The Three Birds Pub…

…or Public House. All secrets will be revealed and all projects will finally be shared from the mysterious sewing and planning for this evening of “Celebrating” good friends and good food.

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We had a wonderful time at a “Thank You” celebration at this old house Pub on Sunday November 10th. We wanted our friend from England (who now lives in Washington) to know how much we appreciated his offering of his parent’s home in Porthtowan to us this past September. He not only offered their home but also gave us some great recommendations for things to do while we were there.  Our guests were very surprised when they arrived to our house Pub on Sunday!

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We decided to name our pub “The Three Birds” because of the 3 birds on our stained glass window.

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The reader board is from a business our son Josh had when he was in high school. Dear spray painted one side of it with chalk board paint that you can buy at craft stores. We used Union Jack duct tape to frame the chalkboard and frame some other signs that we made for the evening. Our daughter in law, Laura, did all the printing on the chalk boards. The printing on the signs were my effort…oye.

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In England a lot of Pubs have Beef and Yorkshire pudding as specials on Sundays so we decided to do the same since our meal was on a Sunday, too.

As you stepped into ye olde pub you were greeted with various scarves from English premier league futbol (soccer) teams.

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We had lots of fun with our signage…

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We carried the bird theme wherever we could. These sweet birds were in a flower basket that Josh and Laura gave me for Mother’s Day symbolizing my 3 little birds that are all grown up now.

2013-11-10 Pub Night2Laura printed the names on the place cards, too. See the bird place card holders?

Pub Night 045This was another Chalk Paint project that Dear painted for me. I bought the white photo frame from Michael’s on clearance for $11.88. I liked the shape of the wood frame. Dear took the glass out of the frame and spray painted it with the Chalk paint. We let it dry and waited a few days before we treated the chalk paint as directed by rubbing chalk all over it and then wiping it off. Now it was ready to go. I stuck on the stickers and Laura printed out the menu.

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These banners were some of my sewing experiments. The front banner is just a short twine tied between our island pen lights with 3 of the 12 napkins I made for the table. There were only 9 of us at the table so I used these 3 to fill in the air space in our kitchen/eating area trying to cozy things up to look more like a pub. I’ll be brave and show more close up detail on my sewing efforts at the end of the post.

Pub Night 025Each place setting had a poppy broach that I made by cutting off individual poppies from a bouquet stem of poppies that we bought at Hobby Lobby. I used wire cutters to do that and then attached stick on pin fasteners on the backs so they could be pinned on easily, or not so easily as it turned out. The reason we decided on the Poppy broaches was to commemorate Remembrance Day/Veteran’s Day since our time together was on Veteran’s Day Weekend and Poppies are worn extensively in England during this time.

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The centerpiece was filled with some items that we would see on pub tables when we were in England and some things I added. I wanted to use as much pewter as I could.

Pub Night 011I used pewter mugs that Dear and I bought in England in the early seventies for our flower arrangements.

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The napkin rings were silver tea pots. All the plates were made in England. I used a combination of three different blue and white transferware.

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These are the rough cut napkins that I made from a yard and a half of British themed fabric. I was able to get 12 napkins from the yardage I bought. I trimmed the runner with some bias tape I found in my MIL’s old sewing box. I also used bias tape for the little triangle cut outs that were left over from my original Pub banner.

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Now to the most important reason for our evening…our guests!

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The lovely ladies with their poppies on. Left to right, Katie, Laura, Gwen, Terri, and Sophie. Terri and Gwen are sister in laws. Terri is married to Gwen’s brother Luke. Luke was too sick to be able to join us. Sophie is one of Terri and Luke’s daughters.

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Our guest of honor Gabriel with his wife Gwen and Josh and Laura. It was fun to share our England experiences with our friends and to thank Gabriel in person for his generosity to us and his great suggestions on what to see and eat in Cornwall.

Last but not least was our dessert.

Sticky Toffee 017Sticky Toffee Pudding. I will be posting the recipe at Mennonite Girls Can Cook on Wednesday, November 13th.

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We said farewell to our guests with our stomachs full and our hearts full. A most wonderful evening. Our kids helped us clean up and we went to sleep content with visions of Prime Rib and Yorkshire pudding dancing in our heads. If you want a tried and true recipe for Prime Rib and Yorkshire Pudding for your Christmas Holidays this year make sure you order one of our Celebrations Cookbooks. If you gift someone with this book you are also gifting children in Kenya who need clean water to live well. All of our author royalties go to this cause.

Sticky Toffee 013For the next couple days I think I’ll sit with my feet up and enjoy this book that I first heard about on Vee’s Blog, A Haven for Vee.  It finally arrived last Saturday. We ordered it before we traveled to England! What is on your schedule this week?

I’m linking up to Cuisine Kathleen’s Let’s Dish. As soon as her direct link is up for this week I’ll add it to my post. It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to link up. Looking forward to seeing what’s going on in Dish world!!

