Father’s Day

My Father, Earle “The Pearle” Johnson was one of a kind.  I am so thankful for the time I had with him.  It was short, but the love he gave me during the years he was alive will last my entire life.

To grow up with unconditional and unwavering love is a gift. Even when he wanted to wring my neck there was never any question that he  was on my side. He allowed me to have a point of view and he listened it as long as I was honest, kind, and treated others with decency.  He wasn’t a push over by any means, he was strong, stoic and thoughtful. He chose his words carefully and as a result he never regretted anything he said and I can’t recall him ever saying an unkind word to me in the heat of the moment (and trust me I pushed him to the edge.  I was a lippy teen).

  My Father had three girls and treated each of us differently because he recognized we were different people, yet he managed to make us all feel like we were treated and loved equally. He adored my Mother and respected her. He supported her freedom and allowed her to be independent even in times where many men didn’t. The equality I felt in my own home has helped me to see the equality in all people.

How do you thank the person who made you feel real love in the purest selfless form?

You try to pass it on to your own children and to set the example that was set for you.

Luckily, I found a man who would stand up to the legacy of my Father and I married him.

My daughter Caroline and I are lucky indeed.

Happy Fathers Day!

Please Set The Table.

Photo: www.thefoundblog.com

I think one should set the table every night.  It is a good way to keep your family at the table longer, it prompts conversation.  It sets a good precedence for your children, by setting the stage for learning table manners.  I am astonished how many kids and adults  do not know where a knife and fork should be placed.  Paper napkins send me over the edge and soda bottles on a table make me cringe. If you routinely eat on a paper plate you need a time out.  Save those for the picnics!

Photo: The 10 minute dinner table setting

I can sense the eye rolls.  I know we are all super busy, time is tight and some may think it is silly to put effort into setting a table.  It  seems like every day is “Casual Friday” and I think it should stop. What’s so wrong with a little formality?  I am not suggesting we put on a suit to travel or wear white gloves, just simply take the time to set your dinner table.  I timed it.  It takes 5-10 minutes to set a table with plates, napkins, silverware, and a place mat.

Photo: Caroline’s Placemat

 Give your children the job of setting the table so they know how it is done, do it with them and then set them free and let them do a table scape themselves.  Caroline has drawn place mats for us, picked flowers, pine cones, special rocks or shells when she set our table. It was a great activity and it kept her busy and out of my hair while I cooked dinner.

 I will admit I do use paper napkins when there is a messy dish such as ribs or if it is lunch on the run, but I try to routinely use cloth napkins.  It’s so much nicer.  You can use a tip from Lulu Powers, author of “Lulu Powers, Food to Flowers” and go to Ikea, buy some $0 .79 cent dish towels.  Buy a ton and keep them folded in a cute basket so you have them at your fingertips. They wash nicely and even look better with wear.  If they get too stained then throw them out or use them a dust cloths.

So for those who need a reminder here is a diagram of a proper table setting.  Keep in mind the daily meal setting will be much simpler so don’t freak about the 12 different pieces!

 Photo: weddingsandeventsbymuse.com

I may loose you here….How about pulling out the Wedding China out on a regular day?   Who says you have to keep it for a special occasion?  I like to have a “fancy” dinner night where I use all the good stuff, but I serve breakfast for dinner.


 Photo: www.paloma81.blogspot.com

So go open your linen cabinet and pull out your napkins and table clothes and start setting your table!

Just do it!

xo Carrie