Easter and Beyond

April 22, 2022


I hope all of you had a joyful Easter and were able to celebrate with those you love. And to all my readers who observe Passover, I hope you had a beautiful celebration as well. 

Thanks for the notes from those of you who have missed my newspaper column. If I were still "at it,"  I'd certainly write about . . .the children in Ukraine, some nice people I've recently met, and how I think the commercial that tells people it's okay to wear your slippers in public is FALSE. They say, "No one will know." Actually, yes we do. Pajama pants in public were bad enough, don't take this final plunge into fashion darkness. Society is shaky enough without slippers in the restaurants. But for now . . .

I absolutely love Easter, so I invited a group of middle school girls over to have a craft day. Our designs were based on the decoupage project I wrote about HERE. These girls are my bright hope for the future. They are smart, funny and grounded in deep faith and good values. They're also just a little bit . . . you know, "middle-schooly" which keeps things real and reminds me that someone was once kind to me when I was that age and OFF THE CHART "middle-schooly" Bless their hearts. 

We enjoyed a little sugar. Oh- yes! The "nest" was actually edible. This was for my youngest friends. Now, here's news on my oldest non-sugar eating friend . . . 

You may remember Jule Moon from previous posts over the years. The last story in my book, Exploding Hushpuppies, "When a Southern Lady Walks into a Room" is about her. I've been helping her prepare for a move to Nursing Facility. Thank goodness, she has an army of friends who all pitched in. Jule remains as sharp as the day she turned 21. The day she moved (above) was very emotional, but she brushed off her ever-present optimism, popped on a smile, and took with her . . . a hair dryer, makeup bag, four sparkly beaded tops, a jar of olives, and a large dictionary so she can continue writing . She said, "I'm going to write a story about this!" Then she called out, "Wait! I need my sunglasses!"  Jule will be 103 this coming June. Before she moved, Jule used her eagle eye and sharp mind to proof read my new book. WHAT??? ( keep reading). More about Jule Here.

I have to show you a photo of a gorgeous luncheon from a few weeks ago, hosted by friends Emily and Lucy. I could write an entire post on how perfect everything was. It was elegant with a warm, casual feel. The table setting, food, hand lettered menus, and table arrangements were all fabulous and made the guests feel special. And a bonus? I loved all the ladies around the table.

Our Easter church service was amazing. In both services, the sanctuary was full, the overflow room was full, the crying room (where I appropriately sat because Easter music always chokes me up) was full, and 30 chairs were added to the hallway. It's so good to see people returning to church. Can you believe it was two years ago Easter services were sidelined by COVID? 

An Easter treat found me when a friend came over after church and slipped a bag of my favorite cheese straws into my pocketbook. She knows I love them more than chocolate bunnies. Don't you love thoughtful people? (say yes).

Our Easter lunch at home was small and casual this year. I used my "new" set of old dishes, collected piece by piece from antique stores. It's by Harmony House - the Monticello pattern, which is what my grandmother had. The pink and blue flower boarder was perfect for Easter. I still need a few serving pieces. It's a never-ending sickness game.hobby  passion.

Use the Good China

My son Joseph came home and here he is seating my mother.  Ahh . . . my heart is full. 

I didn't even get a photo of us all dressed up for church. I had a new Easter dress. The matching shoes arrived . . . the day after Easter. Aagghh! 

My menu was Coca-Cola ham, potatoes au gratin, asparagus egg and cheese tarts, glazed carrots, pink deviled eggs, pickled okra relish tray, lemon cakes and brownies. Sister Schubert made the rolls since I'm no good at that. 

And the rest of my time? I've been working on a Christmas book. Instead of being a compilation of several of my short stories like the other books, this is one story only and was originally a  newspaper column from 10 years ago. I'm expanding it and filling in details, which proves to be harder than I thought. 

I continue to have fun working with Andy Andrew's new site, Wisdom Harbour. I write and sometimes read content on the site along with other contributors I'm sure you'd love. And if you will be in Orange Beach, Alabama this summer (and who isn't?) stop by Andy's studio and store at The Wharf and say hello.

It's good to catch up with my readers. Let me know what you've been up to this spring. I've missed connecting with all of you! And as always, thanks for reading. 

  • Maria Rosso says:

    The woman who moved into the house next-door is a first class gardener. Her yard is so beautiful that I have been shamed into doing much more yard work than I would choose this Spring. I’ve got to admit, our yard has never looked so good.

  • I’m so proud of Julie’s uplifting spirit! What an encouragement she’s been to those of you who are fortunate to be her friends and to those of us who have only read about her here. I know she must be a favorite where she lives now. I’m guessing I’m not the only one who sees an awful lot of Julie in you, Leslie Anne. I loved reading about your decoupage party and your Easter dinner–what a menu! Those asparagus cheese tarts, so pretty. I save my pickled beet juice to plop boiled eggs in but want to try your deviled eggs now. And Yes to pickled okra even though I buy it now instead of pickling it myself.

