A Simple Fall Tea, Recovery Update, and Counting My Blessings

I have a few things on my mind today, but first the table. I recently acquired a vintage snack set that had been my grandmother’s (more on that later). I decided to do a simple tablescape for tea or coffee and snacks with the set before I put it up for sale.


I started with this runner that has a fruit pattern on it which works well for almost any season.


It’s already been well established on this blog that I cannot photograph crystal. To try to aid in my poor photography skills, I thought that a solid color placemat would be best to display the crystal, so I chose sage green (Fred’s, a long time ago) to complement the runner and add to the autumn colors. This is the snack plate; you can see the indention for the cup to the right.


I love the way these old-fashioned snack sets look. I see them in almost all types of clear crystal, milk glass, and porcelain. I love the fact that this one is complete….nothing missing from the service for 8 and no chips or scratches. I don’t remember this set at all and it is in such good condition that I wonder if my grandmother ever used it.


I decided to use a patterned napkin since the placemat had to be solid. These April Cornell napkins have the perfect colors in them and I chose my acorn napkin rings to continue the fall theme.


I know that the green on green may not be the best choice for photographs, but I thought that my green Dollar General flatware was the best choice for this place setting.


Since tea will be served at my imaginary party, I needed a teapot. Friendly Village fits the bill perfectly for this time of the year!


To keep my centerpiece simple, yet “fall-ish,” (like Shakespeare, I make up words), I chose some of my ceramic pumpkins in various autumnal hues. I think I have gotten all of them at Dollar Tree over the years, although I also see them at Dollar General, Wal Mart, and Fred’s.


My chunky wooden candleholders keep the centerpiece casual. My son made these for me about 10 years ago and even chose the sage green variegated candle himself. I love them, and they are perfect for fall.


What is in that candy dish, you wonder? Doesn’t she usually decorate with candy corn? It is the color of candy corn, but the wrong shape. What is that, you ask? Well, the answer is…..

Candy corn colored M & M’s! {I’m an English teacher, people…love alliteration.} Yeah, it doesn’t take much to get me excited, does it? OK, I know that I have no young children at home and no grandchildren yet, so maybe that’s why I never knew that this stuff existed until a few days ago.

I have a cookie bar recipe made with Bisquick (of course, I use Jiffy Mix brand…nothing but the cheapest for my family) that I make a lot. The recipe is adaptable to a number of different add-ins, and I have made it with M & M’s, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, and even white chocolate chips. You know those cartoon characters who get the idea bulb over their heads? Well, I was that person standing in the aisle at CVS!


Even better, I had $5 in extra bucks to use that day. I purchased 2 packs, which were already on sale 2 for $6. I handed the clerk my extra bucks. I know my pic isn’t that great, so if you can’t make it out it says $1.42! Yep, $1.42 for 2 packs of candy corn white chocolate M & M’s, something I normally would not even purchase due to the cost. The receipt says that I saved $7.38, or 88%. No trick here, only treats!


I had a good time this afternoon preparing the cookie bars with the candy corn M & M’s. I assure you that they are very delicious and festive for this time of the year.


I live on a busy street and don’t normally have trick or treaters, so I actually invited a few trick or treaters to come to me. My boss at the paper stopped by with half his kids. His son, whose birthday is on Halloween, is much to cool to dress up, so he just wore a mask.


I was assured that his youngest daughter is a character from Frozen. The two middle sisters were eating with friends, and they are supposedly dressed as other Frozen characters. I told you I have no young children, right? So I just took their word for it and was glad that she took the sucker out of her mouth long enough for the pic. They took their treats and promised me that they would not eat the ones I sent to their sisters. Hmmmm…


A little later my friend showed up with her 3. Sister is much too cool to trick or treat, but she did take some cookie bars. The middle brother was just so excited that he never took the time to put on his costume, so little brother was the only one dressed up.


It doesn’t matter…they were all cute. The boys are full of energy and never stopped talking (I know you’ll say they had a sugar high, but I assure you that they are always like that), but were very polite and said thank you several times. I enjoyed seeing all of the kids that came my way.


I like the fact that these treats are made in one bowl and don’t need a mixer; however, my shoulder was bothering me quite a bit after I finished my baking session. This statement brings me to the next part of my post: recovery.


I finished my official therapy sessions (10 weeks) almost 2 weeks ago. My therapist sat down with me a long time on “measuring day,” and he explained in great detail how far I had come and what needs to happen next.


To sum it up briefly, I have been given a very extensive “home program,” which I must continue on my own as long as it takes. It is quite demanding, consisting of a variety of stretches, strength exercises, mobility exercises, and bicep exercises. I don’t know how to explain in layman’s terms why the bicep bothers me so much more than the shoulder when it comes to actual pain. However, I have been assured by both the doctor and the therapist that while the complication with the bicep is not common, it does happen in some rotator repair patients. The exercises that I am doing are supposed to help that problem. Naturally, I am always the one who gets whatever is uncommon!


This week I had a follow-up with my doctor. He is pleased with my progress, but still wants me to go a little further. I can raise my arm over my head, but he wants it to come on up a little straighter. I can put my hand behind my back (almost impossible just 3-4 weeks ago), but he wants me to do that with less difficulty and a little higher up. He said that continuing my home program diligently should get me there and he will see me again in another 6 weeks. He does not seem concerned; he said that it takes rotator patients about 4 1/2 months to recover, and it’s only been about 3 1/2 for me. I trust him, and I am working hard at my home program (it’s killing me, by the way), but I am determined to recover fully.


