Mardi Gras - Fat Tuesday

Have you ever wondered what Mardi Gras is all about?
Roots of Mardi Gras - Mardi Gras, literally "Fat Tuesday," has grown in popularity in recent years as a raucous, sometimes hedonistic event. But its roots lie in the Christian calendar, as the "last hurrah" before Lent begins on Ash Wednesday. That's why the enormous party in New Orleans, ends abruptly at midnight on Tuesday.

What is less known about Mardi Gras is its relation to the Christmas season, through the ordinary-time interlude known in many Catholic cultures as Carnival. Carnival comes from the Latin words carne vale, meaning "farewell to the flesh." As early as the middle of the second century, the Romans observed a Fast of 40 Days, which was preceded by a brief season of feasting, costumes and merrymaking.

The Carnival season kicks off with the Epiphany. Epiphany is also traditionally when celebrants serve King's Cake, a custom that began in France in the 12th century. Legend has it that the cakes were made in a circle to represent the circular routes that the Wise Men took to find Jesus, in order to confuse King Herod and foil his plans of killing the Christ Child. In the early days, a coin or bean was hidden inside the cake, and whoever found the item was said to have good luck in the coming year. In Louisiana, bakers now put a small baby, representing the Christ Child, in the cake; the recipient is then expected to host the next King Cake party.
The best-known celebration in the U.S. Mardi Gras came to the New World in 1699, when a French explorer arrived at the Mississippi River, about 60 miles south of present day New Orleans. He named the spot Point du Mardi Gras because he knew the holiday was being celebrated in his native country that day.

These beads were given to me by someone who went to Mardi Gras several years ago. I've never been and don't expect to. I would like to visit New Orleans someday when it has been restored from the Katrina disaster.

Mardi Gras colors

The best-known celebration in the U.S. Mardi Gras came to the New World in 1699, when a French explorer arrived at the Mississippi River, about 60 miles south of present day New Orleans. He named the spot Point du Mardi Gras because he knew the holiday was being celebrated in his native country that day.

Eventually the French in New Orleans celebrated Mardi Gras with masked balls and parties, until the Spanish government took over in the mid-1700s and banned the celebrations. The ban continued even after the U.S. government acquired the land but the celebrations resumed in 1827. The official colors of Mardi Gras were chosen 10 years later: purple, a symbol of justice; green, representing faith; and gold, to signify power.

Mardi Gras literally means "Fat Tuesday" in French. The name comes from the tradition of slaughtering and feasting upon a fattened calf on the last day of Carnival. Pancake Tuesday, the custom of making pancakes comes from the need to use up fat, eggs and dairy before the fasting and abstinence of Lent begins.


Today's Tea Cup

This is another tea cup on the muffin stand. The other two were posted earlier in February (see archives.) This beautiful tea cup (from Ebay) is Elizabethan Staffordshire "Princess." It's hard to choose a favorite among my yellow rose tea cup collection!


Muffin Stand

This is the muffin stand I display four of my favorite yellow rose tea cups on. I bought it at an antique store a few years ago. I was told it was called a muffin stand, but I'm not sure if that is the proper name for it. I fell in love with it and had to have it to display tea cups on. It has the perfect spot in our living room. A friend gave me the little tassel doll on the stand, she is dressed in yellow and has a yellow rose on her hat!

Today's Tea Cup

This is a favorite tea cup in my yellow rose tea cup collection. The contrast of the yellow roses against the black is very striking. This set is from Ebay, I was very happy when I won it! I have it displayed on a black muffin stand in the formal living room along with three other favorite yellow rose tea cups and saucers.

This set is "Chatsworth" Royal Albert's Merrie England Series.


Back to Violets!

I had forgotten about this little kitty creamer with violets on it! I don't want to leave her out, she will bring a smile for sure when presented at my (someday) Violet Tea Party! I also found the vintage lace doiley with lavender flowers on it in the bottom of my basketful of lace!

A dear friend gave me the little cobalt blue tea pot for Christmas, it even has it's own matching glass strainer inside.

Kitty Violet

A close-up of little kitty "Violet." I also found a vintage lace hankie with lavender lace on it in the basketful of lace!

