Wednesday, August 16, 2017

ELVIS Birthday Trip 2017

Today I'm going to share my post about our trip to Memphis to go to Graceland!  I surprised my husband for his 70th birthday to venture out on a total surprise for him.  He had absolutely no idea where we were going but just a long weekend trip.  We left on a Saturday morning in July and started driving toward Birmingham.  He guessed several times where we were going, however didn't put it all together until we got on the other side of Birmingham.  Then he saw the Memphis signs and guessed our destination.

You see he and I both are huge ELVIS fans!  When we were young married and he was in college, our hobby together was to go to ELVIS concerts.  Yes, he saw him in concert in person all over the southeast 13 times and I saw ELVIS 9 times.  It was a great experience to share together.  When ELVIS died I was only 26 years old, and we both were devastated. 

I had made our reservations at the new hotel in Memphis, The Inn at Graceland.  It was a beautiful hotel and was decorated in true ELVIS style. 

When we arrived late Friday afternoon we were hungry and ready to eat, so we decided to check out Marlow's!  It seems that you go to the Conciere Desk and ask for a pink cadallac to go to Marlows and they pick you up there at Graceland. We had the best ribs I believe I had ever eaten plus the driver was awesome.  It seems that when he was a teenager, he had a girlfriend that lived behind ELVIS and she taught ballet.  ELVIS wanted her to teach Lisa Marie how to dance so he put a gate up between her yard and his and she could come and go between the yards to give her lessons.  He also said that they used to sneak over to ELVIS' pool and swim at night when they thought no one was watching. They got ran out numerous times, only to return again and again.  Funny stories he told. 

He also said that when we got to Marlow's that we should ask for CJ (I believe was her name) in the gift shop and that she dated ELVIS.  He said we should ask her when we meet her specifically "what ELVIS gave her on their first date". So when we arrived we went to the gift shop and met her we asked the question.... She said that ELVIS rented a movie theatre and they were sitting watching the movie.  He asked her what her favorite color was, she said red.  He excused himself and she thought he went to the men's room only to return shortly afterwards.  When they left the movie, he presented her with a burgundy Pontiac Lemans right outside of the theatre.  He said burgundy was the best he could do that late at night.   

This was us at the Graceland gates after dinner.  Graceland is literally one block down from the Inn. 

Close shot of the brick wall at the gate. I thought it was really cool all of the signatures and sentiments to ELVIS written on the wall.  It's a great piece of grafheti.

As you know today is the anniversary of his death so I would really love to be there today, but not possible to go back right now.  They say that they line up the afternoon of his death anniversary and everyone walks by the memorial garden on the grounds and pays respects until everyone in the line, no matter how long is able to pay respects.  Sometimes it's 9:00 or 10:00 a.m. the next morning. 

This was a photo of ELVIS in one of his cars at the new ELVIS pavilion across the street from Graceland.  It's a beautiful new complex and has all of his cars, outfits, memorabilia, and other star's outfits that had beautiful sentiments said about ELVIS and his music.  It was a great place to spend several hours just going through all his stuff!  You actually board a bus to go over to Graceland from his site.  The airplanes were also here to go through. 

In the automobile display room these were signs on the walls and were huge.  I thought the one above was great since it told the story of the American Dream and how it spoke of American's freedom.

Its strange ELVIS was a very shy person, but was always self confident in his talent.  That's why he was able to sell himself to the world as a great artist. 

These pics of the gold suit, his early guitar and shoes show the 50's & 60's style of ELVIS and his eccentric sense of style.


Once we reached the house, there is a room outside, where ELVIS and Pricilla had their wedding reception, with more memorabilia in it.  I caught a glimpse of this baby blanket that was Lisa Marie's.  It had this writing on it and thought it was so precious.  It says:
To Lisa
Long Beach Arena
I love my Lisa
Wednesday August 15, 1972 

This was Pricilla's Dune Buggy they used to go all over the property with.  Loved it because it was PINK!

Then on to the next stop.  Near the airplanes you can board a bus to go to Sun Records in downtown Memphis.  You will need to ride the Graceland Inn bus back to the hotel.  Sun is where he made it big and cut his first records beginning July 1954. 

History of Sun Records

ELVIS and Sun Records history

This is my hubby in front of the infamous Sun Studio building.

We had such a fun time on our 3 day weekend.  It was a packed, fast, fun weekend trip and my husband loved it all as did I.  I hope you enjoyed seeing a little of ELVIS and his world as it was in the 50s, 60s & 70's and what they have done with it today.  We still mourn ELVIS but so grateful he left behind a ton of music for us to enjoy.  Thanks for viewing my post and hope you return for more fun adventures next time.

