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Thursday, May 28, 2009

An Empty Nest Tablescape with Thrifty Bargains (and one Tiffany candlestick!)

Happy Thursday! As usual I am late in logging into Mr. Linky's lists of blog-party-animals, but I spent part of today on the telephone, pretending to be my 23 year old daughter.

Why, you ask?
Our daughters arrived in London this morning . . .

. . . and Alida's ATM card would not work, and she couldn't reach her bank by phone; they block calls from overseas!
So she emailed us for help.

Problem fixed. Moms can do anything. But I had to impersonate my daughter to the bank.

If I land in jail, send me a cake with a file in it, but make sure it's baked from scratch and includes some major chocolate. I want my cellmate Big Gertie to be happy with it.

Chase Bank had frozen the account for security reasons. Alida called the bank last week, to let them know she would be in London and would need to use her ATM card, and the bank said, "Sure, hon, you can access cash with your ATM card anywhere in the world!" Well... apparently they meant, "You can, but (ha ha!) we won't let you."

Anne didn't call her bank ahead of time, and had no trouble using the ATM. Hers is a much smaller regional bank. I'm thinking there might be a lesson there.


Anyway ... on to happier things! For more of Tablescape Thursday (lots more! It's the 40th week of Tablescape parties!) go here! For Thrifty Thursday stories, click here. And to look at Vintage Thingies Thursday, put your cursor here and click!

Thanks to Susan of Between Naps On The Porch, Leigh of Bloggeritaville, and Suzanne of Coloradolady for hosting these three fun blog parties!


For the next blissful week, Howard and I are Empty Nesters again.
Tonight, a cozy dinner a deux:

We'll begin with shrimp cocktail in my Grandmother's etched glass dishes,
very vintage (the glasses, not the shrimp):

It is leftover shrimp, but a little shaved ice, shredded lettuce,
Crosse & Blackwell cocktail sauce and juicy lemons will redeem them!

A bit of champagne, to give the leftover shrimp a boost, in flutes that were a gift
25 years ago from my in-laws, from Bloomingdale's in Chestnut Hill near Boston:

Then dinner: very simple! Turkey cutlets, in a lemon wine sauce with some fresh thyme from the garden, on Wedgwood Patrician dinner plates -- I only have two of the dinner plates, both from Ebay:

These dinner plates are smallish -- which is good; I can fill them
and we can pretend we are having a larger dinner than we are!

With the turkey, a Gewurztraminer, because I get a kick out of using my old German wine glasses with the green ribbed stems; I think they go nicely with the green-bordered Wedgwood. Besides, it is fun to say "Gewurtztraminer."

I got these glasses 30 years ago, after Howard and I got back from a wonderful 3 weeks in Germany; I bought them on a deep discount at Fortunoff's -- an amazing New York area chain that just this year went out of business. I will miss Fortunoff's!

For some mood lighting -- candles -- 88 cents at K-Mart. We'll put them in mismatched holders:

A heavy crystal candlestick, one of a pair from Tiffany's, a gift from the radio station
in New York City where Howard worked for nearly 20 years as a reporter and anchor:

And the other crystal candlestick, also one of a pair, a Christmas gift to me from Howard,
back in the day when our gifts to one another were exceedingly modest:

It's from Big Lots, and cost him $3. How great is that?
I love these candlesticks, and went back to Big Lots and bought more for gifts that year!

The flatware is my Georgian pattern silverplate, that I have gotten on Ebay in bits and pieces:

No shrimp forks, the little salad forks will have to do:

And the napkins -- old linen (a few wear holes at fold lines) with handmade lace edging -- very soft and sweet.
From a church rummage sale on Eastern Long Island, years ago.

Dion DiPoochy is confused. He sees dishes, but no food. What's up with that?
Hardly worth licking one's nose and getting into full begging-eyes mode.

Now for something completely different. . . our poppies are blooming!

How wild and over the top are these crazy blooms?

Look what is inside the bloom! Dig those crazy stamens!
(Is that what they are? Is there a science teacher in the house?)

Can you believe that something that just yesterday looked like this . . .

. . . can look like this today?

Hmm... maybe there's hope for me! -- Cass

Don't forget to visit the other blog party posts, and comment if you can!


  1. HI Cass! I would be glad to bring you a file, in a very delcious cake, mind you. Kill two birds with one stone. Maybe I shouldn't talk like that when we are discussing prison. LOL post-Divine! The food, the tableware, the poppies and especially that puppy! LOVE it all!
    Thanks for dropping by Bloggeritaville, my friend!

    Leigh Bratina

  2. Hi Cass!! Wow girl, you covered some serious turf with this post!! Gotta say I love your sense of humor!! Love that dinnerware and those stemmed beauties, also!! So very pretty!!

    Our nest won't be empty til we're in our 60's!! Which is ok by me!! We LOVE our little getaways!!

    I'm assuming Momma fixed the ATM problem by using her alias right?

    Just tell them to email me...I'll vouch for ya!! ;o)

    Great post!!

  3. Love love love the Wedgewood plates!

  4. Love your stories. We have the same glasses -- bought a dozen at a dept store in Germany and have acquired a few more in different sizes along the way including some tiny ones for schnaps? I must say that the original dozen are still in tact. Either the Germans make very good glassware or I've been very careful.

