Tuesday, November 30, 2010

How to Smoke a Hog…or Stew a Tiger

We have lived in Northwestern Arkansas for almost ten years now and have come to accept the jibs and jabs from our numerous Arkansas Razorback friends when it comes to the rivalry between their HOGS and our beloved LSU TIGERS. This year we decided not to travel to Little Rock to tailgate and attend the game, but rather watch it with other friends who decided to stay home this year as well. 

It’s much easier tailgating in your friend’s backyard than packing up the car with all your gear and grub!  It was the perfect day…crisp but sunny outside, ESPN Game Day on the outside tv, several hands of poker being played while others prepared meats to be smoked, kids playing in the yard and the rest of us getting ready for the crowd to come.  I never really even thought about the football game, itself…


Game day preparations in the back yard…check out this fine custom smoker!


Lighting the heaters to keep everybody warm and happy…


How to make a pig taste good…compliments of Arkansas’ finest recipes


Inside the rotisserie smoker at noon…yup, coming along nicely!



Kids had a ball with bean bag competitions…


Dads had a ball with morning beer drinking…


and morning poker games…


Checking out the pork butt for chopped pork sandwiches.




The smoked bologna is ready! Don’t you love the apron!?


Our contribution to the meal…a massive batch of Uglesiches’ Jambalaya


Too cute Hog cookies…


and purple and gold cupcakes


Serious competition…


lots of gigglin’ kids…


The old men are beaten by the young pup


and the poker game is looking serious now!


So is the bar…


Nothing better than adorable newborn twin boys…or adorable teen girls!


parents on the patio…


kids in the yard…


and a fun time was had by all…


except for the score to the game!  Phooey…you won’t catch this Tiger by the Tail!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving For A Big Family

Three tables in one open room to accommodate a large family for Christmas.  The plan was to tone down the typical orange and brown colors for Thanksgiving, so I used bronze, copper and gold. 



Brown silk runner with pillar candles at different heights down the table with brown, copper, and bronze glass ornaments of acorns, leaves and nuts. 




The kids table was covered with natural craft paper so the kids could color it.  The Thanksgiving tree was made from branches I sprayed with copper paint and glittered. 


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Our Thanksgiving Table

I kept it clean and tidy this year…filled up apothecary jars with the traditional stuff…


Non-traditional colors on the table in silver, golds, bronzes and coppers


A bronze, ruffled napkin as a placemat and beaded napkin ring from Pier 1, with our Annie Glass plates, crystal and family silver make the table just right for us!


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Thanksgiving Trees!

Busy “ain’t” the word for Thanksgiving week.  We’re all in a race to make the list of things to pick up from the grocery store, then rush to get in and out of there before the real rush begins on Tuesday.  Then there’s the list we need to make for all the other things that have to be done: clean the house, rake the leaves, do the laundry, get to the liquor store, have the dog groomed, table or house decorated for the big meal.  What am I forgetting?  Cooking that big meal!  We all have so much to do, it’s a race to get to the final moment!  What is it again that we are celebrating?  Oh yeah…being thankful for God’s many blessings.

I am decorating three tables for one large family for Thanksgiving this week and we’re starting a new tradition for this family.  It’s a Thanksgiving Tree.  You’ve seen these in your kid’s classrooms, talked about it at your Thanksgiving table, etc.  I like the idea of creating a tree that is up for the week of Thanksgiving so family members and friends can write down their thoughts of thanks.



Cut pretty scrapbook paper to look like leaves have them write their thoughts on them and have them hang them from the tree.  They can be read at the table on the big day if you want, or you can save them in a special book of Thanksgiving.  Have your participants write down their name and date on the leaves and when the week is over, save them in your Thanksgiving book.  It would be cool to look back on over the years to see what was truly special to your loved ones.




I like this below…Happy Thanksgiving to you!


November is for Thanksgiving

Yesterday a dear friend told me she was so disappointed when she set out last week to find something pretty to put on her Thanksgiving table.  She is hosting an early dinner for her husband’s family today and they have much to be thankful for this year.  She said she went to all of local stores in town where you would normally find decorations and she found nothing, nada, zip.  She said she found a few Halloween decorations on clearance, but everything else was Christmas.  So I offered to bring to her a few of my things to put on her table and told her I would deliver them. 

My son and I noticed, as we drove to her house in a huge neighborhood, how many yards were already decorated for Christmas.  We saw lots of homeowners out and about in their yards and on their roofs putting up holiday lighting, tying red velvet bows on wreaths and garlands, pushing snowmen and Santa signs into the earth to wish us a “Happy Holiday!”  Her street has 10 houses on it…5 of them were ready for St. Nick!  As we pulled up to my friend’s house, my son said, “I’m so glad they still have a pumpkin and Thanksgiving decorations at their door…it’s not even turkey day yet!”  AMEN TO THAT, BROTHA!

What’s the deal, AMERICA?  I laughed when another friend of mine posted on Facebook pictures she took of her neighbor’s Christmas decorations up and ablaze on Nov. 3rd.  What’s the rush, people?  Take time to enjoy the season we’re in.  We have a rule in my house…NOVEMBER is for Thanksgiving.  DECEMBER is for Christmas.  I wonder if they pull out the Easter stuff on Mardi Gras day? 

I may get the boxes out of the attic the weekend after Thanksgiving, and I might have a few bags of new wrapping paper, bows and a few gifts I have purchased in the closet.  But you can bet this family doesn’t watch football on Thanksgiving day with the Christmas tree lit and presents underneath, and the “Smell of Christmas” candles burning through the house!  I’m just saying…75110_10150308623430315_888030314_15667396_7707097_n

Christie’s neighbors house…Nov. 3, 2010. 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Thanksgiving Decorations from the Sweetest Gal in Town!


I would like to share with you just a few of the beautiful Thanksgiving and autumnal displays of Lisa Neumeier Bobel, owner of L Designs in Fort Smith.  She keeps busy all year long creating floral designs for all occasions that range from clean and classic, earthy and ruff hewn, to the gorgeous and elaborate.  It is always a treat in my day when I have a Facebook update that tells me when Lisa has posted new project pictures for me to drool over!  Check out some of her autumn masterpieces…I know you will agree that she has a “gold thumb!” 13542_231195557836_142116512836_4318389_1245141_n













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