    Please do get your Christmas book ready for us to buy!

    • Leslie Anne Tarabella says:

      Thanks so very much Dewena. Being like Jule is a goal of everyone who meets her! Go for the pink eggs. They are so pretty and don’t test any different than the regular old way!

  • Regarding your newest old dishes, you may just love the thrill of the hunt each time you see an antique store. But I did Google your pattern and found many pieces for sale on eBay. The prices seemed very good and there were serving pieces advertised. Happy hunting and thanks for another hart warming story.

    • Leslie Anne Tarabella says:

      Thanks Teresa, you are right. It’s the thrill of the hunt that is fun. Also, if a big box of dishes arrived, I’d have some explaining to do. But, if they slip into the china cabinet one by one . . . ??? Just saying. Thanks for reading.

      • Teresa Martin says:

        Ha Ha, just as I expected:-). An older lady who sang in our church choir always had on the most fashionable shoes (untold numbers of them too). I said something to her one night at rehearsal and she admitted that she ordered so many shoes that she had them delivered to her daughter’s home and slipped them in under the cover of darkness, one pair at the time. She fully believed that her husband, a retired physician never realized her game. First Jim and then Nancy went on to Heaven. I bet she has some really stunning shoes up there. Blessings, Teresa

  • This was a wonderful catching us up post. Oh Jule… I would have had tears in my eyes. I have seen a lot of dresses popping up on Instagram. Now, if we can just get all these young people to wear them. I am fortunate in that my girls still care about looks. I absolutely just shake my head in amazement at the dress at the grocery store or any doctor’s office these days. I pray that churches fill up again. If there is anything needed more than that I don’t know if it. I hardly have time to blog these days but it is filled with good things. Glad to see the post from you.

    • Leslie Anne Tarabella says:

      Thanks Sandy. So good to hear from you. We had more than tears in our eyes the day Jule moved. I had to step around the corner for a few sobs. She’s a joy. And never fear, I think dressing up is making a comeback. (fingers crossed).

  • How nice of you to invite the middle school girls over for crafting! My oldest grandson is 7th grade and can be a moody teenager, it’s driving me nuts! I love your Easter charcuterie board, the edible nests are so much fun. Your friend Jule is amazing and quite an inspiration…so glad you had a wonderful Easter and could enjoy services at your church and a wonderful meal with your family! I look forward to your new book~

    • Leslie Anne Tarabella says:

      The key to middle schoolers is to take them in small doses. “Come over to my house” means from 1-3pm. Grandchildren are there for loooong periods of time! Enjoy!

  • Carol Willis says:

    You always inspire me and make me happy ?!

    • Leslie Anne Tarabella says:

      Well, aren’t you a sweetie! Thanks Carol.

  • Roxanne Bernard says:

    So happy to catch up with all your “doings”, Leslie Anne! You’ve given me some inspiration with your middle school ladies…I’ll take looking hard at 70 over being 13 any day! Bought a beautiful new Easter dress and one for a friend’s wedding and missed both bc I’m still recovering from major back surgery. 100% cured and doing well thanks to lots of prayers, my sister and husband loving on me, and my church Meal Train keeping us well fed. Life is good!

    • Leslie Anne Tarabella says:

      When a new dress hangs in the closet unused, it’s a sad day indeed. I’m so glad you’re feeling better and ready to go out and wow the world. Thank goodness for meal trains, right? Happy springtime to you!

  • Hi Leslie Anne, I am so glad you caught us up on all your happenings! Your darling friend that is 103 looks amazing and her positive attitude is a wonderful character trait, especially at her age. Easter looks and sounds perfect. I am excited about your Christmas book!

    • Leslie Anne Tarabella says:

      Thanks Pam. Jule is amazing and she’s adjusting to her new surroundings with style. A reminder to us all that our attitude is essential to our well-being.

  • George Nelson says:

    Hi! Pink deviled eggs? But the rest sounds and looks wonderful! “Sister Schubert” spoke at one of our Alabama West Florida UMC Older Adult Events a few years back. I’m so happy you are supporting her but find it difficult to believe there’s something you don’t do, and do well!

    • Leslie Anne Tarabella says:

      Ha! You must have missed my story about not being able to bake bread. It’s a fatal Southern flaw, I’m afraid. During covid, I mastered one easy loaf, but it’s never a sure thing! Pink eggs came from keeping them in a jar of pickled beets the night before — boiled, peeled, then soak overnight before cutting and filling. They were pretty!

  • Patricia Potts says:

    Thank you for reminding me of yesteryear. I must say I love all your stories and the fact of you sharing family with us.
    Blessings to you

    • Leslie Anne Tarabella says:

      Thanks Patricia. So glad you stopped by to read! Happy springtime to you.

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