  5. Good I'll bake you a file cake for sure and ice it with tons of chocolate for Big Gertie...Too funny..Now I love your table is's so you and just plain seeing more of your beauty of a home..your poppies are just wonderful...all my Calif poppies are so in bloom right now...just wished they would last a bit longer for me...May you have a great day my friend...Hugs and smiles Gl♥ria

  6. I'm not up specifically on my poppy anatomy, but I'm SURE the plethora of little stalks with fuzzy anthers on their ends are the stamen. (I believe stamen is plural all by itself) I'm GUESSING that large central organ (yes, it is a plant organ) is the pistil.

    Those are some gorgeous poppies, and your pictures just remind us of all that s-e-x- going on in the garden!!!!!!


  7. Oh yah - - - and besides answering your science questions, I'd bring you a file too!!!! :-)

  8. Yippeee - - - your science teacher friend was right. Those are the stamen, AND the wide spherical organ in the center is the sticky top (stigma) of the female pistil.


  9. That comment wasn't supposed to post yet cause I wanted to give you THIS link:

  10. Wow! What a great story on the candlesticks! I do love the one from Big Lots as well as the one from Tiffanys! Beautiful table and shhhhh we'll never tell about your impersonating your daughter - it's just our little secret!
    P.S. You're talking my language with the gewurtztraminer - LOVE IT!

  11. Beautiful table setting - I love the plates!

  12. Your dog is ADORABLE!!!
    LOVE those London phone booths!

  13. Better late than never! I like the ebay plates! What a good mommy you are!

  14. I still can't believe Forunoff's went under. The parents worked so hard and the kids blew it!
    AND, I had gift certificates I never got to use! I was going to use them in the outdoor store here in Southampton ..guess not! There goes 100 dollars..
    vent over..
    I loved your post, all you pretty things, the funny named wine, and the pretty cloth from the North fork..
    Great post..

  15. Coming from VTT! I love your dishes and crystal! And beautiful poppies - mine should be out this week or so, here in Mass.!

  16. Why oh why can't I get poppies to grow? Thank you for allowing me to live vicariously through a poppy grower!

  17. That happened to my sister when we went over to Ireland just a week or so ago. The bank said No Problem! and I had to loan her money for part of the trip. Good thing you were there!

    Love the Big Lots candlesticks -- great find!

  18. We'd take up a collection for bail money, don't worry!

    I love the Patrician design - the colors are beautiful. I don't remember seeing it before. I often pass by two or three plates, but I'm thinking that now it would be just enough for Jay and I on a quiet evening.

    My mum had those same wineglasses - she bought them while we were in England, and my brother has them now.

    Thank you for sharing - and glad that things worked out for your daughter. I hope she has fun on her trip!


  19. Good job mom....I have had to do that too....and shame on you for tempting that pup with no food! HaHa.

    Lovely items today to show off....Have a great week.

  20. Hi there Cass,
    I just wanted to stop by and say thank you for visiting and, deep breaths...following me.
    Does impersonating your daughter really count? I mean, really? ;)
    I am swooning over your poppies. So beautiful! One of the neighbors down the road from us has a whole patch of them. I'm thinking about knocking on her door to ask for some. :)
    Have a happy empty nester week!

  21. You've set a beautiful table.

    I too live in a house that is a work in progress and every one knows where we live.

  22. Hi Cass,
    Too funny! I had to impersonate my 19 year old daughter over the phone recently and I know what you mean. I don't think they really thought I was born in 1990. I may have to be in that cell with you! hehe, at least we would have fun yakking. I love your china and glasses from Germany, they are so special. Your doggie is just the cutest thing, hugs, cindy

  23. Well everyones comments seem to cover all my thoughts and then some...except for this (you know me, I always have to say something)
    There is a tiny local winery that makes their own take on a Gewurztraminer but they call it...get this...Girls Are Meaner. Ha I love that one.

  24. Great post! How funny. I hope your girls have a great time in London! Love the table and the poppies and the Tiffany and Big Lots candlesticks - awesome you put them together!

  25. As far as I'm concerned, Chase is a big pain in the patootie.

    Oh my goodness, your dining room is stunning! Love the table setting. too. Oh, and your poppies -- LOVE them!

    Have a great weekend. Maybe we can get some sunshine?! :)

  26. love your dinnerware! and the table setting is simple and yet lovely too!

  27. Lovely table...but I am mesmerized by the poppies....and the pupster!

  28. I will bring you a file. :) Love your stemware. Look at that precious little face.

  29. Cass, Wow this was a post! I love the dinner for the both of you. I loved you just used the dinner plate no chargers. You can send me that napkin! I will total send you a cake, I think we all have done this a few times with our children. Well I have that backwards, as my daughters took care of bank for me while working traveling! You plates are lovely!

  30. Those plates are so pretty! I've never seen that pattern, but I'm going to be looking for it (not that I need any more plates), but I do love that pattern). Oh, that picture of your sweet little dog is absolutely adorable! I just wanted to pick him up out of my computer screen! laurie

  31. Cass, Still catching up on tablescape viewing this week. Oh I just love your Old House. My kind of place! If you have to go to jail for the bank thing I will house sit and dog sit, cute puppa!LOL
    Way to go Mom!
    Gee ,all the table things pretty, the food the poppies.
    Such eye candy!
    Thanks, Linda Q

  32. I really enjoyed your post....your tablescape is very all your old things...beautiful! I hope your daughters bring you something pretty from London....something that will fit between the jail bars...LOL (just kiddin')!

  33. This is my first visit to your cutest ever blog! And I love your sense of Humor...A file in the choco. Cake that makes Big Gerti happy...I'm still laughing, I'm going to "Follow" you, I love to Laugh! xoxo ~Kathy~ @ Sweet Up-North Stop in for a visit, I'll leave the light on for ya!...


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