"Long for the pure milk of the word, that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord." I Peter 2:2 & 3

Violets Dishes

These violet dishes were my Mother's and she gave them to me since they match the violets tea pot, sugar bowl and creamer. A nesting set of four, I call them nut dishes, they could be ash trays, but not for this house!

Third picture.

The third picture is Barbara, she and Kevin married in December (1997) so you'll have to wait until then to see photos of their wedding! I'm posting her framed picture now to complete the wall vignette. Barbara and Kevin are also having their first baby in September! We'll have two new babies within a week or so of each other! How exciting is that!

Happy Anniversary, Alyson and Dave!

My daughter, Alyson married Dave February 25, 1984. They have had such a happy marriage! They have personafied a true Christian marriage. I'm very proud of the way they have reared their children by being excellent examples.

When Alyson was very young I heeded the advice of our church minister and started praying for her future husband even though I thought this was a little unusual. I'm so thankful I did and my prayers were answered perfectly! I couldn't have chosen a better husband for her, Dave is one of the nicest men I've ever met, he is so laid back, kind and considerate. Their sons are also following in his footsteps. I'm very thankful everything has turned out so well for all of them!

Happy Anniversary Alyson and Dave!

So Grand!

Alyson and Dave's sons, our only grandchildren (until August!) These two boys are the light of my life, they put the grand in being a grandparent! They have never given their parents any problems and we are all so proud of them for the right choices they continue to make in their young lives.

Tanner, left, and Taylor on the right.

This photo was taken Christmas 2004, but it's the only one I have handy, all the recent ones are already in a photo album.


Treasure Chest

This trunk is one of my favorite antiques. I restored it back in the 70s. When I brought it home it was so ugly my husband forbid me to bring it into the house! It was painted a reddish-brown and had three wheels. The inside smelled of moth balls. It took a long time, but it finally became presentable. The top and front tin panels have a leaf pattern design. It is perfect sitting at the foot of the gold-leafed iron bed in our guest room which is decorated with all antiques and is called a bed and breakfast room by all our guests!

Lay up for yourselves treasures in Heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and thieves do not break in or steal, for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Matthew 6:20, 21

Wedding pictures wall

This is the wall where the wedding photos are displayed. This wall is between the dining room and family room. On the right side of the photo is a peek at the dining room, it's a little difficult to see between the wall and the dining room column. This photo was taken at Christmastime when I had yellow poinsettias decorating the pictures. This wall is a darker gold than it looks, and the lighter frame is actually a darker gold and matches the other two better than it looks here.



Ashleigh and Shawn, as you stand together, take notice of each others hands.
Because these are the hands that will help you through life’s journey.
These are the hands that will greet you and say “I love you” each time they touch.
These are the hands that will caress you in times of joy and celebration.
These are the hands that will wipe your tears in times of sadness and sorrow.
Where there were only two hands before, now through this marriage there are four.
And in God’s hands, there are even more.
This was read at our wedding, and also at Ashleigh and Shawn's wedding. I think it is so beautiful!

Happy Anniversary!

Today is my youngest daughter Ashleigh, and her husband Shawn’s fourth wedding anniversary! They married February 23, 2002 in Charleston, SC. Their wedding was marvelous with the beautiful setting of historic Charleston. We have wonderful memories of their wedding and I am sharing some of my favorite photos of their special day. This photo of Ashleigh and Shawn on their wedding day is displayed on a small wall area in our house with all three of our daughters’ framed wedding photos.

My two daughters, Alyson and Ashleigh, both married in February, the dates being two days apart, but with many years between the weddings.

Sweet Memories

This sweet wedding photo of Ashleigh and Shawn is my favorite. I keep it displayed in my bedroom. Each time I look at this photo I give thanks, as this wedding was an answer to my prayers!

Dream Ride!

This is the vintage Rolls Royce Ashleigh and Shawn were driven from the church to the reception in. Charleston, SC.

Happy 4th Anniversary Ashleigh and Shawn! February 23, 2006.

Now we are looking forward to the next milestone in your marriage - the birth of your first child this coming August!


