Happy Thanksgiving Decorating and Beyond

Happy Thanksgiving from our ranch to yours. Here’s a glimpse of last year, in case you’d like a little last minute inspiration.

These feathered turkeys have become a staple in the entry hall. I ordered them from the Internet (no idea the source, sadly). 

Thanksgiving at Rancho la Zaca

This is his mate on the opposite wall. You will notice they are both Toms. We run a very open-minded-Rainbow-Coalition-type-decorating-operation over here at RLZ. 

Thanksgiving at Rancho la Zaca

The great room’s two enormous mantles are always fun. It’s like decorating two aircraft carriers.  I used a combo of pumpkins and olive, oak, and camellia foliage. 

Thanksgiving at Rancho la Zaca. Butterfly painting by Hunt Slonem.

I like the contrast between the olive’s dusty gray and the camellia’s dark shiny. I spy a little pepper tree in there, too.

Thanksgiving at Rancho la Zaca

The centerpiece had a foundation of moss, with a pair of pheasants (eBay), candleberry, pumpkins, and fall foliage.

Thanksgiving at Rancho la Zaca
Thanksgiving at Rancho la Zaca

Remember the big Matisse exhibit in New York last year? Our 2014 place card was an homage to that. If you’re in a pinch and need one, feel free to click on this image and print for yourself. It’s not the best reproduction, and I re-touched out the year and “Rancho la Zaca” etc. You can print 8 x 11 and fold – or print smaller and use the whole thing. Like I said, in a pinch. 😉

Thanksgiving at Rancho la Zaca place card

Oh but Thanksgiving is not the end, oh no. We entertained the next night, too, (because I am insane) on the side porch, which can hold a few more people. The wonderful, giant, twig chandelier became the structure for a ridiculous sort of hanging centerpiece of hydrangeas and foliage. That’s my darlin’ daughter-in-law under there, pulling stems through the twigs, in one of my favorite flower-arranging photos of all time. Hats become her, don’t you think?

Thanksgiving at Rancho la Zaca

This got almost as many likes on Instagram as Kim Kardashian’s bottom.

Thanksgiving at Rancho la Zaca

Well, maybe not quite as many.

Dinner party at Rancho la Zaca

Have a wonderful holiday. Be sweet. Be giving. Be forgiving. Be cell-phone-free at the table.  Happy Thanksgiving, Love, me.


  1. Beautiful…and, yes, very inspirational !!! I’m off to collect a few more grey/ green squash etc. Your message is perfect….be forgiving and cell-phone free (especially as I am having a house full of teenage grandchildren). Thank you..Happy Thanksgiving !!!

  2. Lovely arrangements and settings! And the Butterfly painting is to die for! I recently recommended your book, The Bee Cottage story, for gift ideas for a blog site, Bacon on the Bookshelf, out of Nashville! Loved it & can’t wait to read it again. Happy Thanksgiving!!

  3. Dear Frances, Your post came at the perfect time. Thanksgiving this year is bittersweet:
    My sweet husband, Gilliam, is in the ICU wrestling with end stage pancreatic cancer. Your message reminded me that giving thanks doesn’t require turkey and three days of cooking or even the Macy’s parade. All that’s required is a thankful heart for family and friends and all they have given us. I add you to the list for the joy you bring.
    Sincerely, Annette

    1. Yes, dear Annette, a thankful heart, though mine breaks for you and your family, and for Gilliam. Blessings to you all, and grace to you, love, Frances

  4. Don’t know if you remember me from Greenville talk but my sister and I designed one of your favorite tables, “The Way We Were”. My husband and I left Greenville in April and retired to Atlanta….I know you are thinking, Atlanta? My daughter and grandchildren are here.
    If you ever come to Atlanta to give a talk, etc., please let me know! I know your sister, Duval, is here so she could be connecting you to some events.
    At age almost 71, I am reinventing myself. I am taking acting classes, have an agent, etc. and hope to be involved with the huge film and print industry going on here. It’s never too late!
    As always, love your posts and sense of humor!

    1. Dear Bonny, I do remember indeed, and YOU GO GIRL. 71 is young, and you sound like your have the energy to do whatever your heart desires. God bless you, and keep me posted. You inspire us all! Thanks and love, Frances

  5. Thank you for inspiring the other people who celebrate thanksgiving!!. Youre article really helping me for preparation thanksgiving for my big family. It such an nice and informative article. I love your ideas. Thanks for sharing these. deroosbv.com/boeket-bezorgen.html

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