Several years back, my friend Becky and I were totally inspired by our blog friend Melissa Lester’s book club events that she often posted about. We wanted to start a ladies book club at our congregation, too! When Melissa visited Henderson for a speaking engagement at FHU, Becky and I practically cornered her and asked for the book club details. 😉 After getting permission from our eldership, we jumped in with both feet. Literary Ladies was born!
At our last meeting earlier this week, we were trying to decide how long we’ve been meeting. We were all surprised that it’s been about five years! Hard to believe. =) It’s been a blessing to all of us, but it does take some work! We try to take turns decorating, arranging the devo and book discussion details, and everyone brings food. Because the planning committee likes themes, we decorate the tables and plan the food to go along with the book we discuss at that meeting. Sometimes that’s a tad tricky, but luckily we have our Dana B., who often, quite literally, DREAMS up good ideas! I wish I could make my brain do some actual work while I sleep. 😉 The only time that’s happened to me (unrelated to book club) was YEARS ago when I took a nap and dreamed that I wrote a play. I can’t tell you the name and plot, because I want to actually write it sometime. Maybe not as a play, but as a book. Sorry, I digress. 😉
BACK to the topic at hand. Literary Ladies has brought together ladies of all ages – we’ve had teenagers and our senior saints and everyone in between. This past meeting we had read (or re-read, in many of our cases) the classic Anne of Green Gables. Ashley and our friend Sasha had been reading a shortened version of Anne to their four-year-old daughters, so we had some sweet visitors this time! So cute! Picklepants even spoke up once during the book discussion. It was adorable! She came and gave me a hug at the end, too, and told me she had fun. =)
Another good friend, also named Ashley (I have many wonderful Ashleys in my life!) brought her two daughters also to enjoy the mother-daughter meeting. Coloring sheets from an Anne of Green Gables coloring book and crayons were provided to our younger visitors. Good idea, Ruffled Mango Ashley! (Sorry, gotta tell ’em apart somehow!)
Alright, alright, I know you want to know what we ate and how we decorated. I tell you what, we had a most beautiful autumn tea party spread! I feel sure Anne would be proud. 😉
Remember when Marilla made bread pudding and Anne forgot to cover the sauce? And a mouse fell into it?? Well, our friend Dana made Marilla’s bread pudding, complete with sauce…and a furry little mouse to complete the vignette. Our younger Literary Ladies loooooved this! 😉
I brought chicken salad and crackers. Let me tell you, there’s no recipe for this, but I discovered a really yummy version lately. Mix some apricot jelly and curry powder into your mayonnaise (btw, I’m obsessed with Wild Oats organic curry powder from Walmart and Duke’s Mayonnaise). Throw in some golden raisins. Add a little salt to taste. So Super Easy. And incredibly delicious…even if I do say so myself! 😉
And aren’t my friend Sandy’s little Anne quotes cute? She had made little tags for our food with a quote on each one. Sandy also led us in singing at this meeting. She picked two perfect songs to go along with the theme, in my opinion: “There is Sunshine in My Soul” and “This is My Father’s World.” Anne Shirley definitely had sunshine in her soul and appreciated every thing in the natural world. Also, to note: “This is My Father’s World” is completely GORGEOUS sung by all female voices. I want to record us singing that sometime! Lovely!
Sandy’s here in the blue, with several of our other long-time members. We’re so glad these ladies are dedicated members!
And you can’t have a tea party without cucumber sandwiches!
My friend Sasha made Matthew’s Ladybugs. Because ladies bugged Matthew. Ha! Got the idea here.
And – of course – we had to have raspberry cordial. (I promise we didn’t get it mixed up with current wine!) It was delicious! The two Ashleys both made double recipes and I brought my drink dispenser to serve it in. We decided that Anne wouldn’t have wanted us serving it out of Tupperware pitchers. 😉
Becky had the good idea to cut out round placemats from scrapbook paper to put under the clear plates. Loved that! And there was a leaf cut out on top of each. Ladies wrote their name on those – and also future book suggestions – we used those to draw a name of the person who won a copy of the next book we’re reading.
We used autumn items to decorate with and also put a book from the Anne series on each table. It’s been so long since I’ve read all of those…I’ve got some rereading to do! Amazon does have the whole series on Kindle for $0.99, so I jumped on that! Anne:The Green Gables complete Collection Though buying the whole set in paperback Anne of Green Gables, Complete 8-Book Box Set: Anne of Green Gables; Anne of the Island; Anne of Avonlea; Anne of Windy Poplar; Anne’s House of … Ingleside; Rainbow Valley; Rilla of Ingleside is definitely worth it! My old, very-much-loved books are one of my favorite memories of childhood.
Literary Ladies is often a generational gathering. We were glad to have several mom and daughter sets attending!
At the end of the meeting, we unveiled the next book: A Wreath of Snow: A Victorian Christmas Novella. We wanted a Christmasy, wintry book to read before our January meeting. We always give out bookmarks to go along with the next book, and Dana made these sweet themed bookmarks for A Wreath of Snow: A Victorian Christmas Novella. At the last meeting, she had made the Anne bookmarks for us. We have some very talented ladies in our group and I’m grateful for them! =)
Read A Wreath of Snow: A Victorian Christmas Novella along with us and be ready for our January meeting! It takes place on a train in Scotland. What could be better??