Dody's Special Day

Today is a special day for Dody. We adopted Dody from the Humane Society a year ago today. Since we don’t know his exact birth date, we decided February 22 would be his birthday. I guess we should have named him “George” for the president’s birthday! He is eight years old! Today he gets to do anything he wants (as if he doesn’t always do that!) He’ll sit in the wicker rocker with his best friend and watch the sun rise. He can take a nap on the chaise lounge on the porch overlooking the lake, or relax in the swing. He will get lots of TLC and his favorite - a belly rub! We hope to drive up to St. Augustine to Brewster’s Ice Cream Shop for his favorite dessert - a cup of vanilla ice cream topped with two doggie biscuits! Happy birthday, Dody dog, you‘re the best!


The Gate

This large picture used to hang over our sofa in our former house. I liked it so much I couldn't part with it even when we didn't have a place for it in our new house. After a year or so I found the perfect spot for it. In Florida the houses have very high ceilings, our house has high shelves about 2 to 4 feet from the ceiling. We now have this gate/yellow rose picture sitting on the high shelf in the dining room, along with several other items. Someday I will share that shelf vignette.

"Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him; bless His name. For the Lord is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting, and His faithfulness to all generations." Psalms 100:4, 5


Romance is an attitude, a set of habits, a way of encountering the world. You are a romantic when you are willing to invest time and energy into making your experiences more vivid and memorable ~ Thomas Kinkade

People are always commenting that I have "a lot of stuff!" They ask, how often do I dust? Where do I store all this? How long does it take to decorate? How do I have time to decorate so often? ETC!!

This is what I love! I am willing to invest the time and energy! I can't imagine living any other way!

Yes! I'm a romantic! I thank my God for the talents He has given me! I'm also thankful that I derive pleasure from simple things, and that I can decorate on a budget, using things already on hand. It doesn't cost a lot, yes it costs my time, but every minute is worth it and my family and I enjoy the romantic look!


Violets Centerpiece

Since I had a lot of my violets items out I decided to make a centerpiece with them. I have a large gold-leafed mirror that I use as the base for many centerpieces. The mirror is so heavy I hesitate to hang it on the wall. It makes great centerpieces and they all look different. This one has the French violets box, the violets powder jar with purple beads, the purple candlestick, a crocheted doily, and silk violets.

Chintz Violets Tea Cups

I found these two sweet little tea cups at Ross a few months ago. They were only about $3.99 each! They are not fine china, they are ceramic and a little thicker, but to me they are fine! On the bottom of the saucer is "Mayfair collection by Jay." I now have five tea cups and saucers with violets, plus the little miniature set. Someday I plan to have a tea party with the violets theme!

More Violets!

Violets are very popular! Since so many of you have made positive comments about my violets, I want to share my other violet tea cups and saucers. These two tea cups and saucers are gifts from my husband. In 1997 he went on a trip without me and went into a gift shop to buy me a tea cup. He liked the Monthly Tea Cups and was going to buy me the one of my birth month. He liked some of the others too and couldn't make a decision, so he bought me all 12 of them!! I was so shocked when he gave them to me! My first thought was where will I put them! I already had so many in my collection! I now have nine of them displayed on a shelf on top of my kitchen cabinets.

The unusual thing about these monthly tea cups is the February and the April cups both have violets as the Flower of the Month. They are different brands, the February cup is Regency, made in England; the April cup is Mayfair, Staffordshire, England.

Since I have so many tea cups I have thought about giving my friends the tea cup of their birth month, but instead I just serve them tea in that cup! At the Christmas tea, the person with the December birthday was the one who used the December cup and saucer with handpainted holly!

The note card above is a tea pot with violets and says "Thank You." Thanks to all of you for your kind comments!


Emma's 90th Birthday!

Today is Emma's 90th birthday! She is the mother of my neighbor, Jan. Emma came to live here four years ago from Sun City, Arizona. She loved living in Arizona, but felt she needed to be closer to her daughter.

Emma is a fiesty little four-foot redhead! I have enjoying getting to know her and hear her stories. She went to college at age 60! She also lived in the dorm with the younger girls and I'm sure they all loved her! Yes, she earned her degree in psychology! While her husband was still alive, she wanted to go to Europe, but he didn't care to go. Emma went alone! She toured the countryside in England by herself and thoroughly enjoyed it!

