Thursday, June 8, 2017

Railroad Retirement Party

My dear friends, I never meant to be gone so long! As you might note from the title of this post, we've had a lifestyle change with Mr Delight's recent retirement and as such, I took some unplanned time off from blogging.  It is a bit of an adjustment as I'm still working full-time and wanting to spend my off-hours doing things with Mr D now that he's home but I'm also hoping to carve out some time for creating tablescapes and sharing them with you. Hopefully, I can find a balance and fit it all in.

Of course, I want to show you the backyard retirement party we had last weekend to celebrate the occasion. The set-up began with this large tent we rented to cover the tables I decorated.

Mr D was a locomotive engineer (drove trains) for CP Rail for 32 years.  Thus, the centerpieces I created reflected a railway theme.

Railroad tracks and lanterns were placed on each of the tables. Pebbles were arranged under the tracks.

Black & white checked tablecloths and burlap runners added to the look.

I created the railroad tracks by cutting the sides off this garden edging I got at the Dollar Store.

It is hard to see but I ran battery-operated mini-lights under the tracks which looked nice at night.

Here's the table arrangement under the tent. I didn't get a pic with them on but the lanterns have battery-operated LED lights in them. 
I got them locally at Home Hardware and Pharmasave.

This is the display table I set up where guests entered the backyard.

This banner I made acted as a backdrop.

Gifts were placed on a table adjacent to the display.

Mr Delight's hobbies include riding his Harley in the summer...

...and downhill skiing in the winter. These were highlighted in glass cloches at each end of the track on the table.

Appetizers were in the form of charcuterie boards 

with various cheeses and meats for guests to nibble on...

...while they waited for the Taco Bar to open.

My daughter made some yummy pinwheel tortilla rolls as well.

Beverages were kept in coolers in this area and we also had a keg of beer (not shown) from a local brewery.

Nonalcoholic drinks were served via my drink dispensers.  I made ice tea as well as pineapple mint lemonade.

This is how the Taco Bar was set up once we took away the appies.

Three crockpots held the ground beef, spanish rice and refried beans.

I kept the soft taco shells warm by placing them in a metal BBQ bowl set atop baking cooling racks in an electric fry pan filled with water.  I set the pan on low and the steam generated kept the tortillas at just the right temperature.

I placed the toppings in glass vases which showed off their colours and added to the festive look.

My mom is an expert baker and she provided the delicious squares on the dessert table. The trays were refilled often throughout the party.

She is famous around these parts for her Butter Tarts.

There were Raisin Date Squares and Triple Brownies as well.

Pecan Tarts had to be sampled as well :)

Not to mention the Lemon Squares and Choco-Nut Cookies!

And here's a look at the whole set-up in the backyard. It was an open-house type of event with approx 75 guests coming and going all evening.

The weather was pretty good although at one point, a thunder storm rolled in and we even had some hail. 

I was thankful for all the tents/canopies we'd put up.

As the evening wore on, we lit a fire in the chiminea which we had moved to the center of our yard. 

I was sorry I didn't get any pics of the yard at night but as those of you who entertain know, there comes a point where you just want to forget about everything and p-a-r-t-y! 
Yep, there was dancing too! 
Our daughter snapped this fuzzy pic which captured how I felt about Mr D's retirement :)
Let the good times roll!

(Framed sign I created for the display table)

Thanks for visiting!
I'll be linking this post to these wonderful blog parties:
Saturday Sparks on Pieced Pastimes
Share it One More Time at Everyday Home
A Bouquet of Talent  at Life on Lakeshore Drive
Sundays at Home at Love of Home
Silver Pennies Sunday at Silver Pennies
Dishing It & Digging It at Rustic & Refined
Amaze Me Mondays at Dwellings
Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch
Show & Share at Coastal Charm
Celebrate Your Story at Celebrate & Decorate
Brag About It Tuesday at My Husband Has Too Many Hobbies
The Scoop at Stone Gable
Inspire Me Tuesdays at A Stroll Thru Life
Tuesday at Our Home at Our Home Away From Home
Tutorials & Tips at Home Stories A to Z
Wow Us Wednesdays at Savvy Southern Style
Swing Into Spring at DIY by Design
Share Your Style at Essence of Home
Share Your Cup at Have a Daily Cup of Mrs Olson
Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch
Grace at Home at Imparting Grace
Home Matters at Life with Lorelai
Inspiration Gallery at Craftberry Bush
Home Sweet Home at The Charm of Home
Foodie Friday & Everything Else at Rattlebridge Farm
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage


  1. Congratulations to your hubby on his retirement! You really did a wonderful job on his retirement party. You are so talented and come up with such creative ideas like the railroad tracks. Love how you presented the beverage and food tables. The food looks so delicious and of course my favorite part are the desserts! I was wondering if somehow I had missed some of your posts- glad to know everything is okay!

  2. I am 100% in love with this theme and setup!!! Oh, my cool! You thought of everything!!! Both my Dad and my husband's Dad worked for the railroad. It was my Dad's first job! Mr. Nichols made a career of it and retired in the late 80s. I'm just blown away by your details! You had every reason to party like it's 1999! Congratulations to Rolly! I wish you both lots of quality time in the coming years!

  3. Did you hear me yelling OH OH OH when I read the name of your post? My dear hubby is retiring effective August 1 from the Norfolk Southern Railway. I love all your details. So far I have come up with an invitation and plan to have the party in our yard, too. I hope you dont mind if I appropriate some of your ideas for my party! I love the tables and centerpieces. I need to make sure the dollar store has more of the plastic lawn edging! What a wonderful celebration you had!

  4. This is so fun. I love the railroad theme! Hmmm, my hubby is about to retire. Never thought of hosting a party. I'm sure he'd prefer I didn't, but something to think about. :)

  5. What a wonderful party set-up! I love all the details (especially the lit centerpieces!) Bravo to your husband for his retirement, and to you for the terrific party you planned! Rosie @ The Magic Hutch

  6. What a beautiful party... the food looks wonderful and the decorations are great! :)

  7. What a great party! Enjoy your new lifestyle! Thanks for sharing at Home Sweet Home!

  8. Love the railroad theme. Everything looks so nice and fun. Oh I bet there is some adjustments with your man retiring. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

  9. Congrats on the retirement! That is one heck of a party. I absolutely adore all the details you did, the rail road racks is a genius idea!

  10. So many creative ideas here. Thanks for sharing your fabulous party.

  11. You sure know how to throw a party and you left no stone unturned. The railroad tracks were genius! I also love that you served the taco toppings in vases. You literally thought of everything. Thank you for sharing this at Celebrate Your Story! Party on!

  12. Lori, I absolutely love this - not only the decor, but this moment in time for you and Mr. Delight both. Congratulations on retirement. Now you'll have to find him something to do. ;) I caught your feature on Chloe's blog and knew immediately what you had used for the tracks. I use those in various places in my garden to mark sections and support various plants. Great theme!

  13. OH MY... thank you so much for your post. My Honey, is retiring the end of March after 39 years at BNSF. It will be a change for sure. I love the entire set yes I will borrow (LOL) your ideas. I'm wondering if the Dollar Store near me has the tracks. thank you again! :-)


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