Autumn by the Embers


I want to dedicate this post to the memory of my dear friend, Delia Young, whose life was senselessly cut short at the tender of age of 67. Without getting into graphic detail, Delia’s body was discovered by a maintenance worker in her townhome in the gated community where she lived this past Monday, the victim of a robbery/homicide. Delia, who lived alone since her husband passed away, was incapacitated and recently confined to a wheelchair. Her incomprehensible demise was vicious and ruthless.

Delia Young was a wonderfully motivational woman with a gift of gab. She was a teacher, a leader, a workhorse and a gracious lady all in one. Along with my husband and best friend, she “pestered” me into starting a blog and teaching a Communiversity course on the art of tablescaping.  Delia lived a distinguishable life with great pride, persistence, dignity, and deliberation. Those enviable personal qualities, along with her incomparable smile, are among the treasured memories I will keep in my mind and my heart. So, unto that end, I devote this post to my “fancy friend”, Delia, and promise to make her proud in heaven.

For My Fancy Friend,
Delia Young

There is nothing that speaks of a chilly night’s relief like the warmth of a crackling fire. I wish we had a fireplace in every room of the house! But since we don’t, I tuck furniture away in Ramon’s office (thanks, honey!) and set up intimate dining in our casual, cozy family room.

On any given night, especially in the cool weather months, I’m a firm believer that you can never have too much candlelight!



It’s fun for us to linger in front of the fireplace over dinner and dessert with another couple. The food is always hearty, the conversation is relaxed and witty, and the wine bottle is bottomless! We’ve been entertaining a lot over the past year, and this little table for just the four of us was a nice change of pace.


I used rich rust-colored metal chargers, rustic avocado green (does that description date me?) plates and soup bowls, brown cotton napkins and simple faux mother-of-pearl flatware. To keep the tablescape from looking blah, I used a fanciful print cotton table linen with a plain ivory underskirt. The centerpiece floral was loosely constructed, using complementary colors. The ivory centerpiece pillar candles rest atop rustic…dare I say it again…avocado green candlesticks.


I thought it would be kind of fun to put a faux artichoke votive holder at each place setting.


Ramon gets very antsy about all this fire, but I love it! It’s so soothing and everybody looks better by candlelight!!! (After that near disaster in September, I watch candles like a hawk!!!) The tapers set against the mirror double back the look for depth and extra light. The side votives extend the mantel piece and provide an additional level of light. (Varied levels of light is infinitely more interesting to the eye than a static level!)