When Emma moved here she was renting a house near her daughter. One day she went out and found herself a new duplex townhouse, signed the papers and then came home and told her family that she bought herself a house! Emma still has a very sharp mind and can keep up with anyone in conversation. She does have a hearing aid, but it doesn't slow her down.

My husband and I were always amused to see her driving her little Toyota fast down our street! We called her "The Little Old Lady From Pasadena!"

Last year I wanted to give her a tea party for her birthday and had sent out the invitations and made the plans, but she fell and injured herself and couldn't have her party. After she recouperated, I was determined to have her tea party because she was so disappointed that she missed it. One day I talked to her and she was having a very good day, so I called my friend Linda and we put together an impromptu tea party! We drove over and surprised her with the tea party! Below is a page from my Tea Party Photo album with photos and memories of her party, she was so excited and pleased! This year she had a large dinner party with 26 people attending. The picture above is Emma enjoying tea at my 2004 Christmas Tea Party.

My Prayer group has Emma on our prayer list. Last year Emma was diagnosed with bone cancer. A new Hospice building was opened in our town and she was the first one to enter. She has been there a year, and now she has to leave because her health is too good!! Could it be that this spunky little lady has beat the cancer?! I wouldn't be surprised!

Happy 90th Birthday, Emma! May you have many more!

The Secret of Life


Violets Box and dish

Today I went through the house looking for more items with violets. This French violets box was displayed high atop one of the shelves in the master bedroom. I bought this darling little box at an antique shop a few years ago. The little violets dish probably had a lid at one time, but I adopted it even though it didn't have one, I just liked the handpainted violets on it! I think it once was a little china powder box.

I also found a set of four nesting leaf shaped nut dishes with violets painted on them. These had been my mother's. They match the tea pot nicely, but they are Lefton china.

Violets Tea Set

This violets tea pot with matching creamer and sugar bowl were given to me when I was a teenager by my Aunt Catherine. The name of it is Spring Violets by Rossetti, made in occupied Japan. I was thrilled to get it then and have almost always had it displayed in my house somewhere. It is now displayed in the breakfast nook. I have enjoyed using it for tea parties as well. Aunt Catherine used to give me a lot of nice things and I treasure all of them. I've told her I think she has the gift of giving because she enjoys giving gifts even more than receiving them! Aunt Catherine is now 80 years old and very chipper even after two hip replacement surgeries.

The little sugar tongs were also a gift to me from one of my tea guests.

Today's Tea Cup

I chose these tea cups today because the February flower is violets. I have loved violets from childhood. I remember picking wild violets growing under a tree in my mother's yard. I would take them inside and give them to her. She would act surprised and excited and thank me, then she would place them in a tiny vase and place them in a special palce. I seldom ever see any live violets anymore, except for African violets. I sometimes buy an African violet plant and it grows for a time, but eventually dies. I can't seem to keep them alive.

These little tea cups were purchased recently, just because! I may have had in mind to give one as a gift, but fell in love with them and decided I couldn't part with them. Someday I would like to have a violets themed tea party, it will have to be a small party as I only have four tea cups and saucers with violets. I could easily collect violet tea cups since I love the tiny delicate flowers, but I have too many tea cups already! I hope to have a little granddaughter to take tea with me someday and we can use this matching set, one for tiny hands and another for mine!

"Look at us, said the violets blooming at her feet, all last winter we slept in the seeming death but at the right time God awakened us, and here we are to comfort you." ~Edward Payson Rod


Master Bedroom

Our master bedroom has a romantic theme as does the rest of the house. I made the window treatment. The valance has silk hydrangeas over the top. The small photo shows a close-up of the pillows. I strive to have a casual elegance style throughout the house.

Master Bedroom

This table covered in silk fabric with a shawl over the top is in the master bedroom. My husband bought me the pretty little tea set at Cracker Barrel one time when he was driving home alone from Indiana. This table is beside the armoire in the bedroom.
Other items in the master bedroom, this lovely lady's is over my nightstand, a white candle sitting on a bouquet of roses candlestick. Above is a close-up, I named her Francesca.