That update brings me to the next part of my post: blessings. The surgery really threw my already tight budget into a spin, and I have written in the past few months about how we are trying not to spend any extra until the bills are paid off. That includes spending on new merchandise for the booth at the flea market.

I have had several friends and family members in the last few months give items to me that I can use for booth merchandise. That’s right: give…plus most of them did not know at the time that they gave it to me that I was trying to save every cent I could to put toward medical bills.

Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Luke 6:38

Thanks to generous friends and family, I have been able to keep my merchandise new and fresh-looking without spending any money. In addition, everything that I make on these donated items is 100% profit. Why do I ever doubt that God will take care of us? He knows my needs even before I do, and He will always supply them…maybe not in my time, but His.


And that little tidbit of information brings me back full circle to the beginning of  this post. Out of the blue, I had an email from my sister. She was cleaning out some cabinets and purging and told me that I could have anything that I wanted for the booth. I emailed her back that beggars can’t be choosers; I would take anything that no one else wanted. As it turned out, her daughter did not want any of it, so I got it all, including the snack set that once belonged to our grandmother. I do like it, but don’t really see myself using it except for this tablescape. These also are not huge sellers; I guess most people don’t use these so much any more. However, since what I make on it will be 100% profit, I can put a low price on it so that it will sell. She also gave me a few other pretty crystal items, including some lovely stemware from the ….ahem….first marriage….well, you get it, right? I have my booth pretty full with Christmas merchandise right now, but I will put that stemware out as soon as I have some room for it since I think that people might be more likely to use that around the holidays.

Speaking of blessings, traffic has finally picked up at the flea market, and I am so grateful and praying that it will continue. The economy is bad in our small town, and the flea market business has really been showing it. A good friend recently said, quite wisely I thought, “If people aren’t spending in a flea market, they aren’t spending anywhere.” My husband’s business has been affected greatly, and we have much less in our pockets, which is one reason we need to make every penny that we can in our booth.

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. Phil. 4:19

Hey, the Lord provides, and we should have a good October check and hoping and praying for an even better one in November! Wishing everyone a wonderful fall with lots of great decorating and tablescaping projects!

I am joining: A Stroll Thru Life for Tabletop Tuesday, Home and Garden Thursday at A Delightsome Life , Tablescape Tuesday at Every Day Living,   From the Farm at The Homesteading Hippy, Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday, Metamorphosis Monday, Masterpiece Monday at Boogieboard Cottage ,  Cozy Little House for Tweak it Tuesday,  Under the Table and Dreaming for Sunday Showcase ,  The Charm of Home for Home Sweet Home, Brown Gingham Creations for Rednesday,  Cuisine Kathleen for Let’s Dish, Treasure Hunt Thursday at From My Front Porch to Yours,  Cottage Style at Lavender Garden, Homemaking Paty at Hope in Every Season,   The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sunday, What’s It Wednesday at Ivy and Elephants; Weekend Bloggy Reading at Serenity Now, Meet Me Monday at You Are Talking Too Much,  Spotlight Saturday at Classy Clutter, Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage, Pink Saturday at How Sweet the Sound, You’re Gonna Love It Tuesdays at Kathe with an E, Mop it Up Monday at I Should Be Mopping the Floor , Wow Us Wednesdays at Savvy Southern Style ,  Make it Pretty Monday, Anything Blue Friday at The Dedicated House,  Create It Thursday at Lamberts Lately,   Flaunt it Friday at Chic on a Shoestring,  Tuesday’s Treasures at Uncommon Suburbia,  Return to Loveliness at A Delightsome Life, Centerpiece Wednesday at The Style Sisters, Time Travel Thursday at The Brambleberry Cottage , The Scoop at The Stone Gable, Thursday Favorite Things at Katherine’s Corner , Sizzle into Summer at DIY by Design

About Bev

I am a retired teacher who has only recently taken up tablescaping and blogging. For more information, see my About Bev link.
This entry was posted in Fall, Family and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to A Simple Fall Tea, Recovery Update, and Counting My Blessings

  1. Vicky Hunt says:

    Hi Bev! I’m happy to hear you are making good progress on recovering from your surgery. You are a diligent lady to do all those home exercises….especially when they hurt. Your table is lovely. I actually bought a set of I believe it was 9 or 11 of those exact snack plates for $1 a couple years ago. They did not have the cups, but for that price, I had to have them. I bought some cups really cheap a year or so later. They don’t match, but it really doesn’t matter to me. I really should get rid of them since I never use them and probably won’t ever. We never get trick or treaters since we live on private property. We did have our annual costume parade at school yesterday though and the kiddos were so cute! Have a blessed weekend sweet friend!

    Hugs, Vicky

  2. Sandra Garth says:

    I too, have a problem photographing crystal so you’re not alone. I love the way you used the snack sets I have several and never knew what to do with them. Recovering from rotator cuff surgery was one of the toughest experiences I’ve had so I’m sending you lots of hugs and positive vibes.

  3. Sherry says:

    You have some cute trick-or-treaters! Lovely dishes! Thanks for sharing!

  4. I am sure it’s not easy to keep up with all the painful therapy Bev, and I admire your determination! Great score on the M&Ms, I was shocked while shopping this week that so many places only had their candy 50% off! They should be giving it away by now! haha. The snack sets are so retro and fun, I haven’t seen anything like that in ages. Glad your business is going well~

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