Monday, July 31, 2017

2016 Western Gourmet Party

As I write this post on a Sunday afternoon, we just returned from Sunday School this morning and I thought it would be a nice picture of introduction for my post today.  I have a country pew from an old church that my husband purchased about 25 years ago.  It’s been placed everywhere but now is in our den.  I though since it was Sunday I would dress it up to look like a western Sunday go to meeting pew.  Especially since I will be sending it in a few weeks to my daughter’s new home in Cumming.  But that’s another post for later. 

Also, there are a lot of pics here so please be patient with me as we stroll along......

I also thought I would show you some western pics to continue to set the western mood that we took while traveling this past February to Dallas, Texas!  This is in the stockyard at Ft. Worth Stockyards and the cattle drive there that we watched.  It was very amazing to see the types of cattle herded through there.


While there I considered purchasing some cowboy boots for myself (always wanted a pair of red ones) but decided I might better wait.

Now to my post…

In looking at a website for some cowboy boots I ran across King Ranch Saddle Shop at and thought it would be great to create a post about a western theme in our home and present it to you guys for viewing.  And by the way, you can visit King Ranch on Pinterest.  

Then I realized it might fun to post a western event of something that really occurred in our home.  That was last fall 2016 when we hosted our monthly gourmet club.  I did a western theme and even though the western decorations were all over our home, we had some really good pictures and tablescapes that I wanted to share with you
Because we had a large number attending I had 4 tables that I had to prepare.  Here is a pic of our dining room dressed for our western dinner.  I used tin plates from the dollar store as chargers and put a red checked table cloth on the table.  I thought it turned out really well with my husband’s booths and hat.

There are even a few poker chips on the table for a quick game!  A few of them are some my husband has collected from antique stores.  Gives that vintage feel.

This is the table on the porch and here I used my husband's Daisy Rifle on top of a blue checked tablecloth all bunched up, with my grandson's cowboy boots and hat. 

 On the rock patio near the outdoor fireplace I used burlap runner with a chalkboard strip on it, along with another of my grandson's cowboy hats.  Also I used an old rusty iron pot that belonged to my Big Daddy's (It was used to make lye soap back in the 1920s).  Also I have an old black kettle used on the open fire. We live on Carnes Road and there used to be an old plantation on our property.  The wagon wheel that is in the background was one that we found on this property along with a hatchet.  These were found when we were digging up flower beds here and there in the back yard.  Pretty cool huh?

 The fireplace has a burlap wreath on it with a toy guy in the middle with a kerchief tied on it.  The banner says "Kiss A Cowboy". 
And... that's just what we did!

I loved the pics taken in front of the outdoor fireplace of couples that were enjoying our western party! 

In the kitchen I set up the three tiered Pottery Barn tray with mason drinking jars, a red kerchief and silverware for everyone to pick up on their way to their table.  And you can't have a western party without sunflowers.

The deck was donned with an additional drinking station.  The antique washbowl held ice.

And, as the night wore on the lights came on so we enjoyed the evening even more with our friends.

Hope you enjoyed my post today.  Please share your comments as I love to host parties and create new tables capes.  Always looking for new ideas. 

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Daughters of the American Revolution

Today I'm going to blog about my experience in joining the wonderful ladies of DAR Augustin Clayton Chapter. I joined many years ago (probably around 2002).  I'll have to check to see when the
actual date was and come back to update this post for accuracy since I have a brain fog today.

Anyway, it took about a year to find all my paperwork.  As you all probably know, you must do the research to prove that you are a descendant of an American Revolutionary War Veteran.  My war hero was Captain James Cartledge.  He served in North Carolina but died later died after the Revolunary War in Washington, Georgia.

But I didn't come by this information very easily.  In the beginning, I wanted to research my lineage on my mother's side as she always wanted to become a DAR. Since her passing in 1987 it was a desire for me to complete this as a remembrance of her.  So, I started out with my maternal grandparents, Etsie Harris and Wilson Reames.  I researched it all the way back to the Revolutionary War and used many books and documents to complete my application.  After completion, it was submitted to Washington through my current chapter.  