Rose Designs for Tea Parties

Butter Roses (shown right) At my last tea party I made butter roses by filling plastic rose molds with softened butter. Freeze them, then pop them out before party time.

Another idea is to use plastic molds for sugar shapes :
Add 2 teaspoons of water to 1 cup of sugar, and combine until it's the consistency of wet sand. Pack moistened sugar into plastic mold trays (with shapes 1 to 1 1/2 inches wide), available at kitchen-supply stores. Scrape level with a spatula, then immediately turn out molded shapes onto a parchment-lined tray. Let harden overnight. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to a month. (Food coloring may also be added to the water.)
My daughter sent me this sugar idea from Martha Stewart.


Happy Valentine's Day! I'm sending a special greeting to all my internet friends who read my Yellow Roses Blog! Thank you for your interest in the "things I enjoy" and post for you to enjoy. I try to post something daily if possible.

My question for you - would you please post a comment to let me know you are there. I would love to hear from you often, but at least once! Thank you!

I hope to have more real life photos for you soon. I'm technically challenged and have difficulty figuring out how to make the photos small enough to post. I'm also trying to learn how to add links to my blog so I can add your links. Thanks to all of you who have tried to help teach me and thanks for being patient!

Have a wonderful Valentine's Day and lots of chocolate!


How Do I Love Thee?


A Valentine's Day Prayer

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” – I CORINTHIANS 13:4-7 NIV

Lord,Because love is patient…Help me to be slow to judge, but quick to listen. Hesitant to criticize, but eager to encourage,remembering your endless patience with me.

Because love is kind… Help my words to be gentle and my actions to be thoughtful. Remind me to smile and to say “Please” and “Thank You” because those little things still mean so much.

Because love does not envy or boast, and it is not proud… Help me have a heart that is humble and sees the good in others. May I celebrate and appreciate all that I have and all that I am, as well as doing the same for those around me.

Because love is not rude or self-seeking… Help me to speak words that are easy on the ear and on the heart. When I’m tempted to get wrapped up in my own little world, remind me there’s a great big world out there full of needs and hurts.

Because love is not easily angered and keeps no record of wrongs… Help me to forgive others as you have forgiven me. When I want to hold onto a grudge, gently help me release it so I can reach out with a hand of love instead.

Because love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth…Help me stand up for what is right and good. May I defend the defenseless, and help the helpless. Show me how I can make a difference.

Because love always protects and always trusts… Help me to be a refuge for those around me. When the world outside is harsh and cold, may my heart be a place of acceptance and warmth.

Finally, because love always perseveres… Help my heart continually beat with love for You and others. Thank you for this day when we celebrate love, and for showing us what that word really means. Amen.
~Holley GerthWriter/Creative Manager

Today's Tea Cup

I had planned to post a photo of our romantic bedroom, but the pictures turned out too large. Here's a pretty tea cup from my yellow rose tea cup collection. I won this one on Ebay. I had so much fun finding yellow rose tea cups on Ebay a few years ago!

This tea cup and saucer is one of a series of Sweetheart Roses by Royal Albert. This one is named "Margaret." I would like to find others in this series.


Love is a Many Splendored Thing

Love is a many splendored thing,
It's the ____ rose that only grows in the early spring,
Love is nature's way of _____ a reason to be living,
The _____ crown that makes a man a king.
Lost on a high and windy hill,
In the morning mist two lovers _____
and the world stood still,
When our _____touch my silent heart
has taught me how to sing,
Yes, true love's a many splendored thing.


Love Quotes from Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Good works are links that form a chain of love.

If we want a love message to be heard, it has got to be sent out. To keep a lamp burning, we have to keep putting oil in it.

Intense love does not measure, it just gives.

Love is a fruit in season at all times, and within reach of every hand.

Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.

~ Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Let Me Call You Sweetheart

Another Valentine song game. Can you fill in the blanks?

Let me call you Sweetheart, I'm in love with you.
Let me hear you ______ that you love me too. Keep the ______ glowing in your ____ so ____. Let me call you Sweetheart, I'm in love with you.

I dedicate this song to my dear sweet husband who bought me a new computer chair today in hopes that it will help alleviate the pain I get in my neck and shoulders when I sit at the computer too long! Now, that's true love!

