December 22, 2014

My Christmas Hustle and Bustle

tabletop Christmas trees

Since Thanksgiving it seems that I have had a whirl-wind of activities. How is it that an empty nester is so busy? ha! It could be that I am just slower than I used to be so I have to whirl around more while actually accomplishing fewer things. Could that be it? 
Decorated Christmas Tree
Our smaller tree fit nicely in the entry hall...letting it be seen from four rooms.
We have decked the halls, decorated the tree, shopped for gifts, wrapped those gifts, sent Christmas cards, cleaned the house ( well, still cleaning), and baked a few goodies (I baked some bread today too.) We still need to go to the grocery and stock up on things to cook two Christmas dinners. Yes two. Our kids will be home at two different times...and of course we want to feed them good home cooked food. 
Christmas at My Kentucky Living
Dining room and parlor are on the front of the house. 
Our menu will include a spiral sliced ham, old fashioned mashed potatoes, various vegetables, rolls and cornbread. Pecan pie and a French vanilla cake (all dressed up) will be on the sideboard. A dressed up cake means that I take a cake mix as a base and then customize it. I may make a home made caramel icing. I will nail than down before grocery shopping. So, more about that later. 

I had to rework the dining room table because my garland and bowl took up one third of the top of the table. It looked great, but was I pared it down a bit so I would have room for place settings. I have not decided if I will use placemats or a table cloth. Both of the Christmas dinners will be during the less formal. I am still thinking about the table top design. I will take some pics once I have set the table.
Decorating with pine cones
I love the sculptural qualities of pine cones. They lend great texture to a room too.
After taking everything off of the table, I dusted it. Next I put a large oval silver tray in the center of the table. Then I put my elevated cast silver bowl on the tray. I was not sure how it would work. The tray is from a tea service and is finely detailed, while the bowl is large and bold with a rough finish. I think they work fine. What are your thoughts?
Pine cones

pine cone centerpiece
Maybe too many pine cones here!
Pine cones
I put several gold tipped pine cones on the tray...but they seemed too busy looking, so I removed them.
silver tray and centerpiece
Better without so many pine cones.
Without the pine cones the centerpiece has a more sculptural look. I like it better. I also added some candlesticks. I once read in an etiquette book that you are not supposed to light candles during the day  prior to four or five o'clock. I need to do my research to see if the rule still exists. You all know that I am traditional...and that means that there are a few rules. ha!
silver tray and centerpiece
The tray might look good with fresh cut pine branches, or maybe fresh cut boxwood. I am not sure I will accomplish adding fresh greenery. But it would look very nice I believe.
silver tray and centerpiece
A simpler look for the dining table centerpiece.
While uploading these pictures I made a decision. I will use a white tablecloth! OK, decision made. This centerpiece begs for a nice crisp white cloth. I always use a tablepad underneath my tablecloth too. A pad makes a nice base, protects the good wood, and helps the cloth to lay nicer. 

Now that I have decided to use a white tablecloth, I must decide which dishes to white Mikasa Countryside Italian dishes that are my every day dishes, my navy and white wedding china, or the blue and white Spode plates. (I also have Spode yellow and white chargers.) Let's nix the white ones. I want some color on the table. That leaves the two blue and white choices. I am just not sure right now. I will surprise you!
christmas at my kentucky living
Having the tree in the entry hall kept the great room floor space open.
After the hustle and bustle of pre-Christmas activities/tasks/parties, etc. I am ready to slow down. The house has taken on a cozy look even though I used minimal Christmas decorations this year. Here is the parlor all decked out for the season.
Christmas at my Kentucky living
All cozy and ready for us to just hang out and relax with the kids.
There is a tv in the armoire and a cd player on the tea table. This room may be small, but it is not lacking in electronics. :-) It makes a great refuge from the large flatscreen with ballgames.
The weather report for my part of Kentucky is looking like rain...and not snow for Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. Good, since we will have kids on the road coming home. You know the song Over the River and Through the Woods to Grandmother's house We Go...well my kids have to cross the Kentucky River and drive down through the knobs (hills) of Kentucky to get to our house. I want good road conditions for them. 
Byers Carolers
Byers Carolers will sing what ever I put in the CD player. Neat huh!
I still have to stock the larder...but in just a few days the oven and range will be pressed into some serious cooking. I want the house to smell like home when the kids get here! 
golden retriever
Mikey is laying on the floor across from me and I can tell that he has things on his mind too. He is thinking of "Santa Paws," of all of the food that has been brought into the house and when he will catch a nibble, when the other people (our kids) will be coming home to play with him, and any other multitude of things that a golden might be thinking of while "waiting." I can confirm to Santa Paws that Mikey has indeed been a good boy this year, his eleventh!

I am ready for Christmas! I hope. :-) 

Having my children come home, having a warm home for them, and having sufficient food when others do without, and being loved,...I am blessed, and thankful.

This week our minister said that his six year old daughter asked him a question. She asked "will the poor kids have Christmas too." Then he said to us, the congregation..."we know the answer to that question." 

There are people in our church who gave enough money to purchase food to fill eighty food boxes, to be delivered to those in need in our small community. There are wonderful people in the world, despite what the news shows tell us, and many live in my community and attend my church.

I wish you a wonderful time during this season of spiritual renewal. Pass along a few smiles,a few hugs, and offer up some random acts of kindness... just because.

Merci Beaucoup…
While I am being sentimental...I want to thank you for being one of my readers! Who knew that so many would find my little Kentucky blog so interesting? This January will make two years since I started writing, and I am overwhelmed at the positive responses from readers, subscribers, and other bloggers. I also find it so interesting that I have so many international readers. And they want to know how I do the things I do! I cannot help but smile and be thankful for so much support. I am making plans for 2015 and hope you find my topics and photographs fun, interesting, and informative. 
Merry Christmas Y’All


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My Kentucky Living
My Kentucky Living

Hello, I'm Sheila and my house is a giant art project! I enjoy creating an environment where my family can feel safe, secure, and loved. We are empty nesters learning to slow down and enjoy life.

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