools could be hung on the wall.
Sunday, September 25, 2016
Saturday, September 24, 2016
The Underporch has a story to tell. Like most tales, this one has a beginning and a middle, but thankfully, it lacks an ending. After all, this is a decorating story, and we don't want closure, with the room stuck in Autumn. The room looks forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas. It may even look forward to winter.
Thursday, September 22, 2016
Happy Autumn Equinox, the first day of fall. Between you and me, it sure feels like summer. This morning, I replaced a few (dead/fried) plants with vivid and (hopefully) hardy Coreopsis, and within minutes I was completely drenched. But it was worth it.
Sunday, September 18, 2016
This is my first September on the hilltop, and I'm watching everything. Birds, clouds, leaves, the moon. The days are hot and humid, but evening arrives with crisp edges, sometimes with fog. The atmospheric change is abrupt, as if I have stepped down into a cool, damp cellar.
Thursday, September 15, 2016
Welcome to Foodie Friday and Everything Else. Can you believe it's mid-September? Today was hot and dry, but the changing light tells me that crisp weather is on the way. I enjoy seeing autumn photos on Instagram--some places are beginning to look like true fall, and other places are like mine, summery but not.