Soon I will post the answers to the blanks in the comments section.

Happy Anniversary!

Happy Anniversary to my friends Mona and Fred! Today is their 45th wedding Anniversary!

This photo was taken last summer when they came to visit us. They are in front of Flagler College in St. Augustine, FL.

I was in their wedding which took place in Huntsville, AL. All the attendants wore red and carried pink flowers! Mona and I were best friends in high school and even though I moved away 40 years ago, we have remained friends.



What could be better than a box of chocolates? Why of course it is - "Noni's Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge!" Noni is no longer with us, but we have her fabulous fudge recipe and always think of her when we make it. To me nothing is better than warm homemade fudge. I even like bought chocolate when is it warmer than it should be! I confess, I'm a chocoholic! I like most chocolates and in almost any form. I'm so thankful research is proving that chocolate is now good for us! Yea!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge
Mix 2 cups sugar
2/3 cup milk
2 squares bittersweet chocolate
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons butter
Cook to soft ball (test in water.) The humidity determines how long this takes and it is usually 3 to 5 minutes. (I don't make this when it rains)
Add 1/3 jar (small) marshmallow cream
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 cup nuts (pecans)
Beat till firm.
Pour into a pan lined with waxed paper or foil. When cool, cut into small squares.


Valentine's Day Centerpiece

I made this centerpiece very inexpensively with a red heart box that had been a box china cups were shipped in. I bought it at a china shop for one dollar! The red hydrangeas have sparkles on them, they were left over from Christmas. I've had the candlesticks a long time, and the hankie with tiny hearts, and the vintage brooch with red stones. For some reason it was a little hard to find red tapers, I finally found them at Dollar Tree. The vintage-look Valentines were purchased recently at St. Augustine, FL, along with the small red glass hearts. The pearl garland doesn't show up well in the photo, but it adds a lot to the centerpiece. I've had the white lace tablecloth a few years, it looks like bridal lace.

Dining Room Table Centerpiece

The dining room table decorated for Valentine's Day with heart box, red hydrangeas, Valentines, candles, pearls, Valentine hankie, and tiny glass hearts.


Today's Tea Cup

Today's tea cup and saucer is one of the first tea cups I won on Ebay. We lived in Indiana temporarily for three years while my husband was doing contract engineering I didn't know many people there and entertained myself on the computer. This is where I first discovered Ebay! I collected tea cups and made the decision to only collect unique yellow rose tea cups and saucers. I thought this one was beautiful with the big yellow roses and gold trim. This is a Royal Albert tea cup.

I just recently bought this gold hat box. Tonight while at Barnes and Noble bookstore I bought a new book "Friendship Teas to Go" by Emilie Barnes. Emilie encourages tea parties to go - pack up two teacups, tea bags, sugar cubes, cookies, etc. along with a thermos of hot tea and go to the beach, or to a neighbor's, or your own front porch. I think this gold hat box would be perfect for a small tea party on the go!

Today's featured tea is Spiced Chai Tea. (I've forgotten the brand.) I had this at a restaurant at lunchtime today. I enjoyed it. The restaurant is across from the ocean. It is wonderful living near the ocean here in Florida. Maybe I will pack up a tea party in the hat box sometime soon for my husband and me to enjoy on a picnic table overlooking the beach!

My Funny Valentine

I've always loved the song "My Funny Valentine," I'm happy some of the old songs, including My Funny Valentine, are being revived by popular artists today. I have several new CDs with this song - Rod Stewart's Great American Songbook CD, Michael Bolton's Vintage CD, and one of Chris Botti's CD. This song gets in my mind and I can't stop thinking about it! Does that happen with you? At a Valentine party once we played a game filling in the blanks of romantic songs. Here's one of them, can you fill in the blanks?

My funny Valentine Sweet _____ Valentine
You make me smile when I’m ____
Your looks are laughable Unphotographable
Yet you're my favorite work of ___
Is your figure less than _____
Is your ____ a little weak
When you open it to ____
Are you ____?
But don't change a ____ for me Not if you care for me
Stay little _______ stay
Each day is Valentine's day!