Porthtowan, Cornwall, England

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We stopped at Blue and had a pint with a beautiful view of Porthtowan beach before we headed out on a hike up the beach trail. This will be a photo overload post.

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St. Ives sunny 196One and three quarter miles SW of St Agnes, Cornwall.
Named in Dines as Great Wheal Charlotte, there is a wide area of barren ground which appears to consist mostly of old mine waste material. The area overlooks the sea and is popular with walkers, it is easily reached by an old trackway from the nearby coast road or via the coastal footpath network.

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Back to our car parked at Blue and home for some leftover Chicken Noodle soup. The wonderful end to a day filled with beautiful views of God’s creation.

On Sunday we are having our friend from Porthtowan whose parent’s home we stayed in while we were in Cornwall over for a meal. Our meal might just have something to do with Jolly Old England…

What are your plans for this weekend. Do any of you get Monday off for Veteran’s Day, Remembrance Day, Armistice Day?

Steep and Crumbling…

We had a very nice scenic ride from St. Ives back to Porthtowan along the coastal cliffs. We stopped along the way to peek over the cliffs to the sea.

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It was very windy and I tried to capture how the wind was whipping the grass and bending it over.

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Later when we finally reached Porthtowan we had a little something to stave off our dehydration and then we took a nice hike along the cliffs.

I am happy to announce that my little sewing projects are now completed. I even managed to dig out my MIL’s old sewing box and use some of her bias tape (she had about 50 packages from Penny’s for 6 cents each) to do a couple extra projects. Oh I’m looking forward to showing you all the fun things we have going for our time here on Sunday. I hope when I finally show and tell it’s not anti-climactic.

I almost forgot…head over to Mennonite Girls Can Cook today to see my Butter Pecan Pumpkin Squares. Yum…

St. Ives Deux…

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It was such a beautiful warm day in St. Ives and I took so many photos. I mentioned in my previous post that the tide was out when we arrived.

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2013-09-18 St5We enjoyed seeing some residences that peaked our curiosity.

St. Ives sunny 089I have never read any novels by Daphne Du Maurier. Have you?

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St. Ives sunny 090The tide started rolling in while we took a stroll around the town.

2013-09-18 St8We followed the cobbled and narrow streets back to the train station with one last view of the tide that had rolled in.

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St. Ives is the last stop on this line so as soon as the train comes in and empties it reverses it’s course to the north…

When we made it back to our car Jeeves took us on a sea cliff route back to Porthtowen via Portreath. We stopped along the way and enjoyed some wind whipped views of the sea on high.

Back here in the Northwest we put our sewing mojo to the test and Katie and I managed to thread a bobbin and thread the sewing machine so that it actually sewed a nice zig zag on the project I’m attempting. The first step was cutting the fabric into 14 inch squares that worked nicely with a rotary cutter and cutting board. We had to stop at a sewing store so I could buy some thread that was not of the cheap variety I was using. Have I mentioned in the past that my dear mom and older sisters did the sewing in my family and I was actually kicked out of my sewing class in Junior High…oye.  Well that doesn’t mean I can’t complete some sewing projects of the simple variety… I’ll be sharing soon.

I talked to my dear old pop today and he was quite pleased with some chicken wings he managed to make. He marinated them, browned them on the stove top and then finished them off in the oven. He said they were delicious. He’s managing with his cooking like I’m managing with my sewing projects.  My pop never had to cook all his 70 years of marriage except for barbecuing meat.

Do you have a sewing machine? Do you sew? Did your mother sew for you?

As I Was Going to St. Ives…

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As I was going to St. Ives,
I met a man with seven wives,
Each wife had seven sacks,
Each sack had seven cats,
Each cat had seven kits,
kits, cats, sacks, wives,
How many were going to St. Ives?

There are differing views as to which St. Ives this nursery rhyme/riddle was referring to but many believe that St. Ives in Cornwall is a good choice because it was a busy fishing port and they would need many cats to help with the rats and mice destroying the fishing gear.St. Ives sunny 008We took the advice of our friend who lived in Cornwall to take the train to St. Ives because it could be hard to find parking in this busy port destination. The day before had been so gloomy and rainy so when we woke up to beautiful sunshine on September 18th we let Jeeves lead us to the railway stop. We met up with quite a crowd who had the same idea as us and were ready to enjoy the seaside in the sunshine. Thankfully we found the last parking spot in the train waiting area.

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We had beautiful views of the sea as we rode the train on the short trip to St. Ives.

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When we arrived our first order of business was to find the Tea Room where we had decided to eat a meal and enjoy our first Cornish cream tea.

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Bliss! I have to admit it wasn’t easy to find the tea room in this bustling humanity filled town. With narrow cobbled streets filled to the brim we made our way to the end of the sea walk. When we finally spotted “the Tea Room” and got our seats we could finally…”Keep calm and carry on”

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It’s amazing how a satisfying meal can make your outlook so much better and the crowds so much easier to coexist with.