After about 6-8 weeks our chapter was contacted to say that my lineage could not be proven because there was one book that was incorrect and the National DAR in Washington had received paperwork for other applications from the same area and found this particular book "The History of Harris County" by Elisabeth Barfield stated some incorrect information.  I knew that my part in this book was correct because my Big Mother, Etsie Harris (pictured above on the left in my heading) was interviewed by the author as Mrs. Barfield was in her Sunday School class at our church, Rose Hill Baptist in Columbus, Georgia during the 50's and 60's.  My Aunt, Lois Harris Geiger (also pictured above in the fur coat and hat) had told me this story many times and also told me the history as it was also stated in the book. In fact, Aunt Lois (AKA: Nannie) was present for the interview with my Big Mother.  My mother even had a copy of this book in our home as I was growing up.  Well this information was devastating and I was so assured that the information I had submitted was correct and didn't understand why they had denied my application.  
However, something good did come out of that disappointing phone call.  It seemed that when they denied this application, they wanted to approve another line for me that was already proven in the National DAR records.  The one of my father's line, being my paternal grandmother, Ruby Dean Cartledge.  They already had all the information on file there in Washington and sent my approval on that line.  We just had to resubmit another application stating my lineage to Ruby Dean.  And we did and I was inducted into the DAR.  

However, I always vowed that I would prove the lineage to my mom's heritage.  I never have done that; however, I did do a DNA testing out of Houston to see if there was ever someone out there that had a line I belonged to for my maternal side.  One day maybe

Thursday, June 22, 2017

2017 Gourmet & Birthdays

Saturday night my husband and I hosted the June monthly gourmet group at our home. Since they were all coming to the dinner, I decided that we would honor two of our members for their milestone birthday's that they shared. One was my sweet husband and our friend, Tom Sawyer. 

We had such a great time celebrating even though right in the middle of appetizers in the back yard it started to rain.  So...we pulled the party in the garage.  We had 39 people in attendance so it's not easy to host that many for appetizers in my home.  Everyone came to the garage where we quickly set up tables and brought the appetizers inside.  The rest of the night was spent celebrating with good friends and good food. 

Our menu was some of the boys favorites:

Italian Pasta Salad
Italian Green Salad
Main Course
Spaghetti and Meatballs
Chicken Spaghetti
Italian Green Beans with Bread Crumbs
Birthday Cake of Course!
Vanilla Ice Cream
Homemade Blackberry Cobbler
(made with handpicked berries by our scared fingers)
Sweet Potato Pie
We started the appetizers out in one of the living room of our yard.  There is a love seat, two chairs with ottomans and bistro table with chairs out there so people can mingle well.

Since our theme seemed to end up Italian we started with table decorations that lend that way.  I put large baskets of loaf bread for that olive oil and balsamic vinegar to be enjoyed on the table.  This is our deck and as you can see before the rain it would have been a great night to watch the stars while eating!

Our friends also gathered by the fireplace area where there is additional seating and another table to seat more of our friends. Notice the wooden painted cupcake that was painted by my friend, Lauren to help celebrate birthdays. 

It was a nice place to gather as people arrived through the back gate to the party.

This is a pic of our kitchen table showing our bread baskets before dinner.

The dining room was also decorated with the paper lining each side of the tables.  It was a nice addition since it helped keep the olive oil and vinegar off the table cloth. Check out the vase of tomatoes from our yard on the table.

The airplane was decided upon because my husband works for
Express Jet and both men love to travel via Express Jet and Delta. 

The birthday cake was made by a friend of our at our church, Shirley Tyler.  She always does a great job and love to use her as she is retired and local.  She also makes cookies and other items as things to give guests as they leave afterward. 

Blowing out the candles for a mile stone birthday was pretty easy surprisingly.

Tom looking pleased with himself after giving those candles a work out!

I set up the desserts in the kitchen and served from there. 
Look at that huge pan of Blackberry Cobbler, Yum, Yum!!

This chest/coffee table was my moms hope chest and we had it painted 3-4 years ago.  We had to put up a table in the den to seat some of the guest.  It ended up holding our going away tray of bread that we gave departing guest. AS you can see I wrapped them on white paper and tied them with jute.

One thing I forgot to mention that during our appetizers we played a game with our old childhood photos. I previously asked everyone in our gourmet group to text/email me their photos between the ages of 5-10.  I put them in a word document and printed them out.  Everyone had to guess who the photos were and it was a lot of fun.  There was a winner that missed less than 5 people out about 25 photos. Madelyn Alexander you ROCK!

 I thought the night was a huge success as people lingered and talked to late hours.  Afterwards, the cleanup wasn't too bad.  Below is a pic of my cleaned up kitchen with my home grown vase of tomatoes still shining.