St. Ives sunny 048The tea room was at the far end of the town and the next photo shows the view of the harbor with the tide out looking out from the tea room. I’ll be sharing photos of the harbor after the tide rolls in soon with more of the great views we enjoyed in St. Ives along St. Ives Bay.

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I’m heading outside in the brisk sunny weather to try to gather up some of the leaves that fell over the weekend. The rains are headed our way again soon and I want to take advantage of this dry window before the leaves get real soggy. I’m hoping to get more creative mojo this week, too, with some final preparations for a get together at this old house on Sunday November 10th.

Blessings!

The Road to Porthtowan

After we finished at the Bishop’s Palace we traveled on the M-5 and A-30 south and  found our way to the home we would be staying at in Porthtowan with the help of our SatNav Jeeves.  It was a rough day of traveling because of a steady downpour of rain. The kind of rain that even the windshield wipers can’t manage. We sighed in relief while we unpacked the car and then made our way to the Tesco in Redruth for supplies for dinner and breakfast. We would be staying in Cornwall for three nights.

St. Ives sunny 226The view from our front porch was so calming and lovely.

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After our trip to the grocery store we came back to the house and Josh made us a a wonderful pot of chicken soup. It was a nice change to eat a homemade meal and to have a kitchen at our disposal.

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So happy to eat this bowl of goodness after our long day that I didn’t even stage it for the photo.  This was Tuesday September 17th. On Wednesday we had a new adventure that would give us views of the Celtic Sea…

I’ll leave you with a tease…

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Back here in the Pacific Northwest we really had a rainy windy day here on Saturday. The leaves were blowing around with a vengeance. Most of our leafy trees are now bare which means our yard is full of leaves. The apple tree is still hanging on to it’s leaves and will be the last to let them go. The next dry spell here will be a fall clean up day at this old house. What’s happening the first full week of November at your place?

Left in Summer…

…returned in Autumn!

We arrived home from England yesterday evening at 6:00 pm after a flight delay in London. I was tucked into my own bed by 8:30 and wide awake at 3:00 am.  My body and mind will adjust soon. We left with windows open and returned with windows shut. We left with the heater pilot lights off and they are back on this morning along with a wee bit of heat to warm up our chilly home. Fall has definitely arrived!

The rest of this week will be busy with our preparations for my mom’s memorial service and our travel to Southern California. Time will tell when I will start posting my full travelogue from England.

Here’s another snapshot of our days in England. After Wells we traveled on to Cornwall where we spent 3 nights. What a wonderful area to explore! Cheers!

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Josh, Laura, Dear and I are so thankful to God for watching over us and for His favor on us during this trip. There were so many moments that we felt His touch on us and our experiences. Thank you Lord!

We’ve Laid Our Heads Down…

…in some very nice places.

I will share more about these spots when we get home from England.

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St. Ives sunny 226The view from the house we stayed at in Cornwall.

We are now in a flat in London. My feet hurt but we’re happy and amazed at all we are experiencing.

I wanted to share a link my brother posted for my mom’s obituary and service times…

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What September Holds…

We are aware of some things that September holds for us and we aren’t naive enough to think we know all that it holds.

My mom’s life is still in the balance.

Here are some things we are looking forward to…

A milestone birthday for Dear on September 9th.

This photo is from 2006 in Conwy, Wales taken by our friend Dave.

My parents 70th wedding anniversary.

(Technically they have already been married for 70 years since their wedding in Iran was in mid summer but the official date on their U.S. papers says September 13th)

This photo of my parents was taken in 2006 in Dallas during our celebration of Leonard and Mandy’s marriage.

A milestone trip to England with our son Josh and DIL Laura from September 12th thru the 23rd.

We know we’ll be seeing so many wonderful sites. I’m so excited to be going again with a digital camera this time. It will be Josh and Laura’s first time there. EXCITED!

Some of the planned events are:

Going to Old Trafford Stadium in Manchester for the Manchester United ~ Crystal Palace soccer game on Saturday the 14th.

A night in the Cotswolds.

This was taken in the Cotswolds in 2004. Can you see why I’m excited to go back with a digital camera?

Lacock Village and the Abbey on our way to stay in Wells. If any of you watched Cranford and Return to Cranford they were filmed in this village along with other scenes from other well known favorites. The Abbey was used to film some scenes in a couple of the Harry Potter movies.

A night in Wells so we can explore the cathedral and walk around the castle moat.

3 nights in Southwest Cornwall doing whatever we decide to do which will include hikes to the beach and St. Michael’s Mount.

Ending our trip with a weekend in London where we have rented an apartment home near Portabello Road. We will try to get in as many landmark London sites as possible and hope to be able to also see a play or musical.

Other things to look forward to in September after our trip are:

Day trip adventures with our daughter Katie while she is living with us for this new season which may or may not include tea. I’m also going to take advantage of Katie’s technical skills to help me hook up our new slide and photo scanner and for her to help me learn to use it!

Starting up our weekly Small group meetings again.

Our Fall Women’s Bible Study at church.

What are you looking forward to in this month of September?